Saturday, 27 June 2009

I just got a new lens for my D300 :-)

This is the standard lens for news, sports and action and environment portrait shooters. It's light weight mechanically and optically precision built and the 70-200mm VR shines for fast action in low light. Its rated as one of Nikon's sharpest lenses ever and its sharp at every aperture. It is famous for its beautiful bokeh (that gorgeous out of focus background look) The 2.8 aperture makes this a 'fast' lens.
I also have:
Macro lens for insects, food and tiny stuff. Also one of the best portrait lenses you can get. Again beautiful bokeh.
Good optics and considering the low price and the long focal range, very good all rounder in performance.
The wide angle lens if you're on a budget and the the sharpest ultra wide lens for a DX Nikon camera. It's rated better than the more expensive Nikkor 12-24mm.
Great for landscapes, architecture and anything inside or close range and low light.

Why 2.8 ?
The maximum aperture of the lens can have a significant impact on the types of photos you can take.
Smaller Aperture number (2.8) = Wider Aperture (the hole) = More Light
Larger Aperture number (22) = Narrower Aperture (smaller hole) = Less Light
If you want to take photos indoors without a flash, on overcast days, for sport or anything you need to use fast shutter speeds to freeze motion you need a fast lens (2.8 or better)
You can also get a shallower Depth of Field (DOF) DOF is that amount of your shot that will be in focus. With a large aperture you get a large depth of field, that is most of your image will be in focus whether it’s close to your camera or far away. With a small aperture you get a small (or shallow) depth of field and only part of the image will be in focus and the rest will be fuzzy (bokeh) but this separates the subject from the background (as long as IT is in sharp focus) and give a 3D effect to images and smoothes out busy backgrounds. - see RedBubble Flickr

Cold Morning Photo Expedition

City lights in the early morning from Yurulbin Point in Birchgrove.
Birchgrove is a suburb in the inner west of Sydney, just 5 kilometres from the Sydney CBD on the Balmain peninsula, overlooking Sydney Harbour.

I had left home early to try to get a sunrise behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge there, but the sky was cloudy and washed out, so I went to Sydney's Luna Park to see if there were any image possibilities there.

Luna Park was open but deserted at 7:00 am on a cold Saturday morning.

Some colour isolation experiments.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Urban renewal or prestige wasteland?

Urban renewal refers to efforts to revitalise aging and decaying inner cities including its demolition, clearance, and general rehabilitation. Jackson's Landing is the name of a residential and commercial property development located on the northern peninsula of Pyrmont, an inner Sydney suburb.

The area played a pivotal role in Sydney life in the 19th century as a shipping port, sandstone quarry, sugar refinery, slaughter house, iron works, rail interchange and industrial hub, and at its peak was home to 30,000. From 1853 to 1931 the cliffs of Pyrmont were quarried for ‘Sydney Yellowblock’, the world’s finest sandstone. ‘Hell Hole’, ‘Paradise’ and ‘Purgatory’ were the nicknames given by stonemasons to three of the quarries.Government House, Sydney Town Hall, Sydney University, Sydney Hospital and the QVB are some of the 19th Century public buildings constructed of sandstone from Pyrmont. But by the early 1990s residents had dwindled to 3,000, most industry had relocated and the area had become an eyesore.

Today it is a highly compressed mish mash of modern apartments set in an urban village style with shops, restaurants, cafes, library and a cultural centre. I have been down there several times at different times of the day and the thing that strikes you as you walk around, is the lack of any people. It seems almost deserted at most times although there are thousands of apartments just overhead.

Some relics from the past with some apartment blocks in the background.

More relics
Where are all the people, Jacksons Landing 11:30am Sunday. . .

Saturday, 20 June 2009

iPhone app for remote control of Nikon DSLR

For iPhone users - soon you will be able to control your Nikon DSLR through your iPhone, including LiveView (camera must be connected to a computer):
In a blog post about the Apple approval, onOne Software's Mike Wong says a Nikon version of DSLR Remote will be next. To Nikon users, Wong writes:
“I’ve got good news for you - we will be adding support for Nikon DSLRs as well which will be available in an update to the app in the very near future. A special thank you goes out to some good friends at Nikon who were kind enough to send some cameras and accessories out to us today for testing. We expect to get the Nikon DSLR cameras in our office tomorrow and we’ll begin testing. Stay tuned to this blog for the most up-to-date info on when the Nikon support will be available.”


Thursday, 18 June 2009

It’s time to get excited, Apple has made your iPhone a lot more useful

It’s time to get excited, Apple has made your iPhone a lot more useful. The iPhone OS 3.0 Software update, do you have it yet? It includes new features,and also lets you run the next generation of iPhone apps, like peer to peer games.

