Birds in our garden

I played around with my phone first, but later changed to my normal camera. Here’s a short cut from a longer video I made of the birds in our garden:

As always, thanks for watching…

Updates, cheap frame grabbers, selfies

Sometime last week I read about a vulnerability of the Chrome browser which most of my colleagues – and according to my statistics also most of the visitors of this site – are using. So I sent them a short notice about it, and also upgraded my own versions of the Chrome and Chromium browsers on both Linux and Windows (tho I rarely use them, mostly for debugging if someone reports about errors or so).

There were also news about Windows updates, and that these might be important, so I did that as well – I have a dual boot machine here so if I interrupt the boot up process I can also start Windows 10 instead of Linux. This one might be tricky in case you have your Windows machine connected via WiFi – one of their last updates corrupted that (and they have another update for that alone). Anyway, better be safe and update, I did…

What I do *not* have on my main machine is a webcam for video conferencing, but I have tried droidcam which works fine even with an iPhone, I also tried their Linux client on my employers’ notebook (Lenovo P50 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8), and that works.

But I also remembered that I have a much better camera, so I ordered one of these cheap frame grabbers (mine was 14€, you find them even cheaper by now):

These are detected automatically, no drivers needed. Here’s a screenshot from Ubuntu Studio where it even shows its name as ‘MACROSILICON USB Video’, and the ID 534d:2109 (on my Debian and Red Hat machines both of which have older kernels it leaves away the name but is detected and works just fine):

Rob Trek has a video about this one, and how to use it with Olympus cameras like mine:

He also had another one on how to use these cameras for live streaming and online conferencing with Skype, Zoom, Meet, and so on:

Very nice, although until now I can’t really get rid of the focus rectangles with that long press on the ‘Info’ button¹. But then again, Olympus never claimed the E-M10 Mk2 to have a clean HDMI output, so this is what you should look out for when deciding onto a new camera with which you’d also like to live stream – the quality of all of these is *much* better than your typical webcam… (the one in the Lenovo P50 is horrible).

¹Edit: if I turn off face/eye detection, C-AF on, and then select not one focus point/box but all – pretty much the whole screen – then I get a clean HDMI out for streaming. Cool; works for me without having to get just another camera…

Speaking about cameras, I was using mine a bit more often lately, but since I can’t always photograph our cat, and since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, I mostly pointed it onto myself – like here for instance:

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Me as “Lester the Nightfly”, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021
Listen to the original
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Yet another self portrait, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021

As you see I also went wider as usual – 50mm-equivalent in the first, and 28mm-equivalent in the second shot, and I used two of my studio strobes for better colour and definition. So if you don’t have a good looking model, you can at least use good lighting which is the second most important thing in photography 🙂 No reason to not be creative just because you can’t go out that much, is it?

As always, thanks for reading, viewing, and watching (or listening). Be well and stay safe everyone, and take care…

Low light, high ISO, and simulated black & white films

Olympus cameras, and Rawtherapee – a winning combination. These are from today:

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Tuna the cat, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021 (ISO 3200, simulated Kodak Tri-X film)
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Birthday flowers, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2021 (ISO 6400, simulated Kodak T-Max film)

As always, thanks for viewing.

Edit, one day later:

That photo of Tuna above may look nice and bright – but in fact that scene was pretty dark. Here’s a video which I took right before that shot, and which shows the actual lighting (during daytime!) as it really was:

Again, thanks for viewing.

Three “killer covers” videos

Today I linked three videos into the “killer covers” thread in Wikiloops. Just in case you don’t want to see them there, here they are as well:

Let Her Voice Fly You to the Moon and Back!, by Devin Angelet
She Gives You Chills with her cover of I Will, also by Devin Angelet

and – last not least –

CLASSIC POP COVER SONGS- “Walk On By” (Alan Curtis Cover), by Alan Curtis Music featuring Shi

Enjoy. And thanks for watching and listening.

