Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nonton Planet Earth dalam Blue Ray

Saya sudah ngiler pengen nonton Planet Earth sejak dua tahun lalu. Pertama tayang di Inggris lewat BBC Maret 2006 kemudian disusul Discovery Channel setahun kemudian. Sayangnya saya cuma nonton sepotong-potong. Dari 11 episodes hanya 4-6 yang saya nikmati. Alasannya : saya ngga bisa komit di satu tempat. Juga tidak punya teve.

Beberapa minggu lalu ketika saya ultah, Mr C menghadiahkan DVD Planet Earth seri komplit. Waduh senengnya! Yang nambah seneng adalah DVD itu dalam format Blue-Ray.

Blue Ray (BD) adalah format baru untuk mendistribusikan film dengan kualitas tinggi karena mampu menyimpan data 6X lebih banyak dari HD (High Definition) DVD dua lapis. Hanya saja untuk muter-nya juga butuh BD Player dan Teve HD untuk mendapatkan hasil terbaik. Bentuknya sama saja dengan DVD hanya lebih tebal sedikit. Manteb bawaannya.

Begitu saya coba seri Pole to Pole, seri Mountains hingga Fresh Water rasanya saya pengen berdecak kagum ngga henti. Luar biasa indah! bening sekali dengan view yang mendebarkan. Saya terharu melihat Beruang Kutub yang baru keluar dari sarang dengan dua anaknya. Bermain seluncuran di salju. Juga yang berakhir tragis mati karena tak mampu mencari makan. Mulut melongo melihat jutaan burung terbang di lembah nan luas di Okavango.

Seri Mountains begitu mendebarkan saya. Menyusuri proses terbentuknya gunung hingga akhirnya menfilmkan Snow Leopard, binatang yang sudah melegenda oleh Peter Matthissen dalam buku "Snow Leopard"

Dengan kamera wideangle dan highspeed Planet Earth berhasil mendokumentasikan hal-hal yang belum pernah dilihat dalam film tentang alam sebelumnya. Seperti serangan paus pembunuh dalam hitungan 1000/detik juga buaya afrika yang mematahkan leher wildebeest. Dalam gerakan lambat itu semua seperti berdansa, tarian yang sangat mematikan. Indah mencengangkan dan mengerikan jadi satu.

Satu hal lagi adalah teknik time laspe yakni merekam dari detik per detik, pergantian musim dan perubahan tumbuhan. Rasanya bisa membedakan suasana musim dingin di antartica dan musim panas yang hanya sebentar. Atau melihat perkembangan alam seperti kabut dan mendung untuk menjelaskan fenomena perubahan cuaca.

Planet Earth banyak sekali menggunakkan foto satelit dan aerial view dengan mengambil gambar lewat heli. Dengan kamera lebar, kesan grandeur dan skala terlihat jelas. Seperti bagaimana bisa memahami sungai Amazon yang tercatat paling panjang di dunia dengan melihatnya dalam utuh. Dari atas bumi.

Secara photography, setiap scene disini cantik sekali. Walau dalam lingkungan yang berat dan sulit (malam, cahaya lemah, basah atau gerakan cepat) hasilnya luar biasa. Saya sendiri bukan wildlife photographer tapi melihat hasilnya saya selalu membayangkan gimana bisa dapet hasil seperti itu.

Rasanya menunggu dua tahun untuk menikmati ini tidaklah menyesal.

Catatan : format DVD biasa juga dah ada, kalau VCD kurang tau yaks...atau kapan bisa ditonton di Indo tanpa lewat Indovision.

Trailer-nya bisa dilihat Youtube atau Amazon (hi-def dengan penjelasan dari produser)


Monday, April 28, 2008

One Saturday with One Brick

I am looking for activity that keep me fit (yeah...you've name it!) but getting to know new environment in America by being active in locals would be positive ones. Mr C came with suggestion to let my hands dirty and getting sweat with One Brick.

One Brick is volunteer program design to freelancer -which you can choose any activity you've want to get involved. When I checked their program last week, there is program landscaping in East Palo Alto School -right by San Francisco Bay Natural Reserve. I thought that would be great as I missed gardening so much and like to know what kind plants or fruits that stand into California's harsh soil.

It was start 9am to 12pm as it took only 15 minutes drive from home. My project leader was Lucy and Lizy. They've been involved with One Brick quite sometimes ago. Our job that day was weeding the corner of pond and rock garden, cleaning up ready for laying new mulch.

The garden is really nice, right on the corner of Runnymede Road -with cycle path alongside the bay.The garden size about 40X30m with several sheds. There were vegetable patches circling the wire dome designed for tree climbers. I can see clearly that these is new garden, probably less than 2 year old. But the collections is amazing. Lots of fruits tree mainly oranges (remember California's oranges then!), strawberry, and few grapes tree climbed the fence separated from playing area. The school is among developed area where most of people living here are Spanish speaker.

I did enjoy the jobs. There were about 11 people turned up that day. Liliane from Brazil, two students from Stanford, two marathon runners, and others whom I regarded with their high spirit. There are other groups from neighboring people. It was quite mixed between the school own projects and One Brick Volunteer.

It's good to get dirty again!

Gallery pictures from One Brick at here

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Goodbye Yahoo UK!

I have been using ambar.briastuti@yahoo.co.uk as main email for years without facing serious problems. Including changing my operation system from Windows into Mac, from mail apps Outlook into Entourage (Outlook on Mac) or Apple Mail. Everything did beautifully until few days ago.

