Saturday, May 30, 2009

The way of the summer

On the way, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Lily, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Spring fields, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Geranium, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Here are four photographs taken yesterday and today. I'm getting better with the amount of light, willing to use even - 2 EV exposure compensation to get the result I want. And some of the images I have taken recently are not impossibly bad.

But I'm starting to wish for a better tele range, 60 mm of the LX3 is often not quite enough. I the Olympus micro 4/3 camera already announced? (I haven't had time to follow the photography sites recently.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer is here

After rain (bw), originally uploaded by jiihaa.

I don't know how it happened, but spring turned into summer almost overnight. The grass is already long, spring flowers are replaced by summer flowers, and birds are nesting eagerly. There has been quite a lot of rain, but also sunny days. Not bad.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Warm spring, summer almost here

Cloud formations, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Just a short note: I'm still (occasionally) taking photographs, but not so often. Here is from yesterday a photo which my wife liked (so did I also). I post-processed the original image in LightZone to show the colors better. It is difficult to adapt to the spring/summer light, there is so much of it and it demands a different style of photography than during autumn or winter.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

SoFoBoMo - it is done (1-2-3 days is all that was needed)

I was all but given up on the idea of finishing a SoFoBoMo project, but in a couple of days things changed. There was a long-lasting illness circulating in the family, but that passed. Then, I made a work trip to Copenhagen, and took some photographs there. When back at home I realized there was enough images (barely, but still) for a photobook.

I took the photographs on Tuesday and Wednesday and made the post-processing and typesetting on Thursday. Three days in all, not bad, but I don't have any more time to use for this either.

The resulting photobook is called A Walk in Copenhagen (23 MB pdf file), and contains 40 pages. There are over 35 photographs in the book, so all the formal requirements of the SoFoBoMo project should be fulfilled.

Edit: I uploaded a smaller pdf (4.1 MB file) to the SoFoBoMo site, using the "worst" quality when exporting to pdf in the Pages application, because of the 15 MB maximum filesize limit. The image quality isn't so good in this version, unfortunately.

Edit 2: I generated (using GhostScript) a new version of the "big" PDF file, the filesize is now 7.7 MB and the quality good or better than the old 23 MB version.

I made the photobook using the Pages typesetting program, throwing together the book from the edited and selected images in about two hours, which included writing all the texts. I used my earlier practice photobook as the format, so there was no need to fiddle with page sizes etc. details this time around. I did change the format a little bit, but only a little.

I think I'll rest for a while, and not do something like this for a while. But this was a nice little project for one evening (and the walking in Copenhagen). Perhaps I'll do something similar some day.

I wish you luck with your SoFoBoMo project! And if you don't have such a one going at the moment, perhaps it would be worth a try.

Update: I forgot to say that I designed the book using two-page spreads, so it should be viewed that way, as image pairs. So, the images are not in strict chronological order, instead I tried to organize them in mathing pairs.

Update 2: There is now a list of completed SoFoBoMo '09 books.

Update 3: Martin Doonan has provided a very helpful guide to jpeg compression settings when making a photobook. I should have done something like this with my photobook. Instead, I took the easy way out and just used the different pdf output settings in Pages.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Watching, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Lakeside view, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

During the weekend I read David Eggers’ excellent book of short-short stories, "How the Water Feels to the Fishes".

The book contained a story of an aspiring photographer, who was waiting in a car outside a shop called Go Getters for some scruffy character to appear, to take a photo which would later be shown in a gallery as part of the photographer's retrospective exhibition. Irony on many levels in that story.

These are images from Sunday. The next two days I'll be traveling, health permitting, to Copenhagen.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Not: blood, sweat and tears. Instead: shit and vomit.

Green leaves, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Just a short note... This has been an exhausting week. A stomach flu (some kind of vomiting sickness) has circulated in the family, also hitting me.

I'm becoming expert at quickly deciding how to minimize the damages of vomiting. Toilet bowl is good, but not always nearby. Kitchen sink is ok, but there will be splashes. Vestibule carpet is not good, but at least you can wash it. Plastic bucket (big enough) is excellent, you can bring it with you where needed. And in addition to controlling the vomiting, there is a lot of washing to do, bedclothes, plastic sheets, etc.

I have spent quite a lot of time with the family. My wife has coped with the challenges admirably, despite all the sufferings. She keeps me going.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A wet day

Snails, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Wood anemone, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Seed leaves, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

These are images from yesterday, when it was raining.The rain is speeding up the spring. The leaves of trees are growing bigger fast, flowers are appearing all over, and new plants are starting to grow.

I haven't had much time for photography. The stomach sickness is bothering the family still, and I'm having a headache thanks to poorly slept nights.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Blues, and having no idea

Blues, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Under the oak, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Today I went for a long walk, and took the camera with me, just in case. But I forgot the memory card, so I had to use the internal memory: 10 images max. But this wasn't a big thing, as I'm still feeling the blues, and don't have a great interest in taking photographs.

But I enjoyed the walk. There is stomach flu etc. going arount in the family, so I'm happy with little things, such as not hearing someone vomiting.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Non-inspired photography

Flight, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Blue tit, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Lone tree, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Brook, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

During the last few days I have taken few photographs. Some days I haven't taken any photographs at all, some others a couple of dozen. But what has changed most is that I haven't had a look at the the photographs until several days later. Previously I processed the images the same day I took them.

Here are four images taken during the last four days. Nothing of great quality, but not too bad either. The first two images depict a very friendly blue tit, almost too friendly as it tried several times to sneak into the image even though I didn't want it there.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dark and light

Zip, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Dark and light, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Ant, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Wood anemone, originally uploaded by jiihaa.

Sometimes it is as if the world would split in half, dark and light. When I started to take photographs and blog about it last summer, I promised to not to take it too seriously.

I used photography as a conterbalance for various kinds of pressure. For me, taking photographs was a way of relaxing, of creativity. But when the pressure increased even further, photography itself became too serious, not a free thing any more.

During the last weeks things piled on things, until I realized I need to make changes. I'm not going to go details about the problems I had, but they caused several sleepless nights in a row, to such a degree that I was feeling half dead, not able to think properly, being even more clumsy than usually.

One of the changes I have decided on is my approach to photography. I will no longer take photographs daily, or blog daily. I will slow down. This applies to many other things as well. Take it slowly, not stress about it. Relax.