biologe

Blog and online journal with editorial content about science, art and nature.

Tag: city

Aerial photography

It’s a new approach to photography for a photohrapher, when using a drone. Before starting for the flight, the photographer should at least have an idea about the possible perspectives, from which his copter shall capture the photos. This requires the ability of a three dimensional imagination. Unlike in the regular photography, the drone pilot does not see the scenery with his own eyes. Only a stepwise experience allows him to guess, how a forest and meadow landscape might look in a bird perspective at a level of 50 or even 100 m.

But despite of all three dimensional imagination abilities and experiences, much photography or videography is based on spontaneous shooting reactions, based on the transmitted live picture.

Edited landscape Drone photography, Berlin 2020, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth

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If full automatic camera modi shall be avoided, manual presettings can already be made before starting the flight according to the general light conditions, finer adjustments can then follow in each specific case, when the drone is in the air.

An aerial photographer needs to resist to the danger of perceiving the environment in top-down view after some time with the drone camera only. The German laws define that a drone is only allowed to be flown in a distance of a direct visual contact. One reason is that one otherwise losses the feeling for a safe controllable space limit.

Before drones as flying cameras became commercially available for everybody, aerial photos or videos needed to be captured under more risky and also more costly conditions. Smaller planes, manned helicopters or cameras on balloons needed to take over the same function.

Being able to fly like a bird under remote control conditions is freedom for the spirit and at the same time freedom for an incredible creative flexibility.

Landscape

All aspects of our world deserve being considered as drone photography motifs (respecting laws of course) . Whether a settling, a city, a street construction, people, architecture or nature sceneries, the drone technology enables new options and aesthetic experiences. I made experiences in different photo object types (the respectation of laws has always a priority). But for my own projects I prefer landscape, weather, season and art photography.

Drone photography mostly in Northern Berlin and adjacent regions in Brandenburg, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth

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Flying in more or less remote areas with natural landscapes reduces the probability that a drone accident might harm people or architecture. But it is of course additionally important to bring no animals or plants in danger.

Landscape photos are the more interesting the more complex their composition is. But a forest with adjacent meadows is per se no guarantor for an impressive photographic piece of art.

Drone photography mostly in Northern Berlin and adjacent regions in Brandenburg, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth

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Only the contrasts of colors, shapes and different landscape elements can under optimal conditions create complexity and a fulfilling picture composition. More or less sharp edges between for example forest areas and adjacent meadows might built up an impressive and even seemingly abstract pattern, making the shot to a fascinating piece of art.

Drone photography mostly in Northern Berlin and adjacent regions in Brandenburg, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth

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Season

City structures, such as architecture, streets or walkways, seem not to underlay bigger seasonal changes (in times withoug snow or rain) . Is that true? It of course is not, the seasonal different light conditions always cause different photographic or videovraphic looks of the same location. The lack of intense green or colorful vegetation spots in between creates additionally sceneries with very different moods.

Of course the effect of different seasons is especially distinct in the nature photography. Even in case that black and white photos would be preferred, leafless trees of a winter forest usually look remarkably more interesting than an amorphic mass of grey leaves. In the colored drone photography, nobody would doubt that the diversity of autumn colors allows a much more impressive composition of structures, shapes and lights.

But also in summer or spring, when only slightly differing green nuances dominate the sceneries, eye catching drone photography can be performed.

Drone photography mostly in Northern Berlin and adjacent regions in Brandenburg, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth

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In case the greenish landscape sculpture itself does not allow a photographic highlight, then a dynamic sky can prevent the whole photo from getting lost in a boring piece of sadness.

One needs to keep in mind that a positioning of the drone camera with being for a longer time straightly directed into the sun might harm the camera sensor. Against the light photography can look stirring, but it’s often of advantage to avoid the sun body itself completely. Against the light photos usually lead to dark landscape elements in the foreground, almost consisting of silhouettes only. To receive more details on the photo it is recommended to record a higher amount of information. Raw files can be the best choice in this context, as they allow to develop details during editing, which were not visible before.

Drone photography mostly in Northern Berlin and adjacent regions in Brandenburg, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth

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Editing

To become able for an improving editing of a photo, a minimum resolution of details should be available. A resolution of 20 megapixles or more offers enough buffer for art filters or manual changes of light, color, contrast etc. The Mavic 2 Zoom for example unlike its sibling brother Mavic 2 pro with a high quality 20 megapixles camera, offers different panorama modes. One of them is created as composition of several 12 megapixle photos, which the camera automatically puts together to a 45 megapixle piece. In case drone cameras allow a raw mode and additionally a high resolution, both of these options should be chosen.

Drone photography mostly in Northern Berlin and adjacent regions in Brandenburg, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth

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Editing can have different functions combined with different intentions of the photographer. An almost perfect photo sometimes needs being only slightly digitally improved. Alternatively the entire photo might need to be stronger modified for aestethic and creative reasons to create the planned piece of art. The creativity of the photographer and editor at this has no limits, but it should be tried to avoid the ‚killing‘ of too much picture information.

