Random Plant Photo

Random Plant Photo

In this post you see a photo of a tree with a very beautiful blossom. Not sure when I shot the photo, probably a month ago or so, but I find the blossom of this tree very interesting. I am not sure what kind of tree this is, but I like it pretty much. Do you like this tree too?

Posted in Nature, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Follow Button In The WordPress Action Bar Moved

The WordPress developers are at it again, changing things that worked like a charm. It’s no secret that I disliked almost all recent changes that were introduced by the people at WordPress.com, now there is a new change that I don’t really get, they moved the follow button away from the old action bar and placed it at the worst possible screen position. The follow button for logged-in community members was usually anywhere in the top bar on the left near the “My Sites” and “Reader” link, but now they removed the follow link and made a new button that you can find on the bottom-right. You can check that out, just visit a blog you don’t follow, and see where the follow button is located now. Or check out my following analyzed screenshot (Click on it to see the full size image):

As you can see, my native screen resolution is 1650 pixel by 1050 pixel, and if we think away the web browser bar and Windows taskbar, they basically moved the follow button 1000 pixel down and way more than just 1000 pixel to the right. Seriously, who does look for a certain button on the bottom-right corner of the screen? Yes, if you complain, they will most likely tell you that you get used to it, and that is right, but even then the question remains why they moved it there. You probably will get used to it, but I do think more about newbies, when the follow link was in the action bar on the top left it was literally not to miss since all important links were clearly visible and placed in that bar.

With that said, I do think the top bar gets more and more obsolete with the recent changes. Since they titled the article about the new follow button “Introducing: Our New Action Bar”, I am pretty much sure they want to remove the top bar completely, and that all the links will be placed within a button on the bottom-right corner. If that is true, they do again kill the usability, not only because the bottom-right corner is a dead zone, but also because it’ll take you one more click because you would now need to open the new action bar, while the old one had all links accessible. If they don’t want to remove the top bar, it’s even worse, as having links split to two locations is just everything but not user-friendly, but that’s how they sell the feature.

We strive to make all aspects of using WordPress.com streamlined and intuitive,…

Think about it for a while. This is so ridiculous, its corporate speech at it’s finest. I tell you the truth, products get streamlined when companies try to attract more customers, especially customers that are not really interested to discover the product or service, it’s basically like trying to sell dog food to people with cats. This is a recent and horrible trend you can see everywhere, it’s ridiculous, it’s like begging for customers that are in no way interested to use the service or product, while the long-term users that are already customers and that use the product heavily are left out completely, that is what streamlining really means.

Then the word “intuitive”, I feel some kind of pain when I see the word connected with something that is placed in the bottom-right corner of my screen. Really, a feature that is placed out of reach (Ask Google for “eye tracking study”), and something that is introducing one more click than the previous feature, that can not be labeled intuitive. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t get obsessed with the change of the follow link, but all the last changes they made give me the impression that they go the opposite direction but not the intuitive route. I just had to mention the recent change with the follow link too as I am long-time user and as I watch and document the problems since a while now, you can find several posts about the last changes here.

Posted in Computer, Internet, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Complaining About The Late Summer

Dry Ground Texture

Not that I think the photo above is very special, it’s just a dry ground texture that I shot in our garden, but the photo fits to what I want to write about. I currently slowed down to publish posts on my blog, and there is a reason. I think it’s already one of my traditions to complain about late summer on my blog, so, here is a fresh complain about the summer.

Yea, the current weather really makes me sick, we have had both, some very hot and humid days but also some very dry days. I simply don’t get used to this kind of weather, it makes me wish to live on the North Pole. The late summer days were really unbearable in my opinion. I am in Northern Germany, and a friend who was recently in Southern Germany said “Mate, you don’t want to know how damn hot it was there”. Right, we have it fresher in the North due to the Baltic Sea, and in Bavaria there is nothing except hills.

To be honest, we also had some pretty rainy and stormy days in Northern Germany this late summer. Some of the days were fresh and it cooled down, to my liking, but most of these days were rather muggy too. It’s not even that we had super high temperatures, but it’s often all about the high air moisture and then 25 degree can feel like 50 degree. But as mentioned, we also had some super dry days, not sure what was worse, I disliked both, I dislike late summer days pretty much. The strange and sudden weather changes were straining as well. The summer was definitely moody and came with some extremes.

