So. Much. Pictures!

Did anybody ever tell you they’d give you $100 if you ate iced cream?  A gallon of it, after you just had a full meal?  I’ve just finished the first cull of the pictures from last weekend’s fight night.  It’s only down to 1700+ pictures, from the 2600+ I started with.

First cull?

If you start with 3,000 pictures from an event and want to publish 50, you need to delete a few between point A and point $.  This is done in stages.

  • Shoot the pictures.  If there is down-time on-site, carefully delete only the obvious stinkers you can see are bad on the camera’s LCD
  • Backup the files
  • First cull: delete any too-blurred pictures or any that show women in an unflattering pose.
  • Second cull: delete duplicates that are not as good as the better of the set, begin marking the better pictures.
  • Third cull: You know which ones are good, and you probably won’t delete them.  Be vicious now.  Delete all but the very best images because you’re almost to
  • Selection: Pick about 2% of the total images shot, for publication.

All this takes . . . a while.  This is the reason I can’t get you your wedding album within a week.  I’ll be deleting pictures for three days, at least!

You Suck, Jeep.

You suck, because you put a huge complex convex curve on the back of your car and covered it with plastichrome.  At sunset, it presents an inescapable, superduperbright reflection of the sun all up in the eyes of drivers behind this car almost all the way to beside the car.

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You suck for this, Jeep.  For real.

The One Button You Never Knew You Wanted To Program

AE-L
AF-L

Your camera likely doesn’t have this, unless you already know it is there.  You may not know what it is for, even if your camera has this.  I use this sometimes and at those times I could do without it, but only with considerable hassle.

Consider this beautiful example:
 photo beautiful_zps9417cda3.jpg

No, nevermind the grownass man wearing short pants, or the human wearing sandals with socks, or the BLACK socks with short denim pants.  PLEASE disregard the horrible physique and the horrible fit.  No, this is more about the exposure.  I wanted to take a picture of the Champion of All Fashion and I went point-and-shoot.  Automatic exposure got me the top picture.  The sky is properly exposed, the sun is somewhat controlled with just a big sunstar and a little ghosting.  The intended subject is basically all black.  I then pressed this magical button.

I had previously set this button to AE-L.  This tells the camera, when I press the button, to adjust the exposure to whatever the camera sees at that moment.  I pointed the camera at a dark part of the minivan, locked exposure, recomposed, and got off a quick snap with something approaching focus somewhere inside the minivan.  Cut me some slack on the focus here I was trying to be quick/discreet.

The point is, when the computer chose how to expose the frame, it chose to not blind itself with the sun and nailed the exposure of the sky.  I didn’t care about the sun or sky, I wanted the dark blob in the bottom of the frame exposed so I could see what was going on.  The only additional thing I had to do was push this one magical button.  The alternate setting for this button is to lock focus, but half-pressing the shutter release does this anyway, so I use that button for that function.

 

It’s in your manual.  Look it up.  It can save some time, sometimes.

It Couldn’t Happen to A More Deserving Person

LYING MURDERER: CRYSTAL MAGNUM


image source: abclocal

She ruined several careers, very VERY nearly sent several innocent young men to jail on false charges, and spoiled the reputation of a(n arguably) fine university, along with spoiling their sports year.

And now she’s a convicted murderess.  Have a nice time in jail for the next 14 to 18 years sweety, your criminal history shows it will likely be your home for longer than that, unless you catch a severe case of dead or wise up between now and your next scheduled release date hearings.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

. . . But I’m Proud of It

The photo: it’s nothing much, but I’m proud of it.  It took a couple of minutes adjusting the camera to get this one.  I consider this to be another example of the difference between Photographs and snapshots, and I am quite confident in saying you will *never* get a result like this from any sort of an automatic camera setting.

The lighting is pretty much true to the life.  The dots all over the frame are rain on the windshield of the car from which this picture was taken.  As I look at this a month or so after it was taken, it occurs to me this could easily have been shot somewhere in southeast Asia. Have a closer look at the bottom-right of the picture. Texas!

I like to think this is worth going to Photobucket and downloading the higher-resolution version. If you don’t, you will probably not understand why I like this image so much.

 photo DSC_2175_zps20280b61.jpg

D7000 ISO 1600 1/8 second Nikkor 50mm 1.8D f/22  The bokeh is characteristic of the lens, and it is not great but oh well.

A Dollar Short and A Lifetime Late

Grownass people don’t do the same things children do. Some things are safe to have around adults that are risky to have around children. Things like coat hooks.

