Sunday, December 31, 2006

Light Ceremony


Click on image to enlarge

In the region I grew up there's a roman catholic ceremony called "Ewige Anbetung" (eternal adoration). At the end of the ceremony there is a procession of the priest and the believers through the village. In some villages the surrounding hills are illuminated with thousands of small fires during the procession. I never cared much for those ceremonies as long as I lived there. Today I visited one of the villages by coincidence and was very fascinated. The village called Nankendorf is build along a small river and flanked by wooded hills. The fires made some wonderful reflections in the water and lucky me had his tripod within reach.


Click on image to enlarge


Click on image to enlarge

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Cowboy Country Sayings


"Man bleibt länger obenauf, setzt man sich auf den Sattelknauf."

This pictures are out of a calendar I made as a birthday present for my sister. It's my kind of revenge because she sometimes gives old fashioned calendars with boring country sayings as Christmas present - at least not for me. My idea was to create a calendar with Wild West Country sayings for every month. Therefore I rhymed some sayings and shot photos. As models I used small plastic figures I got from her some weeks ago. A great first test for my new macro lens.
I'm not going to translate the phrases because it's nearly impossible.


"Hat der Cowboy Schmerz beim Bücken, hat er vielleicht 'nen Pfeil im Rücken"


"Sucht der Indianer was zum Pimpern, tuts auch mal ein Pferdehintern" (by Sance)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sacred Surf



A very small Internet Café in Nuremberg. It was guarded by an extremely flashy image of the Holy Family. The lights behind Jesus were blinking and rotating all the time. It was kind of psychedelic for me.
The shop seemed to be a very cheap and basic one so I guess they used the image as a substitute for a proper firewall.

Wrong Signs



Today I tested the reliability of signs.
I walked by a sign in the pedestrian area in Nuremberg. The sign sayed that a Café is 50m in a certain direction. I couldn't believe that it was exactly 50m by coincidence. A test was supposed to bring clarity. I followed the arrow with 50 standard 1-m steps. I guess it looked a little bit strange because the people gave my uncomprehending looks - but for science one has to make sacrifices.
To make a long story short: I ended in an abandoned alley with absolutely no café in sight. Not in 48m and not in 55m. Damn.
Who can you trust these days?
I'll do further experiments with distances on signs in the near future.


After exactly 50m


Abandoned Alley - no Café

PS: The power chord on the photo with the sign belonged to an electric knife. I had no idea who left it on top of that sign box. Mysterious, isn't it?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Extremely Urgent



Did you ever feel extremely important? So important that you receive UPS packages containing the note "EXTREMELY URGENT"?
Well, I can tell you that it's an awesome feeling. And I tell you what's even better: To get a package from a very good friend that lives 9700 km (6050 Miles) from my home. A parcel from another continent.
A parcel with some stuff I'll use together with that friend one day. Until that day it will be my very special utility for that culinary delight.

I even enjoyed the delivery of the parcel. The UPS guy was a young turk and his UPS van was his boom box for some very (and I mean "very") loud turkish music. He and I banged our head while I was signing the confirmation.

Hey friend, it's good to know that you care. So do I.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Bread


Shall I tell you what I really love about Germany?
It's a very simple thing - bread.
I never ate as delicious bread as here - Austria and Switzerland are good, too.
In all other countries you get only fluffy white something they call bread.
Everytime I come back from a trip I enjoy the first slice of bread very very much.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Threads


In most cases a pile of threads mutates into a pile of knots as soon as you leave it unattended. Life is similar.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Muertos?



My Christmas preparation on Dec. 23th was a Punk Rock concert of the band "Vivos o Muertos" in the Zebra Club. My colleague DMX plays the instrument with the six strings.
Probably it was the last concert ever because the band is about to split off.
It's a pity because I liked the rough and funny sound a lot.
The last gig of Vivos o Muertos I attended was at the Zebra, too. It took place back in January and was topic of one of my first blog postings. It was the 10th anniversary concert. I wonder whether the guys were aware that the last year of their band had broken.









Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa Bubble Massacre


Today is like thousands of bubbles hovering down from heaven. Each one is filled with a small Santa wearing a funny red hat. As soon as a bubble touches the ground it bursts and the small Santa screams "Merry Christmas".
But then two hooded Al-Quaida Terrorists appear and the brutal noise of their Kalashnikov machine guns cut the silence as they fire salvo after salvo on the bubbles. Luckily the five Humvees clear the scene with a few small explosions.
Very peaceful, indeed.
I don't want to disturb your peacful Christmas but our stupid world isn't peaceful. Far from that.


Oh, I forget to say that all bubbles have dissappeared.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Showing Teeth on Christmas


I wish you the most relaxed Christmas possible.
If you experience more overconsumption than you can stand, show your teeth and make a "grrrrrr" noise.
Take care and see you after the gingerbread orgies.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Hot Beverage



You know the stupid little sentence on every paper cup with coffee in the US?
"Caution - the beverage in this cup is probably hot"
Well, this one is really hot.

