Tuesday, 29 January 2008

The tripod monopod or something completely different

I keep reading and investigating what one needs to get better photos, and considering the limited lighting when you are on the go (not shooting in conditions that you set up yourself), some kind of stabilization is obligatory.


Since there is quite an array of tripods available I guess you could get your hands on one of those, but, since I just mentioned taking pictures on the go I would like to find one that can suit all the following needs:
  • compact (eg. less than 50cm when fully folded)
  • can be extended from smallest about 20cm up to max of 140-170 cm)
  • is rigid enough not to shake when lenses are fully extended and longer exposures are necessary and so that it does not tilt by itself
  • as lightweight as possible (below 2kg)
  • the head should be able to rotate and tilt
  • price (the cheaper the better)
By now I have found exactly 0 of those ;) They might be light, but they were not sturdy or could not handle the 1+ kg of weight that dSLR's+lenses weigh.

Hey if someone has a sudgestion for a tripod that matches approximately the above specification, leave a comment please.


Another topic are monopods. However, they don't seem to be as popular here in Slovenia, at least the couple of stores I walked into did not have a single one.
Again monopods would probably be even better alternatives for shooting on the go, since they tend to be even lighter, a bit less appropriate for really long exposure since they are not as stable as tripods are, but much easier to set up when you are walking around.
So if you know of a model that folds up nicely and can support a weight of a dSLR (cca 2kg) please leave a comment.

Bean bags (and other animals of the kind):

Small tripods, minimal portable gear seems to be fine in certain conditions, when you have somewhere to put them, but in general tripod or monopod is a must. I have read a book by a wildlife photograph Andy Rouse, where he mentiones that a Bean bag is the ultimate support to have when traveling or being driven around, since it offers support in places where you would not usually be able to even set up a tripod, monopod or similar. A bean bag is generaly a small sack of beans,rice or similar that gives you support on uneven ground and you don't have to fill them at home, you can just buy the beans on any market/store at your destination.

So what to go for in the end... whatever suits your needs... I still need a new support option, since my last tripod is too wabbly to use for serious work (except if I would intentionally want blurry photos).

Have a blast!

Thursday, 10 January 2008

ATI Radeon X1270 and Fedora 8

The continuation of the saga that is one of my previous blog entries. I have been using "the other" OS for a while now, and have not noticed that my Linux did not use the correct resolution until I tried to view some pictures on it and they were odd shaped to say the least ;)
So I checked and surely the screen resolution was set to 1280x1024 and would not budge to anything higher (even if manually inserted as Modes line into the xorg.conf). After googling for a while I stumbled upon this and this site.

Sadly the radeonhd driver can not offer 2D and 3D acceleration yet, but I am not that much into games so I don't mind right now... If I need 3D I can still switch to fglrx driver (on 1280x1024 max).
Vieos work quite ok on xshm driver for xine and work ok in Kaffeine (mplayer does not perform ok - neither video nor alsa seems to be ok with it).

glxgears runs on about 600 in windowed mode and drops to about 90 in full screen mode.

If you had better results with the specified card please don't hesitate to leave me a note...

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Happy 2k8! The Fireworks...

We had a nice dinner, good company and enjoyed ourselves for new years eve. The city of Ljubljana even organized a fireworks which we would have been able to see if there was not for the fog (in which the 5.7k € worth of fireworks disappeared). But never fear the heat packing neighbors are here. They seem to have spent (a couple of) their pay checks on the fireworks and were more than happy to blast them off of the rooftops (see the picture). I of course was ready to shoot the "big" Ljubljana fireworks, but had to satisfy my big bang with the neighbors one (it probably cost more altogether than the cities anyway).

The Ljubljana New Year fireworks.
See the rest of the pictures here.

An I wish you all a happy new year!