Archive for 2013

Carcolor 40: Reflective posterior

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This is my carcolor composition number 40 (it is the 41st photograph, because there are two versions of Carcolors 30) and for the time being it is the last one to be shown. The building reflected here is close to where I live and it has served as the template for several carcolor photographs (only one was shown; Carcolors 19). However, this particular (expensive) type of car is a new addition to the carcolors series. I like the apparent symmetry of this photograph, which is not at all perfect: If you look carefully, you immediately see the windscreen wiper, the rear mirrors, or the reflection of the sun, which disrupt the symmetry. How many suns do you see?
If you would like to have a look at the preceding 11 carcolor compositions, please follow THIS LINK. All 40 carcolor photographs are in the extended gallery and you are also welcome to check out my earlier carcolor posts. Thanks for visiting!
I have also just "officially" printed the first nine carcolor photographs, because they will be exhibited at the photo14 in Zurich (from January 10-14 in the Maag Event Hall). If you are in Zurich, please consider visiting!

2013/12/30 by Unknown
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Sea of fog over Zurich - emerging Prime Tower

Depending on where you live, fog is a frequently recurring meteorological phenomenon, a rare event, or nonexistent. Also, the persons concerned may perceive fog as a fascinating condition, consider it an aggravation, or meet it with indifference. I mostly embrace fog and "fog season" as fascinating and only become depressed when it persists for weeks (without ever dissolving), which can happen in Zurich.
Yesterday, on the other hand, the warmth and brightness of the sun was felt already in the morning - a clear sign that the thick fog was going to dissolve. We took advantage of the promising conditions and left for a morning family hike, hoping that we would reach the sun and observe the fog disappear in front of our eyes. When we reached a small hill and a viewpoint close to where we live, we were already in the sun, but the city below was filled with a thick, white soup of fog. It was so bright that I had to squint my eyes and it was hard to see anything on the LCD screen or in the viewfinder of the camera.
At the beginning, the whole scene was a sea of fog and we could not even see the mountains on the horizon or even the close-by Uetliberg. After a short wait (it was long according to our children - they wanted to leave already), the mountains suddenly appeared and we started to watch out for the roof of the Prime Tower, which soon emerged. It was a fascinating display of fog waves bathing the skyscraper, sometimes revealing a large portion and in the next moment hiding the whole building. The foggy cover also hid the large number of tower cranes, which blight the view of Zurich at the moment.
I have already shown you two similar views that I have photographed almost three years ago (Link 1, Link 2). This time (only the second time I observed the disappearing of such a fog scene over Zurich), I even had a tripod with me and took many photographs of different "hiding stages" of the building. Instead of boring you with many separate images and to avoid having to select only one photograph, I have assembled two series of photographs into a kind of movie (my first attempt with this technology - there certainly is room for improvement). I think it illustrates well how quickly the scene was changing and I hope you enjoy.

2013/12/28 by Unknown
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December 2013 prints: 9 Carcolors 2013

First print 12/2013 (1) 
The December prints have just been completed - it is not one monthly print, but nine! The photographs printed this month are nine carcolor compositions taken during 2013. The nine photographs will be shown, matted and framed, in the upcoming photo14 exposition! I am very happy that my carcolor photographs have been selected and I look forward to the exhibition (I have never shown "real" photographs anywhere ever before). I hope that it will be an interesting experience and a worthy (temporary) conclusion of my carcolor project. If you happen to be in Zurich between January 9th-14th, consider visiting photo14 and please stop by my stand!
As always, let me know if there is any photograph (that has not been printed yet) that you would like to receive a print of - I will print it for you in January (and you will receive it for free). 

First print 12/2013 (1) 
First print 12/2013 (1) 
First print 12/2013 (1) 
First print 12/2013 (1) 
First print 12/2013 (1) 
First print 12/2013 (1) 
First print 12/2013 (1) 
First print 12/2013 (1) 

2013/12/26 by Unknown
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Seattle EMP museum

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Glowing orange-brownish EMP facade. This is not a typical EMP museum photograph, but I like the composition and in particular the colors.

