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Macs, Movies, Games, Books, etc. The Rants of a Mad Man.

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Experiments in smoke photography: “The Elephant & the Seahorse”

April 5th, 2010 by Raj


It has been a fair while since I’ve done anything even slightly creative but this Easter long weekend gave me the perfect opportunity to explore an area of photography that I’ve always found so beautiful in smoke photography. A few google searches later and I had a vague idea of where I should start, I already had a couple of 1000W photo-lamps, black backdrop what I didn’t have that would no doubt have improved the shots some more was a remote flash, something I wasn’t about to drop a few hundred bucks on just for experimenting.

Three incense sticks and 100 shots later the above is a combination of my two favourite shots. I spent a good couple of hours just flicking through the unpolished shots picking out shapes and symbols in some sort of cloud-like game. If Elephants & Seahorses aren’t your game (and what a killer name for an English pub BTW), there are a couple more interesting shots below.

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Photos from the Hockey Championship Trophy, Melbourne 2009

December 11th, 2009 by Raj

Last weekend Melbourne played host to the Championship Trophy. The international men’s hockey tournament consisted of the world’s top six teams including Australia, Germany, & The Netherlands. To be honest I had no idea that it was even on until a friend from Adelaide rang to say he and his hockey club team mates were flying over for it and I managed to grab a ticket from them. I’m glad I went, I really miss playing and for the two days I was there I had a great time.

On the photography front I think I took nearly 200 hundred photos from the crowd, a lot of them useless but some of them pretty fun and catching a bit of action. The fruits of my labour are viewable in the slideshow below. Unfortunately taking photos like this at a sports event only makes me want to go out and buy some ridiculous zoom telephoto lens rather than using a stock standard 250mm lens that came with my DSLR.

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365 Days – The Video

July 24th, 2009 by Raj

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now and last night with a spare hour or so I threw together a video of my photos from the 365 Day project I finished on flickr earlier this year.

You can see all the photos individual (if you wish) here: http://www.idontquiteknow.com/365-days/

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The end of a Canadian Tale

February 22nd, 2009 by Raj

Well ladies and gentlemans of “teh internets” (and yes I meant to write “gentlemans; grammar nazis), I don’t think there is any way I can possibly continue to draw out the chapter of my life that is the “Canadian Tales“. The time has come, one pregnancy term later, to dog-ear the page and put down the book for a well deserved kip.

That’s not to say that I haven’t done absolutely everything within my almighty skinny frame’s power to squeeze every last juicy drop from one poor carcass of an orange that now remains. For instance just one week ago I was once again extending my “working” holiday to the further reaches of Australia’s north, spending five days basking in the glorious humidity of a monsoon season’s grey sky in Port Douglas, Queensland with a friend.

Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas

I couldn’t have asked for a better wind-down than the Sea Temple Resort in little old Pee-Dee (Port Douglas). The holiday destination was borderline a ghost town being the rain season and my days were spent lounging around the pool and drinking. There’s something called the Great Barrier Reef up there somewhere, it didn’t come with a free breakfast buffet and mango cocktails though so I can’t say I got to it. I know, I know, sacrilegious, but another day.

This is all fine and dandy but I guess I should get down to the crux of it, which is the fact that my little soirée into the land of Canuck is over and it’s time to get back to the harsh realities of a real life, a new job and living in Melbourne to which I’ve just resigned to for the next 12 months having signed a new lease.

Obviously I’m asked quite frequently on my opinion of both Canada and my personal adventure and I must say excluding its abrupt ending and the ongoing battle I’m having with my travel insurance company (that’s another post altogether), I had an incredible time! Yes I missed everyone dearly and yes I was homesick on more occasions than I care to remember but it was an experience that I’d never take back, if anything it did nothing more than spur on my interest in doing it again!

For those of you that have seen me since my return I think you’d agree that something’s changed upstairs in the old noggin’. I feel free, unencumbered if you will and enjoying life in all its roller costing glory. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I’ve been contracting and not confining myself to an office 9 to 5, 5 days a week but I think it has far more to do with my own growth and a sense of achievement in knowing that I can survive out there in the big bad scary world; even if it was only Canada and everyone speaks English. But enough with excerpts from my upcoming novel “I went to Canada and I came back a self-help guru” let’s talk highlights!

Snow: Canada was just amazingly beautiful! I could list of a hundred different locations that were just so breath-taking but nothing compares to the first time I walked out of the office at 6pm and felt that first snow flake gently float through the sky to rest on my cheek. Sure I’ve been to snowfields before but this was just so different. You didn’t have to drive three hours up a mountain to find it all I had to do was go outside and there it was. I used to sit in my bedroom and stare out the window at downtown Toronto and just watch the wind carry and swirl the white dots as it pleased. It was just magical and I crave to see it again.

New York: Sure it’s not even in Canada but it was just a 20 minute flight across the border and boy does that city steal my heart! Having a couple of Lincoln lads there doesn’t do you in any disservice either. There aren’t words to describe the magnitude that is New York City. There isn’t anything you couldn’t find in the city and yet ironically you couldn’t not find anything to do. The architecture is what truly steals my heart though and with each visit I make the journey to “Top of the Rock” to breath in the enormity of the city’s beauty.

The Moose: Whilst it may not seem like a huge deal there’s a lengthy story to go along with it that I’ll now condense into one sentence. I saw a moose whilst simply driving down the road while my kayaking friends, rather desperate in their search for fauna, paddled their hearts out for six hours and saw squat! I win!

I had a truly wonderful time living on the other side of the world and to those who are thinking of going to Canada be it for holiday or work I couldn’t recommend it more. Now that I’m home I miss Toronto much more than I thought I would and I’m resolved to return (albeit most likely in a tourist capacity) to explore areas I didn’t have the opportunity to see such as Montreal and Quebec if not that then to see another NHL game!

Thank you Canada, or more specifically Toronto (and Hamilton) you were very good to me. And thus ends the Canadian Tales.

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The 365 Days Challenge

April 20th, 2008 by Raj

You may have noticed the recent addition of the “365 Days” page to the blog, then again you mightn’t have the foggiest and your skills in observation are a tad underdeveloped. Your budding career as a private detective is looking bleak to say the least.

Career aspirations aside, the 365 Days Challenge is a group on flickr that asks its participants to take a portrait of themselves every day for a year. It’s not a particularly ground breaking idea and it’s been done many times before but I must admit it’s pretty good fun to participate in especially when you have a couple of friends (Bacoon, G-Nome) doing the same.

The challenge is really in taking a photo of yourself every day (although I have set a daily reminder on my phone to make sure I do it) but more so it’s making the damn things interesting! Most days I sit down in front of my laptop and start pulling faces at myself until one appears that doesn’t look too much like the days before. One of these days the wind will change and I’ll be stuck like that forever but until then hopefully I can provide some sort of entertainment to the gurning world if not to myself.

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