Friday, July 25, 2008

Quantaray 70-300 mm DI f4-5.6

Quantaray 70-300 mm DI f4-5.6, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

This is my second lens for my Sony A200. I love it and for the price, it can't be beat!

# Lens Construction: 9-Groups 13-Elements
# Angle of View: 34° 21‘ - 8° 15‘
# Type of Zooming: Rotation
# Diaphragm Blade Number 9
# Minimum Aperture: f/32
# Minimum Focus Distance: 59in.(1.5m) in normal setting/ 37.4 in. (0.95m) in macro mode (f=180mm-300mm range)
# Macro Magnification Ratio: 1:2 (at f=300mm MFD 0.95m)
# Filter Diameter: ø62
# Weight: 435g (15.3oz)
# Diameter x Length: ø3.0 x 4.6in. (ø76.6 x 116.5 mm)

Quantaray''s lightweight, compact, high-image-quality telephoto zoom lens with macro capability of 1:2 that can be used with digital cameras. This new lens is a Di type lens using an optical system with improved multi-coating designed to function with digital SLR cameras

Four Mistakes That Killed the Record Indstry Before File Sharing

Broken Record

A musician's look at the changing music industry with Jeff Balke

Posted by Jeff Balke at July 23, 2008 10:14 AM

Most everyone who follows the record industry knows that it is
slowly imploding and most don't care seeing as how its leaders have
basically ignored technology and tried to sue people to push their
profit margins back in line. But, the demise of the record industry
actually began long before technology gave it the final push over the
edge. It started in the 80's with the birth of the CD and the
swallowing of independent record labels by major corporations to the
point that now there are only four majors left.

In each critical moment, record labels had the opportunity to think
ahead and look beyond their immediate revenue streams. Like many large
corporations, they were unable to do so. As a result, they forgot that
music is about people and they continue to ignore that fact at their
own peril.

For myself, I believe the record industry - and this includes radio
- made four mistakes that preceded their ignorance of technology and
lawsuit happy antics of present day.

1. CD sales are not the same as record sales.

At first, this may seem like semantics, but my distinction is
between the actual compact disc - the physical item - and the concept
of a record - the music an artist records to put on a CD. When the CD
was invented, profit margins for what were once moderate sized labels
shot through the roof. If you had a back catalog of good music, you
were about to become a millionaire if you weren't already because
everyone was replacing their vinyl with CD's.

Record profits resulted and multi-national corporations took notice.
In much the same way "dot com" start ups managed to convince venture
capitalists to back questionable opportunities, independent labels
began to entertain offers to sell themselves to the highest bidder.
Corporations saw this as a long-term money making venture that would be
great for their portfolio and their shareholders.

What they failed to realize is that the CD gravy train would soon
come to an end as people finally replenished their collections and went
back to their normal buying routines. The years of off the chart sales
came to an abrupt end and corporations were stuck with bloated record
divisions and they had no clue what to do - the end result when you
replace creative minds seeking talent with bean counters seeking profit.

2. Longevity trumps the flavor of the week.

Because labels were feeling the pinch and because they were now
subject to corporate budget constraints, annual reports and
shareholders, they began to look for ways to cut costs. One of the
first places they looked was artist development and promotion. I
remember reading about how A&R departments were slashed to the bone
and promotions departments saw their budgets cut dramatically.

Labels, in a desperate need to justify their existences, cut off
their noses to spite their faces. Instead of trimming corporate expense
accounts and the bloated salaries of their higher ups, they decided to
rely on things like cross promotion, radio, television and other forms
of media to do the legwork their promoters had done previously.

Worse yet, they focused on one-hit wonders and bubblegum pop to push profits ignoring their own rich history and tradition.

It's expensive to develop an artist. It is common knowledge that for
every 12 artists signed to a label, 10 lose money, 1 breaks even and 1
makes enough to pay for the development of all the others put together.
It's a really risky business. But, the small independent labels didn't
care because they wanted to discover the next Bob Dylan or Bruce
Springsteen. They knew that one major success could make up for a
string of costly failures.

