Archive for July, 2012

I love the architecture of churches and old gravestones so I thought I’d share this series of pictures with you.

 

I’m very happy with how they’ve come out, If you want to see the album full size click here.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

I hate public transport it’s full of the great unwashed.

I’d better start that again.

It was a beautiful day when I went to get my stitches out so instead of catching the bus from Wimbledon to Tooting where the hospital is I decided to walk and take some photo’s along the way.

I’ve done a little more post processing than I normally do but I’ve tried to give them all something of a vintage or retro feel and think it’s been quite successful. I know that apps like instagram have made this look über trendy at the moment and for once I’m happy being on trend because it’s a look that works for me.

I loved this rather tatty beetle especially with the faux coca cola air cooled sticker in the rear window.

There must have been something in the air because I kept finding retro stuff to shoot.

as usual I stopped and smelled the roses

can you spot the mini bomber squadron?

A little slice of the country in the middle of the city

of course it’s not all green and pleasant.

Not a huge amount else to say but I hope you enjoyed them as much as I have.

Thank for all the message about my thumb I’m much more comfortable now that the stitches out and might stop whinging and whining at some point in the near future.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

I’m back on schedule and killing two birds with one stone as not only was the Google Plus suggested theme Silhouettes but it was also the subject chosen by Nick and Shannon for their monthly community collaboration challenge.

Got an exciting new series of personal photo’s coming soon as well as week 32’s theme of Animals.

Until then

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

I just wanted to share the below email exchange between an old family friend and myself as I think the rambling advice I give may be of some use to others out there.

Hi Mr Bunny Chow,

I will be over to the UK in Oct!

My plan is to buy another camera – only a point and shoot as I can’t afford a DSLR and the lenses to go with. Have been pounding round the internet as one cannot walk into any shop here to see things in the flesh.

My choice is between a Canon SX40HS, Nikon Coolpix P510 and Fujifilm Finepix HS30EXR.

They all have pretty good zooms – the Nikon is 42x. They each have similar features/capabilities – Fujifilm is the only one with RAW, which I know absolutely nothing. Nikon has GPS. Canon has the reputation.

None seem to have a socket for remote triggering of shutter.

Prices are much the same.

In all the reviews there are people who rave about their choice, and those who can’t find anything good to say about rival cameras.

I tend to favour the Nikon, because of it’s 42x zoom and from reading the reviews. I would mainly use it for birds and game photo’s.

Do you have any thoughts and/or is there anyone in your circle who could advise?  I know you like your Fujifilm Finepix HS20EXR.

Cheers Hwange

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Hwange,

I’ve been very happy with my Fuji as I was with it’s stolen predecessor an S5000 which gave many happy years of service, saying that I’d be happy to recommend any of your three choices below, Canon and Nikon are the two biggest names in Digital Photography and choosing between them is a bit like choosing a Merc or BMW, i.e. which badge do you want. Fuji do things a little differently, one of the reasons I chose the HS20EXR over some of it’s rivals was the advantage of it using standard AA batteries rechargeable’s are cheap and replacements can be found anywhere even Zimbabwe, I believe the HS30EXR has a proprietary battery so that’s no longer a consideration but what ever choice you do make then I’d highly recommend buying a spare battery or two at the same time.

RAW is basically the file that the camera sensor captures in its entirety so will be aesthetically unpleasing to the eye straight out of the camera and you will then need to use digital post processing software like photo shop, the advantages of this are getting perfect colours and tonality etc, but in reality my life’s too short and jpeg compression software is pretty good at approximating colours as we see them anyway, unless you really want to play with photo shop then don’t consider it as a concern.

Next up is zoom 30x is the equivalent of a 720mm zoom lens in old money, without a tripod you’re going to be on pretty shaky ground at this range so also consider whether you need the extra especially considering that you should be able to get teleconverters for all three.

Have a read of http://www.safari-guide.co.uk/fujifilm-finepix-hs20exr-digital-camera-review.php#teleconverter which is one of the reviews that led me to buy the Fuji in the first place.

He’s also reviewed the HS30EXR and he’s a Zimbabwean.

http://www.safari-guide.co.uk/fujifilm-finepix-hs30exr-digital-camera-review.php

If you can I’d highly recommend trying to find all three camera’s or at least similar models from each brand in your hands and feeling which is the most comfortable for you, some may have fiddly buttons or just feel wrong, I know this can be difficult and I bought my HS20EXR blind although I had handled it’s predecessor.

