Wednesday, 28 September 2016

An Avian Visitor - A Male Pied Triller

Pied Triller (click to enlarge)

A male Pied Triller paid me a visit some 11 days ago. To a greenhorn birder like me, I was naturally excited as this is a once in a blue moon affair.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Canon Powershot SX530 HS - My New Birding Camera

It was suppose to take 3 days but it finally arrived, some 9 days later. What happened Superbuy.my? You had me worried there for a couple of days. Better late than never I suppose.

Yes, I have finally bought myself a new superzoom bridge camera - a Canon Powershot SX530 HS (SX530HS) with 50x optical zoom. Warranty periods is for 1 year from Canon Malaysia - got my email confirmation last week to prove it. I will be using this camera largely for birding and wildlife photography. Long overdue I think.

My Opinion

Having used this camera over the last couple of days, I must say that I am very pleased with my decision. Compared with my previous low-end camera, focusing and the image quality is definitely much better. I am surprised to find such fine details of a pigeon (and other birds too in fact; picture quality is subject to my shaky hands) captured with this camera. Just look at the picture below to see what I mean (do click to enlarge). Except for some cropping, there were no other editing done to this picture. It blew me away the first time I saw it. This camera is making birding and photography fun again! Previously, the only way for me to get such fine details was to hold my subject at arms length. I know because I photographed my rooster that way once. And no I was not tormenting it; I was just trying to photograph its injured eye.

Rock Pigeon Up Close (do click to enlarge)

Selection Process

The SX530HS is not my first choice actually. To be honest, it was not even my second.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Turmeric Flowers - Take Two

I always get excited when any of my turmeric plants produces flowers. I like them as I think they are dazzlingly beautiful.

I had two separate blooms last year from two separate plants in two separate pots - one in May and the other in December. Here are some pictures of my turmeric flowers taken during those two months. Armed with a better camera, and hopefully with some improvement in my photography skills, these pictures are definitely much better compared to the ones I took 2 years ago.


But first, a close-up view on the crest of a turmeric flower that I took in May 2015. I just love those tinge of pink at the very top. Each flower is different though; sometimes there is no pink tinge.

I didn't take note but I believe this is from a 4 or 5 day old bloom.

The Crest Of A Turmeric Flower

An Almost Detailed Account

Here are some pictures that was taken on December 2015. Not shown are wilted flowers (who wants to look at them anyway?) - a process that will begin some 7 days later after blooming.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Customized gdata For PicasaWeb Uploads

Without going into details, I briefly mentioned that I added a few new functions into the class GDataService and PhotoService in order to get the interfacing between 'Google GData Photo API' and RavenPlus working with Google OAuth2 authentication.

Here are the technical details, plus the Python code.

As this is a rather long post, I have broken it down into two parts. In this post, I will only discuss the changes that I have made to the gdata library. In a future blog post, I will show how I used this customised gdata library for uploading pictures to Google's PicasaWeb from RavenPlus.

Some Background Information

Since Python is an object-oriented programming language, the most obvious way to customised gdata is via 'inheritance'. I tried and failed because of some local private variables being referenced in the base class from my derived class. Like I have said before, I am no expert in Python. In desperation, I used what seems to be the easiest way out: I made local copies of what's needed from gdata and customised them to fit my requirements. The important thing here is it works.

Customized gdata Within RavenPlus Source Tree

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