Sunday, August 31, 2008

Compact Flash Memory Card Prices at Comex 2008

Some one posted the CF card prices at Comex 2008. The prices are really good.

SanDisk Ultra II:
2GB S$29
4GB S$39
8GB S$68

SanDisk Extreme III:
4GB S$56
8GB S$90
16GB S$170

Kingston Elite Pro:
4GB S$29
8GB S$51
16GB S$118

Kingston Ultimate:
2GB S$43
4GB S$76
8GB S$135

The SD cards are even cheaper. Kingston 2GB SD card is only S$9.00! 4GB going for S$18.00.

With such great prices, there will be less storage woes from the photographers, but more on the photo-editing part.

Consider a 1GB card on a Canon EOS 20D can store around 200 photos at the max resolution in Jpeg format, a 4GB card then can store 800 photos. How long do you think it will take to process 800 photos.

If you are shooting raw, 4GB can still hold quite a substantial number of photos. The effort needed is not to be sneezed at, either.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Canon Link at Vivo

Just discovered there is a place called 'Canon iLink' at one seldom-noticed corner in Vivo city. It has displays of all the Canon products, including printers, projectors, and of course, cameras, both DSLR and compact, and lenses. The winning photographs of "Canon Photo Marathon" are also on display.

Those things may sound quite uninteresting, indeed. All the cliche :) Then at one seldom-noticed corner, they have the EOS 40D & EOS 1D mark (?) on display as well, and the cameras have been dismantled! You can see the main circuit board, the CMOS sensor, the sensor cleaning components, the mirror, etc.

It is quite interesting to see those cameras without a cover. How the different circuit boards are placed and the wiring.

Go down to take a look if you are a Canon photobug. :D

Friday, August 29, 2008

Trading Competition - Continued

In one of my previous entries, I mentioned the CMC markets trading competition (see:

Some of my colleagues actually are participating in the competition, and they are leading! Two of them are now in the top 10 spots, while two others are in the 10s & 20s.

Wow, I didn't know my colleagues are all investment gurus. Look at the ROI (Return on Investment) rates of the top 10, even the guy at the 10th place has an ROI of 73%! Considering this is not a mock trading competition, but a real life trading competition, with participants using his/her own money to do every single trade, they have some good profits even if they don't win any prizes.

Too bad, I can't even do trading. There is some problem with my account and all orders are cancelled automatically. That's very 'nice', isn't it?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Journey to the Centre of Earch

Journey to the Centre of Earth, a movie that is derived from the Novel - Journey to the Centre of the Earth. I said 'derived', means it is not the story in that novel, but a new story.

The film is only about 90 mins, or even shorter? It is entertaining, but too short. There are numerous illogical scenes. How can a magnetic compass work after it has been subjected to strong magnetic fields?!

Never mind. If you have kids and want to have some family entertainment, this is not a bad choice :D

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Keepsake Crimes

Title: Keepsake Crimes
Author: Laura Childs
Publisher: Gerry Schmitt 2003

This novel is not simply a novel. It has two purposes. On the one hand, of course, it is a detective kind of novel, involving solving the puzzle of a murder case; on the other hand, it is also a book introducing to the readers about scrapbooking. The scrapbooking part is not actually subtle. The author sometimes spends quite a bit of effort to entice the readers into scrapbooking.

What is scrapbooking? Ok, go to wiki it :D

As for any detective kind of stories, hints are dropped here and there, then finally leading to the truth. Quite typical, or cliche, if you put it the bad way :)

However, there are some humourous writings in the book, such as:

Hardly. Times are tough. And guilty consciences are in exceedingly short supply these days

And this:

She also assured Carmela that she would light a candle each week until the two were once again reunited.
Carmela had thanked Gabby warmly, then suggested she might want to purchase those candles inn bulk.

Good fun reading if you have nothing better to do. :P

Friday, August 15, 2008

Microstock: Review Time

With the summer holiday in the northern hemisphere, the review time at various microstock sites seem to change as well.

It used to take only a day or two to get photos reviewed, but my last batch took almost 5 days! Then over at dreamstime, it took more than a week for my last batch. iStock, as usual, it takes them the longest time.

Most of the stock sites seem to have longer review time for the summer. Probably most of the reviewers are on holidays, or out shooting some nice summer holiday photos for themselves :)

The only exception is BigStockPhoto. Their review time used to be very long, but recently, my photos were reviewed over night. The short review time is good, but the sales there is going down down down for the summer....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony - Poor Directing?!

Someone sent me a set of photographs of the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. Those photos confirmed my disappointment!

Look at the photos, and recall what I saw on the live telecast, I wanted to kick the director of the live telecast.

The opening show was directed by world-famous director - Zhang Yimou. His directing is world-class. The performers, from solders to the kungfu masters, everybody spent 3 long years to prepare for this important moment. They did delivery a spectacular performance. However, the spectacular performance was given a 50% discount by the live telecast director.

It seems the live telecast director has no idea about the show, has no idea what the performance wanted to portrait. When the performance is at its grandest at wide angle, the live telecast director zoomed to the individuals.

When the opening show committee spent millions of dollars to create the Olympics 5-circle fireworks, the live telecast director didn't even seem to know that the fireworks would form the 5-circle!

