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Friday Flowers

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Good morning. After starting into the new year with a cold and on sick leave, with wanting to climb the walls because of my horrible neighbours and thus feeling physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, I’m doing my best to feel better.

I’m very actively looking for a new place to rent, having looked at a place earlier this week, and I’ll be looking at another one tomorrow. The problem is that there’s more demand than supply, which means rental prices are really up the roof. Then there’s the fact that you want to move asap but don’t want to take the first place available (and affordable) either just because you want to leave your old place behind. The place I looked at earlier this week was great. On first glance. I’m tempted to go for it because it’s a very quiet place, new, equipped with a beautiful kitchen (major plus for me) but I can’t turn a blind eye to the things that aren’t so great. I feel I get more picky with age, too. We’ll see where it goes.

Amidst all these problems, thoughts, worries and decisions to make, a post on Helen’s 365 Journal popped up in my reader that I immediately loved and am going to internalize:

sound-of-my-feet-helen-boydMy plans for this weekend are maybe trying recipes for the food blog and definitely sorting through all my (too many) possessions. I really want to be prepared for a move, however long it’ll take to find a place, and get rid of unused and unnecessary things and clutter.

I hope your new year has started well for you. Happy Friday!

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Beauty In Decay

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2016 December In Pictures

So this is it – not just another month flown by but another year. Both people around me as well as people online have been saying – albeit in more elaborate words – “good riddance to 2016“. Every time I heard or read that, I was thinking that it hadn’t been that bad for me, really. Considering my life as a middle class European and the fact that I don’t live in a war zone, I think complaining about what I have would feel like complaining about the price of champagne.

Having said that, we all have our baggage to carry, and it’s always subjective how we feel about that. Personally, I’ve been complaining about being uninspired regarding photography almost all through 2016. This last month, though, I’ve picked up my camera more often, and I’m having fun taking pictures again, and I feel like I’m no longer down in the dumps there.

Not so pleasant for me is the fact that I’ve been feeling a very big psychological strain this past year due to absolutely horrible neighbours. This one is more difficult to solve than my photography blues, as finding adequate living space has become quite difficult here with more demand for than supply of apartments. I also feel like I’ve been paralysed in the situation instead of being more proactive with regards to moving, because I have lived and felt at home in my place for a very long time. Now I feel no longer comfortable in my own home, and I’ve finally woken up to the fact that if I don’t get a move on (pun intended) and help myself by doing all I can to find a new place, I’ll be stuck here. So fingers crossed.

Here’s my personal recap of 2016, which despite being frustrated about the above mentioned things did also bring wonderful experiences:

  • my friend E left the country early in 2016 – far from wonderful, but we’ve been FaceTiming, which makes every chat special;
  • another friend & colleague whom I basically saw almost every day had a baby and is on parental leave – when we see each other now, that time is even more precious;
  • I did a few photo collaborations with Ines from imonnet, which was both fun and challenging;
  • I made a new friend who has a let’s do it mentality, to which I owe many, many fun (photography) outings in 2016;
  • I traveled to the UK, my favourite place;
  • I met up with Laura from eljaygee while in London, a definite highlight;
  • I rang in the New Year with the same people as the past 2 years, which is a valuable kind of continuity of our friendship.

I don’t really have any resolutions for this new year except to try as best I can, and not to write such lengthy (and personal) novels for my posts, which should really be concentrating on the pictures.

And here’s my selection for 2016.

Happy New Year everyone, and much fun & success in your own photographic & personal endeavours in 2017!

Click any pic to open gallery

 

 

 

 

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Friday Flowers

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Season’s Greetings

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Life

Visit To London, Pt. I

After leaving York last week, I took a train down to London, where I spent another three days. There’s obviously a vast difference between the two cities; while York can be explored in 3 days you can likely spend three days in one area of London and still not have seen everything.

Luckily I had a little help. I had seen one of Helen Ogbourn‘s London pics on Instagram and asked her where exactly it was taken. So I went to South Kensington on my first day out, then went on to Canary Wharf, and from there to Greenwich on Mike Osborn‘s suggestion. Thank you both for your suggestions – I had a lovely day out!
I also walked from my hotel in Bethnal Green to Brick Lane in Shoreditch, and on to Spitalfields, which was an interesting trip with all the food establishments along the way as well as the graffiti I encountered.

