Photography Section

I like to pretend I'm a professional photographer because I have a Canon Digital Rebel. It's a fun camera to use, and it has awakened a strong interest in photography.

Posts relating to photography or cool pictures I've taken will be in this section.

Canon is clever!

I was fiddling with work's Canon Rebel XTi camera, and noticed that when I hold it up to my face, the display showing current settings blanks automatically. At first I thought it was an automatic timeout, then I pulled the camera away from my face and the display turned on again! Once again, held it up to my face, display turned off.

Whoah! I found there's a little sensor that detects the presence of your face, and turns off the display when you hold it up to your face to take a photo. The sensor is just over the display and is probably capacitative, like the trackpad on most modern laptops.

I love well-thought-out interface design like this. It solves what would otherwise be a problem (glaring display just under your eyes when shooting) in a completely non-intrusive manner.

I even posted a video of this, because it's so neat.

Geeky fun, fuzzy fun, all sorts of fun!

Well, I haven't updated in a while. Been distracted and all. Extremely distracted.

I got a new toy last weekend, a PalmOne Treo 650 phone. Or PDA. Or both. It does lots of things; to just call it a "celphone" is somewhat unfair. It's basically a Palm PDA with a celphone built in. With Sprint PCS service, it can do lots of neat things, like make and take calls, get on the Internet for web surfing, AIM, SSH (to log into those UNIX systems), E-mail, and more. I'm now well-connected wherever I go! I'm not sure if this is a curse or a blessing; we'll have to see. Luckily, it has an "off" switch, so I can still get away from it all if need-be.

On Saturday I went with Rieshal and Kitwickliff (who just moved here a couple of weeks ago) to Sawgrass Recreational Park. I haven't been there in a long time, and it was wonderful to see Monty the panther for the first time in about five months. He's gotten so big; you can see pictures here. Kit is really into photography and I lent her the Rebel for most of the trip; she seemed to like it. (Kit, I'm going to convert you to digital yet! bwahahahahaaa..) We also went on an airboat ride through the everglades, which was pretty neat. I was surprised to find the airboats are powered by two bog-standard big-block V8s normally used in Cadillacs. They are EXTREMELY noisy and hearing protection is pretty much required on the ride.

The rest of the day involved dinner at an Italian place and later on watching a weird cat anime and then the movie Brazil. Overall a fun day, and I got to meet someone new. }:)

Cough.. Cough cough...

Well, I've been sick for the past week or so, with an irritating cough and sore throat. Finally went to see the doc, and he said it was bacterial and prescribed antibiotics. On the second pill and already feeling better!

Of course, due to that it hasn't been too eventful. I celebrated my tenth anniversary on FurryMUCK yesterday (4/7/1995 - 4/7/2005), and that was fun. I morphed back into the original squirrel character I had when I started on the MUCK, and visited the park and reminisced about old times with other players. Of course, those of you not on TinyMUCKs probably have no clue what I'm talking about. It's a text-based interactive social environment, kind of like IRC but with actual rooms, describable objects, programmability, and more. If you're interested, click here.

On the photography front, I rediscovered a photo I took nearly a year ago, and have posted it on my photography page. It's amazing how beautiful the white whiskers look against the dark fur. I can't believe I let this gem be buried in my private archives for so long! I need to dig through them and see if there's any other photos yearning for the world to see... I also need to reorganize that page and move it to sarabi. Alas, I shall get to it some day...

I was bored a couple nights ago and slapped together this image. You'll only get it if you're a UNIX geek, but it shows how good standards can stick with us for a long time. The VT100 terminal is emulated by pretty much every platform out there, and is still the basis for modern access to UNIX systems today!

Anyway, hopefully I'll feel better enough to hit Sawgrass this weekend. I miss the kitties, and I also want to work at the property and chuff with the tigers some. It's been way too long...


Had a good day today. Went to Sawgrass in the morning, and hung out a bit with Junior. It was kind of hot, so he pretty much wanted to sleep the entire time. The only time he woke up was when someone came in to pet him, and even then he would go back to sleep before the petting session was over! I don't blame him; it was really muggy.

Afterwards I hightailed it to the property to feed the kitties. I got some really awesome photos of Shoshauna and Mystique. I hadn't seen these cats for nearly a month and it was great to hang out with them again.

Tomorrow I gotta do my taxes (bleah) and run a ton of errands (double-bleah). It's just as well; if gas prices keep going up, I'm only going to be able to drive to Davie once a week; if they go up even further, I'll have to start skipping weeks. Darn oil companies!

