Saturday, September 20, 2014

Canon 7D - Blue-Green Twilight Color Balance - Revisited

In a post last month, I discussed a new tool for fine tuning white balance in-camera: White Balance Shift. Since then, I've been playing around with this setting on a numerous occasions, with mixed results (notably, for the tail end of the sunset on Aug 20). Last week, an opportunity to use this came up, with a crisp clear night and the fickle blue-green twilight that had eluded me up till now...


Finally, I think I've nailed it! The shot above was all in-camera white balance (no tweaks applied, as far as I can remember). The settings for this are as follows:
  • White Balance Mode (aka "Base" WB) = Shade
  • WB Shift = B7, G6
  • Exposure Compensation = -1 1/3
Contrary to my initial belief, it was necessary to bias the WB towards blue (instead of amber) to really draw out those rich bluish-green hues. Otherwise, you just get purple blue, with all the green-bits turned to white or faint orange-yellow. So, there you have it! The recipe for capturing blue-green twilights.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tonight's Sunset

Following a day of blustery norwesters, we had yet another interesting sunset this evening. Originally, it didn't look too promising, as there was just a lot of blue sky around everywhere. But, around 6:15, I caught sight of a large pink cloud formation out to the east. Heading outside, I quickly discovered that besides the interesting cloud to the east, there was also some interesting action going on to the west!




Sunsets this week

With the unsettled spring weather this week (following a really nice and sunny settled period over the past week or two), we've had a number of spectacular sunsets this week. As they say, some of the most dramatic sunsets occur on the days with the highest probability of also turning out to be complete fizzers where the cloud cover just blotted out everything. That said, I'm beginning to feel like I'm starting to be able to guess which days are likely to produce some interesting skies to look at. Today's sunset was one of those...

 Today

 Tuesday

Monday

[Second Attempt] Getting Ralink RT3290 Wifi working on Linux Mint 15 (and HP Envy 17)

Last year, I posted a short tutorial about a failed attempt at getting a stable wifi connection on HP Envy 17 under Linux (Mint 15) with the crappy Ralink RT3290 card it uses. Initially, things looked promising with that fix... that is, until I was about 90% complete writing that article, and the whole machine locked up, in what I soon came to learn was known as a "kernel panic".

Yesterday, in preparation for a potential repartitioning attempt sometime "soon" to resolve some upcoming disk-space availability issues (i.e. I initially set aside > 500GB of my disk for Linux, but since I'm not using it that much now, the measly 200 GB for Windows is almost exhausted now), I finally got around to uploading to Github the sources for the patched driver I've had running on Linux since my last post.



Quick Links + Instructions
* The sources can be downloaded from:
 https://github.com/Aligorith/ralink3209_drivers/tree/x64_PanicFixesPorted
(NOTE: To be clear, you need to be on the "x64_PanicFixesPorted" branch, NOT the master)

* IIRC, you should be able to just compile that straight (without any further tweaks), and then install it as per the instructions in my previous tutorial.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tung Choi Street - Goldfish Market (HK)

This evening, I stumbled across the following video of Tung Choi Street (in Mong Kok, Hong Kong), otherwise known as "Goldfish Street". It brings back quite a few memories from when I was there during my 2012 trip to Hong Kong, and captures a few of the sights I really wanted to take shots of (but couldn't really do, with all the no photography signs everywhere).



In fact, I'd say that this video actually makes it look a lot more impressive than what I saw at the time, with a lot more fish on display and in higher numbers.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wow! Ostracods

On what could be best described as a bit of a bad day (*) - matched by the gloomy brooding rainclouds, it could be said that these little guys really "lit" up my day ;)

 Ostracods - via Colossal

What a cool effect!

Ostracods are the little spec-like shrimp thingies which collide with the big silver fish. Apparently when the big fish accidentally eats an ostracod, the ostracod produces a bioluminescent (i.e. glowing) chemical, which causes the predator to spit out its prey (resulting in that bright fireball effect) to avoid attracting attention to itself (i.e. note the transparent body).


Thursday, September 4, 2014

An Unwanted Anniversary - 4 years on

 Forget Me Not flowers in our garden - Photo from this afternoon

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Short Piano Thumping Recordings

Over the past few days, I've been having a bit of fun randomly thumping the upright piano we've got lying around gathering dust. Since no-one really plays it much nowadays, it has a few dodgy keys (i.e. broken dampers (f'') + occasionally-unresponsive-hammer (c,)), and some notes are jarringly off-kilter (having not been tuned for years - i.e. a).  That said, none of that really matters, since I'm just randomly thumping it in whatever way feels fun to do, and which makes interesting sounds.

Disclaimer 1: Untrained pianist fumblings abound ahead...
Disclaimer 2: No pianos were (intentionally) harmed in the process of recording these snippets ;)

21 August





16 August





Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hagley Park - Sunny Afternoon Walk

Last Sunday, the weather was really nice and sunny here in Christchurch - perfect for a walk around Hagley Park. As usual, parking was a bit of a hassle, but we got there in the end, parking in the Rolleston Ave carpark. Here are some highlights of that walkabout...








Video Link - Robert Hodgin at Eyeo 2014

This evening, I came across an entertaining talk by Robert Hodgin at the Eyeo Festival this year, about his work on flocking simulations. "Creative coding" (i.e. interactive/dynamic scenes) definitely sounds like some fun stuff to play around with sometime...


Eyeo 2014 - Robert Hodgin from Eyeo Festival // INST-INT on Vimeo.

Silvereyes - Bread Feeding Frenzy






Friday, August 22, 2014

Last night's sunset

Despite a cold change and predicted rain during the afternoon, last night's sunset was still somewhat decent (though obviously not as impressive as the one that I'd missed on Wednesday). It was however bitterly cold - within a minute of being out there, I was like an ice block, despite wearing a jacket and gloves!