23 August 2010

Sail 2010 Amsterdam

This year I attended the first day of Sail 2010, the largest free event in the Netherlands. A large fleet of Tall ships, sailing heritage craft and other ships dock in the harbour of Amsterdam. I found it too crowded, and decided to visit the event later that night.
From the new Amsterdam Public Library you could see some ships.
100819-165506_ 4814_50D

We had dinner in Restaurant Looks.
Restaurant Looks Amsterdam

In the evening I caught a glimpse of the fireworks.
Vuurwerk / Fireworks Sail 2010 Muziekgebouw aan het IJ

And finally I saw some ships.
100819-224037_ 4898_50D_DxO

17 August 2010

Quick Mirror Lock-up Tip for Canon 50D

A quick tip on how to minimize camera shake during long exposures. The Canon 50D mirror lock-up function is buried somewhere in the menus. When you want to flip your mirror quickly just do this: use the Live View mode! Live View has also the advantage that you can see the image on your LCD screen. And of course you are using a cable release or the self-timer.

The only downside is that your battery will run down faster because Live View uses more current.

16 August 2010

Tips for Travel Photography

Photographer Ashok Sinha has given a presentation at B&H New York on how he takes photos during his travel. You can find the three videos on http://photography.bhinsights.com/content/tips-successful-travel-photography.html and I am also placing them down here for your convenience.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

10 August 2010

Visitor Statistics first half 2010

A quick note on what Google Analytics is telling me about the number of page views on this blog for the first half of 2010. The four most visited pages are:

  1. http://mchangsp.blogspot.com/2010/03/tesla-motors-roadster.html
  2. http://mchangsp.blogspot.com/2010/05/gitzo-gt1541t-tripod-and-gh1780qr-ball.html
  3. http://mchangsp.blogspot.com/2010/03/canon-power-coffee-shot-lens.html
  4. http://mchangsp.blogspot.com/2010/03/canon-ef-s-10-22mm-f35-45-usm-lens.html

I am especially pleased with my blog post ‘Gitzo GT1541T tripod and GH1780QR ball head review’. I noticed quite a few visitors click on this page after searching in Google for ‘tripod head for gt1541t’, ‘GH1780QR’ or ‘Gitzo GH1780QR review’.

I got a spike in traffic when www.tweakers.net linked to 'Tesla Motors Roadster’ (will post the Tweakers link when I find it).

04 August 2010

Sand Sculpture Festival 2010

Each year Caste Hoensbroek hosts the Sand sculptures festival. Sand sculptures up to 7 meters high are built. Here are some photos:

Zandsculptuur Festival 2010

Zandsculptuur Festival 2010 Zandsculptuur Festival 2010

Of course some castle replicas were present. This is Shloss Neuschwanstein – the castle Walt Disney used as an inspiration for the Cinderella castle of the Disney theme parks.

Zandsculptuur Festival 2010
Schloss Neuschwanstein

 Zandsculptuur Festival 2010 Shloss Neuschwanstein 
Schloss Neuschwanstein

 Zandsculptuur Festival 2010

Zandsculptuur Festival 2010
A knight

And the most beautiful of all – the Mermaid

Zandsculptuur Festival 2010

Click on the photo below to start the slideshow:

Rick Sammon Photography Workshop in The Netherlands

Rick Sammon is a renowned photographer. He is one of the Canon Explorers of Light, wrote a number of books and has given many workshops and classes.

April 2011 will be the first time that Rick will give a photography workshop in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Topics will be tulips, landscapes, HDR and many other things.

For more information go to http://rickrawrulessammon.blogspot.com/2010/07/netherlands-photography-workshop-april.html

The costs mentioned are including 5 nights hotel. I have asked Rick what the price will be without the hotel (for people living close to Amsterdam). If you are interested as well, please leave me a note in the comment section of this post.

03 August 2010

Hoodloupe Mag 3.0 Magnifier for Hoodman Loupe


The Hoodloupe Mag 3.0 magnifier (or Hoodmag3) is a replacement lens and eyecup for the Hoodman 3.0 loupe. It contains a 3x magnifying lens and an oversize hypo allergenic eyepiece. You remove the original eyecup by pulling it off the Hoodman loupe. The new Hoodmag3 is mounted by pushing it over the viewing end of the Hoodman loupe. The slip ring allows for diopter adjustment.