Unfortunately, that equation doesn't work in the corporate
environment. You have to justify your budget every year, every quarter.
If the only way to do that was to release lowest common denominator
music that would sell fast but fade just as quickly, you did it.

They even managed to forget how they got to this point in the first
place somehow missing that what are now termed "heritage" artists like
Springsteen, Tom Petty and others were what sustained them over the
long haul, not The Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. Those were bands
and musicians developed over years and they didn't come cheap, but they
made up for it in the long run.

3. Destroying the chain of distribution is death.

For years, the way music got from artist to fan was the same. One
department (A&R) would discover and develop artists helping them
with everything from day-to-day expenses to making records. Another
department (Promotions) would take the finished product and promote it
using teams of college interns, radio promotions staff and others. They
would pass the actual product on to distributors who would send their
representatives to record stores to convince stores to buy records. The
promotions interns would put up displays in the store and hold
promotional events designed to help artist, distributor and record
store. The employees at the store would talk to their customers and
play the music in the store.

That system worked really well for a very long time. But, once
again, the big corporations saw an opportunity to cut costs by making
independent deals with big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Best
Buy. The result was the death of distribution companies and independent
music stores (as seen today with the legendary Morninglory Music going under after 38 years in business) and even chain music stores. This may have seemed like a smart financial decision, but they got it wrong again.

What the suits failed to realize was that the chain of people
working on selling music for them was key to making sales. Even now in
the age of blogs, people still listen to what others suggest when it
comes to buying music. Prior to the internet, those people included
DJ's (we'll get to them in a second) and record store employees. After
your friends, these were the people you trusted to know music.

Even worse, retailers like Target only put about 300 titles per year
on shelves out of 3000 or more possible releases, honing it down to
ONLY the most salable (according to them) artists and records. A good
record store could not only steer you towards a great alt rock record,
but also to a blues record that influenced that alt rock band you like
so much.

I'm not naive. I realize that with iTunes and other forms of
downloading, the days of the music store were rapidly coming to a
close, but the labels, instead of acting as partners with stores as
they always had, turned their backs on them prematurely before anyone
had ever heard of an MP3 or Napster. It not only cost thousands of
people their jobs, it placed limited stock on the shelves narrowing the
choices for people even further. Like cutting development, they were
forgetting that it takes more than just a pretty face and a catchy hook
to sell records and the more options you put out there for people, the
better your chances of developing artists who will sell for you for
more than just a few years.

4. Killing the DJ

I think there is real truth to the idea that video killed the radio
star, but the radio industry helped it along by killing off the primary
link between listeners and stations: the dj.

Much like the chain of distribution, there was a long history of
record label staffs sending music to radio stations where program
directors and DJ's would play what they thought their audience wanted
to hear. DJ's took chances and, as a result, broke artists for labels
and made them an awful lot of money. There was always corruption and
undue influence exerted on DJ's, but a large percentage were in it for
the music

When the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was signed into law, large
corporate radio empires like Clear Channel destroyed the listener-DJ
relationship by flooding markets with stations owned by a signle entity
with programming decisions made at a regional level, far removed from
the DJ and his/her show. DJ's were replaced with "on-air personalities"
more about selling ad revenue than "spinning hot wax" as they used to

While the record industry may not have been directly involved, they
sat by and did nothing and even encouraged the centralization of power
because it made it cheaper for them to peddle music. They didn't have
to call or visit hundreds of DJ's anymore. Now, they just went to a
central nexus.

Just like destroying distribution removed variety from the shelves
of retailers, centralizing programming ended variety as we once knew it
on terrestrial radio. In the Steely Dan song "FM" they talk about how
FM stations in the 70's would play pretty much anything from reggae to
blues to rock and everything in between. It was all about the
relationship between DJ and listener, between people. Once that
relationship was destroyed and stations began playing the same narrow
play list, people began to abandon radio in droves.


