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Yellows and Greens of Spring

Relates to Photography

Took a quick lunch break to give my new Canon 200mm f/2.8 L prime lens a test drive in the garden. The daffodils that are starting to bloom made the perfect subjects for a yellow and green photo shoot to herald in the Spring.

f/2.8 @ 1/6400s

f/6.3 @ 1/1000s

f/2.8 @ 1/8000s

f/2.8 @ 1/3200s

I accidentally shot these photos at an ISO of 800 making the bokeh a little grainy. But that also provided super fast shutter speeds to compensate for the wind (affecting both the plants movements and my control of the lens). It was only when I got the photos on the big screen that I realised how incredibly amazing the quality of the pictures this 200mm L-lens takes. Unfortunately it also really bought home the inadequacies of the Canon 40D viewfinder which seems to struggle with yellows and provides misleading quality due to its low screen resolution. A small price to pay really with the freedom to shoot large numbers of exposures on digital film.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 17:40:37.

Essential iPhone Application for SEO

Relates to SEO and iPod Touch

I don't make a habit of posting entries pertaining to SEO - leave that to the SEM's! But the recently released Analytics Ap is worth a mention. It provides access to all your Google Analytics accounts with quick access to many key measurements for assessing the performance of your sites and keyword targeting. Would be nice to see the addition of date comparison in a future release - which is one feature I utilise considerably on the main Analytics site. Anyway at £3.49 this is good value and delivers a quick method to wow your clients with their website growth following your SEO recommendations!

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 10:23:05.

Classic Albums of 80's Synthpop

Relates to Music

The 80's were great! Of course they were - I was a kid. But it seems to be only now I am starting to realise how great the 80's really were. At least musically speaking…

Many noughties Band's are re-inventing themselves with strong 80's undertones and the synthpop revival is paving the way this year. We will even see the return of one of the forefathers of 80's synthpop - check Depeche Mode's new album Sounds of the Universe out on 20th April.

Why not take a little trip down memory lane or discover some of the masters of synth for the first time. Hearing Nik Kershaw's Human Racing and Erasure's The Innocents brings back nostalgia of hours spent wired to my C64 collecting droplets with my Catellite. My personal attraction to Depeche Mode's Somebody, the Human League's Darkness and The The's epic GIANT no doubt paved my unwitting demise into Gothic Rock by the end of the decade.

A collection of classic 80's synthpop album covers

Here are nine albums that bridge the 80's maelstrom and would be strong contenders for any 80's anthology.

Top Albums of the 1980's Synthpop movement

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 at 10:07:15.

My Telephoto Arrives!

Relates to Photography

The latest addition to my photography arsenal has arrived in the form of a Canon 200mm f/2.8 L prime telephoto lens. Once again I chose to go for a prime lens simply for the lighter weight at a higher image quality and this L-lens seemed the perfect choice. I would love to get straight outside and have a play but it is dark dank day and I have far more pressing work matters to prioritise.

So for now I had to resort to quickly snapping the baluster of the back stairs through the backdoor window!

Test shot with the Canon 200mm f/2.8 200mm - 1/250s @ f/2.8 ISO 100

With the lack of light I planted the camera on my Giottos tripod to avoid any shake shooting below 1/320s (based on the cropped sensor focal length). Focussing was incredibly fast relative to my other lenses.

Hardly the best conditions for a test drive, but even this showed sharpness, clarity and super creamy bokeh! Look forward to doing a proper test drive soon…

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 at 13:47:50.

Slumdog Millionaire Earns Place in Top 15 Oscar Winning Hauls

Relates to Movies

Well the British Invasion in music and film continues as Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed and commercially successful Slumdog Millionaire rightly won a staggering 8 Oscars at last night's 81st Academy Awards ceremony. The film was nominated for 10 awards walking away with: Best Picture; Best Director; Best Original Score; Best Original Song; Best Adapted Screenplay; Best Cinematography; Best Film Editing; Best Sound Mixing. It only really lost out on Best Sound Editing to The Dark Knight since the 10th nomination was also for Best Original Song.

This haul of Oscars really left David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button once again snapping at Slumdog's heels with only 3 gongs (Best Art Direction; Best Makeup; Best Visual Effects) from a massive 13 nominations.

More significantly Slumdog Millionaire now earns a place alongside some of the most successful Oscar winners of all time finding its way into the top 15 Oscar winning hauls.

Here is the full list of films winning 8 Oscars or more:

  • Ben-Hur (11) - 1959
  • Titanic (11) - 1997
  • The Lord of the Rings - Return of the King (11) - 2003
  • West Side Story (10) - 1961
  • Gigi (9) - 1958
  • The Last Emperor (9) - 1987
  • The English Patient (9) - 1996
  • Gone With The Wind (8) - 1939
  • From Here To Eternity (8) - 1953
  • On The Waterfront (8) - 1954
  • My Fair Lady (8) - 1964
  • Cabaret (8) - 1972
  • Gandhi (8) - 1982
  • Amadeus (8) - 1984
  • Slumdog Millionaire (8) - 2008

Posted on Feb 23, 2009 at 10:40:14.

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