At Busso: Tributes on the Beach, 2nd Edit

I really like the picture I took of the pastel blue sexy Tribute heels on the beach at Meelup on Tuesday. Sadly this picture did not get the sought after 90 points at 500 pixels that are required to position it near the top of the popular listing—even if just for a little while; a few hours or so before it decays and falls down the list.

However, I have done something I rarely do. In fact I think this could be the first time I have done this. I re-edited the very same crop of the same picture. In this re-edit I have made four changes compared to first edit. Three of the edit changes involve the shoes, and one of them doesn't.

I wonder if anyone can pick the four new edits?

Click to make Larger

One of the edits is something I avoid doing, which is removing something from the picture. As an 'old' photographer I tend not to do this. Which is the reason why I didn't do it in the first edit. But this time I just felt I really needed to remove 'it'.

The other three edits are standard minor adjustments that photographers make to improve the picture a wee bit.

I might actually re-post this picture to 500 pixels to see if it gets any more votes. It would be an interesting experiment.

At Busso: Sexy YSL Tributes on the Beach at Meelup

People who know me know that I am not, and never have been, a beach-going kind of person. Maybe it harks back to being from the bush. I don't know. Maybe it's because my mum and dad weren't the beach going type. But, for whatever reason, unlike the vast majority of Australians I don't head for the beach every chance I get. In fact, even though I live in Perth, it would be at least ten years since I even saw the ocean close up,

But today the wife and I found ourselves taking an unintended drive along the stretch of beach up Dunsborough way between Bunker Bay and Meelup Beach. Firstly I need to make a general apology in relation to Dunsborough. I have often made the statement that I don't know why people like Dunsborough so much because, although they may have a great golf course there, they sure don't have any beaches worth going to.

Well, as it turns out they do. In between the various rocky outcrops along the stretch between Bunker Bay and Meelup Beach there are some very nice stretches of white beach with shallow water.

Following is a picture I took of my blue YSL Tribute heels at Meelup Beach.

So, as I had my current favourite photographic subject with me, I decided to take a few pictures of the YSL Tributes on the beach.

Normally if you were photographing something in full sunlight on a beach you would have a polarising filter on your lens and also, most likely, a reflector handy to calm down the harsh shadows that are going to occur. This picture was taken without a polarising filter and without any kind of shadow fill light being used—hence the somewhat harsh shadows being cast to the right by the shoes.

On the upside, partially due to the low angle of the shot, the water looks amazing. The low shooting angle has enhanced the blueness of the water—which is an old photographer's trick when shooting the ocean.

Also I have taken advantage of some natural dispersed shadow coming from the trees near the edge of the beach. I have placed the shoes so they are slightly in the shadow. This has two benefits. I don't get harsh glare coming off the shiny shoes that I have to deal with (which I don't have a polarising filter to calm down), and the shadows being cast by the shoes are softened just a bit so they are not a solid black shadow but more of a dark grey shadow.

I have to say that the matrix light metering on the Sony a6000 worked perfectly. The exposure is really spot on. And, as usual, the Ziess f4 17-70 lens has captured the shot with stunning clarity.

As usual, click the picture to see it bigger and at higher resolution (assuming you have the screen to do this with).

Also, I have put this on 500 pixels. If you have a 500 pixels account then please vote for it. You can find my pictures on 500 pixels by searching for "abalook".

Tributes in the Wild: Francesca Packer-Barham

Right smack bang there in the middle of the cover of the Business Review in today's Australian is a pair of black YSL Tributes. Okay ... maybe the picture is actually of someone wearing a pair of black YSL Tributes.

The very elegant lady wearing those amazing heels is Francesca Packer-Barham. Yep. I hadn't heard of her either! But whoever she is she has just now gone way up in my assessment of very smart people. I mean. She must be smart. Choosing YSL Tributes.

Obviously, with Packer in her name, she can well and truly afford these very stylish and sought after heels. In fact she quite possibly has them in every colour available.

At right I tried to make the picture bigger, but being a picture from a newspaper the quality is low and the print screening is hard to get rid off.

But trust me on this. She IS wearing YSL Tribute heels.

Loving my new 950XL Windows Phone

I am not sure if I mentioned it before but about two months ago I upgraded my trusty never-fail 640XL Windows Phone to the 950XL. I had been thinking about making this change for about six months or more but the latest offer from Microsoft was just too hard to resist.

When the 950XL was released late last year the cost in Australia was $1,199; basically $1,200. Over six months or so I watched it come down to $899 at Harvey Norman. And then a pal at work said "I see Microsoft are selling that phone you like for $499 on their site".

Initially I thought that he must have been talking about the 640XL or the 650. But, just out of curiosity,I went to the Microsoft Australia site. He was right. Microsoft were selling the 950XL for $499.

I tried to order one right then. But for some reason the Microsoft site would not accepted my order. So I rang them. They were aware of the issue with the 'shopping trolley' on that page and advised it should be fixed within 24 hours.

Seriously. I mean! Seriously. A company the size of Microsoft put up a special on their flagship phone on their own site and the page doesn't work? Plus, it is going to take 24 hours to resolved the problem.

So I had to wait until the next day to order the phone.

I love it. LOVE IT! The super hi-res AMOLED display is amazing and the colours are very close to correct—which is a big plus for a photographer type who doesn't want his pictures (taken with a real camera but transferred to the phone to show to people) showing on the screen as over-saturated; I really appreciate the colours to be close to correct.

As you might expect, the CPU performance compared to the 640XL is blindingly fast. I realise that the 950XL is not quite as fast as the latest iOS or Android phones but for someone coming from the 640XL I can assure you that the 950XL works like it is turbo-charged.

I really like the fast-charge technology in this phone. While I manage to easily get two full days of life out of the huge battery in the 950XL there are those rare occasions when you find yourself facing the "Charge me now or I am going to die" screen. About 20 minutes on the charger will get the gauge close to 50% (about 44%).

As much as I like it not everything is better on the 950XL. I am finding that the reception antenna is not as good as the 640XL. I realise that the 640XL was the best in the world for antenna reception. It was a freak. But I kind of expected the antenna in the 950XL to be as good. Sadly this is not the case.

Whereas I could confidently make and take phones calls on my 640XL from the office in my house with no fear of the calls dropping out I am sad to report that I have had a couple of instances with the 950XL where calls have dropped out due to fringe reception problems. This is a disappointment. I have also had a call drop out while in the lifts at work—again, this NEVER happened with the 640XL.

In my next post I plan to review the in-phone camera. While the camera in the 640XL was 'just okay' I rarely used it. I am hoping that the 20MP camera in the 950XL is better than 'just okay' to the point where I might be able to use it to take serious pictures with.