Friday, March 31, 2017

old photo #8

Blake rappels - 18th April 2013 - Kangaroo Point cliffs, Brisbane.

I'm a sucker for bold, and simple. You can't get much closer to bold and simple than a B+W silhouette.

Nikon D3100+18-200VRII(@46mm), f8 for 1/640sec ISO 800

Thursday, March 30, 2017

speed recap #11

coffee-week concludes with a photo of one of the tastiest espressos that I have managed to pull from my admittedly-humble equipment...

...and a collage of the next attempt; which, while also quite nice, was not as good.

back to less coffee-related stuff tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

here's a link #11

all you could ever need to know about coffee making...

...and then way, way more.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

here's a link #10

coffee-week continues with a link to the single biggest improvement you can make in your coffee preparations... keep it super-fresh and roast your own green-beans using an old popcorn popper...

roast your own

Not to say that every other step isn't important, but the biggest improvement in taste will come from freshly roasted, quality coffee.

A constant supply of high quality roasted coffee can be quite expensive, and since I live in a semi-rural area (quite a distance from any reputable roasters), it actually makes more sense to do it yourself.

It'll take some time to get 'right' (in fact you'll likely never match the taste of a commercial roaster without diving down the rabbit hole into professional roasting machinery), but for near enough to free, you really can't afford to not try

alternate method
"dog-bowl" method (when you're looking for advice on roasting your own coffee, you look for good advice, not good website design)

Monday, March 27, 2017

here's a link #9 continues with the gadget that started me down the rabbit-hole.

If you are in anyway interested in making a good cup of coffee, upgrading from a keurig, or just looking for a good travel kit - give this $30 gadget a try.  Just make sure you remember that the 'most' important part of good coffee... is "good" (ie: freshly roasted) coffee!


Sunday, March 26, 2017

here's a link #8

No matter which way you choose to brew, coffee will always taste better when extracted from more uniform particle sizes.

You get better consistency from a grinder with more precise tolerances.

Like this massive behemoth of overkill!

my grinder...

Double the size of any electrified grinder in the same price range. It takes a little time to grind (30-ish revolutions), but that's not really much slower than going through the procedure with an electric one... Oh, and it's still small enough to put away after making a coffee, so it doesn't steal a lot of counter space...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

here's a link #7

espresso on the cheap :)

Coffee-week continues, with the elusive espresso.

Ordinarily you would need to drop at least a couple of grand on a machine capable of producing the pressure to make a real espresso (and while those little pre-pressurised portafilters may make something that approximates espresso, this thing uses full-size 58mm group head parts to give you a better than coffee-shop taste, while at home, or on the road)

I have the espresso forge version 2.0 and it works amazingly well; but as is always the case, you need a very high quality grinder and meticulous portafilter prep (a well fitting tamper) to make it all work.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

old photo #7

Skating along the Stanley Park seawall - 10th June 2013 - Vancouver, BC

I've always loved that you can give the impression of movement with a slower shutter.
Cradling the camera inches above the ground while skating fast, it took a few passes by the stencil on the path to get what I was looking for.

Nikon D7000 + 18-200mmVRII zoom@22mm, 1/30sec, f22, ISO 100

Monday, March 20, 2017

old photo #6

Lions Gate Bridge - 1st May 2011 - looking down at a cyclist on the seawall, Vancouver BC

This is one of my all time favourite photos - it could be because of the way that the HDR processing makes the light glow, or just my luck in timing the red-jacketed bicyclist's position.

Whatever it is, I love it.

Nikon D3100+18-200VRII (@130mm), f5.6 for 1/400sec ISO 400

Sunday, March 19, 2017

positivity #4

Positivity #4

Today's positivity post will focus on just how awesome random connectivity is in the year 2017.

If you want to make a well-formed opinion on something, you need first hand experience, or at the very least, second hand knowledge.

In the past, to get someones second-hand knowledge; you would need to know, and have a reliable way of getting in contact with them.

Before air travel, it was only the super-adventurous that went places. You lived vicariously through the written recounting of their experiences. Usually in a book, some periodical (TIME/National Geographic/etc), or the newspaper.

Various wars waged across the world brought a lot of people to far-flung places; and many people traveled around afterwards for re-settlement, but let's not pretend that these were always happy times.