Now going off on a tangent I completely understand why you are scared of DSLR’s my Fuji is technologically light years ahead of my 6mp Canon EOS 10D which is now nearly 11 years old and battered, scratched and tired, yet it’s simplicity and solidity give me so much more satisfaction to use every day even if the pictures don’t look as good. The current lower end DSLR’s are very plasticky in comparison to my old magnesium alloy beast though and lenses are hideously expensive, especially seeing as you need at least a 300mm for birds etc, I’ve only got a very cheap plastic 50mm fixed length lens and am hanging on to the Fuji for it’s flexibility of zoom.

Still saying all of the above if making the choice today for a superzoom camera today I’d still think like most men and go for the Nikon with the biggest willy.

Hope some of that above waffle makes sense and hope you’ll pop in for a beer or seven in October.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

oh bloody hell now what do I do, I’ve been nominated for a blog award and whilst I’m very grateful to MarantoPhotography for nominating me to receive the One Lovely Blog award I’ve always felt these sorts of awards to be one step short of being chain letters.

Here’s some recognition now you have to think of fifteen other people to nominate for this same reward.

Well I’ve spent my life being pretty anti-establishment so I’m going to thank Maranto Photography as I know her intentions were pure and instead of nominating anyone else I’ll just mention a couple of blogs that I regularly visit and enjoy in the hope that some of you too will find pleasure in them.

I stress that there is no pressure or obligation on their part to respond, I just enjoy their Blogs.

In no particular order.

Bassas Blog the diary and adventures of a Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Yoonanimous the often hilarious misadventures of Yoona a mother of two young boys.

2Summers the adventures of Heather an American (don’t hold that against her) expat making a new life in Jo’Burg, her tale is often heartbreaking but always told with good humour and warmth.

Crappy Pictures  The woman is a genius, she draws my life and makes me giggle.

Japan Camera Hunter I check in on Bellamy and his eclectic mix of camera porn on a daily basis, just to remind myself of all that I can’t afford. His regular in your bag feature is a particular favourite.

now I’m supposed to list seven things about myself, see I told you this whole thing was a bit chain letter like didn’t I, still at least it’s not lying to me about poor billy who’s been dying of leukemia since 1984 while his Nambabwean uncle is trying to get out of the military and would like to deposit millions into my bank account if I could just send them the details.

  1. I can’t grow a beard, I just get patchy stubble which is ginger, blonde and greying, I wouldn’t mind if I didn’t have to shave but I do so it irks me.
  2. My eyes creep me out and I gag if I try to put contact lenses or drops in, this is ok because I don’t mind glasses.
  3. I’ve just noticed that I’m wearing a lilac shirt and am not actually all that embarrassed, I guess you reach a certain age and just don’t care anymore.
  4. I won the National Schools Wildlife Quiz when growing up in Zimbabwe (a bit like mastermind for kids)
  5. I have a weakness for all things mechanical but especially watches.
  6. I spent six months of my life living like a hippy on a Kibbutz in Israel.
  7. I own a gas braai (barbecue) and prefer it. I should probably qualify this before my family disown me, charcoal in Britain is invariably soaked in paraffin and makes your food taste crap, proper hardwood is unavailable.

That’ll have to satisfy your cravings for knowledge about me.

 

Having my stitches removed this afternoon, it can’t happen any sooner, as they’re starting to itch and pull now.

have a great weekend and

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

 

 

As many of you know I’m a Zimbabwean by birth and still have a great draw to my homeland. I have made Britain my home but left my heart in Africa.

As such when I see things like this post below from my father on his own blog www.birdingzimbabwe.com I feel not only outraged but saddened at the continued rape and pillaging still being wrought on so much of Africa in order to make that elusive quick buck. Please read the post and sign the petition regardless of where in the world you might be.

Many thanks and TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Hi All

Well the Hwange trip Post will have to wait because something else has come up.

Harare is well-known internationally as a fantastic city for birding for the “special” vlei species (a vlei is a natural wetland or seep).  Various Cisticola’s, Crake’s, Flufftail’s and the more colourful Bishop’s and Widow’s.

Vlei’s are enormously important for much more than just the birdlife !! The torrential tropical rainwater is held back by the ‘sponge’ action of the vlei and then released slowly into the downstream waterways over a period of many months. This water is cleaned and purified in the process and of course flooding is also averted.

One of the biggest vlei’s is the Borrowdale Vlei.

It is under threat !!

See below……….  please assist………….

