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 😋.

Collection IV – some kind of review

A week or two ago I bought Sean Tucker’s Collection IV. If you don’t know who Sean Tucker is you should really go to his YouTube channel and watch a few videos. The important videos are not the “how-to” videos but the ones where he discusses various things surrounding photography … and life in general.

The book consists of 90 photos from last year, 45 b&w and 45 colour. The photos are presented one per page without caption, so you’re free to interpret them as you want. There are also a few quotes between the photos, not many but a few.

So, what do I think about the photos? Some of them are excellent, they make me start thinking about how I can take ideas from them and play with composition & exposure. Many of the photos are also good lessons in learning to see the images that are all around us but that we usually ignore simply because we don’t “see” them. There are a few photos that I don’t feel any connection to and my reaction is mainly “Meh”, but that is perfectly OK. It’s Sean book, he has selected the photos and I don’t have to like all of them, they speak to him, but they don’t need to speak to me.

I like this book and buying it is, in my opinion, well-spent money (I bought Collection III last year) and I’ll probably buy this year’s collection if he decides to make one.

I think the perhaps most lesson from this book isn’t stuff like composition, exposure, etc. For me, the most important lesson is that we should all do something with the photos we take. Instead of just leaving the photos on your computer/phone, it’s way more fun to do something with them. You could publish them on a website like this one, but even more fun is to make prints or books. Last year I did three or four photo books, and it was really fun, the process of selecting what photos that should be in the book, figure out in which order they should be presented and finally the layout is really fun. I’m not very good at it, but it’s very fun. I hope I’m able to create at least three more books this year.

One person with strong opinions of photo books is Daniel Milnor who works at Blurb and if you watch his YouTube channel you will get some motivation for making your own photo books.

I deserve this

I deserve to sit down with this book tonight. I’ve spent the day on administrative tasks and trying to figure out how the various systems the university have should be used. Not to mention 6 Zoom meetings yesterday.

So tonight I will give myself a treat and enjoy this book that I got in the mail today. If you don’t know who Shawn Tucker is I suggest that you take a look at his YouTube channel.

Helsinki

It’s now been 2.5 years since I visited Helsinki and I still frequently think about that trip. I really enjoyed my 10 days there and during the 5-6 days I was free to do whatever I liked to do, I walked about 100-120 km. So, I got a decent sampling of central Helsinki.

What I really remember is the architecture, it’s quite different from what I have seen in Sweden. I haven’t travelled much, so I can’t compare it to many places but it kind of reminds me of Budapest. It’s these big stone houses, wide streets, big squares, big churches/castles, etc. I regret that I didn’t spend more time photographing the architecture.

While there are a few houses that look similar to what I’m used, to I also found new buildings that had similar architecture.

And sometimes you can have the same kind of feeling inside, these serious men who look down at you and demand respect 😋.

Anyway, I hope I get the chance to visit again. I really want to take more photos of the buildings and the life on the streets.

A quick visit to a national park

My son and his girlfriend invited me to come along for a quick visit to my mother + an even quicker visit to one of the national parks. I, of course, said “yes”, packed my camera bag and after some struggle managed to get into the car (old man with larger than average feet and body).

After a few hours at my mothers house, and way too much to eat, we headed to one of the national parks in the area. Unfortunately we didn’t have that much before sunset to it was a quick visit but I managed to snap a few photos.

Trying to take photos of Albus when he is having fun often results in blurry photos

Since it was a gray day and the sun was setting and I had no tripod it was sometimes difficult not to get blurry photos due to me moving the camera.

Sometimes I wonder about dogs, doesn’t he understand that the water is cold? I mean there is ice slightly outside the frame.

On the way I tried to take a photo of a “waterfall” (it’s about 5-10 cm high 😋) which became a problem since it was in the woods and it was getting dark. But considering that the photo was taken without any kind of support for the camera and I was wobbling around trying to keep still, I think this came out OK.

Thanks to the image stabilization on my camera !!

Årets första dag

Årets första dag, åtminstone en här i byn verkar ha firat lite väl mycket i natt och är lite trött i ögat idag.

Annars började året bra med solsken, ganska trevligt efter ganska många veckor med moln, regn och allmänt skitväder. Snön gör ju att det är lite ljusare ute och jag blir på allmänt bättre humör bara för att det finns snö ute. Jag förstår inte hur folk står ut i södra Sverige.

Ibland så behöver man inte anstränga sig utan Moder Natur gör allt grovjobb och allt jag behöver göra är att trycka av och ta en bild.

The problem with fresh snow

It’s nice when it’s snowing, suddenly the world look like it should in the winter.

Everything looks better in snow, and it’s really nice to have some snow after two months of horrible (warm and rainy) weather. The last two days it has been snowing lightly, but persistently, so we actually have some snow now.

There is however one problem of being out taking photos in this kind of weather: everything looks so nice and by walking across the pristine snow I destroy the experience for the next person coming here.

On the other hand, all of this disappears if the wind picks up, or it becomes a bit warmer or … So, I should probably don’t feel too bad about walking across the snow.

Anyway, it was a nice walk.

Reklam-TV … suck

Jag satt och slöade framför TVn igår kväll och råkade slå på TV4 precis som en klassisk julfilm, dvs Die Hard, startade.

— Hmmm, det var länge sedan jag såg den … det är dags att se om den.

Sagt och gjort, jag borrade ner mig i soffan för att avnjuta detta “mästerverk”. Lite skämskudde är det, hade jag också sådär töntiga kläder i slutet på 80-talet? Jaja, filmen flyter på i 10-15 minuter och sedan inträffade något som fick mig att helt tappa lusten att se något mer av filmen, istället gick och la mig.

Det är så länge sedan jag sist kollade på en reklamfinansierad kanal att jag hade glömt bort det där med reklamen. I rask takt dyker det upp reklaminslag för två, eller var det tre?, spelbolag och något annat som jag inte kommer ihåg just nu. Resultatet är att jag helt kommer ur “titta på en film”-stämningen och istället blir jag helt fokuserad på “hur många gånger kommer jag att behöva titta på denna reklam innan filmen är slut”.

Så det blev ingen “Die Hard”, istället såg jag till att katterna var OK och sedan gick vi och la oss. Men det var en bra påminnelse om varför vi prenumererar på Netflix.