I've started creating my own personal Flipboard magazine "Smirkonian". It's similar in a way to the old Tweetsheet posts I published on this blog last year. Primarily the Flipboard mag is a collection of articles, rss posts and tweets that I've read and had an interest in.
It requires the Flipboard app for iOS or Android. Download the app and search for Smirkonian.
Download Younes Bounhar's eBook
A Sense of Place: Finding Your Eye at Home and Abroad for just $4.
|New PDF eBook
A Sense of Place is more than just a travel photography workbook; it's geared towards helping you learn to experience a place more fully, see it with wider eyes, and photograph it more intentionally.
Photography, for many of us, is all about learning to see. Younes Bounhar's A Sense of Place, Finding Your Eye at Home and Abroad, is a 42-spread eBook that can help you make stronger photographs, whether at home or elsewhere, by honing your ability to see and express, not just point the camera.
Based on his trips back home to Morocco, Younes guides you through his process of making photographs in a place that is both foreign and familiar. Through this experience, beautiful photographs, and a series of excellent creative exercises, Younes teaches you how to see in new ways and do the work needed to make beautiful photographs of places near and far, strange or familiar.
Starting off with a quick section about shooting At Home, he then jumps head-long into a much longer section on making photographs Abroad, but the two can not be so easily separated: the skills, and exercises, needed to make compelling photographs in either place are the same.
For those looking for a discussion about traveling with gear, he touches on that too, but it's so much more. Younes is a patient and capable guide, though he'll make you work for it. If you're looking for a primer on photography of places, this is an excellent place to start.
Younes Bounhar is a scientist turned travel, architecture, and landscape, photographer. He is based in Ottawa, Canada. His clients include St-Joseph Media, Apex Publications, K2 Impressions, National Institute of Scenic Arts and Music (Spain). His photographs have been featured in several magazines in Canada and abroad (including Canadian Geographic, PhotoLife, PhotoSolutions, Photography Monthly, and Craft & Vision's PHOTOGRAPH).
For the first five days only, use the promotional code PLACE4 when you checkout and pay only $4 OR use the code PLACE20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks. These codes expire at 11:59pm (PST) December 22, 2012.
As if they weren't cheap enough, $5 ebooks are now half price thru Friday.
Visit Craft And Vision before Friday, November 23 at 11:59pm (PST) and you’ll find every eBook marked down by 50%. No discount codes required - we've already done it for you. Happy reading!
Download Piet Van den Eynde's BIGBOOK: Lightroom 4 UnMasked (Save USD $5)
PLUS - Get 50% off any eBook - No Discount Code Required (Sale Ends Friday Night)
LIGHTROOM 4 UNMASKED
The retail price of this BigBook is USD $20. But for the first seven (7) days only, use the promotional code LR4FIVE when you checkout and pay only $15. This code expires at 11:59pm (PST) November 27, 2012.
Download Andrew S. Gibson's latest eBook
SLOW: The Magic of Long-Exposure Photography
New PDF eBook
Download Andrew S. Gibson's latest eBook
Download Issue One of PHOTOGRAPH, a Quarterly Digital Magazine for USD $8
or buy the 1-Year Subscription and Get Four Issues for the Price of Three (Save USD $8).
Download Sean McCormacks's eBook Package ESSENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
This .zip file includes a Lightroom Toolbox of 85 presets.
|New PDF eBook + Lightroom Toolbox
Want to take your Lightroom workflow to a new level? Essential Development, 20 Great Techniques for Lightroom 4, by Sean McCormack, is an amazing resource for any photographer who wants to get the most out of Lightroom's Develop Module without all the guesswork.
Lightroom keeps changing, and most of us don’t have time to dig around under the hood to learn it all. Essential Development is a no-holds-barred guidebook that can help you explore, modify, and dig deep into the Lightroom 4 tools you need to make your post-processing efforts more productive and produce the final images your portfolio deserves! The eBook is divided into 20 chapters, focused entirely on the Develop module, covering topics such as: Understanding The Histogram, Making White White, Beauty Retouching, Dodge & Burn for Beauty, Cross Processing, Achieving a Filmic Look, Image Toning, Tilt Shift, Effective Sharpening, and Correcting Lens Issues.
Sean is a consummate professional, and an industry leader in Lightroom education, and he's delivered a large, concisely-written eBook full of clear and large screenshots that will feel more like a workbook than an eBook.
