Feb 222017
 

Not long ago, during the Yugoslavian War, Rovinj was almost empty – shunned by tourists. Yes, this was 25 years ago (really? oh my!), but you wouldn’t believe it when you see it today.

This has been taken a bit off the night tracks. It’s one of the streets leading up to the church, and most people at that time of the evening are busy finding a table in one of the countless but hopelessly overcrowded restaurants.

Feb 172017
 

Rovinj’s sea front, the place that we saw two days ago sinking into the sea at sundown, has some really nice bars and restaurants with definitely a view. This here is more of a curiosity. Fake gold and luxury brands all over the place. It would need a lot of bad taste to trump that 🙂

3729 – Waiting for the Circus

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Jan 042017
 

This is an almost certainly wrong statement. In a way all images lie, and the more a lens deviates from the “normal” range between 35 mm and 70 mm, the more the image lies. Here the equivalent focal length of 120 mm compresses the width of the street away, and it fabricates a connection between the woman most likely waiting for the bus and the circus tent far in the background.

3679 – On Cours Mirabeau II

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Nov 142016
 

Here’s the promised “bigger fountain” at the western end of Cours Mirabeau.

It’s called “La Rotonde”, and the article on Wikipedia has an image of the whole structure. I wanted to take one myself, but because of all the traffic in the roundabout, I gave up quickly.

No problem, I was more interested in details and in using my 40-150/2.8 anyway 🙂

Nov 132016
 

Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare in Aix-en-Provence. It is named after Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, a demagogue, writer and politician at the time of the French Revolution.

The dove perches on top of a small fountain in the middle of the long stretch. At the western end the place is terminated by a much larger fountain at the center of a roundabout, but more of that tomorrow.

3659 – Goin’ Home

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Oct 252016
 

This image has been taken three minutes after yesterday’s. The sky may have been slightly darker if at all, the street lights had the same color. I could again have played off orange against blue, but with the strong light fall-off from top to bottom, I figured I would need more violent manipulations to make that image sing – if it could be brought to sing at all.

In that situation I normally go B&W. It’s easier, because when you raise extreme contrasts from shadowy corners, you often have to struggle with color casts. You can get the tonality that you crave for, but the colors betray you immediately. It’s not something that can’t be fixed, but for one it’s hard, and then, it may not even be worth it. There are scenes that cry for B&W, and in my opinion this is one of them.

3655 – Modes of Human Communication

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Oct 212016
 

Both of today’s images were taken through my spying glass, the big, heavy 40-150/2.8 PRO. What did I bring along? The usual vacation gear (aka “The Big Gear”), meaning the trinity of the Olympus PRO lenses. Additionally I carried the small fisheye. I had bought it only days before the trip, and I figured I should use it while it was new, otherwise I’d probably forget about it 🙂

Do you still write post cards? I used to do it on vacations, but I have stopped at least ten years ago, maybe much, much longer.

In a way it was a nice ritual: searching typical, beautiful post cards that still avoided clichĂ©s, trying to perfectly match cards and recipients, trying to write individual, witty messages tailored to their recipients, buying stamps, finally searching for a mailbox. Yes, it sounds tedious, and that’s probably the main reason why we stopped doing it 🙂

Jun 152016
 

It’s strange to see old images like this. At the moment I’m almost three months behind, so this is an image from mid-March. The advantage is, that I see those images much more often than in those years ago when I had taken, processed and blogged an image on the same day. Not only is it more relaxing, but it also gives me the opportunity to see images anew and sometimes revise my judgement.

This particular image had to be cropped. When I took it, I did not plan to include a person. The man just happened to walk into my composition. Cropping it gave the walker a more dynamic position, and in the end the result is much better than the original composition had been. I like it.

3526 – Only 10 More Steps

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Jun 142016
 

This is f5.6 at an effective focal length of 300 mm, focused on the two people walking towards “Villach’s probably most beautiful terrace along river Drau” (love those overly specific claims!). As you see, there’s plenty of DOF, but I don’t mind.

Much to the contrany in fact. Normally my problem with long lenses is, that I can’t use them to capture what I see. Depth of field is a simple physical characteristic of a lens, but it gets much mor ecomplicated when it comes to the human eye and to the brain doing the final processing.

We are vigilant creatures by nature. Our eyes constantly scan the environment, flicking across the scene, always re-focusing. In the brain these raw signals are merged together. Much detail is immediately dropped, different depth layers are mentally joined into one image, and sometimes this process of merging even goes along the time axis.

Therefore, if I want to isolate a certain depth layer, I can easily do it with a long lens completely opened up. In many ways that is satisfying, not because it perfectly records what we see, it’s because our eyes never see that way. It’s the exotic that we love in shallow DOF images.

If I strive for more compositional photography by cutting a frame from reality, then shallow DOF gets in my way.