I must admit that I have some friends who really like hot days, no matter if high air moisture or super dry, but some people I know are like me and prefer moderate days. I have no problem with summer, I have a problem with late summer weather. I prefer sunny spring days or sunny early summer days, maybe even sunny mid summer days. I just dislike the extreme and hot days that make you sweat one minute after you left the shower.

So, it’s about me, I prefer it moderate. But I also love fall and winter. That means I like it either cold or moderately warm, that’s how you can put it in a nutshell. Since most of the recent days were not to my favor, I felt pretty depressive anyhow. I barely had the energy to do anything. I can not even convince myself to do things that I usually like, as playing guitar, writing for the blog or any of my other interests. The recent heat made me feel, sick, tired and weak all days except for the fresher days. it was definitely unbearable.

That is what high summer is to me. I basically just enjoyed the moderate or fresher days, and in some cases even only the nights when it cooled down. But at the moment I do just hope that the last summer weeks are not too hot, I basically can not await autumn. Anyway, I enjoyed two-thirds of the summer and was able to practice with my camera, just the late summer days annoyed me pretty much, as every year.

Posted in Life, Nature, Nature and Animals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

My Opinion About People And Street Photography In Germany

Angler black and white photo

I don’t take much photos of people, although I would like to experience people photography too, but that is not easy in Germany due to strict privacy protection laws, the portrait rights and the personality rights. I could explain that but in short, in Germany you can not take a picture of a stranger without permission. But it’s more complex than that.

There are several exceptions, as far as I know you can for example take pictures of public figures or so-called very important persons if they are in the public, but even with public figures there are situations where you can’t take and publish the pictures. For normal people there are exceptions too, you can for example take a picture at a concert (assumed the event organizer does allow you to take pictures on the event), and logically there would be all kind of people in the crowd, but since this is a public event, you are allowed to take and use the photos even with people in the picture. But that doesn’t mean you can frontal shoot a portrait of a person just because it’s a public event.

Another example where it is allowed to publish photos of strangers makes it more clear, you can for example take a picture of a town’s landmark, but since you are taking a picture of the architecture, the people in the photo are basically just props. Then there is the exception if the person is recognizable but even that makes room for more question. When is a person recognizable? Some sites write that lawyers say the face makes people recognizable but a tatoo can make a person recognizable too. As you can see, all that is not really well defines, that is the reason why a lot of German photographers are insecure about the street photography. There are many juridical snares that make this kind of photography unattractive in Germany.

You see a person in the photo that I attached to this post, if you ask me, the person is unrecognizable. You don’t see the face, and anybody could be an angler and own the same coat. I know in the case of the photo above the chance is equal zero that someone could recognize the person in the photo, but you maybe got my point, when nobody is sure how the law defines the word “recognizable”, it’s not very attractive to take or publish street photographs very often in the countries with these laws. Even if I can’t see how I would threaten the privacy of the person in the photo, I am happy that I have my blog written in English and an international domain with privacy protection that would prevent some unoccupied lawyers to make a WHOIS request to find out my identity and to find opportunities on my blog to earn money, just by searching what I did assume falsely. By the way, in Germany you basically need to be a lawyer anyway to manage a website, because you can not only do a lot wrong with photos but also with the legal notice and many other things that you have to keep up to date, but that is another topic, back to the photography subject.

I myself define the word as mentioned earlier. I don’t think that you can recognize the person in the photo. I don’t see how I would invade his privacy with the photo. There are thousands of angler trying their luck to get some fishes out of this particular river, even if you know which river it is, I assume you will need to put a lot of efforts into the search to find out who that person is, if that is possible at all. I couldn’t care less if someone would take a picture of me from behind. But it’s true, it’s hard to define “recognizable”, because if the guy would take a look to the left or right in the photo, you maybe could see a little bit more of his face, that could make him more recognizable too, and that is the problem with the definition of the word and the whole exceptions of the laws.