Not every editing tool has a modern high quality level. Lightroom, Photoshop, pixlr and similar software of other developers must be recommended.

Drone pilot and service offering

I have more than three years of experience in the fields of drone photography and drone videography. I herewith offer my videographic dronepilot service for documentary projects, smaller movie projects, such as film – students- projects, image movie purposes or the videographic documentation of important private events, such as marriages.

I additionally offer my drone photography abilities for all kinds of fields and purposes. Preferably in and around Berlin. Please contact me via Instagram or Facebook ‚Stefan F. Wirth‘. I fly a Mavic 2 Zoom. Flying license (Kenntnisnachweis) and insurance for commercial Drone flights existant.

Ich biete mich als freiberuflicher Dienstleister der Drohnen- Videographie und Drohnen-Fotografie in allen Bereichen wie Dokumentarfilmproduktionen, kleineren Spielfilmproduktionen, zum Beispiel Studenten-Filmprjekten, Image-Filmen und Ähnlichem an. Kontaktaufnahme bitte via Facebook oder Instagram unter ‚Stefan F. Wirth‘. Ich fliege eine Mavic 2 Zoom. Kenntnisnachweis und Haftpflichtversicherung zur kommerziellen Nutzung vorhanden.

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Some photo examples in higher resolution. Copyrights Stefan F. Wirth

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Berlin January 2020, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth

Impeachment, low-carb diet and sexy cities, buzzwords in a modern hipster world: a grotesque and purely fictional short story

This short story is entirely fictional. But it is inspired by many different conversations I had, both: with male and female conversation partners.

Restaurant

I am sitting in a small Asian restaurant in Berlin together with a woman around my age. I know her from many years ago, when we stayed in a closer normal-friendship-contact with each other for a while. I remembered her as small, slender and with a conspicuous nose. Those times were good times, I memorized her as original, spontaneous and with an own mind. I was curious, how such a character would have grown within a period of almost twenty years. Hence I arranged that meeting.

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Restaurant conversation scene, oil on canvas, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth, Berlin December 2019

She is still small and lean, but her aquiline nose even grew and now throws a permanent shadow over her narrow lips. At the second third of its entire length her nasal bridge forms a pointed hunch, bringing her nasal tip in a position, where it can almost touch her upper lip. Against the light, a small and thin almost invisible moustache takes over the function of a spacer between the headed downwards nasal tip and the upper rim of her upper jaw lip.

Career and USA stay

She optically didn’t change so much, except of that much bigger nose. But her character changed. She talks a lot for the talking’s sake and seems unable to bring any of her spoken thoughts to an end, as if she permanently needs to prove the multitasking capacity of her brain, which externally is covered by a loose ponytail of black and dense curled hair. Her eager multitasking demonstrations fail from start to finish, but I can capture some information out of the muddle of her synaptic interconnections. What did she do in her past? She studied one of these university programs, which are considered by natural scientists at least as being in a general tendency still a kind of academic. She then intended to begin a phd thesis, but alleged corruption made her depart from that notion. She instead became a business woman and while twaddling about her career, she creates a reliable picture of her well developed business acumen.

And she knows the United States, because she was there. Almost an entire year, and when she uses the term „USA“ again and again, she each time leans her body pleasantly relaxed to her chair back. She then lifts her face up and closes her eyes to narrow slots, the lips pressed against each other, while her elongated nostrils open slowly to inhale as much air as possible in one delightful breath.

She slowly gets in her pink of condition, her nippy hands flail through the air, and for a short moment she changes the topic and describes an unusually shaped penis, which she once saw, as a humorous non-recurring slip of the wittiness in her younger days.

Buzzwords

And suddenly she says THE word for her first time during our encounter: Impeachment. Impeeeeeaaachmeeent! Her glabellar frown lines emerge between her cropped eyebrows, quivering lips, her nasolabial wrinkles bend outwards and her hands draw a thick circle in the air. Impeachment, since some time a common buzzword in the world of hipsters. The general political context is clear, a procedure, which in the recent case might indeed be deserved. But what is her context? She repeats it several times, only the same one word, impeachment, impeachment, impeachment. I intently try to follow her thread, but only find a frayed ball of wool. Impeachment, an isolated statement through itself, no explanation needed.

She caws the word again, ‚impeeeeeaaachment‘, and while her lips open in order to allow her incisors on both jaws to remove from each other to form a gap for the tip of her tongue, when pronouncing the last letter ‚ttttttttt‘, her shoulders tremble, and her nasal wings on both sides begin to inflate slightly.

Normally the via nose inhaled air would be pressed into the lungs for the gas exchange, but the I-word obviously created such a frenetic mood in her brain that she accidentally interrupts the normal way of air flow and presses it immediately out through her nasal orifices again, still in fresh, non oxidised conditions, where it appears, well audibly and visibly, contaminated with mucous membrane secretions, creating a foamy and slimy mass, which squirts from there directly to the clean polished white edge of her plate.

