Going static

The “why”s for writing one’s own static generator, which I want to replace my WordPress with.

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Hacking tint2 panel: weather, CPU temperature and volume executors

Adding weather, volume and CPU status a hacker friendly panel: tint2.

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How to export Flickr to a GPX file to Geotag photos

Using Flickr to add GPS metadata to my photos.

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How to send simple UTF-8 email in Python 3.x

Apparently, sending email in Python is painful. This is what I did to ease it.

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Delete stolen contacts in social networks

How to delete stolen contact lists - address books - from LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Stream at Llyn Idwal 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1/200 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Afternoon sun, snow on the top of the mountains, streams wherever you look - Snowdonia is magnificent during spring.

Stream at Llyn Idwal

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/22.0
Shutter speed
1/15 sec
Focal length (as set)
43.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

This was our very first visit to Snowdonia, and I’m glad we went at the beginning of May: only a month later, these little streams dry up for the summer, and while the view is still magnificent, I liked it better with the numerous waterfalls and streams around.

Llyn Idwal 1

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/200 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

The perfect weather is never only bright sunshine. For us, here, it was some remnants of snow on the top, occasional clouds with the mix of sunshine and a reasonable temperature to walk around. That is the perfect weather.

Llyn Idwal

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/320 sec
Focal length (as set)
18.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

One can always wish for the perfect weather, yet most of the times, it remains a wish. Not this time.

There is a National Trust recommendation to visit Llyn Idwal, which Nora1 spotted, and they were right about the place: it’s magnificent. We really weren’t expecting snow on the mountains in May, but that, combined with the clouds and the late afternoon sunshine was just perfect.

I cropped the image, but apart from that, it really looked like this. No edits, no nothing.


  1. https://norahamucska.eu

Snowdonia

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1/250 sec
Focal length (as set)
43.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

When you realise there is a bank holiday coming soon, and you have no plans yet even though weather looks promising, you start looking for options. In our case the usual destination is the Peak District, but it was sold out, so we had to look elsewhere.

Since we wanted to visit Snowdonia for a long while now, it seemed like a good choice - although the weather forecast for Sunday was rough. And my, I wasn’t expecting what we got.

This place has mountains, real mountains; some peaks still had snow when we got there on Saturday, and we had magnificent lights.

Apart from a minor rotate, no edit, filter - neither software, nor physical - was used here; this did actually look like this.

If you decide to visit, climbing Snowdon shouldn’t be your priority. We even didn’t bother to go this time: the other locations surrounding it might even be more unique - since if you’re on the highest mountain, you can’t take breathtaking pictures of the other mountains, can you?

Winter meets Spring

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/250 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Sometimes winter is long; sometimes there is snow in May in Wales. Sometimes one mountain is still covered in snow, when the other reached spring already.

No edit, just crop.

Another 2 weeks in Sichuan: Mount Emei

This is my third and last entry about our trip to Sichuan for the second time, about the main purpose for going back there: Mount Emei.

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Monkeys of nothingness 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.6
Shutter speed
1/250 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

I love prime lens. They are small, sharp, and by removing a step to think about - no zoom - they let you think more of that actually is going to be in the picture. ( Although this may not be true in general, only in my case. )

But primes can become serious restraints when you encounter the unexpected. In this case, a monastery, sitting within the clouds, with families of monkeys admiring the astonishing nothingness.

It takes too long to switch to the zoom lens, or to switch to another prime, which will eventually lead to missed moments. In my case, a perfect image of a monkey drinking from a bottle, with a reflection of it in a pool of water. By the time I switched to a longer lens, that moment was gone.

I still had the chance to create this one, which I’m quite glad for; but the lesson is learnt: when you don’t know what to expect, keep the zoom lens on.

Monkeys of nothingness

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/4.5
Shutter speed
1/1000 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

There are moments in your life which you never expect, never anticipate to see. Even if you’ve seen countless brilliant photographs or numerous magnificent movies of nature, you don’t expect to see a Buddhist temple, with a monkey family, buried in the clouds, where the monkey sit on the railing so watch the nothingness of the passing fog.

