Thursday, December 09, 2010

I recently went on a trip across the country with a good friend, and ended up in the town where we grew up – Los Alamos, New Mexico. My final stop before returning to Oregon was the Four Corners area – Farmington, Durango and Shiprock. Here are a few pictures from the New Mexico portion of the trip, which a few people have asked for hi-res copies of. You can click on each one to see the full size version, and then right-click on the large version and choose to save it to your computer if you like. And since it comes up more often than not eventually, please note that commercial or publication use just requires asking nicely. :)

Shiprock, New Mexico

Shiprock2 Shiprock1

Front Hill Road view, Los Alamos, New Mexico

DSC00056aaa DSC00095aaa

Clines Corners, New Mexico

ClinesCornersSign

Fence, 210 North Allen

DSC00113aaa



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Thursday, December 09, 2010 1:04:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Saturday, May 08, 2010

I decided yesterday to start using my Nikon D200 digital still SLR camera to do some interval shooting, and then took the series of images to make a time-lapse film. It’s something I’ve messed with before a little bit, but for some reason I decided I wanted to dive right in.

I made a couple so-so quick and dirty videos yesterday, and then shot some night clouds moving across the star-lit sky last night. The nice thing about living where I do is that there’s lots of sky and trees to help frame the shots, and the city lights are fairly far away. So clouds get a glow on a long exposure at night but the stars show up nicely, too.

Anyhow, another cool thing about this new little hobby tangent is that I can spend three to five minutes setting up a interval series shot, click a couple buttons, and then walk away for about 90 minutes while the camera takes its pictures. That works great for quickly starting a shot between work calls or what have you.

I used to be a photographer professionally – back when people still shot film. That was two careers ago, and I miss it at times. So I have a pretty solid understanding of how things work for different types of exposures, and all the weirdness that goes with long exposures. But with digital cameras things get messy when you do exposures more than a second, and the whole video noise thing is really pretty annoying.

At any rate, I came up with a few videos, so I thought I would post them here along with a few noted about how they’re made.

My initial videos were kind of messy, but you can click the links to see them if you like. Gotta start somewhere, heh.

I’ll start here with a video I made today, which took advantage of the rather spectacular clouds building in the sky over my house this afternoon. To see this video in its highest quality, view it in HD at YouTube.

The night shot at the end of the above video was filmed last night. I didn’t quite capture the stars as brightly as wanted, but it still turned out pretty nice.

So, tonight I decided I wanted to try again. I adjusted the shooting exposure (went from a 10-second exposure to a 15-second one) and the result was the quick video test below, which shows the stars much more clearly I think.

Night clouds and stars take two from Greg Hughes on Vimeo.

It’s not really too hard to do these time-lapse films. I have a camera that will do interval shooting, and I also have a remote intervalometer shutter release for it. Some consumer cameras have this feature, some require an external controller like the one I have.

Once the series of photos is made, I import them into QuickTime Pro. You just choose File > Open Image Sequence and then point at the first file in the numerical sequence. As long as the files are one complete numerical list, QuickTime will import them in the right order. Then I export the files as MP4, 1920x1080 and 5,000 Kbps or higher bit rate.

After that I pulled the film segments with the soundtrack audio into Windows Live Movie Maker on Windows 7, produced the video with transitions and what have you, then exported to a new hi-def video. I also automatically published to YouTube.

That’s about it. I will try to post a more detailed tutorial sometime soon, after I do a few more time lapse sessions.



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Saturday, May 08, 2010 1:52:44 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Thursday, November 26, 2009

The other day I went flying in the plane with my friend Dave. We went a few places, including the avionics shop at Aurora and an early dinner at the Mulino Hangar cafe. Then we flew around Mt. Hood as the sun was going down. It was a calm, clear and beautiful day, much improved over the recent rains. You could see all the mountains clearly, from Sisters and Jefferson to the south, to Adams and St. Helens to the north, and even all the way up to Mt. Rainier, clear as a bell. We climbed up to about 10,000 feet and I steered the aircraft while Dave took a few pictures.

