Karma Glasses


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Karma Glasses

For those of you who like Karma stories this ones for you. Last year I photographed a wedding where all the groomsmen wanted to wear sunglasses for some of their group portraits and during the ceremony. However there was one problem, one of the groomsmen forgot his sunglasses. So naturally being the nice guy that I am, I gave my sunglasses to the glasses-less groomsman. As the weeding day progressed, I got in my zone, and it wasn’t until I was on my way home, 300 miles away from the location that I realized I didn’t get my glasses back.

These glasses were nowhere near expensive…. In fact I think I bought them at the dollar store. I have a seriously bad habit of breaking sunglasses, so until I can learn to treat sunglasses better, I go with the cheap. But regardless of the price, they looked good on me, did their job, and were even considered to be “in”.

Fast forward 5 months. After having a grand old day navigating my campus on crutches, I was waiting for my ride (hopefully I will be back in the FR-S soon) when this girl sitting next to me handed me some sunglasses in a unwrapped bag (see photo above) and said “here I just won these and I don’t need them”. They looked exactly like the pair I gave away. I said “Thanks, that made my day!” and put them on. My glorious mind took a little bit of time and then I remembered about the wedding and told her (Dia) the story. We both concluded it was Karma.

While Karma’s general accepted Buddhism and Hinduism’s definition is:  Your actions in this life will influence your fate in the next. While many people believe its mysticism is to repay someone through material items, it is important to remember that it takes the self or the human to transport and breed Karma. Thanks to people like Dia, Karma can continue to  thrive.

Photographer Down and Still Capturing Photos


A week ago I had a surgery that has rendered me immobile for the next 5 weeks or more. The day of the surgery was an event in itself. For starters the nurse hit an artery in my arm when attempting to administer an IV, luckily I have no issue with the site of blood, because there was a lot of it. After the surgery when I was being driven home, I felt like I was going to pass out. I lost my hearing and the only thing I could think about was breathing.

The pain was so bad at home, even the almighty Vicodin did nothing for me. My 14 year old dog almost passed away on Saturday after having a severe seizure. I was expecting the worst. On Sunday morning, miraculously she was back to her normal self. Well days later, Im finally starting to feel better. Now that the pain has subsided, the inevitable wave of boredom is washing over me. I currently have explored every inch of the recliner that I’m confined to. I have a stack of books to read and have been playing hours upon hours of Battlefield.  Something was still missing, photography.

I started watching some photography reviews and tutorials via my chromecast (a $35 TV streaming device I highly recommend even though there is little support for Mac and iPhone) but that only increased my desire to get out and shoot, which when you are confined to limited walking even on crutches is next to impossible. So the past couple of days I have been shooting with my x100s from the recliner.

My challenge has become taking photos from one location, in a room where nothing really changes except for the lighting, the occasion bird at the window, and every so often when the dogs stop and say hi. To add to the difficulty, the x100s has a fixed lens (if you have read my x20 post and are wondering why Im not shooting with that, there will be a dedicated post for that later). I could go get one of my Canon’s and have all my lenses with me but I really don’t have room for all that equipment. Who knows? I will probably resort to that as the weeks progress.

This challenge has helped diminish my boredom and has also reminded me of how important taking multiple shots with different angles of your subject is. ( See the last set of photos )

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All ready for maximum entertainment

All ready for maximum entertainment

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The importance of taking multiple shots is demonstrated below:

Good however her front paw is cut off

Good however her front paw is cut off

Better but there is a distracting white blur in the right hand corner

Better but there is a distracting white blur in the right hand corner

Almost there, Im just not liking the angle

Almost there, Im just not liking the angle

There it is.... Also the exposure was increased

There it is…. Also the exposure was increased

iPhone: Goodbye 3G, Hello 5!


Its been a good run. I bought my iPhone 3G roughly six months after its released in 2008. I babied the phone, then in 2010, I dropped my phone from about 2 feet and could no longer plug in my headphones all the way. If I plugged them in the song I was listening to would actually speed up. The rest of the phone worked fine. Next my volume buttons fell off. At this point in time I was eligible for an upgrade however the phone still worked like a charm, minus the fact that I had to cram my finger nail in the side to adjust the volume. I didn’t want to upgrade because the phone still did whats is supposed to do… text, email, and make calls.

