Casey Neistat is Right!

My CanonEOS400D and Gear, B&W I had stuffed a lot of gear into my many camera bags before my family relocated to Kangaroo Island just a few months ago.

Today I finally went through it all – and found a lot of accessories, cables, and a multitude of seemingly important yet almost unnecessary cra.. stuff, some of which has been missing for months!

I now totally understand why Casey Neistat keeps all his gear systematically organised and on display. It actually makes a lot of sense.

Because among all my stuff I found the following items:

  • SuperSlim USB Keyboard.
    Promptly disposed of after testing a few times. Internal mechanisms no longer connect with keypads. Bought on eBay a loooong time ago, so no loss.
  • Canon Sunhood – EW83E.
    I don’t have lens for this. Would like it, but would sell the sunhood for right price.
  • Two of my old film cameras – [Vivitar PS88] [Canon EOS500].
    I know why I packed them, but they are going back to Adelaide now – to be donated to my friend Vicki Kramer’s new shop in Blackwood – FotoSwift. (Technically it’s not new, but she bought the place recently and now manages it. How cool is that? tl;dr: Vicki wants old cameras for displaying in the shop. I said I may have a few.
  • One very old German AGFA ISOLETTE camera. [See photo series on instagram]
    Not being donated.
  • Assorted oddities:
    • Spud gun.
      Was received as a Kris Kringle one year at work. Useless unless someone else also has one, and prepared to fight till vegetables do we part!
    • Hand cuffs.
      I can’t remember where and when, I have had them a very long time.
    • A couple of Oscar statues. To be on display when I record vlogs at home.
    • 4 Point USB Hub + cable.
      Trust me, this is useful. This and a mouse are must-have’s in my day bag!
    • Lexar USB 3.0 Dual Slot Card Reader – Model LRW300U.
      Hopefully I still have the cable for it!
    • Fold up metal pliers.
      The last pair I owned were thrown into a bin at Adelaide Airport Security. Lesson learned!
  • A camera to laptop cable.
    It enables photographers to see their images on their laptop rather than the back of the camera, thus ensuring the art is focused or as required – thus limiting computer time later. Thanks Peter Coullson for suggesting this purchase during a seminar a few years back!
  • 2 x 1TB hard-drives.
    One now holds backup of all my vlogs to date since 2008! The other proved non-openable. Not happy.
  • Hahnel Giga T Pro Wireless Remote Control. It is what it suggests.
  • Horizontal thingmimob.
    Basically, it enables both a flash-gun and camera-body to attach along it, sitting left/right of each other. Great for event photography where easy handling is required. But I am using it to lessen the weight load on my arm of my vlog-rig. I will show usage in an upcoming TOG-vlog! Photo of rig appears below.

Plus the one thing I had actually been looking for the entire time:

  • An Allan-key for the Micro ThumbsUP on my EOSM.
    Yet, after inspection and much forehead smacking, I have now determined the ThumbsUp can stay attached now that I have the ‘Horizontal thingimob’.

The 75-300mm f4-5.6 EF III on my new Canon EOS M With the RØDE N3594 microphone (also temporarily misplaced in the big to Kangaroo Island) firmly attached onto my Canon EOSMi, I now have rig that keeps everything much more secure and easy to handle – and easy to edit with minimal to nil wind across the microphone. #HighFive!

Yes, this whole article was basically about the hell of dealing with wind-noise whilst vlogging – and how I remedied it! Here is my amended updated vlogging-rig!

Casey, your office is cluttered, but most of it makes perfect sense to me!

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Printing for More Than Art’s Sake

This story amuses me every time I read it: MissyMwac’s family and friends were gobsmacked when she printed all her phone photosthe concept was completely foreign to them!

Yes, it is satire. Heavy satire.

Yet it is a reminder that very little photography of my children, my nephew’s and niece’s birthdays, nor my family moments, is available to view outside of my archives.

Art is very important, yet printing photography of family & friends enjoying life is the best preservation of history.

That said:

With any available finances, I plan to print and frame more of my Kangaroo Island artwork in 2017.

I’m already planning a selection for exhibition either in Adelaide or on Kangaroo Island (or maybe both) during SALA 2017.

4 Years Later…

This was originally written as a comment to If You Never Hear From Me Again by David Simmer II . But once I got started, it turned into the last short story about our blue insignificant planet.


4 Years Later…

Planet Earth is nearly barren, one very large dust-bowl. The only nuclear warheads not destroyed are half-sticking out of the earth waiting for the button to be pushed.

