Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Black & White

Black & White or colour….which is best ?????

Thought for the day…” Broken pencils are pointless”       “Jokes about German sausages are the wurst”

Lots of fun to go back through the photo collections and re-edit the photos….and also get rid of a lot of earlier attempts.   Two versions of the same photo today, from the Spanish island of Menorca.  All photos from the Fuji X series….with the standard 18-55mm kit lens.    See which you like the best.  Same photo but one is converted to B & W.     My vote goes to the black & white version….

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and another photo from the archives….the lake at Geilo, Norway in early autumn…

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And it does not work for them either…….Windows 10

Thought for the day….” Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit”.

Its not that I’m so smart, just that I stay with problems longer”  (Albert Einstein).

Well I am wondering if there is any hope for the rest of us, if the experts cannot get it to work…..At a recent presentation of the features of the new Windows 10 operating system, the chairman of Microsoft, Satya Nadella could not get the Cortana (the ‘personal assistant’ contained in the new system) to work.    After asking the ‘personal assistant’ Cortana to identify most at risk activities in business, the ‘intelligent’ system replied with details of where he could buy milk.   Further attempts to get the system to work as promised also failed, which led to the Microsoft chairman uttering words such as ‘oh, come on”, and ‘no, this is not going to work’.   He was finally helped by some behind the scenes experts, but it was hardly a good endorsement for the new system.   And especially if you are the chairman of the company that makes the product and are supposed to be promoting it at a large event.   So if the chairman of Microsoft cannot get it to work properly, then what can the rest of us expect????   Bring back Windows XP !!!!

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and another photo from the archives….southern Oman….

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Crown Range road in New Zealand

Thought for the day…” A mind is like a parachute.  It does not work unless it is open”

“Teamwork – Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success”  Henry Ford.

If you are fortunate enough to be cycling in New Zealand, then the road linking Queenstown with Wanaka, the Crown Range is going to test the legs.  The road climbs up to 1119m, including a section with zig-zags and also some great downhill sections.   Easy to get up to around 80 km/h on the downhill sections, although the bends will make higher speeds difficult.  Great views down into the Gibbston Valley below, and also towards Queenstown and Arrowtown.  The road is the highest sealed main road in New Zealand, winter snow and ice make the road difficult in winter time, but summer it is a joy to cycle.   On the Pembroke-Wanaka side of the pass, there is the small settlement of Cardrona, which was once the site of a gold rush.  Nowadays Cardrona is more known for its pub (in the second photo) , which has featured in advertisements, and also for the nearby bra-fence.  The bra fence has been moved from the main road due to repeated theft of the bras and the problems caused by too many cars stopping to admire this New Zealand curiosity.

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LOW-RES-Cardrona-road-2LOW-RES-Braand another photo from the archives….one of the early test pictures from the then-new X-E1 camera which was on one of its first outings

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Two from Trondheim

Thought for the day…”  You can never cross an ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”  (Colombus).

“Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a racing car not called a racist?”

Off to the Norwegian city of Trondheim for the photos today.  Trondheim is the 3rd largest city in Norway, with about 170 000 people living there.   It was the capital of Norway until 1217 and has an interesting history, including a time when it was controlled by Sweden.   Many of the old buildings in the city are wood, and the city centre has had several large fires over the years.   As well as a university, the city also has some technology industries.  It also has the world’s only bicycle lift (Sykkelheisen Trampe)  which carries cycles and their riders up a 20% hill, at a speed of about 7 km/h.   Riders remain on their cycle, and place their right foot on the special mechanism, which then propels them up the incline (link to the website here….   http://trampe.no/en).  Two photos now from the old part of the city centre…..

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and another photo from Trondheim….same street but from the other end….

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Squeezed all ways

Thought for the day…”A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer”.

” Those who do not learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat them”.

I was sad to see that one of my favourite airlines, SWISS Airlines, is falling into the trap that some other airlines have already slipped into.    Swiss Airlines, who are normally very good, have announced details of their new cabin layout for the 777 W aircraft.    As one of those people who travel economy, I was sad to see that they are going to squeeze in 10 abreast economy seating (3+4+4).    Airlines such as Emirates had already done this, but now Swiss are going to as well.  Not only are economy class passengers squeezed for leg room, but now they are also going to be squeezed for shoulder space too.    Add to this the fact that Swiss (part of the Lufthansa group) also charge for selecting a seat in advance (25 euros approximately for each long haul flight), then the benefits of paying more for this airline disappear.    I have so far avoided airlines which squeeze 10 abreast seating on the 777, and it will certainly influence my choice of Swiss in future.   10 abreast is just not pleasant for a long haul flight, and a charge of about 25 euros to reserve a seat is just another nail in the coffin.

Two photos in black and white showing the city centre in Bergen, Norway.    As it was a dull day, then switching to BW was the answer..

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Paraguayian pair – two from Paraguay

Thought for the day…”Falling down is how we grow, staying down is how we die”.

“Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success”.

