Sunday, June 29, 2008

Emmas Birthday

Got the first photos uploaded from Emmas birthday parties... yep she had several.

The albums can be found on

But here are a couple of slideshows :-)

Part one. This is at home wednesday June 25th (on Emmas birthday)

Part two. This is at Chucky Cheese and red robin (on the follow up and Rachels birthday)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tickle me Tuesday

It's Tuesday and time for a little fun.

So I was lucky getting one of the books I wanted to get. It is called The moment it clicks by Joe McNally.

ohh and should you be tempted to buy the book (which I can only recommend) get it at Amazon and save $20...

In the section I was reading last night he had a pretty darn good quote.
"Face it we are emotional people. When we get the photo we are like six years old running up to the teacher with a look what I did, look what I did".

And reading this just after I created a good print and running up to Jacki telling her how great it looked.... well 'nuff said on that one ;-)

Reading a lot of books and magazines on photography there are always some that have the opinion that everything can be fixed in photoshop.
Sometimes however... it doesn't really turn out the way it should... Take Sears as an example(look at her left hand):

Just for the record. I didn't change the above. Check out the Sears web page to see the original.

Have a great Tuesday and have fun with the other Tickle me Tuesdays...

Monday, June 23, 2008

A weekend in photos

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

With busy work weeks and always a million things to do so much gets pushed to the weekend that even those get busy. Kind of a bad circle since this is your time to get back on top and relax a little.

But sometimes there is a little corner of time here and there to get around to the wanna do stuff too. Like this weekend :-)

Other than getting some household stuff done what I wanted to do was to spend some time with Emma and go to the park and play around for a bit. But we also got around to playing in the studio for a bit.

Emma is good at making faces, posing and dancing around. All up to the point where she looses interest in photos and exclaims "that's it. No more photos of me...". But it works out and we have fun while playing in there.

Initial setup of the studio Emma helps setting up the flash (kicker). She is learning about the different lights and setting the output of the flash.

The patience isn't always too long so sometimes initial setup has to be done before she gets in the studio to play around. But then there are others that can help out adjusting the light. Good ole Angel bear :-)

When using studio lights one could start out by guessing a setting and adjusting the camera exposure based on the histogram. It's just not always this approach is fast or very accurate. That's why I got the light meter and Emma is now ready to get the exposure values.

Initial settings are kind of guess work based on what worked last time. But sometimes when the readings come out yieeeks... (uhhh dad... don't think this will work)

Alrighty... Enough playing around in the studio.
This time we went off to Crockett park where there is a nice lake. Turns out they got a playground there as well and Emma was excited as could be.

We were doing a little driving too :-)

And Emma could walk across the bridge all by her own... yeah that's pretty big :-)

The playground had two areas. One for the 2-5 years old and one for the 5+ years old. Of course both of them had slides but in the summer heat... yeah well you would get kind of toasted on those...
So after trying the slide once we went on to one of the favorite activities... Digging... I don't know why but it is always a winner.

If digging can be done with a stick and you even get to through a little sand around... pure bliss...
But as you can see on the following photo it was a hot summer day and we got overheated after a couple of hours. Well I did have a little sense and actually remembered to bring a juice box for Emma and a small water for me.
However I got one sip of the water and Emma emptied the juice box and the water in no time. The extra water we bought at the store was going fast so even though we had fun we had to pack up...

Ohh yeah I did mention something about a lake... right?
Well here it is (part of it).

And a few birdies were floating around on it too.

In our garden we got a couple of plant beds which seems to be overwhelmed with weeds. This year Emma and I tried planting some wildflowers but somehow the weeds came in faster than the wild flowers.
A couple of weeks ago I tried tearing out some of the weeds to get a little sun to what would hopefully turn out to be wild flowers.
Maybe that's what did it or they were just a little slow. But they finally started to show up.

The flowers may be few but they come up full of colors.

well some of them are full of color. But they are all different sizes and we sure do like them :-)

Just before dinner time and we got about half an hour to have a little fun in the studio. This time I got the kicker setup again with umbrella and all.
Mom had been doing Emma's hair so it amazingly still looks good even though it was done more than 2 minutes ago.

We always get this pose... It's called "look at my blue eyes"... I know I know... but it's all good fun.

Sometimes it's even possible to get Emma to have a face that doesn't include a weird expression. How do you like this one?

Of course we are not always equally impressed by the jumping and weird sounds dad is making behind the camera and we come up with a "hmm what's that all about" look.

Not to forget our "Look at my blue eyes" look :-)

So just for the fun of it let's finish off on the good side and have the curious look showing off a bit of very nice hair. Yep in ten years time (or sooner) I will be in sooo much trouble and have a lot of talking to get done. But for now it's about toys, puppies and fun stuff like that :-)

After being at the airshow Emma is still fascinated by the blue angels.
Here we are in-flight, landing, fly-by and wooshing up in the air real fast. Yep that sure is tons of fun :-)

Last but not least...
Recently (after a big storm that got a hold of the umbrella on the deck) Emma has been slightly a lot concerned about storms, rain, thunder, lightning and wind. So we spend quite some time taking about clouds, rain and all that stuff.
Yesterday after taking a bath some dark clouds were moving out with white puffy clouds peeking out behind them.

