My new Taiwan spectacular aerial film

I just got back from an interesting adventure in Taiwan. One of the interesting parts was taking my DJI Mavic drone with me. Before I set off I wasn’t quite sure what type of short I was going to make . Due to certain circumstances which have been discussed in my previous post the film took shape in a way I wasn’t expecting. It became an aerial journey . I wanted movement and a feeling you were traveling across the land , of the beautiful country.

The first stop was Jiufen and incredibly popular town built into the side of the mountain. It used to be a gold mining town and some of the shops and actually burrowed into the mountain itself. It has an amazing food and handicrafts culture and wow that view its pretty spectacular.

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Taking of from the town itself really wasn’t an option. It is a very dense space with narrow footpaths and closed in buildings. So we drove further up the road and I flew it over the town, complete with some eerie looking clouds and flew it up the mountain from below which you see in the film.

I had been practicing quite regularly back home for about 7 months to do the shooting in Taiwan. It takes a level of confidence to be able to do the camera moves, that I was able to achieve. You need to practice manually flying it home for when the  automation on the craft fails, which it did a couple of times.

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On such occasion was in this valley , featured above , I got very low on battery and the return to home automation wasn’t working. It started to land about 30 feet away from me in a rice field. This would of been an issue as the rice field was full of water. I quickly manually took it over rose it out of the field over a big stone fence and onto the road. Little did I realise whilst I was concentrating on my flying a tourist had walked and sat down on the afore mentioned fence and I nearly gave him a buzz cut as I bought the drone back to safety.

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Featured above is the home of the Lidao aboriginal tribe.

This location was a 2hr drive north west of Taitung. The drive through valleys, fallen rock slides into mountains through mountains was utterly spectacular . There is one road in and one road out. This is where tourists don’t come this is real Taiwan to the core.  The village is perched on the side of the mountain. Whilst utterly breath taking, this has its own issues. Taiwan is famous for its typhoons and being so exposed leaves them cut of from the rest of the world when the storms hit, as they do every year. But what they do have is pristine land and fertile soil. They grow rice , which by the way is sublime like nothing I have ever tasted. They grow cabbage and various other vegetables. They then trade there crops for medicines and other essentials to keep the village running.  We got to have lunch at there local store, they were a bit wary of white people. Our guide got very cranky when some of the locals denied there was anywhere to eat. So we had this hime cooked lunch wild boar with this yummy rice.The boar is still hunted in the forrest as it has been done for over 1000 years. The dish was very simple but ridiculously fresh and flavourful. I then did all my shooting. I literally got to fly my drone of the side of the mountain, it was so exciting . You can’t even fathom standing there on the ground watching these pictures come in. It was really exciting.

You will notice in the film the sequence in the rice fields and in the village is very smokey. The reason for this is , on the day they had started the harvesting of there rice crop. The first part of this is to burn it. This is because they they have a worm that feasts on the rice and the fire is to kill it off. At times the fires were very close to the road and we had to close the vents . But the upside is it created a look to my pictures that I really love and I think you will agree adds something to the film.

Lastly I wanted to touch upon the stunning music in my film. The music is all from local composers and performed by the Taipei philharmonic orchestra. The music sets the tone of the visuals. I plowed through quite a bit of music to find the pieces that I ended up using. Without it, somehow I don’t feel its would of been as authentic. The music closely resembles how I felt when I saw the imagery and enhances it with local flavour.

I wanted the music to sell the visuals and the visuals to sell the music. If they didn’t work in tandem the piece would not of worked. The music should almost be invisible .

