News and Views from Dave Wilson

Archive for March, 2012

15 Years Ago Today…

by on Mar.22, 2012, under Family

… I drove to First Presbyterian Church in my old Miata (with the top down, of course), with my mate Steve Graham all the way from Scotland beside me, and married Nikki. It’s amazing to think how fast those 15 years have gone by and how much has happened – some good (the arrivals of Cameron and Drew, for example), some bad (the departures of my mum and Chas, for example). On balance, however, the last decade and a half has been spectacular and I’m so glad Nikki agreed to be the special person sharing it with me. Asking her to marry me was definitely the best decision I have ever made and having her accept was even better.

In celebration of our anniversary, here’s a portrait I grabbed last weekend during our trip to Fredericksburg (where, not-coincidentally, we spent a couple of days on a mini-honeymoon right after we were married).

Nikki in the Bluebonnets

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Drew’s PTA Reflections Results

by on Mar.08, 2012, under Family

I’ve spent too much time bragging about myself recently so now it’s time to brag about one of my kids. This week, Drew learned that he got an “Award of Excellence” in the state-wide Texas PTA Reflections competition in the musical composition category. This is, apparently, equivalent to second place which, given that this was the very first song he’s ever written, strikes me as a pretty significant result. Way to go, Drew!

He wrote and composed his song, “Everybody’s Different”, then performed it complete with ukulele accompaniment. The song is great but I bet the judges were swayed by the Elvis-style flourish at the very end 🙂

Drew_Wilson-3968.jpg

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Image In Use: Stern VIEW

by on Mar.07, 2012, under Photography

Please forgive me one more personal trumpet-blowing but this is one I’m rather delighted with and really want to share. I mentioned that my Hamilton Pool images have been doing well recently and here’s the most prestigious publication to date. One of my shots features on the cover and as a two-page spread in the February 2012 issue of Germany’s “Stern VIEW” magazine. Stern is a weekly news magazine and VIEW is its monthly sister publication devoted to showing “the best pictures of the month”. It’s an 11″x17″, 148 page, full colour publication full of incredible images from around the world and I’m absolutely delighted that they picked on of my pictures to include.

When they approached me to ask about publication, I offered to produce a new, more realistic version of the image they had found on Flickr (which was a somewhat hyperreal HDR). I went back to look at the original brackets I had shot and discovered, to my horror, that I had shot them in Program mode and that the aperture varied with each shot! Thankfully, I could still use them to create a usable image but this was a surprise since I’ve never knowingly used Program mode. I guess I wasn’t paying much attention that day though, looking on the bright side, it gives me a great excuse to head back out to Hamilton Pool as soon as the leaves are on the trees so that I can correct the error.
Stern VIEW, February 2012

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Musical Formation Quadrotors

by on Mar.01, 2012, under Computer, Miscellaneous

Does it get more cool than this (robotically speaking)? A formation of quadricoptors playing the James Bond theme. Congratulations to the folks at the University of Pennsylvania who came up with this.

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