Posts Tagged ‘photography’

If you have never used a DSLR but are thinking about getting one, CameraSim offer you an online simulator that gives you a feel for the effects of using the basic controls of a camera (see descriptions below). To play with them go to CameraSim’s simulator site by clicking here.

How to use the online SLR controls:


Lighting is the single biggest determinant of how your camera needs to be set.  With only a few exceptions, you can never have too much light.  Use this slider to experiment with different indoor and outdoor lighting conditions.


Use this slider to simulate how close or far you are in relation to the subject.

Focal length

Moving this slider is the same as zooming in and out with your lens.  A wide, zoomed out setting creates the greatest depth of field (more things are in focus) while zooming in creates a shallower depth-of-field (typically just the subject will be in focus).


The exposure modes of an SLR let you control one setting while the camera automatically adjusts the others.  In Shutter Priority mode, you to set the shutter speed while the camera sets the aperture/f-stop.  In Aperture Priority mode, you set the aperture/f-stop while the camera sets the shutter speed.  Manual mode is fully manual—you’re on your own!  Refer to the camera’s light meter to help get the proper exposure.  Although every real SLR camera has a “fully automatic” mode, there is not one here—what’s the fun in that?


ISO refers to how sensitive the “film” will be to the incoming light when the picture is snapped.  High ISO settings allow for faster shutter speeds in low light but introduce grain into the image.  Low ISO settings produce the cleanest image but require lots of light.  Generally, you will want to use the lowest ISO setting that your lighting will allow.


Aperture, or f-stop, refers to how big the hole will be for the light to pass through when the shutter is open and the picture is snapped.  Lower f numbers correspond with larger holes.  The important thing to remember is this: the higher the f number, the more things in front of and behind the subject will be in focus, but the more light you will need.  The lower the f number, the more things in front of and behind the subject will be out of focus, and the less light you will need.

Shutter speed

Shutter speed is how long the shutter needs to be open, allowing light into the camera, to properly expose the image.  Fast shutter speeds allow you to “freeze” the action in a photo, but require lots of light.  Slower shutter speeds allow for shooting with less light but can cause motion blur in the image.

Happy simulating!

Sexy ad

Posted: April 26, 2011 in humour
Tags: ,

Someone most likely turned this image upside down, but it made me think about the stir it would cause if it would become an ad – it certainly would expose intolerance levels in our society, even in highly urbanised environments. And I can already see the Christian armies uniting for a crusade :D.

There are of course always areas of enlightenment; thinking of Sydney, I could imagine that a billboard or two might do well in Newtown or Erskineville. You’d need a daring beer brand though, which might be hard to find in a country where beer seems to be associated with tough, footie loving, homophobic males.

N 1648 Bild-KD05571

What East Germany Was Really Like

By Solveig Grothe
Spiegel online International

They wanted to clean up the basement but found a treasure trove of photos instead. After Berlin teacher Manfred Beier died, his sons stumbled across 60,000 pictures. Their father, it turns out, created one of the best documentations of life in East Germany, and the first days of the West.

It’s amazing how little you can know about your own father: After the death of Berlin resident Manfred Beier in 2002, his sons Wolf and Nils began to sort out their inheritance and came across a treasure. They found dozens of wooden boxes stacked on shelves as well as numerous chests of drawers — similar to pharmacist cabinets and apparently custom-made. The drawers contained removable inserts, each of which had staggered rows of small drilled holes about three centimeters in diameter. Each of these holes held a roll of miniature film.

Photo Gallery: A Photographic record of Life in East Germany

Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (38 Photos)

The brothers knew their father had taken a good deal of photographs throughout his life. But this? They could only estimate the number of pictures that their father had left behind: some 60,000, plus a series of home movies — a seemingly unmanageable collection. In his basement, though, they found 38 notebooks that served as the keys to the collection. The orderly, handwritten notes — on roughly 4,000 sheets of paper — helped the brothers keep an overview of all the film rolls as they rummaged through the basement. Manfred Beier had made a chronological list of every photo, complete with an archival numbering system. The notes detailed exactly how each picture came to be — the day, hour, and minute it was taken; the camera, aperture, and shutter speed used to take it; and the exact location of its subject.

