Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “lake

Joys of travelling

Thought for the day…”Reach for the stars, even if you have to stand on a cactus”

It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.”

The joys of travelling….exciting new places and destinations.  But it is not always fun.   One of my pet hates (one of many) is that hotels often do not have a list of TV channels.   Given that some hotels can have upwards of 100 channels, why can they not put a list in the room to save endless channel surfing trying to find the 5 or 6 interesting channels??    A simple card or print out listing the channels would be so good.   And linked to this pet hate are hotel TVs that as soon as start them are at maximum volume, hardly ideal for a hotel when guests are trying to sleep.

Next pet hate……Many hotels are no longer giving the small bottles of shampoo and conditioner or individual soap, preferring to have dispensers on the walls instead.   All very well IF the hotel refills them but so often just when you are in the shower you discover that the dispensers are empty.

And staying with hotels and pet hates…..the annoying habit that more and more hotels are only putting in one rubbish bin/trash can in the whole room and bathroom.  Saves them a little money, but is hardly good for the guest experience.

Another hate….modern hotels whose managers have decided that THEY know the temperature that guests want the rooms to be at, and have removed individual temperature controls in the rooms….I am seeing this more and more and it is also not good for the guest experience.

Topping the list of pet hates for hotels…..any hotel that has slow internet or has a poor internet signal in the room deserves to go out of business….no excuse for this in the 21st century.    Excuses such as “it is the number of guests in the hotel” or “it is the rainy weather” just get me irritated.  It is not rocket science to get fast, reliable internet in a hotel, but it seems to be a major problem for some hotels.

The list goes on….to be continued………

Today’s photo is of the lakefront in Pembroke, South Island, New Zealand, on a perfect Summer’s evening.  One man and his dog admire the view….

and another photo from the archives…..driving hazards on the roads of Scandinavia….these are a much bigger problem at night when they tend to freeze in the car headlights.   A male elk can be over 300 kg, so can cause a lot of damage to a car.

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RESPECT,  CONSIDERATION  &  FAIRNESS


An aerial view of Lake Wanaka in perfect weather

Thought for the day….”Life Always offers you a second chance. It’s called tomorrow”.

A video instead of a photo today…the lakeside town of Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand.  A short (10 minute) drone video taken in perfect weather.  Starts over the town of Wanaka then along the lakeside at Glendu Bay and finally over Dublin Bay. New Zealand at its best.   Sit back and enjoy !

and another photo from the archives…an Autumn day in Glendu Bay, South Island, New Zealand (same place as featured in the video above).   The glaciers visible in the background are in the Mt. Aspiring National Park, with Mt. Aspiring (3033m) visible on the skyline to the right.   The mountains are part of the Southern Alps.

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Video or not. That is the question

Thought for the day…”One fails forward toward success.”

“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.”

One of the big decisions that I am wrestling with at the moment is whether to concentrate on taking still photos, or take videos as well.    Taking videos is a whole different ball game, needing more equipment (including a much heavier tripod)  and a host of other bits and pieces.   Not only that, taking videos takes more time to set up and then even longer to edit.

Not only that, but I am beginning to question just how much photographic equipment I am sometimes carrying….a Fuji still camera, extra Fuji lenses (including a zoom lens that weighs 1.4kg), battery charger, spare batteries and trip.   Add to that 2 action cameras (Garmin & Go Pro), their battery chargers, their cables and all the special fittings that both need then the camera bag starts to get very big.     And on top of this, there is the quadcopter, again with its own battery charger, extra batteries and controller.   Of course, the leads and plugs for each are different.

So the camera bag is getting fuller and fuller, heavier and heavier.   Sometimes I think that going out to take photos is becoming a bit like a National Geographic photo trip.    So once again, I am trying to decide whether or not to concentrate on still photos, or to continue with videos as well.   Not an easy decision.   The quality of videos on sites like YouTube and Vimeo is SO high now….what was acceptable 10 years ago is not not, so videos have to made much better than before.

Not an easy decision, and one that needs a lot more thought.

Two still photos today, the first from the Brienzersee lake in central Switzerland, with one of the BLS lake boats, the second photo from the military air base at Meiringen, and a photo of an F-18 Hornet taking off for a practice flight prior to the recent airshow.

and another photo from the archives…

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Road rage, air rage and now airport rage

Thought for the day…”The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more.”                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.”

