Monday, March 23, 2015

Random Thoughts

Good things happened when I least expected.  Somebody was kind enough to fix the storm door.  I am grateful for that.  It seems easy just wait until I tried.  I can never deal with any handy works at home.  Never.

Sometimes I just need some support, people on my side so to speak.  But.

People are being polite, have low or no expectations.  I shot about 1,000 frames and 100 of them are somewhat usable in my humble opinion.  Of course it would be zero if it's for anything serious.

If you put your pictures on FB, does it mean free for all?  Is it the expectation?  Does it mean you asked for it?  Is it too much trouble to put photo credit if you must right-click and save?  I think people mean no harm but just don't care enough to put photo credit or what today call at least a shout out to the content creator.

Since I don't shoot with top notched gears, so I tend to blame my gears if the pictures aren't focus or sharp enough.  Maybe if I use an AF-S lens or a better body, I would get more focused pictures.  Your camera gears matter don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Level of Stupid


it reads, in part:
TV and movie screen are either in 4:3 or 16:9 format, it widens people, that's why to appear "normal," female movie stars need to be skinnier than normal.  Singers on the other hand depend on their voices not appearances on screens ...

I can't go on anymore.

It's either written in snark that I don't quite comprehend or appreciate or it's a whole new level of stupid.

Extracted from mingpao

Thursday, March 05, 2015

The Struggle is Real

Random Photography Thoughts

Any new photo gears may or may not help you take better pictures.  But most likely they will re-kindle your passion somewhat even if you're not exactly a gear head.

I don't think I ever suffer for my craft of photography except in monetary term.  But recently there were a couple of times that came close or actually qualified as suffering.  New York City was in frozen mode for the past few weeks or months.  It seems like the longest winter ever.  I was out taking pictures in the open for an hour or two.  Not only my fingers felt numb but they were also hurting badly.  I wore some thin gloves so I had better feel with the controls of the camera or so I thought.  I don't know if I had ever felt this kind of numbing pain when I was out skiing/snowboarding.   The pain was real and I thought how many fingers am I going to lose for my stupid photo expedition in the cold.  Luckily the number is none.

I pride myself surviving the cold and came back with pictures I am not ashamed of.  Surprisingly the Nikon D7000 and AF-D 80-200 f/2.8 worked well in the arctic cold.  One thing I discovered was some of my pictures had unnecessary high shutter speed and hence ISO.  I was shooting mostly shutter priority, manual with ISO auto max out at 6400, so essentially I am shooting auto.  I might even have picked aperture priority.  Anyway the point I am trying to make is my fingers are numb and all of a sudden the thumb wheel got turned inadvertently by my gloved fingers.  I honestly don't think it was an electronic malfunction on the part of the camera due to the cold.  This makes the case of big camera where the controls are bigger and not so cramped even with gloved hands.  Even the lowly D7000 can withstand cold below 10F for at least two three hours.

Another thing I experienced in the cold was over exposure.  One time when I was out shooting in the cold, I found my pictures at least over exposed by 2 or 3 stops with my AF-D 20-35 f/2.8, something I can tell right away looking at the camera LCD.  Initially I thought it must be the camera--because it just came back from Melville!  But later the following day I had second thought.  I think it could be the AF-D 20-35 f/2.8.  Though I must say I couldn't conclusively say that one way or another but my hunch is the cold make the aperture blades stick.  That's one theory I tend to believe.  I never had issues before or after with the AF-D 20-35 f/2.8 except that one time.  During that time, I dialed back the exposure compensation and kept chimping, essentially ruining the entire shooting experience.  If only I knew it--meaning the lens aperture, I would have chosen to shoot with f/2.8 the biggest aperture to avoid any opening and closing of the aperture.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Nikon ... Oh no not again

Just when enthusiastically uses the words "Gold Standard" in its review of the Nikon D750, there is a cacophony of internet chatters of what reminiscent of the oil spots of the old Nikon D600 not so long ago--the Nikon D750, at least quite a number of them, demonstrably exhibits some blocked flares in Live View and in pictures when shooting towards the light.  Personally I think it's a problem.  I can begrudgingly live with its square eyepiece, its top 1/4000s shutter speed and less than stellar buffer.  But this is not something a consumer signs up for, for paying $2,300 or $230 and got some weird blocked flare.  And I don't believe it's a feature or any acceptable by-product of shooting in sub optimal conditions.  If one thinks one does not have this problem or it's not a problem, I say more power to you but just don't go around and belittle folks who have this demonstrable problem.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Parts Direct from NikonUSA

Sometimes I think I live in a dream state.  I don't know if what I experience is real or not.

I just noticed that Nikon USA is selling parts directly online.  You can go ahead replace a tripod mount, a zoom rubber ring of your favorite lens with genuine parts directly from NikonUSA.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lee Jeans and other thoughts

A photo posted by laichungleung (@laichungleung) on
These two jeans bear the same 200-0147 designation and look almost identical.  The newer one seems to have slightly longer belt loops and wider leg openings.  It could be because the newer jeans are not worn nor washed after manufacture, no shrinkage yet.  The faded one has the scovill zipper while the new condition pair has the talon 42 zipper.  I am actually surprised to see a Gap hang tag there.  I witnessed Gap selling Levi's in the late 80s but never Lee.  Apparently at some point in time somewhere a Gap carried Lee jeans 200-0147.

Lee 200-0147 with talon 42 zipper.  Notice the belt loop on the right, it actually looks or is longer.  Is it an anomaly or a genuine design that accommodates the extra thickness of the belt going through the second time?  If so, I can really appreciate the thought goes in there.  It's fascinating.

Is the six belt loops construct better than five?  I am not sure.  Maybe it causes less stress on the belt.  But it somehow lessens if not destroys the symmetry.  Taylor Stitch jeans.  Worn and washed many times.  I don't know what people are thinking when they insist not washing their raw denims.

I like the seven belt loops and the cross bar tacks on the back pockets of Lee jeans.  Most other jeans, except for really big waist size only use five belt loops which in my mine is not optimum but not a deal breaker.  Some jeans even go for six, with the two in the front, two on the hips and two in the back, and none in the middle!  Again, not a deal breaker.  What I find disturbingly appalling is a slanted belt loop in the back, as if it is some real clever design, do they do this so they can sew the loop easier without the folded layers of thick fabric?  I have no idea.  The 200-0147 is not made of selvedge but I like the material, dye and the subsequent fade which is very distinct from Levi's 501.  I can say not all selvedge is the same or good.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Another New York Mystery

These news and sundry items kiosks dot the Manhattan streets and subway stations.  I always think to myself where is the bathroom?   One time on the number 7 train platform in Grand Central,  I peeked in I think I saw bottles of cream soda that's not in cream soda bottle perfectly lined against the side wall.   Another time, a man inside the kiosk with his left hand down in front of his torso told his customer to hold on a sec ....