Thursday, January 27, 2005

My first Moon shots

Did my first moon shots with Joey's EF 75-300mm f 4-5.6 at 300mm. Played around with the exposure settings for a while and got the correct after 3 shots or so. One very noticable problem is that the image captured doesn't seems as sharp as those posted by other people.

Next day, decided to check with daniel to borrow his EF 400mm f/5.6L USM with a Extender EF 1.4X. On that night, upon setting up my equipments n stuff, I tried to Manual Focus via the viewfinder and *Woosh* I was totally surprise to see the sharpness difference already... no doubt it is canon's Top of the range L Series Prime lenses... Took a few shots and add in the 1.4x TC moments later. I was actually expecting to see slight image degration with the TC, but No~!... the TC brought the moon closer, but MF is still tac sharp. Took a few more shots and am totally pursuaded that THIS L lens is really good ( or Joey's 75-300 is really bad ).

Below are some shots taken. All with Contrast and Brightness adjusted in camera for + 2 stops, and Level and curve adjusted and cropped in Photoshops.
Canon EOS 300D + EF 75-300mm f 4-5.6 mounted on an Acratech Ultimate ballhead on a Gitzo CF Tripod 1228

Image not sharp at all
Canon EOS 300D + EF 400mm f/5.6L USM mounted on an Acratech Ultimate ballhead on a Gitzo CF Tripod 1228

I can actually see the craters on the moon even using manual focus, no doubt one of the sharpest and cheapest Super Tele canon has.
Canon EOS 300D + EF 400mm f/5.6L USM + Extender EF 1.4X mounted on an Acratech Ultimate ballhead on a Gitzo CF Tripod 1228

With a 1.4x teleconverter mounted, the image is as sharp, no much image degration. It brought the moon much closer and make manual focus easier.
Canon EOS 300D + EF 400mm f/5.6L USM + Extender EF 1.4X mounted on an Acratech Ultimate ballhead on a Gitzo CF Tripod 1228

Same equipment, different exposure settings, but mostly around 1/400sec + F/8, plus minus 1/2 a stop in both shutter and appeture.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Quote of the day...

Opportunities do not come with their values stamped upon them. Every one must be challenged. A day dawns, quite like other days; in it, a single hour comes, quite like other hours; but in that day and in that hour the chance of a lifetime faces us.

Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901) Clergyman

You have to be in the right place at the right time, but when it comes, you better have something on the ball.

Groucho Marx (1890-1977) Comedian

Monday, January 24, 2005

Hong Kong Trip

Arrival. 4 hours flight from Singapore. Excited, just can't wait to get to the city. Just ozzing around the airport looking for more information and where to go. Weather wasn't that cold, and was just hovering around a mere of 16 degrees celcus plus minus.
Some shots taken from the bus on the way to the city. To the right is one of HK's Government Flat, with at least 30+ floors... Just sorta make me wander how would it be like staying so high ups.
Nathan Road and Sai Yong Choi Street, both as Crowded as the Chinatown or Orchard Road in Singapore, Lotsa people doing their last minute shopping, many lingering around the city awaiting for the 31st Dec Countdown. Things around here are cheap, but hei they dun call HK shopping heaven for nothing...

Was pretty on a rush locating the few Camera shops with the address I've got. Manage to locate Wing Sheng, one of the reputable cam shops around, but they dun carry Gitzos'. Did some more walking and found Mang Sheng... I was lingering inside Mang Sheng checking out their cam stuff while my Gf went shopping in Espirit diagonally opposite. Got my Gitzo 1228 in Mang Sheng finally... but didn't get the use it cos can't find the appropriate ballhead for it... xien.
Yen, my Girlfriend. Most of my shots taken in HK have a composition of her. HK's a great place for a couple traveling free and easy. I'll say, there are things just for both of use to look around. Had a really enjoyable time together this trip :P
These pictures were taken on Nathan Road. Did I mention that the HK gov actually close down the whole stretch of Nathan Rd for New Years Eves?... I guess they HAVE to do it cos the crowds is so humongous that normal pedestrial path won't take the load. But besides the crowd, it is not squeezey at all, pretty unlike christmas in singapore where everyone crowd around orchard road pedestrial path and u can barely get from Point A to Point B.

Far Left: Me, taken by my gf, Result of Handshake. Point is, DSLR is not suitable for girls with weak hands... Left: my gf.
Crowds on Nathan Rd. Pretty interesting don't you think? if the entire nation of HK went on riot against china for communism, nay, don't think tat's what china wannna go, that's why you see this new One-Country-Two-System facade going on now... HK is still pretty much HK after 1997, thou many places start accepting RMB, some even provide 1:1 exchange against HKD...
Pic 1: A Shopping center with all the porshey brands. Nope didn't went it cos recon if even they offer a 50% discount on the goods, I won't be able to afford it. It's a pretty striking building along the way from Nathan Rd to Starlight Harbour

Pic 2: Did you English Teacher never teach you don't translate directly?...lolx
After dinner, we recon we could take a walk to the harbour, so we walk and walk and walk along nathan road, total distance is approx to 4 MRT Stops. My Legs were so sour.

Pic 1: Tired. Resting in the Middle of the road in the blistering cold. We are at Starlight Harbour, didn't manage to get in cos of the crowd, thou did get a glimps of the magnificient Skyscrapers in HK Island from there.

Pic 2: The Crowds from Nathan Rd is still amazing... and it's all flowing towards Starlight Harbour... many were expecting fireworks... but aparently fireworks was called off to mourn for the tsunami victims. No Complaints, and I silently pray for them...
Day 2, Didn't manage to get to Starlight harbour yesterday so that's what we did the second day... had a good view of HK island. The Crowds around there are still a lot, lotsa tour bus parked beside the road.

