Thursday, 31 December 2009

AVATAR 3D - Well it was interesting but . . .

Very nice imagery but not the ground breaking leap it's touted to be. The storyline is trite, and the characters are only moderately developed.

When you consider films of this genere like Final Fantasy from 2001, which was beautifully rendered and completely computer generated, even the voices. No human morphing, voiceovers or anything like that, totally CGI. This film also had a trite storyline unfortunately and did not do that well.

I was expecting a real generational improvement from Avatar, but while it was entertaining and visually spectacular I was expecting better considering how technology has progressed in 9 years+.

If you don't know about Final Fantasy, and you may not have seen or heard of it as it was a box office bomb. Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was a computer animated science fiction film by Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series of role-playing games. It was released on July 11, 2001.

The story follows scientists Aki Ross and Doctor Sid in their efforts to free Earth from a mysterious and deadly alien race known as the Phantoms, which has driven surviving humanity into "barrier cities". They must compete against General Hein, who wishes to use more violent means to end the conflict. The film was the first attempt to make a photorealistic rendered 3D feature film.Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is set on a future Earth infested by Phantoms, alien life forms. The remaining humans live in "barrier cities" all over the world and are engaged in an ongoing struggle to free the planet. Two scientists, Aki Ross and her mentor, Dr. Sid, are searching for eight life forms which they believe possess spirits capable, when joined, of defeating the Phantoms. Meanwhile, a general named Hein is determined to use a powerful space cannon to destroy the Phantoms, though Aki and Sid believe the cannon may destroy the Earth.

While the film does carry the name Final Fantasy, it is only vaguely thematically related to Square Co.'s popular Final Fantasy series of games. - source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spirits_Within

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Rainforest Walks

Tamborine National Park on Tamborine Mountain is in the Gold Coast Hinterland ("The green behind the gold") and has many walking tracks in the six sections of the park. Most walking tracks are short and can be walked within a few hours and are relatively easy although some tracks have short, steep grades. At 600m above sea level, Tamborine plateau is consistently 5 degrees cooler than the adjacent flatlands or tsunami estates of the Gold Coast. Average daytime temperatures are 17 degrees Celsius in winter and 25 degrees Celsius in summer. The area averages 1500mm of rain a year, most of which falls between December and April.
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 @ ISO 400, f2.8, 11mm, 1/25sec
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 @ ISO 400, f2.8, 11mm, 1/50sec
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 @ ISO 400, f2.8, 11mm, 1/25sec
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 @ ISO 400, f2.8, 11mm, 1/25sec
Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 @ ISO 400, f2.8, 11mm, 1/10sec

Monday, 28 December 2009

28°- Showers

We had heavy rain overnight here on Mt Tamborine in Queensland and more rain is forecast for today. It was a pleasant 24 degrees at 7 am so I walked around the yard and took a few pictures between showers.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f3.5, 1/30 sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f8, 1/15 sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f3.2, 1/50 sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f8, 1/15 sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f8, 1/15 sec

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Subtropical Rain - A Rainy Boxing Day

Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f2.0, 1/160sec
It has rained quite a bit and today its teaming. In subtropical climates the winters are relatively warm with hot and wet summers. Plants such as palms, citrus and broadleaf evergreens flourish here. Rainfall patterns resemble a more northern monsoonal 'wet' season with warm temperate conditions along the coastal strip in SE Queensland. Its interesting that rain plays a role in the hydrologic cycle. The earth is a 'losed' system, like a bubble, and there is as much water on the plantet as there ever has been or ever will be, this never changes. (barring a cataclismic event:-) Moisture from the oceans and water evaporates and vapor from plant respiration rises, condenses into drops, falls from the sky, and eventually returns to the ocean via rivers and streams to repeat the cycle again. So pherhaps molacules of water you drink from a glass of water could have been anywhere in the world at some time.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f2.0, 1/1600sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f8.0, 1/200sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f8.0, 1/125sec

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Grasshopper References

A grasshopper is a sweet, mint flavored drink. The drinks name is from the green color of the crème de menthe. The drink was popular in the 1950s and 1960s.
Ingredients:
15 ml Crème de menthe (green)
15 ml Crème de cacao (white)
60 ml Fresh cream
Mixing instructions:
In a shaker filled with ice cubes, combine the crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and fresh cream. Shake well for about 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy
Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f2.0, 1/125sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f3.8, 1/30 sec

Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f4.8, 1/20 sec
Do you hear the grasshopper at your feet?
How is it that I hear these things?
How is it that you do not?
Quickly as you can Grasshopper, snatch the pebble from my hand.
When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.
Kung Fu TV Series - Michael Caine 1972

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Fairies and a final Buddha

Well I did find quite a number of Fairies around the house.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f8.0, 1/6sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f8, 1/160 sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f3.0, 1/6 sec
And a dragon
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f3.0, 1/25 sec
Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f8.0, 1/250sec
Finally a Buddha I missed yesterday . . .
Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f8.0, 1/40sec

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Buddha and Fairies

I notice a lot of buddha statues at the Queensland house, and this made me wonder why we seem to have a preocupation with collecting these idols and whta is the attraction ans calming influence they may evoke.

Nikon D300, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f2.8, 11mm, 1/200sec
Buddha means ‘Awakened One’, someone who has awakened from ignorance and sees things as they really are. Every living being has the same basic wish, that is to be happy and to avoid suffering.

Nikon D300, Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 140mm f2.8, 1/200 sec
When things go wrong in our life and we encounter difficult situations we tend to regard the situation itself as the problem, but in reality whatever problems we experience come from the mind.

Nikon D300, Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 70mm f2.8, 1/320 sec
If we were to respond to difficult situations with a positive or peaceful mind they would not be problems for us, we may even come to regard them as challenges or opportunities for growth and development. Problems arise when we respond to difficulties with a negative state of mind.

Nikon D300, Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 105mm f2.8, 1/160 sec
And then there's a lot of fairies! Don't start me on the fairies . . . .

Nikon D300, Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 70mm f2.8, 1/250 sec

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Eladio

The best thing about Christmas is getting to see your family. Here is my grandson Eladio after two caramel milkshakes and a stack of pancakes!

Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f2.0, 1/320sec

Queensland on the iPhone

Now you can access Queensland on your iPhone, you can search for accommodation, attractions and events from your current location, anywhere in the Sunshine State.There's descriptive content with phone numbers, email and website links so you can connect directly. The location awarebApp can reveal an event or attraction in your vicinity. Use this link

Bee-have in New England

While on our way to Mount Tamborine Queensland we stopped in a small town called Uralla. This little town is famous for it's connection with a legendary bushranger called Captain Thunderbolt. The grave of Thunderbolt (Fred Ward) is here and Thunderbolt Rock, a large granite boulder just south on the highway, is where he and his gang reputedly hid waiting for passing Cobb & Co. coaches to rob. The town is in hilly country 1,005 metres above sea level on the Northern Tablelands of the New England region of New South Wales about 500 km north-north east of Sydney and about 20 km south of Armidale. While in a park in the town centre I came across these guys.
Busy Bee
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 105mm f3.3, 1/250 sec
Very Busy Bee
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 105mm f3.3, 1/1000 sec
"Look Out He's Coming Straight For You" Angry Bee
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 105mm f3.5, 1/2500 sec
One of the Bees feminine butterfly friends
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 105mm f3.2, 1/4000 sec
Another one of the Bees feminine butterfly friends
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 105mm f3.2, 1/3200 sec

Sunday, 13 December 2009

How Can I Help?

How can we help we asked?
Nikon D300, Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 200mm f2.8, 1/100 sec
Is this illustration below of Andrea in the back yard cheerfully hanging out the laundry to dry? When asked if I could possibly help by doing this job, I said "sure!" but the next image made me wonder how long has it been since anyone did this at our house?
(Below) The one lonely peg.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f3.0, 1/250 sec
I think I will go fishing instead.

Nikon D300, Nikkor 105mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, f3.0, 1/100 se
Hermione thinks that's a great idea.
Nikon D300, Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 @ ISO 200, 200mm, f8.0, 1/80 sec

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

More Christmas Lights

December, don't you love it . . .
Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f2.0, 1/30sec

Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f2.0, 1/30 sec

Nikon D300, Nikkor 35mm f2 @ ISO 200, f2.0, 1/3 sec

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Walking, Chinese Food and Italian Beer

While walking Hermione sunday night we decided to get Chinese Take Away for dinner. This is one out our locals.
When we got it home Andrea came out of the basement with some cold Peroni's but Hermione didn't want hers, just a drink of water was fine, so I drank hers.
Mmm steamed dim Sims and beer.
Spiced honey chicken, dry fried pork and fried rice and beer.

Beer - Peroni Beer