Saturday, June 29, 2013

On the road again!

Lost in the grass 
There may be some posts here in the coming weeks, but in the meantime you should be keeping an eye on the LuminOdyssey Photo Expeditions blog (or the LuminOdyssey Facebook page) where I'll be posting regular updates during our 2013 African expedition.

Remember, you can see where we are on the live map linked on this site. Continue reading "On the road again!"...

Monday, June 24, 2013

The new f/2.8 telephoto zoom in the bag

Looking down the throat of the monster
I'm preparing to take a group of photographers on LuminOdyssey's 2013 Botswana trip, and for the first time in a while I'll be taking a significant new lens: the Sigma 120-300mm/2.8 OS "Sports" telephoto zoom. Over the last few weeks I've been preparing my kit, and have been asked a lot about the new lens. So here's some initial feedback.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Depth-of-field with telephotos

I'm still working through material from last month's trip to Lord Howe Island. Here's one example, a Red-tailed Tropicbird (a species which took up a lot of my time and let me refresh my birds-in-flight skills).

This photo was taken in mid-afternoon light near the top of some sea-cliffs (200m above the sea). We'd been at this location since the morning, and it was a wonderful experience spending so much time with the birds. By the end we had nicknames for most of the individual birds who'd pass us.

These birds have very dark eyes, and this is one of the small number of shots where I managed to get a glint in the eye to give the eye some definition. But while processing this image (in Lightroom of course) I realised it also illustrated a technical issue.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

More on timezones

April sunset
I was going to leave off posting about the end of Daylight Saving Time (DST) until next weekend (when here in Melbourne the change happens) except that this week I noticed a hiccup with one of my devices.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Terminally geeky: When is Lord Howe Island?

In just over a month I will be travelling to Australia's Lord Howe Island, a World Heritage-listed island in the Tasman Sea. I'll be spending a week there with just over a dozen other photographers. Some of us will be concentrating on the wildlife, some on the landscape opportunities, and some of us will be concentrating on all of it!

In preparing for the trip, I came across a problem with the Apple OS X operating system (used on my laptop and desktop systems). While the zoneinfo timezone database included in OS X (and in many other Unix variants such as Linux) knows about the Lord Howe Island timezone, the operating system didn't allow me to choose it! I did find a solution, but in case you're wondering why this is an important problem, let me first go back to basics.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Do you know anyone interested in photographing Africa?

Tears of the Arizona (Pearl Harbor)
Shocking news today with cancer news from some friends who have had to cancel from the LuminOdyssey Botswana 2013 photography expedition. As a result we have a couple of new spots available on the expedition: if you or anyone you know might be interested, please have a look.

Meanwhile we've been back from Hawaii for a week now, and with the number of projects going on it's almost like we never went. Almost, but not quite: life's always busy, but we do have some special Maui memories. Continue reading "Do you know anyone interested in photographing Africa?"...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sundry updates

The "Where is David" map on this site has not been receiving updates for a while, and I'm working on a new solution to replace the Fire Eagle service we used to apply updates via iPhones/Iridium/etc. In the meantime updates to the map will be "sporadic". Currently we're in the U.S.

Haleakala Crater
Haleakala "Crater", Maui

Fire Eagle isn't the only web service to disappear. Google recently announced that Google Reader is due to be shut down in a few months: time to find another way of synchronising news reading from various sources. It's a shame: Google Reader had a decent web interface, and an API which let news-reading apps on my phone and tablet keep in sync. It will be interesting to see what solution emerges to take its place.

I wonder what other free web services we've come to rely on will disappear in the coming months? Continue reading "Sundry updates"...