Thursday, December 24, 2009

12 months in photos

This is shamelessly stolen from a forum I frequent but I thought that this could be an interesting blog - I could be wrong but what they hey! At least here I also get to expand on the photos and the processes behind it...

so let's go...

This photo was part part of the Melbourne Silvermine's Australia Day Challenge (theme being "girt"). I was wandering around the back garden with the disposable camera and some of the daisies were in bloom so I though what if... and here's the result.

This is one of those "fluke" shots. I love this photo. This was our tour guide in Varanassi, he was taking me someplace I can't remember where - he was taking me around Varanassi while Larry was with a Guru. And I grabbed this shot with my iPhone for me it just works and it shows the colour and vibrancy that can be India.

This was an interesting month for me. The 300D I had been using for nearly 3 years died and I bought a replacement (my now very cherished 40D) and I'm a car nerd. So the Melbourne International Motorshow + new camera = perfect opportunity. I was really looking forward to seeing the BMW M1 Homage and I was blown away by it. This is probably one of my favourite shots of it. It's not technically brilliant but I like it.

Huzzah! Holga! A double exposure of the view from the rooftop terrace from our townhouse in Port Melbourne. I love the almost "end of the world" feel to this. Part of what I love about photography is that I can play. Part of what I really love about the holga is that you can play with double exposures (and triple etc...)

I love food & I love cooking. I didn't take many photos in May and this is the best I think out of the photos I did take in May. And also one of the first times I made cupcakes...

A lot of what drives me in life is curiosity and one of the things in photography I have been curious about is HDR. This is one of my better HDR images (again of the view from the townhouse roof), I have a few better, namely from the motorshow but as that was in March - they don't count ;)

I bought a vintage film camera. A 1954 Super Ikonta (it's a folding camera) which is just seriously a thing of beauty! I carried this camera around more than I did the 40D. This photo is on the road between Trentham & Kyneton. I went through a brief spate of standing in the middle of the road to take photos...

This is one of those 'lucky' shots. I saw the tape around the bottom of the parking meter and grabbed the ikonta and went for it... really happy with how this came out :)

I was made redunant, I had time on my hands and I had new lenses. So I did something else I had been curious about for a while. I made my own lightbox. I also like geeky toys so the two seemed to be a perfect fit (this was shot using my 60mm macro lens).

We were in India for the girls and the Ramada Powai had diwali celebrations that we were invited to. This is again just one of those photos. I didn't expect it to turn out as I was shooting in AV in low light and that normally causes issues (as the 17-85 lens isn't that fast). But this to me pretty much sums up Diwali.

More fun with the macro lens. I was feeling rather hideous in terms of photography in both October and November as I only really felt I was taking photos of the girls. So I decided to take my macro lens outside into the garden and see what I could do. I guess also many people do forget there's an underside to flowers. This is one of the numerous daisies we have growing here in the backyard. I love the gardens here :)

It had to be a Christmas shot. We got some goofy santa hats for the girls and I had already done a shot with Cookie Monster in a santa hat and I was baking cookies (originally it was a christmas bbq at the bowls club but the cookies didn't last that long!). So I thought about doing a shot with cookies and milk for Santa... with the tree in the background. I had the brilliant idea of teaming it with Cookie Monster in his santa hat. This is probably one of the images I'm the happiest with.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

chickpea, brown rice & spinach pilaf

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 x 250g packets microwave brown rice
400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1 cup (250ml) chicken or vegetable stock
120g baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup (55g) raisins

Heat the oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, spices, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until the rice is softened. Add the rice, chickpeas and stock, bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, cover & simmer for 5 minutes ot until the rice is cooked through. Remove the pan from heat, stir in spinach and raisins. Cover, stand for 5 minutes to wilt spinach slightly, then serve.

this was very tasty and really quite simple/fast to make. Will definitely be making it again :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tuscan Bean Soup with Crunchy Croutons

I love italian style cooking it's so simple & so very tasty!

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped finely
leaves from 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 x 420g cans cannellini beans (I used organic)
1 litre vegetable stock
cracked black pepper & fresh flat-leaf parsley to serve (I skipped these0

1. Heat oil in frying pan and gently fry onion, thyme, garlic for 3 to 4 minutes (I chose to do this in the frypan to increase flavour & save on dishes). Drain cannellini beans and rise well with cold water.
2. Transfer onion, thyme & garlic to saucepan, add beans, stock and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
3. Using blender or food processor, roughly puree soup. Season to taste. Serve garnished with croutons & parsley.

