Tag Archives: Snap Art

1610 – Keep Rolling

Ted uses Alien Skin Snap Art all the time, well, he is a real master in it and he’s even featured on Alien Skin’s site.

For me it is one of the tools that I use rarely, but sometimes it is a nice way to express my joy of light. Today we had a warm spring day and the light in the morning was blindingly bright. These are the occasions when I grab for Snap Art.

Interesting. I can’t really pin down why I connect this kind of processing with joy, but fact is I do. It must be something about childhood. It looks like an illustration, but then it does not. In a way these images look timeless, don’t they? Timeless like a childhood long gone and ever present.

The Song of the Day is “Keep Rolling” from Paolo Nutini’s 2009 album “Sunny Side Up”. Hear it on YouTube.

1130 – Light Nights

I am chasing a black cat in a pitch black room, and so far I can’t rule out that it’s metaphysical.

Fact is, that I have the feeling that the new Tamron SP AF 17-50mm 2.8 XR Di II VC LD Asp IF performs not as well as it could, at least in the autofocus department. The only hard fact is, that the lens sometimes does not focus. Turn the camera off, turn it back on, everything is OK. It does not happen all the time it does not happen every second, third, or whatever-th time, but it sure happens every now and then.

So far Earl has contributed that his Tamron 28-300 behaves just as my 17-50. This may be a Tamron problem after all. On the other hand, it may be not. We are still far from having a statistically relevant sample.

I have an idea. I will compare this lens set to 35mm with the Nikon 35/1.8. I will make the comparison at f2.8, an aperture that both lenses are capable of. I will test different AF points, focusing from infinity to a certain target, the same from very near to that target, making the images without checking, just as one would in action, repeat 10 times for every lens and point and focusing way. Then I’ll count the perfectly focused vs slightly focused vs unfocused images and compare by lens. This is pretty tedious and I’ll need good light, thus it needs to wait for the weekend, but it will give me a clue about the general AF performance and accuracy of this lens.

I expect though, that my the results will support my current feeling: When it focuses, it focuses very accurately, at least that’s what I can say about the center AF point, the one that I use most often.

The other problem is, that when you’re trying to track down such a problem, you quickly begin to see ghosts. Take yesterday: I suddenly found that it did not focus at all. Oh dear, now it’s broken, I thought, but in reality I had accidentally set the camera to manual focus πŸ™‚

The Song of the Day is “Light Nights” from Paul Weller’s recent album “22 Dreams”. See him perform live on YouTube.

1094 – Foot Of The Mountain

Alien Skin Snap Art painting effects in B&W??? What the Duck did I think?

Well, surprisingly this is the only variant of that image that would even remotely work.

It’s an image taken from the balcony of our apartment in Villach. Although the day was beautiful and it would have been the last chance to go swimming, I could not afford the time. If you’ve been here yesterday, you may see quite some changes to the sidebar. I have converted most of my categories to tags, there is a tag cloud, the blogroll is back again, and these are only the changes that are visible.

The Song of the Day is “Foot Of The Mountain” from Paul Weller’s 1994 live album “Live Wood”. See a video on YouTube.

1070 – Under A Stormy Sky

Sorry for the irregular posting intervals. At the moment I am pondering a major overhaul of this blog, and most of my time goes into reading web reviews of web hosting services, comparing hosting plans, etc.

Anyway. Yesterday was supposed to be a mostly rainy day and it actually turned out to be not. There were high clouds towering on all horizons, but most of the day it was warm and sunny in central Carinthia. I was even swimming.

The Song of the Day is “Under A Stormy Sky” from Daniel Lanois’ first album, the 1989 release “Acadie”.

To my great surprise YouTube has multiple videos, for instance a live performance, another that’s part of a documentary, where Daniel explains what this song is about, and finally another documentary about the Canadian “Mariposa” festival, where he performs the song in a manner very similar to the album version. Pretty nice coverage πŸ™‚

1067 – Ride Across The River

Forget about post-processing. Yes, I did some things and it’s been more or less random. I followed impulses, and as on another day the impulses would be different, so would be post-processing.

No, it’s not the procesing, it’s the crop. This is what took time, what made me try and go back, back and forth, many times, but now I am satisfied. I really like the balance in this image, and – interestingly enough – it’s a kind of hobsonesque balance that I originally set out to achieve with today’s image, and that I now enforced in this image of last Monday, our first full day in Poland, the day we went to Auschwitz. Obviously taking photographs and processing photographs are two very similar creative processes for me, cropping being very similar to the original process of composing through the viewfinder.

