Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 17/12/2011

The Best Just Got Better

Winter Wonders, originally uploaded by

Just how do you improve on perfections? Well, as we all know, these days, there’s an app for that, and indeed there’s an app that just made my awesome Canon 1D4 awesomer..awesomest (conjugate the verb “to awesome”.. I awesome.. you awesome*)? I mentioned a while ago that I had bought an app for my android tablet that would allow me to connect the camera to the tablet, which I could then use as a remote screen/control. Despite the plethora of cables I have lying around in various boxes in the house and the garage, I just couldn’t make the camera and tablet talk, so forgot about it until today when, in a similar vein to yesterdays’ blog, I happened upon a cable that had come with the camera itself and hey presto – the two now talk. In fact, it’s better than just talk, I can change any and all of the settings via the tablet now and see all changes reflected in real time and when ready I can take a photo which is transfer straight to the tablet (I presume there’s an option to save to the local CF/SD cards as well which I will investigate in due course). There are further options to deal with HDR and timelaps, as well as various movie functions. You never know, instead of writing a book for 2012, I might produce a movie!**

My desk now resembles the camera equivalent of the elephant graveyard as I’ve brought out all the things I need to fix, as well as a couple of things I don’t need to fix but fancy trying to create something more useful. I’ve mentioned the rangefinder I’m trying to resurrect, the battery having leaked and leached throughout the camera. I also have my first film camera, the wonderful Fujica STX-1N (so good I can remember the memorable model number without looking or resorting to google (other search engines are available)) which just needs the winding mechanism fixed, as it doesn’t always work (the resulting photos aren’t consigned to the big… just re-classified as Art!). I’ve mentioned I’ve got to fix the hot shoe plate on my Canon 580 EX II flash gun, which came loose earlier in the year… I’ve also got a couple of other flash guns that don’t currently work which I’m going to try and cobble something out of – quite what I haven’t yet decided.

The lighting from the warming winter sun has been a ‘togs dream today and for once I have been out with my camera, despite the proximity to Christmas Day and all the tasks involved with the seasonal celebrations. With numerous chores to complete today, I decided that I needn’t look on this as an imposition and took my smallest camera back (did I say I own 5 camera bags, and yet I’m still hunting for one that special bag that meets all my needs (and costs 50p)) with the Awesome-ator (as I will call the 1D4 from now on) and despite being in the middle of winder (snow hasn’t yet fallen snow on snow.. well not in our village anyway) I managed to find a number of floral subjects trying their best to bring colour into what otherwise is a rather drab and colourless time of year. I presume the unseasonal temperatures the UK has seen throughout November and December are responsible for these blooms but of course it’s to no avail if the insects that are required to pollinate the plants blossoms have flown south for the winter***.

Whilst composing this blog, I’m sitting with the television on, on which is a perennial Christmas offering A Nightmare Before Christmas. I know this seems rather off topic, even for me Dear Reader but there is a thread even albeit a gossamer fine one. The film is has been created using the stop motion technique but instead of using a (film) movie camera to record each frame, Tim Burton (yes, who else would create something as odd.. I mean dark, as this movie) used Canon 1D IIs to digitally record each frame and then combined each image to create the final product. The 1D2 is an 8.2Mpixels camera, a resolution that far exceeds that needed for movie theatres, surpassing the resolution for HD (1920×1080) and almost approaching that of the next generation of movie format 4K (4096×3112) – not bad for such an “ancient” camera as the 1D2, so there’s still life in the old dog yet.

* Romans go home
** nah.. it’s the book first, then the movie, then the merchandising, the sequel, the prequel, then any other method of ringing the last peso out of a single idea.
*** Yes, it’s a euphemism for “Dead”


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