This is a topic for another day, but I believe that we'll never see another 'world-war' due to the 'connected-ness" of the modern world (there certainly won't be a repeat of the attempts to dehumanise a future enemy) it's hard to believe propaganda when you have a friend in the country in question...

Post WWII - it was easier to travel, but more expensive.

Sure - you could pick up a telephone, and call someone on the other side of the world - but who do you call?

Films (and eventually Television) gave a 'window' into the far-off places of the world - but basic storytelling dictates that there's going to be a lot of embellishment to make it exciting.

I contend that it's the one-two punch of "mobile devices" and the "internet" that has made the world today an almost completely connected entity.

You can hold in your hand, a real-time 'window' to the other side of the globe (video-call someone, it's spectacular to think about).

On the topic of travel

Group-sourcing information has now completely replaced the idea of a travel agent's opinion. (if people have indeed ever used one)

These days it's more likely that you've looked at online reviews; whether directly involved with the topic of your search (resorts' Facebook page), or via some aggregate site (TripAdvisor etc...)

Case in point,

Last night Lisa received a notification on her phone that someone had 'commented' on her review of our recent vacation.

This comment was phrased as a question, which Lisa was able to reply to from the comfort of her couch via the micro-computer in her hand.

Let's just think about that part for a second. A random person who had an interest in going somewhere, read someone else's opinion online, was then able to ask a question, with reasonable hope of a reply...

...and it all happened within minutes.

There was hope of a result, and a connection made because of the awesomeness of this technology.

When the question was answered - there was a decent expectation that the information was an unbiased, direct, second-hand experience.

No middle-man with questionable motives *(gotta sell those rooms that are empty), just a fellow traveller recounting their experiences.

It's almost like everyone is a pioneering "turn-of-the-century" explorer.

What an amazing time to be alive.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

here's a link #4

Academy awards 2017, and the future...

added bonus - follow the first link the article for more oscars goodness...

(reprinted here = nytimes)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

old photo #5

B - 29th October 2005.

Leon, Blake and I hit the city for a photo-walk (all three of us were using 'new' DSLR's), and I managed to snap this shot of Blake as he was on a lower walkway.

I just loved the texture of the background, and found it even better in black and white.

Captured with the trusty old Nikon D50, at 300mm (kit zoom) at f5.6 for 1/350 sec, ISO 200

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

T.F.T.W. #2

I have a lot of thoughts bouncing around in my head, and one of the most common ones that keeps floating to the front is - how people form their opinions of each other.

There's a lot of miscommunication and vitriol in the world, and life would be a whole lot easier if everyone was able to just understand each other's point of view without judgment or critique.

But we don't have a magical way of understanding someone else's viewpoint, and without getting into a deep and meaningful conversation over a nice steaming cup of tea, there's no better way of forming an opinion of someone than paying attention to what they actually 'do' in any given situation.

It's for this reason, that any action (or inaction) you take in life needs to be thought of as telegraphing your opinions to the world.

If you say you'll do something, then fail to follow through; your intentions might have been good, but you still failed to do the thing that you said you would...

There is of course, the complication of people hiding their true feelings by doing things that 'appear' to be good, in essence wearing a mask *(giving to a charity they dislike because they believe that it will make them appear better to their neighbours) - but for the moment let's assume that all people are truthful in their intent.

One could also make an argument that it doesn't matter if someone does something good for selfish reasons, they still 'did' the good thing...

I guess what I'm circling around is the idea that "you are what you do."

People can only view 'you' as a result of your actions, so be thoughtful in what you do.

Got something that you're passionate about? Then pursue it.
Dislike that politician spreading misinformation and hatred? Then by all means, protest!
(at the same time, don't be shocked when someone who opposes your viewpoint is just as vocal and passionate as you are)

Life is too short to be false with your intentions. So speak your truth, and open your ears to others.

Do you have any thoughts on how people make up their opinions of others? Are there better ways of judging people's intention that using their actions? Do you find that there are circumstances where using a mask is the safer/smarter/better option?

Let me know your thoughts on the topic of: you are what you do. :)

*P.S.> there should be a little disclaimer here at the end of each of the TFTW posts - none of these ponderings are based on anything that's happened recently to me or anyone I know. They're just things that bubble around in my head - and I'm interested in others thoughts on them. Please treat them as intended; abstract discussions about the bigger thoughts of life in general.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

new photo #5

If I could sum up our trip in one photo...

