Falling Brook – Moving In

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailWow! Last weekend was an insanely hectic few days.� Not only was our daughter Delilah born but we also moved into a new house.� We’re finally settling back into normalcy, well… as normal as it can be with a 1week old baby and a new house.

Even though we had to move the closing date due to little miss Lilah’s early arrival we were fortunate enough to get the sellers to agree to an early possession.� 7am last Saturday I left Rachel and her mother at the hospital so I could get the move underway and so we could be all set by discharge time (which I convinced the nurses to do LATE in the day).

I did the final walk-through at 8am, picked up the 26′ U-Haul truck at 9 (no I’ve never driven something that big before) and we had the move under way by 10am.� At the new house a little after noon with the truck and my father’s snowmobile trailer fully loaded.� Completely unloaded by 1:30pm.� Not too shabby.

Couldn’t have possibly done it without all the help.� Thanks George, Dale, Brian, Ryan, Mike,Cory, Bill, Chris, Eric.

During the whole process I made the following time-lapse.� There are big gaps because well… I was busy.

BBQ with Cake

For my birthday Rachel organized a surprise party by tricking me into a dinner at Dinosaur BBQ.  It was a load of fun and completely unexpected.  It was my first surprise party and I’d call it a success.

To top off the great BBQ dinner at Dinosaur Rachel got everybody together for the Cake concert.  Cake is one of my favorite bands and she had been making excuses for why we weren’t able to go.  When I opened my birthday card at dinner and found 2 tickets for the concert I was ecstatic.  The concert was better than I could imagine.  Cake turns out to be one of those bands that sounds just as good if not better live than on their pre-recorded music.

An awesome birthday thanks to the worlds best wife.

And yes, I know this post is 2 months late.  Sue me.

We've come a long way (Photographically)


View from a window at Le Gras – 1826

We’ve come a long way in the world of photography. The photo above is the first known permanent photograph.

The photo was captured by a camera obscura focused onto a sheet of 20 × 25 cm oil-treated bitumen. Due to the 8-hour exposure, the buildings are illuminated by the sun from both right and left.

An 8-hour exposure! Now we take photos with an exposure time of under 1/60th of a second or faster and we can see the results immediately.

My friend Ryan shared an excellent website about photos that changed the world.  I’d say the first ever permanent photograph qualifies.

My First Flickr Meetup

Saturday I participated in my first Flickr meet up. It was a lot of fun. Myself and a group of 12 or so other photography hobbyists met up at Dinosaur BBQ in Downtown Rochester for a hearty lunch. Then we were off to explore the Abandoned Subway. If you don’t know anything about the subway I suggest checking out the RocWiki Page and reading up a bit. It’s actually quite interesting and may become a part of downtown Rochester again soon.

The slideshow below showcases all the photos the participants have shared. These are not only my photographs, they are the photographs taken by all participants of the event.
http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649
NOTE: If you cannot see the above slideshow please view the original post or view the slideshow directly.

The Amazing Maize Maze

The Cool BusYou can always tell its fall again when my department organizes the annual Maize Maze team building exercise. This year is no different and Friday my team (consisting of myself, Mike and Matt) came in 3rd overall and 2nd among those obtaining all pieces to the map.

While we were at the Farm we had to give the coops something to do and we arrive at the ‘Cool Bus’ Ryan and Matt are up front with our coops, Anne, Andrew and Matt taking the backseats.

Definitely beats working for a few hours!

A Learning Experience

This weekend I borrowed my friend Ryan‘s camera to test the SLR waters again. While I absolutely love my H5 I have been toying with the idea of purchasing an SLR to push myself over the edge into the black (money) hole that is the hobby I so lovingly call (along with billions of other people…) photography. I had very good experience this weekend as Rachel and I attended Corey and Maggie’s wedding and I used Ryan’s camera while we were there. Through that experience I learned some very valuable lessons, some good and some bad.

The first lesson I learned was holy crap it’s fast! I could fire off several shots in the time it takes my camera to take one. Digital photography makes it super easy to take a bunch of photos and figure out the choice ones later and this made it even easier. This is great for situations like weddings since there is always inevitably someone closing their eyes at any given time.

The next lesson I learned is a harsh one although it turned out ok in the end. Check your settings! I had been playing the previous night with low light settings and had subsequently had the ISO setting at 800. I had forgotten all about this and shot the entire wedding and after-ceremony photos at this same setting. It wasn’t until I went to modify the ISO setting after going inside that I realized this. If I had done this on my H5 it would have been suicide, the photos would have been grainy beyond belief and would have required lots of post-processing which would have in turn dulled the photographs dramatically. Luckily the SLR handled the higher ISO setting just fine. It was slightly more grainy than I would have liked but none the less the photos were not ruined as I thought they might have been

I also learned something about photography in general, more closely tied to the profession than the hobby though. I noticed that I was taking shots of random little things that were happening like private hugs, tears etc that the real photographer wasn’t capturing. At first I wondered why this was and then I realized that they had a lot of stuff on their plate and even more to coordinate. Because they were staging and placing everyone, it left the other would-be photographers to do their stuff. I talked to one of the other people there (whom I thought was working with the hired photographer) and he told me that he much prefers going to weddings where he is simply the ‘friend photographer’ as apposed to the ‘hired photographer’ so that he is left alone to get his shots right instead of setting up poses. This allows for many more real and candid shots which I believe come out much nicer anyway. The lesson here? If you’re a photographer hired for a wedding, be sure to have 1 or 2 (at least) other photographers there at least during the formal portrait sessions.

