2009, 2010, 2011

I made it to youtube, december 2010

Real bavarian Fischsemmel with decent onions from a small food-stand below Marianplatz, Munich

Youtube appearance

From time to time I sink an evening into this WC3 custom map called DotA. I enjoy it a lot, even though I can not compete with the more regular players. People not familiar with the game will not be able to see anything of relevance in the clip, for those aquainted with DotA, it is better than most Jackass episodes put together. I failed miserable and one of my mates uploaded the clip. THX man!

The webspace-beggar that I am

I have been using free hosting ever since for this website. Right now the files reside here with verwalten.ch. At first they offered free webhosting without any advertising, then ownership changed and they placed a tiny, quite unobtrusive link home to their site. Like so many other sites and companies they think, they have to do the social web think and need a lot of "I likes" on facebook. So by liking my host I won the -remove the unobtrusive link home- package worth something like five euros. Very decent of verwalten.ch! :-)

quick update, september 2010

three mountain goats
One of the last pictures of my Lumix TZ5. Not that much of a tele: just 84mm
wide angle cow
But now I can play with my wide angle lense: 15mm cow close up.

Yep, my digital compact camera, a TZ5 ceased to work. It will not focus any more. Do not know what happened. One possibility: during my vacation at the sea some sand got into the mechanic. On the other hand: I never was especially careful with it. I usually had it in my backback always with me - just in its softcase. Might not be the best for a camera. Damn. I now need another always with me camera. A S90 would be nice, but I do not want to spend so much on a compact camera every two years. I will probably go for some second hand camera.

Another short trip to the north of Germany

I have been to Hamburg for a weekend and a monday. Check out the Hamburg gallery. My first triptych shot in St. Pauli:

white shadow

vacation, august 2010

jumping on sylt

I have been to Sylt for a week. I put up a picture gallery for your viewing-pleasure.

Hopefully it does not stay the only vacation this year.

I also updated the quotes-section of this site.

camera revisited, july 2010


I got myself the NIKKOR 10-24 dx lense. Time will show, wether I can handle it.

Got hit by a big disappointment when I gave my roll of film I shot with the old Minolta X-300 of my dad back. First the quality of the pictures was quite low. Secondly on most of the pictures somehow just half of the filmarea was exposed. Can not tell what happend, and actually do not want to know. How can the mirror just move up in half? Whatever, do not want to know. I think taking care of two cameras is quite enough. Even though I had a lot of fun shooting the old camera, the mechanics feel great.

Alpen Web Cams updated

I added some more cams to my webcam collection.

urban landscaping in Munich, Theresienhöhe, june 2010

urban landscaping in Munich, Theresienhöhe
urban landscaping in Munich, Theresienhöhe
urban landscaping in Munich, Theresienhöhe
urban landscaping in Munich, Theresienhöhe
urban landscaping in Munich, Theresienhöhe
urban landscaping in Munich, Theresienhöhe

They enclosed some railway tracks and by this connected two newly developed inner city urban living areas. On top of the enclosure some funky urban landscaping was added. They used a crazy mix of materials in order to build this thing.

physical memory, may 2010

slackline fix point

After about half a year winter break I stood on a slackline again and it is funny to see, that I could continue more or less where I stopped in fall. Fascinating to see my physical memory. I am not your typical physical active person, so this is a pretty new experience for me. Cycling and hiking being pretty static movements, compared to activities like dancing, climbing, martial arts or acrobatics/gymnastics.

I got myself a digital SLR.

It is a used D40 with the kit-lens. Additionally I got my self the 35mm/1.8 (~50mm equiv) prime lens, a polarization filter and and an IR remote control. What a great toy for big boys. It's got this very special "the bigger your camera, the smaller your penis" feeling around it. I kind of feel like a dork with it. Well, if you doubt yourself, do not carry a SLR around.

What does this mean for photography-wise?

First of all, I usually try to have my compact camera (Lumix TZ5) in my backpack wherever I go, meaning I still shoot most of my pictures with it. The DSLR actually feels, like one might be trying too hard. It feels, as if one takes it along when leaving the house especially with the intention to take pictures. But I shall see. I actually rarely leave the house for a picture hunt. Let's go into the details:

More control over my exposure.

munich riem light installation

Yes, I can now actually make wrongly exposed pictures. This is enlightening. I knew about aparture before, but did not really care, as I had practically zero control over it anyways.

Well, I even have control over focus.

To be honest, I screwed some pictures (just test shots) up forgetting manual settings in my camera.

Does having total exposure control make me a better photographer? I guess not. Can it help me being a better photographer? I guess it can.

munich riem sport parc

Prime Lens

The first camera I actually owned was my Digital Ixus with a zoom from 35 to 70mm. Using the ~52mm equiv. prime lens is enlightening again. Yes, don't just stand there and move the zoom in and out. Move your ass forward and backward when you want to change your composition! I actually started having a feeling of bad guilt, when touching the zoom trigger on my digital compact camera. I probably don't need a prime lens for better pictures, but at least it makes me think more. Always a good thing.

bauma engine

So, a definite recomendation for anybody semi-serious into photography: try using a prime lens once in a while. Not touching that zoom trigger for some time might work as well but is not the real deal.

