Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Our last weekend's trip (3)

Today Blogger is much faster, so here is the rest of the pictures from our daytrip a little more than a week ago. In my former two posts you'll find some pics from the city Middelburg, today I post some pics from the nearby city Vlissingen or in English "Flushing" (??). A more extended history of Vlissingen can be found here (requires Acrobat Reader)

Most of the pics will speak for themselves, so I'll only post some short comment here and there.

Vlissingen was together with Middelburg and Amsterdam the most important harbour during the Dutch Golden Age and on a strategic location. The most famous person from Vlissingen was admiral Michiel Adriaanszoon de Ruijter, the most famous person in Dutch naval history

Modern wall paintings go hand in hand with more scenic and historical sceneries.

First we thought wow, nice colourful fronts on these houses when we entered this street.

But things are not always what they seem!

Not all grafiti is a defacement of the wall!

I wished I was two doggies
Then I could play together
(Godfried Bomans, Dutch writer)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Our last weekend's trip (2)

As I promised yesterday here are some more pics from our daytrip to Middelburg and Vlissingen last week Sunday March 19th.
Blogger is still slow, but not as slow as last night. But it still took 3 to 4 minutes to upload a picture, so for now I'll only post the selected pics from Middelburg. The broader selection still can be seen at my on-line album at Photobucket. Tomorrow I'll post the rest of the selected pics from Vlissingen, unless Blogger is still slow.
This is the "Lange Jan" (Long John) a 89 metres high church tower.

This is the same churchtower, but from a different angle.

The dome that you see belongs to the "Oostkerk" (Eastchurch)

Some of the (restored?) merchanthouses that shows the prosperous past of Middelburg.

On this insignia you'll find the Latin motto of the province of Zeeland: Luctor et Emergo, I wrestle and rise above. In the insignia you see a lion standing till it's waist in the water, representing the neverending struggle of Zeeland against the water. Through the centuries Zeeland was in a constant battle with the sea. The last devastating flood was in 1953, which killed more than 1800 people. This flood triggered the start of an enormous Deltaplan which was an ingenious system of deltaworks, which took a few decades to realize.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Our last weekend's trip (1)

Last weekend Noriko and I went on a daytrip to the cities Middelburg and Vlissingen in the province of Zeeland, located on the coast in the South-West of Holland. We could travel for free by train, because of some national promotionweek for the book. Normally you don't go to this part of the country so quickly, but this was a good opportunity to explore this part of the country. Both Middelburg and Vlissingen have small but scenic and historical centres. Some of the history of Middelburg can be found here, here and here.

Well, You'll have to do it with one pic for now. Uploading pictures is extremely slow right now on Blogger and often even fails. It took about 10 minutes before I manage to add one picture to this post and because I have about 12 to 14 pics to post I decided to leave it to this one pic for today. I'll try to post the rest of the pics tomorrow. By the way this is the gorgeous 16th century town hall of Middelburg.

For those who can't wait till tomorrow for the rest of the selected pictures, they can check here, for a broader selection of pics from our daytrip.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Dolphins, birds, cats and dogs

This time some scanned animal pics that I shot in the past 5 years on several occasions. The first two pics were shot during a trip that Noriko and I made somewhere at the end of April or beginning of May 2000 to Miyakejima, an island south-east from Tokyo and belonging to the Izu-islands, known for it's vulcano, birdwatching and also dolphinwatching. Short after our visit the vulcano Mount Oyama became active again in July 2000 and by September that year the whole population was evacuated. After a little more than four years of activity and vulcanic emmissions, the population of the islands was allowed to return permanently in February 2005 (!!!).

The actual swimming with the wild dolphins and the dolphinwatching we did from the island Mikurajima, a small nearby island with only 300 residents. This was a very memorable and impressive experience which I won't easily forget. The curiosity of the dolphins, the possibility to get real close and touch them, it was very, very awesome.

The dolphinpics were shot with the Minolta Vectis GX-4
The picture below is a pic from Ranchan the Shih Tzu dog of my mother in law in Japan. Ranchan unfortunately passed away almost two and a half year ago. She was a very cute and funny dog with some typical characteristics and behavior. She was a vegetarian dog, because she was allergic to meat. She was very strongminded and she had a preference for men, more than women. Maybe that's why she was so fond of me. She liked classical music, but not the heavy symphonystuff. That always made her very nervous. She also got nervous from the sounds of laughing on the television, for instance when you were watching some comedyprogramm. She hated other dogs, but she loved cats, although that love often wasn't mutual.

She always got very exited when you took her for a walk. I often took her for a walk to the nearby park. It sometimes was a nice way to get in touch with people, because there were often parents with kids who wanted to pet Ranchan. Most of the time I took her around the big pond in the park. Some proof of her stubborn mind was that halfway the pond, when she got tired, she always wanted to take a rest and sit on a bench. Then she got completely frozen, not willing to move an inch, unless we were taking a rest and she could sit next to me on a bench.

I love animals in general, but I have always loved cats more than dogs, but for Ranchan I had a weak spot.
The next pic was taken in the same park where some of the pics of my previous posts were taken. I don't know if the golden necklace had anything to do with it, but this cat was called the Empress by it's owner, because of it's royal behavior. She didn't want to sit on the wooden table without a small blanket. Everywhere the owner took the cat he had to take the blanket with him, because without it she didn't want to sit on anything.
Finally two bird pics. One of a grey heron that I took during a long walk about 4 or 5 years ago near my hometown area and the second one of a kingfisher that I took in the same park as where I shot the pic of the cat above and some of the portraits in some of the previous posts.
The last 4 pics were all taken with the Minolta Vectis S-1

Monday, March 13, 2006

More scanned pics

In addition to the two pics I post last Tuesday (Title post: Scanning pictures) in the category People/Portraits I'll post a few more in the same category.

