To help order and sort some of the things in my mind, it often helps me to write them down. And this is the place I do just that. Not always related to photography. Not always in English. Manchmal auch auf Deutsch.
I have recently switched blogging platforms. Here is my new blog:
I have recently switched blogging platforms. Here is my old blog:


Die Dinge niederschreiben hilft mir, sie zu ordnen und einzuordnen. Hier ist der richtige Platz dafür. Nicht immer geht es um die Fotografie und nicht immer schreibe ich auf Deutsch. Manchmal auf Englisch.
Ich habe kürzlich die Blog-Plattform gewechselt. Hier ist mein neues Blog:
Ich habe kürzlich die Blog-Plattform gewechselt. Hier ist mein altes Blog:

Bilder gratis? Ja, aber...

Sehr geehrter Herr Marquardt,

wären Sie damit einverstanden, dass wie eines Ihrer Bilder für die Internetseite der black bar Fakultät der Uni black bar verwenden? Selbstverständlich würden wir Sie als Urheber benennen sowie einen entsprechendne Link bei den Bildnachweisen anbringen. Wir könnten uns vorstellen, dass dies auch eine schöne Werbung für Sie darstellt.

Es ginge hierbei um folgendes Bild, welches sich auf ihrer Happyshooting-Seite befindet.: black bar

Ich freue mich auf Ihre Antwort und danke Ihne bereits für Ihre Mühe.

Beste Grüße,
black bar


Das Bild dürfen Sie gerne verwenden unter Angabe "Foto: Chris Marquardt" und Link zu in direkter Nähe des Bildes.

Schöne Grüße,
Chris Marquardt


Guten Abend Herr Marquardt,

leider entspricht es nicht den Richtlinien zur Gestaltung von Websiten der Uni black bar, den Bildnachweis direkt am Bild anzubringen. Wären Sie auch damit einverstanden, Sie - wie die anderen Urheber - im Impressum der Seite samt Link aufzuführen?

Mit Ihrer Zustimmung würden Sie uns wirklich sehr helfen.

Beste Grüße
black bar


Hallo Herr black bar,

leider entspricht es nicht meinen eigenen Richtlinien, Bilder ohne entsprechenden Link in unmittelbarer Nähe (zumindest auf der selben Seite) für eine Gratisnutzung zur Verfügung zu stellen. Ich lebe von der Fotografie und damit auch davon, dass meine Bilder mit meiner Person in Bezug gebracht werden können. Sobald die entsprechende Nennung oder ein Link in einen anderen Bereich der Website, z.B. ins Impressum, verschoben wird, wird diese Assoziation für den Betrachter unnötig erschwert bis unmöglich. Die Nennung des Rechteinhabers bzw. Urhebers in der Nähe des Bildes ist zum Beispiel in Zeitungen üblich. Falls das in Ihrem Fall nicht möglich sein sollte, müssen Sie leider verstehen, dass ich der Nutzung nicht zustimmen kann.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Chris Marquardt


How Bugs Bunny Saved His Creator - Funny How Things Transcend

I've been a huge fan of Radiolab for years. Great insights in every episode, wonderful stories and characters - Radiolab is always at the top of my list of must-listen-to podcasts.

But once in a while, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich release an episode that goes deeper, that touches on things that I didn't even know were there.

Like this one (I've just listened to it for the third time):

It's a deeply moving story about someone that pretty much everyone in the world had some form of exposure to: Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny. And Tweety Bird. Sylvester the Cat. Barney Rubble… the list is much longer than that.

Here's the catch though: I grew up in Germany and when I watched those cartoons as a child, they were always dubbed. I never heard the original voice of Mel Blanc growing up, instead it was always their German counterparts. You can hear an example here. And as similar as they tried to make them, they were obviously very different.

So why did this story still touch me at the level that it did? Is it because over the years I've had at least a little bit of exposure to the original voices by Mel Blanc? Or is it because of Jad's editing magic?

I believe it goes deep simply because it's a wonderfully gripping story that's masterfully told. Add in a splash of cultural knowledge combined with a healthy dose of curiosity and you've got a powerful mix.

Thanks Jad and Robert for Radiolab!

PS: while you're at it, why not help keep this a free podcast?


What I've learned from the painful Simplenote outage. The cloud is great when it works...

SimplenoteIt's amazing when you put things in the cloud and they just work. My email is in the cloud, and it works. A lot of my documents are in the cloud, and it works. The hiccups – if there are any — are usually rather small. Maybe an outage for a few hours that is quick to recover.

A few years ago, I was looking for an online solution to put my notes on. You know, small notes, little todo lists, no formatting, just text-based stuff. The kind of stuff you would usually put on Post-it notes and stick them to your monitor. That was before Apple introduced iCloud and had their notes working in that ecosystem.

That's when I found Simplenote. It comes with an iOS client, it has a web interface, and there are several clients on the Mac that work really well. Sorry, make that used to work really well. My client of choice is nvalt, a fork of Notational Velocity, Super simple notes editing, super fast and simple search, exactly what I was looking for in a notes client. And you can set it to save your notes locally as text files, which makes it really easy to integrate them into your operating system. Now spotlight also finds them. Oh, and did I mention Dropbox sync? You get the picture. Life is awesome!

I was so impressed with it, that I quickly signed up for a paid account.

A couple of weeks ago things began to crumble. First a few hiccups when syncing, then things got progressively worse until finally the worst happened: Simplenote syncing broke. Okay, temporary move to the web interface, right? That should be fine. No, it's not - lots of notes are duplicated and things are still crazy and pretty much unusable, it's a huge mess. The Simplenote team claims, this is down to Amazon Web Services having an issue, and in the case of nvalt, there also seems to be the Google cloud component involved, that has issues on the server side too. When it rains it pours.

My communication with Simplenote's premium support (the one for paying customers) so far resulted in excuses. And I'm stuck. I can't use nvalt because sync is very choppy. I can't use the Simplenote web interface as that's broken for me too. I'm stuck because I relied on a service that used to be simple and reliable but has gone bad because .. well, why has it gone bad?

I'm not sure what to make of all of this. On the one hand, Simplenote is basically a free service and free services need to be financed some way. This is why I quickly signed up for the paid account. I figured that such a great service needs to be paid for, so it stays around as long as possible and with as high quality as possible. Unfortunately it seems, that the service was built on a pretty unstable foundation.

On the other hand, can we fault the Simplenote team for trying to run this service as cost-effective as possible?

I think we can. If you offer a service, even if it's a free one, there will be expectations and it's your job to manage those. Especially, if that service runs flawlessly for years. Great performance creates great expectations. I'm in a good position though. Having lived in this online world long enough and on both sides of the fence, as a customer and as a service provider, I know to manage my own expectations. Which is why I did pay for the service in the first place. Others won't have the experience that I have, so as soon as they start paying for a service, the picture changes. And their expectations will be higher than they should be.

I'm sure the Simplenote issues could have been avoided if the team had set everything up with the required redundancy. And as a paying customer who doesn't have an IT background, this would be my expectation.

What can we learn from this experience? By all means, build your own redundancy! Whenever there is a free online service, I need to make sure to have that data around in some other way. My Google docs get backed up locally once an hour (using CloudPull). I did set up Simplenote to synchronize its data with Dropbox. You need to have a safety net if you put things in the cloud. I even do a local backup of my Dropbox.

The cloud is great when it works, be prepared for when it doesn't.

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