A Walk in the Park

I must go put some of the latest lessons into practice, or at least try to. I am going for a long walk through some reserves and see what I can shoot along the way.

Two birds with one stone if you ask me; I’ll get to get my step count up (currently 1046 for the day), and take some more photos. I’ll have to pack a little spray-bottle if I can to try that as well, although I do not want to pack too heavily considering the walk ahead of me.

You can expect todays’ 365-post to be a fairly picture-heavy post (again?)…

Day 24 – Three-legged Night

I came back from Melbourne tonight. Melbourne had some weather, so the plane was late to arrive and hence late to leave. I was sufficiently late that I missed the opportunity to share a taxi. My driver was very extroverted when I was just feeling tired. I wonder if it is rude not to talk to the driver.

Once home and unpacked and caught up on 3 days of missed Internets, it seemed like a good idea to go out and take some night pictures with the tripod and camera remote. I was curious if I could get somewhat sharp shots as well.

They aren’t perfect, but they are a lot closer than my last attempts. I’ve read a little, and it seems the book-tips work:

  • Always use a tripod
  • Always use a remote
  • Always use low ISO with longer exposure

These are all always-es with asterisk-ses.

Art on the Lake
Art on the Lake

We drove down into a new estate where random neighbourhood art just happens. There were ducks in the lake, but I couldn’t think of a way to capture them in the available light. One of them sounded a bit strangled as we walked away from the ramp.

Along the Waterline
Along the Waterline

In the opposite direction I thought I’d see if I could get a sharp shot of the chain-link fence. I think I managed pretty well I think. I was hoping the clouds wouldn’t come out as light, but I couldn’t have the rest of the image without the clouds. Alas!

A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park

And finally, a path through a park dotted with lights. I was hoping to get the trees on either side sharp, but I seem to have failed in that. It would have made a nice frame in the middle of the shot had I succeeded. Still, it’s not a bad shot.

And of course, the header shot.

Which is the umbrella roundabout in the new estate as well. That one came out much better than I thought it would. I took a few shots and picked one without blurred cars. I worried having anything outside the umbrellas might ruin the picture, but I think it actually works better with some of the surrounds.

Day 18 – Trains, Camera, Snapshot!

Today was the day. The online part of the research was completed yesterday. And after having missed the window to get expedited same-day delivery from the online store arranged, we decided to travel into the city so we could handle the Canon EOS 6D before making a final decision.

Station Platform (Galaxy Nexus)
Station Platform
(Galaxy Nexus)

I don’t like driving into the city in general. Some parts of it are bearable some parts of the day. Darling Harbour at night is do-able due to the very convenient flat-rate parking under the convention centre.

But King Street was never going to work for me.

So in the afternoon we set off into the city for our shopping trip.

Wynyard Station (Galaxy Nexus)
Wynyard Station
(Galaxy Nexus)

I don’t take the train very often, but when I do I enjoy people-watching. And people-listening.

There is nothing as entertaining as listening to a non-screaming (this is a very important detail) young kid having “logical” discussions with parents. It definitely made time fly by; I barely got any newsfeed-reading done along the way. (Frankly, I never tried, but that is beside the point)

We arrived at Wynyard station since that looked like the closest stop to King Street, although I think Town Hall would have been just as close.

Abbey and I had only just started playing with the display model 6D, when Lexi arrived on the scene. With two superior photographers in tow I didn’t feel the need to ask too many questions; until I do all my learnin’ I was just there to expertly wield the credit card and pay for our bundle. We sent Abbey away so as not to scare her with the total.

It wasn’t too much over the birthday present I had to spend.

Thong Vending (Galaxy Nexus)
Thong Vending
(Galaxy Nexus)

Having bought and bagged the camera, we made some quick decisions on what else we had to do in the city before returning home to charge the batteries and start playing.

First, that chocolate store that I spotted before we went into the camera store. Always a mistake. Putting me near chocolate. I buy it.

Second, a little pastry bakery right next to the chocolate store which Lexi rightfully recommended. I had a delicious pistachio pastry. Gone in under a minute as we walk.

