In my parking lot alone, there are four brand new cars:

Dodge Magnum (Red)

Nissan 350Z (Red)

Infiniti G35 Coupe (Silver)

BMW 545i (Silver)

Is now a good time to buy a car? Did I miss the memo? Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004: I decided that having 52 pages of images just wasn’t very organized. I have broken this down into 14 smaller albums. In addition, I’ve enabled mod_rewrite on this Apache installation so now my URLs are a bit easier on the eyes!

BAD: Being woken up at 6:30 AM

BADDER: Being woken up at 6:30 AM by your cat

BADDERER: Being woken up at 6:30 by your cat trying to puke

BADDEREREST: Being woken up at 6:30 AM by your cat trying to puke on your chest

The hacking sound woke me up so I had enough time to pull him off the bed. He puked once in the bedroom and then once in the hallway, both times a milky white substance. Methinks some kitty was nibbling on one of the Christmas decorations and found something that didn’t settle well. Gross.

Also, I swear to god, if anyone makes fun of my English, I will come down on them with an unpossibly hugenormous shitstorm of fury.

As you all know, I purchased a Digital Rebel last month. I haven’t posted anything about it since I received it, and with reason. Basically, I was having serious trouble getting good pictures. I’ve received a handful of complements on some photographs I’ve taken with my previous digital camera, the Canon Powershot S30. I knew that camera just about backwards and forwards, except for the white balance settings. Anyway, I didn’t expect a huge learning curve with the DReb. I was wrong. The first few hundred pictures I took using similar settings to what would have worked on the S30 all looked like crap. Either the white balance was so off that everything looked sickly grey or stark yellow or the depth of field was so shallow that a mere percentage of my desired frame was in focus or, most common, it was blurry! I’ve gotten better, but I’m still surprised at how great my “cheap point-and-shoot” S30 is.

This past weekend, I decided that I need to go outside before it gets to dark and learn how to use my new damned camera! I had to get used to SLR “features” like added weight and bulk, no LCD preview, viewfinder XOR picture and mirror slap. Though the camera came with an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, I also picked up the Canon 50mm f/1.8 II as well. This prime lens only cost $80 and I figured it would help me learn the camera better by removing one variable, the concept of zoom. I went out with my prime to walk over to the nearby park. Just my luck, there was some sort of fire going on over at a nearby business complex! Unfortunately for my photographic experience and fortunately for the building, the fire was out with no appreciable damage. I played around with the available light and the engines, but nothing came out terribly well:

1/40th sec f/8 ISO 400

I continued on, noting some odd “NO TRESPASSING” signs and a “THIS IS NOT A PARK” pipe:

1/25th sec f/6.3 ISO 400

As I made it to the park, it was roughly 3:45 PM and the sun was completely obscured by clouds. The lack of direct light would make it easier to photograph most subjects (no harsh shadows), but it was also getting closer to dusk. My available light, the light I needed, was waning. I took a few photos of dark trees against the swirling clouds. Most of them would look better in pure black and white seeing as there was such little color:

1/50th sec f/10 ISO 400

At this point, I realized what they said was true, you really end up walking around a lot more trying to set up shots with a prime lens. In addition, a 50mm lens acts more like an 80mm on a digital SLR like mine. 80mm is a little bit to much on the telephoto side for good landscape pictures. I kept trying to back up. That works fine, until you back into another tree or a ditch. There was a clump of bamboo hidden in an alcove of the park that I wanted to photograph. The only problems were that I couldn’t get far enough back to get full stalks in the shot and the lighting was completely blocked. I decided to play around with the flash and I’m no longer flashphobic! The flash on the S30 was so harsh that it was worthless. The DReb cast strong shadows and darkened the background dramatically, but I kind of like it:

1/20th sec f/10 ISO 400

1/40th sec f/8 ISO 400

At this point, it was time to play with depth of field. I took at a look at this blue flower and over estimated its depth. I figured I wanted to stop down the lens a bit to get the whole flower in focus. I took it a bit too far and the surrounding bush wasn’t as blurred as I would have liked:

1/13th sec f/5 ISO 400

In contrast, with the lens one step from full-open, this flower is in focus with a nicely blurred background:

1/40th sec f/2.8 ISO 400

Overall, I’m much happier with the camera now that I’ve learned some of the basics. Lots of reading on the web has given me a basic understanding of the physics of photography and that will let me take much better pictures. Honestly, I know the S30 didn’t have any sort of image stabilization, but I was able to take pictures at 1/13th or slower in moderately lit conditions and get sharp photos. I guess having one of the greatest point-and-shoot digital cameras has made the transition to DSLR less impressive.

On a side note, I’ve already picked out what lens I want next.

Canon EOS Beginners’ FAQ: Amazing resource, not only for Canon EOS system users (like myself) but for anyone interested in photography. Just the section on lenses alone is a great resource. – WORLD RECORD EVO CLUTCH (with pictures): Jeezy Creezy, a porter attempted to drive an Evo from one Mitsu dealer to the next. Doesn’t seem like much of a problem except the porter obviously didn’t know how to drive a standard! The clutch pictures are priceless, especially since it only took 2 hours and 50 miles to do such damage. Most Evo clutches last 35k+ if driven normally (no drag launches, etc).

Here are my favorite pictures from the trip (Just FYI, I’m probably going to break this mega gallery down into smaller gallery. 52 pages, sheesh!): Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 31 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 33 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 32 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 29 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 29 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 66 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 150 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 164 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 163 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 181 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 247 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 281 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 314 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 324 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 336 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 362 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 363 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 381 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 432 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 434 Photo Gallery :: Europe 11.18.2004 :: 455

My European vacation is complete, the pictures are online and now I must rest.

Things I am anxiously waiting for:

  • Delivery of my camera

  • Gmail to add POP3 to my account