Cathedral excursion

The Cathedral of Saints Catherine and Maurice, or Cathedral of Magdeburg, was one thing I had in focus for a very long time to photograph. But I never actually managed it. On Monday, my day off, I finally made it to this wonderful, beautiful piece of Gothic architecture. Currently it’s only worth taken interior pictures, because it’s getting refurbished on the outside. It’s such a rare event, to see this cathedral without any scaffold.

After getting the photo permit and clarifying certain things me and my Canon 60D were on the hunt for subjects. And we’ve found a lot. I did lots and lots of pictures of small figures in mural reliefs. It was so nice to see, with how much love for detail everything got restored. Back in the days, as far as I can remember, the Cathedral of Magdeburg was a very dark spot to visit. These days, warm diffuse light reigns inside the cathedral, not to divine.

jesus

Seriously, I was very impressed how beautiful everything looked like and most importantly, no dark spots. Having a lot of light and also a lot of good light makes taking pictures so easy and such a pleasure. I spent more two hours inside the cathedral. I used my 17-85mm zoom lens, but only for a few shots. Most of the time did I walk around with my cheapo 50mm with a completely opened aperture of f1.8.

I also did some shots with my 8mm ultra wide angle Walimex lens, but I’m not very satisfied with the finals results. It’s still very difficult to get something in focus. And taking pictures with an aperture lower than f8.0 could have only been made with an extremely high ISO filmspeed, which I try to avoid as often as I can. Normally, I take pictures at f22 with this lense, because focus is no longer an issues you have to care about.

The final result was a virtual box of almost 400 photos to chose from. It’s a lot of material, but also, despite my excursion in the past, a lot of pictures are worth to get seen. I’m releasing them all publicly, but you’ll find a couple of pictures when you visit my profile on deviant art. You’ll also find some pictures I did on my last trip to Berlin, which was the first photo excursion with my 60D.

The gallery on this domain is currently down and will probably stay down, because I’m currently working on a new website, which will be dedicated to photography only. I’m not giving any details right now, but as soon as progress has gone far enough, I’ll inform you.

Deviant improvement

As some of you may know, I’m an active member of the deviant Art community. I had an interest in photography, did not have any equipment, except my cam on my mobile phone and some crappy HP Photosmart that still seem to run on steam.

Back in the days, I wanted to see, if my interest for photography is actually real. I wanted to see if I stick with it, or if it’s just a mayfly. It turned out, after a couple of month, that this romance with photography was for real. In the meantime did I start doing some research on photo equipment, because I wanted to take decent pictures, too. As a fellow reader of this blog, you may remember that my final choice was a Canon EOS 500D with a standard 18-55mm lens.

My first pictures were taken with the creative programs that came with the camera. But after a very short period of trial and error I decided to switch the program wheel to the ‘M’ position and take control of every single aspect of the picture. It was a very steep learning curve that I took and without a doubt, the first pictures I took were absolutely horrible. Overexposed, underexposed, terrible f-stop, horrible composition, you name it.

I’m still in a learning progress, and hopefully will always be, when it comes to photography. Simply, because the curiosity, that drives you and the will to experience and learn something new, is the gasoline that keeps your creative engine up and running. I don’t say that the pictures I take these days are greater art, but compared to the shots I took two years ago, I would say, I’ve improved.

I’ve recently upgraded to a new camera, a Canon EOS 60D. Very, very recently, to be exact. Next step is to save some money for my first Canon L-lens. The lens that I currently use for the everyday situations starts to have more and more issues, I can no longer live with on a daily basis. Manufacturing wise and also in picture quality. But the main issue is definitely its slow focus response time and the weird focus itself. Well, we’ll see what lens the future brings.

After over two years of being a “deviant”, I can say, that it’s still fun to watch, what so many other people all around the earth create in photography. The community is still a very polite one and it’s mainly the new and unexperienced user that offends from time to time. But the community is aware of that as well and most of these newbies leave as fast as they came.

The only thing that bothers me a little, is that the quality deviant Art once stood for has turned more into a matter of quantity. Unfortunately do a lot of people put out so much rubbish and crap on deviant Art, that it’s almost close to be declared as spam. I mean, why so many pencil sketches of anime characters that no one actually cares about? But nevertheless, it’s still fun to be deviant.

The mystical cat report

Hello out there, it’s been a while since my last update on what’s going so far. First of all, fitness is still existing and starts kicking ass again. I cannot deny that I had some serious difficulty to get back on the track, but with this week, everything seems to be on a satisfying level. My stamina feels like it was the day I let the whole fitness thing fade away, for say, it’s still on a high level. For my circumstances. Actually, I still have like 15kg of weight too much on my bones, but like I said, I’m not facing any serious trouble during training. I’m running solid 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by 30-40 minutes on the cross-trainer.

I decided to take no prisoners and I also increased the weight on many exercise machines. I’m doing very well with this and I’m making a lot of progress in this particular area of my training. Besides losing weight is gaining muscles one of my main goals for now. I know, it sounds weird, losing weight and gaining muscle mass on the other side but according to the serious amount of overweight at the moment a goal that can be reached. Like losing at least 15kg of fat and getting like 5-6kg of muscle mass.

