Friday, December 26, 2014

Simple Hack for Dyson DC65 on Thick Carpet

After reading many recommendations and reviews, I finally decided to buy a Dyson DC65 Animal Complete.  It worked well when I was living in an older apartment where carpeting wasn't fluffy. But, after moving to a new location with thick carpeting, it suddenly became difficult to move. The vacuum would actually suck in the carpet and get stuck to the floor. The suction was too strong that the vacuum became difficult to move.

I called Dyson technical support and they suggested I remove the rope seal on the inside of the vacuum head. That didn't help. More research on YouTube revealed another man's solution which was to drill holes in the vacuum plate on the bottom. I didn't want to do that since it seemed too destructive.  Dyson also claimed it would void their warranty.

Anyway, I finally figured out a really easy solution. This solved all my problems. Take a rubber band and just put in on one side of the vacuum. The rubber band will lift up the bottom plate allowing for air to flow in.

Picture below:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

iMac randomly wakes up and how to fix it

My iMac randomly wakes up. I never noticed it until DropCam caught it in action. How do you resolve this? This forum thread helped. These are notes for myself so that I remember what to do whenever I update OS X to a new version.

1. Goto Settings. Click on "Energy Saver".
2. Make sure "Wake for network access" is unchecked.
3. Make sure "Enable Power Nap" is unchecked.
4. Bring up Terminal. If you don't know how to do this, click the Spotlight Search icon (magnifying glass in upper right corner of desktop), and type "Terminal" (without the quotes). Open the Terminal app.

5. Inside Terminal, type the following command to determine how often your computer wakes.
   pmset -g log | grep Wake

This command will print how often your Mac has woken up and for what reasons. It will list all of the times your Mac has woken up. Mine said the following:

2014-12-11 09:07:01 -0800 DarkWake            DarkWake [CDN] due to RTC/Maintenance: Using AC                            46 secs   
2014-12-11 09:07:01 -0800 Kernel Client Acks  Delays to Wake notifications: [BNBMouseDevice driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(310 ms)] [AppleBluetoothHIDKeyboard driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(310 ms)] [en0 driver is slow(msg: DidChangeState to 2)(716 ms)] [AppleAHCIDiskQueueManager driver is slow(msg: SetState to 3)(5190 ms)]           
2014-12-11 09:07:49 -0800 Wake Requests       [*proc=discoveryd request=Maintenance inDelta=6478]           
2014-12-11 10:55:52 -0800 DarkWake            DarkWake [CDN] due to RTC/Maintenance: Using AC                            45 secs   
2014-12-11 10:55:52 -0800 Kernel Client Acks  Delays to Wake notifications: [AppleBluetoothHIDKeyboard driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(372 ms)] [BNBMouseDevice driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(373 ms)] [en0 driver is slow(msg: DidChangeState to 2)(716 ms)] [AppleAHCIDiskQueueManager driver is slow(msg: SetState to 3)(5207 ms)]           
2014-12-11 10:56:39 -0800 Wake Requests       [*proc=discoveryd request=Maintenance inDelta=6478]           
2014-12-11 12:44:42 -0800 DarkWake            DarkWake [CDN] due to RTC/Maintenance: Using AC                            45 secs   
2014-12-11 12:44:42 -0800 Kernel Client Acks  Delays to Wake notifications: [BNBMouseDevice driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(308 ms)] [AppleBluetoothHIDKeyboard driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(308 ms)] [en0 driver is slow(msg: DidChangeState to 2)(715 ms)] [AppleAHCIDiskQueueManager driver is slow(msg: SetState to 3)(5183 ms)]           
2014-12-11 12:45:29 -0800 Wake Requests       [*proc=discoveryd request=Maintenance inDelta=6478]           
2014-12-11 14:33:32 -0800 DarkWake            DarkWake [CDN] due to RTC/Maintenance: Using AC                            45 secs   
2014-12-11 14:33:32 -0800 Kernel Client Acks  Delays to Wake notifications: [BNBMouseDevice driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(342 ms)] [AppleBluetoothHIDKeyboard driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(342 ms)] [en0 driver is slow(msg: DidChangeState to 2)(714 ms)] [AppleIntelAzulController driver is slow(msg: SetState to 2)(1056 ms)] [AppleAHCIDiskQueueManager driver is slow(msg: SetState to 3)(5191 ms)]           
2014-12-11 14:34:19 -0800 Wake Requests       [*proc=discoveryd request=Maintenance inDelta=6478]           
2014-12-11 16:22:22 -0800 DarkWake            DarkWake [CDN] due to RTC/Maintenance: Using AC                            46 secs   
2014-12-11 16:22:22 -0800 Kernel Client Acks  Delays to Wake notifications: [en0 driver is slow(msg: DidChangeState to 2)(715 ms)] [AppleAHCIDiskQueueManager driver is slow(msg: SetState to 3)(5188 ms)]           
2014-12-11 16:23:10 -0800 Wake Requests       [*proc=discoveryd request=Maintenance inDelta=6478]           
2014-12-11 18:11:13 -0800 DarkWake            DarkWake [CDN] due to RTC/Maintenance: Using AC                            45 secs   
2014-12-11 18:11:13 -0800 Kernel Client Acks  Delays to Wake notifications: [en0 driver is slow(msg: DidChangeState to 2)(716 ms)] [AppleAHCIDiskQueueManager driver is slow(msg: SetState to 3)(5174 ms)]           
2014-12-11 18:12:00 -0800 Wake Requests       [*proc=discoveryd request=Maintenance inDelta=6478]           
2014-12-11 18:43:01 -0800 Wake                Wake [CDNVA] due to XHC1/HID Activity: Using AC                                      
2014-12-11 18:43:01 -0800 Kernel Client Acks  Delays to Wake notifications: [AppleHDADriver driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(405 ms)] [en0 driver is slow(msg: DidChangeState to 2)(704 ms)] [AppleHDADriver driver is slow(msg: SetState to 1)(468 ms)] [AppleAHCIDiskQueueManager driver is slow(msg: SetState to 3)(5184 ms)]           