Now it will probably make more sense to you if you have seen or read the Charlie and Lola books or watched the Charlie and Lola show on tv.
One book we have read about a million times is the I will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato which is a story about how Charlie is getting Lola to eat her food.

Anyway getting to my point. Emma looks out and exclaims: "Maybe tomorrow I will eat some cloud fluff. But only from the top of the cloud because I don't like the dark bottom".

In Charlie and Lola mashed potatoes isn't mashed potatoes but cloud fluff (Lola does not ever eat mashed potatoes).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sometimes you are just left speachless....

As many morning in the past I wake up kind of slow... (no comments needed).

Emma got up early being hungry and the first thing she does is flying into the bedroom to see if dad is still there.

She is getting pretty darn clever on my and well this probably makes you go awww...
But she sees me still there and since I am not dressed yet she offers to find me some clothes in the closet. Very nice of her... right?

She did however have a little catch on that one. As she put it: "I will get some not for work clothes out for you". of course the logic is that if you have clothes on that's not for work... you can't go to work :-)

How can one resist... so yeah in that sense kind of a tough morning. I wanted so bad to just stay home with her... but then of course I would fall behind at work and we got a deadline coming up (yeah I know...).
Luckily tomorrow is Saturday and we can have a Emma and dad day :-)

Ohh and well "look into my eyes..." get's me every time...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How about a new camera ??? Free!!!!

Man I feel old when I am compelled to start a post with "back in the days...".

But ahhh well... It is a little bit ago that I was starting out with photography and developing the negatives and photos in a darkroom (not that thing on your computer but the really dark room with funky odors and red light).

At that time I was also trying some slightly alternative photography skills such as making a camera myself.

At the time I made a pinhole camera using a shoe box. The process was fairly simple even though it turned out to be a one shot camera before taking it back in the darkroom.
The way I constructed it was that I took the shoe box and painted it black inside. This to ensure that no stray light would bounce around in the box and when doing the exposure it would only be the light coming through the pinhole that would hit the paper.
I would make a little pinhole (hence the pinhole camera name) on one side and mount a photographic paper on the inside opposite the pinhole. A piece of black tape covered the pinhole and to make the exposure I would remove the tape and replace it once the exposure was done. This for sure was a hit and miss adventure. You just never know exactly how long the correct exposure is but hey... that's kind of part of the fun.

Now I just got a new magazine in the mail and for once it had something useful :-) hidden away on a left page in the margin with a little note was a link to make your own pinhole camera.

I just had to check it out ;-) It is way different from when I created mine and now you can just download and print a PDF document, do a little cut and assembly and voila you got your very own pinhole camera.

These ones are a little more advance than mine. They are using 35mm film instead of photographic paper. So you can advance the film and take multiple shots while being out :-) and there is actually a shutter on them and a guide on the camera for exposure times.

Here is one of the pinhole cameras that you can download, print and create. All for the price of .... (drum roll please) .... FREE

But check out the available cameras that can be downloaded for free. You can find them right here:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tickle me Tuesday.

It's Tuesday and time for a little fun.

I have previously been referred to as the Japanese tourist when lining up getting ready to take a few photos. Now have you ever wondered what it looks like when photographers from all over go to Japan to cover a sports event?

I guess it's just one of those Japanese things but I bet it's efficient and all photographers get a chance to get the "good" shot.

Speaking of good shots. I have also heard remarks about how I sometimes will bend slightly to frame the photo just right or well sometimes be close to flat on my belly on the ground. But you know.... whatever it takes to frame the shot just right...
However seems to be jumping to get a photo of me when I am photographing bugs or doing something different to frame the shot... Ohh and here is a text book example on how sometimes you have to adjust your posture to get the photo framed just right.

Speaking of cameras and settings. You know how there are settings with mountains, stick people and a little flower on your camera. The presets that are preprogrammed to optimize the exposure for that particular subject.
Well check out this one. It had to come around eventually ;-)

Have a great Tuesday and have fun with the other Tickle me Tuesdays...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

First photo - fathers day

So I have tried this just about a million times... Well maybe not a full million but is sure does feel like it...

Ever tried getting a panoram only to have it not exactly looking like you wanted it to?

I hope this isn't just my eyes playing a trick on me and it actually is kind of decent.

This is a panorama of Shenandoah valley seen from lodge at Big Meadows. The panorama is a combination of 5 different shots taken while trying to keep exposure and horizon just about the same in all of them.

Ohh and click the photo to see the full size (well biggest you get around here anyway)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fathers day

Yeah so now fathers day is rolling around and well you probably noticed Hallmark and just about any store out there has advertising trying to lure you into buying that special something for dad.

ZDNet has a top 5 Father's Day gadget gifts for sons to give.

Here is a little run down on the top 5. I am unsure on how it is to be interpreted in relation to what is #1 and what is #5. But here goes...

