Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Panasonic

Fuji X camera system thoughts

Thought for the day….”The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more”

“Talent does what it can, genius does what it must”

Having had many cameras over the years, including Pentax, Olympus, Sony, Canon and Panasonic, I am now in the happy position of having a camera that does what I want, and a camera that produces pictures of the quality that I want.   Looking back over the earlier attempts at photography, I can see just how much cameras and lenses have improved.   I am now in the happy position of NOT wanting to upgrade the camera.  The current camera, the Fuji X-T10 makes taking photos FUN.  It ‘only’ has 16mp, but the quality of those 16mp is enough for me.   I still read reviews of newer cameras in the magazines and online (www.dpreview.com is an excellent website), but is is now just for interest.   I have no desire to upgrade at the moment, and can now concentrate on actually taking photos and enjoying the fun of producing a good photo.  I am not interested in buying a camera that can take 20 pictures a second, nor do I feel a need for a 50mp sensor.     Another advantage of the Fuji X system is that the jpeg photos straight out of the camera are so good.  I have now stopped taking RAW files just because the jpegs are so good.   This means that I no longer have to spend hours processing RAW files on the computer.   I know that some people really enjoy this, but for me, less time on the computer is good.    I have read that Fuji cameras are made by photographers who are also engineers, whereas brand X cameras are made by engineers full stop.   This means that taking photos with the Fuji is instinctive, as well as being fun.   True, the cameras may look old fashioned with their dials, but most people agree that the cameras are much better to use.   And the most important thing, the X-T10 produces great photos !!

Today’s photo comes from Rafsundet in Norway, not far from the Lofoten Islands.   As usual, the size of the photo has been greatly reduced for the internet.  The quality of the full size image is great.

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and another portrait photo, this time from Lake Malawi, Africa,

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Getting your pulse down – slow TV

Thought for the day…..” Life is 10% what you make it, and 90% how you take it.”  (Irving Berlin).

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions

Back in 2013 Norwegian TV NRK  broadcast a 12 hour, non-stop programme at prime time on a Friday evening showing a burning log fire.    Just a log fire, nothing more.  For 12 hours.   It did have some commentary, from wood ‘experts’ who gave tips on burning, stacking and slicing wood.   People sent messages to the TV producers, half of them complaining that the bark on the wood was facing up, and half sent messages to complain that the wood was facing down.   Reports said that 1 million people, or more than 20% of the entire population tuned in to watch the wood burning.    Fresh wood was added as needed, with viewers giving advice on where to place it.   Now in the news is the story that Icelandic television  has followed the trend, with a programme from a farm showing 24 hours of live lambing.  Icelandic TV said that it wanted to give viewers an ” unforgettable time for those able to see the little lambs being born into this world”.   Almost as bad as the 18 hours of salmon swimming upstream, shown live, again on Norwegian TV.   I wonder if they are planning a marathon TV programme showing paint drying?   It says a lot about Norway and Scandinavia !!

A happy scene from Cuba for the photo today.

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and another photo from the archives….market colour in the Netherlands….

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They are taking over….already

Thought for the day…”I will go anywhere as long as it is forward”  (David Livingstone).

”  A negative mind will never give you a postive life”.

More worrying news, this time from China.  The official Chinese news sources are reporting that in Dongguan, a factory there is replacing its workforce of 1800 workers with a new factory which is based on robots.  The new factory will employ just 200 workers, so around 1600 workers will lose their jobs to robots (that is about 90% of the factory’s workforce).   And when you consider things like self check-outs in supermarkets (=lost cashier jobs), automatic check-in at airports (= lost agent jobs) and automatic check in at hotels (=lost reception jobs) then the future looks bleak.    If you look at the videos of car production, then you can see how redundant that a human being can become.  So if the trend continues, then what are all the displaced people going to do for work?   A good question.  Technological unemployment is coming faster than we realize.

Off to Seoul, Korea for the photo today, and a busy street market.

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and another photo from the archives….the ultimate Swiss army knife…

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CRAZY hotel prices in Oslo

Thought for the day..” Thinking about exercise burns a total of 0 calories”.

”  You have to be ODD to be number one”.

Anybody planning a holiday to Scandinavia is going to need a lot of money, and if they are intending on visiting Norway, then a great deal of money.    Searching on the internet yesterday for hotels in Oslo, Norway, found some very interesting prices.    Can you believe that a SINGLE room in Oslo last night could cost up to 1073 euros (=UDS $1202)?   And that is not a special room, just a standard hotel room (judging by the pictures).

