There’s something about the rooftops in Europe that just feels like home. Part of it is the clay tile that you find around the continent. Every village has some variation of red or green tile somewhere. It’s a pattern replicated on the Playmobil toys sets of my childhood. Spending a year in Europe at age 5 made a deep impression on me. Looking across the rooftops of Venice I could easily live there. It’s a good feeling to realize that you aren’t locked in to one place, or even one country.
The best part of the Europe trip was putting my new camera through it’s paces. The worst part has been trying to get the files into a workable format. New camera means big files, and RAW conversion software that could not cope. Trying new programs quickly let me know that I not only had a camera problem, I had a computer problem. There wasn’t enough memory to chew through the files quickly, and storage was also an issue. At some point in time, I need to upgrade the desktop, lock, stock, and operating system.
Using a trial of Capture One, I finally was able to get the RAW files converted. I’m using a combination of iPad apps to do the final fiddling. It’s fun, and as I’ve been reminding myself, this process needs to be fun.
Out of 2000 images, I’m down to 150ish. I’ll be working on them as time allows, and hope you enjoy. I’m currently going through my HDR is cool phase, so just hang in there. I’m sure it will pass.
Street lights in Venice, September 2012
So I thought I'd stick my head in and give folks a quick update. For those who don't know, the reason I'm so quiet recently is because I'm currently in Europe on holiday with my mom.
Why Europe? Simply put we are here for a wedding. On a deeper level, it's about reconnecting wit a life 30 years gone. In the late 1970s, my parents relocated the family to Germany for a year. Dad had a fellowship grant to do research at the university in Freiburg-Breislau. So off we went to Southern Germany. In the time that we were there, my parents formed deep, long term friendships with other Americans who were living in that part of Germany.
Time lead to a fade in the relationships, but with the internet, my folks reconnected with their old friends. When the Webers asked if we could come out for the wedding, Mom said yes. It ended up being just the two of us. So far it's been a very interesting trip.
I've reconnected with my upbringing in a small German wine village. Which explains to be a lot of my pragmatic approach to where my food comes from. In that setting, you grow and raise everything that ends up on the plate. I got a refresher course in that over the past several days. Doesn't get much more local than wurst made from your own sheep, veggies from your own garden, bread made from the wheat in your fields, and wine made from your own grapes.
Yeah, total local sourcing baby.
It's also been fun watching Mom enjoy herself. She's having a great time using her German and seeing old friends. It's been a bit challenging for me. I was fluent in German at age 5. Since we moved home, I never really used it. I can read some, but don't have occasion to speak. I'm good with French and also learning Spanish. So I'm finding myself trying to reply to folks in something other than English. Which leads to some interesting French/Spanish sentences. My numbers come out Spanish, other things in French. Yesterday I was even throwing in some Russian I've picked up over the years. With four different languages rolling around my head at the same time, the past few days have been a bit stressful.
Not to mention the whopping headache.
So today we are up near Mannheim in another small German village. We are staying with more friends of my Mom. Lucky for me, they speak English. So my poor head is getting a nice break today. It was interesting to see the shift in food as we moved from farmhouse to something more conventional. More processed bits and bobs in the house. I'm getting good at translating German food labels.
We are off in a bit to another picturesque village for a bit of shopping. Mom was worried that I'm not getting to do enough. I pointed out that sometimes it's not about doing things. It's about enjoying the time and the experiences. She wondered when I got so wise.
She then started laughing at me about five minutes later as I cursed the German keyboard. News flash for Americans- where you have the Y key on a US keyboard, the Germans have a Z key. You don't want to know how many interesting words I've used today.
Like I said, it's about the journey, not the destination…but man that umlaut key needs to go!