Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Stevens Creek trail and Wishman Slough

I started biking a month back, primarily because I want to bike to work. Having an entrance to the Stevens Creek trail next to my home worked out well for this. Yesterday, I took the dirt road on the east side of the Stevens creek, and continued biking till the end, and I reached Whisman Slogh. This is the area where the Salt Ponds meet the Bay salt-water. The trail was closed to public beyond that. But the view from there was breathtaking. There were lots of migratory birds, pelicans and egrates, basking in the afternoon sun. I wished I had my camera with me. Will take it with me next time and post some photos.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm a Dad!!

Almost four weeks back, we were blessed with arrival of our son.

Here is a snap of him at couple of weeks. Isn't he adorable??

It's a complete different feeling being a Dad!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Photographing Newborns/Babies

I'm trying to learn tips and tricks and technicals on shooting newborns and babies. For the time being, I'll just insert couple of links. Will add what I learnt later.
Link to Kodak's site
Digital Grin Newborn Thread

The main tips that I learnt from several mail threads are:
  • Lighting:
    • Try to use natural light as much as possible. Best option here is to take the newborn close to the window and take snaps.
    • Carry a flash with you, and use a bounce flash. It's absolutely not a good idea to use the flash directly on the face of a newborn.
    • In the hospital lighting, newborns generate lot of IR, and you need a good IR filter (either inbuilt or external).
  • Composing
    • Get on to the level of baby, instead of shooting standing up, and making them look like dwarves.
    • Close-up's generally always work well with babies. But try to include other people also in some snaps.
  • Equipment
    • Flash
    • Wide Angle (especially for small setup for the birthing room) lens.
    • Fast Lens (for low light).
    • Zoom lens (If you want to take photos of the baby lying far away inside the nursery)
    • Filters
      • Polarizer (to cut reflections on nursery glass, if necessary)
      • IR filter (may not be necessary)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco Golden Gate Park

We went to Golden Gate Park on Saturday. After a few days of relentless drizzling, the weather was pretty good. But the cold outside drove us into the Conservatory of flowers . It had five sections inside: Lowland Tropics at the center, Highland tropics and Aquatic plants on the right, Potted plants and Special Exhibits (Orchids at this point of time) on the left.

It'd cost you five bucks to enter, but it was well worth it. Specially the aquatic plants section and the orchids section took our breath away. You can take a look at the Gallery. Some samples are here.

I'd strongly encourage you to visit this place.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Canon 430ex flash

I was looking at flashes as the inbuilt flash on 350d is not powerful enough and is only okay in fill flash cases. 580ex was too expensive+heavy+overkill for me. So, I was looking at 420EX seriously, but was wondering if E-TTL-II is a good feature to have (which 420ex doesn't have and 580ex does have). Lo and Behold, canon releases 430ex with E-TTLII.
Click for larger image
Features and all look nice. It has an LCD screen. A little bit pricey, but I think I'll go with it. Looking forward to finding good deals on this. More information on this flash is available HERE

Monday, November 07, 2005

Cormorants over the bay

On our company group golf outing (yes, such things do exist even today), I caught these bunch of cormorants flying over the bay:

Friday, October 28, 2005

Sony Camcorder (and some more canon/fuji/nikon/minolta digicam and camcorder) blank screen issue

UPDATE2: Just got my Camcorder back. Sony was very quick in repairing and returning (about a week of round-trip). Things look okay now. Will do more testing later. (11/18/05)

UPDATE1: Apparently, Sony supplies CCDs for other companies also, and they are facing similar issues. DPReview covers it HERE. (10/28/05)
Off topic from RebelXT, but worth mentionaing. I had a Sony TRV19 camcorder. After about one-and-half years, in the recording mode, it started giving blank screens. On researching the web, I realized it's not a problem only with my camcorder but a significant number of trv19, trv22 and trv33 camcorders. People were talking about class action lawsuits against sony also.

Now the good news. Sony has agreed to fix the problem at no charge and free shipping. Use this LINK TO SONY'S SITE to start the process if you are affected by this.

From Sony's site:

It has recently come to our attention that a limited number of products, manufactured prior to March 2004, that incorporate a certain type of image sensor device (CCD) may exhibit the following:

  • When the product is used in camera mode, the LCD panel and/or electronic viewfinder exhibits either a distorted image or no image at all.

We have determined that this only occurs in a limited number of devices, but may be accelerated if they are exposed to hot and humid environments.

From October 3, 2005 through October 2, 2007, Sony will repair, free of charge, affected products exhibiting the above-mentioned problem where it is caused by the image sensor device. Sony will also cover the cost of shipping and handling to service to correct this issue.

Please contact the Sony Customer Information Services Center for further assistance at 1-866-703-7669.