Drone Pictures

Dear Reader,

It used to be Pete, who kept diablog up to date on everything photography. Since he is MIA, I stepped in with a post occasionally. This is another one of those.

National Geographic is known for outstanding photography. Threw them I learned about dronestagram:


That is a competition of photos shot by or with a drone.

And here http://www.dronestagr.am/winners-announced/ you can see the winners, like this one:


I am sure, Glynsky can tell us more about this beauty.


Engine Room

Is Data going the Oil way?

Dear Reader,

Two separate news reports reached me last week. And when connecting the dots, it lead me to the question in the headline.

Which is a reference to a quote from Mr. Getty, former owner of Getty Images, a stock photo company. When he used his inherited oil money to buy up rights to images worldwide, he said (source):

Intellectual property is the oil of the 21 century. Look at the richest men a hundred years ago; they all made their money extracting natural resources or moving them around. All today’s richest men have made their money out of intellectual property.

And almost as to proof his point, Bill Gates followed suit. He founded Corbis, which acquired images, and then licensed rights.

But last week it was announced, that the Corbis archive and others owned by Bill Gates are sold to Visual China Group. And Visual China Group cooperates with Getty Images. Which Mr. Getty has sold already years ago. So it seems, the rich people are getting out of that business. Why?

Maybe it has to do with the other news. Google Cultural Institute announced to have added thousands of images to its online library. Google is not only scanning the books of the world. Google is also making images available online. And so are others, often non-profit organizations. Google also knows better than anyone else, how many free (!) images are created and posted online every day. I wrote about that earlier on diablog.

With this vast source of free images, who needs to pay Getty or Corbis?

Maybe the copyright royalties are going the same way the oil price is going, which is down?

If you think I am wrong, would you let me know, please?

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

NYPL Releases 180,000 Public Domain Items

Dear Reader,

Writing about photography used to be Pete’s domain. During his absence I am stepping in.

The New York Public Library, one of my favorite institutions, has released another batch of scanned photos. You can search the archives here:


And following you will see two photos from 1935 of two the many favorite spots in Manhattan.

Continue reading “NYPL Releases 180,000 Public Domain Items”

Art online

Dear Reader,

Since Pete is still a bit absent, posts about art are in shorter supply. Filling in, I would like to point you to one of the most famous museums in the world, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, aka The Met.

Of course, you do not need diablog for that. As the largest collection in the US, located in the most wonderful place on earth, everybody has heard of The Met.

The reason I am mentioning the Met is, that they have uploaded information about more than 400,000 of its +2,000,000 million pieces. And most of them are with high resolution, high quality pictures.

You can find the online collection here:


Naturally, nothing beats seeing it live. But this is second best thing. Plus, even The Met cannot put all its art on display all the time. Neither can a normal person visit The Met that often.

The online collection is a brilliant recourse to study art. Or to just browse it on a rainy day.

Kudos to The Met for the online presentation,

Engine Room

keep out – not for the women…

Dear diablog,

To quote a banner at the Emirates ‘over and over again’ (which  apparently refers to Smiles’ team), every time I start to develop a post on topic a) I stumble across something that diverts me to post b) and so on – drives me nuts with bits of paper with scribbled notes all over.

Anyway a later post this week will link to this one (rather obliquely) but I decided to post b) first because it is Monday, wintry, I love the subject, it will hopefully annoy some feminist/do gooder/health and safety official/green/commie/fun spoiler/campaigner and anyway, as a man,what’s not to like!!

Only the older  out there, who bought Playboy in the early days, will remember  the name of Alberto Vargas. What I guess none of us knew at the time was how old he was compared to his audience of the ’60’s and ’70’s as these earlies of his illustrate –



but heck could the man draw, both figuratively and an audience!

Even better the values of originals can be up in the hundreds of thousands of dollars – deservedly.

For the times his work was seriously risqué…


Continue reading “keep out – not for the women…”

Right to move freely

Dear Reader,

Today Germany is celebrating the fall of the wall 25 years ago. If you care to follow the event, have a look here: https://fallofthewall25.com/

Along the route of the former wall they set up light balloons, to be released today.


One of the major issues of the GDR was the lack of freedom. In particular the freedom to travel and leave the country.

To move freely is a human right. Regimes fail, if they lock in their people or lock out others.

Sadly, some idiots did not get the message from 25 years ago. Have a look at this wall

on the Mexico – USA border. Or this ‘beauty’:

Continue reading “Right to move freely”

Living on top of the World

Dear Reader,

Earlier this month 432 Park Avenue became the tallest residential building in the city. Here is a picture:

The architecture is as boring as it could get. A large box. Quite obviously this was designed for the people living inside, not the people of NY.

The views from the inside out are stunning:

For more click here: http://www.businessinsider.com/view-from-top-of-432-park-avenue-2014-10

Stay tuned

Engine Room