Road rage has now spread to airports as well.   The security checks, long queues and long waits and hassles over baggage mean that people are more stressed than ever.    Airlines have shot themselves in the foot by charging for baggage, as now you see people trying to drag on as much as they can…not uncommon to see them with 3 and sometimes 4 bags.    Airline policies may be wrong, and a lot of the things that airlines are now doing ARE unreasonable, but what is not fair is when you see people’s anger at airports directed at the wrong people – the people working on the check-in desks or at the gate.  These are not the people who have made the rules, they are the ones who are given the unfortunate task to enforce them though.   So it is sad to see passengers at airports getting angry with the wrong people, especially as many of them work for ground companies who are only contracted by the airlines.   By all means get angry with the airlines and the people who have made the mistakes, but make sure that the anger is directed at the correct people.   The person in front of you at the desk or gate may not be the right one.

Late afternoon low sunlight lights up the main street of Brienz, Switzerland for the photo today.  Many of the houses in this area date from the 1700s.

and another photo from the archives – a boat waits at Brienz, Switzerland for the return trip to Interlaken.

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Now it is SWISS airlines turn.

Thought for the day…”It’s better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.”

“The less you talk, the more you’re listened to.”

More evidence of how bad things are getting for Economy Class passengers.   SWISS airlines have now announced that on routes to/from Geneva GVA, that passengers on the cheapest economy tickets will now only get free water.  Gone are the  (included) meals and tea/coffee for those travelling on the cheapest fares.   So given that SWISS airlines are using aircraft such as the Airbus A320, the same as some budget/Low cost carriers (LCC) are using then what is the point of paying extra money to fly with SWISS airlines??   Seats and interiors are very similar, and both are going for a buy-on-board system, flight times are very similar, and increasingly, departure and arrival airports are the same.    So the legacy carriers believe that people will continue to pay higher prices for the same service as on a budget airline?  Not me for one.  Airline managers may have looked to the USA and have been inspired by what airlines there have been able to get away with, but I am drawing the line now.    With SWISS airlines announcing these cuts to basic economy tickets (not to mention the devaluing of the frequent flyer points system), I may end up flying a budget airline such as Wizzair in future.   No point to pay more money for the same service.  At least the budget airlines do not try and pretend that they are full service airlines.  Swiss airlines have gone too far with the latest cuts.

A black & white for for the picture today, one from Iceland taken in 2005.

and another photo from the archives…early morning on the lakefront in Pembroke, South Island, New Zealand.

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Not a nuclear explosion, but sunset over the Baltic Sea

Thought for the day…”Well done is better than well said.”  (Benjamin Franklin).

“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”

A wonderful story in the news at the moment from Washington, DC,  about ‘Steve’, the security robot who fell down some steps into a water fountain.  The high-tech robot was fitted with ultra-sonic sensors, infra-red sensors and HD video, yet still managed to fall down the steps and into the water below.   His makers, Knightscope,  have been providing updates on his ‘condition’ from ‘hospital’.   The security robot is quoted as thanking his human helpers for saving him, and he is also quoted as saying that he did not see the ‘No Swimming’ sign before entering the water.    Apparently the water has played havoc with his electronics (natually).  His condition was reported as ‘critical’.    So despite all the high technology, the ‘intelligent’ robot still managed to end up wet and useless.   And this is supposed to be the future !!

Not a nuclear explosion, but sunset over the Baltic Sea near Sweden for the photo today…

and another photo…Lake Hawea on the South Island of New Zealand, another Fuji X-T20 photo..

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Always connected – the digital overload

Thought for the day….”It is not the years in your life that count.  It is the life in your years”

“Knowledge comes from learning.  Wisdom comes from living”

One of the big challenges now is that we are never disconnected.   People are now suffering an onslaught of information at all hours of the day, and with tables and mobile phones, this continues even when they are not at work.    Internet is available almost everywhere, and the mobile phone means that people are still connected even when they are on the beach or walking in the park.    Not only are people able to be online continuously, but there is also an overload of information now.     Some scientists are now saying that this constant stream of data is making it hard to concentrate, and is also causing increasing levels of stress.  There is also the problem of trying to juggle all the different forms of technology, and to cope with all that information that is now bombarding us.     So rather than making life easier for us, this technology is actually making life MORE difficult and stressful.     People now believe that they have to answer a mobile phone call immediately, and that the email that has just arrived must be read instantly, whilst at the same time they are still bombarded by information from the internet.  Some hotels are now advertising that they do NOT have internet, and also are advertising digital detox breaks.   Always connected, and not a good thing.

