Dispatches & Sketches

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Outnumbered

We live by numbers. We make decisions based on them. We study ratings, statistics, and trends. We compare prices, count stars, and draw charts — first, then conclusions. Everything we do in the end …

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Photoshopping

With almost 30 years of market presence under its belt, Photoshop is one of the most popular and powerful image editing software packages. From the beginning, it has become the tool of choice for many…

Continue reading "Photoshopping"

Driving by numbers

Europe is a rather small place. You are bound to cross borders often when moving around.

I commute between two federal states of Germany day in, day out. One can't miss the line with all its bells and whistles, signposts and banners.

Borders are made to be observed, after all.

The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is invisible, literally. There is none. You notice the change by the scale on road signs. Speed limits and distances drop or raise suddenly depending on your travel direction, without any reason.

Kilometres? Miles? Imperial? Metric? The numbers make the difference, the only one. Now you are abroad, and now you are back again.

I wonder if this will stay that way for long, with the Kingdom leaving the EU.

The EU membership referendum of 2016 asked the British a single question: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? On the whole, 52% voted to leave, while 48% chose to remain.

This is just the big picture, though.

In tiny Gibraltar, not more than a cliff at the southern tip of Spain, 96% were to remain. All voting areas of Scotland decided to remain, with the total score of 62% to 38%. Greater London voted 60% to 40% to stay. A firm majority of 56% in Northern Ireland were in favour of remaining, too.

The vote left enough numbers to analyze and raise questions. For me, the most telling are these two:

Google Trends for \

The graph shows the dynamics of Google searches for "eu" within the UK during the referendum week—the bulk of them was carried out the day after the referendum.

And this, vote results by age:

AgeVoted to leaveVoted to remain
18 - 2429%71%
25 - 4946%54%
50 - 6460%40%
65+64%36%
Data by YouGov, based on the post-referendum poll of 5,242 voters

It seems that those to live with the result the longest were against it.

PS Numbers and statistics, and Northern Ireland and Game of Thrones are topics of the next two newsletter issues. Subscribe at top of the page, or on the dedicated one.

Ride on a star

This is just to announce the last series of my images, which are online now!

The northern way

May 17 is Constitution Day, the national day in Norway. The date recalls the events of 1814, when the country was forced out of one personal union (with Denmark) into another (with Sweden). It isn't a...

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A duck for a dog

If you got your own place on the Internet, helping your visitors find what they are looking for is a great way to engage them and keep them staying a bit longer. A custom site search can achieve just ...

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Back to the past

When you are young, you can't wait to get older. You make plans and look into the future. You want to start doing things you couldn't do before, and you want to do these things without asking anyone's...

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Perfectly legal

Going on a trip and bringing a camera along? — Great! However, be sure to know what you can photograph at your destination without breaking the law. The short answer to what is legal, is: it very much…

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Brand new

When preparing this issue, it struck me that our language affects not only how we think, but also how we behave. In German, there is no exact equivalent for saying you like something. Sure, a verb wit…

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Edge out

It took me more time to come up with a title for this announcement than you will need to read it...

Drum roll, please! There's news for all fine art photography collectors out there. All but canvas prints are now available for order with an optional white border around the image.

As I see it, this comes especially useful for framed editions.

The border is offered in six sizes, from 1 cm (.4") to 12 cm (4.8"). I am yet unsure about all widths being worth it, nor about how to present the option visually on the order page, but a possibility should come online within a week.

You will be able to order this feature with your next request.

Autumn

A time to remember

Summer time started in Europe last night.

This is how we call daylight saving time.

"Daylight saving" sounds silly. What is that supposed to mean? "I wake up one hour earlier every day to save some daylight for later"? 😕 Or, "I wake up one hour earlier every day to save the daylight from bad guys"? 🙄 Come on.

I think ours is a much nicer name. You can relate to it.

You can feel it is about sun, warmth, light, holiday, "I scream for ice cream", children playing on the beach, long evenings on the terrace, cold lemonade, cherries and strawberries, and apricots, and peaches, grass, flowers, storms, and how the air smells after.

Break

I like it.

The laziness in the heat. The thick book on the porch with dry flowers used as a mark. The travel season.

Is it just me, or does anyone else notice how their childhood memories often recall summers?

Sour cherry pies, ripe peaches coloured like danger, exploding when bitten into, the mess afterwards, the complaining gran, the list of books to read for school, longer than the summer itself, Dandelion Wine instead, bitter-sweet like sour cherries... I could go forever, I should stop now.

I got a job to do. A morning like today's – if you don't oversleep, most unlikely, so it's rather an early afternoon already, how time flies, doesn't it – begins with the usual ritual of adjusting clocks and watches, catching up with the advanced time.

Ever thought of it as a form of time travel? The whole world around you got an hour older in an instant and didn't realize it.

Welcome to the future.

Have a great summer this year, and many a summer yet to remember.

Yours sincerely,

If you are old enough to tell email and mail – or post – apart, then you probably can remember how it felt when you got some of the latter.