I usually prefer the prime before the 18-55mm zoom. Which is probably kind of stupid during bright daylight, but it just feels more manly. Horizontaly I can already correctly imagine the clipping of the picture without the seeker most of the time. Pretty fun.

Does owning the 1.8/35mm make me a better photographer? I guess not. Can it help me being a better photographer? I guess it can.

IR remote control

Big boy's toy! Oh what fun it is, to feel the power of the mirror in your finger-tips! Tip of the month: for healty skin color do not shoot yourself in front of a red background.

Does this make me a better photographer? I don't care! I play with it, als long as it's fun.


other considerations and recommendations

I can feel like an elitist snob among many people when I hand them the camera and they suddenly have to look throught the viewer or do not find the zoom function on the prime. Oh what an asshole I am. I just look with pity upon them and hand them the compact camera.

I still got to get used to that 3:2 picture ratio. The dirt issue inside the mechanic and the lens bothers me already.

Oh, and of course the best camera is the one you brought along. And, the odds of bringing a small compact camera being much higher than bringing a DSLR, I always recommend getting a decent compact camera and take it along all the time - IF you want to make nice pictures. If you want a nice toy for big boys, get a DSLR and do something for the economy.

sculpture by Fritz Koenig in the prantl garden

side notes on photography

old school

I just recently reactivated the old SLR of my dad, a Minolta X-300 with a 2/50 lens from the eighties and put a black and white ISO 400 film it. Old school baby, old school.

pixel peeping and memory management

Yes, I have some 1,5GB of harddisk memory in my box, but I did some pixel-peeping and now set my D40 to 6MP and jpeg normal. I could not make out any real differences in a usual picture. Maybe 2% in quality for a difference in size from ~2,9mb jpeg fine to ~1,5mb jpeg normal. The same for my lumix TZ5: 9MP fine are at 4mb, 9MP normal are at 2mb - I just can not make out a difference in a normal shot, nor any jpeg artifacts. I guess it must be something like jpeg set at the 95% quality setting versus jpeg set to 85% quality.

getting old, april 2010

I observe myself watching the coming of spring like I never did before. Ever since I can remember the older adults around me reported from the change of the seasons, leaving myself wondering just what they were talking about.

webcam compilation

webcams in the alps

All the webcams in the bavarian Alps you shall ever need, compiled into one page. Bookmark it, use it as needed, preferable in the early morning hours or at sunset.

mickey mouse cartography revisited, february 2010

jump photo

I revised my hiking map, added some features and some statistical evaluations - go check it out.

more web than patience and time

There are days, when I check some of the usual websites, I visit from day to day. There are other days, when I do certain research and stop when I got what I wanted. And sometimes there are the surfing days, like back in the mid 90ties to maybe the beginning of the new century. Back, when one followed links from one site to the next, always looking for something new. Back, when everybody had linklists on their sites and using a search portal was a skill and adventure.

Nowadays it is all more structured. In these days I check things back by asking google or wikipedia constantly. But it is still possible to follow strange links - often links from one blog to another befriended blog, or flickr groups to other flickr groups.

And I keep setting and setting bookmarks of interesting stuff. My list of bookmarks grows and grows, I will never ever check all of them out again. Often month later I check them out, remotely remembering why I bookmarked these sites long ago. My attention spam is just not long enough any more for all this text, the distraction by the internet (oh!) is too big.

kudos to eastpack

I bought an eastpack backpack sometime in 2001. Time and daily use wore it out and two of the tree zippers broke. Eastpak has this lifelong, in Germany for legal reasons just 30 years, warranty. So I filled out the form on their website and sent the backpack for repair. Just a week later the thing came back with perfectly replaced zippers. Respect. I did not have a receipt or anything. No questions asked, just repaired. In the return mailing there was some document dating the model to 1999, so in theory I can send the backback in till 2029.

change of webhost

I had to change the host for my website, as my former freehost suddenly put adverts on its users sites. As I actually spend some time working on this website I should probably consider paying for hosting, but on the other hand: as long as somebody thinks he can finance some 50mb of webspace for a free, advert free, static website, I am going to use it. The model of verwalten.ch is interesting: showing adverts to the webmasters on the administrative web-interface. I do not think I generate too many costs with my static website considering other mass-hosting services or video/image sites. I shall see.

confronting oneself with once pictures, january 2010

women with red umbrella and dog in rain

I went through my pictures of 2009 and selected my favourite (best?) photographies of last year.

my home photo studio

When my dad needed a picture of our Adventskranz I was confronted with indoor photography at night. I usually do not care or mind about shooting indoor or in bad light conditions, but suddenly I had to get all available mobile light in the house in order to get a somehow decently exposed picture. Actually a quite interresting experience.

← home