Rakaia Gorge

This is a view of the road into Rakaia Gorge, which leads into where that previous Planet Dust photo was taken.

It’s funny, there is a small town not far from here called WIND WHISTLE and for good reason. The West Coast gets pounded by Nor Westers, which dump all their rain on the West Coast and then dry warm gale-force winds blast through the back country and out on to the Canterbury Plains. As a kid I knew not to cause trouble during a Nor Wester as the dry conditions meant everyone has a short fuse!

But it also creates some beautiful cloud formations, know as the Nor West Arch….
This is an iPhone photo from back out on the plains:




Peketa, Kaikoura #longexposure last week…
I had to wait ages/keep shooting to get a shot without truck lights in shot.

The light trail in this shot is due to a wave almost catching me! I was on the waters edge and had to grab the tripod & camera & run, while the shutter was still open… I love shooting at night – planning to do a lot more of it.

Canon 5D3 + Zeiss 21mm ZE lens




Chertsey Book Barn

visited Chertsey Book Barn yesterday!
See that shuttered window above ‘THE BOOK BARN’ sign?

it took all my will power, to not climb up the ladder.. and perch there.

sanity prevailed

I did buy two excellent books though – guided by the lights…

nz$14 total



Sunsets 3

rerepost, with next update – tonights sunset, almost half way across Mana Island now

repost, with next update – tonights sunset

the sun disappeared behind distant clouds before it hit the horizon….

Will wait for a clear sunset before I update the charty map thing in the original post



The Conversation Purrrt 2

Cannot wait to see the sequel to Coppollas The Conversation
Harry Caul/Gene Hackman to be played by a cat having an existential crisis

actually, via @Fascinating
“This was a CIA project from the 1960s to spy on Russia. They chose a cat for the job, but they didn’t consider the fact that cats are tough to train. The cat’s job was to eavesdrop on two men in a park outside the Soviet embassy in Washington, D.C. The cat was wired up by a veterinary surgeon who implanted a microphone into the ear canal, a small radio transmitter at the base of the skull, and a battery buried in the flesh. (WTF?)
The complex project took five years to complete and consumed a whopping $20 million. The project was closed in 1967 because the cat wouldn’t obey….”







A radish from 1973

After my Dads passing I volunteered to become the family archivist, as I could see all of their photo archive being scattered amongst family. So I have setup my scanner (Epson V8000) with my old MacMini and Silverlight scan software and have started scanning family photos…

But the image above is not one of them. It’s a frame grab from some of the 8mm film that my Dad shot. And he shot lots!! I had my friend Ian Powell of ReversalCine lab scan all of it, frame by frame in high rez. And with all the rolls cut together its like 90 minutes of nostalgia!

It’s fascinating to see how Dads skills developed. The first roll has some focus & exposure issues but it seems once he saw it developed, he improved hugely. He also began documenting each of us kids as we arrived. So there are shots of each of us, soon after we were born, and then christening… and then being little kids growing up on a farm… then riding our bikes off for each of our first day at school.

The film covers the decade from 1961 through to about 1971, and includes such family classics as ‘our house driving down the road’ – my parents sold the old house & had it moved, so they could build a new house in the same location.

The funny thing is that we used to watch these films via the projector and I thought I’d seen them all. But watching them now there are so many shots I have no memory of. My Mum was very camera shy (which is maybe where I get it from) but there are lots of great shots of her, which I am having some frames printed as it will be interesting to see if she responds to them. (Alzheimers means the oldest memories are the last to go)

But the radish shot made me laugh. Here I am, at age 8 years old, proudly showing my Dad my little patch of the big family garden which sustained us. So proud of my radishes lol.

Also to say, if I have one regret it is that I did not get the film scanned years ago. If I had, I could have watched it with my Dad and I could have recorded his memories about every shot. It is too late for me, but perhaps it’s not for you. If you have a family archive, start preserving it now and capture those memories!