The croutons
The recipe I used has it's own version of how to make croutons. But I have my own method (comes from watching far too many cooking shows!). Cut or rip bread into pieces (i've used the bread I use for sandwiches & toast). Place on baking tray, drizzle with good quality olive oil and season with salt & pepper. The salt will help draw extra moisture out of the bread and make for crunchier croutons.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Linguine with Crab & Lemon

300g dried linguine 2 tsp salt plus extra 250g cooked crabmeat Handful baby rocket (argula) leaves 1 tbsp grated lemon zest 1 tbsp salted baby capers, rinsed Lemon Sauce 1/2 cup chicken stock (I used vegetable stock) 2 tbsp lemon juice salt & cracked black pepper 50g chilled butter diced 2 tbsp cream or creme fraiche 1. Bring saucepan of water to boil. add 2 tbsp salt and pasta, cook for 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente. 2. Meanwhile, make sauce. Bring stock to boil in saucepan. While whisking, add lemon juice, salt & pepper. Over gentle heat, whisk in chilled butter, a few pieces at a time, without allowing the sauce to boil. Stir in cream or creme fraiche. 3. Drain pasta, keeping aside a cupful of cooking water. 4. Add pasta, cupful of cooking water, crabmeat, rocket, lemon zest, capers, salt & pepper to sauce. Toss lightly until rocket has wilted and pasta is well coated.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Asiatic Lily

Asiatic Lily, originally uploaded by nettsu.

I bought new lenses w00t!!!

I used part of my redundancy payment to finally buy myself some new glass!

It's funny - I was thinking when was the last time I bought a new lens (apart from a kit lens). And it was the 50mm f1.8 that I bought when I was given the 300D over 3 years ago... shocking isn't it?

So I bought myself the 50mm f1.4 and a macro lens (60mm f2.8) and so far I have to say I am very happy with both :)


Sunday, September 13, 2009

a non-photo post!

I guess also now that I have more time on my hands (at least temporarily) I may try to blog a bit more frequently...

I'm in the throes of finally doing my tax return - I've avoided this for nearly 2 months - I thought it was time to do it. Although I am still scared I will end up with a tax debt (I seem to every year!).

So anyways...
I came across this interesting little definition -
"Your spouse is your husband or wife to whom you are legally married, or a person who lives with you on a genuine domestic basis as your husband or wife. It does not include someone who is the same sex as you.

For 2009-1o and later years, a spouse will also include a person of the same sex who is in a relationship with you that is registered under a prescribed state or territory law (my emphasis) or who you live with on a genuine domestic basis."
Now I'm a little confused here... if it is a "registered" relationship (which ours is) then why not just allow gay marriage?

Seriously is it that different?

Monday, August 24, 2009


Dangerous, originally uploaded by nettsu.

I'm still struggling with the whole idea of shooting film. I think maybe its because I'm still in too much of a digital mindset. Digital is easier... there's a delete option ;) and you also know pretty much whether something is in focus.

this is probably the shot I'm the happiest with out of the last bunch :)

It's funny I also shot a roll through my holga - they all (apart from two) were pretty much crap. it's funny how fast you can fall out of being comfortable and familiar with something to having to struggle with it again.

c'est la vie really :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

all good things come to an end

the end of unsensored09, originally uploaded by nettsu.

The end of another exhibition for me :) and I guess by extension the whole silvermine.

This is probably one of the best exhibitions I have been involved with. The crew behind it all (and I don't mean the committee - I mean the whole silvermine) has been fantastic.

Was really great to see so many sales
Yes I'm disappointed mine didn't sell but c'est la vie - I can't have everything. Exhibiting in itself is reward enough.

The melbourne silvermine ->

Monday, July 27, 2009

panoramas go bananas

View from Hanging Rock, originally uploaded by nettsu.

I love panoramas
I do
I'm not really sure how much talent they require as a photographer to be honest. But there is just something magical about watching a whole series of images come together into one big image.

I have a problem now. I love autostitch. It's the simplest and most effective panorama software I've used. But now I have the macbook pro and guess what there's no autostitch available :( This makes me a little sad. I actually have a couple of panoramas from the weekend that need processing.

So anyways... I did some asking around on twitter for the best pano software for macs. I got 3 options - 2 free and 1 paid. So being the cheap bastard I am I tried the two free ones. Hugins & doubletake. I've deleted both of them of the mac. I don't understand them. So in terms of ease of use they failed for me - badly. I need something easy to use! I'm a mac n00b... I may end up investigating AutoPanoPro further which was the third suggestion.