I have a number of unfinished (photography) businesses at the moment (writing blog posts is just one of them), which are the reason for the irregular updates of this blog. This is the second blog post meant to share faraway summer holiday photographs from Seattle (the first one was the Seattle Central Library). The second building that I was interested in and wanted to photograph in Seattle was the Experience Music Project (EMP) museum. The EMP museum is a wildly crazy building of incredible colors, shapes and curves. It has been invented by Frank Gehry, who has designed several buildings that seem to lean and bend in unexpected ways (unfortunately, the EMP museum is the only one that I have seen so far). I visited the building (only the outside) three times and therefore even had the opportunity to experience its facade with different shadows and under different lighting. Most of the photographs shown here have been taken on my first visit, when the sun was still high in the sky and fascinating pink and orange light was emanating from the building. These were the most unexpected and colorful plays of light that I have ever witnessed. Of course, technically, these are not even photographs OF the EMP museum itself; but rather compositions of light that is shed of the facade. Besides the  play of light category, some of these EMP museum photographs also fit the facades and the reflections themes.

I thank you for your visit, hope you enjoy and wish you peaceful and enjoyable holidays!

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Reflected plays of light on the EMP museum. I am a little bit reminded of butterfly wings.

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Space Needle reflection in the EMP museum facade.

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Convoluted EMP museum facade and plays of light.

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Pink and orange EMP museum play of light.

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EMP museum play of light and shadow (the "shadow" in the pink-orange area is the reflection of the shadow).

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Curvatures on the brownish EMP museum patchwork facade.

2013/12/23 by Unknown
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Carcolors 39: Blue carcolor mountains

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The building being reflected and bent in crazy ways (it is perfectly straight in reality) is a new office building in Zurich Oerlikon that has just been completed. This is another example of a reflection of a reflection. However, the whitish blue is the sky - either being directly reflected in the car (on the top) or as the reflection of the reflection from the glass facade.  The building that served as the template for this reflection features a dark glass facade interspersed with white blinds, which are visible as white bars, sometimes bent and distorted, in the middle ground of the photograph. If you are interested, you can find many more carcolor compositions in my carcolors gallery and in earlier carcolor posts.

2013/12/16 by Unknown
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Nearby: Chain shadows

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For once I am not showing you a nearby photograph of a building, but a composition belonging to the "drapes & blinds" theme (it would also fit the light & shadow collection). In contrast to most other photographs shown on my blog (so far), this example was captured very recently (at least for my standards, it was last Saturday). The barriers at construction sites often feature interesting shadow displays of invisible "things" behind them. In most cases, the fabric of these barriers is loose and full of crinkles, which results in distorted shadows and interesting patterns (as is some of my other drapes & blinds photographs). In this composition, the fabric is tightened and flat, but the chains attached behind create an interesting subject (in my opinion).

2013/12/09 by Unknown
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Carcolors 38: Concentric carcolor circles

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As a contrast to last week's carcolor composition, I am showing you here a very colorful example of red, blue and white carcolor circles. The composition resembles Carcolor 23 and was indeed taken at the same car dealer in Geneva. It has a fancy roof with red metal beams that are reflected and distorted in this car body. In the photograph above I quite like the two circles (they are rather ellipses than circles, actually) that face each other as if they were each others mirror image. Even more carcolors are exhibited in my carcolors gallery and in all the earlier carcolor posts.

2013/12/05 by Unknown
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Nearby: EAWAG 3

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This is the third photograph of the Forum Chriesbach building at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) that I am sharing in my nearby series. Here, you see the staircase in between the mobile, blue glass panes and the main building itself. In this composition, I like how the blue panes and the reflections of the stairs and the handrail create a kind of repetitive pattern. On the leftmost glass element there is again a hint of a moiré pattern (as in earlier compositions of the EAWAG and PWC buildings).

2013/12/02 by Unknown
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Carcolors 37: Carcolor landscape in grey

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Today's carcolor example is also kept in a harmonious shade of color. In contrast to last week's composition, it is a carcolor landscape in grey, not in blue. The photograph above is particular, because it has been taken when the sun had already set and when there were no contrasty lights and shadows to be reflected on a car body. But isn't it amazing that a uniform, regularly patterned, grey facade is the template for such an intricate and complex assortment of reflections? This is another wall I regularly pass, but hardly ever there is a suitable car displaying interesting reflections. In this particular case, a dark and shiny specimen of my preferred type of reflecting car was waiting for me. To meet other cars that distorted interesting reflections for me, have a look at my earlier carcolor posts or at my carcolors gallery.

