Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 133 (Geek #2)

Day 133 (November 12th, 2010)
Title: Geek #2

Welcome to Day 2 of Name That Thing 2!  First, the important information; the answer to yesterdays photo!  Yesterday's photo was... wait for it... a PS2 Plug!  (Also acceptable answers: Mouse and/or Keyboard Plug).  I'm proud to say, nearly everyone got that one (although: "Alien Probing Device" was certainly an interesting answer).  For today, we are going to make it a little harder and dial it up to Geek Level 2!

Here is today's photo!  And I'll even give you a clue!  It's not a probing device (alien or otherwise).  Good luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 132 (Geek #1)

Day 132 (November 11th, 2010)
Title: Geek #1

You've all be patiently waiting, but the wait is finally over!  Its time for Name That Thing 2!  This whole week I'll be showing macro pictures of things based on a single subject, and you get to try and name them!  For Name That Thing 2, the subject is going to be: Computers (aka "Geek Week"). 

I'm starting this Name That Thing with a "Geek Level 1" photo, that I think most folks should be able to get.  If you can't, its okay, you'll have more chances tomorrow! 


Photo Project - Poor Man's Light Box

One of the pieces of equipment that I've been considering purchasing for a while now is a light box for shooting small things with even lighting and seamless backdrops.  Basically, a professional light box is a cube (12", 16" or 24" square is considered small) that is made from a translucent material (usually plastic) with a metal frame.  One side of the cube is opened so you can put your object in it (please, no Justin Timberlake jokes about 'Junk in the box'.  Yes, I've seen the video, yes its funny, and no, I'm not making a box for you).  Using lights/flashes outside the box, you aim them at the translucent material and when the light hits the walls, its diffuses it and evenly lights the object from all sides, virtually eliminating shadows. 

My concern has been, do I really need it?  Normally they are about $80-$150 for a nice one and that just seems like a lot of money for a box (if I don't use/need it).  So, I thought: "Hey, I've build loads of IKEA stuff and I'm pretty good with Legos, so how hard could it be to build a box!".  Caveat: I'm not really building this box to be at "professional" level, but more as a testing item to see if buying a higher grade light box would be worth it. 

So, here is my first attempt at building a light box for the least amount of money possible! 

Stage I: Locate a box

First step was to find me a box.  I would like to thank Staples for "donating" this lovely box to my experiment.  
Stage II: The first cuts

First thing I did was cut out the first side.  After cutting out the section, I reinforced the remaining edges with packing tape.  You want to leave at least an inch on each edge so you don't weaken the structure too much. 

Stage III: The Second Cut

The second side is done same as the first.  Leaving about an inch for support and reinforcing all cuts/edges with packing tape. 

Stage IV: Back cut

After completing the two small sides, I cut out what will become the back of the light box.  With this cut, I left about two to two-half inches (again for structure).  I again used packing tape to reinforce.

Stage V: Top Cut

This cutout on the top of the box is smaller than the other sides, because this cut is only really used when using a top-down spotlight on an object.  For smaller objects having a spotlight will increase the brightness without producing much shadow.  Again, reinforce with packing tape. 

Stage VI: Inside Liner

Once all of the cuts are complete, its time to line the inside with a white base.  In my case, I used white card stock attached via double-stick tape and tacky glue.  You could also use regular white printer paper or white paint.  I used white card stock because it was what I had laying around.  Its important to note, that this white base later is not the main white element that will be diffusing the light.  This base is just to provide an additional reflective surface for the light and neutralize any ambient color from the inside of the box (a muddled gray in the case of my box).  The next stage will provide the real background/diffusion

Stage VII: Internal fabric/background

Now with this stage, I'd highly recommend doing what I didn't: measuring!  This is really the stage that I needed to purchase anything.  I bought about 3 yards of white fabric from Joanne's Fabrics (cost was less than $5.00).  This stage had a few tricky components.  First, I cut out sections of fabric for the two sides (cutting them a little bit larger than area needed so I would have extra coverage in the corners/seams.  For the back, top and bottom I used one large piece of fabric, secured at the top with small binder clips.  I secured all of the fabric inside using double-stick tape.  I used tape so that if I needed to either a) remove the fabric or b) reposition it, it would be less of a hassle.  One trick, do not attach the bottom of the fabric to the box, let it hang out loosely so that way you will form a crease-less effect and have less shadows. 

