It's time to leave the village for the Christmas holidays - if, indeed, we will manage to leave, snow and all. This will probably be the last time I'll get to post in 2010...which hasn't been a great year for blogging, but a very busy and productive year for pretty much everything else. Have a happy holiday period, y'all, and a very happy 2011! I'm looking forward to reading your blogs, looking at your photos, and also to seeing some of you in the new year.
I thought it would pass us by, but just as we're about to travel the snow has come for a visit. When I woke up at 8am all was fine, so I turned around for another hour or so of sleep and when I woke up again there were a couple of inches of snow. We just about managed to drive the car out of the village (which has a steep hill on each approach) so as not to get completely stuck, like in January. We had a great cartoon-moment near the top of the hill, though, when the tyres weren't gripping at all any more, the car had almost come to a standstill whilst revving loudly, and we thought we'd be sliding backwards into the abyss any second. Magically we made it up to the crest nevertheless. The birds were looking quite cheesed off all day and the food I put out for them kept disappearing under the snowflakes
but young Toby, our neighbour, has a smart winter coat (matching his owners) and was as keen as ever:
People sometimes ask if I have a webpage for my photos, and I seldom give them my blog address because I don't want them to have to scroll through all the text that comes with them. On the other hand I also often find it pointless to post photos without words, and so all in all I find it difficult to make up my mind as to which format the blog should really have. And then it dawned on me (ha!)some days ago that, really, I can have just two blogs - one that works as a portfolio, and one in which I'm allowed to ramble if I so wish. Don't know why that took so long. Anyhoo - here is the new photo-only blog: http://luminousobjectives.blogspot.com/
A lot of people state that good photography is all about light. I don't think whoever came up with this first ever lived in England. And if you are a small-time photographer like me, and you have a day job, and a nighttime job to boot, you might not have a chance to get any decent light-situation during the dreary weeks of English winter. My local microclimate is particularly mean. At sunrise - which at the moment is around 8am - the sky is usually clear, but by the time I have had my breakfast a major cloudbank is greying everything over. I don't always have the time to go out during that precious hour and at the weekends I do like to sleep in, so I often have the choice to either take photos in flat light or to take none.
Yesterday was a day of exceptionally uninspiring light. Before we headed out for some fresh air I decided to take my Eos 7D (whose autofocus in low light conditions is far superior to the 5D Mark II) and my 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens which is - well - good for macros but also generally sharp and clear in low light conditions. I got the most peculiar results. Making the photos smaller for the web has of course enhanced the grunge-factor, but even then the originals look more like paintings than photos (and that's not because I forgot my glasses at home):
This morning, though, I snuck out before breakfast:
Happy Autumn to you all! When I stood in the river last week, with rainwater literally streaming into my waders from above (yes, I had to get out of the water, out of the waders, take off my soaked trousers, hang them into a tree and get into my second pair of (dry) waders just in my knickers, brrrr) I thought it would be cold and grim from now on. This week - now that the fieldwork is over and I have to stand in the lab - the sun has come out for two days of Indian Summer. And all of a sudden the rocket has decided to blossom, after 1.5 years of hesitation. The hover flies love it:
Not having found time to blog for about a year, here is my second post of the day: I travelled to Norway some weeks ago. For reasons I don't quite understand, the midnight sun has often featured in my nightly dreams, and I finally wanted to see if it is as gorgeous in reality as it is in my subconscious. And it absolutely is! The land beyond the arctic circle is just magic, and taking long walks in the midnight sun was as blissful as anything. I had my camera with me, of course. Often the light conditions were such that I took a range of exposures. I'm not a great friend of hdr, and prefer exposure blending if absolutely necessary - but I've recently downloaded a little program, just for the fun of it. I have often wondered about the garish kodachrome postcards which one can sometimes buy in old post-offices in half-forgotten holiday locations, but now I know how to create them myself: just use hdrtist. The results give me much childish pleasure, and if you are looking for a quick and easy way to cheapify nice holiday shots, seek no further:
Hello to any of you, who might still drop by. I hope you are well and enjoying the summer. I'm about to go into the garden and get myself stung by nettles see if I can get rid of some of the nettles which have taken over my garden. Or maybe I just take the camera and macro lens and shoot some critters...or escape to the lake, as was the preferred option yesterday:
Here is what I have been spending my time with lately:
During rehearsal a week before the performance. The 'costumes' they dancers are playing with look like nothing much - during the performances they were lit with lots of little leds and looked quite stunning.
Hm, I have been incredibly busy and have all but abandoned this blog. I'll start again when there is more time. If anyone still visits here: thank you for your visits, and thank you for all your comments!
I started my working life as a film maker. Then I began to feel useless and became a scientist instead. I love my new job but I can't give up cameras completely. Now I have accumulated so many photos that they're quite squashed in their digital box - so please click on them for instant liberation. If you want to know what cameras I use you have to click to see the complete profile.