Saturday, November 26, 2011

Things to make and do - Volume 2

This weekend I wanted to stay at "home" in Yongchuan and get some things done, so I did. It's been a satisfying couple of days. I spent some of yesterday wandering around the old town, getting lost, finding interesting things, buying a nice shirt, confusing the locals by asking the price of welding equipment and grinding wheels, and then finding myself again with the help of the GPS. Getting the street-maps to work on the GPS has been a great thing, maybe almost worth the endless hours of monkeying around that it took me to do it.

Something I finally got around to doing this week was finding a fee internet radio app for my iPod. I have been excited by the thought of using my iPod as a radio since I got the wireless to work in our apartment in another monkeying-around epic. That episode was resolved by installing an older version of the firmware on our router. Why does it happen that the new version of something doesn't work when the old one does? Anyway, I downloaded the TuneIn App which has been working really well. I can listen to my favorite BBC radio stations, CBC, plus hundreds of other stations... all for free... and working just fine here in China. Excellent.
That's me wearing my new shirt. Oh, and my iPod playing BBC Radio in China.

Another long-standing "thing to do" was to get some real High Dynamic Range photo software on my computer and figure out how to make my new camera take bracketed pictures and save the files in RAW format. My old camera could do this with some help from the CHDK software, but I never really got along with it. The new camera, which I am slowly learning to love, can do it all by itself... so I'm giving it another go. I've set one of the custom settings to give me what I need for HDR at the twist of a knob. So far, so good. I too this quick photo on my way home from teh supermarket (where I was buying supplies for today's making project). It's a bit wobbly as I was just resting the camera on a brick with no tripod or whatnot, but I think it shows there is potential for some fun stuff here. I used Luminance for this one, which is a bit of a weird piece of software... but free and has lots of options for playing with the images. I also have Photonaut which I I will have a go with when I have some more photos to play with. 
I think there is potential for some fun with this HDR business
 And finally, I needed a waterproof case for my camera. The G12 is more lumpy than my old G9 (which is a shame) and it won't fit in my old Pelican case. Pelican cases are not an easy thing to find here, so I came up with my own solution involving a lunchbox and some foam floor tiles. It appears that a Canon G12 is about the same size as a small lunch (perhaps macaroni cheese) as it fits very nicely in a box I found. With a couple of pieces of foam to stop it rattling around I have a pretty decent (and hopefully waterproof) case. What a great bodge, even if I do say so myself.

Pixels for lunch
Also, some exciting news. Our short film about our Yukon River SUP expedition will be shown at the Cumberland Mountain Film Festival on January 12, 2012. If you happen to be in Cumberland on that Thursday night, go and support the Cumberland Trails!