On day two I finally met Laura, whom I was supposed to meet last year but technology had kept us apart. This time we made a time and meeting point, and we managed to find each other at the Southbank. We’d only known each other from commenting on our respective blogs, so it was quite exciting to see whether we’d get along in person. I’m happy to say we did, and I had the best day out in a very long time. With Laura being a native Londoner, I had the privilege of having my own personal tour guide.

We spent the day walking from Waterloo Bridge towards London Bridge, and while I’ve been complaining here for a while about being uninspired – well, that flew right out the window. I brought back an abundance of pictures, and I was really content with 90 % of them, which is a rare occurrence for me these days.

Here’s part one of my pictures, a mixture of graffiti, architecture, reflections, and lines.

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Trip To York

The other week I visited England, starting with three days in York. I found York to be a beautiful city with lots of old brick buildings, which I love. Everything I wanted to see was very close to my hotel, and I walked the city several times, to take pictures, go for breakfast and lunch, and to shop.

When I returned home I found I’d taken more mobile phone pics than DSLR ones, so the majority of pictures shown here are unfortunately phone pics. I say unfortunately because while they look great on a phone, they’re definitely not made for the bigger screen.

I really enjoyed my time in York and am planning on visiting during summer next time.

Click any pic to start gallery

 

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2016 {Half Of} November In Pictures

As you can gather from the post title, for the first time in four years I didn’t take enough pictures to pick 30 for the monthly review. Usually it’s either cutting it close and taking a pic or two on the last day of the month, or having an overabundance of pics that make it hard to choose. But this is a new low for me.

Motivation-wise the month was split – for the first half I tried out a lot of things that were new to me, like using a tripod with a 90º coloumn, trying out darker photography, trying new angles (in food photography). Most of this was inspired by a wonderful photographer I’ve been in contact with for the past couple of years – Rachel Korinek from twolovesstudio.com .

At the same time I heard from several photographers that they felt uninspired and didn’t take many pictures in the past months. I could also relate to that.

Then in the second half of November I got upset by this reblogging thing again; don’t worry I’m not going to rant here as well, I’m over that. But earlier this week someone actually stole a complete post from my food blog, and asking them nicely to remove the post showed no result. So another very helpful photographer suggested to write a post on it and do some naming & shaming, which I did. I think in the end, though, I’ll have to file a DMCA notice. I just can’t abide people who create a blog just to steal from someone else, and for their very first post, too. It’s just a matter of principle for me, I’m going to fight this.

But as you probably can imagine, this whole episode leaves me with no joy for blogging, at least at the moment. I’ll be going on vacation this weekend, and I’ll just try to have more happy thoughts.

I’m still burning for photography, though, even if I don’t have enough material for this month; I took a lot of pictures but they were of very similar things, so I will have to diversify my subjects next month. Which hopefully said vacation will help with.

And on this maudlin note – see you in a bit!

 

 

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Friday Flowers

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Good morning. Today’s flowers were on my coffee table two weeks ago. I’ve meanwhile picked this bunch apart, and only a few stems remain. I was really drawn to them right on entering the florist’s because the pink of the carnations was so unbelievably vibrant, a real eye catcher. I know you can’t see that in this photo, because I used a preset on it; I chose this version because to me it reflects a beautiful thing in dreary weather, which unfortunately we’ve been having throughout the week.

Speaking of presets – do you use any at all? Make your own? Download free ones? Buy them?
Until yesterday I had only every used free ones and have made two myself. However, when I see pictures I like, I find it too time-consuming to try and figure out which settings people have used, it’s too much fiddling around with levers in Lightroom, I’m also not exactly familiar with the tone curve, but on the other hand I shied away from buying presets just because I’m too lazy making my own.
Yesterday, though, I bought some because they were 50 % off due to Thanksgiving. They’re beautiful, and I’m looking forward to trying them out.

Wednesday was my second dentist appointment, and I’m happy to report that I didn’t feel anything this time. The sounds during the procedure still weren’t pleasant, and I’ll have to take painkillers for a couple more days, but I’m definitely no longer afraid of the next and hopefully last visit.

This week my car got its winter tyres, so I’m prepared for snow now. Thanksgiving was celebrated in the US yesterday, and I’m invited for a late Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, which I’m very much looking forward to. Our Stuttgart Christmas market starts next week, and it’s always nicer to go there when it’s actually snowing, so fingers crossed.

