The Mighty Micra

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The Nissan Micra is an iconic British brand of small car and has now evolved into its next metamorphosis.  I wish to state categorically that I am neither an employee or sponsored in any way by Nissan.  As Scotland’s no1 Micra fan boy I felt compelled to write this blog, especially as I have just taken advantage of a Micra lease deal only available during this September in the Uk.  I am now the proud owner of a new Stylish fourth generation Limited Edition Micra Ascenta!!

So why choose MIcra?  If you’re downsizing from your 4×4  or perhaps you’re looking for a second family car, the new Nissan Micra may just be the ticket.  So lets discover why this car is one of the best Japanese All Rounders currently on the market.  Some of the Pros of the new 2019 models:

Safety

The most important aspect you could consider in a new car is its safety features, after all, you can get a new car any time but you can’t get a new life.  So I’m going to describe some innovative safety features I have discovered on my new Micra journey. The novelty feature of the lane cross over warning system must be my favourite.  When you start to cross over the dividing lane, an audible alarm sounds and vibration is sent through the driving wheel, much like the silent warning of a mobile phone. Another cool feature is the anti glare rear view mirror which makes a huge difference when driving at night in congested traffic – you will appreciate no longer having your retinas burned out by other’s headlights.  On the AI front, if the car senses a toddler or person behind or in front of the car, an automatic halt action kicks in, however I hope never to experience this life saving feature.  The ABS on Nissan cars are second to none.  I had recently been travelling back from a business networking event when a dog broke free and ran out in front of me at short range – fortunately the ABS allowed me to do an emergency stop and no one got harmed.  The dog, oblivious to the car, continued racing across the road to its favourite play park.

Boot Space

For me priority of a new car is to have a boot large enough to put my dive equipment in.  The Ascenta’s boot is visibly larger than the previous Visia 3rd generation Micra.  As you can see from the photographs, I can easily fit all my Snorkel Dive bags with more space remaining.  There’s also a handy additional boot light which will make managing the boot at night convenient.

Another thing to consider is that the Micra is not only easy to manoeuvre  in the city, but can also handle motorways and countryside roads with ease as well.  Earlier this year I took my previous Visia to the Outer Hebrides to write a Magazine article about the North Harris Snorkel Trail.  In the car I was able to take a passenger, luggage for two, 3 dive bags and my camera kits.  The visia handled the steep and dangerous sheep ridden back roads without any problems what so ever which is why I feel that this small car is one of the best all rounders I’ve experienced.

Technology

The only tech I want from a car is to be able to answer important business client calls on the move – as a freelance photographer, some clients who have little time will not give you a second chance of a job if you don’t answer your phone the first time.  With the new Ascenta you also have a cool feature called Apple Car Play.  This means I can link my phone via USB cable and use my Map apps and watch them on the 7 inch touch display screen.  I no longer need to invest in phone holders and have the satisfying convenience of not needing to take my iPhone out its case every time I want to use the maps app.  You can also listen to the wireless while using your maps app.  I have yet to see what happens when I link my go pro action cam to the system, using the car screen as a giant viewfinder.

Style

For me this is the least important factor when choosing a new car, however the new Micra is noticeably more pleasing to the eye both with its exterior curves and sporty leather clad interiors.  I have noticed that heads have been turning in my direction and I’ve even had cars tailing me to get a closer look at this sporty new automobile.

Drive Experience

The Limited Addition Ascenta has a one litre engine which is extremely economical as a super mini should be, with an average of 47.1 mpg, emitting 118g per km of CO2.  However despite the compact engine, the car feels like you are driving a much larger German brand.  The words ‘smooth’ come to mind whether you are driving the manual or CVT transmission Micra, both of which I have enjoyed testing.  Another word I think of is ‘solid.’  You immediately feel this when you close the car door as compared to my previous 3rd generation Visia.  The Visia in comparison felt more like a toy car with basic yet functional features.  Albeit the Visia still has all the essential safety features to help keep you and the car in one piece.