Did you know that “to google’ officially became a verb in 2006, when it was recognized by the Oxford English dictionary.     And did you know that as well as more than 35 non-English languages that can be used for searches on Google, that it also has a klingon interface, just in case of a request from outer space?   And did you know that you cannot create a folder called ‘con’ on a Windows computer (try it!!).    And did you know that when Google assembled their first server, that the box that they used to hold the drives was made from Lego?  And apparently, Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, whilst in school wrote a class scheduling program for the adminstrators.   By design, this program was coded so that he ended up in classes with mostly female students!!!!

Two photos from the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion for the photos today.   Surprisingly, both were taken in the city centre, and both show that the city has lost its former glory.  About 6.8 million people live in Paraguay, with about one third of them living in Asuncion.  Around 35% of the population are said to be poor, easily visible in the streets of the capital where you can see shacks and temporary shelters in the middle of the once grand avenues.  Sadly for tourists, there is little of interest left to see, unless you have in interest in decay.   Paraguay is one of the two landlocked countries in South America (the other is Bolivia).  Both photos were taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera.

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and another photo from the archives… a happy woman in Gambia.

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New looking old, historic New Zealand

Thought for the day…” It isn’t premarital sex if you have no intention of getting married.”   (George Burns)

“Dreams are not what you see in your sleep.  Dreams are the things that do not let you sleep”.

Nice photo of the historic Cardrona Hotel, Otago, New Zealand for the photo today.    Cardrona lies about 25km from the town of Wanaka, on the mountain road to Queenstown.    Cardrona was originally a gold rush town which grey up in the 1860s.   The historic hotel in the photo was used in advertisements by the Speights brewery in New Zealand.   Nowadays it is the nearby Cardrona ski area which attracts tourists, although now that the road to Queenstown is sealed all the way, then the route through Cardrona is much busier.  Occasionally you still see people panning for gold in the nearby river.   The photo was taken in colour, then selectively changed to black and white.

LOW-RES-hoteland another photo out of the archives…taken on safari in Kenya…..WORDPRESS-KENYA-Lioness

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Travelling in style….the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Thought for the day…” Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open”.

” When it is time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived”

News on the net is that over 1700 private jets are expected in connection with the World Economic Forum, which is being held in Davos, Switzerland.    Zurich airport has already exhausted its private jet parking spaces, and a nearby military base is being opened up to cope with the overflow.    And demand for helicopters is also breaking records.    So what will the 2500 world leaders and business managers actually achieve at Davos???    No doubt lots of talk and lots of very expensive dining, but to what end?     To me, it seems like just another excuse for an expensive luxury trip to wine and dine in Switzerland.     Try telling that to the millions in Greece who have been without jobs for a long time, and where youth unemployment (ages between 15 and 24) is now over 60%.   And whilst some people in Greece and Portugal have to queue for food handouts from charities, the 2500 world leaders and business managers will be dining in style in Davos in 5 star luxury.

Today’s photo is not from a private jet, but is a nice photo of clouds.   This photo works much better in black & white, as then it concentrates attention on the shape of the clouds themselves.

LOW-REs-clouds and another photo out of the archives…..a steam train in Uppsala Sweden.

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The meaning of life ?

Thought for the day…” Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”

With all the problems in the world (climate change, recession, unemployment, malaria, Syria etc……) it is surprising to read that scientists in the USA in Portland University have been busy working on perfecting a coffee maker that will work in zero gravity (zero G) conditions in space.    I may be missing the point here, but one, are there many people travelling in space? and two, could these same scientists have worked on something more useful??  Hopefully this ‘research’ was not paid for by taxpayers’ money.

Off to the small town of Arrowtown in New Zealand for the photo today.   The town was previously a historic gold mining town once had more than 7000 residents, who were attracted by the lure of gold in the nearby Shotover and Arrow rivers.   The Shotover river turned out to be one of the richest gold-bearing rivers in the world, and it is still possible today to pan for gold in it.  The photo was taken late evening, when the day trippers from the nearby tourist mecca of Queenstown had returned and had left Arrowtown in peace again.    A colour photo was converted to black & white, then to sepia, and the contrast was increased.

wordpress-Arrowtownand a photo from the archives…..carnival time in El Salvador.

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World’s most expensive photograph – USD 6.5 million

Thought for the day…” Scientists say that the universe is made up of protons, electrons and neutrons.  They forgot to mention morons”.

News from the dpreview.com website (a great website if you want to keep up on the happenings in the photography world) that a new record has been set for a single photo.  The photo, called ‘Phantom’ by Peter Lik has recently been sold for USD 6.5 million.  Two of his other photos sold for USD 2.4 million and USD 1.1 million as well.    A tidy sum for a black and white photo.     If anybody is interested then they can buy my entire photo collection for USD 1 million, and I will throw in a couple of cameras as well……

Some black and white photos below of tree ferns in New Zealand.      Worth USD 6.5 million?????  Offers please….

wordpress-fern-1wordpress fern 2wordpress-fern-3ALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.

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