Round and round the rugged rock…

This little guy was running laps around the perimeter of the yo-yo, taking an occasional break to catch his breath. We seriously watched him run 10 laps, but that was 10 minutes after first noticing that he was making his way around the toy. He did maybe 30-40 total before getting tired and heading for the grass…

Why would we ever want a TV?

Fixed and prime

A year after moving up to a digital SLR, I almost reluctantly added a lens to my repertoire. The kit zoom lens is fine and dandy, but is a little difficult to get good low/natural winter light pictures. After some research I determined that the best lens for the money that I wanted to spend was the Minolta AF 50mm fixed lens (also known as a prime lens). This little guy can F stop down (up?) to 1.7, and is very fast. The possible depth of field is awesome, and comes with great bokeh.

Here are a few natural/low light samples:
what?
This was taken with an f-stop of 2, a speed of 1/100 and an ISO of 400

bedtime routine
This was taken with an f-stop of 1.7, a speed of 2/5 and an ISO of 800

not available
This was taken with an f-stop of 1.7, a speed of 1/160 and an ISO of 100

All were taken using the ambient light, and the darkest one was by the light of our bedside lamp of 40 watts behind the bed curtain. I will admit that the anti-shake feature of the camera body comes in very handy for these low light shots.

This also makes a great portrait lens with it’s equivalent focal length of 75mm (50mm with a 1.5 multiplier for the smaller size of the sensor).

Portrait samples:
awww...  isn't she cute?
This was taken with an f-stop of 2, a shutter speed of 1/10 and an ISO of 200

She's cute too!
This was taken with an f-stop of 1.7, a shutter speed of 1/40 and an ISO of 400

Wha... how did he get in there?
This was taken with an f-stop of 1.7, a shutter speed of 1/160 and an ISO of 100

I can’t wait to see how this fares with more favorable weather, and magnificent sunsets…

By the way, I picked this lens up for a mere ~$30 on eBay.

Freezer land

Over the last few weeks our world transitioned from a bleak muddy brown to a crisp and sparkling landscape of extremes. Today the high is 4°F, but this morning it was -1°F with 20+ MPH winds. The sun has been out, so it seems like a cheery Michigan winter outside, but only those with full snow suits are out and about (mostly speeding around on snowmobiles). We did have plenty of opportunity to get out before the frigid temps took over, and enjoyed the frozen lake and snow for a good week. Things should be more bearable outside later in the week, and we look forward to even more outdoor winter fun. We are thinking of harvesting some lake ice to build with…

I took some picture from the first weekend with a real good freeze on the lake and some significant snow. It warmed up to 38°F that day, and the following day it piled on the snow. It was a great day in the snow with Peter, and we were able to get some good skating and sledding in before EZ broke his arm (again). It was the final of three injuries that he sustained that weekend, and the most serious. Earlier he crashed his sled into a trailer hitch because he did not understand what I meant when I said “Remember to bail out if it looks like you might crash”, but he did not bother to clarify (what a time to *stop* asking questions). He hurt his ankle, but ended up just fine. Later, he was running on the ice and slipped and hit his head. Also not serious, but he has this way of screaming that lets onlookers know that not only did it hurt, but he it totally pissed off about it, and someone should pay. At the end of the weekend (yes, Sunday), he and A asked if they could slide down the basement stairs while we were at Gma and Gpa’a house. Sure, have fun. It turned out that they were sliding down on their knees, and the stairs were pretty steep. A few minutes into this activity that blood-boiling scream erupted from the basement. EZ decided that he was going too fast, and tried to stop himself on the second to bottom step, and flew forward. A was crying because his scream made it seem like he had been impaled, and she thought he had hit his face or something. He calmed down, and we thought we would see how things went that evening. B took him in to get x-rays in the morning, and his arm was fractured. In the same place as last time. And the time before that. Somehow, the glow-in-the-dark cast made it all seem worth it.

Slaves at work

Ice hockey puck

A is ready for the next shot

My alien

Take me to your leader

We are indoors this weekend. I am making yogurt, kefir sourdough starter, and carnitas, while B is reconstructing our bed canopy, rearranging the bedroom, creating a reading corner in the studio, and doing general organizing. The kids have been reading, fighting over said reading corner, washing dishes, and sweeping. Overall is has been a rather productive cold weekend.

For Grampa

AirShow

Jul 15, 2006 – 16 Photos

A while back, before we had our busy couple weeks with family and traveling, I was able to capture an air show at our local airport. I was just outside the airport, right at the end of the runway. It was a rush as each plane headed straight for us to land, passing 15-20 feet over our heads.

You can see the whole album here.

So, who can tell me the types of air craft?

Shoot Jackson

Today, my friends, was a very beautiful day. The sun was out, and the sky… it was just that deep wonderful blue. Ethan was off to see trains with Grandpa, B wanted to veg, so I took Ariana on a photo shoot. She was armed with my A40, and I took the Konica. We drove into Jackson, and after a brief bit of instruction, we were off, snapping at anything that did not move. She followed me around and pointed her camera in the same general direction as mine. After about 30 minutes, her batteries died, so we stopped in at Huron Camera for some AA’s. We talked about design concepts, rule of thirds, and about what looks cool. We shivered and rubbed our hands. An hour in her card filled up, so we stepped into the Library for a little clean up. I looked through and we weeded out some blurry shots, doubles, and ones that just lacked interest. Eventually we headed back to the car, and did a little more clean up, and then drove to Nomad Bookhouse for coffee and root beer. We sat and browsed through “The Greatest Photography, National Geographic”, and “Drawing for Dummies”. Then we headed out again and she filled her card, and I finished up with some shots of St. Mary Star of the Sea church, which also happened to be where I had my first job in Michigan.

It was a nice, low-key, fun outing, and I think Ariana may really start to understand photography if we keep it up. The elements of design are pretty easy to teach, but it is the intuitiveness of experience that really changes shots from nice, to stunning.

Ariana descends from a successful shot. Aranging her shot.

I have uploaded my results to both flickr and the albums. I will set up a flickr account for her, and I will post a link shortly.

Adjustments

I changed the header again. The other one looked too… hmmm… fruity. It reminded me of “New Age” albums and spiritual insight books. I decided that bold with a hint of whimsy was a better idea. The image is from a magnificent sunrise the other morning. The image looked like that out of the camera because I was testing the sunset mode that pumps up the color in-camera. I don’t think I will use that mode much, but it produced this lively header.

I have also followed friends back to Gallery2, and it is now available again in the pages menu under ‘Albums’. Rural decay pictures are up there, and I think there are more than I have on Flickr, so you can see the ones that I decided not to put up.

In other developments, I am hacking with Ruby again, and this time looking at Nitro. I may host an app or two here at home to see how it works from outside. Nitro is like Rails, only not as complex (I think). I am trying to use it for a project at work as well, but I still am not sure it fits that need.