I got tired of putting a case on my phone so I went all natural.  The phone started to acquire small scratches on the back but nothing on the screen. Then the phone took a full six foot drop and received a small inch in a half crack on the back of it. The phone still functioned fine!  A couple of months later, my mute button broke off. Still the phone made calls, so no need to upgrade. One minor annoyance was that I had to turn off the phone in the classroom because  I couldn’t mute it. The phone acquired more cracks but still worked fine.

When the 4s came out I was very tempted to upgrade but decided to wait till the 5 came out. In the months leading up to the release of the iPhone 5 my 3G took a huge it…. I dropped it again but this time the screen cracked in a bunch of spider web like lines. This was the kicker, I had promised my friends and family that I would upgrade to the 5 no matter what but deep down inside I had this odd love similar to someone who owns a car or a truck with hundreds of thousands of miles on it. I knew that when they released the 5 I would still want to keep my 3G. However texting and reading with the cracked screen eventually broke me down and I preordered my iPhone 5 a day after it was announced.

Why I love Apple so much is their product worked flawlessly until I managed to give it too much physical abuse. Had the screen not have broken I probably still would have it. My mac is the same way. Working just as fast and as reliable as the day i bought it. New advances in Apple technology force you too upgrade your equipment in order to  enjoy the  latest luxuries however if your fine with old technology you don’t need to upgrade. Now I’ve been on both sides of the fence when it comes to Mac or PC and iPhone or other. Apple is the only way to go. Theres a reason why everyone wants one and its not to be in the “in crowd”…. reliability. I could go on forever about the pros and cons, however I am happy with my choices and you are or could be too.

Be sure to follow my blog because as soon as I get my iPhone 5 which should happen this week. I am going to do an entry dedicated to its camera.

DIY: Pinhole Camera


This week in my creative photography class we got to test out our pinhole cameras. The first light leak test failed, light leaks everywhere. A couple test later I was able to fix the leaks with graffers tape. I was ready to make my first negative. . I cant believe the results! Its so sharp, wide and it worked! Heres the result:

(30 second exposure time. I used Black and White Ilford RC (Resin Coated) paper. Notice the light leaks )

This is the first pinhole camera I’ve ever made. I based the design roughly off of the Santa Barbara pinhole camera.I made this camera for less than $15. I highly recommend this project to anyone with access to a darkroom.

DIY: Pinhole Camera

** If you hurt yourself or any of your possessions while attempting this DIY, you are solely responsible for your actions and results. While this DIY’s danger level is low I assume no responsibly for your actions.**

Materials:

  • One box or object ( as light tight as possible). I bought a bird breeding box for my camera.
  • Graffers or Duck tape
  • Flat or Matte black spray paint
  • Tin cookie or pie pan
  • Needle or tack
  • Drill
  • Large circular drill bits

** The deeper the box or object the more telephoto the image will be and the smaller the hole is the wider the image will be. Finding the right combination may take some luck and multiple attempts**

Step One:

Cut out a large circle with your drill bit in the center of the front side of your box or object.

Step Two:

Paint the inside of your “camera” with your flat or matte spray paint. Let it dry.

Step Three:

Cut out a square of tin (from you pie plate/cookie sheet) large enough to cover the hole drilled in step one.

Step Four:

With your poking device ( I used a tack) make a hole in the center of the square tin. Make the hole as small as possible. I held mine up to the light to make sure I made a clean hole. The cleaner/smaller the hole the sharper your image will be.

Step Five:

Tape your tin square on the inside of your camera box. Make sure you don’t cover the pinhole and cover all around the tin so no light sneaks through.

Step Six:

Cut some tape large enough to cover your outside large hole. This will be your shutter.

Step Seven:

Test the camera for light leaks. In a darkroom, insert your paper emulsion side facing the pinhole. Take the camera outside for 30 seconds. Do not take the tape off the covering your pinhole. After 30 seconds bring the camera back into the darkroom and put your photo in the developer, if after 1 minute the paper stays white, your good to go…. No light leaks! If you see black marks/lines you have light leaks and will need to tape/patch them up. Repeat the test until successful.

Step Eight:

Reload the camera in the dark room. Take the camera out and expose the image for 30 seconds but this time you will take off the tape covering your pinhole to expose the image and cover up the pinhole when times up. After you develop this print you may have to adjust the exposure time to get a properly exposed image. Have Fun! I will be updating you as I print more, especially when I try positive paper and add a flash.