So far, the box has done pretty well.  I've gotten some nice shots and I'm certainly feeling more comfortable about purchasing a more professional model.  I'll post some picture taken from within the box soon! 

I hope you enjoyed this little DIY project and if you have any suggestions to make this better or other projects that would be fun to make (and not cost too much), let me know and I'll see what I can do! 



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 131 (Thankfulness)

Day 131 (November 10th, 2010)
Title: Thankfulness

Its that time of the year again, the time we remember what to be thankful for.  I'm not a big politico, but I decided to do a quick list of things to be thankful for and one of them is for where I live.  I'm not going crazy about "US is better than everywhere!" or "Bow down to our Capitalism Might!", but its a more 'general' feeling of thankfulness.  I'm thankful that I live in a place that has cool techie toys, abundance of food (even if most of it is crazy-unhealthy), a general access to a wealth of information and truly wide variety of people that I get to be friends with.  I'm also thankful for all of my family, both close and far.  I hope everyone has something to be thankful for this year, and remember, even if you don't think you have anything to be thankful for always remember this one thing:  And the most important thing that I'm thankful for, is that I'm not a turkey. 

(Note: to any turkeys reading this... sorry.  Please take this "Apologetic Stick of Rosemary-Infused Butter".  If you'd like to rub it all over, I'm sure you'd feel better.) 

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving to all of us non-turkeys! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 130 (Glass Web)

Day 130 (November 9th, 2010)
Title: Glass Web

This is my own "comment" of yesterday's post (Shattered).  While I was generally upset about seeing the vandalism that was done to the Mint building, when I saw the photos I realized they looked really interesting and cool.  I know I can totally hear certain folks (you know who you are!) saying: "See!  Sometimes beauty can come from random destruction and violence!".  Yeah well, that might be true and I'm sure many works of art came from some sort of conflict (be it an external effect like the vandalism I saw, or an internal one, such as a moral or ethical conflict), but regardless I'm still not happy about it! (/4yearold_IdontCareAttitude=on) 

I do aknoledge that the 'ends' resulted in an artisistic work for me (and I'm sure many others) to see and enjoy, but I think the 'means' that got us there was seriously misguided. 

Oh well... Silver lining and all that I suppose. 


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 129 (Shattered)

Day 129 (November 9th, 2010)
Title: Shattered

We were walking around the City this weekend (during the crazy-nut storm that hit!  Lightning and thunder in San Fran is rare) and we walked past the old mint building (near 5th street) and what I saw really made me sad.  Many of the windows were smashed or otherwise damaged.  These windows are shatter proof, but they are also heavily barred so even if you could bust out the glass you could never get by the bars.  I just couldn't see the point on why someone would want to damage a building that has nothing in it of value (well, perhaps if you think 2 ton safe doors are valuable... Ok, I do, but most people don't!), nor would breaking the window even grant you access.  I know sometimes vandels feel they have a message they are trying to get across (such as spray-painting - which I'm not condoning - can be amazing art and really have a strong and emotional message), but pointless destruction annoys me to no end. 

Photo 365 - Day 128 (Coffeetastic)

Day 128 (November 8th, 2010)
Title: Coffeetastic

What better way to start a Sunday than with a coffee.  And not just a 'Bucks, or a Peets, but we are talking about Verve (Santa Cruz's ninja-esq coffee oasis of goodness)!  The most coffeetastic of all coffiness.  I have no idea how the coffee ninja's do that little "milk art" thing on top, but I'm always impressed by it.  Supposedly they actually have a competition for it!  And they have fans in Verve!, that look like propellers.   So, while you're sitting there, drinking you 4th quad-espresso and you decide to look up, it looks like you are being strafed by P-51 mustangs!  So, as the barista tells you: "Sir, you are not being attacked, please get out from under the table.  You are scaring the other customers." you know you are not alone!!  And they have nifty wooden signs too.  With words on them.  That I can't read because my eyes are moving too fast.  I'm thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, I should cut down a bit on the beans myself.  Oooooh!  Look, I can see the wings on a hummingbird flapping!  They are quick, quick, quick!    


