I am such a technical wonder! Look how neatly I dismantled my HTC?
Windows mobile was nowhere to be seen, I think it must’ve seen me coming and took off before I got to it 😀

R.I.P., HTC / Windows Mobile. It was fun while it lasted (not…).

HTC Diamond Touch Pro I

Blah...

Need I say more?
Please come and dig us out…

Take it away

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

Take it away

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm

Can’t really help it, but at some point we will be coming back to the snow. And that’ll probably happen quite a bit still in the coming month or two 😀

Boulder covered in snow

D700, ISO200, 1/125 sec @ f/9.5, Nikkor 50mm

Cross-processing, here we go again.
You just gotta get used to it, I guess. I’m just having a lot of fun doing it. And it brings some color into today’s whiteness.
This image was shot just before winter set in, in Finland, dreary weather, sad and cold. Wouldn’t believe me if I hadn’t shown you the before pic, would you? Layer blending modes are your biggest friend here.

Before

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

The procedure

Remember the blending modes! Test how things work out, but keep in mind that not all colors are suitable for this process.

After

The final result

To get away (at least temporarily) from the single colored landscape we’re vacating in at the time I thought I’d throw in a little bit of Photoshop.
Photography basis, with a twist.

Macro close-up of a flowering tulip

Formerly known as "tulip"

The procedure is very simple. Open up a (suitable) image in Photoshop. Go to View -> Show -> Show Grid. Make a selection on the background layer. You can either copy-paste it onto a new layer or work on the background layer (not recommended). Free transform (Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) T), flip horizontally or vertically, depending on the direction of your selection. Repeat with equal spaces between the sections. And that’s it :) Creative variations/combinations possible.
Gives some funky effects if you have the right picture.

Drop me a line if you want more details on the how-to.

I have such a back-log of snow pictures, I could probably be totally oblivious here and post more snow for the coming year or so.
It’s good if you haven’t had time to go out and shoot something new, though 😀

I shot this one (and yesterday’s one) earlier in the year (yeah, it’s winter here pretty much the whole year 😀 ), I especially like this one because of the contrast of colors against the white snow.
No, I don’t like it for the fuel prices, especially not, because those are already about 18 eurocents higher today than they were in the picture. Cherish your fuel prices, my dear fellow Americans, you have NOTHING to complain about 😉

Brand display of Neste Oil on a cold winter day

D200, ISO100, 1/45 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Wires in the snow

D200, ISO100, 1/10 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

I don’t get it. Do I attract it or something? I got into another one of those situations.
For a couple of years now I’ve been taking part in photography competitions from the Color Awards (Photography Masters Cup) and the Black and White Spider Awards. Last year I received a mail from a website The Photo Paper, which announced a magazine bundling all the winners and nominees from these competitions. Aside from my own excellent photography (ahem) it’d be great to see the best of these together in magazines. There really are some great images among them.

Photo Paper

image courtesy of The Photo Paper

I signed up and paid for the subscription and was looking forward to receiving the first issue, as was announced to be released in June of 2010. June came. June went. But no Photo Paper in my mailbox. July came and went, too. Also without any Photo Paper (see a pattern forming?).
August came, and I decided to try to get some info. I checked the website for a contact address and found it. It’s a good website (gotta give them that!). I sent a mail to the given email address and, my Life took a hopeful turn, I received a prompt reply from a very friendly lady, who apologized for the delay, but reassured me that the first issue of the magazine would be shipped still that very month, so in August.

August went. September came. September went. October came and went. November (see that pattern again?)… And even though that on the website there was now one place which (still) said that the first issue would come out in June 2010, in a second place it said it would come out in November, it didn’t, hadn’t, wouldn’t.
December… was the month in which I thought that four months patience is sufficient to justify another mail. That hopeful turn had made a solid U-turn in the mean time and that was emphasized by the fact that this time the prompt reply didn’t come. No sign of life, whatsoever.
I sent a mail to another address on the website, to no avail. December went, and I was too busy with work to follow up. In January, however, I felt like I needed to do something about it and so I thought I’d poke with the stick in the anthill.

I sent a new mail. But now to a number of big names that were in the partner-list on the website, with a CC: to the addresses I sent my first emails to. The first replies came in immediately. Automated responses about how they value customer service etc. etc. and they’d get back to me as soon as they can. Not immediately, though fairly quickly, came another reply, from PDN. Very short, but very clear (names are XXXXXX-ed):

We are not a sponsor of the PhotoPaper
Send me the url if it says something different
Best
XXXXX XXXXXXXX

Ouch… So I sent the URL and got a prompt reply back:

Dear Arno
This is what it says below and it lists XXXXXX XXXXX who works for
us who judged one of their contests years ago. XXXXXX is going to
contact them to have our name removed but I really don’t know
what is going on. Thanks for contacting us and bringing this to our
attention. Sorry we can not be more helpful
XXXXXXX

Our industry partners are made up of a collective Judging Panel of
over eighty of the most recognized industry experts who participate
on the panels of PHOTOGRAPHY MASTERS CUP and BLACK &
WHITE SPIDER AWARDS.

So… Gets you thinking, doesn’t it? I started wondering how many of those so-called partners were actually aware of being made partners. But in any case, this didn’t bring me much closer to knowing when I would get my first issue. I didn’t get any replies from the other “partners”, but I was surprised when I found a mail from, yes!, The Photo Paper in my mailbox today.
It was a reply to the mail I sent on December 4th and it read the following:

Dear Arno,
To confirm, your subscription to The PHOTO Paper has been
cancelled and your payment of $XX has been refunded to your
credit card.

Sincerely,
XXXXXXXXXX

To which I pretty much concluded that they have no idea when this magazine will be published. I decided to go check out the website and the first thing that opened was a pop-up window saying

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
The first issue of The PHOTO Paper will be released February
along with the launch of a new website.

I scrolled on to the partners page and also noticed that indeed the PDN entry has been removed…

Oh, and I stated in my second mail to them that they’d either refund my money OR give me a concrete release date. The fact that they (say they have) refunded the money makes me believe that this whole thing is still rather uncertain. If it’s actually released in February, I’ll check if the magazine comes to the stores and buy it from there. If not… I might consider signing up again… Or not…

But first… Let’s see if I’m actually going to get that refund to my credit card or if I have to start chasing that, too…
Maybe “to be continued…”

Excellent winter, this. Ever since the end of October it’s been snowing, freezing, thawing, snowing, freezing, thawing, snowing… And only three more months to go! 😀
I swear, the big piles are going to be here still in July!

Snow

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/2, Nikkor 50mm

Just because she’s SO cute…

Russian Blue

D700, ISO200, 1/250 sec @ f/6.7, Tamron 90mm macro, 2x off-camera SB-800