Water, waves, and spray
© Andrew Maier. All rights reserved. Used with permission

The associations I have with the word bliss are either bliss as being happy beyond Imagination or in the phrases such as ”ignorance is bliss”.

I do not consider ignorance as a virtue and certainly never as a way of obtaining happiness or bliss. On the contrary, I fully believe that knowledge is the way to becoming a better person and in the end be a happier person. Would I prefer to sometimes not know something, in particular something disturbing? Yes of course, it can temporarily comfort yourself, but in the long run, being ignorant will not save you from reality.

So what about bliss as this feeling of happiness beyond imagination? These are fleeting moments, which occur, for me at least, mostly as a memory of the events. The birth of our children for example, the day we got married, the 10th wedding anniversary, a spectacular sight or moment during holidays. Common to all these events is that they are all very personal, private moments, something I honestly do not want to share online. Instead, I want to focus on another common notion of bliss, the fuzzy feeling it creates that is difficult to explain. So my picture of today is not a picture of the many blissful moments in my life (of which I have quite a few), but the blur, the fuzziness, the unsharpness of the memory of these moments.

Todays picture shows the water of Lake Constance from the back of a ferry crossing the lake. It is blurry and unsharp, but goes from dark blues of the water to bright whites of the spray. It even may be, at first moment, be mistaken as a picture of the sky and covers the a powerful range of feelings associated with remembering a blissful moment.

Small Shuttle Boat on Lake Geneva

Small shuttle boat on Lake Geneva
© Andrew Maier. All rights reserved. Used with permission

These little shuttle boats, called “Mouettes”, cross at various points between the two banks of Lake Geneva. This creates a shortcut for those wanting to get from the “left bank” to the “right bank” of Geneva (and vice versa oaf course). These are small crafts holding about 15 to 20 passengers and the ride can become quite rocky when the weather is bad.

Taken close to sunset the light makes the yellow of the boat particularly saturated. The contrast against the blue water and the sky both enhance this vibrancy. This particular boat is just on its way to the famous landmark of Geneva, the large fountain, the Jet d’Eau.

A Cobblestone Road in the Toscana

Cobblestone Road
A street in Montalcino, Toscana, Italy.
© Andrew Maier. All rights reserved. Used with permission

This was taken on a holiday in Italy. I was impressed by the texture of stone brick houses and cobble stone street. A little corner of calmness in an otherwise very active an vibrant town.

Red pepper

Single red pepper, the harvest of 2014 by andrew_maier, on Flickr

In a recent post showing a Small White butterfly, I mentioned that the insect was sitting on a red pepper plant. In fact this was the only red pepper we tried to grow in our garden. Feeding this plant with neglect gave us the harvest of a single pepper, which we essentially missed, while we were on holidays. So while the vegetable was slowly going from ripe, overripe to well beyond it’s best before date, I was able to make this picture which gives a nice set of changing colours from greens and oranges to strong reds and some black spots developing where the vegetable was becoming overripe.

An Edelweiss in the Lower Austrian Mountains

An edelweiss flower in the Rax mountain in Lower Austria

An edelweiss flower in the Rax mountain in Lower Austria

This picture was taken on the way back from a short hike on the Rax, a popular Viennese excursion spot about 1 hour by car from Vienna away. We soon noticed how popular the Rax is, because we made the slight misjudgement to go there on 15 August, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, which is a public holiday in Austria, and we not only fought our way to get a parking place, but also waited almost 2 hours to get a cable car to take us up the mountain.

Still all the waiting was rewarded by the spectacular views and finding several edelweiss close to the main trail.

In the garden

A Small White (Pieris rapae) on a red pepper plant


After returning from holidays, this little fellow found itself on the sole red pepper plant we had grown this year. Fortunately, he was very patient, keeping still giving me enough time to shoot from various angles and positions. The setting sun finally made me to have to give up, as it was impossible to continue shooting handheld.

The Fstoppers Nikon DF Digital Camera Hipster Review

Although this the Nikon Df is not news any more, neither is this review on, but I absolutely love this review of the Nikon Df, I think this is really funny.

Starting from the intro where the presenter Lee Morris converts into a hipster,  switching to record the video in a  hip low-fi filter to make it more authentic this video is are really well made. The review itself and the response from the street are hilarious, with everybody agreeing, that a more “retro” like camera hast to be a better camera. Well worth spending 20 min.


A view from the Park Hyatt hotel bar in Tokyo

View from the Park Hyatt Hotel bar in Tokyo

View from the Park Hyatt Hotel bar in Tokyo

There are  a fair number of places I have visited in my adult life, and with the exception of Antarctica, I have been to every continent. Of the places I have visited, there are few that give me this feeling of comfort and strangeness at the same time as Tokyo. The strangeness for a European is immediately clear and it is intimidating and liberating at the same time. Intimidating, because one always fears to be making a big faux pas in the next moment and not knowing why. It is liberating, because  – at least from the outside, Japanese seem to be very forgiving for the strange behaviour we non-Japanese show.  This is particularly true if you genuinely try to follow at least basic good behaviour and convey a certain modesty and courtesy. The knowledge that you will make mistakes anyway will give you a certain freedom, similarly to the odd relative whose behaviour everyone excepts even though it breaks social norm and convention.

Getting the chance to go to Japan is something I will always jump on and will always give me this feeling of wanderlust. Of course Tokyo is packed with places with a view. But the one  place which I want to highlight is the  hotel bar of the Park Hyatt in Tokyo. It is of course the bar famously featured in the film “Lost in Translation” starring Scarlett Johansen and Bill Murray.

I visited the place last September during a short trip to Japan. And while it is now probably  a rather touristy place to visit, the bar has a fantastic atmosphere and the view, particularly in the evening, with all the lights and the skyline of Shinjuku is something which I will always remember. The photo on the top was taken in this bar and while the picture is a mere snapshot, full of imperfections due to the  reflections from the lights in window, the greenish colour cast from the tungsten lights, I hope it still transports a bit the fascination for the Japanese capital with all the extremes it exhibits.

A horse portrait

Horse head

Horse head portrait

Every day on my way to work I pass by a field with a large chestnut tree. And almost everyday there are two horses in this field. I am by all means no horse lover, on the contrary, I really do not get why a lot of people are so drawn towards these animals. So I cannot tell you what type or race these horses are or if they are particularly beautiful animals, if they are young or old or similar.

But I must admit, that these two horses are often standing beneath this large tree day after day, like an old couple sitting on their favourite park bench intrigued me. So at some point I simply had to take a picture.


Setting up an Olympus OM-D E-M5

One of the strong points of the Olympus OM-D, is that it is highly configurable. Almost any button and dial can be configured (or reconfigured) to suit ones personal taste. On the other hand, this also means, that one can get lost in all the possibilities. So Rohith’s guide to Setting up an Olympus OM-D E-M5 is an extremely useful in helping to configure your camera the way you want it