Finally packaged up my app and submitted to Google to see they'll allow it for general release. For the submission process, I have created a page for the app, as you can see from the site menu. If anything, it was a good practice in android programming, and at least it'll be very useful for myself :)
A friend invited us for a weekend getaway in Palm Springs. Normally, a no brainer, right? Now consider the 105+ degree heat! Well, how can you say no to a vacation home with this backyard? I got up early the first day to catch the sun rise, then I just took some shots around the pool with the 90'MEM. I also shot a couple of rolls with the Rolleiflex SL66, but I'll have to wait a few weeks to get that processed to share. You can see the full set from this weekend [HERE].
We have this dangerously tall pine tree in our backyard. I suspect it's been there for 40+ years, planted by the first owner of our house. We enjoyed its look and shades, but it's starting to cause concerns. Its roots are lifting the ground causing cracks in the brick planter walls and the block walls between us and our neighbor in the back. Also, it's naturally leaning toward the house, so whenever there are strong winds, we're afraid that it will one day crash into the house. Yesterday, a landscape company came and removed it for us. One guy start off by trimming all the branches as he climbs higher and higher, then he finally start chopping the main trunk from the top in pieces. Finally, they bring in the root grinder, a heavy machinery, to grind out the bottom trunk and roots about a foot into the ground. Our yard looks bigger and brighter now, but I do miss the tree.
My wife brought this home today from Costco... We're hoping to find a good place for it in our backyard so it can thrive and grow to be the beautiful tree that we know it can. The crimson leaves should also bring a nice variation to the almost all green trees we have
A few weeks ago, I sent my 4th and 5th roll shot with the SL66 in for processing. It came back today! With great anticipation, I open the envelopes and got ready to scan. As I inspected the negatives and watched the scan comes alive on my computer, I was amazed with how rewarding shooting films can be. It's strange because I know I probably could have capture the same shots with digital and might even get better exposures, but knowing the limitations in the medium and number of available shots, I felt more proud of each properly framed, focused, and exposed shots. Please have a view of the shots below:
We went on a road trip for the kids' spring break, visiting the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. This time I had three cameras with me: the M9, the SL66, and Google Glass. I was reserving the SL66 for visiting the White Sands National Monument, but we couldn't get there in time so it stayed unused. The Glass was really just an experiment to see how comfortable I can get with it, and see what pictures I would take as results.
I think the lesson learned here is that the Glass is not a camera replacement. While it was nice to have a camera at the ready all the time, it was unreliable in terms of the image quality and ease of framing. I liked it as a wide-angle substitute that I don't have with the M9, but when I reviewed the shots I took with it, I didn't like most of them. The caverns wasn't the best place for the M9 either... I cranked the ISO up to 1000, manually selected the shutters around 1/15 second, and was able to get a few acceptable photos. However, no photos can do the stadium-sized halls and rooms any justice, you simply have to see it with your own eyes. Below are a few shots from the caverns, and you can see the full set of our trip [HERE].
Well, here it is... my light meter app for google glass in action. Glass has this cool feature of "make vignette" that will take a picture and embed the glass display onto the image to show what it feels like to have the app running. Anyway, I was able to take several sample app codes and created my light meter app. Through the menus, I can select the ISO and aperture setting I want, then the app will use the glass light sensor reading to calculate the estimated shutter speed for the scene. I say "estimated", because I'm not quite sure that it is accurate yet. Comparing to the readings I get from the light meter app on my phone, sometimes it's spot on, sometimes it's a stop of half off. I think it'll take more testing and experimenting to tweak it further, but I guess it's all just estimates anyway and as long as it's not way off, I can already correct the image in post. Can't wait to test it out in the field and shoot a roll with its guidance!
With Google opening up the Glass Explorer program, I couldn't help myself but to get one. Since I wear glasses, I couldn't really use it until I got my prescription lenses today. Here are just some test shots using the "wink" feature (it snaps photo automatically when I wink with my right eye).
Being a programmer myself, I do wish to try to develop some app for Glass. My first project will be a light meter app. From my limited experiences with shooting 120 film on the Rolleiflex SL66, I found that my major weakness to judge the proper exposure needed. Using my cellphone's meter app, it was just too slow and not practical. So... if I can write an app, using the glass sensors, I could have a constant light meter at my disposal. I hope I can succeed.
I love taking pictures of babies. It's what got me into photography in the first place... to take better pictures of my son. Went to a friend's son's birthday party this past weekend and there were cute babies everywhere. Most people like to call the baby's attention to make them look at the camera, but just like normal portraits, I prefer to have my subject not look directly at the camera. With babies, I often prefer to catch them "in the act" of doing something... I think it somehow shows more of their characters.
Today, we went to visit the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana for their Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival. Luckily for us, the admission was free for the first Sunday of each month. There were no cherry blossom to be seen, but it was quite festive with traditional Japanese dancing and music performance. What impressed me more was the actual exhibits that this museum contained.
Here are some shots from today, the full set can be viewed [HERE].