Long before the record industry was, in their estimation, attacked
by downloaders and people believing music should be free, the record
industry itself compromised its own business through questionable
decisions, corruption and the corporatization of music. Art and
commerce always have and always will have a tenuous relationship. But,
when the pendulum swings so far to one side, it is no shock when it
eventually comes flying back the other direction. So, record execs, the
next time you look into a camera or into a room full of onlookers and
try to tell us that file sharing and video games killed your business,
don't waste your breath. Instead, take a look in the mirror and you'll
probably find the culprit.

In the news...

Elderly woman prohibited from photographing empty swimming pool "to prevent paedophilia"

An 82-year-old woman in Southampton, UK was told she couldn't take
photos of an empty wading pool because she might be a paedophile.
Because, you know, anything that children touch regularly becomes part
of their souls, and if a paedophile looks at those objects, it's just like sexually assaulting a child.

Makes me glad, as a father, to live here in the UK, where the
clear-eyed, sensible view of paedophilia is doing so much to ensure the
safety of my daughter from assaults by strangers (an occurrence that is
so rare as to be practically nonexistent) while doing practically nothing
to protect her from the people who are statistically most likely to
assault her -- her family, her friends' parents, her teachers, and
other people known to her, who account for the overwhelming majority of
assaults on children.

An amateur photographer was told she could not take snaps of an empty paddling pool because she might be a paedophile.

Betty Robinson was ordered to put away her camera by a council worker when she began snapping the outdoor pool.

'It's absolutely ridiculous – it's bureaucracy gone mad,' said the 82-year-old widow from Southampton.

She was with friend Brenda Bennett as she took pictures of the city's common – where the pool is situated.

My Gear List!

Here it is:

Sony a200,
Sony 18-70mm lens,
Quantaray AF LD 70-300mm Super Macro,
(1) 4gig CF Card Lexar Platinum 80x
(1) 2gig CF Card Lexar Platinum 80x
(1) 2gig CF Card SansDisk Ultra II 15mb/s
6 filters( 3 @55mm and 3 @ 62 UV, Polarize, Red for B/W photography)
(2) Batteries,
A Dynex TriPod,
A Dynex MonoPod,
Gorilla Pod,
Lowepro bag "Nova 2 AW"
Lowepro Neck strap "Transporter"
Opteka Timer Remote Control,
Opteka Wireless Radio Remote Release

Sony DSC-H1 5.1 Megapixel as second Camera
LGVX8600 1.3Megapixel CMOS Cell Phone

What is your opinion?
Blogroll Me!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


DSC06646, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

I wanted to try to get them in Black and White to see if it turned out Ok. Let me know what you think. I think that this was a hard photo to take because of the cats were not really dark nor was most of the background.

Exposure: 0.013 sec (1/80)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 100 mm
ISO Speed: 100

Black and White on Black and White!

This turned out very well if i do say so myself! I love the contrast between the Zebra's and the ambient background. The St Louis Zoo is a really good zoo and i will make many more trips to it.

Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/320)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 100 mm
ISO Speed: 100


DSC06730, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

I took this photo in the Butterfly Dome at the St Louis Zoo yesterday. We went to it during spring break but there were not that many in it because of the cold weather. This time there were hundreds of them all over the place. I was able to get many neat and interesting photos this time. I am really glad that we went to the zoo yesterday as the weather was very nice and not really that hot.

Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 300 mm
ISO Speed: 100

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

St Louis Zoo Set.






My BLOG:  BOB's Thoughts...

Link -

My Camera: Sony DSLR a200

My Pictures: RMStringer

Link -





DSC06474, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

I took this today at the St Louis Zoo. All the animals were out today unlike when we came out at spring Break. I love the on the Giraffe and want to have it blown up as a big print. I am really glad that i bought the Quantaray Lens and i am just amazed at how it worked today.

Exposure: 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture: f/4.5
Focal Length: 210 mm
ISO Speed: 100

St Louis Zoo

We went to the St Louis Zoo today and i took my a200 of course. I used my Quantaray LD 70-300 lens in a Landscape creative style and i took all the photos in 16:9 HD Aspect Ratio. 

