Kris´ Blog

Life viewed through my eyes!

Medium sized condom…

Wounded warrior... 

I have always said, that life is the best author of comedy… and here is one example of something that happened to me long ago… but that still is a running gag 🙂

During university I had been working as a waiter in a big restaurant in Hamburg. It was kind of a dull job, but it was well paid and you got in touch with many different persons all the time. And you learn many things about gastronomy & restaurants… wich is also the reason I would never open one myself 🙂
So, there was me working there and one day… a very pretty girl in a red dress came in and sat alone at a table. She ordered a small salad (… as always…) and drank a white wine after that. She was the highlight of the whole place at that time of the day, so everybody (including the cook!) were staring at her. But… hehehe… I had an advantage: it was MY table :-). So, we began a small conversation and it turned out to be that she was new in the city and I offered to show her some places if she would just wait till my turn ended. She agreed and we had a cool afternoon cruising through the center of Hamburg. As days went by we met again and… as you may imagine… there came the moment, where we wanted to meet at night and see what happens.

I invited her to my place… wich, as usually, was in a complete chaos… so I used the time before to prepare everything: clean up the kitchen, the living room and make all a bit romantic… you never know! 🙂
As I finished cleaning all up, I started to check if all the "practical" thingies (candles, matches, wine, music, etc.) was available. Yes, indeed… all was there… but one thing: yes, the little helpers… those tiny, little rubber things you put on your friend in order to protect yourself and her, your account and your youth. Dammit, there were none in the bathroom, so I had to go out and get some.
I went to the pharmacy (as it had to be a special night… I did not want to get them from the "ugly" mashine in the street) and as it had to be… I was the only male person in there. Only women around me…  come on, I was only 19 and I was kind of embarrased to ask for them! Ok, I said to myself, just go to the desk, don´t look her in the eyes, ask for them, get them, pay and go out! So, I took all my bravery and went to the desk… not forgetting to look at all the other things in the shelves… just as if I wanted something else. At the end I was standing in front of the desk… no more other things to put my eyes on… and there SHE came… a "big momma"… she even had hairs on her lips!! Allthough I tried not to look her into the eyes… I felt the "evil" of her look to me… her mind penetrating my thoughts and discovering that I wanted to do something "dirty" tonight! I managed to rise my eyes and look at hers… and the following dialog occured:

"Eeerrr…. Hello…. I want some tooth-paste"
"Yes Sir, no problem… wich one?"
"The one with mint, please"
"Something else, Sir?"
She had a very loud voice, so everybody in the shop had noticed her talking to me…
"Well… some aspirins would be nice, please"
"You got them… something else?"
The moment had come… the evil was infront of me inviting me to war… would I be brave enough???
"Yes, I need some con… con… condoms!" I said with a very low voice…
"Sorry? I cannot hear you… what do you want?" she asked taking up her sword with fire in her eyes…
Every female customer in the shop now were concentrating on me… no other sounds around… just female eyes aching my back….
"I want CONDOMS!" I said aloud
That was it… I had entered the battle field! Showing no fear I had also raised my sword!
And then came her attack… she pulled the most dangerous weapons out… pointed them against me… and asked the question of the century:

"Wich size?"
Wich size?!?! Come on… you cannot be that cruel!! Her sword hit me right in the heart… I was bleeding… with my last energie I raised up again and pulled my shield up…
"Size? Well… eeeer… medium would be nice!"
She began to laugh out loud… everybody began to laugh… I felt all the lethal weapons killing me… and me dying…
"No Sir, I mean… you want a 3-, 5- or 10-Box?!
Well, at last I had shiny minty teeth that night… and just for the record: nothing happened.

Life tells the best stories…
   

May 13, 2006 Posted by | Fun | 1 Comment

My first digital camera: Canon Powershot G2

Canon G2 (source: canon museum) 

So, after having used all the time the Canon AE-1 analogue, I realized that the costs of producing pictures was very high (buying the film, developing, printing and scanning it) and that there was an alternative: the digital cameras. This was 4 years ago… (maybe 5). I scanned the market of digital cameras and read a lot… really a lot: magazines, forums and every other source of information that I could find. It was a new world (in terms of technologie) for me, so I wanted to make a wise decition when choosing my gear. Obviously I also wanted it to be in the limits of my budget :-)… in the digital camera´s world it is very similar to the other fast-growing technology sectors: every 6 months something new comes out and blinds you with new possibilities and gadgets. You can never have the "state of the art" gear… unless you have enough money to throw away. Knowing this I took a different approach to make my buying decision: I did not check the advertising ("you really need this and that…"), but I noted in a list what i wanted the cam to have!
The following characteristics were (at that moment) important to me:

1) it should have a fast start-up (nothing more frustrating than loosing a moment just because your cam is not ready…)
2) it should use common and cheap memory devices (Compact Flash turned out to be the best for me)
3) it should have a fast and accurate focusing and the ability to control it manually (try to take a picture of something through a fence and you will know what I am talking about…)
4) it should have a fast "picture-series" function (specially for sports or what ever moves fast)
5) it should have the possibility of manual settings (Ok, the automatic programs work fancy and the results are fine… but the real thing is to have 100% control on your gear)
6) it should have a fast lense (wich just means, that the initial aperture should be under 3.0, so that I could also use the cam when light conditions were sub-optimal… wich in this place of the world is very common 🙂 ) and also for playing with depth of field
7) it should have a "twistable" monitor (just great for "different" perspectives… no crawling on the ground and no dirty jeans)
8) it should have enough pixel definition for printing in DIN A4 (i.e. normal sized magazine page)
9) it should be produced by a reliable company (just try to get in touch with the producer of a no-name camera… a nightmare!)
10) and this was a no-brain decision: it hat to be a "point&shoot" or "prosumer-cam", because I did not want to sell my car in order to get one of the DSLR cams.

