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My blog, focussed on improving my photography and documenting my travels.

Baden Baden

I haven’t used my new camera enough yet, as life has been in the way. I do notice the pixel difference to the A7R (36 vs 24), but of course, none to the RX1. The RX1 is possibly overall softer, but the lens is so good that really, we’re splitting hairs at this point. Also, I now use a 4K display, so 1:1 isn’t as “zoomed” as it used to be.

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The reason you should pick up a camera shouldn’t be due to its technical prowess. It should be because you want to take a photograph, whatever your reason. The lens, camera, pale into insignificance as it’s the capturing of a specific moment that is the true aim. The photograph stops time, either as a landscape that appears timeless, or a snapshot of an event. Documenting a trip, conveying a message. Experimentation with the art that is photography.

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I will say this, though. I’ve always wanted to consciously “be in the moment” and not simply record everything I am doing. Those amusing fathers videoing entire children’s parties in the 90s have morphed into an entire society live-streaming everything. It’s rare to take a photo, and go back to it days, weeks, months… years later to remember and reflect. If it’s not live-streamed, did it really happen? It’s the people that record entire music concerts on their phones instead of being there in the moment. Many events have a professional team generating footage from an event. There’s no point in filming the concert. Your phone is in the way, and distracting.

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This is where I think the motorbike comes in, at least to my life. I absolutely love the disconnect. It’s me and the bike, me and the bike and the corner. Sure, I attach a GoPro for fun sometimes, make a little video, but to just get on the bike and ride off to explore a new place is so relaxing. On my last trip, I took the A73 with the Helios 44-2 (55/2) lens, FE 35/2.8 and new 28/2 Sony FE lens. I also had my new mobile, the P30 Pro. They all shoot differently, and I use them for different purposes. The phone has a great camera, but those photos are useful for, at best, this blog. Unless I am very unlucky and without my real camera at a location, generating a print from the phone camera just wouldn’t satisfy me. It’s good, very good, but my real camera is so much better. It would be entirely possible to travel with only the phone, post to social media, and hell, even print at the good old standard size… but I have a lot of lenses to use!

35/2.8

35/2.8

35mm is really still my favourite focal length. I enjoy 50mm and higher for a certain look that can be achieved, but 28mm is also a great focal length (your phone frames photos at around this focal length). My favourite photos are consistently architecture shots with a tight aperture (so everything is in focus) and high shutter speed to really create a clear image. The above shot is an example of that.

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I rode mostly on the famous Bundesstraße 500 (B500) heading to Baden-Baden. It’s basically a tourist road, as the much faster A5 autobahn is on the west side for those wanting to make real progress. If you’re on a bike, I recommend the B500 over the autobahn unless you want to see your V_max…

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I first came to Baden-Baden during my PhD in 2007, and stayed here for about 7 weeks. It hasn’t really changed that much.

Baden-Baden is a spa town in southwestern Germany’s Black Forest, near the border with France. Its thermal baths led to fame as a fashionable 19th-century resort. Alongside the Oos River, park-lined Lichtentaler Allee is the town’s central promenade. The Kurhaus complex (1824) houses the elegant, Versailles-inspired Spielbank (casino). Its Trinkhalle has a loggia decorated with frescoes and a mineral-water fountain.

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I had a walk around and a delicious coffee and ice cream in a cute little cafe down a back alley, in the sun.

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Horse-drawn carts take tourists around the town. Birds tweet from their little perches in the surrounding trees. The cool spring breeze rustles leaves. The bright sun causes you to close your eyes and its heat warms your skin and you could be anywhere.