Monday, October 30, 2006

Post Move Mess

So on Sunday, Kim and I managed to move into the new house. It took the 3 movers about 6 hours to complete the move, and the place is a complete mess. This is the view from the front door. There were a few casualties along the way, the tv stand was a little destroyed, one of the chairs was scraped and there were a couple of nicks on some furniture. A gash was also left in the wall in the process of removing the old fridge. The moving company also brought a truck that was too small, resulting in the movers having to use some creativity to get most of the stuff in (which probably led to some of the damage). I have a great picture on my Fuji of the fully loaded truck trying to make it down the 880, but alas the cable for the camera is packed; maybe I'll post it in a day or two.

The good news is that all our appliances got moved from public storage and today our plumber (Ron Shroff of Happy Plumbing, very highly recommended by the way) hooked up the appliances. So now its down to unpacking...

Monday, October 23, 2006

So Much Painting

Kim and I started painting the house this weekend. We wanted to paint the entire living room, dining room, family room and the adjoining hallway. Picking a colour was fairly easy, Benjamin Moore 1101 (the colour from Kim's family room in her old house). We started taping and cleaning the walls on Saturday. We managed to start cutting in (from the roof and all taped areas) which is much more challenging when you have portions of the roof that reach 15 feet in height.

By the end of the day Sunday (and it was a very long day) we had managed to get 3/4 of the way through the first coat. Now we have to finish everything up by the end of the week. Sooo tired...

Technical Specs: Canon 5D, 17-40 @ 17mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/4s.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fun with IR

Yesterday just as I was about to leave work, Chris Cox pulled out the Kodak DCS 760 with the IR filter removed that he has had sitting in a packed box in his office for months. Since he had no intention (or the time) to play around further with IR, I borrowed it to do some experimentation. Edward was also really curious as to how IR photography worked and we had some questions on the effectiveness of camera CCDs for IR.

I finally had the opportunity to set up the camera this afternoon. I borrowed an IR pass filter and started experimenting. The DCS 760 is a beast of a camera, heavy, kludgy, slow and not easy to use. In its defense however it is 5 years old. After fidgeting for about an hour with batteries and flash card adapters (the camera takes only PCMCIA cards), I finally got the thing working. I managed to do a couple of quick shots of people, then Edward and I went up to the 18th floor to shoot downtown San Jose.

Pictured above is the HP Pavilion on the left with the San Jose Airport in the distance to the right. I did a little bit of work in Photoshop for the colors. One of things thats not obvious with IR is what white balance to select. I left it at what the camera thought was best (around 4700K) but there's no reason you can't try other values. I also did some massaging with the colors until I got something that looked nice. IR images also look nice when converted to black and white; which is what I did for the image below.

Technical Specs: Kodak DCS 760, Nikkor 28-70 f/2.8 @ 34mm, f/2.8, 1/15s, ISO 80.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Back to Pinnacles

Saturday was Amy's last day with us here in California. She wanted to see Pinnacles. so we set off in the morning for a nice 4-5 hour hike through Pinnacles. Each time I go back to Pinnacles I find myself enjoying it more and more; its a place I don't seem to get tired of.

It just so happened that we got a new batch of cameras to test at work, so I was asked if I could generate some real-world test images for the FujiFilm S6000fd, hence that's the camera I took with me. All the pictures from that day are available on my PicasaWeb site.

Technical Specs: FujiFilm Finepix S6000fd, ISO 100, f/6.4, 1/300s.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yosemite Weekend

Amy (Kim's sister) arrived on Friday evening to visit with us just a smidge over a week. We decided (with little planning (a bad idea BTW)) to head to Yosemite for a relaxing weekend. Turns out Yosemite is a food catastrophe (and I really mean it). Lodging is also a serious pain with Yosemite since you either pay through the nose to stay in the park or you have to stay an hour's drive away in one of the nearby towns. We chose the latter and hence much driving was involved.

I was really hoping for some good photography opportunities so I took a lot of my gear (and my shiny new tripod rig). The results weren't inspiring, I have posted them on Picasa. On Saturday evening we hoped to shoot Half Dome from Glacier Point but that turned out to be an uninspiring sunset (and the moon didn't come up until it was too late). On Sunday evening we hoped to shoot the spectacular tufas at Mono Lake against a sunset; yet again the sunset and afterglow were uninspiring. I guess that's why people try shooting at Yosemite for several consecutive days.

By the end of the weekend, I was glad to be coming home. I'd really like to shoot Yosemite again but in the winter and I'm really keen on returning to Mono Lake to do more landscape shooting (oh and its also a good place to shoot birds).

Technical Specs: Canon 5D, 17-40@35mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO 100, Lightroom & Photoshop.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Librarian Action Figure

I won this near mint condition still in box amazing action figure at a company meeting recently. The figure comes with the backdrop, books, and a computer; and then there's the push button shushing action!

It turns out the Nancy Pearl librarian action figure is based on a real person; something I didn't find out until today out of a sudden fit of boredom. There's also a Seattle Times article that talks about it.