Sunday, April 27, 2014

Getting what you want

Mt Oxford, Canon A590 IR, 1/220 sec, f5.6, ISO 80 (8 frames)

Usually, when I set out to capture a particular picture, I come back with something quite different; either because circumstances prevented the intended picture or because I get distracted by something better. Today I came back with what I wanted - a picture of Mt Oxford taken from the township - in infrared.

This picture just wouldn't work in a normal photo; the tones would all be too similar and would merge into a mass of green-brown sameness. In IR it's a totally different story, with the trees fluorescing brilliantly against the hills and sky.  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

More on the infrared front

Today the sun shone. Not a big deal, except for the fact that we hadn't seen the orb for about three weeks (how very British of us) and that last Tuesday, my camera came back from the States having had an infrared (IR) conversion and I was itching to try it out in sunny conditions.

IR photography captures the world as we can’t normally see it. Clear skies, water, roads and many other things reflect very little IR while clouds and foliage, including grass, reflect a lot and glow with ghostly IR brightness. IR cameras capture the IR wavelengths in the same way that a normal camera captures visible light so we can process the camera data in exactly the same way; making the invisible, visible.

A trip to the gorge bridge and a quick walk around town produced the following results (presented here in soft pink and deep blue hues):
The Waimakariri Gorge bridge

Back road

The new town clock

Pearson Park playground

I was shooting at f8 with ISO 80 and getting exposure times of between 1/40 and 1/60 second. About one stop less than for visible light. All the metering and auto focusing worked fine and it was just like shooting with a normal camera.

The camera was an old Canon A590 IS which had sat in a draw unused for a few years. The conversion was done by a company called Kolari Vision ( and, while the postal services took their usual time, Kolari Vision turned it around within 4 days (including a weekend) and did a top-notch job.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oh, Feedly, Feedly ...

... so much promise, so much disappointment.

When Google shuttered “Reader”, it was Feedly that came riding to our aid. We cheered as our liberator rode into town – the news feed famine was averted. Alas, our former saviour has become a right pain in the proverbial. It has, I fear, lost its way.

Who’s idea was it to split the feed into bite sized chunks? Now I never know when I am really done reading. “Done” Feedly says, and then refreshes to show more items. “Done” again; but no, there are more items and then another “Done”. Some mornings I have to go through ten occurrences of “Done” before I am really “All read” done. It’s impossible to know whether I have enough time to read the remaining articles or not because “Done” doesn’t mean “Done” any more. Dumb.

If that wasn’t frustrating enough, for the last week Feedly has been delivering the same four articles at the end of every “Done”. I have read them; honest I have. But no, up they pop again. They aren’t on Feedly cloud, but they are on my Android device and they won’t go away.

So, Feedly, it’s time you left. Yes, I know; I am old and cranky but I’m not going to let you make me crankier than I need be. Did I mention FeedEx? She’s cute.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tears and laughter

It’s been an unexpectedly emotional three days. Two events caused, in turn, a shed tear or two and secondly very large grin. Both were initiated by National Radio.

On Tuesday Geoff Robinson retired. Geoff has been a passenger in my car every work-day for the last 20 years. He presented National Radio’s “Morning Report” programme and was the voice of sanity in a frequently insane world. It was Geoff that told me about the 9/11 attack on New York; I remember; we were half way along the Tram Road at the time.

I hadn’t realised how attached I had become but, knowing it was his last day, brought tears of sadness to my eyes. I will miss an old friend who never knew me.

National Radio was playing again today as I drove back from the hospital. Jim Mora decided to play Monty Python’s, “Always look on the bright side of life”. Did that make me smile, or what! There’s one verse that I must try to remember:

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle
- that's the thing.

Rain and sun; tears and laughter... "There ya go, see!