The sound ‘Trump‘ wafted on the breeze, the last sound made by every human on the planet right before they were all wiped from existence. Weeds retake the cities, one mound of melting tissue at a time.

Volcanic explosions continue to rack much of the planet, bellowing loudly, spewing molten rock down on the concrete, steel and glass junkyards below. Neon signs no longer flicker, all the power-plants have ceased.

In a small town named Salem (about 190 miles from Seattle) in Washington State, one man remained. The quadruple-story bunker built beneath his home for him and his cats somehow is resisting the movement of the earth’s crust as tectonic plates relentlessly drift. He opens yet another can of Spam, but this time he doesn’t let the cats get too close. They are now glowing from their last visit to the surface. Now he realizes what’s happened up top, so he ain’t going up there, no how, no way, no time soon.

The cats suddenly turn their heads to the sky and wail. The man feels something move around him … and a wall splits to his right.

[…]

When interstellar visitors first landed (okay, crashed) in the 1950’s, Earthlings seems smart, but had been avoided for the most part. Well, that isn’t true.

1980's Hand Held Electronic GamesOne teenage Moroff took a wizz in back-alley in Seattle, but somehow left his backpack before both him and his entourage departed. When they returned 12-parsecs (40 light-year) later to locate the backpack, it was 1990 and far too late. Every piece of technology within had been adapted and salvaged in Silicone Valley as ‘new technological advances’:

Literally consequently, the 1950’s gave birth to the following inventions, findings and developments: Diet Soda. Microwave Ovens. Automatic doors. Velcro. The Fender Guitar. Solar Cells. Tetracycline. Polyvinylidene Chloride. Neutrino’s are discovered and anti-Protons detected. Fortran. Modems. Laser. Integrated circuits. Stereophonic recordings. Atomic energy was used to create Electricity! Earth was coming of age.

So the Moroff and his motley crew time-jumped forward to the year 2016, peeped down at us … and left us all alone. For some reason the Moroff wanted to stay away from the White House. Something about knowing the current guy-in-office rather intimately. They weren’t coming back soon.

[…]

The last human had died, and very soon after a dozen cats ate their last meal before returning to the surface.

1000 Years On…

Earth was a good planet. It had so much potential, but it was now gone. Every Atari museum, every archeological dig, every great tshirt was gone. The buildings had finally succumbed and crumbled down to the floors of jungles entwined across the planet.

The mutated livestock had eaten themselves out of existence also. But the bugs were returning. The earth was going full cycle.

The only animal that seemed to survive were feline, ferocious, and running out of food.

5,000 Years On…

Nothing organic remains on the planet. Another ice-age had happened after a nuclear-powered submarine sunk deep below the north-pole. It initially imploded, but the force of air managed to reach the surface … and the cyclonic winds carried the dust down across many green lands, dropping onto unsuspecting whiskered creatures and vines traversing the hills and valleys.

20161112_115141The resulting mutant now survived on bug-lavae, ice-water and corralled bugs. The feline family were growing smarter, developing knees and thumbs out of necessity to find food … but that took a backward step for a while. Returned to a worm like back end, but still a teeth-filled mouth, it wailed louder than the winds as it sought new creatures with which to ‘connect’.

10,000 Years On…

The Moroff-starship dropped to the jungle unexpectedly. Their power-supply had depleted after attempting several times to enter the M-class Planet’s atmosphere. Cyclonic lightning storms filled the upper atmosphere. HoloComD calculations determined a way to use the lightning to keep their power-supply whilst they swung around the storm. The white streaks of electric light arced away from the storm, enabling their ship to direct-line to a specific spot on the planet’s surface successfully.

[…]

Backpack and rifle at hand, the Moroff stepped down into the bog.

“Farg. Still nothing here at all…” he muttered, stopping mid sentence as a tall beautiful feline stepped out from behind a tree and waggled one leg as she leaned hesitantly onto a tree. The Moroff stared transfixed … as another dozen felines stepped out from behind the trees, wielding primitive yet bloodied spears. White-eyed, they moved toward the Moroff, who was now petrified.

1 Parsec Later…

“So, you are the descendants of the infamous David Simmer II??”

“So it appears.”

“Farg. So Old Man Trump, that two-bit celebrity who couldn’t even use email, enabled this??”

“Who?”

“Good point. My great-great-grand… He has been dead for 16,003.26 years. Why the farg would we be still talking about that idiot?”

“Ok, why? …. Now, where is that spam you promised?”


