Saturday, November 08, 2014

Star Track Fall 2014 Finale

I am a stubborn person.  I am pretty adamant in shooting everything in aperture priority.  But for this finale I shot almost exclusively in shutter priority with exposure compensation at -1 to compensate the blacktop.  I don't like the face being blown by highlight so most of the time, I set at -1/3 anyway for a sunny day like this, I dialed it -1 full stop and I am happy I did.  I am really curious, how a AF-S lens performs in terms of auto focus.  My AF-D 80-200 is not bad I guess that's because I have never shot using an AF-S in the range in the situation.

Friday, November 07, 2014

How to Peel a Banana

Every time I eat a banana I am confronted with a hard choice.   A little voice inside my head asks Should I peel it from this end or the other end?  I pride myself doing things the right way like always not button up the bottom button of a jacket.  And if I do it the wrong way I like to be doing it the right wrong way knowingly.  Doing it wrong when you think is right or doing it right when you think is wrong is frustrating and maddenning.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Fun with Train

The evening commute is always full of unpleasant surprises. 

I guess I am still experimenting my route back home.  Or in other words, I still live in a fantasy world thinking that by changing my route home, I can somehow magically cut down my commute time.  While the truth of the matter is the commute is unpredictable, unbearable, unpleasant and mostly soul crushing at all time.  All of a sudden, the N train was stuck in the station not moving, no train was going uptown or Queens.  You were told to take the downtown train across the platform.  By the time you walked up and down the stair, some Queens bound R train came.  Now the downtown Q train was not moving.  You walked back to the uptown and Queens bound platform the train was gone you waited for three more trains before you boarded your train ....

Parent teacher conference

Parent teacher conference was a foreign concept to me.  Like one country two systems, rule by laws in China or something.  Despite what the name suggests it is not really any conference.  I never submitted any research paper or such.   It is more like meet your kid's teachers and talk three talk four In the span of 2 or 3 minutes.  Though honestly I have no idea what other parents talk about. How come little George got a C in Math?  Because he is dumb and lazy.  I have no idea.  I like the idea to put a face on the name.  Does that face live up to that alleged mean spirit my kid complains about?  I wonder.   I have the naivete to think that by showing up you show that you care about the kid's education and in turn the teacher cares or cares more knowing that you care enough to show up.  That's my theory.   It is like you put on a show from 5 to 8 what makes you think if nobody shows up?   What makes me hate parent teacher conference is it's hectic you run between different floors like an idiot trying to meet all the teachers.   What makes it more unpleasant is when some asshole parents acting they own the teacher totally ignore the allotted 2-3 minutes, pandering to the teachers with shit eating smiles ...

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Mid Week Reflections

Or what I am thinking on my morning commute if I am not sleeping ...

I am still waiting for Fran Lebowitz's novel.  I hope it comes out before she dies or I die.

Did I vote?  I did.   It's multiple choice questions with seemingly no right answers.   So I just filled the ovals with dark ink like any mildly competent students taking any public exams.  Easy.

I know none of the words from the Word of the Day push notification.   I begin my day with affirmation that I am a semi illiterate.  Depressing.

I don't know what I did in my Geography class in junior high.  Perhaps that's exactly why.   Every time I try to find the best exit at the subway station I feel like a total idiot.  What does it mean the South Side of Queens Boulevard?  Inevitably, invariably and tragically I will exit the wrong one and walk the opposite direction.  No amount of Google Map and Apple Map on my iPhone can help.   Just sad.

Monday, November 03, 2014

PhotoPlus Expo 2014 p11

Lucas Gilman presents his D810 Icelandic photo trip and more.  Inspiring shots and tips straight from the horse's mouth.  The guy is candid and generous.

PhotoPlus Expo 2014 p10

The photographer and the model are engaging.  Not trying to put down anyone but I think they are the winning team among many of the teams there on the floor.

PhotoPlus Expo 2014 p9

Just in case you forgot, he shoots RAW.

PhotoPlus Expo 2014 p8

Alpa.  One day perhaps.

PhotoExpo Plus 2014 p7

The Nikkor 800mm f/5.6.  My kind of lens.

PhotoPlus Expo 2014 p6

Joe McNally doing his magic without forgetting to poke fun of Canon's AF.  He asked a volunteer from the audience to remove his pass which uses a Canon logo lanyard before he took pictures of him and casually made fun of Canon's AF.  The guy has two assistants holding loads of modifiers for him to shoot.

PhotoPlus Expo 2014 p5

A Nikon D750 is used to feed video to an overhead monitor.

PhotoPlus Expo 2014 p4

The Nikon D750 stripped of its skin.  More Nikkor lenses on display.  I didn't bother to ask to play with any lenses, the experience usually makes me sad.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

PhotoPlus Expo 2014 p3

The church of Nikon is in its usual location, right at the right of the entrance.  Attendees were greeted with its yellow plastic fantastic bags which were in generous display and ample supply everywhere on the floor, just like all prior years.   The first thing I asked the Nikon rep I met was the Calendar.  Nikon used to give them out.   Alas it stopped last year and there was none this year either.   What a let down.   The truth is there are really fewer freebies each year.  Did Kodak even bother to show up?  I don't think so.   Fuji still came this year and they were giving out instant pictures and prints.   Pretty generous of them.
Corey Rich (left) preparing for his presentation.   His "Dedicated" for the Nikon D4s is by far the best promotion video coming from Nikon.  It pretty much set the standard.
Sean demoing the "drone" which was used for shooting "Dedicated."

Corey and Sean using the rig to demo a shoot using a volunteer from the audience.

PhotoExpo Plus 2014

Or PhotoPlus Expo, whatever!
Being a VIP, self-proclaimed of course, and cheap I got to pre-register and just pick up the expo badge when I got there.   But the lines for pre-registered attendees were longer much longer than those for on-site registration.  Adding to the confusion and crowd was the many marathoners who were there to pick up their bibs.   But nobody should get confused with who is who, one is lean, mean and healthy and the other is just like yours truly.  The lines weren't moving just like the morning traffic of Manhattan.  It was uber ridiculous.   Anyway I just waited in a shorter line that is meant for  on-site registration.  I noticed I wasn't the only one.  The woman behind the counter asked for an ID and printed out my badge.  No begging required.   I was then on my way to candy land

PhotoPlus Expo 2014

It's this time of the year.  All the camera nerds congregate on the midtown west at Javits center gawking at camera equipments.

Friday, October 24, 2014


Just give it another chance.  Why not?
it took about an hour to download and install the latest and possibly the greatest OS X.

Hopefully this MBP will last, unlike the iBook I had eon ago.  Maybe I shouldn't have said that but here it goes.  This one is bought refurbished directly from Apple.  The model was first released in June 2012, according to some web site OKAY not just some web site, this mid 2012 model is probably the last of its kind that is user upgradable.  The newer retina display models aren't all that user upgradable.  The machine looks new to me.  The battery has 2 cycle counts and I don't see anything that looks or feels old--I read somewhere "most" of the refurbished items are just unsold inventory or actual returned items with battery and case changed.  The machine is cling wrapped.  Almost immediately I upgraded the whatever OS X there to Yosemite and upgraded or downloaded many of the free apps like iPhoto and such.  I haven't heard any noise from the machine or feeling the heat from the palm rest area.  So all is well.  The machine is not cheap but hey it's 38% less than the sticker price; while most are just 15% off which I don't find so appealing.  I did some research on eBay even with no sales tax collected and I don't think I can get this peace of mind and condition from any eBay sellers for a machine like this.

Finally, at long last, I can use iMovie to edit my movie.  Well it doesn't make a whole lot of sense but hey that's me.