Monthly Archives: July 2008

digitization

So I’m watching a slide show of a couple that’s getting married, and realized that normal people who don’t have biography or shows devoted to their lives, usually have about 10 minutes to sum it all up.  These usually occur twice in one’s lifetime if they’re lucky.  Where the phrase a picture is worth a thousand words ring true.

The first time, is during marriage, where there’s usually a slide show culminating in two parts.  Birth, and following up to the moment when the couple has first met.

And the second time, is during death.  Where family usually gathers and you get to see pictures of the decedent, from birth, through the final moments.  That’s on average 50-80 years of one’s life summed up in about 10-15minutes time.  Etched in the memories of those who attended the service, and forever locked up in an attic or closet, to hopefully one day resurface by kids or grand kids, who more often than not, ask questions and wonder who those people were, and how they came to end up in grandma’s basement.

So then I asked myself, is digitization a good thing?  Or a bad thing?  do these images that are taken so much, and so often weaken and dull the importance of them?  We’re saturated with cameras, they’re practically built in our cell phones these days.   My PSP has a camera add-on that will allow a game system to take pictures.  We’re a society that’s consumed with images and pictures and they all will eventually end up –not in grandmas basement–  but perhaps in a landfill, or just the void.   I archive my images on my computer, and who knows…one day my computer may crash and I’ll lose everything.  One can say in hindsight, “dooh, I should of backed them up”.    But who really backs up their data?   I have 2 terabytes, do I really need to purchase 2 more to ‘backup’?

No one really get pictures printed anymore, in most cases the images live in the hard drive.  And when  I cease to exist, Is anyone really going to sift through my machines to find pictures?   More often than not, it’ll just get tossed away somewhere or deleted, along with any imprint that we’ve left in the world.   So maybe digitization is a bad thing?  We’re lazier, and usually we don’t bother printing everything.  Why bother?  When you can view the pictures on your screen, or get a nifty LCD picture frame.

So something to think about.  Get your best pictures together, in a printed album.  Like the ones we all used to have growing up.  And maybe, when the time comes for you to have your last 10 minutes of glory, they’ll be some good pictures to be left behind.

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Ghetto Fabulous Product Shot

Well ever since I got the 1DMKIII, I’ve been wanting to take a ‘product’ shot of it. It’s really my first real attempt at product photography. Instead of doing something new, I thought I’d play it safe and emulate the product brochure shot. (Ya gotta start somewhere right? And copying is the highest form of flattery ) So here’s my attempt!

End Result

Wasn’t that hard to do actually. After I realized what I wanted, the hardest part was getting all of my gear out of the closet and setting it up! To get the blue light I used a bluish tinged LED that I had laying around. and propped it up. Originally I was going to use another strobe, but thought that may be completely overkill. The light goes from the viewfinder and hits the mirror so you see the blue shining through the lens. You have to be careful to not focus on the lens. Otherwise you’ll see the individual LED’s which will ruin the shot.
Behind The Scenes 2

Then it was a matter of setting up the strobe above. To soften it up I used a few more bits of see through material to dampen the light. I did have to take a few test shots, and dial down exposure compensation to get the right amount of soft light from above without having it look too harsh and lighten up the entire scene.
Behind The Scenes 3

And last but not least just focus, run back and forth to turn off the lights and presto. A nifty cool product shot.
Behind The Scenes 1
all in all it required:
1 strobe
1 flashlight
1 tripod
2 stands
1 black background
1 diffuse see through umbrella (you can probably get away with a white tshirt

Great Park Adventure

So we went to the great park today. They had a lot of free loot that we scored. We got two free baby trees that we plan to plant. They also handed out free hotdogs, coffee, soft drinks and flowers!. By far the coolest though was the nifty birds of prey exhibit. I don’t think I’ve ever got that close to a few of these animals before. I believe it was from an animal shelter that helped out injured birds.
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Here was the main attraction. The great orange balloon. This thing cost them millions of dollars, and yet people still complained! They said it went up too high, and it needed more safety, so they closed it down for a few months to make it more safe.
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The best part, aside from the cutest baby owl that you’ll ever see.
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is the fact that they had cool model airplane flights. These guys were insane. I think those planes must cost a pretty penny. But hey, as with any hobby, it can get quite expensive.

I took my MKIII out for a spin, to test the 10.1fps And boy did it rip. It sounded like a nice little machine gun as the planes buzzed by I was snapping away. I was more curious about the tracking abilities of the camera. They allegedly had focus tracking issues with moving subjects, and though my camera had a blue dot (post fix), i wanted to be sure. You figured if you paid 4k for a camera, the thing better bloody work like it should. And I think it did a marvelous job of tracking things in motion.
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I think I could make a little film because at 10fps, it’s about 1/3rd the way there to full motion pictures (30fps). Funny though…towards the end when I was looking at my pics via the lame lcd screen, I realized everything was uber dark. Though I read the meter correctly. So I was ranting and raving, thinking I had a defective unit because If I can’t trust my meter then the camera does me no good and it would have to be returned. However, as I got home, the pics came out just fine. Lesson #1. haha trust your gear. Yes, meters can be fooled in tricky light situations, but if you can’t trust the histogram and your meter and go off of what your eyes see. Then you’re in for some big trouble. The owl pictures above was kinda an accident really. Since I noticed it was dark on the LCD, I dialed it up a notch, so it looks nice and bright with a pure white background. Turns out some accidents can be good fortune!

cell phones, 3 cameras, cigarettes, and Batman

What do those topics have in common? Absolutely nothing really. Just random thoughts strung together. First topic is cell phones. So I was driving home from work today to my parents place, and during a stop light, I looked around and realized, “Wow”! it’s so refreshing to have no one be on their lame cell phones. I’m wondering why this law wasn’t passed earlier! (For those living outside of California, as of July 1st, they passed a law that no one is allowed to drive with a cell phone. They need to use hands free. And if you’re under 18, I believe there’s no cell phone use at all. Yaaay! No more obnoxious people driving with one hand yapping away at a cell phone why they obliviously cut you off. I’m digging this new cell phone law.