Okay, okay, I took it a bit far. I actually let the story evolve out of nothing. This took me 90 minutes to ‘mutate’ from my fingers (read: to type) it. Hope it gives you a good laugh.

Leave Well Enough Alone

​This morning I posted a story on Facebook that I found buried on a friend’s timeline. I found it funny enough to republish on my timeline.

Cattle Guards

For those of you who have never traveled to the US South West, cattle guards are horizontal steel rails placed at fence openings, in dug-out places in the roads adjacent to highways (sometimes across highways), to prevent cattle from crossing over that area. For some reason the cattle will not step on the “guards,” probably because they fear getting their feet caught between the rails.

A few months ago, President Obama received and was reading a report that there were over 100,000 cattle guards in Colorado.

The Colorado ranchers had protested his proposed changes in grazing policies, so he ordered the Secretary of the Interior to fire half of the “cattle” guards immediately!

Before the Secretary of the Interior could respond and presumably try to straighten President Obama out on the matter, Vice-President Joe Biden, intervened with a request that “before any ‘cattle’ guards were fired, they be given six months of retraining.”

“Times are hard,” said Joe Biden, “it’s only fair to the cattle guards and their families be given six months of retraining!”

Like most stories posted to the internet, someone checked on snopes.com to determine if it true or not. Turns out it is fake!

Actually, I have a word to say about snopes: They take their unofficial job way too seriously. 
Many stories were written, I presume, purely as humor, as anecdote to tell at a large gathering to break the ice or to amuse the dignatories. 

No doubt people retold them, each time changing details to suit their audience.
Not all stories are written based on truth.

I sometimes wish they could leave amusing anecdotes alone, as legends, and as humor worth repeating.

Some jokes should remain jokes, and not become a snopes investigation.

What are your thoughts?

Back to Minimalism 

Ten years ago I began building my digital photography gear.

With a Canon 400 Rebel, I photographed most of Kangaroo Island effortlessly. But I had to have more more more. 

Within a few years I had attached a massive battery grip, acquired ELEVEN different lenses, and then my wife wanted the same camera. 

Suddenly new lenses were needed to capture the movement of bee wings (not kidding). So three amazing lenses were acquired.

But our budget changed: Children. We now have TWO beautiful blue-eyed boys who consume nearly every dollar. Yet each have been photographed 20x more than anything else!

So it is with some laughter that I show the current camera gear I take with me almost everywhere:

Body: Canon EOS m1 

Lenses: Canon 22mm STM f2 / Canon 40mm f2.8 / Canon 70-200mm f4

Mini flexi-leg tripod. About 10cm tall!

Memory (SD-Card): 1 x 8GB , 1 x 16GB 

Lens cleaner

How life changes! 

Yet this rig is perfect because of how little space it takes, plus how quick and easy it is to change lenses. 

With a decent monopod at-the-ready, I can capture a wide variety of images throughout the day – including vlog footage.

We’ve gone from too much and heavy gear to small and sophisticated without loosing the quality of image – without impacting on family time.

Jai can now say “High five Daddy!” And I can without worrying if I drop a camera. ;)

Funny Kitchen Utensils to Keep Children Happy

Wow, I haven’t truly blogged in oh-so-long … At least 3 months! 

I have determined why: Facebook, not all my web-finds will go to you anymore! Well, maybe some, but tonight I found some that need to be shared with the mummy/daddy audience of the WWW.

As my wife is soon to produce another human from inside herself, in late February 2015, I have researched what it means and takes to be an older parent. I keep forgetting I am over 40 years old. I have never acted a day over 20, and I will continue to stay young-at-heart! Despite my knees getting sorer, my shoulders aching every night after Mr2.3 walking on my back or throwing himself onto me with his adorable massive hugs, and my ribs getting sore from the laughter we have together, I don’t know what it is like to act my age.

Seriously though, I am closer to 50 … and thanks to IVF we were able to have our second child. Our first child is adorable, well mannered (Mr2.3 says ‘denk you’ without prompting!), smart (he may not be able to read, yet he loves his word books!), imaginative, creative, vocal with a wide vocabulary, yet all the expected aggression of a little boy wanting the world to understand, listen and do as he says! So overall, perfectly normal – as I expect the next one will also be.

I won’t say what age mummy/my lovely wife is (I want to live until my next birthday!), but she is a few years younger than me. Yet never has life been so wonderful, funny, fun, worth the effort and joyous for both of us. Did I say fun? Kids are much more fun than the cynics and non-breeders say it is. Older parents do NOT deserve the bad press or genetic problems of their offspring that is often assumed.