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And it is not just the hotel prices in Norway that are crazy.    Everything from a bottle of water to a meal out has high prices.    If you are fond of a drink with your meal, then get ready for a big shock.   Most alcohol in Norway can only be bought from the government run alcohol shops (Vinmonopolet) and even in hotels and pubs, only up to certain times.  It is a similar position in Sweden and Finland, where the government controls the sale through the government run shops (Systembolaget in Sweden, Alko in Finland).    So if you are going to eat, drink, sleep and be merry in Norway on holiday, then the final bill could be a nasty shock.

and another photo from the archives….no worries for these Albanian boys….

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Handy new invention for photography

Thought for the day….” Learn to appreciate what you HAVE before time makes you appreciate what you HAD”

“To err is human, to arrrh is pirate”

The current craze of selfie photos is sure to get a boost with the latest invention, the arm selfie stick.   Instead of a basic pole or stick, users now have the chance of a friendly arm reaching out to them…just right for the photo…..

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I assume that you can purchase these from an armoury, or perhaps from a second-hand shop !!!  No ‘arm in asking though.

And for the photo today, Spring sunshine in Hankø, southern Norway.  Taken a few days ago, still quiet there before the summer rush in July.

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and another photo from the archives….a Cuban man ponders the future…..

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Holidaymakers heading home….time to fly

Thought for the day…” Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle”.

“Always remember that the future comes one day at a time”.

I often get asked what camera I am using to take the photos.    Previously, it was the Panasonic FZ150 but now I have upgraded to the Fuji X-E1.  Both cameras have their good points, but the quality of the jpeg images from the Fuji is so good.   Far less time spent with editing on the computer now, as the pictures straight from the camera are so good.    The kit lens (18-55mm) is brilliant, and it produces fantastically sharp images, helped by an APS-C sized sensor.    The negative thing about the camera is that it does not make good videos, hence the Panasonic is still in the bag for the times when a good video is needed.    But for still photos, the Fuji X-E1 is hard to beat.  Not perfect, but no camera is, but a great camera.  As many people have said, it MAKES you want to take more photos.   And it does !

Fuji X-E1Panasonic_FZ150

The Panasonic has only a smaller CMOS sensor, but does have a 24X zoom lens, and an LCD screen that can be moved.  Initially I thought that a tiltable screen was a gimmick, but after a time you appreciate just how useful it is.   Going back to the Panasonic after handling the Fuji, you realize just how cheap and plasticky it feels, but it can produce some good images (and videos), as the photos on the website show.  But more and more, the Fuji X-E1 is the camera that goes with me and the Panasonic is gradually being retired.  But it is the end result that counts, regardless of the camera that has been used.

Today’s photo is from Funchal, Madeira, and the now bankrupt Sterling Airways.

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and another photo from the archives…. happy children in Laos…..

LOW RES COPY LAOS Children nr Luang Prabang 1d

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Colourful Copenhagen

Thought for the day…” Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if you remember to turn on the light”.

” A negative mind will never give you a positive life”.

Today’s photo comes from the Danish capital, Copenhagen.   Around 474 islands make up Denmark, but there are also the islands of the Faroes and Greenland, which also belong to Denmark (although are autonomous).  The highest point in Denmark is only 170m (Mollehoj).   Some Danes joke that summer in Denmark is different to winter in Denmark because the rain is warmer.     And did you know that the fairy tale books from the author Hans Christian Anderson have been translated into more languages than any other author? And more Danish trivia….Walt Disney, after visiting the amusement park Tivoli in Copenhagen, gained the inspiration to start his own park, Disneyland?  The famous Sydney opera house was designed by a Danish architech too.   And that famous children’s toy, LEGO comes from the Danish words ‘leg gott’  which means ‘play well’.     As an estimated 320 BILLION Lego bricks have been sold then it works out that every human being in the world owns/has owned 56 Lego bricks.   According to the Lego website, it would take around 40 billion lego bricks to make a column tall enough to reach the moon.   Not made of lego bricks are these colourful buildings in the city centre of Copenhagen…..

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and another photo from the archives….arriving at Nadi, Fiji.  Early morning sunshine, but before it got too hot…..

LOW RES FIJI Nadi airport 29 Feb 2012 (3)

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Fast and Slow, Albania to China

Thought for the day…” Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance, you must keep moving”  (Einstein).

” If you do not know where you are going, any road will get you there”.