The Fiio X3 24bit Hi res portable music player

Remember music before it became disposable?. Remember music when the album was the rage and you didn’t just buy a song? Remember that experience when you put on a big pair of cans and got lost in the music? Not forgetting a time before the famous white fruit earbuds that made music sound like junk? . Well retro is back again. Welcome to the Fiio X3 player. Now for under $200 you can obtain an audio experience more akin to what I mentioned earlier. Gone is that compressed nasty sound of the modern times. This device is an absolute beauty listing to uncompressed 24bit mater files makes you feel like you were in the mixing studio as these album were being produced. The music has unbelievable depth and tonality. The experience for me has been akin to first listening to HIFI music in my youth. Gone are those whizzy compressed highs and un natural mids , everything sounds so balanced and natural.  What makes this even more remarkable is that the player is smaller than a pack of cigarettes and retails for just over $200 here in Australia.

There are a few issues with it though. Take it from me this is no Apple user experience. You have to download the tracks from sites such as hdtracks.com and then transfer them to the player. This can be done in 2 ways. Either via USB or by plugging in the micro SD card you bought to increase the players storage. The transfer of files is slow and laborious because of the sheer size of the master audio files.  The menu on the player is very 2001 . Don’t get me wrong its not horrible its just dated. A firmware update is promised soon where the user interface will be majority upgraded. Also when you buy a micro SD card for the player it is incredibly picky. The ones I have had success with are the Sandisk class 10 cards.

I haven’t yet bought myself some headphones that really show the device of at its best. I have been using a 10 year old pair of AKG’s which still sound spectacular but with a pair of better cans I expect I will get better audio again.

A few other nice things about the player. It has a line out so you can use it to plug into your car or even a home stereo. It also has a coaxial digital out which can output digital 24bit audio to home receivers for the ultimate in high fidelity.

Lastly a few recommendations of some of the audio in 24bit 96khz or 192khz I have been blown away by.

Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde 24bit 96khz

Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 40th anniversary remaster 24bit 96k

Miles Davis Kind of Blue 24bit 192k    This is spectacular especially the detail.

Steven Wilson The Raven that refused to Sing 24bit 96k . In Hi Res this album shines with depths dynamics and texture.

Elvis Costello North 24bit 96k . Spectacular recording the strings sound great in Hi Res.

 

I will post some other recordings as I work through them.

 

For anyone who wants re enjoy the romance and feel of music again I can’t recommend this player more highly. Its a spectacular buy. One last thing to remember also is as its hi res music, the quality and results you encounter are dependant on source material and quality of what your listening through. Anything that has major flaws they will be highlighted 10 fold in this format. Those albums that are fantastic recordings to begin with will shine brighter than you have heard them before.  A case in point Paul McCartney’s New album for me was barely listenable on cd  . It was far to loud lacked dynamics and sounded very brittle and harsh. In Hi Res it regains its musicality and is far warmer and has depth something really lacking on the cd.

A definite buy 5 stars

 

 

Greg the Macintosh IT man

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A couple of weekends ago my brother bought a new Mac. A gorgeous 21.5 inch quad core Mac.
What I wanted to touch upon in this post is the setting up of the Mac. He has bought this Machine to run as a Business and personal machine. Through doing the setup I have discovered some things I just love.

The setting up of a business and personnel account on the Mac is an essential and very easy thing to do.
I have installed Microsoft office for Mac. I dont mind Outlook for Mac. I know I might get screamed at for saying something good about Microsoft but as an all in one app for email and business tasks it cant be beat. Well maybe it can but I haven’t seen anything better.

For the business side of things the contacts will sync via google into outlook and into his android phone via a 3rd party app. There he will be able to access email , tasks calendar from his Outlook whilst on the road.

The new iMacs WOW they are thin. Some people might not like fact that the optical drive has gone. But ask yourself this when did you last burn a DVD I know I haven’t in a very long time.

The screen is also amazing. It has fantastic viewing angles and is a full 1080p LED panel. Did I mention? Its fast its very fast. Apps snap open quickly , logins load quickly everything has a great feel.
Nice one apple including a wireless keyboard and mouse as standard.

All in all a seamless setup. I myself run a Quad Macbook Pro but I have to say I have major lust envy over this iMac .