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Winter Solstice multimedia [photo] blog

by Loefing Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 04:20:23 AM EST


Glow-in-the-dark whiskers

Well, we made it! December 21 has arrived, and not a moment too soon. Time to celebrate in the Northern hemisphere.

This is a Solstice edition of the regular ET Friday photoblog which, because this is an exceptional day, I suggest, exceptionally, should be open to anything that may come to mind, photos, videos, stories, drawings ...

rg did a lot of the heavy lifting I had planned to do by way of preamble, here, in his excellent Lo the Darkness diary.

So, I'll just hand the controls over to you.

Happy Solstice one and all!


Display:
but an appropriate moon.



Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 04:35:36 AM EST
"Think no evil"

"See no evil"

"sSpeak no evil"



Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 04:44:52 AM EST
by Loefing on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 04:46:47 AM EST
Cool cat. I like that!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:00:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
: )

There's a story behind that photomontage, which was in fact a full collaboration. Giving credit where credit is due.

The house's favorite cat had played and played, shredding a holiday ribbon. What he left was something that looked a lot like a self-portrait!

My contribution was the whiskers, which are scans of the favorite cat's own. I collected them, at one time, thinking 'you never know when you might need whiskers'. Heh.

by Loefing on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:44:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When I read 'scans of the cat's own' I had an image of you shoving the cat's face into the scanner!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:15:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, what a lead in to the blog!  Great lighting opportunity.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 08:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was referring to the "real" cat, but the montage is great also.  Good imagination and use of "resources." Does that sound professorial or what?

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 08:59:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 
Mmmm. I certainly appreciate the positive feedback.

Thanks.

by Loefing on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 10:54:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From estHer



Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 05:19:03 AM EST
Fisheye dog


by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 05:55:04 AM EST
Different kind of sun.


by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 05:56:26 AM EST
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 05:58:03 AM EST
Winter activities


by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 05:59:11 AM EST
Very nice photos. The last two were taken at your festival?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:10:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All but the dog were at Winter Wonderland.  It's a funfair that we have for about 6 weeks or so over the winter break.  2 years ago on New Years Eve, I was ice skating at midnight as we saw the new year in.  Very drunk but I was skating fine. Couldn't walk when I came off the rink though and woke up the next morning in my friend's cupboard with the most awful hangover ever.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:21:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Old Mother Hubbard must have been quite surprised.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 09:04:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She chased me out with a carpet beater.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:14:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are these timed shots done on a tripod?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 05:56:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All of the night shots were on a tripod. Very sturdy manfrotto.  I defy anyone to take a 30second exposure without the camera wobbling all over the place!

But also with these shots I used neutral density filters so that I could keep the shutter open long enough for the whole wheel to go around but without overexposing.

Here's this one again - I am rarely so pleased with a shot as I am with this.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good job - all of these long time exposures are well done.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:32:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, Sven.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 07:32:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Motion is often forgotten when taking stills.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 05:17:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Motion in stills is something I really like. So many things you can do with light. It may be another reason why I loathe using flash at events, even though it makes it so much harder to get clear shots. I like to capture people being real and flash is too intrusive to allow that.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 05:50:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is possible to be creative with flash also, providing you have a swivel head, and adjustable intensity. Bouncing a fill off the ceiling can give a nice soft light. It doesn't imitate a 'practical' (a real ceiling lamp of some kind), but with some experimentation can be very useful.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 06:18:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I do have that kind of flash. It's useful for times when I am trying to get people to look into the camera, a more traditional portrait style shot. I haven't really got the hang of using it well yet. I forget to adjust the strength of the flash according to the distance I am from the person/people I am photographing.  It will come with experience I suppose.  Depends whether you want the one person to be standing out from the scene around them or blending into it.

I have some continuous studio lights too. I like the light reflected from the white umbrella and through softboxes but not from silver umbrellas - too harsh.  I did some portrait shots for a couple I know through work and they were really pleased with the results. Good practice for me too.  Getting the lighting right technically isn't too difficult but getting the best out of the people you are photographing is much harder, especially if you want to capture some natural looking shots and some humour and fun at the same time.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 06:35:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another trick for portraits is to get one of those circular neons (pref daylight temperature 5-6000 kelvin) and shoot through it! Mind your fingers. It gives a soft light, and if you are up close to a face it flattens the bone structure. Mind the circular reflections in the eyes ;-)

Having a daylight neon mean you can you use it in natural light portraits to bring up the face.

In movies I mostly like the soft light from neon banks - 6 long tubes stacked against a reflector backing. They come in a case that is easy to to trasport and fast to put up - but you need to carry 'ballast' or a hefty choke control box. Or then soft hooded redheads. Sometimes in the bluescreen studio we have hung up lots of white Japanese lanterns with 150 W photofloods in them. They have to be high up - but they give a very good feeling of a sunless day against the bluescreen with few shadow problems.

