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Showing posts from June, 2011

You Shall Not Pass! (Photocentric)

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Came across this rather sorry looking... fence, if something this small can be considered a fence, while at the beach. Being the geek I am I was immediately reminded of a scene in the Lord of the Rings movie where Gandalf the wizard tells a much larger, stronger, and scarier monster that it can not pass. This "fence" was nothing more than a weak attempt at keeping people off that trail or dune.

A Portrait (Photocentric)

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If you hadn't noticed, the majority of my photos are of places, things, or an occasional animal but never people. One reason is that I'm not near good enough to take portrait shots of people. The other reason is I feel weird taking pictures of strangers. But I saw these 3 kids and felt I'd take a chance at it. It was a quick shot that originally had a lot of extra stuff on the sides (it was originally a 16x9 crop) so I cropped it into a square so the focus was distinctly on the kids. I like the golden tones on the grass and the look on concentration on the kid.

Under the Bridge (Photocentric)

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Sometimes I share a photo I had really great hopes for when I take the shot but for one reason or another does not completely live up to what I had envisioned. Today's shot is just such a picture. I had seen a lot of bridge shots and, for better or for worse, had those in mind when I set up for these shots. I couldn't wait to get home and process them... then the disappointment set in. I like the bridge look, but the sky is too blue. Don't get me wrong, it was a clear day, but it wasn't that blue. I need to start working with layers so I can paint in/out things like that. So this is not a finished shot, more of a work in progress. Hopefully I'll be able to finish it and post it.

Barns (Photocentric)

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In the back of my head I have ideas and plans to do a couple different photo projects. One of them is a barns project, in black and white. Preferably old barns that are showing their age. They have a certain feel to them when looking at them that new barns just don't have. This shot is the shot that got me started on the idea. Shot with my earlier Sony CyberShot then sent to Topaz Adjust and SilverEfex Pro.

Review: Thunderstruck

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Thunderstruck by Erik Larson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What is it about historical crime that is so interesting? Is it that criminals were more brazen because of a lack of forensic science? What ever it is, Erik Larson and historical crime are 2 for 2 in my book. His first book that I read, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America was a book that I didn't think I'd like much back in 2003, but ended up not being able to put it down. Thunderstruck is pretty much the same. It follows two seemingly unrelated story lines to a dramatic, and if you didn't Google the characters prior to reading the book, surprising finish.

Heaven and Earth (Photocentric)

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This week's shot is turning into one of my favorites. I really like the look and feel of the four elements (sand, grass, clouds, and sky) and how they play off each other. It is a three shot HDR with a little tweaking to bring out some details that weren't so obvious.

iCloud

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Monday, as just about everyone knows, Apple gave a peek at a couple of its updates in the operating systems arena, both mobile and desktop. Most people knew what to expect in the first half, OS X Lion is coming in July. And although I knew what most of the updated stuff was going to be I still found myself wanting to update right then and there. I mean why wouldn't you? It's $30, and I don't have to run down to a store to get it. Actually, I couldn't if I wanted to, but that's another story. But it's the second half of the presentation that was more, interesting, if you're an iOS person.

Blogger Goes Mobile

So apparently Blogger just got a mobile template. Up to now I had assumed my blog formatted nicely on all your iDevices (according to Google Analytics iOS accounts for 3% of traffic). Apparently I was wrong as today I'm told I can turn on mobile templates. Templates is plural because that's what the notification said, but as far as I can see it's just one template. Anyway, I now have a mobile template. Check it out and let me know what you think so I can tell Google what you think.

Google Music Beta vs. Amazon Cloud Drive

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(Note: I originally wrote this prior to Apple's WWDC event held yesterday with their iCloud announcement. I've got my thoughts on that and will write something up shortly)
Amazon, and most recently Google, have recently unveiled new services that allow for their users to upload their music to their respective servers and have access to their music from any internet, Flash enabled device around. These systems, caller lockers because they passively hold your music that you upload, are both cool and annoying. The cool thing is having an easy to use reliable service to stream your music to multiple devices. Anyone with a portable device these days knows that storage space can be pretty slim, so this is a welcome way to not have to pick and choose between your work files or your Lady Gaga collection. The annoying thing is you have to upload all your tracks. For me, with over 6,400 songs at 45 gigs this could take a while.

Beach Grass (Photocentric)

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I love panoramic shots. Especially when my lens at it's widest angle just doesn't cut it. But panoramic pictures are difficult to both shoot and put together. Ideally I should use a good tripod to steady the camera and negate any up and down variation with notations to easily tell where to setup the camera for the next shot in the series. Sadly I a) have no such tripod and b) don't often carry one with me when I'm not planning to shoot from the beginning... which is most of the time I shoot. Today cameras have great settings to help you handhold your panorama scene; from Sony's sweeping method where you just slowly sweep the camera across the landscape to Canon's previewing the edge of the last shot so you can line up the next shot system. This usually gets good results for me. It's when putting it together that I get issues.

 I have found the software solutions to stitching together panoramas to be iffy at best. I've used what comes bundled with my cam…

Kinetic Kraziness Day 2

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As promised, day 2. Day 2's highlight is the water entry that starts the day off. The contraptions that survived day 1 start day 2 off by getting sea worthy. For most this meant blowing up pontoons that get affixed to their machines in some way. They have to enter the water on their own power, and exit the water on their own. This is probably the most popular part of the event as there is a lot of drama as to whether or not some of these things will float, never mind make it the half mile or so down the bay to the exit. And as with most Humboldt things, there was no official start time that I could find, so I was there at 8:30am (the vague starting time for everyday) and didn't see the first entry until 10:20. I thought I'd get good seats at least, but there are better ones for sure.