Thesis Cave

17 February 2014, 20:35

While holidaying in Washington DC, it was natural to catch up with Kirsten, who’s currently in Baltimore. We had an afternoon, which we spent at the Natural History Museum. It was probably the (personal) highlight of the trip, as it’s always nice to catch up with friends, especially now that they’re strewn around the world. This photo is quasi-posed. I was trying to take stalker photos, but failed, probably because of the 50mm lens. The large aperture only really gets Melissa (and even the far side of her face is out of focus), which gives quite a pleasing effect, as in these two wedding photos. But my lens is quite faster than the one from the wedding, so the effect is far more pronounced.

Canon EOS 70D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens, 1/320 second @ f/1.8, ISO 2000.

So, my thesis is going to be submitted on the first of May. That gives me approximately 2.5 months to write the thing. As such, starting tomorrow, I will be entering a “thesis cave”. I will leave it only for special occasions (such as an L series lens), and be much more off-the-grid than I normally am.

So see you all in May.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 07:35.

New Jersey

20 January 2014, 20:12

That’s a kokako. Manually focussed, because I can (and because of cage). Oh, Pukaha is nothing like Zealandia. This particular kokako is highly human-imprinted (it wolf-whistles), and lives in a cage at Pukaha Mount Bruce. Focussing was a bitch because of the cage, but live view is great for manual focussing (though slow). The large aperture does a good job of nullifying the cage.

Canon EOS 70D, Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 lens @ 85mm, 1/100 second @ f/4, ISO 320.

Yeah, I’m going to be putting that little blurb under the photos. And that chat about them. I’m getting quite into this photography thing (more on that later). Pity about this thesis thing taking up all my time. Well, all my time after this one trip. Melissa is coming with me this time, and we’ve tacked a little holiday on the end.

We’re off to New Jersey for 2 weeks, then one night in New York (yes, we’re going to a Broadway show), followed by a trip to MoMath, and then it’s down to Washington DC to have a gander at some baby pandas and a blackbird. Then we skip Valentine’s Day and get back to NZ on the 15th.

Keep an eye on my Facebook account for photos (they should all go up public). And if anyone wants postcards, I need an address (and a desired locale for the postcard to came from, unless you want generic NJ ones).

Posted by Michael Welsh at 07:12.


18 December 2013, 12:59

That’s a shot of where I was staying in Perth. I left my wide-angle lens at home, so it was hard to get good shots of the entire thing.

Since I’m rubbish at counting, it turns out there’s an excursion this weekend. And, in a happy coincidence, I still need to do my Christmas shopping (mainly for Melissa). So guess what? I’m going Christmas shopping this Saturday. And Melissa won’t be joining me. So if you want to come and brave the crowds with me, please do so. Otherwise I might end up buying something way too inappropriate.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 23:59.

Nifty Fifty

2 December 2013, 19:11

That’s a kakariki. My list of birds-to-get-good-photographs-of is getting short.

In case you’re unaware, today is my birthday. And I got a 70D (too hard to find a bad link). And a nifty fifty. One of which I will be using on the last excursion that I’m planning (I think I’ve been coerced into going on a holiday on the 28th) before I enter my thesis cave (expected exit: May 1 2014). The excursions will continue over this time, just Melissa will be organising them.

Since this is yet another new toy, I will be doing the obvious thing: Zealandia. And Melissa will have the 1100D to learn/play with. I’ll have to rejig my bag though.

The forecast looks average, which seems to be the best for bird-spotting. 021366055 like normal. We normally aim to got there by 1015, we can give rides, and it’s probably a cut-lunch day (which means going deep into the valley).

Oh, if anyone wants a postcard from Perth, I’m heading there on Sunday. So give me an address. As a bonus, I speak the language this time.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 06:11.

More Birthday (and more Zealandia)

21 November 2013, 19:15

That’s a not-so-little baby Paradise Shelduck from my most recent trip to Zealandia. Apparently it’s “cute”.

Anyway, due to late notice (this is my first night at home in awhile) and some other factors, it’s yet another trip to Zealandia this Saturday.

More importantly, an update on my birthday sleepover.
The main part is still driving up to the in-laws (no longer vacant, which is good) via the Wairarapa. Since Melissa potentially has dancing on the Saturday, the leaving time is ambiguous, but the aim is to leave by 3. That means leaving here, we’ll have to do some pick-ups on the way out. We arrive in Palmy at some un-determined time (probably too late for dinner, but we’ll sort something out), and then do stuff/sleep. There should be enough space at the in-laws to give everyone some rack space, and there is going to be cake and ice cream. After sleep, we get up, maybe have a fry-up, and get back on the road sometime. The arriving home time is flexible, with the current aim being mid-afternoon. Fun times to be had by all, even if you have to endure my music for a day or so.

