Archive for June, 2008

30
Jun

Another shot of Isaiah

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children

Another one I captured this evening:

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With the purchase of the new camera, I was planning on having to learn a bit of Photoshop. I still plan to, and I know there will be times I need it, but so far most of the things I get right out of the camera are really nice, and the Adobe Camera Raw editor lets me adjust the white balance, exposure, and a few other aspects of the image. This one above is right out of the camera, with exposure, a touch of WB adjustment, and some vignetting. It’s a lot of fun when a shot turns out!

29
Jun

Sleeping

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children

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29
Jun

The garden grows

   Posted by: Mark    in General

I understand that the thought of a garden, for many, conjurs visions of boring work, dirty knees, and weeds. But my simple mind continues to be amazed by the growth of these plants. I’ve already figured out that zuchini take a lot of room (much more than we gave them), and peas don’t really care what they wrap their tendrils around. So far no pests have damaged anything, and our only losses are a few seedlings killed by late cold weather, and one tomato to curious fingers.

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26
Jun

Pizza and planes

   Posted by: Mark    in General

My sister and her family often drive down near the end of the Portland Airport runway with bags of Burger King Goodness and watch the planes come in. I’ve been in the area for more than 20 years and have never been down Marine Drive, so tonight Tami and I decided to borrow Amy’s idea and see how the kids liked it. We stopped at Little Caesar’s for a couple of “Hot-and-Ready” pizzas (“hot,” but 15 minutes from “Ready”), and then crossed the bridge to see if we could find plane-watching nirvana. It wasn’t all that busy tonight with incoming flights, but we did have a blast and will be doing it again soon.

Pictures tonight were a bit of a bomb. I found out that I have a rather large piece of dirt on the 18-55, and getting lighting right with the setting sun, shadow, and bright sky was impossible. But I was able to grab a few shots that weren’t completely awful.

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25
Jun

Shooting the 50 1.8

   Posted by: Mark    in General, Our children

There are lots of debates about the value of the Canon EF 1.8 II lens, especially when compared to the EF 1.4 (here’s a very clear, level comparison). Dad let me borrow his 1.8, since he has much (much!) nicer glass, and I took some shots of the kids to see what I could get. I’m not smart enough about all of this to be picky yet. I’m sure the 1.4 is a far better lens for a multitude of reasons, but I’ll take the 1.8 over nothing any day!

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Vignetting is manually applied. These are cut down and converted to JPGs from RAW, with no non-ACR processing, and only white-balance and exposure in ACR.

23
Jun

More experimentation with the camera

   Posted by: Mark    in General

After my last post, Dad asked why I didn’t just use Bridge to manage photos. I started playing around with it, and am quite impressed with what it will do. I have a lot to learn, both with Bridge and in Photoshop with proper photo editing, but I know I have access to some great teachers (thanks, Sis and Dad!).

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16
Jun

And so it begins…

   Posted by: Mark    in General

I got a new camera today, and Dad let me have an extra lens he doesn’t use. Amy and Dad were patient, kind, and unselfish enough to meet Tami and I and the kids at a local park and let me use all of their equipment (thank you both SO much!!). Man, I learned a lot, and got a taste of how much more I have to learn. I hope to study a few specific styles and really focus on them, but for now I’m shooting all I can.

Here are a few shots from tonight:

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These all have pretty minimal post-processing done on them, since I haven’t figured out a good flow from iPhoto to Photoshop and back again, but I’ll work on it. There are a few more from the shoot on our Flickr stream if you are interested.

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5
Jun

A few useful applications

   Posted by: Mark    in Tech

I have really been enjoying this iMac. In fact, I have plans (hopes, perhaps) to get another in the next year or so for Tami to replace the older one she has now.

There are so many useful applications for this thing, and it seems that each week I find another. Here are some of the ones I use regularly:

  • NetNewsWire – This is an RSS reader that allows organization of feeds into as many folders as you want. I love the ability to navigate it all with the keyboard, and the ability to open web pages in tabs along the edge of the window is great. I can quickly scan through a list of feeds, popping the right arrow key to open the post in another window if I see something I want to read. I only have about 60 feeds, which is a small list compared to some hard-core junkies out there, but NetNewsWire makes it easy to buzz through them regularly.
  • QuickSilver – It may be possible to use a Mac without this tool, but I can’t imagine why you would want to. I barely even touch the capabilities of this little gem, but still use it constantly through the day. Control+space, then type a few letters and hit enter, and any app, url, or document on the system or in my shortcuts will open. I can move files with a few keystrokes, append text to files, look up contact addresses, and perform actions within application menus, all with no mouse.
  • Snap Pro Z – Screenshots or screen movies with no hassles.
  • 1Password – Sure, Leopard has the keychain, but it’s not easy to update, I can’t access it from both Safari and Firefox, and I can’t store non-password items in it like bank account details, work passwords, etc. 1Password lets me organize by category, and I can store anything that needs fully secure storage. And it will automatically generate passwords for me according to my preferences (length, number of letters/numbers/special characters, etc.) when necessary.
  • PandoraBoy – I love Pandora, but having to keep Firefox or Safari open to run it bugs me. PandoraBoy lets me launch directly into the Pandora “mini” player, and still provides the standard mini-payer interface, with access to channels, voting, and song details.

I have a bunch more (Parallels, Skype, Flickr Uploadr, Onyx, TextWrangler, MacSword, and others), but that’s a good start.

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5
Jun

Seven Sayings: The Word of Suffering

   Posted by: Mark    in The Church

In this fifth chapter of Pink’s book “The Seven Sayings of the Savior on the Cross,” he addresses Jesus statement, recorded only in the book of John: “I thirst.”

As Tim Challies points out, this chapter shows the gift that Pink has for digging so much deeper than we often care to when we read our Bibles. From the two words “I thirst,” we can learn so much about Christ. Yes, this turns a bit of focus toward the true humanity of Christ, which is important to remember, but it also shows the full deity of Christ. John specifically states, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that Christ spoke these words “that the scripture might be fulfilled!” Amidst the turmoil of his betrayal, his pleading of the Father that this cup pass from him, the humility of the trial and scourging, the physical pain of the crucifixion, and worst of all, the three hours during which the Eternal Father poured out his unrestrained, holy wrath on him, he had enough self-control to review the prophecies that foretold of this moment, recognize the one that had not yet been fulfilled (Psalm 69:21), and speak the words “I thirst.”

Pink concludes the chapter with a profoundly humbling observation. He ties these words of Christ to Revelation 3:20, where Christ seeks the fellowship of his own: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him, and he with me.

Salvation is not like standing in line, waiting anxiously for Christ to pass by and tap you on the head as he moves quickly along to provide salvation and blessing for others in line. Christ desires a continued, intimate fellowship and communion with his own! In Revelation he says “I will sup with him, and he with me.” This supping is symbolic of communion with someone. And not only will Christ sup with me, but I with him too — this is specifically and explicitly stated, showing a two-way communion!

This by no means addresses all that Pink pulls from these two words of the Savior. You would do well to take fifteen minutes from your day to read it yourself: The Word of Suffering

You can read Tim’s post here: Reading Classics Togther – The Seven Sayings (Chapter 5)

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