January 30, 2011

Picture of the Day Catch-Up: January 16-29, 2011

Wow, I think if I put up these pictures, I'll finally be caught up with my Pictures of the Day (well, except for today's picture, of course!). In any case, enjoy!

January 16th: We went to Zarcero with Lucy, Wilson, Belamy, and Lily. It was a nice little day-trip. These are Belamy's rollerskates.

January 17th: I made some crepes today, and they were quite tasty. I'm not a huge fan of the picture, and I thought I had taken some more pictures this day, but apparently I didn't!

January 18th: A picture of the annual festival in Palmares. Mostly, it's annoying.

January 19th: I took a picture of my headphones to use in a blog posting on my language learning blog.

January 20th: Juan and Paola's daughter Hannah, playing in their yard. Very cute!

January 21st: Some kids playing on Brasilito beach, where I teach a class on Friday evening.

January 22nd: A picture of a tree stump in Santa Cruz, in the Guanacaste province. I teach a class there Saturday mornings.

January 23rd: "Captain Corelli's Mandolin," by Louis de Bernieres. Lucy loaned it to me, and I finished reading it today. It was a good story, although the book itself had seen better days.

January 24th: Our theme for our weekly photo project was "depth of field." I didn't quite know how to handle it, so throughout the week I took some "comparison" pictures using both small and large apertures. This one is actually not a comparison, but just a tangled ethernet cord at work.

January 25th: A swing-set at the school where we work. It's a normal elementary school during the day.

January 26th: Today was the first day of the NCTE (National Conference for Teachers of English) at the CCCN in San Jose. I liked the silhouetted look of people walking down this passageway.

January 27th: At the NCTE, I saw quite a few of my old Sykes coworkers, including my friend Angie. It happened to be her birthday, so I asked to take a few pictures of her. Very nice. Happy birthday, Angie!

January 28th: Angela at the San Pedro Mall, after the NCTE.

January 29th: f/22. More experimenting with apertures and (what I hoped would be) depth of field. In the end, not quite what I was going for.

Well, that's it for now. We're technically caught-up, at least for another two hours or so! Thanks for reading, and have a great day and week!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

Weekly Picture Project: Week 4 (Depth of Field)

This week's assignment was a bit more difficult for me, partly because I was pretty busy with an English teachers conference in San Jose, and partly because I don't know a great deal about Depth of Field. Learning about it was important, though, like eating vegetables for my photographic brain.

So, what I did was to take two very similar pictures, three times. For each pair, I took one with a large aperture (and therefore a lower f-stop number, and theoretically a more shallow depth of field... if your eyes glazed over while reading that, don't worry; just check out the pictures, and you'll likely see a difference), and I also took one with a smaller aperture (which would reverse all that crap in the previous parentheses).

In any case, just compare the two pictures. The smaller the f-stop number, the more limited the focus should be (which would lead to hopefully pleasantly blurry background, for example... I think):

Pair 1: Swing-set in the jungle gym at work:



Pair 2: Coffee mug at work



Pair 3: Angela in the San Pedro Mall



This hurts my brain, but I believe you get the point. I haven't noted the shutter speed or the ISO for each of these pictures, but if you're interested in that, that's too bad.

Actually, if you really do want to figure those out, you can click on the picture and find that information in flickr.

Thanks for reading, and I'll hope to see you here again next week!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

January 23, 2011

Weekly Picture Project: Week 3 (Contrast, Composition, or Coffee)

We had three options for our weekly photo project: contrast, composition, or coffee (guess which one was my suggestion). In any case, I had a hard time focusing on one, so I just decided to work on all three. As usual, if you want to see larger versions of any of them, just click on the link or the picture itself.

So, we'll start with Coffee:

Coffee 1: My morning friend, in a mug from Johnson's Corner, a northern Colorado truck stop where I once stayed 18 hours (the 24 hour project didn't quite pan out that day).

Coffee 2: Wow, it had been almost a year since I'd seen Abuela! I had to go to San Ramon to renew my residency ID card, so I called her and finally got a hold of her. I went to her house for some tasty (traditionally-prepared) coffee. It was great to see her again!

Now, for Composition:

Composition 1: Part of a nativity scene in Zarcero. After Christmas, it gets really elaborate. They put Jesus in the manger, Joseph is sent out to bring in wood, Mary's washing Jesus's diapers and baby clothes in the river, and the angels are stuck with babysitting.

Composition 2: Also in Zarcero. I tried to frame the women on the bench with the jugglers and their pin thingies.

Composition 3: Trying to do some more framing. These kids are playing on the beach at Playa Brasilito, where I'm currently teaching a class on Friday evenings.

Finally, how about some Contrast:

Contrast 1: I admit, I didn't really know what "contrast" was in a photographic context. I just thought it was light and dark, the cats are two different colors... kinda half-assed, but whatever.

Contrast 2: I think this is more along the lines of what "contrast" really is. This is the ceiling fan in my hotel room in Santa Cruz.

Contrast 3: The roots/stump of a big tree in the main park in Santa Cruz, Guanacaste.

So, that's it for the moment. I'm almost caught up on uploading the Pictures of the Day, so I'll try to get them on the blog in a day or two. I do feel bad that this has turned into a picture blog, since I know some people originally started following it for writing, but my brain's gone a bit dry these days.

