Best of 2013 - Posts & Photos

The Best of 2013: Posts & Photos

Now that the holiday season is upon us, it's time for another best of post.  2013 was a huge year for me, the biggest year of my life.  I started a new job working for a copper mining company with headquarters in my homeland: Poland.  I never thought that my native language would help me land a job in Canada, but here I am.  That pales in comparison to the biggest change in my life, I became a dad to twins!  Marek and June were born in the summer and are now approaching six months of age.   Things have not been the same since.  I obviously have less time to take photos and post on the blog, but I fill my time with the laughs from two awesome kids :)  There are many photos that I haven't even processed and posted yet, and they will have to wait until I have some free time (never?).

Like the Best Of 2012, the three most popular posts of 2013 are all gear related.

  1. Nikon D800 and D800E Setup and Configuration - Recommended settings for the four menu banks on a Nikon D800/D800E.  The post shows how I set up my camera and allows you to download the config file to use in your own camera.
  2. Nikon D600 vs Canon 6D - This is not a 2013 post but it was the #2 most visited post on my site in 2013 so I decided to include it.  It was also #2 back in 2012 and it's here again because these two entry level full frame cameras are very popular with enthusiast photographers.
  3. Nikon D800 Autofocus Repair Testing - The Sequel - Another round of testing my D800 autofocus system, this time after Nikon tried to repair it for the second time.  Sadly, the left side focus sensors are still not working well so I'll have to send the camera in once again.  I love the D800 but the focus problems make it a single AF sensor camera (for me).

The three most popular photo related posts of 2013 were:

  1. A Frosty Morning - Nikon D800 Macro with Focus Stack - Some photos in my garden after a frost.  Granted, this was posted on January 2nd so it had the benefit of a full year of collecting hits versus posts added in December.  I just use the Google Analytics stats and don't play favourites.
  2. Hiking Stawamus Chief South Peak - A great hike in Squamish, BC.  The Lions hike made the 2012 list.
  3. First Visit to the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research - self explanatory.

It is also interesting to note that the most common search term that lead people to my site was "pitbull".  I have many pitbull photos on my site but this one was by far the most popular.

American Pitbull Terrier - High Resolution Photo

Some of my favourite photos from 2013.

Nikon D800 Macro - Frosty Morning - Donkey Tail

Seattle 2013-01-05 : Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass - B&W chandelier

Shelter Dogs Vancouver: 2013-02-22 : Young Pit Bull Running


Crab Fountain, Vancouver Space Museum, 2013-02-23


2013 Acura MDX Tech Edition - Dark Cherry Pearl - Sea To Sky Highway Interior


Saint Patrick's Day : BC Place Stadium, Vancouver, BC : 2013-03-17


2013-02-20 : Vancouver Aquarium : Frogs On Duty


Vancouver Gastown Photo Walk 2013-04-30 : Harbour (Western Voyager)


Vancouver Gastown Photo Walk 2013-04-30 : BOSS 302 Mustang


2012 Oct : Mumbai India Visit : Kids Posing


Oct 2012 : Mumbai Visit : Old man and the wagon


Oct 2012 : Mumbai Visit : Well dressed tour guide

Oct 2012 : Mumbai Visit : Vijayadashami Festival aftermath 2


2013-02-23 Vanier Park Freezing Water Sculpture







Komatsu Haul Truck Black & White : Copper Mine, Calama, Chile


Chile iPhone 5 : From Plane : Antofagasta Buzzard




Most popular posts of 2012

Best of 2012

I took a look at my Google Analytics and thought I would show what my three most popular posts of 2012 have been.   Not surprising that they are all photo gear related.

  1. Nikon D7000 vs D600 vs D800 : A Quick Comparison - Three cameras that photo enthusiasts are buying.  Different price ranges, and performance but all fantastic cameras.
  2. Nikon D600 Vs Canon 6D - Entry Level Full Frame Scrap - Nikon and Canon both released entry level full frame cameras.  Both will sell well, and nice to see that full frame is now becoming more affordable.
  3. Nikon D800 Contrast and Phase Detect Autofocus Testing - My early release D800 had the left side autofocus problems.  I posted my test methodology and results, sent my camera to Nikon, but the saga is not yet over.

My most popular photo related post was Hiking the Binkert Trail To The Lions which covers a popular hike in Vancouver, BC.   Thanks to everyone for visiting, and happy holidays.


Some of my favorite photos of 2012

Ucluelet BC Vacation : 2012-10 : Big Beach Sunset 2

Sunset in Belize, Coco Plum Island Resort

Alberta Visit Aug 2012 : Old Farmhouse Sunset HDR 2

Stawamus Chief - 2012-09-13 - Chipmunk

CFL Football : BC Lions vs Montreal Alouettes : Sept 8 2012 : BC Place Stadium Panorama

Wordpress Jetpack Carousel Test: Shelter Dogs 2012

Lions Binkert Trail Hike Vancouver - 2012-08-18 : tiny people on west lion 2

Wordpress Jetpack Carousel Test: Shelter Dogs 2012

Wordpress Jetpack Carousel Test: Shelter Dogs 2012

Siwash Rock At Sunset : 2012-07-06

Shelter Dogs for Adoption : 2012-06-27 : Jack Russel Terrier 4

Dragon Boat Festival: 2012-06-17 : Group : 300 Style

2012-12-05 : Belize Vacation : Scuba Diving : Pterois Lionfish

Vancouver : Portside / Crab Park : Vancouver skyline reflection 2 : 2012-11-21

Ucluelet BC Vacation : 2012-10 : Gray Whale Tail Fluke

Stawamus Chief Panorama : Sept 13, 2012 : 5000 pixels

Jammie mouth

Garden Bee: 2012-06-20 : Focus Stack with Zerene Stacker (105mm f/2.8 VR Micro)




Vancouver Animal Control - Shelter Dogs - 2012-05-11 - Pomeranian

Wreck Beach Vancouver 2012-05-08 Nikon D800 Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR


Light painting attempt back hoe 2


George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Mallard in flight

Amsterdam Dec 2011 long exposure train

20120317-Shelter Dogs March 17 2012-7018-MKH_mini



GGS Nikon D800 LCD Screen Protector - both packages

GGS LCD Screen Protector - Real vs Fake (Nikon D800)

[box type="shadow"] UPDATE: It appears that both of my screen protectors may be legitimate GGS products, just different models. Several people have commented that the model I first received was the generation I, and the second (with plastic rim) was the generation II (BF). I have no way to confirm this.

