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

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Lights, helicopter, photo!

June 14th, 2011 by Raj

R/C Helicopter light experiment #2

What to do on a cold Melbourne Saturday night over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend? Fly a helicopter around your lounge room and take long exposure photos of it of course! I’d never used “bulb” mode on my 7D before and after a few test shots to establish some basic settings I was ready to go. The set up consisted of my Canon 7D on a tripod in the corner of the room with a 10-22mm wide angle lens connected to my laptop running EOS Utility in order for me to open & close the shutter (I didn’t have a simple remote to do this), the helicopter at half throttle on the stool in the middle of the photos and its remote sitting in my lap.

I wanted to make the environment visible but not to the point where it would detract from the light trails the helicopter left so I left my 50″ TV (to the right of the photos) on at half brightness to provide a dull light source and add some character. The actual settings for each photo varies slightly and I even experimented using a Neutral Density filter at some stage but generally it was around the following: 14mm, f22, ISO 400, 40 seconds

Check out my favourites below and on flickr.

R/C Helicopter light experiment #3

R/C Helicopter light experiment #1

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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 Completed

March 13th, 2009 by Raj

Day 365

Today I am straught with bitter-sweet emotion as today I took the final photo (seen above) in a series of personal portraits that I began snapping one year ago today. Every day for the past 365 days I’ve sat in front of my computer pulling faces, displaying props and trying to keep somewhat of a consistant white background as a part of the 365 day project on Flickr.

I can’t say that I’m overwhelmingly sad to come to the end, trying to do something different every day for a year is a challenge I’m exhausted of, but it does give you the opportunity to reflect over the past year. These photos cover my life in four different countries, through times of happiness, sorrow, excitement and boredom, hell it sounds like I’m in the middle of a wedding!

What I can confidently say is that I’m proud of myself for sticking with it and seeing it through to the end. It’s a feather in my cap and one that many of my friends who began the journey with me will be without.

To those who are thinking of enrolling in the task my best wishes go out to you but be aware of what you’re taking on because this is no easy road to walk down. Do your best and try not to let boredom get the better of you turning the daily task into a chore.

Lastly to others that have continued on beyond 365 days frankly I think you’re nuts! But I applaud you for having the strength to continue on!

The full 365 day set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rdeut/sets/72157603745905122/

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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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Vancouver: Am I living in the wrong city?!

October 31st, 2008 by Raj

In a recent poll of human beings we asked “When you think of Raj and viewing scenery what is the first thing that comes to mind?” In almost all cases the response was an overwhelming “He has about as much interest in viewing the elements of nature as I do in eating the fecal matter of giraffe.” A strange analogy to be made by just one person (you would think) yet it was recited by almost 99% of the forty three million and twenty eight people interviewed. Odd.

Anyway, I speak of Giraffe feces with good reason as I will now astonish you all by saying just how breathtakingly beautiful Vancouver is. Of course this is now almost inconceivably absurd for you to comprehend as I’ve pre-cursed the statement by highlighting my deep rooted inability to find beauty in nature. Ergo Vancouver is so amazingly astonishing that your head has just exploded to leave the stump of your spine poking out from your clothing akin to something out of the most recent Rambo film.

I’m not really sure how I’ve gone from one of the most picturesque heavenly places I’ve ever visited in the world to the blood splattering exploits of Rambo but I’m pretty impressed with myself (again).

I’d heard different things about Vancouver, some said it similar to Sydney whilst Toronto was more like Melbourne and then others had said the complete opposite. I can see where both arguments come from but the truth of it is there is nothing like it in Australia. Vancouver city is laid out in a nice logical grid format and is on a slight hill very similar to Melbourne but then cuddling the metropolis are numerous mountain ranges akin to Sydney’s Blue Ranges but in much closer proximity in that they’re viewable from almost anywhere. Apparently it rains in Vancouver a lot, another great feature of Melbourne (well in years gone by anyway), but it is also one of the warmest cities in Canada with the mercury very rarely falling below zero even throughout winter, a meteorological trait sadly not shared with Toronto.

I haven’t spent enough time in Vancouver to really tell you anything beyond the majestic beauty of the place but, as mentioned earlier, for me to be so amazed by it; well that has to count for something! Next time I’ll just have to delve a little deeper into the other aspects, get into the nitty gritty so to speak but this is Canada, it’s not like the people are going to wind up being assholes or anything! It more depends on if they let you buy alcohol after 2am (unlike Toronto)!

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PAX & Seattle Pics

September 4th, 2008 by Raj

Not so much as a post this one but more of a “notification”. Just wanted to let all of you wonderful peeps out there know that I’ve put up about 100 odd photos from my trip to Seattle for PAX last weekend.

For photos from PAX click here.
For photos of Seattle in general try here.

Some of my favourites:

Handheld Freeplay Waiting Area

Handheld Freeplay Waiting Area

Seattle City Hall

Seattle City Hall

Saints Row 2 Booth Babes

Saints Row 2 Booth Babes

King County Administration Building

King County Administration Building

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