A thing of beauty

Debian Jessie Beta1 inside an Oracle VirtualBox inside Debian Wheezy (which is the current stable version of Debian Linux and my main desktop):

Screenshot from 2014-08-27 20:06:05

They really ship XFCE by default, cool. And even RawTherapee 4.1 should make it into Jessie before the freeze (in November or so). At the moment, it’s still 4.0.12 in Jessie and 4.0.9 in Wheezy.

Best things in life are free, aren’t they?

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On a meadow, in a bush

Two photos from a short Sunday walk, both of flowers. One wide, one tight:

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Flowers on a meadow. Olympus E-PL5 camera with Panasonic Lumix 14mm/2.5 lens at f/5.6.

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Flowers in a bush. Olympus E-PL5 camera with 45mm/1.8 lens at f/4. Vignetting added with the Olympus Viewer 3 raw converter (“Pinhole filter”).

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Roadblock

Today was the last day of my 2 weeks of summer holidays. And after dinner, we went out to see why the road over the bridge out of our small village will be blocked for the next three months. Nothing much to see yet, but:

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Timber

Whatever they will do, they seem to need wood for doing it. Anyway – the road out of the village is blocked already:

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Roadblock

Which means that for the next three months I (and lots of others) will be forced to drive through the whole village with 30km/h to reach another bridge, or to go around the airport over a different motorway where there’s even more traffic, and that’s about 17km more. Or take the train, which would easily double or perhaps triple the normal commuting time.

Let’s hope it will be worth it. And let’s go at least 15 minutes earlier for the next three months.

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Portraits of things

Sometimes – or rather, quite often – I take photographs of what I refer to as ‘found objects’. Which means that normally I don’t alter or even touch them, all I do is to find the right angle and/or light to take a photo of such objects. It’s a bit like taking a portrait of a thing, and this can be environmental or with gently blending out the background, whatever you like. It’s a bit like performing finger exercises on a musical instrument, and in my opinion it also trains your view quite a bit – you can actually learn from this.

I just took a photo of a small bottle of yoghurt drink with using my studio strobe and a beauty dish. But you don’t have to use any fancy lighting, a small battery-powered compact flash bounced off a wall or a reflector would give you pretty much the same result:

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Fitness drink

I used my Olympus E-PL5 “Pen”-type camera with a Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm/1.4 lens set to an aperture of f/3.2 – for which I had to turn down that studio strobe to 1/32nd of its maximum power output.

If you do this for a while, you can actually do it blindfolded – and that gives you the opportunity to care only about the light, the composition etcetera – so when you actually have a breathing object, you’ll have enough confidence to do just the same. It’s caring for the one you photograph instead of thinking about technique and gear.

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Zuleikha makes these…

… and she’s also cataloguing them with own photos, names, and maybe even numbers:

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Loom art. Olympus E-520 with 50mm/2 macro lens. Cropped 16:9.

Update, one day later:

Here’s one more, this time in daylight. Same camera and lens, manually focused:

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More loom art. Olympus E-520 with ZD 2.0 50mm Macro at f/8.

In the background you see what these are made of – small silicone rubbery rings…

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An image taken in low light

We have a LED reading light in our living room, taking about 5W or so. Not very bright as you can imagine. Tuna the cat was sitting about 2 meters from it, and that gave me 1/13th of a second with the lens wide open at f/1.8 and ISO 6400, hand-held. No noise reduction, no sharpening:

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Tuna the cat in low light, August 2014. Olympus E-PL5 with 45mm/1.8 lens at f/1.8.

Thanks for viewing.