Total Sleep/Wakes since boot at 2014-12-09 21:04:10 -0800 :26

This also explains why my wireless keyboard and mouse batteries keep dying so quickly. 

6. Check your power management settings. In Terminal, type the following:

   pmset -g

This command prints the current power management settings:

Active Profiles:
AC Power -1*
Currently in use:
 standby              0
 Sleep On Power Button 1
 womp                 0
 halfdim              1
 hibernatefile        /var/vm/sleepimage
 darkwakes            0
 autorestart          0
 networkoversleep     0
 disksleep            10
 sleep                1 (sleep prevented by nsurlsessiond, nsurlsessiond, nsurlsessiond, storeassetd, storeassetd)
 autopoweroffdelay    14400
 hibernatemode        0
 autopoweroff         1
 ttyskeepawake        1
 displaysleep         15

 standbydelay         10800

I've bolded/highlighted the two settings that are referenced in the thread. These should both be zero. If not, you can override the settings as follows (you'll need to have administrator rights). Type the following in Terminal to set autopoweroff to 0:

  sudo /usr/bin/pmset autopoweroff 0

And to set standby to 0:

  sudo /usr/bin/pmset standby 0

The sudo command lets you run the command as an administrator. It will ask you for your password to run the command in administrator mode. You must have administrator rights to the machine for this command to work.

Then verify in Terminal with:

  pmset -g

7. Check tomorrow if your system randomly wakes up. If it persists, you'll need to dig deeper for what other possible reasons (e.g. USB device drivers plugged in that could be triggering a wake)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sketch #1

Since I bought a Wacom Intuos touch tablet recently, I've been making it an effort to learn to draw. Here's a sketch representing tonight's events:

Welcome to Fatherhood

Welcome to Fatherhood! To be honest, there wasn't really a welcome sign. Just a 6-pound baby born to greet us with smiles and watery eyes. Everything looked like it was going to be perfect. I was touched, moved beyond tears about becoming a first-time dad. Our baby daughter was born without ever crying. She dumbly stared at us, and we thought she was so cute and calm.  We thought we got over the hard part... oh boy, what an understatement.

Fast forward four months later -- being a dad is tough. Babies are not easy to raise. During the first 3 months, both my wife and I craved sleep. We took turns pretending to be dead asleep and not wanting to wake up hoping for the other to wake up and calm/feed a crying baby. If it wasn't my wife, it was my turn to feed our daughter with a bottle. If I didn't hear our daughter's cry, my wife would wake up and nurse. Our baby seemed to have a built-in two hour timer. Every two hours, she would cry. And it was on the dot. If we took 1.5 hours to feed her, she would cry 30 minutes shortly after indicating she was hungry. When the crying stopped, we had whatever small sliver of time remained to sleep.

