Sonntag, 10. November 2019

Zeche Zollverein

The Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex (German: "Zeche Zollverein") is a large former industrial site in the German city of Essen and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first coal mine on the premises was founded in 1847, and mining activities took place from 1851 until 1986. For decades, starting in the late 1950s, parts of the site ranked among the largest of their kinds in Europe.
Built in the "New Objectivity" style (German: "Neue Sachlichkeit"), it is an architectural and technical masterpiece, earning it a reputation as the "most beautiful coal mine in the world".

(Source: Wikipedia).

Samstag, 19. Oktober 2019

The early bird catches the picture

Even though it' s Saturday, I started my day very early today. Not that there was a reason for me to do so - on the contrary! I had been looking forward all week to the possibility of staying in bed for as long as I wanted. 

But here I was: having just woken up, lying in silence until the neighbour' s wall clock started chiming "gonnnnng... gonnnnng... gonnnnng..." I expected it to do so six times, in correlation with the hour at which my body usually wakes up even without an alarm.  

 I heard only four chimes. At first I thought that I had simply missed two and checked my cell phone.


Realising that there was no way I was going to fall asleep again, I got up, quickly checked the news and then started a chat with Nina (who, in a different time zone, was just about to have an early night). After some exchange during which we both wondered what on earth had caused me to wake up so early, I did a 3o minutes workout, took an extended shower, slowly and carefully brushed my teeth, took my time to pick the clothes to wear, chose tramway over subway to go to the city.

In "Cafe Westend" I had a lengthy breakfast during which I read an eye-opening article about the role that red lipstick and Elizabeth Arden played in the history of the emancipation of women (if you want to know more: this article is very similar to what I read in the magazine). 

I paid, stepped out of the cafe and onto Mariahilfer Strasse and checked the time: 8:40AM only! Still 50 minutes before the shops I needed would open. For a moment I regretted not having stayed longer in the "Westend". After all, I could have had another espresso and leaf through more magazines.

But then I remembered that I had my 3D camera in my rucksack - because the other day I had resolved to take this device with me wherever I go.  And now was the first opportunity for that resolution to bear fruits.

What caught my attention in the 50 minutes which followed that realisation can be seen below.

Mittwoch, 2. Oktober 2019

Glimpses of Zürich

Nina and I only had a few hours to spend in this super-rich, super-expensive but also super-pittoresque city in the North of Switzerland. 

As you may expect from someone who' s just got a new toy to play with, I used the little time we had on our hands (with my new 3D camera in my hand) to look out for motifs that could make for interesting stereo photos, while aimlessly walking around. 

The initial results were quite satisfying but also boring somehow. I found that these 3D photos would be much more fun to look at (at least for me!) if the colours were just a "bit" stronger. And there you have it...

Samstag, 21. September 2019

Is this art?

If these coloured waste bins were to be found in an art museum I would not be able to tell whether they are exhibits (“readymades”) or just "real" waste bins.

What is a work of art?
What is the role of art?
Does art have to be "beautiful" or "meaningful"?
Who gets to decide?

Samstag, 14. September 2019

Us and our shadows

Like the wallpaper sticks to the wall

Like the seashore clings to the sea

like you'll never get rid of your shadow

No you'll never get rid of me

(The words for this blog post were borrowed from the lyrics of the song "me and my shadow" by Al JolsonBilly Rose, and Dave Dreyer)

Sonntag, 8. September 2019

Mykonos in 3D

Now that summer is almost over, with temperatures dropping fast and the sun increasingly refusing to show its beautiful face to those living in Vienna, I find some consolation in looking at pictures that Nina and I took in early August - on the very first day of our two weeks vacation in Greece during a one day stop over in Mykonos town, on our way to Naxos. 

As many times before, I initially had no intention whatsoever of taking any photographs during the vacation. Why on earth would I take a picture of a motif that everybody has already seen more than a dozen times anyways and of which high quality images can easily be found on the world wide web? Iat my holiday destination I stumbled upon something that made me wish I had my camera, I could always use my smart phone.
And then out of the blue, just about two weeks before the start of our vacation, I realised I could try something that seemed really unusual to me: stereoscopy, a.k.a. 3D photography. 

Immediately after this "revelation", I downloaded an app that enabled me to take 3D photographs with my smart phone and started experimenting right away. 

Already the very first results were so evocative that the same evening I bought a SID 3D camera which was delivered a few days later, just in time for our vacation.

Well, the 3D idea did not really come "out of the blue" considering that for the last weeks I had been spending many evenings looking with fascination at 3D images of the band QUEEN in a book which Nina had got me as a birthday present. 

The pictures in the book were taken by nobody else than Brian May himself, the band' s guitarist who's been an avid stereo photographer since early childhood. Subsequently, the 3D pictures he took of flamboyant front man Freddie Mercury range from the band's early days in 1970 right up to the legendary concerts in London's Wembley Stadium in 1986. 

Nina and I spent the handful of hours that we had in Mykonos town walking around randomly and absorbing the vibe.

We visited the iconic windmills and the old port, drank cocktails as well as beer next by the sea and briefly checked out the night life. By capturing those moments with my smart phone app and the SID 3D camera, Nina and I gained first experiences in the art of stereographic photography.  

I have a strong feeling that this is just the beginning of an exciting photographic journey. Thanks to you, Mr. Brian May!

Freitag, 6. September 2019

Behold! The Portara

The "Portara" (or the "Great Door") is the most famous landmark of Greece's Naxos island.

The huge marble gate is the entrance to an unfinished templeThe rectangular gate is around 6 m high and 3.5 m wide. It is made of four blocks of marble, each weighing 20 tons. 

The temple was begun about 530 BC by the tyrant Lygdamis, who said he would make Naxos's buildings thhighest and most magnificent in Greece.

Lygdamis was overthrown in 506 BC and the temple never completed.

The "Portara" is connected to Naxos Town ("Chora") by a paved footpath.

If you would like to know more about this impressive landmark I can warmly recommend my sources: Sacred DestinationsGreeka and the website of Naxos.