Photo 365 - Day 127 (Circus Mirror)

Day 127 (November 7th, 2010)
Title: Circus Mirror

When I look at this picture, I'm reminded of strange, dark tales, like Something Wicked This Way Comes (Ray Bradbury) and The Thief of Always (Clive Barker).  Sinister events that occur with children and the act of growing up and what might be even worse than getting older.  I've always enjoyed stories where the "monster" is more ethereal and you have to use your imagination to create what the evil really is.  As descriptive as great authors can be, I think ones own personal imagination can be even more frightening and scary. 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 126 (Hi Noon)

Day 126 (November 6th, 2010)
Title: Hi Noon

I love that San Francisco has a lot of clock-towers that still work (and have bells that chime) so you know when to get out there and get some grub! Lunch in the City is one of those crazy localized social rituals that is scary to watch but fun to be a part of.  First of all, you have to start the ritual at least two hours before lunch.  That's when one person sends a email/text to 3-4 people asking the "innocent" question of: "What do you guys want to do for lunch?"  Upon receiving this message, the receivers all groan because they know they are about to join the "Lunch In The City" ritual.  Immediately after receiving the communication, one of the receivers sends out a "I don't care, but not pizza [or any other specific cuisine]!" at the exact time that another receiver send "I'm feeling like pizza!" And the fun is just starting!

Moments later: "I don't mind pizza I guess, as long as its veggie only, without cheese and gluten free."

"Uhm, maybe something other than pizza.  How about Mexican?"

"Oh, I had Mexican last week.  Remember the re-fried beans?"



"Too much MSG!"

"Not at Mr. Lees!"

"On 5th?  That's too far!"

"No, that's not Mr. Lees, that Mr. Lu's"

"How about 'Lou's Italian'?"

"I thought we said no pizza?"

"They have lots of non-pizza things there!"

"At Mr. Lees? Its Chinese! They do have noodles!"

"Oh, I forgot that I brought soup today, sorry!"

"So, how about Pizza then?"

Ahh... good times.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 125 (Bored)

Day 125 (November 5th, 2010)
Title: Bored

Now, normally I don't go out of my way to get many candid people shots, just because I prefer folks to know that I'm taking a picture of them.  But, as with all things there are exceptions to rules!  We were in the Ferry Building in San Francisco browsing for tasty treats when I saw this family hanging out in the food court area.  There was the wife talking on her cell phone, the dad clearly wishing he was home watching some sort of sporting event, and of course the son.  That look on the kid's face has to be one of the most "I'm bored out of my MIND!" looks that I've ever seen!  I was actually waiting for the kid to fall asleep on the dad's head. 

I'm sure when I was a kid I had a similar look when I was ready to go home (or at least get back to my legos), but I hope I didn't look quite as bored as that!  I feel so bad for him that I thought of giving him one of my chocolates... Then of course I remembered they were Recchiuti chocolates, so that just wasn't going to happen.


Photo 365 - Day 124 (Self Portrait ala Bush)

Day 124 (November 4th, 2010)
Title: Self Portrait ala Bush

Sometimes no matter how hard you try and setup a shot, how much planning you put into a project, or dedicating hours to a task, you just don't get what you want.  That's how it is with pictures sometimes.  I was planning out a night-time shoot where I wanted to get pictures of the stars and night sky (uber-long exposure at f/32), but no matter what I did I just couldn't seem to get it right.  I tried all kinds of different combination's of setting on the camera and still, nothing but either black or random blurry splotches.  So, after about 2 hours of trying, I decided that it just wasn't going to happen tonight and I'd pack everything up.  After putting all the cables, tripod, timers, notebooks, memory cards and other miscellaneous junk away and I though: Hey, I have this large lamp out (I had a large light out so I could see everything while I was working - and YES I turned it off before shooting!) and there was a neat shrub/bush thing next to where I was.  I thought I'd just take a quick shot of it before leaving (I was darn well going to get SOMETHING out of this experience).  After the test picture, I noticed my shadow fell across the shrub in a cool way.

Two shots later, I got this nifty self-portrait.


Photo 365 - Day 123 (Spring Roll Therapy)

Day 123 (November 3rd, 2010)
Title: Spring Roll Therapy

In a story completely not at all related to the photo, I recently attended a Photographic Lighting class and I've got to say, wow.  At the end of it, I felt like one of my favorite Far Side cartoons (its a classroom with one student who has his hand up, with the teacher looking at him and the student says: "Excuse me sir, my brain is full, can I go home now?")  It was a crazy-lot of information and concepts that I feel is going to help with my photos.  And, more importantly, I now know when to use a snoot.

As for this picture, earlier in the week we had a bit of drama, and at the time we decided that the best therapy to be had was "Chinese Food Therapy"!  "You don't need doctor!  You need Mongolian Beef!"