It was like this for the first 4 weeks. And slowly, there would be 3-4 hour intervals of golden blissful sleep. At two months, it was 5 hours... and now we get 8 hours. You would think getting a full 8 hours of sleep is where the fun of being a father begins, but.... no....

Babies get cuter after 3.5 months. They are so adorable that you want to pick them up and hug them. But they are like leaches. Once you hold a baby, they won't want you to let go. If your arms get tired and you try to set them down, they give a loud cry and back up in your arms they go. And so, at four months, we learned not to hug our baby too much.  Reinforce them with too much attention and they become accustomed to being held. There are days our baby daughter is like a Siren. So beautiful from far away.. her cuteness temps us to pick her up and hold her. But once we do, she latches on to us and never wants us to put her down. And so, all day she cries whenever our arms get tired and we try to set her down.

So, fatherhood.... it's tough, but it's worth every effort. I'm happy to be a dad. Despite all of the dirty diapers, stained shirts, and drool,  coming home and seeing those cute eyes and babbling coos melts my heart. I look forward to our daughter growing older and the future memories/experiences.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Project 52 - Week 08 - Zooming In

This week's theme is "Zooming In". I decided to use a picture I took at 200mm while on vacation in Los Angeles.

Post-processed results:

Before processing:

If you're wondering, this came from a sign hanging outside of a bakery/cafe in Solvang, California. The city is a beautiful Danish-style town worth visiting.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Project 52 - Week 07 - Industrial

Just got back from a week long vacation in Los Angeles. I managed to grab an industrial themed shot from the Exxon Mobil Refinery in Torrance, CA:

Below are the results [edit includes cropping]:

And original:

Another photo I considered using for industrial:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Buddhist-Vegetarian Restaurants

Vegetarian options are getting easier and easier to find these days, but restaurants that can also accommodate Buddhist practitioners wishing to avoid the "five pungent plants" (onion, garlic, leeks, shallots, and chives) is still a rarity to find. As such, I thought it might be a good idea for me to start a list of restaurants I've found that are "Buddhist-Vegetarian" and also restaurants that are "Buddhist-vegetarian" friendly (meaning you have to specifically tell them not to put onion, garlic, leeks, shallots, or chives). I'll also add restaurants that have some (very limited) Buddhist-vegetarian menu items.


BV = Buddhist-Vegetarian (onion/garlic not used at restaurant)
BVF = Buddhist-Vegetarian Friendly (dishes regularly have onion/garlic but many of them can be requested to be onion-garlic free)
BVF* = Buddhist-Vegetarian Friendly but risky. Same as BVF but they sometimes get sloppy and accidentally forget to follow orders or forget to check the soup-bases for garlic/onion powder.
LBV = Limited Buddhist-Vegetarian options (a limited set of items that can be made without onion-garlic at customer's request)

San Jose/Sunnyvale/Bay Area California

(BVF) Chaat Bhavan [Sunnyvale and Fremont] - This is an Indian restaurant with locations in Sunnyvale and Fremont. They are entirely vegetarian and have a good selection of "jain friendly" (no onion, no garlic) dishes. Look for the Jain-friendly star icon next to the menu items. Note that this restaurant defines "Jain vegetarian" as no onion, no garlic. They are not truly Jain since true Jain diet excludes all plants grown in the ground (such as potatoes).

(BV) Great Vegi Land (main site here, but may lag)  [Sunnyvale] - This is a traditional Chinese vegetarian restaurant that is Buddhist friendly. The food is delicious! They are located in Sunnyvale. Remember to bring cash as they are CASH ONLY.

(BVF*) Merit Vegetarian Restaurant [Sunnyvale] - This is an Asian vegetarian restaurant. The cooking style is Asian fusion as they use Indian and Chinese spices but I consider them mainly Vietnamese-Chinese (with a bias towards Vietnamese style). It has ties to the Ching Hai group. The food is great! A lot of the items can be made without onion/garlic. I personally like the Indian Fried Rice. Some notes: You'll need to ask them which menu items are onion-garlic free, and for soups, to have them confirm the soup-base is also onion-garlic free. When you get your dish, make sure they didn't overlook your order (as they have added onions to my dish by mistake several times).

(LBV) Pasta Pomodoro [Santa Clara / San Jose / Santana Row] - This is an Italian restaurant chain. One of the restaurants is located in Santana Row. The ravioli dishes can be made without onion/garlic. I'm not certain whether the ravioli skin has eggs or not (so you will need to call in advance to double check). Also, some of the pastas can be made without onion/garlic. My wife had the siciliane. It was good, though, I believe they used cooking wine since the eggplant had a bit of the taste. Call in advance to check.

