Monthly Archives: April 2009

Water drops

Water drop #1
Water drop #2
Water drop #3
Water drop #4

I finally got around to scratching an itch and tried to photograph water drops. My setup was as follows:

  • set up the heavy-duty Manfrotto 3258 tripod with a Manfrotto 405 head on it
  • put the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens + Canon Extender EF 1.4x + Canon Extension tube EF-25II
  • put a light stand next to the tripod with a Canon EX580II on manual flash. Set the zoom to 105mm, and the power to 1/16 + 0.7
  • attach Pocket Wizard Multimaxes to both flash and camera
  • attach Canon timer remote controller TC-80N3
  • set mirror lockup to enable:down with set
  • turn live view on to 10x mag
  • place a knife running across the dish where the water drop falls
  • mess with both the zoom and focus to get the writing on the knife into sharp focus
  • take picture — repeat ad infinitum (almost 200 pictures in total)

The extension tube both magnifies the picture and allows the lens to get much closer to the object in question. But the trade off for that is a razor thin depth of field. With an f-stop of 16, only millimeters were in focus.

Also, the timing of the shot is difficult. And I am limited to 320ms due to the high speed sync. Which makes one shot pictures like “coffee with a drop of milk” all the more impressive to view.

Cloudy striations

Cloudy Striations

Spring weather means turbulent, chaotic, energy. I really need a panoramic head. These pictures stitched together in a flat “V” shape. And they had subtle lighting differences between snaps.

Update: Ahh! I was using the TS-E 45mm and, when I was putting the lens away, I noticed that the was some tilt being applied to the lens. Perhaps that was it. I must strive to return all of the settings on a lens back to default when I put it away. Live and learn…

Game Day 04/16/2009

Game #1
Game #1b

Race for the Galaxy x 5

Chapel flaked on me. Normally, I don’t mind people not coming to game nights. But when they RSVP and then cancel, that means more than just I suffer. And I could not do a fallback of going to yoga since I didn’t bring my workout clothes and mat with me. Sigh. I guess that from now on I will have to treat a one day ahead reservation as unreliable.

Fortunately, Jon was willing to play a two player game of Race for the Galaxy. We went to Chuy’s and played one game. And then we went back home and played four more. There are a lot of cards in this game. And the possible combinations are intriguing. The best way to scratch that itch is back-to-back games of it.


Darth Vader bucks link via

Reverse engineering the 12 days of Chrismas link via

The most beautiful waves ever link via

Develop film using coffee and vitamin C link via

Dog poops out money link via

SexyBack vs. Legend of Zelda Theme on Two Tesla Coils link via

Japanese industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa has created a series of creative fruit juice packages that have the look and feel of the fruit they contain link via

Tilt Shift Mardi Gras link

Extreme sheep art link via

Repurposed thrift store painting link via

Cardapult link via

43 Photography hacks, mods and DIY projects link via

Smartest Dogs: Moscow Stray Dogs link via

Ars cracks TV Fringe code link via

DIY remote trigger link via

Bulbdial clock link1 link2 via

8-bit Tarot cards link via

Photoshops of that angry baby link via

Are people willing to help a robot get to its destination? link via

Exhalation link via

A boob of milk link via

Wolf and Pig link via

Dim Sum

Dim Sum #1
Dim Sum #2

I ate Dim Sum at a new restaurant: Chinatown. Well, not really new to me as this is where Musashinos (Japanese Sushi) is located at on the ground floor. Their claim to fame was that they have “higher end” dim sum. And I do agree that it was pretty to look at. But I do miss the old classics. It was also way more expensive than other dim sum (2.5 times more).

I wonder if they only serve dim sum on one weekend or is it all year long?

Disc Golf 04/11/2009

Mike and Jon

Today we drove down to Pease park for some disc golf. It was a nice day (although it was overcast). Perhaps that is why the course was emptier than usual. Not that I was complaining or anything.

Hole 3

Hole three is a hard hole. It curves off to the right and runs along a river on the left. Since the usual backhand throw will curve off to the left, you have to anhyzer it to the right. Unfortunately, the plan failed and the disc went to the left. But I was lucky that we are in a drought and the river was low. Otherwise my disc would have been wet.

Hole 15

Hole 15 is another hard hole. You have to throw over the river and through a rather small gap in the leaves of trees. So it was nice when my shot did exactly that and land on the other side out in the open.


We ate lunch at EZs next to Central Market. As we were finishing, we notice Jeff walk in. I tried getting his attention via Twitter. But he said that his phone was not connected to the network. What a broken blackberry. iPhones don’t have that problem…

Dragon's Lair

And after lunch we stopped by Dragon’s Lair. I bought a mini for the D&D game.

D&D Shadowfall Keep (part 6)

D&D #1
D&D #2

It has been quite a while since the last D&D session. A last minute cancellation and reschedule will do that to you, I guess.

This time, I set up a light stand with a pocket wizard attached to it. The light was a little harsh as you can see via the long shadows. And, at 16mm, the lens really distorts people. Jon is not that short and fat in real life. Still, it was an interesting experience. Maybe a second light would soften it out? Let’s see if Chapel minds even more equipment showing up at his front door…

Mud Dauber wasps

Mud Dauber Wasp

Another sign of spring time is the Mud Dauber wasps. At least I haven’t noticed them around until now. Is it wrong of me to take out their nests on my soffits? They are not particularly aggressive. Especially when I got up close to them with all my photography equipment.

Game Day 04/09/2009

Game #1

Princes of the Renaissance

We started with an older Wallace game. After a short rules refresher, we dived into the game. Or, at least tried to. While the rules are simple (they are only a couple of pages long). The initial game play was not. There are a bunch of tiles in this game. And they each have attributes to them. So we were a little perplexed as to what long term strategy to pursue. I started off with a heavy military force. This game is definitely biased towards offense. Eventually, my army had a rating of 13 offense and 7 defense. I also won the Swiss Mercenaries tile which gave me +1 attack, +1 defense and -1 bid on Condottieres. In a three player game, there are four wars. If you win an attack (or win a defense and then win a counter-attack), then you get a victory chit. These chits are summed via triangle points. So, if you win a lot of wars, then, in the end, you will score a lot of victory points. But it is not so one-sided. If the pope is purchased, then one player can side with another. Mike and Jon used this ability once over each of the three eras to stop my aggression. Also, there are treachery tiles that you can purchase which may have abilities to lessen my attack strength or even stop the war.

Victory points are not only gained from wars. Many of the tiles are worth victory points. The city specific tiles are worth victory points based on their prestige (which goes up when wars are won and goes down if they are lost). Most money and most influence will also gain you victory points. So it seems balanced. Although I did win because I had won six wars.

Game #2

Pillars of the Earth

Next up was a lunch-time length game: Pillars of the Earth. In this game I was lucky to grab Prior Philip in the first round. This gave me an extra victory point whenever I placed master builders in the Priory. Which, of course, I did every round. This alone scored me at least nine victory points. With this advantage, I leapt into first and stayed that way for the entire game.