Heck, it was cheaper than Kaiser and we had lunch the next day too!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 122 (Berkeley Biker)

Day 122 (November 2nd, 2010)
Title: Berkeley Biker

Ah, Berkeley!  The land of psycho-bikers who have no concept of traffic laws or that there is a possibility of other things being on the street - like cars, or other bikers, or people, or newspaper machines...  Now, working in San Francisco, you get use to the large volume of bikers and generally they aren't bad (except on Critical Mass days when they make me late to catch my bus home!).  Now, in the City many bikers actually follow the rules of the road (and yes, there are actual laws for riding bikes!), such as stopping at a stop light, following the flow of traffic, hand-signals when turning and the like.  There are always a few that believe they are pedestrians (which, if you are riding the bike, you are NOT), and do things like ride on the sidewalk and whatnot. 

Now Berkeley, even though its just across the bay, is a completely different can o' worms!  Bikers in Berkeley believe they have a protective "I am invincible as long as I ride my bike like a total jerk" field on.  I've seen a biker ride from one corner of the street across to the other corner ("kiddie-corner"), RIGHT THROUGH traffic - and the biker got mad at the drivers for honking at him!  Oh well... At least this biker was "nice" enough to wait for the light to turn yellow.


Photo 365 - Day 121 (Duo of Roses)

Day 121 (November 1st, 2010)
Title: Duo of Roses

Finally, I've made it to November!  I'm not sure how I got so behind (other than crazy-sickness), but I finally feel as if I'm catching up! 

Today is the last of my "flower" week series (but I'm sure more flowers will be coming), and I thought I'd do a duo of shots (because "duo" sounds more snooty than "two").  I know, its supposed to be only one photo a day, but its my birthday, so I'm doing two!... Err, I mean, a duo! 

Both shots are of the same rose, but from different angles.  I played with the contrast, vibrance, and brightness to give them a bit more depth in color and feel (although, now they have almost an 'artsy' look - like they were painted). 


Monday, November 15, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 120 (Family of Roses)

Day 120 (October 31st, 2010)
Title: Family of Roses

Warning - The following anecdote is not cute nor representative of what is in the attached photo.  You've been warned.

Well, as you might have guessed I've been focusing on taking shots of flowers the last few days.  And in the first shot I mentioned that I prefer taking shots of flowers in their more natural environment (rather than staged).  Now, this shot is of a lovely bunch of roses in a rose garden, so not staged.  But, I took this picture right after they were watered, so it looks like they have 'morning dew' or other water-ish connection going on.  This is one of things that bugs me - normally getting shots of flowers with perfect little water drops on them, with nice reflections and whatnot is one of of the reasons to stage a shot (normally water and flowers don't cooperate so well in nature.  I blame you Wind!).  So, here I was, taking a shot of something that I feel is in the "territory" of staged photos (again, I don't usually mind staged stuff - just not so much with flowers).  Now, its not the best representation of the "water-drop on flower", especially compared to a staged shot, but its not bad.

As I was looking at this photo, I kept thinking: "I'm not going to use it... Its to 'fake', no one will believe it!', but in the end, my insanity took over and I found a way to make sense of it all...

Instead of those being little water drop, all 'artistic' and pretty, imagine instead that the roses have been stuck in the sun all day, people have been coming up to them, taking pictures, generally bugging them to look all 'cute and photographic'.  These flowers are beat!  That's not nature's little dew drops... that Rose Sweat!  Which, could be a lot worse... if they didn't smell like roses.

Does make you wonder the next time you see a model in a magazine looking like she is standing in the rain... Just think, that might not be rain.  Ewww.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 119 (Sarlacc Bloom)

Day 119 (October 30th, 2010)
Title: Sarlacc Bloom

Okay, with this picture I truly show off my geekness meets artist!  As soon as I saw this flower, the first thing that I thought of was the Sarlacc from Return of the Jedi (its the pit Jabba the Hutt is trying to toss Han and Luke into - that sadly eats Boba Fett).  In the background (yes, my geek powers are so strong, I know some Star Wars background!), the Sarlacc grows from spores in space (Ooo, good name for a cover-band: Spores In Space!).  I was thinking, what if before becoming some giant space worm/leech thingy that eats cool bad guys, that is started as some sort of flower.  I'm thinking Star Wars meets Little Shop of Horrors.

"Feed me Darth Seymour!" 