Today’s photo comes from the lakefront in Pembroke, New Zealand, where there is also internet.  Who needs it though with a view like this?

and another photo, the waterfront at Picton, South Island, New Zealand.    From here ferries depart for the 3.5 hour trip to the North Island.

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Autumn in Norway – fantastic autumn colours

Thought for the day…” A smile is a curve that sets everything straight”.

“Silence is not always golden”.

Norway has been experiencing some fantastic autumn weather recently, with days of clear blue skies and very clear air.    With conditions like these then the camera has been very busy….lots of photos and lots of videos.  So expect to see more photos of the autumn colours over the next few days.    The first 2 photos today were both taken today (7th October) near the village of Ornes in Norway.   Yet another day of perfect clear autumn air.    An absolute joy to be out with the camera…….

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and another photo from the archives….Haglebu, also in Norway.

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Black & White or colour….which is best ?????

Thought for the day…” Broken pencils are pointless”       “Jokes about German sausages are the wurst”

Lots of fun to go back through the photo collections and re-edit the photos….and also get rid of a lot of earlier attempts.   Two versions of the same photo today, from the Spanish island of Menorca.  All photos from the Fuji X series….with the standard 18-55mm kit lens.    See which you like the best.  Same photo but one is converted to B & W.     My vote goes to the black & white version….

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and another photo from the archives….the lake at Geilo, Norway in early autumn…

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Norway this morning

Thought for the day…” Life is too important to be taken seriously” (Oscar Wilde)

“Life is like a 10 speed cycle.  Most of us have gears that we do not use”.

Another fantastic summer day in Norway….and one photo taken early this morning.  Taken today near the centre of Bergen.   Time to put on the sun cream again….

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and another photo from the archives..a 737 about to land in Funchal, Madeira…

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More depressing news from New Zealand

Thought for the day…”If things do not go right, go left”

“Success – keeping your mind awake and your desire asleep”

More depressing news from New Zealand….even more flights and even bigger aircraft.   As well as increased numbers of flights from the USA and also from China, Emirates airline has announced that it is putting a 4th Airbus A380 on the route to Auckland.    This will mean that there will be 4 A380s at Auckland at the same time in addition to another A380 from Singapore Airlines.  Whilst the tourist board in NZ may be congratulating themselves on record numbers of visitors, the country just cannot cope with ever-increasing numbers.   The country has a population of just over 4.6 million people, but now receives over 3.3 million tourists, many of whom want to see the same few places.   The last 2 summers have seen accommodation fully booked, and tourists having to sleep in cars due to the lack of accommodation.  Buses and flights have been fully booked, and it has even become necessary to reserve some mountain huts ahead.    Queenstown (known as the adventure capital of the world), with a population of around 22 000 people, is now receiving over 2 MILLION tourists a year.  You can imagine what the town centre is like there in high summer.   But the tourist board keeps encouraging more and more flights, thinking that more and more tourists are good for the economy.  Yet the very nature and beauty that these tourists are attracted to is fast becoming destroyed (there have been attempts to build a monorail in one of the national parks already).

Some of the popular walking tracks (such as the Abel Tasman coastal track and the Tongariro Crossing) are now so crowded that they are considering giving people starting times for the walks, in an attempt to spread the crowds out.    Clean and green New Zealand it once was.  Now it is crowded and busy NZ.   So the news that the airlines are putting on even more flights to cope with this demand is hardly surprising, yet nobody in government has had the courage to stand up and say that there is a limit to how many tourists that NZ can accept.   It seems that every month that a new record for tourist arrivals is being reached (China is the big growth area for incoming tourists), with no sign of it easing up.    So when those millions of tourists do finally arrive in NZ, then the fun and games trying to find accommodation, rental cars and domestic flights begins.    Those politicians who think that unlimited numbers of tourists are good for the NZ economy should take a trip (assuming that they can get a seat on a flight or bus) to Queenstown or Milford Sound in summer and see just what sort of effect the millions of tourists are having.    Start queueing now !!!

