A new day, a new town. This is Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. We are here for the church. There’s kind of a fair or a market in front and north of the church, where we would normally park our car. I’ve found a place behind the church though, and that’s where we are now, looking up at this bird soaring, and at the mighty shadow of its wing.
Here’s another image made with the cheap and lowly Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 R, also known as “The Plastic Lens”. It even has a plastic mount. The glass is OK though. Wide open (which is not wide at all) it is not comparable to the 40-15/2.8 PRO, but like here, at f10, you won’t see that much of a difference. Give it some light and it shines.
OK, I admit, yesterday’s post was a little longer than usual. We’ll leep it short and sweet today.
Although this image was taken at base ISO, I’ve done pretty cruel things to it in order to make the reflection on the black polished facade more seamless. Basically I had to raise levels in the drak parts by a few stops. DxO Optics Pro’s PRIME noise reduction did an excellent job to keep noise out of the picture.
You’ve probably seen a lot of such images. I follow a number of architecture photographers on Flickr, who use such a style of black and white images, frequently coupled with long exposures.
I always wanted to know whether an image taken on a bright, sunny day can be converted in that way without resorting to optical filters and without Photoshop. There’s nothing wrong with Photoshop, but for my daily work I much prefer the simplicity and speed of Lightroom.
Well, here we are: it works. This image has been processed exclusively in Lightroom 🙂
I’ve used the Metro in Lisbon only a few times. There are four lines, green, blue, red and yellow. The stations are modern, clean and pretty unfriendly to handicapped people. Elevators are not always available and the concept of a cascade of elevators that’s only reachable via stairs, only to be then again terminated by stairs, is disputable.
I’ve spent my time mostly walking through the city, up and down over uneven pavement, from one hilltop to the next. If you’re bound to a wheelchair though, I can’t imagine how you could possibly get around by yourself.
You can’t tell temperature from an image. My thought when I looked at this image was “looks damn cold”.
I was on my way to my favorite photo dealer, “Digitalstore” in Vienna’s 7th district. I had something on order and they had called me 🙂
Just to get this out of the way, “Things Are Looking Up” by Jason Mraz is my Song of the Day. You can hear it on YouTube.
Today it is not about music though, today I’d like to speak about books. For a pretty long time (can’t look it up right now, because my mails are in the cloud and I have flaky Internet connection here on the train), at least two years, likely more, I have read almost nothing but e-books. I’ve “bought” most of them from Amazon and I read them on my Kindle (currently my second, a second generation Kindle Paperwhite 3G), the Kindle apps on my Nexus 7 tablet and my Galaxy S2 mobile running Cyanogen Mod, and recently, when it is a book about programming, I even use the Amazon Cloud Reader on my laptop’s browser. The latter makes sense when I use a book as a tutorial while programming.
I read more than I’ve ever read before. To keep track, I “share” each finished book with myself via email. That’s a function of the Kindle apps. It basically posts a message that I’ve finished the book on some social media system or, like I use it, sends the message as email. When I receive it, I tag it and can easily find it in GMail. Should GMail ever go away, I have always the local backups, saved to a RAID system. It’s a primitive and not very sophisticated way to keep track of what I’ve read, but in case of books, the sheer numbers are much smaller than with music and songs.
I first sent such an email on May 10 this year, and in the meantime I have 14 mails in my “A book read” folder. 14 books is not bad for a third of a year and I am sure that this is more than I ever read on paper.
It’s easy to see why. Regardless of where I am, I have always at least one device with me, and although one would think that reading on a phone is inconvenient, in fact it is not. Networking and automatic synchronization make switching devices seamless and convenient, dictionaries and the option to look facts up in an offline Wikipedia and geography in an offline maps application open up a depth that I’ve never enjoyed before.
Recently I was swimming. I read a book where a certain verse from the Gospel after Matthew was mentioned. My reading device was the Kindle Paperwhite 3G. It gives me access to Amazon’s shop via 3G networks and in complete absence of WiFi. It just works and it does so in most countries that I’m likely to ever travel to.
What did I do? Of course I went to the shop and bought a cheap copy of the Bible, looked up the verse, switched a few times between book and Bible, and now I have another source for reference available whenever I need it. It’s so cool 🙂
OK, meanwhile I’ve looked up when I bought my first Kindle. That was at the end of April 2011. Wow!
I have 114 books in my Kindle collection. Not all of them I’ve read, but the ratio is better than with printed books. All in all I’d call that a big success.
I’ve taken this image before and I guess I will take it a few times more. It always happens when I return from Italy. That’s the view from the highway before the valley closes in, and fortunately it is possible to pull over and stop the car. I love that gradient above the snowy mountains.
The Song of the Day is “In The Cool Of The Evening” by the Nat King Cole Trio. Hear it on YouTube.
I’ve taken this image after the sun had vanished behind the mountains, and then, without thinking, I just went home.
Hmm … clear, cold day, these clouds, I mean, every idiot would have recognized that we were in for a spectacular sundown. And so it was. I arrived at home, was busy for a few minutes with one of the computers, and when I looked up, the sky was in flames like I’ve not yet seen this year.
You see, always running around with a camera is a good idea, but without using your brain it all comes to nothing. Oh well, sunsets are overrated anyway 😀
I’ve had a very similar picture some time ago in “2501 – Sheep Go To Heaven“, but, while this one is not strictly necessary, it feels different and I like it.
The difference between the sky in the background and the sky in the reflection was originally even more pronounced, to a degree that I had to apply partial filtering in post-processing, in order to make it not look faked 🙂
The Song of the Day is “Cloudy Skies” with Benny Carter and Coleman Hawkins. Hear it on YouTube.