Here’s the petition for forwarding to your friends:

Stop Loss of Borrowdale Vlei

Plans are underway for construction of a massive shopping centre called the Mall of Zimbabwe on what is left of one of Harare’s few remaining wetland areas, the Borrowdale Vlei. These plans are going ahead despite the fact that an independent environmental impact assessment has not been undertaken.

The ecosystem services of flood attenuation and water purification are being over looked and the full environmental ramifications need to be carefully considered. In addition, wetlands play an important role in absorbing water in the wet season and then releasing this water in dry seasons. There are 6.5 million people living within the catchment system linked to the Borrowdale Vlei who are dependent upon the water it stores and then releases. We therefore urge Vice President Mujuru to consider an alternative site for the Mall of Zimbabwe.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_Loss_of_Borrowdale_Vlei/?tta

Reblogged with permission from Tony Wood (c) www.birdingzimbabwe.com

when I first started this blog I’d never even read another blog or even given much thought over to blogging as a means of communication.

My early posts were mostly long rambling complaints about terrible customer service I’d received from a succession of terrible companies and restaurants and I was seething and boiling over to the point of driving my nearest and dearest to distraction so rather than continuing to vent my frustrations on those nearest me, I started ranting, initially on blogger and then shortly after emigrating wholesale to WordPress. Rather than finding a niche early on as my anger faded I began doing a few reviews and even wrote what remains my biggest hit as far as search engine traffic my glowing review of the service provided by the Courtney Boot Company. As a side note, nearly a year on from getting my boots back I’m still wearing them daily.

I also began writing a few posts about becoming a father for the second time and my thoughts and feelings surrounding that as almost everything I read or heard would discuss the mothers thoughts, fears and perspectives, that’s not to put those down it’s simply a comment about the lack or support I could find for us blokes who’re too tough and macho to talk about our feelings with real people, and where there is plenty of support out there for mums there’s not a lot out there for dads.

In the run up to the new year I gained a little fervour for food blogging and launched www.mrbunnychowcooks.com which initially gained great traction but fell largely by the wayside when I managed to stab myself and began my Ouch series, I also began my project 52 at the start of the year, rekindling my long-held passion for photography and bringing another change of focus to these pages.

Anyway what I’ve been meaning to get around to with all of this rambling is what initially brought you to www.mrbunnychow.com do you visit regularly, do you know me personally, do you like reading about me blowing a gasket, do you like looking at pretty pictures, do you subscribe or just pop in occasionally having seen a link or comment on another site.

Blogging success has never been and never will be my aim I’m just a curious geek wondering who my readers are and why you are.

Please do comment below and let me know as much or as little about yourself as you are comfortable with.

alternatively you can always send me a private message via rantingmrbunnychow@gmail.com

I hope you’re all well out there

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

outside of my project 52 and collaboration projects with Nick and Shannon I’ve been quietly working on a little personal project which although it may seem a little sad and depressing, has actually helped me avoid feeling that way as I wade my way through the misery of a dank and wet British summer, relied on the NHS to hack me open and fix my hand and generally try not to feel too sorry for myself I thought that I’d try to capture some gritty dark and depressing style photo’s.

I’ve shared a few of these style pictures with you throughout the year and whilst I’m not entirely sure what draws me to them as they are undoubtedly pretty dank they are the style of photo I most enjoy capturing and getting just as dark, grainy and depressing as I can in post editing. I think what I’m trying to say is that dark and depressing photo’s make me happy.

I hope that by sharing these I make one or two of you smile too even if it’s just with my stupid captions.

Journey through the light

Hold my hand as the light at the end of the tunnel shines bright.

this is summer 2012

Global warming my arse, it was pouring with rain and freezing cold when I captured this shot last week.

just another teen romantic

What did your teen bedroom look like?

Get out-of-the-way old man

Can’t you see I’m far more important than you and am rushing to very important places.

she knows how to use them!!!

This just reminded me of the ZZ Top classic Legs.

Love Fades

I love the way this chalk etching is slowly fading away within its brick frame.

do you have the key?

I’ve got a real thing for old locks, I think it’s the mechanical beauty and precision in their manufacture that draws me to them time and again.

past glory slowly fading

I love this old Merc and can’t help but wonder about who purchased it new as an aspirational tour de force with its rock solid build quality and how even after all these years it’s still going, is it still owned by the same person or has it been passed from owner to owner and loved a little bit less with each successive tenure.

whats the bet the wheels will be gone come morning?

I’m positive this car doesn’t belong to a drug dealer

the lonely vigil

Is he longing for escape, is he waiting for his owner to come home or is he simply surveying his kingdom?

Once again I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into the type of pictures I find myself seeking out when not shooting with a particular idea or theme in mind.