Early morning in Geilo, Norway for the photo today….great colours from the Fuji camera together with clear air helped make this such a good photo.  The early morning mist had almost burnt off when the photo was taken.

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and another photo from the archives…two tourists admire Lake Wanaka, Pembroke Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand. Two tourists managed to creep into this photo even !!

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Does Size Matter?? Men with big……………..camera lenses !!!

Thought for the day….” Winners never quit, and quitters never win”.

“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes”   (Winston Churchill).

Time for an upgrade of my camera.  The Fuji X-E1 had been producing some fantastic pictures, so I was in no hurry to upgrade, especially as the gains and improvements with a new camera would be small.  But upgrade I did and now have the Fuji XT-10.     Apart from having a tilting screen (something that I thought was a gimmick before I actually got to find out that sometimes it is very useful), it has a few other new features that I am also finding useful too.   Features that I had not had previously such as wifi, remote control and geo-tagging are now available, as well as faster focussing and a viewfinder that is perhaps the clearest that I have ever used.  So although I was sad to part with the X-E1,  the new camera is already proving to be just as much fun as the older one.   It is said that Fujifilm cameras are made by photographers who are also engineers, whereas another famous brand (=brand X) is made by engineers, full stop.  Guess which cameras are more fun to use?    Having real dials and also menus that you can customize, and a fantastic viewfinder makes all the difference.   Photography is fun again !!!

Even if I enjoy taking photos,  I will probably (hopefully) not go to this extreme…..an aircraft spotter or very keen photographer seen at an airshow recently…..He was carrying not one but two BIG cameras.   The lens on the second camera must have weighed several kilos….

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and another photo from the archives…the lake at Haglebu, Norway…….

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Early morning trip to Milford Sound

Thought for the day…”He who angers you, conquers you”.

“We all have the ability.  The difference is how we use it”.

I have just had another flight (unfortunately) with Air New Zealand.    I say unfortunately because what was once a quality airline has turned into a money-grabbing budget airline which pretends to be a quality airline.     Do AirNZ really think that I am going to pay NZD 10 to choose my seat, when they have to give me a seat anyway?   Do AirNZ really think that I am going to PAY NZD10 to watch a movie onboard??   Whilst they might have put a credit card slot in the seatback for me to pay, it is going to remain unused.      And having tasted the food offering (laughing called ‘The Works” on the outward journey, then I am sure that I will not be paying for the small portion of food that was offered.   I moved on from eating child portions a long time ago but apparently AirNZ thinks that I still do eat child portions, even when I paid for an ADULT portion.   And a wait of over 1 hour and 20 minutes to get even a cup of coffee is not going to make me happy either, especially as it was the usual airline sized 1/2 cup.

But the saddest part is to think back to how AirNZ used to be.  Once they WERE good, and once it was a pleasure to fly with them.     Times change.

Milford Sound is one of the most popular fjords that tourists visit in New Zealand.     Here is an early morning photo from the road which leads into Milford Sound.  Unusually, the weather is great in the photo.   Milford Sound is infamous for getting over 7 metres of rain a year…..so days like this are rare.    This photo is taken just before the entrance to the famous Homer Tunnel, which leads down to Milford Sound.

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And another photo from the archives….Haglebu, Norway

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Istanbul back streets – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you.   Listen so that others love to  speak to you”.

” Forever may be only tomorrow”.

Off to Turkey today for the photo, and to the back streets of Istanbul.   Istanbul is the only city built on two continents (Europe & Asia), and is divided by the Bosphorus River.    It is said that Turks introduced the Dutch to tulips and that they also introduced Europe to coffee.   Despite being the biggest city in Turkey population-wise, it is not the capital (Ankara is).    It was previously called Constantinople but changed to Istanbul in 1930.  With a population of around 14 million, it is said to have 3113 mosques, and is also home to the famous Grand Bazaar, housing around 5000 shops and stalls and around 250 000 visitors a day.