Cut, Copy & Paste
Quickly and easily cut, copy, and paste text from application to application. Select entire blocks of web text with a tap. Copy and paste images from the web, too.
Landscape Keyboard
Rotate iPhone to landscape to use a larger keyboard in Mail, Messages, Notes, and Safari.
Send MMS messages and include video, photos, audio, and contacts. Just tap to snap a picture or shoot a video right inside Messages.
Spotlight Search
Find for across all of your iPhone. Spotlight searches all of your contacts, email, calendars, and notes, as well as everything in your iPod music and more.
Voice Memos
Capture a memo, a meeting, or any audio recording on the go. Voice Memos works with the built-in iPhone microphone or with the mic on your headset.
Improved Calendar
Create meetings via Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and subscribe to calendars with new CalDAV support.
Buy Movies, TV Shows, and Audiobooks
Download movies, TV shows, music videos, and audiobooks from the iTunes Store on your iPhone.
Enhanced Stocks App
Get more information and view charts in landscape.
Safari Improvements
Faster performance, autofill user names and passwords.
Internet Tethering
Share your Internet connection with your laptop with internet tethering via Bluetooth or USB.
Stereo Bluetooth
Connect compatible Bluetooth stereo headphones, car kits, or other accessories.
Automatic Wi-Fi Login
Log in to a Wi-Fi hotspot and iPhone automatically logs you in when you connect again.
Sync Notes
You can sync all the notes you write on your iPhone back to your Mac or PC.
Parental Controls
Decide what music, videos, and apps your wife can access.
iTunes Store Account
Create and log in to one or more iTunes Store accounts directly from your iPhone.
YouTube Login
Log in to your YouTube account to save and sync bookmarks and rate favorites.
Shake to Shuffle
Give iPhone a shake and it shuffles to a different song in your music library.
New Languages
Supports 30 languages and more than 40 keyboard layouts.
MobileMe Find My iPhone and Remote Wipe
Find your iPhone if you lose it and protect your privacy with Remote Wipe.
Run the Latest Apps
Run the next generation of iPhone apps.

Also iPhone 3G Speed, the new generation of iPhone it’s biggest changes from the 3G are increased computing capacity, video recording, increased battery life, a true compass, and higher photo quality, iPhone 3G S lands on June 19th this Friday.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

iPhone users are richer, younger, and more productive

I knew it! This is exactly how I feel :-)
Forrester Research suggests iPhone users are richer, younger, and more productive at work than those who use competing smartphones, according to a new study released Friday.
The study from independent market analysis company Forrester Research suggests iPhone users comprise the elite upper class of smartphone customers.
It found that those who own an iPhone are typically more active on their phones and more connected to the internet than those who fell into generic “smartphone” or “mobile phone” categories.”

Monday, 15 June 2009

Abstract Photography

Some images lend themselves to be converted into black and white, most notably portraits and pets I think but, the effective use of isolated colour in monochrome images can be very eye catching and portray important information and emotions.
A minimalist approach seems to work best and although I've tried this with a number of images it never really worked until I was inspired by another photographers image of a dog I saw on one of the photographers blogs I read, I can't remember who? So while this technique is not new or especially clever I think it works for this one of Hermione.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Vivid Festival Take III

More photographs of Vivid Sydney see next posts as well . . .
The Light Walk - Is a self guided walk where you can use your mobile phone to access information on the Light Walk sculptures via a internet site for smart phones and 8 Blue Zones through bluetooth.

There are also a number of performers wandering around the walk all with a 'light' theme.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (the MCA) showcases these beautiful and dynamic light art displays in Sydney’s iconic harbour front precinct.

Lighting the Sails - Luminous - this is a light projection of artwork by Brian Eno, on the Sydney Opera House sails. Like a freeform painting it is continuously changing configurations of colour.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Vivid Festival Take II - The Three Bees

While revisiting Sydney's Vivid Festival on Thursday night I happened to chance on a dress rehearsal of 'Fire and Water' a free public performance that is a stunning recreation of the famous historical incident when a fire devastated the 19th century convict ship the Three Bees.

It is being performed in the very spot it happened in
Campbells Cove opposite the Sydney Opera House, next to the southern side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Three Bees arrived in Sydney Harbour on 6 May 1814 with a cargo of male convicts, it was one of the so called 'fever ships' that had a high mortality rate for the convicts transported upon them.
The Three Bees, commanded by a Captain John Wallis, arrived at Campbells Cove and after the 210 surviving convicts were disembarked and a fire was discovered on the ship. It was later thought that the fire was caused by candle snuff being dropped when an officer and boy that had entered the ships hold.
The Three Bees was cut loose from its moorings and pushed away from other ships in the cove because at that time the colony was apparently a little paranoid about being attacked by the French. As a consequence of this the Three Bees, other ships in the cove and in installations around it there were a lot of highly explosive munitions.
A recreation of the Three Bees rises out of the water accompanied by eerily beautiful and dramatic music.
The ship is approached by is boarded by characters in the play (recreation)
A singing performance from the bow of the Three Bees.
Not long after the fire took hold the Three Bees first gun exploded on board and a swivel ball smashed into the parlour of the house of a Captain Piper, luckily missing everything but a writing table but further explosions sent cannon balls blazing across the harbour.
It was reported that panic ensued and the Govenor and other colonists were quickly evacuating the settlement for fear that the whole town would explode and burn.
The ship drifted out to Bennelong Point and shortly afterwards its whole magazine exploded and it sank.
The Three Bees sinks till its appearance at the next performance.
Campbells Cove with the Sydney Opera House sails being lit in the background.

PERFORMANCES - 12–14 June 2009 at Campbells Cove, The Rocks 6.15pm, 7.15pm and 8.15pm
Created by a team of Australia's leading outdoor theatre makers features a rich musical score performed live by CODA, floating inflatables and various other installations from other artists.

View the making of the ship for Fire Water.

All photographs © Wayne Ryan 2009

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Google Wave - A new way to communicate?

Wave is a web based service and platform designed to merge email, instant messaging, wiki's, and social networking so they can be collaborative and real time. With things like automatic spelling and grammar checking, translation between 40 languages it's designed as the "next generation" of email. Waves are shared collaborations that can be added to or removed at any point during a wave's existence. Instead of sending a message and its entire thread of previous messages or requiring all responses to be stored in each user's inbox for context, objects known as waves contain a complete thread of all forms of messages and are stored on a central server. Google Wave is a project by Google, you can watch a video on it here from the Google I/O conference in May. Mashable link about Google Wave