Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Murder in the church

March 18, 2008

Is what I almost committed yesterday. I was photographing the stained glass windows with my new tripod setup—essentially, doing it right for the very first time. Tourists and miscellaneous faithful drop in throughout the day to gawk / pray / etc. One large group was walking toward the altar, down the center aisle. I was in the center aisle. The whole group saw me and took pains to keep distance from the tripod, except the last. She had her head in the clouds, and as she walked by, KICKED the tripod leg. Note that my camera was sitting on top of this tripod. My heart stopped and I grabbed the tripod–no harm done except the shortening of my life by a few seconds.

Nothing was sacred to these people—they marched right up to the tabernacle, went behind the bishop’s chair, and all manner of other things. Having been set against them by the kicking incident, I paused in my photography to keep an eye on their altar shenanigans . . . if they started climbing or opening anything, I was going to tell them to beat it.


New most viewed flickr photo

February 29, 2008

On my “real” flickr account, I have a photo that has shot through the stratosphere in Views over the past 2 days. It had something like 20 views, since its upload last summer. Now it has 3,500+, and growing by the minute. Supposedly it got 2,819 views yesterday alone. It’s in ONE group, which I added it to about 2 days ago. And if it’s not a flickr database glitch, all I can say is that this was a sleeper pic that was finally seen by the right person (i.e., someone with thousands of friends, to whom he forwarded the link).

Library of Congress on flickr

January 23, 2008

LOC’s flickr page. Lots of historical photos, worth a look!

Photo gig

November 14, 2007

Had my first paying photography gig last month—though it would more properly be called a “paying” gig, since I never got paid. Can’t make too much noise about it, though, since it was an informal thing set up by a friend. Glad I didn’t fuss about it, too, because I now have my second paying gig. I am praying that it’s not “paying” also.

For this one I rented a nice lens, a Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS. This lens means business. It’s also so heavy you would probably opt to go without photos if you had to take it on vacation with you. And if you have about $1600 you can own one!

No sweet jumps with this rig

Shoot Raw, enjoy 16-bit smoothness

November 9, 2007

I didn’t realize that one of the benefits of Raw over JPG was that it holds up better under Photoshop manipulation: you get smoother gradients. Here’s a sample from a sunset picture I took tonight (a sliver of the sky at 100% magnification):


For someone like me, with a 2.5 year old laptop, working in 16-bit really slows things down. But the improvement in quality makes it worthwhile. I would rather work in 8-bit and then slip a 16-bit copy underneath my adjustment layers at the last minute, but the adjustment layers affect 16-bit backgrounds differently than they do 8-bit ones. So wait I must, for the 16-bit smoothness.

First digital prints

October 16, 2007

This week I made the first prints from my Canon 5D, all of them 8x10s. The first four I did on an HP plotter, on 42″ wide glossy paper. They turned out terrible! Probably they were ruined by a number of factors: wrong printer for photos, didn’t use the printer’s own color profile, etc.

Took my laptop to the nearest photo processor this afternoon and had one of the photos reprinted, using their specific printer color profile and the proper “Proof Setup” settings. Much, much better.

I find it funny that I’ve only printed four of the 2,900 pictures I’ve taken since getting the camera on June 15th. But now that my photography skills are improving, alongside my color-correction and other Photoshop skills, I will be printing many more in the months to come.

A day at the water park

September 16, 2007

Spent Saturday with two friends at a water park about 50 miles south of here. On the way down we stopped at Walgreen’s and bought sunblock and a waterproof disposable camera. I hope the photos I took are viewable. I have my doubts, with a camera with a fixed focus, aperture, and shutter time.

Going to a water park is also a great way to confirm firsthand what you keep hearing in the news about obesity in America. I would say about 99% of the adults there are overweight (defined as having love-handle creases), and something approaching 50% are grossly overweight (defined as having additional love-handle creases at mid-calf). Another fun stat: about 80% of park attendees have one or more very silly tattoos adorning their flab.

I had not been to a water park since that fun day at Wild Rivers in Irvine, way back in 1991. I can’t remember even who was all there with me, but I do remember talking to Scott in the parking lot.

Pink Bible

August 4, 2007

The inside cover is even better than the loud exterior. I saw this at Savers a couple of weeks ago.

Pink Bible - inside cover

Jesus Christ’s business card

July 23, 2007

Engrish battery instructions

July 10, 2007

I bought some extra camera batteries made in China, and they came with a TWO-SIDED instruction sheet! At first I thought, toss it, but then the Engrish caught my eye. Overall, it’s pretty well done, with only a few flubs. Repeating the same information three times is really its worst fault. Anyway, here are some selections:

Congratulations upon your selection on this Replacement product. [Etc.]
(Makes me feel proud that I chose THIS battery.)

Note: All mentions of “the battery” in the following precautions refer to this Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery.

* Don not use Or leave the battery near open flame, near a heater, in a direct sunlight, in a closed vehicle parked in the sun, [etc]

* [Putting the battery in water] can cause deterioration of it’s its performance and loss of service life.

* Should the battery emit a strange odor or heat, change color or shape, or exhibit any other abnor-mal behavior while it is in use, being recharged, or in storage, immediately remove it from the camera or charger unit and do not use it any more.
(Is it a problem that when it’s in the camera it’s not visible?)

* If the battery does not achieves full charge after the normal charging time has passed, stop charging Continued charging. Creates the risk of overheating, fire, and explosion.

* This battery initially not charged. Be sure to charger the battery before using it for the first time.

* [Warm up batteries in pocket before use in cold weather.] If you are using a pocket heater, make sure that the battery goes not done into direct contact with it.
(Pocket heater? Is that for real? It goes not done.)