Our primary offering is an eBook package (.zip file) which includes the PDF of Essential Development, Essential Development Toolbox (a folder of 85 Lightroom presets), and a short PDF instruction manual to help with the installation and catalog some of the presets. Presets are a great way to cut down your editing time and with 85 of them there are presets here for a range of styles and tastes.
Whether you’re just looking to tweak your knowledge of Lightroom since the jump from LR3 to LR4, or you’ve been waiting for a great resource that doesn’t bog you down in Library modules and Print templates. This is a useful, hands-on offering that we know you'll love.
Special Offer on Essential Development Package
The retail price on this package is just USD $7, but for the next six days, use the promotional codeDEVELOP6 when you check out so you can have the Essential Development Package (incl. the Toolbox of 85 Lightroom presets) for just $6 OR use the code DEVELOP20 to get 20% off when you buy 5+ PDF eBooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST Tuesday - October 23, 2012.
If you want to keep it simple, you can purchase the PDF only for just $5 - visit the standard product page at Craft & Vision. At 120-spreads this is great education and a killer value.
One of my favourite photographers has a new book coming out in December. Although I specialise in landscape and not portraiture, I really like the lighting style of Joey L .
Amazon book description:
Aspiring photographers are always looking for that edge, that fresh point of view to add drama to their images. Photographer Joey L. found his vision early, drawing critical acclaim as a brilliant commercial photographer with a distinctive technical expertise for lighting.
In Photographing Shadow and Light, Joey lifts the curtain on his dramatic, creatively fearless approach to portraiture, sharing his personal philosophy and a behind-the-scenes look at 15 striking photo sessions—from personal projects shot in Africa, India, and Brooklyn to commercial shoots for 50 Cent, the Jonas Brothers, and Project Runway All Stars. Joey provides readers with a step-by-step description of how he visualized each shoot, formed meaningful connections with his subjects, and “built” his signature dramatic lighting effects—one light at a time.
Featuring more than 85 stunning portraits, detailed lighting diagrams, and a foreword from industry icon David Hobby (aka Strobist), Photographing Shadow and Light shares the creative process behind one of today’s most exciting photography talents, providing serious amateurs and professionals a fresh perspective on creating compelling, professional quality portraits.
“Joey Lawrence is . . . the future of photography. Get used to it.” —David Hobby, from the foreword
Get inside the images of commercial and fine art portrait photographer Joey L. with this behind-the-lens guide to his fearless approach, creative vision, and signature lighting techniques.
Also available as an ebook
New PDF eBook
Kevin is a veteran commercial photographer who knows how to cut to the chase and provide photographers of all levels with the practical advice they need to create and manipulate light in order to produce the best aesthetic. Whether you’re using studio lights or off-camera flash, an eight-foot octabank or a bed sheet, you’ll learn about how to get light to do what you want, regardless of the tools.
Download David duChemin's latest PDF eBook Portraits of Earth
New PDF eBook
New PDF eBook
In the age of iPad's and Kindle's, here is a lovely homage to a bygone era when elegantly printed books inhabited our world.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore won the 2012 Oscar award for best Animated Short Film.
- From what I know about news presenters, he could be busy setting up a dinner party!
Beyond Thirds bit.ly/ru5zSC A photographer's introduction to creative composition
Did you know? Film and photo paper are made using animal parts: bit.ly/vogTnE
- Back in those pre-digital days there was no such thing as a vegan photographer.
The Star Trek: TNG pinball won't let me get a higher rank than Ensign... It's like it knows.
The Associated Press
AP VIDEO: The Secret Service says bullet hit exterior window of White House and was stopped by ballistic glass: apne.ws/t0F74N
- Dumb ass Americans. HE'S NOT HOME.
The director instagr.am/p/RixSM/
- Career change?
twitpic.com/762gyf - Afternoon tea! Apple, Orange, Pineapple, Kiwi, Beetroot, Lemon Juice.... Tasty
- Diet change?
Bound for Garmin Cervelo in 2012, dream achieved! Currently goal setting:) what a year, whole hearted thanks to @GenesysCycling
- Team change! Wow, that was quick. Snapped up by Garmin-Cervélo. He'll look dashing in that argyle garb.
- Sea change! Amazing Race host helps out with the Rena cleanup effort.
My Nikon Life
- Get changed! The panties look fun too.
News: Video: Giro d'Italia 2012 - the promo: Race gets underway on May 5 bit.ly/rZPhYk
KISS star Paul Stanley undergoes vocal cord surgery. cnn.com/2011/10/26/sho…
- I… wanna cough all night.
