Yesterday in the shop when stocking up on food I certainly found proof that the festivities aren’t fun for everyone. I was a bit surprised that they sell whole piglets with the head and everything, but then I was too busy trying to take a picture to think too much about it. By the way, I’m sorry about the title, but sometimes I just can’t help it with the sarcasm. After all, you can either laugh or cry about it and laughing is probably healthier in the long run. For those of you who don’t know it: “Babe” was a film featuring a cute little piglet. It also reminds me of an album of Client that starts with the line “Life is cruel and then you die” which is awfully fitting for many situations, including this one. Sarcasm like this just proves that I’ve lived in England too long. There it’s very common to just make fun of the things that are beyond your control. Why let such things ruin the fun of it all?
Personally I actually find it quite good that you can find this in the meat section here. I have less of a problem with people who eat the little piglet anyway. My beef (excuse the bad pun) is with people who are entirely disconnected from the fact that their dinner cost the life of an animal. I precisely mean people who get squeamish about this sort of thing, but still eat meat since they don’t want to connect the dots. We all can decide how we live our lives and I think it’s important to remember that someone somewhere always pays for our lifestyle choices. It doesn’t have to be about the little piglet that died to be our dinner, it can just as well be about the electronic garbage that gets shipped illegally from the US, the UK, Germany, Italy and other countries to for example Ghana making it nothing more than a landfill for the richer countries. Awareness is key.
I hope this didn’t ruin your dinner … I myself will be grateful to a duck tonight. Happy New Year!
As the year concludes I look back at all the pictures I took in the last almost 5 months. 140 pictures I published here and there were many more that didn’t make the cut. It was quite a crazy time actually, finishing my degree, exploring Berlin, traveling, moving and during that time I’ve learned a lot about photography. And along the way you lovely lot were with me, commenting, clicking the like button and encouraging me to keep up my work. Thank you all for your support! I also would like to thank Julie @ Outtakes on the Outskirts, münchow and zendictive for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award, I thank Nadia Elpis for nominating me for the Kreativ Blogger Award and PC Photo for nominating me for the Liebster Blogger Award. I feel flattered that you nominated me, but somehow I don’t seem to find the time to fulfill the conditions connected to the awards. I hope you don’t take it badly and I’m still really glad that you guys like my blog! I would also like to thank my top commenters: spilledinkguy, dhphotosite, KarenAnn, PC Photo, Mufidah Kassalias and robert che vola. I also follow your blogs regularly and to the rest of you I can only highly recommend to check out these links.
Maybe when I finish one year of this challenge I will post some of the “b-sides”, but for now I will just show you my favourites, in case you haven’t seen them already. I will pick two for each month that I’ve been taking pictures:
These markings on the street are like the politics that have us all entangled. On first sight it seems to make sense, but then after a while you get lost and start wondering what it all means. Politics, society, “common sense”. Maybe it feels like rope around your neck that is suffocating you slowly. Or maybe that rope is a mere imagination, which you invent whenever you feel as if you are in a situation that is beyond your control. In any case, in the end you want to escape, like any cornered animal. Let me tell you though … there is no escape from it all. Running off into the forest won’t help. Believe me, you will come crawling back and if it is only to rummage through the city bins. In the end you will be like the guy in Georges Perec’s A Man Asleep. Nobody will understand what you were trying to achieve, but everyone will know that you have failed.
I remember from my childhood that you shouldn’t drink fountain water since there is nasty stuff in it. We obviously had to figure out what kind of stuff and put some of the water into a bottle. Let’s just say that even as a curious kid I was immediately convinced that drinking that would be a bad idea. For once, there seemed to live all sorts of nasty bugs in that water. I distinctly remember looking at that bottle and there was one bug that looked as if it had fangs. It was swimming in circles in the bottle, round and round, and it wasn’t something that lived on the fountain, no, it lived in the water. Bugs that swim? That was certainly new to me and I poured the water from the fountain in a bottle many times to look at the monsters living in there. I never saw the fanged monster again though.
This picture was taken at one of the fountains of the Brühl. In winter there is no water in them.
