Monthly Archives: June 2016

June 2016 Round-up

OK, that’s half of 2016 over and done with. There are a load of things I could say about the year so far, but I’d only end up frothing at the mouth and breaking my keyboard, so I won’t.

Weight

More movement in a downward direction…

June 1: 223.2 pounds (15 stone 13.2 pounds, 101.2 kg)
June 30: 220.8 pounds (15 stone 10.8 pounds, 100.2 kg)

That’s an actual drop of  2.4 pounds or 1.1kg, and I can’t let the lurgy take the credit this time.

Eating

Still doing a little less of that, and shock horror sensation hold the front page, drinking less wine.

Exercise

Some walking, most noticeably in Cardiff last week. Was it only a week ago I was in Wales? Seems much longer somehow…

Posting

It’s been a quiet month, with this report bringing the total to 39.

Stuff

 

Hmmm, been on holiday, took lots of photos, came back.

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 June 2016

Up another teeny bit today.

It was nice and sunny this morning, so I took the X-T1 with the 140-400mm lens and that new 2x teleconverter to work. So quite naturally, it had turned dull and grey by lunchtime. But I went out anyway to do a little test. Here’s a straight out of the camera JPG:

Earl Grey uncropped

Earl Grey uncropped

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/600s
Focal length: 800mm
ISO: 800
Taken: 30 June, 2016

And here’s a cropped and processed version of the same image:

Earl Grey

Earl Grey

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/600s
Focal length: 800mm
ISO: 800
Taken: 30 June, 2016

I’ll have another go when the light’s better…

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 June 2016

Up a wee bit today. I blame the weather.

Ummm, here’s a slightly fragile aircraft

Short S27

Short S27

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/25s
Focal length: 16mm
ISO: 6400
Taken: 17 June, 2016

Fujifilm XF2X TC WR Teleconverter

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I did the photography happy dance about the Fujifilm 1.4x teleconverter, but it’s near enough six months. And would you believe it, they’ve gone a wee bit better, and produced a 2x converter as well?  Well, I couldn’t resist that, and ordered it from the ubiquitous Wex Photographic at the weekend. It arrived today, and this is what it looks like[1]

Makes things twice the size

Makes things twice the size

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/4
Shutter speed: 1/80s
Focal length: 38.8mm
ISO: 6400
Taken: 28 June, 2016

Now normally when I get a new toy like this, I’d be giving it a proper test, but it’s a wee bit damp this evening, so not really the best conditions for getting pictures of distant objects. However, I have done a very quick and very rough test to get an idea of the range of the thing. Readers with better memories than me might recall me getting a 150-500mm lens in my Canon days, and getting this shot from my back window:

Telephoto Test (old)

Telephoto Test (old)

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Aperture: ƒ/6.3
Shutter speed: 1/400s
Focal length: 500mm
ISO: 125
Taken: 13 August, 2009

Well, here’s a rough version of that with the 140-400mm lens and the 2x converter. Unlike the previous one, taken through an open window with some actual sunlight, this was taken through glass, rain and general haze, and not even all that close to the window. Some aggressive treatment in Lightroom shows a similar scene:

Rough Test (Very)

Rough Test (Very)

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/680s
Focal length: 800mm
ISO: 12800
Taken: 28 June, 2016

(And if you think that looks bad, you should have seen it before editing)

Proper tests will follow when the weather permits….

[1] Not currently listed on Amazon, so I can’t use their image linky thing

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 June 2016

Hmmmm, down a bit today, how exciting.

Here’s another view of the Fleet Air Arm Museum’s Concorde

Concorde 002

Concorde 002

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/170s
Focal length: 16mm
ISO: 6400
Taken: 17 June, 2016

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 June 2016

Up another little bit today, mutter, mutter.

I went back to work today, and that’s all I’ve got to say about that. Here’s another view of the Monnow Bridge, with added Geoff[1]. Geoff didn’t go back to work, because he’s retired. Not jealous at all. Or so I’ll keep telling myself.

Monnow Bridge

Monnow Bridge

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/500s
Focal length: 53.3mm
ISO: 640
Taken: 15 June, 2016
Location: 51° 48.5168′ 0″ N 2° 43.2297′ 0″ W

[1] Hi Geoff  :wave:

Weight and Stuff Report – 26 June 2016

Hmmm, back up again today. I blame the weather, or something.

Here are some more Cardiff Castle photos. First, the outside view:

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/160s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 22 June, 2016
Location: 51° 28.8724′ 0″ N 3° 10.8092′ 0″ W

The walls you can see are a 19th century reimagining rather than reconstruction – interestingly, there is a line of Roman wall at the bottom, separated from the rebuild by a line of red stones.

And here’s the Norman keep, given another bit of a dramatic treatment:

Cardiff Castle Keep

Cardiff Castle Keep

Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/900s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 22 June, 2016
Location: 51° 28.8724′ 0″ N 3° 10.8092′ 0″ W

I don’t generally do sport…

..but as a Welsh person, I can’t ignore the fact that Wales are doing remarkably well in this Euro football thingy.

Which seems like a perfect excuse to post this Manic Street Preachers video[1]

[1] Well, any excuse is perfect for a bit of the Manics, right?

Robert Rankin – The Book of Ultimate Truths

Yes, it’s back to the sanity-endangering Great Robert Rankin Re-read-athon, with the first in the Cornelius Murphy Trilogy. And in what may be a shock to some readers, I should point out that this is a trilogy that contains just three books! Can you believe it?

First, I think it’s wise to point out that The Book of Ultimate Truths is not the actual Book of Ultimate Truths – that is the lost work of the master Hugo Rune. But it does concern the Book of Ultimate Truths, so the title is not altogether misleading.

Our hero is Cornelius Murphy, who is, we are assured, the stuff of epics, which is just as well, as he runs into some remarkable challenges. After successfully avoiding actual work for a while, he is recruited for a Mission: to collect all the missing parts of Hugo Rune’s masterpiece so they can be gathered together and published. This results in a sequence of adventures involving Cornelius and his friend Tuppe.

These are far too bizarre and bonkers to relate here, but they do involve a shape-changing entity from somewhere else, the truth about the London A-Z, some odd monks, a karaoke machine with remarkable powers, the reinvented ocarina, and a shocking revelation for Cornelius.

And there’s more! There are numerous extracts from the writings of Hugo Rune himself, which reveal much of his unique wisdom[1].

And as if that wasn’t enough, it sets things up nicely for a sequel, which I’ll come to moderately soon. Though I do have something else to read first.

[1] I think that’s what it is…

Weight and Stuff Report – 25 June 2016

Up a teeny bit today, but not enough to be significant.

I was going to go somewhere or other (undecided on where…) after the usual shopping, but as the weather turned a bit overenthusiastic (serious rain, road turned into a river, etc…), I didn’t.

Here are some more Cardiff photos. This burger place is very Welsh, from the slogan (Super Tidy[1] Burgers) to the Gareth Bale[2] tribute.

Tidy

Tidy

Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 320
Taken: 22 June, 2016
Location: 51° 28.7645′ 0″ N 3° 10.5819′ 0″ W

And talking of sport-related thingies, the sculpture outside the library has had a bit of an addition:

Together Stronger

Together Stronger

Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/210s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 22 June, 2016
Location: 51° 28.7645′ 0″ N 3° 10.5819′ 0″ W

[1] Note for non-Welsh people: “tidy” is an all-purpose term indicating that something is good
[2] A footballer, currently doing rather well[3] in something called Euro 2106
[3] Note: this may change by later today. Or not. I don’t take that much notice