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And a photo from the archives….. Lake Wanaka in New Zealand.

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Coffee time in Finland

Thought for the day…”Value is more expensive than price”

“You may not know what is going to happen when you try, but if you do not try, nothing will happen”.

Two photos from opposite sides of the globe next, one from the Finnish capital of Helsinki and the second from the Central Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand.   Interestingly, the building in the first photo is now the City Hall for Helsinki, but was originally a hotel where the first moving pictures were shown in Finland by the Lumiere brothers in 1896.   Even in winter (when temperatures are frequently below -20 degrees centigrade) people will sit outside in the area around the harbour to drink excellent, strong Finnish coffee (kahvi in Finnish language).   Finland is number one in the world for coffee consumption per capita, something to do with the long, dark Artic nights.  But the coffee is excellent !!!   It works out to about 12kg of coffee for each person in Finland.   A survey in 2014 reported that 14% of men and 6% of women in Finland drank MORE than 10 cups of coffee a day.  They like their coffee !!

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And another photo from the archives….Lake Hawea, Otago, New Zealand

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They deserve to go out of business……Norwegian Post

Thought for the day…” Make your life a mission, not an intermission”.

Customers can forgive a lot, IF they see that a company is trying.    Mistakes will be made, that is natural, and customers will generally forgive IF the company is seen to be trying to resolve the problem.   But not Posten.no   (Norway Post).   Not once, but TWICE they have messed up a delivery coming from New Zealand to Oslo.   They delivered the letter to the WRONG address, then sent it back to New Zealand for a second time.     But the worst thing is that they do not want to try to put matters right.   They will not even give out the email address of the customer manager.     Try emailing them…..and you will wait a long time for a pathetic reply.  Try asking them for compensation, and again you will wait and wait.   They really are hopeless.    They deserve to go out of business with staff like that working for them.    Bad enough that they messed up the delivery the first time, but to do it TWICE and then send the letter back to New Zealand AFTER I had emailed them to advise them of the problem is unforgiveable.   Guess who will be avoiding Norway Post in future??     I hope that bankruptcy comes soon.

The photo today is from rural Ethiopia……..not sure what they were looking at……..

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and another photo from the archives….autumn in Geilo, Norway

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I get that peaceful, easy morning feeling

Thought for the day…” Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? ”

” The cure for insomnia is to get more sleep”.                  ” If a book about failure does not sell, then is it a success”.

Not the words from one of the hits of the Eagles music group but a peaceful scene from Norway for the photo today.  One of the early photos from the Fuji X-E1 camera here, taken whilst I was still trying the camera out.   Early morning in the hills of Norway, with some light mist starting to appear over the lake and the first signs of autumn on the trees.   Did you know that in the Swedish and Norwegian languages, that there is no word for ‘please’.   It always sounds very strange (and impolite)  to a non-Scandinavian to simply demand things (eg. give me a coffee.) instead of saying please.    Finnish is another language which does not have a direct word for please (although it does have some polite ways to ask for things, such as  Saisinko (=can I have).     And perhaps because of the long, dark winter and cold winter nights, Norway is number 2 in the world for coffee consumption per capita, around 142 litres (or about 9.5kg of coffee beans) a year for each Norwegian citizen.  Finland still tops the list.

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and a photo from Brazil, with a storm approaching Sao Paulo airport……

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Two from Oslo, Norway

Thought for the day…”Pretty words are not always true, and true words are not always pretty”.

“You cannot live a positive life with a negative mind”.

Think of Scandinavia and you probably think of countries with high standards, countries that are clean and also countries that are fairly well-ordered.    So when you mention Norway, and the capital, Oslo, you do not tend to think of a city with problems.   Two of the big problems there are hard drugs and also gypsies.    What is also surprising is that this happens not just in the suburbs, but in the very heart of the city.    Just a few steps from the main train and bus stations (and sometimes even inside these) are people openly dealing in drugs, even during the daytime.   Drug use is also very obvious in the city centre, yet the police seem to do little about it.   It is not just the ‘soft’ drugs but the serious ones like heroin as well.  Around 250 people die each year in Norway from heroin overdoes.    And it is very obvious who is using these hard drugs too.   Add to that a huge problem with begging gypsies and it makes the city centre of Oslo far from pleasant.     Last summer gypsies were even setting up camp in the main squares and parks, then lighting fires to cook on.   Now they are plagueing the city streets, begging in shop doorways and street corners.    Add to that the explosion of grafitti in Oslo, and the city that tourists discover on arriving is far different from the city that they expected.

