May 262013
 

Improvements implemented by big corporations are almost never aimed primarily at their customers, they are intended to increase shareholder value. So far the Austrian Federal Railways have not been privatized, but funnily enough it does not make a big difference whether the state or a bunch of rich, private individuals own a company; the principle stays the same.

When new trains were introduced a few years ago, they were given the fancy name “Railjet”, and it took some time until most of the south-bound trains had been replaced.

Improvements? None. In fact I hate them. They have no compartments any more, not even in the business class. It’s impossible to sleep, you can’t turn off the lights, you always hear someone in the car making a phone call, people chatting, in other words there are only substantial drawbacks for the passengers. Of course not so for the railway company. The first thing that gets damaged in a railway car are the compartment doors. No doors, no damage, much money saved.

Anyway. Riding from Carinthia to Vienna, I am forced to use a Railjet, but the other way round I always use a train that still has compartments. The only problem is, this train comes from Hamburg via Berlin and Prague, therefore it is frequently late, and when it’s late it is normally very late. See, that’s the reason for all those railway station pictures 😀

The Song of the Day is “Passing The Time” from the classic Cream album “Wheels Of Fire”. Hear it on YouTube.

Sep 132012
 

Weather was predicted to be bad and bad it was indeed. The mountains around Villach are all snow-capped, I’d estimate the snow to go down to about 1700 meters. That’s pretty bad for mid-September 🙂

We had rain down here, I just left the apartment to buy some food and my new Asus/Google Nexus 7 tablet.

Yes, I know, I didn’t need one. It’s just so, so … enticing 😀 😀 😀

In reality I don’t even have a use for it. The preliminary plan is to learn programming for Android. Somehow I’m interested in sexy direct manipulation GUIs for boring corporate back-end systems. Maybe it’s only to stay in touch with current technology. It’s so easy in my job lose the connection to not only the bleeding edge, but if you don’t take care even to the mainstream. Suddenly you end up being the equivalent of a Cobol programmer 🙂

Of course I did not take images today. Not a single one, but here’s one taken yesterday instead. It looked unbalanced in color, but using B&W and lightening up the blues extremely did the trick. Suddenly I had a nice distribution of tones to play with, instead of a dark blob on the left side.

The Song of the Day is “A Little Bit Later On” by Ella Fitzgerald. Hear it on YouTube.

Sep 062012
 

Tomorrow noon I guess I’ll take two or three hours off.

Today I have worked until 5:30 pm and then waited an hour more before I finally got out. The problem is, I’ve expected a package and DHL failed to deliver.

The contents? A small light tent with two spotlights included. I’ll use it to take images of the lenses that I’m going to sell.

When I left home at 6:30, I fully intended to go swimming. I just wanted to head over to the computer store and buy a WiFi repeater first. I did that, I was back to the car as quickly as I had hoped, but it was already too late for swimming. The days are already painfully short. Well, not winter-short short, but short nevertheless.

In the end I headed for a place where I knew the sun would last slightly longer, hastily took some images, and that was it. Thus it will be swimming at noon tomorrow 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Just Can’t Last” from Natalie Merchant’s 2001 album “Motherland”. Hear it on YouTube.

Apr 072012
 

It’s again cool and rainy, again I serve you leftovers, and this time the theme is “railway”.

And the first image is already an exception. It’s one of those pass-along images that happen when I suddenly see a pattern, a light effect or whatever. People may have wondered why I take an image of the side of a truck, but really, wondering what people may think is the direct way down the drain. Just don’t do it 🙂

Well, at least the truck stood in front of Villach’s main railway station, thus I’ve decided to include the image.

The small bridge over the railway track is outside of Villach, the image was taken two weeks ago on one of my trips to see the doctor. Since then it has been waiting and today is the day 😀

Both the Image of the Day and that of the red locomotive have been taken from the same road bridge across Villach’s main station area, the one with the locomotive facing east into the station, the Image of the Day looking west, into the late afternoon light.

All images have been taken with the Olympus 40-150, except the Image of the Day, that was the optically much superior 45/1.8.

You may have noticed that I haven’t used my Nikon F mount primes in a long time, and in fact the Sigma 150/2.8 Macro is a much sharper lens than the slow 40-150, but in this case there was plenty of light and I was not out for subject isolation. To the contrary, both the locomotive and the railway tracks cry for depth of field.

Still, I expect to use the Nikon F lenses much more often with the OMD, once it’s there, and that’s because focusing and composing with long lenses is much, much more convenient with a stabilized preview/viewfinder. That’s what the OMD has and that is one of the features that I await most eagerly.

The Song of the Day is the “Railroad Song” from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1975 album “Nuthin’ Fancy”. Hear it on YouTube. Hmm … probably not the refrain, but the rest of the song could have been by the Stones as well 🙂

Dec 192010
 

I had only precious little time for photography yesterday. The Image of the Day is a view from my study. In the course of the last two years you may have seen many images from there, among them favorites of mine like “993 – One Of These Mornings – You Gonna Rise Up Singing” or three days later “996 – One Of These Mornings“, but late last summer “1393 – Stormy Weather II” made an end to that.

Now I’ve got to be more humble, and the Image of the Day is an attempt at that. The mounds of earth in front of our house are covered with snow now, and the tracks of a rabbit are what I saw in the pristine snow.

Later in the afternoon I took a short trip by car, only within a perimeter of maybe a kilometer or two, and the last image that I took is the other image that I present today. It’s also a view that you’ve seen, for instance in “771 – And Winter Came” and a few more times that I can’t remember. Here it was the rising fog that fascinated me.

The Song of the Day is “White Rabbit“, originally by Jefferson Airplane, here sung by Patti Smith on her 2007 cover album “Twelve”. Here’s the song on YouTube.