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I have been busy for the last few months looking, reading saving money to get a flash for my 5D mark2. As you all know this camera is so expensive that they did not bother adding in a flash. But if that is the only downside of the camera then I dont mind as it just makes awesome photos.

I went on ebay and have been watching a few ex2 flash units to get an idea of the price. A new 580ex2 flash from amazon is £350 and I found that the second hand flash units go for almost the same price. For example, out of three units on ebay that is used, so its has the scuff marks, bumps and scratches, all of them went for £260-£280… for that price you are very close to almost getting a new one.

I manage to secure one for around £200….. its has a missing catchlight reflector and further it looked in good condidtion. Well I hope. As I won the bid I got the ball rolling and got the payment in and done. Now I have to wait as the seller has not even made contact… again you can never trust people to do stuff. If I sell anything on ebay I make a point to post the kit as soon as its payed for. So now I have to wait and hope this guy get the time to post the flash as I would really like to give it a try over the weekend.

Now my next step if to find a good remote trigger that fits and work between the 5D mark2 and the 580ex2 flash. I know I can go for the Pocketwizards but one side of the unit cost the same price as the flash and you need two part of it. I also see there are Hahnel remote triggers but again I need to go and find out what model works the best. I know the cheap versions does not do all the nice TTL and ETTL functions but that is what I will have to live without for the time being.

I am also looking in getting a shoot trough brollie, stand and brollie holder. All this is not much but in the end it all adds up.

I will also need to review my batteries and charger…. as I am going to be swapping batteries often as the 580ex2 is heavy on battery power.

Now I need to get busy and hope that this guy post the flash so I can start uploading some test pictures. As I need to do another shoot soon and I would like to spend as much time as possible with the flash and my setup.

I will keep you posted ….

I have decided to take my photography to the next level…. spot joining millions of groups and posting photos all over the place. I have now joined a site that makes all that easier. I can post to one place and it will them post to all my links, that include Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and my WordPress blog. So it makes my workflow much easier and I dont have to go and login to each to get my new photo out to the masses. So I hope this works. Oh and the wedsite that can do all this is POSTEROUS.COM. Try it

I am also busy looking at ways to get more active with my photography and would really like to start shooting more portraits, weddings and maternity baby photos. I have done it for some friends and I really enjoy it. I have also my wife that helps me out so its good to get her input for ideas.

So keep a look out as I am now going to start posting more and getting better at producing better photo. As they say … there is light at the end of the tunnel.


So I was wondering if I must upgrade my 3G Iphone with the GM 3.0 software. So I did it. I downloaded the ipsw file and did a restore. But first I did a full sync and made sure that the backup is current as sometimes if you don’t force a backup it does not replace the copy in your backup preferences. So with the backup done I started the restore. It took a long time and the phone restarted twice. After that did a quick check and everything was working great.
I checked the cut, copy and paste, OK. Also the new iPod features that you can increase the audio speed on a podcast and reload the podcast and mail it to a friend.

I left the phone for 2 days to check and it’s solid. I did a full sync and man did that take long for some reason. Maybe there are going to be a newer release out with the launch tomorrow, we will have to see.

So I have been running it now for more than a week and no problems just better websurfing speed and super nice touches. I also got the tethering working and if you use it on a Mac you will be super impressed as it pairs via Bluetooth and with the USB cable without a problem.

Landscape keyboard in all apps are super, spotlight search across the whole phone is super, any many more

I will list some addons in another post

I will see what version they release tomorrow and hope it’s the same.


So I got off the plane and had to wait a bit for my baggage as I was not flying first class. But there was no massive queues and I did get my baggage relatively quickly. Ok so I go off to get some of my money exchange… what a joke…. you give them a pack full of notes and they only give you a few back. But then the money feels like its worth more.