The GGS website shows only the gen I model: There is also the generation III which is a snap-on type similar to the stock Nikon one but in black. Regardless, the GGS gen II model I now have on the camera is NOT a good fit, it is too small for the LCD. For now, I'll just deal with it.[/box]

I recently ordered a GGS screen protector for my Nikon D800 from a seller on Amazon. I had to ship to to an address in the USA as they don't deliver to Canada. Not that big of a problem, I only live 50Km away. When the protector arrived, it had glass covers for both the top and back LCD screens. I installed the top cover without too much problem, it was a good fit. When I tried to install the back cover the adhesive strip pulled away from the glass rather than the paper cover, essentially making it useless. Please note, the photos are taken with my iPhone 4S so not the pinnacle of quality but I hope they convey the message.

GGS Nikon D800 LCD Screen Protector - first cover with bad adhesive


I contacted the seller and sent a photo of the problem, he was very responsive and said he would ship out a replacement. Once again, I had to dive the to USA to pick it up, now becoming a pain for an $8 item but I still wanted it so off I went. When I picked up the second package I was surprised to see that the GGS packaging was very different from the first one I received. I still had the old (defective) one so I decided to compare.

First one I received is on the left, the replacement package on the right. Both came from the same seller. The left side one came with two LCD covers, for top and back screens in a flexible plastic case. The replacement (right side) cover came with room for two covers but only contained the larger LCD cover for the rear of the camera. I'm not sure if that is because I only needed that one or not. The second case is a hard plastic case that opens on a hinge, packaging is definitely better on the replacement cover.
GGS Nikon D800 LCD Screen Protector - both packages


Detail of the first cover packaging.
GGS Nikon D800 LCD Screen Protector - first package detail


Detail of the replacement cover packaging.
GGS Nikon D800 LCD Screen Protector - replacement package detail


Looking at the two glass covers, they also differ. The first one had a silver adhesive strip, the replacement a black one (both with 3M paper covers). Both screen covers say GGS at the bottom (middle) and D800 at the bottom right. The first cover is flat across the surface, the replacement has a small ridge and a thin plastic frame. They are not exactly the same size (more on that below).
GGS Nikon D800 LCD Screen Protector - both glass LCD covers


Detail of the covers.
GGS Nikon D800 LCD Screen Protector - glass cover detail


Here is the replacement cover installed on the camera, note that it cuts off the top and bottom of the screen.
GGS Nikon D800 LCD Screen Protector - glass cover installed on camera


When I take a close look, I can see that the first cover sent to me is slightly taller and if I installed it on the camera I have a feeling it would not cut off the edges of the screen.

At the end of the day, I'm not sure which of these is real and which is fake (or maybe both fake?). The first one seems to be a better fit for the camera, so I have to lean more towards that one. If anyone has a helpful suggestion either way please contact me or post in the comments.

RIM Blackberry PlayBook

RIM confirms PlayBook OS 2.0 delayed until February, still no BBM in sight

Not good news for fans of RIM. The PlayBook isn't selling well as it is, and delays to the new OS isn't going to help things. Native email will have to wait, and too bad if you were hoping for Blackberry Messenger (BBM). Apple released iOS 5, which includes iMessage and a bunch of other new features. Not looking good for ol' RIM.

Engadget Link

Steve Jobs and iPad

Smart Cover can unlock password-protected iPad

iPad 2 users take note. Using the smart cover you can bypass the passcode on the device.

Smart Cover can unlock password-protected iPads running iOS 5 (video) -- Engadget.

MC Hammer

MC Hammer launching his own search engine

Apparently, going bankrupt once wasn't good enough for MC Hammer. He is now launching a search engine called WireDoo which apparently has "deep search" capability.  Call me cynical, but trying to compete with Google in the search space is a recipe for failure.

My latest digging shows Google has 65% of the search market, Yahoo 16%, and Bing 14%.  Since Bing powers Yahoo search, I'll lump them together into a 30% combined share.  That leaves 5% for all of the other search engines combined.

Microsoft managed to grab 30% of the search market partly by making Bing the default search in all of their products, including Internet Explorer.  Many users either won't change it or don't know how so they just stick with it and it works well enough.  Hammer doesn't have this luxury, so his chance of success is next to nothing.  The only thing that may help is if the front page of WireDoo has an animated GIF of him doing the Hammer Dance.

MC Hammer launching his own search engine -


Wiredoo logo  This  is the awesome WireDoo logo.  If this is the best they can do, I doubt Google and Microsoft have much to worry about.  Honestly, I could do better in five minutes using MS Paint.

MS Yahoo Flickr

Flickr May Soon Be Owned by Microsoft

Microsoft tried to buy Yahoo once before and failed, maybe they will have better luck this time around. If so, that means MS will own Flickr, which is likely a good thing.

Flickr May Soon Be Owned by Microsoft