Ken's Photo Blog

Previous entries: [Links] [Jan. 1, 2007] [Jan. 6] [Jan. 9] [Jan. 10] [Jan. 11] [Jan. 17]

January 12, 2007

TGIF

TOOL 10,000 Days album art Currently on the playlist: "10,000 Days" by Tool.

It's really cold and windy this morning, maybe new low records will be broken; tonight is supposed to be the absolute coldest!

This weekend's playoff games feature three can't-miss games: first up for Saturday are the Colts at Ravens with a top offense against a top defense -- the mind of Peyton Manning against that hardcore defense of Baltimore and the super gritty offense of the Ravens led by Steve McNair. The KEY to this game is the Colts defense stopping the Ravens running attack.

NFL and a Party at Papai's For Saturday night, Philadelphia at New Orleans will be nearly as excellent -- will Jeff Garcia keep making magic at QB for the Eagles or will the Saints heroics continue and Reggie Bush and Drew Brees kick some serious Eagles ass?
As for Sunday's games, more on them later, maybe tomorrow after I digest those two Saturday games. But I want the Patriots to win over San Diego and the Bears to beat the Seahawks. I want to see the continuing Grossman saga out of Chicago and want Tom Brady to move on in the playoffs.

Digital Cameras - in September 2000 I converted over completely from film-based photography to digital still photography. One event drove me, and that was a freakin' (S.F. junkie?) thief stole from my car my large green camera bag containing three lenses and a Canon film camera. I still had two backup cameras: a duplicate Canon EOS 10S film body (and no lenses) and a brand new Nikon Coolpix 990. The Nikon was a nice enough interim camera until DSLRs were affordable and feature-rich enough, they became so when Canon began selling the 10D camera in 2003 when I bought one. Early DSLRs were many thousands of dollars and only 2 or 3 MP! Their image quality was lacking too. Today, 99% of pros shoot digital only. Film is still used by a lot of artists and some specialty (old school) wedding and portrait photographers. You see those big, white lenses on the sidelines of sporting events? Those are Canon pro "L" lenses hooked up to Canon's best DSLRs -- the 1D and 5D cameras. I have such a white lens. They are expensive, and fun, and sharp, and responsive, and help provide excellent color and contrast!
I still occasionally shoot some color negative 35mm film, really just for fun more than anything else. Progress and Quality march on!

January 11, 2007

Cold Snap

Vic Papai Sr. color slide film photo[img]
Ken, Vic, Steve, and Deb in backyard, South Bend, Ind., 1965-66

Yes, it's cold today, doubtful we'll even see 50 degrees. OK, so last Friday we went to the theater and saw "Notes on a Scandal" with Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench. It's such a British production (i.e., no special effects or idiotic dialogue) with totally grown-up sensibilities. Dench is pretty evil in it and fun to watch. Previously we watched some DVD movies, including Woodie Allen's "Scoop" (didn't really like it) and De Palma's "The Black Dahlia" (liked it a lot).

Vic Papai Sr. color slide film photo, bicycles to grade school[img]
Vic, Ken, and Deb getting ready to pedal to 1st thru 3rd grades.
DST - Due to an energy bill President Bush signed in 2005, Daylight Saving Time kicks off three weeks earlier this year on March 11; it doesn't end either until Nov. 4. I have a table for the local sun rises and sets so I can plan the days when I can start my bike commute; I don't enjoy taking public transit (the ferry) all that much every day.

SOFTWARE - I use MS Office 2007 (beta) tools at home; the ones I use the most are Outlook, Excel, and Word. For image editing I use the beta version (Ver. 10) of Photoshop: it's called CS3 and includes Bridge 2.0 and ACR 4.0 (Raw image processing). I use an Epson R2400 for archival (long lasting), top notch, pro quality prints of up to 19x13 inches (matte and semi glossy papers, all color corrected and fully finished). The browsers I use are IE 7 and Firefox. For FTP (transferring files to the Web sites and blog I maintain) I usually use the Firefox tool, it's pretty damn good.

