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. :)