Hazard’s graduation

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Congratulations go to Vladimir who graduated today with his Bachelor of Computer Science degree from Intercollege. Pictures from his graduation are available here.

Here are few things that I want to write down regarding photographing an event like this. I should read this the day before next time. :)

First of all, it is good to have a scenario of the event. Something that I didn’t have this time. With scenario it is much easier to plan locations to shoot from. Also you will be aware of things about to happen. For example, when graduates were entering the hall, all spectators were requested to rise. This created a kind of coridor for graduates to follow, and kind of walls for photographers around. Timing for throwing hats in the air after confirmation of degrees is another example.

Secondly, one should get full media clearence. I naively assumed that as a guest of the public ceremony I will be allowed to shoot from anywhere I liked. WRONG! I was asked to leave about every place that I tried. Press people were moving around freely though.

Third, but equally important – be ready for lots of people and poor lighting conditions. People are an obstacle. They move around and get in the frame more then you want them too. Lighting is yet another problem. For better visual experience of the audience, the stage is better lighted than the audience, so it might get tricky if you want to photograph someone in the crowd. This time around I had only an on-camera flash with me, which is weak, so I had to use ISO 800 and ISO 1600, which is noisy. Still I had to throw out a few shots. Red eye reduction should be on too (something I forgot to check).

The good tip that was suggested many times – try sticking to gether with press people. They are pros, they know what they are doing and they have full clearence. They tend to shoot from the best places, and if you lucky, you will not get separated from them by the security/organizers.

On strings

By the virtues of Perl Monks I came across an interesting entry in the blog of Dan Sugalski who is the designer of Parrot, the interpreter engine for Perl 6.

In that post Dan talks about strings. He explains a lot of problems that come with different human languages and how careful one should be when dealing with multilingual strings. It is an interesting and insightful read. There are few other posts on the subject too, in case you want to go further.

For those who decided to skip reading, I’ll repost his excellent advice free of charge.

Important safety tip–never get a tattoo in a language you don’t understand. “Baka” is not Japanese for “good fortune”

Morning fog

Morning fog

Yesterday at about 6:00am, just about the time I was getting ready to drive home from my night shift, I discovered that there was a very thick fog outside. It was practically impossible to see anything. So I stayed in the office for few minutes and tried to photograph it. Naive. With the same success I could have photographed a while sheet of paper and then tell everyone that it was fog. :)

After a few minutes the fog started to move away, so I made few pictures, which you can see here. All of them were made from my office window on the 5th floor.

The Hacker’s Diet

The Hacker’s Diet – How to lose weight and hair through stress and poor nutrition By John Walker.

The Hacker’s Diet, notwithstanding its silly subtitle, is a serious book about how to lose weight and permanently maintain whatever weight you desire. It treats dieting and weight control from an engineering and management standpoint, and provides the tools and an understanding of why they work and how to use them that permit the reader to gain control of their own weight. The book is intended primarily for busy, successful engineers, programmers, and managers who have struggled unsuccessfully in the past to lose weight and avoid re-gaining it. Computer-based tools and experiments in Microsoft Excel or the Palm Computing Platform are available, but a computer is not necessary to use the techniques described in the book; paper and pencil alternatives are provided.

Maybe one day I will be interested in reading this book. Until then, I’ll save it in my blog bookmarks. :)

People and frames

People and frames. It is something that I have been thinking about for a long time now. I don’t particularly enjoy thinking about it, but I cannot do anything about it. So I figured I better write it down and then maybe it will go away. In a way that I will not think about it never again. Or at least think something different.

Continue reading “People and frames”

Remember the Titans

I am writing this while being under the impression caused by watching “Remember the Titans“. One hand, it’s a pity that the trailer was completely misleading and that I didn’t go to the cinema to see this movie when it was on. It appeared to be just another movie about some college football team and then some smart coach coming in and teaching them a good lesson to a winnning. On the other hand, I am glad I didn’t miss this movie completely. It’s one of those movies that can be equally enjoyed both in the cinema and at home.

The movie is not about the football, although there is plenty of it. The movie is about racism. And it is one of the best movies about racism that I have ever seen. Actually right now I cannot remember anything better on the subject.

This film excellently shows how people had to study each other and learn from each other’s culturies and how they did slowly realize that all people are the same for what it matters. There are good seeds. There are bad seeds. I particularly liked that there was almost no violence in the film. It didn’t try to put the audience in disguise. It just tried to make people think. Very touchy.

It was also very appropriate to choose Denzel Washington for role of the coach – it is his amplua. The rest of the cast was good too. The soundtrack was awesome. It was that good that you almost don’t notice it until you realize that the sounds of Creedence Clearwater Revival mix very well with football action shots.

Strongly recommended.

Museum of Hoaxes

An amasing collection of all sorts of hoaxes is at Museum of Hoaxes. There you can find anything and everything that looked or sound like a real thing. Take a couple of hoax photo tests and see how good you are. You can also see some of the test pictures in the gallery with descriptions. Check out the list of hoax websites, which feature among many the first and the last pages of the Internet.

…and there is much more of course…