Cody – Winter Bouldering 01.27.13 1 Comment
In a winter with minimal snow (so far anyway) and moderate temps, Charlie (AKA Gnar Child), Dillon (Tex) and myself went to work some of the boulders of Cody WY. The day saw a bunch of Gnar child repeats (Pistol Whipper V8, The OG V9/10, Studs V8) as well as new sends (Living in Infamy V10, Fossilized Dino Poo V10), while Dillon and myself found both success and new projects in the V6-8 range (Babies for Breakfast V7, Studs V8, Danscaping V6, Pistol Whipper V8). (Click images for larger versions!)
Charlie having his pre-sending spree nap and the view he was missing on the drive down to Cody.
The Spearpoint boulder and pano.
Charlie working some of Tribal Vibrations V10
The best portable/outdoor music boxes I’ve ever experienced – the Jambox Jawbone
Dillon on Babies for Breakfast V7
Dillon and I working Studs V8…no send for us today.
Charlie and Dillon on Studs V8.
Dillon making short work of Danscaping V6.
To finish up the day, Charlie decided to send 2 V10′s (Living in Infamy & Fossilized Dino Poo)
And this is what he was pulling on…
And the obligatory ‘Sponsor us!’ photos…
Cody 2012 04.17.12 No Comments
A bit late getting to the post, but marking the return to outdoor bouldering for us this year was our first trip to Cody with a pretty stellar crew. For more details check out Joel’s posts on the matter.
Broken Hearts 03.08.12 No Comments
Broken Hearts – a WI3-WI6 collection of steps in Cody, WY. I was brought here at the beginning of the season on my second-ever day ice climbing. Sadly the second pitch wasn’t fully in and we had to bail for the north facing side of the valley – but since then I’ve always wanted to go back. In late Feb. ’12 we did just that – went back and battled warm temps and melting ice to finish pitches 1-6 as well as The Carotid Artery – a WI6 in the amphitheater on the 5th step. It was a fantastic day with glove-less climbing weather – which basically meant bloody knuckle climbing. It was also the first jaunt out with my 5D2 and I think we managed some decent photos…despite malfunction of the remote release.
Chris was nice enough to let me (in all my first season giddiness) tackle every-other pitch. Aaron – 1st/WI3, 3rd/WI3, 4th/WI3ish-simulclimb, 5th(My Only Valentine); Chris – 2nd/WI3, 4th/WI3ish-simulclimb, The Carotid Artery/WI6, 6th/WI6.
It was a long day of trekking with multiple smaller/solo-able or simuclimb-able steps along the way.
The treks were definitely worth it though – the amphitheaters on the upper steps were absolutely amazing!
We decided to do My Only Valentine first.
After both climbing we rapped down and Chris led The Carotid Artery – this was amazingly difficult because half way up we were climbing in a downpour of water – which caused me to have the barfies for the first time ice climbing!
Then it was on to the 6th pitch – amazing, but melting quite a bit – which mean the barfies for me…again.
Sadly it was too late, we were too soaked and therefore both too tired to trek and finish another WI6 pitch…’til next time.
Best. Day. Ever.
SNOMGoodness 02.03.11 No Comments
The midwest got dumped on yesterday – Thundersnow – never knew it existed, but was enough to shut down the city for a day, though, by noon pretty much all the streets in the loop, and paths in Millennium Park, were plowed.
I purchased Lightroom 3 (LR3) about 5 months ago and have been absolutely loving it – with a caveat. LR3 allows for such easy and powerful manipulation of your photos that you almost have too many options. It’s all too easy to change the basics, play with contrast and curves, push color sliders to refine a look/completely change the feel, drop into black and white, spot check, add a gradient, noise reduce, crop, sharpen, add vignette, lens-correct … and then realize that you have created 5 virtual copies that all have their distinct flavors, all of which you like. All of this tends to happen very quickly as well – a strength I’ve found in LR3 and definitely improved over Aperture 3 performance (though plenty of people argue this point).
So, the problem then comes when you need to decide which you want to actually post/print/share/etc. I have yet to find a better solution besides the ‘gut feeling’ you get about a photo or perhaps running it by the discerning tastes of the first accessible loved one nearby, hoping for an honest opinion and some good taste on their part. I guess it’s all a part of learning about/creating art. If you call what you do ‘art’.
More about LR3 – my vote: buy it today. LR is cross-platform (great for you windows <shudder> users; and you linux folks – you’re already smarter than average and therefore probably already have some amazing GIMP hacks or something going on), surprisingly simple, fast, customizable to an extent and ready to tackle the majority of the amateur-prosumer digital darkroom needs. The other amazing thing is that so many professionals use this software and there’s such a great following that there are a bunch of sites to help learn about LR3.
If you have any better ways to decide between edits of a shot, drop it in the comments. We’ll see which ends up on the pblog.
Workstation: Desk 2.0 10.24.09 14 Comments
Digital Photography School had a post a few days ago reviewing the Black Rapid R-Strap 4. I had tossed the idea of making my own since I first read about the R-Strap in a DIY piece on Lifehacker, but couldn’t figure out how to make it for free without damaging/sacrificing perfectly functional duffel bags/backpacks.
When the DPS post went up the idea of a DIY project came up again, but the impetus for actually following through on writing up the DIY came after one comment pointed out the Mzungu Quick Draw Camera Strap.