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This incident kept my children homeschooled for a couple of years, until I realized it was a legitimate accident.  A while back, I happened to be at the same school where it happened, and I visited this bathroom.  This bathroom.  I bet every time somebody on staff goes in there and sees what is left on the wall, they remember what was left on the wall that day, and I bet it bugs the sh!t out of them, which it should.

It is always a little surreal to be in a place where you know someone was killed, recently, and you can see how it happened.

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Click ‘Continue reading’ to see the unfortunate details of this case

Continue reading

How Big Are Stop Light/Red Light Signal Lamps?

Traffic control signal lights . . . how big are they?

Big. Bigger than your head.

The yellow thing these guys are working on is a standard Red/Yellow/Green stop light. Notice that one part is open. That is the housing for a green light. Notice that the full-grown men working up there could stick their heads inside, with room to spare. You don’t even have to take your hat off, unless you are in Texas 😉 It looks like the light “bulb” modules are about a foot in diameter. they look small from your car, but then you are usually 50 to 200 feet away when you are looking at the traffic lights.

 photo DSC_2203_zps7cb9410e.jpg

If I find it interesting, somebody else probably does too. For those people, here you go.

Ring Boys in MMA Fights . . . Like Ring Girls But With Extra Fiddly Bits

. . . that is to say, Ring Girls and Ring Boys are furniture.  The promoter hires a model and they hold a sign and walk around the ring.  They could as easily have a Roomba drive the sign around the ring.  Nobody worth consideration really cares how they look (provided they look at least half-decent in a swimsuit).

Nael Chavez is putting on fights in Austin.  Amateur MMA fights in local gyms, to support Enlightened Warriors.  Some of those fights are ‘girl fights’ and wouldn’t you know it, some of those ‘girls’ don’t want to pose next to a female in a bikini when they receive their belts.  I find it entirely reasonable that a working mother who has dedicated the last year of her “spare time” to martial arts training gets a little offended at having to pose next to a different flavor of hot chick for her official photo.

So did Nael.  So he hired a couple of BIG burly dudes who can stand being in front of a crowd to carry the round-count boards. I have to disagree with Amy Winters on one point.  When those men came into the ring wearing Ranger panties and holding up the round number signs for the first time, let me assure you that “cheers and whistles” were not what came from the crowd.

I was ringside and let me tell you, what may have sounded like ‘cheering’ from somewhere in the audience was a deafening ROAR of approbation by the time it got to the people in the ring.  The crowd ate it up.  Nael and his ring boys took it as seriously as the ring girls, and the crowd totally got it.  Did a few people get offended that men were parading around in beachwear holding up signs?  Maybe.  I find it hard to reconcile that type of butthurt feelings with approving of men fighting in the exact same outfits a few minutes later.  If you can’t get over your repressed homosexual tendencies long enough to let ring boys stand in for ring girls when chicks are fighting, you fail as a person.

(Unless you get off on looking at girls in bikinis and just don’t want to have to look at men in shorts . . . in which case, paying to attend and view a fight involving men in shorts 95% of the time and girls in bikinis 5% of the time gets us right back to those repressed tendencies.)

These things are the same:

Ring Girls vs Ring Boys

These things are the same:
Ring Girls vs Ring Boys

Welcome to Equality of The Sexes in Mixed Martial Arts. It’s Not About the Sex, It’s About the Equality.
Ring Girls and Ring Boys Pose Together at Belts of Honorious

. . . equality which includes not having your fighters feel like they are a piece of meat on display for the prurient interest of audience members, vs. trained fighters competing and displaying their martial arts.

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After Belts of Honorious III, a minor update: This time there were some boos the second time the ring boy went out, by himself. The other times there was also a ring girl, which seemed to placate the lower-browed members of the audience.

Microsoft Saved My Bacon . . . Again

I have written before about Windows Startup Repair fixing my computers automagically, but it didn’t work this time.

I am trying to get an old trackball to work properly with new Windows and it was not acting right.  I tried to install a driver manually and picked the exactly-wrong one by chance.  Blue screen.  Reboot, black screen, auto-reboot.  Select Safe Mode to avoid loading that driver and . . . black screen in Safe Mode also, auto-reboot.

Uh-oh.

Startup repair found nothing.  I went to run a System Restore and it had NO restore points!*  Finally I was able to get back into Windows using the F8 run Last Known Good configuration option.  If this had not worked, I hate to think what would have happened.  And it’s built in to Windows for more than the last decade.  Thanks God and thanks Microsoft.

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*I know, I was shocked, too.  So first thing first, I set a restore point and then figured out the hard way that the automatic backup I had intended to implement never got done.  Also my hard drive is almost full, but I never got any warnings because I have no page file.  Oh well.  Hard drives are cheap and it looks like a perfect time for a newer one!