The first one was taken by my good friend Andy from England when we visited the Apenheul in Apeldoorn, Holland. I don't know the exact date, but it must have been about 5, 6 years ago. This is a pretty unique primate zoo where some of the primates walk/climb around freely, like the monkey on my shoulder. It's only open in the Spring- and Summertime, but if you nearby it's worth a visit.

The next picture was taken at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, March 2001. This young couple was sitting in front of us on the other side of the sidewalk. They just finished their McDonalds menu, and he is taking a nap while she is drinking her milkshake/drink.
The following pic was taken during a daytrip into the Japanese Alps in September 2002 when we visited one of Noriko's uncles. When the old man saw me taking pictures he invited me to take his picture and he was posing very willingly.
The picture below was taken in the same park in Tokyo and on the same day as where I took the two pics of the older guys in my post "Scanning pictures" from last Tuesday. This type of scenery (amateur painters painting scenes from the park) you see very often during Spring- and Summertime in the park near Noriko's mother's house. This guy drew my attention by the quality of his painting and by his outfit.
I couldn't resist to take a pic of this nodding ponytailed guy.
This pretty grandmother posed proudly with her grandchild. This pic and also the pic from the ponytailed guy were taken at the same park and on the same day as the two pics of the two older guys from two posts ago and the pic of the painter.

Picture 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 were taken with the Minolta Vectis S-1 APS SLR camera and picture 3 was taken with the Minolta Vectis 3000 APS compact camera.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Scanner works (finally)

It took some time and some trial and error but I finally manage to get my flatbedscanner working. I have started to scan some pics and I'll have plenty material to post the coming two or three weeks.

I'll kick off with some pics shot at Christmas 2001 from the Tokyo Rainbow Bridge. Noriko and I stayed that Christmas at a nice and quite luxurious hotel (forgot the name). We spend our hotel gift certificates that we got from some friends during our houseparty before (or after, I can't remember exactly) our Japanese wedding ceremony a year earlier in May 2000. Here (post August 27th) and here (post September 2nd) you can see pics from our wedding day.

The pics from the bridge were shot from the hotelbalcony. It were not the first pics that were shot from the Tokyo Rainbow Bridge. If you look here you can see at the first post (September 25th) on top of the page a pic that was shot three and a half years earlier with a Samsung ECX 1.

The first pic is a panoramashot from the bridge. The other two were shot at night. The red tower in the back (better enlarge the pic) is Tokyo Tower. Probably it's better seen on the two night shots. These pics were taken with the small but very good Minotla Vectis 3000.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Scanning pictures

I've tried to re-install my flatbedscanner under XP, because I wanted to scan some pics from my huge photocollection that I shot since I started with photography (that was in 1991 during my first trip to Israel). There seem to be a hardwareproblem, which I haven't been able to solve yet. Yesterday I installed an all in one scanner/copier/printerer/fax at my sister's place, so I used it to scan a few of my pics, so I could post a few here.

Finally I want to scan my complete negative archive (35 mm and APS-film).
With my current flatbedscanner I could scan 35 mm films and slides, but that would be very time consuming, because it takes about 4 to 5 minutes to get a high resolution and high quality scan of each picture. Imagine how much time that would cost if I want to scan around 15.000 photos. With the flatbedscanner I also can't scan APS-film. So later this year I'm planning to buy a filmscanner. This is the one I have in mind. Besides my 35 mm and APS-film I also could scan my parents slide collection. This collection contains lots of slides when I was a kid, so that should be fun.

Anyway, here are the first two pics that I scanned Sunday. They were made in March 2001 during one of my stays in Japan. I remembered it was a very nice day in Springtime and cherry blossom was blooming everywhere. I took these pics of the two gentlemen from a distance in the park where we were taking a walk. I admit I have a bit of a voyeur in me (in a decent way), but I like portraits, especially when the people in the picture don't pose too much. The best way to achieve that is when people are not aware of it when their picture is taken.

For now I'll post two pics, but soon there will be more.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

All quiet on the picture front

Short after my birthdayparty I had a nasty flu and cold. Took me a little more than one week to recover. Since my recovery I hardly shot any pics that were worthwhile sharing. So for today you have to do it with some pics that Noriko shot today in our hometown Utrecht. Although it was a bit chilly it was quite clear weather. The first shot is from the Dom tower, the highest church tower of Holland.

The second pic is not so sharp, but it was a funny sight. Noriko shot the pics in a furnitureshop in the same shoppingstreet were the pic of the Dom tower was shot. I knew the owner had a bulldog who was sleeping in front of the shop most of the time. But this time Noriko saw a total of five bulldogs and some of them were sleeping on the couch. Of course it's very funny to watch, but I'm not sure if I wanted to buy furniture here, knowing that the bulldogs are sleeping on the couches. It was not second hand stuff. All furniture is new.

This pic I took after meeting Noriko in a pub/restaurant to pick her up. Before heading home we had coffee and after that we had a very nice beer from a monastry from the South of Holland. This pub cat wasn't begging for food this time. Most of the time she does when she is around. Now she came by herself and sat quietly on Noriko's lap for quite some time.