LCA 2017 Day 4

Fresh from a nice dinner last night and a run along the waterfront and through the bush this morning, I’m ready to tackle another day. The number of little bush walkways and river cuttings in this part of Hobart makes for some very pleasant mornings.

I am living in the future; while there’s a lack of jetpacks, while I was running down the hill from the University accommodation I took a video call from Ada and Rosa as they drove into town, in another country.

(Slightly less awesome: dropping my room key while I took my phone out. Happily the University dorm staff were delightfully friendly about replacing it.)


Read more

LCA 2016 Day 2

Another lovely morning in Hobart, with a delightful sunrise, blue-winged green parrots flying past my window, and fucking crows cawing at 5 in the morning. But that’s OK, because I’d already been awake for hours, because I couldn’t stop thinking about ideas from some of yesterday’s talks. Yes, speakers, your content gave me insomnia. For good reasons.


Read more

Some Thoughts on Rogue One

Rogue One, as numerous reviewers have noted, opens in a way which is disconcerting to fans of the Star Wars universe; there is no opening crawl to set the scene - reviewers cleverer than me are quick to make the point that this is perhaps because Rogue One is the opening Crawl from A New Hope - and the music is quite different (and, to be honest, not really as good). But that is merely the beginning of the divergence.


Read more

Reverting a Lightroom Library to RAW

After some hemming and hawing, I came to a decision: converting my RAW files to DNG was not The Right Thing to do, for a number of reasons:

  1. DNG is actually a pain in the arse, compatibility wise. For better or worse - arguable worse - it’s never really had the uptake as a kind of universal RAW TIFF replacement. It’s actually easier to run different tools across RAW + sidecar files than DNG.
  2. On a related note, going to DNG locks you off from the manufacturer’s native tools. Which often aren’t great, but sometimes do a much better job of producing display and print files.
  3. While Lightroom is a great jack-of-all trades, the Adobe Camera Raw engine isn’t necessarily the best RAW converter out there. I’d like more freedom to work with (or at least trial) others, which can get better results; the fact the DNG format, while an open spec, is built around storing data in a form which assumes you’ve got the ACR/Lightroom pipeline as your internal representation only makes that worse.
  4. DNGs really slow everything down. They’re slower to browse in Explorer, they’re slower to import, they’re just slow.

So for those reasons, pulling my library back into RAWs seems like the way to go. Problem is, it ain’t as easy as you’d hope.

(But it is possible.)


Read more

Kiwicon 10 Day 2 Afternoon

Lunchtime walking in the sun; Wellington is offering Kiwicon visitors the full experience. Yesterday would have left a large number of visitors wondering “Why would anyone live in this hell-hole?”, while today is posing the question “Why would you live anywhere else?” metl promises a mind-expanding afternoon. Let’s do the Timewarp Again Karit @nzkarit Starts with the Crue and friends performing the Timewarp on stage. The theme is GPS spoofing on the cheap, and the correspondance thereof.

Read more

Kiwicon 10 Day 1 Morning

Kiwicon X has an X Filesish theme this year that leaves me feeling like I should be wearing a suit, Agency-style. But I probably won’t.

Anyhoo, Kiwicon continues to grow and grow apace. This year north of 2000 souls will shuffle, slumps, and/or glide their way into a Wellington which has been hit by natural disasters (“Welcome to Wellington. Here are your complimentary earthquakes and floods; if you look to the left, you’ll see a flock of trampolines passing us by”). Which is a pretty remarkable accomplishment; I hope we all remember that one of the things that makes Kiwicon so awesome is how stupendously nice everyone is, as a rule.

Also: if your conference doesn’t have a warning sign above the door saying “Pyro and lasers in use”, your conference needs to lift its game. Just remember not to point your fancy imaging device at the last show unless you enjoy losing pixels.


Read more

Kiwicon 9 Day 2 Afternoon

So my notes got a bit sparse here, partly because of a really nice lunch with maaaaaybe one too many espressotinis, but also because apparently taking notes upset someone behind me with a laser pointer. Which, you know, too bad, but it didn’t help. Also, I’m publishing these less than a week before Kiwicon X, which says a lot about how bad I was at editing the second day’s material.

Read more

NZIFF Tranche 1

It’s another year, so it must be time to roll through another New Zealand International Film Festival. Unfortunately I can’t justify taking weeks off work to catch them all (or the bill that would generate, for that matter), so as with every film festival, it’s a balancing act around family, cost, work, and the sometimes infuriating scheduling choices of the organisers as to which I get to see.


Read more