Wednesday, 30 January 2013

50,000 PageViews! How'd That Happen!!??


10:34am, Thursday, January 31st, 2013. Okay, I'm all set for the movies.

Thank you all, once again, for visiting this blog!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A (too) Cool Evening at the Beach

We parked the car near the Brighton Beach Lawns Bowls Club. The sky was already looking dark. Of course, this Dramatic effect filter made it look more ominous than it really was.

My son was first to hit the beach...again. Thongs (flip-flops) in hand.

My wife soon caught up with him. Brilliant sky.

There are the container ships. Must've been awesome to be on board looking out at this grey ocean.

The kids showed more sense than I. They were properly dressed for the occasion.

About the best shot I could get at the train station with the beach behind it. There's the old signal box that I don't think is used any longer. I wonder if I could rent it as an office? You'd get a lot of writing done in there, with a nice view of the water, too. It's prime real estate, though. Probably cost a fortune. I'm surprised it hasn't been turned into a Starbucks.
I remember seeing these boxes when I was a kid. There was the station near my house and some nights, if I was walking by, I'd look inside and see a railway worker with his feet up on his desk, a small black & white portable tv on a shelf, a cup of steaming tea or coffee next to him. It all looked very cosy indeed.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Got a New Camera- Olympus E-PL5

The Fujifilm X-100 is a beautiful looking camera. I Leica it a lot;

picture courtesy of

...and I would have gone for it, but I wanted a little more versatility where lenses were concerned. Still, it would make a wonderful back-up or spare camera. Maybe one day.

The Fujifilm X-10;

picture courtesy of

...was another contender, but the reported "white orb" issues scared me off. Although, there are rumours of a new version which should address this problem. Still, a nice camera.

This Nikon P7700 was another possibility, but I found the design looking a little more like modern cameras. Nice camera, though.

picture courtesy of

In the end, after much reading up, I settled on the Olympus E-PL5 (compact system camera).

I opted for the predominantly silver bodied version because my current stable of cameras is a little top-heavy with black. This model doesn't have a built-in flash, but instead comes bundled with a flash that can be slid onto the hot-shoe mount on top. This mount will also accept an electronic viewfinder. If I have one small regret about this camera, it is the lack of a viewfinder. Holding a camera up to your eye is the true way to take a photo, as far as I'm concerned.
And the design of this camera reminded me of the Trip 35 film camera from Olympus' past;

The Olympus OM-D EM-5 was another one I looked at, but the price was higher than I was looking to spend. But this camera absolutely screams '1970s OM Series'. This too was a Micro 4/3rds system camera.

picture courtesy of

But I suppose enough talk for now. Here are some pictures. Actually, here are a LOT of pictures.
The E-PL5 takes a nice standard photo of some punk tearing down my street on his trail-bike;

And here's a shot out of the window of the most poorly lit room in the house;

But it's when you start playing around with the Art Filters that you start getting interesting results. Here is the 'Dramatic' filter, picture taken on a sunny afternoon;

This setting can even make a pair of glasses look sinister;

The 'Diorama' setting is pretty nifty;

Makes my local train station look like a model. Wish there was a train arriving;

The usual 'black & white' and 'sepia' settings are there.
Grainy black and white;

And good old sepia;

'Soft focus' for pictures of the cat, doing what she does best;

'Key Line' produces a cartoonish effect;

However, I've found myself using the 'Dramatic' effect often;

It tends to bring out the detail in wristwatches;

This setting definitely shows a difference from a standard photo;

To one taken in 'Dramatic' setting;

A last shot of this Olympia SM2 typewriter. I haven't used it in so long that I forgot what a joy it is to write with.

I had it clamped to the bottom half of its case, sitting on my lap. It's no light-weight, I can tell you.

Thanks for reading, all!

###  Special thanks to for their fantastic and in-depth product write-ups. Really minimised the stress of searching for a camera. Their reviews were detailed and clearly written and were of immense help during my hunt. Sterling work!  ###

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Man With A Hat...Eventually.


Out of the Past
Picture courtesy of

Above- Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in a still from "Out Of The Past" (Dir:Jacques Tourneur) RKO Radio Pictures, 1947. One of the seminal movies of the film noir style, it was remade in 1984 as "Against The Odds", starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel Ward and James Woods.

                    Screencap taken from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (Dir: Steven Spielberg, 1981)

Thank God for Indiana Jones. He made it so that you could get around wearing a fedora. As long as you didn't try to match it with a leather jacket.

Here's the Stetson with the Burberry trench-coat. I wore that coat to death and even though my wife implores me to get rid of it, it's still in very good wearable condition. Cost me seven hundred bucks back in 1987. Took me months to save for. Last time I checked (about three years ago) a Burberry trench retails for about $2,650.ooAUD. No way would I spend that on a coat. Ahh, to be young and foolish with my money. Still, I've gotten 25 years (and counting) out of this coat. Money well-spent, I say. I went for the navy blue one rather than the pale beige 'foreign correspondent' version, as worn by every journalist throughout the '70s and '80s.

Above- Bogart in a still from "Tokyo Joe" (Dir: Stuart Heisler, 1949)
Indy had to get his look from somewhere.
Here's the inside of the San Juan Stetson with the original 'anti-theft' warning card in it. The salesguy told me that this hat has become somewhat collectible, but there's no way I'm selling it. I spent an hour and a half walking through heavy rain one night back around '89. I had five bucks to my name till next payday and was walking to a friend's house to hang out. Smoked about six non-filtered Luckies while I walked, lit with a stainless steel Zippo. Living my own noir scene. Yep, I had it bad. Only thing missing was a treacherous dame packing a nickle-plated revolver. 
Here's a close-up of the leather band inside the hat. It would leave a dent in my forehead. And notice the edge of the brim with the stitched piping around it? It was this kind of detail that made Stetson such a respected name.

The better hats are usually made from rabbit fur felt. They repel water better and retain their shape over time. I bought a wool felt hat a year or so before I bought the Stetson. That hat was hopeless. It was impossible to keep the brim folded down and you couldn't maintain the indent in the crown. I was actually happy the night that I lost it at a party. The thief did me a favour.
Above- Cary Grant, my favourite of the old Hollywood actors, making it all look easy.
Above- Humphrey Bogart, my other favourite actor from old Hollywood, in a publicity still for "Casablanca" (Dir: Michael Curtiz, 1942), proving that a beige trench-coat sometimes doesn't make you look like a foreign correspondent. If you're Bogart, that is.
I've gotten comfortable with wearing my hats. It took me 25 years, but now they are a part of my wardrobe when required. I don't worry about schoolgirls giggling and muttering 'Hey, Inspector Gadget' as I walk past. I never give them a nasty look and sometimes I smile back at them.
And when it rains, while people huddle under awnings and store verandahs, I keep right on walking.
Above- Rick Blaine gets some bad news in the rain from Sam in "Casablanca".
Oh, I been there, Mr. Rick.


Thanks for reading!
EDIT- 14/01/2013: Added extra picture of Bogart, because you can never have too many.