Some more photos of dogs.

I’m not sure why, but for the second day in a row, when out with the wide angle lens, dogs have presented themselves as good models. Maybe I just want to get close to the ground, and dogs are at the right kind of height. I popped down to museum island on the bike, mainly because I thought some fountains would be good subjects. Playing in the lustgarten fountain were a number of small dogs:

Unfortunately, this dog would never stay in a good position and look interesting. I’ve got a lot of great shots with the fountain and cathedral, but only with the dog kind of just hanging out. The only one where the dog was interesting, the framing was way off:

The Neptune Fountain (not interested in exposure levels, just getting stuff into the lens):

This dog looked very funny. The weird over-sized back end is only partially because of the wide angle lens… it really was weird and over-sized! Even the people leaving the train thought it looked strange as you can see from the photo:

That’s all for today. I’ll some more in a week, and hopefully have some images OF something, rather than just finding random shots as test subjects.


New camera, new lens.

Today I went out with my new camera, a Canon 500D to replace the 400D I’ve used for the past two years. Not a lot to report, to be honest, but the larger screen is nice. And my nose doesn’t press the buttons as much when I turn the camera sideways. Actually, the rearranging of the buttons caught me out a few times, but the refinements do make sense.

Oh, there’s a HD movie recording function on the camera too, but I didn’t try it out yet.

What I did try is the new wide angle lens:

In the mirror.

Yup, a shot in a mirror. The wide angle makes a HUGE difference. 10mm vs 18mm, my previous widest angle, doesn’t sound like much, but it really is.

So, I went to the park to see if I could work the whole “big sky” look I like so much:

Not the most interesting shot, I must admit, but it’s a start. I think I’m going to have to read some “how to” guides on getting the most out of the lens.

On the way I met some friends who were with a friend who had, quite possibly, the cutest dog ever. It’s a crossbreed puppy of some variety. I tried out the “hold out the camera without looking, click, and hope the wide angle means you catch everything you want in the frame” technique. It almost worked:

If the tail hadn’t been cropped off by the edge of the frame, this would have been a real nice photo. A minute later a group of small girls walked past. They couldn’t resist the puppy, and the puppy couldn’t resist them. I tried the same technique again, and got an interesting (if not very clean) image:

Like I said, I need to work with this lens a whole lot more to find out what I can do, what looks good, and when I need to swap to a mid-range lens instead. But for a first day out, I’m quite happy.


Some news…

I’ve been a bit unwell this week, and haven’t felt like blogging. But I have done other stuff. Here’s some things, in no particular order:

I made a video showing a large majority of all the photos Pola and I took of ourselves while holding the camera at arm’s length. It wasn’t something I planned to do, but I wanted to get all the photos from the last 5 years into one place (and backed up in another place) and to do this only took an hour or so:

Second, I released a new episode of the Science Fiction Book Review Podcast.

Of course, I went to the British Juggling Convention. I didn’t take a camera with me though, so have nothing to share. I’ll be writing a review/report/article for the Kaskade magazine though, and I might do a Juggling Podcast episode.

Today I bought myself a new DSLR camera. Pola’s keeping the Canon 400D we had, so I just got myself a 500D as a straight replacement. I’d love to have got a much nicer camera, like a 50D or the 5D Mark II, but I really can’t justify spending so much on what amounts to an already expensive hobby. Two cool things though:

  • It has a Full HD video function. I’m going to test it out tomorrow, so it might lead to a new juggling video. Or some kind of video. Or nothing.
  • I bought a 10-24mm new wide angle lens. This should result in much better landscape photographs. And better building photographs. And better interior photographs. And interesting portrait photographs. I’ll see how it goes.
  • On Wednesday I turned 29 years old. In sharing the news on Twitter I discovered a fun thing about Wolfram Alpha. Any time I want to know EXACTLY how old I am, I can just click this link: http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=seconds+since+16%3A19+august+26th+1980. As a birthday present, my Berlin friends bought me an off-road trails session on a fat tire Segway. I think I’m unjustifiably excited about this.

    I’ve written many words on my latest novel project. Not as many as I’d hoped, but I’ve not been very well.

    I’ve booked my flight to the Turkish Juggling Convention in October. This is going to be awesome. I’ve wanted to go for the past 3 years, but have never had the time. This year I got a cruise ship gig leaving Turkey 2 days after the end of the convention, so I only have to work out travel one way. How could I turn down the opportunity?

    I think that’s everything. Or at least everything I can share.


    Air Bounce Tricks (a juggling video)

    Another studio video, presenting some interesting patterns… or at least they are interesting to me. In each of these patterns, balls are bouncing off each other in the air.

    I came up with these techniques years ago and try them out every now and then… but only in private! I’ll never use these tricks in performance, so after a conversation earlier this week I thought I’d stick the basic ideas in a video.

    Normally I do these tricks with silicone balls, but it is almost impossible for the viewer to work out what is happening unless the balls are different colours. I have many more multiplex patterns that are just too hard with these large stage balls.

    Some distinct techniques I use are:

    - near-hand side by side air bounces.
    - high side by side air bounces.
    - near-hand underside air bounces. These look much like a cascade throw, but sends the incoming ball back to the hand that threw it.
    - repeated near-hand underside air bounces. Like above, but twice in a row. Again, you’ll only see this if you aren’t colourblind.
    - side by side air bounces with multiplexes.
    - high three quarter air bounces. These are thrown asynchronous, glance in the air and land synchronously.
    - high and near-hand side by side air bounces. I do this twice with four balls.
    - mulitplexed three ball air bounce.
    - non-multiplexed three ball air bounce. Throw one ball up, then hit it from underneath with another two. A fun trick!

    Enjoy the video, and enjoy trying the tricks.