Guitar Rig 5 is a great piece of free software that allows you to play guitar through your laptop with emulated amps and effects, but getting it to do this caused me hours of frustration. I looked through forums, YouTube clips, and general searches to no avail. Finally I stumbled upon a solution, and after rebooting my laptop Guitar Rig 5 worked like a charm. While it is still fresh in my mind, I thought I would share my experience in the hope that I will save someone else the frustration I had. (more…)
This is a solar power plant in Bavaria (Bayern in German). It was constructed by Solar Frontier and BELECTRIC above the parking lot of a supermarket belonging to the Edeka chain. It will produced 340 kWp of electricity annually and save 230 TONS of CO2. Edeka has taken a further step for the environment and their customers by also providing a battery charging station for electric cars.
Having lived in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida, metropolitan Washington, and South Carolina I know what it’s like to leave a shopping mall and return to a car that’s been baking in the sun for a couple of hours. You would think that every shopping center would see this idea as a no-brainer — your customers have a shaded parking space which shields them and their cars from the sun and inclement weather, you profit from otherwise wasted space, you do your part for the environment, and you improve your public image.
The parking lot power plant shown above is a couple of hours North of the small town where I live. Here is a supermarket I can walk to.
Without the talent, inclination or ambition to paint, my casual photography is nevertheless influenced by my love of impressionism. Of course the sharpness and detail of photography captures reality, while the bold colors and the dreamy lack of definition employed by impressionists provide a framework for the viewer to use his or her imagination.
Photo editing software generally has tools with which you can emulate painting, but until recently I haven’t been entirely satisfied with the results. Luckily I found an online cartoon conversion site that, despite the name, delivers remarkable results –much more than cartoons. Cartoonize.net allows you to convert your photos into “cartoons” that, in some cases, can transform your photos into dreamy landscapes with bold dramatic colors. I was so impressed I actually changed the header photo for this blog.
They have also just released a desktop version that can be purchased. Based on what I’ve seen with the online version, $19.95 seems like a very fair price.
The software can also turn old black and white photos into something new and interesting. I find it particularly effective for photos taken in the early spring before the leaves are on the trees — the tree limbs are morphed into stark patterns. Here are a couple of examples, this photo of my grandparents with me and my sister was taken with a very primitive camera in front of the White House in the mid 50s. It’s the kind of photo you would normally not look at twice, so I was very surprised by this “cartoon” version.
Here is a photo I took in Amsterdam in the spring when the tulips were blooming, but the trees were still rather bare.
For anyone who likes to create personalized cards for birthdays etc, this could also be an effective tool.
Once the trees are green, sometimes very colorful photos seem a bit tacky or kitschy, so you just have to experiment.
Click on any photo to enlarge in a new window.
Then click the image again to really see it enlarged!
We had a lot of rain in the beginning of June, so when the weather forecast called for a mild sunny day, because of all the water we thought this would be an ideal time to visit Europe’s highest waterfalls in Krimml, Austria. It’s a beautiful 100 km (62 mile) drive through the Alps including Kitzbuhel, gorgeous views of the Wild Kaiser Mountains from both sides, and scenic vistas of the Grossvenediger (12014 ft / 3662 m).
This river, fed by the run off from the Austrian Alps, eventually ends up in the Chiemsee.