Elephant Bathing Pool - Xixiangchi Monastery

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.6
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

According to the legend, this was the spot where Samantabhadra stopped his elephant to have a rest in a pool on his way to the mountain top - thus the name.

Imagine an ancient monastery, with only a handful a people, up in the clouds, with red walls and forgotten silence. Imagine monkeys slowly taking over it, sitting all around on the irregular walls, next to slant walls, playing, and waiting for people to come.

I never really thought places like this exist, but they do.

Waterfall at Emei Mountain

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.6
Shutter speed
1/100 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 800
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Imagine 20km stairs ahead of you and it’s already dusk - that is the point you realise you will spend your night at a monastery, but you still need to hurry to get there before everything turns pitch black and you’re left with the monkeys.

So when one of the most magnificent views you’ve ever experienced pops up at this time, it’s a little tragic you can’t spend a few hours just there; not only to make the best photo possible but to breathe in the crisp air, the distant, unknown noises, and the roar of the waterfall.

The waterfall, by the way, started somewhere on the left, on the very top of the mountain, sometimes peaking out of the mist. The formations in the background are not just clouds; most of them are mountains and cliffs themselves.

A waterfall near Qingyin Pavilion

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/11.0
Shutter speed
1/6 sec
Focal length (as set)
53.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Qingyin Pavilion it a fairly central point at Emei Mountain: 4 main routes merge here, and it’s also the closest place to go and see monkeys from.

It also hosts numerous small/medium waterfalls, such as this one.

Emei flowers

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/250 sec
Focal length (as set)
53.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Arriving at the top of Emei, at 3099m wasn’t as elevating as we expected - mostly due to the thick fog. Given you’re sitting inside a cloud, it is reasonable, but takes away one of the most magnificent scenery you could experience.

However, it certainly results in a mystical, film-like atmosphere, where colours are unexpected and surprising.

Mount Emei crab

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/6.3
Shutter speed
1/30 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 6400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

This is obviously a crab. What’s interesting about it is that it’s sitting in reinforced concrete, that was made to look like wood, and that it’s currently on a mountain, around 2000m.

This was the second little fellow we met - I managed to scare the first away before Nora managed to get a picture, so I was happy to meet one more. It’s still strange to find crabs on mountains for me though.

Greens of Emei 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1/25 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Emei Mountain: the home of the first ever Buddhist monastery in China - according to the legends. Countless stairs with barely anyone on the routes where monasteries are still alive and breathing.

Greens of Emei 1

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1/4 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Emei Mountain has countless waterfalls - and besides their numbers, they are huge. During spring, the whole mountain turns green, all variations and combinations of green; the air is heavy, but clean, and the noises of the forest are distant and unfamiliar for someone from Europe.

Automatically reading GPS information from featured image and adding as post meta in WordPress

Wordpress has a semi-official way of geotagging, so I decided to fill this automatically from the featured image.

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My home backup and minimal security system

I’ve recently experienced what is it like to have an “uninvited guest” in your home while you’re away hiking - hint: it doesn’t feel good. Since then I decided to finally put together the things I’ve been postponing for months for various reasons - mostly for being lazy.

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motionEyeOS mobile phone presence detection for auto on/off based on network IP or MAC address

I wanted my motionEyeOS system to turn on and off automatically if our mobile phones are present on the home network.

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Another 2 weeks in Sichuan: Dujiangyan and Mount Qingcheng

Going to two of the places we had to skip in our first trip: the ancient irrigation system of Dujiangyan and the front, taoist mountain of Qingcheng.

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Qingcheng gulch

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 1600
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

I was expecting many nice temples and carefully maintained steps on the front side of Mount Qincheng, but not hundred meter deep gulch; and while I prefer to shoot images like this without people on it, in this case, to show the real sizes.

Taoits Temple on Mount Qingcheng

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.0
Shutter speed
1/40 sec
Focal length (as set)
21.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

I think these temples on Mount Qingcheng are always exceptional, but the mist and the rain adds to the mystery for sure.