I took 469 photos of all the different areas in the Zoo. IF you ever are in St Louis, i strongly suggest going and visiting there.  The great thing about the zoo is that all you pay for is the parking and it costs $10.

No fee is charged for entering the zoo and if you can find parking, your trip costs nothing. I had to park on the street and it was FREE!!!




My BLOG:  BOB's Thoughts...

Link -

My Camera: Sony DSLR a200

My Pictures: RMStringer

Link -




Stl zoo all day!

Taken with my LGVX8600 1.3Megapixel phone.
From RMStringer

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Spy!

The Spy!, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

She was very tired in this photo and barely able to keep her eyes open. I tried to keep her looking at me to get this photo!

Exposure: 2 sec (2)
Aperture: f/20
Focal Length: 135 mm
ISO Speed: 100

Looking outside...

Taken with my LGVX8600 1.3Megapixel phone.
From RMStringer

Bird Eggs...

Taken with my LGVX8600 1.3Megapixel phone.
From RMStringer

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cat in window

Taken with my LGVX8600 1.3Megapixel phone.
From RMStringer

Cicada 1

Cicada 1, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

I was in the kitchen last night and looked at the door leading to our deck when i saw this Cicada. I went to grab my camera and set it up to do some Macro shots at night using the flash. I enabled the 180-300mm Macro function and placed the camera in "Manual" on Night Mode to get a few of the shots of the bug.
Here is the Wikipedia link to the bug:

Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/14
Focal Length: 300 mm
ISO Speed: 200


DSC05970, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Taken while walking around Union Station in St Louis. These benches are located all around the building and it is a shopping mall as well with many neat and unique stores and eating establishments. It also has a Metro Link stop that can be accessed from the outlying areas of the metro region.

Exposure: 0.003 sec (1/320)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 300 mm
ISO Speed: 400


Undercover..., originally uploaded by RMStringer.

Taken at Union Station in St Louis. We ate at Landry's this day. They are a chain from Texas and I have eaten at several of them across the country. If you ever get a chance to eat at one, DO IT! The food is excellent and the atmosphere is wonderful. This setting is really neat being that it is all covered with the artificial "lake" to maker it look like it is on the waterfront. I took this using my 18-70mm kit lens.

Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1250)
Aperture: f/5
Focal Length: 28 mm
ISO Speed: 400

Sunday, July 20, 2008

New MyShutterspace Photography Group

Sony Camera Users

This is the URL:

I created this group several nights ago. If you use the "MyShutterspace" Social Networking site, and you use a Sony camera, then this would be a group for you.

Here is my profile page"

What is your opinion?
Blogroll Me!

Mack: World Geezer Day

 Thanks to Mac Hall for letting me post this.

World Geezer Day


With the close of World Youth Day in Australia, we aging Boomers naturally ask why we can't have a day of our own with a visit by the Pope.  After all, our parents said we were special, right? 


The young people are fond of singing "Benedetto!" (Clap! Clap!) over and over while waiting for the B of R to land at the airport.  For World Geezer Day it's more likely to sound like "Benedetto!  (Wheeze! Wheeze!).  Gotta keep that oxygen going, Gramps.


World Geezer Day will require clearly written rules, unlike World Youth Day.  The kids in Sydney were by all reports just as nice as can be, but Boomers tend to feel (and it's all about feelings, right?) that ordinary good behavior is so bourgeois and beneath them.  Here, then, are the rules for the proposed World Geezer Day:


John Lennon, the Dalai Lama, and Heather Mills are not saints.  The canonization of Jimmy Buffett, however, is up for discussion.  Even so, "Margaritaville" will not be sung at the Elevation.


Please note the signs for the hand-holding section and the non-hand-holding section at Mass, as well as the hand-waving-mouth-open-eyes-closed section and the respectfully-modest-it's-not-about-me section. If you don't know how to behave at divine services, young people will be available to help you grow up.


