February 18th, 0115

AMD/ATI released their new Catalyst drivers version 11.2 which you can download here.  There was a lot of installtion issues with 11.1, which was a signifcant update.  11.2 helps fix these issues.  Still, I highly recommend you run Drive Sweeper and clean out all your old video drivers and registry entries prior to updating to the latest version.  Do it in this order:

a.  Run Driver Sweeper

b.  Reboot

c.  Install the new driver (in this case Catalyst 11.2)

d.  Reboot

e.  I'd also recommend a last power down reboot where you let your machine turn all the way off, power off, let it sit a few minutes, and then bring it back up. 

 

AMD/ATI released their new Catalyst drivers version 11.2 which you can download here.  There was a lot of installtion issues with 11.1, which was a signifcant update.  11.2 helps fix these issues.  Still, I highly recommend you run Drive Sweeper and clean out all your old video drivers and registry entries prior to updating to the latest version.  Do it in this order:

 

February 17th, 1910

Eric Clapton Bangkok 2011, Impact Arena.  February 16th.  As you probably suspected, yours truly was not professionally covering the Eric Clapton concert.  The tickets were clearly stamped with "NO PHOTOGRAPHY, NO RECORDING DEVICES, etc" and they were checking your bags on the way in. 

A brazilion cameras, mostly mobile phones with internal cameras and camcorders, made it through.  I suspect small cameras made it through in pockets.  Any bags and all purses were checked.  Watching others using their Iphones and other such recording devices I noticed they were limited to either very small subjects in the frame, or what most were doing was recording the big video panels and not the live subjects! 

Not being able to get the appropriate cameras into the arena I was limited to a small Fuji F200EXR compact and the Sony NEX-5 with the 17-55mm lens.  Not ideal considering I was 150-200 feet away from the stage and working off a severe angle.  Getting any sort of acceptable image was a major challenge which I'll discuss later. Even under the best of circumstances using the best DSLR's and fastest lenses photographing a concert is a difficult task.  The lack and type of light results in some real challenges.

Taking advantage of the different lighting I photographed Eric Clapton turned oblique to the audience in the spotlight.

 

Eric Clapton Bangkok 2011, Impact Arena.  February 16th.  As you probably suspected, yours truly was not professionally covering the Eric Clapton concert.  The tickets were clearly stamped with "NO PHOTOGRAPHY, NO RECORDING DEVICES, etc" and they were checking your bags on the way in.

Sony NEX-5, 18-55mm OS  @F5.6  1/40th  55mm (82.5mm 35mm equiv)  ISO 1600

 

February 17th, 0215

Eric Clapton Bangkok 2011, Impact Arena.  February 16th.   This was my second Eric Clapton concert in Thailand, the first being his sold out concert in 2007.  This concert was sold out as well.  In fact, try as I might I couldn't get tickets and if it wasn't for the extraordinary generosity of a good friend who took me as his guest, I wouldn't have been able to go this year.   Thank you K!

I must say Eric Clapton was great, the seats were great, great company, if there was any let down at all it would be the Impact Arena itself which was built with anything but music and acoustics in mind.  Still, Eric Clapton went all out this evening trying to find what this mostly Thai audience would really appreciate.   As you would have guessed, his classic pop songs won them over in a big way.  I'll be telling you more about this evening in a future feature, look for it on the February 26th, and watch for a few more images between now and then as I find time to process a few.

 

Eric Clapton Bangkok 2011, Impact Arena.  February 16th.   This was my second Eric Clapton concert in Thailand, the first being his sold out concert in 2007.  This concert was sold out as well.  In fact, try as I might I couldn't get tickets and if it wasn't for the extraordinary generosity of a good friend who took me as his guest, I wouldn't have been able to go this year.   Thank you K!

Sony NEX-5, 18-55mm OS  @F5.6  1/100th  55mm (82.5mm 35mm equiv)  ISO 800

 

February 15th, 1515

Windows 7 SP1 is scheduled for general distribution next Tuesday on February 22nd.  Be sure to enable your automatic downloads.

 

Windows 7 SP1 is scheduled for general distribution next Tuesday on February 22nd.  Be sure to enable your automatic downloads.

 

February 12th, 1100

New content goes live this evening at 1900.  This week our Feature Photograph focuses on "Paying Attention" to your environment, it might save you from getting seriously sick.  Our Feature Destination this week is the "Train Market" at Maeklong Station.  Sometimes called the Railway Market, this unique market is right on top of the train tracks and the goods are moved out of the way of the oncoming train just seconds before it passes through.  I've had a lot of questions on how much RAM and there are a lot of misconceptions on the subject, so this week our learning topic is "RAM Explained."   I hope you find it useful.  We also have News For The Week Of February 12th, 2011, Luke Asks About Imaging Software, and this week I muse about "Winter Time.."   As always, feedback is greatly appreciated.

 

February 10th, 2245

The conventional 'industry wisdom' has been that the first Service Pack of an Microsoft Operating System marks a refined fully matured product.  Historically many IT managers hold off on moving to a new OS until the first Service Pack becomes available.  Windows 7 has been an exception by providing a mostly refined and very stable product right out of the starting gate, but of course there is always room for fine tuning and incorporating additional features to take advantage of new hardware technology.

Microsoft has released Windows 7 SP1 to OEM's as of today.  Usually this means current users will see the rollout as Windows Updates in their notification area within the next few weeks.  You do have Windows Update enabled right?  SP1 will include all the fixes and improvements the monthly updates have provided since it's release, as well as several feature enhancements such as improved WIFI and Bluetooth support and (finally) full integrated support for USB 3.0.  

 

The conventional 'industry wisdom' has been that the first Service Pack of an Microsoft Operating System marks a refined fully matured product.  Historically many IT managers hold off on moving to a new OS until the first Service Pack becomes available.  Windows 7 has been an exception by providing a mostly refined and very stable product right out of the starting gate, but of course there is always room for fine tuning and incorporating additional features to take advantage of new hardware technology.

 

February 9th, 0130

Usually I don't recommend or even talk much about, non-OEM lenses such as those from Tokina and Sigma.  The reason is, most of them are a poor value when all factors such as image quality, build quality, and price are considered.   Two long time exceptions are the Sigma 20mm F1.8, and the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG.  If you've been paying attention to my exfil data I post beneath each image on this site, you'll have noticed that the 12-24mm Sigma is one of my most used lenses.  It is the ONLY rectangular 12mm lens for a full frame camera on the market, and a really good performer across it's entire 12-24mm range from F8 and above (F11-F22). 

My one complaint with this lens is it has a significant amount of CA (purple fringing) I'm always having to correct in post processing.  Now, Sigma announces a new revised version the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG II HSM with new lens coatings and optical changes designed to further reduce CA and the optical distortion you'd expect from such a ultra-wide lens.  Until some quality reviews are posted I won't know if its worth replacing your current Sigma 12-24mm, but got sure it's a no-brainer that if you're in the market for an ultra-wide zoom this new model should be given due consideration.  I'll keep an eye out for some quality reviews and post them here when I find them.

Usually I don't recommend or even talk much about, non-OEM lenses such as those from Tokina and Sigma.  The reason is, most of them are a poor value when all factors such as image quality, build quality, and price are considered.   Two long time exceptions are the Sigma 20mm F1.8, and the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 DG.  If you've been paying attention to my exfil data I post beneath each image on this site, you'll have noticed that the 12-24mm Sigma is one of my most used lenses.  It is the ONLY rectangular 12mm lens for a full frame camera on the market, and a really good performer across it's entire 12-24mm range from F8 and above (F11-F22).