Sunday, July 31, 2005

A chat with Alvin

Norm: Hi Alvin what’s up?

Alvin: Hope you don’t mind me interrupting

Norm: No, what are you looking for?

Alvin: Well some advice on the camera I buy next.

Norm: “Next!”

Alvin: Well my 5megapixel digital is nearly 9 months old and it doesn’t have GPS

Norm: How sad, but if you had of really read my blog, you would know I don’t have a GPS in my camera (which is much older than 9 months by the way) and I never written camera reviews

Alvin: I still think a camera with GPS to automatically geotag my photos would be WAY cool.

Norm: To do the geotagging I use the net to get the geotag positions and google earth, if you are on the net and have broadband they are free.

Alvin: Who doesn’t have broadband?

Norm: (changing subject) Do you read my blog regularly

Alvin: Intermitently more than regularly…. I loved the Photo Project posts you used to do

Norm: So you’d like more of them?

Alvin: Definitely

Alvin now has his own blog meet the people

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Looking for a mate

At this time of year the pacific gulls fly along the wind swept beachs, of the southern oceans, looking for a mate

Originally uploaded by imageo.

I'd just embedded the link to Hello over on the right hand side there, a day or so ago and now my version is playing up, refusing to let me log in. Does Murphy's Law cover this situation of is it another. Luckily I have flickr & photobucket to continue posting photos

Friday, July 29, 2005

Capturing Fleeting Light

Still on the beach!

Originally uploaded by imageo.

A Winter's day can actually become a wonderful time to capture dramatic lighting effects in the sky. White billowy clouds on a dark backrounds. Distant higlights against a dark foreground. You might have to experiment a bit with depth of field & exposre you get the perfect exposure, often that means lowering the ASA rating and opening up the apperture.

An advantage of posting this via flicker is that once you click through the photo onto flicker you can see the EXIF details from my camera by selecting the more information link to the right of the enlarged photo

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Up in the air

Image hosted by

This is another first. A direct post from Photobucket. If you haven't visited photobucket and you weblog or want images to post on various on-line forums, I suggest you give them a visit. image hosting and photo sharing

They have recently added a few nice features, like direct blog posts and a niffy uploader (windows only)

:: Photo Project :: Whenever you see a nice sky, and have your digital camera handy take a shot. I'll tell you why in a post here soon ::

Digital Camera versus Cameraphone

Taken with my NEC 410i phone [@ max resolution 960 x 1280 pixels]

Taken with my Olympus CX400 digital camera [@ 1712 x 2288 pixels]

Unfortunately by posting the images here I have had to reduce the resolution, but you can see the general clarity diffrences.

My Verdict: for weblog posting the camerphone is not too shabby.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

direct from mobile to blog!

direct from mobile to blog!
Originally uploaded by imageo.

Using my phone's ability to email & Flickr's ability to forward both images & text. I was able to post this directly from my phone.

Well that worked fine, but i had to use my computer to find and post the geotags. Still I feel like i have climbed a "technical" mountain, and the vista of potenial seems great. Howvere there where a couple of technical difficulties on this ascent.

  1. the problems of getogging (mentioned above)
  2. the limitation of telstra I-mode that my emails cannot have attachments larger than 100kb (my photo was 112kb, see post above for the higher resolution version)
  3. the lack of nice image resizing features on my phone (for this post I had to make the image my phone wallpaper and then email that)

    [geotagged geo:lat=-38.7056 geo:lon=145.8108]

Monday, July 25, 2005

Agnes Falls

These falls, just north east of Toora in South Gippsland, are really impressive and a single photo can not do them justice. The falls spiral down deep into the gorge below.

[geotagged geo:lat=-38.6624 geo:lon=146.3709]

My GeoBlogging begins

Some time ago I came across the Geobloggers in Flickr. They tagged their photos with the location (in latitude & longitude), which seemed very cool to me. Well how to do it?

Option ONE: is spend a lot of money and get a camera with a GPS built in. (even I considered this a bit extravagant, but I bet it will be a common comsumer level feature before to long) Such cameras store the location within the EXIF data embedded in the header of Jpeg files. A sub option might be to have a seperate GPS and note down your location when you take each photo (hmmm more notes, mess and transciption, no thanks)

Option TWO: Use websites that give you lat & long location. For Australis try Geoscience Australia's Place Name Search or Charles Sturts University's Guide to Australia and then use cut and paste as I am uploading the photos (hmm a bit tedious, but free!)

Option THREE: & the most fun! use google earth. Without much effort you can zoom down onto the place you took the photo. You can even leave place markers (as I have done for agnes falls in the image above). The only disappointment is I have to retype in the coordinate for my geotags as I upload my photo to flickr. (hmmm i need to investigate ways to simplify this)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Small crab, big shadow

Simple composition in fungi

I like to compose my pictures in the view finder, or more precisely in the LCD Screen on the back of my camera. It is especially important to use the LCS screen for close up work. View finders on compact cameras and most digital camears (if they have one) are mounted away from the lens, normally above, do not show you exactly what the lens see. At distance this is not a problem but when you get close the difference can be quite significant. The LCD screen however does show you exactly the image about to be taken (like the view finder on an SLR, single lens reflex, camera).

The view finder on digital cameras are however often useful when strong light makes the LCD screen hard to view. Close up and lokking down you can usually shade the screen.

Fungus makes a great close up (macro) subject because of the interesting shapes & textures.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Green power or not?

Another area of state planning that is the subject of significant community protests are the wind farms. South Gippsland is a windy place for sure and thus ideal for wind turbine power, one would assume. However secrecy in the licensing and other blunders have given rise to considerable community concern. I suspect "wind energy = green energy" in the minds of a few state politicians and that they got carried away! They granted a number of sites to operators without consulting the local councils or residents (sound a familiar story?)

From a technical perspective wind energy has a significant limitation, it is nearly impossible to efficiently store the all the potential electricity from fluctuating winds. In Germany where they have lots of wind turbines they estimate that these can only supply up to 11% of their capacity, they still need conventional power stations to supply the base load.

There is one wind farm already established just behind Toora, which claims to be the regions smallest town. I was interested to find out the noise level, which is an often quoted complaint? And not having a tape recorded I took some pictures ;)

I can't help but notice the cows don't seem too disturbed

[geotagged geo:lat=-38.6542 geo:lon=146.3390]

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Google Earth

I had been waiting with anticipation for my invitation to use google earth beta. Well it has been released and I have a copy. If you want a copy, it’s free for personal use, click on the link below.

Google Earth

I soon realized that it gave me my own “digital” camera in space. Not only can I easily get conventional photo mosaic of relatively current satellite images and some aerial photos. I soon found I could create my own aerial views of anywhere, using combination of the simple zoom, tilt rotate & pan controls. Another nifty control lets you put place markers, just like mapping pins, which you can use to navigate your way around. You can even email these pins to others (in what is called KMZ format). Here is a simple example below.

  • The peak is a proposed development by AustCorp, it was rejected outright by the Monash Council last year. The Wheelers Hill Action group believes that there is atill a strong possibility for development beyond the three or four storey recommendation (see my cameraphone post below)
  • Work on Scoresby Freeway has commenced already, Despite the "toll" controvesy costing the labor party several adjacent &marginal seats in the last federal election
  • AFL's Waverly Park has been torn down to make way for a housing development, the playing surface, part of the stand remains and will soon be the training home of Hawthorn Football Club. The planning of this development was taken away from the Monash Council by the state government and given to Mirvac to build their vision of for a brand new suburb (closely spaced) homes for approximately 4000 residents
There are a couple of things that you need to realize, the resolution of the images varies from place to place. Only a small area of Melbourne is available at highest resolution (mainly to north & west). The image below on the left shows the junction of high resolution and lower resolution parts of the mosaic running through central Melbourne. The image on the right has zoomed in on the state library’s domed roof. Note the detail, individual trees & cars but the low resolution satellite image part of the mosaic has just become a blur. You can click on any of these images shown here and see a larger version of that image.

The software will only run on more recent PCs and needs decent broadband link to download the images

I got google earth because I am interested in geotagging my digital photographs, but that topic will have to wait while I play with my newest camera

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


It is amazing when having a camera in your mobile phone can come in handy. If you have a new phone, there is a very high probability you have a camera in it. Even if you are as old as me, now is a good time to get out the manual and learn how to use it (or better still get your son or daughter to show you how)

Scenes from a meeting called by the The Wheelers Hill Action Group (WHAG).

It is not hard to do a quick head count and see that there is strong turnout of residents, concerened that the 9 storey "block of flats", known as "The Peak" proposed by developer AustCorp might still go ahead. Specifically AustCorp may try to exceed a suggested three or four storey limit. A year ago the monash council reject the proposal outright, but at the recommendation of the state's planning minister, consulted with various groups to develop a draft structural plan for the area. The ministry has not approved this as was expected, but is sitting on it.

Phone camera images are relatively low resolution, (these images are only 320 by 240 pixels) but they are more than adequate to document events.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Parked Up

In any mine these days the trucks are seldom parked up like this. Many shift changes are by "hot seating", whereby the new drivers are driven out to the trucks, perhaps at the mining face or the waste dump and as one driver gets out the next climbs in. In this case a very servere tropical storm was about to hit the mine. (Lihir Gold Mine)

for photofriday : order

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Capturing the last rays of the day

Originally uploaded by imageo.

Photographying straight into the light, can be tricky with any camera. However it is usually doubly difficult with digital cameras which try to average the exposure across the whole scene. So normally you would get either a washed out sky, or a black sea. Here I took the light reading looking out to sea, half pressed the shutter button then turned to the sun and fully pressed the button down. the fact that the sun is behind a cloud helps. I liked the inidividual rays coming down from the sun.

The "half press" trick works on most digital and compact cameras and locks the focus and light meter readings. It is the simplest way to "adjust" your light meter