Why AI is difficult to discuss rationally

I think one of the reasons AI is difficult to discuss rationally is because the ramifications will be so wide-spread and impossible to predict. Currently we are seeing a lot of low effort results attached to a LOT of hype. If I had one bitcoin for every time someone evangailises AI without any evidence, I would have a lot of bitcoin. Here is an example of low effort, shared by Ted Goia:

So this is effectively a scam. And all the brand new experts promoting AI seem to gravitate towards low-hanging fruit. Why don’t we hear more about how AI and ML is great for detecting cancer or analysing things that humans cannot? Ripping off someones book, or their music or their art does not even seem like progress by comparison.

But here is a music comparison I think is maybe more worthy:

When drum machines were invented some people claimed it would make drummers redundant.
Of course it didn’t, but like AI it expands what is possible. Neither a drum machine nor AI will ever replace Jack de Johnette or Sly Dunbar or many other human drummers, because those are unique human beings that exist beyond any algorithm or computation.

But I think a better comparison is the TB303. Roland invented it with one specific intent. It failed to impress, much as AI generated material does now imho. But years later someone was playing with that same useless TB303 in a way no one predicted and they accidentally invented an entirely new genre of music!

There will unintended consequences with AI. Some of those consequences will be fantastic, and some will be destructive and potentially catastrophic. The only conclusion is no one knows – neither the cynics nor the evangelists. The only thing we can be sure of is that there will be unintended consequences





Detritus 732





▶ lol



▶ love this:
j_allen_martines – “Little jam in the weirdo corner. Giving the Salmple one more shot and realizing how much I like it for low resolution one shots. Samples courtesy of the excellent #hissandaroar library FX011 Blocks & bones claves & stones”



▶ jungle breaks in SuperCollider!?
He has a wild album released too: Nathan Ho – Haywire Frontier



▶ surprising: Online anonymity: study found ‘stable pseudonyms’ created a more civil environment than real user names – every time I read some pathetic comment online it is ALWAYS an account with a pseudonym. I would have thought using your own name would reduce toxic behaviour as such a person would be basically advertising their toxicity, but I also appreciate how much abuse people receive online, and using their own name would not be safe. Maybe its the stable part of ‘stable pseudonyms’ that matters, rather than burner accounts.



▶ Brick Helmholtz Resonators that absorb traffic noise!


















A decade ago, at the end of 2013 when I moved into my Karehana Bay house I was stoked to see the sunset behind Mana Island. I knew the house had a great view of Mana Island but I hadn’t been here overnight, to even see sunset. I enjoyed it so much I thought it was permanent, but as Summer passed I suddenly noticed sunset moving… And over the following weeks it moved across behind Mana Island, then North towards Hongoeka marae, and eventually around the corner, towards Pukerua Bay and no longer in my direct field of view.

This year, the transit behind Mana Island has just started:


So I decided to document it…

… using two Solar Cans gaffer taped to my lounge window

Solar Can is basically a pinhole camera in a can, perfect for very long exposures!
I set these two shooting about 2 weeks ago, and will wait until the sunset has ‘fcked off round the corner’ before I take them down & develop them…. Instructions for the SolarCan are here




RIP Damo Suzuki

I can still remember hearing this album the very first time…
It would be mid 1980s and we were setting up a PA for a lunchtime gig on the river bank at Canterbury University & Andrew Penman (Salmonella Dub etc) pulled out a cassette copy & cranked it up through the PA…



nuzic 254



▶ Various Artists lol – Sounds of North American Frogs



▶ from imminent new Mt Kimbie album!



▶ Allen Fingerlake – Fields of Pleasure and Pain
(love this! reminds me of Porter Ricks)





Detritus 731



▶ Laser engraving a guitar pedal



▶ RIP Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett



▶ Hydrasynth wavetable explorer



▶ A tour of Tokyos’ public toilets featured in the latest Wenders’s film Perfect Days



▶ Italian net closes in on ‘Fleximan’ – vigilante destroyer of speed cameras







▶ wow – I never had RoboFalcon on my 2024 bingo card!



▶ Opinion: As an Audio Mastering Engineer, I Also Have No Idea What I Do