Night Orbs.

January 13, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Posted in Thoughts | 8 Comments
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I don’t know why, but my phone line was cut- whether by someone (either maliciously or stupidly) or by some natural accident sometime yesterday morning. Which resulted in a very boring day- even with the computer on, all I could do was stare at the screen. Well, it’s been fixed and I’m back online, so moving on…

Don’t you hate it when someone asks you- no, not “when are you going to get married” (I don’t get asked that, just in case), but rather, “what is your hobby?” or “do you have any hobbies?” What exactly am I supposed to say? My brain tends to freeze at this point. I really don’t know what to say, because I have too many of them. Assuming my interests can be classified as hobbies, of course. The asker is of course hoping for an interesting reply- more often than not I find myself being forced to say “plenty”, which irritates them greatly.

Another problem would be the degree of interest I have in these ‘hobbies’. As far as I can tell, the word hobby smacks of a mild obsession with something (or someone, for that matter), like a butterfly collector would obsess over obtaining every a specimen of every butterfly that has ever been the victim of the lame joke concerning butterflies that I’m sure we are all very familiar with and will therefore make no further mention of here out of pity for those little, oblivious things that don’t even know they’re being made fun of. I think I went off track there, but never mind…

Well, at least we’ve established the fact that I don’t have any real hobbies- just a plethora of interests. I enjoy every one of them, to a certain extent. It’s even nicer when they merge by chance- for example, photography and night gazing, the result being… I suppose an explanation is in order for whoever doesn’t have sufficient intelligence to comprehend what ‘night gazing’ means- simply put, I like looking at the sky. At night. There, done.

A short break while I ramble on about a certain anime series I watched last year- whoever’s not interested in this sort of thing should probably just scroll down till just before the pictures appear. On second thought, just read everything.

The anime in question is Sola, which stars a high school student who spends all his free time staring at the sky, and taking photos of it. Remember how I related hobbies to obsessive behaviour earlier on? This guy here is the perfect example- he watches the sky like a horny old man watches young girls in a mixed onsen. That’s my first reason for mentioning the show- the second being the similarities between our hobbies/interests: photography and sky gazing, the major difference being that I only watch the night sky. Must be something to do with the weather…

I’m not out to write a review of the show, but I suppose I better say something about it now that it’s been mentioned here. Wiki has this to say:

A poll was held in Japan by the company Spider Networks asking what was the best anime that aired in 2007. After two million votes were cast, Sola placed number one at approximately 340,000 votes.

Best anime of 2007, huh. Sola was good, but not that good. The story was simple but relaxing, the characters likeable, the romance charming. But that’s it. It’s just average. Nothing epic. So what’s with the title of ‘best of ’07?’

Back to the point. I do believe I mentioned the correlation between photography and night gazing, yes? KL’s night sky tends to be plain and dull, city lights obscuring whatever there is to be seen. Recently, however, I’ve been seeing more stars than ever before- almost as many as one would see from a beach in the Northern states. Besides that, Chinese New Year is days away, and that means *drum roll* we get a full moo0n (couldn’t resist. It is the year of the ox, after all) as well. I stepped out onto my balcony sometime… last night, or the night before, and was surprised by a full moon so bright it seemed to have a rainbow around it…

I think I took this one on normal settings, without flash.

I think I took this one on normal settings, without flash. Or was it with?

...so, this one was without flash?

...so, this one was without flash?

Almost looks like a cheap 3D model. Blurry photo- tried to zoom in.

Almost looks like a cheap 3D model. Blurry photo- tried to zoom in.

Brighter, but still failed to get surface details. Probably need flash as powerful as a stadium floodlight for that=.=;

Brighter, but still failed to get surface details. Probably need flash as powerful as a stadium floodlight for that=.=;

Used 'fireworks display' setting. See the 'rainbow' around the moon? Streetlamp looks almost as nice...

...butterfly born out of shaking hands.

...butterfly born out of shaking hands.

Evolution. Butterflies into fish.

Evolution. Butterflies into fish.

Moon once more.

Moon once more.

I like this one for the coins that popped out- cant really explain their presence, though.