Lisa on our deck, with a rainbow!
Taken with the Sony a6000+Rokinon 12mm combo, f8.0 @ 1/200sec, ISO 100

Saturday, March 11, 2017

positivity #3


Why is it that some people are joyful and calm, and others so filled with rage and hate?

I've only been back home for 3 days and there is a already a massive difference in people's attitudes and happiness; is it the weather?

There was a woman at the checkout of the local grocery store yesterday. Filled with anger and pain, she was more than happy to share it with the world. I truly hope that the cause of her anger wasn't just the cashier failing to stop the conveyor belt in time with her unspoken rules... If that 'is' the reason for her outburst at a minimum-wage-teenager, then she definitely needs more than a holiday.

It's such a contrast with where my mind still is.

The people are blissfully happy in Tahiti. It may come from minimal cares, shifted priorities, easily fulfilled desires...

...It could also be that they are frequently dealing with people that are 'on holiday' with only the occasional asshole sprinkled in for variety.

Holidays are a marvellous thing. You are able to pack away your cares and worries (for a small time) - and hopefully see a new part of the world that you're not knowledgable about (or escape to somewhere that you feel joyful). If you remain open and inquisitive - your life can be enriched by the sharing of experiences, foods, and customs. It's an amazing thing.

Some people are able to maintain this holiday attitude throughout their regular lives - and to those people I'd like to give a tip of my hat, as they have truly figured out life, and are living it to it's fullest.

There will always be people that are unable to see the forest for the trees, unhappily focusing on the minutia of their leaden lives and ruining the experience for those around them.

But if I could distill my life goals into something simple and easily digestible - it'd be to live a life seeking joy and sharing experiences with those who also seek joy.

I'd like to give thanks for being able to achieve that so far.

(it means thank you)

Friday, March 10, 2017

old photo #4

On-set, 'Bloody Footy' short film - 31st June 2004.

Directed by Dean Chircop
Sound mixer Basil Krivoroutchko

This was a fairly involved setup (visually at least) with a 'wire-rig' to lift the kid into the air as he challenged some AFL players for the ball during a dream sequence.

As it was M.O.S., Basil gave me the ok to scout-out a nice photo op.

It was the first time I'd ever been in the 'Gabba' (stadium) and pretty exciting to be hanging out on the field.

Captured on a Pentax Optio S4 point and shoot at 1/30 sec f3.1 ISO 100

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

speed recap #10

As we spend yet another day flying home, Internet will most likely be spotty, so here are some photos from the final two days. In no particular order...


Sadly I wasn't able to nab a photo of the Le Meridian as we departed, this is the resort next door (the intercontinental). While they might all offer the "same experience", I've gotta say - we picked the best of the best. The Overwater bungalows encircled a main swimming area with a shallow, calm, sandy floor. The rooms were comfy and luxurious, without feeling like it was too ritzy to actually use. The best part however, was a lack of snooty guests, and amazingly friendly service. If you ever look to take the once in a lifetime trip - consider room 331 (amazing view) of the Le Meridian resort, Bora Bora.

What became our 'regular' table at the restaurant (great position to see the fishes off the deck in the lagoon)

Layover in L.A.

See you soon Nova Scotia, we're coming home.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

new photo #4

This is one of my favourite photos from the whole trip, and it was shot on an iPhone 5s! In panorama mode (other details will have to wait till I'm about able to read the metadata)

Monday, March 06, 2017

speed recap #9

The good thing about rain, is that you often get rainbows when it stops ;)
The rest of days 5 and 6 will now be recounted via photography.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

speed recap #8

First day with some actual rain.
Weather forecasts have been warning us for weeks that there will be "thunderstorms" each and every day that we're here, but the first 3 days have been sun and awesomeness, (with the occasional 3 minute shower)
So what does one do in a paradise like this when it's raining?
Drink, then go for a swim in the rain :)
(Not us, but you get the picture)
Then, when it gets really heavy, you head back to the bungalow and have a shower before eating some snacks over the glass-bottomed-floor
I love it here.
see you all soon