20181013 Autumn Colours

Bright red berries hanging on a tree, with leaves blurred in background

Drove to De Meern today to have a look at Velux windows. Afterwards, I went for a walk through the Mauritspark and Meentpark, where the magpies made fun of my futile attempts to photograph them. This evening Alex and I watched a bunch of episodes of Community (season 1).

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Sleep: medium. Woke up just after 04:00 and had trouble dozing off again
  • Walk: about 5km around the parks
  • Photography: leaves, berries, and lots of blurry birds
  • Bass: no
  • Snacks: banana bread

20181012 Kissing Couple XXXL

View from below of the Kissing Couple XXXL giant statue by artist Saske van der Eerden

This afternoon Abi and I drove to the Zaandam side of the Hembrug area, had a wee rummage at the second-hand shop, and took the ferry across the canal to take some pictures at the Kissing Couple XXXL statue. It went up last year, and I’ve wanted to see it up close for a while. Pictober was the perfect opportunity!

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Sleep: good, but interrupted a few times early in the night by having to pee. The only negative side effect of paroxetine for me seems to be bladder-related.
  • Walk: well, I got out of the house. Let’s say that counts.
  • Photography: yes
  • Bass: about to do some now.
  • Snacks: I made banana bread with some browning bananas from our fruit bowl. Then I ate some banana bread.

Sign describing the Kissing Couple XXXL artwork in the foreground, with the statue itself blurred in the background

Abi Sutherland close up black and white

20181011 Selfie

Close-up of Martin Sutherland with bass guitar in background

A quiet day. I bought a GorillaPod flexible tripod last week. I used it a bit yesterday evening while I was taking pictures at Zaanse Schans, but I discovered that one of the ball joints was floppy. Depending on the angle, it didn’t have enough resistance to hold the camera in position. When I got it home I noticed that there was a tiny crack in the housing for that joint. So this morning after dropping Fiona off at school, I dropped the GorillaPod at the camera store where I’d bought it for a warranty repair. Having a good camera store so close to Fiona’s school is convenient, but may prove a source of awful temptation.

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Sleep: surprisingly good. I had been fretting about certain things as I lay down to go to sleep last night, and I’m surprised my mind was able to let go of the worries and drop off so quickly.
  • Walk: no
  • Photography: I spent a bunch of time selecting and editing the photos from the Emma Blackery concert the other night. I’m pleased with how they came out! I didn’t spend much time on new daily Pictober shots. Just a few selfies.
  • Bass: yes, playing roots on some basic chords
  • Snacks: Finished the bag of kruidnoten.

Emma Blackery at Sugar Factory, Tuesday 9 October 2018

Emma Blackery

Fiona likes Emma Blackery, and had a VIP meet-and-greet ticket for this gig. (She had met her once before, during a signing session at Vidcon last year.) The VIP session started at 18:00, so we got there early, and Fiona went in while I hopped over to the Apple Store. When they let me in at 19:00 with the rest of the ordinary ticket-holders, Fiona was up near the front of the stage chatting and laughing with a group of other fans, and decked out in as much merch as she could afford with the money I had given her. She was in her element.

The Sugar Factory is a small venue, and anywhere was going to be close to the stage. I staked out a spot near the far side of the room, on a slightly raised step next to the unoccupied DJ stand. This gave me a high enough view to see over the heads of any tall Dutch folk, and get some great pictures with my new camera. There was enough space for Fiona to sit up on the table when she found herself tired of standing after Lilly Ahlberg’s opening set.

Set list:

  1. Villains Part 1
  2. Dirt
  3. Third Eye
  4. Let Me Be
  5. Agenda
  6. Fake Friends
  7. Icarus
  8. Petty
  9. Sucks To Be You
  10. Telegram Undercover Lover
  11. What I Felt With You
  12. Lies
  13. Human Behaviour
  14. Take Me Out


  1. Burn The Witch
  2. Villains Part 2
Lilly Ahlberg
Lilly Ahlberg

Emma Blackery and band

Emma Blackery

Emma Blackery and band
Emma Blackery and band, including Sir Jony Ive on guitar.

20181010 Sunset Funset at Zaanse Schans

View of the Zaan river at sunset, with a small jetty in the foreground

So the guy who sold me the Panasonic FZ1000 camera threw in some filters with the purchase. From chatting to Dave last weekend I knew more about neutral density (ND) filters, but there was also a purple “FLD” filter in the case. My dude had told me that it produces great effects when shooting into the light at sunset. Realizing that I hadn’t taken a walk or any pictures today, I took a short drive up to Zaanse Schans after dinner. Dave has Dunottar Castle on his doorstep; we’ve got windmills.

Sure enough, the shots with the FLD filter looked really promising on the LCD screen in the field, and rather striking when I pulled them up on my big monitor at home. But shooting into the light at sunset isn’t quite what they’re intended for. I did my research after the fact, and discovered that they have a characteristic purple colour because they filter out a specific greenish cast produced by fluorescent lights (FL). But I guess this off-label use is nice, too.

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Sleep: okay, but short because Fiona and I were out at a concert yesterday evening and got back late.
  • Walk: a few kilometers around Zaanse Schans
  • Photography: see above
  • Bass: no. Must do better.
  • Snacks: Kruid. Noten. So many kruidnoten. Must do better.

Zaan river at Zaanse Schans. Windmills in the background, and people on a jetty in the foreground.

Zaan rover at near-dark. Setting crescent moon in the background across the river. Three people silhouetted on a bench in the foreground.

20181009 Heron

Close-up of a heron watching the water near the Hempont

I got rid of another “bookcase” from my study today. “Bookcase” in quotation marks, because it had been storing stationery, files, and assorted office debris rather than books. The beautiful chair I bought a couple of months ago I ended up moving downstairs into the library corner of the living room, because the study was feeling too crowded with it in place. I’m trying to find the right balance between more space (which is nice) and really nice stuff (which is also nice).

I took the new camera with me on my trip to drop off another load of stuff at the Kringloopwinkel. I had though to take some pictures of the Kissing Couple XXXL statue from across the water, but they were too far away, and the air was too hazy. But just as I was about to turn back to the car. I noticed that I had been standing just five meters away from a perfectly still heron. It was intent on watching the water, and it let me get a little closer to take some shots of it instead.

Daily self-care checklist:

  • Sleep: excellent. Fiona’s school had an inset day, and I was able to sleep late to 09:30.
  • Bass: no
  • Walk: yes, about 2km in bits and pieces on the way to the Sugar Factory with Fiona to see an Emma Blackery gig
  • Photography: heron, and lots of pics at the gig, most of which are underexposed and out of focus. Some of them have great potential, though, but I need some more time to select the best and clean them up.
  • Snacks: kruidnoten again