Tag Archives: China

Wanderlust and the bucket list.

I never thought I’d be one that would or could be bitten by the travel bug, but it has and it’s left a big throbbing welt begging for my attention.  Recently I’ve found myself thumbing through the travel books again, and looking at the budget to figure out how much I need to save a week to make it happen.  I don’t fly well, its the ears, so I’m starting to think about doing a trip with lot’s of stopovers. Hmmmm, the budget may not stretch.

Anyhow, as I age. Yeah there’s a phrase I had to make myself type. Ageing. Ugh.  I have been thinking about the things I’d like to see and do before my organs are harvested. So after rummaging through some old journals I did come up with a list, little things I’d written in the margin.

  • Climb the Great Wall of China – which I did in 2012 (Hurrah!)
  • Get better at taking photos – just finished a diploma in photography. Yay me.
  • Publish a book – well I’ve written enough to put one together, what am I waiting for?!
  • Have my photos hang in a gallery – working on it.
  • See a Narwhal – can you believe such a creature is real?
  • Take my children travelling – which we do as much as we can locally – last year I took my girls to New Zealand, it was so worthwhile we loved every moment.
  • See a glacier – happy to say I have in 2014
  • See Monument Valley – maybe next trip?
  • Photograph a whale breaching into the air – so far all the ones I’ve seen have been tail wavers.
  • Master another language – still trying to crack Mandarin
  • Spend some time on a house boat.

How’s that for starters? Not too bad I reckon, seems pretty doable. However I think I will be left disappointed by the Narwhals.

For now the kids & I will keep paddling 🙂

 

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Filed under Holidays, Moments, Travel

Olympus Pen Mini – a review

I went travelling and decided that my big beast of a camera was too heavy to carry, and my pocket one was not going to produce the images I had in my minds eye.  So I went hunting for a baby DSLR, not knowing if there was such a thing, turned out there was.  I found the Olympus Pen Mini with a twin lens kit.

It is a camera that would suit those going from a point and shoot camera to their first DSLR, introducing you to interchangeable lens.  The mini has everything the larger PEN cameras have onboard, to look at it you wouldn’t know given it is able to sit in the palm of your hand.

With the zoom lens on.

I carted this around China, and the hubster took it to Vietnam last month. It was much lighter in our day packs that is for sure.  If you are a photographer who prefers to let the camera do the thinking for you when it comes to the settings, then this camera will make you look like an expert.  It does everything for you, in fact using manual on this camera is near on impossible.  There were a few occasions where I wanted to alter the depth of field and it just wouldn’t do it quick enough.  The manual control are there but you have to scroll through a few menu options to get them going, I’m more of a one switch person, especially if your trying to grab a moment.

It does however have very fast auto focus and HD video recording, and 12.3 megapixel live MOS sensor.  It has few buttons, excellent for the beginner, but a very shiny back display which is hard to see in direct sunlight.  I fixed this using a matt finish screen overlay cut down to size (meant for a smartphone).  It has some speccy build in effects too.

It can do this.

Out of the box you can get going very quickly and the battery life is pretty good, I can get a days touristy shooting done on one battery. I can rate the after sales service pretty high so far.  I cracked the LCD screen and needed it fixed, they did that and updated the software with just a weeks turnaround. And if you’re wondering what results you’ll get, check these out (click on the images to be taken to a larger version):

Lake George

 

 

 

Interested in my other camera type thoughts? I reviewed the latest Polaroid here.

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Filed under Photographic, Reviews, Technology/Gadgets, Travel