Sunday, 27 September 2009

A step closer to New Zealand

What a day it was friday, working on the final version of my thesis to ensure that it was correct and that it didn't contain any more errors. Once delivered, and almost sent to the printer my direct supervisor found a small error in the preface, which included a wrong name. Oops! But eventually everything turned out alright .. pfew!

In the midst of all the hectics of the last two weeks I found some fun in the iPhone app "Best Camera" created by Chase Jarvis and Ubermind Inc. If you have followed my Twitter you'll have noticed that I sent a couple processed photos direct from my iPhone. It is a nice app that is based on the paradigm of "the best camera is the one that's with you", which is indeed true. The most memorable moments are the one's where you don't carry a full DSLR kit with you, and the cameras in phones aren't that bad actually (well the iPhone 3G's isn't that great, missing autofocus). As this is a nice little app you can expect more photos to come from me, a little more frequent than my Flickr-updates.

That being said, first my photography was more or less capture everything and selecting afterwards often missing just the shots I wanted. I tend to be a bit more selective in what I shoot these days, trying to add some personal creativity in the mix as well. This creativity expresses itself some personal touches, and from somewhat different angles and views (wide-angle lenses are quite fun). You might have noticed this on my Flickr photostream, which has reached recently exactly 1000 photos!

With creativity being one thing, the impact of photos on other people and the story a photo tells are both other important aspects of a good photo. Explorer Ben Horton has both in a video and a blogpost a great way of putting it. Wish I could go on a trip across Antarctica like Ben did...

During my trip through New Zealand in January and February I am going to try to capture some of the scenery -in such a way that each image tells a story of its own and together with other images- but also the more human side of it all. This will include some Maori people, and capturing some of their art, including the dances. Hopefully I can watch an All Blacks rugby game, to see the traditional haka performed in a modern day culture.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Two weeks closer to graduation

Two weeks have gone by since I got my authorization to actually graduate, and that last week was pretty hectic with a deadline on thursday-morning September 17th, for the pre-final version of my thesis. Missed quite some sleep during that week, however I couldn't really catch up in the weekend. After some more work on that pre-final version during friday afternoon and the whole of saturday I thought it was pretty good. This wasn't the case unfortunately, based on the conclusions in my thesis both supervisors thought it would be wise to discuss it and give me some good hints to what should be in the conclusions.

It was also the case that a PDF had to go to the printer on tuesday the 22nd for production, should I be able to deliver a bound version on friday September 25th. I still had some luck left, as my primary supervisor proposed the deadline for the bound version of September 30th, just a couple of days before the colloquium. This means that I will have to send a PDF to the printer on September 25th, the official deadline for a thesis before the colloquium on October 2nd.

As I mentioned earlier time was short in the weekend for catching up sleep, as I planned to go with Euros Kano to Hagen-Hohenlimburg (Germany) for some paddling on the white water course. Upon arrival we found out that the course was closed for us, due to an organized slalom-competition. As we still wanted to go paddling, we set course to Neuss (near Düsseldorf, Germany) for a spin on a short slalom course on the Erft. We knew where the Erft itself was, we didn't know how exactly we could drive our cars to the course. It took us about three rounds through the town, including a local to ride out in front leading us to a spot almost right, until we found the correct road to the put-in.

And yeah, we had a lot of fun, guess I should clear a day or two in my cycling schedule to go white water paddling in New Zealand. I guess that there are some nice rivers to paddle in the kiwi summer and enough arrangements to choose from. Will need a waterproof camera though, as my DSLR won't like water that much :p.

Some of my next posts will be again about my journey, don't worry .. but for now bear with me on the topic of graduation for a two weeks more. Will update you with the gear I'm gonna take and all other interesting stuff ....

Friday, 4 September 2009


Finally lifted some stress of my shoulders after quite some time of working hard and making deadlines, now a moment of peace. Last monday I delivered an almost final version of my thesis to my graduation committee, and decided that I wouldn't do anything about it anymore this week.

During the meeting today (or most likely beforehand) it was decided that my topic and report were good enough to actually graduate, though with a couple requirement such as more elaboration of applied methods and argumentation!! So, finally I am allowed to finish my college-years. During the meeting also a date was set for the colloqium, and at October 2nd it will happen once the Office of Education Affairs confirms my request.