Archive for 26 September, 2010

Laptop in the Emergency Room

Gaaarrrrrr DELL! The backlight in my laptop monitor has gone out, so I can’t see anything on the screen, just vague shapes of what’s on my desktop. The Dell laptop is only four years old, but my Compaq is now ten years old, and is working fine still!

So not having my main laptop working for a couple of weeks means that I can’t work on nor upload any new images for a few weeks. I’m currently using my mini laptop which doesn’t have any good image processing software, which is why I really need a donation: Babble 5 please! Very soon would be REALLY appreciated.

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Photokina 2010

(My first:) A blog post for photographers

Photokina so far looks exciting. Leaf shows off a whopping 80mp digital back for medium format cameras that has me trembling. Remember the Sony A900? The camera that topped and made a mockery of both Canon and Nikon (both of whom still have not released a camera better). At 24mp and USD$2,500 the Sony A900 towered above the 12mp USD$8,000 Nikon d3x, and the 22mp USD$4,000 Canon 5d mkII, but that was about 2 years ago. To finally better Sony, Sigma releases a monster, the 46mp Sigma SD1. What is shocking is, the top Sony, Canon, and Nikon cameras are full frame (same sensor size as a 35mm film frame), but the Sigma SD1 is a smaller APS-C! Amazing. Hard to believe it could actually be true!

Finally, FINALLY Sony shows some more serious commitment to the semi-pro and pro end of the SLR market. Albeit, mockups of a 500mm f4 G lens (the first new G lens since Sony launched the Minolta AF system under it’s umbrella four years ago).

Leica releases a luscious looking V-Lux 2 Superzoom, which looks pretty interesting. The most interesting part of this camera is that it is a fixed-zoom lens camera.

The last thing that interests me in Photokina 2010, so far, are the Sigma flashes, the EF-610 DG and the EF-610 DG ST. What the difference is I’m not sure yet. But a guide number of 61 sounds pretty good.

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Hakuho climbs higher

The Mongolian sumo wrestler Hakuho gets the second highest unbeaten winning streak in modern sumo today. Hakuho faced the ambitious rising star Kisenosato who fought well. Hakuho did not play his usual style of sumo and appeared nervous. During the bout Hakuho seemed unstable and did not calmly respond to his opponents attacks. Hakuho managed a win, which made him outright the second highest unbeaten wrestler in modern sumo with 54 unbeaten bouts. This record is also fourth highest in about 350 years of organised sumo. It is likely that Hakuho will win at least the next five or six bouts, possibly making him the third highest in sumo. If Hakuho can win all eight of the remaining bouts in the current tournament, then he will be in a very good position to easily surpass Futabayama’s 69 unbeaten bouts in the next tournament.

In a time when fans are turning their backs on sumo due to scandal after scandal, this winning streak is extremely important. Today was also the first day in the current tournament that all seats were sold out. Historically there would normally have been several days of sold out seats already by this stage of the tournament. Further, this is the first time a non-Japanese wrestler is breaking such important records.

My Hakuho Sumo Gallery. Hakuho (below) walking from Harumafuji after defeating him in the Nagoya summer tournament in July.

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Hakuho

The Mongolian sumo wrestler of the Japanese Sumo Association, Hakuho, born Mönkhbatyn Davaajargal from Mongolia, becomes a one of the greatest sumo wrestlers of all time. On the 17th September 2010, the mid way point of the Tokyo Autumn Sumo Tournament, Hakuho totalled an unbeaten 53 bouts, equalling Chiyono Fuji’s 1988 record. Hakuho and Chiyono are equal second highest in modern sumo, or fourth highest in about 350 years of organised sumo. Futabayama holds the highest number of unbeaten bouts at 69 in 1939 (he lost due to him suffering amoebic dysentery). It is likely Hakuho could attain the highest or second highest unbeaten score in sumo history due him probably being able to beat many of the remaining contestants in the current tournament.

Slideshow: http://ablyth.photoshelter.com/gallery/Sumo-Hakuho/G0000pimByx1lgJ4

Hakuho after defeating Harumafuji in the Nagoya summer tournament, 2010

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Microstock dying? Hope so

First a confession, I did go with iStock back when I was young(er) and naive. Then I quickly realised, “how do I afford a new camera?”. I am earning money from my Rights Managed sales, so getting out of microstock has been worth it. However, on one account, I’m still waiting for my account to get to the minimum threshold before I can get a payout and remove my images. In any case, here’s the latest news which appears nicely summarised from Jeremy Nicholl: http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/2010/09/13/istockphotos-unsustainable-business-model-from-crowd-sourcing-to-crowd-shafting-2/

As for me, I’m earning money from the regular photography business model, but not quite enough to upgrade my gear (hurry iStock… die!). So, I’ve been offering free image gallery access as a trade for clients sending gear: http://japanesephotos.asia/blog/purchasing-images/free-stock-images/

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Toyohashi Fire Festival

My first trip to this event, and it was awesome… except we had to pay to get in, even though it wasn’t a rock concert. Still an awesome display of burning gun powder. Thanks to the Nagoya International Hiking Club for taking me there. See the YouTube videos for more. Pictures available at Asia Photo Connection and my PhotoShelter accounts.


Fire Festival – Images by Andrew Blyth

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