Archive Page 3

17
Jun
09

Weird reflections in photographs

In April there was a great full moon and I went out to the Charles River to photograph the city with the moon overhead.  I had just realized how nice a lens I got with my K1000 when I bought it from eBay.  It’s a 135mm f/2.5 and if you look down the barrel it’s all glass – beautiful.

Anyway, apart from my 50mm f/2.0, this is my fastest lens.  The zoom lenses I got with my K10D start at f/3.5 or something.  Since it was dark and I wanted to keep the exposures as short as possible, I thought I’d use my 135mm.

Unfortunately, when I took some pictures with it, I got the image below and others like it:_igp3338.jpg

The moon shows up twice and the word “Prudential” is also visible twice.  From the word “Prudential” it’s clear that this secondary image is upside down and backwards with respect to the original.

Initially, I didn’t know what was going on.  At some point, however, I thought it might be related to the UV filter I had on my lens. I took the UV filter off the lens and the weird reflections disappeared.  This solved the problem but it still doesn’t explain to me why or how this happened.  I can’t think of a physical explanation for what I observed.

If anyone knows what set of reflections could be responsible for upside down and backwards “ghost” images appearing, please let me know.

17
Jun
09

Covers vs. Originals

Here’s a series of related questions:

Is the original version of a song always better than a cover version?

or

Is the version that you heard first (original or cover) always better (in your opinion) because it’s what you’re used to?

or

Are there any examples of cover versions you heard after already being familiar with the original where you feel the cover is the better version?

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

09
May
09

Camera hook

Since I got my DSLR in 2007 I’ve been trying to work out a good scheme for storing it.  Basically, it resides either on my desk or in my camera bag.  Both of these locations are somewhat problematic.  If it’s on the desk, it gets in the way of things since it doesn’t really have a permanent place assigned to it.  If it’s in the camera bag, I have to dig it out whenever I want to use it, which is usually when one of the kids is doing something cute.  Unfortunately, I often miss shots because of the time it takes me to dig the camera out of the camera bag.

The whole situation was complicated this winter when I got a flash and a flash bracket.  I also got a Gary Fong LightSphere II on Alex‘s recommendation.  This setup produces great quality images but it’s pretty unwieldy.  In addition, the whole thing is very top-heavy and is prone to falling over if it’s set upright.  However, if I lay it down, it takes up a huge amount of desk real estate. Since I want to be ready to take pictures at a moment’s notice, I want to leave the whole thing put together but I couldn’t find a good way to store it all put together.

I’ve considered hanging it on some kind of hook before but I never got around to pursuing that idea until this week.  In designing it I made sure it would be able to handle the considerable weight of the camera, flash, and flash bracket.  I also spent a lot of time making sure that the camera would hang upright.  Finally, I designed in a little locking mechanism so the camera couldn’t be inadvertantly bumped off the hook.  In the photos below, you can see the results of my efforts.

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Overall, I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.  As they say, however, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, so it remains to be seen whether it actually accomplishes the goals I had for it.  For now, though, I’m content to sit and admire my handiwork.

07
May
09

MythTV upgrade

In February of last year, I finally succeeded in installing MythTV on a computer that a friend gave me.  I used Mythbuntu, which (in my admittedly limited experience) is the best way to install MythTV.  It’s been working pretty well since last February but recently a number of issues cropped up that made me decide to do an upgrade of both the software and the hardware.  What follows is the reasons behind the upgrade, a description of the upgrade, and a few pitfalls and solutions that I experienced along the way. Continue reading ‘MythTV upgrade’

01
May
09

Planning my future audio/visual/computer setup (Part 1)

I recall a number of months ago, the pastor at our church talked about how the things you daydream about tell a lot about your priorities. I don’t remember much about the rest of the sermon because I was daydreaming about computer case designs… Time has moved on and now I’m on to new daydreams, though still involving computers. These daydreams are really expanding on a previous post, this time extending the vision to multiple computers and a whole home network. In a subsequent post I’ll talk about how TVs, DVRs, and video players might fit into the equation.

Continue reading ‘Planning my future audio/visual/computer setup (Part 1)’

26
Feb
09

Photoblog Take 2

In September 2007, I set up my first photoblog.  After about a year and half of existence and very little activity, I decided to pull the plug.  In its place now stands a better one.  Instead of using a photoblogging plug-in on top of WordPress like the last one, the new one uses PixelPost, which is a dedicated photoblogging platform.  I’m excited about this new photoblog for a number of reasons: Continue reading ‘Photoblog Take 2’

07
Feb
09

Beard Experiment 2009

This year I’ve been hearing a lot about people growing “winter beards”.  This got me thinking about growing a beard myself.  I’ve thought about it in the past, but I never followed through on it because I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t look good.  The times that I had gone a week or more between shaves had taught me that my facial hair is patchy.  I could get away with a goatee but I couldn’t count on my whiskers to cover my cheeks.

However, I couldn’t help wondering if I would be able to grow a good looking beard if I only gave the empty patches some time to fill in.  I had never had the fortitude in the past to keep on growing it out after a week or a week and half.  So, this year during my January term, I decided to try and see what it would look like.

I shaved on January 2nd in preparation for a wedding I was in on the 3rd.  Since then, I’ve only shaved my neck and some little patches at the tops of my cheeks.  Here’s the result after a little over a month of growth:

 _igp3090.jpg

I think it looks pretty good from the front.  However, the sides leave a bit to be desired.  As you can see below, the patches didn’t really fill in all that well, even after a month. In addition, the beard doesn’t connect to my hair at all.  There is no way I could pull off any kind of sideburns.

Continue reading ‘Beard Experiment 2009’

24
Jan
09

Computer case designs are foolish

I had to open up my computer case again today. It is a task that I loathe because I am forced to clean it out pretty much every time I open it. While I dislike this particular case, I basically dislike the design of just about every computer case I have ever seen. They generally don’t handle air flow well and, worst of all, they actually contribute to the premature failure of components.

Continue reading ‘Computer case designs are foolish’

16
Nov
08

Steelers win by NFL-first 11-10 score

I find this incredible.  After over 12,800 NFL games on the books, today’s Steelers-Chargers game ended with a score that has never before been recorded.  One touchdown and a field goal gave the Chargers 10 points.  A safety and 3 field goals gave the Steelers 11 points. Continue reading ‘Steelers win by NFL-first 11-10 score’

09
Nov
08

Planning a future computer purchase

Our main desktop computer is now over 5 years old. It’s a P4 2.4GHz with an 800MHz FSB and 1.5GB of RAM.  It’s adequate for much of what we do, but it’s definitely showing its age when it comes to more demanding tasks, like processing my RAW photos, which I shoot in Pentax PEF format but convert to Adobe DNG during import.

So, at some point in the not-too-distant future I’d like to upgrade and I’ve been keeping my eye on what’s in the pipeline…

Continue reading ‘Planning a future computer purchase’




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