Third, a book/stationery/misc store I’d been to once before with Abbey and Lexi. A slight mis-calculation. They have pens. Abbey has gotten (re-?)addicted to pens. She listens to a pen podcast.

I don’t judge.

I reserve the right to guffaw though.

On our way back out of the mall, the most curious sight. A vending machine selling what no vending machine ever ought to.

Havaianas! Thongs!

The city is a weird place indeed.

Camera Unboxed (Galaxy Nexus)
Camera Unboxed
(Galaxy Nexus)

After another train trip that I could have sworn was longer than the one in (Christmas Eve and New Years Eve also are longer than the other 363 days of the year,… you know it is true!) we arrived home where I could impatiently unbox our new toy.

And then…

The battery needs to charge all the way up first.

How long? 2.5 hours.

So one dinner, some television shows and some lively conversation later, I can finally stick the battery into the 6D, load the 32GB SD card, and have a play.

The following are some of the shots taken… they were probably all taken by Abbey and Lexi. Did I mention they are just better?

Chocolates (EOS 6D)
Chocolates
(EOS 6D)

I bought 6 chocolates at the store I mentioned earlier, including such delicacies as: Lavender, Mango Chilli and Mint/Lime.

Lexi wondered aloud if I needed a protractor. I may have fussed over the arrangement a little more than the quick experiment in sub-optimal lighting conditions warranted.

Jerry Himself (EOS 6D)
Jerry Himself
(EOS 6D)

Then Abbey took the steering wheel and took some shots, including the one above. I tried to crop it to make myself look better, but the pixels didn’t want to yield anything better than reality so I gave in.

Dog, full frame (EOS 6D)
Dog, full frame
(EOS 6D)

And our final victim, the dog… this was the best one out of a long series of dog pictures. Specifically chosen to showcase the amazing resolution 20MP give. All these grabs are from the same single picture, just taking a smaller and smaller detail out of the whole, ending with 1:1 pixels.

Dog, Detail (EOS 6D)
Dog, detail
(EOS 6D)

Detail from the previous picture… everything looks good.

Dog, detail smaller (EOS 6D)
Dog, detail smaller
(EOS 6D)

And closer still; … still going well… careful now…

Dog, detail smallest (EOS 6D)
Dog, detail smallest
(EOS 6D)

Oh, damn… so close! I clearly should have chosen better light, or RAW.

I think JPEG has let this one down a little. It looks like there is enough detail there, but the compression has just blurred together too much detail in the hairs as far as I can tell.

Or I did something else wrong. Soon I will be less equivocal about these things. When I kinda/sorta know what I am doing.

In the meantime, I’m very pleased with how easily the camera produces pleasing results even when I don’t have a clue what I am doing. It’s like it knows what I want from the picture.

Could it be… sentient?

Day 4 – My Name Is…

I had a very lazy very boring day today… so prepare to be under-whelmed!

Besides a coffee to start the day around noon, and a lot of time wasted browsing around the Internet, and then some TV to cap off the day, the only thing worth mentioning is that I spent some time looking at sites that do business cards.

Every once in a blue moon I consider getting business cards for my online identity.

What could be more boring than outdated, white card-stock, black lettering in unimaginative fonts, and cliché timid centre-alignment business cards?!

No, not for me either, thanks.

The desire to do something with business cards was probably sparked by a story I read years ago about Steve Wozniak’s awesome metal business cards.

SONY DSC

It turns out that there are myriad companies on the web these days that provide interesting options, such as: paper/plastic/wood/metal as base materials, glossy highlights, embossing, metal foil, die-cutting shapes, and more.

The header image has a set of 3-ply wooden business cards by Jukebox Print.

The image just above shows a gold foil lettering detail on card stock by Umax Print.

And the ever-popular Moo Print plan cards with an NFC chip in the near future.

I keep looking at all the options, and wanting to combine all the cool options into a single design against the better judgement of my design instinct. If I ever go through with it I’m sure I’ll manage to tie that demon up and stick to something classy and understated.

In reality my cards do not need to contain a lot.

Just “JerryJvL” will do in fact.

You see, I’ve managed to grab that username on all the major web-based services; on the first 10 pages of Google search results, all but about a dozen refer to me.

What could be better than a business card with nothing more than 8 letters on it?