All posts for the month October, 2010

This is another one of those dreadful things. I’m trying to grow into the situation of having to clean things all by myself. And slowly… things are getting dirty again 😀
And the big, bad machine is scaring the cats…

Anyway, I guess house cleaning’s never gonna be my thing. I’ll just stick to photography and the likes.

House cleaning

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/22, Nikkor 14-24mm, 2x off-camera SB-800 (positioned on appr. 1,5 meters above and on both sides of the machine)

Laundress Lane

Unedited original, D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm

Yeah, I know… There are some pictures that everyone probably has taken. In that sense I’m a tourist like everyone else.
But then… In many ways I’m not just a tourist, so I probably tend to do things from a different angle (pun intended) than most of the people. So here’s the recipe:

  • 1 over-photographed street sign in Cambridge
  • Lightroom
  • appr. 5 cms crop (it doesn’t have to be that exact, but don’t overdo it!)
  • a pinch of exposure correction
  • two cups of fill light
  • 250 gr tone curve adjustments
  • Photoshop
  • a splash of HDR (two instances of the same image, with different highlight settings)
  • 1 tablespoon curves for good contrast
  • 1 teaspoon curves for over-all enlightenment
  • some cloning
  • add noise to taste
  • (and back into Lightroom) add some post-crop vignetting and split toning for seasoning
Laundress Lane

After 20 minutes in the oven...

Anyone who wants can have a piece of the pie. Prints available, prices depending on the size and material.
Inquiries via photos [that funny symbol here]

From the outside you wouldn’t really think it. Well, maybe a bit, but it’s not obvious. From the outside the building fits in the surrounding historical environment quite snugly. But from the inside… Boy, Cambridge Judge Business School is one funky building!

Cambridge Judge Business School

D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

Cambridge Judge Business School

D700, ISO800, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 14-24mm (thanks Arnab 😉 )

Ever wondered how Jamie Oliver got so rich off his cooking? We found out first-hand last week in Cambridge.
Jamie Oliver has a “Jamie’s Italian” there. It’s a really nice place. We ate there also in September when I escorted the Better Half to Cambridge to settle down for the year. No table reservations, so you have to be in time or be prepared to have a drink at the bar while you wait for your turn to be seated. The bar is also very nice, as we experienced last Sunday. We actually took our starter in the bar/lounge and when we were up next in the queue continued with main course and desert in the restaurant.
The building’s a great one, but the interior setup of this particular Jamie’s Italian isn’t the most charming or cozy one, I think. The food is excellent, however, and absolutely recommended.

So after desert, we asked for the bill, which the Better Half generously offered to pay. So the host got his machine, stuck in the card, punched in the numbers, and all She had to do was confirm, add a gratuity (or not 😉 ), confirm again and enter the PIN code. Piece of cake.
The Better Half wanted to add some 10% gratuity to the bill, as standard, but mistyped. Conveniently, the payment was declined, to which the host dryly added:

Hmm, maybe it’s better it was declined. Either you or I made a typo in the amount

Jamie Oliver receipt

The host made a typo in the price of our menu.

So… For a 3-course menu with some drinks at Jamie’s… be prepared to pay a little over £ 5,000.00 (at the current conversion rate that’d be about € 5.800,-). 😀
No, really… Our host was a really cool guy (happened to be the same guy who served us the first time, although I guess he didn’t remember), and of course apologized. We thought the whole thing was really funny, too, and of course didn’t make a fuzz about it. When I told him this would most likely end up on my blog, he of course didn’t make a fuzz out of that either, and thought it a good joke.

So… that’s it for some light reading on Thursday 😉
Have a good one.

The weather was surprisingly good in Cambridge last weekend. A bit overcast on occasion, but mostly pretty clear blue skies (surprise, surprise!).
A bit of clouds do add to the drama. The scenes you find after a brisk walk through cow dung can also be quite dramatic 😀

Cambridge landscape

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

So yeah… I was there…. After 33 days in Oblivion, I went to visit Her. I must say, the 33 days went by quite fast. It probably was the time of adjustments and everything, but well… The next time will be 8 weeks, that’s about 60 days from now.
I have a whole lot of Cambridge images to process still, also from the last time, and all come in due time, I promise… For now… I just wallow in self-pity for awhile for being home alone again.

And I thought I’d share some of my earlier works with you. Not a photograph, but a poem from the days when this lifestyle was a structural thing to deal with.
Yes, I know, unexpected, right? But I’m a man of many talents, especially in particular circumstances.

A little twinkle
Reflection of light
In a crystal shaped tear
A little piece of my soul
Rolling down my cheek
Slowly dying
Outside the safe
Protected environment
Of our Togetherness

You left again…

Only now I left again…
And I’ll put a very cliché picture up for you with that.


