European Vacation Fotoz, Part IV

Here’s the fourth and final installment of pictures from our vacation to Europe over the summer. Includes the rest of Budapest and Mór, plus a bonus album of pics from Jeannie’s phone. Whew, that was a whole lot of pictures to go thru. Now it’s time to start thinking about our next trip. Enjoy!

Punkin’ Time Again

Every year we carve up a pumpkin for Hallowe’en. This year we did it a little different. I create a face using a bunch of post-it notes, just for fun. For a while it looked like that would be all we’d do. We didn’t get around to doing the actual carving until the afternoon of Hallowe’en day. Later after I finished the carving, I stuck the posties on the lid of my computer. I should mention that this year’s model featured a third eye for seeing into the Astral plane.

By time we got the orange gourd outside it was already dark so I missed the opportunity to take pictures. I went out the next day but the squirrels had already started nibbling on the fangs and eyeballs. We usually keep the pumkin around for a while, so this year I decided to document the squirrels’ progress over the next several days. Enjoy!

European Vacation Fotoz, Part I

Here’s the first installment of pictures from our vacation to Europe last month. The first part of the trip was in the Alps: Zürich Switzerland and Innsbruck Austria, and the surrounding environs. As usual, these galleries are protected, so ping me if you need login credentials. Enjoy!

Fotoz 2018, Part I

Well we’re not quite up to springtime yet. It was a lovely weekend, and I went for a nice long walk up the hill, finally took down my xmas lights outside, and even started up my Mustang. But it’s gotten cold again and is supposed to remain cold all week. Ah well. Lizzy is home again for spring break.

It’s photo gallery time again. I added five new albums for 2018. This brings up up to middle of July. It turns our last year was a really interesting year with lots of travel, and these galleries include our trip upstate and to Montreal. Still plenty more to come, so stay tuned.

Fotoz 2017

Winter drags on. We’ve had three nor’easters in the last two weeks, and two more on the way. During the first one a tree branch fell and smashed the windshield of my car. The repair had to be delayed three times because of subsequent stormy days but it finally got done. Lizzy is back home for spring break. Mixing proceeds on the jazz record. We have five and a half songs mixed and the final editing tweaks on the remaining three mostly done.

But the main news of the day is that my photo albums have been updated for the year. Ping me for the login info if you need it. It’s funny we hardly ever even use our camera anymore. Most of these pics were from someone’s phone.

Shoot the Moon

Another milestone for my upcoming book Origami from Space. Once all the graphics for the paper had been approved by all parties my publisher asked me to submit the photos. So I printed out all the graphics and folded all the models, taking extra care. Along side I have most of the models folded at exhibit quality with non-printed paper, mostly the kind Origami Shop calls “tissue foil” or “shiny”.

I have basically a homemade mini-studio setup for photography, which is how I did the cover for my last book. I set it up and got to work.

The major limitation was the lights. I used to have a pair of really bright white halogens, originally meant for industrial use like in a shop, and I’d put frosted lexan in front of the lamp to serve as a diffuser. Some time ago the switch on of the units burned out and I was down to one.

So I filled it in with some other lights I had around, but when the publisher got the pictures he said there were some harsh shadows and bright hot spots which they didn’t like. I kinda do like this look, as it brings out the texture and shape of the models, especially for the non-printed paper. But I think they’re after breakfast-cereal-television-commercial bright.

The other limitation of my setup is the depth of field was low in some shots, so things we’re as in-focus as the could be across the z-plane. Again something I thought was cool but they didn’t go for. I figured it was time to get a new lighting kit.

It’s amazing what you can find on the internet these days. I went with pretty much the cheapest one I could find that seemed decent. It contained three tripods and light setups with diffusers and a stand to shoot against for a little over $100. Back in the days of film it would have been thousands of dollars for something like that.

The tripods were aluminum and plastic, very lightweight but fine for indoor use. And the diffusers were just cloth and a bit of wire, like an umbrella. The big innovation was the lighting units themselves, which took for compact fluorescent bulbs each, equivalent to 150 watts from a regular bulb, for a total of 1800, but with a pure white light and giving off no heat. Amazing. The huge amount of light let me dial down the aperture and open up the depth of field on my camera. Light in photography is equivalent to silence in audio recording. The level determines the absolute noise floor and dynamic range you can get.

It took a while to put the whole thing together, but the shoot when smoothly enough and the publisher seemed satisfied. I imagine I’ll have to do some pick-up shots pretty soon. Then I had to find a place to store the kit so I could set up my new synthesizer. So we had to get rid of some old junk, which led to cleaning out the wizard closet and the garage. Projects beget more projects.

Now I’m in the process of putting together a gallery of some of the pics, but first I have to upgrade my photo processing software.

Vacation Pics

We’ve only been home a little over a week and it already seems like it was ages ago. So before it recedes too far into the past here’s some pics of our trip to Puerto Rico. As always drop me a line if you want login credentials. BTW Lizzy’s run of Hunchback of Notre Dame started last weekend at it was very impressive. I’ve seen professional shows on Broadway that weren’t as good.