Idea: Personal Progress Meter

May 03, 2006

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I've never been a particularly "Goal Driven" person. I just go where the wind takes me, but recently I've been making some specific short and long term goals. This got me thinking about what would be a good way to keep track of them. I know there are sites like 43Things to help you with this, but I'd rather keep my stuff private. So, the idea is this. Create a web site (perhaps PersonalProgressMeter.com) where individuals can input their goals. The real trick, though is to keep track of your progress easily. So, to accomplish this each goal would have a "daily", "weekly" or "monthly" flag. Check-up emails would be sent on each on of those intervals with a list of the corresponding goals. Ideally, the eMail would be HTML based and contain a form that asked the question, "did you get closer to this goal?" with a set of yes/no check boxes. The individual would go through and click the appropriate one and submit the form to keep track. Of course, I'm not sure if forms work in HTML email, so that would have to be determined. If not, there is probalby some way to do it to make it simple and quick which would be fairly critical. Anyway, it would at least help keep your goals in the front of your mind.


New Rice

May 02, 2006

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Next time I'm at a wedding I hope someone has a Teddy Bear Gun so I can see one in action.


Don't Update My Options

May 02, 2006

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It pisses me off when you update a piece of software and it chooses to ignore options that you have set before. I just upgraded the Yahoo Music Engine. Before I made the update I turned off the option that automatically starts it up when the computer starts up. The update of teh software turns that option back on. I know it's not a case of resetting all the options to a default setting because it kept track of other customizations I set. I set up my computer the way I want it to work. Please don't screw with that. If you pile on enough little annoyances like that I'll drop your product.


Wireless Flash Mod

May 01, 2006

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An amazing piece of tech in modern photography is the ability to have wireless automatic TTL exposure control of multiple strobes. The fact that the two flashes can communicate via pulses of light and automatically determine their exposure so fast that you effectively can't tell the difference between their communication and the exposure burst in incredible. It's one of the most telling signs for me of exactly how fast computer chips can work and I'm sure the chips that make it work are an order of magnitude less powerful than what's in everyday personal computers. Right now, I've got two Canon flashes that I use in this setup with the master on the camera and a slave setup somewhere else in the room. One of the few drawbacks of the system is that when a flash is set to slave mode its auto-focus assist lamp blinks every second or so. This light is surprisingly bright, especially if it keeps hitting you in the eye from less than a few yards. It also creates an annoying blink on your subject if you happen to have it pointed directly at whatever you are shooting. You can pivot the flash head to try and get this to aim somewhere else, but in general it seems to always end up being a distraction. The good news is that it appears that you can cover the AF assist lamp and not affect the wireless operation. For example: Flash Mod It turns out that the wireless sensor is directly above the Canon mark. Also, to give you an idea of how bright the assist lamp is, the blue tape you see is actually two pieces of painters masking tape with a piece of black paper in between and if you look directly at the strobe you can still see the red blinking through it.It takes a little getting used to and the user interface for controlling the stobes leaves a lot to be desired, but if you spend a little time to get through the learning curve it's a great tool to add to the box.


Up to date photos

April 30, 2006

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While looking around for some packaging options, I can across DNL Photo. After a few clicks I got to this page. Me thinks they need to get some more recent sample photos.


Thermostat

April 30, 2006

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Just installed a programmable, digital thermostat in the house. With summer effectively here we'll see what type of difference it makes in the power bill. I keep the house at 75 degrees, but there is no need to keep it there while I'm gone. So, I'll let it up to 86 during the day while I'm gone (which is also when the difference in outside temperature is the highest). Should be interesting.


Digital Cameras - A Technical Marvel

April 29, 2006

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Today I shot my first completely digital wedding. I'm still shaking my head a little in disbelief. I'm on my second digital camera body, and have been quite pleased with it, but haven't really done much of anything professionally with it till today. I used to shoot weddings with a Hasselblad 500 C/M. That camera is completely mechanical and doesn't even have a battery. I'd use a handheld meter for exposure readings and an external flash that had its own sensor. I didn't have any 220 backs for the camera, just 120 so I would have to reload film every 12 shots. To contrast that with the 5D which has auto-focus that is faster than I could ever be with built in metering that's tied directly into the flash and 4GB memory cards that can hold ~250 shots. I know it's been said before, but offloading a lot of the more mechanical parts of an exposure to the technology really does make it easier to focus on the image. I've know this conceptually for a long time and have had some practical experience with it, but shooting a wedding REALLY made the contrast stand out for me. So, this is the future, huh? I'm liking it. An added bonus: I get to make lots of "Back when I was a young photographer…" comments.


Flash manual designed for digital cameras

April 29, 2006

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I found an amuzing item while reading through the manaul for my Canon Flash. There is a footnote that says: If the flash exposure confirmation lamp does not light, move closer to the subject and take the picture again. You can also increase the camera's ISO speed. Seems that Canon feels that if you are using a recent flash you are going to be using it on a digital camera. In the film days, in order to increase your ISO you had to switch rolls of film.


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