My first real macro attempts

Hi.

Today an article from the photography. It’s hard not to recognize that I like photography, at least for people who follow my blog :) It is a great hobby and I wouldn’t be against even to earn the one or other euro with it :)

Anyway. Especially I am happy when I can make small things big. Like a grasshopper or a nice flower in large size or something like that. In the technical jargon is it called “macro photography”.

Unfortunately are my lenses very limited in this case. From a certain distance is it not possible to focus an object. They are just not made for very small distances.

Now I was reading a trick in a forum how to make real macro pictures with a 17-45mm lens. Just simply turn around the lens… so hole it the other way around on the camera. But in this case all electronic features are not working anymore. So you need to set up the focus and the aperture manually. But for some sample shots is it ok.

And so I made some pictures last night of a dead bug. With the bad light in the evening not a good try (beside from the point that the bug was rotten already). :)

Today in the morning I saw a fly, which was very interested on the rest of my apple from last evening. I used this opportunity to use her as my next model. :) And this pictures was much better already… if your consider that I was holding the camera in one hand and the lens with the other. Focusing by distance. And to focus while making a macro picture that way is very difficult. Because the focus area at 17mm is in a range of approx. 1mm. 90% spoilt.

But this made me so excited that I decided to invest the money for the macro equipment for my Olympus E-410. There is a really good macro lens from Olympus, the 35mm 3,5. It can make pictures up to 1:1. Which is already very good. I am thinking also to buy additionally the extension tube EX-25 for the 17,5-45mm and the 70-300mm. With this tube I would be able to focus with this lenses as well much closer and using them basically as macro lenses as well.

And of course a proper tripod and a special flash for macro. All together it would cost around 500 Euro. This is already a big investment. Even I choose already the cheaper way. There are macro lenses which cost 1000 Euro… just the lens :-/

I hope I will have the money for it soon and as soon as everything is here I’ll make the small world really big :)

But here for now first the pictures from today. I would be glad about encouraging (but honest) comments ;)

Weekend in a 5 star hotel in Paphos :)

Hi,

finally again a great and exciting weekend. :)

A friend got from her company a voucher for a 5 star hotel in Paphos. And she asked me if I would join her, as the voucher is for 2 persons. … What a question, of course I would like. I’ve never been in a 5 star hotel in Cyprus :)

And so we started Saturday noon to Paphos. She had before night shift and couldn’t sleep much. I also didn’t got much sleep, thanks to my cold. So the general condition was… sleepy. But that couldn’t destroy our excitement. :) I mean when do we have this opportunity?

And so we arrived a bit tired and sleepy – but very excited – at the Annabelle Hotel. And already entering the parking space was an adventure. You can’t just drive on the parking space of this 5 star hotel. There is a barrier and you need to ring the bell. Then you need to tell the guy on the other side of the intercom that you have a reservation and then they let you in (maybe it was just because of my old Hyundai Atoz… who knows).

It came straight a nice guy who took our luggage and we proceeded with the check-in. After the usual paperwork the man was showing us our room. In the 2. floor, as requested. An amazing room. Small corridor, one room, a bathroom and a little balcony. Enough for one night.

The bed was huge and amazing comfortable. The balcony had a great view on the hotel garden and direct behind the sea.

Absolutely stunning.

We refreshed first of all and went then – armed with our camera – in the hotel garden and to the harbor of Paphos and took again countless pictures :)

(Some of them you can find below)

Thereto is also a small story. At the harbor,at the end near the castle of Paphos, was an old man sitting and playing his accordion. Here are people begging. Not often, but from time to time.

So he was sitting there with his instrument on a camp-chair., in a (closed) entrance area of a hall made of natural stone. Maybe he choose this place because it protected him a bit of the wind. It was chilly and windy this day. He was playing and gazed into space, like he would think about something or just dream.

We didn’t gave him money. Because who gives us something? And if you give one then you need to give everybody… or whatever excuses or mind constructions came up.

Now, afterwards, I really regret my closed mind thinking. He had a very special aura. Maybe also because of the combination of him and the location where he was sitting. I should have give him some Euros and should have taken some more pictures. But like that I made just one shy pictures from further away. I didn’t gave anything so I don’t have the right to make pictures of him…

But this man has something special on pictures. I realized it later at home, when I was viewing the pictures.

Somehow there are so many emotions in this picture. On one side sadness that he is in this situation. On the other side it doesn’t look like he is sad himself. He looks dreamful and a bit happy about something.

He fits so perfectly in this old masonry with his old accordion, the old clothes and his face. I like to imagine that he is or was sailor. He looks like that somehow.