Photo 365 - Day 118 (Flower Whiskers)

Day 118 (October 29th, 2010)
Title: Flower Whiskers

I have no idea why I named this Flower Whiskers, only that when I see it, the first thing that I think of is "whisker stubble".  I really like how this shot came out, although completely unplanned (of course).  I enjoy the colors, from the deep purple to the light green; the short depth of field so that focal point is really small (and only a few of the 'whiskers' are in focus); and abstract-ness of the entire composition.  I mean, you know its a flower as soon as you see it, but as you look at the individual parts, it's harder to see the overall picture. 

I did lower the brightness and up the contrast a bit to give a little bit more definition in the separation of the colors.  I also tweaked (slightly) the overall vibrance of the shot to bring out some of the more subtle purples.
I hope you like it!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 117 (Blooming Flower)

Day 117 (October 28th, 2010)
Title: Blooming Flower

Flowers... The macro photographers best friend!  I've always enjoyed taking shots of flowers, but at least for me, I love pictures of them in their naturally (such as in the wild or folks gardens).  Many flower photographers have lots of equipment and entire studios setup for "nature" photography (using flashes, light-boxes, light stands, etc), and you can get a great shot using these items but I feel it is counter-intuitive with flowers.  Flowers are like small living paintings, that when put in such a mechanical environment loose some of their naturalistic effect. 

Now, I'm not putting down using said equipment (in fact, I wish I had such stuff!), but just not for flowers.  I guess my thinking is more: "Why setup a whole fake environment to get a 'perfect' shot of a flower when nature has already provided the perfect stage for them?" 


Photo 365 - Day Bleach!

Well, as I'm sure you've all noticed, I haven't posted any photos this last week.  This was due to me being crazy-sick and barely able to leave bed/focus my eyes.  Happily, I am starting to feel better and I will be catching up with my missed photos asap!  My only advice to others is, make sure you read the little "side-effect" booklet with any new meds!  Wow, was that just not fun. 

I hope everyone had a great week and photo's will be popping up again soon (like, within the next hour)!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 116 (Oakland Docks)

Day 116 (October 27th, 2010)
Title: Oakland Docks

I got these while visiting Hanger One distillery in Alameda.  They are the giant cranes at the Oakland docks.  These are used to unload/load giant steel carriers off the cargo ships and put them either on trains or trucks.  Normally I see them from my house (much farther away) and they look like those little "bobbing-head birds" that slowly raise and lower their heads.  I had to really mess with the timing on my camera to get a good shot, because the lights were really bright but if I metered off them, I wouldn't get any detail in the shadows.  On the other hand, metering for the shadows made the lights just blow-out any details.  So, its was a fun balancing act of shutter speeds to get a nice shot.  I also like how you can see the stars in the top, but at the same time see the light streaks from the planes coming in/out of SFO. 


Photo 365 - Day 115 (Adult Hamster Feeder)

Day 115 (October 26th, 2010)
Title: Adult Hamster Feeder

Clearly I'm a bit nuts.  I was at Hanger One distillery for a lovely birthday celebration of fun, games, food and drink when I saw a row of spirits (re: Adult Beverages) sitting on the bar.  Now, most folks presented with a row of deliciousness, including vodkas, whiskeys, ginger beers, fruit juices, coffee (augmented to the "Adult" level, of course) would have been grabbing the nearest glass and going to town!  I, on the other hand looked at the top of the vodka bottle, saw this little "pour assist tool" stuck on top and I immediately thought: "Wow, that looks like one of those things you attach to a bottle of water for a hamster to drink out of."  And of course, my brain made me take a picture of it.  So now, no matter how hard I try, I can't get the mental picture out of my head of giant group of folks walking up to the bartender asking for a "bottle of your finest" and then all fighting over it who gets to lick the feeder first. 

Can you imagine in the City? 

"Yo, bro, you need to be stepping off that Krystal, else I be busting a cap in yo head!"
Walks up to bottle... .  Sound of that little marble rolling, so only a little liquid comes out at a time. 
"Ahhh yeah!  That's what I'm talkin' bout!" 

Perhaps not...


Photo 365 - Day 114 (Tahoe Hill)

Day 114 (October 25th, 2010)
Title: Tahoe Hill

Ah, Tahoe!

With your snow-capped mountains.  Your giant pine trees.  Your crisp, cool air.  Your blue, crystalline lake.  Your nearly naked, drunk ass gamblers.  Your recirculated air from 1996.  Your satanic slot machines that possess my pennies.  Your hypnotic beeping and blinking of lights that make me feed your my sad little bills.  Your crazy old man who's smoking a 'cigar' that smells like death wrapped in dried dog hair.

