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I usually post pictures or reviews of random stuff, but today I’m going to write a more proper blog entry!

My wife and I have recently bought our first home, a nice apartment in the countryside of Yilan county, north-east Taiwan. During the last couple of months we’ve spent a lot of time (and money, sigh) to buy all the furniture and electronics we may need. We got a really good deal on the house, but it was nearly empty.

It’s the middle of summer here in Taiwan, which means typhoon season. Our main focus during this week and the coming months will be to make sure that all the windows are in good conditions and ready to take the hit.

After that, we need to fix a small, mysterious leak of water from the bathroom’s floor. No one has an idea of what it is, so we’ll have to hire an expert to find the source of the water.

Once we’re a bit more set, we’d like to get a pet or two. Last year we rescued a puppy from the road. We kept him for a few days until we found a family for him, and what I discovered is that we’re not a great fit for a dog. I love dogs, but leaving a puppy alone at home for 12 hours is not something I feel like doing again. We’ll probably pick up a couple of cats from our local shelter, they’ll entertain themselves while we’re not at home and I’ll be able to watch cats doing silly stuff LIVE at home, rather than having to rely on Youtube.

Our new home is an extra 3kms away from my workplace, in a completely new area. The good thing is that the new commute to work gave me the opportunity to discover many new cool places that I can try to photograph. On the other side, I’ll definitely need to buy a motorcycle by the end of Autumn. The amount of rain that we get here in Winter in absurd, and 25kms a day through muddy country roads is not something I’m looking forward to. I’m still debating between a regular motorbike and an electric one.

More related to photography, I have a shopping list that I want to start following as soon as the new home expenses start to slow down.

I’m really enjoying M43 (Micro Four Thirds) as a backup camera system. By “backup” I mean that I always carry it with me thanks to its really small size and weight combined with good image quality. I have an old Panasonic G3 but I’m in no rush to upgrade that. Lenses are my first priority and I’ll soon sell one of my Canon lenses to get the funds for a couple of compact zooms. I plan to use M43 as low weight hiking/cycling kit, and the lighter the better.

My Canon 6D will stay because I love it, but I’ll make some renovations to that kit as well. Since I plan to use M43 as a walk around/travelling  setup, I’ll sell all my Canon zooms and replace them with prime lenses. This will allow me to get the max benefit from the camera’s low light performance and get the best image quality possible. My shopping list, in order of priority, is:

a) Panasonic 12-32

b) Panasonic 35-100

c) Samyang/Rokinon 14mm f2.8

d) Sigma 35mm f1.4

That’s quite a list for my poor wallet! It will probably take me until Christmas to take those lenses off my wishlist, so next year I’ll start to focus on a new M43 body. Panasonic and Olympus are releasing new cameras at a steady pace, so I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of new stuff available within the next 6 months, which means current cameras will see a reduction in price. Yay!

As I mentioned in  my previous post, I found out that even though I live in a fairly populated area it’s possible to get nice night skies.

night-sky-waiting-for-the-typhoon_19470115326_o

The Samyang/Rokinon lenses will hopefully help me to improve from that point of view, astrophotography has always fascinated me.

Cycling! I’m currently riding 120 to 150kms a week, and during weekends I’m not in the mood for touring. I’m not planning any changes in my cycling setup, with the Defy 3 as my commuting rig and the Tcr as my trainer/good weather bike.

If you’re wondering about the dog in the image: that one is Cane. It means:”Dog” in Italian. She’s the scary (…) guard dog from my workplace. She’s an unstoppable cuddling machine. This is the face she gives everyday when she thinks that she’s been a good doggie and she’s expecting a steak, sausage or chicken breast.

Fingers crossed for typhoon Chan-Hom, hopefully it will not hit too hard.

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