#1022. Monday Post (back from hols, news, reminders and the future)

By pascaljappy | Monday Post

Jul 13

Yoohoo! It wasn’t easy, but I managed to see my children after 9 months of absence from the UK πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ The pictures in my future posts will be dominated by green Britain and the broad vistas of the Alps. But before then, here are some news about new pages, new projects and a few reminders such as challenges. Plus photos, of course πŸ˜‰

We take so many things for granted. Catching a plane was little more than boarding a bus, not that long ago. Last week, it felt like a joyful event. I know Greta and Flygskammers would disapprove and don’t care in the slightest. If public transport was more developped, we could all travel and pollute 5 times less than we do. 99.9% of the responsibility for travel pollution is the government’s. Me, I got to see my kids, and that’s all that matters, right now πŸ™‚

Wherever you are reading this from, I hope the situation is improving for you. It seems that while Europe is slowly recovering (and doing its very best not to fall back into chaos, now that unmasked ninkenpoops are roaming the streets and beaches as if nothing ever happened), other areas of the world are now being hit hard. If you’re in one of those areas, stay safe, don’t listen to negationist leaders, and know that the tunnel does end with bright light, some day πŸ™‚ My best wishes to you!

What’s new/coming on DS?

Quick plug: I’ve added an Items for sale page to the main menu. For now, 3 lenses and an adapter are up for grabs, and the sales will finance more purchases. All the lenses have been used and reviewed on this website, the adapter has never been used. If you want to grab nice stuff I can no longer use at great prices, take a look πŸ™‚ If you’re interested, simply make me an offer via the contact form! And if you have stuff you’d like to sell, I’m happy to post it there πŸ™‚

The RAW challenge was meant to be our next, but let’s play a slightly different game while there’s an interesting opportunity. Comet Neowise is a great opportunity to – literally – challenge ourselves to try something different.

Above is my first attempt at photographing it. It’s not Hubble-worthy, but it’s a start πŸ™‚ For this, afocal photography on a small 3 inch refractor was used. This allowed me to photograph the comet magnified 40 times, through my phone. But a photograph in the context of a skyline, a seascape or any other location requiring no magnification, would be just as interesting.

So, how about we each try to grab a few photons from the comet while it’s visible. It doesn’t take more than a tripod and a short tele. Oh, and an alarm clock, as you’ll have to get up early πŸ˜‰ If you’re interested, here’s a good article describing how to view it!

Southern hemisphere readers, please receive my apology as the comet isn’t visible in your sky πŸ˜‰ But any photograph related to astronomy will be accepted (milky way, moon, night sky colours …).

Before the “break”, I briefly mentioned a project called the “Incubator”. This initiative is meant to stimulate collaborative photographic projects (such as the comet photography idea, for instance), create great educational resources and make our online galleries a reality. Mostly, it is a way of placing DS’ future and usefulness in more capable hands than mine (but please don’t tell those involved πŸ˜‰ ) In the coming days, we will get started, so expect to see news on this front before the end of the month.

Finally, I’m hoping to bring back gear reviews to the website. Not just mainstream gear reviews but also more specialist equipment as well. Jean-Claude Louis has kindly prepared some fascinating content for this, and this will hopefully trigger some ideas in others πŸ™‚

Why gear reviews, after ranting against them so often? I stopped writing those heavily labour intensive posts feeling that focusing on gear sent the wrong message. Besides, manufacturers are focusing more on larger wesbites than they used to (it’s a huge mistake, they’ll come back) so it’s not that easy to get my hands on interesting stuff anymore.

But gear also leads to interesting directions and those are what I want to examine in future reviews. My recent forays into HiFi have shown me just how useful good reviews are and how misleading bad ones turn out to be. So we’ll try to populated the Interwebs with more of the former πŸ™‚ If you have any specific desires, please let me know. Better still, if you own interesting gear, why not publish a review yourself? We’ll help you with the process πŸ™‚


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  • Patrick says:

    Welcome back, Pascal, and good to know you have had a great holiday with the family.

    Sadly, we have just been confronted with a third wave of the Covid 19, with double digit confirmed cases reported daily in the past few days. All schools are suspended again as from today.

    Interesting “pre-read” of the new and the coming on DS. Really looking forward to sharing it.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Patrick, I’m sorry to hear that. At least, someone is taking matters seriously. Numbers are rising here too and it appears the virus has mutated, so tests are not effective. We can only hope people will act wisely and not selfishly. Stay safe!

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Glad to hear that you were able to travel safely, Pascal. I’m excited about all the upcoming additions to the DS site and looking forward to checking out the galleries in particular. I still intend to contribute to the galleries at some point.
    Oh, and I love the soft close up of the pink peony (I think) – it’s the essence of summer.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you Nancee. I’m just sorting the work that has piled on in my absence and will get to the galleries very soon πŸ™‚ Thank you for your continued interest and patience !! πŸ™‚

  • Those red poppies are gorgeous!
    We fuss around about perfect filters and clean lenses and it always amazes me that photos through an aircraft window or other piece of thick, dirty glass seem to lose so little.
    And glad you were able to get away. A glimmer of normalcy if just a tease.

    • pascaljappy says:

      How right you are. I think we fuss over meaningless things out of boredom (guilty as charged πŸ˜‰ ) but the essentials become far more important as soon as life gets more “complicated”. That photo of that wing, made with my phone through layers of glass and platic carries a lot of meaning for me. Far more than something made with my Hassy but less essentially relevant to me. Let’s hope we all see this glimmer turn into something brighter very soon.

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    While we missed the comet, it wouldn’t have done us much good to have it here, Pascal – the sky was heavily overcast, it’s winter now! – and I believe comets are best photographed in a reasonably clear night sky.

    BTW that moon shot wasn’t shot with a USD$10,000 super telephoto, either. Just compared it to one that was, and the one that was is nowhere near as sharp. Which leaves me wondering – what on earth DO they use to get nice sharp detailed shots of the moon? – short of actually going there in person?

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