Just an arc of thoughts…

… from a new and respected pianist, Bach, via Schubert, to being kind…

Yesterday – just by chance – I saw a few minutes of a music program in ARD Mediathek, and it’s also on Youtube. It’s about a young pianist called Víkingur Ólafsson who explains and plays Bach like no other, very impressive. Maybe I’ll put his CD onto my wish list… (and that link has an affiliate reference back to Wikiloops again).

Through the German Wikipedia page about him, linked above (English one is here), I learnt that he also has a Soundcloud account – and there I heard him together with Kristinn Sigmundsson perform “Gute Nacht” from Schubert’s “Winterreise”:

Schubert: Gute Nacht (Winterreise) Kristinn Sigmundsson + Víkingur Ólafsson

Very cool, and probably one of the most well-known musical pieces about unrequited love, just like in literature this would be Goethe’s “Werther”, or H.C. Andersen’s “Under the willow tree” (German *and* English versions are here).

This might all sound or read nicely from a warm home, but it all ends tragic, and there’s nothing romantic about winter, and/or freezing to death. So my thoughts went further on to those who don’t have a home, no matter the reasons.

And that made me think of “The Doctor” (Doctor Who, best played so far by Peter Capaldi in my opinion), and his imperative of “being kind”. It’s all the same story which fits this Christmas time which just went past with so many people thinking about their own problems and grief – please also think of the others. Share if you can, and/or at least be kind, that costs you nothing.

Oh my. This sounds like me preaching. But sometimes this is how I think, and how my thoughts jump from one thing to another, so please don’t be too harsh with me 🙂

Wishing you all a good time, and don’t forget to stay safe, and to take care. As always, thanks for reading.

P.S.: here’s a song which I just recommended to some of my colleagues. It’s from 2013, but in my opinion it also fits the time. Have to remember to tag it with “matteredToMe2020” in the ‘loops this evening:

Enjoy…

About food and nutrition

Michael Johnston from The Online Photographer is not only an expert and a must read on photography, he’s a very interesting and friendly guy to follow on a lot of topics. So now he wrote about food again, here and here. And he put links to videos of some doctors in there as well, listen for instance to Dr. Gemma Newman:

WHY I QUIT LOW CARB & WENT VEGAN – Dr. Newman

Or to her colleague Dr. Barnard, and others:

WHAT I EAT IN A DAY: Dr Barnard & Other Plant Based Doctors

What Michael describes quite nicely is that you can eat as much as you want, and some if not most of these doctors confirm that – as long as it’s healthy food, which means fibers, and plant-based. In that last video you also saw Dr. Greger, and I have both his original “How Not To Die” plus the accompanying “How Not To Die Cookbook“, and I can recommend both of them.

By the way: these last two links to the German Amazon contain affiliate links back to Wikiloops, so in case you’d use these links to buy something there, Wikiloops would get a bit of support as well. Normally I never do this, but for that page I make an exception – it’s like supporting oneself if you’re using that great site as a musician during these times of Covid-19.

As always, thanks for reading, and for watching.

About strings…

This is the video I was *not* waiting for (well actually I was, but then decided that I needed strings, so I’ve bought some already):

PIRASTRO PERPETUAL Double Bass Strings Review (Plus: How do they compare to Spirocore? Hear both!)

Hervé compared the two sets of strings for double (or upright) basses I was most interested in – the relatively new (invented in 2019 I think) Pirastro Perpetual against the old market leader amongst steel strings, the Thomastik Spirocore Weich.

Both sound pretty good in my opinion. I bought the Thomastik, and have them on my instrument right now – you can hear them on the last two collaborations on Wikiloops, and they made my bass sound way better than it did with the nylonwound strings I had on it when I bought it. And I can also bow it now which is cool 🙂

So thanks again Hervé for that nice comparison, tho I had made up my mind even before you published that video.

See also on TalkBass.

Jah Pon Dis

A collaboration with Rastafari and Shi this time:

You can also watch a compressor in my DAW working on my bass while the track plays:

Thanks to my friends again for all the fun, and thanks to you for reading, listening, watching, … 🙂