Category Archives: photography

Weekly flickroutine

As we all know, Flickr is the best photo sharing site (if you haven’t heard it yet, Microsoft is buying Yahoo, who own Flickr… so there’s a very real possibility that Microsoft will kill Flickr, which would make me hate them even more). Almost unbelievably, the flickr source is only 60k lines of php and 60k lines of templates… I’ve seen 10k lines files that didn’t do anything useful. The fact that all of the Flickr’s functionality can fit in 60k lines is simply amazing.

Flickr has the best features and — even more importantly — best photographers and best photos. Flickr Explore shows some of the most interesting, provoking and artistic photos.

And the best way to view any Flickr galleries (including Explore) is Flickriver. It’s currently my most favourite site on all the internets.

Why Flickriver rocks:

  • Infinite scrolling (aka river) enables you to get to see more photos simply by scrolling to the bottom. No more clicking “next” and “previous”! (I absolutely hate paging, having everything on one page is just perfect)
  • Black background just makes it look good. Show me a photo that looks better on white background and I’ll show you a hundred that look better on black background.
  • Larger image previews are much better than the small squares you usually see on flickr, you see the full uncropped picture, and you see it at a size which actually enables you to recognize what is displayed on the picture.

At least once a week, I visit Flickriver and go through at least top 50 explore photos from each day since my last visit. I’ve been doing this for several months yet I’m amazed over and over again how perfect photos there are.

Give Flickriver a try, I’m sure you won’t regret it!

Oh, and I can highly suggest viewing my favourite photos (mostly falling into at least one of these categories: hdr, landscapes, mist/fog, cities, conceptual).

Ticketmania

You might have seen my crazy ticket folding gallery.

Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet. :P

Here are some of the latest, greatest and bestest tickets:

This ticket is currently my favourite, but you’d have to see it as a whole to really appreciate it, seeing from just one direction simply isn’t enough. :)

Another view of the previous one, a bit of a rear view.

The part that you can see in the upper left gave me a lot of headache, and the more I try to do something reasonable with it, the worse it gets (the one thing that you should avoid when folding is making folds which tend to erase each other (ie. as you fold one the other unfolds and vice versa, that is exactly the situation in upper left))

This one has a lot of straight lines, but I still love it, the upper left contains one fold that shouldn’t have been there, but it can’t be really seen from this side :))

A very artificial one, cascading round folds (extremely difficult to do well, I succeeded here, although the pic might be a bit too small to see it properly.

Totally baroque ticket. It’s getting a bit old and I am afraid it will soon fall apart. Again, it has many features that need to be seen (and touched!) irl.

An artificial experiment that turned out very well. There is an annoying straight fold between the cascades which shouldn’t have been there.

The same, a bit less artistical lightning which allows a better view of the actual ticket.

Pure round fold. If you think that those tickets are easy to fold, try this. I made this one exclusively for the photo (I fold most of tickets just for the sake of folding, therefore they are rarely suitable for photos).

This is on the other end of the scale – 100% natural. I found it in the trash one day, crumpled and abandoned. Of course I saved it, removed some folds that needed removing and improved the good ones (and added a few of my own). I very much like it. It’s not very suitable for a photo though.

Round folds, one inside another. Quite photographable.

Wrapped up in itself – prolly needs to be seen irl to appreciate.

This is a rather big ticket (some 10x12cm) from Poland. Recently I added the leftmost fold (the one which can barely be seen), not a good idea, it disrupts the lower fold (as you can see).

Testing the boundaries.

Tight round fold, a bit tricky to keep it round, these tend to sharpen.

Just some cascades.

Am I crazy? Well yes, sure.

PS: Hello WordPress, could you fucking stop touching my html? Many thanks. >:-|

UPDATE: The photos are now clickable (use the middle mouse button in firefox to open in new tab).

Skiing in Risoul

I’ve just spent a wonderful week in Risoul (their web sucks big time, but I feel compelled to link it anyway).

It was a great trip, the weather was nice (mostly sunny but some clouds too, which was good because the snow usully kept bellow zero even in the afternoon).

Out of the six days of skiing, I fell three times:

The first one was classical – I was trying to do a left turn, but my left ski got stuck in a pile of snow. Subsequently, the binding let go and I fell in a magnificent way, providing entertainment for the few onlookers.

The second one was just plain stupid and boring. I was trying to brake by making a 180˚ turn at a very low speed (always a bad idea). Of course the heavy snow layer was a bit thicker than I expected, so I fell over.

The third one was nasty, I was just practicing carving skiing and was inspecting my last carved turn (carving turns usually throw you out at a fairly high speed). It was in the morning, the pistes were groomed and there weren’t many people. I thought it was all clear and easy, but apparently I missed the fact that the piste was going quite a bit uphill. As I approached this uphill at a fairly high speed and completely unaware, it cought me by surprise and threw me on my back. I managed to stand up without losing much speed, but after stopping, I noticed that my right thumb was really hurting.

After that, the thumb was growing for about an hour. It grew so much that removing my glove showed impossible (in the evening I somehow managed, but it took a lot of effort and it was rather painful). Now (after more than three days), I can move my thumb and use it for simple tasks that do not require much power.

I spent the first three days skiing the boring same style I’ve practiced for all my life. It’s quite elegant, but not quite as enjoyable. I just go down the hill, letting the ski slip vertically. I think I got quite good at it, but it requires quite a steep slope to reach a good speed, and I was always really bored on the less steep pistes, waiting for a place to gain some speed.

Carving style, on the other hand, is much more dynamical. You retain your speed, because by doing the turn using the edge of the ski, you effectively avoid skidding.

So I spent the other three days trying to learn carve turns and I think I succeeded. Because of the hurt thumb, I got rid of the poles and I found out that they were in fact quite useless.

Mhmm, this post is getting quite long, so I’d better stop it soon… anyways, if you have read this far — have a look at my photo gallery from Risoul!

Abandoned places

There is something really weird about abandoned places. I personally find them very scary for several reasons. First is that they don’t necessarily have to be as abandoned as they might seem, and if someone lived there it would probably be weird enough person to kill me. The second, less childlish, is that it just seems scary to see a place that used to be full of people abandoned like this. This is also the fascinating thing about these places.

I found a few interesting sites, one with pictures (and some additional info) by a girl riding her motorbike through the Chernobyl area. One made by Polish guys is called opuszczone (click “gallery” at the bottom), it contains mostly Polish buildings, but there are photos from other places too. And I couldn’t possibly omit a great site that goes by the name abandoned places, made by a Belgian pilot who seems to spend quite a lot of free time on abandoned places; although the design is a bit, errrm, original… just click around a lot and you are bound to get to occasionally see all the great photos.

Is there any website about such places in Czechia (particularly Brno)? I couldn’t find one, and I was trying quite hard.