Or just bringing the images into work and using my work machine to process the panos... that's the other option as it has autostitch.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Unintentional Mis-Adventures in Cross-Processing

There's a story here... like most things in my life *laughs*

My friend Wade sent me some Fuji Provia 100 which was very sweet of him. So anyways... I shot two rolls (I have 3 left) and dropped them off at my usual lab on Elizabeth Street. I've got a cold so I'm not thinking clearly... bit of an off-tangent comment but it will make sense. So the guy tells me they can't process they Provia as it's slide film. I didn't realise it was slide film. I just thought it was 120 film and that it was like the kodak film I normally use - obviously it's not. I'm really a bit niave at the best of times. So anyways, the guy at the lab says they can cross-process the film as C-41. Now at this point there should have been a little voice in my head going - MICHAEL STOP!!!!!!!! CROSS-PROCESSING GIVES WACKY RESULTS!!!! so I said ok... not realising what I just said ok to... so walking back the office... it dawned on me that I just agreed to process slide film as normal film... I got nervous :(

But here's one of the outcomes
Notch it up as another happy accident in a series of continuing happy accidents :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


UNSENSORED09, originally uploaded by nettsu.

The irony as I post this blog entry...

Most of the folks who read my blog are probably involved in this... anyhoo

I'm exhibiting
I'm exhibiting my first analogue photo
I have the prints
I left the prints in Trentham
I was going to get the local framer to do the framing for me. I was going to see him on Saturday and I forgot

So I now have added some stress onto getting them framed and delivered... I will see if he's open on Saturday and how fast he can turn them around for me


Sunday, July 5, 2009

The 'Keets

The 'Keets, originally uploaded by nettsu.

Playing around with updated camerabag.

I haven't had the time to process any photos from the weekend yet. Mostly just food photos... I've got 5 rolls of film to be developed though.

So expect a flickr flood in the next couple of days :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

2005 Volvo V70 HDR

2005 Volvo V70 HDR, originally uploaded by nettsu.

Just testing the flickr/blogger interface :)
oh and I just wanted to blog this photo ;) more expirements with HDR - i should stop at some stage. I'm really happy with the this photo - I love how the reflections on the bonnet came out. The only thing that kind of bugs me is that I took the photo too early in the morning so there's still some dew/frost on the windscreen & the roof which makes it all look a little flat.

Ah well - it's all part of the fun of being a photographer :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Food Post - Peanut Butter Pie

I think I'm becoming obsessed with food... I really do.

So anyways. We had dinner at a friends earlier this week, and I decided to bring dessert. So I went through my magazine & recipe collection and noticed a recipe for Peanut Butter Pie. Larry loves Peanut Butter so I though a-ha I'll give this a go as yes well you know he likes Peanut Butter... (and everyone else seems to as well).

Here's the end result:

Peanut Butter Pie
Serves 16

180g Digestive Biscuits
90g unsalted butter
3 tsp caster sugar

1 cup (250ml) pure (thin) cream
1/2 cup (75g) caster sugar
320g cream cheese, chopped, at room tempature
375g crunchy salt-free peanut butter

150ml thickened cream
150g dark couverture chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
20g unsalted butter

Preheat fan-forced oven to 160 (180 for a conventional oven)
Process biscuits in a food processor until crumbled. Add melted butter and sugar. Pulse to combine. Then press into the base of a 22cm springform cake pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For the filling, place the cream and sugar in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Blend the cream cheese and peanut butter until combined. Add the cream mixture and pulse to combine, then spoon filling on top of pie crust and leave to cool.

For the topping, bring the cream to just below boiling point in a saucepan over high heat, then remove the pan from the heat. Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, then pour over the hot cream. Leave for 3 minutes without touching. Gently move the dish around to melt the chocolate and butter into the cream. Pour the topping over the pie, then chill in the fridge, uncovered, for 4 hours or until set.

This is originally from the book maggie's kitchen and it then appeared in Delicious (small story about this to follow).

So a couple of things
This is so bloody rich - very, very tasty though!
I burnt the base :( - I had it in the enough to long so there wasn't really much of a base with the actual pie... live & learn I suppose.

