Is spring beautiful?

I’m sure you have heard songs about the pretty spring time, poems about how lovely the spring is, and not to mention all the movies where everything gets better when spring comes.

Well, I don’t agree. We have just come into the season I like the least, there is nothing beautiful with how the surroundings looks like at the moment. I’ll show you what I mean:

And it was even more depressing in town

I can’t see anything beautiful, just something wet, cold and depressing. Although there are some people who are very optimistic about the future !!

Anyway, it will be slightly better in April & May, but it’s not going to get nice until middle of June. Ahh, well, you can’t love every season !

The death of a sofa

I first noticed this sofa in July last year. I “found it” right beside the road, close to a power station, while it wasn’t in mint condition it certainly didn’t look too bad. I could easily see this in a first apartment for someone (unless a cat have peed on it). But I can’t really understand why someone just dumped it here instead of taking it to the recycling station … people!!

In October it was still there but now it started look a bit … sad. Melting snow doesn’t really improve the state of furniture left outside like this.

Today, I passed it once more and now it’s not a sofa anymore. My guess to what happened is that when it started to snow for real in January it was covered in snow, then they needed to remove the snow on the parking lot, and they used a tractor to do that. And this is the result.

A Sunday in March

Ice fishing and snow mobiles

Not much to say about today. I took a 10km walk and going south wasn’t much of a problem. But walking north wasn’t fun, it was blowing pretty hard and it got a bit uncomfortable (I’m not very fond of strong wind). Anyway, here is how it looked like on the lake.

Ice fishing and snow mobiles
Ice fishing and snow mobiles

Photowalk … meh

After a workweek looking at my computer screen, I decided I needed to do something else. So, as usual, I decided to go for a “photowalk”. But instead of walking around in the village where I live, I decided to try something new. So I took the car, went to the other side of Umeå and took a walk there.

But unfortunately the weather was “meh”, my brain was “meh”, and to be honest the surrounding was “meh” today. So it’s no surprise that the photos came out “meh” as well. But I got some exercise!!

Yet another walk in the village

This is less fun

Despite a bit too much wind for my taste I decided to take a walk, just trying too prevent my body from becoming even fatter and more un-fit. So, what did I see today?

The first thing I noticed that one of the neighbors is safety conscious, it’s always bad if your snow mobile breaks down far from home!! So having a reserve vehicle is always a good idea.

Backup vehicle

But to be completely honest, today was a pretty boring day with some cold wind. So I decided to keep my walk short, only about 11km, and get home early. The thought of a cup of warm tea was very, very alluring. Apparently I wasn’t the only one who had the idea of staying inside with something warm to drink, because yesterday there were many snow mobiles (with drivers) driving around, today only one.

The only snow mobile I saw

I think the reason for people staying inside become obvious if you look at the next two photos. It’s a woman walking along village road and they are taken about a minute apart.

This looks OK
This is less fun

A change in what camera I use

Trying to avoid some household chores, I decided to take a look at what cameras I have used 2017-2021 and it’s fun to see how it has changed. Let’s start with 2017

2017

I did take less photos than usual in 2017, and half of them was taken using my D700. This is the camera I used for sports, and since I was mostly taking martial art photos, there is nothing surprising with this. Second comes the Lumix GX80, also to be expected since it was the camera I used day-to-day and when traveling. Then the iPhone 6s and some with the Lumix GM5.

2018

Substantially more photos 21900, with 11500 taken with a Nikon D4s. I bought it early in the year and also did a lot of sports photography. But, I also continued to use the D700, third place, and as before the GX80 for day-to-day and travel. And some using the iPhone 6s.

2019

Fewer photos than previous year: 14234. If I remember correctly I did fewer trips to take sports photos, but around 70% is taken with the D4s. Then the Lumix GX80, and the iPhone.

2020

When 2020 started I had planned several trips in my mind and expected it to be my busiest year photographically so far, but we all know what happened. I’m kind of impressed that I managed to take 10239 photos last year. My GX80 developed some mechanical problems early in the year which was really irritating, so after debating if I should buy a new GX80, or a GX90, I decided to buy a Lumix G9. I switched from taking sport photos (no events to document) to landscape, I also used the G9 much more than the D4s. It’s even worse than the diagram shows, those 1828 photos are from one single event. In other words, the D4s should have had 0 photos in 2020! Then the iPhone, and a few with the GX80.

2021

It’s still early in 2021, but I don’t really expect this diagram to change much. I can’t see any sports photography, but a lot more landscape and local photography. So, my guess for 2021 would be around 10-12000 photos, about 70% with the G9, 20% with the iPhone, and the rest with other cameras (I still play with the GM5 and GX80). And 0 with the D4s.

However, if it become possible to do some sports photography, it will look very different. Then I would expect about 40% G9, 40% D4s, and 15% with the iPhone.

Life in academia

I’m trying to understand academics, so if a journal publishes your research, you pay them $1,000. Then they make more money by selling your research, but instead of giving you back some money, you get prestige points & if you get enough prestige points, you get to keep your job?

Dr Glaucomflecken

Time for “surgery”

I’m kind of nervous about this

I’ve never cleaned a sensor before but after looking at a few tutorials I decided to try. We’ll see how it goes …

Some time later: Well, partial success I would say. It looks like I managed to get rid of the dirt/dust I wanted to remove, but for some reason a new “dust dot” appeared, and I can’t get rid of it. But it’s better than before, so I will use the camera for a while, and I’ll probably make a new attempt later.

An unexpected reply

During the last 11 months my total time at work has been about 2 hours. I have spent the rest of the time at home having meetings via Zoom, etc. Support at work gave me a decent webcam that have worked flawlessly … but I wasn’t 100% happy with it. When I looked at the video it looked like some colours got clipped and made my head look a bit strange (yeah, yeah, I know!!) because of how the skin colours were rendered. Since I’m bald, the light gets reflected there and the skin colour looks strange. And I really, really dislike how the result looks like.

At first, I thought the problems was caused by the lighting in the room and tried to fix it but failed. I didn’t really want to spend money on some LED lighting, but I couldn’t really justify spending the money. Once in a while I considered setting up my Lumix G9 as the video camera, but since I’m lazy nothing happened.

But a week ago, I read the article “Why webcams aren’t good enough” where “my” Logitech webcam was tested … and Jeff Carlson had the same experience as I have had. This finally made me set up the G9, and yesterday I had my first meeting.

While we were waiting for everyone to arrive I asked the others if they could see any difference when I was switching between the webcam and the G9.

— Yes, one is much sharper

I was smiling to myself, and asked

— Which one is better?

Here I fully expected the answer to be that the video from the G9 was much better. However, I got the answer that the webcam had a better video and was much sharper. Confused I checked to see that I had focused the G9 properly, yep, and everything looked good on the video feed I could see. So, what was wrong???

— Isn’t the video sharp? Is everything out of focus?

— No, just the background

Duh !!!! I, of course, wanted a shallow depth of field, so the background would be out of focus, but the rest thought that the webcam looked better that because of a sharper background. They didn’t notice a difference in how the skin colours were rendered, not until I asked if they could see a difference.

— Well yes, you’re right. The skin colours do look better on that one.

Sigh, people might not notice the difference, but I will continue to use the G9 because I see the difference, and now I don’t get frustrated about video quality. Yep, I’m a photo nerd 😋.