A simple and minimalistic carcolor composition. Although it lacks color and flashiness, I find the harmonious colors and zigzag line of "teeth" - reflections of brightly illuminated parts of a building facade - aesthetically pleasing. In contrast to the majority of the carcolor photographs, this facade was distorted and reflected in a light-colored car. In general, it is much easier to find contrasty and interesting reflections in dark car bodies. Convince yourself by looking at the carcolor compositions that were introduced in earlier posts!
This is another "unfitting" blog post, because it is not about photography or a photographer, but about "another" artist: this is a new contribution to the "my treasures" collection. The previous texts in this category - about Ueli Lüthi, Rudolf Mirer and Jacques Rime - have been very successful and are among the most visited posts. Today's treasure introduces Robert Hainard, who was a natural artist, writer and philosopher from the french speaking part of Switzerland. In contrast to all previously highlighted artists, including photographers, Robert Hainard is not alive anymore - he died in 1999 at the age of 93.
Rober Hainard studied art and is known for his drawings, wood and stone sculptures and most importantly his xylographs. He invented a method to create multi-colored woodcuts of animals and wildflowers. Robert Hainard observed his subjects in the wild and carved one wooden plate for each color of the final print (he used up to 14 plates per image). Different shades of color were obtained by removing more or less wood and the plates had to be carefully aligned (the crosses discernible in the prints help the alignement) and each color was printed separately ontop of each other. To me, these wonderful prints look almost like watercolor paintings and I am amazed at how he managed to imagine the separate images that were required to create the final work of art he envisioned.
Robert Hainard was not only an artist who created beautiful prints, sculptures and drawings of animals and plants. His inspiration came from his wanderings around Geneva, where he lived. He created his works of art based on the drawings of his observations and his memories and impressions of his excursions. An intact natural environment was therefore very important to Robert Hainard and he was an early voice that tried to remind us of the value and beauty of nature. Some of his ideas are nicely expressed in the movie clip below (in french).
This is another example of a macro tilt photograph that I have taken recently. Although I could not have taken the photograph as it is shown here without the tilt function, the effect of the lens movement is not very apparent. However, the ability to move the focal plane and to take macro photographs with a wide open aperture was one of the main reasons for my interest in the Mirex tilt-shift adapter. I intend to experiment with and practice this type of macro tilt photography extensively this year. Unfortunately, the cherry flowers are already gone for this year (due to one of the many heavy rains of this spring; right after the flowers opened).
On a different note, I would like to let you know that Nikon DX lenses (with an additional Canon EF to Nikon adapter) seem to be compatible with the micro four thirds tilt-shift adapter (unlike the Canon EF-S 18-55 lens). I have recently had the chance to quickly try fitting the Nikon 18-55 DX lens onto my newly acquired adapter and I can report that the lens tilts and shifts in all directions as it should. I have not taken any photograph with this camera-adapter-lens combination, but I have no reason to doubt its perfect functionality. I also do not yet know if other Nikon DX lenses fit the Mirex adapter or not, but the possibility is very promising - you could for example "create" a fascinating 11-16 or 12-24 mm tilt-shift zoom lens!
Mountain shadow in Krimml, Austria. A photograph recorded on slide film in "pre-memory card times" and when daily backups were impossible.
Capitalism and consumerism sometimes bring to light extraordinary products of questionable utility. Just recently, I have come across an electronic fork that records how much and how fast you eat and warns you in case of hasty devouring and gluttony (if you really need to see it, THIS is the link). In contrast, a device that secures and protects the images of millions of photographers by creating backups independently of a computer, a memory card copying machine, does not seem to exist at all!
Consider the following: In the year 2012, 10% of all photographs that have ever been taken in the history of photography were recorded (for example, according to TIME). I am certain that only a small percentage of these digital images were backed-up and therefore an enormous number of photographs are certainly lost every day due to memory card malfunctions, theft, loss or other accidents. On a global scale, such losses are completely insignificant, but for the individual photographer it may be devastating and saddening. I still think with melancholy of the photographs of an entire roll of film that was "lost in development" many years ago!
At the moment, I am searching for a reliable backup solution that is independent of a computer. Usually, I take rather few photographs and could easily suffice with two or three memory cards for an entire trip. However, I feel uncomfortable having all photographs on only one card all the time. I would like to regularly backup the photographs to a second location (not an online storage service). The perfect solution would be a small device, similar to a card reader, which creates backups on a second memory card or a USB flash drive. Unfortunately, such a memory card copying machine does not seem to exist.
The solution that I have now come up with is rather simple and straightforward. It requires the following three steps for each memory card:
- The memory card is backed-up daily to a tablet (Motorola XOOM, rooted, but I do not know if rooting is necessary for all tablets).
- From the Xoom backup, two additional backups on two different USB flash drives are made.
- As soon as the memory card is full, the backup on the tablet is deleted and the card as well as the two USB memory sticks are stored at three different locations.
For this approach all you need is a tablet with USB OTG support (which I will take with me most of the time anyway), an USB OTG cable, a card reader and the USB flash drives. The backups are created with the FolderSync App (other apps may also work, but I have decided on FolderSync and it works perfectly) and the whole procedure worked flawlessly on a recent short trip. I am hopeful that this will be acceptable and reliable on longer trips as well.
Do you have better solutions? Or has somebody found a memory card copying machine?
Carcolors 26: I have promised to show a photograph that was taken when I discovered the self-portrait featured in the last carcolor blog post. In this photograph, I like the diagonal orientation, the regular pattern of the reflected facade and the white and black corners. This photograph is also a good example for the illusionary depth that is created by such reflections on car bodies. Other examples have been shown in earlier posts and all photographs are also found in the carcolor gallery.