So after the money exchange I go and find out where I must go to get the train to get to Hardbrucke… they have this very nice touch screens where you just type in where you want to go and they have all the details there. You pop in cash or card to pay for it. So they dont make it a effort to spend your money. So I hop on the train and there was this lady that asked me if the train is going to stop at Hardbrucke and I said I think so as I am also going there.

hardbrucke train station

So off we go… 10min later I jumped off and it was snowing like mad and I am proper direction less. I get out the train station and I think there are going to be taxi’s but nothing… just buildings and people. So I phoned the hotel.. and they said its just around the corner and I can walk… but then they cannot explain to me where I must go… So I zip up and start walking in one direction… but it does not look like the right way… so I poped into a pizza place and the guy said to me … no no the other way… So there I go back over the bridge and past the train station… down the other side I spotted the hotel sign… what a relief. Walked in and it was really nice… Booked in  and started up the internet in the room to see if I can be online… whoo ha

So I opened all my apps and started updating software. Man the internet is just a dream here.

So The snow stopped now but they predict the whole week to be snowy.

I am going to start working on reading through my work stuff and then I am going for a nice dinner.

So I am off to Switzerland for some work and some sight seeing. I am liking my seat as my wife picked it for me. Nice right at the back and on the axle.
They say the inflight entertainment is good but we will have to see.

Damn but I am hungry. Hope the food is good.

Will keep you posted

For espresso, the coffee grounds are compressed into a dense “puck” of coffee, and hot water (about 195-200 degrees Fahrenheit, but not boiling) is forced through the puck under high pressure (between 9 and 15 bars), to produce an extraction which we call “espresso.” The extraction should take at least 25 seconds (to allow sufficient time for the water to be in contact with the coffee), but it should not take more than 30 seconds. The grind needs to be fine enough to create a dense puck so that the pressure can be maintained during the extraction. An espresso machine maintains the water at the right temperature, and controls the pressure and the duration of the extraction. This cannot be accomplished on the stove.

The resulting extraction, espresso, has a much more intense flavor than regular coffee. This is why espresso cups are tiny. The normal serving of espresso is about an ounce and a half – the same as a shot. A 2.5 ounce serving is called a double serving, or a doppio (which is Italian for “double”). Milk or cream is never poured into espresso (except when making other drinks, which are no longer called “espresso”), although espresso can be sweetened with sugar if desired.

Ristretto (also called a “corto”) is a very “short” shot of espresso coffee. Originally this meant pulling a hand press (shown at right) faster than usual using the same amount of water as a regular shot of espresso. Since the water came in contact with the grinds for a much shorter time the caffeine extracted in reduced ratio to the flavorful coffee oils. The resultant shot could be described as bolder, fuller, with more body and less bitterness. All of these flavors are usually attributed to espresso in general, but are more pronounced in ristretto. Because of this exaggerated flavor, ristretto is often preferred by espresso coffee lovers. Today, with the hand press out of favor and modern automated machines generally less controllable, ristretto usually just means less water; a normal (double) espresso shot is typically around 60 ml (2 fl oz), while a (double) ristretto is typically 45 ml (1–1.5 fl oz).

One modern method of “pulling” a ristretto shot is to grind the coffee finer than that used for normal espresso, and pull the shot for the same amount of time as a normal shot. The smaller spaces between the particles of finer-ground coffee allow less water to pass through, resulting in a shorter shot. However, this can also lead to a gritty taste, if the coffee is ground fine enough that the insoluble components can pass through the filter-basket. This is often a problem in poorer grinders, where the grind is not as even.

Another modern method for pulling a ristretto is to simply stop the extraction early, so less water has time to pass through the ground coffee. This produces a slightly different taste than the fine-grinding, equal-time method, and is often preferred because it does not require the barista to change the settings on the coffee grinder.

A third modern method, that serves as a compromise between the previous two, is to prepare the shot without adjusting the grind but to use the tamp more firmly. The firmer tamp will compact the grinds in the filter basket allowing for a shot time comparable to a regular espresso. This method has the added benefit that adjusting the coffee grinder is not necessary while keeping much of the body and flavor of the fine-grinding, equal-time method.

As the amount of water is increased or decreased relative to a normal shot, the composition of the shot changes, because not all components of coffee dissolve at the same rate. For this reason, an excessively long or short shot will not contain the same ratio of components that a normal shot contains. Therefore, a ristretto is not simply twice as “strong” as a regular shot, nor is a lungo simply twice as weak.

I hope you like this… I am getting hooked on Espresso

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