You'd also know how it didn't feel.

It didn't happen every 30 seconds—it actually couldn't happen more than twice a day.

It wasn't all bills.

It didn't make much noise when it arrived. If it did, it was a very different kind of noise, no electronic bells, just human whistles.

And boy, do you remember how it felt when you waited for some and didn’t get any?

I mean, it was a strange time. People communicated over funny devices. Typing with a thumb was a rare craft. News and letters went together, but as separate entities, never as a whole.

It’s great that they do now, don't you think. It fills your mailbox and lets you take part in something, or belong to something else. It's a good, reassuring feeling.

By the way, this site also has a newsletter. Some say it is worthwhile.

Now, "if something is worthwhile, it is worth the time, money, or effort that you spend on it". It's not me, it's Macmillan's.

That's quite to the point, though, because the newsletter is made for you. It would be a pity if you miss it.

What are the rules? There are no rules. Every issue is unexpected like, swoosh, something like this:

Elements: Fire

I promise it will stay this way. If it ever gets boring, feel free to leave. I will give my best not to let this happen.

As it stands, there are some hints about the next two issues in this very piece.

Got an idea? Want to be among the first to know for sure? Use the form at the top, or head over to the dedicated page and be sure to subscribe!

Read the current issue. Then wait for the next to arrive. Just like it used to be.

"Ten o'clock postman..." 🎙

Remember? Don't forget to subscribe!

Travelling without moving

If you are like me, you like to travel. I try to spend my holidays travelling (and taking pictures!) whenever I can. Sometimes it's a fully organised tour, the kind when you don't have to care about a...

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Sentimental journey

Don't know about you, but I like planning my holidays almost as much as travelling itself.

The time I spend with comparing, choosing and combining, then finding my way and actually booking is for me as exciting and enjoyable as saying good-byes, boarding the plane and leaving for good.

It has always been.

I remember looking forward to the summer holiday with the family in my childhood, waiting impatiently for the scheduled departure and dreaming about what was expecting me that year, in that place.

Approaching Lofoten

It is pretty much the same today.

The preparation starts with a travel catalogue, an email, a newsletter. A list of options, a series of pictures, a bunch of descriptions. Destinations, known and new, memories about the former, questions about the latter, longing for both.

The latest coup came unexpected. I'd been planning a new stay in Swiss Alps, this time in Valais, then moving across the border to Italy or France, for another week at Lago Maggiore, or in the Apennins, or in Jura.

I was undecisive yet, studying timetables, connections and prices, when I received an email invitation to join an aged ship on its transit from Norway to Germany in the beginning of the summer season.

The ship is an old acquaintance. I spent ten days on board in 2011 (was it that long already?)

Nordstjernen in Tromsø

The trip was great. I met some wonderful people, we are still in contact, to date. The images are from then, the full report is available here, unforgettable.

The ship is over 60 now, an official heritage. It will be half-full only, just about, on a sentimental journey, friends-and-family style from Bergen in Norway via Denmark to Hamburg.

I used to travel to Hamburg for work, quite a lot, but not anymore. I don't even remember when it was the last time I was there.

I will return on the ship named after the North Star. The star is now officially called Polaris, it is the nearest one to the celestial pole.

It won't stay this way though. In 2102, the pole will slowly start moving away from it. Two thousand years from now, someone will have to think again.

Nordstjernen in Vardø

PS Travel is also the focus of the current newsletter. Gain instant access to it when you subscribe.

To like or not

Some time ago I started on Pinterest, don't know if you noticed. It's been three months now.

Since then, I've been uploading an image a day, every day. Well, almost – the week my laptop died was an exception.

I have some 100 images on two boards so far, one is for experiments. I suspect, I am not quite good at it, not yet. Besides, the picture format gives me the creeps, but I don't need a mobile to pin my images, at least.

Speaking of which, there is a huge lot of photographs there. Not a big surprise, but many of them are, erm, a mixed bag?

The strange thing is, if you don't like something, you can't say it out loud. The whole social media world seems 👍 only. That makes it so different from the real world.

In Amélie, one of my favourite films and older than Facebook, the figures are introduced by naming both what they like and don't like.

Amélie likes cracking crème brûlée with a teaspoon and skimming stones on the Canal St Martin. (She lives in Paris, that makes both matters so much easier.)

She hates it in old American movies when drivers don't watch the road.

This is human.

With social, we are entitled to like or to ignore only.

This doesn't feel right, it is not like us.

Would you still follow me? 😈

Tags: #plainlight #whatsnew #getinspired

Updates

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  1. Outnumbered

    Aug 31, 17 04:48 AM

    We live by numbers. We make decisions based on them. We study ratings, statistics, and trends. We compare prices, count stars, and draw charts — first, then conclusions. Everything we do in the end …

    Read on

  2. Photoshopping

    Jul 21, 17 05:55 AM

    With almost 30 years of market presence under its belt, Photoshop is one of the most popular and powerful image editing software packages. From the beginning, it has become the tool of choice for many…

    Read on

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