:: Tuesday, August 30, 2005 ::
:: Friday, August 26, 2005 ::
I had fun with Dawn on Friday last week shooting some pictures. She is an awesome guitar player and has a spectacular voice. So the concept I was looking for was a rock star CD cover, or album liner notes feel to the session. I used her Fender Jazzmaster guitar in the shots, with her playing or mimicking playing. We shot around her place here in London and I have uploaded some of the best efforts to Flickr over the past couple of days. This was pretty fun. I felt natural and comfortable doing the shoot. I guess I was in the zone. Having a great model who was into having fun during the shoot certainly helped.
A little different at the end of the day than shooting a landscape. Got to do something like this again sometime.
:: Mike Wood 02:10 [+] ::
I can breathe at night
:: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 ::
life: cold pretty much gone aside from some coughing attacks and a surplus of flegm (phlegm?) . Built myself a circular reflector today. an actual small Lastolite or similar starts at close to 80 bucks. Not going to get that this month. So I cut up a car sun reflector, into a circle using the top of an old Wok. then backed it with white bristol board and duct taped the edges together. Doesn't look very pro but it works and could stop the odd unwanted shadow being cast on someone's face. About 40 mins work after getting the card and the tape. I am not the most crafty person. That was the first thing I have made in years. :)
Now if I could get paid to shoot some photos and I could use that money to buy a nice small tri-grip lastolite reflector...
:: Mike Wood 14:07 [+] ::
sick as a D.O.G.
:: Sunday, August 21, 2005 ::
life: was down for the count for a couple of days as per my last post. Got worse and on Monday I went home from work after about 4 hours as I was looking like warmed over death with a side order of coughing. I am definitely on the mend now. I feel much better this morning. Not hundred percent but say 75-80%. Just a bit of a chest cough and stuffed up. A huge improvement.
Two things I learned while sick.
First if you have been looking Rudolf like from blowing your nose and the skin around the nasal cavities is looking raw and has micro fissures and dermal abraisions from dryness and tissue use, it is not a good idea to put some moisurizer on it. It stings like hell.
Second, If you go by the US Airforce museum at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio, and purchase a dark blue coffee mug with a museum Air Force logo on it that is apparently a metalic paint, don't put it in the microwave. I did this to heat up some water for tea and got some really interesting tiny sparks around the corner edges of the logo. Not evil mad scientist arcs from one side of the microwave to the mug and back, more scintillating sparkler like things. I thought of taking a pic in my sick stupor, but then thought of turning off the microwave was a better idea.
Oh, and third: No hot water this morning.
But it is my Friday. :)
:: Mike Wood 09:21 [+] ::
Been busy, am sick
:: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 ::
life: I am busy. rather be taking pics and posting them than writing at the moment. Not sure what I *can* write about or *should* anyways. Let's just leave it to I can't say what's on my mind at the moment, but some of the lyrics of a country song I heard on the way home just now titled "Got to be something more" spoke to me. I won't have much spare time till after the beginning of September I imagine.
And when I really need to turn it up a notch, I get a Damn cold. Aches, chills, slight fever perhaps, cough, a sore throat, and full o snot. Doesn't help.
Summer sickness sucks. I knew I shouldn't have let that escaped monkey from the African freighter scratch me while crawling through that sewer pipe on the way to the CDC lab. :) j/k
In other thoughts, Leanne is confined to barracks for the next bit - perhaps till she is due. Hope everything works out for her and with her strong constitution - both physical and mental - I have no doubt of that.
And I am still looking for people to model for me. No, not *that* kind of modelling, just people who would put up with me directing them and shooting some decent pics of them. Themes related to something they do would be good. I have a couple of people lined up, and a couple who are waivering - one pending a better offer :0 - but anyone interested email me at the gmail link above. And it would help if you are around here somewhere and not camera shy. :)
:: Mike Wood 23:56 [+] ::
:: Saturday, August 13, 2005 ::
computers: I am sure you know by now about the worm attack targetting win2K computers. All I have to say is: Update your Virus Definitions. When I came home I manually launched the LiveUpdate to Norton AV and Firewall to make sure, and I found out it had not updated in a while. Not sure why as the option was checked. But I let it do it's thing and I have new definitions plus program updates as well now. Given I have been occasionally disabling the AV to allow for faster picture editing and opening recently, I am not sure if that was affecting it. But behind the firewall and the router with wireless encryption and such set, I am relatvely secure - more so than some folks with open broadcasting routers on unfirewalled win98 at any rate. :P
:: Mike Wood 10:20 [+] ::
:: Friday, August 12, 2005 ::
Photos: Thursday was photo shoot day. I went with Leanne to Stratford and we found an excellent semi secluded location down by the Avon river. Excellent props were found in sculptures around the exterior of a small art gallery - and a little yellow LiveStrong wrist band.
It was an interesting excercise. I figure, if you are going to start taking semi serious pictures of people, why not start with something really easy and straight forward like a very, very pregnant woman! Interesting and different curves and angles to explore. Trying to focus on and accentuate the belly, without making her physically uncomfortable or having it look awkward was tricky.
I had planned out what I wanted to do and we had compared notes on some of the pics we liked on the Flickr Beauty of Pregnancy group. But much like any planned excercise, the shots we did were not too much like the ones we saw.
I was a little unsure of how to proceed, but Leanne was a good sport as I gave somewhat effective - if initially hesitant- directions to her to pose in certain ways and to change outfits and so on. I really didn't have an idea what I was doing, but I got the impression the people strolling around in the park who became our unintended audience, thought we knew what we were doing. :)
We were there for about two and a half hours. 400 shots turned into about 70 or so I liked and wanted to edit, and those turned into about 40-50 keepers. Some colour and some BW and some sepia toned. I burned the whole lot to CD so Leanne has a few to choose from. She is going to select one to enlarge and frame which I look forward to seeing one day. I am going to post only a few on Flickr as they are her pics. Not sure how many she will post on her fledgling Flickr.
I think for a first go at it, they are not half bad. And I learned a lot. Which is what I wanted to get out of this - of course along with the opportunity to shoot some pics of a beautiful woman. :)
:: Mike Wood 00:06 [+] ::
:: Thursday, August 11, 2005 ::
Where is Mr. Under Construction?
nostalgia: Those of you old enough to have used DOS or Win3.1 probably remember Mr.Under Construction. He was the graphic on people's home pages. He was around a great deal when the page was first put up and nothing was done to it. No content. No links. A picture of your cat perhaps. But a raw site. He was just an icon - sometimes an animated .gif file of a guy digging with flashing lights saying "under construction." And no other content.
Until I read this Globe and Mail article this morning by Ivor Tossell, I had totally forgotten about them. Even doing an image search on Google didn't turn up one of the yellow and black classics. though I did find a page in Portugal - Optimized for Netscape 2.0! - that appears to not have been updated since 1996 ... and it does have a banner!!!
Makes me feel old. Perhaps I should blog about this. :)
:: Mike Wood 13:46 [+] ::
Western Fair Photo Contest
:: Wednesday, August 10, 2005 ::
You have all been patient with me. OK, some of you have been patient with me. Here are the links to the eight photos, including the one above, that I entered into the Western Fair. I tweaked them a bit to make them print better as some of the smaller versions were not crisp enough, but nothing more than a bit of contrast really, or as in the case with the two fishing boats, converting it to BW. They will be on display in whatever building that has the displays on during the fair in mid September here in London.
Thanks again to those who provided input as to which would make good submissions. That helped me narrow down the pics a great deal!
Mother And Daughter
First Mate and Californian
Rose Blanche Lighthouse
Colorado River Gorge
:: Mike Wood 00:54 [+] ::
August 9, 1945
:: Monday, August 08, 2005 ::
History: A lot of focus and remembrance happens regarding Hiroshima this time of year. The first atomic bomb was dropped on that Japanese city at the conclusion of WWII. But a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945. Sixty years ago yesterday. 75000 deaths, and a comparable number of injuries were caused when the 3.2m x 1.5m and 4.5ton bomb called Fatman was detonated half a km above the city.
The aircraft I photographed above, a B-29 called the Flying Bockscar , was the bomber that flew the device from Trinian in the Pacific and delivered it to it's target. It is on display at Wright Patterson AirForce Base in one of the huge hangars of the US Air Force Museum. I wasn't expecting to see this particular plane as I was wandering around the non descript, P-51s, and B-52s and Stealth fighters and Spitfires. I just saw a very large shiny metal skinned aircraft and went over to read the plaque. I got a chill after seeing what the plane was and being so close to it.
It is one thing to see an aircraft at an airshow whose whole existance has been to be in airshows or to never engage an enemy. It is completely different to come face to face with something of this magnitude. Something that in an August so long ago, killed so many, changed history and ushered in an atomic age, and was a precurssor to the cold war.
It could be argued the Japanese would have likely surrendered after Hiroshima, and Nagasaki wasn't needed other than to prove the first bomb wasn't only a fluke and there were others waiting if they didn't lay down arms. But one theory that I recall from one of my Strategic Studies courses in university, which I tend to agree with -and am grossly oversimplifying -was that it was really to show the Russians that the US had more than one weapon. This was really a demonstration strike less to do with the Japanese and more to do with the Russians: if they started to get greedy in Europe or elsewhere, the US could stop their advances with something they could not at the time counter. Essentially the Nagasaki attack was the first shot of the cold war, and not the last of WWII.
This plane was not only the symbol of destruction, it was the actual instrument that sealed one war and began the next. You could only get closer the source if you were in Nagasaki, Hiroshima or were standing at the Trinity site.
