Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Life Choices

When you aren't going to buy another big @ss item, you buy some cheapo accessories.  Just so you buy something.  That's the thing with photography, you can enjoy it just buying small items, like lens hoods, filters, sync cables, color gels.  You don't need to buy a $6000 lens or a %6000 camera.  Of course you can enjoy it by actually taking pictures.  Better still print it out on paper and even better, frame it and hang it up somewhere on the wall.

Friday, April 06, 2018

DVD, Handbrake, OS X, Rip

Do people watch DVD nowadays?  I know I do.  And if you check out the library there are still plenty out there on the shelf.

Do people rip DVD nowadays?  I know I do.

I haven't used Handbrake for a long time.  And finally I got it updated and not even updated I even installed the nightly build.  I feel like I am so advanced even I don't know half of what I am doing.  I wasn't going to install the nightly build, it's just the prod has a known bug that doesn't allow preview which is something I like.

I am not a fan of ripping DVD except for scholarly reason like why not.

Handbrake didn't complain so I thought I was able to rip DVD just fine, except the result came out severely pixelated and the sound was all wrong.  I have VLC installed.  So I thought, maybe I have the setting wrong as reading the Google search results indicate once you have VLC installed you should be fine.  Also, I thought the decryption thing is a binary thing like if you can't decrypt then you simply can't not with bad rip or pixelated rip, or so I thought.  I played with the settings a bit and still lousy results.  So that shook my belief that the DVD was decrypted when ripped.  I viewed the log and it did say can't decrypt DVD.

Another trip to Google.


I have Homebrew installed long time ago so getting a package isn't a big deal.

at the Terminal

brew install libdvdcss

this installed the libdvdcss

Now Handbrake can rip the DVD to your or my heart's desire.

Now another reason to buy more storage or even a NAS because of DVDs.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Life Choices ...

In the world of iPhone cinematography, the anamorphic lens is kind of the king.

The Moondog lab made them first, and it's the only company that have them in stock.  Beastgrip Pro started their version some time last year and they were quickly sold out and now out of stock.  Moment just joined the party and is in Kickstarter mode.  The former two price their anamorphic adapter at $175, which is kind of a steep price for a lens adapter but at the same time dirt cheap as far as anamorphic is concerned.  So it really depends on one's perspective on things.  Moment, the new kid to the mobile phone anamorphic is geared to stir things up by lowering the price, their first batch kickstarter was priced at $99 but no longer available.  I don't fully understand all those funky pricing anyway.  But the ball park is they are priced lower than the competition.  Over time hopefully all of them would come down in price.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Life Choices ...

D5, D4s, D3s . . .

If price is not a concern, then D5.  But of course everything is driven by price.

When people ask me "What camera should I buy?"  I don't know your economic profile or more importantly your psychologic profile.  I know what I want but I can never suggest what you should get.  My decision is based largely on irrational thinking.  So don't listen to me if your decision is based on fact and logic.  My own camera and lens buying decision is utterly irrational.  It doesn't matter I am usually armed with facts my decision is still largely driven by irrational thinking and passion.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Life Choices

Life is about making hard choices.
105mm f/2 DC, 135mm f/2 DC, or 85mm f/1.4 . . . .

I Hope Summer Never Comes

I got the fascination with summer but I am not a fan.


I read mirrorless is all the rage and is the future.

If I live long enough, I probably will belong to that future.  But that future is probably not soon enough as Nikon hasn't come up with its own mirrorless yet.

I am a man that constantly look for distractions.  SLR has decades of bodies, lenses and myriads of accessories to meet and exceed my needs or wants.  Mirrorless, I don't know but I really don't think so.  Most old Nikkor lenses from eons ago can still mount on the newest bodies without much of a compromise; a manual focus lens sure can be mounted on the flagship D5.  Nikon as far as I am concerned is still actively developing its SLR line both cameras and lenses.  The last professional film SLR model was the F6 which actually seemed a step back from its predecessor F5 as the F6 lacks an integrated vertical grip.  Perhaps Nikon saw the digital evolution coming when F6 was in development.  We have the D5 and perhaps the D5s is in the offing.  Would history repeat itself?  Would there be a D6 that mark the end of the professional digital SLR?  Nikon may roll out the mirrorless in parallel with the SLR.  But probably would only call it a M1 if it's deemed of professional caliber.  Canon and Nikon, the bellwethers of the SLR world, stand to lose the most one way or the other if mirrorless turns out really to be the future or a big trunk of the future.  Meanwhile, SONY is really steamrolling in that mirrorless space with models coming out like every few months.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow is the latest female fronted Hollywood thriller with Lawrence playing the title character, a red sparrow or a spy trained and owned by the state, whose trade craft includes the time honored carnal art of seduction.  I have high expectations.

The movie begins with great promise: rapid intercuts between Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) dancing on stage having her femur broken and her counterpart, Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) evading a car chase on foot.  Dominika is a natural and her uncle Vanya Ergovo (Matthia Schonaerts) sees it.  All he does is to nudge her a bit and makes her woke of her hidden talents.  He tips her off her injury is not a result of occupation hazard.  While still on the mend and limping, Dominika takes out the adulterous couple who ended her ballet career with no holds barred rage and violence.  Perhaps her career ending injury is a blessing in disguise,  Jennifer Lawrence or Dominika Egorova is just too well endowed to look like a ballerina.  The first job and then the formal training follow.  Dominika is sent to a "whore school" run by the hooded eyes Matron (Charlotte Rampling) who is cadaverous in appearance and pithy in teaching.  The cadets wear drab wrap skirts, seemingly stolen from Diane von Furstenberg, that are easy to put on and more importantly easier to take off.  Like a good student she excels.   She gets her first overseas gig before she officially finishes her training thanks to General Korchnoi (Jeremy Irons) who is just cadaverous but likes to enjoy putting on more rouge to look more flushed than Matron, which of course only makes him look ridiculous, even more so than his Russian accented English--in the world of Red Sparrow, English is the lingua franca.  Dominika is sent to Budapest to lure her American counterpart so as to root out the mole deep within the Russian intelligence . . . and so she begins her journey as a full fledged red sparrow.

After hiring Lawrence, quite possibly the highest paid female star, the movie just runs out of budget.  So there are hardly any actions, stunts or special effects to speak of.  In one truly potentially R-rated deserving scene where human skin is shaved off, the camera is no where near where the action is and the audience is spared with that gruesome awesomeness because there is no budget for special effects.  The trailer is pretty much all there is, but with far better pacing than the actual movie which at times feels interminable and meandering; it clocks in two hours nineteen minutes.  This red sparrow has great potentials but does not fly high or far.

Life Choices

When you aren't going to buy another big @ss item, you buy some cheapo accessories.  Just so you buy something.  That's the thing wi...