I think the idea of the law is good. I wouldn’t like it either if someone would take a picture of my face to publish it anywhere in the web. That is something I don’t even allow myself, except for some small profile pictures here and there or at a closed environment like a social network where I have privacy options that I can set, so why should I allow others to take portraits of my face? I just don’t care if I am incidental in the photo, I am pretty much sure I have been shot often in our city or in the nature, that is ok to me as long as nobody makes close-up shots of me and my face. That means, the idea of the law is good, it’s just that some things are hard to define, when it is allowed and when not.

For the photographer where the laws are similar as the ones in Germany, I think common sense helps a lot, don’t make people become the recognizable main subject in your photo without asking them for permission first. If you agree with that, but you are insecure about the definition of the laws, use the common sense and additionally be extra paranoid register your domain with privacy protection so that no lawyer can cause you trouble because some undefined snares, or just ask the people for permission, although you better get it written on paper. Talking about myself, I am very interested in people or street photography, it’s just not attractive enough to expand the interest due to the unclear laws.

By the way, if you are photographer wanting to take pictures of people in Germany, don’t take my post as legal advise, I am no lawyer, because in addition to my opinion I just wrote what I have read elsewhere.

Posted in Internet, Nature, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lighthouse Travemünde

Lighthouse Travemünde

The photo above was shot before the one with the ship light trails that I uploaded yesterday. I want to store this one as well another version. The photo is taken in Germany at the Baltic Sea in Travemünde at dusk.

I thought the photo is a little bit uneven, I tried to adjust it horizontally with Lightroom but no matter what I did, it always looks somewhat uneven. This either might be a visual illusion due to the uneven promenade, or that is lens bending (although I experienced that does only happen at the wide end of my lens). Maybe I am even too fussy today, not sure.

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Purchased My Favorite Jeans And Shoes Again

In September 2014, I wrote about some sneakers that I purchased back then, but now they didn’t look that great anymore as I used them a lot. But these sneakers were my favorite ones and I visited the same local store to check out if they still have them, and I had look. I had to purchase them again but this time also some special cleaning spray and with inlays as I walk a lot. They are still not the best shoes for wandering, but anyway I simply like sneakers and I hope it’s better with the inlays. The shoes are from the brand Vty (Victory).

I did also purchase a grey jeans that I owned already earlier too. I think the brown shoes and the grey jeans fit together well, I do at least like both colours together. Yes, that’s me, once I found my favorite clothes, I really rebuy the things again if the stuff is faded or damaged, until they don’t have the same clothes in the assortment anymore. I have for example several favorite jeans and several favorite shirts, that means I don’t wear only the same stuff, but I definitely have my set of favorite clothes.

I think a lot of people consider this bored, I have been asked many times why I just bought the same jeans again and not a new look, but I do buy different things too, it’s just that I don’t think that it’s bad to rebuy the clothes that I liked much. I am definitely a creature of habit, I do like to find new things too, but I also like to find clothes again that were my favorites for a long time.

Also I don’t care that much about brands, to me it’s more important if I like the look. I do in fact dislike clothes with brand logos sewed or printed on it, I mean I am not an advertising sign or something. I didn’t notice it in the store, but this time the jeans that I owned already once, had a big brand name sticker sewed on it. With that said, you can probably image what I did at home, I did solve the seam with my scissors and removed the label. I can’t remember but the chance is high that this is the reason why my earlier jeans didn’t have a brand logo either (laugh).

Talking about colours again, I really like it plain, as with the brown shoes or plain grey jeans, or jeans in different blue tones, I have shirts in all kind of colours like blue, white, black and so on. I am a little bit more creative with shirts, although I own a lot of plain shirts, they don’t have to be plain, but they shouldn’t be too colourful, but patterns like lines or squares and a few different colours are ok. But overall you definitely can say that I am minimalist talking about fashion, most likely everything else but not a “fashionist” who would buy clothes based on the release date. Now I didn’t plan to mention details of my taste, I like free style writing and do that often anyway. The subject made me chatty, it’s sunday and I had boredom earlier (laugh). I hope I didn’t bore you with my thoughts.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Long Exposure: Passing Ship In Travemünde

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I was at the Travemünde Beach today and experimented a little bit with long shutter durations. The blue image in the gallery above is another photo I shot, the pink one is edited with Lightroom as I thought changing it to pink would work too. You can click on the images to enlarge them.