Anyway, I took lots of pictures today. I didn't use RAW so I could force myself to practice setting white balance manually on the camera. I think I did a pretty good job; sometimes it's hard to judge the color temperature of a scene... For instance, in some cases, there was some sunlight shining in, so even though the subject was in the shade, the sunspots would look way too orange. It'd be nice if there were a way to tweak white balance in the camera after taking the shot, then save it. I should suggest this to Canon.

Note that I'm not posting full size pics on the VSW pictures site anymore. Sorry to anyone who had the password, but they're just taking way too much space on Sarabi and very few people were looking at them. If you want a full size version of a pic, just drop me a note and we'll talk.

Feel free to check out the photos and leave comments below. }:)

Taj is getting big!

Taj, the tiger cub I held when he was only hours old, is getting huge! He's already about four months old and is becoming quite a terror. I tried to take him on a leash and it was a rather stressful experience, because he's quite hyper and just wants to play.

He is an only cub, and thus has no playmates his age to use up his energy on, so he uses it up on us. It is important to teach them not to bite and claw at this age, because when they grow up, biting and clawing can result in annoying things like lost limbs, broken bones, torn skin, and so on.

Overall, it was fun to play with him. He kept trying to walk around me, tying me up in the leash and then attacking my ankle. I must have said "no bite!" about 300 times in all. Later on he calmed down a little and let me pet him. I wish I could spend more time with the little guy.

Other than that, not much of an eventful day. I got some pictures of Nat hamming it up at the property, and Junior being a cutie at Sawgrass. He was really tired and groggy in the morning, but perked up later in the day. Today wasn't a good day for pictures, the lighting was just all wrong at the property with the sun shining in randomly and ruining otherwise perfect shots. It was already dark by the time I saw Taj, so I had to use flash, and flash photos never look all that good unless you have an umbrella system.

Here's today's pictures, including those of Taj

I love my 50!

Lynxie, lounging on the counter

Even though I have the much more expensive Canon EF 28-105mm USM, I can't help but extol the virtues of the cheapie 50mm f/1.8.

It's amazing how this $75 lens can produce such beautiful images. The control over depth of field is stunning, as is the pinpoint sharpness of the images.

If only they could make a zoom lens this good, at a reasonable price. Imagine an 18-300mm f/1.8 zoom. Yup, probably physically impossible, and if not, it would be rather large and costly, but one can dream, right?

The original full-resolution, much higher quality version of this image is in the Lynxie Pictures Archive.

Short day at Sawgrass, but cool photos!

I went to Sawgrass today; it's a half day since it's Christmas Eve and everyone just wants to go home. But I'm glad I did, as I got to meet a panther I hadn't met before, AND I got some cool photos in the process!

My friend Brian asked me to take some pictures of him with the panther, which is why there's so many of them.

Here are the photos,

and of course...

Here's my favorite of the day.

Happy Holidays!

What a great way to finish a weekend...

So today I went to Sawgrass Recreational Park at around 2:30PM. Junior the Florida Panther was there; he's always fun to play with. He was so playful today that he was difficult to handle at times! You should see him, chasing a blue ball around and pushing it out of range of his restraint so someone has to go get it for him. It's really true; dogs have masters, cats have staff. }:)

Leah was there, and decided to take some pictures of me using my camera. THANK YOU, Leah, if you are reading this, for the great pictures! They are posted on the site as usual; feel free to browse.

I managed to get a really cool shot of Junior yawning with his tongue curled up, and also took some pictures of the chinchilla, Penelope the Skunk, and the rabbit. Unfortunately, the pictures of penelope don't have quite as much depth of field as I'd liked, but the lighting was tricky and she was moving around WAY too much to use a slow shutter speed. Apparently skunks do this really cool forepaw stomp thing when they're riled up; it was rather cute so I tried to get a good picture of it.

All the pictures are posted at the VSW pictures site, feel free to browse and enjoy!

Later I visited the property, and found that Shoshauna was still there. In fact, no other animals had left the facility! I'm expecting Shoshauna, Nikki, Diana, Darlene, and Nat to leave within the next couple of days; it will be a sad day for me as the facility they are going to is a 2.5 hour drive from home and I won't get to visit them very often.

We fed the tigers ribs tonight. The nice thing about ribs is they're flat; you can shove the whole thing into the enclosure through a gap in the fence. I've found that it doesn't matter whether you can actually fit the meat through the feedholes; the tigers manage to make it fit once they grab ahold of it.

Fun fun fun!

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