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Alan7140 last won the day on 3 January

Alan7140 had the most liked content!

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3,490 of my posts have been liked

About Alan7140

  • Rank
    Grandmaster Member
  • Birthday 07/01/1953

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Tasmania, Australia
  • Interests
    Photography, Guitar
  • Edit my pics?
    Ask Me
  • Fav. Camera
    Fuji X-T2
  • Fav. Lens
  • Fav. Editor
    Photo Ninja
  1. Alan7140

    The New York Times Called...

    Excellent. It's difficult to buy publicity like that, but even better getting paid for it.
  2. Alan7140

    Red Back

    Australian relative of the American Black Widow spider. Of course, being an Australian resident, it's more deadly. Has a rather cruel habit of frequenting outhouse toilet seats, early outback settlers rapidly learnt to run a lit candle around the underside of the toilet seat at night before planting their rear onto it. Redback bites can occasionally be fatal if anti-venom isn't administered.
  3. Alan7140

    A bit of a fire yesterday

    Dry lightning strikes started it a week ago. Although some effort was made to kill the fire then, it was in extremely remote and inaccessible terrain which made fighting it on the ground impossible, and yesterday's high temperatures and strong winds caused a couple of smaller fires to join up and resulted in the monster blaze. Today the air was thick with smoke all day, and we're told that the fire will likely burn for weeks, so a further flare-up may yet happen. Thanks, Vivion. Wildfire is something that terrifies me.
  4. Alan7140

    A bit of a fire yesterday

    Just the irreplaceable and those things difficult to replace easily. Most important: all my hard drives. My Claudet stereo daguerreotypes, Larriveé LV-05E, Maton T-Byrd (serial# 0003 media release & the 1st one sold retail) and Epiphone ES-345 custom guitars. All my main camera gear. 3 changes of clothes. Sleeping mat & sleeping bag, keys, wallet, cards, phone. It took just 10 minutes to gather this up and perhaps it would take five more to pack the car if needed (which it wasn't). Given my relatively open situation I have plenty of time to get this together and have clear escape routes to the north, east, south and west, depending on where the fire is coming from. This was a big factor in helping to decide on buying this place - my previous home was in the bush at Warrandyte with no view to the north or west (where the fire traditionally came from), and only one escape route to the south across the accident-prone bridge over the Yarra, which, if blocked, cut off all escape routes (this would apply to at least 3,000 people these days - trying to move that many over a single bridge even with the additional added lane quickly enough to escape a sudden bushfire is a politician's fantasy; the place is a death trap which needs another river crossing and a widened road). The Ash Wednesday fires in 1983 scared the crap out of me when I realised we could be trapped there and would have to take our chances in the river, and while thankfully the fire didn't get there, I swore my next place would have easy, safe egress with views that provided plenty of warning in all directions.
  5. Alan7140

    A bit of a fire yesterday

    I didn't see the sunset here - the smoke was something else after the change blew it in this direction.
  6. Alan7140

    A bit of a fire yesterday

    This blew up in about five minutes from the first pall of smoke to a monstrous bushfire that consumed 15,000ha of World Heritage Area button grass plains and eucalyptus forest within a few hours. While about 45km from here in a straight line, the speed with which this thing advanced before a wind change pushed it back on itself was a frightening 10km per hour. I just took the one quick pano shot as the thing grew before my eyes before withdrawing to pack important things into the car in readiness to evacuate as soon as the order was given. Thankfully this never happened, but huge bushfires are one of the not-so-pleasant things about living in Australia. A couple of hours after starting the smoke plume, longer than Tasmania is wide, was clearly visible to the weather satellite:
  7. Alan7140

    Food chain

    In the past couple of weeks I discovered that a Long Beaked Corella chick had been hatched in my oak tree and had started to walk around the yard grazing on seeds (as its close cousins the cockatoos do) as it still couldn't fly. It had no trouble climbing into the tree, where its mother would drop in twice a day to feed it, regurgitated from her crop. The youngster had woken me up each morning with its simple, but loud two-notes call, but this morning it didn't. Having seen it cross the road before, I thought it might have been run over, but walking into the sun-room a while later showed a more grizzly scene on the other side of the fence. The chick had become breakfast for a Brown Falcon, which took off too soon for me to get outside and try to sneak up to get a clear shot, so the one above taken through the glass of the window and the fence in between will have to suffice. I found it interesting that the falcon had decapitated the corella to kill it (the head was a couple of feet away), and had totally eaten out the body cavity but left the drumsticks untouched with feet still attached.
  8. Alan7140

    Welcome To 2019!

    "You're mad for moving there" they said. "You'll regret it", they said. "You'll miss the hustle and bustle", they said. "Hah!", said I, and have gone on to live in peace and quiet for 24 years and counting, not regretting or missing a thing. OK, the log trucks can be a bit tedious at times, but their days are numbered.
  9. Alan7140


    Nothing other than available light. The spider spun its web between a shed wall and an earth retaining wall on the south side of the shed, so in the Southern Hemisphere that means shade all year around. Thankfully it was an extremely still morning which is rare here at this time of year, it is usually windy during the day. This particular brand of Orb Weaver spider likes to make its web more horizontal than vertical, so the dark background is the earth, and the white wall of the shed probably provided the fill-light to make the web itself highly visible.
  10. Alan7140

    Welcome To 2019!

    Didn't hear a thing here. Not even so much a possum fart.
  11. Alan7140

    POTW #2.12 Spidey

    Ed's note: What's most remarkable about this shot from @Alan7140 isn't so much the sharpness, it's that it is a focus stack made hand-held! Great image originally posted here.

    © Alan Lesheim

  12. Alan7140


    Zerene stacker's inbuilt retouching facility allowing selective parts of one image in the stack to be revealed by hand (I use a 9x12 Wacom Intuos which makes that function far easier than using a mouse) where the stacker may have included a less appropriate part of another image makes having an external stacking program worthwhile, although in this case everything worked well enough to not have to use it. I also prefer to set my own raw processing parameters which an in-camera stacker can't really do, however it's horses for courses, each individual's needs are different.
  13. Alan7140


    Fuji have the focus shift thing set with the BKT mark under the shutter speed dial, and then in the menu of the X-T2 under "Drive Setting" -> BKT setting-> , which needs two further settings, firstly "BKT Select" -> "Focus BKT", then back off to the "BKT Setting" -> again, and to the bottom of the next list "Focus BKT" ->, which then gives you a choice of how many Frames (up to 999), the Focus Step (1-10) (i.e. the distance increase between shots) and "Interval (1-10 sec) between shots, presumably when tripod mounted for reduction in vibration as well as giving the buffer enough time to clear during the sequence. I shot this at 1/100sec, f/4, 1000 ISO, with my left elbow braced against the shed wall to help keep the framing reasonably steady and chose 65 shots after a couple of practice tries to see what was needed. I set Focus Step at 9, and Interval at 0. You just have to press the shutter button the once, and the camera starts the sequence firing extremely quickly at the 0 Interval setting until it hits the buffer, which, even with my Lexar UHS II 300 mb/s card happens around 50 frames, although that clears pretty quickly and a few shots later the camera picks up speed again. The stacking itself I do with Zerene Stacker, the camera has no facility to do that part of the job, and I haven't investigated Fui's own software to see if that can do the stacking - I'm used to Zerene and the way it works so I'm sticking with that. As the focus shift thing arrived about half way through the X-T2 model life via a firmware update, later cameras might have a better dedicated menu for the function - at first I found the X-T2's addition confusing, but like everything familiarity comes with repeated use.
  14. Alan7140


    ...behind the shed this morning, a large-ish orb weaver spider. X-T2, 65-shot hand-held auto focus stack, put together with Zerene Stacker.
  15. Alan7140

    Meet Walter

    Yeah, well of course I looked that up when I found Dad's meticulously orderly "exit" photo album - at auction during 2018 one went for US $386,000. 😧

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