TV - Wife and I love "Top Chef" on Bravo. I am rooting for "foam king" Marcel or Elia to win; if not then Sam or Cliff. Yesterday I stopped by Comcast office and (finally) picked up a DVR box. I got home and swapped out the normal HD receiver box with this DVR box. So far so good. (Tivo pretty much invented the DVR - Digital Video Recorder.) Dexter - the show - on SHOWTIME DVRs are also called time compressors; if you use one you know what I mean.
Season #2 of ROME starts this Sunday on HBO. If it's half as good as season one then you are in for a treat. Season one ended with the assassination of Julius Caesar. So few ask me, "What is the best TV series of all time?" I'd have to go with the recently concluded 4th season of THE WIRE (also on HBO). DEXTER on Showtime is right up there though. On network (free) TV? How about HEROES or THE OFFICE on NBC? FX has the stellar RESCUE ME and pretty good NIP/TUCK.

January 10, 2007

Fog Alert

The fog horns are blowing this morning. Papai photo of ferry on the Bay In the winter months when I cannot ride my bike into work I take the ferry -- I rarely drive into the city; the ferry Del Norte departs Larkspur Landing at 6:35 a.m., is generally on time, and takes 30 minutes for the transit to the San Francisco Ferry Building, only 4 blocks from my office. Today was heavy fog on the bay and all your trust in the crossing is based on the captain's radar systems because visibility doesn't exist in this type of fog and it's still dark out. I pass the time by reading the newspaper and sometimes talk to next door neighbor Rick who's an H.R. director at a small biotech in South SF. In the mornings it's tough for me to talk until I have some strong coffee then I feel normal (and engaging! ha! ;)

Papai photo of inside the Del Norte ferry
Inside the ferry Del Norte (March 2005)

A couple more photos: most people sit in the same spots and the ferry leaving Larkspur and passing the infamous San Quentin state prison.

The weather starting tomorrow is supposed to really cool down, even some guesses at snow at elevations of just 1,000 ft. I'll get some pictures if that happens.

INTERESTING Medical note of the day - (from sfgate.com) - "The blood test measures levels of a natural protein known as proBNP, which heart muscle produces when it is under stress. The protein, which acts as kind of natural heart drug, helps the body rid itself of excess sodium and thereby reduce blood pressure. Although its presence in the bloodstream is beneficial, it is also a signal that the heart is in trouble." To me the interesting part is the proBNP protein and what it does -- helps to remove excess sodium [from the blood plasma?].

College Football -- OK so Florida beats the crap out of Ohio State and is the new national champ. But wait! Isn't Boise State the only undefeated team and final ranked #5 or #6? Let's have a throw-down between Fla. and Boise. Peterson, the Boise State coach, looks like a cross between (K.C. Chiefs QB and I.U. Hoosier QB) Trent Green and Billy Bob Thornton. No? (what do you think cousin Pam?)

Giving Thanks - this is for items and occurrences from 2006. Thanks again very much to cousins Pam and Rey, and to Uncle Herman and Aunt Nancy for their wonderful hospitality and party throwing at the Getzinger family reunion in the piney woods of East Texas, just this side of Nacogdoches. Cindy and I had such a good, fun time and it's amazing how you guys have so much space for so many relatives and act like you do it all of the time. Ed's house is really coming along and I hope his and Herman's sawmill business is doing very well. Cheers! Business: Log-Master portable sawmills.

UPDATE: My Mom and Aunt Mary Ann are renting this apartment in Paris for a week in April. Karen also to be there then? Can other family members crash there that week... please?

January 9, 2007

What is this?

So, is this a real blog or a fake blog? Don't "real" blogs have easy methods for the faithful to leave feedback via comments and criticism? This one doesn't... yet, so you have to drop me an email.

According to the Tech Dictionary, BLOG is "a short version of the term 'web log.' The common blog is a publicly accessible web-based journal. Blogs allow the posting and updating to the journal by non-technical people. Now almost anyone can start a blog! (www.blogger.com is one site) The first blogs were personal journals but their flexibility and simplicity have made blogs popular in business and academia as an enterprise knowledge management tool for internal use."

I am writing this blog in HTML and manually updating it via FTP. It's not a New Years resolution either, more on those later.

This is normal five day work week with a 3-day weekend coming up with the MLK holiday on Monday.

Indpls Colts - colts.com NFL -- The Colts play at Baltimore Saturday and it will be a tough battle for either team to win. Patriots play at San Diego Sunday, and again, this one though will be tougher for the Pats to win. As for San Diego, arguably they have the best climate and weather in the USA (and it's gonna be cold in Marin this Friday). What are my predictions? The Colts beat Baltimore; Chicago beats Seattle; Pats lose to San Diego (I HOPE I am wrong! I WANT Pats to win.); and finally the Saints beat Philadelphia. I have my reasons why on every one of these match ups.