Hood3 Hood1 Hood2



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Thursday, November 26, 2009 9:40:30 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Thursday, August 28, 2008

My first-generation Nikon D70, which I bought the day it was released to the market a few years back, died on me a few months ago. Without a card in it, it won't start, and when you insert a CF card in the slot, the green data-access indicator flashes on and off. If I hold down the Menu button, the menu flashes on and off along with the green LED.

As it turns out, this is a known problem with the original Nikon D70 cameras, and Nikon USA has a service bulletin out on the camera body. They'll repair it free of charge.

So, if you have the same problem, visit this service bulletin page, click on the D70, and you can access a PDF file that you'll need to print, fill out and send to Nikon along with your camera body. Be sure to take your camera strap off and remove the battery, and don't send any lenses or other accessories.

Mine's on it's way to Nikon now - they say the turnaround is five days (plus shipping time).



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Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:51:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Monday, April 14, 2008
I'm not a huge fan of using credit cards, but with that caveat I discovered something last night that I thought was a great idea and service offered by Capital One for their US-based customer's credit cards: Use your own images.

Under the program, every 30 days you can create a replacement card using your own pictures (provided your account qualifies and you have the rights to the images you use, of course). You go to the web site, provide some information, upload your picture (or choose from one in their library if you're dull and boring like that, heh), and submit your design. Once approved, they send you the card in the mail. Pretty simple and cool.

I decided to create my personal card from this image, which I took off my front porch a couple years ago one morning:

DSC_7653b.jpg

... and once I was done shifting the size and sliding the image around on the card for optimal fit, here is what I ended up with. It's almost like God created the view just to be put on a card (except of course that I'd bet God doesn't like credit cards one bit and the whole idea is just ridiculous):

XX

If you're a Capital One credit card holder, you can check out and use the Image Card service at http://www.capitaloneimagecard.com/.

Now I just have to wait 30 days to make another one, heh. I wonder if we can get the state DMV to let us do this with our license plates?



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Monday, April 14, 2008 6:43:43 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Friday, March 21, 2008

A quick non-techie post for all my carbon-focused brethren scattered around the world. Yesterday "it" couldn't decide whether to rain or shine, and this morning "it" couldn't decide whether to rain or snow. Yes, there is a common denominator there, but hey - It is Oregon.

(I'm not saying Oregon is "it," just that it is Oregon, after all. You decide.)

A couple pics... Yesterday afternoon and this morning. Originals linked - note that they are quite large.

Thursday Rainbow  Friday Spring Snow



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Friday, March 21, 2008 11:46:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Saturday, February 02, 2008

I've uploaded a few photos from our quick jaunt through Arches National Park, near Moab Utah, at the end of December. My friend Cory and I were driving back to Oregon after a couple days of skiing at Keystone, Colorado and decided to detour briefly to check out the place. It was about four in the afternoon and the light was right. Glad we stopped. The complete flickr photoset is here, and here is a link to my flickr photostream.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park



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Saturday, February 02, 2008 8:40:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Friday, October 26, 2007

I got up this morning to the first frost of the season. It's cooled off quite a bit here the past week or so. I snapped a couple pictures. I like shadow-light images with a little contrast punch. You still cannot record images digitally quite the same nice way you can with film. But you can fake it if you try, and it costs a hell of a lot less per shot, that's for sure. Makes it way too easy to be lazy and trust in your luckiness though. I miss film. Heh.

258

frost5

241

Also, I have added a "Photography" category to the site, with its own RSS feed as well, since that's been a bit of a missing piece here.



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Friday, October 26, 2007 10:46:02 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I woke up a little early this morning to the smell of coffee (good way to wake up, eh?) and looked outside and decided to grab a camera and snap a couple hand-held shots from the front porch.

