Archive for August, 2005

lensbaby 2.0So look what turned up in the post yesterday..

yeah baby.. bend it!! Its the lensbaby 2.0, the worlds only Bend-able Finger Tip Selective Focus SLR Lens!

I really didn’t know what to expect from the lensbaby when I brought it.. Its certainly different, unique, quirky, odd-ball and above all, fun!!

Its also absolutely nothing like any lens out there.. No auto-focus or digital balancing with this one.. this is 100% finger tip control (literally!)

When I read the instructions it sounded really hard to handle, but once you understand where to put your fingers (so to speak!) its amazingly simple to use.. The only thing I’m really sure of at the moment is that there is a huge amount of playing and experimentation needed to get the best out of it.. I took about 50-60 shots with it last night and liked maybe about 5, I did find, at the moment at least, using the lensbaby in unbent mode, didn’t really create interesting photos. Easing the lens to the side and twisting it created some wild and freaky shots.

I’ll definitely be playing with this more over the next few days and seeing what I can get out of it, if nothing else its a fun little toy..

Expect some baby-bended photos soon..

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I was really saddened to come back from Sweden to find a note in my inbox about the fact that Bob Moog had died.. Bob died at his home in Asheville, N.C. He was 71. Bob was diagnosed with brain cancer in late April 2005.

Bob In Lab Bob Moog started experimenting with his landmark electronic-music instrument while at a Columbia-Princeton joint program. When 1963 came, he had developed an electronic musical machine that could be played in real time, and by the late 60s, the following among musicians was big enough that his synthesizer was being featured on hit albums by everyone from the Monkees to Wendy Carlos.

Bobs first ‘Moog’ synthesizers were modular, controlled by an almost infinite variation of patch-cord combinations, the original ‘Plug and Play’ system. It wasnt until 1971 when the Moog went mainstream when Bob introduced the Minimoog. The Minimoog was pretty much the birth of electronic music, it was a small (44 keys) limited (monophonic) instrument, but it gave musicians ease, functionality and made new sounds never heard before

When the Moog was taken on and used by the likes of Rick Wakeman of Yes and Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, the whole Moog phenomena took off big time. Even if you’ve never heard of Bob Moog, you probably will have heard the Moog sound on pretty much most music, almost every mainstream artist has recorded with a Moog synthesizer.

The Bob Moog Memorial Fund dedicated to the Advancement of Electronic Music in his memory. Many of his longtime collaborators including musicians, engineers and educators have agreed to sit on its executive board including David Borden, Wendy Carlos, Joel Chadabe, John Eaton, David Mash, and Rick Wakeman. For more information about the foundation, contact Matthew Moog at

You can leave remembrances at Caring Bridge

Bob, you’ll always be missed, but through what you created, you’ll live on, and always be heard, remembered and respected.. Long live Moog!!!

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Again this just appeals to my sense of humour and desire to be slightly quirky in nature.. After my own reshelving activities with Jims Teach yourself Sudoku book, I found an interesting post on Boing, Boing this morning..

Ministry of Reshelving

Here are the rules from the “Ministry of Reshelving” about moving the book “1984” (George Orwell’s description of a totalitarian society in which the government, referred to as the Party, had almost complete control over the people) to more “suitable” shelves..

1. Select a local bookstore to carry out your reshelving activities.

2. Download and print “This book has been relocated by the Ministry of Reshelving” bookmarks and “All copies of 1984 have been relocated” notecards to take with you to the bookstore. Or make your own. We recommend bringing a notecard and 5-10 bookmarks to each store.

3. Go to the bookstore and locate its copies of George Orwell’s 1984. Unless the Ministry of Reshelving has already visited this bookstore, it is probably currently incorrectly classified as “Fiction” or “Literature.”

4. Discreetly move all copies of 1984 to a more suitable section, such as “Current Events”, “Politics”, “History”, “True Crime”, or “New Non-Fiction.”

5. Insert a Ministry of Reshelving bookmark into each copy of any book you have moved. Leave a notecard in the empty space the books once occupied.