It’s both a bless and a curse to be in a place like this with bad weather: minimal amount of tourists, compared to the normal, but you won’t see the top of the buildings yourself either.

Golden Dragons

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.6
Shutter speed
1/40 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

What do you do when you’re finally in China, but there’s a massive rain over the whole territory that’s within range?

You go visit a mountain that is full of temples. Temples have roof, and that is good, and they also have and incredible atmosphere in a weather like this.

Erwang temple garden

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/4.0
Shutter speed
1/15 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8

Most of the monasteries and temples have areas where people can gather and sit down - for tourists, this can be a bless.

We were at the very and of the day and only a few of us stayed this long, so I could take a peaceful image of the place.

Erwang Temple

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.6
Shutter speed
1/15 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

Most of the places which are easy or relatively easy to reach are packed with tourists on many days. It’s really hard to make a picture where the people don’t disturb the scene too much.

As for the angles: I decided not to cut the image, because it’s then visible - check the ceiling - that there are barely any straight lines in this temple :)

Anshun Bridge

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/4.0
Shutter speed
1/80 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8

The Husband and Wife bridge that overlooks the river Min, with the Qinyan Tower in the back. Unlike most of my pictures, this was given a little contrast and color, since we had a hazy, late afternoon, when everything becomes a little too gray.

Dujiangyan at night 5

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/6.3
Shutter speed
1/10 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 1600
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

We weren’t expecting this many lights in the city of Dujiangyan. It still stuns me that unlike most cities in Europe, Chinese cities love extensive night lights and since they are mostly LEDs, it’s not even expensive.

I have no idea what this building was, but it made us think of Spirited Away immediately.

Dujiangyan at night 4

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
2.5 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

We weren’t expecting this many lights in the city of Dujiangyan. It still stuns me that unlike most cities in Europe, Chinese cities love extensive night lights and since they are mostly LEDs, it’s not even expensive.

I’ve never before seen rivers lighted up as well like this, only in China, but I think it’s lovely and results in an entirely different atmosphere than without it.

Dujiangyan at night 3

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
2.5 sec
Focal length (as set)
23.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

We weren’t expecting this many lights in the city of Dujiangyan. It still stuns me that unlike most cities in Europe, Chinese cities love extensive night lights and since they are mostly LEDs, it’s not even expensive.

I love that even the temple on the hill is bathing in light.

Dujiangyan at night 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/6.3
Shutter speed
1/5 sec
Focal length (as set)
48.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 800
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

We weren’t expecting this many lights in the city of Dujiangyan. It still stuns me that unlike most cities in Europe, Chinese cities love extensive night lights and since they are mostly LEDs, it’s not even expensive.

This was a covered foot bridge; most parts of it looked really old, so it might have been one of those things that were restored with modern base but kept many old parts from the old days.

Dujiangyan at night 1

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/6.3
Shutter speed
1/5 sec
Focal length (as set)
62.5 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR

We weren’t expecting this many lights in the city of Dujiangyan. It still stuns me that unlike most cities in Europe, Chinese cities love extensive night lights and since they are mostly LEDs, it’s not even expensive.

Another 2 weeks in Sichuan: Chengdu revisited

There are places you know you want to go back to, and there are places you have to go back to, because you loved it and you missed too many things to see there.

Continue »

Eating panda 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.6
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
135.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 ED AL [IF] DC WR

The face of happiness when you’re eating. There’s simply not much more to say; we’ve all been there.

None

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
120.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 250
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR

This fellow was eating with it’s back to the people, but soon, everyone else except the two of us left for a few minutes. By that time, I finally got to exchange looks and got a glimpse of it’s face.

Chunxi Road

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
1 sec
Focal length (as set)
60.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

In Chengdu, most of the things, especially the shopping oriented areas, are open till 22:00, so late night shopping is by default a thing. I believe there is at least one street like this in every major city in the world, but unlike the usual, there were much more local brands present here.

Chengdu Night Lights

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/22.0
Shutter speed
6 sec
Focal length (as set)
31.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Unlike the nightscapes in Europe, nightscapes in China is hard. There will be no straight white and red lines of car lights in Chendgu :)

Eastern Suburb Memory

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
20 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Eastern Suburb Memory: an old TV cathode tube factory, converted into an art and leisure park.