I like this one for the 'coins' that popped out- can't really explain their presence, though^^;

)

Final shot before going off to bed. I've fallen in love with the 'fireworks' setting:)

Well, that’s the best I could do with a 7MP, x3 zoom Nikon. Wonder if a DSLR camera would be able to take more detailed  shots- probably need a really long… whatcha call it- lens, I think- for that. Or maybe I could just sneak into some observatory and poke my little camera’s viewfinder up a big white telescope. I’m pretty sure we had one somewhere in this country…

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  1. nice pics…recently oso i’ve been seeing very bright dots in d night sky. somehow i try convincing myself tht possibly its a ufo! bt it could juz b prominent planets…n then it goes missing in pics tht i try taking wit my phone camera…which further convinces me of its mysteriousness tht it may be a ufo…bt then it still stays there in d sky. So i think its still a planet, or a star, same i think.

    • Haha- I think you just need a better camera… In the first place, even with a normal digicam, the photos aren’t that detailed as I’d like:( UFO, eh? Good luck seeing one. Friend of mine just told me he thought he saw a stealth aircraft pass over his apartment^^;

  2. You know, I think we’re still too young to be getting ‘when are you getting married’ questions. XD

    But yes, I get disturbed when people ask me what my hobbies are as well. No answer truly covers everything, yes? My default answer is: reading. It’s common enough, decidedly neutral, while perhaps opening a new avenue of conversation.

  3. “Wonder if a DSLR camera would be able to take more detailed shots- probably need a really long… whatcha call it- lens, I think- for that.”

    You mean a telephoto lens?

    I think the ‘coins’ could be lens flare- I get lens flare in my pictures when I face the camera directly to a bright source of light… Lens flare sometimes make a photograph look more dynamic, and sometimes, it’s hell annoying to get them in certain photos!

    Oh, and about hobbies and interests… I regard photography as an interest, but somehow, I don’t regard it as a hobby. If a hobby means something that you would do in your free time, photography can’t be my hobby because even when I’m busy, I still take photos, edit photos, and read about photography (maybe not so much during important exams). Watching TV should be my hobby, as I seem to watch it whenever I have lots of free time (like these days) haha.

    • @TJ:
      Age doesn’t really matter:p I still get questions like, “so, found yourself a girlfriend yet?” now and then, which is pretty annoying considering how I’m faring in that department right now.

      Reading,eh? I can live with that… and yes, it does open up new lines for conversations… should probably say that next time I’m asked that instead of ending a chat at ‘plenty of hobbies’.

      @huiwen:
      A telephoto lens, eh? Wonder if I could get one and cellotape it to my digicam. I’d better stop- that statement just sounded so, so, sad^^;

      Lens flare, eh? Wonder why I didn’t think of that, considering the amount of time I spend tinkering around with photoshop (it also happens to be one of my favourite effects). Wouldn’t really know how to get it in instantly during a shoot, though. Got the flare on these pics by luck, I guess- with some help from the fireworks setting, although I don’t really get what it does^^;

      I don’t really know if watching TV can be called a hobby though… what is there to watch on TV right now, anyway?

  4. You actually can’t capture the surface texture because 1. the moon’s brightness is too much, and the contrast between the shadows on the surface is too little for your camera to pick up, & 2. partly because the zoom/focus isn’t good enough for far far away objects.

    So to do a good photo you need to set your camera’s shutter speed to as little as you can, & do a good far far away focus (because the moon is so bright compared to the background, some conventional cameras thinks it’s nearer than it really is and thus cannot capture it so well, you can overcome this by focusing on something far far away with your camera first, then pointing it to shoot at the moon). You shouldn’t flash the moon. :X Also keep your hand steady.

    It also looks like your lens is dirty. :O Go clean it!

    Er. Hi! :X Nice blog you have here.

    • Quite a few tips there- thanks! Will try it out if I see a full moon again- if I can remember everything at the time, that is^^;
      Will be sure to um, dust the lens or something though.

  5. hi,

    i think your pictures were exquisitely taken and i can sense the artistry behind them. im using one of your images in a project i am doing for myself as a hobby, and i just wanted to let you know. if you would like to see what i have made of it, let me know and i will send it to you.

    thanks,
    adnan

    EDIT: Sent mail with approval, so no reply to your comment here.
    Levin


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