Four days ago my E-M10 turned a year old, yesterday it died


In what could best be described as a case of WJO (warranty just over), my OM-D E-M10 just died of a slightly too common stuck curtain. This issue has been plaguing the E-M1 since its release, usually after a day of hot shooting, but mine seems to be the first in my circle of Olympus wearing friends to suffer it.

In this post someone links to a YouTube video playing the very sound my M-10 makes now, a “shutter flutter”. Calling Olympus in Berlin paints a bleak picture: I’ll have to send the camera in, have it serviced (they’ll tell me what the cost is once they’ve looked at it), and will have it back in January because “holiday business being what it is…” Worse, I might receive a refurbished “as new” replacement, something I am always leery about.

Olympus has done me well on service so far, this one however is miles behind Nikon who simply had me pick up a new one from a local dealer. We’ll see…

Winter and Christmas Markets


Cheesy and consumerist, full of faux Gemütlichkeit and seasonally alcoholic feels? Yeah, sure. Worth a trip? Any freaking day of the (wintery) week, bucko. German, Swiss, and Austrian Christmas Markets are a must see, something you should have on your bucket list even if, back in naught something, you once went to one in New York or Chicago, got your yodel on, and think you’ve seen it all. Read More

The Heart Laid Bare


She said a little bit of an artist is in each of their works. A snippet of soul, a small fragment of oneself. “That’s why they burn out,” the old woman sitting in the sun in Winslow, AZ, once told me. “And that’s why I am careful only to put a little bit of myself into each of my sculptures, so I have enough of me left before I die.” Read More

Ten Things You Should Know Before Taking A German Vacation

Germany is a country of many contradictions. A modern economy powerhouse generously filled with old-school and traditional thinking. An extremely privacy conscious place and yet open and welcoming once you break the ice. It’s a place for reflection, for amazing hikes, great historical tours, and a lot in between. Here are my ten things you should definitely know before you travel (and travel to Germany you should).

10. Cash is still king


Bar, restaurant, boutique, or bottle of soda at the train station — chances are you won’t be able to use that shiny credit card of yours. Germans are still very much using cash for most transactions, going as far as buying even big ticket items (TVs, beds, that stuff) with paper bills. Though there is a widely used electronic exchange format called EC, your credit card likely won’t support it.

Most tourist areas will have Credit Card options but that won’t get you coffee at that quaint restaurant or admission to museums or castles. Germany isn’t the most dangerous place on earth but muggings do happen from time to time so I’d recommend taking out maybe 100€ and using your cards whenever possible. Read More

Packing for the Next Hike: Camera, Lights, Action

It doesn't always have to be a DSLR and Lightroom. This picture, taken with my cell phone and slightly sharpened in Google Photos, is more than OK for blogging and web based publishing.

It doesn’t always have to be a DSLR and Lightroom. This picture, taken with my cell phone and slightly sharpened in Google Photos, is more than OK for blogging and web based publishing.

My next long distance hike won’t be all that much of a problem. Roughly 100 miles, almost three days, and hotels along the way to keep me warm and get me that shower that makes every 30 mile/day hike just that little bit more fun.

At the flipside, colder weather, higher chances of rain, and early nightfall will make it almost imperative that I plan much better than, say, walking 15 mile/day stretches along well built roads in early summer. I’ll reduce weight and add more inclement weather items, waterproofing the rest as well as I can. Read More