(LBV) Dosa & Curry Cafe [Downtown San Jose] - This is a hole-in-the-wall place to go to for late-night Indian food. They have very late hours and are popular among college students. They have some of the best freshly-made naans I've ever tasted. You can ask for Mattar Paneer to be made without onion or garlic. For drinks, you can order a mango lassi. That's pretty much all you can order that is Buddhist friendly. Oh, also, one of the spring dosas can be made without onion or garlic. You'll have to ask, but we didn't like it since it was way too spicy. [They seemed to have changed management. All items have onion/garlic now :(]

(LBV) Pizza Antica [Santa Clara / San Jose / Santana Row] - This is a pizza/Italian restaurant. They have some of the best thin-crust pizzas I've ever eaten. Only the margherita pizza was safe to order.

(LBV) Little Hot Pot [Fremont] - Chinese hotpot (huo guo) where you can definitely order a vegetarian soup-base without onion/garlic. Call in advance to find out what you can order. My wife ordered a milk-soup base and got the vegetable set. The sauces at the sauce bar might be a bit trickier to figure out which are without onion/garlic, but you can always inquire.

(BV) Dong Phuong Tofu [San Jose] - Vietnamese. The owners are Buddhist, so their stuff is without meat/garlic/onion by default. Very very cheap food and probably busy during lunch. The last time I went, it was still $5-$6 for a giant to-go box. Bring cash. They don't accept credit cards. In case you don't find it, it's in the Kohl's shopping plaza. (Comment: A reviewer on Yelp claims they served real shrimp... not so sure about this, but just in case, always ask).

(LBV) Veggie Grill [San Jose/Santa Clara/California - lots of locations] - American-style vegetarian restaurant. They have a limited selection of no-onion and no-garlic menu.  (See Veggie Grill under Los Angeles Area)

(BVF) Sogo Tofu [West San Jose/Cupertino] - Chinese vegetarian. TO GO lunch box only. Cash only for under $15. Expensive, but almost all of their items have no onion, no garlic. But double check just in case. Some items have eggs, so you need to ask.

(BVF) Veggie Garden [Mountain View] - Chinese Vegetarian. They have many items you can ask to make without onion/garlic. Moderately pricey, but it's Mountain View and has a good setting. Great for dates.

(BV or BVF)  Royal Greens Vegetarian [San Jose/Cupertino] - Tawainese vegetarian. By default Taiwanese vegetarian is Buddhist vegetarian (but always double check and ask). They have many options. Pricey compared to other restaurants and service can be slow. I only went their once because they took so long to prepare the menu. But, the food is delicious if you have the patience to wait.

(BVF) Loving Hut [Milpitas (other locations not friendly)] - Asian fusion vegetarian. Their menu has indicators for no-onion no-garlic items and there's quite a few to choose from. Loving Hut has other franchises, but it seems only the Milpitas location is Buddhist vegetarian friendly.

(LBVF) The Ace of Sandwiches [Palo Alto] - Sandwich shop which can make pretty good sandwiches without onion or garlic. Ask to leave out pesto, ketchup, pickles, garlic, or onions. Since you can ask to leave stuff out of your sandwich, it's pretty easy to order a hot sandwich that is Buddhist vegetarian. You just have to know beforehand what items typically have onion/garlic.

(BVF) Go Chaatz [Fremont] - Vegetarian Indian restaurant. Not as good as Chaat Bhavan, but has a decent selection of Indian food that can be made without onion/garlic. The food is spicy, but if you like variety, this is a place to go.

(BV) Veggie Lee [Hayward] - I've only been here once several days after they opened and they have a plethora of options to order from. I will forewarn that the place is slightly pricey. Expect paying about $15 per person. I've had one bad dish and one really good dish, but yelp reviews seem to be positive.

