Bluetooth test day…

I’ve mentioned that I’ve got an iPhone SE 2020 from my employer, and I really like that phone – except that it doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack for headsets like the Google Pixel 4a which Mitchie has, and which is even cheaper than that Apple phone. And while I do have an adapter from the proprietary ‘Lightning’ plug to a 3.5mm socket, the cable is still at the bottom of the phone then – totally the wrong end, so to not damage the cable or adapter, you’d have to put the phone upside down into your jacket. How ridiculous, just to save Apple (and their shareholders) a few cents on an otherwise really nice product…

Apple’s solution to this is of course to also sell you their air buds or whatever they call them. Thanks, but no thanks – it’s not *my* phone anyway, and even if so, I’d never buy these.

But Mitchie has two different bluetooth headsets which I borrowed today to try them out, and these are the Anker SoundBuds Slim+

and the AKG Y50BT

So did Iike them? Well…

The Anker are light and small, and the first ones of that shape and size which didn’t fall out of my ears right away (ok, the Apple wired buds also stay in). They have a very clear sound, but with almost no bass at all – I tried with the Wikiloops Latest Jams Radio, and they’re really not good for music. Even the wired Apple buds are way better in that regard, I’d say the Anker are more comparable to some 10€ ones I have from Sennheiser (also with cables).

The AKG? A revelation against those Anker buds, but of course much bigger and heavier, and these are *on* ears, not *over* ears which I would prefer. Still, these sound really nice and even give you a bass. They also keep the connection if you change rooms for a short time, something I hadn’t even tried with the Anker. Cool. But do I love them? No way…

… even Mitchie is back to her Sennheiser ‘Sports’ headset *with* a cable – she can, because her phone (like the old Nexus 5 she gave me) has a headphone jack. And so this is what I normally use on the company’s notebook, and with an adapter also on the iPhone (and without, on that Nexus):

That’s my wired and closed Sennheiser HD569 headset for ~ 150€. It comes with two cables, a short and straight one (1.2m) which also has a microphone, so it’s perfect for telephony, for video conferences, and with its longer cable also for musicians who record with studio microphones – as a closed headphone it doesn’t “bleed” much into the recording mike.

But what I love even more is my open Sennheiser HD598SE which is just perfect for everything.

So, Bluetooth? Yes – in case you definitely can’t live with cables, don’t need absolute real time, and don’t mind that you just have to charge another device each day. For me, I love just the opposites, don’t mind cables, and I do need real time to make music, and no, I don’t want even more batteries… but who knows, maybe for just consuming music, videos, movies or such, maybe I’ll get used to one of these. If only the AKG was as good and as comfortable like my Sennheiser…

… which I later used again to work on a mix in my DAW, where I even correct these headphones with Sonarworks. And with using that (and you can use the program for the HD569 or other more professional headphones as well), they’re really flat which gives you some peace of mind while working on a mix for someone else:

By the by, as you might have mentioned, no ‘affiliate links’ around here. I write this for you, not for me to earn some pennies…

As always, thanks for reading.

A short Sunday walk through our “Hinterland”

So today I took the car and went to Aberystwyth, which greeted me with a friendly “Croeso!“. And that lovely little university town is also the home of the TV series “Hinterland“, which we Germans of course had to translate, because nobody here would understand a German word I guess – so here that series was called “Inspector Mathias – Mord in Wales“, followed by the names of the respective episodes which made the whole construct just ridiculously long…

No, I went to Kronberg im Taunus, and one of its partner cities is Aberystwyth:

Croeso!, Kronberg im Taunus 2020

I took a short walk there but then decided to drive a bit further to Königstein im Taunus, where I left the car again. It’s a wealthy area, with some nice architecture, so first I took a few photos of houses, like these:

Poor goose, Königstein im Taunus 2020
Architecture 1/2, Königstein im Taunus 2020
Architecture 2/2, Königstein im Taunus 2020

Then I decided to walk up to Falkenstein Castle, and on the way up I saw that sign with explanations:

Explanations, Königstein im Taunus 2020

And although the castle itself was closed for winter already, you still have a breathtaking view from the top:

Dettweiler Tempel and “Teufelskanzel”, Königstein im Taunus 2020
View from “Teufelskanzel”, Königstein im Taunus 2020
Falkenstein Castle, Königstein im Taunus 2020
Catholic church, Königstein im Taunus 2020

Some signpost in town said: walk 800m further and turn left, then take the way past the Catholic Church – and this is the church when coming back down from the castle…

Interesting side note: the step counters on Android and iOS count differently – I had these phones in the same pocket:

Step Counters, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

As always, thanks for viewing, and for reading.