After shooting the pictures, and knowing the image would probably need to be cropped and that the long exposure (I had to do controlled breathing and steady the camera big time) would result in some shift in color and contrast, I figured this might be an interesting scene to look at in terms of in-camera composition, exposure and cropping. I used to do photography professionally and have been thinking a lot about getting back into it (non-professionally). This is a way of pushing myself in that direction.

I've included a few questions at the end, and I hope you'll use the comments to answer them with your thoughts. From time to time I'll do the same thing with other images.

(Note: You can click each image to view the larger size)

For illustrative purposes, here's the view the way the digital camera saw it and the way it wanted to expose the frame in "Program" mode (I've resized the image but it's otherwise unaltered). Note this is a great example of where automatic camera modes can result in substandard images. Program mode is not just easy, it's lazy. My opinion, anyhow...

    DSC_0054-crop0

Here's the same scene using a manual exposure, where the exposure is made primarily for the highlights. I bracketed a bit and this one had the best level of detail in the wide range of tonal values present in the scene. It's far from perfect, and the image was made in JPEG mode, not RAW, so it should be noted that right away we start the lossy process:

    DSC_0072-edit0

Here's how I remember the scene looking to my eye, or at least this is close (the image is an altered version of the above frame):

    DSC_0072-edit1a

I then made this crop to clean things up a bit and focus on what my mind was framing. Of the crops on this page it probably comes closest to obeying the "rule of thirds" as far as subject placement goes:

    DSC_0072-edit3

And this one is cropped even closer to show what my eye was truly drawn to. It still comes close to obeying the rule of thirds, but it not as strictly compliant:

    DSC_0072-edit5

So, what do you think works best and why? Do you have a preference? Why or why not? Would you crop it differently? How?



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Tuesday, September 25, 2007 5:25:14 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's been quite a while since I have posted one of my reasons why it's nice to live in the sticks and to have to drive an hour each way to get to the city, but here's another reason why... I got to watch these at the bottom of the hill on my property off and on for a couple hours this evening. You can click the image to see the larger version.

Deer1



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Thursday, September 20, 2007 5:26:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I got a new Canon compact digital camera recently for taking snapshots (in places and at times when I don't want to carry my digital SLRs around). What better place to try out your new Canon camera than Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast? Overall the new camera does a nice, respectable job - especially for a compact model. Not too shabby. I'll do a more detailed review soon. My friend also bought one, a Kodak model, which cost half as much and took some truly terrific images. Click the images below to view larger sizes, blah blah.

For some reason I like birds flying over mountains and rocks and stuff. Some Jonathan Livingston Seagull psychological thing or something maybe, I dunno.

         Bird over Haystack Rock, Connon Beach Oregon 

Haystack is the big rock that looks like - well, duh. Next to it in the water are two other smaller (but still quite large) rocks, called the Needles. One of them is in this pic.

       Needle at Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach Oregon



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Tuesday, June 12, 2007 10:31:18 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Thursday, October 19, 2006

Today we made it to the Grand Teton National Park, which is just south of Yellowstone (which is where we were yesterday, but the pics will have to be out of order since I don't have those copied yet).

We stayed at the snow lodge at Old Faithful in Yellowstone and woke up to snow on the ground. So, we threw the truck (with new all-terrain and snow tires) into four wheel drive and headed south for the Tetons. Honestly, I was worried the low clouds would prevent us from seeing much of anything. I was wrong, thank goodness.

Here are a few pics from our drive through the Tetons. As you can see, the clouds lifted. In the couple days we spent on our way through the Yellowstone and Grand Tetons parks, we saw lot of wildlife, including a grizzly bear, elk, reindeer, moose and more.

The flickr photoset from the trip is here. I'll add some more later, probably after I get home Friday night.

Grand Tetons National Park

Grand Tetons National Park

Elk in Grand Tetons National Park



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Thursday, October 19, 2006 9:52:35 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm helping a friend move from the upper-Midwest out to Oregon, and that means a long road trip. We decided to take a scenic route back, and yesterday we stopped at Mt. Rushmore in Wyoming. That was after driving in 40-50mph headwinds on an interstate at about 75mph. My truck does well on the road, but a combined 120 mile per hour head/crosswind is a bit of a pain, not only in terms of driving between the painted lines, but also on fuel.

