Drop of water

Drop of water

Today I tried to photograph a perfect drop of water. This is not as easy a task as it may sound. Luckily, I’ve read few tips on how to do it some time ago. Interesting background is easy to make – just rip an advertising page out of some magazine (such as Cosmopolitan) – and you are done. Drops fall fast, so shutter priority mode is preferrable. I shot in Manual (1/200, f/5.6, ISO 100), since Rebel’s metering system was confused about what I wanted to do and overexposed everything way too much.

The only thing which I didn’t have with me was a tripod. Tripod is needed to prefocus camera, since it does a louzy job of finding focus points in the pool of water and some magazine page at the bottom. It always tried to focus on the magazine page. I’ll leave tripod for the next time.

Album location: /photos/2004/2004-10-31_POTD

Lethal Weapon

I just watched “Lethal Weapon” on TV. I’ve seen plenty of times before, even had it on video. It’s been a while since I saw it last time though. This film is one of those actions which never get old. You can see that special effects and budget are not up to today’s levels, but it does still provide a lot of entertainment.

What I like about this film is that it is very thourough with details. All characters are well developed and individual. There are plenty of these tiny bits which are not important, but which add a lot to the quality of the movie. Like the bad cooking of Roger’s wife and singing cops in the station. All of these makes a movie so much more beleivable.

Since I haven’t voted for it at IMDB yet, I’ll go and give a 7 out of 10. Sequals rule too, but more on this later…

Amateur Song Festival No. 3

KSP No.3Most of today I spent at Amateur Song Festival in Kakomalis. It was the third one in the last two years. By the way, the official name is KSP, which should be written in Russian letters. It can be roughly translated as Kakomalis Song Phestival. :)

Anyway, there were lots and lots of people, nevermind the lack of advertising. Plenty of regulars, but few new faces too. Lots and lots of music, food, and drinks, and general fun. Those who didn’t go missed a lot!

I have made a few pictures, which are available here.

CD-ROM

CDROM

Today I played a little bit with colors of the CD-ROMs. Many people experiment with these. One of the most popular experiment is putting a tiny drop of water on the disk and lighting it from different sources. I realized that I will not be able to do anything with water until I’ll get a macro lens.

Still, the colors are nice. I’ve made about 20 shots out of which I selected three.

Album location: /photos/2004/2004-10-29_POTD

Backpains and lack of sleep resolved.

I’ve had some really annoying pains in the upper back for the last few days. I also couldn’t sleep too well. I couldn’t think of any major changes in my life that could have caused these inconveniences. After I couldn’t think of anything major, I started to think about minors. Slowly-slowly I started to suspect my new pillow. Olga and I bought two new pillows about a month ago. They feel great and all.

Yesterday, I changed my pillow back to the old one… I’ve slept 10 hours in a row. Deep and strong, as a baby. I’ve also woke up as brand new. No pains at all. Very well rested. Good mood and stuff.

I was a bit puzzled at first. I thought that if the pillow was bad I would feel it within a day night or two. It seems I was wrong. Minor things accumulate and build up. Three weeks later I started to have pains. They grew stronger every day.

I will stay with my old pillow for now. I am writing this down for the future reference. If I will ever start to have back pains, I should be looking at minor changed too.

The Rundown

Today I walked into the DVD rental looking for just one film to watch before bed. Martin (aka the owner and an excellent movie guy) asked me what I wanted to see. I said: “Give me some action. Something fast. I haven’t slept for some time now and I don’t want to fall asleep while watching a movie”. He stood up walked to the first shelve with films picked up one from right in the middle of it and said: “Have you seen this one?”. “The Rundown” and the picture of the guy who played in the Scorpion King were on one side. A couple of screenshots with guys holding guns on the other side. Doesn’t say much. And the title was stupid. And this guy can’t act(*). But I said “What the heck, I’ll take it”.

And that’s how I went on into surprise. I was unprepared. Actually I was in the most unprepared condition for an excellent action movie that I could ever be. “The Rundown” is a pure action movie. Nothing more, nothing less. But it is so good at being action that I cannot truly remember when I saw something like this last time. The movie is indeed really fast. The story is simple and pretty much predictable. But the production is perfect.

More than that. I was impressed by the martial arts scene. Last time that happened back with the first Matrix movie. This is something you have to see. It is not about the choreography or the style. It is in totally different perspective. Great job! The best part about it is the those who did the scene, knew that it was impressive. So they gave a small brake in action to appreciate it. I mean they didn’t stop the movie. There were still plenty of shooting going on around. But that was something you could miss. Pretty regular. And just after a second I thought that this movie was worth it, they put me back into real action again. Wow!

The competition between The Rock (I wonder what you would pick as a nickname if your name was Dwayne Douglas Johnson) and Seann William Scott sound good already. Add some Ewen Bremner with some English humour in the jungles. Add sexy looking Rosario Dawson as a rebel with a gun. And add Christopher Walken playing a bad guy in style. And what you’ve got here is a kicking combination which even Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t ignore even if only for just a second.

Any way, summing up: a great movie with great action and impressive fight scene, with lots of gun shooting, chasing, and few laughs, providing an excellent entertainment. In my book that deserves a 5 out of 5, 10 out of 10, or a 100 out of a 100. Pick your units.

(*) Recently, I’ve been enlightened by Goblin. Here is roughly what he said in Russian: “Some people think that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bad actor. This is a misconception. Arnold is a great actor. But, the only role he play is himself. And he does it great”. I used to think that he is a bad actor, but now I do agree that I was wrong. :) The Rock becomes a pretty good actor too this way. But he too can only play himself. His filmography proves it in a way.

Once again on digital postprocessing

Sneaky lookIt’s been some time since I’ve decided to postprocess images. During this time I was shooting only ‘Picture of the day’ series which are mostly one or two few images. Processing them was very fast and easy.

Today I was photographing a major event. When I came back home, I found out that I made a total of 403 pictures. That is in the range of what I usually bring home, so no surprises here. The surprise was in how much time and effort it would take me to postprocess them. It took all of my free time and strength for the day to finish them. I ended up with 122 pictures published, each of which had at least some minor changes.

Lesson #1: either I will drop the whole idea of postprocessing, or it will teach me how to photograph smarter, making less pictures but of better quality and up to the point.

Lesson #2: postprocessing a bunch of pictures on a slow machine is no fun. No fun at all. I will have to upgrade my home workstation if I am to do this often.

Lesson #3: postprocessed images do look way better. I will be coming back to the album more often and I feel more proud than ashamed about today’s results.

Now I need few moments off computer. Bye.