Some “sketch images” from today

The last few weeks have been hectic, lot of things to do at work and I haven’t really been able to get out … while the sun has been up. But both yesterday and today I was able to take a decent walk – I need these kind of walks. Of course I had my camera with me but since the main reason for the walk was to get some exercise I didn’t really concentrate on the photos. But here are a few “sketch images” from today. With “sketch images” I mean photos I take to play around with things to see how things work.

This image is just a close up of some frost, the difficulty here is get the texture of the ice visible – I need to continue playing with this.

I took this image because I wanted to see how it looked like in black and white. For this image to really work I would need better separation of the tree from the background but … it wasn’t possible. But here is the B&W and color version, the B&W is basically standard conversion without any editing. I adjusted the color version a bit to try to bring out the warm colors. I should have worked more on the B&W version but …

And just some snapshots just because I liked the color of the light.

Cynisk?

Ibland när jag går omkring i centrala Umeå så stöter jag på hus som ser ut på detta sätt.

Det är ju inte direkt någon trevlig syn och jag blir mest bara förbannad och arg. Jag inbillar mig nämligen att husen inte underhålls för att de ska bli så dåligt skick så att ”det måste rivas för det går inte att renovera”, sedan så kan huset rivas och något nytt flashigt hus kan byggas där. Cynisk? Jag? Kanske lite grann.

When an internet connection goes bad

We have had a fiber connection since 2003-4 and it have been very, very nice. At one time I had a better internet connection at home than at work. And during the pandemic we have been able to work from home without any internet connection problems.

All this has resulted in us becoming dependent on a good internet connection, and slowly things have been moved to some online service, simply because it’s convenient. However, since I’m highly skeptical about various online services all my important stuff is stored on my own “online service”. In other words I run my own server and also have local copies of all important data (i.e. external SSDs).

Sometimes I wonder why I do this, it’s extra work and money involved … but today I was reminded why. There is something wrong with the network in the house, or the connection to our house, or … In short, I can’t figure out what is wrong. The fiber converter seem to be working just fine, the switches & routers in the house seem to work, the transfer speed seem to be OK (not super fast but OK) and yet suddenly everything becomes super slow. Like really slow, my wife told me that it took 1.5h to watch a 40m show on Netflix due to all the buffering, and when I looked at the TV they must have been sending the smallest possible video because everything was very pixelated. A couple of days/weeks ago this happened once in a while, now it’s happening most of the time … could it be some problem with the lasers/fiber, with my stuff, something else? Right now I haven’t got a clue what the problem is but hopefully I get some advise on how to track this down tomorrow.

Anyway, this unreliable connection (it has taken my phone about 1 hour to send 4 photos to iCloud) makes it impossible to work with any kind of data that is stored online … except when “online” means that it’s on a server that is on my own local network. So I’m going to enjoy tomorrow – all data I need for work is stored locally, but all communication is going to be either impossible (forget Zoom/Teams calls) or be very, very slow (emails are coming in slowly … bit … by … bit). This could actually mean that I will get some stuff done tomorrow, which is good because I have a deadline.

But on Saturday I would like to have a normal internet connection, I’ve got some photos to upload/backup …

I’m bad at editing photos

One thing I’m really bad at, is editing photos. With this, I mean that I don’t really edit my photos. Sure, I make minor changes to exposure, contrast, colour temperature, etc., but I very, very rarely try any substantial edit. But when I see other photographers work I realise that I should become braver, learn to imagine how I want the picture to look like and figure out how to do the actual edit.

And don’t get me started on tools like Photoshop, I have no idea how to use these programs. What is most irritating is that I can’t figure out why I haven’t bothered to learn how to use them.

So, here are a few quick edits I tried today … trying to relax after work. Note, they are not intended to be examples of good edits, instead I consider them as rough sketches for things that I should become better at. They are also a bit overdone, ideally you shouldn’t suspect that a photo have been edited … unless, of course, the photo should look overdone like the first photo below.

I took this photo in Stockholm a couple of years ago. I wanted to get a “spooky” feeling and decided to try out some Lightroom Presets. In other words, I didn’t actually do any editing, I just clicked around until I found something that looked like I wanted.

The next photo was taken a few weeks ago. The original is a bit flat, dull and cold, so I tried to enhance the colours to get a bit more depth. I also wanted to make the sky warmer and enhanced the colours in the clouds.

Here I tried to enhance the yellow, orange and brown. The idea was once again to get a warmer, more autumn like, feeling.

Another autumn photo, it looks like I’m only taking photos in the autumn, and once again I’ve tried to get a warm feeling. I changed to color temperature to get the feeling of sun rise … in reality the photo was taken in the middle of the day.

It’s fun to see how different edits change the photo, but I find it difficult to go from what I see in my head to something I can see with my eyes. I don’t understand what kind of adjustments I should make … but I suppose it’s a matter of getting more practice.

Halfway there

In July I started a “One photo per day” project to see if I could beat my previous record of about 150 days. The goal is 200 days and I’m happy to say that I’ve now halfway there. Today I uploaded nr 100, and to celebrate I moved the whole thing to an album on my photo site (for some strange reason it’s easier to manage photos on a photo site compared to regular blog site … who could have guessed). If you’re interested you can find the album here

Black and white day

For some reason I need to post a black & white photo today. Here is one from a few years ago

Experiment

This summer didn’t end up as I had hoped. Among several things I had hoped to get done was a lot of photography, but this didn’t happen. Instead I ended up doing a lot more house renovating stuff that I could have imagined. And now vacation is over. Anyway, yesterday I decided to try to take a few photos again and and the same time try to do an experiment.