Good thing fuel's cheap in South Dakota. In South Dakota they also have hotels with these water parks inside. You know, water slides and pools and stuff. We stayed at one the other night and had a blast. Felt like I was 10 again (which is especially weird when I look in the mirror).

At any rate, the real point is that we went to Mt. Rushmore yesterday afternoon. I'd never been there before. My friend Cory had been there (he says) like 25 times, because he has family down the highway and he lived nearby for a while. So I had a tour guide of sorts. We grabbed cameras and took some shots and walked the trail loop.

Mount Rushmore is an amazing work of art, demolition and commemoration all rolled up into one.

The flickr set including these pics (and some more) is here. The last one on the page was shot by Cory (who has quite an eye for pictures).

Rushmore1

Rushmore3

Rushmore2

Washington and Lincoln



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Wednesday, October 18, 2006 6:01:02 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Sunday, October 01, 2006

As I mentioned before. I recently acquired a Nikon D200 camera (new) and along with it a used but immaculate lens - the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 ED AF-S model. Both the body and the glass are exceptional pieces of equipment. I can't say enough about them. I also added the MB-D200 batter pack and extension to the body, which allows more battery time as well as vertical shooting trigger and wheels (mandatory in my book - I spent too many years with F3's and F4's not to have that capability).

I shot a few pictures out in the yard this afternoon to post here, since people have been asking me to do so. What I didn't realize until I uploaded them was that I had the ISO set to 800, which is ridiculously high for daylight, heh. So the image noise is a bit higher than it should be. But anyhow, they still look pretty good. The pictures below are clickable and will take you to my flickr feed, where you can see them in their full-size glory if you want to.

I highly recommend the D200 - I have not found a single thing I don't like about it yet (well okay it eats batteries for lunch, but hey - what can ya do?)

Japanese Maple leaf, backlit:

Red Maple Leaf

Diogi, my friendly (and spastic) chocolate lab:

Diogi, October 1 2006

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Sunday, October 01, 2006 3:12:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  

So, this is a pretty cool find. I recently acquired a Nikon D200 (which, by the way, is super-sweet and I still need to write about it and the lens and stuff I picked up), which has (or will soon have) a cable that can plus into a GPS device to record your position on the face of the earth in the image EXIF data. I may just make my own cable -we'll see.

Meanwhile, Jelbert has this nifty new thing called GeoTagger:

"The Jelbert GeoTagger connects to a Garmin Geko 301 GPS device and fits into a DSLR's flash shoe. Every time you take a photo the camera triggers the geotagger, which records the precise position and heading of a camera using the GPS device."

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Sunday, October 01, 2006 1:26:35 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nice to live here, dontcha know. The sunrise view from my front porch this morning as I left for work:



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Thursday, September 28, 2006 7:41:04 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm a professional geek, and manager of many like me (only they're a lot smarter and more talented than I). But I have not been a computer jock all my life. Before this particular career I was a cop (or "police officer" if I want to be politically correct in my terminology). Before that, I was a professional photographer - a job I had for around eight years. I went to college to study photojournalism, and did sports and news photography, was published way-back-when in magazines and newspapers all over the place, etc. etc. etc. I was pretty good at it. My employers liked all the awards I won for them. I didn't care so much about the awards. But I felt good when I made pictures that people liked and remembered. Even more so when they seemed to matter or make a difference.

But while photography was fulfilling, starving to death was not so appealing. Besides, I'd always wanted to be a cop, and so I went from being a figurative ambulance chaser (a news photog) to being something loosely akin to an ambulance driver (except that police cars are a lot faster and you get to chase people in them - ambulance rig drivers don't do that too much, and then there's the whole catching bad guys thing, and you actually get paid to do all that - crazy). It put a notable few more bucks a month in the bank and was a great job, but it was also a bucket of stress and (eventually) painful experiences (I did a lot of child abuse investigations, and in the end it was me or the job -- I chose me).

