Airsoft Camera Upgrades

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My new toy to played with my other camera toys

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Yes that's a baby GoPro for airsofting too

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So since one of my airsoft cameras got shot out, I was looking at repairing my camera; thankfully, it was the outer housing that was broken and not the camera itself so I bought a replacement outer housing.

Bur for a while I had been looking to upgrade my cameras and decided to invest in a GoPro Hero 7 Black and a GoPro Hero 5 Session camera to replace my GoPro Hero 4 Silver and Contour Roam 2 cameras respectfully.

The GoPro Hero 4 Silver and the Contour Roam 2 will not be fully retired, just put into storage for special projects.

Making The Most As A Passenger… To Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Passenger Views

I’ve just recently been on a family centric trip to Hong Kong. What’s interesting for me is that it is the first time in 18 years since I last set foot in Hong Kong, it’s the first time I flew alone and it’s the first time I had taken photos on an airline.

Cathay Pacific Passenger Views

I couldn’t resist not take my camera with me and it was a good decision because as you can see, I got the most of the flight times and more importantly, discover the approach into Hong Kong International Airport and knew that with this kind of approach I would get some fantastic, albeit, hazy view of Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific Passenger Views

With the approach into Hong Kong really starting at Flight Level 180 (FL180), the aircraft in effect went around Hong Kong to position itself onto the landing runway and with that the aircraft in effect circled Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific Passenger Views

For me, seeing Hong Kong from this view was incredibly emotional for me, more so because I’m seeing family for the first time in almost two decades and when you consider that a photo says a thousand words, this leaves me speechless.

Cathay Pacific Passenger Views - Hong Kong International Airport (VHHH/HKG)

Upon landing, I just kept taking photos where I can and was keenly an aircraft spotter, not lost on my fellow passengers who basically caught on very quickly who I was. But more so because of my bouncing enjoyment that we had just landed in one of the best places in the world.

Cathay Pacific Passenger Views - Hong Kong International Airport (VHHH/HKG)

Flickr Pro Subscription

Last year I lamented the problem with Flickr and the impending restrictions for the future. Today I reluctantly resolved it by buying a Flickr Pro subscription.

For me it’s a heavy heart to do such a thing, given there are other sites in which I can either subscribe and upload my photos, but considering I do have a large number of photos on the site there are a few reasons why I have chosen to continue using Flickr even at a cost.

The first reason is that Flickr already contains my current collection of photos including aircraft photo archives and also some important volunteering photos in which I want to keep it active for many who view my volunteering activities.

The second reason is that since I had updated my computer some 18 months ago, I had also upgraded my photo editing software and had a fresh install of the catalog which doesn’t include my previous photo edit settings.

The third reason is that if I chose (for example) 500px, I would still have to pay for what I want and I would have to start from scratch, also the other alternative is Facebook Pages, but given how much trust I place in that site, I wasn’t overly happy about it.

So even though I have complained, I have for the better part of about two months, I have decided ultimately to use Flickr, much to my better judgement. I will however review this again in about 10 – 11 months time before I have to renew the Flickr Pro subscription.

Responding To New Flickr Terms & Conditions

Flickr has recently decided to no longer favorable photographic services in which I have been using as far back as 2007. Since that time I have had a Pro account but downgraded because of the service allowing 1Tb of storage of photos. Now with a recent change in terms and conditions, Flickr has now decided to remove the 1Tb limit on free accounts and to only allow 1000 photos per user.

In essence, Flickr has decided that deleting 1000 photos from users who have spent years accumulating photos is a good thing for them, personally, I see it more as a photographic betrayal of trust because I signed up to Flickr because it is popular, wide spread and more importantly a place where people can just find my photos for the benefit of others.

The photos I mainly post are aircraft that I have spotted over the years. This means that I have thousands of photos available to use and share, but with a limit of 1000 photos per user, this ultimately means that my consistency of providing photographic content on Flickr is now dead.

As Flickr will implement this draconian measure in February 2019, I have no choice but to seek alternative services that will provide the same availability and convenience similar to Flickr but not in the way Flickr has implemented it.

Other News Sources

How To Work With The Unknown

It’s interesting when you watch YouTube videos and one that you have added to a YouTube bot in Discord is one who neatly explains not just the nerdy world of technology but also how solving a problem through coding and the thought processes resonate with me personally.

One of my volunteering projects is to create and build an Access Database at the RAF Museum for the Vehicle Team. The aim of this project is to help collect, disseminate and use information about vehicle exhibits to help conserve and restore where possible exhibits in need.

One of the problems with building such a database project is that you have to at some point need to use code in such a way to make it function. For that, the process of getting code and transplant it into a database can be a challenge. But the video from Tom Scott helps to illustrate exactly some of the problems I face with working on a project that is for the better part a complete unknown.

To put into perspective, when my Vehicle Team Leader asks me if it’s possible to add a certain feature or develop a way to use the database more usable or efficient, I look at the problem by breaking down the options available and then deciding what type of feature or solution that best fits this particular problem.

One of the best places to get some ready made solutions is to actually use the internet; a vast database collection of information that goes on for decades and interestingly enough can still be just as relevant today as it was first posted back then.

Then there’s the iterative process into looking at the code specifically and making it more efficient, removing or replacing aspects of the code so that it will run more efficiently. For example, when a user starts the database and logs in successfully, the coding sequence is to verify and then accept the correct password to the username then it actively target’s the next form designated to the username and then close the login page immediately.

The reason for closing the login page immediately is primarily to help the user use all of the available memory in the computer to run further operations.

For me, it’s standard policy to close any pages when not in use and only keep open pages where necessary, this is because while many computers have spare available memory, the practice of using up all of the available memory is bad practice and it reduces the ability for the computer to compute further calculations or operations. This results in the user sitting around waiting for the computer to finish it’s operation, this would be just frustrating.

An online friend who is into coding and pretty much into computer system programming showed me this video which outlined a way to program a game using less memory than a 1.44Mb floppy disk.

In this video the programmer outlined some of the techniques in cheating the system into having more content for little memory usage and ultimately using code to make the system just as stable and just as efficient compare to say the latest Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 game which as I shockingly found out was a 50Gb base game install and then there is a 50Gb update patch.

So when I work on my volunteering project, I do more than just have a functioning database, I make sure that the database is usable, stable and as efficient as possible and with that, the skill and experience in this respect is highly useful to any employer.

Project Owl

Project Owl has been a very long term photographic night shoot project. The aim of this project is to photograph at night, mainly around London but if the opportunity arises, then anywhere else I can afford to do it, I will do it.

Photographing at night will require good sun down or early sunsets to allow me to make the most of the night, so most of the time the project has been around the November to December period.

So enjoy when I upload to Flickr some of my photos in the Project Owl album

Elizabeth Tower, Westminster Bridge
Cenotaph
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge Side Road
Imperial War Museum Guns
Imperial War Museum Guns
City of London

Introducing Binky Airways

For those who don’t know, Binky Airways has always been present for many years. In fact, you may not have been aware that it’s used on mainly my media sites such as Flickr, Instagram and YouTube.

The name “Binky Airways” was created just before I left university to help me consolidate some of my aerospace forum and media sites that I was using at the time. Today, it helps me serve as the online media repository of my skills and activities and will continue to do so for many years to come.

City of London
Source: Flickr (Binky Airways)
Source: Instagram (Binky Airways)
Source: YouTube (Binky Airways)