I realized that Yahoo.com the main server in US changed their policy about forwarding email using POP and IMAP last year. They're not allow new account to using this facilty anymore. Most of regional Yahoo though still allow to do this as I enjoyed yahoo.co.uk for quite sometimes ago. I reckoned they did it because change their email system into Outlook-ish than the Classic type.

I received number of confirmation about changing my password through Apple Mail. Yes indeed I always change the password every 2-3 month but the messages became more persistent. I thought my computer had silly mistakes or Leopard crashed my cookies again. I checked and just notice that yahoo.co.uk change their server port for both upcoming and outcoming messenges. God sake! why they've did it without notify their customer?

On their Yahoo Mail (hidden on setting your POP and Forward) as :

Pardon our appearance during construction. We're still tweaking the Yahoo! Mail POP & Forwarding option. Temporarily you'll need to access it through the Yahoo! Mail Classic interface. But, rest assured, any changes made will take effect once you've reloaded the Yahoo! Mail.

I have been looking around to answer those problem. Some of them quite useful as in Apple Support site. But since this disruptions come to light there is NO official (or logical) explanation about this. Some of people suspected that Yahoo try to increase usage of Yahoo Mail Plus which will cost $19.99 a year exactly what they did on Yahoo.com.

Finally I came to end of it by saying goodbye to Yahoo UK. The reasons are because I am not willing spend that amount of money for free email, and also I'll get another services from Google which give me 2GB storage room. What I need is an access to let me download my email into system that recognized nicely both in Apple and Windows.

Gosh! I have to reconsolidates all the account that use this email. It might hundreds of them. I am really pissed off with Yahoo UK.

Please contact me in future with : ambar.briastuti@gmail.com or ambar@ceritaambar.com


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dimanapun Ngojek itu Menyenangkan

Diambil di Ho Chi Minh City HCMC (aka Saigon) 7 February 2006. Mengingatkan saya tiap liburan mengunjungi nenek pake ojek. Tinggal ngeplang, nyengklak dan wush...bablas motore. Di negara ini populasi sepeda motor mungkin hanya bisa disaingi jogja, semrawutnya seperti Jakarta 70an lengkap dengan mobil terbitan lawas.

Ngojek adalah alternatif yang paling menyenangkan. Terkadang tidak sengaja, seseorang menawari mengantar. Bayar hanya ongkos bensin. Angin semilir, pemandangan menyeluruh dan geronjalan jalan yang menambah kesan petualangan (halah..)

Kami menghabiskan tahun baru China di Vietnam. Memandang pesta kembang api bersama dengan ribuan orang di tepi danau Hoan Kiem. mengambil jalur kereta menyusuri tepi pantai hingga mencapai ibukota HCMC.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lightroom 2.0 Beta : More powerful than ever!

I have been play around with Lightroom LR since Adobe launched the Beta version on their Adobe Labs. two years ago. It's different with Adobe Photoshop PS CS series -it's big sista which purposely to web designer. I felt that PS CS quite handy but it doesn't have photographer's mind. It just different way of thinking.

I'm prefer Lightroom than Aperture from Apple in the way they managed metadata and filing systems. Both got ability doing RAW format, non-destructible and easy to send as print or web gallery.

This is the LR 2.0 which had opportunity to come close to Adobe Photoshop. It has auto mask to tweak exposure in selected area. You can dodge, burn, split toning as you do in layers on PS. Wow!

Other thing that new with LR 2.0 is Print Tools to combine photos in canvas automatically. I found this is really useful as I have to export to PS and bring back to Lightroom. It's time consuming and make work flow even longer.

If you new with LR you've need someone to invite you to try this out and only 30 days free. The Beta version will last until August 2008. But if you've already have the older Lightroom you will get it straight away from Adobe Labs. The only thing that annoy me I could not transfer catalogue from previous version. Means I have to create another catalogue by import new photos, possibility losing my editing.

The online training about Lightroom 2.0 Beta is in Lynda.com The Online Training Library. You will need Quicktime to see the program by photographer Chris Orwig . It's really fascinating.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jalan-jalan Dari Singapura ke Johor Bahru (RSI)

Diambil dari RSI Radio Singapura Indonesia. Silakan baca di RSI Indonesia

Sedang mp3 bisa didengarkan disini : Podcast RSI

Cuma jadi salah satu sumber saja. Artikel yang diambil di Cerita Ambar dan (mungkin) dari Milis Indo-Sing. Nuwun untuk Vina.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Best View Toilet in the World

In the jungle we always find the 'back business' tend to be more private and frugal. Specially for women with lots things to consider when rush for peeing or pooping. One time I was thinking like a dog, just digging the ground and puff....done it. Wet tissues become magic in sort of situation. I have told that in emergency I can use lichen or soft leaves. I did try it. Not bad indeed.

This toilet was on top of McKinnon Pass when we did Milford Track in NZ. I thought that was a real treat, so I took picture to describe the view from the toilet seat.

I can see down to Clinton Valley majestically between the walls of mountains. We walked there a day before with the amazing view of dozens waterfalls. It was perfect day. No rain, bright sun, great view and ehm...a nice seat.

We walked up to MacKinnon twice (2 hours each way from Mintaro Hut) to get best chances for photography. The weather in our side. Everybody said if you do tramping in NZ, you will face at least one wet day. Best our luck, it did not happen.

Infact just for your note, this toilet and the hut been blown away by the wind three times so far. That's why the base construction from steel hold in concrete.


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