Then came computer work. Pays a lot better and without bullets flying at me or my car. Not such a bad deal.

But I miss the creativity and fun of photography probably even more than I miss catching bad guys. So, after spending some time breaking out the old camera and lenses and messing around with them on vacation a week or so ago, I have a renewed hankerin' for doing it some more. Not as a job - I have a good job and career. More like as a passion - something more than a hobby. Just to get back into it something like the way I used to be. Of course, in order to do it right I'll have to do some investing. There's a ton of mediocre cameras and lenses out there. I like my Nikon D70 for a basic digital SLR camera, but in my photo world there's a need for something more if it's really to be taken seriously. And I'm a very serious guy. Zoom lenses? Screw that noise.

I'm still a bit of a digital photography nay-sayer. If I was an old dude, I'd probably be going off on something like "Why, back in my day, we didn't have no fancy digital cameras... All we had was cellulose film. And there we were, a bunch of chemical-burned, dry-skinned film developers, cleaning skin flakes out of the darkroom. But we liked it that way!"

Or something like that.

Anyhow, it's all digital now. But I do miss the darkroom. I was good at that. Hmmm, might need to set one up despite the ease of the digital photography world. Not instead of digital, just in addition to. For nostalgic reasons, sure, but also because as good as digital photography has become, it's still not quite up to the quality and subtlety of using a good quality film.

So what's my point? Well, nothing really. Heh. Except that I think I may start looking for some good, quality used Nikon lenses and another digital body. Then make some more trips off to The Middle of Nowhere. Anyone have a good clean AF300 f/2.8 Nikkor you wanna sell? Heh.



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Friday, August 25, 2006 10:32:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Thursday, August 24, 2006


The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is found in northeastern Minnesota, along the border with Canada. They call Minnesota the Land of 10,000 lakes, and the many lakes that make up the BWCA are just some of those thousands. It's a beautiful place, and as far as I am concerned everyone should go at some point in time in their lives. Just let me know when you're going and make sure you all schedule it on the same day. I'll plan my trip at another time, so I can enjoy the peace and quiet. Heh.

Actually, the number of people are parties that can enter the wilderness area on any given day and from any given entry point is pretty heavily limited. The regulations are intended to protect the area and make sure it's maintained as a relatively pristine wilderness area, which is a good idea. Some of the regs seem a bit extreme, but whatever. On the Canadian side of the lakes, it's a lot more expensive and even more restrictive in terms of the regs.

Anyhow, my good friend Cory and I spent a lot of time all week in canoes and fishing. I was feeling (and smelling) pretty strong by the second half of the week. A large part of the time it was just the two of us in the canoe, and other times we were in the boat along with Cory's dad. It just depended on the day and who was in camp at the time. One evening Cory, his sister and I went out for the evening after eagles in a canoe. We earned our eagle chaser badges that night.


Cory paddling on Disappointment Lake


Evening light on the water


I caught this northern pike on our first day out


Sunset from camp



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Thursday, August 24, 2006 10:53:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Tuesday, August 22, 2006

One of the highlights of our canoe trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota was a family of bald eagles that frequented the area around our camp for a couple of days. Being a former sports photographer (a long story for another time), I still have a couple lenses that I use on a D70 digital body, and I was glad I brought them with me on the trip.

I have always been quite impressed with an amazed by bald eagles. Getting a chance to be so close in the wild (they came as close as about 40 feet to where I stood) was a lot of fun. I wonder if you can get paid to watch and photograph eagles for a living. I bet some people do.

For the photo geeks, these images are with a Nikkor 180/f2.8 lens on the Nikon D70 body. These particular images are not public domain. Click each one to view a slightly larger size. A number of people are emailing asking for copies, which is fine, just let me know.



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Tuesday, August 22, 2006 8:42:22 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Monday, July 17, 2006

Yeah, it's cliche and random, but truth is Oregon's a great place to live. Heck, the whole Pacific Northwest is terrific. Here's just three among many reasons I say this...

