I got them Software Update Blues

So does my son.  I’m currently using older versions of Firefox/Cyberfox because the newest releases not only disable all my tried and true plugins/addons without any replacements for them, the new formats are freaking UGLY!  My son is getting the “We will be disabling this version of Skype, so update now!”  Problem is the version he’s using now works better than the “new and improved” version.

I get fed up with all the excuses/reasons “To ensure your security” or safety. Bollix! It’s up to ME to take care of that, not Microsoft, not Mozilla. That is what 3rd party security software is for.

So, until Microsoft releases a better version of Skype, one that doesn’t have that gawd awful Facebook Messenger layout, or gives one with a customizable layout, and until there are updates, or REAL replacements for current browser extensions, I will stick with the ‘old and lousy’ over the ‘new and improved.

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I’m not one for doing things last minute

I’ve been sorting and packing what camera gear I’m planning to take to Broome.  Although I’m taking less than I did last time, it weighs more? 2 camera bodies, three lenses, two extenders, Surface Pro. Puts the bag 2kgs over.  My choices are put a camera body or a lens, along with the extenders, into checked baggage.

It doesn’t help when the camera bag itself is 2kgs!  Wing  said that since his Olympus gear is lighter, I might be able to put some of my gear in his carry on bag.  If not, I have a lightweight camera bag I can safely stow my gear, and put it in the checked in baggage.

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Surface Pro installations Checklist

Photoshop and Bridge.. Check.
DxO Photolab.. Check.
Google NIK Collection… Check
My old tried and true LViewPro image viewer.. Check.
Mailwasher.. Check.
Google Chrome.. Check.
Trillian.. Check
yLaunch.. Check.
VLC.. Check
That pretty much does the whole installation and set up.  Now, it’s the tweaking that needs o be done. The loathsome nannyware that refuses to let me save txt files in certain areas, or the whining about not being the Administrator when I am.  Got the bluetooth pen and mouse set up, too. Wing  Told me that On1PhotoRaw 2018 works on his surface pro, so installed it on mine, also. Had to reset the activations as we wanted to make sure we didn’t exceed the number of seats activated. You can have 5 running at one time, but if you need more, you deactivate on one computer, and activate on the other. Easy peasy!

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I Tech, therefore I am.

During our Albany trip, Wing  saw first hand the issues I had been having with my Sony laptop. It works great once it’s in Windows, but not joking, (and no, not asking for tech advice (been there, done that, it is what it is)  can take up to 15 minutes before I can do anything with the computer.  But once in there, it works great..most of the time. But not only that, when traveling by plane, weight matters. That laptop is heavy, taking up 3.4kgs, and I need that for the tripod.

He took us to Hardly Normal, and after some comparing different makes and models,  for trips, I will be using an i7 Surface Pro.  Spent a few hours setting it up last night. 

One of the issues I have with the surface pro is the itty bitty menus. Because it has such a high DPI, programs are scaled to fit.  My choices were to use the magnifier, which annoyingly follows my mouse cursor around, or to find another way.

NERDZ ROOL! I did a bit of internet searching and found how, with a registry edit, and a simple manifest file, I can have all the programs scaled to an actual readable size.  I also tweaked the registry to get rid of those ‘short cut arrows’. Never liked them from way back.

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The Canon Collective Australia South West Road Trip

Last week, Wing and I headed out on a photography trip. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would be up for it, as there was some hiking involved.

We got to the Bunker Bay Resort, and that place was just a beautiful as I remember from years ago. When the concierge was informed of my knee issue, coupled with the fact we were about as far from the reception/parking area as we could be (we had the bungalow near the lake), we had golfcart transport to and from our bungalow.

Moving on.

Thursday. First stop was Sugar Loaf Rock, one of the most photographed rock formations in Western Australia.  I looked at the ‘overlook’ area and was started the slow climb up. Yay! Made it!

Everyone takes a photo of the formation with the water and waves all around it durning sunrises or sunsets, and they’re lovely, but I wanted to do something a bit different.

Sunset at Sugar Loaf Rock.



Also had a Nankeen Kestrel keeping watch over our activities.



Friday: Next stop was the Albany Wind Farm. Due to some misinformation, I was told the person I was looking for to return a lens was at the very top of the trail.  I managed to go almost to the very top, only to find out the person I was looking for was at the bottom Open-mouthed smile 

Also revisited the Canal Rocks, and first time visit to The Reflecting Pool.





Saturday: We went back to the Albany Wind Farm at Dark O’Clock to get some shots of the Milkyway over the wind farm. Then we headed to “The Gap and Natural Bridge” later in the day for some sunshet shots. And also got a great shot of the “Albany Brig” with almost perfectly still water reflecting.




Sunday: We got up again, at O’Dark O’Clock to get some Astrophotography at The Gap and Natural Bridge.



After sunrise, we got some photos of the harbor, the shipping port and other local points of interest.




And then it was time to head home.  Took a while to get all the photos culled and processed. Open-mouthed smile 


It was a great road trip. Smile  Here’s hoping the next one is just as much fun.

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Yeah, it’s getting better

Today, I washed, hung out, dried, folded three large loads of laundry.  I also not only cooked dinner tonight, I cleaned up afterward.

Seeing as these simple tasks might not seem a big deal, but after total knee replacement, and then the following accident, these simple tasks are actually damned good thing.

My knee is a bit sore after all I’ve done today, but sore.. not painful.  

Tired now.

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Interesting results

Yesterday, I went out to get some stormy skies photography, and brought the 7DmkII paired with Canon 400mm f/5.6 prime lens.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good lens, but without stabilization, I found most my photos had some variation of motion blur, as it was low light, focusing on a distant subject, hand held. Not the best lighting for a non IS lens.

Today, I took the 400mm, mounted it on the Kipon EF to MFT adapter, and put it on an Olympus OMD EM1.  I swear this lens and body were made for each other.  Even though the lens is an f/5.6 on a full frame, the equivalent on the EM1 is an F/2.8.  Couple that with the in body stabilization, the lens being Non IS is no longer an issue.

You have to remember this when using this combination, because if you don’t your images will probably be a bit dark, and when shooting at ISO 800 or above, that can lead to excess noise.  You will see 5.6 flashing in your viewfinder. You have to ignore that. I know, goes against everything you’ve learned.

I shot this at f/6.3 +0.7, ISO 800, 1/120 exp. 


The image is sharp, colors are great, and even the bokeh is sweet.

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