Yoshizen's Blog

Twilight in Greenwhich

Twilight(1)-DSC07350It was a rather murky twilight moment in Greenwich.  That’s all.

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Looks rather normal picture was taken by so-called Fun Lens.  Fuzzy images were taken by the Gaudy Lens, and if it was very fuzzy, they were done by the Mag Lens —– but I don’t think you ever bother to know.   😀

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Autumn Color

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Those photos were taken by a single glass homemade lens, called Gaudy Lens on Sony A7R Camera —– you may wonder why needed to use High spec’ camera = the matter was not the spec’ but its small size.   😀

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This last photo was by the Mag’ Lens, not by Gaudy Lens —– any way looks the same = doesn’t matter.  As those both lenses got a lots of halation, picture never looks sharp.    Yes that’s what I wanted. = I just wanted atmosphere, or Impression.   In that requirment, those lenses are doing good job.   😀

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Melon / melon

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Generally water melon is quite big, they are rather bullish size and in the worst case (which comes from middle east) it could be as big as a child body. (Don’t ask me how big a child in the middle east. )

There may not be any rules still when we cut a water melon, we cut it longitudinal way (top to bottom) and make many half-moon shaped pieces.  (to have an easy bite)  😀

Then I found very Kawaii (cute) small water melons = They are less than 7″ (about 16 cm) size, and having very few seeds —– they must be an agricultural new venture.  Because of its size, I cut it same as a Galla melon (in latitudinal way = cut it in side-way) —– What I discovered was, that the water melon has the same melon like 3 core structure of which we can’t see if we cut them from top to bottom !

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Yes in deed, in the same family of the melon, why it shouldn’t have the same structure even same to a cucumber.   It was the effort of the melons themselves too.  They made themselves sweet to eat and the seeds carried and spread by the animals to the farther afield.  (But a development of the seedless variety makes the different story.)

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Nov’ Moon

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It seems, in any society star-gazer was accepted, a bit funny but a kind of romantic still, no harm to the other people.  But, the moon watcher was categorized as a loony and not necessary welcomed by the people.  I don’t think I’m a moon watcher, neither be a loony, so far as it was self-declared.  

I don’t necessary want to see the moon but time to time it comes to the window regardless.  In fact, the photo left took a while for me to realize, that it was a moon (2 days before the New moon. = on 17 Oct’ 2017) and the right photo was taken 1st Nov’. —– the reason why it’s having shadow was, the moon was behind the tree. —– In such condition, did I still need to take picture ?    Ain’t I obsessed ? —– I didn’t feel I got ANY obligation to do so though, I just did it again.  😀     It was very simple, the moon was there. (Strange things was, the camera, Sony A7R with 500 mm mirror lens was on a monopod. —– ISO 3200, 1/1000 sec F8)

(To tell you the truth, there was a serious danger of this post having yet more photo of the full moon which was briefly appeared next night —– though it disappeared behind the cloud soon.)  Sigh !   😀

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Your nightmare has come.   It’s a full moon taken on the 4th Nov’, but left photo was taken by Canon EF 70~200 mm at 200 mm, F2.8 on Sony A7R (F2.8, 1/1000 sec)  and the right photo was by Canon 5D MkIII (F8, 1/500 sec) Both hand held. —– They showed the situation quite well, using the same lens even fully open F2.8, mirrorless A7R can make sharper image. 

—– The story behind was, when I heard bang bang noise, I realized that it was the Firework night.  As I saw a big one on the window, I took the camera out with 200 mm Zoom on though, that big one seemed to be the last one. = How shame !  Then, I found the Full moon !  Without bothering to get 500 mm out, I took the moon with 200 mm lens — and I’ve tested the same lens on A7R too.  Very very funny.

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Moth

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(It seemed, those photos were the color comparison sample of the lenses.  Left was taken by a current Canon EF macro but the right was taken by a lens from a Kodak Instamatic mounted on an aluminium can in reverse direction. — See next photos)

The old lens for a film may be adjusted to the color compensation on the print making then.