Dino Leone, Senior Sales Executive at the Halbeath Dunfermline Nissan Showroom explained that Micra customers like myself keep returning.  He had even sold a Micra to his sister and mother.  Dino told me that Nissan only make cars to order, unlike other brands who have surplus vehicles sitting in fields.  Due to public demand, the showroom are finding it hard to source automatic Micras, so as yet, it’s mainly manual cars that are available on the special lease deal.  However CVT transmission Micras are currently available as a Mobility Option.

And the Cons?

The new Micra is noticeably larger than the previous incarnations.  I found the new micra a little harder to park in between cars as I couldn’t judge the distances very easily.  Perhaps in future Micras, Nissan will include the Aerial 360 degrees parking camera which would solve this problem for more petite drivers such as myself.

In Conclusion

Apart from this I have found nothing else I would want to change as the new Micra has totally evolved beyond the pattern of previous generations.  As long as a car can get me from A to B – dry and in comfort without breaking down or breaking the bank on the never ending rising petrol prices, the new Micra ticks all the boxes!

So if I’ve now got you ‘Micra Curious’ and would be interested in test driving the new Micra, contact Dino today at Nissan Dunfermline, Tel 01383 321 000  email: dleone@westernnissan.co.uk

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Fife Ness, Scotland

An update my friends is long overdue!  I am currently editing a vlog on my recent trip to the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.  I was fortunate to be able to do the North Harris Snorkel trail while on a holiday with the Perth British Sub Aqua Club.  We had a fantastic time, the weather was 15 degrees with a mixture of sunshine and rain most days.

I have submitted an article to the British Sub Aqua Magazine with photos and that should be printed in  a future publication.

I continue to enjoy using my new found format – the Olympus Pen and have been enjoying doing some Monotone Street Photography with the Kinross Camera Club.  It’s great to get out into the Scottish countryside or coastal areas and take photos with other enthusiasts.  I also enjoy doing macro photography of flowers and insects I find in the Fife and Lothians areas.

The Kinross Show will be on next month and I’m looking forward to getting some shots of the Vintage Tractors with the Pen.  So, rather than rattle on about the Harris trip, I’ll upload the video(s) when edited shortly.  Watch this space!!

Olympus Pen

Water Droplet Macro Shot

After recently attending an open day sale at Edinburgh’s Wex branch I came away with a new camera!!  I had had no intention of buying any more camera gear but I thought I’d have a look anyway.  I arrived at the store and the event was well attended.  I weaved my way around the crowds looking at the different stalls selling Sony, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, Canon and Nikon.

I was on the lookout for the Micro Four Thirds sellers.  There was a rep from Olympus but I was drawn to the used table with an array of lenses and camera bodies.

I did notice an Olympus Pen body and it was the cheapest item on the table at only £179.  In comparison, I noticed a Sony A7 full frame body at £700.  It suddenly occured to me – I needed a back up body for shooting weddings!!  Every wedding photographer should have two bodies for the big day and I realised I had an opportunity.

The camera body came with not much else – the box, a power lead, manual and disc were all that were on offer.  I had never owned an Olympus before and was excited at getting my first Pen – and – supporting the Micro Four Thirds industry – and – helping to save the planet by recycling camera gear rather than buying new.

I took the new camera body home and excitedly attached my Leica 12 to 60mm lens to see what would happen.  To my delight the camera was functioning fine with this lens.  Then I tried my Panasonic Macro lens and that too provided excellent shots.  I was experiencing the same joy as I did when I opened the box of my first new micro camera in 2018.

I sourced two spare batteries and charger from Amazon so cheaply I couldn’t believe it!!

I tested the Pen out by shooting some macro round the Loch Leven area and got some amazing water dropet shots – I was really enjoying myself with this new body.  It is so light compared to my other ‘big brother’ micro camera.  I was also astounded at how long the battery was lasting.  I had 7 separate macro shoots before the battery was empty!!

Not only now do I have a back up body for weddings but I can also enjoy macro photography too.  I then decided that I would quite like to try some street photography as this is what the Pen was deisgned for – being compact and discreet.  My Leica zoom is a little too front heavy for the Pen body.  After getting a copy of Amateur Photography I discovered Park Cameras and sourced a used Olympus 14 to 24 zoom lens which is exactly the lens that should have come in the box!!  I got this lens for only £59 – how about that!