Helicopter Cake

Talking children, it turns out Mr2.3 loves being in the kitchen with Mum. As he gets taller he can reach further – particularly onto the bench space normally reserved for cutting food for dinner. So I have decided that finding ways for him to help is either going to make the time worthwhile, or get him out of the kitchen until he is of age to be a kitchen slave. Kidding. Or am I? Anyhow, here are a few kitchen tools that kids will surely enjoy using:

1a. I have a few friends whose eyes are gonna explode at this contraption. Yet it has merit. I am so sick of finding half-eaten mashed banana in the boy’s day bag or childcare bag. The Banana Bunker solves all issues !
1b. Heck, why not slice the banana before he leaves the house!

2. All boys love a gadget that sprays or shoots his food. If he ain’t flinging it with his hands, he is catapulting it with his food. So this Condiment-Gun will help aim the product in the right direction . Some of it might even hit the correct target. And I don’t mean mum’s hair!

3. Don’t you love it when you are chopping lettuce and you hear this tiny voice say “Me do!” This should make it fun, a tad silly, yet entertaining. Maybe some lettuce might get chopped too! So a karate-chopping plastic-hand in the hands of a under-10-year-old could only be fun. Not that I condone hitting kids at all, but I can see a substitute use for this. A soft paddle to a well-padded posterior is sometimes a handy way to remind a child that NO means NO.

4. Our little dude loves helping making cakes. Particuarlly chocolate cake. More often he holds onto the handle of the electric mixer whilst mummy actually does the work. I am thinking this whisker with King-Kong trapped behind the bars from http://www.perpetualkid.com might get him involved a tad more. Even if it means a little mixture is flung around the room. Hmmmm… now I am thinking this is not a good idea!

5. Mum, why don’t we just get cutting boards that look like the mess that Mr2.3 just made on the kitchen bench?

6. Oh wow, no more spilt pancake batter on the kitchen and dining floor. Nor in the patio, beneath the BBQ, nor even down the hallway. Wouldn’t that be ever so nice!

7. Anything from Fred and Friends will appeal to both Dad and Mr2.3.

8. Ooooh, we need to start baking cookies soon! Forget Christmas and Birthdays, just to have available anytime! I want them chess pieces , racing track and cars , wild animals and jigsaw puzzles shaped … wait, I mean Mr2.3 wants them. Okay, I admit it. I want the popsicle cookies.

Plastic, so Fantastic!

9. Extra: Buying these battery salt-n-pepper shakers for my mother in law’s massive collection.

10. Okay, something for the fridge: The Quick Grip Note Refrigerator Organizer . I have been talking about this idea for many years!

11. And because I am dad, I want the Tactical Chef Apron . Just so I can look like I cook in the house. I get to keep food moving on the metal cook thingy in the back yard.

This should be enough to see the lad through to his double-digit years. And keep me fed handsomely with scrumptious delights. Kids. Who wouldn’t have them?

All Links Lead to Facebook

I follow a lot of interesting links on the interwebz each night. I am a prolific reader, I read prolifically. Is anyone read prolificly? But I digress…

A few nights back I stumbled onto Chris Harding‘s series,We the Robots . Hilarity ensued. That two word sentence is so cliched. Again, I digress…

"Whatchoo Lookin' At?"

Seems ‘We The Robots’ was a short period in his eclectic ‘toon time. Two years exactly, give or take a life time. A robot’s life can be long or short, depending on the country of birth. I like to digress.

So I checked out where Chris is now. Wasn’t difficult. Google is a search engine. I searched for him. Chris Harding. Animation. Here he is .

Then I went back to We The Robots. There is a link on his homepage to Chris’s / Chrises / Chrises’ / his Facebook page . hashtag head smack.

But the story doesn’t end there. (How many times have we heard THAT line? No, not the next one, the one prior to the one before this one!)

Seems Chris has an agent. Go read his awesome Contact page. Chris really his a funny guy. And his agent has a site filled with other a.ma.a.z.i.n.g artists .

Techtronics of Rex the RobotAnd his agent has links to sales teams, some live, some links dead. Nearly everyone of them are also on Facebook.

WHO ISN’T ON FACEBOOK?! Oh, yeah, my lovely coffee maker at Kikko’s on Pirie Street . Aha, free plug. I like my coffee, and I really like when it is the perfect breakfast. Much digression. And digestion. Coffee is good for that.

That’s it. More again. Another time. I make no promises I will post again tomorrow. I do that too often and don’t, so now I say I post irregularly – which means it is surprise to even me when I do. With surely more digression.