I liked the same portrait as you, but as the sofa was close to the wall it became tonally the same as the faces. It would have been better slightly darker or lighter than the faces, and the 'canopy of light' from the bounced flash would have been more easily controlled - you could have bounced in front to make the wall go darker, or bounced behind them to brighten the background.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 08:06:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for those tips, I'll have to bribe some friends to let me practise on them!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 08:09:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh and I'd really love to have one of those circular neons too.  Not until the credit cards are paid off!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 08:10:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You can sometimes find them cheap in old fashioned electrical wholesalers. You have to make up your own connector for them though. And I do believe I have seen them in IKEA.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 08:19:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but a solstice post.

A Nocturnal upon Saint Lucy's Day by John Donne

'TIS the year's midnight, and it is the day's,

Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks ;

The sun is spent, and now his flasks

Send forth light squibs, no constant rays ;

The world's whole sap is sunk ;

The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk,

Whither, as to the bed's-feet, life is shrunk,

Dead and interr'd ; yet all these seem to laugh,

Compared with me, who am their epitaph.

St Lucy's Day is no longer the Winter Solstice because of the Julian to Gregorian Calendar change, but it used to be:

Saint Lucy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saint Lucy of Syracuse, also known as Saint Lucia, Santa Lucia, or Saint Lukia, (traditional dates 283-304) was a rich young Christian martyr who is venerated as a saint by Catholic and Orthodox Christians. Her feast day in the West is December 13, by the unreformed Julian calendar the longest night of the year; she is the patron saint of those who are blind. Lucy is one of the very few saints celebrated by the Lutheran Swedes, Finland-Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians, in celebrations that retain many indigenous Germanic pagan pre-Christian midwinter light festivals.

The relation Lucy/Lucia to light (Latin lux, lucis) is somehow inescapable! The Church squatting pagan symbolism yet again!

Happy death and rebirth of the light!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:03:10 AM EST
Sol Invictus


Aurelian

The Roman gens Aurelia was associated with the cult of Sol. After his victories in the East, the emperor Aurelian introduced an official cult of Sol Invictus, making the sun-god the premier divinity of the empire, and wearing his radiated crown himself. He founded a college of pontifices, and dedicated a temple to Sol Invictus in 274. It is possible that he created the festival called dies natalis Solis Invicti, "birthday of the undefeated Sun", which is recorded in 354 (in the Chronography of 354) as celebrated on the 25th December;[8] but no earlier reference to it exists. The cult of Sol Invictus was the leading official cult of the fourth century

In the legions, where a policy of individual religious freedom is attested by personal inscriptions, on shrines and through votive offerings in every part of the Empire, outside the camps themselves, the only Eastern cult that was officially tolerated, probably from Aurelian's reign, and certainly under Constantine, was that of Sol Invictus.[9]


Constantine

Emperors up to Constantine portrayed Sol Invictus on their official coinage, with the legend SOLI INVICTO COMITI, thus claiming the Unconquered Sun as a companion to the Emperor. The statuettes of Sol Invictus, carried by the standard-bearers, appear in three places in reliefs on the Arch of Constantine. Constantine's official coinage continues to bear legends relating to Sol Invictus until 323.

Constantine decreed (March 7, 321) dies Solis -- day of the sun, "Sunday" -- as the Roman day of rest [CJ3.12.2]:

On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.

The religion of Sol Invictus continued to be part of the state religion until paganism was abolished by decree of Theodosius I on February 27, 390.

by Loefing on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:26:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Saturnalia


The Saturnalia was a large and important public festival in Rome. In time, it became one of the most popular Roman festivals. It involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch (lectisternium) set out in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year. Besides the public rites there were a series of holidays and customs celebrated privately. The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria). Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves; however, although it was officially condoned only during this period, one should not assume that it was rare or much remarked upon during the rest of the year. It was a time to eat, drink, and be merry. It was license within careful boundaries; it reversed the social order without subverting it. It was also an opportunity for men to be completely free with their fellowmen, sometimes evolving into homosexual and sometimes also pedophilic relations. The toga was not worn, but rather the synthesis, i.e. colorful, informal "dinner clothes"; and the pileus (freedman's hat) was worn by everyone. Slaves were exempt from punishment, and treated their masters with disrespect. A Saturnalicius princeps was elected master of ceremonies for the proceedings.

The customary greeting for the occasion is a "io, Saturnalia!" -- io (pronounced "yo") being a Latin interjection related to "ho" (as in "Ho, praise to Saturn").

by Loefing on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:30:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The Lucia festival is an important part of the Finnish-Swedish Christmas. A young 16-17 virgin blonde (well supposed to be, but hard to find these days) is chosen and crowned just before Xmas.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 05:25:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An essential skill is to carry numerous lit candles on one's head?
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 05:42:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And to wax lyrical about the joys of Christmas.