Why I post a past image instead of what I photographed yesterday? Easy to answer: I only made one image, a personal portrait snapshot. We had rain all day and that very fact sucked the creativity out of me πŸ™‚

The Song of the Day is “Ride Across The River” from the 1985 (oh my, so long ago!) Dire Straits album “Brothers in Arms”. This is the very album that made the then new Compact Disc popular. Hear it on YouTube.

1066 – No Place Like Home

1066: Battle of Hastings. Uhhh … damn those associations πŸ™‚

This is an image of Sunday. I took it in the early evening, just minutes before we arrived in Villach after 9.5 hours of driving. Most of the way from KrakΓ³w to the Slovak border it just did not rain, most of the way through Slovakia we had sunshine, but then in Austria we came into some of the worst rains that I’ve ever had to endure on a highway. Still, everything went well.

The Song of the Day is “No Place Like Home” from the 1992 4 Non Blondes album “Bigger, Better, Faster, More!”. They had one or two hits then, made this album and were never heard of. It’s not their best song, YouTube has it, but I suggest you hear into the biggest hit “What’s Up?” as well. Much better for my retarded taste πŸ™‚

1055 – The Mirror

This is something different. Yes Ted, I know, I’ve been sucking the color out, but I couldn’t help it, it just happened πŸ™‚

Basically it began with that compressed view down the street. You know, I had no good images today. Lack of time, lack of inspiration.

Now, instead of giving up and taking one from the TODO batch, I put layer upon layer, tried a little this and a little that, finally ending up with more than 30 layers and a still pretty uninspired image. Oh well.

While the process for the street view was improvised and more or less random, I decided to use a similar style for the Image of the Day. I like the sober mood.

The Song of the Day is “Go to the Mirror!” from the 1969 Who album “Tommy”. Hear the album version on YouTube, and if you like, they have also the movie scene with Ann Margret and Jack Nicholson.

1047 – When You Find The One

I left home early today and took my time. Walking to work, letting loose, following my intuition, that’s really what makes a day, and normally it also brings interesting results.

The lantern hangs in the entrance hall of a building around the corner from home. The image was taken with ISO 560, but I had to severely push it, probably far beyond 6400, because the upper part was so dark that the lantern did not separate at all. Of course this pushes noise like mad, thus I have covered my tracks with Alien Skin’s Snap Art filter. That’s not the intended use of this filter, but I can tell you, it’s pretty effective πŸ™‚

The bicycles went the B&W route because of the multi-colored background. The bikes did not separate in color, in B&W they do pretty well. Add Topaz Detail, Topaz Adjust, a vignette, some artificial noise and a silver tone and you have it.

Finally, the Image of the Day is one more of those half/half compositions that made a big part of my SoFoBoMo book “Urban Dreams II”. Seems more like some technical marker than your typical graffiti, but I have no idea what it means.

The Song of the Day is “When You Find The One” from Melissa Etheridge’s 2004 album “Lucky”. See a video on YouTube. It’s some fan video with content from “South of Nowhere”, but the music is genuinely Melissa Etheridge πŸ™‚

1042 – Those Were The Days

At first I was not sure about these images, but the longer I see them, the more I like them. Today was just this: a beautiful and hot summer day. Hopefully there are more to come, but even if not, it will have been a great summer.

Searching for a Song of the Day I began with my newest CDs, and the title “Those Were The Days” stuck.

Recently, when I wrote “1019 – Both Sides Now” and searched for a video, I found out that this Joni Mitchell tune had been interpreted by countless people, among them Dolly Parton and Doris Day. This caused me to buy CDs of both of them, and today’s Song of the Day is the title track of Dolly Parton’s 2005 album of cover versions.

I also found a video on YouTube, and there disaster struck: Have you ever heard “Those Were The Days” by the Leningrad Cowboys and the Russian Red Army Choir? Live in Helsinki 1993?? The Total Balalaika Show???

Oh my, speak of definite versions πŸ™‚

It caused me to immediately order the CD (get the double CD from Amazon.de!!) and the DVD. The DVD contains only half of the concert, but the problem is, you really have to see them. Unfortunately “Those Were The Days” is not on the DVD, but of course YouTube has it πŸ™‚

And while you’re there, don’t forget to see some of the other songs from this concert. Basically you find the whole concert among the “Related Videos”.

1039 – Blinding

It’s still summer, so let’s celebrate it while it lasts.

This image was taken yesterday when I left the baths. It’s almost two months past summer solstice and it shows, but it’s hot again in Vienna and it seems to last for some more days, hopefully even weeks.

Do you ever take pictures directly into the sun? I’ve read that it may blind you, it may destroy your sensor and all sorts of things. Well, I still can see, my camera still takes pictures and I love it πŸ™‚

The Song of the Day is “Blinding” from Florence + The Machine’s 2009 debut album “Lungs”. Hear the album version and a live version on YouTube.