Archive for the ‘Austin’ Category

Eeyore’s Birthday party.

Monday, May 1st, 2006

I got some pics from the 42nd annual Eeyore’s Birthday Party.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

I went out to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center today. It was nice, although it had fewer, uh, wildflowers, per se, than I expected. It did have some nice gardens with Texas wildflowers, and I got a few decent pics. There were some crazy emerald green bees out there, too. I don’t recall having seen them before.

Bull Creek and Arboretum, with sunset.

Friday, April 21st, 2006

I went up to the Bull Creek greenbelt today on my way to the Arboretum to have dinner (note: Chipotle chicken pasta=good). I also stopped at the 360 bridge overlook on the way home, and took some pictures at all three places. Some of ‘em are okay. I wanna go back out to Bull creek and go swimming sometime soon. It runs fast right now.

W00t! There’s water at the Greenbelt!

Saturday, March 11th, 2006

I went down to Scottish Woods Trail today; I haven’t been out there in, Idunno, too many months, but I don’t remember there being a lot of water there last time–it was kind of a foul-smelling puddle. Since I’d told Happie and Beth yesterday that there would be water there if there was water anywhere, I resolved to go out today and check it out myself.

There’s water there. Lots of water. This much water. It’s cool and it’s clear and it smells good, at least the pool above the lower dam. You can find me there every saturday afternoon from now until there’s water somewhere better. I might go some mornings too.

The pictures I got today are kind of so-so; Scottish woods looks a lot better in the morning, because the sky on the pretty(-er) side isn’t full of sun. There are some pictures of it in summer here. It looks a lot the same, except with flowers and leaves.

Neighborhood pictures

Friday, March 3rd, 2006

Note: My brother and I and hopefully/probably some other people are going to go see Dave Chappelle’s Block Party tomorrow night at 7:40pm at the Alamo South. If I haven’t already invited you personally, and you wanna go, then you prolly should get a ticket in advance.

Okay, so, just to spite me, my E-10 seems to be working okay again. Yay E-10!

I took advantage of some good light this afternoon to wander around my back yard and neighborhood and take a bunch of pictures of my usual favorites: flowers, bees, and cats. I also took a lot of pictures of fences today, don’t know why, and a bunch of pictures of ivy.

They’re in this gallery.

One of the ivy pics, this one:

I decided would look better in black and white, with the background leaves burned darker and a small tear in one leaf fixed. This was a bit harder than I’d figured, but came out pretty good:

Other than that one, they’re mostly just wallpaper, but some of them are kind of pretty wallpaper. If you like my cats you might wanna check ‘em out.

I hope I’m not turning into that lady that always works in accounting that has pictures of her goddamned pets all over her cube because she doesn’t have a picture of a person to put there.

Not likely though–I’ve got more pictures of bees than my cats. Probably also of random zoo monkeys. I’m not sure if that’s an improvement. Plus, hardly anybody turns into a lady if they didn’t start out as one.

I think I might go see a movie. I was going to go see Ultra Violet, but I can’t find any reviews. Usually that means that the studio didn’t screen it for reviewers, which usually means it sucks more ass than a Hoover with a wet-dry enema attachment.

Winter at Spyglass, and a cheap-ass camera.

Sunday, February 26th, 2006

Ed. Note: I dropped over by the greenbelt entrance on spyglass and made a few pictures with the crappy new camera I talk about below.

My main camera has started getting about 20 pictures on a set of batteries, and unless I can figure out what’s going wrong or fix it myself, is not likely to get fixed. The economics just don’t really warrant it–it’s a $300 camera, and it seems unlikely it’d get fixed for less than $200. Even if it’s less than that, I’m kind of reluctant to dump more money in a camera that lately seems more and more limited. Maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to buy a new camera.

In any case, I managed to convince myself that I needed a backup camera, in case I, say for instance, went on vacation and found out my “real” camera was not working correctly. So, I went down and got myself a teeny little Sony DSC-S600, Which is a very small, very basic 6MP camera. I picked it up for $230, including tax and a 2-year warranty from Fry’s.

I’m pretty torn about this camera. The voice of frugality tells me to take the camera back and keep the money, because it doesn’t do many of the things that I want. However, anybody know knows me knows that that voice of frugality is usually muffled by the door of the small closet I keep it in when I’m not beating it fists full of $10 quarter rolls.

The problem is that it does do a lot of stuff. It does more stuff than the Canon PowerShot A20 I used before I got my E-10. Technically speaking, it’s even got some features my E-10 doesn’t have, like continuous 5-zone autofocus and more-zoned evaluative metering. Plus it’s got more pixels. It’s even got a movie-recording mode that doesn’t look half-bad when set to the highest quality.

