Nov 082014
 

It’s cold while I write this and colder when you finally read it (unless you’re a certain guy in Australia), but this was the end of one of the last warm days. I went down to Donaukanal, a channel once built to bring goods from river Danube into the city. This is a place where lots of people enjoy the sun during summer. Even in October you get a feeling for it, especially in this fading light, when people take in the last warmth of the sun.

“Warmth Of The Sun” by the Beach Boys is the Song of The Day. Hear it on YouTube.

2782 – The Next Big River

 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm 3.5-5.6 ASPH  Comments Off on 2782 – The Next Big River
May 302014
 

Fifteen minutes from work I am at a stagnant branch of river Danube. In summer this is a great place for swimming, in cold winters it is a skating paradise, and throughout the year there are some popular restaurants to enjoy.

The Song of the Day is “The Next Big River”, one more time by Harry Belafonte. Hear it on YouTube.

May 052014
 

It takes me two and a half hours to make such an image. Plus a tank of gasoline and the road tax through Slovenia. I don’t drive down to Croatia more often than a few times per year, but whenever I do, it is a pleasure. Of course this image could have been taken on every sea shore, but still, I really think it smells of Croatia 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Beyond The Sea” by the incredibly talented Robbie Williams. See him live at the Royal Albert Hall on YouTube.

Apr 062014
 

In a perfect world we would know exactly if a color temperature is correct or not and actually the camera would be able to determine it accurately, thereby reducing the need to even worry about the concept. It turns out though, that correctness is a concept that does not even make sense in that context.

I can see the red of my windbreaker in the reflection. It looks perfectly correct and precisely saturated, but I am sure that the golden-yellow is much more colorful than what I have seen.

On the other hand, what I have seen was much brighter and the sun was blinding in a way that my and your poor screens can’t even begin to reproduce. Fortunately so, I might add.

Still, the feeling that I get when I look at this image is not very different from what I felt while being there. Correct? No, not at all. Satisfying? Yes, indeed!

The Song of the Day is “Perfect World” from “Little Creatures”, my all-time favorite Talking Heads album. Hear it on YouTube.

2717 – Brighter Than Gold

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 2717 – Brighter Than Gold
Mar 262014
 

Some days even the most mundane places can look good. A little sunlight is often all you need. Here’s sunlight.

The Song of the Day is “Brighter Than Gold” from the 2013 Cat Empire album “Steal The Light”. Hmm … I suppose that’s exactly what I do 😀

Hear the song on YouTube.

2649 – Double Cross

 Panasonic Lumix G 20/1.7 ASPH  Comments Off on 2649 – Double Cross
Jan 172014
 

Here are some more images from last sunny Sunday, taken at the cemetery of Sternberg, the church on a rock above the fog.

These are likely among my last pictures with the Panasonic Lumix G 20/1.7 ASPH. The new Olympus 25/1.8 is rumored to be presented on January, 29, first leaked pictures of the lens are online, and it seems to be a plastic lens, in build more like the 45/1.8 than the 17/1.8. Well, if it is comparable in quality, I will certainly buy it, and if it is not, there’s always the Panaleica 25/1.4, waiting to be bought again 🙂

In the meantime I don’t care much. I’m back to the convenience of the 12-40/2.8 zoom, and apart from the fact that it is not as fast as the primes, it is second to none in quality.

The Song of the Day is “Double Cross” from Mary Coughlan’s 1985 debut album “Tired & Emotional”. Hear it on YouTube.

Jan 162014
 

When I set out to take images on a foggy day in Villach, I knew I would just have to drive up Mount Dobratsch, and regardless of how high the top of the fog is, 1700 meters are always enough.

But then, some bluish quality of light made me assume that the top of the fog couldn’t be very high and even a hundred meters would probably suffice. So it was.

I drove to Sternberg, a church on a rock between Velden and Villach, and though it was only hardly out of the fog, it was enough to make my day.

Of course I was not alone. The bench in front of the church was full of people enjoying the warm sun. While I was there, I took several images of the constantly rising fog. Three of them are here. They are not that different, but it’s really a sight that I can’t get enough of, especially at this time of the year.

The Song of the Day is “Heavens Above” from the much maligned Style Council album “The Cost Of Loving”. Hear it on YouTube.

2646 – The Water’s Edge II

 Panasonic Lumix G 20/1.7 ASPH  Comments Off on 2646 – The Water’s Edge II
Jan 142014
 

This image was taken pretty much at the same place and time as “2642 – Muddy River Of Loneliness“.

And this lens? The Panasonic Lumix G 20/1.7 ASPH that I’ve been using for more than a week now? Keeper or not?

Well, it must go for a second time. I’ll sell it for the bargain price that I bought it, plus shipping. It’ll still be a bargain for the buyer.

Basically this is a fine lens. It fits better on the E-M1 than on the E-M5 or a PEN E-P2, it is quite resistant to flaring and ghosting, it is sharp, small, light and it makes pleasing images.

On the other hand it focuses very, very slowly. On the E-P2 this didn’t irritate me, the E-P2 was no speed wonder either. On the E-M5, before I sold this lens the first time, I was kinda used to it. Now it’s irritating.

Purple fringing is worse than slow focusing. I am no action shooter, thus slow focusing only slightly spoils the fun, but purple fringing sometimes spoils the image. Lightroom gets rid of it decently most of the time, but there are cases when you can’t help noticing it. That’s a problem and you can’t work around it.

For 145€? Why should I sell it? It’s still a steal, regardless of its few flaws!

Yes, it is, but then: it’s not in any respect better than the 12-40/2.8. It is “faster”, yes, but then it’s slower in an important and irritating way. Its sharpness is great, but not greater. Vignetting is worse, fringing is much worse. For a fixed focal length I’d expect more, thus even though it is small and light, this 300€ lens, normally going for around 200€ used, is available from me for 145€ plus shipping.

The Song of the Day is again “The Water’s Edge” by K.D. Lang And The Siss Boom Bang from the 2011 album “Sing It Loud”. Hear it on YouTube.

Jan 102014
 

I guess you know about my constant fascination with photographing directly into the sun. Yeah, I know, that’s what you’re supposed to not do, but really, I can’t help it 🙂

The Panasonic 20/1.7 (the lens that I have been using almost exclusively for a week now) has kind of a split personality when it comes to shooting into the sun. On the one hand it is pretty resistant to flares and ghosts, but on the other hand it shows strong purple fringing along high-contrast peripheral edges. Twigs against a sky are the classic situation.

In this case I could get rid of it in Lightroom fairly easy, in other cases the image suffers, sometimes badly. It’s supposed to happen much less often on Panasonic cameras, but I guess their magic is essentially the same as what I do in Lightroom. It was enough of a nuisance to make me sell the lens once, it may drive me that way one more time 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Muddy River Of Loneliness” from the 1998 Midnight Choir album “Amsterdam Stranded”. Hear it on YouTube.

2638 – End Of The Day

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 2638 – End Of The Day
Jan 062014
 

Days are still extremely short. A few days ago I decided to take images at a river shore near Villach, in a very photogenic place where I am often in winter. I arrived a little late though, and the shadows of the mountain range to the south had already reached the river bed.

In the end I just took some images into the setting sun. This one had originally been in 16:9 aspect ratio, but since Lightroom 5.3 the aspect ratio chosen in-camera is not baked into the RAW any more, it’s just a default. I mean, it’s still nothing special, but this time re-framing after the fact definitely improved the image.

The Song of the Day is “End Of The Day” from Beck’s 2002 album “Sea Change”. Hear it on YouTube.