Sadly, not everything was lively and open: there were areas, like this, where no one was around and none of the pubs and stores were open. The scene however was just how you’d imagine any cyberpunk setup, just no dirt and no trash anywhere.

I had to do some perspective correction here as well.

Eastern Suburb Memory 4

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
4 sec
Focal length (as set)
28.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Eastern Suburb Memory: an old TV cathode tube factory, converted into an art and leisure park. The aforementioned gigantic chimney, well lit to be seen during the night.

Eastern Suburb Memory 3

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/13.0
Shutter speed
8 sec
Focal length (as set)
28.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Eastern Suburb Memory: an old TV cathode tube factory, converted into an art and leisure park.

Those are real windows, with glass, not blanks, and the reflections is about the gigantic chimney behind me. I ended up doing significant perspective corrections on this image due to not being tens of meters high.

Eastern Suburb Memory 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
8 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Eastern Suburb Memory: an old TV cathode tube factory, converted into an art and leisure park.

This area was said to be the most authentic part, with all the original parts. It looks exceptional in the night.

Eastern Suburb Memory 1

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/16.0
Shutter speed
6 sec
Focal length (as set)
43.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Eastern Suburb Memory: an old TV cathode tube factory, converted into an art and leisure park.

Up in the Sky 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/800 sec
Focal length (as set)
43.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Taking photos from an commercial airplane is hard, and I barely ever succeed. This time, probably above the Altai Mountains, I got luck and was able to take some slightly surreal views.

I only modified some colour and contrast here; the effect is due to the curved glass of the window.

Up in the Sky 1

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/800 sec
Focal length (as set)
53.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Taking photos from an commercial airplane is hard, and I barely ever succeed. This time, probably above the Altai Mountains, I got luck and was able to take some slightly surreal views.

I modified some colour and contrast here; also cut some from the top, but the effect is due to the curved glass of the window.

Jinli Street at night 3

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/10 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 3200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Jinli Street in Chengdu - this is how a shopping mall could have been 2000 years ago. If you decide to visit this place, go late, on a weekday, preferably afte rain; otherwise it’s packed with hordes of tourists and locals.

Jinli Street at night 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/15 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 1600
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Jinli Street in Chengdu - this is how a shopping mall could have been 2000 years ago. If you decide to visit this place, go late, on a weekday, preferably afte rain; otherwise it’s packed with hordes of tourists and locals.

Jinli Street at night 1

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/15 sec
Focal length (as set)
18.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 6400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Jinli Street in Chengdu - this is how a shopping mall could have been 2000 years ago. If you decide to visit this place, go late, on a weekday, preferably afte rain; otherwise it’s packed with hordes of tourists and locals.

Lake before Wuxian

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
170.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR

Just before we reached the end of our 2 days descent of endless stairs of Mount Emei, we reached a lake before the Wuxian car park: it had a surreal, still surface, with incredible, dream-like reflections.

Extending Press This in WordPress to support indieweb reply, like and repost

I’ve been able to reply/like/repost with my site for a long while, but is wasn’t elegant, fast or slick at all; it was time to fix it.

Continue »

Here comes the silence

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.6
Shutter speed
1/125 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8

This is another view of that morning in Amsterdam, when rain, snow and sunrise happened together.

Apocalypse

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.6
Shutter speed
1/200 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8

Starting the day with brilliant sunshine, arriving in the office café to have your first coffee of the day, just to look outside and see rain, quickly turning into snow while still having the sun in the back - I’m not convinced this is normal weather.

Amsterdam - Morning at RAI

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/6.3
Shutter speed
1/10 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 800
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8

It may not seem like, but was taken at a morning, when people started waking up and getting into the city.

I don’t usually do this, but I cropped the image a little, dropping the very bottom of red tail-lights, and the very top of not too significant blues. Without the red tail lights it gives more of a morning expression in my opinion.