Sunrise Mount Hood

MultnomahFallsMay2006

Wild Iris



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Monday, July 17, 2006 8:16:08 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Friday, September 23, 2005

Waking up to views like this from the front porch makes the commute worthwhile:

Hood at Sunrise
(Mt. Hood - Oregon - click for a larger image)



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Friday, September 23, 2005 8:00:14 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Just in time to finish off the month of May, the wild irises are coming out in full force all over the place on my property...

WildIrises3
click on the image for a 1024x768 copy/desktop wallpaper
click here for a 1600x1063 copy/desktop wallpaper



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Monday, May 30, 2005 11:22:46 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Monday, May 30, 2005

Andy and Angie have a cool weblog where some of their great pictures are displayed. They also have an online photo gallery that you can check out. There's real talent here: great use of light and digital editing for enhancement purposes (as opposed to completely altering a scene to be something it's not). There are also some cool macro insect pictures, nice landscapes and original desktop wallpapers available.

In one post, Andy explains how he edits an original digital image to get from this:

Cloudy_01-2005.05.07-15.34.37

to this:

CloudPond_050505-2005.05.07-15.34.53

Same original image, but a very different end result. How did he do it? Go read his weblog to find out.

Note that the images are all copyrighted under a Creative Commons non-commercial use license by Andy Purviance.



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Monday, May 30, 2005 4:38:40 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Yesterday Nikon released Version 2.0 of their D70 digital SLR camera firmware.

Updates are available for Mac and Windows users. The Windows firmware update includes the following additions and refinements:

  • Performance of the 5-area AF system has been improved (Dynamic area and Closest subject AF-area modes).
  • Changes have been made to the design of menu displays.
  • Page-size settings can now be applied from the camera with direct printing from a PictBridge-compatible printer.
  • The number of exposures remaining, displayed in the control panel and viewfinder, when shooting at an image-quality setting of NEF (RAW) or NEF+JPEG Basic has been changed (the number is calculated based on the size of compressed RAW file).
  • The default setting for camera clock has been changed from 2004.01.01 to 2005.01.01. Now you cannot set the clock back to a date before 2004.12.31.
  • A problem that sometimes caused communication between the camera and computer to be unexpectedly terminated when using Nikon Capture Camera Control has been corrected. (Windows)

Complete step-by-step instructions for updating are included:

 



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Tuesday, May 17, 2005 6:32:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Sunday, March 20, 2005

It's windy and a bit chilly today. But the flowers are cool. Spring's sprung.

Crocus5



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Sunday, March 20, 2005 2:09:32 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  
 Friday, January 28, 2005

D2x_picNikon has announced that their cool new D2X digital SLR camera will be available on February 25th, and that it will sell for a "suggested" street price of $4999.00. Hook up a GPS device to record location data. Transmit data via WiFi. Remote control the camera. Instant-on and fast shutter response time of 37ms - great improvements for low-lag operation. Flash sync at 1/250th of a second. Awesome metering. Fast continuous shooting. All nice stuff.

But there's one thing that will keep me from even considering buying this camera. And it's not the price.

It's this bit of info, gleaned from the fine print in the spec sheet:

    • Approx. 1.5x focal length in 35mm [135] format equivalent

Argh, no! I have to say, I was pretty darned surprised to find this hidden in the back of the specs list, especially since they are marketing the D2X as being capable of "5fps continuous shooting mode full size or 8fps in a 6.8MP cropped mode." Turns out the "cropped mode" means a 2x multiplier over 35mm equivalent, as opposed to non-cropped mode, which has a 1.5x multiplier.

Very sneaky. Very sucky.

At 12.4 megapixels and $5000, someone tell me why in the world camera manufacturers can't put a chip in the thing that will make it act like a real 35mm camera from the field-of-view/coverage perspective. I'd take lower effective resolution (say 8 megapixels or so?) and no multiplier at this point.

