Tag Archives: Material

3508 – Zigzag

Taken out of context, an image often simply can’t be placed. While tagging this one for the blog, I was sure it had been taken in Carinthia, peobably near home. I couldn’t remember the situation, but at least Carinthia seemed like a safe bet.

Wrong. It was in Vienna. I still can’t place it exactly, but now I remember.

That’s the difference between taking images as memories and doing what I do. I like to call it art (and I think that I sometimes succeed in that regard), but whatever you call it, it’s not for the purpose of recording memories. Rather much to the contrary 😀

3262 – Wood, Rocks And A Bar At The Sea

It’s Sunday evening while I write this. I’ve just read the news: SYRIZA has again won the elections in Greece. I wonder what this could mean and if, after Tsipras’ defeat in June (or was it July?) there could be any effect at all, regardless of the outcome of elections.

Today or yesterday I’ve also read another comment about Greece. I can’t remember the newspaper, most likely it was the Austrian “Der Standard“, but like in so many comments the blame for everything that went wrong in Greece was put on Yanis Varoufakis.

I can’t hear it any more, it’s so stupid. Fact is, Varoufakis was outstandingly competent for the job, but what he said, although logically correct, was not what his peers wanted to hear. I guess exactly the same principle was at work, that a study from Duke University just described, namely that humans tend to deny a problem when they don’t like the solution. You’ve invested in oil or coal? Simply deny climate change! You’re opposed to a cut of Greece’s debt? Just pretend that another credit of a hundred billion Euros will magically fix the preoblem! I really grow tired of seeing so many decisions (in politics as well as in business) based on ideology and not on facts.

But let’s get back to Greece. Tsipras seems to have won his bet. SYRIZA is first, the left splinter group seems to have failed entirely, and although he’ll need a coalition, he will have at least one or two options.

But then? I think his biggest problem is, that he has lost every degree of freedom. He tried to negotiate a better and socially more acceptable deal than the conservative governments before, he failed, gave in, and I can’t see any further option.

If, on the other hand, we ignore the outcome of the elections and assume a victory for Nea Dimokratia, the traditional party of the old oligarchy, how could that have been a change? Therefore I suppose SYRIZA is regarded the best option in an election without real choice. At least they try to put up a fight.

All in all it looks real bad for democracy, with only one bright spot: at least the Nazis of “Golden Dawn” did not take over. It’s bad enough that they’re in third place again.

3241 – A Tired Dog

I’ve been using ultra-wide lenses for a long time. I know how to use them properly and what for, but what can you do when you really, really want to try a new lens in a situation where no appropriate subject matter is available? I went to a forest and tried to force my luck.

Nothing substantial came from it, but this image of a lazily arranged stack of wood reminded me of a tired dog. Black and white took care of the boring colors and it allowed me to better work the contrasts. In the end it was more interesting processing the image than it had been taking it. That’s how it is sometimes 🙂

2929 – Moon Rocks

Where these rocks are? No, not exactly on the moon, in fact they are at the base of the pillar shown in the last post, kind of a non-decorative decoration in a place where nobody sees it anyway. A filler for a gap in the architect’s dream? I don’t know, in any case I liked the light and thus I took the image.

“Moon Rocks” is a Song from the Talking Heads album “Speaking in Tongues”. Hear it on YouTube.

2875 – Look At That

I’m the first to say that the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a killer camera, but as so many top cameras it seems to have a quality control problem. The most notorious case in recent times was the oil-splattering mirror of the Nikon D600. Olympus also had problems with display frames cracking under too much pressure of the mounting screws. You see it everywhere. It’s part of the business of building ever more complex systems. Frequently it’s software that fails, but hardware definitely has its share.

The E-M1’s weak point seems to be its rear dial. Many people report it to be not (always) responsive. There’s a thread about that on Flickr, but I’ve read about it long before.

I’ve always been mildly afflicted, but recently it got progressive. It’s not that the rear dial does not respond sometimes, it is the rare occasion that it responds at all!

The interesting thing is, that the dial feels just as it ever did: solid, precise, not in the slightest way different from the front dial. The problem does not seem to be mechanical. Maybe it’s some kind of corrosion, at least that would explain the progressiveness.

In any case it seems that I’ll have to send in my camera for service. If that is so, I’ll be reduced to my old Panasonic LX5 for a few weeks. I suppose I’ll get over it. That camera didn’t get enough love in recent times anyway 🙂

And then: there is always my old D300. I still have the Sigma 20/1.8 and the Sigma 28/1.8 as lenses and, if I think of it, there is also a Nikon 24/2.8 AI-S. And a Lensbaby. Oh my 😀

The Song of the Day is “Look At That” by Paul Simon. Hear it on YouTube.

2489 – White Light, White Heat

The wooden planks of a damaged fence are bleached and have acquired a silvery sheen from long exposure to light and weather. In the white light around noon on a hot, sunny day, the planks look almost metallic, strongly reflecting the sun.

The OM-D is a great camera with enormous dynamic range. It could capture the scene without highlight clipping in the RAW file, but when I looked at the image, I could not feel anything but disappointment. This was not what I had seen or, better, what I remembered to have seen.

The result of my work in Lightroom better reflects my memories. It’s not perfect, but perfection can’t be achieved without an output medium of comparable dynamic range anyway. The only thing I could do was to play with dodging and burning, and to use a slightly different color temperature on the planks than on the surrounding. Don’t know if it works for you, but for me it does.

The Song of the Day is “White Light, White Heat” by The Velvet Underground. Hear it on YouTube.

2416 – Second Nature

Some photographers consider themselves “Nature Photographers” and for them it may make sense. For me not.

Nature can be clearly defined as that which is not created by man. Or woman 🙂

But when you look closer, distinctions begin to blur. Whatever we create, it begins to rot and decay under the influence of nature. Now, when the artificial is unmade in a natural process, it not only becomes nature again, it does so gradually, beginning right from the first instant.

So, when I make images like this, don’t I photograph nature? And if or if not, how meaningful is the distinction anyway?

The Song of the Day is “Second Nature” from the 2001 Eric Clapton album “Reptile”. Hear it on YouTube.