The last couple of months have been interesting.
In short, I bought an RV and travelled through parts of Europe with it. Both visiting friends and working a bit. At the same time I've been contracting for a company in the Netherlands which means I have been flying up and down quite a bit. Too bad budget airlines don't do airmiles.So where did I go? Well, get out your map and follow along. After I bought the RV in Germany I drove it to the Netherlands for some checkups. A friend of mine is a car mechanic and has his own shop so I took it there. There were some things that I knew had to be done (tires, brakes) and some things that I wanted done (air filter, oil filter, oil change). Given that I had bought myself an old RV (build in 1980) we were both surprised that she didn't need any additional work. A pleasant surprise for my budget to say the least.With that out of the way I decided to use it for the weekend to see what I needed/missed. As luck would have it I was supposed to shoot (as in photograph) a Salsa festival in the south of the Netherlands that weekend. So being practical I decided to cancel the hotel room that had been booked for me and drive down instead.
A friend of mine joined me for the drive down and we had a fun time getting there. Sure, it was only a couple of hundred kilometers (about 140miles for those of you that aren't on the metric system) but we took our time. Obviously the kitchen had to be tested so the first stop was for coffee. Then the kitchen had to be tested again so the second stop was to make lunch. Silly things but so much fun when you've just bought your first RV.
After arriving at the venue it turned out my decision to drive down was a great one. The hotel that I was supposed to stay at was 30 minutes away from the venue. In itself not that bad but I was supposed to shoot the Friday night party and the Saturday morning workshops.
Given that I dance salsa myself I didn't want to leave after I was done so I stayed and danced till the end of the party (5 am). That left me 5 hours until I was supposed to be back. Substract 30 minutes each way and that leaves 4 hours to backup my images, shower, create a short preview album and put it online, sleep, shower again and have breakfast. All in all that would have meant about 3 hours of sleep. Instead I got 4 now so 1/3 more. Not only that but after I shot some pics at the first workshop the next day I went back to sleep for an hour and caught the last part of the second workshops. Way more sleep than I would have gotten had I stayed in the hotel. Suffice to say I thoroughly loved my RV and my decision to drive it down.
But as always when you do something for the first time you start noticing things that aren't perfect. For instance, the location where I had chosen to store my camera and flash batteries was inconvenient to reach. The shower pressure was really low and there were some other things that I didn't quite like the way they were..
Given that I was going to the south of France to shoot an extreme sports event (more about that in another post) that gave me a little over a week to make some improvements.All in all though, the love afair with my RV had started that weekend.
That's right, I've finally cut that cord and made a decision. My home will be mobile going forward. The camper is coming and I plan to move into it.
That said though, that was only the first of many decisions. Now I'm trying to figure out what kind of RV fits my needs best. So far it seems that I want something old and dodgy on the outside that's great on the inside.
Unfortunately though that probably means buying something dodgy, period. Then I'll have to do the interior myself afterwards. So what do I mean when I say dodgy looking? Pretty much something along these lines:
So why something dodgy looking when I can buy something much nicer for just a little bit more? It's quite simply really. As a photographer I have quite a bit of money invested in equipment. Cameras, lenses, computer, laptop, etc. All in all it adds up. And unfortunately RVs are considered interesting targets in some parts of Europe as it's pretty easy for a thief to gain access to it. So I'd rather be driving around in something that makes me look like I can barely pay my petrol bill (true in a sense ;) ) rather than in a RV that screams "money here!"
Last week was the first weekend in quite a while that I went to a Salsa festival again. Or rather, that I intentionally went to one (it's a story for another time).
La Sandunguera, a dance studio in Bremen, yearly organizes Palladium Voyage. It's a relatively small festival (although it's growing) with a great atmosphere and the chance to take workshops from some really good instructors. And although I did just that, it was not what I was there for. I was there to capture the festival. Or at least some of it's moments.
Photographing salsa festivals is actually one of my favourite things. Sure, it doesn't make me rich (I'm happy to break even) but I get to combine 2 things I like, salsa & photography. Aside from that it's a chance for me to see friends again that I haven't seen in a while.
As I'm writing this though I realize that something just isn't right. It's a post about photography without a single photo in it so far. The reason for that is that I simply haven't gotten around to them yet.
That said, it seems wrong so here is one from last year. Guess I'd better stop writing now and start editing. Enjoy your day!
Well, my blogging frequency has dropped as it always seems to do.
This time the reason for it is different though. Normally I just tend to get bored but currently I'm still busy and have other priorities than blogging so I'm not freeing up time for it. That said, today everything is different because today it's King's day.
What exactly does this entail?
That's a great question as we don't really know. It's the first time in more than a century as we haven't had a king here since 1890.
However, most likely it's going to be exactly like Queen's day used to be. A massive party! If I have to believe other people saying that it's going to be a massive party is a bit of an understatement and I should really be saying that it's "nothing short of the world's greatest party". Personally I'm not sure I agree as there are some pretty awesome parties out there but then it doesn't matter. It is safe to say that it's a day of orange craziness here in the Netherlands.
It's been a busy couple of weeks.
Sure, I know it's an excuse. Even though I'm working 11-13 hour days I could have find the time to write something here but then, I chose to spend that time with friends I hadn't seen for a while.
Aside from that I "had" to attend a studio light demo day
I put had in between quotation marks cause I had a couple of thousand reasons not to go but in the end I decided that sometimes you just have to replace gear. So now I have lots of new toys that I haven't been able to use yet... for 2 weeks.
