Friday, October 03, 2008

5 Friends

So *I* can't really vote, but there's gotta be 5 of you out there that can, right? Right?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yoshi's in September

Awesome concerts coming up next month. I'm hitting them all! :)

At Yoshi's Oakland:
  • Friday, September 26 - Sunday, September 28
    Dave Holland Sextet
    (w. Eric Harland & Robin Eubanks)
  • Tuesday, September 30 - Sunday, October 5
    Wayne Shorter Quartet
    Featuring Brian Blade, John Patitucci & Danilo Perez
At Yoshi's SF:

Monday, July 07, 2008

Protocol Buffers Open-Sourced

One of the very few drawbacks of working at Google is that I can't really talk about any of the frighteningly cool pieces of technology that make us hum.

Well, now I can mention one more :)

We use these everywhere.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Reinforcing my general dislike of the population at large...

My camera backpack was just stolen. Right off the luggage trolley as I stood in line to check in. I must've had it out of my sight for just a couple of minutes as I was chatting with Jayita, and we suddenly noticed the conspicuous absence. It had (reading from top to bottom), my E-330 DSLR body, two Zuiko lenses (including the beautiful 50mm f/2.0 macro), a Nikon SB-800 flash, and an Acratech V2 ball-head.

Filed a report with the SFPD desk at the airport, and hopefully next week we might be able to get at the security tapes to see if anything useful pops up. Probably no chance at getting the equipment back, but if there's any hope of catching the blasted worm who did this, that's something.

So while I'm not gushing with warmth towards the human race at large, I take consolation in the fact that it could've been much, much worse. If they'd taken the laptop bag instead, that would've been goodbye to a bunch of visa documents that would be really difficult to replace, and would've effectively cancelled my trip to India.

The other silver lining? Now I have a good reason to upgrade to the E-3 :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Light Painting

Someone on the Google photography mailing list sent out a link to, a simply phenomenal example of the technique of light painting.

Reverse-engineering some of these pictures is immense fun. For example, how would you accomplish this one without getting footprints in the snow?

First of all, figure out where the light sources are. Clearly there's some light coming in from camera-right and illuminating the foreground of the scene. There's also the ambient light that's giving some tonality to the background trees. And then there's the little painted squiggle. How would we create this? Let's say your exposure is 2 minutes, and we're doing this in near-darkness (with perhaps just starlight or faint moonlight). Open up the shutter. Fire the foreground flashes. These light up the foreground (with no footprints) and create the exposure. Wait until you've got about 15 seconds left on the exposure, and then walk over and create the squiggle. By then the background light has burnt in, and the just-created footprints won't have time to register before the shutter closes.

Gotta try this stuff :)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Like Hot Cakes

They're sold out!

Just as I thought when he mentioned that he had only 1000 copies ready to push out, David Hobby's much anticipated Strobist Lighting Seminar DVD set is all gone. He's busily printing new copies, and backlogged orders get priority so you might as well reserve yours now.

I watched my copy over Memorial Day Weekend, and I'm already on my 3rd review of the location shoots :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Joe McNally @ Google

The awesome Joe McNally spoke at Google last week. Of course, I missed it since I was in NYC, but we do have the video up on YouTube:

Friday, May 16, 2008

B&H Store, NYC

Those near and (even mildly) dear would have heard me wax eloquent about how Fry's Electronics is the ultimate geek's paradise, and how entering the place is like an instant lobotomy of all restraint.

Well, I now stand corrected.

I've been in NYC all this week. I'd mentioned the fact to David a few weeks ago, and he quite innocuously said "You should stop by the B&H store". I trusted the man. Thought he was a friend and all that sort of rot.

The place is in-effing-sane. Besides the (slightly surreal) fact that you couldn't swing a TTL-cord without hitting someone sporting a yarmulke and payess, clattering overhead was an assortment of rails on which large green crates were being flung about. This apparantly is their distribution system that gets the actual items from the bowels of the store to the pickup counter where you pay for them when you leave. This also means that you don't have to schlepp stuff around in shopping carts; you simply wander around the store and point at things, and the staff keep adding it to a list that's shoved into your hand. Walk out to the checkout counter, and with the magic of the clattering roller-coasters above, all will be waiting for your plastic.

Only the insistent buzzing of my phone (Google Calendar sends these helpful text-messages reminding me of meetings I'm supposed to attend) prompted me to finally leave. That, and the fact that they wouldn't accept my right testi arm as collateral when the plastic ran out.

Another side-effect: Given the way reinforcement learning works, I now slosh to the gills with the milk of human kindness for anyone wearing a yarmulke.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dumb Luck

It's a rummy thing.

Once in a while, I'll sit back and the realization will dawn that I have this Supreme Being who has chosen to take the plunge off life's dock holding my hand, and I wonder: "How the hell did I pull this off?"

Happy Valentine's day love <3

Monday, January 14, 2008


Thanks to Nacho for pointing this out; brand new comic strip awesomeness. And there are only a couple out so far, so you can go back and read all :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Your Rights Offline

With the number of violations of photographers' rights making the news these days, this little jewel is worth laminating and stowing away in the wallet.