What type of art inspires you and makes you happy?

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

tut tut tut I have been naughty, I apologise for my laziness when it comes to my original photography project, I have been shooting through out my times of absence and although I was distracted by the scavenger hunt from Nick and Shannon and then my ouch series but I think it’s high time for a bit of a catch up, the pictures were all taken in the correct weeks I’ve just not had the time or perhaps just not made the time to edit and post them here.

Week 25 the theme was love and as I’m in a rush and still feeling anti computer and lazy I’m just going to go with a cliché night shot of some roses.

Love

Week 26 the theme was water and again I’m going to stick with roses

Water

Week 27 the theme was red white and blue.

some people take patriotism a touch too far

Week 28 the theme was my home town which as I don’t live in what I consider to be my home town wasn’t easy so I’ve used my adopted home town of Croydon instead. As Croydon is a pretty grimy, dingy and depressing place I’ve tried to reflect that in my chosen editing style for this shot of Croydon’s iconic 50p building. It has been identified before as one of Britain’s biggest eye sores although I quite like it.

Croydon

Week 29 the theme was Summer/Winter and as it has been such a crap summer so far I’m again going to share a picture of a dripping wet rose with a grey miserable sky as I’ve yet to get a pretty summers day captured on sensor.

global warming my arse, this is summer?

Thankfully the weather this week is a vast improvement but seeing as I’m still pretty down I’ve stuck with gritty black and white for week 30’s theme of The S-Curve

I promise I’ll do my best to get things back on track and my posts up to date moving forward.

Both this months project from Nick and Shannon and Week 31’s suggested post are “silhouette” so hopefully I’ll be able to combine them and bring you something new and exciting next week.

As I’m sure you can tell from the above pictures themselves I’ve been pretty disheartened and feeling sorry for myself over the last couple of weeks but the sun is shining today and my hand is feeling better every day so whilst I have a few more dark and dreary things that I want to share with you in the pipeline fingers crossed that this dreariness is all in the past now.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow

Apologies for the delay to this post but I’ve been doing my best to avoid the computer for the last week or so.

My surgery went ahead as scheduled or rather rescheduled on the 12th and the initial prognosis is good, upon opening up the side of my thumb it has been established that there is no tendon damage and that whilst there was a lot of scaring around the median nerve it too was in tact so they were able to do something called neurolysis which essentially consisted of un-sheathing the nerve and cutting away the excess scar tissue, this process is unlikely to return the sense of feeling to the tip of my thumb but should theoretically at least do something to stop the nerve from sending phantom signals back up into my hand and arm saying it’s in pain.

Hold on I’m not sure that makes much sense so I’m going to try to explain a bit better the reasons I was pushing for this surgery in the first place, not having any feeling in the tip of my thumb has not been the end of my world, it’s made my typing a little clumsy and I’ve burned it while cooking a couple of times but what has been unbearable is that the median nerve that serves the thumb has known there was something wrong with it and sent random shooting pains back up through my thenar (the pulpy bit of your hand beneath your thumb) and into my forearm. These pains have been fairly random but were largely brought on by things like having to drive long distance especially in difficult conditions like heavy rain or stop start traffic where I might subconsciously be gripping the steering wheel harder than normal. My boys also have an uncanny ability to single out this weakness and bite, kick or grab out at it resulting in often days of being unable to sleep properly.

Right back to where we are now they’ve done the surgery, I’ve been through a week of being stoned out of my box on happy pills that barely dented the pain nor helped my sleep and  I’ve been back to have my dressing changed and spoken with a specialist hand nurse who’s given me some simple exercises and things are definitely improving, I’ve run out of the hospital prescribed happy pills and am now just subsiding on over the counter analgesics, these do seem to be working though and whilst I’m still getting cramping through my thenar it’s believed by the specialists that this will improve with time and I may even regain some feeling in the tip.

My stitches come out on Friday and they’ll take a decision then as to whether or not I will benefit from physiotherapy, they will also decide then whether I will need to return to see my consultant surgeon in either two months or three as this is the soonest that things are likely to have settled down enough to judge if there has been any permanent improvement and whether or not further surgery might be necessary.

I’m allowed to drive again once the stitches are out which will be of huge relief to the wonderfully patient and kind Mrs Bunny Chow who has borne the brunt of childcare duties and been running around trying to do the school runs etc.

I’ll leave this there as I’ve pretty much exhausted my patience for one-handed typing.

thanks again for all the kind messages and support.

TTFN

Mr Bunny Chow