It is said that the NBC version of the opening ceremony is a lot more spectacular than the CCTV version. I hoped I will have the chance to look at that version in the near future. CCTV version of the live telecast is a great disappointment. I really feel sorry for the opening show's director - Zhang Yi-mou, all the performers at the opening show. Their efforts were wasted because of some stupid idiot!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Mummy 3 - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor

Watched The Mummy 3 - Tomb of the Dragon Emperor at The Cathay. First time watching a movie at The Cathay. The cinema is nice, grand looking, the sound effects are good too. And for UOB credit card holders, you can get a discount on the tickets. S$6.00 a ticket on week days & S$8.00 a ticket on weekends. That is pretty cool.

Ok, back to the movie. Continuing from the fun of the first two mummy movies, the 3rd mummy is just as fun. With the shift of the focus from the rest of the world to China, just as the 29th Olympics is bringing the world focus in China, this 3rd mummy comes from China, as you may guessed. The so-called Dragon Emperor is no other than the first emperor of China - Emperor Qin Chi'huang.

The story is quite plain, before you watch the movie, probably you can already guesses the end. But then the movie itself brings lots of fun and entertainment to the audience, of course, lots of fighting too. How can you expect a movie starring kungfu stars Jet Li & Michelle Yeo to be lack of fighting?!

It is a good movie for people who are looking for some laughters, some entertainment, some fun. It is not for the hypercrits who look for so-called 'deeper' meanings.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Field of Blood

Title: The Field of Blood
Author: Denise Mina
Publisher: Bantam Books 2005

Finally, I finished reading this book. The story is about two Paddy Meehans, one is an old man who had been wrongly convicted of a crime he didn't commit and locked up in the jail for decades; another is a young girl working at a news paper as a copyboy, but is inspired to become a real journalist.

The two lines are interwined with each other, but I have no clue why the two are linked, other than both are from the Scottish city of Glasgow, a city deeply divided between Catholics and Protestants.

The plot is not too bad, other than the redundancy of the old Paddy Meehan part. The story about the young Paddy Meehan started with the murder of a baby called Brian. Paddy's finacee's cousin is one of the two boys being accused of killing baby Brian. Young Paddy Meehan started her own investigation, uncovering the details bit by bit, then finally exposing the real murderer, the one who murdered another baby Thomas Dempsie 10 years ago.

The author's lips are tight. She didn't drop any obvious hints or tips till the very last few pages when the true killer surfaced.

However, this book is a bit grey or even dark. In many occasions, the author depicted the fall of the Scottish industries. Factories were closing down one by one, workers were laid off. In addition, the tough parts of the city. All these give the readers a depressing impression of a new modern city slump.

And then people's attitudes towards religion. The young Paddy Meehan, only went to mass to please his parents, although she didn't have the least faith in the religion. She confessed she lied from the very first time she received the communion.

The society depicted is so suffocating.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Microstock: Changes

It seems like there are some changes happening to the microstock industry.

The first, of course, is the claim that they have raised the entry barrier to a much higher standard. From time to time, you will hear people making bitter complaints of how difficult it is to get accepted into the microstock sites, especially the industrial leaders such as Shutterstock & iStock.

Then over iStock, it seems there is a massive project in progress to make amendments to the keywords/tags of all the existing images. I personally had received more than 10 messages in total informing me of changes to the tags of my images. At the high of it, I received 6 messages in a single day!

As the microstock libraries getting bigger and bigger, from a mere of a few thousand images to now you can hit any stocksite with more than a million images, I can say in the future, the standard will get higher and higher and the entry barrier will be further raised. Being a contributor, we can't just sit back and relax and get contented with whatever standard we are now. With the proliferation of digital cameras, there will be more contributors and more images will be available. The customers will be spoilt for choice.

The photographers will have to improve their skills along with the growth of this microstock market. Ah....Continuous improvement.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

All Eyes on CHINA!

While I am writing this blog entry, it is half an hour into the opening ceremony of the 29th Olympics Games in Beijing, China. Billions of people around the world will be watching this great event.

It is the very first time in the 5000 years of China that an Olympics Games is hosted in this ancient central kingdom, which went through more than a century of humiliation and defeat, at the brink of collapse of the country.

Now thanks to Deng Xiao-ping, who decided to open the country's door to the outside world, and brought this ancient aging country out of poverty, the modern China is a lot more strong in terms of her economic power, millitary power and political influence. A status that is only fit for a central kingdom.

Best wishes to the success of the 29th Olympics Games!

Microstock: A New Microstock Site

Since someone asked, I will share with the rest the new microstock site I mentioned in my last blog entry.

The new site is:

I have not taken a detail look at the site yet. Some preliminary information I know of is this is a new stock site based in Singapore, with a focus on Asia images. They will give you a cut from 50-70% of the sales revenue.

For other details, such as what is the minimum resolution they require, the approval process, how the payout will be, etc, are still unknown to me. If anyone has such information, it will be good to share them here with everybody.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Microstock: Surprise

Today, when I logged into, a window poped up informing me I had got a new private message. Opened it, oh, what a surprise! Someone from a newly setup microstock site sent me the PM, inviting me to join their site.

I have not taken a detail look at their site yet, but it is something good to know. One more site up there for us to choose, one more venue for us to market my own 'products'.

Then I opened my shutterstock account, and found I some income from 'referred photographers'. OMG, I didn't even know I had any 'referred photographers'! I only knew I referred Sherman but he doesn't have any photo online. Then I went on to check who are my 'referred photographers'. There are in fact quite a number, but only one of them has some photoes available online.

I must say THANK YOU to all my referred photographers. Thank you very much for your trust in me. I am most grateful....