Unlike last year, where we had a front row seat to the shenanigans in Cologne, Germany, Goddess and I will be sitting in a quiet house, watching as the next round of 4-6″ of snow falls. No riot police for us this year.
While we lived in Germany, we were introduced to a curious NYE tradition, the annual showing of a TV skit from 1963 called “Dinner for One“, or more accurately Der 90. Geburtstag. Starting at around dinner time, the skit gets 20 or more showings on various TV channels until midnight.
It’s a fun tradition. Just not one where you should try to keep up with James.
We are marking the first full day of winter today with a grin. Yesterday was the kick-off for this year’s Winter Solstice offering over on my photography site and it was a good day (thank you everyone!).
But if you’re following via social media sites, they do a fine job of squashing certain posts that contain certain words, especially words that are a single-word representation of an offering of anything at a reduced level of currency. Why? Because they want us to pay them to increase viewership of those specific posts to normal levels. Or pay even more to increase viewership even higher.
If you are looking for a holiday present, it is too late to get it this week, but if you’re looking for a different look on your wall, now is your chance! Please click on the picture above and you’ll see the code at the top of my website.
It has been quiet around these parts for the past week or so.
Usually I apologize for that, but this time I don’t think that I will, even though I do appreciate my loyal readers.
I really do.
So where was the focus? My new web site, of which this blog is a part. Some of you might have even noticed some changes here.
It’s all part of taking my photography a bit more seriously, including delving more into portraiture.
So please click on the image above (which takes you to http://billandersphoto.com), take a look around, kick the tires and leave a comment. Perhaps buy a print or three.
I even dropped the prices 25% to mark the occasion.
Just click on that coupon and a new window will open. Browse and pick to your heart’s content, then enter that code upon checkout. And you’ll be in like Flynn.
If you had browsed my galleries before and think you have seen it all, please look again, especially in the Travel section of my Portfolio. There are new photos in there. And quite a few images that I have reworked for one reason or another.
So you might find something different.
As always, thank you for taking the time to stop by my littler corner of the sphere.
So after many years of purposefully no including watermarks because I find them ugly and distracting, I’m going to have to placing them on my pictures again. This is many years after I quit worrying about somebody heisting a picture of mine and claiming it as theirs.
Of course, watermarks won’t keep someone from stealing. But it may keep the honest people honest. And the thieves will continue to steal.
Well, it’s the year’s end. And there will be plenty of year’s end lists.
Just not here.
Instead, I’ve been looking back at the year’s RAW images and seeing what I’ve missed or what needs to be reworked.
I guess you could call it a bit of nostalgia. But not in the typical sense.
I’ve mainly thought of the three photographers that I’ve been able to meet in person over the past 13 months. Photographers that I’ve known online for quite a few years.
In December 2011, Goddess and I had the pleasure of meeting Shimon Z’hevi, who after an arduous in-person screening process, decided we passed muster and spent the next week showing us the back alleys and culture of Jerusalem as well as the landscape of Israel.
It was an amazing experience! And thanks to his blogging, he continues to draw us into the culture and events there in Israel with is vibrant first-person accounts.
Skip ahead to July 2012 and we were able to work with Michael Kaiser and find a common weekend free. Mind you, we actually had to coordinate that weekend some five months in advance, but at least we were able to nail it down. Michael was gracious enough to have Goddess and I visit and stay in his home. Pretty gutsy considering we had never met in person. But we’ve conversed virtually for many years and grew to know each other, so we were quite comfortable. It was amazing to sit with him and flip through albums of his years working as a writer and photographer for his local paper, where his reportage took him to many places, including Afghanistan in the early 2000’s. Trust me, his experiences in that country were far different than mine in 2011.
And the third, which is actually back a few months to the end of May 2012, we finally got to meet the lovely Susanna Hauru, a Finnish transplant to London, while Goddess and I were on a trip to the UK. I was nervous meeting her (as well as Shimon and Michael), as she’s quite the accomplished street and wedding photographer (both Shimon and Michael are very accomplished in their own rights). But she was as gracious as could be and we had a wonderful time walking the back alleys and haunts of London as she introduced us to her favorite views. And we accidentally introduced her to a new one.
For that I earned a manly hug.
But on our walkabout, while Goddess and Susie were chatting, I set up the tripod and grabbed this shot soon before Big Ben struck midnight and the lights went off in the tower and the Palace of Westminster.
A pretty magical view.
And not too shabby for my 23 year old 50/1.8.
Go ahead and click on that picture. It will open up in a new tab/window on a black background. That way you can enjoy the lines and lights.
As far as every post here, if you click on the picture, there will be different behaviors. Play with them and figure out what they are. 😉
But back to the three photographers. This past year has been an amazing year on many different levels. But on the photography front, the fact that we were able to meet these three in person was fantastic. These three are my toughest critics when I ask them to be.
Unfortunately, it took a bit of work and some references to find something more than just a daily recap, in words, of the events.
But we’ve got a nightly video feed. Which has been inspiring.
Although it is a damn shame that we have to search that hard for the truly inspirational games. Especially the opening ceremonies, where Professor Stephen Hawking addressed the audience.
If there is a currently living larger representation of the human spirit and the human mind, please let me know in the comments below.
I’m always looking to stretch my mind.
I am a huge fan of the Olympics, both Summer and Winter. Because they show the true sports, not the ones that suck in lots of cash. In my opinion, they show the true strength of the human spirit, unlike the overpaid egos of popular sport.
But that is not the point of this post.
Filtering through my images from Munich this past weekend, I really enjoyed the very large painting of a bicycle in the middle of the road traversing the Marienplatz, signifying that the entire area was a bicycle path.
That speaks to me.
Tackling it from different angles gave me some very beautiful compositions. Some worked photographically. Some didn’t.
I initially marked a few for presentation. That marking did not include this one.
But in light of the performances we’ve watched this week and some reflection, this is the best one to present to you:
Currently we’re watching the post-post-race interview of Ireland’s Jason Smyth, who earlier today set a new world record in the T13 200m sprint. The coding T13 signifies track athletes who can recognize contours between 2-6 meters away (an S13 designation [as we saw tonight] means that swimmers cannot typically see the black line at the bottom of the lane, but can see the wall once they’re within 1-meter).
Immediately after Jason set his new world record tonight, covering the 200 meters in just 21.05 seconds, he breathlessly stated during his off-track interview:
“We’ve all got issues. You just do the best you can with what you’ve got”.
So get out there and give it what you’ve got.
And if you are not giving what you have got, no matter how uncomfortable you are – quit your whining and just do it.
Or in the vernacular, HTFU.
For some great first-person images of the games, please click here. And here.