~1″ Climbing grade webbing
~1″ Cam buckles for easy size adjustment
~1″ Triglide for securing loose webbing ends
~1″ Swivel Hooks – durable plastic equivalent All of this for under $10 if you only get 12″ of the webbing (only $0.34/ft). All of the hard plastic tools come in packs with 2-4 hooks/buckles/glides, and it happens to work out that if you get 12′ of webbing you can manage to make 2 straps. Add some extra padding from an old bag you’ve probably got lying around and you even get some extra support. To get the right lengths of webbing just cut where you need to and use a lighter to heat/melt the newly cut ends so they don’t begin to fray. Grab an old key chain ring and a mini locking (preferred-something like this) or non-locking (like what I’m using) and remove the plastic swivel hook and you’re set to make the Mzungu strap. I personally prefer this strap – it frees up my tripod quick-release plate and doesn’t rely on anything screwing into my camera (that I still have a hard time believing won’t come loose). It also allows the camera to more comfortably sit with the left of the camera body/lens resting against your hip, meaning no lens sticking out to the side to get damaged and no LCD screen getting scratched while rubbing against the rivets in your pants.
When it comes down to it these two products may be great for some non-traditional neck-strap-wearing photographers out there, but I can’t see how they justify the price tags they carry ($55 and $23) when they can be easily made with a little common sense. I’m way behind the DIY curve here as well, just adding mine to a long list of DIY versions of these straps easily found online.
Phonaroid – App. Comparison 05.17.09 No Comments
1. Price: Winner – it depends. Polarize, because it’s FREE! However, Camerabag is definitely worth the $2.99. $3 – steep for an iPhone app. – maybe, but worth the price. It not only converts your photos to an insta-image (read: fauxlaroid) inspired shot, but it also has converts to the following: (from their website)
1974 – This is your father’s camera. Faded, tinted, and hip.
Lolo – Shoot from the hip and take life as it comes with vibrant, colorful shots.
Cinema – Dramatic, moody, wide-screen stills from the movie of your life.
1962 – Dynamic black and whites from the photojournalists of a bygone era.
Mono – Smooth gradation from black to white.
Infrared – Simulation of the popular landscape photography technique.
Fisheye – Popular fish eye lens effect – try it in combination with other filters.
2. Ease of use: Winner – Polarize. The app is so light, so easy to use that it is really just a combination of choices: take a photo, use an existing photo or a link to go check out the community of users on the web. However, this also is a drawback of the app. There were no settings to take control of the program – notably, no way to determine the output size of your fauxlaroid photo.3. Features: Winner – Camerabag. Not only does it have many output styles for your photos, but it also allows you to take more control. If you choose to shoot a photo within the app. and apply a style to it you can edit whether or not it saves the original photo – both cutting down on processing time and the number of photos you have to slide past in your photo album. The app. also allows you to choose the photo output size, what style it applies by default, whether it crops your photos, auto-saves, uses borders…you get the idea.
4. Output size: Winner – Camerabag. Like mentioned earlier, Camerabag allows the user to choose the file output size – 400, 600, 800, 1200 – depending on need/speed. The only downside of this is that the app. is a memory hog and sometimes needs a restart to free up some memory and allow you to proceed. However, compared to the only export size of 450×520 from Polarize, I’d side with the choice any day.
5. Style: Winner – Camerabag. (subjective, I know) I don’t profess to know much of anything about Polaroid photography (except that shaking the photo actually doesn’t speed the developing process up) but I know what looks good to me, and for the vast majority of shots, Camerabag’s processing takes the cake. My biggest qualm with the Polarize app’s processing is the harsh border that it creates at the edges of the photo – check it out in the first pic.Overall – Camerabag nudges out Polarize. Don’t discount the light and free Polarize app. though – It’s developer seems pretty interested in taking the app further (actually sounds like there’s a version waiting for release on the iPhone software v3.0 update) and sounds very approachable in the Flickr forum. Polarize wins some sweetness points by also adding ‘handwriting’ style text to the white spaces on the bottom, and it looks like the developer is working on incorporating more handwriting fonts from current app. users. So if you want versatility in stylizing your iPhone photos – Camerabag will keep you coming back for more. However, if you’re simply a fan of the fauxlaroid look – grab Polarize for free!
Workstation: Desk 04.26.09 5 Comments
Do you have any tips/tricks for streamlining, organizing or keeping your desk clean? Let me know! Throw them down in the comments.
Workstation: Desktop 03.28.09 No Comments
The beginning of a ‘how-to’ series focusing on the creation of my photos up to this point, this post will focus on the desktop where everything in the post-processing world happens. Generally working from a function-over-form mindset, my desktop is sparing on many aspects of design that could be worked into the mix. Also, because I generally have rotating backgrounds based on recent/decent photos I’ve taken, I need whatever is on the desktop to be viewable under a lot of different circumstances.
So here’s a quick summary of what I use, what it does and (if you run OS X) where to get it for yourself.
- Geektool: Fantastic – especially if you know a little about script-writing or can search the web and use copy/paste. This is used to display the calendar, day/date/month, uptime, HD usage, time and weather.
- Dock Doctor: Tool that allows you to change the appearance of your dock.
- Adium: Running the decay 2.0 theme (it’s small).
- Bowtie: Keyboard shortcut iTunes control, artwork display, rating, custom themes, etc.
- Quicksilver: Much better than spotlight and very versatile (for those who like keyboard shortcuts).
- Multiclutch (not shown): A useful tool for those with multitouch trackpads – adding more/application-specific gestures in order to control almost anything you could with keystrokes (for those who don’t like keyboard shortcuts).