The original sound of Lakshmi Music


Very rarely you hear a band with a true original sound. I had this experience when I heard   the Dutch band Lakshmi on a festival a while ago.

It started with the line-up: there was a real (two person) string section, and got only better when the music started. It is difficult to describe the sound, the description that came to my mind was a mix of the Velvet Underground, Soft Cell and the Eurythmics.

The band and band members are relatively young and have a lot of ambition and potential. They definitely deserve and international audience and I am curious how far they will come!

All pictures taken with a  Nikon D70S camera in combination with a Tamron 18-200 (non VC) lens.



Indian summer in Scheveningen

A couple of weeks ago I went for a walk around the harbour of Scheveningen (Holland) in the beginning of the evening. Despite the fact that it was already September, the temperature was still around 20 degrees Celsius. The light was beautiful; it reminded me of one of my favorite paintings: “North atlantic light” by Willem de Kooning.

I decided to take some pictures with my Olympus OM-D E-M10 in combination with the standard kit lens: the Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 ED. Although I love this camera and lens, given the limited amount of light I knew the noise level would be quite high and therefore a  faster lens or a bigger sensor camera would have been ideal. However I learned a while ago that the best camera there is, is the one you have with you…




The quality of UV filters does matter

There are many discussions on the Web concerning the question whether it makes sense or not to use UV filters for camera lenses. After spending a couple of hours reading these discussions, the only thing that became clear to me it that it is apparently an emotional topic for a surprisingly large number of people, but that there are no conclusive arguments convincing enough to support either side.

Since I mainly bought UV filters to protect my lenses, I could never understand why they needed to be so expensive. When I needed to buy a 67 mm UV filter a couple of months ago, I spotted  a brand I never saw before. The brandname was “Phottix” and the packaging stated that the filter was produced in China, using glass produced in Germany. The price of the filter was only CHF 15, around a third of the price I normally pay for my B&W or Hoya filters. I was quite happy with this filter for a couple of months and even thought that the aforementioned suppliers had ripped me off for years.

All this changed a couple of weeks ago when I viewed the first picture below which I took at the Via Mala Schlucht (CH) on the LCD screen of camera. I could not believe my eyes and immediately took the second picture without this filter.

Both pictures are taken with a Nikon D750 camera and a Tamron 28-75 2.8 lens. The (RAW) pictures are displayed here as they came out of the camera.

I still do not know whether UV filters are necessary from an image quality perspective or not, but I do know (now) that cheap ones are to be avoided… at all costs.

Sherlock Holmes in Switzerland


A ‘must see’ in Switzerland are the Reichenbach Falls. The reason is not so much that the Falls themselves are that spectacular (at least they failed to impress me). The Reichenbach Falls owe their fame to the fact that this is the venue where Conan Doyle chose to end the life of his hero Sherlock Holmes. Holmes was killed here by his greatest enemy Professor Moriarty in the story “The final problem”. At least initially – due to popular demand, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was forced to bring his hero miraculously back to life.

The Falls are made accessible by a funicular from the town of Meiringen at the foot of the fall. The town tries its best to bring Sherlock Holmes back to life as well. There is a Sherlock Holmes statue and of course several pubs and hotels with names referring to the famous detective. There is a even a museum devoted to him, which is of course interesting from a meta-physical point of view: a museum dedicated to a fictional character.

In the town there is also a picturesque church with a beautiful and interesting  separate tower. Below the church the excavations can be seen of the predecessor of the current church.

The circumstances for taking pictures were less than ideal. When I visited the fall it was raining and there was dense mist. Fortunately enough I had the weather sealed Tamron 35mm 1.8 VC lens for my Nikon D750 with me. I have to admit I relied quite a bit on my Adobe Lightroom sliders to overcome the clouds and mist in post production…

The pictures in the town were also taken with my Nikon D750, this time combined with the Tamron 28-75 mm 2.8 lens.reichenbach-hreichenbach-ereichenbach-n-1reichenbach-breichenbach-freichenbach-7reichenbach-8reichenbach-jreichenbach-9reichenbach-kreichenbach-13reichenbach-14