Saturday, February 02, 2008

New color picture

New B/W picture

I just took this half an hour ago.


I love when great opportunities just fall into my lap. See for instance the e-mail I just got:

To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Dear Friend,
Greetings from taiwan, my name is chung mao bank manager of bank of overseas taiwan, i have a lucrative business proposal for you just get back to me for more details.
Mr Chung Mao.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Rebel Rebel

I think one of the best camera deals right now (though there are many) is getting the Canon 400D (which in the US is burdened by the moniker "Digital Rebel XTi"). Because it's being replaced by the 450D (or XSi), which is not a revelutionary upgrade, it can be found for £350 or $550.

And what you should do is not get it with the kit lens, even though it's cheap, for it's crap. Instead get the new kit lens: 18-55mm IS. IS stands for image stabilization. More than worth the maybe hundred dollars extra. And on top of that you will also get a lens which by all reports is amazingly sharp.

And both camera and lens are amongst the smallest and lightest around, so for travel or walk-around photography, or just casual photography, they are ideal.

Good books for young readers

Good books for young readers.

Alex said:
I'm not sure what saving merits there are to Lord of the Flies. It is miserable, depressing, and really no inspiration for someone who is being bullied.

Isn't it funny how school teachers and libraries will push insanely depressing and disturbing books onto their hapless young students?
One of the stories which was read loud to us in primary school was a about a boy who was bullied into climbing a high smoke stack, and fell down.
Another one was about two boys who heard about bacteria (they called them "batteries") and wanted to help a friend who had a wound on his leg, so he wouldn't die from infection. So they tied him down, gagged him, and sawed off his leg. Just lovely stories for kids.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Camera deals

PhotoBorg article on buying cameras cheap.

Update: somehow I missed this interesting page when it came out.

New full frame chip coming

New 35mm 24MP Sony full frame chip coming this year.

Also, Nikon has announced new lenses, including the stabilized standard zoom I mentioned they needed to have.

The Todd Time

The Todd Time. This is the guy who was the lead in The Karate Kid. It's safe to say, though, that his part in Scrubs is quite different.

Talking about Scrubs: Sarah Chalke, please call me. I can make you so happy.

dr. phil said...
The Karate Kid was played by Ralph Macchio, The Todd is played by Robert Maschio.
Btw, for an asexual you do seem to experience a sexual attraction to the ladies.

eolake said...
Dang, you're right. He said in an interview that he was him, then said he was joking, then said he was not joking. Apparently he ended it on the wrong one.

I didn't say I wanted to "sex up" Sarah. I just want to cuddle, have long walks on the beach, some fine coffee in Venice, show her off on the boardwalk, and have spirited conversation over a game of Backgammon.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dylan Moran

"Men look at breasts the way women look at babies... 'oh, aren't they lovely'." - Dylan Moran

Just watched his "Like, totally Live" show. This guy rocks.

Water in the head

Candidates for the Darwin award.

Money and wet shoes

Having money problems is like walking around in wet shoes: it takes your attention, and it feels like the only problem you have.
Getting money is then like changing into dry shoes: it feels better. And after a while you notice that none of your basic or important problems have been solved yet, but now you at least have a bit more free attention to work on those.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Depression risk 'highest in 40s'

"Life may begin at 40, but research suggests that 44 is the age at which we are most vulnerable to depression." - Article

So that explains why I've been feeling so good recently: I'm just about to turn 45!

The exhibitionist sting

You gotta love when police talk people into breaking the law and then arrest them.

A super-budget image stabilizer

A super-budget image stabilizer.
Basically you tie a string from your camera's tripod thread to a bit you hold to the ground under your foot.
I haven't tried this in practice yet, but it seem ingenious, and I'm surprised I've never heard of the idea before.

Mike Johnston said:
...I'm surprised you haven't of those ideas that's been around forever. Sort of works. Sort of doesn't. I generally prefer to just try to brace myself against something.

When I was a teen I read all the books the library had about photography, and I've read thousands of photo mags since, and I'm pretty sure I've never read about this idea. Luck of the draw, I guess.

If it worked really great, it would be used by everybody, I suppose. I'll just have to try it.
I'll hazard that the exact length of the string is important, both for stability and for the health of your neck. (Something that's on my mind for some reason.)

A coding problem

On my other blog, the page suddenly looks like this in all the browsers on my Mac:

... The peach-colored text field to the right of the picture is supposed to be under the picture. It is actually covering up part of the picture (and links at the top). Until recently it was OK.

I've not made any changes to the page's code. Can anybody see what is causing this problem?

Art and Shame

A page about Art and shame (or not), by Jim in Seattle.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Strange maps

More data at strange maps blog.

About camera stabilization

Bert wrote:
... your opinion on in-body vs in-lens image stabilization? The former seems to make so much more sense, both in terms of cost as well as overall weight/bulk, that I wonder why it appears to be the latter which is more common?

Good question.
As readers may be aware, cameras/lenses with image stabilization allows for hand-held photography under darker conditions, meaning longer shutter times, without the pictures becoming shaken.

I've not seen any tests as to what is the more efficient. But both kinds seem to be really good these days.

Actually more brands now have in-body stabilization in their digital cameras (with exchangable lenses). Like Pentax, Sony, and Olympus. But the two biggest names, Canon and Nikon, so far stick with stabilized lenses only. Those two of course say it's because it's more efficient, but they would say that, wouldn't they? One wonders if it's just to protect sales of their legacy stabilized lenses? (Note both brands started making stabilized lenses back in the film days. Film cameras can't have in-body stabilization.)

I wish it were different. Sure, stabilization is more pressing with long lenses, but stabilization gives (with static subjects) a two to four stops gain in practical light sensitivity with any lens, and that's huge. Just look at how much you pay in money and weight to get a lens two stops faster!

It is clear though that stabilization is fast getting cheaper and lighter. Canon has the new kit zoom lens, which is only 200 grams, under $200, and sharp. So it seems to me that they would have no reason to not build it into all new lenses they introduce, even wide angle lenses. Even so my gut tells me they won't, though I can't say why. Boneheaded conservatism, maybe?

Sure, with long lenses it's a minor advantage that in-lens stabilization also stabilizes your viewfinder image, but I don't consider that a deal-breaker compared to the option of having your camera shake-free no matter which lens you put on it. For instance it makes it possible to combine long shutter times with very fast lenses, which obviously is an unbeatable combination for low light.

No Blogger Support anymore?

I just wrote this to the Blogger abuse help line:

Dear Blogger abuse line,

The support line seems to have disappeared? What's up with that?

I looked at the "help groups", but it seems I have to subscribe to one to use it, and I don't want to do that.

This seems to be the only human contact to Blogger, so I'm writing you.

How do I change the sequence of the monthly archive list on my blog, to show the most recent month on top?

Sincerely yours, Eolake Stobblehouse