Now I am really thinking to go back to Paphos to get this lost chance maybe back. To give him the money he deserves for his musical playing… and to be my model for some time. And to make some more perfect and awesome pictures of him. But if he will be with the same clothes in the same place with the same melancholic mood…

On the way back to the hotel we stopped at Pizza Hut (5 star hotels are really expensive). and then back to the hotel and just relaxed.

I tell you, the night in that bed was a dream. Probably I never slept so great in my life before :-) I also want such bed :)

Sunday we got up very early and was one of the first ones at the breakfast. The buffet was big and very tasty.

After this unusual early breakfast we went again on picture tour. Again a round through Paphos and some when back to the hotel. Another hour being lazy on the bed and watching TV and then was our great hotel stay over already :( As always much to quick. But unfortunately it is always like that. The nice things passing always to quick.

On the way back we made a stop at the Aphrodite temple and got a bit culture and – of course – made pictures again :)

And then we went back home and our short holiday was over. But it was a great short holiday and a very unusual one. I mean when do I get the chance to stay in a 5 star hotel. :)

By the way. I can recommend the Annabelle hotel in Paphos. The room was clean and very nice. We had a good sea view. The staff was friendly and helpful. And the bed… a dream! :) The location is very central. Just 5 minutes walking to the bar street and the harbor. … But 5 stars are not cheap.

That was my weekend… very awesome and much to short :)

Warm regards

Gordon

Picture of the Day – It’s winter, time for hugs

Winter hugs

Warm up hugs in the winter.

Just saw this both sweeties from my window. In the yard is an old mattress on which they make it themselves comfortable. It’s not a bad idea to warm each other at this temperatures.

Dear cold, I declare the war on you!

Hi.

I have now a few days already a stupid cold. First it was just my nose, then also coughing and now it hurts also everywhere.

I think it becomes to much now. So I decided today to declare the war. :)

Actually I have a very good immune system. It is not very often that I become sick. Maybe once all 2 years (or like that) I get get a cold. And this year is the year again. And it never comes to the right time. So also this time because the next weekend shall be a special weekend. And this cold/flue doesn’t fit at all in it.

As I said is my immune system usually very good. I also don’t take any tablets, if I don’t have to. All this chemicals can’t be good, if there is no really serious infection or something like that. But for a cold… not, not really.

It didn’t become better in the last 2 days… it even became worse. So today I declared the war on the bacterias! :)

My weapons…

Onion juice

A home remedy which I still remember from my childhood and which was always helping. It is great against coughing (mucolytic)  and in general good against cold.

It is 100% natural and very simple to produce. Just peel some onions (2-3) and cut them (not to small pieces). Put them in a bowl and add good sugar on top. Then cover the bowl and leave it for a while. For the first time is it the best over night. On the next morning should be enough juice in the bowl for a first “harvest”. And then every few hours again, when there is enough juice in the bowl for a few spoons.

And against the opinion of all people which never tried it, it tastes really nice. Like sweet sirup. And also children like it.

Fruit salat

Also a popular home remedy. :) Rich of vitamins and also very tasty. And of course 100% natural again. Just needs a bit more work.

First of all visit your favorite supermarket. Then grab from everything you like (fruits!!…) the best quantity… like for example 1 apple, 1 pear, 2 bananas, 3 plums, some strawberries, etc.

Then peel everything, cut them in cubes and put everything in a bowl. At the end stir everything well and… that’s it. You can modify it as you wish of course.

And then take the bowl with you to the TV in the evening or to a hot bath :) As you like.

Additionally is it helpful to support your immune system mentally. Also is it helpful to have enough rest and relaxing. (Which I will take in a few minutes :) )

And for the worst-case scenario I got also Nurofen cold & flue from the pharmacy. I’ll take one tonight… just in case. And from my friend I got Vick Medinight. Which I will use as well tonight. … So I should be well like never before tomorrow :D I hope… will see :)

All the best (and lot of health)

Gordon

Get an internet connection in Cyprus

Hi.

Today I want to write about my efforts to get an own internet connection. It worth a story.

Kai was all sharing the internet with me, till now. He had a shop below my flat and connected me to his router. But he closed the shop down now and I had to think about a new connection.

Of course I had first of all a look in the internet, what provider are around and which connection speed they have and for which prices. There are not much. Cyta (the main provider), PrimeTel, CableNet and MTN. Plus some smaller and exotic ones (satellite internet and such things).

