Old City

We are back in Israel again. We’ve been here for a year now. The funny thing is that I have not had a chance to visit the Wailing Wall of Old City. That is, until today. I don’t appreciate it as much as others since I don’t understand the full history of the Old City in general. I guess I have a lot of reading to do!
I took a few video snapshots on the way to the wall. The Arab girls were more than willing to comply when asked if they wanted their picture taken.

Athens, Greece, out of an airplane window

The view from the window was pretty. I didn’t think I could capture it on video since window was not very clear and since I could not hold the camera rock steady.
I had to try it anyway since I had nothing to lose. I pointed the camera straight out the window, hoping for the best. Luckily the sun was behind us and the reflection was minimal. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the footage was quite useable. I thought it would jello like crazy since the camera shook a pretty good amount. Warp stabilizer of Premiere did a pretty good job stabilizing the shakes and getting rid of significant amount of jello. Unless you are an expert looking for artifacts, it looks like it’s shot from a helicopter and a gyroscope mounted camera!

Mount Temptation

We were going to go fishing at a holding pond at Jericho today, but we could not get a hold of a friend who was supposed to meet us. Instead, we decide to drive by the Mount Temptation where Jesus was tempted by the devil after fasting for 40 days. On the way back, we took the backroad. The scenery was spectacular; dangerous looking, but beautiful regardless.
The second video shows color grading process of extracting color information from the footage what is shot flat.

License plate theft in Israel

We got our front license plate stolen this morning, either by some young punk or pros who steal cars for living. It didn’t really matter. I felt violated. I supposed it was a lot better than getting the whole car stolen.
After a little research, I found out that I needed to file a police report and get new plates made.
Filing a police report at a police station was relatively painless since the officer spoke pretty good English. I then had to ask five difference people on how to get to the license plate printing shop. That’s the thing about Israel. When asking for directions, plan on at least half of them giving you wrong/bad direction. Anyway, I found a place after zig zagging a few blocks. To my surprise, the whole process of printing took less than three minutes. Unbelievable. It’s the fastest thing I have ever seen when it comes to government related activities. I was pretty happy to walk out of there so quickly, even having had to drain my pocket of 100 NIS, given the circumstances. It sure beats waiting for my number to be called at California DMV!

A Hawk with built-in skydiving goggles! (nictitating membrane)

I thought I knew a lot about animals, especially the ones I grew up with. Nope, not even close! Did you know that some hawks, if not all, have built-in goggles? I had no idea! I know that sharks do, to protect their eyes when they pounce on huge chunks of meat and bones. Since raptors, especially hawks and falcons, dive at such high speed, they probably need a little help to protect their eyes, much like skydivers wearing goggles. I have forgotten my goggles a few times during my skydiving days. Yups, it’s not pretty.
Anyway, this video turned out crisp as usual using 20mm pancake f1.7. It’s an amazing lens for a closeup.