New Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f4 USM

Way back in 2012 I was saying I wanted this lens. Five years on, I now need the lens. I should have purchased it when I could afford it!

With my photography business making a come back after many years pushed to one side, this lens would be a blessing.

Whilst I have many half-decent lenses, yet the 24-70mm would and could replace them all! So I will sell a few to help fund this important purchase.

How can you help? Three ways spring to mind:

Well, at least watch out for my lens sales on Facebook – and then see my photography business grow again!

Postal address: PO Box 950 Kingscote South Australia 5223

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GO BEYOND YOUR LIMITS! (10 Years on Youtube)

Of all the YouTube channels I subscribe to, there is only one that I return to over and over again – Casey Neistat.

A recent vlog is now watched repeatedly. This one is a gentle yet constant reminder what I want to achieve on my own channel. I have watched it 5 times. It blows my mind. Which is it? Wait, it will be the last video I show in this list.

I have had a Youtube channel since 2007 – again, another 10 years with one channel – yet it’s not the longest! I digress. Back on track…

MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HISTORY

For the longest time I did almost nothing on YouTube. I remember saying to someone in 2008“It’s just a fad, it won’t last.” Oh dear, how wrong was I! Mostly I liked and categorized videos, probably like a lot of people did. I had a U2 collection, plus some series of cartoons that intrigued me. But YouTube kept changing the privacy on stuff, and then deleted channels that somehow violated their terms – yet nobody could see why.

In early 2012, whilst working on a Government ITC Help Desk, I worked with a young guy who said “Instead of playing PS/Xbox/Wii games, I just watch their YouTube channels – it’s cheaper!” Within a month I was hooked on a few youtube gamer channels whose style was consistent, crazy-funny, and catching worldwide attention. You may know who I mean.

Late 2015, thanks to a friend on Facebook, I was advised to check out Casey Neistat Apple batteries vlog . Then he started vlogging daily. Vlogging became a word.

Early 2016 I revamped my YouTube channel, removing all the Liked videos and vlogs, and uploaded a dozen videos shot by my wife – using them to show off her honey business on Kangaroo Island, planning to use them on our GoFundMe page. The funding didn’t pan out as imagined, so that also needs a revamp! Yet I still love the bee vlogs I created…

Then I started vlogging our weekly visits to Cleland Wildlife Park … so all our Australian-Zoo visits also got uploaded!

In mid 2016, after a very long hiatus being the Dead Reds Wine Group photographer, I decided to vlog the night’s drinking – and everyone who went appreciated it. Actually, vlogging made it all the more fun – people spoke to their camera!

I found finances to buy a very decent movie editor program: Movavi. Windows Movie Maker was insufficient! Movavi has been great for creating eclectic music to go over wind-filled footage, converting and compressing, then uploading to YouTube without any problems.

Then in July 2016, I twisted my right knee so much that my vlogging took a backseat until I recovered sufficiently to get around without pain. I still shot a lot, but I was getting so tired from the exercise needed that tonnes of footage sits incomplete.

In early 2017 we moved to Kangaroo Island. Within a month I uploaded a short vlog that received 200 views in a few days – which blew my mind and reminded me of my journey. I was back on track!

Then Casey added his “DO WHAT YOU CAN’T” vlog. Wow. It was like a smack in the face for me.

It brings me back to his channel once a week to remind myself of what I am aiming to achieve.
Yet I say it is probably not the best mantra.

I prefer to say “GO BEYOND YOUR LIMITS”.

It’s true, a lot of people set limits on their goals, consequently limiting their potential. Ashamed to say I have done the same, and possibly still do on some issues.

Some people have budgetary constraints, some have fear of success or failure limits, and many put limits on themselves because they don’t believe in their ability – even though they have never had a go!

Whenever I think I have limits, I imagine living in a 3rd-world country where there is no money, life is all hand-outs from foreign aid, and living is day-to-day. You and I have a far better life than that: We have a roof over our head, a bed each night, and we know where your next meal is coming from – and it’s three times a day!

So what is your limit? Probably next to nothing by comparison!
I am not going to lie: When I had money, I bought things that I knew I would utilise and would last a long time. Good camera gear, particularly the accessories. What I didn’t forsee is how I would use them.

The planets have recently realigned for me.
Expect more vlogs over the next few months.
What will they be about now? Well, I have to thank my Radio show for revitalizing my self-confidence, particularly my speaking and writing skills. So I have a few ideas in mind. Now to create them with almost no budget!