Equiped with this list I started to filter the different cameras and their reviews and test… and (oh wonder…) I ended up sticking to the same brand as before: CANON. Actually I have had very good experiences with this brand (including printers, scanners and video-cams), so I trusted it to be a good product. At that time the Canon Powershot G3 was the "new kid on the block" and it fullfilled all the needs in my list… but… it was too expensive for me. So, I checked the model before (the G2) and found no big differences between the two… but in the price! I checked some sample pictures of it, the reviews and comments of other people owning her… and the decision was taken. It had to be the G2! I went out to the store… and, oh big wonder, none of the stores had in in stock (wich is a common product-policy of the bigger companies… "get the old one away, just offer the new one!")! Imagine how frustrating it is to have spent hours and hours deciding wich one it´s gotta be… and nobody sells it to you! I spent some hours walking in the city (from store to store) and everywhere the only offered the G3… no G2 in sight. After the 10th store I gave up and took the train home. While getting into the train… I noticed a yellow ad-paper lying on the ground showing some cams… and what did my teared and sad eyes recognize??? Yeah! "Canon G2… sell out! Last pieces!". I checked where I could find this shop and it turned out to be right near to the next train station. My heart was pumping fast (yeah… I know… men and their toys…) as I got into the shop, went directly to the desk and asked:

"Hi… you´ve got the Canon G2?"
"I don´t think so… but we have the G3!"
"Nope, I don´t want the G3… I want the G2! It´s stated here in your ad!"
He checked the ad… looked at me… and said:"Hmmm… this ad is old, the G2 is sold out… don´t you want to check the G3?"
In that very moment my heart broke down… suddenly his assistant (who was standing there the whole time just looking into the air) said that he believed that there was still a single piece in the backrooms. My heart started pumping again and he went and came back with my treasure: a brand new, boxed G2! It was the last one they had and actually they allready wanted to send it back to the manufacturer, he told me. I said:"No way! I want it!". 

At the end of the day… there was a happy Kris sitting in the train on his way home… proud of having found what he wanted and eager to know how the new toy worked. In the next post I will describe my first experiences with the "new digital" world and the differences compared to my "old analogue" world. 

May 13, 2006 Posted by | Photography | Leave a comment

Das Leben und eine Kerze…

Man kann eine Kerze von beiden Seiten anmachen: sie leuchtet dann sehr stark und intensiv, aber kurz. Ich lebe mein Leben lieber nicht so hell, aber dafür länger… und entscheide von Fall zu Fall, wann ich es lieber heller haben möchte.

May 12, 2006 Posted by | Just some thoughts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Liebe und Theater…

Man kann jahrelang eine Maske tragen und das wahre gesicht verhüllen. Ja, das geht… aber irgendwann mal fällt auch diese runter… und dann tut es einem Leid, daß man so lange auf einer Bühne gespielt hat obwohl man eigentlich im Saal sitzen wollte.

May 12, 2006 Posted by | Just some thoughts | Leave a comment

Lieben und Laufen…

In der Liebe zwischen 2 Menschen ist es so, wie beim Laufen: wenn beide nicht genau so schnell gehen oder ein Bein kürzer ist als das andere… dann humpelt die Liebe: früher oder später fällt man um oder man stolpert über das nächste Hinderniss.

May 12, 2006 Posted by | Just some thoughts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When a woman smiles…

… it´s like a butterfly spreading her wings.

I got this quote from the movie "il Postino"… a wonderful movie, for the romantic ones 🙂

May 12, 2006 Posted by | Just some thoughts, Movies, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Books

Well… actually there was a time when I was a kid, where I read a lot… I even invented (ok, I actually just connected a tiny light-bulb to a battery… but hey, I was only 6… so IT WAS AN INVENTION 🙂  ) a device, so that I could read on when my parents sent my to bed. Then school came and I had to read the books that the teacher said. Ok, some of them were quite interesting, but it kind of killed my hunger for literature. There were only very few exceptions that captivated me, for example:

Die Welt der tausend Ebenen (World of Tiers)
This book actually was the first one I read without having to read it. I found it lying in the snow during a vacation in Switzerland… we were walking back from skiing… and there it was laying on the street, somebody must have lost it or thrown away. I took it and began to read. It´s quite a big one (kind of 800 pages… wich in school would have scared me to death!) but it was easy to read and I still remember some scenes from it… more than 20 years later :-)… the first scene that comes to my mind is the one about the main character walking through a mirror into another world….