In the little extra room in my mum’s flat there is a set of lamps that creates fascinating patterns on the wall. You can agree with me that the name ice-cube-lamp is quite fitting for it. Yesterday I used it to test my new lens. As you can see with the picture yesterday it can have quite a softening effect if you focus on something far away with a wide aperture. For some purposes that can be quite an interesting effect. I however prefer images with quite a crisp foreground, so I was playing around with a wide aperture and focusing on the part of the lamp that was closest to me. It had a great effect throwing the rest of the lamp out of focus with the moody patterns on the wall. And what’s really cool is that the unsharp mask which I use to sharpen pictures taken with my other two lenses has almost no effect here, since the lens already produces really crisp pictures by itself. Sure, it’s the photographer and not the camera, but good gear really helps.
My mum lives close to the Brühl in Chemnitz. The area used to be very lively and I remember that it was full of people when I was little. I used to go there to do pottery when I was a kid. I was absolutely without talent there and produced a number of rather ugly deformed animals, but that’s another story altogether. Nowadays the Brühl looks like this, empty, run down. Almost all the buildings are abandoned and apart from one or two shops everything is closed down. In some houses there is only one flat inhabited, others stay completely dark at night. Over the years there were a number of projects to bring life back into the area, but all of them failed. The company that owns the buildings was against renting the flats to artists and young people for example. There will be another project, reconstructing most of the buildings from European funds, which should probably do the trick, but until then the area is a bit spooky. I avoid it at night when I’m alone, since my mum even was robbed there once. I like going there during daytime though, since it’s a great place to take pictures of decay.
In our family my mum still tries to keep the pretence up that Santa is actually bringing the presents, although we kids are 26 and 30 now. This year there was definitely the least of this, but at some point my mum suggested that the presents were thrown in through a hole in the window. Uhm, right, no chimney here, but that must have been one big hole. I had some great presents, one of which was a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4! Since I take lots of pictures after dark it seemed like the best gear to get. I immediately tried it out for a bit and to take a picture of something rather dark I just photographed out the window with the widest aperture. In front of the house there was this white van parked and my brother said it looked like a surveillance van. Well, maybe it’s Santa’s van, since he has to make sure that nobody is looking when he puts the presents under the tree. Quite a challenge when we’re all in the same room.
Traveling means waiting. Killing time, reading, listening to music, eating, just so that the time passes. This man reads while waiting for the train. I took pictures of him while waiting for the train. For Christmas my family usually meets at my mum’s place in Chemnitz, where we all used to live. Only my mum lives there now and like most people who left Chemnitz, the rest of us have no plan of returning to this town. I don’t really know how it is now, but when I lived here it seemed as if there was nothing. Province. Even the gothic parties I used to go to were quite provincial in tastes. It’s as if the rest of the world moved a bit faster and had a better taste in music too. Every year we still come back, although we don’t do the old stuff anymore. We don’t go to the same parties, we don’t necessarily meet with the same people and when we do it’s sometimes shocking. Last year I ran into an old friend of mine at a party and was shocked that I ever considered him a friend. I don’t think he changed much. I changed. And that’s generally what going away does to you. It changes you and when you come back everything seems odd, precisely because it all stayed the same.
The other day Ezequiel and me went to he mall again to buy some headphones for me. My black Sennheiser PX 200 died the usual cable death after just about 2 years and I decided that 4 years with the same headphones were quite enough – I used to have the same ones in white. It took me ages to decide on a pair and the ones I wanted after reading reviews on the internet weren’t available in the electronics store. Well, in the end I went for some with not so good reviews, Sony MDR-ZX300, because I found them quite alright when trying them out at the store. First of all they fit me, which is hardly the case for my small head. As for the reviews I guess they just don’t sound right for people with bigger heads. Granted they are a touch too heavy on the bass, but most headphones are and it’s hardly enough for giving bad reviews. Unlike speakers headphones are very subjective business and in the lower price ranges the differences can be quite big. After trying them out extensively for a couple of days I can’t say anything bad about them. Especially for electronic music they’re really quite good. Comparable to my old Sennheiser ones with about half the price and way better cables.
After that success I took a picture of a little carousel in the mall. I actually found the smile of these horses quite creepy. However, I also don’t like clowns or amusement parks, so all of that might seem creepy to me.