Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Steam Compound with Schmidt Superheater

So this isn't my image at all. In fact this was taken, in color, by a Russian photographer, Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky. He used different colored filters and monochrom film to make color prints of life in Russia starting at the turn of the century. He started by learning chemistry in Berlin in 1889, but moved back to his homeland and started making a name for himself. His breakthrough came by taking the first, and only, color portrait of Leo Tolstoy in 1908. Yeah, he was good. In fact, he was good enough to get the attention of Tsar Nicholas II, who set him up with a railroad car darkroom and funding to photograph Russia as much as possible in order to teach schoolchildren about the importance of Russia's diversity. He wound up catching the pre-revolution workers and lives of many people in pictures that have vivid color and sharp details even by modern standards.

This steam engine, while not massive, was new, shiny and state of the art at the time. Click on the link to the flickr page with the photos to see more of these shots.

In Malorossiya (between 1905 and 1915)

Yeah, another good Prokudin-Gorski image.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Late Crescent

Late Crescent, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

Just a little one upsmanship

I do have a bit of an issue with it though, I obvoisly can't be nerdier than 100% of people. There's no mention of the margin of error, and I think hey need to have a method to continuously recalibrate the scale based on the increasing sample size. I wonder if they even factored in the demographics. They've got to be getting a much nerdier than average population segment.

Just sayin'.

I am nerdier than 100% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Big Glass of My Dreams

I've been drooling over a lens at Tempe Camera for several weeks now. It's a used 400mm f 2.8, in pretty good shape. Yesterday when I dropped in for 4x5 sheet film, I brought my D 90 body in to try out this lens. We took it in back, threw it on a tripod (figuratively, this lens is too heavy to throw) and fired away through the window. I chose to take one shot and break it down for the viewing audience. Here's the shot:

So, you can see that this is already doing pretty well. This is wide open, at f 2.8. This lens is manual focus, but very sharp and with bright focus image that makes it very easy to quickly zoom in on a target. I was instantly impressed with the fact that there is no softness in the frame, even the edges are precise and defined.
Once I'd gotten to looking at things, I realized that there was a lot more detail than is visible when one's looking at the whole frame. I threw it in iPhoto and zoomed in a bit.

Here, in detail, is the tower on the top of Hayden Butte, along with the people enjoying their Monday afternoon.

Now we can zoom in a bit more.

This lens is sharp as a tack. I was just shooting JPEGs to test this lens out, using the medium size and fine quality settings. Aperture was 2.8, ISO 400 and I was shooting at about 1/800. Shooting in RAW or full size JPEG will produce even more detailed images, especially upon a sturdy tripod without vibrations.
Here's where things are as seen in Google Maps:

View Line of Sight in a larger map

Things are clear now how clear this lens is. I'm saving what I can, but of course that really is difficult since I have no job right now. I think I'll be looking into the census, to see what they need in terms of people in the Valley of the Sun. Plus, I do have my tax return to look forward to, even though it just covers rent for a while. Man, I wish the Arizona Republic could use a stringer. 

Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

From the Hampton Inn near Sea World, in San Diego

Last weekend's regatta went well for our team. While not nearly as competitive as te front of our fleet, we are getting better. We we get good starts, we consistently stay in position or even pull ahead. However, those starts are hard to come by, and there are boat handling skills that we need to improve on too.


Purple, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

In front of the hotel

At the beach

At the beach, originally uploaded by Gerald5970.

From last weekend's regatta on Mission Bay.