Had a great ride today with the guys from hilditch. Beautiful weather, nice food and a great ride!
Chronicle trailer HD youtube.com/watch?v=i-M5Qx…
@SmirksTas - Following 155 - Followers 50
I'll finish with this…
So Walter Isaacson's "Steve Jobs" bio is $9.99 in Australia, and $16.99 in the US (on iBooks). How come cheaper here? That's unpossible!
- Incentive to buy more Apple product (iPad, iPhone, etc.)
A Velociraptor with a jet pack and scissors. pic.twitter.com/kZzeNywR
Homer J. Simpson
Two terrible lockouts happening this fall: the NBA owners locking out their players, and Marge putting a padlock on our pie cabinet.
People always ask "Why won't MTV play videos?" "Why won't CNN cover news?" Just go to YouTube or Google News! TV is not that into you.
Sunsets and Mythos vimeo.com/30394458 A GoPro adventure in the Greek Islands
Well, nice welcome into Dubai. Taken into Immigration Office & talked to like a dog. Definitely should change my #skinhead passport photo.
- It's one of those 'don't you know who I am?' moments!
Can you guess what scene Colin is filming here? pic.twitter.com/Gl8KYH8E
- Probably having a 'deep and meaningful' with the dragon.
One year ago from tomorrow campl.us/goip
So that's why you were grumpy. You had to work when you should have been celebrating. Congratulations for tomorrow.
- Something to remember home by, next time he's overseas.
I'm happy to announce, beyond doubt, my proudest moment of this year.... @petatodd is pregnant. I'm going to be a daddy.
Can now confirm that whether or not the world is ready for it... there is a baby @MarkCavendish on the way. A very happy family this end.
- Apparently conceived during this years TdF. A tour baby!
@SmirksTas - Following 156 - Followers 51
There are several dozen other blogs/sites that have a regular post or column going by the title Twitbits. And apparently there's a Twitter account by the name @TwitBITS, but only one post back on 26 March 2008. That said, I'm keeping my retrospective daily blog post title. Read on…
The Associated Press
Walter Isaacson's new Steve Jobs biography sheds light on Apple CEO's early life: apne.ws/oyTkEH
- AP reviews an advance purchased copy of the official Steve Jobs bio ahead of next weeks release. There are a few of these bios either already released or on the way. The Walter Isaacson book is the one to get.
On the subject of books…
Do the Green Thing
Read a book made from straw and save 800 million trees a year ht.ly/73440
- or just buy the Kindle version!
How to Meditate at Any Time without Meditating bit.ly/oUujw6
- Day dreaming?
Matt Damon to make directorial debut. cnn.com/2011/10/20/sho…
The Trevor Project posted my "It Gets Better" vid as part of their anti-bullying campaign. What can you do to help? itgetsbetter.org/video/entry/cd…
- I was amused at this story. Do the chinese understand decimal points?
“@MolksTVTalk: re:Gaddafi. Can we no longer trust news services to tell us he's dead?Pics too much for Brekky.” we tell but how much to show
- In my job, I've recorded tv news services for nearly 30 years and I've seen some horrific and confronting images in that time. Even-though Sunrise chose to censor the pictures they showed, I still had to look away. Sometimes it's not the content but the context in which it is shown. Maybe it's the Arab culture to display like a trophy, and give it no dignity in death.
The Associated Press
- This was an interesting article. I've had an interest in etymology, linguistics and hermeneutics (translation) for many years.
The Associated Press
BREAKING: #Earthquake felt in San Francisco area.
Wow, that was quite a shake.
- My old blogging friend gets the shakes.
Damage from today's earthquake at Pixar: pic.twitter.com/gvDVJg8Y
- Oh no! Not the diet coke.
Bryan Singer’s ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Gets Airborne With John Orloff Scripting Deal deadline.com/2011/10/bryan-…
- Battlestar going big screen? Do we get to see Boxie and his mechanical Daggit named Muffit?
Investors at risk as GR Finance collapses smh.com.au/business/inves… This is a quarter of my cash portfolio. I'm holding my breath.
- I only found out about this on Tuesday. Aunty would not be pleased knowing I've lost the inheritance she gave me. : - (
- Congrats to Launceston's Ben Grenda.
Off to Rapha Condor Sharp for 2012. Thanks to @RWCYCLINGTEAM for all of their support this season. Can't wait for 2012!