Let’s see what I do next (week)….

The Basic Updates to HTML over the last 15 Years

First let me say that I STILL design my sites using CSS elements and HTML tags and attributes to give my websites improved function and form. I won’t deny that sometimes they are not pretty – but I design to suit my needs now, not for anyone else.

Whilst many other designers are now using purchased templates, I enjoy writing the background code. I enjoy that little yippee-moment when the CSS works.

I remember the first time I built a sprite based header navigation in blogger.com way back in 2004! Because blogger enabled users to modify the HTML and CSS, I spent many an evening tinkering, learning, applying, reapplying, until I had a site I liked. It was also at that time that I started creating graphics for sprites.

This morning I wanted to write an explanation of what I have enjoyed over the last 15 years of coding CSS, yet felt I couldn’t easily put it into words. Thankfully I found Casadaro Shearrod’s simplified yet succinct list displaying the basic differences/upgrades of HTML over the last 20 years.

HTML 1 – linked documents
HTML 2 – linked documents with stylized text and tables.
HTML 3 – more of 1 and 2 with some Browser specific features.
HTML 4 – a re-evaluation of 3 to removes some clutter that arrived in 2 and 3.
HTML 5 – pretty much the same as 1 with the ability to specify document structures and multimedia element.

His last line below is the #1  reason I stopped designing for others. 

Knowing HTML5 in practice means we know HTML and CSS. We can do what used to be done with HTML 1,2, and 3, but we can do those things more effectively, with greater efficiency, and on a larger scale. This is what gave birth to the Web application and server side programing and scripting but, that’s a whole different talk.

HTML and CSS are not difficult to learn, but it is time consuming to both unlearn and learn as updates occur. I chose to stop. I achieved what I set out to do, so was able to tick it off my bucket list of achievements, then move onto new ventures.

And that is where I choose to end this article. Does this mean I no longer code? Are you kidding?! Reading some of the URL‘s linked above gets me fired up and interested again … so I am already pondering my website revamp!

Tool Board

Quotes from What are the differences among HTML2.x HTML3.x and HTML4.x?, written 7.Nov.2014 by Casadaro Shearrod.

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Farmers are Entrepreneurs

Somehow I stumbled upon Penelope Trunk’s website this morning. Very quickly I read this quote below – which reminded of conversations I have had recently – so I had to share it!

Farming is changing a lot. It’s a lot like what you say about how corporations won’t take care of you and you have to take care of yourself.

… by Penelope’s farmer

Yes, I will most likely become a farmer within the next 12 months. It will mean moving our family to Kangaroo Island; Bees will be our main focus, plus we plan to keep goats, chickens, geese, vegetables, and a dog. My wife and our kids will move over first, I will follow them after I complete a few job contracts here in Adelaide. Many factors to consider first before this is all finalized. But it will happen.

Smoking the BeesThen I found this comment on the article that says exactly why farmers are entrepreneurs. So I have adapted the comment text to best fit our situation:

It’s true: Beekeeper farmers are entrepreneurs and marketing gurus.
We have to be: With family farm’s nearing extinction due to government intervention, middleman markups and overall high economic issues, they have to find a way to make their money at a grassroots level.
Many farmers combat this by creating their own product or restricting their product range. Rather than selling their product to international and impersonal conglomerates, now make their own boutique or unique products – then sell them to niche markets and a smaller customer base.
What’s amazing about entrepreneurial farmers is they manage to create a means of carrying on a family-owned business. By creating high-quality premium products – local products that defy corporate enterprise – they will stand out in their local community. Better yet, they often preserve their land, keeping the environment pristine and natural, instead of selling it off to real-estate developers.

Penelope also says exactly why I look forward to being a farmer after twenty five years of Adelaide city life.

That felt good to tell you all. May the future also be entrepreneurial for you!

Ten Architecture Ideas

It’s been a very long evening (and now early morning) searching for ideas to utilise in our next home. More about the new house later; For now, enjoy these ten quirky houses or architectural concepts:

1. Terraced onto three levels, Atolan House is located on the eastern seaboard of Taiwan, overlooking the Pacific Ocean..

2. Via Sauvagia is a residential development project of contemporary mountain condominium chalets nestled along gentle slopes.

