2450 – Lions

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 2450 – Lions
Jul 022013

Lions on doors. I think I’ve had a few in the past, but this is really an architectural detail that I’m rarely looking at. What makes them interesting (and different from each other) are the various phases of decay.

Sometimes I’m asked why I take images of decaying things and dilapidated buildings, and for me the answer is that in decay man-made things are gradually converted back into nature. With each step on that path, mass-fabricated parts, once impossible to tell apart, acquire individuality and character.

In this case there is another component, the patch above the lion, that seemingly once was covered by a sign. Something important was written on it, or at least for the owner it was important enough to put it on a sign and affix that on the door. Now the sign and the text and its meaning are gone, only the hint of importance remains. I like that 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Lions” from the 1978 self-titled Dire Straits debut album. Hear it on YouTube.

903 – Oh England My Lionheart

 Nikon 35/1.8  Comments Off on 903 – Oh England My Lionheart
Apr 042009

It’s interesting: when something finally catches your attention, you begin to see it all over the place. Well, as long as you’re not desperately looking for it, that is 🙂

I know there are many more lions on the streets of Vienna. Of some I know where to find them, some will come my way. There will be more of this. It could even make a SoFoBoMo topic: “Lions of Vienna” 🙂

Being out of that software project, that troubled me recently, I have no more meetings at 8:15am, but I try to keep going to work early. Even though we have daylight saving time now, the sun is already up at 6am, and between 7am and 8am I really enjoy strolling to work in this beautiful light.

This image is a snapshot if I ever made one. I was busy photographing the columns and their shadows, more from outside than from inside, when this woman passed me by. I quickly reacted, there was no conscious framing, no careful composition at all, I just clicked, got this one shot, and with slight cropping from below and a little more from the right, it turned out to be a real nice image 🙂

This is a mixed bag today, huh? The next image is not even from Friday morning, it’s from Tuesday and I forgot to post it. Did you ever put time into making an image and then forget to post it?? Oh dear!

It should have been posted along with “900 – There Ain’t No Cure For Love“, it would even have made a nice Image of the Day, but I really wanted to explain about them bicycles, and so a bicycle image was needed and I finally forgot to post this at all.

Compositionally it is somewhat top-heavy, but it is really about light, about the light shafts from the reflections in the shop windows. I tried it in color first, but B&W makes it so much easier to get away with massive contrast adjustments. This is another case where I really like what my current B&W process does, especially the blur along the edges.

The final image is again shot through the dirty rear window of a tramway, just like in “826 – Goin’ Down Slow“. I had forgot something at home, thus I didn’t take my usual route directly from work to the train station by Underground. Instead I returned home and then took the tram line 18 down to Südbahnhof. The last part of it is under ground as well, but this is at the crossing Gumpendorfer Straße / Gürtel looking north. The building on the left is a station of the Underground line 6, actually an Upperground here 🙂

Those stations were built for the old Stadtbahn lines that circled the city, and the architect was Viennese superstar Otto Wagner, Austria’s most famous proponent of Jugendstil, that’s how Art Nouveau is called hereabouts.

The church in the background is called “Maria vom Siege” (“Mary of the Victory”), a rather pompous name for this historicist church built between 1868 and 1875. It was not even built to commemorate a recent victory, but instead is about a victory of imperial catholic troops in the Thirty Years’ War in 1620. At the time when it was built, the Austrian empire was already in decline, politically in the shadow of Germany, economically struggling with the fact that it had no colonies to exploit. Didn’t make no difference though. Politicians always find reasons to use our money for useless projects that in the end are meant to glorify nothing but themselves.

The Song of the Day is “Oh England My Lionheart” from Kate Bush’s second album, the 1978 release “Lionheart”. Hear it on YouTube. Fantastic song, but that goes for pretty everything that she’s ever made 🙂

901 – Lions

 Nikon 35/1.8  Comments Off on 901 – Lions
Apr 022009

OK, one more before I’m off to work.

The last entry was long enough, this is a short one. The most remarkable thing about this image is, that it is not a bicyle. It’s a lion.

Not that I wouldn’t have had a bicycle 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Lions” from the 1978 self-titled Dire Straits debut album. See a video on YouTube.