Pigs, Resolutions and Snowglobes

I don’t normally make New Year’s Resolutions, but this year I’ve made an exception.  And, no, I’m not giving up my vices.  But I am going to do some phone photography.  For many of you, this will be sooooo last decade, but for those of us who have been a bit behind the technology curve, preferring the red dot, it’s an exciting prospect.  Up until now, I’ve just used my phone for snapping wallpaper samples, fabric swatches, books that I later download to Kindle etc.  But recently, I’ve become so impressed with some of the phonography out there, I felt as though I was missing out.  So day one of the resolution was 1st January (#obvs) and New Year’s Day in Vienna.

I don’t know whether it’s a Europe thing or an Austria thing, but in Vienna as you slide into the New Year, it is customary to swap kitschy little Glücksbringer.  The receiving of a four-leafed clover, pig, toadstool, horseshoe or chimney sweep is supposed to bring luck in the New Year.  This is part of our growing collection – complete with a mini snowglobe – and I haven’t quite mastered the art of focussing.  Where is the range-finder on a phone?

And so to a mug of Punsch whilst listening to Ricardo Muti conducting the concert from the Musik Verein.  I feel that something broke down in the communication between those in charge of the big screen and those in charge of the Christmas tree, for the latter blocked the former, but hey, it’s about the atmosphere, the Punsch, the sausages, the fun …

To my delight as I wandered about the place, snapping away, I discovered a jumbo snowglobe in the park.  And this was where I thought my camera would have been more useful, since I would have liked a slow shutter speed and some nice motion blur as the skaters whizzed past.  I have no idea if there is such a feature on the phone.

Any disappointment here was soon offset by the panorama button – still need some practice as I seem to have clipped the top off the magnificent Rathaus, but it’s a lot easier than taking a series of snaps and then having to make adjustments in post processing before gluing them all together.

Then there’s the video feature.  MisterMac and I can’t waltz, but we envy those who can.   In the past, that hasn’t mattered, but in an era where everything is photographed and immediately uploaded to social media, we don’t want to be a laughing stock, so another resolution was made: learn to waltz.

As always, the concert finished with the Radetzky March.  Now this video certainly isn’t going to win any awards, but it is very telling.  When we first started doing the New Year thing at the Rathaus many years ago, the audience clapped and stamped their feet vigorously to the RM.  This year, it felt distinctly underwhelming and the reason is clear from my own video – everyone is now so busy filming the concert on their phones, they have neither the free hands nor the multi-tasking ability to clap, stamp and video all at the same time.  Guilty as charged.

Finally, this image was not taken on the phone – I think the battery was out by then – but it does show the lengths some people will go to in order to get just that right point of view.