3586 – Spring Blossoms

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3586 – Spring Blossoms
Aug 132016

Both of today’s images were taken with the same lens, the Olympus 75/1.8, a lens able to achieve shallow DOF as well as the compression of a lens equivalent to 150 mm.

The Image of the Day may not look like it, but I used f10 for maximum sharpness of the foreground blossoms. The background is still pleasantly out of focus, because I was close to my subject and the distance between subject and background was comparably huge.

The other image was taken at f1.8, but focused somewhere in midground, with the whole subject pretty far away for slightly different values of “far”. The result looks much more like a continuum.

3538 – A Row of Trees on my Way to the Castle

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3538 – A Row of Trees on my Way to the Castle
Jun 262016

The images of the next three weeks were all made on a single one day trip to Schloss Hof, a castle or more of a palace that once belonged to Prince Eugene of Savoy.

Rejected by Louis XIV for service in the French army, he moved to Austria and became the Habsburg Monarchy’s most successful general in their war against the Turks on the Balkans, in northern Italy and where else Austria cared to meddle.

These two images were taken in the morning on my way to the castle.

3514 – Sidelight

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3514 – Sidelight
Jun 022016

The Freedom Party scrupulously planted unfunded rumors, and despite all the smut everything went correctly. That’s how I’ve explained, that’s what I believe and that’s what I can back with some experience and insight.

A lot of my compatriots don’t do so. I can’t tell you any percentages, but you feel it in the commenting sections of the newspapers. 10% of the electorate may be convinced of having been cheated, but the percentage may be much higher. It may even go up to 30%.

It is a matter of trust. It’s how people present the bill for decades of democratic abuse. And why not? In the wake of Snowdon’s revelations, is there any crime against the democratic spirit that you can rule out with confidence? For any government?

And while I think about all that, I also think about the primaries for the presidential elections in the US. Major irregularities in Nevada. The DNC calling it quits before California has even be asked. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary Clinton trying all the dirty tricks to cheat Bernie Sanders, the only one who will without a doubt stop Donald Trump.

At least that’s what I read on the Internet. What do I know? Do I know at least as much as Hofer’s frustrated fans know about our own election? I doubt it.

We all live in a filter bubble. When I say “The Internet“, I should instead say “The part of the Internet that I have chosen to recognize“.

Any first-hand information from the US? Is Bernie cheated? Is it just the same rumor mongering that our Freedom Party practices?

3472 – The Bark

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3472 – The Bark
Apr 212016

I think I haven’t taken less images in any period of the last ten years than in in the last few months. Here we have the sole survivor of a desperate attempt one afternoon in Villach. Nevertheless, in black and white it even turned out interesting.

It’s hard to tell what the reason for my dwindling interest in photography was. A that time, in late December, I didn’t have the stress at work that I currently have, and I didn’t have anything else that occupied me or my mind. It was just some kind of sluggishness. Thankfully that seems to be over now 🙂

Mar 032016

Two images of red trees, taken about a week apart, one on a sunny Carinthian day, the other on a foggy morning in Vienna.

The foggy image is more than slightly exaggerated. I remember it that way though, and only the image out of the camera was almost devoid of color.

Well, the eye is a very sensitive organ. If contrasts are low, if colors are pale, our eyes and minds just boost sensitiviy. Evolution really has made us able to detect patterns, even when absolute contrast or color differences are low. It was a matter of survival.

In comparison, sensors act just the same, regardless of what they record. In order to boost a photo sensor to the next of its 255 shades, always the same increase in the number of photons is necessary. Therefore a foggy image always looks dull. At least before you process it 🙂

And yes, I know that was unscientific and plain wrong in a number of ways 😀

3369 – The Big Tree

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3369 – The Big Tree
Jan 092016

There are two botanical gardens, one of them, Jardim Botânico da Ajuda, is just behind the unfinished Palace. Leave the palace through its anticlimactic western gate, cross the street and turn left, down towards the river. The entrance to the garden is after a few dozen meters on the right side.

Again it was the wrong time for blossoms, but at least this tree was worth going in.

3302 – The Wrong Season For Jacarandas

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3302 – The Wrong Season For Jacarandas
Nov 032015

I didn’t know about Jacarandá trees and when I sat in their shadow on Largo do Carmo, I didn’t even recognize them. In any case: it was the wrong season.

If you want to see the surreal purple blossoms of the Jacarandá in Lisbon, the last week in May or the first of June are the right time. Next time.

Nevertheless, the bacalhau was excellent 🙂

3283 – Koelreuteria Paniculata

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3283 – Koelreuteria Paniculata
Oct 142015

As children, in school, we used special books to systematically determine the species of plants. I never had such a book and I must admit that I am not that interested in botanics. Still, if you have a picture such as this, what would you write about it? I figuered at least a name would be fine 🙂

Using my own image in Google’s image search to find similar pictures was no success. I found all sorts of different trees with similar colors, but none had these particular fruits.

The solution was the word “Samenkapsel”. Together with “Baum” (=tree) I easily found “Koelreuteria paniculata“.

Interestingly enough, the English forms “seed vessel” and “seedcase” wouldn’t have helped me. “seed capsule” together with “tree” finds an image, but not among the top hits like in the German version.

Anyway. It took me 10 minutes to determine a tree and I didn’t need a book. Out in the wild, in an area with bad or no data connection I might have had a problem though 🙂

3226 – Beautiful China

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3226 – Beautiful China
Aug 182015

I’ve passed by this Chinese restaurant called “Beautiful China” very often, but always on my way to one of my favorite Pizza restaurants in this part of Vienna, near enough to for instance go there after work.

There are other Chinese restaurants around, one of them I like really well, thus it is unlikely you’ll ever find me inside this one. I sure like the tree in front though, and how the color of its leaves takes up the red of the word “Restaurant” on the sign.