Archive for November 2013

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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