Good articles in German, and Freak Shows

I’ve read some remarkable articles in the German (online-version) magazine “Die Zeit” recently. One of them was “Das rote Sommerm√§rchen”, and it’s about Sahra Wagenknecht’s new “Aufstehen” movement, which is some kind of a think tank for us lefties if you so wish. Interesting, and if you understand German, it’s a recommended reading.

Another article, also in German and in the same publication, is called “In einer Welt der Verbote”, and it’s about freedom in art, which seems to be in danger from the sides of some (even left) mobsters who are loud enough to get others scared enough to think about public displaying of “difficult” stuff.

And that got me thinking about an image I made myself a few days ago. That was a photo of a colleague who changed from smoking tobacco to inhaling fumes from one of these new pocket steam devices, into which you fill some kind of oil to inhale the fumes of it. That gives a whole lot more clouds than tobacco smoking ever did, and it’s also not yet clear if that is any less dangerous than inhaling burnt tobacco leaves.

Anyway, I had asked that colleague to wait with his next inhalation, got ready with my camera, and took a photo of him exhaling.

And he looked like a monster in that photo. Steam coming out of his mouth, his nostrils, totally unreal. Which reminded me of Freak shows, and led me to the question to myself if I would want to participate in something like it (which I don’t, obviously).

So like always, there’s a fine line between what *can* be done, and what *should* be done, and judgements never come easy – at least they shouldn’t. To question yourself is always a good beginning in my opinion, and should you be interested in a bit of self-reflection, it makes all of the articles mentioned above recommended readings.

As always, thanks for reading.

With the waves (Always)

I’ve had a track on my Wikiloops watchlist since weeks, again from Shi and Ray. I absolutely love this one, so I took my time before finally taking out my bass today. And together with my addition, it sounds like this:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

List of musicians (so far):

Thanks for listening.

Update from August 14th:

An awesome update from Pewi on this song! Listen:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

So the new list of musicians is as follows:

Thanks Peter, this is really really great! Love it!

Second update from August 14th:

Another great add and remix from David:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

List of musicians in this case was:

So cool – thanks David! Just chatting with some of the musicians in the Wikiloops’ ‘Shoutbox’…

Thanks for listening!

Trying to see squares

I was reminded of some great (and famous) photographers lately, who used square format cameras and films, like the twin-eyed Rolleiflex to name a famous piece of gear. The difference in composition? These cameras were mostly held at breast height, and viewed from above. On their ground glass – with or without a magnifying loupe – you saw a square image, half mirror-inverted. Meaning that when/if you moved the camera right, the picture on the ground glass would move left, and vice versa.

I’ve seen so many good photos from that time that I started to wonder how it would be to use my small Micro Four Thirds camera that way (because that’s all I have, folks). Luckily I have the E-M10 which has a tilting screen, and if I move it 90 degrees upwards then I can use this as a fake ground glass, with or without magnification, but not mirror-reversed (would be funny to have that implemented in firmware I guess). If I switch the camera to black & white I can already see the photo in black and white before I even take it – definitely an advantage compared to the film days when you had to wait for development to see anything.

Just playing around with my camera set up that way, today I took this:

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Sleepy cat, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

Yes, it’s square. And yes, it’s black & white (both in camera and in “post production” which was to first reduce contrast with Olympus Viewer 3, then to apply the 019 “Fine Art” preset in Silver Efex Pro2, and with RawTherapee (on Linux) to add some title and Exif information).

Yes, it’s a sleepy cat. And yes, this is fun, really. Modern day Rolleiflex or Mamiya 330.

Thanks for viewing.

P.S.: here’s another one. Same cat, same day, a few hours later…

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Looking at my camera strap, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2018

Thanks again for viewing.

Caught in the act (of photographing)

Yesterday I took a picture in the atrium. I had set the camera to square format, and later at home I used both Olympus Viewer 3 (to make a slightly desaturated .tif), and Nik Color Efex Pro to simulate Fuji Astia slide film. I called the result “Nature wins”, and it looks like this:

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What I hadn’t noticed until I took that picture was that my colleague Arno caught me photographing, using his new Huawei P20 Pro phone (with a couple of Leica branded lenses, same as I used on my Olympus camera). So here am I taking the above picture, from Arno’s phone:

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He took some more photos. Interesting what you can do with a phone these days…

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rpt

So much for our lunch break. Thanks for viewing.

Two portraits of Arno, from last week

Last week I took pictures of some colleagues, on white, black, and grey backgrounds. I haven’t asked the colleagues if I could show their photos here (or in Flickr where these are hosted) – except Arno, who agreed. So here are two of the photos I took of him:

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As always, thanks for viewing.

Feeling honoured

I’m included in this collage of photos (taken out of videos which we’ve made ourselves):

Wikiloops Videocollab 2018, participants

You can hear all the songs and watch all those videos in this playlist on the Wikiloops Youtube channel.

Thanks to Richard, founder of Wikiloops who has cut all these together, and thanks also to all participants. It was great to be a part of all of this fun jamming, and I hope to see some of you soon in real life.

Black and white previews, 28mm-e. But in 4:3.

I read about and saw a video of Ralph Gibson lately, and man was it beautiful, especially his black & white photographs which often looked like they’re in a 4×5 or 8×10 (large) format. But the man had a Leica on his shoulder while talking at a TEDx event somewhere, and so I don’t know much about him.

Still, this (and some other video of Kai Wong showing the Ricoh GR1) led me to mount my Panasonic 14mm/2.5 lens onto my Olympus OM-D E-M10 (first version) again, and to set that little camera to black & white, with a simulated yellow filter. And I also started to take photos in portrait mode (high), rather than in landscape (wide).

One of the advantages of a mirrorless camera is that you’ll instantly see black & white in the viewfinder, so compared to the old film days it’s pretty easy to “pre-visualize” what you’re about to get. Here are three examples, which I converted and corrected a bit with Olympus Viewer 3 (on Windows) and with RawTherapee (on Linux), but they’re pretty much like out of camera:

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As always, thanks for reading, and for viewing.