2013/11/28 by Unknown
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Three more autumn 2013 greetings

Last week it was snowing here in Zurich and now almost all autumnal leaves have fallen. Therefore, I am unlikely to take many more autumn color photographs this year. The three examples I am showing you here also belong to the "just beautiful or interesting" category - in my opinion - and do not belong to a particular theme. I hope you enjoy these three different autumn color compositions from close and afar anyway!
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugBright red maple petiols and the bud for next year's leaves.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugAn autumnal beech leaf rotates on a foam cushion in a mountain creek. The foam is not a sign of pollution (the creek is crystal clear) but probably caused by microorganisms, algae, and/or decomposition of the many leaves that fell into the water.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugYellow birches and white stems with reflection in the Frillensee near Inzell, Germany.

2013/11/25 by Unknown
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Carcolor 36: Carcolor blues

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This week's carcolor photograph is all blue. I have had an eye on this particular blue wall for a while, but it was missing the "correct" car in front of it. This is another example that comprises the template and the reflection, although it may not be obvious how the two patterns are linked. In my opinion, this carcolor composition perfectly illustrates the distortive and transformative power of a shiny car. If you are interested in more carcolors, there are 35 other examples in my carcolors gallery as well as earlier carcolor posts.

2013/11/21 by Unknown
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Nearby: PWC building 4

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It has already been a while since I last showed you a nearby composition to emphasize that you do not have to travel far in order to photograph (and neither need to buy an expensive camera). The photograph above also illustrates that the very same building may offer plenty of photography opportunities - if you spend enough time and regularly visit the scene.
This is already the fourth capture of the PWC building. In this example, it is not the rotating glass panes that comprise the composition, but instead, you are presented with a zebra stripe pattern that is created by light being reflected from a glass facade (and the reflection of this reflection "inside" the building). This particular scene can only be observed in autumn (and probably spring) when the setting sun enlightens this face of the PWC building in the "correct" angle.
I have deliberated for a long time how to describe photographs of such light reflections. In my opinion they do not fit the "reflection" theme and neither represent light & shadow compositions. Harald Mante has termed these phenomena Lichtkissen (light cushions), but in the particular case above a cushion does not seem an appropriate association. I have settled for the title "Play of light" and you may have a look at other examples in the Play of light gallery. The previous blog posts about the PWC building are found HERE.

2013/11/16 by Unknown
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Welcome visitors from China!

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I maintain this blog in order to share my photographs and because I like writing. Therefore, I am not very much concerned about my site traffic, but I do of course take note of the visits to this blog. For a long time the large majority of you visited this blog from the United States (according to the site statistics provided by google blogger). Since a couple of weeks this has changed and now most of you arriving here are from China (and there are also more visitors overall).
I would like to welcome you very much!
I hope you, and of course also the visitors from all corners of the world, enjoy my photographs and contributions. Unfortunately, I will hardly ever show photographs from China, because I have only been once on a short trip to Hong Kong. The photograph above is an example that I took on my only photo walk during this visit and it was taken with a small point-and-shoot camera (two other examples taken on the same walk were shown here and there). As the two other photographs, this composition is part of my light & shadow gallery.

by Unknown
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Two autumnal beech (not beach) greetings

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugA_yellow_and_a_brown_beech_leave_in_the_small_creek Weissbach near Inzell, Germany.

Autumn is my preferred season because I like the colorful display of nature, the cool nights and the still warm, clear and bright days (if the weather is nice). Although beautiful photography subjects are easily found among the brightly colored leaves and trees, I find these photographs often not very creative. But sometimes "just" beautiful is enough. The topic I have given myself for my few autumn photography days of this year was fallen fall foliage in and along rivers and creeks. I was walking along rivers (also wading in ice cold water) seeking interesting leaf and water compositions. It is not at all a new topic and I have shown examples of such photographs already HERE and also in my recent post about the Sigma DP3 merrill. Of this years' "harvest" I like the above example due to its soft colors and light, and due to the overall "mood". It is not a flashy fall foliage example (we hardly have flashy fall colors in Europe), but in my opinion a harmonious composition. I hope you enjoy it as well!

P.S. I hope it is clear that I found these leaves exactly as they were photographed - they were not touched in any way.