First item on the list. Nikon D60. I would kind of tend to agree but well the D60 is a follow up to the somewhat small and plastic like D40 and D40x that really didn't do too good since well they were relatively cheap.
I am sure the D60 is fine but man I would kind of prefer a Nikon D300...

More gadgets. What could be cooler than an Iphone and sure any dad would like that. So how about giving him a Samsung Instinct... hmm yeah that's kind of like man it would be good to have an apple and then buy a banana. And well let's not forget about the subscription would require the data network and could easily run you up to $100 a month. Talk about the gift that keeps costing...

Interesting choice for the next one. Dad comes home complaining about the printer at work so let's get him a color laserjet because the ink cartridges are too expensive. Well.... only thing is that photos don't *really* print that good on a laser printer and for the consumable price I don't know if you checked the price tag on multi color toner for a laser printer... that is worse than the inkjet cartridges. Instead I would look into getting an Epson printer and a continues ink system like the Niagara system from Media street.

The next one could actually make sense. Think of all the photos dad has taken and how they just flow around the desktop and makes it slow... Let's get an external disk with plenty of room. Sounds great doesn't it?
I would bet that in most cases it just means that there is more room to make a mess in and well now the desktop has to keep track of an extra large disk. Come on clean up the photos you meant to delete anyway or burn a dvd. Much easier and efficient.
However the large external disk would be great for creating and keeping a backup of the entire computer in case it crashes and everything has to be restored.

Last but not least. How about replacing the SUV/Truck with a mini cooper. Sure it got racing stripes... but somehow I don't think so. If you are used to driving an SUV or Truck it would probably be claustrophobic getting into a mini cooper.

All these gadgets and so many spur of the moment relatively useless items is well not always the best.
Jacki asked me what I would like to do for fathers day. You know it took me very little time to figure out. Picnic in the mountains with some family fun like playing around with a beach ball, taking walks, getting some photos and just relaxing while enjoying the mountains. That's all it would take.
Ohh and being a little spoiled Jacki "approved" of me getting a cleaning kit for the camera. Last trip to the airshow it turned out that the sensor was full of dust and it showed up in every photo :-( but now I can get it cleaned so that won't happen again.

Moms what do you think dad would appreciate the most? dad's what would you appreciate the most?
Shiny things, family get together or ???

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

After a couple of extremely hot days...

Finally after a couple of days with some extreme temperatures we got the storm that was bound to come around.
Given our location most of it just passed us as usual but I did manage to get just a few photos as it was almost right above us.

I must admit I totally forgot all about which settings are best for lightning but finally it was while it was dark outside so I didn't have to deal with daylight. However the difference between a pitch black sky and a lightning bolt is quite big so it's all about guessing....

Here we go... warming up

Now we are almost there. This is getting interesting :-)

There you have it... it was within a couple of miles so very bright and sorry you have to miss the sound on it... it was goooood...

Last one that got captured (man you should have seen the one that got away). Boom bang and all that good stuff.

Now if only we didn't have all these trees around us... that would be much better but hey. Just wanted to share a few from this nights storm (well it was brief and not really that stormy but loud).

Tickle me Tuesday

It's Tuesday and time for a little fun.

I know I know... But you probably wonder about this one too. And there is most likely a 50/50 chance that you have wanted to check for yourself at one time or another...

I guess it's the "No matter what you do make sure it's not placed so pedestrians walk into it..."... hmmm sure got that one solved here. Good job.

Engineering... now how hard can it be. Starting out being an inch off that really can't do that much... can it?

Have a great Tuesday and have fun with the other Tickle me Tuesdays...

Friday, June 6, 2008


While you are here check out the photoshop and udsigt phtography section too.
I got one new tutorial (increasing contrast with curves) and just started the implementation of the store front for udsigt photography.

The cool thing about the store front is that not only can you buy prints you can also send e-cards via email from the store front using the photos found there. Of course I am also just starting to add photos to that so the number of photos are sort of limited for the time being.

What do you think of it?

Branding and advertising

Soo how would you like to have an Iphone?

I know they have a high price tag and can only be used with one cell phone provider (given you don't modify it in some way).

Check this one out:

Why settle for "just" one kind of iphone. These ones come in a variety of configurations. Some sliding some with on-screen keyboard and best of all you are not tied to one provider.

If you want another one there is something for you too ;-)
Like right here:

Something interesting is their logo....

With that all fresh in mind... Compare the logo to this one:

Sounds too good to be true? well need I say no more than it is a Chinese company and my guess is that warranty and functionality may not be exactly what you are use to...

On another note.
Imagine you have a company and you *really* want to market your company. Say in a scale where your logo can be seen from the moon (not that I know how someone from the moon would just drop by to buy your stuff)...
Anyway. I guess this is the way to do it:

In short. Get lots of tiles and a good piece of dessert and create your logo with that. It will be noticed... well not by people on the ground but hey nice stunt there.
I hear that with the exact address you can even look it up on google earth ;-) now I must admit that is kind of cool ;-)

Just a little Friday nonsense to share