Sunday, December 27, 2009

Photoworkshops 2010

Year 2010 is coming. Of course you know that I'll begin it with amazing trip to Ecuador and Florida. But this is only the beginning. It's time to think what I'll be photographing throughout the rest of the year. I've some plans for short photo workshops and what's interesting I can share my time with people that would like to go there with me. But let's start with ideas and talk about my fee later.

1. February/March
Weekend trip (3 days) to Ustron-Zawodzie. I'll visit there "Lesny Park Niespodzianek" that gives opportunity to take pictures of some birds and other animals. This trip will be organized when snow is present. I'll take my kids there, so it means kids are welcome on this trip.

2. April
Weekend trip to Biebrza river (exact date depends on weather and birds availability)

3. Early May
Short 5-6 days trip to Snowdonia Wales. It must be organized with a flight transportation, so probably will be a little bit more expensive, but you'll have a chance to admire unforgettable views... max 4 people due to requirement of car rental

4. around 3-6 June 2010
Short 6-7 days trip to Southern Norway to take picture of puffins and other birds. Of course we can also focus on some fjords. I think of going there by car, but maybe it's not bad idea to fly to Bergen and then use rented car.

5. 12-13 June 2010
1-2 day trip to Góraszka Airshow

6. July
Bee-eater hunting weekend. This year I definitely need to take picture of bee-eater. It may require some trip to Hungary, but I'll do it.

7. 4-5 September 2010
2-3 days trip to Czech for Air Fest in Hradec Kralove

8. 10-12 October 2010
Meringen Switzerland AXALP Airshow

Of course trip above are only my plans and ideas, nothing is arranged as of today. The list can grow or shrink depending on my budgets and time availability. I'll also try to realize as many trips as possible, because I can't live without taking pictures and traveling.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wines#7: Eiswein

Yesterday I opened 10 years old Eiswein. It seemed to be perfect day for trying this kind of wine. It's good to explain that Eiswein is coming from the cold, sweet nectar from frozen grape berries gathered in wintertime. Origin of Eiswein is not very clear - different sources write that it was invented in Germany. Some believes the production method for these wines was accidentally “discovered” in 1794 in Franconia, the famous region located in the central-southern part of Germany. It seems in 1794, in the city of Würzburg occurred an unexpected frost which caused the freezing of grapes. Vintners of the area, in order to save the harvest, decided to crush those grapes and they got an extremely concentrated must which produced that wine today renowned as Eiswein. This is not the only hypothesis about the “discovery” of Eiswein. According to other hypotheses, it seems the first Eiswein of the history was produced in Dromersheim - in Rheinhessen - with the grapes of vintage 1829, a particularly cold year. It seems in the winter of 1829-1830, vintners of that area, in order to save the harvest damaged by the frost and to use them to feed the cattle, they noticed the juice was exceptionally sweet.
They decided to crush those “frozen” grapes and with the few juice they obtained produced a sweet and exquisite wine: Eiswein. It will be only at the end of the 1960s this technique will be improved thanks to the work of Dr. Hans Georg Ambrosi, the man considered the “father of Eiswein”. Hans Georg Ambrosi began his experiments about Eiswein in 1955, when he was in South Africa to study. When he went back to Germany, he continued his studies about this wine and established a winery in Rheingau, therefore starting the production of Eiswein. Other German producers followed his example and Eiswein become a typical product of Germany. Despite Germany is considered the homeland of Eiswein, climate conditions do not allow its production every year. Where the production of Eiswein is ensured every year is Canada, here known as Ice Wine, which became in a short time the main producer in the world for this type of wine.
But fortunately my wine was the original Austrian one. You can easily buy it in Poland and taste for yourself what I recommend. It's very sweet, but also very rich in aromas.