So the funny little story - I got a kick out of this... when I was making the pie on Tuesday night - I was posting photos to twitter, as well it's not unlike me to overshare the intimate details of my life really... one of my followers is a photographer for penguin books who published Maggie's Kitchen and delicious reused the images. So he recognised his own photo :) I just thought that was kind of cool in a small world kind of way.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the 2nd batch from the super ikonta

not sure what to say really
I think getting used to composing with the super ikonta is taking some time. Dropped 4 rolls off earlier this week at the Elizabeth Street Camera Centre. And after a misunderstanding (err???) there was a note for them to be scanned to CD, I had to wait for them to be scanned to CD, they did a bad scan :( I originally thought it was an issue with the camera but after some advice no. It's my lab. That sucks. I know have to try to find a new lab to do the developing and scanning for me.

here's the photo I'm the happiest with
Compositionally it could have been a bit stronger - I should have moved to the right slightly but the main thing I was after was the reflection of Eureka in the seat. Which I got. The passing traffic & the tram were just bonuses :)

Also had my first 2 rolls of B&W film dropped off for developing.
That's a challenge.
I like the gritty feel of B&W through the super ikonta. Much better than shooting b&w in the holga. Only issue I really have is that it seems over-exposed. Which is probably to do with my lack of understanding with the camera....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

a brief food interlude...

Namely as I haven't had the chance to pick up my developed films yet :(
I was intending my next post to be about my first B&W rolls through the super ikonta but you'll have to wait...

so anyways...
Last week when I was grabbing some lunch from Woolies (Safeway) at QV - I noticed the current Donna Hay magazine. Now I'm not particularly a Donna Hay fan - maybe it has something to do with the Courier-Mail/Daily Telegraph syndication. Maybe it's because I don't find her stuff usually that inspiring (although the food styling & photography is normally pretty good).

So anyway I decided to make her sticky date pudding from the current issue.

The end result:

Let's just talk about rich! The amount of butter in this pudding is somewhat scary...

The recipe:
2 1/2 cups (210g) chopped pitted dates
1 cup (250ml) boiling water
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
100g butter, chopped
3/4 cup (135g) brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (150g) self-raising (self-rising) flour

toffee sauce
150g butter (chopped)
1 cup single (pouring) cream
1 1/2 cups (265g) brown sugar

preheat oven to 180C (355F). Place the dates, water and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Place the date mixture in the bowl of a food processor with the butter and sugar and process until just combined. Add the eggs and flour and process until just combined. Pour into a lightly greased tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Cut into squares.
Watching the dates, baking soda & water fizz was fun :) It was like science at work

To make toffee sauce, place butter, cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until butter is melted. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly. Spoon over puddings and top with cream.
Boil butter & cream - is this person crazy!!!! But it does work - it's just a case of standing there and waiting for the worst!

Not sure if I will make it again due mostly to the richness... but as I never made it before - it was interesting...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Getting a coffee hit

It's quite rare for me to consider and plan an image. And I guess this does tie into my attempts to be more of an aristic photographer rather than just seeing something and snapping it.

So anyway a flickr friend yesterday posted a shot of his starbucks coffee and referred to it "liquid crack." I'll save the starbucks rant for a different time (but seriously America - STARBUCKS IS SH1T!!!!) so based on the addictive nature of caffeine and corporate america, I came up with the rough idea for this image. The only regret I really have about it is the lighting. The lighting should be better but the image still works.

I was actually a bit nervous about uploading it as it's a tough image to deal with in some respects.

The reactions have been quite interesting. The main problem is that as my flickr is linked to my facebook - a few people at work have seen me snorting espresso.

One of my managers actually finds it disturbing. The other manager said that I need to keep in mind that I am supposed to becoming a responsible parent (that one was a bit what the?).

Now I'm not usually in the habit of having to explain myself at work in terms of my 'art' - but I don't think the people at work see me as an artist. They see me as a photographer. The difference being that I take good photos rather than create good images. This falls into the create image camp.

I stand by my image and I stand by my artistic expression :)
I like this - it's not perfect - but it works as an image
it's funny and it's a statement on a few levels

Have a good weekend

The Super Ikonta

Is just super!

I still have no idea of how to use it - I'm using the red dot method (it's like "auto" until I manage to work out just in the hell I'm supposed to use the f-stops and the focus ring...). It's weird really - I've read the manual 3 times and it still makes no sense...

I have to admit for a 55 year old camera - I am really quite impressed by the quality of the images it produces.

As my lab doesn't do the auto-level thing - I generally do auto-levels in PS. I have some getting learning to do with it as well - I need to learn how to compose etc - there's a couple of shots which there are bits on the edge that realistically shouldn't be there. But that's the learning process really ;)

It's funny - I also now carry film with me... I have a roll of B&W and 160VC in my bag...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

So I bought a new toy

So I've been thinking about getting more serious about film photography for a while. So after some deliberation and a slight impulse - I'm the now over-excited owner of a 1954 Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta IV. It's gorgeous! I have absolutely no idea of how to use it yet but I do have the manual. So yes... I'll try shooting a roll of film this weekend and see how I go.

My new baby :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Spud Hut Mystery

This weekend just gone was the Trentham Spud Fest. Trentham is pretty much potato country and it has a history steeped in growing spuds. The soil around Trentham is just fantastic (as I think can be witnessed by the beautiful garden we have at Meran Vale). As part of the spud fest - there's a tour of what are called Spud Huts. I think at the height there was 84 or so Spud Huts around Trentham and surrounds. Potatoes were big once! So Larry & I were at the Mechanics Institute checking out the spud displays and there was a display on the Spud Huts and we went looking to see if our Spud Hut was indicated.


So we informed the local historian that we did in fact have a Spud Hut on our property. She didn't quite believe us to start with. So we all trotted over to the house to let the local historians have a quick look at the hut. We do indeed have a Spud Hut on our property.

Brief Explanation Time:
A Spud Hut is a dwelling (normally about 2.5 metres by 3 metres) were potato pickers would stay during potato picking season. The majority were built in the mid to late 1800s. Unfortunately most have fallen into various states of disrepair :(

So back to the mystery... they're not sure where our Spud Hut is from. There's a suspicion that it may have been moved in from an out-lying property. It's been on the property before the people before us. So it's been there at least 6 years if not more. I'm actually now quite curious to find out what the story is! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CS3 HDR vs Photomatix HDR

Or is it a case of HDR vs Tone Mapping?

So I finally got around to processing some images in Photomatix that I had already used photoshop for. So basically a HDR that I had done in CS3 - I've also now done in Photomatix. So here's image 1:

I liked this when I first did it - it was one of my favourite images from the motorshow that wasn't of the M1 Homage.

So last night I did the photomatix magic on the same 3 photos (all were bracketed -2, 0, +2)

I like the photomatix version over the photoshop version. I wasn't expecting to as I've struggled a bit with photomatix and tone mapping. I won't call it HDR as the HDR image in Photomatix would be pretty much the same as the HDR image in photoshop.

So my conclusions on all this:
Generally not a fan of tone-mapping you can use it to create interesting looking images but photomatix is too fiddly to get something that looks "realistic". The eye-bleeding tone-mapping is easy enough (but why would you want to?). I'm not going to get into a discussion of the nature of tone-mapped HDRs - I understand what art is about and I firmly believe each to their own.

CS3 when creating HDRs is very resource heavy & slow, photomatix is much faster. I will probably use photomatix over CS3 to be honest - namely for the speed. I will just have to continue struggling with trying to create realistic looking HDR images. Or I could just stop playing with HDR.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Craftsman or Artist?

This is something I've been thinking about and talking to Larry about a bit as well.

I like to think of myself as an artist. I don't know necessarily if I am though. The main point seems to be that I take photos of how I see the world. I don't create images as such (at times I do but its still how I see the world).

So I am trying to think if I should... should I start creating images, should I turn one of the sheds or part of the shed into a studio. Which then means I have to learn about lighting...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So I jumped back on the HDR treadmill...

Why I don't know...

But I was looking at some of the HDR stuff that photoshop was producing and it just didn't look "right". Now I have always been a little bit scared off by photomatix (namely for the eye-bleeding HDRs that people tend to produce - yes I know it's tone-mapping that causes the eye-bleeding look not the actual HDR).

Although as a little aside - some of the HDR discussion forums on flickr are a scream. It's like the old days of internet bullying. There's so much hate for the eye-bleeding HDRs (which I can understand) but there's a valid arguement for them being artistic endeavours...

So I gave my copy of Photomatix a spin and I have to say I don't hate the results. It does make camera shake a lot more obvious though, which there is probably a way to reduce that too (a tripod probably)

So there you go :)
I might re-process some of my earlier photoshop HDRs in Photomatix to see what happens with the tone-mapping.

I'll do a compare & contrast next week :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

loss of mojo

Hi :)

Seems funny doesn't it - I'm having major mojo issues all round. No photography mojo... no blogging mojo. No real mojo...

I think I've been that stressed out about my mother visiting that mojo just vanished completely. Mother visiting was fine. There's a whole series of blog posts in that but I won't go into that much detail. It was what it was. An awkward and strange reunion. She's happy though - so I guess that's one of the main things.

Now the photo mojo. I haven't taken any digital pics apart from my phone cam. This is in part based on something Larry said, I try to be an artist and I want to be an artist but for me to be an artist, I need to create images and not just shoot the world as I see it. I guess this is what threw a spanner in my mojo works. I actually had to stop and think about this... it's strange really. Now I look at my 40D and not sure where to go with it or what to do with it.

It's not like I'm not taking any photos. I got my lomo fisheye a couple of weeks ago and I've been going mental with that. Who knew that a toy camera could be so much fun! I'm loving it!!! I guess toy cameras do encourage you to shoot the world as you see it. Although with the wide-angle lens you get some wacky and rather odd results. At least I've learnt to keep my fingers out of the focal range now ;)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

general lack of motivation

it's funny really
i'm generally demotived
- not motivated to blog
- feeling a real lack of creativity to take photos
just general :meh:ness

so :meh:

oh & hi :)
will try to more regularly blog again

Sunday, April 5, 2009

HDR Photos

Ok I guess this in part comes from a question from a friend what HDR is (has to do with a tweet I made last night about doing some HDR processing of some photos of my car - which mostly sucked btw... maybe I should go for the eye-bleeding tonemapping).

Anyway he asked what HDR was... So I'm being a real geek and sending him an email to explain it ^_^

To further explain HDR we shall consult wikipedia ;)
it explains it better than I could
and a couple of examples from me
non-HDR image

so this is just the "normal" exposure

the HDR version

To my mind HDR doesn't much accept correct some issues with over and under exposure - so it basically provides a more balanced image. This is probably completely & totally inaccurate but I can live with that - its what I think that's important in terms of my own work ;)

So here's the best out of 4 HDR photos I did last night...

I think I'm going to give HDR a rest - I don't see the benefit behind it really... either that or I am completely missing the point.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

iPhones & Me

Ok let's get to the point
I love my iPhone - I probably shouldn't love a piece of materialistic technology but I love it...

so anyways!
I'm on iPhone #3. This is quite funny. I've had an iPhone since July last year - so not even a year and I'm on my third one... erm... yeah I don't know either.

So iPhone #1 met its untimely death when we returned from India. It worked absolutely fine in India - get back to Australia and nope... can't make or receive calls. Take into my telco provider - they suggest a restore - so I restore - nope, still no ability to make or receive calls - the internet & text works fine. So back to telco - woohoo, NEW PHONE! Seems there was a hardware issue. So I get shiney new iPhone... whee!!!!

Fast forward a month or so...
I was showing Larry something on my iPhone as a demo as to what he could do. Went to put it back on the duchess and I wasn't watching...
Phone drops onto polished floor - EEK!!!!!!
I was crushed :(
Screen no longer work...
So back to Telco - with damaged iPhone and a long face to enquire about replacement phones. I was expecting this was going to cost $$$. I gets me a shiney new iPhone for free - NADA - zip - ZILCH. How? I still don't know myself but as there was "no physical damage" it was a manufacturing fault... I'm guessing because the phone didn't look like it had been dropped I got another new one on warranty...

Cool huh?
I'm also accepting that I am quite lucky when it comes to iPhones. I also expect that my luck will run out so I've ordered a protective case to try to protect my iPhone #3 (and I did actually consider naming it iPhone #3).

Look wallpaper!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Home & Away - Lesbian Kiss!!!


FFS who really cares... this seems to be more of media frenzy than anything else and part of what really amuses me. There was a public kiss in at Federation Square last night.

Although hundreds were expected, about 20 people - gay and straight - gathered and locked lips as the soap went to air.

And further,

She said she was disappointed that some gay people did not go to the the "big communal pash'' at Federation Square because they were concerned for their jobs.

"A lot of my friends didn't show up to tonight's event, or didn't want to show up ... because they were afraid to be photographed,'' she said.

"And they work in the public sector, or with children, or as teachers, and were very afraid of their faces being shown in that regard.''

I can in part understand this aspect... but did she maybe consider that either a) people really really don't care - I mean it is Home & Away after all... who still watches that? or b) people had better things to do on a Tuesday night.

It's a strange world at times isn't it?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Government gets tough on executive salaries

I'm going to cut & paste from a forum post (sorry but I'm being lazy!)

I don't get this government - I really don't...

Welcome to Ruddonomics...

Originally Posted by theaustralian
WAYNE Swan has dramatically moved to curb executive salaries by moving to cap the level of "golden handshakes" available to departing company directors.
Treasurer Wayne Swan

Speaking this afternoon, the Treasurer announced that shareholder approval would now be required where a golden handshake to a departing executive exceeded one year's base salary.

The current law had allowed termination payments to reach up to seven times a director's total annual remuneration package before shareholder approval was required.

Mr Swan issued a blunt warning to executives to match company performance with remuneration.

“The Government does expect you to do the right thing by the community or the country,” Mr Swan said.,00.html

Now I can't say I'm a fan personally of the big payments to executives but this seems to be yet another populist move by the government. Oh quick we have to be seen to do something!!!! Let's see what the ACA/TT polls are saying... LET'S GET THE COMPANY EXECUTIVES!!!!


I really don't understand how this is going to help solve the economic crisis but thanks Mr Swan & Mr Rudd - I understand you are at least doing something!

I have to agree with this op-ed though
Originally Posted by theaustralian
HONESTLY, how is this going to support the Australian economy in its time of need? How will giving shareholders the right to block excessive payouts to departing executives save the country from recession now, or at any time in the future?

Doesn't Wayne Swan have bigger issues to deal with than a few fat cats milking an otherwise workable system?

Executive salaries are an area where politicians are perfectly entitled to have a view. Bashing Pacific Brands' Sue Morphet undoubtedly appeals to Labor's working families. But it's not an area that needs their heavy-handed legislative intervention.

The onus should be on the corporate sector -- if it wants the support and goodwill of the community -- to weed out the carpet-baggers and prove it does not need such intervention.

There are, unfortunately, examples of egregious payouts to executives who failed abysmally, sometimes leaving behind the smoking ruins of once-great companies. They are high profile but they are the exception. Where is Swan's evidence that abuse of the system is widespread? (Presumably, that's what the inquiry will uncover.)

The Treasurer's proposed new law -- under which any termination payout worth more than one year's base salary would be subject to a binding shareholder vote -- would not, for example, capture Sol Trujillo's coming $3 million golden goodbye.

The fact is, the current system of giving shareholders a non-binding vote on executive salaries (which boards are free to ignore) generally works. Some companies still thumb their nose at the will of shareholders. In 2007, Telstra, for example, ignored the votes of two thirds of its investors when it pressed ahead with a generous executive remuneration scheme. The $10.7 million payout to OZ Minerals' Owen Hegarty was particularly galling.

But many companies have been shamed into winding back termination payouts to their executives -- so-called golden parachutes -- fearful of an embarrassing protest vote. And besides, it's easier to ignore the will of shareholders when your stock and profits are going up. Expect a significantly louder round of shareholder protests when remuneration comes up during this year's annual general meeting season. The system and boards haven't yet been truly tested in a bear market.

In publicly listed companies, shareholders get a binding vote on the selection of their directors. They entrust those directors to appoint executives to run the company for the good of shareholders. That includes setting appropriate salaries. If the board fails, shareholders can get rid of them. It's not perfect -- and it does make it difficult to punish failed executives who've long left companies -- but it works.

At least shareholders get to vote every year. Where's the annual vote for taxpayers who have been forced to fund significant “termination” payments -- guaranteed super at 75 per cent of salary -- to failed politicians?

An inquiry into executive remuneration probably isn't a bad thing. Any system that better ties pay to the long-term performance of companies -- rather than unsustainable short-term financial or stock price gain -- should be encouraged.

But will a binding vote on termination payouts actual lead to better corporate behaviour or lower salaries for executives? Sure, a bigger part of their pay might be made up of shares and options, which better reflect the performance of their company. An alternative, however, is for boards to simply shift a chunk of remuneration from the binding component of the package (termination payments) to the non-binding component (everything else).

That just means paying useless executives more for longer. And it's often difficult to tell exactly how bad an executive's been until long after they've left the building.,00.html

We can all rest assured that the Government is out there tackling the really big issues!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Melbourne's Docklands

There's been a bit of press coverage lately about Melbourne's Docklands - firstly via Melbourne City's new Lord Mayor saying the planning of Docklands should be handed over to the City of Melbourne away from the developers (probably not a bad idea...). Then the age ran a rather comprehensive feature on Docklands...

I hate the age...

Apart from some rather daft and amusing comments my favourites being...

"And just as we should tolerate people of different ethnicities, of different religious beliefs and sporting beliefs, for God's sake, why can't we tolerate, embrace and celebrate people who want to live that sort of inner-city apartment, Friends, and Seinfeld-type lifestyle.

"It's Friends and Seinfeld versus Neighbours."

Nevermind that Docklands is NOTHING like Manhattan... but we can work with this for now. The other thing is that inner-city living has been around for ages.

And then this corker:

Kirner says a couple of fantastic restaurants and proximity to the CBD, as well as potentially great views from the wheel, are the Docklands key assets.
Nevermind the wheel doesn't work and has become a rather large white elephant. It was late to completion and then worked for 40 days before "cracking in the heat". And then the restaurant remark. I can't think of anywhere in Docklands I would actually want to eat. But that's dependent on finding somewhere that's open first.

Docklands unfortunately is a failure... it may change as more businesses move into the area but so far not so good. And some of the first buildings that went up (along the Westgate Highway) are really starting to show their age.

A development that was meant to be affordable has become a soulless and overpriced enclave for empty-nesters.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chillout Photography Prize 2009

Ok to start with I decided to not enter this competition this year.

Namely as Chillout is meant to be Daylesford based and having a photo exhibition in Creswick seemed a bit odd... and its a fair distance from Daylesford to be honest (I'd be curious to know what the attendance figures were like).

So anyways this year the theme was diversity...

I was considering entering 2 photos
But decided against it because I thought I was being a bit flippant in regards to theme. I should have entered. It seems that most of the entries - including the one that won seem to have very little to do with "diversity" - I'm not saying they are bad photos - I just question the relevance to the theme.

Ahh well!
Congratulations to the winners :)
Maybe I will enter again next year... I'll just find my best photo and submit that!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

a thought on twitter vs journalism

So I was having a quick scan through the age (my most hated of online newspapers - namely due to the video ads that keep crashing my firefox - not to mention the redunancy of video ads on an online newspaper...)

And there was this blog post

Which wasn't really anything exciting I guess - hell I knew about the earthquake through twitter as well and I also follow 774Melbourne for my real news. There's a certain comfort in the ABC for us Aussies I think...

But the bit that got me was this particular quote:
Twitter was useful on Friday night, but I'm not one of those people who says Twitter and other user-generated channels are a substitute for the mainstream media. Few people would go to see a Citizen Doctor, or get on a plane with a Citizen Pilot, yet some seem to think a Citizen Journalist is just as good as a trained journalist. Even if I didn't have the conflict of interest of being a trained journalist, I still wouldn't trust Twitter or Facebook as my primary sources of information.
Well of course he wouldn't - he's employed by fairfax media (duh!). It never ceases to amaze me how negative the traditional media can be towards new media, especially when the people making the comments try to come across as being objective.

I'm a massive fan of twitter namely as its largely an anarchy. There's no editorial control - which can be a good thing or a bad thing - and yes largely its verbal diarrhoea but its entertaining, probably more so than what an online newspaper article is.

And speaking of newspaper articles - had this forwarded to me today. For those of you who know me a little better know the relevance to this:

Does it matter where babies come from?

Australia has had its first baby via an Indian surrogate come home. A very touching and quite a sweet article.

(it's peace in hindi)

Monday, March 9, 2009

not much really

Nothing really to say...
Had an ok weekend - I think we needed more downtime than what we got - just ended up so busy! Ah well c'est la vie.

One thing though and I think this may be related to my laptop - post-processing HDRs takes far too long. I still have about 10 shots from the motorshow to go... and I also have to process a couple of hundred photos from a commitment ceremony we went to on the weekend.

I learnt a very big lesson there. Right before the ceremony put in a new memory card - as chances are your memory will run out when you don't want it to (which happened >.< )

Look pretty car...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

the motorshow

Kind of weird really...
it's apparently an "international" motorshow. I was in & out in less than an hour. Really disappointed with the lack of exhibitors. There was maybe 20 or so? (please feel free to correct me).

The stuff that was there was pretty though :)
and I did find a good use for HDR... HDR is pretty much perfect for cars/motorshows! I think I got some interesting photos.

Still have a mountain of processing to do though - only got about 25 photos done last night. HDR merge takes longer than I would have thought. Was really blown away by the M1 Homage Concept. Such a beautiful car!

The flickr set is here

Have a good weekend :)
I'll be back on Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

so another blog

I'm back with another blog...

I think this is probably about 5th or 6th blog - I still have blogs over on livejournal & bigpond that I don't use.

I think I'm basing on this on a piece of advice I got in a forum I frequent quite a bit.

But, write the book :-) A good purge.

And there I think is one of the reasons why I am writing this blog... it's a good purge or maybe just another form of verbal diahorrea. There is some stuff going on in my life that's bound to be quite exciting so I thought I would document it all.

Anyways I'm off to the Melbourne International Motorshow tonight so I will hopefully be back tomorrow with some photos of cars. Particularly keen to try to grab a HDR of the BMW M1 Homage.