The webpages of Cyta are absolutely confusing and from all other people – which have Cyta – I’ve heard what they pay. And that was not less.
PrimeTel and CableNet are approx. in the same price range. Just CableNet was a bit better and I’ve heard good things about them.

So I went first of all to the service point of CableNet. The nice woman told me all I need to know and was calculating then the additional costs. 40 Euro deposit for the modem, 100 Euro deposit because I am not Cypriot, 45,80 connection fee for the telephone line and with the first payment I have to pay the first both month in advance. The contract would be for 12 month. If I would like to cancel the earlier then I would have to pay a penalty of 117 Euro.
My area is not in the covered area of CableNet and they would have to rent the Cyta cable and therefore I would have had to book a special rate. I thrown the paper away… but I think it was approx. 35 Euro per month for a 8Mbit line + 5,10 rent for the telephone line.
So one time payment 190,90 Euro (+ plus the first both rates in advance) and then per month approx. 40 Euro.
They would need 3-4 weeks to connect me.

I really had to think about that. Also I didn’t had the money this time. That was around beginning of November.
Then the time came when Kai wanted to close down the shop. So I went back to CableNet, to make the contract.
But the (same) nice woman told me know that it wouldn’t be possible anymore! … Hum??? … On my question “Why?” she answered that they are out of modems. Aha? … “And now?” – “We can’t connect you. We need to wait for new modems.” – “But I have a modem. I can use this.” – “No, that are special modems which are registered in our system.” – “Aha… and when will you get new ones?” – “Can’t say it. We are waiting already over one month on it.” … Hmmm… Welcome to Cyprus.
I told the lady that she shall call me immediately when they got the modems… She will do it, she said…

Then finally came the day when Kai was clearing out the office and I was without internet. But I need internet to work…
A neighbor in the house has as well his own internet and I asked him if we can share until I have my own. He agreed and I needed to buy first of all a WiFi-USB-Stick, because my pc don’t have WiFi.
The connection strenght is not the best and the line is collapsing from time to time or it is terrible slow. I guess he don’t have a bit line and/or he is downloading like hell. Anyway it is not usable to work with. Also the hotspots from City Cell are terrible and cost 50 Euro per month… and a modem is faster.

Today I was finally totally pissed off and decided not to wait longer for CableNet. Who knows when they will get the modems… plus I would have to wait another 4 weeks to get connected.

So I went today to the next PrimeTel shop. They are with 33 Euro per month the cheapest. But also here that wasn’t all, as the nice (and very quite and sllooowww speaking) woman informed me. Also here I have to pay a deposit as non-Cypriot… 150 Euro! Plus 110 Euro activation fee. A 8Mbit line would not cost 33 Euro per month… it would cost 39,99 Euro. The contract time would be 18 month. If I would like to cancel earlier then I would have to pay anyway the whole 18 month (39,99 Euro each month). If I want to have 12 month contract period, then I would have to pay additionally 79,99 Euro connection fee.
So, in conclusion… 340 Euro one-off payment plus 39,99 Euro per month.
That kicked me totally off.

Direct next to the CableNet shop was also an MTN shop. Actually they are more into mobile internet connection, but offer also 2 fixed internet contracts. Unfortunately not in my area.

After all this crab I thought it can’t be bad to ask direct at Cyta. Can’t become worse. So, I went to the next Cyta service point. Luckily is it all in the same area.
Also here the nice woman explained me the cost and the tariffs. 8Mbit line cost 44,46 Euro per month, plus the phone line (no internet without at least the phone line) with 12 Euro per month. In total approx. 56 Euro per month. That is already a difference. But for a 6Mbit line it would be 45 Euro per month (all together). That is already better. And what else? 107 Euro connection fee and 35,10 Euro activation (if I would install the router by myself). That’s it.
Ohh… look. That is not that bad.140 Euro one-off payment and 45 per month… for 6Mbit. Ok, Cyta wins… and I was signing straight the contract. Also Cyta have no extra fee for foreigners… I am excited… or better to say disappointed from the other provider, which require it.
And she said they will connect me within 10 days. And I can cancel the 12 month contract any time without any disadvantages (fees, etc.). Just have to give back the modem and that’s it.

Was totally simple… and I ask myself why the hell Cyta makes such mess on it’s webpage. Have a look on it… there are a lot of prices shown, which nobody will understand. The other say simple “33 Euro per month for 8Mbit” … like it should be … just that there are big hidden fees.

Yes, so it was again typical Cyprian. I just hope the rest will go well… but I’ll expect the worst. It’s better. :-)

Warm regards
Gordon