For years people who came to my place for the first time and looked at my books would be confused. First of all the amount of them would freak people out as they never seem to take me for a reader anyway but also the selection. I'll pretty much read anything.
Now I haven't always been that way. When I was growing up I pretty much only read Stephen King. Sure, they made me read stuff by dutch authors in school but I only read that cause I had to. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't that I didn't like anything else, it just never occurred to me to try it. And why should I? There were enough books for me to read that I knew I would enjoy. So I would only add a new author to my reading list if I'd had exhausted the works of whatever author I was into at the time. So for a long time I didn't really expand my reading selection a lot. Only doing that when I had to.
Then one day when I was flying from London to Amsterdam my flight got delayed and my I finished my book before my flight was even boarding. As it wasn't sure when we would start boarding and there was no bookstore near the gate I was waiting at I was stuck without a book. Or rather, I did have some books that I picked up for a friend. She's an English girl that lives in Amsterdam and had given me a list of books to pick up (this is pre internet ordering. Yes, I'm that old ;) ). So technically I was only "without a book I like".
Now for some reason she decided to give me a list of romance novels so I was stuck with 7 of those. As the delay was taking ever longer I eventually opened one of them and started reading and... exactly as I expected, I hated it! Seriously, I forced myself to read the first chapter but then really couldn't handle it anymore. But about 30 minutes later I was so bored that I decided to give another one of the books a try. Again, a romance novel but this one was much better than the first one. I found myself actually getting into the book and before I knew it we were boarding, took off and landed and I was home having finished the book.
That moment though was when something changed. Although I have always known we can't see whether or not we like something (or can do something for that matter) until we've tried it, it wasn't until that moment that the message finally sunk in.
Somebody thought that my reasons for choosing Sett over other platforms were a bit "too simple".
That might actually be true but then, does that really matter? My main reason for choosing Sett is that I've been following Tynan for as long as I have and I want to support his project. Personally I don't think there is anything wrong with doing things just because you want to support people you respect but obviously other people are entitled to disagree.. As for respecting Tynan, if I didn't I wouldn't support the project. Or perhaps I should say that I respect the image he portraits. After all, I've never met him so I'm just going by his posts. That said, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think the person we see in the posts is probably the person he is. Colour me naive if you want to ;)
And yes, part of that is probably because I can identify with a lot of the things he writes. Too give some examples. I too went from being introverted to being extroverted. And I too like to keep growing and to constantly keep learning new things. It's why I am a photographer who does IT work but also has a background in security, economics and psychology.
When it comes to other points I'm still lagging behind a bit. For one, I don't have the discipline that he does. It's something that I am considering working on but who knows, perhaps I'll choose to keep procrastinating from time to time. Will that be a waste of time? Of course, that's a given. The question though is not if it will be a waste of time but if I care enough to change it. So far it seems I don't just yet but who knows, given time, I might change my mind. Then again, procrastination is a flexible term in my case as well. To me procrastinating is not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. That said, I'm usually learning something new when I'm procrastinating. Whether it's another language or just something that caught my fancy. So when I'm procrastinating I don't waste that time doing nothing at all but spending it towards one of my goals, continued education. On the other hand, I could just use that as an excuse not to give up on procrastination just yet.
So there you have it once again, my reasons for choosing Sett really are very simple. I could dream up some other reasons but then, why short change the truth?
I haven't worked on Windows machines of a while now. The last time I owned a windows machine was when XP was still new and fresh. Ever since I've mainly used Linux machines with a couple of Macs thrown in.
To be honest, they all have their advantages and disadvantages. My firewall runs on a Linux machine but I rarely have to touch that. When I work in Photoshop I use the mac. When I do something on the network it doesn't really matter as I tend to use the command line so it doesn't really matter what system I use. Now that I'm doing more pen testing training the Linux machines gets a lot more of my time though.
Why am I telling you all of this? To simply give you some background information before going on to the next item on the list (and the headline of this article)... Windows 8(.1)!
I thought I would hate it! I've seen Vista on machines and didn't like that and from what I saw (screenshots, etc) I expected Windows 8 to be worse. And the thing is, it probably is. At the moment I'm freelancing for a company in the Netherlands and they "make" me use a windows system as pretty much their entire environment is windows based.
Most people are scared of failure. I have to admit, I am (partially) one of them.
Failure is scary. Not only does it affect us directly but it can also change the way people look at us. Or at least, the way we think people look at us.
Because if we have to be honest, most people don't really care enough. People in general don't spend a lot of time thinking about us and if they do it's generally because our life is more interesting than their's.
Don't believe me? Stop and think about it for a second. How often do you think about people who's life is not interesting? Take your time, I'll wait for it...
So far this blog has probably already had more updates than most of the blogs I've had in the past.
The reason for that is that I've used my initial enthusiasm (anything that's new is interesting) to start writing posts in advance and schedule them.
This way I get to go on with my daily life and if I forget about posting, they get posted automatically. I have to admit, this is one of the things I really like about Sett. I schedule posts and if I don't write a post they are automatically rolled out. If I do write a post than they just stay in the queue until a day goes by where I don't publish anything and voila, one of the scheduled posts goes out.
It's a great feature to have because we all know that "real life" sometimes gets in the way of our best intentions. Whether it's writer's block or just one being too busy, sometimes you just can't do the things you wanted to do or planned to do. In my case that's blogging.
Not only that but there is the ADHD thing. I'll sit down to write a post and an email will pop up. Before I know it I'll be fixing my mom's roof (which had nothing to do with the blog post, the email or the 15 other things that caught my attention in the 2 minutes after the email notification) and I'll have forgotten all about the post I had started to write.