We did a "Feuerzangenbowle" in the office on the last afternoon before Christmas. My job was to drip the rum onto the burning sugar cone. I'm not very good with such things so I inflamed the cup with the rum by coincidence.



OK, now I will leave the office and enter 2 weeks free of work. Yeah!

Shadows of Hearts



On many days during the year life seems to be very heartless and rude.
Yesterday I learned that this is not necessarily true.
Often there's a heart behind the curtain of life and if there's some light from the back you can see it shine through.
It's good to know that, isn't it?

The photo was shot at the Christkindlmarkt in Nuremberg a few minutes after it was closed. The vendor already lowered the curtains of his booth. I would have loved to make some more pics of the shadow hearts but after a few seconds he switched the lights off.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Colors



I love the smell of new crayons. And I love the noise even more.
Did you ever noticed the noise of a crayon while writing or drawing? It's like a very gentle whisper.
Depending on what you are drawing it could be like

"hey guy that's what I call the most ridiculous penguin I ever was forced to paint. If I wouldn't love the feeling of being moved over a piece of paper so much I'd ask you to go to the zoo and make a photograph of a penguin instead of this stupid approach".

OK, I admit it's kind of hard to understand the whisper of a crayon but you have to try to hear it, though - at least one time.
Promise you will!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Line



2006 has already lost its pace. One could try to speed it up again by sniffing a line of pure life.
But on the other hand you would become addicted to life. Well, there are things worse than being addicted to life.

PS: The powder was not "pure life" or even something more dangerous but only powdered sugar from my pancakes.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Light Sabre


The only significant scy scraper in Nuremberg. I saw the building during a nightly walk around a small lake.
For me it looked like a gigantic light sabre out of Star Wars. I waited for a little while but neither Obiwan Kenobi nor Darth Vader showed up.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Chicago Tidbits, Part 9, Snow Face


You can always find happyness if you look close enough. Even on a cold wall in the big business district of a huge city.
This face made me smile for a second and I want to send out a big hug to the unknown "painter".

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Chicago Tidbits, Part 8, Sailormen



Wearing such a funny hat feels stupid as long as you are alone. If you are in a group it turns out to be very cool. And even those ridiculous ear warmers amplify the coolness factor.
Being a sailorman must be a cool thing.

Obviousness


Some things or situations are very obvious and one tends to mention it though.
I don't know how I would have acted in sight of this lovely swimming pool full of snow and ice without this sign. I guess I would have undressed myself immediately for taking a quick swim.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Curtain



Usually you know on what side of the curtain you are:
You: Audience / Them: Artists on Stage
You: Living room / Them: People on the street
You: Changing booth / Them: Sales girls in the shop

Did you ever think about changing the sides? Imagine the feeling 1 second before the curtain lifts up and you see your audience.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Chicago Tidbits, Part 7, Flamed Horizons


Click on photo to enlarge


One evening we went to the top of the Hancock Building, one of the highest buildings in the US.
As I entered the elevator I thought “OK, I guess it will be a nice view over the city”.
I didn’t expect a flamed horizon with lights as far as I could see. It was absolutely marvelous.
For me it was kind of unbelievable what men can achive.

The photo is a HDR and the computed result of approximately 10 images shot from the same angle with different shutter times. It was very difficult for me because I had no tripod. As a substitute for the tripod I used a big lightbox that I covered with my jacket.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Chicago Tidbits, Part 6, “Did I miss 60B?”



No proper map, a rental car, a journey through the outback and green road signs.
My two colleagues in the front seats discussed about the right exit from the Interstate.
I felt like the guy in “Elizabethtown”, one of my favorite movies.
Every time they mentioned the number of an exit, I thought of a sentence Kirsten Dunst said in the move: “Don’t forget: 60B”.
Later on, after missing the right exit, my mind screamed “Did I miss 60B? Did I miss 60B?” like Orlando Bloom did.
I really really liked it and my co-workers had no idea why I was grinning like a lunatic. I never told them.

Chicago Tidbits, Part 5, Snow



The first snow storm in this season. The airport was almost closed, folks walked around with hats and one had to wipe the diplay of the newspaper box to be able to read the headlines.

Flower Walks



Wedding day
Your feet are supposed to walk on a trail of flowers
They don’t dare to step on the colors
On tip toes straight ahead
You don’t see the end of the path yet
Hopefully you never will


Friday, December 08, 2006

Chicago Tidbits, Part 4, Deep Dish Pizza


Gino’s East Pizza

Most of my pictures of Chicago were shot at night or at some restaurants because the rest of the day I worked at the RSNA trade show.
This one is from a nice pizzeria called “Gino’s East”. They served the typical american Pizza with a very thick bread, called “deep dish pizza”. It was more like a cake than like a pizza and I finished only 3 of my 6 slices.