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Monstrous home-made lens is still working as a macro lens though, not very easy to use (Very dark with x6 magnification = you don’t know where you are watching)  —– Yet still, think the cost = don’t ask too much.   😀 

The small moth parched on a washing-up sponge must be a survivor (or, could she be the one waiting next spring ? — I’m not sure)

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Oct’ Moon by SONY

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(Last night, I shot on AWB — to be fair to the camera, I did retake with manual WB.  😀 ) —– Naturally the Moon is one-night size smaller. (Same camera and the lens though, the second one looks sharper = thanks to Focus-peaking = better focused, but showed more noise)

Well, million years, it’s the same moon and it should look the same to the other one “August Moon” because all the conditions were the same except the camera was not Canon 5D Mk-III but SONY A7R.   The picture was taken through the double glazed window therefore it was not as sharp as “Red Moon”.   Something peculiar was that the supposedly the same Tamron 500 mm lens’ image looks sharper when it was taken on the SONY camera.  —– Unlike 5D as the SONY is mirror-less, it must be no mirror shock and the image processing engine in the SONY might be working harder to tinker the image ! = May be it’s the good things to a camera user. (I mean a lazy user who even not bothered to open the glass window.   😀  )

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Ultra sonic / Silent wave Motor

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(On the photo, round comb like structure is the motor (OD = 12 mm) = its teeth of a comb or the legs of a milliped moves like milliped legs and make the silver-colored disc to move / rotate = that’s how this motor works ! —– though, in real life, you can’t see its teeth or legs move = the each movement is too small to see = so, quietly just the disc moves —– looks spooky !)

 Ultra sonic or Silent wave, what so ever called, the ceramic motor using vibration of its material is rather new kind of the device though, the vibration of the ceramic material itself has been known long time. = the most common use around our life is THAT sounding disc in the security device or even a small round disc in a Singing Christmas card. 

Still, to use its vibration to a motor was happened as an accidental discovery = a ceramic unit on a desk moved while under a test.  So, the engineer got an idea, why not to make a motor and if the sound is too noisy, why not make it to an inaudible high frequency (to an ultrasonic) = So, Ultrasonic motor was developed.  With the manufacturer’s sales tactics, you might be made to believe that the Ultrasonic Motor is an exclusive expensive device. —– you are wrong. 

The top photo is showing a sample, a Silent wave Motor from Nikon’s 18~200 mm Zoom lens.   You may find the similar motor from China in the net, less than few pound. ( Though, if you got a skill to use it include the design and make of the whole gear train, I’ll admire you ! = Utilise whole mechanism as a drive unit, would be far easier, and an electronic controller is on the net as well  )   Yet still to the Nikon, to design the AF drive mechanism, using a traditional DC-motor or use a Silent wave Motor (USM) was not a hard choice = in the cost term, it would be more or less the same. ( DC-motor needs more gears and may have noise problem — mechanically USM needs less gear (= cheaper and easier to assemble) but electronically more complicated work in the program.  (Basically, USM needs the pulse train to drive = two different pulses, one is a bit ahead of the others and which one goes ahead determine the direction of the rotation = in photo term, move focus to far or closer.) ( On the top photo, you may see a flex circuit come out from the USM which got four gold contacts = two each of pulse input ) 

Since the camera’s video function becoming more important, the quietness of the camera (especially its AF motor) became heavy issue, —– So, Canon introduced STM ( = quieter Stepper motor) —– in the traditional sense, stepper motor was driven by the electric pulse, which sharp on-off square wave pulse couldn’t be smooth and quieter, yet Canon seemed to be adapted the use of PMW drive (the voltage of the each pulse gradually rise) instead of the simple square wave ! —– Though, my Canon 40 mm F2.8 Pancake lens got such STM motor — It’s far from quiet. —– in comparison, the SONY lenses (which I have no information of what kind of motor) = are amazingly quiet. ( = what kind of motor inside ? )   So far, there was no broken SONY lens in a junk-box of a camera shop = I haven’t cut-open them yet.   😀

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Baby Corn

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While taking the husk out of the corn (on the cob = maize = indian corn) I found something the addition on the bottom of it. —– They were the baby corn.    I’m not sure whether this is the way how baby corn was grow (and harvested)   Then I realized that they are just a miniature version of the normal corn = nothing else.  They are not wearing a wig for the weekend.  They carry the exactly the same task = fertilize the each grain of the corn.  Same as the human foetus having all the organs = heart to the brain, baby corn expect and prepare to become full-sized corn.  Baby corn is not a joke.  (Don’t you know, if you give enough water and the sunlight, the each sprouts will grow to full size cabbage ! —– I’m just kidding.   😀 )