I took today’s photos using the 14-42mm “kit zoom” lens mounted onto my Olympus E-M10 Mk2 camera. No music today – not until now, that is. Not even in my head…

Autumn colours from a short Sunday walk

I filled a roll of black & white film, so by now I’m back to taking colour photos using my digital camera(s) (both Olympus mirrorless, and iPhone). During today’s short Sunday walk I decided to leave the 45mm/1.8 M.Zuiko lens on the camera, which has an angle of view like a 90mm lens on 24x36mm film (what they now call “full frame”, for me it’s still “Kleinbildfilm”) 🙂 The reason to keep this short “portrait” tele on the camera was that with also carrying an iPhone SE I also have what compares to 28mm on film…

I walked in the direction of the airport, the infamous “Startbahn West”, and if you extend that route from our place then you’re heading pretty much into the direction of Wales and Ireland – turn slightly right, and it would be Scotland instead. So this is what I call ‘The route of the Celts’, it’s where they went. Some stayed in France (think Asterix for the general direction), but cross the channel and you’ll end up there after a couple of a million steps…

And because the light was nice and the sun was low I saw some pretty colours as well, so have a look:

Along the route of the Celts 1/8+2
Along the route of the Celts 2/8+2
Along the route of the Celts 3/8+2
Along the route of the Celts 4/8+2
Along the route of the Celts 5/8+2
Along the route of the Celts 6/8+2
Along the route of the Celts 7/8+2
Where the paths have names, and the trees have numbers…
Along the route of the Celts 8/8+2
Along the route of the Celts +1
The one iPhone photo I took – direction is the same…
Along the route of the Celts +2
Step counter for that short walk…

Oh – and no music in my ears this time but a poem. As always, thanks for viewing and reading.

P.S.: we went out together later, to our “Müllberg”. And now I have more than 10.000 steps and my muscles are a bit sore…


Again, thanks for reading…

A portrait of Tuna from October 27th, 2020

I’m quite happy that I could get my camera working as usual again, without having to send it in for repairs and such – so today I thought about using a studio strobe again, haven’t done that in a while (since the photo shoot for school in early spring).

And I was just finished setting everything up and measuring the light intensity when my favourite model decided to relocate – so I’d had to turn, measure again, and live with a not-so-optimal kind of light. I’d loved to having added a second one of my studio strobes, but that one also didn’t have a power cable attached, and I would have to climb to reach it on its higher stand… so…

Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

That’s what I came up with. Much better and sharper than yesterday’s photo using the incandescent room light of course; all measures are better once you’ll get a flash or studio strobe into the game – lower ISO, much better colour accuracy, shorter times (the camera is on 1/160th of a second, but the strobe was way faster than that which really freezes any motion), and you can close down the aperture a bit (here I was using f/4), all of which would give a better picture. Really, having a flash or strobe which you can bounce over a wall like here will make more of a difference than having a 1k€ lens vs. a 300€ one… (I was discussing that with a friend recently).

It’s hard to get the light just as you’ll want it and then have an animal sitting still at the exactly right place, these are rare moments. But it’s still fun and good practise to also try with not so optimal conditions, all of that will make you think, and see, and if you’re honestly judging yourself and your results, it will make you a better photographer in the long run… or so we hope… 🙂

Anyway. As always, thanks for viewing.

Until Silence Falls

This one’s a hit. And it never needed me, it’s complete as it is, with everything in place just where it belongs to. Evocative, and haunting- and like so often I wonder how this girl comes up with thoughts so deep… and even twice, that sweet contralto voice going down a fifth really gets me here…

Oh, and as some commenters on #131549 (the vocal track of this) said:
“007 is on his way… too good”
“for a 007 movie”

True. And I think with a real orchestra like always, her majesty’s secret service (film & music production crew) should consider themselves lucky and honoured to have this singer in one of the Bond movies:

Enjoy. And then please, my dear ones, go and hurry to the ‘loops and give a few thumb-ups to those who sing and play here, as long as they can still see your positive feedback. Until silence falls…

I’ll never forget this one, thank you my dear friends.

Thank you for listening.

False alarm – my camera lives!

Oh wow. I complained too fast, before doing all necessary tests (which hadn’t made a difference with my old camera, but with this one it did):

  • removing the SD card let me switch the camera on and off as usual, it also reacted on keystrokes and showed a display as usual plus it reset the lens when switching off
  • doing the same with the SD card in again, and still everything worked
  • I took some photos, back in business as if nothing had happened.

Strange. But I’m glad that the camera still works, don’t really need a newer and/or better one…

Edit, from the same evening:

I just took another photo first of my ColorChecker (for the room light white balance), then of Tuna. Here are two versions of the same photo I took of her:

Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

As always, thanks for reading.

My second – and most probably last – Olympus camera died today

Two years ago, on November 11th, 2018 my first Olympus camera died. I wrote about that, and since my second (or “backup”) camera together with my best and most expensive lens (E-PL5 and M.Zuiko 75mm/1.8) got stolen in Paris short before that, I was without a camera for a while. To recap, here’s the last photo I took with my old 1st generation E-M10:

Zuleikha with Tuna the cat, 21st of October 2018, Mörfelden-Walldorf
the very last (and “out of camera”) picture taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 (Mk1) before it died

At least it was taken with another one of my favourite lenses, Mitchie’s wonderful Panasonic Lumix 20mm/1.7…