Deep Dish Pizza


The special thing about that place was that all walls and most of the furniture were covered over and over with scribblings from former guests. It looked very funny and I was barely able to find an empty spot for my own message.
Thus we concentrated on drawing on our napkins. I forced my colleague to draw a shape that could be used as a penguin or as a penis. She did well but it ended up in that happy looking penis and not in an penguin. Not that bad, though and a very funny evening.


Happy Penis

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chicago Tidbits, Part 3, Making the News



At a nightly walk through downtown I saw a group of people standing in front of a big display window. It looked like guys watching an important sports match in front of an electronics shop.
Far from that.
It turned out that the TV station “abc” produced their news right behind the window.
Strange.
But even more strange to me was the “watch-chain”: I watched people that watched people doing something that is watched by many other people.
Kind of Meta-Watching, isn’t it?

There were three speakers - two men and a woman. It was weird to see how the impression of the face changed completely as soon as the camera switched. At the one moment there was this bright smile and in the next second a lost and bored gaze.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Chicago Tidbits, Part 2, House of Blues



The “House of Blues” - a restaurant/bar with live music. I liked the contrast of the blue illumination and the yellow cabs.
Like in almost all restaurants I’ve been to in Chicago there was not a single vegetarian dish on the menu. I ended up like always: “We could make you some pasta”. Really great.
But it was nice to listen to the music and watch my colleagues eat very very spice somethings without crying. Afterwards he confessed that it was “kind of” spicy. Translated from men-speech into normal speech this means “It was spicy like hell and I almost died”.
Men.

Chicago Tidbits, Part 1, The Loop



“The Loop” - that’s the name of an old elevated train in Chicago. The steel construction looks kind of old and rotten but someway cosy, though.
The entrances made of stainless steel were by far the most modern part. I liked the clear destinction between “inside” and “outside”. It was like entering another small world. Cross the stainless steel door and you’re in.
Because my hotel was in the middle of downtown there was no need to take The Loop. I’m sad that I didn’t do it just for fun.
I don’t know why but old technical stuff fascinates me far more than new highly sophisticated things.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sleep Now, Party Later



Finally I’m back from Chicago. As always the Jetlag hits me hard after traveling “forward in time”. A little while ago I slept away while taking a bath. 90 minutes later I awake with wizened fingers.
That means that I’ll go to bed NOW and the all-days-life party will be paused until tomorrow.

Although I’ve had not really time for taking photos on the trip I’ll share some Chicago tidbits with you then.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Late Night Assembly


Why are these trade shows always last minute events?
Every time we work until late at night at our booth to get our software up and running the way we like to show it. This RSNA was no exception. Well, to be honest, although it's very exhausting I like the thrill and the need to get things done.
And now I know why my exhibitor batch says "24 hours access"

On a short break during the setup night I shot this pic of a part of the Chicago skyline.
I havent't seen anything from the town yet except the exhibition center and the hotel but the first impression is very cool.

The first day of the RSNA was a good one. I gave a lot of demos and got nice feedback for our software. My feet and my back hurt and there are still 4 more days to go. In half an hour I'll go with a few colleagues to a place called "House of Blues" to have dinner and to listen to live music.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tie Break



Tomorrow I start to a one week business trip to Chicago. A big radiology trade show called RSNA is ready to launch. Standing around wearing a tie at the company booth, giving demos of our software and pretending to be smart will be my jobs until Thursday. Afterwards I'll have at least one day off for sightseeing in Chicago.
Maybe I can post a few Chicago impressions out of my hotel room but from a realistic point of view you can't expect my next posting until Monday, Dec. 04th.

And now I really have to pack my stuff.

Bulb Checking



Do you know the bulb checker tools in super markets? To avoid buying a damaged light bulb you simply plug the new one into the tool and if it's working a light flashes or you hear a squeaking noise. A noise sounding like *maeeeh*
Wouldn't it be cool to have a life bulb checker, too? Whenever you are unsure about a situation you could use your life bulb checker and listen for the *maeeeh* sound.
Well, after thinking about it I came to the conclusion that I don't want such a thing. Although life is cheating on me some times I love the unpredictable aspect of it. Life would be turned into deep boredom.

*maeeeh*

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Fractions


If you see only a fraction of a person, you are not able to determine whether he/she is waiting or talking or dreaming or crying or laughing.
Most of the times it would be sufficient to just change the point of view to get clarity. But that can be damn difficult but I try to improve.

PS: I'm struggling with enduring problems with my Blog provider. Almost every day this week I was not able to post. So if you don't read news from me it's not because I'm dead but because of stupid technical problems.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

City Ruins



I found a “new” ruin building in the middle of downtown Nuremberg during a nightly walk. Unbelievable.
Although all entrances seemed to be locked I hope to find a secret door on my next exploration tour. I was only able to put my camera through a gap for shooting a photo of one room full with garbage. Wonderful. This place is far to interesting to be ignored.
Dunno why I hadn’t seen the empty building before. At least it teaches me that treasures are hidden everywhere.