Well I can hardly give any tips of what best to do in a “lockdown” kind of situation, when you can’t or at least shouldn’t really leave the house. I can only tell you what we’re doing:
we went shopping of Friday after my work already, so we were through with that early on. It also helps if you enter the supermarkets as a single person, not with a whole family. Better for the distances we should keep…
reading is always good – my current favourite fiction author is Haruki Murakami as you might know if you’re reading this blog once in a while
listening to music and/or watching TV is what I’ll guess what most people would do, and of course we’re also doing that. Long running series like “Doctor Who” are good tips if you like that
If you’re a computer geek, get involved into some free and open source project – write some code or documentation, or share some tips via an own blog or Youtube or whatever
We’re the lucky ones, at least Zuleikha and me – we play instruments. Plus we are both members of Wikiloops where you can play with other musicians from all around the globe for free if you like. All you need is some way to get your instrument or voice into a computer, which is usually done with some kind of audio interface – see here for some examples. And Wikiloops just lifted its time restrictions, so even as a new user you can now start down- and uploading at once, without having to wait (or to pay).
If you are creative in another field – I consider myself a portrait photographer for instance – then do this at home as well. Take photos of your family, or in case you’re alone, take self portraits. There’s always something new to learn, and if it’s only about lighting.
Other than that I haven’t done much this weekend, in fact I wasn’t even out of the house except to feed the birds:
As I’ve read, the rate of new infections with SARS-CV2 aka the Corona virus is slowing down here in Germany. So maybe (and hopefully) it helps if everyone is staying at home or at least keeping a safe distance. And while it’s still way too early to speak of or to hope for a trend, we can still carry on and wait this out, shall we?
We haven’t done this in a while, so today I asked our talented daughter to take my photo together with my bass. I set up one of the studio strobes and a grey background for this, then borrowed Zuleikha’s piano bench, and we had a bit of fun with my camera. I liked this one, especially after converting it to black & white:
A bit of a fake double bass posture, but that was part of the fun 🙂
As always, thanks for reading, and for viewing. And thanks again to our small one for being so kind to take her old dad’s picture again.
I wish everyone who reads this a happy new year 2020.
Ours started with a bit of concern – Mitchie had let our cat out in the night of January 1st after most of the fireworks were done – and then we waited. And waited. And waited. And after 2200 (10pm) and at temperatures below freezing point I was really worried.
But then, about 10 past 10 she finally showed up, smooched us all a bit, ate, and then fell asleep on a carpet right in front of our TV set. I took her photo hand-held using my small Panasonic 35-100mm zoom lens, and converted it to black & white with Silver Efex (on Windows):
And by now she’s had breakfast, and is sleeping again – this time on my bed.
Today 15 years ago, just one day after the Tsunami in Indonesia, Zuleikha was born in a hospital in Bremen. Not even a month later, she was resting on me a bit after I came home from work:
Later we moved from Bremen to Freising (near Munich) and then again from Freising to here (Mörfelden-Walldorf, district of Groß-Gerau but close to Frankfurt as well). And early on Zuleikha discovered her love for music, or at least for my guitar in this photo when she was 5:
But my hobby was mostly photography during that time, so I took a few nice photos of her, like this one from short before she turned 10:
Musically, she decided to play the French horn in school, and took piano lessons for herself. Here she is on a solo gig when she was just 13:
And by now she is a member of Wikiloops like me, and we already have an album which contains three of her solo piano pieces:
You can find a link to it on the right, so go and have a listen if you wish.
And today, she’s fifteen:
And since I talk German with her: herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, Schätzchen!
As always, thanks for viewing, reading, and listening.
I haven’t taken many photographs this month yet (which for me is the month of the kit zoom if you remember that), so when Zuleikha started to play her piano I asked whether I could take a photo of it, switched on a light, and took this in black & white with a simulated orange filter at ISO 6400 with around 1/13th of a second:
My lens was set to 17mm, a focal length which I don’t have except with this zoom lens. Ideal for indoor portraits which also show some context, like the piano in this case.
I was reading the latest c’t magazine and also just watched an hour long video talk they had about the finest article in it. The topic: once a year they publish suggestions of ideal machines to build for yourself, with low power consumption, which are quiet, run smoothly, give you the best bang for the buck, and so on.
I find these very useful, and all of my self-built PCs – some of which are distributed to the wider family by now – were always at least based upon their suggestions.
While discussing PCs with my brother (his doesn’t start anymore at the moment, after years of service (it also was a very good one)) and after reading that latest article with a remark that multitrack music productions would love to have many CPU cores I decided to check my own one. So I’ve made a short video about it:
And yes, for what I’m doing, an old 4th generation Intel Core i5 is more than enough as you can see. So a nice actual 9th generation one is the one I’d take for any new build, these integrated graphics are more important to me than any assumed or measurable advantage of AMD chips…
Got my first film back from the lab, together with some prints (10x15cm), and scans on CD which aren’t very good or high-res (but we knew that already, doesn’t matter since these are cheap).
I’m not too convinced with the colours from their Kodak Gold colour negative film (200ASA), so I tried a black & white conversion using RawTherapee, and added a white border in Darkroom with the last image from that film. Looks like this:
Not too bad, my “full frame” camera from ca. 1972 or so, hm? Scaled down to your usual image height for screens like here (1080 pixels high), or even printed on 10x15cm paper, the results are very nice. And I’m sure that they’d be even better if I would scan the images myself (and maybe I’ll do that with a few prettier ones).
Edit: just converted another one to black & white, same method as above: