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Missing from the Exif: Partial Lunar #eclipse Melbourne 1

This shot has been very popular on both Flickr and Redbubble so I thought it would be a good one to do a quick post on.

This shot is really about serendipity. Sometimes you plan a shot and mother nature well just gets in the way.  Over a huge chunk of the world we were treated to a partial lunar eclipse on Saturday the 26th of June 2010.  Now I knew this was coming and I knew even with my 300mm lens I’d be able to get a decent shot.  What I did count on was the weather.  With the eclipse due from 8:30pm that night I watched the sky and the radar to see a thick band of showers move in from 5pm.  Sure we need the rain in Melbourne, what I didn’t need was the cloud cover.

But in true spirit I didn’t give up.  I kept going outside every 10min to check the cloud cover… nope still 100%, and damned cold.  Back inside… repeat.  Then as we neared the maximum coverage of the eclipse the cloud broke just.  I had about 5min of sky where I could see the moon.  Of course the cloud kept obscuring the sky and the view was not 100%, but those lack of ideal conditions made the shot IMHO.

Lots of people got a nice clear shot of the moon around the world, but I was lucky to get a shot with real atmosphere.  And for once I was glad the weather was not perfect.  Also you will notice that the shot is not at the full 300mm. This was so I could get the star in the shot as well, which lent a bit more interest to the shot.

So remember even if it is cold, miserable and you think you are going to miss the photo you had planned, stick with it, you might just get a better shot.

Partial Lunar #eclipse Melbourne 1

Camera: Nikon D90
Exposure: 1 Second
Aperture: f/8.0
Focal Length: 270 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: No Flash
Exposure Program: Manual
Date and Time (Original): 2010:06:26 21:31:39.00+10:00

And you can buy this image from Redbubble here

Yeah mini road trip time….

Just to Adelaide and back… but I’m going to take 3 days to get there… one day home… Might even drop in and see the Pandas whilst I’m over.

looking around mid July for this… Why 3 days.. cause I can stop and take photos along the way… and by photos I mean a lot of them. Winter along the coast is always a great time of year to see this neck of the woods and both the car and I could do with a bit of a head clearing as well.

Day 1 – Melbourne to Warrnambool ( 360 KM )

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Day 2 – Warrnambool to Kingston SE ( 386 KM )

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Day 3 – Kingston SE to Adelaide ( 295 KM )

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Adelaide to Home 727 km
Total Trip 1,774 km

plus gives me chance to reshoot this video as welll

No WE DO NOT ELECT the Prime Minister….


On what has been a rather monumental day in Australian Politics… I thought I really did need to point out one little fact. A fact that not only the Opposition, but both the new Prime Minister and former Prime Minister have made the simple mistake of saying they were elected as Prime Minister.

Yes with modern politics it does seem to be driven by a “personality” as opposed to a Party system, however what has not changed is the Constitution.

A head of government (or head of the executive), known as the prime minister (PM), premier or first minister. While the head of government is appointed by the head of state, the constitutional convention that the person appointed must be supported by the majority of elected Members of Parliament. If more than half of elected parliamentarians belong to the same political party, then the person appointed is typically the head of that party. (Wikipedia)

You will notice what is missing in that. The fact that the public do not vote for the leader. The leader can change (and does) in the middle of terms. This has never has represented a constitutional crisis. If the leader was voted in by the public and then changed by the party, this would be a crisis, but this is not how the system works.  However the PM is appointed by the Governor-General of Australia under Section 64 of the Constitution.

The only time there was a Constitutional crisis was when the GG Kerr replaced Whitlam as prime minister,  putting Fraser in as the caretaker prime minister.  In this case it was a change of party and not just leader.  That is the power that the Governor General has.

It would help if even the current Prime Minister would stop playing word games with the Constitution. Julia the Lodge is yours by our system of government fair and square.  You can move in and change the curtains when ever you like.

Vote for my photos please…

I have 5 entries in the Digital Camera Warehouse Solitude Comp….

You can vote for them and help me in the peoples choice awards… you can vote for one or all of them. Each image links through to its Star Rating page.

Alone in the Outback

Heading into the Unknown


Too Late for Rain

Waiting for the Train

a few of my favourite things …. well android apps

It has been a few weeks of playing the the HTC-Desire now and I am starting to settle into a few key apps. Those ones I use on a day to day basis or ones I have migrated to and that are now sitting on top level scenes to access them quickly.

Whilst I have an appbrain account http://appbrain.com/user/wolfcat which gives you the name of the apps, I thought I would explain a bit more a few of the apps.

In no particular order and more importantly all are free.

This is my preferred twitter client, the Twitter Android App just isn’t as well developed.  It still gives me the ability to ols style retweet aka quote, my own bit.ly account, follow hashtags, multiple accounts et.c.  It still isn’t perfect but is close enough to be usable 🙂 One thing that is annoying is that if yo are  a heavy user of the account you can bump into API limits, which sees you heading off the the website again.

My Tracks
Perfect for capturing your route and showing it on a Google Map.  Gives you speed, moving time, time at rest, elevation changes, grade e.t.c and it works.  Export tracks as KML and GPX to use in other software.

Google Voice Search.
Sitting in a bar some one asked me about the Penumbra ABC MP3 remix.  Press Google Voice, speak Penumbra ABC MP3 and hey presto there are the search results. No typing, instant results.  You have to watch what you say and be careful with pronunciation or your search terms can be amusing at least.

On My Way
A new toy from Google that creates a Google Map with real time updates for your location.  With each URL being unique it can be as private or public as you want.   I’m looking forward to my next big road trip to really test this out.  But handy even for travelling around town if you wish to share your travels in  real time.

Gps Stats
Not only gives me a compass, but gives me a great set of data showing the strength of the incoming GPS satellites with number of fixes e.t.c.

Not only gives me a great traditional compass, but 5 other types of compass with pitch and roll, GPS location and an easy to use compass calibration as well.

Reads every type of code from flat codes to bar codes to QR with one touch operation and internet looking up of the code, great for comparing products when you are out shopping. You don’t have to tell it what kind of code, just open the app and point.  Reads of the back of packets or from a computer screen quickly and reliably.

Wifi Analyser
Great tool for seeing what networks are round you and what security they are using.  Coupled with Wifi Connecter Library you have a great set of controls for accessing wifi and storing passwords for various accounts.

Google Skymap
Just because it is cool.  If you like astronomy you need this.

Aussie Weather Radar
Just the BOM radars, I wish it could include a lot more features, like storm tracking, lighting, rainrates, but it doesn’t.  Still handy if you are out and want to know if it is going to rain on your parade as it were.

Is what calls itself a Reality Browser, which is an augmented reality app.  Australian content is kind of lacking, but it starting to come.  Surprisingly the Public toilet map is really helpful 🙂 I think a lot more content should be built for it in the next few months and the latest version seems quite stable and opens with a new what is around you mode which encourages browsing a lot more

Is a great way of hooking into what others are using on their android device.  Not only can it give you the ability to queue and manage your apps from your desktop then you can sync with your device at a later time.

Google Goggles
A visual search engine, just point the camera at an item, take a photo and away it goes.  Great for identify logos and buildings e.t.c. Still quite early in the database of images, but you can see where the future of search is going with this kind of app, where information on anything is a single click on your camera away.

Robo Defense
Damned this game is addictive.  Get the free version if you want… but you are going to want to upgrade it soon after.  A classic tower defense game with stunning graphics and a great way to pass the time on the daily commute

Let me know if there is something along the above lines that I haven’t found…

I'm sad I've lost my gorilla pod….. did you find it in Melbourne?

Nikon D90 + Gorilla Pod SLR ZoomMy beloved Gorilla Pod, oh how I miss thee….

I think you were on my bag on Wednesday night when I was out taking photos, but do not remember you on Thursday and when I went desperately searching for you at midnight last night around the house you were nowhere to be found.

If I did something to upset you make you leave, I am sorry, and I will try and change my ways.  I promise that other tripod meant nothing to me.

You are the only one for me…  you are my party tripod, my fun friend to be with.

So you if find my beloved Gorilla Pod DSLR with Ball head, and NO mounting plate (the bit with the spirit level), let me know…  I have the mounting plate. And really I like my tripod.

Here are three places I may have dropped it on Wednesday 2nd June 2010…..

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P.s I really do miss my tripod.