In any case, thanks for looking/reading, and have a great day!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

Pictures of the Day: January 6 - 15, 2011

Here are some more Pictures of the Day from earlier in January. Some of them have already been posted as part of my weekly picture projects, but others haven't. Either way, I hope you like them!

January 6th: The roof of the terminal at Denver International Airport. I started a new photo project with my aunt Kris and her friend Janey where we take up to three pictures related to a specific topic each week and then compare the results. This week's topic was "architecture," so I focused on the lighting at different airports, since I was traveling a lot that week.

January 7th: The lighting at Juan Santamaria International Airport, in San Jose, Costa Rica.

January 8th: Running out of time in the day, one often takes a picture of one's camera accessories in order to get a Picture of the Day.

January 9th: My sister-in-law Teresa working in her kitchen. The topic for my side photo project this week was "backlighting." Teresa and Ramon invited Angela and I over for lunch, and it was delicious!

January 10th: The church in San Rafael, the town between Berlin and San Ramon.

January 11th: Some fake fruit that we can use in our classes. What can we use it FOR, you ask? For fruit simulation, of course.

January 12th: We went to a 9-day funeral anniversary (a "novenario") in Berlin for my sister-in-law's husband's dad. His name was Jose Maria and although I only met him once, he was really nice. So, nine days after a funeral, they pray again, and Angela and I went to the mass. Afterwards, there was an amazing sunset from Berlin, so I took some pictures.

January 13th: The George/Jorge Washington Elementary School in San Ramon, looking like it came out of the alternative version of Hill Valley, 1985.

January 14th: Some trees on a road in Guanacaste. I now teach a class in a different part of the Guanacaste province, but it's still a nice drive.

January 15th: Our lovely niece Kati. She came over to see some handbags that Angela had brought back from the US, and I asked her if I could get a few pictures of her with different light. She was standing in the hallway with the sunset light coming in through the back of the house. I was sitting at my desk. What can I say, when you get a good opportunity for a Picture of the Day and you don't even have to stand up, you go for it! Thanks, Kati!

That's it for the moment. I'm also uploading some more pictures right now, so I'll try to get completely caught up as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

January 19, 2011

Hur långt kan man gå?

This is probably one of my top three favorite Swedish Hip-Hop songs from the last 10 years:

The video's not really that spectacular, except the part where he drinks an enormous glass of Alka Seltzer.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

Podcasts and Posts

In case you're interested, I wrote an article outlining some of my favorite podcasts in my other blog, SitzmanABC. You can read the article here. Generally that blog is about language learning, but some of the podcast information may be interesting even if you're not trying to learn English (or another language).

Also, I just noticed that this is my 600th post on Sitzblog! My, how time flies! Thanks for reading, and here's to 600 more!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

January 17, 2011

As Elwis Said: "Wiwa Las Wegas!"

Hm, I realized that I'd been meaning to put up a small pictorial of pictures from Las Vegas, since there were some ones that I liked. If you want to see larger versions of any of the pictures, just click on them. So, without further ado, here you go:

A welcome sign at Las Vegas International Airport. Complete with slot machines, of course.

I saw this couple in the mall in the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas. I asked if I could take their picture, and the girl said, "Was?" So I asked in German if I could take their picture, and they said yes. So, I took a few pictures of them. It turns out they were from Köln. Congratulations!

Speaking of weddings... This girl looked like she got her dress from the Guns N' Roses video for "November Rain."

A little girl at the aquarium at the Mandalay Bay hotel. She's a bit out of focus, but at least the panda or whatever that thing is on her sweatshirt seems to be relatively in focus. Plus, I like the colors.

This was a window display at the Bebe store at the Venetian Hotel mall. I just thought made a cool picture.

I guess this is the type of crap that happens and stays in Vegas.

A urinal at the Main Street Station Hotel and Casino which, for some reason, had a memorial to the Berlin Wall. It reads:

"-Gentlemen- THE BERLIN WALL.
Erected August 13, 1961
Demolished August 9, 1989
12' High
18" Thick
27.5 Miles Long
Over 100 people were killed trying to escape to freedom. Flew over it, dove through it, climbed over it, & even tunneled under it."

Hey, it's a great day for freedom... and the loosest slots in town!

The Paris Hotel and Casino. We stayed right behind it, at Bally's.

Angela in front of the Luxor Hotel.

A sign at the Paris hotel.

A statue at Caesar's Palace, all gussied up for Christmas.

Inside the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace. It was the only place where I've seen a curved escalator.

Mini-Arc du Triomphe.

One of the rides (called "Insanity: The Ride") at the Stratosphere skyscraper in Las Vegas. I didn't ride on it, but Paul did (it was pretty cold that night, and I don't like heights).

The ride took a people-filled claw over the edge of the building and then started spinning them around. Then the claw opened up so the people were looking straight down.

Paul said it was freaky.

Some condominium buildings that we saw on the way out of the city. I thought they were cool.

Some friends talking at the Miracle Mile Mall, in the Planet Hollywood hotel and casino. I liked the lighting.

So, thanks to my family for going on the trip, and thanks to you for checking out the pictures!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook