Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WIX dream Photo assignment outline

As a Kiwi photographer (New Zealander) my ultimate WIX dream photo assignment would be a documentary photo shoot covering the action over four weeks aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), a Nimitz-class, nuclear-powered supercarrier based at the United States Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan, as it takes part in a major navel exercise out in the Pacific Ocean.
A nuclear Aircraft Carrier is a closed environment, only for a select few photographers from outside the US Navy world, it would be a blast and of major interest to all subscribers of WIX as we (WIX and I) document visually ( on both Still and Video) the journey out to the carrier, the life and action aboard the vessel during an intensive training period of deployment and its return to port in Japan.
While many others will offer suggestions about their dream assignments being top fashion shoots, expeditions, off the wall activities, motorsport and travel scenarios, I am sure you will agree that one of the most exciting photo assignments one could imagine would be to document the action aboard an aircraft carrier.
The time of year for undertaking this dream assignment would be up to the control of the US Navy Public Affairs Department but I am sure there are plenty of exercises one can choose from.
The USN PAO would also need to vet the pictures )security etc) but as I still at times work alongside armed forces so for me this isn’t a problem, the goal is to produce a large body of visual work which will highlight the dedication and solid work of the USN carrier fleets and at the same time drive unique visitors to a major WIX site detailing the journey I am undertaking though daily uploads, comments, videos and  pictures, then following the assignment the compilation of all the visual materials into a video documentary showing how the WIX Dream photography assignment was undertaken and completed.
There is also a market for this story in photo magazines around the world further increasing the WIX media profile.
Life will be hard aboard a ship of this size, access will be tough and the weather will play a major part in it all, but it can be done and it is a very, very unique photo assignment.
 All the main Bits required: return airfares, accommodations and transfers from Dunedin NZ to Yokosuka US Navy Base in Japan. Then in the hands of the USN PAO transfers to the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), Rations and Quarters for four or five weeks aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), USN clearance to photograph as a foreign national media aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), assistance from the USN PAO aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) for internet access and assistance from their on-board PAO and photo department staff,  
Equipment bits required:
From Canon Japan, a MEDIA LOAN SET  of 2x  EOS 1 DX MKII camera bodies, 2 x EOS 4D MK4 Cameras and batteries chargers etc, a suite of lenses from 16mm zooms up to 600mm telephoto, to be picked up during transit in Japan.
From SanDisk: a good number of SanDisk 512Gb Extreme Pro cards and card reader
A good brand lap top high spec (chase up HP for one) with external multi-TB storage devices
Adobe software package suitable for image and video production OR software support from Corel (Adobe hardly ever sponsor but Corel would)
Internet access
Tripods and go pros to record my daily activities.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

 Week 2 day 14
I'm so over it
I'm so over 'dizzy spell's, they hit me every time I try to stand up and are really a pain,  worked out they are probably blood pressure and not related to diabetic sugar levels so time to call it in again and see which pill needs halving. I'm of the opinion that dieting is like being an alcoholic or addict as you crave a product (food) every hour of the day but it's you mental fortitude which stops you caving in and opening your mouth. It's not all that easy as we are constantly bombarded with food advertising every where and it smells so good but I have to remember why I'm doing this and why it's in my best interest to keep at it. Took my mind off food yesterday and went and watched a cruise ship depart Port Otago from Butchers Point at the end of Port Chalmers, mighty impressive ,wish some day I may be able to afford going on a cruise - not here but up in the northern hemisphere I hope.
bloods 6.8 am

the sentinels a looking out to the mouth of Otago Harbour

they said all they were catching was sharks

great place to watch the world go past from
what shall we wear for dinner today darlink

wicked aerofoil on the back does it make them go any faster?

Friday, February 3, 2017

The end of week two ups and downs
UPs: My weight is now 7.8 kgs lighter than when I started two weeks ago  123.8kgs - no really they measured me on their scales twice, man was I impressed and so was Kath. And I'm off one pill so that's a big improvement.
DOWNS: hungry, food cravings, dizzy spells and tiredness. they all count for something I hope.
Bloods 5-6 ams 5-6 pms

Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 2 Day 2 ups and down

Well that was fun, I got through the first week, tired and a little bit hungry I admit. But it was a challenge. Especially when you get invited out to dinner at a friend’s and they are serving wonderful food. So I stuck to small portions of the salads. That’s all I could manage while the others dined on chicken and ice cream.
By now I have discovered which Optifast flavours are palatable and picked out those that are nice and those not worth it. The sachets of shakes that rock are Vanilla, Strawberry and Chocolate, while in the bars the chocolate is very stodgy but oh so filling, all the rest were not nice for my palette especially the caramel. I will be soon blending the strawberry with frozen berries in the mornings so that should be nice.
Today I had my first diabetic fuzzy sight and major dizzy spell since finding out I was diabetic (Type 2), kinda knocked me for a six confidence wise, losing my vision to a fractured view, but I knew it was coming due to massive dizzy spells standing up and even while sitting down so I  wolfed down some fruit to balance my blood sugars and it passed thankfully. I now know the signs that lead up to an episode so will watch out for them in the future.
I'm also learning how to plan my food on away trips which my job demands carrying small punnets of prepared veges and salads.
Kath was impressed that I maintained the diet regime down at the Edendale Crank Up in amongst all the lovely snack food on offer but i prevailed and won the day.
Watching my bloods closely down to 5.8 and 6 so gotta take note of them and adjust the medication accordingly if I need to.
Kath's proud of me

Bloods 6.1am 5.7 pm after a meal a wee bit worrying because of the continued dizzy spells

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

days two and three week one.

Week 1 Day 3
Bloods 8.2 am 5.8 pm
Woke exhausted but in a better frame of mind, tried the third drink flavour today. Chocolate was a massive sugar hit – thanks Nestle- Banana was so-so (oh how I miss Bananas – not good at all for my Diabetes) while the Strawberry at least tasted ok now I have to find some frozen berries to add to it in the blender which should make it much more palatable.
Now if I could not feel so bloated although Wilbur said I would be farting like never before soon. 
Made up my mind to try a few of the recipes from the opticook site.

Week 1 Day 2
Well I got through it - the second day on the diet: Hungry Maybe! Exhausted Yes! Feeling like a bloated cow Yes! But this is what the Optifast website said I would feel like. Started surfing around looking for recipes found a few good sites like and the Canadian Optifast company websites are free and great, however the Aussie site costs $99 to join up for the same content –dah!
Feeling good with myself and then the phone rings, due to an illness in the tutors family my journalism course has been delayed until the second semester starting in July, I’m ok about most of it but wonder if they are going to make us take 3 months off in the middle of it – kinda dumb I think.
Then I got to talk with Wilbur, he’s on the Optifast diet and has lost heaps ( OK he had to lose some to start with before his gastro band was put on but he is still living by the diet) and his advice was very, very helpful, he made me see that it was possible to lose the weight and keep it off.
Bloods 8.0 am 6.1 pm

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Day One 2017

Day 1    -    the diet in Dunedin
Penny and I at Naseby Jan 2017

As I ripped open the packet of chocolate drink after hours of looking at suspiciously, it dawned on me that today was the start of a new me, one where I could control one of the biggest bug-bears I have been shouldering for the past eight years - my weight.
When they weighted me the other day at the clinic, I knew before I had even stepped on the scales that I’d put on all I had lost before Christmas. Richie’s venison stew, lashings of free range ham and mums pavlova plus hours of sitting around telling tale tales to the rellies from Australia had piled back on the 5 kg’s I had lost by early December. No one else was to blame as I did it and therefore it was my problem.
So today I began my managed diet, and what a diet – not just cutting out sugars or carbs, rice or bread,  it’s the famous Optifast 12 week Very Low Calorie Diet. An intensive diet whereby I replace meals with a sachet drink, and the main meal of the day consists of low starch vegetables, or fruit or soup or whatever‘s left on the non-can-touch list.
Meat isn’t there but oddly diet coke is? Tomato paste is but not tomato sauce although Soy sauce with all its salt is there? I’m scratching my head over that one. Mind you when I went online to the Optifast site I was amazed to see that if you want to join their online program of weight management – a la Weight watcher's – is gonna cost AUD $100 – NOT.
Nestles must be making a packet on the side with that one, So I did some more research on doctor google and found a lovely blog site in which the writer gives you a eBook of recipes and hints and tips so I guess i will be looking at that one for the immediate future
The idea is to lose a minimum of 10 % of your body weight in the first 12 weeks and then lose more in the following 12 months working on a less intensive version of the diet. Plenty of online comments about the diet- some good and some negative, but most say that while it is the most expensive diet plan out there it does work for those who make the effort and I need to as my diabetes is annoying me, my weight is annoying me and it’s impacting on my life in far too many ways.
It’s a daunting prospect as I know what has to be done but have been dodging the issue for years now, so today is the start…..
Weight: 130.8kg
Bloods 12.2 am, 6.8 pm