Pic 1: I had the Skyscrapers of HK Island behind me, shot taken on starlight harbour.

Pic 2: My Gf, standing in front of the Science Center just next to starlight harbour.
Same location: Starlight Harbour.

Pic 1: Skyscraper from HK Island with the evening sun reflecting from the buildings. Damn I forgot to bring my CPL... else would have gotten a much better shots...

Pic 2: Me and me gf, Yen, same place. pic taken by another photographer. I saw tat guy using a SLR also, therefore rekon he can handle it. The result: Good...
The Clock Tower next to the Starlight Harbour and Starlight Pathway...
Left and Far Left: Statue on Starlight Pathway. Seems to symbolize something related to the movie/entertainment industry. It have the same style as the statue for the grammy, thou the post is different...

Top Left and Top Far Left: Silhouette. Skyscrapers from HK Island casting their shadows longer and longer as the sun sets lower and lower.

Top: My gf against the silhouetted skyscrapers.
We took the ferry to central from Staylight harbour. The fare: approx SGD$2. Pretty old type of ferry that had been running the commutting between the two lands way before bridges were built.

Far Left: Buildings from HK Island fromm the Ferry.

Left: My Gf on the ferry... :P
Ok now, why are we heading to central? well, actually it is not a destination but a path... :P we have to take bus 2xx from Central Station to reach The Peak( Tai Ping Shan ). Oh yea, did I mention is was the coldest winder in HK today?... avg of 6-12 degrees, and on The Peak, it was around avg of <6 I guess.

Far Left: Visitors, Sighseers and Photographers, all cramp along the side of the shopping center balcony to get a glimps of HK's Night Cityscape.

Left: Well, there we are at the Peak... me? of course holding the camera lar..:P
Top all: cityscape night scene from The Peak. Me Tripod not usable yet therefore manage to borrow a small lightweighted tripod from one of the photo shotter there... luckily my 300D + Grip + 24-70 F2.8L + 420Ex did not cripple the tripod...

Far Left, Left: Nightscene portrait shots. Was super cold up there, my gf can't really stand it, have to use the hood for wind insulation... the shots without, she tot it was prettier without the
Far Left, Left: Coffee after a cold encounter on the balcony on the peak at Pacific Coffee...
On the way back to Mongkok. Took the MTR Instead of the ferry to avoid the wind... Super hungry, just can't wait to get back to Mongkok for dinner. This concludes the day.

Top All: The H.U.G.E Central MTR Interchange station. Took the Tsui Wai Line up to Mongkok.

Left All: Me and my gf on the MTR, I do look tired don't I?...
More to come...

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Apple have done it again~!

Apple have been a pioneer in computing lifestyle with their series of Mac with their sleek and elegant design all these years, and lately with the announcement of the new Mini Mac... considering jumping on a Mac wagon now...

Friday, January 07, 2005

Sims 2 Hacks Spread Like Viruses?

The famous Sims 2, the successor of the well acclaimed The Sims, have a serious bug. Those of you who have applied the Hack, would have notice odd behaviour in your items. This article from securityfocus have the details. In sort, the problem of this hack arrise when you start to use the Sims 2 Exchange to exchange and share items and download stuff... the hack/virus get downloaded to your local Sims 2 as well, ruining your existing creation...

Software Giant has acquired Giant Software

A recent tech news update from William Tay NCS... "Microsoft has recently acquired Giant Software, a maker of Anti-Spyware software. They have successfully integrated both technologies and the result is available for downloads in BETA form. In other words, dont use this on a production system yet ! Check it out here." Another big step for microsoft to global domination~!... and sooner or later you'll read news about some AntiSpyware companies coming together and sue microsoft for monopoly, infringing the Anti Trust law or something. Then again when you look at it from another aspect, it does make logical sense, just like we try to make logical sense of everything, and the fact that the worlds revolves around logic, even the soft side of human, can be logically explained, that the ultimate beneficiaries are us comsumers or piracy consumers because many of us can't really be bother to lookout for AntiSpyware. Cos it ain't no huge noticable impact having your PC infected by spyware. Let's see how it goes from here cos I"m kinda tired hunting down Spyware in my PC and doing a full search of the registry and restart and installing firewall software... Speaking of firewall, the original Windows firewall from win Xp Service Pack 2 just ain't doing the job I wanted... no outbound blocking/tracking?... I still stick to ZoneAlarm...


Today finally got my tripod set completed, took a few long exposure shots outside and the result were great, and after so long having my DSLR, today is the first time I've use bulb mode, at 120 sec, F/22, the result, splendid. Just manage to get my tripod legs in HK last week, a set of Gitzo 1228 Carbon fiber tripod legs. It was a disappointment thou cos I can't find the Ballhead I wanted in HK. After spoken to several camera shops, found out that Singapore is the only distributor for Acratech Ultimate Ballhead... xien... the initial idea of taking cityscape night scene from THE PEAK just evaporated. Today finally manage to get hold of a Wimberly P-5 Camera Plate, and a Acratech Ultimate Ballhead from shops in singapore, and now, got a full working tripod liao.. yea...~! Still have yet to get the HK photos in yet. Busy work schedule, gonna submit FS this monday and tomorrow night have a meeting at 7:30PM... manz... xien... hopefully this project will go well.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Just back from HK...

and I'm just freaking tired... just felt like sleeping for the next few days... neitherways... will post photos and experience when I've regain some energy... after all those shopping and touring around... Damn I just like HK...