(BVF*) Mint & Basil [Milpitas/Fremont] - Vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant. Yes, they are vegetarian and use mock meat. They do use onion/eggs in some of their menu items, so you need to tell them no onion/garlic/eggs when you order. They do sometimes mistakenly put onion in dishes you tell them no onion. As usual, avoid sriracha sauce and ketchup (they have garlic powder). Expect prices to be around $10-$12 per dish. I did get a chance to provide feedback to the manager and mentioned that some of the sauces have garlic/onion powder. He mentioned he'll tell his cooking staff to be more aware of the ingredients when mentioning no onion/garlic.
After visiting this place several times, our favorite and safe dishes are:
- hot pots: tofu dumpling hot pot (request no onion or garlic). The other hot pots seem safe too.
- for kids: mac soup  (cheese sauce in mac & cheese tastes like it has onion/garlic powder)
- dishes: (still trying to figure out which dishes are safe here)

(BV) Veggieland [Cupertino/Santa Clara] - Buddhist Vegetarian restaurant food vendor inside a mall. It's a Vietnamese/Taiwanese style with interesting additions to make it unique in its own flavor. The owner/chef is Buddhist and I got a chance to speak to him. Everything they use abides by the Buddhist diet (no onion, no garlic, no shallots, no eggs, no chives). It's inside the Valco mall in Cupertino, situated in the food court next to JC Penny and Benihana. The food is delicious and very well priced ($7-9 per dish). Seaweed fried rice is my favorite dish so far. I will definitely be going back for more food since I've discovered this place.

(BVF) Green Lotus [San Jose] - Buddhist Vegetarian friendly restaurant. Vietnamese style. This is similar to Mint & Basil but there seems to be more variety. This is currently our new favorite place.

Chain Stores

These are places to go as a last resort if you can't find anywhere else to eat.

(LBV) Taco Bell: This is my very last option (if I can't find anywhere else to go). There's only 1 item you can order safely. Order a vegetarian Supreme Chalupa. You have to make sure that they get the "vegetarian" part as supreme chalupas normally have beef in it. They will substitute it with beans. This is my last resort since the Info and ingredients pages don't clarify what "natural flavors" are in the beans. *NOTE: Do NOT go to any TacoBells that are combined with KFC. They use the same oil they deep fry their chicken to fry their chalupa breads.

(LBV) In-N-Out: Two things you can safely order here:
  - Grilled cheese sandwich with no sauce. Only cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Tastes good when you're hungry, but otherwise, it's better to go elsewhere.
  - French fries

(LBV) Subway: You can check the ingredients page here. They sneak in garlic powder into a lot of the flavored breads. As such you're safe with ordering a "Veggie Delite" and choosing from the following options:
  - Bread: 9-Grain Wheat (NOTE: Contains honey), Flatbread, Hearty Italian Bread, Honey Oat Bread (NOTE: Contains honey), Monterey Cheddar Bread (available at limited stores)
  - You can pick any of the vegetables (except the onion). Not sure about pickles, or banana peppers.
  - Avocado spread is just avocado (extra cost), so it's safe.
  - Sauces: Only oil is safe. Everything else has onion/garlic/alcohol.
  - Spices: Oregano, salt, and pepper.

Oakland / Berkeley Area

(BV) Nature Vegetarian [Oakland] - This is a vegan Chinese restaurant (Cantonese style) that I've gone back to so many times that I can't count any more. They have such a large menu that you'll have to constantly go back to try something new. I haven't grown tired of the place and it's still the top pick for family outings. I've also seen monks there several times. It's good. You'll need to pay for parking. I recommend the Pacific Renaissance Plaza parking structure between Franklin St and Webster St on 9th street.

(BVF) Golden Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant [Oakland] - This is a vietnamese vegetarian restaurant. You can ask them to leave out onion/garlic for many of the menu items. It's down the street from Nature Vegetarian. Not a bad place. I still prefer Nature Vegetarian over Golden Lotus.

(BVF) Cha-Ya [Berkeley] - This is a Japanese vegetarian restaurant where many of the dishes can be made onion-garlic free. Just inquire. Make sure they understand that no onion, no garlic also means no chives, no spring onions, no leeks, no scallions, and no shallots (as they can get confused).

Los Angeles Area

(BVF) Happy Veggie [Redondo Beach] - This is a Vietnamese style vegetarian restaurant. A good selection of dishes can be made without onion or garlic.

(LBV) Veggie Grill [Redondo Beach] - This is an American-style vegan burger place. Apparently, the cashiers have a booklet of allergies with "No Garlic" listed as a page in the book. There are several items that are order-able. You'll also have to request "No Onion" as well. The items we spotted that were order-able were the Papa's Portobello burger and the "Grillin' Chicken". You can add avocado to the Portobello burger (otherwise, it's just a boring mushroom burger with tomatoes). The fries are good to order too (just no ketchup or sauce).

