Thursday, October 29, 2009

Beware of photography competitions!

I was just reading on dpreview about the lumix awards ( Nice website, nice theme, I'd expected to have some chance with this picture.


But then I read the terms and conditions.

16. Entrants agree that, in relation to any photographs selected as winning photographs, they grant Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH and Panasonic Corporation companies and other members of the Panasonic Group an exclusive licence to use images for 5 years at no charge for their marketing and promotional activities. Winners will be given an authorship credit in respect of any published reproductions of their photographs made by Panasonic or its agents.

Come on! 5 years exclusive license? Get real!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

buzzard in flight

buzzard in flight
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Quite proud of this one actually. A slight crop from the original. With the 70-300VR this is relatively easy to do. Of course you still have to be close enough to the flight path. Nonentheless, I am quite pleased with this shot.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor ED 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF

I bought this gem friday. It's replacing the weakest lens in my bag, a Sigma 70-300 APO. Haven't had the chance to test it properly yet but the first impressions are good. It looks bigger but is almost the same size as the sigma. It feels heavier and sturdier. AF is very quiet, quick and spot on. VR seems to do what it should do and quite discretely.

First test results:

Trying out my new 70-300 VR

Trying out my new 70-300 VR

And a crop:

Trying out my new 70-300 VR

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Best airline safety briefing ever

Found this via an article in "El Reg" about IBM failing quite miserably as an outsourcing partner. It gets the message across in the right tempo with attention to details. The fact that the whole "crew" only wears body paint is to me secondary.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

There I was, approaching a small herd of fallow deer which included, by the sound of it, 2 males disagreeing. Almost found a good spot and noone had noticed me. Then, suddenly, a big truck loaded with empty containers thunders by. The herd was spooked and all I got was this shot.

spooked deer

Monday, October 12, 2009

Esther in the woods

Esther in the woods
Originally uploaded by j_wijnands.
Just a portrait. Shot in the dark under the trees so I used a sb-600 on camera for a bit of extra light.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

how did a deer cross the stream?

Or why do I always carry my camera setup for a snapshot?

It's mating season now, all the fallow deer act weird. Normally this guy would have discretely disappeard. Now he heard another male burling and decided to go and take a look.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I was at Technet Live last thursday. Microsoft introduced Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 and, a day later, Exchange 2010.

Steve Balmer's keynote was impressive, shame there were a bunch of journalists asking really stupid questions.

After a good lunch I spend the afternoon with:

Brandon Hoff telling us about all the new features in Exchange 2010. I found the 90% reduction in IOPS very impressive. I failed to be baffled about the option to move user mailboxes during the day, something I already had in Lotus Notes 4 in the mid-1990s.

Next up was Don Schmid and Martin Vliem about security, identity and things like that. Very technical, I was dozing off due to the big lunch and lack of coffee.
I did remember an excellent quote from Don, "cloud is the new outsourcing"

Last up, Martin Sih on system center. A rather weak speaker compared ot the rest and extra handicapped by a lack of the internet connection he needed to do his demo. Apparantly System Center allows the Schiphol group to manage a varied server collection.

All in all a nice day, shame about the distinct lack of goodies, all we got was a t-shirt (xl the largest, how many sysadmins do you know that wear an XL?!) and a Windows 7 ultimate DVD.

After events like this the hangover always sets in. You realize that the change that you actually get your hands on a 2008 server running exchange 2010 is very slim. It's a reason I don't attend events all that much anymore, you see all sorts of nice goodies that you'll never work with. Same goes for booth babes, nice to look at but that's all.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Something to look forward to on TV

Recently I’ve caught some of the reruns of Victorian Farm on BBC2. Interesting show that follows a historian and two archeologists spending a year on a farm trying to imitate the late Victorian way of farming.


After the last episode it was announced that they have commisioned a special christmas episode. Since a lot of current British christmas traditions originate in this period it will be something to look forward to.

Now I’ve found out, via wikipedia, that there’s another series scheduled as well, Edwardian Farm.

According to the press release:

Following the huge success of the Victorian Farm series, BBC Two is presenting the same intrepid team with a brand new set of challenges as they are forced to get to grips with the trials and tribulations of life on an Edwardian Farm.

Archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn and domestic historian Ruth Goodman will return to front Edwardian Farm, spending a full year delving into Britain's rural heritage.

They will make their home in a stunning new location, exploring the challenges posed by the British countryside at a time of great change and tumult; a time when farming was becoming increasingly mechanised at home, and abroad the world was moving gradually towards war.

As in the first series, the action will be based primarily on the farm, but the new setting will also allow the team to explore wider aspects of the working countryside, including rivers and coasts, boat-building, mining, fishing and market gardening.

Now, for us foreigners, the previous series was set around 1870, the new one will be around 1900-1910.

I’m now wishing I could lay my hands on “Tales from the green valley” which is made by some of the same people and deals with farming in the 1620s in Wales.