The idea behind the photography competition-thing is to split into two teams (currently called Vestara and Xanthe, after the hardware employed). I have constructed a list of 500 words/phrases (that’s a real link), and I randomly split it in half, and then randomly ordered each part. So each team gets 250 words (or phrases, but mainly words), which they are to attempt incorporate into photos, with the caveat that each photo must contain at least one identifiable team member. Some are easy, some are hard, some require creative interpretations (so bring props). The winning team will be the team that gets the most words crossed off. This competition will run for the entire trip, not just the north leg, with photos being put on the Internet at some point.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 06:15.
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Birthday Basic Idea

11 November 2013, 21:13

It’s a heart from the fireworks. With a few filters applied (RAW is great). The ISO value was too high, so it’s rather noisy (can’t you see all those different coloured black dots?), but I’m getting better at this photography thing. Which leads nicely into the main topic of this blog post: I’m getting old soon. And I want to do something for a change.

Basic idea: Leaving Wellington at ~1500 on Saturday 30 November, drive to Palmy (selected due to free accommodation), probably via Waiarapa and the gorge, taking lots of photos (maybe teams with some sort of competition) and various other hijinks on the way, crashing at the vacant in-laws (maybe take a projector and watch a terrible movie), returning to Wellington (more hijinks, photos etc) by 1600 Sunday 1 December, in time for the Phoenix.

RSVP to me in any way you know how. By the 24th of November (I need numbers in order to finalise vehicles, because this isn’t a convoy).

Posted by Michael Welsh at 08:13.

Dumped Explosions

4 November 2013, 18:45

My camera is back! This is a photo of a tuatara that’s scared of my shadow.

Melissa is leaving me again this weekend. So I’m planning on doing stuff without her. She leaves on Friday afternoon, and gets back on Sunday afternoon, so I have a little time to fill.

The plan at the moment is to go to Zealandia on Saturday (I can get one female (pretending to be Melissa) in for free, and anyone else in for \$8.75) daytime (maybe lunch in the cafe there, maybe cut lunch in the bush someplace), and then muck around until dinner, which I shall partake of in town (anyone for a date?), then it’s off to the fireworks down at the waterfront, and then I walk home to spend a night crying into my pillow. Sunday I sit at home and be bored. There’s also Friday night, which has potential for a date, or people could come here and make me cook for them (this option is also on the table for Saturday).

However, if anyone is doing anything remotely interesting sometime over the weekend, I might be keen. Just ask. I’m not scary.

Oh, my number is (021) 366-055. My apologies for the lack of links. I’m feeling too lazy at the moment.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 05:45.


25 October 2013, 17:40

Look, wedding presents getting attacked.

It’s that time again. My birthday is coming up (as well as Christmas), and I’m actually looking forward to them, which is weird. Maybe I’m finally in a good headspace or something.

Note: All links go to sensible places. Normal service will return later.

And here’s the list.

  • Psych Bobblehead.
  • Huawei stripey.
  • A new YF shirt.
  • Canon EOS 70D (body only, but with a lens if you’re feeling nice).
  • Any Canon EF or EF-S lens or compatible accessory (such as a tripod or a flash gun, and some way to cart them round) I don’t currently have. For reference, I have a Canon EOS 1100D with two lenses, as well as an extra lens.
  • Suit.
  • Books. Both for reading and graduate-level mathematics textbooks. Pester me if you want subject matter.
  • Work clothes – I wear a 39 up top and 87 down low.
  • 27’ iLugger.
  • A Zealandia Membership.
  • Das Keyboard.
  • Aperture.
  • A handheld GPS device.
  • A black t-shirt with “I found one” printed on it.
  • A large (32GB+) USB 3 Flash drive.
  • A large (32GB+) SD card.
  • A camera backpack.
  • FM2014.
  • iPod speakers with a lightning plug-in.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 04:40.

Shorn Cache

22 October 2013, 20:46

To prove I was in France I took a selfie. There it is, in all its glory.

Oh, last week we had a good time at Zealandia (which is now cheaper all the time, something like \$9 if you come with us), with the Hihi being a highlight. However, both Icarus and Kettch have really, really bad cameras, so no good photos exist. Hence the selfie above.

My camera is still out of the country (sad face), but it is due back soonish. Labour Day or something (Siri tried to convince me that that day was earlier this month. Stupid Australian.) On the plus side, this is a long weekend, so I get a day off the strenuous job of being a grad student.

I have two ideas for this weekend: First, some more geocaching on Saturday. This is the “normal” part of the excursion. I was thinking of heading to Thorndon or Karori or someplace like that. As before, I am open to suggestions. (021) 366-055 (look, formatted) is my number.

Secondly, it may not be obvious from that photo up there, but I need a haircut. I have an entire weekend in which to get one, so if anyone is interested, drop me a line.

We’ll also be watching the Phoenix game (1700 Sunday) on Cade, so you’re welcome to come watch that as well. If the demand is high enough, I have access to some sweet stuff at work.

Finally, well done to Simon for coming out of the closet.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 07:46.

Shutdown Camera

8 October 2013, 20:33

As my camera is currently shut down in the States with Ivan, I am unable to take photos. So here is a shot of some chics with guns.

Last time, we had a good day out — went geocaching in Melrose and then got destroyed with Robyn on a high ropes course, followed by dinner for two.

This Saturday, we’re going to Zealandia, but without a camera. 021366055 if you want to come with us.

Posted by Michael Welsh at 07:33.

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