Camera test images and BW photography

To learn more about the behavior of my camera equipment and to see it’s various advantages and disadvantages in various situations I have made a few test images.

If you are interested in such tests (most of them are made on a Nikon D300), just check the images and read the descriptions. They are quite simple as I just made them for myself at first, but maybe someone else is interested.

Science fiction books

In periods I think it’s nice to read, and usually the past years I have mostly read fact books, but currently I have picked up an interest for science fiction. In the last month I have read three books all belonging to the Science Fiction Masterworks series. Using that in the selection process makes it more likely to get something good.

I have read:

The forever war – by Joe Haldeman (1974)
I Am Legend – by Richard Matheson (1954)
Eon – by Greg Bear (1985)

I would say all of them are nice books, and they are quite different.
The forever war – follows one man and the girl he loves through the wars ranging from the end of the 1990’s and many hundreds of years into the future (due to time dilation), and how this affects him. This novel was written in 1974 during the Vietnam war in which the author Joe Haldeman had been badly wounded. But that connection is not too obvious in the book.
I Am Legend – I just discovered that this book has turned into a film that had a premiere in December 2007. I did not know that until today when I just finished the book. It’s written in 1954 and tells the story of a man in the future (1976) who is left possibly as the only immune person to a disease from which everyone else either dies or turns into beings with vampire like behavior. The book is not so much about the bloody vampire or zombies (for which this book was one of the works which many following zombie/vampire works has taken inspiration from, for example Romero’s films), but instead focuses quite a lot on how it is to be so incredibly lonely. I think this was a good book, I have a feeling the movie is quite different, but I should probably watch now when I know it exists. As a side note the 2007 movie is actually the 3rd movie made from this book, there is also The Last Man on Earth from 1964 and The Omega Man from 1971.
Eon – Is probably the one I enjoyed the most, although at times the cold war influences could be a bit too much, it was quite a bit about Soviet vs. USA but in the early 2000’s :). Bear plays around with some very imaginative ideas which make the read enjoyable and exciting. CGSociety had a competition about a year ago to make computer generated concept art and movie trailers for a movie for this book. However there is no movie in the plans that I know about.c

1979 – Сталкер

So the next year in my movie project.

This time a Russian movie Сталкер (Stalker in English). It’s a movie made by the famous director Andrei Arsenyevich Tarkovsky who died in 1986 at age 54. He only made seven movies during his career, the first five produced in the Soviet Union, the sixth in Italy and actually the last movie The Sacrifice (Swedish: Offret) was produced on Gotland, Sweden in 1985-1986, he died shortly after completing that movie. I have not seen it though, maybe that is something for my 1986 movie, we will see.

Anyway I must say that the movie Stalker is a beauty. As I have not seen a movie by Tarkovsky before I can’t compare them, but the visual style here is just very very beautiful. And sound as well, there are rarely any annoying background sounds and in that way the sounds that are heard in the movie come very much into focus. The color tone and the scenes are very well made. However this is probably not a movie for everyone, the dialog can be tedious and do often not seem to lead anywhere. I found myself a few times forgetting about reading the subtitle (the voices are Russian) because I was enjoying the visual aspects. I guess I should learn Russian to enjoy it to it’s full extent :-). The movie is also very slow paced so you should not be in a rush. I did not check how long the movie was before I started it, but I now see that it was 2 h and 43 min , I would not have guessed that it was that long. Sometimes during longer scenes my thoughts drifted away about my self while I was still watching, maybe that is something that make the movie special you actually get time for reflections in contrast to many other movies where the tempo is so quick that you actually do not get to think and ponder about things until the movie is over.

Even though I will not remember this movie because of the story, I think it will be stuck in another way, like a memorable song or a beautiful painting or photograph and for those qualities I give this movie 9/10.

Grading movies are quite hard as they are good or bad in different ways but I’ll try to keep doing it.