Thoughts

The many uses of chroma keying

What is chroma key? It is a technique for mixing two images or frames together in which a color (or a small color range) from one image is removed (or made transparent), revealing another image behind it. Still, a visual technique is better explained in visual terms, so watch this video, which explains it much better than I ever could. The technique is also called color keying, colour separation overlay, greenscreen and bluescreen.

[via Holger on FB]

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Events

Ligia’s first art show

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This past Thursday evening, on December 3, 2009, my wife, Ligia, had her first art show, at Casa Schüller, an art gallery in the city of Medias, Romania. This is the same show she talked about during her interview on Radio Ring. She was also interviewed about it on Nova TV last week, and I plan to post the video from the TV interview after I get it sometime this week.

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We were very happy with the turnout. There were over 100 people in attendance, all of them thrilled to see her art and to attend the opening. She displayed 36 original large-format quilling creations, and 70 greeting card-format pieces.

The show was hosted and critiqued by Adrian Matei, a local artist, art critic and writer of international renown. The mayor of the city of Medias, Teodor Neamtu, came by and gave a wonderful speech congratulating Ligia, which you can see and hear in the video clip posted below. We had a short Christmas concert, where a choir from our church sang Christmas carols, and a group of youth played musical bells. Unfortunately I didn’t get to record everything on video, as I was part of the choir and was also taking photos of the event (you can see the whole set of photos here). I’ll see if I can beg some video segments from someone, and once I get them, I’ll put together a more complete video of the event.

Until then, enjoy the photos and video clip posted here, and if you’d like to congratulate Ligia directly, please head on over to her blog and do so. You can watch the video on blip.tvSmugMugYouTube and Vimeo.

Updated 12/6/09: Got more video clips this afternoon, and pieced them together for a 30-minute video which you can see below or on Vimeo. Many thanks to Claudiu Ciucor, a 7th-grade journalism student from Scoala Generala Nr. 2 in Medias, for providing me with the footage. All of the 16:9 format video from the following clip was recorded by him. The 4:3 format video is recorded by me.

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Thoughts

New album from Chris Isaak

2002 GQ Men of The Year Awards - Show

I saw a new video from Chris Isaak this morning, for a song entitled “We Let Her Down”. The album is called “Mr. Lucky” and was released this year. You can listen to clips from all of the songs on his album at Recordnet or at Amazon.

We Let Her Down” by Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak was/is one of my favorite singers, though I forgot about him these past few years. Back in college, in the mid 90s, I loved his songs. That whole melancholy jive of his resonated with my less than successful romantic life back then…

I visited Chris’ website afterward, where I watched videos for some my favorite songs, such as “Wicked Games”, “Blue Spanish Sky”, “Think of Tomorrow” and “Dark Moon” (the list goes on, but not all of the songs were made into videos).

Wicked Games” by Chris Isaak

Blue Spanish Sky” by Chris Isaak

Think of Tomorrow” by Chris Isaak

Dark Moon” by Chris Isaak

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Events

Brasov Opera Orchestra concert at Sighisoara

We attended a wonderful concert last night, given by the Brasov Opera Orchestra in Sighisoara (Schassburg), at Casa de Cultura Mihai Eminescu, an old venue at the foot of the Sighisoara Castle. Sighisoara is a medieval city in the province of Transilvania, Romania.

There were two soloists: Cristian Braica, a wonderful Romanian contrabassist now based in Frankfurt, and Felicia Filip, a famous Romanian soprano of international renown. As the Opera Director aptly put it, the concert was an early Christmas celebration. The pieces were fantastic — classical hits imbued with solid rhythm, practiced to perfection. We were strongly impressed with the quality of the performance. In my opinion, this is a world class orchestra.

I recorded highlights of the 1 ½ hour concert with my N95 and uploaded the edited video clips (in two parts) to my SmugMug video log. They’re also available on YouTube in twoparts, and on blip.tv. Enjoy.

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Events

Schaffhausen Music School’s Youth Choir at Margarethenkirche, Medias

On October 11, the Youth Choir from the Canto department of the Schaffhausen Music School, Switzerland, gave a concert at Margarethenkirche (Church of St. Margaret) in Medias, the same church where organ concerts were held this summer. Medias is a medieval city in the province of Transilvania, Romania.

The choir sang a wide selection of classical, traditional and modern pieces. Some interpretations even included coreography. Here are some of the titles: “L’amur es üna düra chassa”, “Stets i Truue”, “Mir Senne heis luschtig, “Schau auf die Welt”, “Leise zieht durch mein Gemüt” and more. I have to admit the experience was more entertaining than the organ concerts, and perhaps some of the more lively pieces had something to do with it.

You can watch the video on Vimeo and YouTube.

My wife thought the conductor was very good. His name was Hans-Jörg Ganz. The other instructors were Marei Bollinger (Co-Leader), Mirjam Berli (Rehearsals) and Remo Weishaupt (Voice Instruction). Claudia Hold played the piano.

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Events

Organ concert at Biserica Sf. Margareta

All summer long, the city of Medias sponsored weekly organ concerts at the oldest church in town, Biserica Sf. Margareta (Margarethenkirche). Medias is a medieval city in the province of Transilvania, Romania.

The concerts were held every Monday night at 7 pm. We attended one of them on September 7, 2009. A wide selection of music was played for 1 ½ hours, from medieval pieces to Bach, and all the way to a modern piece written in the 1940s. I lost the program note, so I can’t go into the details, but overall, the concert was good, and some pieces were great. I’m definitely looking forward to attending more of these recitals next summer.

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Events

Florin Sasarman at Schuller House

Florin Sasarman, the Romanian folk singer, gave a wonderful performance at Schuller House in Medias, on October 8, 2009. He was invited to sing there for the book launch party of Laurentiu Oprea, a local artist, writer and publisher. Medias is a medieval city in the province of Transilvania, Romania.

You can also watch the video on YouTube.

If you’re not familiar with Florin Sasarman, you will be after you watch the video. Born near the city of Bistrita, he’s been singing on stage since 1984, all over the country of Romania.

The second song in the video clip was dedicated to Daniel Thellmann, the mayor of the city of Medias, who had died just a few days before the performance. Sasarman, along with all in the audience, had known the mayor well, and the song brought tears to many eyes.

I apologize for the quality of the video, the lighting wasn’t ideal, and there was quite a bit of lens flare. The limitations of my N95’s video camera are readily apparent here, but it’s better than not having filmed anything at all.

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Thoughts

A few free mobile phone wallpapers

A while back, I created wallpapers for one of my cellphones whose screen was 130×130 pixels. They’re cropped and compressed nicely, and they’re from my own photo catalog. Feel free to download and use them on your own mobile phones, but remember, they’re only for personal, not commercial use. In other words, please respect my terms of use for my photos and don’t try to resell them or to derive profit from them in any way, shape or form.

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