Friday, 30 January 2009
Arrived it has...

Talk like Yoda I must...
Stop it I can't.


Initial tests with the LX3 have been gobsmacking in short. Well it is essentially a Leica in disguise as a Lumix so it should come as no surprise... Noiseless low light RAW shooting is a delight, as is having not yet had the need to take it above ISO 100 in any situation. I have had to bend it's parameters or purposefully badly expose a subject to produce any noise worth mentioning.

The intuitive exposure, aperture, EV & multi-bracketing control also doesn't argue that it knows best all the time. This is totally refreshing. Having used a G9 to take the shot above, it barely managed to perform given the available light. When the thing eventually locked the target, it threw a tantrum & decided to argue about every setting...Shame on Canon.
The LX3 on the other hand, knows that the photographer knows best, even if the photographer is very wrong, & thus, it let's the photographer decide. Such wisdom is an asset to learning curves & an aid for anyone aiming to develop genuine eye-to-subject skills. Being allowed to fail in manual exposure & photography is not a bad thing, but being coerced out of any learning by an over zealous electronic intelligence, is.

The LX3 user manual is about as thick as a copy Grays Anatomy & having swiftly bypassed reading everything I opted for dynamic black & white shooting with full manual control the moment I took the LX3 out of the box. And that's another thing, when it arrived I initially thought I'd paid £350 for an empty box. The LX3 is light, but comfortable & has a positive weight in the hand due to great ergonomics & its metal framework. It umm... feels real.
A wee bit of familiarization & a few mental notes & it was on with the 46mm lens ring, UV filter, ND filter in my pocket, cloddy hoofs on & out the door.

I'm sure it has a wealth of preset party tricks for days of listless experimentation, but a good selection of Biermann & Webber filters will do me more favours than fireworks mode, dancing camel or pinhole mode. Such software in cameras these days is a standard trend, & excess baggage in the LX3 - a box so capable, that it is more than able to get in the boxing ring with a DSLR & come out victorious. Some evidence of this will follow shortly.

Hard to fault this camera it is, maybe to the dark side I must turn? Leave the lens cap on hmm?


Random test shot full manual...

Exposure: 0.003 sec [1/400]
Aperture: f/2.2
Focal Length: 6.3mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


Observing the Observer

Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture: f/2.0
Focal Length: 5.1 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0 EV

posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 20:54:00 | 4 Retorts
Thursday, 22 January 2009
This morning I heard from my pal Harald over in Øyfjell, a beautiful wee Telemark mountain village halfway between Oslo & Bergen. A while back, he invited me over to help with & instruct G-style, survival techniques, &, do a talk [god help me!] at the new Norwegian Symposium he is helping to organize with Anders Thygesen, Pål Gustad, & Asle-Håvard Miklegard, so I thought I'd post up his flier for anyone interested on this side of the water, as the time is nearing gradually. Ok, it's in August but if you're like me, you blink & it's Spring, blink again & it's Summer...
The Symposium is a new venture & as with many new born ideas, it certainly relies on people's good will to become a great & consistent annual adventure. Harald, who will own his first Anas Acuta this February, has been kayaking for 36 years & likes a good Scottish malt. This is dangerous & I fear I may have to limit the amount of whisky I take to Norway this year or we may be rolling on the ground instead of in the sea. Black Lagavulin has that effect. :o)
By August I will hopefully have built a new bespoke Black Pearl under Björn Thomasson's original blueprints & take it over along with the Anas SoF.
A further link to the •≈ Norge Padleforbund forum is on the right hand bar of this blog where it's always been.

Seinn mæ en karsk, kjære kelner, til Valhöll vi drar.


© Harald Rishovd
Inuit style sea kayak symposium in Norway

Are you fascinated by the history of Greenland & the paddling & rolling techniques of the Inuit? Are you interested in building you own skin-on-frame kayak? Would you like to paddle some trips, both long & short, with like-minded people? Do you have children that you would like to introduce to the world of Greenland paddling?

Where: The week-end of August 7-9 the Project Inuit is arranging a meeting of kayak enthusiasts at the beautiful Stokkøya Sjøsenter. The Center lies about 120 kilometres north of Trondheim, Norway, & offers varied possibilities for quartering, meals, & a fantastic area for paddling.

Who: The meeting is for anyone with an interest in the history of Greenland kayaking, related paddling and rolling techniques, and the building of Greenland-style kayaks & Baidarkas. You are still very much invited even if you have a plastic or fibreglass kayak; the only thing we ask is that you either paddle now with a Greenland paddle, or have an interest in learning to paddle with one.

Program: Several of Norway's leading Greenland enthusiasts have signed up for the meeting, but don't expect a fixed program where a few instruct & everybody else looks on. We want for everybody to be actively engaged, & are planning trips, & informal workshops with themes such as rolling, ropes, paddling technique, & building skin boats. [NOTE: Kayaks will not be built, but we will discuss how they are built & participants will have a chance to try out skin on frame kayaks & work with Greenland paddles]. There will be interesting talks &, of course, other enthusiasts to chat with. Of special interest to children & youth are ropes, rolling, & harpoon throwing.

Mentors: So far we have Anders Thygesen, Pål Gustad, & Asle-Håvard Miklegard, & a skilled madman from the Hebrides :0) More information will follow.

Food and lodging: There will be a common meal on Saturday evening, otherwise people will choose for themselves. Rooms are available for rent, & camping on the premises is permitted.

Price: The price for the symposium is 500.- Norwegian kroner per person. There will be no charge for children under 16 years of age. The price includes all activities & a t-shirt. The common meal on Saturday evening, lodging, & any meals bought at the Center will be paid for directly to Stokkøya Sjøsenter.



Registration for the meet should be sent to

Torleif Holm at:

There is more info at: •≈

For more information on Stokkøya Sjøsenter:


posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 13:47:00 | 2 Retorts
Sunday, 18 January 2009

...& here is the shipping forecast issued by the Meteorological Office at 0015 GMT Sun 18 Jan - Rockall, Malin, Hebrides, Bailey, Faeroe & Fair Isle - Cyclonic storm 10 to hurricane force 12 - becoming Southwest gale 9 later, decreasing more slowly...

posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 21:35:00 | 0 Retorts
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Tha torran a’ chuain, s' an deanntagach ruadh. Fàs suas sa chagailt bha blàth...

I've made it back inside where the fires burn warm & the dog rests sloe eyed & growling, & tried to montage the latest winter trip by combining 2 photographs overlaid, removing & ghosting the kayak back into its exact position within the frame to give an overall more empowered feeling of how it felt to be out there, on the edge of the Hebrides, in a sword fight at every turn. It's an attempt to try & explain or capture the week without a succession of pointless frames. A summary, a visual epilogue if you like. Maybe montage is the wrong word. It's more like using the old film Rolleiflex & doubling the frame exposure while post processing in the digital darkroom.

& slightly rescaling the kayak, for me somehow adds to the feeling that in many ways, we are not permanent fixtures in the panorama, more, fleeting entities racing for cover or passage through a relentless charging surf. We remain tiny under the cover of storm, willingly seeking out remote violence & reprise, & become vanished in a moment. We are become a state of organic flux, permanent disintegration & evolution.
The seas, surrounding bastions & cyclonic fronts carry much more permanence, stomping up & down outside our shelters, issuing challenges when we have long since retired to warmth & sleep.

Back at Bills bar I summarized further to the question - Good trip?:
Aye, no bad like...Acquired 3lbs of seal meat.
Ate it.
Snared some wee beasties.
Ate them.
Paddled 50 miles...
Anyone got any chocolate?
posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 19:39:00 | 2 Retorts