Around 3.2 million people live in Albania, which borders Greece in the south and Montenegro in the north.  Italy is just 72km away across the sea, yet Albania remains one of the poorest parts of Europe.   One strange difference in Albania is that shaking your head means ‘yes’ whilst nodding your head means ‘no’.  Today’s photo shows the train from the Albanian capital, Tirana arriving at the second largest city of Durres.    At the time the photo was taken, trains ran all the way from the capital, however now the main train has been demolished to make way for new roads !  Even when it was operating all the way, average speeds were extremely poor, with the 38km journey taking around 90 minutes.   Compare that to the world record for a conventional train, held by the French TGV which reached a top speed of 574.8 km/h in April 2007.    Up to July 2011 (when its top speed was limited to save energy) the Chinese CRH2 Harmony train covered the 922km from Wuhan to Guangzhou at an average of 313 km/h.

LOW-RES-Albania-Durresand another photo from the archives….boats in Essiouria, Morocco.  Spot the man on the boats….

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Beers of the world.

Thought for the day…” If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with the rain”   (Dolly Parton)

” No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

Next time you feel like a beer, then spare a thought for beer drinkers in Iceland.    There the Stedji brewery is offering a special beer to quench your thirst, made from smoked whale’s testicles.     Apparently it is an ancient Icelandic tradition to cure, smoke and then salt these parts of whales.   Whale meat is found on the menu in Icelandic restaurants, and is claimed to be healthy due to its high protein content and low fat.  The beer, which is 5.2% alcohol, will only be sold in Iceland.

A perfect autumn day at Lake Wanaka, New Zealand for the photo today….clear air and still conditions made photos like these very easy…..

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And another photo out of the archives…snowmobile jumping in the centre of the Finnish capital, Helsinki

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New job – Get shot at !!

Thought for the day…” If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable”.
” I would rather be optimistic and a fool, rather than pessimistic and right”.

Picked up some rather unusual news in the New Zealand Herald newspaper which featured a story on a job that had been advertised in the UK  by a company called UKPaintball.     They were advertising for a person to become a ‘Human Bullet Impact Tester’.   The job was offering a salary of GBP 40 000 a year if you were prepared to be shot at (presumably only with paintballs !) daily.      So popular was the idea of the job that more than 10 000 people applied, including worldwide applicants from places as far afield as India and Canada.    One applicant said that because he was fat then he would be easier to aim at !!   So if you fancy a new career…..

Up in the mountains in Eggedal, Norway for the photo today and to the lake at Haglebu.   The hill in the picture offers fantastic views over the valleys and mountains around, yet takes under an hour to get to the summit at 1076m.  On the right of the photo in the trees is a glimpse of a church, popular for weddings and christenings. This road makes a very scenic alternative route for those heading from Oslo to Bergen.

LOW-RES-Haglebu-reflectionsand another photo from the archives…. a watchful iguana….WORDPRESS-ArubaALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.

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250 million people – and more to come……

Thought for the day…” Tough times never last, but tough people do”.

I have been reading about the plans for the expansion of the second airport in Dubai, called Dubai World Centre.    Costing some USD 32 BILLION, the airport hopes to handle some 250 MILLION passengers a year, including up to 50 A380 aircraft at once. That cost, USD 32 billion is equivalent to about 3 times the total government debt of Bolivia  Each of the terminals will be 2.8 km/1.7 miles long and will have 100 gates (so a total of 400 gates).   If you have transitted the current Dubai (DXB) airport then you will know what a huge affair that airport is, but now with a second airport (Dubai World Centre) under way, huge takes on a new meaning.   But what sort of travel ‘experience’ will that offer if you are one of just 250 MILLION passengers using the airport?   I can imagine the queues, the wait for baggage and the sheer amount of walking that will be involved.

A smiling local in Samoa prepares fish for the photo today…..

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and another photo from the archives..an Ethiopian woman….

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Were there some red faces recently?

Thought for the day…” A goal is a dream with a deadline”.

” When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”

Now I am wondering if there are some very red faces at the American toymaker Hasbro over it’s ‘Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset’.    Red faces probably, not over the spelling of ‘shoppe’ but probably over the transparent plastic tube that is used to squeeze out Play-Doh to appear like cake frosting.   More than one person has commented that the plastic extruder appears to be very much like a sex-toy.  Remember that this item was sold in a set aimed at children, and was sold through reputable retailers.

LOW RES cake extruderComments were posted on Facebook, including on Hasbro Inc. own pages about the ‘toy’.  More than a few parents have been upset by the shape of the ‘toy’.   And if you have time, then check out some of the comments and reviews that purchasers have left on Amazon.com.  Sure to bring a smile…….and good that most people can see the funny side of life.  Hasbro are replacing the item with an alternative design.

Something more serene and less controversial here…Lake Hawea in Otago, South Island New Zealand.   The photo shows the main highway which heads through the Southern Alps up to the Haast Pass, before dropping down to the West Coast.   Lake Hawea is a popular fishing spot, whilst Hawea village has a wonderful cafe and restaurant (Sailz), well worth a short detour off the highway to visit.  Highly recommended !!

