Saturday, August 29, 2015

August In Texas

It's been freaking HOT, but could have been worse.
Rained once or twice this month--not at all in July--so my lawn is no longer the lush creature of beauty it was after the soakings we got all Spring. Again, could be worse.

Here's a phone photo of a cicada on our patio:
Lit with a AAA LED penlight, all handheld.
Was expecting improvements across the board when we upgraded from the Samsung Galaxy S3 to the S5, but a few details disappoint.
The S3 was a macro delight--you could jam the lens right up to something and it would focus on it. Even had a macro focus setting to tell the camera that the subject was close and to stay in that range, and possibly fine-tune a bit more carefully.
The S5 has no macro setting, but even more annoying is that at similarly close range it will focus on the subject, then snap back to a blurry setting an inch or two behind it--every damn time!
So it's capable of doing what I ask, but just doesn't want to.
I hate shit like that.

Luckily, this cicada was a good sport and stayed put while I went inside and changed phones back to the S3 for this shot.
Yes, I keep my old smartphones and use them all the time for almost everything but calls and texts.
Games, camera, discontinued technical apps, and even using one phone as a pink noise generator while I use another as an audio spectrum analyzer.
Since I have Sylvia's old S3 too, I've even been playing with the pair as a stereo 3D camera!
Testing has been positive, just haven't gotten around to building the frame to hold them.

Up next, a handful of vacation photos.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Clouds + Trees

Among the rare photos I've taken this year using a "real" camera.
My DSLR isn't getting much play time at all, but the Sony F828, with it's infrared capabilities, still gets pulled out--at least in the winter and spring when the clouds do fun things here in SATX.

For these first two, I was being lazy and just shot over our house in a generally northward direction.
The use of a circular polarizer filter instead of one of the pair of ND4 filters that usually live on the end of it's lens resulted in the different level of contrast between cloud and background sky. The 1st photo features our neighbor's pecan tree, and was shot with the sun to my back. #2 (our sycamore) was pointed a bit closer to 90 degrees perpendicular to the sun's rays, resulting in a much more pronounced effect from the CP filter. End result is darker sky, whether shooting IR of color.

I prefer #2.

This pair, I can't recall if the CP was still in the filter stack or not. Angle to the sun is too similar, so it can't be determined forensically, either.

Out of them all, it's my opinion that #4 is the one most likely to end up as a print on someone's wall.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Like An Old Friend

Zzakk's Garage used to be my #2 blog, where I would post pics of stuff that pissed me off, and go on rants.
It's been dormant for years, but tonight I decided to throw up a new post.
Then I went for a stroll down memory lane, and re-discovered the fact that my late brother Ken loved the garage and left comments often. It was nice "listening" to my brother again.