Pics

Foveon image sensor.

Foveon is a special type of digital camera image sensor. Google it for a detailed description. I own one Foveon sensor camera, the Sigma DP1 Merrill. Here’s a pic:

© PJ Croft 2022 Taken with Sigma SD1 Foveon sensor.

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Hi again. It’s a cool, lightly rainy day, yet the max temp is forecast to be 23degC. It’s warm enough that I’m just in a T-shirt, feeling a bit too hot for my puffer vest. Rain, rain, more please! We’re told the water table is dropping, such that we’re getting another desalination plant, the third one near Perth. It will be built at Alkimos, I believe, which is just a few km up the road from here. Part of the fresh water produced will be pumped underground to try to replenish the Gnangara Mound, a large underground water aquifer near here.

Funny, back in the 1980s, The West Australian newspaper ran a series of articles on how south west WA has a vast series of underground water aquifers, covering a large part of the south west of WA. The articles more or less said that we will never run out of water because these aquifers were being replenished faster than we were draining them.

Well, what happened to that? We don’t hear anything about that any more. Instead, all we hear is how the state is drying out and the water table is dropping. I don’t doubt it’s true, but how come we had all this abundance of water 40 years ago? What happened?

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Similarly, about 30 years ago there was a lot of talk about geothermal power generation. This refers to the fact that deep in the earth beneath us, there are a lot of areas of very hot rocks, part of the mantle of the Earth’s core. Sometimes this breaks through as volcanoes, but in many areas it stays below ground. All we need to do is drill down, like drilling for oil, a well known engineering practice. Then water is sent down a pipe, is heated by the hot rocks and comes to the surface again as steam, which can be used to drive turbine generators to produce electricity. Simple!

But many of these geothermal areas are a bit remote, such as in outback South Australia, and the argument against tapping this resource was that there were no power transmission lines to connect the generators to the grid. The idea dropped out of sight.

But now we’re talking of huge new transmission line towers and wires to use solar and win power stations. So why not use these to carry geothermal power? This is endless, constant power, which keeps generating whether the sun shines or not, or whether the wind blows or not. Why aren’t we re-thinking this?

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I had a breakfast with two friends at North Beach this morning, and had a Wild Mushroom Bruschetta – ciabatta toast, mushies, spinach, pecorino cheese, poached egg and bacon on the side. Yum! Long macchiato coffee. Bloody nice.

Speaking of coffee, I made an attempt at repairing my capsule coffee machine the other day. It stopped working – any attempt to make coffee resulted in a build up of pressure internally, enough to force the clamping lever up, producing dangerous steam and almost no coffee flow into the cup.

OK, I thought, there must be a blockage. I’ll just clear it and it’ll be fixed, right? Nah. When I got it partially disassembled, I found it’s rusted inside where the water flows, and enough that some of the screws holding it together are rusted too. I had to drill a few out.

Damn, this must be the fifth or sixth capsule coffee machine that’s failed on me. It’s just one after the other, kaput. I must admit I buy cheap ones, less than $100 each, but they last max two years, usually a lot shorter time.

I’m particularly sad to see this one scrapped, because it’s the only machine I’ve ever seen that uses “pluggable” holders so as to take four different size coffee capsules: Nespresso, Aldi Expressi, Lavazza Modo Mio and Caffitaly. I found that a brilliant idea. I didn’t overuse the machine, only one or two cups a day, but I only got about 2 1/2 years from it. It only cost $75, but seems to have been a one-shot-wonder. I can’t find it any more. I’d buy another one in a shot. Sigh.

If I buy another machine, I’ll probably go for the Aldi Expressi as I like their coffee and the capsules are reasonably priced. I’ve just noticed that they come with a two year warranty as well. That just about seals the deal.

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I’ve been thinking I should post more pictures, so watch this space. I’ll lead off by posting the number 1 image of my own whenever I see any suggestion of “Your best shot”.

© Peter J. Croft 2022

It was taken on my 1992 trip to Japan and is in a back lane of preserved shops in Kanazawa (I think). It was purely a fluke shot, I wasn’t aware of the scene when I pressed the shutter.

What I like is the super self confident look on the girl’s face, striding out, “I am woman, hear me roar”. And the coincident conversation going on between the two boys left of centre. Dare I say, decisive moment? Anyway, I love it.

Here’s my second choice from that trip:

© Peter J. Croft 2022

Again, I really don’t remember taking that shot. It was a lucky grab. But I like the simplicity and the colours and the composition.

I was on fire on that trip. When you’re able to completely focus on photography, it all comes together. These were all shot on film, by the way – this was 1992, before digital was invented. Fuji Reala colour negative (print) film. I shot 40 rolls on that trip, mostly 36 exposure but a lot of 24 exposure rolls as well. It cost me about $400 in film cost alone, and another $400 to get them processed and printed when I got home. Expensive!

Then in 2001 and onwards, when I had “retired” and bought a Nikon LS4000ED film scanner, I spent about six months (or more) scanning all these rolls of film to digital. That was one of the most rewarding times of my life.

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