Today the weather was so nice, and I thought that I really should go out and catch some late October autumn colours as long as it lasts – even from my chair and through our veranda windows I could see green, yellow, and red leaves, so I decided to mount my Zuiko Macro 50mm/2 (from the old “Four Thirds” system) onto my E-M10 Mk2 and to take a walk with that combination. But when I tried to take a first picture of those exact leaves on our own veranda – my camera was dead. Same symptoms as the 1st gen camera had, I couldn’t “properly” turn it on (or off) anymore, and no battery or lens change could cure that – so again a system failure of the mainboard I suppose…

And the last picture taken with that camera was – the one of me with the upright bass, taken by Mitchie, which I had shown in my last blog article. Ok…

Now I still have that old and half mechanical SLR also from Olympus, the wonderful OM-2n – but for that I currently have only a black & white film laying around, so not exactly the right gear to take for autumn colours 😉 – and since I don’t have any other real camera, I was left with the iPhone which was given to me (and to all colleagues of mine) by our employers lately. Also a nice camera in that one, tho of course this isn’t a 100mm-comparable macro lens (100mm like on 24x36mm film). Still I wanted to walk, so I took this camera phone which doesn’t even belong to me…

… and here are some impressions from my walk, without further explanations:

just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk

Or maybe I should write a few words? It was a really nice day as you probably can see, and the sun and the people were smiling, and I was smiling back, almost like in Shi’s wonderful “Le maloya d’une enfant”, so if you want you could listen to that while viewing the rest of these photos, because that was in my head as well during that walk:

Now on with the iPhone photos:

just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk
just photos from a Sunday walk

As you can see, I did try to take some close-up photos of some leaves, but what you also can see is that a mobile phone with a focal length which compares to 28mm on film will never be a match for a 100mm-comparable macro lens, it doesn’t even have a remote chance against that…

But still, iPhone photos aren’t that bad, so thinking about what to do now, hmmm… of course I could (and probably should) have that camera sent back to Olympus for a possible repair job again and see what happens. But would/should I buy another one? Good question…

There were times when I wanted to be a portrait photographer, and I wasn’t that bad really, learned everything about light, how to pose people, and so on – but there was one thing lacking in my person and in myself which you can see in some if not most of the photos I took of people: I was missing some proper communication skills.

What I want to say is that it’s not enough to just admire beauty when you see it, and then smile at a beautiful person – you have to get her or him really comfortable, especially in front of a camera to get their real self as the saying goes. You have to have them forget that there’s someone pointing a camera at them, and maybe thinking about how they will look, all that. So when I for instance took photos of Mitchie, they were ok, beautifully lit, well posed maybe – but when Zuleikha took photos of her mum, she always had the better ones. Portrait photography is interaction between two people, and just pointing your camera on beauty isn’t enough.

What else? Oh, landscapes, yes, everyone including me loves landscapes. Or even nightly shots of the starry sky, with or without telescopes and all that stuff, right?

Well I’ve tried that as well – but now I can’t walk that good and that far anymore because of my atherosclerosis, and I never could stand the cold for too long, so I never got that precise sky tracking motorised system for the telescope, and never walked the alps with my camera so far (and believe me, if you can’t properly walk anymore but used to love it, then you just dream about walking the Camino de Santiago or the Via Francigena or for Muslims, the Hajj (and on that latter, cameras aren’t even allowed)).

So for that I also don’t really need a camera anymore, at least nothing I couldn’t also do with a phone camera. Plus taking portraits is really kind of difficult since the outbreak of covid-19, isn’t it?

So sitting on a bench at a bus stop today, I had some other song in my mind, again from Shi, but I haven’t played on that one so far. The song is still wonderful like most of what she does, and its title is “Low tides”, and the lines I had in my head were:

“… nothing lasts forever
only time still marches on”

Hear it here if you want to know what was in my head, thinking about photography, art, and myself:

Today my very first Wikiloops album ever is the “Album of the day” – and for the cover photo of that one I also used my first E-M10 camera, and the cutest “model” I had around (that one was taken with daylight through the veranda door by the way):

That album doesn’t have any contributions of my own, which is why I never included it into the list of “My albums”. But it contains really cool collaborations of others whom I wanted to promote and to celebrate a bit with that album, so here is the link to what I called “The cool cats from the loops – Hit singles” – hope you enjoy it as much as their music impressed me.

So while I’m still thinking, I’m without a camera again for the moment.

As always, thanks to my musician friends and to Richard from Wikiloops for the music (which is an important lifeline for me, much more so than photography) – and thanks to you for reading, viewing, listening, and/or even commenting.

Have a nice rest of your Sunday.

A photo of Tuna, and one of me…

On Saturday I took a photo of Tuna, our cat who was on the heated floor in front of the TV set:

Tuna the cat on the heated floor, lit by a TV set,
Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

I cropped that one into a 16:10 format.

And yesterday I’ve got my own photo taken, together with my upright bass and the bow:

Wolfgang, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
photographer: Mitchie Suadi-Lonien

As always, thanks for viewing, and/or reading.

Free (Always)

I don’t have words to describe this one. So I just played a little…

As always, thanks to my friends for all the fun (an unforgettable one this time). And thanks to you for listening.