6. If you spot other incorrectly classified books, feel free to relocate them.

7. Please report all reshelving efforts to the Ministry. Email your store name, location, # of 1984 copies reshelved, and any other reshelving activities conducted, to Photos of your mission can be uploaded to Flickr, tagged as “reshelving”, and submitted to the Ministry of Reshelving group.

Since the Ministry advises any additional reshelving should also be carried out where required, I think we should also move Teach yourself Sudoku to Computers & Internet, Best Sellers, and just to confuse.. Mind Body and Spirit..

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jims_bookSo as Jims Teach Yourself Sudoku book is now out, we have to do a little bit here and there to help it on its way in the big wide world..

Waterstones in Reading only had a single pile of them this morning, probably about 20 copies in total, I felt the urge to move them around a bit.. I wasn’t sure if putting one copy on top of each of the other copies was the done thing, but I thought it looked quite cool.. The front of the shop display looked like there were about 20 piles of the book..

To confuse even more I brought two copies, and left one in the ‘Best Sellers’ section in WHSmiths.. that will really confuse them at the checkout! Couldn’t get a photo though as the security guard was looking at me a bit odd..

So remember if you see the book Teach Yourself Sudoku.. move it to a good place in the shop.. somewhere round the best sellers… or better still buy a copy..

Nice one Jim

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Hammock So this week was quite relaxing.. I managed to put up my hammock in the garden with a little help from my nephew.

Its a huge real Mexican hammock, built for up to five people to lay in it, although not sure I’d like to try it with five!! Bar-b-q’s will never be the same, with my huge 1 meter round Mexican Fire Pit, Andy’s Congas and the hammock..

Thankfully this weeks been pretty sunny, and I’ve managed to catch up with a lot of the friends I’ve missed over the last few years, and made some good new ones..

I’ve done a lot of reflecting too this week, and started to plan out what I’m intending to do over the next 6-8 months.. Life’s generally falling back into place slowly, although its going to take some time to get my life back to how I want it..

The only downside of the week was something I was looking forward to doing this evening that didn’t happen in the end, still… you can’t have everything you want… I’m sure other nice things will come along..

Back to work tomorrow, and a week of travelling and probably late nights again..

Thankfully I’ll be taking my Ipod, camera and my books…

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So, spurred on by the images I found yesterday from Tread and others, I decided to do some of my own toy camera stuff today.

If you click on the image you’ll be able to see the full set I’ve put together. I actually love these pictures now, as they are getting even closer to how I want my pictures to look.. More practise, more photos I think is what’s needed..

I took the plunge and brought a Lensebaby 2.0 yesterday for my Canon 350D, which I think I’m going to have great fun this over the next week.. Its great in that it just destroys all the clean, exact things you want from a digital camera!! I especially love the manual focus (finger tip in fact!).. Dead cool!!

Not quite sure what I like about this set of shots.. I think its the slightly battered feel, especially the one of the fan the slight distortion and the leakage really look nice with the battered fan blades.

I think also in faded colour these would look pretty good as well, but I do like black and white images, but since its a sunny day, and I’m still on holiday for the rest of the week, I could be taking a fair few more pictures.

They still are not as good at Tread’s images but I like them.. Love to know what you think..

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I found some great photos late last night whilst I was exploring the web, Tread’s collection of photos is just so cool, these images taken with the Diana (and her clones), just shames me into the fact that you don’t need an amazing high end SLR to take great pictures.

The Diana, Holga, Dories, Banner and its varying clones is in essence a plastic camera, a cheap toy, an almost giveaway that you would have got free for subscribing to a magazine or filing up your car with petrol.

The low-quality plastic-bodied grey and blue camera, often referred to as a toy camera, takes sixteen 4cm x 4cm pictures on 120 film, leaving a large part of film surface unexposed.

The Dianas were produced in several variations during the 1960s to 1970s in Kowloon, Hong Kong, by the “Great Wall Plastic Company”, and sold under various brands. The camera is still used by a lot of art photographers like Tread because of the characteristic vignetting (or darkening of the edges of the picture) produced by the low quality components.The Diana cameras are predisposed to light leaks, and should be sealed with black electric tape to get acceptable results.

Tread’s Blog has some more great photos with the toy camera, really nice work!!!

Image: Some Rights Reserved Tread

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