Express in Bits Blog

Some shots with the Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS lens

Posted in Photography by xding78 on November 20, 2009

Yesterday the weather was so lovely. I couldn’t stay at home anymore. I am taking photos of animals. They are so different from static objects. To make it more difficult it was very very windy. And what was worse is that my arms couldn’t stop shaking due to some excercise one hour earlier. Anyway, let’s check the photos.

My favorite "Panda sheep" Billy (click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:5.6, ISO:125, Tv:1/250, Exposure:-2/3

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This is Molly (click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:5.6, ISO:125, Tv:1/250, Exposure:0

Meet Willy (click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:5.6, ISO:200, Tv:1/250, Exposure:0

Willy again (click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:5.6, ISO:200, Tv:1/250, Exposure:0

The roosters at the back (click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:5.6, ISO:250, Tv:1/320, Exposure:0

A lovely dalmatian and a very natural model (click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:5.6, ISO:250, Tv:1/320, Exposure:0

Now comes the more difficult ones, the birds and ducks. They are always in motion.

(click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:5.6, ISO:320, Tv:1/250, Exposure:0

(click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:5.6, ISO:320, Tv:1/250, Exposure:0

(click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:7.1, ISO:100, Tv:1/400, Exposure:0

(click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:7.1, ISO:100, Tv:1/400, Exposure:0

(click to enlarge) – Focal length:250mm, Av:7.1, ISO:100, Tv:1/400, Exposure:0

In the raging wind it was quite impossible to take macro photos of any hanging fruit of flowers. So, I turned to fallen leaves that are sleeping quietly on the ground.

Fallen leaves (click to enlarge) – Focal length:60mm, Av:2.8, ISO:100, Tv:1/60, Exposure:0 (60mm f2.8 macro lens)

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Ultimate guide to escape 2012 catastrophe

Posted in 4 fun by xding78 on November 18, 2009

DO NOT read this post before you watch 2012! Seriously, don’t!

Following the release of 2012 in China there are many discussions of how the world is going to meet its end in 2012 in many Chinese forums. From these forums, an article "The ultimate guide to escape 2012 catastrophe" quickly emerges and is becoming very popular. Since this article is full of Chinese humor and Chinese wisdom I want to share it with people who have difficulties to read Chinese  😉

The ultimate guide to escape 2012 catastrophe

No. 1 – Driving
You must know how to drive!!! Not just driving to work or to the local grocery stores but driving fast like hell! And you must master the skill of driving any type of car, a limo, a sports car or a seriously-aged trailer as if it is a brand new SUV just like what Jackson did in the movie. If this skill is beyond your capability PLEASE start to build up a very very good relationship with someone who is capable.

No.2 – Piloting
You must know how to fly!!! It is more important that you can maneuver any type of aircraft than being a professional pilot, just like George did in the movie. If this skill is beyond your capability again PLEASE start to build up a very very good relationship with someone who is capable.

No.3 – Pirate Radio
In the remaining three years please pay specific attention to pirate radio stations. If any of them mentioned conspiracy theories or world end please contact the broadcaster a.s.a.p. You must find him/her even if he/she is in hiding in the middle of a jungle, maybe he/she can provide information that saves your life.

No.4 – Scientists
Of course you must also quickly get acquainted with an astronomer, a geologist or any scientists in similar domains. If your relationship with him/her is good enough, you might be able to get first-hand information IN TIME.

No.5 – Languages
Learn as many languages as you can, especially Tibetan in order to remain sufficient communication with the world out there.

No.6 – Popularity
Raise your popularity by all means! Just like Jackson, maybe one day one of your FANs can save your life.

No.7 – A Good Phone
Invest in a phone that features excellent signal reception! It does not have to have all the fancy features, but at the last minute it might give you a huge surprise: Even if the world was almost destroyed, you may still be able to pick up signals from a friend across the Atlantic giving you one last piece of crucial information that eventually saves the entire human civilization. Just like the last message from the Indian scientist to Adrian.

No.8 – Trust
At the crucial moment of life or death, do not trust anybody except for families or Tibetans. If possible make a Tibetan friend a.s.a.p., preferably a Tibetan technician.

No.9 – Location
Do not go to the sea if not necessary! Move away from islands, coastal cities, earthquake faults and volcanic areas. Do stay in the Himalaya as often as you can, so in case of emergency you might survive even without escaping.

No.10 -Physical Conditions
Do exercise daily in order to deal with the freezing weather. Do practice swimming; give extra attention to the training of holding-breath underwater. And do practice running, your goal is to be able to catch up a taking off aircraft.

No.11 – Confidence
Even if the ground is sinking behind you, smoke and fire are chasing you or there are seemingly impossible-to-pass obstacles right in front you please DO believe in yourself. Just hold your breath, close your eyes, and run as fast as you can. You will make it!

No.12 – Jobs
If you see a job vacancy located in Himalaya in the section of construction or civil engineering please try your best to get it.

The most romantic singing elephant

Posted in 4 fun, Photography by xding78 on November 15, 2009

Yesterday we bought a stuffed elephant. It’s specialty is singing, swinging and flipping his ears.

Although I have absolutely no idea what he is singing I fell in love with him instantly. Look at the ears and the eyes…

New Canon EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro lens

Posted in Photography by xding78 on November 15, 2009

Finally I’ve got the Canon EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro lens. I just couldn’t wait to try it out. So far the only macro experience I had was with my Olympus compact camera. It is a great camera. However, this 1:1 macro lens gives me a big surprise. I feel like I am looking through a microscope. Some photos here…

The same fat plant in macro

The same fat plant in macro, Av:3,5, ISO:100, natural light, (Click to see in larger size) (I’m bit surprised by the Av, I thought the lens would fixes the aperture value to 2.8, perhaps there wasn’t enough light)

Colored pencil

Colored pencil – Av:2.8, ISO:100, natural light (Click to see in larger size)

Colored pencil

Colored pencil – Av:2.8, ISO:100, natural light (Click to see in larger size)

The same Chanel lipstick in macro

The same Chanel lipstick in macro, Av:2.8, ISO:100, natural light (Click to see in larger size)

Thumb-sized Nijntje

Thumb-sized Nijntje from Bruna, Av:2.8, ISO:800, Tungsten light (Click to see in larger size)

Thumb-sized Nijntje

A portrait of Buddha, Av:2.8, ISO:100, Tungsten light (Click to see in larger size)

New Canon EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro lens

Posted in Photography by xding78 on November 15, 2009

Finally I’ve got the Canon EF-S 60mm f2.8 macro lens. I just couldn’t wait to try it out. So far the only macro experience I had was with my Olympus compact camera. It is a great camera. However, this 1:1 macro lens gives me a big surprise. I feel like I am looking through a microscope. Some photos here…

The same fat plant in macro

The same fat plant in macro, Av:3,5, ISO:100, natural light, (Click to see in larger size) (I’m bit surprised by the Av, I thought the lens would fixes the aperture value to 2.8, perhaps there wasn’t enough light)

Colored pencil

Colored pencil – Av:2.8, ISO:100, natural light (Click to see in larger size)

Colored pencil

Colored pencil – Av:2.8, ISO:100, natural light (Click to see in larger size)

The same Chanel lipstick in macro

The same Chanel lipstick in macro, Av:2.8, ISO:100, natural light (Click to see in larger size)

Thumb-sized Nijntje

Thumb-sized Nijntje from Bruna, Av:2.8, ISO:800, Tungsten light (Click to see in larger size)

Thumb-sized Nijntje

A portrait of Buddha, Av:2.8, ISO:100, Tungsten light (Click to see in larger size)

Trade EOS 450D to EOS500D

Posted in Photography by xding78 on November 13, 2009

Two hour ago, I went to the store where I bought the EOS 450D, returned the camera and bought its younger sister Canon EOS 500D + EF-S 18-55mm IS kit. When I saw it’s on discount, I cannot wait anymore. I’ve seen the review of EOS 500D on www.dpreview.com. According to those guys, the EOS 500D is a major upgrade. And very importantly, EOS 500D features video natively. Although with EOS 450D it is possible to take videos, but you need to install a 3rd party tool, (EOS Camera Movie Record)  and you need to connect EOS 450D to a PC (actually the PC takes over the camera just used it as a webcam). I’ve tried with EOS 450D and that 3rd party tool, it is a whole new sensation. I’ve played with HD camcorder in the past, but usually the lens with those devices is just standard. And with a mirror reflex camera you can attach to different lenses, and capture the depth of field. I cannot wait to share some videos here. Since I just traded it, I’m still charging the battery. I’ve only taken an HD video for 2 seconds, the battery went empty.

Anyway, I’m very glad I did get the EOS 500D, I’m sure I will need to take some videos in the future. Cannot wait to try it…

Believe me, the actual video is so much sharper. But for almost 12 seconds, it’s 53MB in .mov H2.64 format. I don’t bother to change the video format, just leave YouTube to handle it. Hear that squeaky sound? That’s probably why they invented USM.

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2012 and Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching)

Posted in Reviews by xding78 on November 13, 2009

First of all, be careful! This post contains spoiler. Read at your own risk!

Finally, after half a year waiting I’ve seen 2012. It dose not disappoint me. I mean it’s a big Hollywood production. I’ve expected the story line to be good, nice and vanilla. It’s a given. Plus I could just rest my eyes when the cheesy parts started. What I really like is the turn of events in the story line. Just when a person thinks he made a decision that saves his life, the next minute, it might turn out to be a really bad one that takes his life. I couldn’t help thinking about the first two sentences Laozi written in his famous Tao Te Ching. "The truth that could be told is not the truth." (I personally think this translation is more authentic). Laozi pointed out here that everything is dynamic; nothing does not change forever. (Very similar to Heraclitus‘s famous quote: "You can never step into the same river twice") I think this ancient principle is the thread that connecting all the pieces together in 2012. We should take dynamics for granted. Indeed, facing a mega disaster as so, many things we believe in are no longer important; money no longer matters, status no longer matters, beauty no long matters, nations no longer matter, … No wonder the governments want to disclose the information. Because that news will shake the very foundation of the current civilization. And the news of the human society comes to an end will fundamentally change our values. Just imagine if the 2012 apocalypse is true, what will you be doing now?

I am still writing this blog. I might take a piloting lesson and diving lesson since these two skills appear to be essential in many disaster movies.

Anyway, some trivials in 2012.

  • Charlie.
    My favorite character is Charlie. And his animation is just simply brilliant!!! It doesn’t have to be fancy; it’s fun and Charlie is right about that people like fun stuff. Even though the message is dark and painful, it doesn’t have to be presented as dark and grievous.
  • Dr. Adrian Helmsley’s arguments.
    One thing I couldn’t agree more in 2012 is that humans have very strong instinct of survival. Yes, we do everything to survive. That’s exactly why I think that Dr. Adrian Helmsley has chosen very poor arguments near the end of the movie. Such arguments of course will only be affective in Hollywood movies, might not even in independent movies. Nevertheless, the decision is out of mutual interests I believe. I don’t know how other people think, but I was thinking, Hmm… How on earth are those rich people and politicians alone going to survive? I mean without the people who actually WORK. It’s like Paris Hilton is gonna raise pigs for food or Brad Pitt is gonna do some maintenance of the ship (good for him if he really can). Anyway, my point is that if the world leaders agree with Dr. Helmsley on other arguments I would be more convinced.
  • The Italian prime minister stayed with his people!!??