Decoding "slanguage"- the slang language of the global youth generation yhoo.it/mUFyjs
- Mark's book is on my wish-list. Totally chron foshizzle. Confuzzled? Soz!
Advance copy of The Art of Pixar came in today. yfrog.com/oe3txbj
- Another book for the wish-list.
Could the *unt of a helicopter pilot flying over Prospect at the moment please fly at a higher altitude!
- I don't care if the golfing high-roller wants to get to Barnbougal in time for lunch - go the long way round!
@SmirksTas smirks language.
@SmirksTas there's a stunt copter flying over Prospect???
CHECKLIST ✔Try Turning it off and on again ✔Call IT ✔Get treated like an idiot TO DO ❑Get a Mac
Brian J. Smith
Aww, you guys GOTTA check the vid out in this link. Some good SGU memories here. josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/oct…
- Frickin' awesome (that's a quote from the vdo btw).
Australian Girls of Herpetology 2012 calendar. Can't really see my friend Sal as Miss April. madaustraliaproductions.com.au/2012-calendar In support of DevilArk.
Full Metal Jacket
FMJ Racing are 1st equal in the Master Espania grade 2 regatta going into the penultimate day. Semifinals should start today. Stay tuned
- Good luck guys!
Rolex Sydney Hobart
Eclectic Fleet and Big Names for 67th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race rolexsydneyhobart.com/news.asp?key=5…
- Six yachts from Tassie already entered.
TasPride Festival set to light up Tasmania blog.discovertasmania.com/discoveries/ta…
- Run by the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Intersex (GLBTI). If this bunch get anymore politically correct they'll have to pause half way through the title for intermission.
Wow! That's got to be a record. Sorry it was so long.
@SmirksTas - Following 156 - Followers 51
CNN: Blackberry Outage Impacting Users On Almost Every Planet techcrunch.com/2011/10/13/cnn…
- Galactic catastrophe, E.T. can't phone home.
The Associated Press
Joanna attended the Cheltenham Literature festival 2011 where she promoted her new book: youtube.com/watch?v=0BhukM…
- And a teaser spread on her Greek series that premiered in the UK last night ... http://tinyurl.com/64mtcjr
Not exactly the way I wanted to finish up with Saxo but it is what it is. Great team and fantastic 2 years. From Bjarne down thanks a lot!
Wanna See Some Beautiful Animation Like You've Never Seen Before? http://t.co/piOstaYt
- Great find by @parabola. Thanks for RT, Cam.
- Found on the same site and hot on the tail of my Parkour diversion from last weekend …
Track 13 "Derezzed" seems to be the most popular.
Woke up this morning & was happy I could have a lay-in. After 10 minutes, I am now genuinely bored of it.
- The way I'm feeling at the moment, I could sleep through all of tomorrow.
@SmirksTas - Following 152 - Followers 53
Highlights from my twitter feed...
All Lightroom eBooks are now only $4.99, today, tomorrow, and forever! - bit.ly/nWSaJO
- After realising that they have competition with Craft & Vision $5 e-books. BTW, Craft & Vision have better and nicely presented publications available in both PDF or iPad App.
*disclaimer: I have an affiliate account with Craft & Vision and take a small percentage from sales through the above link.
- Special feature from the one-man-band department.
- And they're off up THAT mountain. Tour of Tassie started today with the TTT. Lookout for the Russians. Congratulations to team Jayco-2XU's Mark Jamieson on stage 1 yellow jersey.
VeloNation News Feed
- After the demise of the men's team, it's great to see the womens team continue on in another name… I just gotta learn how to pronounce lululemon
- Now, continuing the saga from yesterday…
News: Sky confirms no signed contract with Cavendish: Brailsford calls situation “complicated” bit.ly/n35JiV
for the first time I can recall, iCal has failed to transparently deal with summer time
- Small problems in big Mac town. My iCal is running just fine.
(for you PC peeps, yes it's an Apple thing)
David Foster the People #shittybandsandtasmaniancelebrities
- This local hashtag was running most of the day. This one was the best.
- And finally...
j u s t i n ♕
Time to give my pillow some head
@SmirksTas - Following 154 - Followers 46
Remains of my twitter day...
That climb looks NASTY!
Jimmy Eat World
So great to be in San Francisco for these next few days playing Bleed American all the way through at the Fillmore. #fb
- Their best album yet.
Hey networks: QUALITY. Not quantity. I didn't watch LOST b/c of the stars or b/c you made it fast & cheap. I watched b/c it was GOOD.