What else happened? Well, I got a little bit more into photo editing and developing of RAW pictures. I’m not making great progress but it finally is some progress to be found. I also joined a couple of new groups on deviant Art to get a little bit more feedback on my works. And of course a few eyes more watching my stuff. I’m also looking for a new camera, not for now but for the end of this year. I’m thinking about buying a Canon 7D, this camera got all the features I want and is not that expensive as the Canon 5D MarkII. At least, it would be a total waste of money according to the fact that photography is just a hobby mine. It’s like 1,500 bucks that ring on the bill, but I’m sure it’s totally worth it.

Gaming, another passion of mine. If the days has like 36 hours I would definitely play some games, but currently I don’t really have time to play some more story based games. I play a lot of “Bad Company 2” these days, for like one hour a day. There are still some games in queue that I need to play. There are plenty of games, as there are “Medal of Honor”, it can’t be more worth than “Homefront”. The “Dead Space” games, I started “Dead Space 1” several times, but never managed to finish or do any larger progress. Several LEGO games are waiting and so on. Most importantly, “Portal 2” is hopefully in my mailbox these days and I’ll definitely play this game as soon as possible.

Last game I played through was “Homefront” which was a kind of disappointing. Weird performance issues. Weird story and pace of the game. I can’t say that I didn’t like it, but, well, I don’t know. They whole concept was promising but the presentation was a big and epic fail on the whole line. I instantly switched back to my beloved “Borderlands” after finishing the four hour campaign. I barely had any interest in the multi player mode.

50mm love

No, God damn it, not what you think, this post is about one of my new lenses for my photo camera, horny, naughty bastards ( ^^ ). I bought my first lens with a fixed focal length, the Canon EF 50mm/1,8 II. As you can see in the name, the focal length is 50mm and I can get up to aperture 1,8, which is absolutely fantastic for shooting very close objects. Additionally did I buy a set of extension tubes, which work very well in conjunction with the Canon lens and the increased focus and newly gained macro abilities are awesome. I’ve done some test shots, yes of course, and the final results were as sharp as the razor blade of Stone Cold Steve Austin. I’m very, very… I mean, VERY amused by the depth of field that you can get with such a lens and this apterture. As far as I know does this lens only use five fins to actually open/close for the exposure but the bokeh it actually builds in the area of the depth of field looks very smooth and soft and not too edgy.

Finally, this lens is apparently awesome and totally fulfils all my needs and requirements. I’m really looking forward to do the first macro shots with this lens in combination with the extension and I’m also really, really excited about doing the first portrait shots with this lens. A nice toy for just 100,- EUR and of course something to fall in love with.

Finish it

This week is the week of the finishing line. Project “Straight Edge” in version 1.0 is going to end on 15th July and on the other side I am pretty sure that my paladin in World of Warcraft will reach level 80. He’s level 77 right now and I’ll kick him up to level 79 this very evening. I bought my first part of the tier-9 set, some real nice shoulder armor that I can send the old shoulders to my undead warrior. Yep, yep, yep account bound items rule

But back to straight edge and a preview of version 2.0 of the project. There’s no doubt, version 2.0 will last for twelve month and there will be some rule changes. I was recognizing a lot of rule breaks when it comes to nutrition. You might remember the change to rule #5 because there was a kind of backdoor in consideration with sweets. So I decided to introduce the exception meal where I can whatever I want but only if rule #7 is fulfilled. I personally think that this kind of connecting rules with each other will make the whole thing more interesting and a little bit exciting to me.

Unfortunately is the weather absolutely exhausting these days because the temperature increased drastically but the humidity did not decrease. This like a murder to sports especially when you’re overweighted and your stamina is not as good as it should be. I was on a good way to get a better stamina but with conditions like these I definately have to do a step backwards and I cannot do sports at least four time a weak. If I am able to have two gym sessions a week I could very happy. It’s more a torture than an amusement. I guess I can do two sessions this week and then my vacation and trip to France will start.

If I’ll ever get the chance to do some kind of sports on my vacation I’ll definately grab it by the hand and do it. Meal exceptions are not allowed though it’s my vacation and it mainly there for recovery and fun. Hopefully I’ll be able to do some nice pictures with my Canon EOS 500D. I haven’t touched my baby for nearly two month and before it comes to vacation I have to shoot some pictures on a marriage. I fucking hate taking pictures of people. Portraits are okay but only if it’s a person I like or I feel comfortable with. But these stupid snapshots of a dumb ass party crowd are what really pisses me off. I haven’t bought my camera to do stupid snap- and mugshots, this is what grannies and old daddies do with their ugly ultra-compact cameras.

Stroke your EOS

It has been a while since my last photography related post and the reason for this is very simple. Everything I produced with my camera during the last weeks was a bunch of crap and absolutely worthless. I completely miscalculated the amount of creativity needed to produce nice pics. My opinion was that I take my camera, see something worth to shoot and hit the trigger. I am not talking about technical obstacles to take, it is all about the creativity. It depressed me in a way that the results varied so drastically but like every ‘artist’ you have to gain positive energy even from a misery.

I was near selling my camera and giving up my newly discovered hobby but I finally cleared my mind and continued my discovery into the great world of photography. I am going to release some of the brand new pics in my gallery here on bloodreaver.com and some hand picked and very nice ones will find their way to deviantart.com and their related groups. What should I say, I survived my personal lack of creativity and will definately continue photography. I plan to go mainly further with taking landscape pictures over the next two or three month and if some routine comes into play and every technical question is answered I plan to get into more into macro and portait photography. Hopefully I will be able to find some distinctive motives for portrait photography.