Leipzig at Night

Photography Gadgets

I was checking out my website stats with Woopra yesterday, and I noticed that one of my most clicked links is that Green Cube On My Camera That Everyone Asks About. Funny! You would not believe how many people ask me about that in person. It’s a $7,000 camera, and all anyone wants to know about is the $9 green cube on top! Hehe…

I have a few more things I will add to the Photography Gadgets page as soon as I get some time… I actually don’t use a whole lot of stuff. I’m pretty bare bones. I keep a running list of my stuff in the HDR Camera equipment section here on the site as well.

Daily Photo – Leipzig at Night

When I was changing planes in Zurich, I had to go through some of the Customs run-around. It turns out that the customs officer was German. He asked where my ultimate destination was, and I said, “Leipzig”. I pronounced it “Leap-zig”.

“What?” he asked.

“Leap-Zig” I repeated, careful to annunciate each syllable.

“I have never heard of that.” he asked, regarding me suspiciously.

I was in a pickle. This guy was clearly German, as I could tell from his accent. I was a bit surprised because he was in Switzerland, but I figured that all nationalities come there to work. No big deal. But, still, how could a German not know about Leipzig. It’s not the biggest city, but I think it’s in the top 5.

I tried again and again. He seemed to be serious and not joking.

Finally, after about four more back-and-forth sessions, he said, “Do you mean Leipzig?” He pronounced it “LIPE-ZEEG”.

“Yes!” I exclaimed.

He gave me a little self-satisfied smile and signed my paperwork, sending me through…

The Flying Buttress

Thanks Christchurch!

I very much enjoyed the photowalk and talk yesterday. Everyone was genuinely nice and engaged. I got a bunch of good questions. People in NZ were even nicer than I expected! I look forward to seeing the Flickr group for the event…and perusing people’s shots! Feel free to post it below!

Daily Photo – The Flying Buttress

I mentioned during the photowalk tonight this effect of the wide-angle lens. Whenever you aim it above the horizon, everything leans in a bit. Now, I occasionally get negative comments that think that this “leaning” looks bad, unprofessional, and unrealistic. I have to disagree! It doesn’t bother me a bit. My eye adjusts, and, well, I think it just looks cool.

The church below is from Dresden, Germany.  I am 98% sure of this… I don’t know why I am having trouble remembering…  I think I am getting old.  I did have to wake up at 5 AM to go to the bathroom last night… a bad sign.

A Leisurely Dinner Under the Stars

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a place like this? I like these old European streets where great restaurants line edges… Let’s all move there… we can just go out and dine on the streets every night, eat fab food, see street performers, talk about photography, geek out, etc etc. Yes that sounds quite wonderful.

As you can see, I left in the HDR ghosting. Sometimes I quite like it, especially in these scenes where there is motion and feel like that’s part of the gestalt. I think these sorts of words are okay to use, even when not standing on a German street.

I am very appreciative to all the eyes out there scouring the intertubes! I had a nice girl who gave me the heads up on someone using images without permission. Her name is Shannon, and you can see her Flickr stream here. Thanks Shannon :)

A Leisurely Dinner Under the Stars

A Little Place I Found on the Way to Dinner

I wish I could walk to dinner every night and find little places like this along the way. Since I carry my tripod and camera just about everywhere, I’d always be ready in case something like this pops up!

This was shot in Halle, Germany, just a short train ride from Leipzig. I love how these old churches are often lit with orange lights… I think it always makes them look nice against the blue dusky skies.

Setting up the tripod for these evening HDRs always allows you to set the ISO as low as possible, and in aperture priority mode, the shutter will stay open for a long time, letting those clouds drift by and drag light across the lens. It gives a nice feel to the shot and makes the church look even more timeless and solid.

A Little Place I found on the way to dinner in Germany

A Night Out in Germany

This is something so many European cities seem to have… a nice cobblestoned area in an old part of the city where people just mill around from wine to dinner to gelato to aimless wandering about. I think these areas are always full of life and excellent for people-watching. Often times, this is why I don’t mind being by myself in these foreign places… it’s very nice to sit back and just analyze people as they come and go.

This was shot in the middle of Dresden when there was just a few degrees of sunlight left behind the old church. Once things get too black in the sky, I usually pack up the tripod and then head to the best looking gelato place I had surveyed earlier in the day.

Thanks again for all the feedback on the newsletter yesterday! We should get all of this cleaned up and ready for the first release sometime within the next two weeks or so… I hope your expectations aren’t TOO high… although I’ll do my best of course. Right now I think we’ll have links to two new reviews that the newsletter crowd can check out for a few days before they are publicly linked.

A Night Out in Germany

Steam Train 52 5448-7

These old trains in Europe are always cool. I can’t imagine how incredibly heavy they are. All that cast iron just looks like it might create its own gravitational force. I like looking at all the machinery and piping and stuff. I’m the first to admit that I don’t know a dang thing about trains, but I do like looking at them.

I visited a train museum also while I was in Dresden. It was really interesting looking at all the tiny inventions that had been deprecated and forgotten over time. They would have extremely specialized tools that would only do one thing for a technology that only lasted a short time. Some of these things must have weighed several tons, and the only task it could perform is maybe a mounting harness for a cast iron part that only fit one sort of train that was only in service for a few years. It was a cool museum. I guess it is kind of a guy thing… it must have been, since I didn’t even see another woman in the whole place!

Steam Train 52 5448-7 (by Stuck in Customs)

Grabbing a bite at sunset

For those interested, I was recently interviewed by Jim Goldstein about photography, HDR, and the like on “EXIF and Beyond”. You can hear the podcast here.

Whenever I am Europe, I have more snacks than my 3-year-old in the US every day.  I can’t believe how much my daughter eats.  I don’t know where it all goes.  She is like a tardis and has the metabolism of the entire Chinese gymnastics team.

This was shot in the streets of Dresden.  I had just grabbed a snack to carb up before the upcoming sunset.  These sunsets are supposed to be relaxing, but I had to hot-foot it around from location to location to squeeze it all into the hour.

Grabbing a bite at sunset (by Stuck in Customs)

Inside the Train Station

I think, as Americans, we are over-the-top interested in European train stations. I really enjoy them. I don’t know why… they just seem like really interesting places to be. This is part of the train station in Leipzig — the part after you get off the train and go into the shopping area.

Curiously, if you look at the large or original size, you can see taxi cabs driving through the inside of the mall. I do not have a full explanation for this.

Inside the Train Station

Relaxing in Dresden (and speaking in Austin)

Dresden had beautiful building after beautiful building!  They were just all lined up, waiting to be photographed.  As blind luck would have it, a storm had just ripped through, leaving this incredible purple sunset.  Well, heck, I guess I don’t have to tell you… since you can just look below and see! :)

And any of you in the Austin area that are coming tonight to my talk and tutorial (it’s free and you don’t have to be a mac user – more info here), be sure to come over and say hello! :)  Don’t be shy — I’d be happy to meet you in person!

Relaxing in Dresden

The Gestalt Coming and Going

I do love train stations in Europe!

I think each one has a personality of its own, and the gestalt is a function of the trains that come to visit. Leipzig wouldn’t be Leipzig if it never made a connection to Dresden. The stations really have no say in the matter and connections just get made on their own. It’s the natural order of things. Whatever it is about Dresden that makes it special becomes part of Leipzig, and vice versa.

This is from my upcoming LucisArt 6.0 tutorial… I’m still a-workin’ on it when my mind has moments of lucid thought.

The Gestalt of Coming and Going (by Stuck in Customs)

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