Saturday, October 30, 2010

BreezeBrowser Pro MiniReview

In the era of digital photography, in the world of zillion pictures taken every day, you need something to browse them fast and delete quickly all that crap. After few years of looking for such a software I came across BreezeBrowser Pro. It's not cheap, because they want 70 USD for it. But nevertheless it's worth every cent for me. Why I'm so excited about this not very popular piece of software? Because like most of good quality stuff it has poor marketing, but product is great. But let's get to the browser itself.


First answer yourself a question - how long does it take to you to browse let's say 60 pictures and decide which of them should be removed because of poor technical quality or wrong framing? I do it in about a minute with BBP. And if I only want to view pictures it opens 60 files in about 30 seconds (full screen, CR2 files from 1Dmk3, a little bit automatically corrected for browsing purposes). Can you point out another program that works that fast? You can't do such a thing with Canon DPP (it's not a browser, so you have to click every file one by one) or ZoomBrowser or even Picasa from google! Such an application just doesn't exist - BBP is the only one like that AFAIK.


Do not expect too much from BBP. It's just a simple browser that can help you review files and decide what to keep and what to put into trash. But of course it has some more interesting features. First of all it can show you CR2 file corrected automatically to better rate it (it can be just sharpened with "High Quality" option), black&white version, highlights, focus points (where in the picture focus was achieved) and many more. But what's worth mentioning is that you can see very nice histogram that helps you rate your picture based on it (if full screen CR2 is not enough) and every single CFn set in the camera for specific picture! I do not even mention features like converting files to JPG, rotating them, printing or generating HTML gallery. It's not what is important in this program. Unfortunately I've got version 1.8.1, but I know that newer versions can GeoTag images, compare up to 4 images side by side, correct lens distortion and many more.


So it's time to summarize this short review. I must say that I like Breeze Browser Pro, because it saves my time and is first step of my workflow. I can quickly decide which pictures to remove to save disk space and which are good enough for further processing. I like very much HQ mode that automatically sharpen image and if picture in this mode is not sharp, you can easily remove it, because you can't help it even with CS5. I definitely recommend BBP to everyone who has a lot of big CR2 files to browse and rate. Just go to BreezeBrowser Pro webpage and download trial version to check it for yourself!

Wines #10: Nebbiolo D'Alba

On the way back from Switzerland we made a little detour and went through Italy visiting beautiful city of Venice (some entries with pictures will be here very soon) and doing a little shopping. Of course it's not easy in Italy to find grocery store, but when you finally find it, you will get out with full cart of food and wine. This was my story. I was not able to decide which wines I should take - they were so good and cheap. As every wine amateur (I mean a person who still can't appreciate french wines, because of lack of experience) I love simple wines. And simple means new world or Italian, definitely not french! So after grabbing some kilograms of nice coffees I moved to the shelf with wines and spent there almost an hour. Most of this time I was near Piedmont region, what means Barbera, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo and Barolo. And it was a good choice - I bet they produce one of the best wines in Italy (altogether with Tuscany). Based on my personal rule (if you can't decide, choose the wine with the the poorest label - in my language it means the wine do not need a lot of marketing) that never failed me, I've selected Nebiollo D'Alba DOC from Ca' del Plin (this wine is probably selected for Panorama markets). It was quite cheap as for Nebbiolo (7 EUR), but when I started to drink it I felt delicious taste in my mouth. It was perfect, like Italian wine should be. I couldn't resist drinking more and more and suddenly bottle was empty. Unfortunately I had only one, so when next time I visit Italy, I'll for sure try to find Panorama chain and buy some more of this wonderful wine! Definitely recommended - but I don't think you can find it in Poland :(

Wines #9: Vranac

When I visited Montenegro in June, I accidentally came across nice wine called Vranac. The first bottle I bought was from 2006 and it turned out to be nice. So I've started to look for more. It was not that easy. Every store had 2008, but 2006 seemed to be limited. Finally I found some bottles here and there and got 4 or 5 back to Poland. Of course I've also bought some from 2008, but I must admit it's not the same. However it's still worth buying if you don't have enough luck to find 2006.
Vranac has red-ruby color, sometimes getting even into purple. It's very balanced in taste although rather distinct, full and having a lot of tannins. You can feel some tastes of cinnamon, chocolate, black berries and even wood. As the name shows us it's completely based on Vranac grapevine. You can serve it with steaks, spicy food and nice grilled meats. Or drink it alone. I definitely recommend it if you can bring from Montenegro. In Poland you can find this wine, but will have to pay more than twice the original price (3-4 EUR) - like 35-40 PLN!!! It's too expensive in my opinion.
And don't try Vranac 2007 - I've heard it was not a good year and wine is sour.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AXALP AirShow Part V

So this is the last part of pictures from Axalp 2010. It means I should somehow summarize the event and trip itself. Ok. First some hints for guys coming with me next year:
- take the fastest camera you have - at least 7fps with AI Servo fast focus set to slow mode;
- take the longest lens you have - 500mm/f4 recommended, but I managed to take pictures with my favourite 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS;
- use spot or partial metering for planes on the rocks (do not mess with whiskey on the rocks :);
- use 1/125 for helicopters and 1/160 - 1/250 for jets if you want to get panning effect;
- use 1/1000 for jets if you want to have them frozen;
- use the whole year to improve your muscles - it's really hard to get camera and lens set stable for few hours; you'll also need to get to 2.500 m to observe them;
- ask the God for good weather as we did this year. It really helps!
- take your personal warming device - it helps in the morning;
- do not forget head lamp for hiking in the dark;
- it seems to be a good idea to take some small ladder - it helps avoiding heads in your pictures; otherwise you can use it a stool;
- get to the other side of mountains (see in the pictures) - it's a little bit illegal, but you have sun on your back, not in front of you - it means chance for better pictures;

Now you can see some more pictures from the Wednesday show at 2pm and from the Meiringen airport on Thursday. Enjoy! Comments welcome! And feel free to get to Axalp 2011. I'll be there for sure!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AXALP AirShow part IV

I know it's a little bit too much now, but I still have some pictures and I'm sure they're better then previous ones, so I must show them. Of course you don't have to see them, but if you like, then you're welcome!

to be continued...

Monday, October 18, 2010

AXALP AirShow part III

So, finally I've selected the rest of pictures from day two of training before Axalp airshow 2010. Enjoy! Tomorrow I'll try to show some pictures from the show itself!