2013/11/12 by Unknown
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November 2013 print: Red maple swirl

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugRed maple swirl, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA. This is another photograph that I have had printed by a professional service and was not completely satisfied with (like THIS one). I have been working on the print of this photograph for a while and even tried different papers. Originally, I thought a watercolor paper would fit the blurry colors, but for my taste the structure of the paper was too dominant and I settled for a matte, smooth paper instead. I am rather fond of moving autumn leaves or colored leaves bathing in water in general. The example above is a long exposure (15s) and the red traces were created by swirling maple leaves. Also note the pine needles sticking to the rock in the top left part, but also moving in the water. Would you like to suggest a photograph for the December print?

2013/11/10 by Unknown
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Carcolors 35: Autumn carcolors

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This is a seasonal carcolor composition: It is not the regular patterns of a building that are reflected and distorted, but the golden-yellow fall foliage of maple trees (with little distortion). The photograph is also different from all other carcolor photograph inasfar that it is a four-carcolor photograph (usually you get to see only one car at a time). I like the autumnal colors and the zigzag line of windshield whipers that leads across the image. The only fly in the ointment is the fact that I did not get this composition "right" on site. I had originally included more of the first car in the foreground, but I like this cropped version much better. I hope you still enjoy my carcolor photographs - more examples are found in my carcolors gallery or in earlier carcolor posts.

2013/11/08 by Unknown
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Moderation: I do not want a Sigma DP3 merrill

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Early autumn at the beautiful Weitsee near Ruhpolding (Germany). The photograph is a composite of three separate captures.

I have to confess that although I advocate moderation, me too I am tempted by (some) new cameras that have seen the light of the day during recent years (I have even ordered one just now - but this is not the topic of this post). However, my pondering always ends with the realization that I do not need a new camera as long as mine is still working fine (the damned thing just wouldn't break down - even when falling to the ground). On the other hand, what keeps tempting me since I stopped analog photography, and particularly since I sold my XPAN, is a versatile, high quality complement to my micro-four thirds camera. It would not be a camera for all-purpose and everyday shooting, but one that I use more selectively and when I want the highest image quality (that I am willing to afford). For quite some time I have been eying the tiny Sigma DP merrill cameras as contenders for this purpose. Since I am more of a "tele-guy" I have rented a DP3 merrill and tried it along my own camera for a few days of autumn photography.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug A fallen beech leaf bathed in the currents of the river Traun and surrounded by light reflections (Siegsdorf, Germany).

It must be noted here that the Sigma DP3 merrill (as well as the DP1 and DP2) is revolutionary in many ways. The most distinguishing feature, and the one endowing the Sigma DP merrill cameras with their unique image quality, is the Foveon sensor. Unlike most other digital sensors, the Foveon device captures information for the red, green and blue channel on each pixel. Besides this, the cameras are refreshingly simplistic, minimalistic and functional - no useless flash, no super-fancy design and comparatively few buttons. It seems the DP merrills have been designed with the "real" photographer in mind. The cameras also enforce a welcome deacceleration on (some) photographers - the slow operation and poor battery life are emphasized in every review - and of no concern to me. Based on what I have read, the Sigma DP merrill cameras seemed akin to something like an XPAN and I was impatiently looking forward to finally testing and using the DP3. To my big surprise, I immediately knew that I would not buy this camera the moment I held it in my hands for the first time.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugAn autumnal maple leaf and swirls of luminous reflections in the river Traun (Siegsdorf, Germany).

The camera was smaller and lighter than I expected and felt much more plasticky than I could anticipate based on the reviews I read. Although manual focusing works rather nicely and is well implemented (a distance scale appears on the screen, which I found nice), it made toy-like sounds and, most disappointingly, I had serious trouble deciding whether something was sharp or not on the LCD screen (despite the enlargement). My old Lumix GH1 provides a much clearer picture on its almost five year old screen and I find it much easier to manually focus with the latter camera! Also, the operation of the camera is much more like operating a point-and-shoot camera than a "serious" or "old-style" SLR. Of course, none of these issues impairs image quality in any way, which is perfectly fine or even fantastic.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Morning fog is rising from the Mittersee near Ruhpolding (Bavaria, Germany).

I am glad having tried the DP3 merrill, but the camera makes it easy to exercise myself in moderation. I prefer levers and dials over buttons, appreciate the feel of smooth, old-style, manual focus, enjoy the look through a viewfinder (or at least on a good, articulated screen) and value the versatility of an interchangeable lens camera. For me, the path to a photograph (the "work" with the camera) is just as important as the end result and therefore I am not at all tempted by the DP3 anymore. However, if the highest image quality in the smallest package and for the smallest price is your only criterion, the Sigma DP merrills may be the means to your end.
The five compositions shown here are examples taken with the Sigma DP3 merrill. I like the photographs and files from this camera very much, the detail is amazing and sharpness fantastic, but this is of course not fully appreciable in the small versions shown here. I hope you enjoy the examples anyway.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Light swirls and autumnal leaves in the river Traun (Siegsdorf, Germany).