It is a photographic diary of the long life of Manfred Beier, who was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1927, grew up at Strausberger Platz square and was drafted as a teenager into part of the last-ditch Volkssturm German army defense at the end of World War II. He worked for decades after the war in the East German school system and always carried at least one camera with him — even on his forays into the West, for as long as he was able to go there and once he was able to go there again. It’s a photographic diary of German history. And it is the most comprehensive and complete documentation of everyday life in the German Democratic Republic (GDR, the former East Germany) — unique in its photographic and cultural-historical value, experts say.


There’s nothing clean about the business of politics, and certainly ethics play no part part in it – unless they can be exploited for personal gain. Julia Gillard, this slow-speaking nasty piece of Labor conservatism, camouflaging as deputy prime minister of Australia (hard to believe she’s been a student activist once representing the political left), presented yet another example for political sanctimoniousness with her phony stance on Palestine and her fervent defence of Israel’s fascist practices against the Palestinian people.

It always amazes me how the politicians of the West are able to manage to twist their thoughts and mangle their speech in face of overwhelming evidence of Israel’s blatant violations of international law and acts of barbarism against unarmed civilians – from cold blooded murder to depriving their victims of such basics as a roof over their heads, food on their table (if they still have one left) or medicines for their hospitals. Not speaking out against such brutal savagery leave alone defending it makes people like Gillard undoubtedly an accomplice of the Israeli regime and its crimes against humanity.

The following op-ed puts Gillards politics and values in the context of Israel’s war crimes and recent acts of piracy on the high seas.

gaza boat main

Politicide or politic: Gillard and the Gaza muzzle

Jake Lynch
Sydney Morning Herald

Days after the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was greeted in Israel and thanked for having been “alone in sticking by us” during Operation Cast Lead, the attack on the Gaza Strip in December and January, the Jewish state added piracy to its list of recent crimes against international law. The two developments are connected, and not just by coincidence of timing.

Israel sent six military vessels to seize a ship, the Spirit of Humanity, sailing from Cyprus with relief supplies for the people of Gaza, and arrested – no, make that abducted – 21 people on board, including the Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire. After a week in detention, they were released and deported.

At no time did the Spirit enter Israeli waters, so Israel’s action could be deemed piracy under the definition of the International Maritime Bureau: “The act of boarding any vessel with an intent to commit theft or any other crime, and with an intent or capacity to use force in furtherance of that act”. At least it amounts to an infringement of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which reserves the high seas for “peaceful purposes”.

The Spirit’s three-tonne cargo included medical and reconstruction supplies, and children’s toys. Greece, whose flag the ship was flying, has asked for its return, and Israel says some of the goods on board may be passed on to Gazans for whom they were intended, “subject to security clearance”. For now, it is forcibly keeping them from their rightful owners.

The international jurist Richard Falk, who has served as UN Human Rights Rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories, points out that this compounds an existing and ongoing violation of international law. The boat set sail in response to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which, Falk says, contravenes Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits any form of collective punishment of an occupied people.

A study of the transcripts of Ms Gillard’s speeches and interviews, from her recent trip to Israel and Ramallah, reveals that the word “Gaza” did not once pass her lips. Challenged by a reporter to say whether she believed Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians was “fair and just”, she avoided the question and retreated into platitudes: “We are concerned about the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people”.

This amounts to connivance with what the late Israeli political scientist Baruch Kimmerling called “politicide”: Israel’s desire to have the outside world forget Palestinian political aspirations to self-determination, and regard their struggle in purely humanitarian terms.

Gillard’s don’t-mention-Gaza stance puts Australia further into Israel’s camp than any other country, including the United States. Cynthia McKinney, the former US congresswoman who was on the ship, points out that President Barack Obama called the blockade “unjust” and urged its lifting, so she, as an American citizen, was attempting to carry out his wishes.

The European Union responded to Cast Lead by shelving plans to upgrade its trading relations with Israel, and even ASEAN, through the Heads Statement of its 14th summit, identified Israel’s attack as the cause of a humanitarian crisis, and called for an immediate ceasefire.

