Posts tagged: canon

Köln

These weeks/months, due to my project, I find myself again 4 days a week in the small and shitty lovely town of Rheinbach, somewhere in the west of Germany. Nobody really understands why one of the two main headquarters of the company had to be in this particular location but that’s beyond the point of this post.

In any case, I’ve been bringing my DSLR camera with me and I tried to do some small photo trips in the neighborhood. I was less than impressed by the potatoes fields around the town but there are 2 big cities within driving distance: Bonn and Köln. I’ve been to Bonn a couple of weeks ago, around the university area and it was not so bad. Yesterday I decided to drive to Köln and see if I can get on the observation deck of the “Köln Triangle” tower (103m high) and take some panorama pictures.

That’s the place. I kinda planned to go to the much taller TV tower but since a couple of years, the top platform is closed.

It’s only a 50 minute drive to Köln, most of it on the autobahn, so I started right after I got off work. 10 minutes later I got into a really bad snowstorm on the autobahn and my mood kinda dropped, there was no way I could take any pictures in that weather. But I didn’t have anything better to do so I pushed on and luckily I got out of the storm and found out there was none of the white crap in the city itself.

The tower has it’s own underground parking, which was cheap enough. I went up up, paid the 3 euros fee at a machine, got into the elevator, arrived on top and got out on the platform. Then got quickly back inside to actually close my jacket, put gloves on and some on my head ’cause it was cold as shit up there.

I quickly found out that this is not the ideal place for pictures. All around the platform edge there is a 3m tall glass fence and while you can see through it, of course, it’s not good for taking pictures because of  the reflections. There are also markings on the glass sections, with the building names which you can see in that particular direction. I  kinda expected a fence of sorts but I was hoping that with the help of the tripod, I could get above it. There is none of that, the visitors must be secure! The visitors must be watched too, there are security cameras all over that platform.

The view is indeed impressive, you can see the whole city from up there. And it’s probably even better when the sky is clear. I did take some pictures but due to the weather and glass reflections, they are not that great. First 4 are HDR pictures (made in Photomatix, 3 different exposures per picture), I tried to bring out some details.

I want to go up on the TV tower in Stuttgart, which has two observations decks at 150m and 153m and has a total height of 216m. But I have to wait for better weather.

Back in the fray

Unfortunately my vacation days are over and I am back at work. After 4 weeks at home (the longest vacation/time off I ever had) it takes a while to get used to being at the office again, but I am getting there.

In the meantime in The Cave, the kitchen renovation is almost done and it looks MUCH better now. Still, my wish to make pictures and post them has been denied because it does not look “perfect”, there are some thing left to be painted. So maybe this coming weekend.

The bathroom upstairs is almost ready too and in the last weekend we cleaned and renovated the small room downstairs where we have the washer and the dryer. Before it was yucky and ugly, now it’s clean and with gypsum on the walls instead of wallpaper. It also has a new floor and the room is properly sealed. The previous owners were pigs, no other way to say it.

I started doing more stuff with my new Canon. First of all I was a bit surprised to find out it does not come with any kind of memory card so I got a 16GB SD Card from Amazon and now everything is fine. Most of the time I shoot in RAW format and I do the post-processing in Lightroom or RawTherapee if I am in Linux, so the extra space on the SD card is welcomed because one RAW file can take up to 20MB.

I still have a lot to learn but I have reactivated my Flickr and Deviantart accounts and I started posting there my first attempts. I have also updated the blog with a small widget which displays the latest flickr Deviantart uploads (the flickr widget looked crappy).

I wish I would have some faster lenses, even something cheap like the Canon EF 50mm/ 1,8/ Objektiv II for a start, but that’s really not a priority right now so it’ll have to wait I guess. 

Canon EOS 450D

Canon 450D (or EOS Rebel XSi in the States, EOS Kiss X2 in Japan) is my new camera. So far I’ve been using a simple point’n'shoot camera (a Nikon Coolpix 550c) or the camera from my Nokia N85. But the truth is I wanted to get a DSLR since a while now and since I found a good deal at the T-online shop (including 0% financing) I decided to finally get it.

The EOS 450D is considered mid-range, so it’s not exactly entry level, but I think it’s a good camera to start in the world of digital photography. Some features:

  • 12 Megapixels
  • it came with 18-55mm EF-S lenses, with IS (Image Stabilization)
  • nice and big 3 Inch LCD monitor
  • 1050 mAh battery
  • SD Card slot (as opposed to the CompactFlash used in the previous models of the EOS series)

Of course, it has many more features, too many to list here. It will take me a while until I get comfortable with everything, it’s quite a big change from the normal compact cameras.

I’ve been reading a lot on the subject and now I am no longer clueless about things like ISO speed, aperture, exposure, shutter speed and so on. I am also interested in HDR photography  and I am anxious to give it a go, whenever the weather will get better.

Tripod

Just got this from Amazon, while waiting for my shiny Canon EOS 450D to arrive 8-)

Hama “Star 61″ Tripod. It’s not something super professional but it’s definitely orders of magnitude better than the joke I had so far. I can’t put pictures with it, would be too embarrassing.