2013/11/03 by Unknown
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Seattle Central Library

The holiday destinations I dream about - and those we eventually travel to - are usually natural wonders of some kind. However, the more I become a "city photographer" the more I also fancy buildings along our travel route as photography subjects. This past summer we traveled through several National Parks and coastal regions of the northwestern USA. Already long before our trip I had identified a handful of man-made landmarks that I was curious to photograph a little more creatively than just with a quick snap while passing by. At the top of my short list was the Seattle Central Library building, which was designed by Rem Koolhaas. What a fantastic building! Its most recognized by its particular shape and glass facade, but I found the inside even more interesting. Since it is a public library everybody can enter and even photograph the interior, which is not possible in many other "cool" buildings. I spent about an hour trying to find unexpected views, reflections and viewpoints inside the Seattle Central Library. The four photographs below are the compositions I am most satisfied with.

I thank you for your visit and hope you enjoy!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Triangles near the fifth avenue entrance on level 3.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug The red floor on level 4 offers glimpses of the glass front.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug In the "living room" on level 3.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug An interior facade from the highest public viewpoint in the Seattle Central Library (on level 10).

2013/10/31 by Unknown
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Carcolors 34: A deliberate bump

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Today's carcolor composition is a close-up view. Bumps and convolutions of car bodies distort reflections in fascinating and unexpected ways. The particular detail shown above is the bump that (I assume) hides the articulation of the back door of this particular type of car. The yellowish-orange pattern is the reflection of a building, the dark bottom is the rear window, and the tiny blue spot is the reflection of the sky.
I thank you for visiting and hope you enjoy! If you are interested, more carcolor examples are found in my carcolors gallery or in earlier carcolor posts.

2013/10/24 by Unknown
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Nearby: EAWAG 2

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As in the last nearby blog post, I am showing you a view of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG). The Forum Chriesbach building resembles the PWC building shown in earlier posts. The mobile glass panes of this building are blue instead of grey, but the perforated imprint on these panes also creates a fascinating moiré pattern (as shown here on the PWC building). The photograph is part of the facades gallery.

2013/10/20 by Unknown
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Tilt-shift: Tree silhouette panorama

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The shift-panorama shown above has been taken in Yosemite National Park, close to Olmsted Point. Five photographs were taken with an old, manual 90 mm lens (in total 15 mm shift in both directions) and combined to form this tree silhouette panorama. I have stopped publishing photographs from my tree silhouette series earlier this year because it is a theme I am rather pursuing during winter time, but the summer photograph above fits the theme very well.

Unless I have something important to say about tilt-shift photography, I will stop publishing blog posts under the tilt-shift label. My tilt-shift adapter is a tool that I regularly and often use to photograph subjects and topics that I care about. I much rather show my photographs in this context than have them reduced to technicalities. If you have a question about the Mirex tilt-shift adapter for micro-four thirds cameras, please have a look at the previous blog posts, or contact me if you have any unanswered questions.

2013/10/18 by Unknown
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The fairy tale of the egg laying wooly milk pig

An egg laying wooly milk pig is the german equivalent of a jack of all trades device. It is the fabulous creature that does everything as perfectly as anyone could ever wish. But, as I am sure (almost) everybody knows, such mythical creatures do not exist. Only Camera and Lens Review (do you remember them?) do not seem to be aware of this important little fact. Camera Review thinks that the jack of all trades device does exist and for example criticizes cows that fail to lay eggs or give bad wool. Even more disadvantageous is the blind loyalty to Camera Review by the majority of customers. Why on earth do people care about eggs if all they want is a glass of milk?

Unfortunately, the farming industry has submitted to the dictatorship of Camera Review by and large and really tries to create the impossible. Of course, all they come up with are unsatisfactory compromises whose eggs are ridiculous in comparison to a proper chicken (or even duck) egg, whose wool is only a shabby imitation of a sheep's product, or whose milk not even remotely resembles the richness of real milk. But a tiny egg, a shabby fur or watery milk is better than nothing and prevents criticism for a major omission, which seems to be the most feared form of critique of all. We may actually already have the milk cow that lays perfect eggs, but we do not realize it because Camera Review thinks it should definitely also have a sheepskin and provide us with a juicy ham.

