You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2010.

reg: what year are you in?
me: 3rd
reg: oh.

The page came and we were off. 15 week miscarriage and she wouldn’t stop bleeding – we quickly consented her and her husband while a mound of absorbent pads had accumulated between her legs.
As she was prepped and wheeled off, her husband held onto her hand as long as possible and watched as we rushed her to theatre.
I glanced back at him as stood there, looking tiny, lost and alone in his ill fitting booties, gown and hat.

the twins were tiny, and had popped out a bit early. They were wrinkly, with great googly eyes that fixated on the ear pieces of my stethoscope as if they were nipples.

Sometimes there are just works which take your breath away, this is one of those. Infra by Wayne McGregor on the Royal Ballet. See it if you get the chance – the movement, music and design all merge to make one totally absorbing, moving work. Music by Max Richter one of my favouritist composers.

we were at a fancy shindig, and in the manner of students everywhere, keen to sample all the free food and grog available.
A tray of sushi was wafting enticingly around

student “Excuse me, is that vegetarian?”
waitress, after processing this and thinking mightily “I think it’s Japanese”

good. glad that was cleared up

Olympus EP1
(actually i had this almost ready to go last year… just found it in my drafts folder. OOps)
First Impressions
There are plenty of other sites which have already done a review(try here, here, or here.) So this is pretty much just about how it works for me.
I like the idea of it. Its a nice size, and the photoquality, at low ISO is simply outstanding, and at high ISO still pants any Point and Shoot, though in my eyes doesn’t quite keep up with my Canon gear.
However, it is so conveniently sized! its an absolute doddle to have with you all the time, and that’s its greatest strength. And the colours that come out of the camera are just stunning.
But its autofocus still sucks – its probably better than most point and shoots, but way behind a DSLR and its micro 4/3 friend the Panasonic G1/GF1/GH1, and that really limits what you can use it for. I tried doing candids – which its small form factor really suits it for, but its patchy, slow autofocus lets it down. The 14-42 lens is particularly bad for focusing, and it is incredibly slow (f4-5.6) (though i am spoilt with f2.8 glass on the canon)
The lenses also let it down a bit, the bokeh (nice out of focus bit) is pretty crap with a hard edged 5 blade apeture leaves rough looking bokeh. Also the smallness of the 4/3 sensor (2x crop factor to 35mm) means that control of depth of field is pretty poor compared even to 1.6, and not helped by the smallness of the lens apeture.
The 17mm is better at f2.8 (though still with ugly bokeh), but is too short for portraiture and is still too slow to focus for anything more energetic than a lobotomised slug on benzodiazepines.
A big plus of the EP1 over the Panasonic G series is the body stabilisation meaning all lenses are stabilised up to 3 stops. The EP1 also has a hand digital level – though irritatingly you can’t see that and any other useful information at the same time, meaning tedious menu shuffling.
Perhaps mine was an abberation but the rear dial ceased functioning within a month of moderate usage (maybe a thousand shots) rendering the camera pretty much useless if you wanted to change any settings.
The packaged RAW processor is absolute rubbish – ridiculously slow and clunky so get yer mitts on something else.
The rear LCD is a bit below par for this day and age.

So I love the idea of the camera, and depending on the sort of work that you do, it may be perfect. It certainly forces you to take a slow and more measure approach to photography, and to be honest, some of my favourite pictures came with the enforced limitations of this camera.
But overall, its not me.

Pluses : lovely images, much better high ISO/low light than P&S cameras, small size,
Minuses : slow operation speed – AF, menu mucking about, shot to shot speed esp with Art Filters, below par rear LCD, lousy bundled software, relatively expensive.

Picatures

long exposure 60 sec, f11 ISO 100


used the pseudo Lomography look art setting.

I reflect back on how he came here. Here, where he lies being breathed for into barely developed lungs, a tube fed delicately through his nose into his tiny distended belly, covered with skin so fragile I worry a breath will take it off. A yellow beanie, lovingly made by a nurse covers his peach sized head and malformed face. His miniscule hands and feet periodically twitch bathed in eerie UV light. A cheery sign proclaims his ownership of this incubator but just around the corner his scans show the extent of his injuries we can’t see; part of his brain never developed.

Mum never wanted him. She asked for a termination but for some reason, was talked out of it. She had kids already, more than she could handle and certainly he was unwanted. She came back some weeks later, having tried to kill herself. We patched her up, and sent her on her way. And now, she came back, having been beaten and in premature labour.
And so he was born and promptly discarded. Mum returned home, back to her other kids and his future is unclear. For now he lives with us in the special care nursery, being breathed for.

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