Life

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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Life

First Sunday Of Advent

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Nature

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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Life

2016 October In Pictures

Most of October I was looking forward to yesterday’s Halloween party. When the day finally arrived, it turned out to be the real highlight of this month. Fantastic costumes, scaring people and getting scared, and so much fun and laughter.

Aside from that, half of October surprised us with the most beautiful weather, some of my balcony plants survived until almost the end of the month, and I had fun cooking again, which hadn’t been the case for a while.

Photography-wise I still took a lot of plant pictures but I’m sure – or at least hope – that will change now. I’m still looking into architectural photography courses but haven’t found the one for me yet.

One thing that I’m hoping to get back to is exploring my own city. I really, really miss my friend E – who moved back to the US in February – because she was the one I went on excursions with, and together we explored our city. There is still so much to see, which strangely I had to be reminded of by Instagram, where I’m following several accounts about Stuttgart and found myself quite in awe to see what’s out there that I haven’t been aware of.

How was your October?

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Friday Flowers

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Good morning! Let’s start with the flowers first today: these are the remains of last week’s jubilee bouquet. Last night I managed to salvage quite a few stems and distributed them among three little vases that now grace the coffee table. Two roses were also salvageable, they went into a vase of their own.

Until yesterday the weather has been quite unpleasant this week, nothing at all like the crisp and sunny autumn weather everyone would like to have. Today’s sunny, and I’m hoping it’ll stay this way, because with next Tuesday being a holiday, many of us – myself included – will be taking Monday off, so it’ll be a long weekend.

I have nothing much planned for the weekend except getting my camera sensor cleaned on Saturday. I thought I had a dusty lens but it turned out the dust sits on the sensor.

Monday I’ll be at a Halloween party, and I’m really looking forward to that. This year’s motto is Circus Circus – Freak Show. Can’t wait to see everyone’s costumes.

Happy Friday!

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Tuesday Triptych: At The Bakehouse

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Friday Flowers

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Hello & Happy Friday! I’m a little late posting today, because I got this bouquet late last night and it was too late to take pictures when I arrived home with it, so it had to wait until after work today.

I was invited to a company anniversary dinner last night where we were served great food, everyone celebrating their anniversary received a voucher for a big local store, and us ladies also received flowers on leaving.

It was amazing to see how long some people have been with the company, and I myself never thought I’d stick it out that long…

Plans for the weekend? As tomorrow is supposed to be a cool and cloudy day, it’s just as well I have indoor plans – a friend and I will be taking a bread making course, and we’re very much looking forward to that. I’ve made bread at home before, but there’s always more to learn I think, a few tips and tricks wouldn’t go amiss.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

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Tuesday Triptych: Gerbera

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Friday Flowers

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Good morning! Today’s flowers are leftovers from the bouquet I posted last week. They’re still on my coffee table, and I remember the florist saying that out of all those pretty stems I bought these would keep longest. Glad that came true. On my other table I have little vases of the last asters still growing on my balcony. Between these two varieties I didn’t have to buy flowers at the market.

Autumn has truly arrived – I’ve been quite cold this past week, even turned on the heating one evening and otherwise wearing a thick hoody sweatshirt and socks. We’ve been promised 18° – 20°C as of today and lasting through the weekend, but so far that seems unlikely. It’s grey and cold-ish right now, and I’m still waiting for the warm spell.

Hope you all have nice plans for the weekend. Happy Friday!

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Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

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Last week one of my best friends from school called saying she felt really nostalgic and had had a long think about our friendship, and we got talking for a while. Then next day the WP photo challenge subject said nostalgia. But how to translate what we talked about into a picture? I couldn’t.

Then this morning – when the grumpiness I mentioned earlier today in my Friday Flowers post had passed! – I had a good laugh and found a photo subject. A really simple one, but it fits nostalgia to a T. I’m one of very few people who, when issued with a new work laptop, insists on not needing a new keyboard. I’m using an old one, which has the perfect height and has old-fashioned high keys.

My current old-fashioned keyboard seems to be giving up the ghost, so I asked my friend in IT what the chances were they had another one lying around somewhere. They did, quite a few, too. Still in their original packaging, apparently more than a decade old. I was really happy when I heard that, but another IT guy said with big eyes: But these old ones make these clicking sounds! And I said: YES! That’s what I want! I’m happy about the clicking sounds!

So I was quite nostalgic about these old keyboards that I find so much nicer and easier to use, and it made me realise that although I do love technology, I’m still prone to nostalgia about some of the old stuff.

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Friday Flowers

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Good morning! Although I can’t say I can see the good in it yet, I’m a bit grumpy this morning. I’ll do my best to make the grumpiness disappear asap, though, because it’ll be the weekend in a few hours.

Looking at above flowers lifts my mood – it’s actually last week’s arrangement but it’s still holding up and sitting on my coffee table. I went to the florist’s but they didn’t have anything pre-arranged that spoke to me, so I bought a few stems and arranged them myself at home. Quite happy how it turned out. I don’t find flower arranging easy, even though the florists make it look easy. Guess they don’t do their training for nothing.

And here’s a little secret – after I did my apprenticeship I was thinking of quitting my job and training as a florist. I chickened out, though, because I was earning money for the first time and didn’t want to go back to train as something else for little money. Nowadays I’m happy when I find a good florist who makes great arrangements, without any regrets.

On that note – happy Friday!

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Life

Wordless Wednesday

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