Wednesday, July 27, 2011

street photography with the tamron 24-135mm

picked up the tamron 24-135mm AF (IF) 50th anniversary edition the other day and was very keen to give it a test run with my pentax k-x. brought it with me to work the next day and snapped some pics during the morning commute, again during my lunch break, and a couple on my way home from work. verdict - love it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

j&j tournament 2011 - mount broughton golf and country club

the 2011 j&j tournament was held at the majestic country side of mount broughton. with it's natural rolling hills, sweeping rye grass and undulating fairways, it was the picture perfect setting to kick off our wonderful weekend of golfing.

the 36 hole tournament saw a highly competitive two round spectacular. going into the second day with a one stroke lead, johnzo and jimbo felt the fierce competitiveness and hunger from team tam and benny, quickly erasing their one stroke lead through the front nine holes. with the lead changing multiple times, tam and benny eventually crept ahead with their consistently strong play to secure their very first j&j title. a monstrous charge from steve and kevin saw them edge up one spot to take second place, with johnzo and jimbo falling into third place.


some honorable mentions
BEST HOLE - hole 3 (par 5 - 416m) johnzo & jimbo scoring eagle.
MOST BIRDIES - benny & tam pocketing 5 birdies.
LOWEST SCORE OF THE DAY - steve & kevin posting a strong +7 on day two.
NEAREST TO THE PIN - tam, benny.

other interesting tidbits and facts
* johnzo & jimbo kick started the tournament even par through the first 6 holes.
* tournament winners benny & tam didn't win on either day. consistency being the name of their game.
* 4 strokes differentiated the top 3, the deciding factor being the number of birdies made.
* 4 strokes differentiated the bottom 3, not sure what the deciding factor really was.
* the best scoring streak was even par through 5 holes by two teams. benny & tam from holes 8-12, and johnzo and jimbo from holes 1-5.
* the worst scoring streak was +6 over 2 holes by chris & kina.
* there were no holes where everyone posted the same score. the closest thing being the 396m par 4 - 8th hole, two teams scoring bogey and the other four on par.
* the most consistent stretch of scoring was by chris & kina. 5 straight bogeys from holes 13 to 17 on day 1.
* the most inconsistent stretch or scoring was also by chris & kina. 11 straight holes of peaks and troughs.
* best 2 hole recovery by chris & kina, bouncing back from a quad-bogey to a birdie.
* the worst scoring hole of the tournament was the 358m par 4 - 12th hole. the average score being 5.83 strokes.
* the best scoring hole was the 416m par 5 - 3rd hole, averaging 4.83 strokes.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

sunday down at bondi

spent a beautiful sunday down at bondi beach for some sun and relaxation (and hurricanes ribs!)... brought my camera along.

Monday, February 28, 2011

archos 101 exim anti-glare matte screen protector review

doing a search on the internet for reviews on anti-glare screen protectors can be quite the chore. so i decided to write this review to give you guys an idea of what these cheap archos 101 screen protector are all about.

the brand i purchased is called EXiM and i got this one off ebay for the wonderful price of $12.65AUD for 2 pieces. thats $6.33 each - bargain! so lets test out these cheap anti-glare protectors to see if they can do their job as advertised.

if you've ever applied a screen protector before, you'd know exactly how tough it is to get a dust and bubble-free application. luckily for me, i'm quite experienced now having applied over a dozen or so (over half of them failing miserably) screen protectors on numerous devices over the past 3-6 months. i won't dwell over the application itself but the key to applying these, is to do it by sections using a credit-card to scrape out the bubbles as you run along.

so anyway, here are the results. the photos we're taken in my bedroom which is brighter than these photo's would have you believe.

first impressions are quite decent, the fit was perfect. other cheap matte protectors have the tendency to smear colours and give a very greasy look, but this one didn't show any of that.

one of the great benefits of getting a matte protector is how smoothly your fingers glide across the surface and the fact that they don't collect fingerprints. the sensitivity didn't seem to be affected by the screen protector either.

here is a shot viewing directly above...

the colours do however seem a fraction muted as you'd expect and if i were to put a percentage on the colour and light through-put after applying the matte protector, it'd be something around 90% - still very decent. i also found that whilst using the tablet with the protector on that i could hear my finger swipes - it sounds like sliding your finger over paper. so if you're the type to sneak up on people whilst using your tablet, then this probably isn't for you.

and one last close-up shot of some text...

so there you go. whilst it's not the most definitive review, it gives a good indication of what you may expect from these cheap ebay protectors. considering the price you pay, i give this a score of 8.5/10.

pros: anti-glare properties, leaves no fingerprints, smoother finger navigation, cheap, doesn't have the greasy look like some other anti-glare protectors.

cons: slightly muted colours and brightness, fingerswipes are audible.

and for those interested in purchasing the same one, the ebay auction archos 101 anti-glare screen protector - hope that helps.


Monday, February 21, 2011

surfing - the videographers job

have you ever wondered what happens to a surf videographer after the surfer's been and gone? well here's a video to show you the beautiful rolling sets from a rarely seen perspective - keep the camera's rolling!

Friday, February 18, 2011

tamborine mountain coffee plantation

i was up at the gold coast for a short getaway a couple of weeks back and apart from doing all your usual touristy activities we spent a day at tamborine mountain visiting numerous locations - one of them being mount tamborine coffee plantation.

the cafe at the front of the plantation is the perfect setting for a morning / afternoon coffee. the outdoor balcony opens out to a relaxed, lush green garden with seating area to enjoy your morning cuppa over a book or magazine.

the cafe also holds a gallery showing off some pretty impressive paintings, artworks, photos and souvenir displays.


having spent 10-15 mins browsing around the cafe and taking photos, i asked about the plantation and whether i could take a short tour around the grounds. to my surprise, i was told that the plantation wasn't actually open to the public. the lady explained to me that it was more a working plantation rather than one to hold tours. sensing my genuine interest in coffee and the disappointment written on my face, she told me to wait a few moments.

in walks big kees, the owner of the plantation and she pulls him aside to ask him if he had the time to take me for an unofficial tour of the plantation and kees was more than happy to show me around his office. i must say that the private tour was nothing short of astounding. his enthusiasm, hearing him talk about his plantation, about his trees, the cherries, the beans, how they are harvested and his deep, deep love for coffee was awe-inspiring.

he told me that they had actually picked all the cherries recently and that most of the trees were relatively bare but to have a poke around as there were still many to be found.

after wandering in and out of the trees for several minutes, kees off-handedly mentions his pet python (apparently as thick as my arm!) lurks around the plantation. good lord! lucky i didn't know that before poking my head around! he's a harmless sucker says kees.

we wander further around the plantation while he's giving me a run-down of the different types of coffee beans and their origins, how they grow their trees and the seasons and conditions in which they thrive in. we stop by a tree and kees helps me locate a red coffee cherry, something i'd never seen before. he tells me to pluck the sucker and eat it but to spit the pip out so i gladly oblige. the cherry has a very lovely full sweetness to it - i was expecting it to be bitter.

we round the last corner of the plantation and he is explains to me the importance of australian coffee. he explains how our own home-grown industry is quite widely unknown and hardly mentioned when talking coffee. people are always buying from indonesia, brazil, columbia etc and how he's trying to do his best to bring awareness to our own local industry. so kees, this blog here is my little part in trying to spread the word.

kees also goes on to mention that the plantation and quality of the beans grown locally are just as good as brazilian, indonesian and other african and asian countries. although we don't have the rich volcanic soil used to produce rich, high quality coffee trees and beans, kees uses his own method to reproduce this by periodically fertilising his trees with ash. thus producing richer soil and in turn producing higher quality coffee beans.


the last stop, kees takes us into his shed to show us the machinery that he uses to roast these beans and i come face to face with 'the ghost of les hawker'. he lets me in on a little in-joke and a little bit of history on how this came to be. the short of it, kees and les were buddies but also rivals in the past, and as it turns out toward the later years, kees purchased this workhorse roaster from les. not soon after, les sadly passes away. kees names the roaster 'the ghost of les hawker'.


now last but not least, there was a very special guest to be found back behind the counter in the cafe. none other than legendary mr paul jackson :)

still in awe of the tour i was just given, i sat down and had a cup of black magic coffee (worlds highest caffeinated coffee) and a pumpkin and spinach roll. and that was not all, kees swung back around before he left to go home and dropped me a little gift - a bag of green beans for me to roast for myself at home. thanks kees. you're a deadset legend!


i have to say that this was an experience of a life-time and i am ever so grateful. thanks to the friendliest of staff in the cafe and to mr kees for being so accommodating and giving me such a generous tour of his plantation. i won't forget this - big big props to australian coffee!