Photo: Prinsendam

Last night I performed two shows, as normal. The first was my favorite show in a long time. The audience was in a great mood, and every seat was full. I had lots of heckles and comments shouted at me, and that always makes for a more interesting show. A full-audience standing ovation also makes me very happy, even if I hint at the end of my show that I expect one. Of course, if I didn’t expect one from that audience I wouldn’t mention it.

The Prinsendam

The second show had only half the audience by numbers, but the energy was still very high. Due to incompetent volunteer I fell off my rolla bolla in the finale, which sort of caught me out. Thankfully the audience went with my recovery, and there followed my second standing ovation.

Today is day 19 onboard the Prinsendam. This is the longest single contract I’ve ever done. I bought a bottle of wine back in Portugal, and it has been sitting in my fridge for over two weeks. Last night I took it to the officers bar and shared it with some musicians. Or that was the plan. In the end I drank most of it myself, and woke up this morning with a bit of a hangover.

Normally a hangover wouldn’t be a problem, but this morning I had to do an informal coffee chat with the cruise director, where I get to talk about my story and show and juggling, then take questions from the gathered cruise guests. Funnily enough this draws just as many people as one of my shows, and the theater was full again.


Photo: Camels

Camels.

I think I might do a daily photo kind of thing. Or a photo every few days. I take enough photos to share them more often than I do. And when I do share them, I know not many people click through to see the rest of the photos in the photo set.

Between now and the end of the year I’ll share some of my favorite images from 2009, sprinkling in some new photos as I go. Hopefully by the new year I’ll have taken enough to keep it going.

Here’s a photo of some camels I took in Lanzarote.


Continued adventures in HDR photography (Israel)

I’m home! Which means I can upload some photos from the last trip. They are all over at the trip’s Sosauce album but I thought I’d share the HDR photos in a separate post.

My first attempts were hand crafted using gimp, but thanks to helpful comments I downloaded various bits of software, and all the images below are made with EnfuseGUI.app.

To be honest, I’m really enjoying playing with this kind of photography, even if my efforts below are a bit bland. The software seems to render a lot of the surfaces into a single tone, which makes them seem very flat and plastic. And the saturation seems to suffer too. However, I’m not going to shell out on expensive software just yet…

Enfuse version of my previous effort:

A fountain in Haifa. I set the iso low to get a long exposure (for a blurred fountain), even with the camera pointed right into the sun.

Haifa at night. Lights shone directly into the camera, but just of shot, creating the hazy sides.

Haifa port. The bright lights, reflections and interesting shapes make for good HDR shots.

The pool deck of the Royal Princess.

The Dead Sea. The sky was a lot bluer in the normal exposed photo. Also, for those who don’t know the Dead Sea is shrinking, I took this photo at the 1994 shoreline.

The Dead Sea again. Note the shadowy people.

The Dome from the Mount of Olives. Again, he sky should be deeper blue here.

A wider view. The blurred edges to the tree look interesting, but not in a good way.

The inside of the the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I’d have framed this shot better, but people were walking through all the time. This is the only HDR photo I’ve taken indoors and the effect is quite pleasing.

I’ll post some more general travel photos later.