- Never got into Lost but I agree with his point.
GE Staff & riders all together at the ETC.
- And so GreenEDGE are born! Only one problem… just waiting on a license.
Joanna: 'Playing Patsy again is extraordinary' tinyurl.com/66tkj9e
- Love this lady. View the tv interview on my link below...
Joanna Lumley interview talking about her new book Absolutely and the five J's in reprising roles of Ab Fab bit.ly/p7h61C
- A lesson for me.
some more great sunset light at VLA last night twitpic.com/6qxqpv
Love waking up on my day off to some new parcels of tea to try! :)
- When Cam starts consuming his tea in parcels, I have my concerns!
The Amazing Race Aus
- The indoor bungee looks exciting.
Homer's 'Odyssey' is full of metaphors for modern life--one of the many reasons its appeal is so enduring. Film... t.co/07UbIyi1
- A q&a with Greek film-maker Dimitris Athanitis.
- I've seen several on this list. Not mentioned is my favourite Summer Lovers.
Beautiful set of watercolor paintings. Economic crisis aside, Greece is just stunning; in film, in painting, in real life.
My son was suitably impressed with the new rainbow jersey as next seasons 'look'. #toocoolforschool
Arrived in Barcelona for some filming. A little bit grumpy after 4am wake-up. But at least there's sun here!
So @MarkCavendish is now in Barcelona, it must be love as I was awake at 03:30 to say goodbye etc. Never has the school run felt so early.
- The etc sounds interest. Sychronised watches might help.
Bugger. Sunny here in Barcelona but we're filming indoors all day! #daylightdeprived
The Sun - Olympics
Peta Todd and Mark Cavendish
All Ords up 136pts. Aus shares end up 3.6% on Europe debt plan hopes; First home buyers drop in past year. AUD trading at just above $US0.99
- Opened strong and positive and seemed to remain steady for the remainder of the trading day. I could say things are getting back to normal, but we're a long way off it just yet. And just what is considered normal?
Melissa Mercier: Felinophobia- Fear of Cats. t.co/YDmH0wIT
- This one for my mum who can't stand to be in the company of cats.
It's the 100th episode of Shameless tonight! I was cheeky & watched it last week on e4, wicked ep! Tune in plz tweeps, I'm in it a fare bit.
- Does he mean we see more skin than necessary. Eye candy for some. Still waiting on SBS or whoever is going to show it here in Australia.
Liking the theme song for Hung. The Black Keys "I'll Be Your Man" t.co/eh76iJrQ
@SmirksTas - Following 152 - Followers 46
If you made it this far, thanks for following Eggheads!
Love this lady - Joanna interviewed on ITV's This Morning (September 26, 2011) talking about her new book Absolutely and the three up coming episodes of Absolutely Fabulous.
Here are todays shiney twits, I mean tweets…
People asking what I think of Harry Dent's views. Property will go down, not 50%. global recession is coming. Pay down debt, take no risks
- That's why I'm keeping cashcows, not investing in property.
Clients From Hell
Client: “Can you take the Facebook logo off? I think it violates the integrity of the product. It should... tumblr.com/xep4o62da9
- Yes, unfortunately they do exist.
The Big Bang Theory
- After seeing all episodes about 8 times, I only scored 5 out of 10. Damn it! Do I have to sit through all those repeats again?
Don't look down..."Fixing An Antennae On The Empire State Building" http://ow.ly/6tp5O
- Which one is Dilbert?
King of the Mountains points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's on the 'crying' climb I mentioned yesterday. I'm keeping this results sheet #GCrider
- Like cry me a fucking mountain. No wait, i think it's cry+river, climb+mountain… wot-ever, that's a framer!
Is 3D TV headed for the ash-heap of electronics history? macw.us/pVe4p5
- My views from two days ago haven't changed. It's a dud.
Earth at night...somewhat incredible http://ow.ly/6toys
Can't stop reading The Name of the Wind, and when I am forced to stop reading it, I can't stop thinking about it.
- Sounds like Wil's reading quite a page turner. I love those kinda books. Haven't got my nose stuck in a good read for over a year.
Talking to @petatodd & sympathising about the loss of the cats furry dice today. Her response to me..... "Be warned".
Back in Miami for Step Up 4 and September is even hotter and steamier than August! Almost as hot as the dancing! Loving my wool suit Cheers!
- Feeling the heat, Pete?