Believe it or not, to someone who was a film photographer for several years, this actually matters to me. Nothing aggravates me more about digital SLR cameras than an image that has a telephoto-style crop and a short-lens depth of field. I hate that. I have a D70 that does that. Don't get me wrong, for $1000 I like the D70 just fine. It's a consumer-grade camera, and sure I'd like it a heck of a lot more if it had a chip that would use the lens the way it was built to be used. But this camera is more than the D70 can dream of being.

So, if I am going to pay five times the cost for a better camera, put in a full-sized chip that uses the full field the lens was built to cover. Seriously.

Hey Nikon - Just so you know, I was actually ready to seriously consider spending $5000 on your new camera - but now I guess I'll just wait. Again.



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Geek Out | Photography | Tech
Friday, January 28, 2005 9:03:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, November 08, 2004

It was so cool to see the Northern Lights for the first time. Like fast waves of light rolling and tumbling  from the horizon, up over your head. The light went well past straight overhead from where it started in the north. There were some light clouds near the horizon, but the greenish glow reached far above them. I took these 20-second exposures with my Nikon D70, propped carefully on the hood of my car and rested on my arm, since I didn't have a tripod with me. The location is near my house in Deer Island, Oregon.



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Monday, November 08, 2004 12:41:24 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, November 06, 2004

Every now and then I am given a tangible reminder of why I decided to live way out in the sticks. Coffee on the front porch and a decent digital camera make it all worthwhile, even at 7:00 on a Saturday morning. Oregon's a great place to live.



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Saturday, November 06, 2004 8:15:40 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, September 12, 2004

Pulling this out of the cave that is my blog comments:

I've completed a real-use test of the Nikon D70 with the Seagate ST1 hard drive. I'm not a hardware tester, but I decided I'd just load it up and push it a bit and see what happened.

I shot 1365 pictures at full jpeg resolution, continuous fire mode for long sessions. This required the hard drive to run continuously for several minutes at a time. The camera showed 451 images left to go (free space remaining) when I reached the point where all 1365 images had been recorded.

At that point my camera's battery died - Now, before anyone goes off on a rant, it's important to note that it was not fully charged to start with (I had charged the camera battery a month before and used it some since then), and that I intentionally shot groups of of 100-300 continuous-fire images at a time in this test, with auto-focus on and the reflex mirror down in normal operating mode. Also, the LCD display on the back of the camera was not disabled, as I used it to view some of the images between the continuous-fire sessions (like watching a slow frame rate movie - that night be a fun project some other time, heheh). In other words, I was running it in full-battery-killer mode, on a partially charged battery.

With the Seagate drive in the Nikon D70 (in continuous-shot mode, recording in fine resolution JPEG mode at the largest image size setting: 3008x2000 pixels), the camera does its standard thing, buffering the first 9 shots with rapid fire of about 2 frames per second, then slowing down its frame rate to allow the media to store the data (about a frame per second). Time required to spin up the drive and display an image on the camera's screen when I push PLAY on the camera from a dead stop is right at two seconds.

Disk space used on the ST1 drive by the 1365 images: 3.15 GB (3,388,802,794 bytes)

Time required to copy all 3.15GB of files to my laptop hard drive using a Sandisk USB2 CF I/II card reader (as measured using the nifty stopwatch feature on the Rio Carbon, of course): 10 minutes, 1 second.

This Seagate drive is nice, and my surviving Rio Carbon is awesome, too. It seems plenty fast enough for me. Unfortunately I don't have a Sandisk 2 Ultra or similar to compare it to, but I have seen others comment its close to that speed. Anyone have more specific experience there?

Off-topic Rio Carbon thought of the day: If you're not an Audible.com subscriber, your should become one and listen to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Audiobook): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction." Freakin' hilarious. I listened to the whole thing on my Carbon while commuting. I have also downloaded "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Unabridged" (as read by Adams himself) and "Getting Things Done," which is also great stuff.

Related Links:



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Sunday, September 12, 2004 10:38:39 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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