Merry Christmas, Facebook and hope

©Pedro Hansson - Christmas in Piteå 2010 - Canon 7D
©Pedro Hansson – Previous posted picture from Christmas in Piteå 2010 (due to the cold weather right now  – Canon 7D – http://www.facebook.com/saarimner

I’m currently spending time in a relatively cold Piteå (-27 degrees right now). The Palt dinner (traditional dish in the northern parts of Sweden) at mother’s is just finished and the effects of the ”paltkoma” (you get VERY tired after eating this dish) begins to make itself felt. Those who think that they are tired when the alarm clock rings at 7:00 after a Swedish typical Christmas party at work, have never eaten more than three of my mother’s ”paltar” and tried to stay awake an hour later …

It feels almost unbelievable that it’s Christmas again, and just like every year, this is a time to summarize the past year, and start thinking of what to look forward to, for the next.

For many people, Christmas is an incredible great time of year. Hang out with family and friends, sit together at the Christmas tree, watch a movie with a loooong preceded best before date, Christmas music played in the background, traditional bad jokes, and the possibility to once again listen to those family stories that are told every year.

For some others, it may be the opposite, ie that Christmas brings anxiety and pressure, perhaps because they’ve lost someone, failed to get kids, poor economy, unable to be with the people they want to celebrate with, or simply have less pleasant memories associated with Christmas.

Personally, this year, like every year, contained amounts of both positive and negative events. If the year is to be characterized as a good or bad year I do not know, but I know that there are both memories and experiences that will mean a lot to me for the rest of my life.

A while ago I posted a story “I wish you enough” by Bob Perks, and perhaps that story is about what actually makes us happy; the mixture of the negative experiences that, in turn, creates contrast and makes us appreciate all the positive things in life? There are many clichés in that area, but I think there is a lot in that story. To stop, think and take contemplate about the year that’s gone is an important part.

An interesting phenomenon that increasingly made itself felt in recent years is Facebook, and how it affected our lives. If I may make one, perhaps exaggerated parallel, I think Facebook in a way is a year-round Christmas spirit with friends, colleagues, acquaintances and fb friends that gives us positive pushes and “likes” the positive things that happens to us in our life, and with simple small presses of a button, we all have a chance to mean something to someone else, and share their joy and life experiences.

I know I’m going a bit far with the analogy above, but somehow I feel that Facebook with all the “friends in real life”, colleagues, acquaintances and fb friends that I share my experience with means a lot to me, and I am grateful for the people I have been fortunate to have around me, both there and in ordinary life.

Merry Christmas to you all, the followers of this blog, my Facebook friends, and whether you have the best Christmas as you hoped for, or for some reason have one of those less enjoyable “middle Christmases” that puts the rest of the year in a better perspective, I hope you get a great end of the year, and that this Christmas is what you want it to be.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III – First tests out there

Ever since I started taking photos I’ve always liked the final Canon-images better in terms of color saturation and depth, rather than the Nikon but at the same time the Nikons have been better in terms of noise.

Last year I went ahead and bought a Canon 7D (at that point instead of buying a Nikon D7000), but I had some real difficulties with noise in my images, and i also thought that the camera didn’t focus correctly at all times, so I swapped back to a new Nikon again.

Now, after Nikon have release some really good cameras, Canon 5D Mark III is out and I’ve really been looking forward to this one to see if Canon can step up the game as when the Mark II went public. The previous version has been really good in my opinion, but Nikon have been really strong in the areas I mentioned above over the last years.

So here’s a short preview of what we can expect. What do you think, except personal preferences? I know it’s a bad question but I can’t resist;
Is Nikon or Canon ahead in the game?

My favorite source for Photography Reviews (external link):
Digital Photography review: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos5dmarkii

Maybe this quote from Digital Photography is a good overall conclusion: “While there are still other cameras in its class with marginally higher resolution, marginally better high ISO performance, more advanced AF, faster performance, better weather sealing and more solid build quality – and the Sony A900’s built-in anti-shake remains unique in the full frame arena – the 5D Mark II is certainly one of the best value for money propositions on the market for image quality – especially in RAW, where you really can see the benefit of all 21 million pixels. Canon has also wisely made only minor tweaks to the external interface, so that 5D users can jump right in and feel at home. Looking at the package as a whole the EOS 5D Mark II seems hard to beat.”