2472 – Somewhere In Between II

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 2472 – Somewhere In Between II
Jul 242013
 

The Olympus 45/1.8, an equivalent to 90 mm in “full frame” terms, when used on the OM-D and viewed through the electronic viewfinder, roughly shows me the camera image at the same size as reality around me. When I look through the EVF with one eye and when I don’t close the other eye, it’s almost as if I would use no camera at all. Roughly the same size on both eyes, an easy task for the brain.

The 45/1.8 also gives me the field of view that I have when I’m concentrated. The 45/1.8 is my car lens. It’s the lens that I turn to when something catches my attention while I drive. Well, not that I take images while driving (at least not regularly), but when I come back to the spot later or because I stopped immediately, the 45 frames exactly what has attracted me in the first place.

Things can turn out differently of course, something that I later see may end up as the final image, often taken with a shorter or a longer lens, but if I stick to the original subject, I very likely stick to the 45 as well.

The Image of the Day was taken while I waited for a semaphore to turn green.

The Song of the Day is “Somewhere In Between” from Kate Bush’s 2005 album “Aerial”. I’ve used it for the first time in “2171 – Somewhere In Between” .Hear it on YouTube.

2348 – Just A Friend Of Mine II

 Panasonic Leica DG SUMMILUX 25/1.4 ASPH  Comments Off on 2348 – Just A Friend Of Mine II
Mar 242013
 

I first used this title an eternity ago in “783 – Just A Friend Of Mine“, and there I spoke about expertise and how you get better in doing things by doing them. I said there’s always room for improvement.

Well, I was right 🙂

When I see that image of the bicycle that accompanied that post, I can only cringe. How could I have missed such an obvious opportunity to anchor the subject in three corners? How could I have missed how awkward the bike hangs in the frame?

But anyway, this tree, photographed and featured on this blog a couple of times, is another friend of mine. Just a poser, I might say. Every time I pass by, I feel the urge to take an image. Once or twice a year I do 😀

The Song of the Day is “Just A Friend Of Mine” from the 1987 self-titled Vaya Con Dios debut album. Hear it on YouTube.

2342 – Pyramid II

 Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 R  Comments Off on 2342 – Pyramid II
Mar 162013
 

It’s Saturday and I am in Vienna to work in the old and the new apartment. Although I made some images today, here is one from yesterday. Same mountain, only this time there are three pyramids.

The Song of the Day is again “Pyramid” from the 2006 self-titled Wolfmother album. Hear it on YouTube.

2341 – Pyramid

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 2341 – Pyramid
Mar 162013
 

A few days ago someone asked on Flickr how to make contrasty images of distant mountains. Some people recommended filters, UV or polarizers, but although polarizers help a little, the real damage that haze can do to contrast and colors has already been done long before the light reaches your lens.

I recommended my mini-tutorial in “2292 – Out Of The Blue” (which is all about post-processing images taken in noon light), but of course the proper way to do it is to use morning or evening light. At that time color and contrast come for free. You’ll still need a graduated ND filter or post-processing, but you have much, much better material to work with.

The Song of the Day is “Pyramid” from the 2006 self-titled Wolfmother album. Hear it on YouTube.

Jul 312012
 

I had a tough choice between those two images.

Late yesterday afternoon I noticed that the moon was right above Mittagskogel, the mountain south of Villach. At that time the mountain was clearly visible but due to some clouds in north-west it was in shadows. I took some bland images and decided to wait until the setting sun comes out.

It did and I even managed to put myself into a place where I had the same constellation again. The moon directly above the mountain, slightly shrouded by clouds.

Then I drove a little further, nearer to the mountain, and there I took what would become the Image of the Day. Although the constellation was very different now, I like the position of the moon as well. It’s less margrittesque, more of a conversation between moon and mountain. What would you have chosen?

The Song of the Day is “When The Doom (Moon) Comes Over The Mountain” from Lester Bowie’s 1981 album “The Great Pretender”. Hear at least the beginning as soundtrack to what seems to be an ad for an apartment on YouTube.

