Thursday, December 31, 2015

"Last post of the year"...

...and it's just a dump of pictures I took tonight. I had bought a new tripod over the weekend (Targus Pro Series 3-Way Panhead and Bubble Level Tripod, 60-Inch) because my 15 year old Kodak finally bit the bullet, and it was time to get a new one. Good riddance, Steely.

8pm and humid / muggy and hot, I had some interesting captures. Between people coming and going, lots of airplanes, and a random firework burst, I think it was an eventful 45 minutes.

Attached to my Canon EOS Rebel T3 Digital SLR Camera camera, I used Canon Remote Switch RS60 E3 to attempt to get more solid (aka not so blurry) photos. I kept the setting on "manual" and adjusted when necessary. I figured I'd try most of them on auto focus, and I have to admit, they came out pretty good.

I threw the pictures in Photoshop just to put my name on it, but outside of that, I didn't do any editing. Everything is "as is".

Outside of the pictures, I was thinking: I don't recall "seeing" midnight on New Years Eve in 3 years or so. Maybe the last time I saw the clock strike 12 was 2011 going on 2012, and no one died that night in some catastrophic world ending event.. at least nothing stands out right now. I remember going to someone's house, but after that, the years become hazy.

Therefore, it's an easy assumption that I have been sound asleep as the decades roll on, and the world counts the seconds down to let acquaintances be forgot(ten). Couples kiss, kids rub their sleep encrusted eyes (wondering what's happening).. people are joyous. Me, I'm dreaming of days to come and asking my brain how I can prosper in the weeks ahead without comparing my life to my past.

Just like everyone does when the year ends. We all get nostalgic and we all pray for a better future - even if we aren't the praying type. We put enough effort into that little positive bin, that corner where we hope we can perhaps push in the right direction.

At least one could hope, right? Either way, could this be a turning stone? Who knows; time will tell and we'll find out soon enough!

Pictures or it didn't happen:

Have a safe and healthy start to the new year, and see you in the future...


Rest easy, Peter. 
You were a good kid.
(PRM 1967 - 2015)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

"The Day After"

While there's still time to commit to a "day after Christmas" post, I figure, "might as well". I only get to do this once a year; and while I was hastily celebrating the random birth of a random stranger with a bunch of other random strangers, I just as quickly went shopping today. I have the receipts to prove my shopping spree (like the Targus Pro Series 3-Way Panhead and Bubble Level Tripod because my Kodak finally kicked the bucket.. after 15 years of service. *sad face*) and the pictures to prove debauchery yesterday.

I do have to admit, I plugged my laptop into the third HDMI port of a Sanyo 39" TV (a television you can not find anymore on Amazon. Closet I came to searching was this and this.. all "previously loved"), so the colors of the pictures will be skewed on different machines, as I was going off the vibrancy of the television, instead of my not-so- calibrated laptop monitor (another defunct product - a Dell Inspiron N5010).

As per usual, I did some exploring around my community. Not as much as recent years, due to the fact it was an in between time - that moment when everyone was feeling too full to continue eating, and too tired to play another round of Farkle.

While the company enjoyed a humid sunset on the lanai, I enjoyed walking to the front gate.
Seriously; go back to which you came. No one can let you in.
Place is emptier than a funeral home.

Front gate

Sometimes you need a little time to see the sun go down by yourself.

However, prior to that moment, I had some pretty nice subjects to focus my attention on: Peanut and Sophie.

Peanut is ready for his closeup

Peanut's ready for action! Front and center!

Sophie can help too!

Sophie has a couple secrets that she will never share...

Due to the fact the people I visited face a lake, I was able to catch a bird hanging out, trying to cool itself from the 85 degree warmth (it felt 90).
I used a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens
on my Canon EOS Rebel T3 Digital SLR Camera

I think it caught on people were watching it, because it flew away and didn't return the rest of the night.

sunset from lanai

another sunset

What did transpire, was a lot of drinking, a lot of dice, and a lot of merrily drunken people singing too many Christmas songs.  Did I enjoy any of that? Sure I did; except I know enough not so sing a long (because someone always has a recording device.. he-he), and I was just bursting at the seams from too much good food. 

We all needed a walk afterwards, but we didn't. Good times were had by all at any rate and there are plans for making this a yearly deal - we shall all get together for the party and the game again... not that we don't do it at any other time of year, but certain holidays make it better... more special.

(... doesn't help the fact half the group doesn't celebrate the holiday, but the attempt was made and fun as had...)

Be good, be safe, don't run anyone over this week. Relax and enjoy the ride, tip your waiter and pay for your cab. See you soon.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

It was another "Go Play" day...

... and it had several uses.

Due to the culmination of me finishing my Holiday Rush work and the fact we were at a slow moment of the day, my boss wanted to figure out how we can generate more revenue and get people in the store. My "go... play..." served as both a time waster as well as prove Pinnacle Studio 18 can upload Youtube videos.

Wait, what?

I haven't upgraded to the newest software, as I'm still trying to use figure out the aforementioned editing suite. There are way too many options to clearly make us get the new version. The bells and whistles work fine for now, so we can digitize people's movie reels as well as make one solid streaming video from smart devices (phones, tablets).

Lately, we've been asking the question "where's the next big thing coming from, and how can we obtain it?". So far, people want their phone videos off and playable on a DVD. We can do that. But what's next?

After getting some rare phone calls if we offer a service to help edit videos and post them to Youtube (or any social network), we haven't had the opportunity to fully check it out and set up a payment plan. To be honest, we don't get that much traffic as it is; therefore, with the technological savvy society we (generally speaking) have become, everyone is doing it themselves - posting immediately to Facebook, Instagram, and the like. This was the first phone call in months, asking if we provide any video editing and network sharing. I had to tell the customer we don't, but after a discussion with my boss, it was decided "maybe we should figure it out... there might be a selling option here".

Therefore, off I went; taking my Canon EOS Rebel T3 outside, put the video mode on and my lens on manual focus, and off I shot. I had 9 different clips, because it's hard as hell to see if you're focusing correctly while facing the sun. Because there was very little shade, I was going by (what I hoped was) instinct. You really need to know your camera because the Auto setting can't help you if you "go blindly" into a situation with the thing. Like I've shared in the past with the videos, auto focus can hurt you if you try to do too much video at one time and aren't paying attention. Everything turns out blurry. Therefore, manual focus is your friend, even on the auto setting.

I got back in, after spending a good 20 minutes outside, walking around our lake, imported my videos (it took 10 minutes or so), put three shorter ones together, and did a quick title. I didn't fully edit them, as I was only trying to make a point. After reviewing them, I admit, I'm not too thrilled with it. Given the opportunity to play with the settings more (in my camera), or at least fix the color and use enhancements in Pinnacle. It was a rush job and I stand by my work 100 per cent, but I'm not 100 per cent happy with it. Maybe next week I'll try taking video again, uploading it and editing it, but for today, "it is what it is". At least I learned from this venture today, and can fix my mistakes for the next time. Perhaps as well, it's a learning curve and a teaching tool for what we can do, not only for ourselves, but what new service my work can offer.

Tonight, children, be well, be merry, don't drink too much. Some people are expecting a jolly fat man in a red outfit, to squeeze his gelatin ass down a chimney and deliver presents under a tree. Other people are using it as an excuse to do some catching up with family and friends, while I know other humans that really don't care it's a holiday; they are waiting for the candy to go on sale tomorrow. You get it, buddy!!


Video and photos or it never happened (My laptop monitor isn't calibrated; forgive the discoloration in some):