I’m hoping to get in a few hours in the kitchen this weekend to make some homemade gifts that need to sit and infuse for a while before they can be given away as Christmas presents.

There’ll be some more photography experiments as well. After I finally managed to disassemble my old tripod to use the ball head with the new 90º coloumn tripod, I realised I hadn’t bought a weight to keep it from toppling over; I’ll be doing that tomorrow, because at the moment I’ve got a little cooler bag filled with bags of rice and flour hanging at the tripod to keep it stable.

What are you up to this weekend?

Happy Friday!

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Friday Flowers

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Good morning! Rainy day today, but I don’t mind as I don’t have any plans except visit the market after work.

Today’s flowers are a throwback to summer, when I had them on my coffee table and then unexpectedly received a gift in the mail from my friend E in the US. The card she sent with it nicely fit the colour scheme of my flowers, so I decided to take a picture.

Last week I received my new tripod, not to replace my (not so) old one but to use for different things as it has a 90° column. Only I haven’t been able to use it yet, because I have to unscrew the ball head from the old tripod first, which I haven’t managed to do. Ah, the things you have to postpone because you have to go ask for help…

I’m still planning on doing some photography experiments again this weekend, and also do some recipe experiments. On Sunday I might go to the annual Slow Food show with a friend, but otherwise it’ll be a quiet weekend. This morning I got a call from my dentist to move my next appointment forward to next Wednesday – I’ll be glad when all that is behind me.

Question: I’ll be in the UK first week of December, and will be visiting York for three days. Does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations for breakfast/lunch/afternoon tea places that are nice and where I can go by myself?

Happy Friday!

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Friday Flowers

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Another Friday, another weekend ahead of us.

Last week I told you about the food market I was planning to go to with a friend. We were both disappointed. The market was supposed to be about sustainability, especially with regards to food. Both of us expected more than a booth with chickpea chips, jam and honey and another a juice stall. The organic catering company selling lunch did not convince either, the pumpkin soup and the pasta with pumpkin sauce dumped onto it did not look appetising. All in all, this show wasn’t worth the entry fee. Luckily we’d been in the city for breakfast that morning and had a nice day overall.

Since last weekend several unpleasant things have happened. The thing we woke up to on Thursday morning that probably shocked a great part of the world, the weather here turning really ugly bringing us intermittent snow, rainstorms and cold, and then there was my dentist appointment. Like many people, I don’t find going to the dentist pleasant in the first place, but with the outlook of a root canal treatment I was quite panicky. The nice assistant involved me in a conversation about Christmas baking, very likely because she could see the panicked look on my face, and after that I was a little more relaxed, knowing that the likelihood of feeling anything during the procedure was minimised by the anaesthetic. Little did we know that I would feel everything, even after the seventh injection, because the nerve was highly inflamed. I almost cried. And now we have to wait and see if the thing calms down with the help of the medication they put in. So I still have a root canal ahead of me in two weeks’ time.

Enough complaining. I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend, the last one I’ll have to myself before Christmas. I have a few photography things planned, things new to me that I want to try, and I’m looking forward to the delivery of a new tripod tomorrow. I have a travel tripod that I like very much (although I’ve only traveled with it once), but wanted one with a 90° column. I’ve also ordered black foamboard, which seems to be something you can easily purchase in the US by just walking in to a DIY store, but unfortunately not over here. So that’s another thing I want to experiment with.

So quite a bit of stuff to look forward to. I hope you’ve had a better week and a nice weekend ahead. Happy Friday!

 

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Friday Flowers

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Hello on this very sunny but terribly cold November day. The temperature when I left work yesterday was 3ºC, and on opening the curtains this morning I could see there was already frost on the cars.

I hope the sun will also show up this weekend as I’ve got a busy but fun Saturday ahead of me. I’ll be meeting a friend for breakfast in the city, where we’ll also be checking out the market and some shops, then get on our way to a food market in another town.

Today’s flowers were also leftovers from my jubilee bouquet. They didn’t last but a few days after I took that picture. I’ll have to get a fresh bunch at the market tomorrow.

Hope you also have nice plans and nice weather for your weekend.

Happy Friday!

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