So I await my lens and during the summer months I will enjoy doing some street photography in ‘Auld Reekie’ and new town of Edinburgh City.  I will experiment with the monochrome mode against some of Edinburgh’s most amazing architecture.  Students from all over the world come to study Edinburgh New Town’s architecture.  When you walk along George Street you notice that each house has its own unique stone design and motiffs.

I have now ordered a handy camera case to protect the camera while travelling and will keep you updated on my adventures!!

Tullibole Castle Wedding Fair

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This weekend we’re excited  to attend the Wedding Fair at Tullibole Castle which is by Crook of Devon, Kinross, Scotland.  On display I’ll have a tv monitor with some wedding footage showreels and I will proudly have on display ‘Millie’ our first wee eye in this sky.

I am looking forward to meeting the other exhibitors and of course meeting new clients for 2018 and 2019 bookings.

 

Killer Products

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This Plastic is Killing our Sea Wildlife!!

You may mistakenly think that the above title is about amazing products however you couldn’t be further from the truth.

Investigative Journalism is my favourite form of work and the following blog has been inspired by reading the book Thanks for the Memories by Brice Taylor.  I paid £140 for this book which is possibly the most expensive book I’ll ever buy.  A copy of this book is now available on Amazon for $1300!!  The information in the book is explosive.

The following blog is not particularly on the above book but is related, and all the information is in the public domain.   It is a blog on the subject of health and wellbeing which was recently blocked from being published by a local journal, the editor being afraid of being sued!!  

I also write about this as I have personal experience of a run in with secret societies with regard to their media industry which is very much controlled, full of occult symbols in movies and pop videos galore.  At the young age of only 26 (1996) I had researched and written a synopsis for a movie script on the Story of St Joan of Arc and her body guard, and made the mistake of handing a copy to a member of an esoteric society I was a member of.  Before I knew it, the movie appeared on the big screen, directed by no other than the famous Luc Besson, starring his x wife Milla Jovovich, A list actors Dustin Hoffman (who Played St Michael) and French actor Vincent Cassells.  

I watched the movie in horror during its release in a French Cinema in Northern France, my mouth gaping open as my plot that had been in my original manuscript manifested before my very eyes.  The chances of myself and Luc Besson having exactly the same ideas??  Not possible, unless there’s some form of universal telepathic system in place – and which by the way, I don’t believe in ESP – I enjoy reading books by the Great James Randi.

Nicking Movie Script ideas is nothing new and since this episode in around 1996 my emails have been tapped (even to this day) – of course the thiefs who stole my Joan of Arc synopsis didn’t want to miss out on any other potential movie ideas I may have so foraging my emails for more information would be a covert way to milk the movie business cow without the cow being aware.

I have taken the liberty to safely store all my original 3/4 inch floppy diskettes and dot matrix printed synopsis’s of my Joan of Arc script work, should I ever require it in evidence.

Let’s begin at the beginning.  In mediaevil times, say 14th century, wealthy land owners farmed animals.  As time went on and populations started increasing it became necessary to start farming people, that is keep them in order.

One way to keep control of the populus is to control food supplies – what the masses can eat and what goes into their food.  Most of us don’t own allotments and can’t really be self sufficient.   I certainly find that I spend enough hours during the summer months in the garden just keeping the grass cut and doing the weeding.  I’d like to grow my own vegetables but realistically I can’t put in the hours – or I’d have to give up my weekend sub aqua hobby.

I first found out about the chemical Aspartame after reading The Robot’s Rebellion by David Icke who is a former BBC tv presenter and now public speaker and author.  I met Mr Icke in 1995 while filming part of his Uk tour at Edinburgh’s Assembly rooms, round about the launch of his book of which he has written several.

Icke was recently banned from speaking in Australia and his current materials focus on the dangers of  globalization covering subjects such as creation of a one world bank, government and army.  The horror is that this dystopian ‘New World Order’ has been designed so that the world’s richest families will ‘inherit the Earth’ (the Earths remaining resources), carrying out uninhibited bohemian ritual acts, while the prolotariat (you and I) are simply culled, the remaining spared to carry out menial tasks.