Gillard, standing in for the Prime Minister at New Year, characterised the onslaught as no more than Israel exercising its “right to defend itself” against Hamas. Hamas, she told her questioners in the Middle East, would first have to “renounce violence” if it wanted to qualify as a partner in any peace process sponsored by the “quartet” of the UN, EU, US and Russia.

The home-made rockets that Hamas militiamen fired into Israel were indiscriminate weapons, and the 20 or so deaths they caused over several years are war crimes, but all independent observers have pointed out the obvious – that pales into insignificance when compared with the impact of Israel’s high-tech weaponry, which claimed 1300 lives, mostly civilians and including 400 children, and injured thousands. No stipulation from Australia, then, that Israel must also renounce violence as a precondition to have its views heard at the top table.

Israel is aware of acting within the scope allowed by international political opinion: it does what it believes it can get away with. The unexpected firmness of the White House on settlement-building had constrained its room for manoeuvre. Gillard paid lip service to a settlement freeze and a two-state solution – but her visit as the leader of a large delegation, her demeanour and above all her refusal to condemn Israeli lawlessness or call for it to cease, all conspired to send the opposite signal.

Thousands of people whose homes Israel destroyed are still without shelter, says the International Committee of the Red Cross, because Israel refuses to allow cement and other building material into the Gaza Strip. The report also notes that hospitals are struggling to meet the needs of their patients due to Israel’s disruption of medical supplies.

It is this situation that the passengers and crew of the illegally seized vessel were trying to remedy. They have vowed to send more boats. Israel should let them pass, and Australia should say so.

Associate Professor Jake Lynch is director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

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stonewall gay poster

A billboard by Gay rights campaigners Stonewall, placed in Maldon Essex. Pity we live in societies where we still need these reminders.

[Image: stuartwhite flickr photostream]





[Images reposted from justinepeter @ imgfave – from top to bottom: Gravestone poem arp.jpg (Wikipedia);the words that fill these pages couldn’t be more empty (Flickr); Speak the truth on (Flickr)26.jpg]

The University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science recently held its annual amateur underwater photography contest. Winners were named in three categories–wide angle, macro, and marine animal portrait. Awards were also given for the best contributions from University of Miami students.


This photo, taken in Indonesia by Marchione Giacomo, won best overall photo in the contest. It shows two boxer crabs (Lybia tesselata) ready for a fight. The crabs defend themselves by carrying tiny stinging sea anemones in their claws.


These scarlet-striped cleaning shrimp (Lysmata grabhami) were spotted in the Florida Keys by Evan D’Alessandro, who took second place among the University of Miami student submissions.

For more sometimes intriguing photos, like the pygmy seahorse that look like a piglet with a top hat, go to CNet’s Photo Gallery site under Photos: Photography contest uncovers underwater treasures


Plastic washed up on Hunting Caye (Toledo, Belize) – Photo: Chloe Wells/Marine Photobank

Photography: Will Govus

Posted: April 4, 2009 in creativity


will govus – young US photographer – strong atmospheric narratives – uses twin lens cam – websiteworld’s best photos by will govus


It’s been quite annoying so far that you needed several clicks to open Flickr photos in full size – but not anymore. offers a greasemonkey script that allows you to click only once on a Flickr image so see it in all its full-size glory. All you need is a Firefox browser with the Greasemonkey extension installed. Then go to and click on install to get Johannes la Poutre’s Flickr script.

Once installed, the script looks for thumbnail images from Flickr and links these images to their original uploaded (full size) versions. This also works for any page where thumbnails are displayed directly from the Flickr servers.

The script adds an icon on the top left of thumbnail images. Clicking this icon takes you to the original uploaded photo version. Links open in a new Firefox tab. Some users don’t allow links to high resolutions from the zoom page; in this case no “ORIG” icon will be displayed.

Surprisingly though not all Flickr pages are included in the website list. You might want to add an entry like http://** to the list of allowed sites to include all pages on Flickr (in Greasemonkey preferences).

[Via gHacks]