While there is the main event in Helsinki - the same thing is repeated in Swedish-speaking schools all over Finland. I'm surprised there aren't more accidents.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 05:49:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We're in the middle if a long frost here; -10c every
morning. My wife planted a 2nd apple tree just before the frost (covered with boxes) and we're hoping it will make it.



Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:15:16 AM EST
Ah !! It's my house :DD
by estHer on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 01:01:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 09:23:47 AM EST
Oh, please do tell us the story of "Cat Getting Out Of A ..."!
by Loefing on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 10:04:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
See the spine of the bookish thing.

Oh well.

by Loefing on Mon Dec 24th, 2007 at 04:38:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 09:24:44 AM EST
Ten minutes ago.



Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:21:47 AM EST
Here's to the solstice!  The days start getting longer tomorrow.




"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:40:52 AM EST
Beautiful photos. Are they taken recently?

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:44:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Last winter.  We do have about 25 cm. on the ground but I haven't been out with a camera this year.  

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"
by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:52:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gorgeous snow!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:46:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes it is.  We get many different kinds of snow in Minnesota.  I am at 44° N so the powder folks get in the mountains is rare but even that happens on occasion.  Usually after a snow, it gets VERY cold (-20°C) and windy so snow stacked on branches doesn't last very long.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"
by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:02:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aaaawwwww! Especially the third photo got me...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks DoDo

That's where I live.  And yes, winter is very beautiful--even if it is too long and dark at times.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 12:14:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
fox trax

winter arch [scanned from 35mm slide]

 icicles aka: swords of damocles

by town on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:51:48 AM EST
Oooh, I wish I had that kind of weather to get such good photos with. Really nice.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 11:56:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it wears a bit thin after a while, but it is photogenic.
by town on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:05:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hand held shot (obviously.)



Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:36:15 PM EST
As I showed on Wednesday, I was at a funeral that day -- with a truly forlorn atmosphere, at a village cemetery, in snow, in -5°C, in fog, with night falling.

As night fell during the ceremony, I made a series of a snow-covered branch:

I also made these two photos of a candle upon the grave of some of my ancestors:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:55:18 PM EST
Great photos. Good scene for a horror movie.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 03:52:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Too much and cold and gloom :-)  here's some sun and great aquatic photography, currently exhibited on the Promenade des Anglais :

lido-plage-50175

aquat-beach-cafe-50182

aquat-girl-runs-50188

aquat-kid-50180

beret-sea-50204

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 01:55:15 PM EST
Greetings and salutations to you all!

I hope the holidays find you with the ones you love and that all is good in your local universe.

Pace,
           Gioele


by gioele (gioele(daught)sandler(aaaattttt)gmail(daught)kom) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 02:45:53 PM EST
The last time I was in Amman Jordan I saw an add in a bulletin by the Humane Center for Animal Welfare (http://www.hcaw-jordan.org/walks.htm#Secrets) announcing one of their regular "walks through Jordan."  So, I made contact and arranged to meet a local couple in Amman for a ride to the pick up point in Madaba.  Then off into the Jordanian countryside with a small and very friendly group of Jordanians, Palestinians, and European expats to some unbelievable scenery. This picture is of one of the Wadis that I assume eventually leads down to the Dead Sea. We just walked in where it began as flat rocky ground, and after a while the canyon walls just got higher and higher with amazing vistas at every turn.  This shot looks great as my current screen saver.



I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 04:40:20 PM EST

we turn the cosmic corner, and the days start to get longer again...

yessss


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 05:26:58 PM EST
Isn't that a thumbnail version?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 05:28:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
er, maybe... i did crop it quite a bit....

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:27:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
shot in winter...in hawaii!

...where the locals have a curious custom of making these mini-menhirs, that look like meditating teeny taoists staring out to sea...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 05:58:32 PM EST
shot in winter...in hawaii!

...where the locals have a curious custom of making these mini-menhirs, that look like meditating teeny taoists staring out to sea...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 06:01:02 PM EST
Do you know anything about this practice--what it means, represents?  Folktales?  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 01:09:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hi gaianne

good question, i don't know, having always assumed it was a kind of universal impulse, to play with the elements and 'leave your mark'.

perhaps keone michaels is reading with us today and can offer an explanation.

i always dug them, they're cutely curious...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Dec 23rd, 2007 at 05:20:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
courtesy of rememberinggiap over at moonofalabama.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 08:59:39 PM EST
And Loefing!  Thanks for the link!

And lest we forget.



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Dec 21st, 2007 at 09:05:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
'Tis I who thank you, rg. I was a bit short on time, last week, so your diary came in very handy : )

Vivaldi + Karajan = lovely

by Loefing on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 11:44:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
estHer and friends

I posted this on an open thread but I'll repost it for the solstice. I'm also practicing to embed links.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 05:01:27 AM EST
Thank you dad' =]
by estHer on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 01:04:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... as recounted in my bike blogging diary on Docudharma ... turns out the bikeway is not as good riding when the snow has turned into snow on top of slush, but it was pretty in the woods.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 at 04:15:02 PM EST


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