Black & white, and someone to watch (and to listen to)

I don’t know if it was Mike’s article about the new Leica Monochrome (Typ 246), and the links from his readers in their comments, but I imagined about having a black & white camera only. So I switched mine to black & white and left it like that since a few days. I knew that for portraits this can be very nice, but how about general photography? I was curious. So here are some, as always almost like out of camera:


Tuna the cat, May 2015


Gravity? What gravity?


Taraxacum (common dandelion) (in German, we also call these “Löwenzahn”, or “Pusteblume”)

I have written about Youn Sun Nah already, but here’s another photo I took today. It shows the “Concert” part of a French/German TV station, and until October 18th this year, you can see a concert of her and her quartet of “musiciens exceptionelles” as she introduces them. Just look for this on your Arte channel:


“Screenshot” Arte: Youn Sun Nah Quartet

Or look at the station’s site like here. It’s worth it – if they offer this as a DVD one day, I’ll buy it.

Which lenses did I use for these photos?

First one: M.Zuiko 45mm/1.8 fully open at f/1.8
Second and third one: ZD 50mm/2 Macro at f/8
Last one: Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm/1.4 at f/4

Thanks for reading.

The Almased Wellness TV commercial 2014/2015

Since weeks, just a few minutes before the daily news start, there’s the same commercial on our TV. Mitchie doesn’t like it, Zuleikha has enough of it as well, but in case you want so see it, it’s here or here.

I liked the music (and the dog), and it’s the song “Get up” from a band called “Karolina Kingdom”. You can hear the song and see the band on Youtube. Seems it’s a German band, from Lüneburg, as this article – in German – shows.

No Wikipedia entry, not much information about the band if you search for them in the usual search engines. The only things I’ve found point to Facebook, which I don’t use. I guess I’m a different generation, or I’m getting old – having an own homepage doesn’t seem to be too important for young bands anymore… OTOH, who really needs the internet? Life happens somewhere else. If you believe in ads like the one mentioned here, it even happens in offices and lifts. And of course only with cute pets. 😉

Thanks for reading.


Youn Sun Nah. On Youtube for instance. And thanks to Wouter for the tip!

Her webpage is here, and the English and French Wikipedia pages here.

Have to get some of her CDs, if not all…

Update: This, starting at 40 minutes, is really good. It’s Tom Waits’ “Jockey full of bourbon”, and it’s also in one of my brother Willi’s favourite movies: “Down by law”, from Jim Jarmusch. But the song they play before it is also cool, showing that Vincent Periani is a real good accordion player. Heck, they’re all good, so enjoy…

Zuleikha in concert

Today was the annual spring concert of the local music school. And for the first time, Zuleikha gave a piano solo of two classical pieces. As usual, the light within our town hall wasn’t that good, but still we had to take some photos of course. Here is one I took:


Zuleikha in concert, March 2015

Update from March 2nd, 2015:

Mitchie took a hand-held video of Zuleikha’s short performance, and uploaded it to Youtube. And Zuleikha wrote about it on her blog, where you can see the video as well.

Thanks for viewing.

One more of Zuleikha’s horn

Zuleikha considers to change her horn for a smaller one – one more reason for me to take some photos of the current one. For this photo I used two studio strobes, one with the beauty dish as main light, the other from behind and above the black background. Taken at an aperture of f/8:


Model 702 horn, by Meister (master) Hans Hoyer. Olympus E-PL5 with M.Zuiko 45mm/1.8 lens at f/8. Two studio strobes at 1/8 and 1/32 power.

Thanks for viewing.

P.S.: while thinking about what I could show you as an example of good music made with wonderful instruments like this one, of course Maurice Ravel’s Bolero came to my mind first. The best interpretation I ever heard (and I bought the CD and gave it as a present to our aunt) is the one with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Sadly, the video on Youtube doesn’t play here in Germany, most probably due to a legal problem with Gema I suppose. So consider listening to a version conducted by the wonderful Daniel Barenboim instead – his isn’t really worse than Ozawa’s, just different of course, and it’s always a pleasure to see that maestro perform. There’s a short moment where you’ll see a hornist with a double horn, and later you see them as a group – but all the other instruments and performers are also playing so good.

If you want to see Seiji Ozawa instead – I didn’t know until today that he even performed the also very beautiful Polovtsian Dances from Borodin, together with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, open air. And also with this one, you’ll see that Ozawa is the one in classics who really understands rhythm – the man lives and breathes it. But watching Barenboim is even more interesting, at least in the Bolero above. Here’s one who’s conducting with ever so slight movements, and still it works out very beautifully. Highly recommended listening. And both pieces are wonderful.

Some photos for Zuleikha

Zuleikha got her instrument from / for school yesterday, and I took some photos for her so that she can write about it on her blog. That’s why I only show one of them here which I took using the “PanaLeica” 25mm lens, and with the camera set to black & white. So this is a kind of a “teaser” image while waiting for her to show the ones in colour:


French Horn

Thanks for viewing.

Some auxiliary equipment

Zuleikha was supposed to get a musical instrument from school today – but it still has to go through maintenance first, so she’ll get it on Tuesday.

She got some utensils already, and as you can probably guess, it will be a brass instrument:


Fine Wind Instruments

I cannot photograph it on Tuesday, because I’ll be off to a parents’ gathering in the evening. But maybe Zuleikha will write about it on her blog? We’ll see.

Thanks for viewing.

Under a blue light…


Under a blue light…

… and a self-drawn Malaysian flag, Zuleikha played one of the nicest melodies which were ever written:

a Polovtsian Dance from Alexander Borodin’s opera Prince Igor

see it here, here, or here.

Thanks for viewing.

How cool is that?

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that we have a new stereo system since a while. I started with speakers, knowing pretty well what I wanted, and lately we also added a new receiver to drive them. It’s a network receiver, but I didn’t connect and configure its network yet – no free port on our router, and because I didn’t want to buy an additional WLAN adapter and block the receiver’s only USB port with it, there’s no network yet. Or so I thought.

Today I remembered that our TV set does in fact have network, wireless even. So on my Debian PC I installed minidlna and configured it quick & dirty like described in Linux Magazine. Then I started both the TV and the receiver, et voilà:


Network via TV

And that minidlna server is so slim and cool that I could even start a virtual Windows7 image which takes away half of my 8GB main memory to work on this photo, and later use RawTherapee on it, and then upload it to Flickr – all without the slightest hiccup or interruption of the music playing.

Now if that isn’t cool I don’t know what is. No more fumbling around with my small USB stick sneakernet-style…

Thanks for reading.