Now, on to to cigarettes…so I drove home from my parents place, and then some wonderful chap decided to drop his used cigarette right on the road where it hit my car. How Rude…and that made me think, what is the bloody point of ash trays in the vehicle if no one bloody uses them! WTF? Why bother making them? They can just use that space for something else. Save the extra cash spent on manufacturing those clearly useless things. I think they should pass an ordinance that states if they catch you littering a used cigarette from a car, it’s triple the fine. If you want to kill yourself with cancer, that’s your business. I really could care less. But dumping it in a moving vehicle and letting it hit the car behind you is just rude. Not to mention during hot dry days, it’s a lovely fire hazard. Maybe they can be lenient. If it’s from a car that’s parked, it’s only double the fine. But if you’re on the freeway, then it’s triple.

Then there’s the 3 cameras. So I have a wedding in July that I’m pretty excited about. The people are very nice, and the location is simply stunning (Only thing that will suck is the heat). Anyways, I decided maybe to try to mix it up a little bit. Normally I carry around 2 camera bodies, to mitigate lens switching. Well every since I bought my 85L (peaches), I’ve decided that lens is just simply wonderful and deserves to be on the camera 85% of the time. That means I’m really just down to one camera. So brilliantly, I thought, “hmmm..how about lugging around 3 camera bodies?” So I practiced when I got home today, and realized a) it’s stupid heavy. b) the cameras clang and bang against each other. and c) I look like a complete freak. It reminds me of when you were a kid, and thought it was really really cool to wear not one….but three watches. Then you went to school and got picked on and beat up by the other kids. That’s what I felt like when I put three camera bodies on me.

Therefore, I’ve decide against the idea, and the couple will have to live with me only carrying 2 cameras on my person at any given time. A third option is to have a second assistant just carry around my 3rd camera at all times and will just hand to me when I ask. Haha..the very idea of that just makes me giggle like a little school girl. However, I think that idea will be scrapped because I’ll feel bad for the person just holding my camera and doing absolutely nothing. Plus I think that job will merit at most minimum wage. So the fact that a person willing to go through that ‘unfun’ job will clearly not be able to afford my 4k camera + whatever expensive lens I happen to have on it at the time, if they accidentally drop it. So that idea got nixed as well.

And finally, last but not least. Batman. Woo I’m excited to see the movie. The previews kinda make it not seem to great, but c’mon. It’s Batman!! And it’s not Joel Schumacher! The man responsible for single handedly killing Batman. Well, maybe that’s not true. I blame the movie studios for approving his crappy versions to begin with, and any money they lost in doing so was well deserved.

4th of July

Well my parents didn’t want to do anything this 4th of July, which was a bummer. I guess my mom didn’t want to make a big hullabaloo over it, so I spent a marvelous day staying home, playing video games, and doing absolutely nothing. Ok, well that’s a lie. I did make a short lived attempt at doing some work, but then it quickly degraded to playing ‘God of War’ part 1 on the playstation 2 that I borrowed from my friend Danny. Yes, it’s considered old technology these days, but it’s free! And it’s new to me, so I’m as happy as a clam. I realize I think I like more behind the scenes stuff than the actual content. There was a short video clip on making the game, and it made me realize. “Holy shiza”, making a game looks uber stressful. You have huge collaborative teams come together, making concept art, throwing around ideas, then prototype, development, tweaks. It just looks insanely difficult. And I remember my friend Doug once stating that he’d probably want to commit suicide if he was in game programming, and realized his masterpiece that the team spent years building ends up on the bargain bin for $9.99 So yeah, that’s one career path I’m glad I didn’t take.

But other behind the scenes stuff fascinates me. If I’m watching a video or something and I see some bloke using the camera, as sad as it seems, I usually pause the frame and instead of looking at the model, I’m trying to see what gear they’re using! There’s a lot of good stuff out there on how lights are setup, which amuses me to no end.

On the parents front, my dad is doing well. He began second round of Chemo. His body is taking it well I think, they did a pet and cat scan plus another round of blood tests to measure things. Though that reminds me, a co-worker of mine just recently had his father pass away from Cancer. Seems like an icky disease over all. Random factoid. So during autopsies, waay back in the day, they noticed that patients who died of this ‘disease’ had crab like growths within their bodies. Hence…’Cancer’ the crab like constellation from the zodiac.

My mom is still swimming every day. The times I do go to visit I try to go with her into the pool. She’s kicking butt. She hasn’t quite ventured past the 3 foot mark yet of the pool, but I suspect within a few weeks she’ll be brave enough to go towards the 4 n 5 foot areas.