Sorry, guys – I have neglected you and not posted anything for a week. 😦 Shame on me! I better don’t get used to blog only once a week otherwise it is easy to become lazy and actually there is enough stuff going on to publish.

Portrait Shooting: Max, our new house mate, handed me his camera over last Saturday and requested to take a full body picture of him. He needed it for an application as bar man in a night club. I refused his compact camera and suggested instead a more professional shooting with my equipment and James’ tripod. The light conditions in the house were poor and with the electric lights switched on there were unwanted reflections and shades everywhere especially on his glasses. I did the best I could and hoped for a lucky shot. I am a bad photographer and entertainer when it comes to portrait photography. I have to focus on my camera setting and can’t give commands to the model how to stand, sit or act at the same time. This kind of multi-tasking is simply not my cup of tea. Our house doesn’t offer great neutral backgrounds so we moved outside and continued in front of a fence on the other side of the street. Although the whole shooting was everything else than professional we had fun.  I took heaps of burst shots with about 12 pictures/second and ended up with 458 photos. In portrait photography you normally use upright format which means your pictures appear on your screen the way that you have to bend your head 90° to see them upright again. It would have been ridiculous to turn every single pictures by 90° (and I had no software at hand to mark all and do that process in one step). Instead I turned my netbook by 90° and started to preselect. After my first run I still had 50 pictures left to choose from. The second run reduced the selection to 28. I edit about one dozen in Photoshop and the final result are a handful of shots I really like and some more Max might use for Facebook or whatever.

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From time to time I will enjoy another portrait shooting but in general I prefer to work alone, focus on my camera settings and enjoy a quiet scenery around me – like at my last night shooting at the Roma Street Parkland. To be lonesome in a big hilly park at midnight with illuminated plants, trees and a beautiful view on the city was a great experience. This park will  offer many more pretty motives at daylight so I will go there soon again when also the fenced areas are open.

Home Improvement Part 137: This is mainly about the TV table I constructed for the living room and some small additions for my own room. I may have some skills in DIY, can handle the basic carpenter tools, have painted a few rooms and have knowledge about  many materials and how to deal with them but varnishing is definitely not one of my strengths. As James adviced afterwards I maybe should have read the instructions on the varnish bucket first before to started. If I had sanded t he table thoroughly and thinned the varnish when applying the first layer I might have succeeded to get a more even and smoother result. Now the surface appears a bit sloppy but I could assert that it was supposed to have that rough look which fits our house better than if it was done flawless. From the moment the TV and the hifi system were placed on the table all my doubts were washed away because nobody will focus anymore on the texture of the varnish.

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The colour of the table blends in very well with the wall. Altogether I am content with my work and another home improvement project is finished. A few days later I created a small table for my netbook. It was uncomfortable to look down on the screen from above for hours and caused neck ache. Now I work more ergonomical. P1060112A crappy pink silicone keyboard to roll up which I bought at Woolworth for six dollars replaces the netbook keyboard. It is a pain in the ass to type on the wobbly keys but I will adapt to that. Without any question the keyboard colour is the most hideous of the season and I would have spend some more dollars if they had one in blue, green or silver but they didn’t. To compensate this colour fail I bought a dimmable LED lamp in orange with USB plug for three dollars. I use it as back light behind the screen at night to treat my eyes with care.

I posted already many pictures of our house and described it with words but nothing beats a house inspection by video if you can’t be around in person. The mosquito net covers my wall photos near my bed which bothers me a bit because they were a major visual attraction when you entered the room but the net adds some cosy flair instead. I will have to get over it and after all I still can have a good look at the pictures when I lay in my bed.

The walls around my desk will be more and more covered by photos soon. Besides that I reckon my room to be finished apart from a bed side table I will make out of some old shelf boards in the garage.

Best wishes from Hot-Summer-Brisbane, have a nice and productive day!