Ah.  Tahoe.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 113 (San Francisco Park)

Day 113 (October 24th, 2010)
Title: San Francisco Park

I was lucky enough to be a part of the Hanger One multi-birthday celebration event that happened a few days ago.  Basically, there are six of us who have birthdays within days of each other.  It was decided to have one big party to celebrate everyone getting older, and what better place to do so than Hanger One!  We had cake, fireworks, crazy amounts of food, and of course, great booze! 

While the party was rocking, I looked out and saw the San Francisco skyline and knew that I HAD to get a shot of it.  I setup my stuff, and started shooting.  I got about 15-20 shots that were all "okay", but nothing that was spectacular (I think I needed to modify my settings a bit - a smaller aperture would have been a good idea).  When I got home, I realized that since none of the shots were great that I would try to do a HDR with them.  This is the final output.  I like the colors and there is enough detail to really identify specific San Fran landmarks (not just the bridge).  What I didn't really notice the entire time was the fence that matched up almost perfectly with the skyline.  Had I thought about it, or had I been able to see the little screen better on the camera, I would have moved closer to the fence so it would have not been in the shot.  But, after looking at it, I kind of like it.  It gives the feel that the city is fenced in and isolated from the rest of the world.  It also gave me the idea of the "San Francisco Park", only the entire city is the park. 


Photo 365 - Day 112 (Kiddie Van)

Day 112 (October 23rd, 2010)
Title: Kiddie Van

I saw a lot of strange things during the Halloween festivities in Tahoe (lets just say, in a casino they really don't care what you wear - or don't wear for that matter, as long as you are gambling!), but nothing comes close to the icky/disturbed feeling I got seeing this van.  Now, I want to preface this by saying I'm sure all the observations that I noted are completely coincidental and I'm sure the owner of said van is a nice, kind person who feeds ducks and squirrels and would in no way be a psychopathic killer... I hope.

First of all, this van is the quintessential "kids, stay AWAY from that!" vehicle.  Lets break-down the "joy" that is this Kiddie Van: Matte black finish, perfect for hiding in the dark alleyways.  An "Ice Cream Truck" look, because all kids love ice cream.  High windows, so small folks can't see out, but light still gets in.  Cute pink window shades for that friendly "I-have-candy" look.  The small hand-prints of other children decorating the outside.  And, and a lovely little phrase: "We've got our eyes on you.", just to cause that extra bit of trauma. 

Yeah, that just screams "friendly" all over it.  Why this thing wasn't followed by 12 police cars and a helicopter I'll never know. 

Enjoy (ish). 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 111 (Spooky Sconce)

Day 111 (October 22nd, 2010)
Title: Spooky Sconce

First of all, this is the first photo that I've taken that I've got to use the word "sconce"!  So, bonus points for me!  This is another shot from The Fat Lady bar, particularly the sconce (twice!) inside by the front door.  I really like this shot, because it really does have a nice "spooky" effect going on, whereas in the bar its more cute than spooky, because the 'fire' is really just some crepe paper blowing up from a small fan (no candle - its just an electric light).  I think the low-lighting really brought out the best in this shot.  I took this using my 50mm f1.4 lens without any flash, just so I could try and get that uber-high contrast feel.  I did very little post-production on this shot.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Photo 365 - Day 110 (Halloween Faces)

Day 110 (October 21st, 2010)
Title: Halloween Faces

We had a great "pre-Halloween" dinner last week and we went out to a really fun place in Oakland called The Fat Lady.  It's a nice restaurant/bar in Jack London Square (right next to the parking garage - so easy to get to).  Now, normally a restaurant/bar wouldn't be something to really get excited about, but the one thing that The Fat Lady does that is really cool is they LOVE decorating for Halloween.  Every year they do something completely different - and they REALLY get into it.  This year they did a great "Greek Tales" motif, including cyclops, minotaurs, Greek gods, and all kinds of other fun (and spooky) stuff!  The only problem (at least in a photogenic sense) was that the place was really dark (added a lot to the atmosphere tho)!  I tried to get a much out of my 1.4 lens as I could, but the shots are still a bit "off".  I really didn't want to use the flash because the place was packed and I thought blinding other patrons might not be the best idea. Course, as soon as I saw others taking pictures using flash, I immediately regretted bringing mine.  Still, I think the shots came out okay.