Conspiracy theories are not new and indeed are now filtering into the movies – perhaps one that springs to mind is Mel Gibson’s ‘Conspiracy Theory.’  The Bourne Identity Trilogy concerns the illegal black projects carried out by the CIA to create a ‘super soldier.’

Take a recent Conspiracy Theory I had read about in the 90’s – this was that in the USA prisoner of war camps based on the Auschwitz model,  were being built to hold the population for culling.  I didn’t believe this – at the time.

What actually happened was that camps were indeed built in America to hold illegal Mexican immigrants after the dawn of the Trump administration.

Back to Aspartame.  Here is a quote from David Icke’s website:

What is aspartame and why is it bad for you? 

A popular type of artificial sweetener, aspartame is often used as an alternative to table sugar. Since it is at least 160 to 220 times sweeter than sucrose, you’ll use less aspartame when preparing food. Some people mistakenly believe that this means they can use as much aspartame as they want, especially if they have a sweet tooth. 

In the 1970s, a study revealed that an artificial sweetener called saccharin caused cancer of the bladder (urinary) in laboratory rats. 

But the studies that followed suggest that the use of saccharin did not have the same results in humans. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the safety label of saccarin from “hazardous” to “generally recognized as safe.” 

While this seems like good news, take a moment to reconsider the use of any artificial sweetener. In a separate study, Dr. Robert Walton reviewed various research studies conducted on aspartame. The findings showed that out of the 166 studies analyzed, 74 were funded by companies that produced aspartame. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the results of all 74 studies say that aspartame is safe for human consumption.’ 

I decided to do my own market research for this article and found that every popular brand of fizzy drink being sold to the public contains Aspartame or its alernatives called: sucralose, Acesulfame, Saccharin, Xylitol, and Sorbitol.

Some effects of Aspartame on the human brain:

Aspartame can cause cellular effects on the brain causing mood disorders in sensitive people including headaches, insomnia,  and seizures.

Mental disorders can be caused and can cause learning and emotional disorders.

Cancer and birth defects are also symptoms of killer chemicals in your food.

Now I’m no megalomaniac,  but If I wanted to take control, I’d try to make the population brain dead so they can’t think for themselves – keep them in a stupor.   Why not help them on their way by putting the right type of chemicals in their food and produce massive media campaigns encouraging them to consume it.

And the truth shall set ye free – you have the power – it’s called consumer power.  You can choose healthier alternatives if you really want to.  Never before have we had so much choice.  People can start to take their power back from the 1% who own 99% of the planet’s wealth.

In our wellbeing classes, we won’t dictate what you should and shouldn’t eat, but we will teach you how to be aware of your mind and body.  The more you develop this skill, the more you will become aware of your environment.  Classes are Mondays and Friday’s, 7pm to 8pm, Kinross Community Campus.

Recommended Reference Books

David Icke – The Robots Rebellion, The Biggest Secret

Brice Taylor – Thanks for the Memories

Cathy O’Brien – Trans Formation of America

William Cooper – Behold A Pale Horse

It’s Wedding Season !!

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Vu – West Lothian

 

It’s 2019 and this year we launch Wedding and Civil Partnership Photography with the new Micro Four Thirds Camera System.  What makes us different?  We know that weddings are a costly event for all and so I am offering affordable packages to suit most budgets.

I will also be offering Video at Weddings as an added extra for couples who would like to have some mini interviews and messages recorded on the day.

Fingers crossed I hope to have a Drone for doing your aerial shots in the near future.

I look forward to covering some of Scotland’s most amazing venues and locations – Perth, Fife, Clackmannanshire, West Lothian, Bathgate, the Borders and Edinburgh!!

 

The Sky’s the Limit

propertymeHi Folks, it’s been a wee while since my last blog, however I’ve been busy with attending networking events and experimenting with my go pro while out with my sub aqua club.  I’m now a member of the British Sub Aqua Club so that I can enjoy going out into the Scottish waters with even more divers.

 

I’m currently designing new publicity materials to push ahead with getting the Property Photography business off the ground.  I live in Kinross  where property is being bought and sold like hotcakes however surprisingly it’s still hard to let the locals know I live here and am keen to do their property photos!!

