new toy

We “lost” our compact camera; not sure what happened but we were in Fremantle for dinner with friends when we last took pictures with it, and the next day we went looking for it and could not find it. We searched the whole house, and also went back to Fremantle to ask at the restaurants but could not find it..

I am travelling to India for work and wanted to only take the compact camera; last time I took the DSLR and I found it too bulky to carry around. Taking the DSLR means you have to take a bag, and I really wanted to avoid that this time. So, we needed a new camera..

At it turns out, I had a 7.5 hour layover in Singapore on the way to India so I took the opportunity to look for a new camera. Some quick research (using the free internet at Singapore Changi airport) and discussion with Elena (again using the free internet!) we decided on the Canon PowerShot SX230 HS.

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This camera is not super-compact, but it feels good in your hands (some of the super-compacts are too small to be operated easily). It has a build-in GPS which would be great as we often take a photo with the compact camera to identify where the picture was taken.

It has a 12.1 Megapixel sensor which is more than enough for taking simple travel-shots, and a 14x optical zoom. This is great as the 5x zoom of the “old” camera was often quite limited. Also there is Image Stabilisation which is a must with that amount of zoom..

It has manual functions (P, Av, Tv and M settings) and can do HD video as well.. I think a good feature set for the price, and when I got it the sales person gave me a free 8 GB SD-card and camera-bag as well!

Through the viewfinder

Through the viewfinder is a photography technique where the photo is taken through the viewfinder of another camera; offcourse with the digital age we can “fake” this effect easily in software.

1) First you need a suitable photo with a “retro” feel to it.. and it needs to be square (because viewfinders generally are!).

2) Edit the image as much as you like, but to get the vintage feel check out the “Seventies” or “Soft & Faded” Photoshop actions at Pioneer Woman. I like the “Seventies” filter, but you can do whatever you like.

3) Overlay a viewfinder template (complete with noise and dust) over the image – there are lots more to choose from in this Flickr group. Size to fit, blend the layer with the original image (multiply, opacity=80%).

Some images done with this technique:

Walter in the outback        Elena at Coffs Harbour

New toy..

Decided I wanted a new phone because the old HTC Touch HD was getting old; Windows Mobile 6.5 (updated from the standard 6.1) was getting old too, and everything was taking sooooo long :-)

My eye fell on the Samsung Galaxy S2 with Android… It arrived last week after ordering it in the UK (not released in Aus until …. ?) and I love it! Thw AMOLED screen is fantastic very bright and beautiful colors! The dualcore processor is faaaast; ni noticable lag doing anything! I can keep on telling you what I like about it; but maybe I should stop boring you 😉

Posted with the Android Wordpad app from my Samsung Galaxy S2…. obviously… 😉

U2 360 tour – live at Suncorp Stadium

U2 is touring Australia and has 2 shows in Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, we had tickets for the second night.

The stage is amazing “the claw” looks very impressive, and this structure can only fit in big stadiums. The speakers are build in the base stage, with high-range speakers in the legs of the structure, here are also spots for camera-men and a lot of lights. In the centre (at the top of the legs) is a screen that goes round 360 degrees and is extendible downwards. Everything is used during the show, very impressive.

NB: there is a documentary on the tour which includes the design of the stage, interesting to watch.

pano01 - U2 360 live at Suncorp Stadium

The pre-show concert was Jay-Z which at may look like it doesn’t fit well with the rock/pop of U2, but the Jay-Z concert was great! Empire state of mind was a highlight, with the whole stadium singing the chorus “New York…”

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U2 was amazing, everyone knew most of their songs and sang along. The show was out-of-this-world, definitely worth the price of a ticket. “Sunday bloody Sunday” still gives me the chills, but its hard to say what the highlights were, because the whole concert was great!

Singapore

EMC invited a colleague and I for a workshop on VBlock cloud computing in Singapore. EMC has a few demo-centres across the world, and Singapore is the closest to Australia. Because the colleague is from Melbourne and the EMC people flew from Sydney I was travelling alone.

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We all arrived at roughly the same time, and after freshen up met in the hotel-bar. Next we went to the New Asia bar, claimed to be the highest bar in Singapore with amazing views! Then there is the Equinox restaurant, with the same amazing views, and also with great food.

The workshop was the whole day next day, arranged very well by EMC and the sessions were interesting.

After a successful day we went to a seafood restaurant to close off the workshops. At this place you choose your own seafood from the aquarium and they take it to the kitchen to prepare. We ordered a couple of different dishes and shared them all, this is a great way to try different foods.

Unfortunately I had to leave the dinner early to catch a flight back to Australia since we had concert tickets for the next day. The rest of the team would fly back the next day.

Unfortunately after a day or so I started getting a rash, which the doctor thinks may be because of the seafood. This is not because the restaurant is bad quality, but the seafood (especially lobster) may contain some materials that you react to (quite possibly zinc).. The doctor gave me some pills and a crème with which the rash soon disappeared..