The Mass will be in Latin.  Deal with it.  Your ancestors understood it perfectly, as do your children and grandchildren.  It is only baby boomers, with all their college degrees and who are purportedly the most educated Americans ever, who wah-wah that they can't understand the simple Latin of the Mass. 


Teenagers will be provided to assist you with your oxygen tanks and to help you understand the difference between the Mass and Bob Dylan.


There will be no – repeat, NO – felt banners.  Further, there will be no liturgical dance, no guitars, no sitars, no bongos, no tambourines, no dangling speakers, no slide shows, no films, no turning on and off of lights.  The Mass is worship, not a hootenanny.


As a concession to politics…um…dietary needs, communion wafers are organic and fair trade, and made from wheat raised by barefoot First Nations farmers living in communes and singing songs about Chez Guano along an obscure tributary of the Verizon River in Lower Saxony (you paid attention in third-grade geography, didn't you?).


One of the featured workshops will be on praying the Rosary.  This will be taught by teens since obviously you people never paid attention to your mothers and fathers.


Sorry, no, the Holy Father will not autograph your tee-shirt.


Please understand that the Sacrament of Penance cannot be accomplished through text-messages ("4-giv me F 4 I have sind…").


Incense, yes; marijuana, no.


When all else fails, remember that this is not 1968.  Grief counselors under thirty will be available to help you find closure.


John Paul II began World Youth Day during his reign, and Benedict XVI has enthusiastically continued this happy custom.  Perhaps this is because neither Karol nor Joe had a youth.  Oh, technically they did, but they grew up under the Nazi tyranny, not exactly kegger time on the beach.  Modern kids gather in the open to celebrate the Faith; when young Karol and Joe were young they celebrated the Faith too, but usually in secret, and further celebrated finding something to eat occasionally, and celebrated being alive at the end of each regimented day and at the end of each terror-filled night.  Perhaps it is this genuine deprivation in their teens and twenties that made them so determined to joy in the youth of our time as a new generation celebrates life and worships in freedom.




Based on my experience with DirecTV I cannot recommend them. They are deceptive in their practices ("You see, sir, when you activated the receiver you automatically agreed to a term of service...") (no, I didn't), and their customer service is based on robot 'phone answering and then on humans who are so scripted that they often are of little or no help. Sometimes they just plain lie. The Texas Attorney General's office backed DirecTV down for me, but it should never come to that.



Recycling Of Waste

When we moved into out new area we had to get garbage service. The charge $16 month to pice all your yard wast and up to 10extra bag as well. The bill quarterly, so it is about 48$ every 3 months. Not to bad in my opinion,

Now on the Recycling issue. When we have lived in other areas around the country, we have dnoe the program. SO i figured i should check that service out here. The want $6 a month to pick up the Recycle Bin. Where they then take it and seperate it and sell it to reclamation centers for money. WE bought the stuff at a store, so it is OUR stuff. IF we choose to recycle, we should not have to pay for them to pick it up, We should get a credit for what we turn in. Why do we have to pay them to take it away, stuff that would have been thrown away anyway! What a Crock!@ We p[ay them to take refuse in a box thy provide so they can seperate and make money by selling it to some other facility. What a good game they have going!!

What do you think of this as i am sure that many of you who have to pay to "help the environment" in this manner? They should pay us a fee based on hoe much material er recycle that they pick up. I know some cities have the program that are free pickup of recycled materials, i would do that. Not Here! Wast Management (Wasted Management) as i have heard it called, charges us to make more money for them. Not a good idea.

SO, just put all the garbage into one bag and let them separate it out at their offices where they have to employ someone to do what we used to do and paid them for the privileged to do it. IT is just wrong!!

Now, off of my Soap Box...

What is your opinion?
Blogroll Me!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Strange Trafic Trails

Strange Trafic Trails, originally uploaded by RMStringer.

My wife was driving down he street and i aimed the camera at her car. Wild looking Light Trails from it when she came down the street and turned in our driveway. I was using my 70-300mm Lens for this shot.

Exposure: 13 sec (13)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 70 mm
ISO Speed: 100