My friends and I went to Thorpe Park to relax a bit after all the exams. I took the Canon G9 along and made some videos, which I put together in Premiere.
Credits: Rakieta and Dom from Alterwizje Single by Babilon, http://jamendo.com/en/album/42291. My video and Babilon’s music are licensed separately under the Creative Commons “Attribution Share Alike 3.0” license.
Alison came down to Luxembourg for Alain and Sté's wedding. On the day before the wedding we visited the Musée d'Art Moderne on the Kirchberg before meeting some of my friends at the cinema. (Star Trek was quite good actually. Never liked the series, I'm a Star Wars geek, and the two are somewhat antagonistic.)
After my return from Spain I spent most of my time backing up every single byte from my laptop. With me Murphy's Computer Law has a habit of kicking in just before I cross the channel either way. Better safe than sorry. (And indeed as I type this on my acer, balanced on copies of Wild Fang and Gulliver's Travels to let the air circulate beneath it, it's overheating, the processor is running at 90% and it's just a matter of time before it bites the dust. I hope the Macbook I've ordered will arrive soon...)
To counterbalance the IT frustration I got on my bike and visited the nature reserve in the woods around Chartham Hatch, not far from Canterbury. Turns out getting on the bike to go there was a dumb idea; you're not allowed to cycle in the nature reserve. Even so it was an enjoyable walk through some beautiful areas, and I got the camera with the 10-20mm wide angle lens out of my bag more than once.
From the British capital to the Spanish one. I visited Gel for a weekend in Madrid. Gel is studying in Spain on her year abroad and this was one weekend were neither of us had classes to attend or essays to finish. We did all the touristy stuff (I even used my point&shoot all weekend long). We went to see the Royal Palace, the Cathedral and the Reina Sofía museum. You should have been there to feel the tension: everybody held their breath when a small boy was running away from his parents and at full speed towards Guernica. Priceless. (The painting too.) On Sunday we visited a huuuge market that filled about a dozen streets and three or so plazas. After listening to some traditional Spanish bagpipe players (wtf) in the Parque del Retiro we finished the day with some churros. They're the most filling dessert you will ever eat. I thought I'd have to be rolled out of that Chocolatería.
My friend Ollie had to go to the University College London for an interview. Since a) you don't pay £16 (or £24 if like me you leave your railcard at home...) to go to London for half an hour and b) it's no fun to visit London on your own, I went along and we visited the National Gallery and the British Museum. In the National Gallery I had fun reverse engineering the lighting techniques of the masters, and I got told off for taking a picture of the cupula in the entrance hall when we were leaving (I had asked one of the wardens about photography restrictions earlier and what he said sounded like no photography of the paintings was allowed.) In the British Museum photography is fine, but it's also one of those places that's been photographed to death so it's difficult to take something new there.
While Ollie went to his interview I visited Jacobs Digital Photo & Video where they had a pretty good deal on Manfrotto 5001B Nanos (I have no idea what the difference between those and the 001Bs which they replace is, they look the same to me). I had also planned a visit to The Flash Centre but by the time we got there they were closed. So we went to a pub instead.
Anyway, we drove to a field near Hivange, asked the farmer for permission and got ready for take-off. I had to help get the balloon ready so there are no pictures of that. We flew over plenty of small towns that I didn't really recognize from up above, one of the places I did recognize fairly easily though was the Aire de Berchem (and in case you were wondering, no, the police car did not stop at the stop sign), the pig farm near the Kuelbicher Haff (the latter is hidden rather well in the woods) and the Mariendaller Haff, near which we landed gently in another field - this time we didn't ask the farmer's permission beforehand though :) And with gently I mean that none of my camera equipment got damaged when the basket tipped over during the landing. That's all that matters, my head has seen its share of bumps.
The title refers to the song Über den Wolken by Reinhard Mey.
About an hour ago the results for a photo competition entitled The Connection Between Generations (Lëtz: D'Verbindung tëschent den Generatiounen) organized by 45Plus together with photogen.lu were announced. My photo above won the public voting and convinced the professional jury. I'm now the happy winner of a Macbook, the photo will make the first page of a calendar and I can take part in a workshop during the Rencontres d'Arles.
I'm a happy camper, and the least I can do is to share some of the behind-the-scenes info of this photo. (more…)
Over the summer various members from the photogen.lucommunity organized a series of meetings. I attended two of them, one in Mersch hosted by Kiichiii which lasted until late into the night, the other at the traditional Luxembourgian funfair, the Schueberfouer, organized by Marc Gerard. It's cool to see how this little community keeps growing, at the moment it has close to 2000 members, which is not bad for a community based on such a small region as Luxembourg is.