Silence, I don’t know what to say and watch her tiny slime lumps, forming microscopic small threads, slowly and one after another melting down to the white table cloth. I think I should take the chance of this unique little moment to comment her impeachment topic. There is a US president, who is accused of corruption and electoral manipulation by even influencing the internal political competition in other countries. But isn’t he additionally and non officially also accused for his character, his private life style and also for his unfiltered direct way of public communication, in which he not rarely mixes up his personal opinions with his political objectives? Also his conservative and nationalistic policy line periodically is focus of criticism. Thus impeachment kills two birds with one stone, it defends the rule of law and eliminates political opponents.

What did his predecessor Barack Obama know about cruel injustice during military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2009? Another interesting point is the Ferguson unrest in 2014 as consequence of the shooting of Michael Brown as the biggest racial riots since the Martin Luther King era in the USA, did the black president do enough to guarantee more equality to all people? But there was no impeachment procedure against him. Why? Because he was holding his public office with less infringements? Or does an impeachment procedure depend on how pleasant the way of smiling of a president is? Too popular questions? I agree, it cannot be ruled out at this point. On the other hand I need to signalize her somehow my interest in her topic. I decide to ask her a question, but then pause, when I notice that even she herself is not interested in talking about her topic. Buzzwords are to be used not to be discussed.

My plan was to ask her, whether Donald Trump did at least a good job in the de-escalation of the North Korea conflict. But she already changed her topics to create bridges for the use of her further buzzwords. She first is chatting about food and her low carb diet, and actually discusses German traditions, such as the Munich beer festival or the carnival in Cologne, with herself. She uses this context to introduce her latest buzzword: „sexy“. A biologist needs in such a case to play a very close attention. Sexy? No, no, she doesn’t talk about human mating behaviors and reproduction, she is indeed talking about her feelings for a specific German city. Just another buzzword that modern hipsters have to have used at least once in their conversations. Sexy means then nothing else than very nice or very useful.

I am nevertheless trying to follow her threads, but cannot contribute much to them, when she suddenly lifts her head up, her eyes open widely and glow, and her glance fixes me, provoking and demanding for attention. Her plait flies in the air, while the corners of her mouth tremor with excitement, the index finger of her right hand running tetchily over her pointed chin. She takes a deep breath, obviously being strained based on a mix of anticipation and eagerness. No doubt, she intends to say something meaningful.

„It totally exasperates me, when people entering or leaving a subway train do not follow any rules at all. They should understand that the compliance of a fixed order would reduce long waiting times and great uneasiness.“ She is seemingly indeed waiting for an answer, her eyes are asymmetrically moving up and down, while obviously expecting my comment of consent. And it could be of course an interesting topic for a constructive conversation, considering aspects of the chaos theory, according to which a spontaneous order can under certain conditions emerge out of a seeming chaotic situation, such as people moving towards each other in an generally uncontrolled traffic scenery.

But she obviously doesn’t want to discuss about scientific theories, but simply seeks confirmation. Confirmation for being a city hipster, very well experienced in urban transport systems, in contrast to a rural hipster, who doesn’t even know how to pronounce the term „subway“.

The Fly

I instead decide to go to the bathroom, while she is eating like a harvester to gain enough nutrients to survive her hipsterish low-carb diet. The bathroom is small and poorly lit, and the air inside is filled with the scent of cheap urinal-freshening blocks, distributing the odour of malodorous and rotten lemon fruits. I look into the mirror, consisting of cracked old glass, and discover a tiny fly, shimmering in a pleasant metallic green like a valuably polished sapphire would shine out of the dark at nightfall. It is diligently rubbing its forelegs against each other and says no word.

Suddenly the fly gracefully tilts its head forward and uses the stout and thorned tibial hitch ends of the same forelegs to purge the area behind its deep red compound eyes. While doing so, it still remains silent as if it were a rehearsed mime artist. Seemingly after a small eternity, the green bottle fly fills its wing venation with blood.

And while it flies up in the air with a short jerky movement, the dipteran mercilessly breaks the beneficial silence with its monotonous trembling and squeaky voice, saying out loud, what most flies use to say, when seeking attention and confirmation without any meaningful profundity: „bzzzzzzzzzz, bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz“. The garrulous insect performs two or three elegant laps closely below the ceiling and then disappears inside the heavily incrusted ceramic basin of the next urinal. On the mirror surface remains nothing but a tiny ochre-colored flyspeck, which only for a short moment reflects the dim overhead light, before it completely dries out to an unspectacular powdery small spot. One among many older others, spoiling the mirror glass like a skin rash, reminders of the many generations of green bottle flies that lived inside this musty courtyard toilet room.

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Fly, oil on canvas, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth, Berlin December 2019

Berlin, December 2019, copyrights Stefan F. Wirth