Staying in Oslo for the photo today…..a colourful corner shop.

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And another photo from the archives…..a perfect autumn morning in Geilo, Norway……

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Go Pro 4 Black – unhappy experience

Thought for the day…” Genius is 1 % inspiration and 99 % perspiration”.

“You miss 100% of the shots that you do not take”.

They say that hindsight is always 20/20, and with hindsight I would not have bought the GoPro Hero 4 Black.    There are lots of brilliant videos on Youtube and the net made by GoPro cameras, but I guess that the new GoPro Hero 4 Black is not going to be producing so many of them.

I purchased the latest version of the camera recently, but was dismayed to find that it has a problem.   Not just a problem but a serious one.   After a short time, it gets hot and cuts out automatically (to save further damage to itself).   The user manual warns you about this, and I have now read a good number of reports on the internet about problems caused by overheating.   And of course, the plastic case that you use most of the time just makes matters worse, as it stops airflow around the camera, resulting in an even hotter camera.  So GoPro have produced an action camera that does record in 4K (as the advertising says) but a camera that gets so hot that it cuts out after a few minutes recording.

An email to customer services at GoPro got a useless reply, which just restated what the user manual said.    GoPro are suggesting that users take short video clips, and then let the camera cool down between filming.  Hardly practical if you are doing action sports, as you cannot really pause your action sport for a couple of minutes just to let the camera cool !!   That is a guarantee that the action moment will be missed.

But what is sad is that GoPro know of the problem, (even describing it in the user manual) and must be aware of all the complaints on the internet about it.   That said, it seems that the GoPro 4 SILVER is fine, and works well, just that the top of the range Hero 4 BLACK has the overheating issue.

What would I do now if I was running the GoPro company?    Admit that the units have a serious problem and recall them and offer a full refund.  Customers can forgive a lot if they see that a company is trying.  Mistakes do happen, but to keep selling items with a known problem is just not on.   Probably bad for business in the long-term too, as selling a product with a known fault is not going to encourage loyalty or improve your company image.

So I will send more emails to GoPro in the hope that they will do the honourable thing and offer a full refund.  I do not intend to limit my action sports to just a few minutes !!

No problems with the Fuji X-E1 camera, which continues to produce fantastic still photos (with no overheating problems!!).   Two examples below to show how good the camera is.   First photo was taken recently in Pembroke (Wanaka), New Zealand.

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And another photo from the archives…early morning in autumn in the hills of Norway…..another Fuji X-E1 photo….

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Another stunning morning in Wanaka, New Zealand.

Thought for the day….”Marriage is the main cause of divorce”.

“There is no elevator to success.  You have to take the stairs”.

Another beautiful morning in Wanaka in the south part of the South Island of New Zealand.     This popular summer and winter resort is expanding fast, with a population of over 7000 now and 1600 new houses about to be built.     Until 1940 it was called Pembroke but was renamed.   Wanaka receives only half the national average of rainfall, as it is in the rain shadow of the Southern Alps, which also means that it gets over 2000 hours of sunshine a year.   Despite the calm appearance of the lake in the photo (taken a few days ago) the lake has flooded the town previously, the most recent being in 1999.  New Zealand has become considerably more expensive recently, with prices rising fast for food, accommodation and tourist activities.  It is no longer the bargain destination that it once was, and with record numbers of tourist arrivals (409 000 for the month of December alone) then accommodation and buses are still very heavily booked.    Early morning in the photo, and two tourists admire the views…….

Wordpress-Wanakaand another photo from the archives….a Mozambique woman….LOW-RES-MOZAMBIQUE-Vilankulos-to-Inchope-road-15-Oct-2012-(17)

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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…..

LOW-RES-Lake-Wanaka

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

WORDPRESS-Helsinki-snowmobile

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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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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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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……..

LOW-RES-NOR-Geilo-lake-4

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

LOW-RES-engine-driver

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