I am of course not writing about genetically modified livestock, but about cameras. A camera with more functions is not automatically a better camera. Take an inbuilt flash as an example. If a manufacturer omits this useless feature, the camera will be criticized for this lack, receive less points in questionable camera comparisons, and be less sold (I assume this is the reasoning of camera manufacturers). Of course, if a flash is included it will be criticized for being weak, small, of short reach, at the wrong location etc. For most people it would be much better if their camera did not have a flash included, not only to prevent flashing while they photograph the Golden Gate Bridge from 300 m afar during daytime, but also because their cameras would have less buttons, simpler operation, longer battery life and a smaller housing. There are many other camera functions that are included for the very same reasons - only to provide as little contact surface for Camera Review as possible, not because they are really needed. I would really wish there were more manufacturers that design cameras with more courage to omit (unneeded) features! Omitting a function may be a quality, not a lack!

P.S. Before publishing this text, but after I had started writing it, a wooly pig and an egg laying cow were announced: The Sony A7 and A7r. Note: Neither of the two cameras has an inbuilt flash!

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A light & shadow composition on a facade in Hong Kong - also taken with a tiny point-and-shoot camera.

2013/10/16 by Unknown
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October 2013 print: Crab shell lips

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugCrab shell lips, Washington, USA. This holiday photograph was taken during our holiday this summer, shown in a recent blog post, and already printed this month. Usually, I let more time pass until I decide to print a photograph, but I quite like this composition and think it is an original view of a crab shell. Therefore, I really wanted to see it as a print. If you want to suggest a photograph for the November print (and obtain it for free), please contact me.

2013/10/14 by Unknown
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Tilt-shift moderation: Depth of field

A reader has the following photographic problem:
He would like to increase the depth of field when photographing, for example, spiders. He was wondering if the Mirex tilt-shift adapter may help solve this problem. It should also be noted that he photographs with a full-frame Nikon digital SLR, a 200 mm macro lens and has plenty of other Nikon lenses.

Although this is not necessarily a purchasing problem, I think the problem may be interesting for other readers and my reply is nevertheless an appeal for moderation. Here are some thoughts and opinions in relation to the spider photograph problem:

How to maximize depth of field in macro photographs
If it is the goal to maximize depth of field in a macro photograph, I would recommend to align the camera sensor parallel to the subject that should appear sharp (e.g., parallel to the spider net). Besides this, the depth of field can, for example, be increased by using a lens with a shorter focal length and by photographing with a smaller aperture. However, by doing so, the background of your macro photographs will likely become very irregular and uneven, which I find really annoying and distractive.

Tilt-shift and depth of field
It is correct that tilting the lens can be used to increase the (apparent) depth of field. The "normal" situation for this application is a landscape photograph where everything from the foreground all the way to the background should be rendered sharp. Tilting the lens downward tilts the focal plane so that it becomes (more) parallel to the landscape and therefore the depth of field appears larger. However, as far as I understand, tilting a lens achieves this effect by moving the focal plane, not by increasing the width of the area that appears sharp.

Tilt-shift and macro photography
As far as I understand, many people use tilt movements in macro photography not to maximize depth of field, but rather to be able to photograph with an open aperture, to dissolve the background and to place the (shallow) focal plane as desired. At least this is how I use the tilt-shift adapter for macro photography.

Tilt-shift adapter for full-frame Nikon DSLRs
The tilt-shift adapter that I have described and use is designed for the micro-four thirds mount (it could possibly be used on Sony NEX cameras via an adapter) and Canon EF lenses (Nikon lenses could be mounted via an adapter). In order to allow the tilt and shift movements, the lens must cover a larger image than the size of the camera sensor. A tilt-shift adapter for a Nikon (or another full-frame DSLR) must thus have a mount for medium or large format lenses. The best Nikon tilt-shift solutions (although expensive) are the excellent Nikon tilt-shift lenses. However, these will likely not solve the spider photograph problem, because in my opinion tilting is not necessary in this case.

