This image flashed across my monitor today as part of my screensaver. I had not seen it in a while, since it was taken on November 11, 2004. The image made me smile at a moment that I needed it, a harried 45 minutes where I could not find my favorite lens.
A lens that has taken just under 30% of my 50,000 digital photos that I have taken that are in my database.
A lens, that if I had to replace it, would cost me a bicycle.
And I don’t buy cheap bicycles.
Long story made longer, the lens was right where I left it, although it had slipped behind a flap in my camera bag that never gets moved.
Except once recently.
I’m still trying to work on detaching from objects, but for something that has brought me so much enjoyment…
So back to November 11, 2004.
The progression of expressions makes me smile.
And no, this was not an image taken with my favorite lens.
Some train station on the Tokaido line, Tokyo, Japan.
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.
Even though, after 3.5 years living here in Europe, we have grown accustomed to the insides of the churches and cathedrals (they do have a tendency to blur together after a few dozen), every once in a while there’s one that stands out.
For us, it was the altar of the Mannheim Jesuit Church.
Cast roses to form the shape, flower petals leafed with gold.
A pattern repeated in the 2 meter tall candelabra’s left and right.
And the pulpit just off frame left.
Quite beautiful, yet not overly ornate, as we have found in many other churches.
Click on the image to take you to a larger version – 1,706 pixels on the long end.
Still smaller than the 8,531 pixels of the original.
If you are curious, that’s a stitch of seven images. 24mm handheld, ISO 800, 1/60 @ f8.
And to get an idea of distortion, that’s a normal-sized bouquet of flowers, wrapped in plastic, sitting on the marble steps at the bottom of the image. Just inches in front of my toes. And the Eye of Providence within the circle at the top? That was probably about two feet behind me, over my head. Since I was shooting floor to ceiling, by the time I got to that part of the image, I was shooting up and back behind me. So if you are standing directly below it, it’s perfectly centered within the circle; here you can get an idea of the depth of that part of the structure due to the parallax.