Instruction video how to attach the Hoodmag3

These are the changes of the Hoodmag3 compared to the original eyecup:

  • The view through the Hoodmag3 is enlarged three times compared to the original eyecup
  • The eyepiece of the new Hoodmag3 is larger than the original eyecup
  • No chromatic distortion in the edges of the view with the new Hoodmag3. The original lens in the Hoodman loupe has more chromatic distortion in the edges.

I am using the Hoodman loupe with the new Hoodmag3 and I like it very much. The 3x view makes it much easier to see details in the picture. I can now even see fingerprints and dust lying on the LCD screen. The new eyepiece is large enough so I can put my eyeglasses against it and look through the loupe. You can also fold it back if you need more room.

I encountered two minor problems:

  1. Diopter setting of the loupe is sometimes inadvertently adjusted while carrying the loupe. Note this is because of the way I am carrying my Hoodman loupe. If you want to know more, read my previous post  ‘How to carry your Hoodman Loupe’. You will not get this problem when you use the lanyard Hoodman supplies with the Hoodman loupe.
  2. The new eyepiece fits rather loose on the eyecup and rotates (‘large flap down’) while carrying.

I have solved these minor problems as follows:

1. Diopter setting of the Hoodman loupe
As I have described in my previous post ‘How to carry your Hoodman Loupe’ I carry my loupe with a lanyard on my belt and a piece of velcro around the diopter ring.

Hoodman Loupe Setup
Hoodman loupe with Larry Becker style lanyard attachment (see ‘How to carry your Hoodman Loupe’)

Sometimes, this causes the diopter ring to turn resulting in a blurred picture when looking through the loupe. Using the loupe on the supplied lanyard should not give these problems.

I have marked the diopter ring with some green tape. This way I can check very easily if the ring has turned away from its correct setting.

Hoodman loupe with new Hoodmag3 3x magnifying lens and new eyepiece

The loupe is set for my eyesight when the green tab is centered.

2. New loose eyepiece
The new eyepiece turns rather easily on the Hoodmag3. While you need to turn the eyepiece from time to time (e.g. to look at portrait photos), most of the time the flap should stay to the left (I use my left eye to look through the viewfinder and loupe). Because it is too loose, the eyepiece turns when the loupe is hanging at my side from the lanyard.

In order to get some more friction I put some black tape below the eyepiece. It now takes somewhat more force to turn the eyepiece. The eyepiece stays put in the desired position, while it still can be rotated,

100803-143446_ 4433_50d
Hoodman loupe, Hoodmag3, new eyecup

I like the Hoodloupe Mag3 magnifier. You get an even better image, and eyeglass wearers can use it too. I only wished that Hoodman supplies the Hoodmag3 as a standard item, not an optional one.

My tips for Hoodman are:

  • Put a marker on the diopter ring like a white line on it, so we can check the setting!
  • How about selling the eye piece as a separate item? I am afraid I might lose mine one day.
  • Let the new eyecup rotate less easily on the eyecup

Thank you Hoodman for coming up with the Hoodloupe Mag 3.0 magnifier!

Toy Story 3: Inception

Watch what you get when you mix Toy Story 3 with Inception:

02 August 2010

Wiki Loves Monuments

wikilovesmonuments logo

Wikimedia Nederland will organize the photo contest Wiki Loves Monuments in September 2010. Following the success of Wiki Loves Art photographers are invited to take photos of the Dutch rijksmonumenten. A ‘rijksmonument’ is a Dutch object with special cultural historic value, beauty or special meaning to science as described in the ‘Monumentenwet 1988’. Some of the objects are marked with a special blue/white shield.

Blue white shield of the Haagse Conventie

From 1 thru 30 September 2010 photos can be uploaded to a special web site. Photographers can only upload photos of their own and are asked to release the photos under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Netherlands license so they can be used in the Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. The photos do not have to be made in September 2010, they can be taken earlier. Detail photos and photos of the inside are allowed.  Each photo must contain the ‘rijksmonumentnummer’.

Here are some resources to find a rijksmonument near your place:

Wiki Loves Monuments will coincide with the Open Monumenten Dag (the Dutch Europen Heritage Days) on 11 and 12 September 2010. They are organizing a photo contest for young persons between 10 and 18 years old.