I am afraid that I do not have a real solution for the spider photograph problem described above. I would definitely not recommend buying another camera in order to use the Mirex tilt-shift adapter, because I do not think that this would solve the problem. If I was challenged to photograph spiders in their nets I would most likely try with a 100 mm macro lens (in full frame terms) because I think this provides the best compromise between working distance, nice rendering of the background and sharpness (and because this is what I have/had and am experienced with). Approaching the spiders will be more difficult than with a 200 mm macro lens, but I would try to overcome this by photographing as early in the morning as possible, when the spiders are likely slower. There are people who photograph lions with wide angle lenses, so with patience and perseverance it should be possible to capture spiders with a 100 mm lens!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Small digital sensors also lead to a larger depth of field. These hornets were photographed with a tiny point-and-shoot camera.

2013/10/10 by Unknown
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Nearby: EAWAG 1

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The Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, abbreviated EAWAG, comprises several locations in Switzerland. Close to Zurich, whithin biking distance of my home, lies the EAWAG station in Dübendorf. The building called Forum Chriesbach is an exemplar for energy efficient design and a photography subjects that I have visited several times already. The blue glass panes that follow the movement of the sun resemble the PWC building, but the color, surrounding and overall architecture of the two buildings are rather different. This nearby composition is part of my man-made  reflections gallery

2013/10/09 by Unknown
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A nearby composite sunset photograph

Sunset in Zurich, SwitzerlandWinter sunset in Zurich-Oerlikon, Switzerland.

The photograph above is a good example for two important topics that I would like to highlight with my blog. The impressive sunset is an example of a nearby photograph that was taken whithin short walking distance of our home in Zurich Oerlikon. I think this was the most impressive sunset that I have ever witnessed in Zurich. In addition, the photograph is an example for my belief that with little or simple equipment impressive results are possible. The sunset composition was taken with a small point-and-shoot camera (the fantastic Sony DSC T3, which does not exist anymore). Nevertheless, the digital file is huge (over 24 million pixels) because it is a composite of seven individual photographs (about 5 million pixels each) that were taken handheld and stitched together

2013/10/06 by Unknown
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My monthly (free) print project

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugAutumnal blueberry field and fir tree, Maine, USA. I have printed this photograph in September as the starting signal for my monthly print project. From now on, I try to print at least one photograph every month. If you want, you can suggest which one and even receive a free print in exchange! I found the photograph above very difficult to print. I have tried many times and even sent it to a commercial print service, but I am quite satisfied with this latest version (of course, it looks different on paper).

Photographs are taken to be looked at. As a teenager I was using slide film and always waited for a sale to have a couple of posters made. However, having prints made was often disappointing and the result not quite as I envisioned. In contrast, printing myself gives me almost complete control over the final result. I have started to print scanned slides even before I had a digital camera and now my printing interest has reawakened and strengthened. 

In order to print more regularly, I have decided to print at least one photograph per month (in highly limited series). If I manage to stick to this plan, I will create at least 12 prints per year - a good minimal number, I think. I have already created my September print (the autumnal blueberry field shown above) and chosen the photograph to be printed in October. However, if you want, YOU can choose the future monthly prints and receive a copy free of charge!

The rules for obtaining a free print (unmatted, unframed) are very simple. As soon as a new month starts, you are invited to ask for any photograph that you find on Florian's Photos to be printed the next month. If you are the first person to ask for a print in any month, the photograph you have chosen will be printed the next month and you will receive a free print. You may only choose photographs that have not been printed yet (all printed photographs will appear on a separate page) and each month only one photograph can be chosen and received free of charge (I may choose and print additional ones). Also please note that I will only send one free print to a particular person/address ever.

I look forward to my printing endeavor and to fulfilling some of your print request, if you should have one. To ask for a print, please use the contact form on Florian's Photos or the reply section of this blog post.

2013/10/01 by Unknown
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Carcolors 33: Spacy Space Needle

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

This is only the second carcolor composition that I have taken outside of Switzerland (Carcolors 9 was the first one) - Carcolors is definitely a nearby theme. Before we went on holiday this summer, I envisioned a carcolor composition of the Golden Gate Bridge or of the Space Needle. While the conditions in San Francisco were not very favorable (it was foggy and cold), Seattle welcomed us with blue sky and sunshine. A small parking lot is conveniently localized at the base of the Space Needle and several nice and shiny cars were waiting for their drivers (who were probably enjoying a dinner with a view). How many "copies" of Space Needle do you recognize? Other carcolor examples are shown in the carcolors gallery or the previous carcolor posts.

2013/09/27 by Unknown
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