It is not often that you come face to face with history like this. There was another aircraft there too which I will post another time which had a different albeit similar interest to me, but the Flying Bockscar was something staggering.
:: Mike Wood 08:50 [+] ::
:: Saturday, August 06, 2005 ::
Peter Jennings died Sunday night..
news: Peter Jennings, the long time anchor and senior editor of ABC News - and a Canadian - died this evening from complications from the lung cancer he announced in April. Damn.
His ABC World News Tonight broadcast I watched on the ABC affiliate WKBW in Buffalo was the news I watched in the mid 80s when I lived in Toronto. When I wanted to know what was going on at 630pm I turned to ABC.
CNN and CNN Headline news became my 'anytime' fix later on, and then the various internet sources I check regularly, but he was the voice of the news to me for a long period of time. And when I wanted to compare and cross reference, I would flip between his broadcast and those or Rather, and Brokaw and CNN's - and of course the CBC's The National - though it was not on in the same time slot.
He was a great reporter ( in the field in his Tilly safari looking gear) and anchor who said he was fascinated by everything and didn't want to miss anything. He didn't miss much. But by those of us who watch the news, he will be missed now.
The obit from CNN is here, and ABC's is here.
:: Mike Wood 01:00 [+] ::
Not posting much
:: Friday, August 05, 2005 ::
life: been busy doing stuff and trying to get pics arranged, mounted before the western fair. When I have the ones I like - printed is diff than on screen - I will link to them so you can see them. Right now I still need foam core to mount them on. Damn lack of art supply stores! only one option before work and I have to check it out.
:: Mike Wood 11:27 [+] ::
Sending good vibes
:: Wednesday, August 03, 2005 ::
life: Sending good thoughts your way, MK. If we ever get a mutual day off, lets have a beverage or three.
:: Mike Wood 00:27 [+] ::
London Ontario group on Flickr
photos: I created a group on Flickr where people from the London Ontario area can post pictures of, well, London Ontario. You need to be a member of Flickr to post pics, but hey: they have free accounts! This is the description of the group:
Give it a look see. So far, I am the only member, so it is a pretty exclusive club. :)
Pictures that were taken in and around London Ontario Canada.
Doesn't have to be a location that instantly identifies itself as being in London. Photos can be of people, places, things, architecture, events, weather, landscapes, etc.
Whether you live here, visited once, or were just passing through, feel free to post your photos here.
Anything under an hour's drive from London would also be appropriate to add here. For example, Port Stanley, Grand Bend, St. Mary's, Waterloo, Stratford, etc. (unless it has it's own group).
Make sure you add the tags "London" and "Ontario" to each picture.
:: Mike Wood 10:33 [+] ::
Gap Fillers Removed
:: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 ::
++ Photos from NASA TV.
Space: At 855am Eastern, high over the coast of France, Discovery Astronaut Steve Robinson pulled out the second of two protruding gap fillers sticking out from between the two nose area thermal protection tiles. He was mounted on the end of Canada Arm boom. I watched it live on NASA-TV's internet feed and on CNN. I did both so I could get the muted big pic on the TV and only the astronauts talking and not the talking heads on CNN. At least it was Miles O'Brien doing the commentary for CNN and he know his stuff, but it was better to hear it from Robinson on the end of the Canada Arm II.
OPUT was the quote I heard after all the drama was over : Over Prepared and Under Tasked. Meaning they had thought of every option, and it turned out to be much easier than thought. Robinson just pulled the pieces out with his fingers, the forceps and the hack saw blade not needed. Took almost four hours to get him ready and in position and a handful of seconds to remove the offending objects. High drama at 220 miles up.
And Robinson had this kick ass camera in a white protective space suit like housing. He said that he took some awesome pics up there and he was glad he bought a camera along. The aerodynamic curves of the belly of the shuttle, it's wings and body contrasting with the angular set up of the space station. That is going to be some potentially good advertizing for one camaera maker. I hope we get to see some of that soon. Mission control asked for an autographed picture when Robinson gets back home.
After the live TV coverage stopped - the low attention span of CNN for some things dictating moving on to other stuff, I continued to watch as they made their way back inside. Some very cool video shots of the shuttle, Earth, station and the two EVA astronauts. Soichi Noguchi was also outside during the walk for support. Spectacular work.
Well done guys. We can breath a little easier now.
:: Mike Wood 09:01 [+] ::
:: Monday, August 01, 2005 ::
Balloon Fest Pics
photos: I put up some photos of my visit to the London Balloon Fest last Friday. I also decided to run a contest at work. Prize will be a blown up photo from Flickr. People seemed to like the idea. :)
:: Mike Wood 10:30 [+] ::
An inside work joke.
:: Mike Wood 11:25 [+] ::