D700, ISO200, 1/180 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 70-200mm

As if cheap thieves like iStock and Shutterstock and other microstock agencies aren’t bad enough to destroy the photography market, and you always have to read the small print on any competition to make sure that you’re not basically handing over the copyright of your images, the thievery has also entered the local markets. I was made aware of a competition called “Helsinki City Photo Competition”, organized by the city of Helsinki, apparently.
And the rules:

All images that are uploaded to this group can be used in Helsinki marketing: on our websites ( and and in advertisements, brochures and in other promotional material.

Please submit only high-resolution pictures. Low-resolution images will be neglected in the competition.

Please note: by uploading images to this group you accept that images can be used in Helsinki marketing and will be distributed via Helsinki City Material Bank (*).

Where the (*) refers to the text

The photo material in the Material Bank can be used for promoting Helsinki either directly or indirectly, as well as by members of the press and for free publications. Information about the photographer will be included.

So the city of Helsinki is creating themselves a nice little archive of Helsinki images and are generously offering to include information about the photographer. They offer a whopping 3 gift certifcates to Pixmania to the best 3 images of their choice, and the rest of the archive they – and the rest of the media – get to use for free.
Sorry, but that always gets my fluids boiling. These kind of things should really be made illegal by law and people who submit to these kinds of contests, should be made aware how this is pretty much f**king up the photography industry.

I have a stack of Helsinki images, but they’re not getting any from me. Unless they purchase a license, of course.

Helsinki skyline seen from the harbor

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 70-200mm. 7 images stitched together in Photoshop (original file size 11276x2719px)

Awhile back I drove home from downtown after an appointment I had there and when I was about to turn onto the motorway I saw a massive, seriously HUGE cloud of smoke slowly roll over the road a bit further on. It looked like there was a serious fire burning in a building, even if the smoke was white. There was just too much of it to be a simple… well, a simple what, really?
When I came closer, I saw the smoke came from in between two buildings of the Helsinki Energy factory. At that time -of course- I didn’t have my camera with me, like is always the case when something really cool happens and again I was really annoyed. This happens to me all the time, I keep on writing about it *LOL* (and I never seem to learn!).
Yesterday I was on my way downtown for an appointment and guess what…? When I came off the the motorway, there was a similar cloud again. And guess what…?
Ha! Wrong, this time I DID have my camera with me. And it looked SO cool! It did make a terrible noise, but owwell… I got my pictures this time.

Smoke rising from the factory of Helsingin Energia in Helsinki

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm (3 images stitched together in Photoshop)

Smoke rising from the factory of Helsingin Energia in Helsinki

D700, ISO200, 1/350 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm (2 images stitched together in Photoshop)

Summer season’s gone… I haven’t been out there half as much as I would’ve wanted, unfortunately, and awhile back already we moved our camp back inside. Last night I went climbing with a couple of really good climbers. Way out of my league, I must say. It does get you out there, trying things you probably normally wouldn’t, but it also drains you so much faster, and sadly emphasizes what long way you still have to go. What long way I still have to go. I’m still feeling my underarms and my fingers feel like I have a bad case of arthritis. Luckily that’ll pass. We’ll see how things go in tomorrow’s session, because now that the Better Half is out of the house, and I don’t have anyone to justify my absence to (save for the cats, who get their food and play time in time and in the right amounts) I can go out a bit more often.

I have some good memories of the few times I did go outside this summer, though. I remember myself hanging from three cow slings tied together to my harness some 4 or 5 meters down the top of a cliff, on probably 10-12 meters from the wet, rocky bottom with my D700 and 70-200mm at the ready. I can tell you, that combination is a good dumbbell to do some arm training with 😀 Looking forward to next summer…
And yeah, I like details 😉

Climber climbing a rock wall

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

Climber climbing a rock wall

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

Climber climbing a rock wall

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 70-200mm

Climber climbing a rock wall

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 70-200mm

Climber climbing a rock wall

D700, ISO200, 1/1000 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 70-200mm

After a couple of days of gray, overcast weather we got another really nice day. Chilly and windy, but sunny and nice. The cats especially seem to like these kind of days, and they tend to pick a sunny spot in between the shadows in the apartment to stretch out or to relax. I’d like to do that too, but usually the sunny spots in between the shadows aren’t big enough for me to stretch out… Unfortunately…
(Oh, and yes, those eyes are really that color, no image manipulation there.)


D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm, on-camera fill flash

Russian Blue

D700, ISO200, 1/320 sec @ f/16, Nikkor 50mm, on-camera fill flash