Jul 222012
 

Yesterday was cold and rainy, but in the evening the sun came out and painted the mountains red. I saw it in time, took the Sigma 150/2.8 and made a series of images.

I have four versions here. The three above are in temporal order, the Image of the Day was actually the last taken. The first image is slightly different in color temperature and contrasts. At that time the light was much brighter, but after normalization for a well distributed histogram its sky looks much darker.

Btw, yesterday I said that it’s a mistake to always “fill” the histogram and that’s still true in cases where you have naturally low contrast, i.e. where you have to spread the tonal values. A cloudy sky is a good example. Have you ever seen parts of the sky get pure black? Well, I haven’t, at least not during the day. Pure white is OK as long as it is in the sun. Pure white in the clouds looks bad most of the time though. But black? Never.

In scenes like this sun-lit mountain, the natural contrast is extremely high. Here it is not a question of spreading tonal values, here it is a question of achieving a high tonal range and of distributing the tones in a way that makes contrasts look natural (as opposed to most HDR atrocities).

Anyway. Of course this is just my way of thinking about it and you are in no way required to heed my advice 🙂

The Song of the Day is “One And The Same” from the 2000 Everlast album “Eat at Whitey’s”. Hear it on YouTube.

Apr 122012
 

After all that rain we had an incredibly clear day.

I took this image of Villach’s most iconic landmark, the mountain “Mittagskogel” (“Noon Mountain” because it is exactly south of Villach at the border to Slovenia), using my Sigma 150/2.8. It’a an unwieldy combination, but on the Olympus E-P2 this lens really excels. I didn’t have to lug the lens around either, I just stood on our terrace.

The Song of the Day is “Misty Mountain Hop” from the 1971 fourth Led Zeppelin album. I’ve already used it in “1045 – Misty Mountains“. Hear it on YouTube.

Jan 212012
 

I’ve been in Carinthia one day earlier today, because I had to bring the car to a car repair shop.

The appointment was for 8:00, thus I started out early and also made some images. The Image of the Day with its perfect alignment of moon and the mountain Mittagskogel was one of them.

I used ISO 640 and by accident I kept ISO at that for the whole day. That’s the kind of stupidity that you end up with when a camera does not have reasonably intelligent auto ISO 🙂

Oh, by the way, you may remember that I wished Nikon would implement auto ISO in a way that takes focal length into account. Good news: wish granted. Bad news: so far only on the D4 😀

The Song of the Day is “Fingernail Moon” from Annie Lennox’ 2007 album “Songs Of Mass Destruction”. Hear it on YouTube.

Oct 302011
 

Here’s one more weekend of working, shopping, working again. I returned from Vienna Thursday night, and this is a morning view from our roof terrace. It’s not spectacular, I won’t be able to look out of the window and capture a sunrise, but it’s big, sunny and warm.

It’s an interesting feeling to be in a new environment. Slowly things settle, the paper bags become fewer and fewer, the spaces begin to feel like we had them planned. And still, although it’s pretty much as we expected it to be, although we had the plans more or less fixed for almost a year, it feels oddly new. The “there” has become a “here”, and now there are still so many things left that need to be fixed, to be learned. So many light switches, but which one switches which light? Paper baskets that need to be positioned, light spots that need to be turned, all those tiny little inconveniences, all those tiny bits of information that once will become second nature, when finally a “here” has become a “home”.

But then, not that all my problems are on that level. If it already were so, it would be bliss. Instead I am still drilling holes in the walls, building shelves, hanging pictures and all that. Imagine, for the whole weekend I have made only 26 pictures, all on Friday. You’ll see more in the following two posts 🙂

The Song of the Day is “One More Weekend” from Bob Dylan’s 1970 album “New Morning”. Hmm … probably not a bad choice, given my current occupation 🙂

It’s even available on YouTube. That’s rare for Dylan songs, so if you don’t know it, hear it as long as you can.