On top of that, it’s very compact and lightweight. My E-10 weighs two pounds and change. The DSC-S600 weighs “and change”–6.4 ounces, with batteries. It’s small enough to fit in a pocket, whereas the E-10 is small enough to fit in a trunk, and most backpacks.

Of course, that’s not the whole story. The big story is the stuff that’s missing. No aperature- ot shutter-priority mode. As a matter of fact, no exposure control at all beyond a +/- EV setting. That’s no great problem, although it is a problem. The great problem is that there’s no manual focus. I’ve shot days with my E-10 where I rarely futzed with the exposure–most of my time in big bend was spent in completely-automatic Program mode–but I didn’t realize how much I use manual focus. More accurately, I used the super-sharp DSLR focusing screen to tell what’s in focus, even when I wasn’t focusing manually. It makes a huge difference. it is very difficult to tell, with this new camera, what exactly it is that you’re taking a picture of.

Another thing is the resolution. Sure, it’s got 2 million pixels more than the E-10, but that isn’t a huge gain on its face (2240 horizontal pixels to 2816, an extra 25% in horizontal resolution). Moreover, the teeny lens and relatively small amount of light admitted by it combine to make the individual pixels on the S600 considerably noisier and less sharp than on the E-10. I’d definitely go so far as to say that the E-10 produces sharper pictures, even at the lower megapixel count. I should have known that big huge honking lens was good for something.

Almost as important, there’s no lens thread to mount filters and such on the S600. This isn’t a big deal, except for the polarizer. If you don’t think a polarizer is a big deal, check out this image, with no polarizer:

…and this image, with:

Luckily, I can jury-rig a solution by holding my 62MM polarizer in front of the lens. Primitive, but it works.

So the camera sucks compared to a much more sophisticated camera that still sells for half again as much, even after six years. No surprise there. It’s not supposed to replace the E-10, but provide something for me to limp along with until next month, when I can work a little more overtime and replace it with a Canon EOS-300D or EOS-10D. Or maybe, if I’m feeling rich, Canon EOS-350D or even a EOS-20D. They’re coming out with the 30D now, that’s gotta drive prices on the 20D down…

More miscellaneous pics….

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

When I was posting my Big Bend pics, I noticed that several galleries I’d created weren’t listed on the gallery list on the left. I’m not sure if I didn’t put them here before, or if they got wiped out in my bungled Drupal upgrade attempt, but I re-exported them, and here they are now:

  • Townlakia III – More pictures from Lown Lake, circa October 2005
  • Townlakia IV – Town Lake pics from November. It occurs to me I’ve got quite a bit of year-round Town Lake images.
  • Red Bud Isle – Red Bud Isle, Red Bud Trail at Town Lake, another city park. It’s awesome. November 2005
  • Back Porch Flowers – I saw some flowers on the Patio last November, snapped a few pics.
  • Campus II – Some pics from the UT campus last October.
  • Greenbelt in October – The Greenbelt. In October.
  • Mount Bonnell – Mount Bonnell, a big fault-created hill with Delusions of Grandeur and a cliff on one side. It’s got a nice view of Lake Austin. These are a few pics I snapped in October
  • Still Life — Honeycrisp apples and bottles taken in my bathroom. I’m only uploading this because of an OCD need to match the photos in my screensaver with the photos on my web site. Not really worth looking at, unless you don’t know what a large bottle of Chimay looks like.

Huh

Saturday, January 21st, 2006

Okay, so I haven’t posted anything in three months. Fucking sue me. I live in a house now that I’m buying. I threw a couple of parties. For my brother’s birthday, I fronted him the money for a Denon DN-S3500. Oh, and threw in on it. More some other time.

Eccchhh….I feel bad

Friday, September 30th, 2005

I feel bad. It’s been so long since I posted anything here. Sorry Ma. Not a lot has been going on. I’ve been working a lot, partying a little, not working on my photography nearly enough. I did go to a couple of zoos last weekend, one in San Antonio on Sunday (I also went by the Alamo and the Riverwalk), and the next day to the Austin zoo. I took about 400 pictures in all, of which about 60 were okay and about 20 were really good. About 5 were good enough that I’m proud of them.

Squirrels!

Monday, August 8th, 2005

There’s a bunch of really funny stories behind these pics of some squirrels and their nuts, but I’m not telling you any of ‘em. Stay tuned for some bad ass retouched photos coming up in the next coupla days. (As if it needed to be said, these photos are a little retouched as well, as are quite a few of the ones I post here).