I just ousted @chrisroww as the prettiest princess in the newsroom
Fri night 8.00pm second to last episode in this series of ABC's 'Collectors' was filmed at MONA in Hobart
- As long as they went nowhere near the poo machine I'm fine with it.
@SmirksTas - Following 152 - Followers 43
I've been a fan of Linda McCartney's photography since the mid eighties. This impressive portfolio of her work is a treasure to own.
Here's todays picks...
yfrog.com/kgqzkp Some people celebrate marriage others celebrate divorce. Out training Ventimiglia Italy.
- Once again, Dwayne delivers some NBC behind the scenes magic. I'm loving his tweets.
All Ords up 63pts. Aussie & NZ dollars march higher with stocks; Forestry Tasmania posts $12m loss. AUD up to $US1.06
- There's no money in forestry anymore. The market plateaued years ago and has been declining ever since (my opinion only).
Come and have a cocktail and a look my cook book, Eamons Kitchen, tomorrow night at Ariel book store on Oxford street @ 7pm!!
- Oh, …Oxford Street? ….?
I'd rather burn my toast than go and see that new Smurfs movie #evenneilpatrickharriscantsaveit
@chrisroww Imagine your balls the whole time your watching that movie. They would just be sitting there, just smacking.
How (not) to set up a travel blog ... Step 1 is essential. killingbatteries.com/2011/08/how-to…
Not tweets of interest from me today except for a retweet seen above.
@SmirksTas - Following 144 - Followers 39
Earlier this month I stumbled upon Neil Pasricha's blog 1000awesomethings.com. Even better, I bought his books on Amazon; The Book of Awesome and The Book of [Even More] Awesome. Both arrived today.
The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free. His wise, witty observations are smile-inducing musings that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time.
Yes, it's all about enjoying the simple moments in life. Here are a few of my favourites...
If someone dropped your food on the floor, would you eat it? Probably not. But that's not what I'm talking about.
From almost everywhere in the town one can hear the characteristic click-clock of the ball on the bat, and the rounds of applause. Once upon a time it was mingled with the stately popping of ginger-beer bottles, which as ritual objects, together with drop scones, lingered on in the coloured marquee until about 1937-38. (page 22)
At the time I'd never heard of drop scones or indeed, dropped scones, and had forgotten about it until I read the passage quoted above. So a short Google search later reveals they are small pancakes, similar to what we call in Australia pikelettes.
Pictures from our 2007 tour of Greece. Left; approaching Lixouri on the ferry. Right; Pero's cafe board with dropped scones on the menu.
Months have past since I last massaged my brain in a good novel and I've been longing to return to the comfort of a sunny chair, a cup of coffee and a can't-put-down page turner.
I like reading travel fiction and travel memoirs, particularly located around the Mediterranean. So this week I started reading Lawrence Durrell's 1978 book, The Greek Islands. I found it through an Amazon Marketplace vendor - used and in good condition for $7.32 USD. With a strong Aussie dollar it was even cheaper but the postage absorbed any real saving.
Durrell's writing style, reminds me of those classic english novels from the last century, with descriptive and expressionist paragraphs, a welcome change from the modern conversationalist style from younger writers of today.
He is not of course the first visitor to be electrified by Greek light, to be intoxicated by the white dancing candescence of the sun on a sea with blue sky pouring into it. - Lawrence Durrell, The Greek Islands (1978)
I have an eclectic range of books on my bookshelf. Most are travel related or deal with Greek and Mediterranean culture. Travel fiction, guide books, Greek mythology, it's a diverse mix.
The bookends were given to me on my 50th birthday by Tony's sister, Tanya and her two daughters, Stella and Lucy.
Someone please confiscate my credit cards! This week I've been a mail order junkie, spending like crazy. Tuesday I received an email from PayPal with some special deals. One being for an 8GB iPod Nano 5 Gen. This is the new model that can record up to 8 hours of video, although I'll probably just stick to the more traditional uses of music and podcasts. The offer was $20 cheaper than that quoted on the Australian Apple store, plus $50 cashback to my PalPal account at the end of the promotion period.
Thursday saw another splurge on the card. This time for a new digital SLR camera, the Nikon D5000 for $653. I'm buying just the camera body which saves me a bundle. I can use the old Nikkor lenses that came with the D60. I saw it advertised in the Myer catalogue for $1699 (with the twin lens kit I already have) and I've seen it selling for about $1300 with just the 18-55mm VR lens and around $800 for just the body. So I think I found another reasonable deal here. I decided on the D5000 model (over the D90 and D3000) for various features and benefits. Significantly better than the D60, which didn't have Live-view, exposure-bracketing and the ability to accept the optional GPS data unit.