Please be aware that Eiswein history description comes from website.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kirk BH-3 Ballhead

Today I've received my Kirk BH-3 Ballhead and plates ordered at B&H. It was hard decision to what head switch from crappy Manfrotto and finally I decided to Arca-Swiss type. One of the biggest argument for Kirk was the fact that this head is used by famous Art Wolfe. On B&H webpage they write "Kirk BH-3 is a rugged and well-designed ballhead. It features the same efficiency of design and rugged construction as its bigger BH-1 brother, but only weighs in at 19 oz. It is rated to support up to 15 lbs, and is ideal for use with pro SLR cameras with pro zoom lenses attached. In addition to the large single-action locking knob, the BH-3 also features two smaller knobs. One controls the 360° panning control, and the other the amount of ball friction."
And to be honest after mounting BH-3 on my very old (bought in 2000) Manfrotto 190PROB tripod, now I have perfect set. This head works very nice and can easily keep my 1D MkIII altogether with 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS lens. You can use it like Wimberley. I like this set and I can recommend it to anyone who is bored with Manfrotto heads.

Monday, December 14, 2009

24mm not always equal to 24mm

In case of Canon lens math doesn't seem to work. I mean 24mm in 24-70 lens is not the same as 24mm in 24-105 lens. At least this is what I've discovered recently testing my friend's 24-105 lens. He bought used lens and asked me to compare with my 24-70 or check if that 24-105 is sharp enough. So I set up my tripod with 1D MkIII on it and first attached my beloved 24-70L/f2.8 lens to photograph scene consisting of bottle of Baileys and few russian dolls. After taking a series of pictures (24, 35, 50 and 70mm at apertures like 2.8, 4.0, 5.6, 8 and 11) I've changed lens to 24-105L/f4 IS and taken another series of pictures. After downloading them to computer I was surprised that at 24mm they had quite different frame coverage. Then I read that angle of view has a difference at about 10 degrees between these two lens at 24mm. I still don't understand this phenomenon, but have only pictures to proof it...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

1D MkIII hints and tips

After getting my new camera I started to look around and search for some information on how to customize it to my needs. EOS 1D is really nice gear that you can perfectly adapt to your requirements. I was positively surprised with multitude of functions and settings that can be customized. There are some interesting articles and webpages covering the less and more hidden functions of this great camera. Just because my memory is short, I decided to note them here.

1. Tailoring the camera for different situations
2. EOS 1D MkIII whitepaper
3. Canon Masterclass
4. Official custom functions guide
5. Rob Galbraith AF issues history and explanation

Of course there's a lot of other docs on the net, but above are the most useful for me now. Hope they can be also of some use to you.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Doctor visit

Today I visited my physician to ask for recommendations for Ecuador trip and to get some vaccines. I received vaccine for typhus, diphtheria and tetanus. Fortunately my hepatitis vaccines was ok, so I avoided them this time. One that I have to do is yellow fever, but Medicover doesn't have it. It's limited to governmental clinics. In addition to that I got some prescriptions for drugs I might need when in Ecuador. One of the most important is medicine for malaria called Malaron. Besides I got some special info about potential diseases and how to prevent them. I think it's worth writing down, so I'll enlist them below:
1. When there's possibility of malaria one should use Malaron or other similar drugs - very important thing is to take it few days before entering the dangerous zone and few days after leaving it.
2. Main prevention method against malaria is also usage of repellents like Mugga or Mosquitex Care Plus DEET 50
3. Another important disease is diarrhea. One can try to avoid it, but if it happens, use Xifaxan, Gastrolit, Lacium, Linex forte, Enterol, Loperamid, Laremid, Imodium, Stoperan, Ciphin, Cipronex, Cipropol, Tinizadol or other similar. It's a must to read attached leaflet. My doctor recommended to take Ciphin and Gastrolit, so they'll be in my first aid kit for sure!
4. One should also take something against fever. In my situation this is ibuprofen or something similar.
5. There's a recommendation to have some kind of general purpose antibiotic. It can be one of: Sumamed, Azitrox or Azitromycin.
6. Another threat comes from allergies and skin diseases. One should have some medicines for them. My doc recommended me to take Flucinar, Bedicort and Telfexo. But others also exist.
7. Of course one should also complement first aid kit with different types of bandages, band-aids and other dressings. But it's better idea to find some first aid kit in the shop and just add other drugs to it.

I've just decided to write it down, because it may be of some help in the future. It also can help you to prepare for a trip to South America or other countries, but it's even better idea to check required vaccines on official US pages or your local clinic. Health is really important and can't be passed over in preparation process.