Photographs of me: Tom Ewert, Lex Kleren.
The eve of the Luxembourg national day, "Nationalfeierdag", is one of those occasions on which our small capital seems to be bursting at the seams. I set out with my newly acquired 50mm 1.4 USM lens to capture the athmosphere of the evening and it didn't take long before I bumped into some friends, then I moved on to watch the torchlight procession and the fireworks. Seeing as the last time I watched them I ended up with smoldering firework chemicals in my eye I chose a safer spot this time though.
For some reason it has rained at each and every DPChallenge get-together I've been to over the last year. No surprise then that the one I hosted myself didn't greet us with sunshine. Even so Dain McGowan came all the way down to Canterbury to explore the city and the cathedral with me and Sebastian Andersson. In the afternoon we went up to campus to take photos at Artsfest.
Each year those students and societies that put special effort into making student life at the University of Kent worthwhile or/and contributed to the newspaper and radio station are honoured at the UKC Student Activity Awards Night. This year it was on March 28th and apart from covering the night for inQuire, I received one of those shiny glass awards myself. Bragging is healthy once in a while: I am now officially Best inQuire Photographer 2007/8. Yay!
For the pictures of myself on stage I passed the camera on to fellow photographer Dave Cater. All pictures were taken with the Canon EOS 40D and EF 70-200 2.8L IS lens, mostly at F/2.8, ISO 1250 and 1/100.
Since our hosts decided we'd need to wear appropriate clothing for the Goodfellas Poker Night I thought I might as well take the camera along and take some shots before we get started. I still had a friend's Canon Speedlite 480EX from a poster shooting the day before (which will be posted soon) so I went for off-camera lighting. The basic setup is the 480 in slave mode triggered wirelessly by the 580EX as master.
Uhm yeah I lost the last game against Juan. Tonight's James Bond Poker night, so watch out Juan, you won't get away with it that easily this time.
Update: I beat Juan but lost against Goose this time...
Another night out with my £20 digicam. Happy Birthday Goose!
Yesterday the Photographers and Models @ UKC society, of which I am now vice-president, had its introductory meeting. Rather than just talking about what the society's plans for the year are we jumped right into the action with a spontaneous session of what we call Speed Photography. Every photographer worked with a number of models and vice-versa to capture a set of given emotions. I've uploaded the pictures from the models I've worked with. After that we initiated models and photogs to the versatile Painting with Light technique. By accident Dave and I bumped into a few fire artists next to Rutherford college, so we put the technique we taught earlier into practice right away.
I'm looking forward to the next sessions with the society.
A tip for those who want to backup tomorrow… do it today. I had planned to upload a gallery each day until my portfolio is complete. Well, my computer started becoming really slow a few days ago. Instead of ringing the alarm bells and backing up everything, I first tried to solve the problem. The antivirus scan remained fruitless, so I thought defragmenting might be a good idea. The next reboot greeted me with an enthousiastic ‘Disc error. Press any key to restart.’ which then left me with a black screen. A friend of mine brought Knoppix to my attention, on which I eventually managed to launch Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier, which is attempting to salvage my C: partition as I type (on my sisters’ laptop). Let’s hope it’s as unstoppable as it claims to be. This major crash in conjunction to me moving back to the UK beginning of next week means there won’t be any updates for a week or so.
…for this term. Most of my flatmates have already left Canterbury; I’m going home tomorrow. Since there was nobody left to trick me, the laundrette decided to play April’s fools with me instead: it’s controlled by a computer which was determined not to let me wash my clothes, instead displaying nothing but a sarcastic ‘Thank you.’ Of course, it’s the end of term and there’s nobody around to fix it. The receptions are closed, the campus shop is rather empty, the few remaining students take refuge in the library (still open until 3am). With nobody else around, I’m afraid that, instead of painting eggs, the UKC bunnies will decide to take over the campus. Or maybe they already have…
I’m disappointed about the library. It’s almost 2AM now, and when Ollie asked me to come along to work on our essays (I am, I am, this is just… multitasking), I had imagined the library to be dark and spooky, with owls hooting from the History bookshelves. Instead I’m sitting in a well-lit study area among 50 other students, all diligently working on their essays. Beyond a doubt, being a student messes up your biologic clock.