Monday, February 15, 2016

What a mistake

Richard Illingworth made a mistake. Umpiring in the Wellington test match between Australia and New Zealand he incorrectly called Doug Bracewell for a no-ball. A costly mistake for New Zealand as it was this ball that should have had Australian batsman Adam Voges out caught four 7. He went on to make 239, some 56 more runs than the entire New Zealand team.

In this game this was a big mistake. In the overall scheme of things, of life in general, this mistake is not so important. However Australia won this test match, guaranteeing that international media discuss this mistake for years to come.

People, “experts” are calling for changes to the game. Allow players or umpires to review no-ball calls or use line technology similar to tennis hawkeye to electronically monitor for infringements by the bowlers.

Umpires can not make mistakes. Players however are allowed to make mistakes – the whole reason the umpires are there in the first place. If the players did not make mistakes then there would be no need for umpires to make rulings about their mistakes.

It is the human infallibility that makes sport interesting. Even the most skilful and talented sportsperson will make mistakes. They trip over, drop the ball, miss a shot, or in the case of Tiger Woods, who kept potting the wrong hole.

 South African one-day cricketers are wearing pink and green uniforms, Gary Hocking changed his name to Whiskas and James Hird still this Essendon did nothing wrong by injecting the players with unknown substances. My point is sport is full of mistakes.

Because there is so much money in sport with television rights, sponsorship deals and betting we can lose sight of the fact that sport is just a game. Something of which, the supporters of  Melbourne and Sydney’s A-League teams could be reminded. Two weeks in a row flares have been set off in the crowd and spectators ejected for discharging missiles over the pitch.

Getting ready for the game: team shirt – check, tickets – check, missile launcher –check.

Sure the spectators have themselves made a mistake by following soccer. The international game, where after 90 minutes the game is drawn 0-0 and the only thing that happened, was a player rolling on the ground in agony one could expect from an amputation performed without anaesthesia when in reality someone stepped on his shoelaces. It is understandable that spectators get bored. And how often do we all make the mistake when packing the bag for the game reaching inflatable clap sticks (in team colours of course) and erroneously grabbing the flare gun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Graduated Neutral Density Filter

Photography is all about light, and light can be one of the hardest things to control, particularly outdoors. Photographers prefer to take out door shots during the golden hours – dawn and dusk, the light is warmer and the contrast is manageable.

On bright days and in certain scenes managing the contrast becomes quite difficult. To get the foreground appropriate lit leaves the background over exposed and vice versa. The compromise can leave the image lacking detail and depth in the colours. This is where a graduated neutral density filter can be useful.

Visit to find out more about what a graduated neutral density filter is and how to use it.

Friday, February 5, 2016

My TV is on the blink

I love television, pretty much if I am home then the TV is on. Tjis why I am so concerned that television is on the blink. Not my personal television but the primetime programs offered by Australia's free to air channels.

Channel 7

My Kitchen Rules is back on television, according to the media releases and commercials it is a brand new season. The faces have changed slightly , maybe, but it is exactly the same.  Couples that fit into the set stereo types; gay couple, best friends, hipsters, “ethnic”, old, bogan, rich, are all cooking in their home restaurants which are neither their home nor a restaurant.

Each night the cooks still get surprised and panicky when Peter and Manu arrive. There is a massive clock on the wall telling everyone how much time till dinner and they arrive EVERY episode, exactly the same way they have arrived in every episode in every season.

The only thing more predictable is the sniping between the couples in ways that match their producer-assigned stereo type. Regardless of how good the food was or the dining journey everyone now gives each other low scores because they are all voting “strategically” to keep themselves in the competition.

Because they want to win… What do they win? An apron? 5 minutes with Kochie on Sunrise? It’s not as job a chef.

Channel 9

Having snaffled Australia’s Got Talent, David Hughes hosts a show that’s greatest moments of entertainment are the acts that ironically have very little talent.  People will astound audiences, according to the commercials with their unlikely ability to actually sing in tune, or the magic trick works.

Whilst some of the stars only talent, according to recent employment is judging other people as they compete in “shiny floor shows”, David Hughes is a very talented comic and Eddie Perfect is a highly accomplished writer, composer, singer and actor. Another great irony of this show is that the people with the most talent will not be required to demonstrate any in their roles.

Ultimately it will be the people with the most interesting and emotional backstory (in the opinion of the producers) that make it through the early rounds and it will be the most attractive act that wins.

He contestants will win… some money? The cover of a magazine affiliated with Channel 9? 5 minutes with Richard Wilkins on Today?

Channel 10

I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here” a show where blatant sexual innuendo towards each other and patronising the celebrities are the only rolse of the hosts and where people whose once thriving careers in sport and entertainment is well past its peak get their names and faces back into the public consciousness.

Some of the 2016 celebrities careers are still strong even if they are not household names, whilst others left their fellow cast and home audiences scratching their heads asking who are they? Thank god for Google.

This is also a possible “prize” for a winner of either My Kitchen Rules or Australia’s Got Talent if they have the slightest hint of personality. Then they may get a second 15 minutes of fame eating pureed rats and spiders.

Thank god for Netflix.  Time to chill.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Photography- Fisheye Lens

Fisheye lenses can be a lot of fun to play with creating interesting effects and distorting visual reality. Some photographers will dismiss them as a “toy”, but they have their place in a camera bag.

Fisheye lens is an ultra wide-angle lens. They a short convex lens which can take a frame up to 180o of view. I always need to lean forward to ensure my feet are not in shot. Using a tripod can also be tricky if not positioned correctly, as can be the photographer’s shadow.

Using a fisheye lens
Get close to the subject, real close, between 3cm and 30cm. Keep the subject in the centre of the frame, as distortion and bending occurs at the edge of the frame. 

To learn more about using a fisheye lens and other free photograph tips visit