(BV) Vege Paradise [San Gabriel] - This is Chinese/Taiwanese/Catonese-style vegetarian restaurant. It's been featured in the Chinese news as one of the best, and oh man, does it live up to that name. If I lived near by, this would probably be my place to go everyday. Only things to note: it's near Ranch 99, so the the large parking lot there was almost full. Restaurant has a $25-minimum for credit cards. I ended up shelling out $26 in cash (including tip) since pre-tip amount was shy of $25.

(LBV) Four Sea Restaurant [San Gabriel] - This is a Taiwanese breakfast/brunch place that has some Buddhist-vegetarian friendly options. I wasn't too impressed with the food, but my wife had a craving for traditional Taiwanese-style breakfast. The place definitely satisfied her cravings. I don't know the English names for the Buddhist-friendly items, but you can ask about the vegetarian items without onion or garlic. They are pretty friendly.

[List to be updated overtime as I recall more restaurants and places to share]

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

On vacation this week

I haven't forgotten about week 07 for Project 52. I've captured some great shots of the Exxon Mobile refinery and also of the Pier at Long Beach. Since I don't have immediate access to Lightroom, I won't be able to process the RAW images and post photos until I get back. So stay tuned until then!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Project 52 - Week 06 - Food

This week's theme is food. I can't take any credit for the plate of strawberries -- it's all made by my wife. Anyway, the results:

After processing:

Before processing:

Finally, my wife and I attempted to make raviolli from scratch for the very first time. You can tell from the results that my wife is a better cook than I am:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Project 52 - Week 05 - Macro

This week's theme is macro. The goal is to take an up-close shot of something. A tree in my community seems to have started blossoming rather early, so I decided to make it the subject of this week's photo.

After processing (and yes, processing involved cropping):

Before processing:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Project 52 - Week 04 - Contrast theme

Week #4's theme is "contrast." It's been a busy week for me as I've been spending quite a bit of extra time learning new APIs and backends for work. Since there wasn't much time to go out and explore, I had to make-do with what was at home. Anyway, here are the results (probably not so spectacular):

Original photo before processing:

The giant orange in the middle is a blood orange. It's pretty delicious. Tastes like grapes and oranges combined. It's much sweeter than a regular orange. The surrounding oranges are "cutie" oranges. When you cut a blood orange open, you get a dark-looking orange in the bottom row (the top row are Clara Clara oranges).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Project 52 - Week 03 - Modern theme

Week #3's theme is "modern". This week, I struggled to find a subject to shoot since everything in my apartment is old, and taking pictures at work would be a bit difficult.

It just so happens that one of the teahouses I got a chance to visit over the weekend had a modern look to it:

Original photo before processing:

The above ceiling lights belongs to Snowflake Teahouse in Union City, CA. If you're looking for a good Taiwanese dessert place, I highly recommend it. It's a bit pricey, and it does get crowded, but it's a great place for Taiwanese desserts and hot tea. We spent an average of $9 per person at the place, but the shaved ice and hot tea was terrific!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Project 52 - Week 02 - Vintage

This week's theme is "vintage". I just got my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens and wanted to play with the wide-angle. This picture was taken at 24mm, f/2.8 ISO 100. I'm still trying to figure out how to take advantage of ultra-wide angle at 14mm. For those of you with experience and have example photos to show off, please do share and leave a comment with a link. Thanks!

And original before processing:

Monday, January 6, 2014

Project 52 - Week 01 - Action

Week 01 of Project 52.

The goal of the project is to take one photo a week with a set theme. My wife and I, along with a group of friends have agreed on a set list of 52 themes for the year. This week's theme is to take a photo of something in action. I thought I'd start a blog documenting where each photo was taken and the before/after effects of Lightroom processing for each week. I'm just starting to use Lightroom, so bear with me if my Lightroom skills are terrible.

This photo was taken at Natural Bridges State Beach. If you decide to park there (and support the maintenance cost of the beach), parking is $10. Otherwise, there's plenty of street parking outside. You'll have to walk in about 0.5 miles (~5 minute walk).  Follow the road in to the visitor's center. There's a walking path to the right side of the visitor's center (facing visitor's center). A sign at the front greets you as to where to go.

The butterflies are there from October to February. I went on January 5, 2014. The butterflies are high up in the trees, so your camera phone won't cut it. You need at least a 200mm lens (I used a 28-300mm zoom lens with the zoom set at 300mm).

So, here is week 1's results.


And before any editing:



View Larger Map