January 8, 2007

What's the Purpose?

self on Xmas Eve '06[img]
Why blog? What does "blog" mean anyway? "Blog" is a mashup of "Web Log" -- like a Web-based journal. Nothing more and nothing less. As I emailed to many today, I wrote,
"Well I finally bit the bullet so to speak and started a blog. It will mostly be photo oriented and not too personal (and believe me, some people's public blogs are too personal! :0)

If you don't get too bored check back every now and then for daily to weekly updates.

Happy New Year and may 2007 bring continued prosperity to you and joy for all your friends and family."

January 6, 2007

Fort Point, the NFL, being a Chauffeur

1/06/2007 k.papai photo Ft. Point and Golden Gate Bridge[img]
What is it about San Francisco and being a personal (and amateur) chauffeur and trying to be a decent photographer that is so hard? Is it really that big of a deal? NO! Is it rewarding? YES!

OK, so the sequence -- the Indianapolis Colts won today, easily over a lame K.C. team, and Tony Romo BLEW IT for Cowboys in losing to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Wild card playoffs. Cindy was getting her hair done, I was taking pictures on a beautiful day, and then later listening to the first quarter of the Colts game on AM radio driving my princess home from the appointment.

I made a chicken stir-fry with a lot of veggies (no photos) for dinner that provided lots of leftovers; tasty stuff it was, over white jasmine rice (brown rice is better for you though.... I know, I know).

OK, now back to my point for the day's entry: while waiting for Cindy to call me from Geary Street I made a bee-line to the Marina Beach along Crissy Field and later to Fort Point to take some photos. I had my three main lenses (16-35 2.8L, 24-70 2.8L, and 70-200 2.8L) with me and two camera bodies: a Canon EOS 10S (film) and an EOS 10D (digital). Shooting ultra wide (16mm) on the film camera, equivalent to a full frame DSLR sensor (the EOS 5D camera) is a lot of fun.

1/06/2007 k.papai photo - Golden Gate Bridge[img]

-- one of my best shots of the bridge today;
technical: ISO 100, 1/250, f/9.5, 34mm of 24-70L, no filter.


Here are some more photos from today:

  • [Fort Point officers Quarters hall]
  • [Myself in Ft. Point brick wall]
  • [Golden Gate Bridge 1]
  • [Ft. Point information]
  • [Ft. Point actual cannon]
  • [People]
  • [Golden Gate Bridge 2]
  • [Tractor Tug]
  • [Alcatraz and Sailboats]
  • [Ft. Point photo from 1888].
  • January 1, 2007

    New Years Day - 2007

    1/01/2007 k.papai photo Mt. Tamalpais[img]
    Very nice weather with a lot of low lying tule fog -- Mt Tam is pictured at the left, from today.
    Boise State beats Oklahoma in one of the best, and my most favorite, college football games ever. Boise State plays their home games on the bizarre blue turf field in Idaho. Today's game was played in the modern football field outside of Phoenix in Glendale, AZ and was the Fiesta Bowl; BSU is now 13-0.

    Here are some photos from New Years Day:

  • [Happy New Year pose]
  • [Mt. Tamalpais] and selective sharpening e.g.
  • [Our Neighborhood] Autodesk HQ in lower left corner; the railroad track is cutting the diagonal.
  • [Our Dining Room] all lit up.
  • [Front of house] I had the flower boxes removed (to be replaced).
  • END - go home to Papai vista

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    OTHER COOL BLOGS

  • Dave Martin (FTW)
  • Tim Goodman - the Bastard Machine
  • Frederic Larson - mystical photography - SF Chronicle photojournalist and an inspiration of mine.

    LINKS of INTEREST

  • Photo.net Canon EOS forum
  • West Coast Imaging pro print studio
  • Dry Creek Photo pro digital imaging resources
  • PhotoshopCafe.com - CS3 resource center
  • The Digital Journalist - "Multimedia Magazine for Photojournalism in the Digital Age"
  • California Coastline Project - complete hi-res photo set of the entire 600 mile Calif. Coastline!
  • Current SF Weather
  • PLEASE Come back and visit again!

    Contact me (via email)
    1/7/2006 Ken Papai photo, ship on SF Bay
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    Blog and images (c) Copyright 2007 by Ken Papai