The whole Karl May collection
These were books I read ´cause my dad told me about them. He had read them while he was a young boy and I wanted to share this with him. The main characters are Old Shutterhand and Winnetou, two extremly different persons coming from different worlds and cultures. Allthough the whole stories take place in the "cliched" western… I really enjoyed the adventures of both and was very sad at the moment I had finished the whole collection (more than 20 books!). on a side note… it´s funny that the author Karl May had never been in the US west… and he was actually half-blind. That´s what I call imagination 🙂

Ok, I still have more books to talk about… specially in the last years I have began to read again (after a very big "out time" because of university and working…), so I will present my thoughts about them in the next days, weeks or months 🙂

May 10, 2006 Posted by | Books, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PHOTOGRAPHY

… my passion 🙂

Well, when I talk about something beeing my passion I mean something that I do with all my heart & soul without having to do it. I do it just because I like it.

My first contact with photography happened when I was a little boy. I had always been very curious about everything that was technical… there was almost no device at home wich had not been "raped" by my screw-driver 🙂 … I just wanted to know how things worked. So, there was this shiny, new camera ( a Canon AE-1 wich I still hold in my possesion… thanx dad!) wich my father had brought home. Hey, it was the end of the 70´s… a camera was still something special! But, at that age it was too complicated (and big) for me… and he would not allow me to take it out during my "wild adventures in the woods"… wich ment me climbing up the trees in the garden  🙂

So, I always had my eyes put on that cam… but my first, own cam was a little, red Konika automatic one (don´t ask me wich model… I still have her (yes, cameras are female!), but it´s somewhere burried in a box. Yes, a so-called "point-and-shoot" cam. The ones you get for free when you buy a pizza :-). This is the first cam I can really remember using with dedication. What most amazed me about it was… that you only had to push a button… and the flash jumped out!!  Incredible, isn´t it??? I remember pushing the button many, many times… just to see the flash jump out :-). I took her along with me during my first "adult" vacation (ok, I was only 13… but I considered myself an adult!) and made some pictures during that trip in Europe, mostly in Germany. When I look at those pictures… (I have a metallic box where I hold all of my former "printed" pictures) I can identify the "eye of the photographer" I was ment to be many years later. Many, many details and composition ideas, bright colours and "special" perspectives.
After school I took a long (too long for my parents… hehehe) break and enjoyed life at the beach and wild parties. During this time I took classes of photography at an institute in Lima, Peru. Actually the main idea of this was to get to know girls (this institute was well know for having pretty girls… hehehe) but it also waked up my passion for the craft. It was the "old" school of black/white photography, including chemical treatmet of film and colour theory. We had much, much fun during classes (everybody looks funny with bright red light in a room… "digital"-kids don´t know this, but the red light is need for the chemical treatment of film) and allthough I cannot really remember many of the rules and laws they tought us, I think it put the "basics" of photography into my mind.
After that I took a really long break with photography… the first personal computers (VIC 20, Commodore 64, Synclaire Zx81, etc) were muuuuch more interesting :-). Today, I regret not having spent more time with pictures during this long time… I kind of have "lost" many years of my life without a "pictured" memory of it. Big mistake… I am glad some other friends took some, but if it wasn´t for them… there would be only be my mental memory depicting a long time in my life. Most people say abotu photography, that the biggest joy about them is that they kind of "freeze" a moment in life, capturing the mood and feeling in that very second… I agree. It even helps you out in refreshing some moments ("This was your former girl-friend??????"…"Errrr…. yeah… kind of had her looking different in my mind!" 🙂 ) .

So, some years later after having worked in some companies as a financial controller (long, long story….) I decided that I wanted to realize my own dreams and ideas (and not the one of the share-holders…) and I founded my little company and went freelance. Perhaps I will tell about it later, but let´s say that it had lots to do with offering products through the internet and having to present them in a "graphical" way… speak, taking pictures of them. Allthough the whole idea almost took my to bankruptcy… some people noticed my pictures…. hehehe… not the products, but the pictures (funny, isn´t it??). So it came that one day an email arrived asking me if i had "some other kind of pictures". I answered affirmative, remembering my old passion for it. I sent them some examples and they told me, that they were good! In that very moment I realized… that this craft had been "sleeping" in my soul all of the years! Ok, I studied economics at the university… and I still like to talk about economical theories and mathematical models… but the thing that I really loved since I had been a little boy… was PHOTOGRAPHY! And that was the re-beginning of the passion. I quit the idea of "selling products" and begun offering my pictures. And you know what? IT WORKS :-)… ok, I know very, very few people who can live from photography (and I am sure not one of them… not now 🙂 ) but in combination with another job (part-time) it works out to be good, even speaking in financial terms.

In this part of my blog I will try to speak about photography techniques, ideas, experiences and gears. I will also share some interesting links and information I have. I hope you will like it! 

May 9, 2006 Posted by | Photography | 3 Comments

My first blog :-)

This is just to test how all this blog-thingie works 🙂

May 9, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment