My new Panasonic DMC-FZ20 camera.

The other week I took delivery of my nice new shiny Panasonic DMC-FZ20 camera, an upgrade from my Panasonic DMC-FZ1 model.

I’ve been getting used to the different feel of this larger, heavier model, and although it works the same as my FZ1 the feel is different.

Although for most of my photo work the 2Mpx FZ1 was sufficient since I throw pixels away when resizing for the web anyway, the 5Mpx of the FZ20 captures more detail and gives me the opportunity to crop out a part of the photo and still have a nice sized crop. Equates to extra zoom from the already impressive 12x zoom Leica lens.

I have to become used to using the extra features, which is mostly why I upgraded, of Aperture and Shutter priority as well as full manual settings which the FZ1 had none of.

I’ve found the overall clarity and colour of the photos – so far – is better than the FZ1, which is expected since it has extra glass in the lens and improved image processing electronics.

I’m waiting now for a UV filter to arrive so my scenery photos will cut through the typical Northland haze and give me clearer distance views.

A collection of photos I took on Sunday are in the gallery here – Hokianga and the Mid-North


On walking and sunsets

I know I should do more walking, but I don’t really want to do that, too much trouble, but I should — so the other evening I went for a late walk up Monument Hill which sits between me and the sunsets.

While I was waiting for the sun to go down I took a few photographs in the late evening light and then a sequence of the sun setting. I wasn’t at all sure there would be any colour in the sunset as quite often there isn’t, but I was lucky and the few clouds that were around lit up nicely for me.

You can see these photos in the gallery in the Kaikohe album.

Unexpected activity – Paint and Computers

I’ve not been here much for a few weeks. Been busy setting up computers, dealing with a reluctant computer, and painting.

Setting up 5 new computers for our local SeniorNet group was not unexpected but it took rather longer than expected. All is done now.

What was unexpected was ending up painting the computer benches and a wall in our computer room.

Over a few days at the end of the week before last I had the new computers at home so I could add extra software and set things up. This was okay as I could work on other things at home while the computer(s) did their thing.

On the Monday of last week we moved the old computers off the bench and cleaned it down ready for the new computers, then someone had the bright idea of repainting before the new computers were set up – we should take the opportunity, right……

So several of us toiled away in hot, humid and damp weather to paint the bench and the wall. Now that it is done it is very nice and well worth the effort, looking very smart with the new paintwork and flat panel LCD monitors.

In the middle of all this my daughter’s computer started misbehaving and I decided the best remedy was a re-format of C: and reinstall Windows XP, with all the subsequent software reinstalls. Still not sure all is well, maybe she needs a new computer.

Almost back to normal although next week we start our first SeniorNet computer classes of the year and I’ll need to be on hand for a few days until everyone gets settled in on the new computers and some new software.

Tongariro Park photos added to Heritage Collection

I’ve added more photos to the Photo Gallery in a new album – Tongariro National Park.

A collection of photos taken over several visits to the North Island central plataeu where a family of 3 volcanoes live. The dormant Mt. Tongariro which the National Park is named after, and the active volcanoes Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu.

Mt Ruapehu is busy in the winter with skiers on the several ski fields and in summer is a playground for rock climbers and trampers, along with the entire National Park.

Auckland photos added to gallery

I’m working away at getting photos that should have been on my web site ages ago up into the Gallery.

Today I added a group of photos that I took in Auckland in August of 2003. Slow getting them up, hey!

Cornwallis Beach is now a Regional Park, nice and clean, but when I was young it was lined with private holiday homes – bach in New Zealand. Some were quite solid and occupied all year around, others, like the one my mother and uncle owned, were used in holiday times. I had a lot of fun here.

Another photo is where my home used to be. I have included a photo taken back in the 1960’s so you could compare the changes.

The Auckland Railway station was in use but still under construction when these photos were taken.

Deciding to use the Coppermine Photo Gallery

I spent quite a bit of time wrestling with Coppermine. At first look it seemed exactly what I wanted, but as I strive to have valid HTML/CSS on this site I was rather horrified at the mix of HTML that Coppermine produced. I guess this is from different people working on sections over time.

However, I managed to get the pages it outputs within a few small errors with validation, so that made me satisfied enough to go ahead and set it up.

It wasn’t easy sorting through the code and I almost gave up but found a renewed desire to try again. The HTML output is generated in a rather convoluted way in lots of different functions and I still haven’t tracked everything down.

My lack of experience with PHP is definitely slowing me down with this.

Other than that, Coppermine is really easy to install and start using.

The first photos are up and I’m very pleased with the ease of using it.