3481 – A Bike at Night

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3481 – A Bike at Night
Apr 302016

I remembered to have taken this image around midnight, but no, it was just early evening. It didn’t make a difference though. In mid-January it’s all the same 🙂

The image posed a challenge though. It was taken at an Underground station with light coming mostly from orange sodium-vapor street lights, along with some much cooler light spill from the station. Believe me, there’s no proper white balance for the whole picture. I’ve used different gradients with different white balance settings and different exposure / contrast /saturation / vibrance settings, I’ve generally taken out a lot of blue, and at least the bike itself seems pretty accurate to me now.

Was it worth it? Well, as an exercise in any case, and I like at least the composition 😀

3421 – Rain has Fallen

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3421 – Rain has Fallen
Mar 012016

March again! It’s spooky how time flies by, right? Well, this image at least is from a rainy night in October.

We (yes, dear reader, you an I) have spent long, long four days in Lisbon. In the meantime you’ve seen all of September and now we’re already in mid-October. It was a stressful time and the few images taken since will fly by as well 🙂

3286 – A Few Days In Lisbon

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Oct 172015

Some time ago I’ve spent a few days in Lisbon. I arrived at night, spent three full and a half days and have seen what you can see in such a short time, mostly the usual sights. I have not been in museums, I have not been in the suburbs, but other than that, I guess I’ve got a good impression.

I returned with 1244 exposures, 226 of them did I find worthy to process. They could fill this blog until next summer, but I’ll churn through them a little bit faster, frequently using more than one image per post. I’ll also mix in a few of the images taken since. At least that’s the plan 🙂

Today’s image was taken after midnight, on a short walk through the Bairro Alto, a part of the city full of bars and night life. My hotel was in Rua Garret, directly at the western entrance to the underground station Baixa-Chiado, two minutes from Largo de Camões, a place where I saw this figurine of Angela Merkel in the window of a shop. It made me smile 🙂

Sep 262015

I’ve read two articles recently, both about the IS, both on the website of a newspaper allowing for comments, and both made me wonder.

The first article was about a man getting sentenced to four years for recruiting IS fighters among Chechnyan refugees in Austria and transporting them to Syria. Everybody agreed that this man’s actions were obviously going too far. So do I. Less did I agree with all the hate and blind rage in the forums.

The second article was about the case of two girls, 16 and 17 or something like that, both from Chechnyan origin. I believe they came to Austria at an age of about four. Both are devout believers and both have had something like an online wedding via Skype with some guys fighting in Syria for the Islamic state.

The girls had intended to travel to Syria and either didn’t make it out of Austria or were caught in Turkey and returned. They were sentenced to 12 and 14 months each and put on probation for three years. The crime in question was “Support of a terrorist organization”.

The general tone of the comments to this second article disturbed me, I joined the conversation and soon found it even more disturbing. Here’s why:

Most of the comments found the sentences much too mild. Many called for at least five years without probation, best followed by life-long psychiatric treatment.

Someone stated that everybody even sympathizing with the IS should be incarcerated for at least one year.

Someone else asked “Would you really let (potential) IS barbarians in Austria get away unchallenged“?

Would you really let (potential) killers in Austria get away unchallenged?
Would you really let (potential) rapists in Austria get away unchallenged?
Would you really let (potential) bankrobbers in Austria get away unchallenged?
Would you really let (potential) shoplifters in Austria get away unchallenged?
Would you really let (potential) music pirates in Austria get away unchallenged?
Would you really let (potential) agitators in Austria get away unchallenged?
Would you really let (potential) dissidents in Austria get away unchallenged?

I am perfectly capable of doing all that. At every moment civilized society is only one step away from my violence getting unleashed. Would you let me get away with that? Or yourself, if you think about it?

Aug 012015

Let’s wrap up this nightly walk through Ferrara with some more images.

I’m pretty sure the Image of the Day shows the northern side of the Palazzo Municipale as seen from the Castello.

The other images were taken in small streets round the center.

Ferrara is not a big city. Even it’s center is almost devoid of people before midnight.

Nightlife? Not really, but that was not why I was there anyway.

How long have I been in Ferrara, you ask? Three and a half days, not more. That’s substantially less time than it took me to process all the images, not to speak about blogging it, and we’re not even through yet.

Jul 312015

We are back to Castello Estense, the magnificent castle at the center of Ferrara, and this time we come at night.

The moat and the multitude of reflections along with the convenience of a well stabilized long lens, that makes for a satisfying and relaxed shooting experience.

As to the two B&W images, the one of the underside of the balcony had no distinct colors anyway. Going to B&W gave me the option to stretch contrasts in a much more dramatic way than would have been possible in color.

The other image was taken at ISO 1600, but was pushed at least two stops in the shadows.

Hmm … churches and fortresses, superstition and violence, that’s what drove architecture. I wonder.

You know, one of the most interesting questions in Science Fiction is, how an encounter with an alien race would turn out. Well, given our history as a species, I ask myself if they’d have any other option than to strive for our extinction? Our earth is heavy with the bones of peoples who didn’t survive contact with our “civilization”. Peaceful aliens would hardly fare better.

3207 – Ferrara XVII

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Jul 302015

One of the most famous people born in Ferrara was Girolamo Savonarola. It’s hard to tell today what a man he really was, what his real intentions were and if we’d be able to agree.

What we have is a distorted image of a man who was a danger to the rich. He may have been a crazy religious fanatic, unscrupolous and vile, but the opposite may be true as well. What we know is that he died on the gallows, that his body was burned and the remains were thrown into the river. Such was the hatred thrown against him.

If you think of it, it’s not much better today, even in our time of meticulously recorded history.

John F Kennedy was shot in Dallas, that much we know. By whom? The official record is dubious. 911? Don’t get me started!

History is a reconstruction by necessity, and much more so when money and strong interests come together to shape it.

3206 – Ferrara XVI

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Jul 292015

The Cattedrale of Ferrara at night. It’s not immediately apparent, but if you closely look at it, there are orange “patches” on parts of the facade.

These are plastic nets, keeping loose figures and ornaments from falling. The earthquake, what else? When you think of it, if this happens to you and your house, you just call someone to fix it. If it looks different afterwards, no problem, maybe you like the new look better anyway.

You can’t do that with historic buildings. Whatever you do, it is expensive and needs extraordinary expertise. It’s not easy living with a history 🙂