To explain the scene, as mentioned in the title, there was a big ship passing and I captured the lights of it with the long shutter speed. The image is shot with 15 seconds shutter speed with an aperture of F5.3 and ISO 100 at 66mm. It’s funny that there is a lighthouse, but as said, the lights do actually come from a passing ship behind the lighthouse, but it fits anyhow. I do also like the milky sea, I find long exposure pretty interesting anyhow.

I think I need to practice this more, and I also need to develop cool ideas, but I think this is not too bad for the start. What do you think about the image?

Posted in Nature, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

My First Long Exposure Photo Outside In The Evening

Travemünde Beach Maritim Hotel Original Photo

My mother and her husband asked me today if I would like to accompany them when they drive to the beach in Travemünde in the evening. That was a nice idea, I planned to use my tripod and to take some evening or night photos at some point anyway, and the beach is a perfect subject. I have read a lot about long exposure, for example when I tested long exposure at home, I also learned how to set up all things manually with my D7100. That means, I know already a little bit about the theory, it was time that I use it in practice.

The photo above is basically my first good long exposure night photo, I shot a few others minutes before but many of them turned out to be bad, that’s practicing, I am ok with that. The photo is shot with 10 seconds shutter speed, F11 aperture and ISO 100. I disabled vibration reduction (VR) of my lens as I had to use a tripod anyway. I used the wide end of my 15-105mm Nikon kit lens, the photo is shot with around 34mm. I could have used 15mm I think, but I didn’t to that as 34mm framed the scene well anyhow, because I didn’t want some things on the left and right in the picture, I wanted to be a little closer to the tower (Maritim Hotel) and beach. But I also wanted to see enough of the water, there were little waves but even then the long exposure makes it look slightly milky anyhow, beautiful.

It became pretty dark (dusk), as a beginner with long exposure I am quite surprised what you can achieve with longer shutter speed and a tripod. This is a lot of fun, although it is a lot of trial and error for a beginner because first I used 30 seconds shutter speed, I went up until I noticed 10 seconds works well for the situation. I was also concerned about focussing, it’s more difficult to see in the dark if everything is sharp, you get my point, I was still unsure about a lot of things. I am happy that a few of my test shots are pretty cool.I edited the picture above and made a second version, I think the scene works well in a pink tone too…

Travemünde Beach Maritim Hotel Photo Edited

Although we were two hours there, the time was flying like crazy, that happens when you are engaged with your camera. My mother was testing her new metal detector on the beach, that is her hobby. Her husband was swimming while I experimented with my camera and while my mother experimented with her detector. However, we had to leave at some point as her husband needs to work this sunday, I wished we would have had more time. But the beach is not far away, I will do this again anyway. Meanwhile, I check out the photos of this evening and see if I find some more that are worth to upload. Hope you liked my first long exposure night photo. What do you think about the photo?

Posted in Nature, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Beautiful Outdoor Cat

I promised that I would start to take pictures of other cats and not only pictures of my own cat. Today I was walking outside to take some new pictures, and then a very beautiful cat crossed my path, you see the cat in the two picture gallery above.

If I would know the owner and he or she would say “I don’t want this cat anymore”, I’d take this cat right away to give it a new home, and Shyna a new friend. Yes, all cats are beautiful, but each cat does also have different features that make them appear interesting.

In this case, I like the fur colour pretty much. It’s the brown, nearly orange, mixed with the black that looks pretty cool. The stature of the cat reminds me pretty much of the stature of Shyna when she was younger, although her stature didn’t change that much.

The cat I met today came to me and seemed to be very confiding, and very chatty. I took several photos and was unhappy when I saw the photos at home. Only two of them were ok, the ones I attached to this post. It’s sad, but I think the two photos are not too bad.

Posted in Animals and Pets, Cats, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

New Sun Lounger In The Garden

Sun Lounger

We have this new sun lounger in the garden. I like this, it’s pretty comfortable, at least if there wouldn’t be so much fire ants on the lawn. The fire ants are a little bit annoying, I had several of them on my legs and that was a little bit painful. Anyway, it’s good that we have a sun lounger now, perfect to enjoy the day.

Posted in Life, Nature and Animals, Other Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments