Saturday, December 30, 2006

PhotoFriday : Best of 2006

These handheld photos of the moon are really my favourites photos of the year.

For PhotoFriday topic : Best of 2006

Tribute to Steve Irwin (low isles), originally uploaded by imageo.

This was both the most interesting and most viewed in flickr photostream of 2006. Most probably because it was titled a "Tribute to Steve Irwin", luckily Germain Greer drew all the flack and my views slipped through largerly unnoticed

Friday, December 29, 2006

Taking the opportunity for an extra wide panorama

This morning saw some nice white puffy cumulous clouds floating over the beach at low tide, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get a massive panorma, a little over 200 degree view. The white clouds giving the autostitch program more to match than just the horizon ( and some waves which have moved betwen shots in any case). My hunch was right I got a nice matchup straight away, No fiddling with the settings required!

[This is another of those photos you will need to click on and look at the larger version to fully appreciate]

Setting out the flags

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Backyard visitor

Rainbow Lorikeet [Trichoglossus haematodus], photographed in my own backyard with a new zoom 70-300mm telephoto lens

Monday, December 25, 2006

Drought, Heat & now a White Christmas

After some very hot days last week, the eastern side of melbourne woke to a few glimpses of a white christmas (frozen hail rather than snow), but still unusual for summer

Sunday, December 24, 2006

photofriday: weather

for photofriday, topic: weather

[This is one of those photos you will need to click on and look at the larger version to fully appreciate]

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Available light

I was just trying out the anti-shake feature of my new Pentax K100D in low light. Basically I think it works well.

Merry Christmas

Friday, December 22, 2006

rain at last

Posted by Picasa

last seen being given away

This is a photo of my last mobile phone. It was given away to someone else by the security staff at large Australian Airport. I have thought a lot about whether I should disclose this in my blog but given that it is the second instance in 6 months and the letter I received from the airline after reporting it (see below), I feel the public (well the blogsphere aware part of the public) deserves to know. Basically the airport security area was busy and I diligently took my notebook computer out of its carry bag and put in the special plastic bin provided. Sending both into the Xray machine. Then I remembered my wallet, glasses and phone, so under the suggestion of one of the security staff I put them in my coat pocket and sent the coat through the Xray. On the other side was turmoil so I got my things and moved to a spare bit of table space to repack the computer. It was then I noticed my wallet and glasses where in my coat but not my phone. I looked at the rollers behind the Xray, the floor, nearby tables and immediately reported it to nearby security staff. Well the search is a long story, they did ring the phone and there was no answer just my message bank. So I reported the loss to the airline and about a week later I discovered that everything was on security film. My phone had fallen out when I picked up my coat, one of the security staff had seen it picked it up and given it to someone else (in good faith I am sure). Thats it, its gone and was not returned.

A very similar incident had happened to me earlier, as I was transfer to an international flight at another Australian airport. A congested Xray machine again and as I waited for my computer to come out I saw a security person pick up my camera bag and dash off down the concourse after someone else trying to give my camera bag and camera to them. After a decent sprit myself I did recover it and luckily find other security where looking after my computer, so nothing was lost.

The moral: Watch over your valuable at the airport security. The attendants are likely to give your valuables away.

What really disappointed me about this was the letter from the airline supposedly to help me claim the phone on travel insurance. Right at the end is the disclaimer "It should not be considered as an admission of liability by "--name withheld---"* to you or any person acting on your behalf"

(* I don't want to be sued)

why not label your memory cards?

As you will see in my next post, there is probably a good reason to "electronically" label your digital gear, such as cameras, ipods and mobile phones. The easiest way with most devices will be to label the memory card they use. I'm most cases this card can be read (and written too) by placing it in an appropriate card reader. In a few case you may just have to transfer the READ.ME file over a USB connection (or infrared, or bluetooth, or whatever!)

Just use any text editor to create a very simple (and small file) like this one, with your details. Then copy it to the top level directory on the card(s) so that anyone reading that card will see it. I think READ.ME is a good name but OWNER.TXT or anything similar will do. Its all about increasing the chance of your gear being returned if it is lost, or stolen (or given away)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

two sunsets

With the change of wind direction around to the east and north, venus bay was once again plunged into a heavy smoke hazy, that got thicker over the night of the 20th. and very strong by the morning of the 21st.

multi-image photo mosaics taken on the 19th.

Friday, December 15, 2006

the fruit bowl

the fruit bowl, originally uploaded by imageo.

Just mucking around took this still life with a telephoto lens to compress the depth of field (and throw the background out of focus). It worked well by the way.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

smoke haze (continued)

Taken from a flight from sydney to melbourne, the active firefronts show plumes that push throught the general haze

Melbourne Airport 6:00PM Wednesday

Sunday, December 10, 2006

kelp root broach


This piece of kelp root washed up on the beach is almost an intricate braoch. Unfortunately as a broach it may have losts its gem!

Smoke Haze

The smoke haze from the current bushfires is extensively covering the state of victoria.
smoke hazy on the beach
South Gippsland, Venus Bay, Sunday 10 AM
smoke haze over melbourne
Melbourne, Wheelers Hill, Saturday 10 AM

wattle birds feeding

Wattle birds (Anthochaera carunculata)feeding on bearded heath(Leucopogon parviflorus). The little white balls are the heath's fruits and are very sweet. The wattle birds have a very harsh squaw and they are constantly chasing other birds away from "their" tree. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A dirty little secret

click on this photo to see the shadowy dust spot in more detail
My new Pentax K100D isn’t even a week old, and horror, there is a black dot in the middle of the picture, there it is again in exactly the same place on the next frame, there again, and again…. My first thought was a dead pixel, nothing in the troubleshooting about that, in fact dots on pictures aren’t mentioned anywhere in the troubleshooting section or the index…. What it did find, after a lot of looking, was instructions to clean the CCD, and yes that was the problem. Something like dust on my CCD, that goes all the way back to my first photos I just didn’t notice them at the time. Yes tem, there were at least three. So the dust was in the camera when I purchased it (or as I screwed on the first lens)

Cleaning the Pentax wasn’t hard but it must be done with care, follow the instruction in the manual exactly. There is a menu item to lift the mirror and you can use a blower (not a brush blower) to gently blast air over the CCD. There are numerous warnings, to many to cover here. SO READ THE MANUAL! However I had to do it four times, which brings me to the real purpose of this blog post.

How do you know that your CCD requires cleaning?

It is easy to test for a dirty CCD. Aim you camera at the sky on a nice clear day, away from the sun, so the sky is evenly exposed. Take a few exposures moving the cameras around. A few clouds, a bit of a tree or horizon can help you make sure you do this. Then upload the photo to your computer and have a look at a large magnification, in software that lets to scroll from one image to the next. If to see a shadowy spot and it is the same position within the photo frame its very likely to be dust on the CCD
A well lit sky makes it easy to see the dust shadows Moving the camera around confirms the dots are in the same position in the frame clean at last!

WARNING: looking around on the net with the key words like digital, slr, cleaning, ccd, cmos it would appear that the web is awash with complaints and horror stories. Also some of the articles may not be all that well informed. If you can not find instructions in your camera manual be careful about trying to clean its CCD. In fact don’t, take it back to the dealer, or a reputable camera shop. Nikon digital SLR owners must pay particular attention to Nikon’s disclaimers about this. If you own a Nikon I suggest you read the article by thom about cleaning your camera.