Don’t Trust the Average Meter. I learned the hard way that the average meter is not the way to go, instead trust your instincts and keep it on ‘spot metering.’

I also learned that If I go down this path (which I fully believe I will now) I need three things right out the door.

  1. A camera body I recently came across a new canon, the 40D which I believed was my perfect camera (were I to go SLR). However; some other companies have also recently released new camera body’s that are in the range I’m looking for such as Sony and Nikon. I’ll need to do some more research before I decide on my camera body now, although I’m still leaning towards the Canon 40D.
  2. A flash which can be aimed – I can’t begin to list the number of times during the wedding (the reception especially) that I wanted to use the flash to add some light to a dark scene, but wanted to keep the ambient light and not add the harsh glare-tones that come with the built in flash.
  3. A high(ish) zoom lens – The lens that comes with the 40D kit is 28mm-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS. I’m not sure if this will be enough or not so I’ll have to play with it In store first. I do know that the 18-55mm lens I was using this weekend simply didn’t provide enough range for me. I realize that you get better results by adding multiple lenses to your arsenal and for some things this may be perfectly ok however for my preferred style of photography, and the randomness that comes along with weddings, it simply doesn’t work. It may come down to something like the 28-300mm Canon (which will increase the initial cost of this little venture quite a bit).

All in all I’d say a successful adventure and some good lessons learned. I’ve determined that I could definitely improve my photography with the addition of an SLR, now comes the hard part of researching and finally deciding.

Work the Google on the Internet Machine

Last night I went saw Blades Of Glory with some friends. I give it a 7/10. Lots of good quotes. Some of my favorites:
– you put the bone in zamboni
– Work the Google on the Internet Machine
– Mind-bottling. Like your mind is trapped in a bottle
– It makes my hair shine like the Belt of Orion

Afterward we went downtown. I read this on the wall at O’Callaghans and thought I’d share:

Irish Diplomacy – The ability to tell a man to go to hell in such a way that he looks forward to the trip

Ryan came up with an Idea for Guitar Hero. Not going to mention any details but we may be asking for help from everyone so be prepared.

I just read this morning that Michigan is thinking about spending $38 million to buy all of its students IPods? How freaking crazy is that. I’m all for new an innovative ways to teach, but IPods? I don’t get it. When I took calculus it was required that I buy a Graphing Calculator, the state didn’t buy it for me.

Dan’s Video of the day for Friday: Internet Sys Op. Pretty damn funny if you ask me.

Matt introduce me to the New York State Real-Time Transportation Status site. Pretty slick. I can now check to see if it’s worth leaving work or if I should just wait a while until traffic picks back up.

Check out the video below for an innovative 3D desktop idea or for more info check out bumptop. I think it would work great with the multi-touch panels that have been getting so much press recently.

Art is never finished only abandoned

Moon Woman - Jackson Pollock

Could you imagine putting your elbow through a painting you just purchased for 139 million dollars? I think I’d get sick. I just read in Maxim that the most expensive painting ever purchased/sold was a Jackson Pollock. I wasn’t familiar with any of them so I did some searching and I can’t believe anyone would be willing to pay anything for them. This one seemed to be one of the more popular ones.

Ryan was talking about this video the other day and I had to check it out. Please do not watch if you are easily offended.

I’m not even going to begin to try to explain where or how I found this one but its worth a look.

Does morality come from morons?

I’ve been wanting to find out who uses my site and how. Ryan alerted me to Ultimate GA. It’s a plug-in for WordPress (the Blog engine I’m using) that allows me to track all incoming and outgoing traffic using Google Analytics . I’ve implemented it and now The Man (aka me) is watching you!

We’ve added a new ‘Page’ to our site for trips we’d like to take so we can keep them on our radar. If you are interested take a look: Trips

Our sleds somewhere near south colton

In other news I took a snowmobiling trip up north with my Father last weekend to visit some family and go Snowmobiling. I ended up putting around 200 miles on my sled. The scenery and the trails were absolutely amazing. We hit some rough riding the first day but on Sunday it seemed like every trail we rode on was freshly groomed. It was also good to see my family. I learned that my Uncle Jerry has been snowmobiling with a friend of his quit often. To me this is awesome. Selling his farm has to be the best thing he’s ever done. I just wish he had done it 10 years ago.

There’s been a lot of discussion at work lately about alternative automobiles. We’ve discussed hybrids, pure electric, hydrogen fuel cell and today the discussion went to air-powered. Before you’re too skeptical you should watch the video. It’s pretty interesting. If I were looking for a strictly commuting vehicle I would definitely be interested. The hybrid they talk about in the video is even more interesting. I’d be willing to use it as my primary means of transportation certainly. Across the country in a single tank of gas? Simply Amazing! Makes me wonder how fast the people Who Killed the electric car will kill this?