CNET Review: Judged on its own merits, the D5000 is a great digital SLR for those wanting something a bit better than the entry-level D60 model, and equals or betters a lot of the performance specifications of the D90.
Then, how could I not go without this wonderful book on how the use the D5000. I've seen other offerings from publishers that offer nothing more than what's in the supplied manual, but this book goes further with chapter assignments that make you want to use the camera features and gain a knowledgeable understand of the controls and settings.
When I was little, about 4 years old, my favourite book was Little Toot. I had my Mum read it to me all the time. I'd forgotten about it until today when I was scanning some transparencies from an overseas trip I did to Canada in 1986 (when I was 26... I'm now 48 btw).
The photo I had taken was of a barge being towed by a very tiny tugboat. As the scan appeared, it reminded me of Little Toot.
I remember I always had a liking for tugboats. Even today when I see one cruising by on the river, I stop and reminisce my childhood and think of the joy I felt when I saw a tugboat gliding by.
So, having a brain spin, I thought I'd take a look on the internet to see what was out there on the little tugboat I remembered from when I was a kid. It turns out the book by Hardie Gramatky is still available and there's also an official website.
I want to mention two books that have been released this month with whole of partial reference to my home state of Tasmania.
The first is a book by Holly Hughes titled Frommers 500 Places to See Before They Disappear. The book covers locations from around the world including 21 in Australia. Places like the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, Luna Park in Sydney and the WHOLE state of Tasmania also features, with attention drawn to the endangered Tasmanian Devil.
Author Holly Hughes writes:
Many unique species thrive in Tasmania, one of the world's most unusual ecosystems. Increasing development, including logging, mining and other industries, threaten many of the island's most beautiful places.
As well as the Tasmnanian Devil, I believe there would have been several reasons Hughes included the whole state and not specific locations. Head strong in many peoples minds here, the controversial proposal to build a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. This project is seen by many locals as a fast short-term investment for shareholders, against the long-term interests of Tasmania and with careless disregard to the environment and local residents. The approval process has been government fast-tracked and corrupt from the outset, further infuriating those that oppose it.
In a letter on the Amazon site Hughes writes:
Though this book was originally conceived as a handbook for eco-tourists, it soon became clear that we couldn’t separate natural and man-made attractions. After all, historical and cultural landmarks are part of the environment, too. The destruction of an entire city like New Orleans is as much as a natural disaster as the destruction of an entire biosphere like the Amazonian rainforest; the same concerns affect the Acropolis as the giant redwoods. If changes in the natural environment have threatened the piping plover, the Tasmanian devil, and the mountain gorilla, so too have changes in our cultural environment threatened classic amusement parks, ballparks, and movie palaces. Our planet is the poorer every time we allow something beautiful to die.
The second book I want to mention is Mikkel Aaland's Photoshop Lightroom 2 Adventure.
Earlier this year I blogged about 25 photographers from around the world who converged on Tasmania for a week long photographic adventure of this beautiful island. During their stay, each photographer used a beta version of Adobe's Lightroom photo processing software with amazing results.
And those results are now published in this book, showing off Tasmania to the world... well, those that are keen to see some of the tricks that were used with the software.
In his blog Aaland writes:
I am a proud father. The book looks great! I'm not surprised--a lot of good people at O'Reilly worked really hard on it-- but I am relieved. It's nerve racking to work with other photographer's images and honor them. I think the double page spreads look fantastic and really highlight the amazing talent that made the adventure--and the book-- successful.
My copy should arrive in the next week or so.
noun the manipulation of photographic or video images to convey a false representation of events.
[faux + (pho)tography]
noun Colloquial (humorous) a floor littered with discarded clothes, viewed ironically as a clothing storage system.
[floor + (war)drobe]
noun Colloquial (euphemistic) a woman's pubic region.
noun Colloquial wine coolers and alcopops, viewed by men as deceptively alcoholic drinks that will lower a woman's resistance to sexual advances.
Here's my new book!...
A World Tour of Greek Islands is a three week photographic backpacking tour of five Greek Islands I visited with my friend Tony in May 2007.
View the wonderful landscapes of Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Zakynthos and Kefalonia... and featuring the breathtaking scenery of Samaria Gorge on Crete.
40 pages, 9" x 7", casewrap-hardcover binding, full-colour interior and exterior ink.
$41.20 USD + shipping charges
It's October 1st. A few things are happening today, and have happened in history.
Anyway, thanks to Wikipedia for jogging my memory... today in 331 BC, Alexander the Great of Macedon defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela, and was subsequently crowned "King of Asia" in a ceremony in Arbela.
Now what's significant about this is, if Alexander had lost this battle and been subsequently killed, the world as we know it today would probably not exist. This is because the Greek society back then was the foundation of democracy.
As for today, it's my Mum and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. So congratulations to my folks... i know it hasn't been easy, but you've both pulled through in flying colours. Have a great day.
The thing I like about Tasmania is the wealth of character (and characters) shown by many in our community. One well known Tasmanian died today. Margaret Scott, a writer, poet and educator, passed away aged 71 after a long illness of emphysema.
This week I started reading Peter Moore's Vroom with a View - his adventure through Italy on a '61 Vespa. I can put the book down, it's the Italy I never saw. Through the quiet back roads from Milan to Rome. Bella vista!
I guess it's not to everyones taste.
In a much healthier review, issue 10.05 of ATPM gives Dancing Barefoot a "Very Nice" rating.
Reviewer Ellyn Ritterskamp wrote:
Wheaton has a nice, easy writing style. He understands that to write well we must write about things we know, and that we should write in our own voices. He’s done both. This is a very good first effort. I look forward to Just a Geek, coming out this summer.
I'm currently on a week off from work. Just normal annual leave. Catching up on a few things and doing those odd jobs I left for rainy days but didn't do on those rainy days (lazy slob!)
The new Mac is going well. I'm very pleased with it.
I've started reading a book called Separate Lives. It's partly set in the Greek Islands (wouldn't you know it). I've added it to the Typelist on the right. I found the book at the local book market reduced from $29.95 to $9.95. A bargain don't you think? I know, I know, it's one of those womens romance novels... but it's Greece peeps!
I'm on a weeks leave which has given me some spare time to catch up on a few things, including my mounting book collection. Last time I was on leave I spent five days in Sydney catching up with a friend. On the way home the flight included a short stop in Melbourne. At a book store I bought Pamela Stephenson's biography about her husband Billy Connolly. I started reading it with enthusiasm in the airport terminal. Over the weeks I'd pick up the book and read a bit more... and I mean a "bit", like a page or three but no more. Sometimes, whole weeks would go by before I'd continue.
Anyway, after three and a half months, today I finally finished it.
Before reading 'Billy!' I only knew Billy Connolly as a funny strange guy I'd seen occasionally on TV. Now, having read Pamela's book I have a better understanding of this hugely successful comedian. The cover notes say it better than I ever could...
... From a troubled and desperately poor childhood in the docklands of Glasgow he is now the intimate of household names the world over.... In this extraordinary book, Pamela Stephenson combines the very personal with a frank objectivity that makes for a compellingly moving, yet hugely entertaining, biography.
James Asal has been having some problems with the 'gay haters' lately. A not-so-nice review of his "Adam and Andy" comic book resulted in loads of nasty hateful messages in the A&A guestbook. Sadly the guestbook is no more. Here's some of what James had to say in his blog:
It's a shame that there are so many people in the world with such a low opinion of themselves that they must actively seek out other people to hurt in order to make themselves feel better. That's not what I am about, and it will NEVER be what "Adam & Andy" is about.
I read the Adam & Andy strip each week because it brings a little joy and humour into my life. Keep up the good work James. I'm relieved you overcame these stupid acts of ignorance and immaturity.
Dear Rouge: Heads Up! Watch Out! EP
Rock/Pop duo from Vancouver, Canada (****)
Waiting For Something
Nada Surf: The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy
New York indie rock band Nada Surf release their seventh album entitled The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy, it expands on the Matthew Caws-led group’s sparking indie-pop songwriting. Catchy, affable tracks that pair sunny melodies with propulsive guitar riffs that culminate in an infectious buoyancy. Good news: this style infuses the entire album. (*****)
Andrew McCarthy: The Longest Way Home
Award-winning travel writer and actor Andrew McCarthy takes us on a deeply personal journey played out amid some of the world’s most evocative locales. (****)
William Shatner: Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large
I'm told this is quite a funny read.
Mark Cavendish: Boy Racer
Inspiring read on the early pro-cycling career of the guy known as the Manx Missile. (****)
Neil Pasricha: The Book of Awesome
This gem of a book reminds us that the best things in life are free. (*****)