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01 September 2009

Swimming with a Sea Turtle

A few hours after the octopus meeting
Sea turtle swimming above the sand

Last Sunday, after my meeting with the Octopus, I was lazily lying in the sand, working on my tan, when a friend called out from the water. At first I didn't notice, but finally I made my way into the water, still thinking that it was all a joke. When I arrived, I heard that there was a sea turtle Caretta Caretta. I dived down and after only a second or two, I was able to spot it. It was such a beautiful thing! Majestically gliding through the depth.

We swam along the turtle for about 15 to 20 minutes. The turtle did not appear to be bothered by our presence, still I was trying not to be too bothersome, not to get too close etc. (especially when it came up to breath). At the same time I was trying to get a good picture and enjoy the experience. Busy moments, but wonderful!

Continue reading "Swimming with a Sea Turtle"
Posted by betabug at 11:48 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
12 September 2009

Autumn Facts

Some notes

It's been ages since I've written anything. So here are some quick facts. It's a bit more than a week now that I'm back in Athens. The first days were a shock: the smog was thick, it was warm and sticky and much more nervous than on Naxos. Then the weather started to cool down. Finally 2 days now it rains. Surprising enough, it's autumn now. Usually this time of year is warm and mild.
I'm also looking for a flat, only for myself. No more shared flats for me right now. Work, on the other hand, is demanding, with a project that is urgent.
Got my old camera from Switzerland. Took the first pix. Now looking for where to process. It sure has become an elite hobby, with associated price tag. Everybody is ofcoz doing digital now, that's why. I'm enjoying the old fashioned style, but have yet to see my first results.

Posted by betabug at 12:03 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
13 September 2009

Wu in Athens

Cow meeting

Yesterday evening Wu from #bsdcow arrived in Athens. Graffic and me picked him up from the Airport, then we went for food and Ouzo.
Today everybody woke up late. We had relaxed breakfast, then went out to see the area around the Akropolis. Right now we're sitting in a cafe, listening to some indy tunes while Wu waits to try his first greek "frappé" (cold coffee).

Posted by betabug at 15:08 | Comments (3) | Trackbacks (0)
14 September 2009

Φωτιά στην ΕΒΓΑ

Φαίνεται από μακριά
Smoke cloud from fire at the ΕΒΓΑ milk factory in Athens, 2009-09-14

Έπιασε φωτιά το εργοστάσιο της ΕΒΓΑ στην Ιερά Οδό. Όπως φαίνεται στην φώτο, μπορώ να βλέπω τον καπνό από το παράθυρο στο γραφείο μου.

Δεν είναι και πολύ ωραίο να βλέπεις καπνό ξανά πάνω από την Αθήνα. Αυτή την στιγμή όπως γράφουν στα site τον ειδήσεων, η φωτιά δεν είναι ακόμα υπό έλεγχο.

Posted by betabug at 09:23 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
18 September 2009

Re-learning Large Format Photography

The Slow Down Experience Project

When I went in August to Switzerland, I brought back my trusty old Arca Swiss camera with me. 10 days ago I took my first pictures. I was a bit pressed for time there, because the sun threatened from disappearing from the garden I was working in.

Yesterday I got back the developed film and contact print. I worked with a color negative film, the camera is in the 6x9cm format on 120 roll film. There are some things I learned (or re-learned) when looking at the contact:

First, even after all those years I'm not too bad at setting exposure (something that I always feared when I started out with photography), all pictures were within usable range. OK, on color negative film that's not so difficult to achieve. I bracketed some of the pix, I'll stop doing that, it's a waste of film and money. If I'm not totally sure about the exposure, I'll just take a little bit more time to think, calculate and rely on the color negative material.

One thing I really have to do is slow down: There were some shots where I didn't carefully select the framing. This is no "digital, hit the button all the time and something will work out". Gotta take my time, slowing down is what large format is all about.

Last I learned that my 180mm lens is a bit of a problem. Optically it's fine, but since it's a "tele" design lens, it doesn't allow for enough movements of the camera standards. That resulted in one suboptimal picture, as I simply couldn't get the position and framing I wanted. A "normal" 180mm lens should get me tons of movement on 6x9. Also the shutter in that lens needs a cleaning job, maybe even a reworking. The times are way off, especially the longer times. I actually set the time by guessing and comparing to the shutter in my 105mm. Worked for the moment, but it's a joke.

Oh, and if you expected some pictures with this blog post: Hey, it's large format film... I don't have a scanner yet, I don't have a darkroom yet... slow down, it will take some time!

Posted by betabug at 09:54 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
20 September 2009

First Swim for Some

Wu goes for a swim

After having Wu around Athens for more than a week and being in town all the time, we finally went for an excursion outside town.
We're on a beach near Cape Sounion. For Wu it's the first swim of the year. The water is nice and not too cold. It's crystal clear.
When there's a light cloud before the sun, it's getting slightly cold, otherwise it's fine. Next stop in the schedule: get some food and then visit the temple of Poseidon.

Posted by betabug at 16:03 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
22 September 2009

Moving Soon

... to new appartment, same server

Found a small apartment. It's close to work, has character (which means that it has some weird downsides, but also lots of small advantages). Now I've got to move there... which currently drives me close to a nervous breakdown. So probably not going to be much writing here. Expect a housewarming party when all the difficult times are over, maybe in a few weeks.

Posted by betabug at 13:00 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
23 September 2009

Where Does the Road Lead To

Looking out over the city

Didn't have my big camera with me and the Pentax still awaits repair, but this evening's sky is worth a picture.
So, where does the road lead to? The one in the picture goes simply to the sea, in direct line of view from where I'm right now.
Metaphorically speaking, it goes on and on, but we can only see a certain piece of the way. Very poetic, especially since from this height and distance, the small problems and annoyances, like cars, disappear.

Posted by betabug at 18:41 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
28 September 2009


Eins nach dem andern

So geht's halt manchmal: Jetzt wo ich endlich den Umzug hinter mir hab, kommt der nächste Druckpunkt. Diesmal muss ein Projekt in der Firma ganz, ganz dringend fertig werden.
Gleichzeitig muss ich meine neue Wohnung auch noch einrichten, denn bis jetzt sind Kisten und Möbel einfach in einem grossen Haufen reingeschmissen. Dazu kommt - tada! - dass ich noch keinen Strom habe. Beim griechischen Strom-Monopolisten ΔEH (DEI) kann sowas auch heutzutage noch etwas länger dauern. Ich hatte gedacht, die hätten sich schon gebessert.
Es ist also wieder mal eine kleine "Herausforderung" nach der andern. Sobald die Wohnung bewohnbar ist, spar ich mir wenigstens den langen Arbeitsweg. Das war ja auch der Grund, da hinzuziehen.

Update from nächsten Morgen: Der Strom ist da! Hat ja auch nur knapp eine Woche gedauert...

Posted by betabug at 19:18 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)