I simply love doing property photography and I use an Ultra Wide Angle Lens to present your interiors in the best visual way possible.

Now, my new addition to the service will be a Drone complete with pilot – he’s Lee Richardson (photo to follow) , he’s got his aviation licence and I’m pleased to announce he is now on board so that if you require aerial shots of your country mansion, estate or industrial factory, we can get that in the can if required.

The law requires that your property is a minimum of 150 metres from the nearest populated area, so if your property meets this requirement, we’re good to go!!

We will be pleased to shoot your property in the areas of Fife, Perthshire, Clackmannanshire, Stirling, Lothians indeed anywhere there is demand.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Celebrating the New Video Unit with Panasonic !

Today I am celebrating the arrival of the new video unit to once again, start up video production in the Loch Leven area!  Last year after selling all my Canon video camera kit which used the miniDV digital tape format, I wasn’t sure where to go from there.  I spent over a year pondering this, wandering the video desert in search of enlightenment.

I still had my Canon 7D DSLR and although this camera is very capable of shooting video – it is still very much oriented to shooting still photos first, and video second.  For a start, there was no input jack for headphones to monitor sound while recording video.

Alas, the 7D was now considered to be an ‘older’ camera and I felt it was time to upgrade and keep up with the new technology of 4K cameras.  I decided that I really like being a ‘Hybrid Shooter’ I like using a camera that can take great stills and shoot great video too.

After spending many long nights going into the early mornings, I reviewed youtube video after video, trying to decipher which type of camera to buy and then what brand.

At first I was going to go for a traditional camcorder, but then viewed some videos entitled ‘the death of the Camcorder!!’  I wanted to invest in a camera that had a future, and I wanted to keep up with that future, never allowing myself to ever fall behind again.

I put my 7D on the tripod and started doing some trial vlogging videos and realised that I really liked the look of the 7D as a camera.  After visiting Calumet store in Edinburgh, the saleswoman advised me to upgrade to the Panasonic range of hybrid cameras.  While in the store I looked at a number of brands including Sony, Panasonic, and Canon.  I decided I wanted another Canon – the new 5D mark iv.  My mind was made up, although I knew the mark iv would cost a lot of money.  Perhaps I would wait another year until it came down in price.  Perhaps I would just keep the 7D.

That night I watched even more youtube reviews on the Panasonic range and realised that the saleswoman was right – Panasonic’s range was indeed more Video oriented than the competitor’s.  Suddenly I realised that the Panasonic was the camera for me after all!  I was so excited.

I am now the proud owner of a new Panasonic 4K camera and can’t wait to try it out.  It’s certainly lighter than the Canon 7D and has all the video functions a film maker could want.

Interestingly, I first used Panasonic’s video cameras back in the 90’s when SVHS was the analogue format used by wedding and corporate videographers.  So it gave me a warm feeling to make the switch from Canon to Panasonic for a change.

I look forward to testing out the new camera and producing some fantastic videos for clients in the future.

Happy New Year 2018 !

Happy New Year everyone!!  This new year I am excited as I have now found a new supplier of media production equipment – Calumet of Edinburgh.  I intend to visit Calumet shortly to invest in new lighting and sound recording to help improve the quality of productions for the coming new year.

Also I will be looking forward to networking in Edinburgh, Perth and Stirling to make new contacts and new clients who may be looking for a video production company to provide customer testimonial web video services!

More news to follow folks!

Out with the Old and in with the New

It’s been a long long while since I last blogged.  I’ve spent many a month meditating on which direction to proceed in.  With my last video camera becoming a tad obsolete I decided to sell it lock stock and barrel, leaving me with only my trustee Canon 7D camera kit.    I wandered the desert, still pondering for about a year before I recently came up with the decision to get back into producing more web video content.

So I face a new precipice and am excited about what the future may hold!   I intend to start the new year by investing in new sound recording and lighting equipment, improving the quality of video productions in future.

I am also looking at the possibility of combining my passion for scuba diving with film making, hence my researching of the latest GoPro action camera kit.

So, I will now have to find a suitable supplier to get the ball rolling……more to follow folks!