LOW-RES-roadand another photo from the archives…the rare Rothschild giraffe…WORDPRESS-ZAMBIA-South-Luan

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The meaning of life ?

Thought for the day…” Success is when preparation meets opportunity.”

With all the problems in the world (climate change, recession, unemployment, malaria, Syria etc……) it is surprising to read that scientists in the USA in Portland University have been busy working on perfecting a coffee maker that will work in zero gravity (zero G) conditions in space.    I may be missing the point here, but one, are there many people travelling in space? and two, could these same scientists have worked on something more useful??  Hopefully this ‘research’ was not paid for by taxpayers’ money.

Off to the small town of Arrowtown in New Zealand for the photo today.   The town was previously a historic gold mining town once had more than 7000 residents, who were attracted by the lure of gold in the nearby Shotover and Arrow rivers.   The Shotover river turned out to be one of the richest gold-bearing rivers in the world, and it is still possible today to pan for gold in it.  The photo was taken late evening, when the day trippers from the nearby tourist mecca of Queenstown had returned and had left Arrowtown in peace again.    A colour photo was converted to black & white, then to sepia, and the contrast was increased.

wordpress-Arrowtownand a photo from the archives…..carnival time in El Salvador.

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More photos from a paradise holiday destination – Seychelles

Thought for the day….”It is the road that you take that decides your destiny, not your destiny which decides which road that you take”.

” You are not wealthy until you have something that money cannot buy”.

Situated just south of the Equator and in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles are made up of 155 islands which were controlled by both Britain and  France until independence in 1976.   About 92 000 people live there (lucky them!), with many of them being employed in the main industry-tourism.     Unlike the Maldvives, the Seychelles have some wonderful inland scenery too, ranging from deep valleys to tropical rain forest, which makes the Seychelles a far more interesting holiday destination.  The beaches (some of which are said to be the best in the world) are uncrowded and extremely beautiful, the sea temperature perfect for swimming and diving (especially around the many coral reefs) and when you tire of sitting on the beach under a palm tree, the tropical rain forests are quite beautiful.  Add to that some fantastic quality hotels and they are really a perfect holiday destination.

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and another from the same area…..

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Scandinavian duo – Stockholm & Helsinki

Thought for the day…” A star needs darkness to shine ”          ” Beauty might bring happiness, but happiness always brings beauty”.

It you take around 51 000 steps, and run them in around 2 hours and 2 minutes, and cover a distance of 42.195 km then you will have run the famous marathon, and in a record time too !!   It is said to have started when a Greek messenger called Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens with news of the Greek victory over the Persians.  The sad fact is that having run the marathon with the exciting news, that he collapsed and died.    An extra 182 m was added to the distance in 1908 during the Olympics in London, so that the finish line would be in front of the royal box, and since then the marathon has remained at 42.195 km.   Annette Fredskov from Denmark holds the dubious honour of having run 366 marathons in a single year.   In Canada the 101 year old  Fauja Singh completed a marathon in Toronto during 2011 in a time of 8 hours 11 minutes.    Around 21 000 runners compete in the annual Stockholm marathon, from where today’s photo comes.   Judging by the number of runners in the photo, then it was certainly crowded over the first few kilometres.

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And another photo from the archives……snowmobile jumping in the Finnish capital of Helsinki….

WORDPRESS-Helsinki-snowmobile

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Crystal clear autumn day in Norway

Thought for the day….” Life is not a rehersal, it is the real thing”

” Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards”

The photo today was taken a couple of days ago in Geilo, Norway on a perfect autumn day.  Clear air and no wind made for brilliant photo conditions in this view, which is taken looking west.  Captured with the Fuji X E1 camera as a jpg photo.   Did you know that the word ‘photography’ comes from the Greek words ‘photos’ (meaning light) and ‘grafien’ (meaning to draw)?   Whilst ‘conventional’ photography began in the 1820s, the first real digital camera came in 1988, the Fuji DS-1P.    Interesting to think of the quality of this early digital camera and compare it to the 16mp results from the photo below (also taken with a Fuji camera).     Did you know that the owner of Kodak cameras (George Eastman) named the company after the sound that the shutters on cameras made when taking photos?   There are still 12 Hasselblad cameras left behind on the moon after the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972.   The Hasselblad H4D  is probably the most expensive digital camera currently.  The 60 mp camera costs around USD 41 000.   But even a ‘cheap’ camera can produce fantastic results……..

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and another photo out of the archives…..a steam train driver in Uppsala, Sweden…

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