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Mizu-yokan

After I cooked Sakura-moch, still some Anko (Sweet red-bean paste) left in my hand.  I could finish them just eat on a piece of bread though, eat them with bread is not much different from eating “An-pan” which we can easily buy from a shop, I decided to make a Mizu-yokan which I haven’t done despite of my long-standing promise.  🙂
Basically Mizu-yokan is a kind of Jerry cake = Anko was (semi) hardened by a Jerry from a sea-weed (called Kanten / same as an Aga-aga from an eastern food shop —– we don’t use animal Jerry, it got to be made from a seaweed) (Photo left)   Dried Kanten or Aga-aga has to be boiled untill they were completely dissolved. (Photo middle)  Then, Anko was mixed into Kanten liquid and they were boiled together —– then, put them into a container and made them cool down and hardened.  (Photo right)
So, this is a Mizu-yokan.  Eat them chilled.  Made them with different densities Anko-Jerry mixture and make two-storied Yokan — if you like.  (I wouldn’t say this sample is anything successful or looks typical —– still, they filled my stomach.  😀 )
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Sakura-mochi (Japanese Cherry cake)

Sakura-mochi(1)-DSC07142Sakura-mochi (桜餅) is a common Japanese sweets.  You can buy it from any Japanese sweets shop.  It is not a kind of very complicated cooking still not many people ever attempt to make it by themselves.  (May be to make Ohagi / Botamoch could be the farthest people does.)    Many years I’ve been thinking “Why shouldn’t I make it” and “I want to eat — I haven’t eaten it more than 30 years”

So, this is my attempt to make it though, I never seen how it was made neither my mother told me how.  Therefore, all I’m showing here were done by the sheer guess-work and I wouldn’t claim any authenticity in a Japanese sweet making tradition or any suggestion pretending any kind of wise man.

Sakura-mochi(2)-000From the improvised idea of Rice-cake making,  I used White Rice powder and Glutinous Rice powder half and half, because if it was pure glutinous rice it may become too sticky. (Photo left)  So, I mixed one large spoonful of each powder and one small spoonful of sugar with 3 and half large spoonful water. (Photo middle) then put a half runny mix to a dish and Micro-waved (Mid-High, 1.5 to 2 minutes)
So, the Photo left was the cooked skin of the cake. —– carefully peel it off and use it to wrap up the Anko (Sweet Red bean paste) (Photo middle) —– Then wrap the whole cake with salt pickled Cherry leaf. (Photo Right)
Sakura-mochi(4)-DSC07152Voila, here it is.  Japanese Sakura-moch.  —– Looks genuine ! (isn’t it ?) —– The taste was genuine (what else could it be !) —– (If I could steam the finished whole cake, the flavor of the Cherry leaf would have gone into the cake more.)    Considering this is the first ever attempt in my  life (in fact, I did one test run before Photo shooting) = the result wasn’t too bad.  “Well done Yoshizen” (eat two Sakura-moch made a man Fully satisfied !   😀  )  

Incidentally, the Cherry leaf was meant to give nice flavour and a looks good wrapping, and not meant to be eaten. (I hope, you didn’t try eat it with struggle. 😀 ) There is other variation of this = Kashiwa-moch (柏餅), which use an Acorn like Kashiwa’s leaf for wrapping though I couldn’t find that tree in this country.    Kashiwa-mochi was meant to be eaten on the day of the Boy’s festival (端午の節句) = 5th of May.   And the Sakura-moch was originally for the Girl’s festival (桃の節句)    (I guess) though, it became so popular, you can find them all year-long. (Nothing wrong with it.  🙂  )

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PS : While giving a thought, I realized that the Kashiwa-moch must be invented first.    When you play in a Shinto shrine, you clap the hand = it called Kashiwade  (柏手).   The leaf of the tree Kashiwa has a shape of a hand, hence the hand spread the fingers was called Kashiwade, and the Kashiwade is a symbol of the honest, single-minded clean person (think it in comparison to a gripped hand which could hold a weapon and next moment it could hit you).  So, a boy’s parents wish their boy grow to a strong honest man and think the things associated with Kashiwa is auspicious.

—– So, a clever owner of the sweet shop (和菓子屋) invented a sweet wrapped in a Kashiwa leaf = Kashiwa-mochi and sold for the boy’s day’s celebration.   It must be a big hit, then they thought, if there is a sweet for boys, why not for girls as well = then Sakura-moch was made.   🙂
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