Amsterdam - Night at RAI 2

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.6
Shutter speed
1/4 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 800
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

Same hotel, slightly different view of the RAI station in Amsterdam, at afternoon rush hour, when everyone is trying to get home in their cars.

The only strange feeling it gives away is that this could be in any big city, in any country. Is the future ( or the fate ) of cities to lose their faces except for their very old cores and old towns?

Amsterdam - Night at RAI

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/6 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 3200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

On my last visit to Amsterdam I stayed at a different location, much further from the central I usually do. I wasn’t expecting to have a view, but for my surprise, I got this.

Much city. Such sky. Wow.

Winter Garden

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/1.8
Shutter speed
1/1600 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8

Close to Cambridge there is a place, named Anglesey Abbey. It has a unique surrounding, something called a winter garden: species and plants from all over the world that are the most extraordinary during the not too cold winters in East of England.

Autumn in February

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/250 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 400
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Even though this view looks very much like it’s an autumn scene it was taken in February. The trick is in the temperature: it was way too warm for a February, much like you’d expect from October, so it resulted in a similar toned forest around sunset.

kthxbye #2

One year ago I stopped posting to social networks, or at least minimized it as much as possible. Nearly a year passed so it’s time for a summary, and while I mostly resisted posting, it doesn’t feel like success.

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The impossible colours of a forest

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/5.0
Shutter speed
1/50 sec
Focal length (as set)
43.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 1600
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

There are certain colours you believe to be artificial, never to be found in nature. For my surprise, some mosses and lichens have weird, alien level colours, especially when they are combined with dull greys and browns in a winter forest.

Raven of the stairs

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/60 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 3200
Lens

This is underneath one of the stairs of Castle Cochem. It’s a bit tricky to photograph due to the significant contrast, but it’s quite a uniqe view.

Cat's Kingdom

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/320 sec
Focal length (as set)
16.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

The cat of Castle Eltz checking up on it’s human visitors.

Castle Cat

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/320 sec
Focal length (as set)
85.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
HD PENTAX-DA 16-85mm F3.5-5.6 ED DC WR

Not knowing the place has a winter ‘close’ our original goal was visiting Castle Eltz - when we learnt that entry is not possible, Nora1 started looking for alternatives. This is how we ended up in Cochem and the Castle of Cochem. This is the cat guarding the castle who, just like many other cats before, spotted us from the other side of the area and walked straight to Nora.


  1. https://norahamucska.eu

Suppress Slack IRC 'voice' noise in Hexchat

I’ve been pushed to use Slack besides our current jabber, but it’s too noisy.

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Crown

Camera
Aperture
f/
Shutter speed
sec
Focal length (as set)
Sensitivity
ISO
Lens

I’d been trying to take pictures like this for years, barely ever resulting in anything usable or even remotely similar to what I actually saw. This is one of the exceptions, and ancient red tree in the garden of Anglesey Abbey.

Spot the crow!

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/400 sec
Focal length (as set)
35.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 160
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 35mm F2.4 AL

We were passing by on a street in Cambridge when I stopped to take a picture of the autumn sunset lights. Only after the first shot - which was with the wrong color temperature - I spotted the crow sitting on the roof.

MINE

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/1000 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8

When I took this image there was a constant, stormy wind and the seagulls, despite of their efforts, weren’t moving at all, just staying at a single point in space in the air.

I couldn’t tell if the guy, holding up the chunk of chips was teasing them, because the birds never really took their chance; probably because of the mentioned wind.

The scene itself was still hilarious.

into the white

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/1600 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 100
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8

There was a stormy wind when I took this picture and I was walking for about 10 minutes before finally taking it; holding my breath that the two guys in the pier stay where they are until I reach the perfect angle.

Shades of Herdwick

Camera
PENTAX K-5 II s
Aperture
f/8.0
Shutter speed
1/100 sec
Focal length (as set)
50.0 mm
Sensitivity
ISO 200
Lens
smc PENTAX-DA 50mm F1.8

If you’re not from England, you’re not expecting to see a silver coloured sheep. That is until you visit the marvellous Lake District and encounter with your first Herdwick.