I recently watched an online seminar which got me thinking about several things with respect to how I photograph things. Without going into details I have a huge problem in that I don’t take photos “intentionally”, instead I snap photos without thinking much, check to see if I can get a better photo by moving around, finding another angle, wait for better light, etc.

So yesterday I tried to kick myself in the behind by putting on a wide angle zoom (14-28mm) before going out into the forest. This is something I never do.

I can’t say that the result was especially good but they got me thinking so I consider it a success. Here are the photos with some comments why I don’t think they are that good.

This is perhaps the photo that I find most interesting, it was the light that caught my attention but at the same time I go “meh” when I look at it. It’s interesting to me, just for how it looks like in the forest, but it doesn’t really work as a photo.

A “standard” photography, it would have worked much better if the groups of trees to the left hadn’t been there … but I couldn’t move to the right without getting seriously wet. I like the clouds, the grass and the light but those trees “destroys” the photo. I would have liked to have the center of the photo more to the left so that a few of the trees to the right wasn’t in the frame.

Kind of interesting from a personal point of view but the photo is bad, the trees to the left shouldn’t be so prominent, and the fallen tree is placed completely wrong in the photo. My only excuse is that I couldn’t really move to some other place that would improve on these things.

I find these red plants quite interesting and beautiful, but the top photo isn’t that interesting. I tried different angles, framings, etc but I couldn’t make a good photo. The top one is the one I think shows the plants best, I think this photo would get a few likes if I posted it to Instagram but it doesn’t really work for me.

The second shows how it looks where these plants grow, on top of a small hill, and I think it’s fun to see the environment. But the plants should be more prominent.

I’m quite fond of tree stumps with some kind of mushrooms growing on them. Sometime I see one where the mushrooms make the whole thing looks like some futuristic city from StarWars/StarTrek. This one is quite boring, it’s just a recording of how it looked like when I walked past it.

As I wrote above, the photos above are not very interesting but I started to think about things, which I consider an improvement.

A new project

I’ve tried to do a 365 project1 a couple of times, but I’ve always failed after about 100-150 days. This means that I’ve started the project January 1st and stopped somewhere in March–May. And the last photos are usually taken late in the evening when I remember “Ohhh, I need to take a photo”, and then I abandon the whole thing.

Well, I got inspired to try again when I saw the site by Woody Campbell, he takes one photo each day, and apparently he plans to continue doing this for the rest of his life. My plan is not as ambitious, I just want to see if I can reach 200 photos and set a new personal record.

My rules are simple:

  1. The photo has been taken that day.
  2. It doesn’t have to be published that day, it’s OK to publish in batches.
  3. No need for fancy photos, it’s enough with photos from my daily life.
  4. It’s not OK to just publish a photo, there has to be some text in addition to the photos.

You can follow along by going to daily.mostrom.eu

  1. You take and publish one photo every day, and in my opinion the photo should actually be taken that day.

Sunday evening walk – I’m NOT popular

While I’m still working, many have started to enjoy summer. For example by reading a book by the lake.

But my main impression from my walk yesterday evening was that I wasn’t very popular and that I should go home NOW

It’s not a car I would like to own, but I do think it looks good in some strange way.

Hästar i byn

Jag har inget som helst intresse av hästar och vill absolut inte ha en häst, men det hindrar mig inte att vara riktigt glad över att vi har hästar i byn. Det blir mycket trevligare när det finns en del hästar bland husen.

Quick lunch walk

A quick walk through the village to stretch my legs (I do hate correcting exams)

If something can go wrong it will – funny

I thought you would enjoy a good laugh. I try to take at least one walk each day, the last few week I’ve got up 4-5 and taken a nice walk before work. This is purely for exercise but I still have my camera with me. I usually carry my Lumix G9 (m43 system) with a 12-60 mm zoom (24-120 in full frame speak), sometimes a 35-100 (70-200) zoom, or once in a while a 75-300 (150-600) – I only have one lens with me, remember this is exercise.

I usually take some photos of interesting trees, some landscape, etc. I rarely see any animals, perhaps a rabbit, a few birds, but that’s about it. Sometimes I scare a capercaillie (name translated by Google), or a moose but I usually don’t see them. I don’t mind since these walks are really good both for my body and for my mind, I don’t really need the photos.

Anyway, having seen the same trees almost daily for 1.5 year made me want to try something new. So, today I attached my 7-14 (14-28) lens to the camera, first time since the pandemic started, with the intention to see if I could get a new perspective of something.

Well, I started to walk and 45m into my walk I saw a raven, that happens, then I see four more sitting on two stones just 40-50 m in front of me. I’ve NEVER seen so many ravens so close up, I lift my camera and … remembered what lens I had. So let me show you my very nice picture of 4 ravens sitting on two stones very close to me, with a 5th circling above me. 🤣

I would have had wonderful portraits of these ravens if I had brought my 35-100 !!