3. Modern architecture intersects with traditional building techniques; there is a concrete structure covered almost entirely in wood. The architects have achieved a wonderful combination and equilibrium between structure, function and design. Concrete takes the shape of the letter “s” to create a protective shell for the house. Wood is not there just for design but also to improve insulation and inside comfort as well, considering that concrete is not a very esthetic material..

4. Naturehumaine chose to eschew the right angles … instead … a sloping roofline on two edges of the home … peaking at one corner and sinking to a single story at each end. This allows two distinct levels of living space, while also keeping in mind that a minimal outward appearance fits best in a natural environment.

5. The infamous Sheats-Goldstein Residence … juts out in concrete triangles and clear glass rhombuses over a panoramic view … It features all the accoutrements of a lifelong bachelor pad: TV screens come out of ceilings, portholes in the pool look into his bedroom, parts of the roof retract to reveal a private jungle planted around the manse.

6. Located south of San Francisco, The Atherton house sits on an internal suburban flag lot … The design solution breaks the program into four buildings – main house, study, pool house and garage … Large sliding glass doors open out to the pond and terrace.

7. Located above San Francisco, The Cloverdale sits on a steep south slope overlooking the valley below. Stands of mature oaks and rock outcroppings frame the existing pool and house site … a 2150 square foot house that opens out to the land and take advantage of the expansive views and south facing exposure … the porch in the body of the house allows it to double as an entry to the guest bedrooms, reducing the need for circulation and the overall footprint of the house … All of the interior and exterior wood paneling, trim and decking was milled down from the logs of the original kit house on the property.

8. Jack’s House has lines, angles and interior fittings that look like they came straight out of our copious graph-paper designs. Seeing our thoughts appear in photographs is a sigh of relief that anything is actually possible.

9. The Box House is a basic cabin in the Australian bush, south of Sydney. The small cabin resembles a timber barn built with a modernist cube shape …

10. House Zilvar is a small wooden house with an unusual shape. The home’s distinctive appearance is the result of what is essentially a shed roof that twists and folds along the length of the house, changing the direction of slope from one end to the other.

More about our new home? Soon, I promise.

Birth #2 – Our Second Son

A child was born yesterday. Our second son. I wasn’t able to be in surgery for the birth of our first child, so I took the opportunity this time to capture images of everything permitted in the surgical theatre.

Here are the few photos I am permitted to show of the experience.

HOLDING
Hands are wondrous, even covered in latex. These are the anesthetist nurse’s, holding my wife’s hands. I found the creases in the surgical gloves a detail worth capturing.
Holding

INJECT
Another glove shot, this time with a needle. The nurse informed me their was a bubble in the drip, this was the easiest way to manage it.
Inject

TOOLS
I aimed my camera over my shoulder and pulled the trigger … capturing the surgeons tools, waiting for use. They are not nearly as macabre as movies make them out to be.
Tools

FULLY EQUIPPED
I am sure it all did something important, I just have no idea what.
Fully Equiped

PRE-CRIB
Upon removal from mother, babies are placed here for all their tests and jabs. The bed is small yet warm and ample space for several nurses to work.
Pre-Crib

UNDERNEATH
My Canon EOS M will fire randomly in a language-filled room. This was one of the shots captured as I held my camera in my lap.
Underneath

DUTCH
Clogs at the angle. This was one of a few shots randomly taken by my Canon EOS M whilst I held it at my side.
Dutch

BALL JOINT
Each arm of mother is supported by these simple clamp systems attached to the gurney. All I could think was “Oh, that would make a great monopod joint!”
Ball Joint

CLOGS in monochrome
Clogs

That is all. My wife and I choose not to show photos of our children in an open-internet environment, so this is all you will see. Family excepted.

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Stop, It’s Travel Time!

We want to travel. Alex Maccaw has succinctly said what is in my head:

…Ultimately that list ended up as:

South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, NYC, SF, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
… See as much as possible in that one year, and then revisit places properly in the future. If you don’t have as much time, I’d recommend focusing on an area, perhaps Asia.
For example, for my next trip I’m planning to:
Start in Beijing. Take the train to Tibet. Go down to Nepal. Travel overland to India. Make my way down to Mumbai. Fly to South East Asia and travel through northern Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.

I have no idea how people simply afford to get up and do this. This would take years of saving and planning for us.

Maybe when the little boy is a few years older at which point he can appreciate it all. Currently we are planning to be in England in four years time for his honorary grandfather’s birthday.