I have a problem. That problem is sensor dust. The Canon EOS 20D is a wonderful camera, but it is also a dust magnet. After owning the camera for about a month I noticed large spots on my images. After cleaning my lens I did some research and found that the sensor attracts dust and the dust shows up on the images when you have the lens stopped down. I found a great way to test this was to take a photo of something bright (the sky) with the lens stopped down all the way, when I did this it was pretty painful to see how much dust was on there. I looked around for a solution and I saw some things that seemed somewhat sketchy to try and also saw the option of taking my camera in to have it serviced which seemed like a waste of money.
I was browsing around on the Adorama website I found some products made by a company called Visible Dust. These brushes, swabs and solutions are made specifically for cleaning CMOS sensors and the company actually started out making products for cleaning lab optics. After reading some 3rd party reviews of their products I ordered the 1.6x brush set and patiently awaited its arrival.
When it came I opened up my 20D, put it on sensor cleaning mode and cleaned the sensor. I turned off the camera, put the lens on and took some pictures stopped down, about 90% of the dust was gone, but there were now a few small streaks where what must have been an oily goo had been smeared by the brushes. So that night I ordered the sensor clean kit, that comes with sterile poly swabs and a non-alcohol cleaning solution. The kit came today and I opened it up and cleaned my sensor. I now have 0 spots on my sensor. Yay!
I am really happy with the results from the new prepared slides I ordered from eBay. I was a little worried about the quality on the cheap Chinese import slides, but they are really well done. Here is the first round of photos I took. Or click below for some flickrs:
For xmas I bought both my fiance and myself a new point and shoot compact camera. I had previously owned a Sony DSC-T1 and I really liked it, but I really love my Canon EOS 20D so I picked up a pair of the SD550s. The camera takes wonderful photos, but when I take pictures of anything close and the flash fires the photo is totally overexposed. This shouldn't be a problem with a $500 digital camera, it certainly wasn't with the DSC-T1. I hope that Canon will come out with a firmware update to regulate the flash properly.
UPDATE Ok so after talking to a salesperson at Samy's Camera where I bought the camera and some experimentation I got the exposure working ok. I turned on Macro mode (even though I'm shooting from a couple feet away) and that helped and then I tried Manual mode with the metering set to center weighted and that fixed the problem. Also using the redeye reduction flash helps too.
Wow what a difference! Even with 14,000 images in my Library, the app is snappy and responsive unlike previous versions. The interface is much cleaner and the bug when deleting photos from large albums has been fixed. It will make uploading pictures a much more enjoyable activity which is a good thing if you want to see my photos.
I just got a mighty mouse and I love it. The scroll ball is tacitly pleasing and give a smooth clicking feel when you spin it, plus it scrolls both up and down and side to side. The right click is nice, but you have to activate it in the Keyboard and Mouse menu. I also like the side clicks. Good show apple!
I love my sweetie pie! We finally set a date, July 9th 2006 at the New Otani garden! I am excited.
I have been drooling over the extremely fast and slow focusing Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L lens, and a few days ago, I went to Samy's Camera and bought it. I really love the lens although I'm still getting used to the extremely shallow DOF that the gaping 1.2 f-stop creates. I also going to need to pick up a neutral density filter if I want to take daytime photos with a wide open aperture. Here are the three sets I have uploaded so far. I love this lens!
I picked up a T-Mount adapter for my Canon EOS 20D and hooked it up to my microscope. The pictures didn't come out all that great, but I will keep trying. Although the chili powder shot looks pretty cool in an abstract kind of way.
Penelope and I ate at Kobe Ramen last night. It was ok, but I think we should have tried the noodles instead of random small dishes. In other news I have posted a bunch more photos from the last year that I have been hoarding:
When I visited Japan a few years ago, one of my favorite food experiences was a little hole in the wall bar in rural Japan near Osaka. The little dishes of interesting fare really hit the spot after a night of drinking and the hot shochu with umeboshi helped keep my buzz going and my body warm. When I walked into Suehiro last Sunday night at midnight, a quick glance at the specials board let me know that this was my kind of place. Just a warning, there is a 90% chance that you won't like some of the things I ate at Suehiro, but if you are adventurous you should give them a try, if not there is still plenty of tame and tasty items to be had.
I use iPhoto to sort through and upload my photos to my webserver. It normally works pretty well, although once you have a few thousand photos in one library it really lags. The only real problem I have run in to a few times is the way that iPhoto deals with the information you add to your photos. I just sorted through about 500 photos, creating 4 groups and naming about 100 photos, then all of the sudden iPhoto crashed and when I reopened it, all my work was gone. Would it really be that hard to write to a file every time a change was made? Maybe instead of having one huge file describing all the photos in the library, iPhoto could have individual meta-files for each image file, or better yet, why not just store the info I type in the EXIF header? Oh well here I go again.
So I've been sitting on a crapton of photos from 2005 that I have been uploading over the last few days. Here is a listing of the galleries I have uploaded so far:
The Downtown Art Ride will be taking place today starting at 5:30 at the Downtown Art Gallery, which we will be leaving at 6:00. We will be checking out every gallery on the Art Walk except MOCA Grand and The Library. Here is a bit more information about the ride.
Tomorrow night is Midnight Ridazz and the theme is Camp Ridazz:
WE RIDE THIS FRIDAY THE 13TH. This isn't just any Friday night. It's the grand opening of Camp Ridazz! Never you mind about that rumored death curse, our counselors guarantee there have been no murder attempts or unexplained disappearances on the Midnight ride since the last Friday the 13th. So bundle up for a good time and head for the great outdoors.
Bring a few bucks for Pabst in the cabin.
Don't litter. No Rida left behind.
Meet at 9:30, Pioneer Chicken, Echo Park & Sunset.
IMPORTANT UPDATE I will not be able to lead the Art Ride today due to some last minute work related issues that I tried to get out of, but was unable to. Please don't let this stop you from riding around the Art Walk... I will be back leading the ride next month.
Yesterday I took my mother out to lunch at Thousand Cranes on the garden terrace of the New Otani hotel in Little Tokyo. I had the Tenshin Sampler ($22.50)which was basically kaiseki, a large assortment of small dishes each with unique flavors and ingredients. The first course was three delicious dishes, the first was two cubes of deliciously slimy mountain yam with a vinegar chili sauce that reminded me of kimchi brine along with some small orange eggs that were larger than flying fish or smelt roe, but much smaller than salmon roe, but just as fishy tasting and some shredded raddish of some type, possible daikon. The second dish was an unagi and shittake savory custard that came in a covered dish and included a spoon for easier dish to mouth transport. The content of the third plate totally escapes my mind and I didn't take a photograph of it, but I remember enjoying it.
When the main course came, I could tell my mom was jealous that she ordered the City Sampler($19.95) which didn't come with a first course, but when her tray of dishes came she was very pleased with her selection. My main course consisted of 6 dishes, not including the steamed rice and sauces. Clockwise from the top, the first dish was some type of fibrous tuber in a sweet soy sauce with two pieces of gooey okra on the side. The second dish was several thick slices of salmon and yellow tail sashimi with both daikon and western radish, seaweed, shizo leaf, lemon, wassabi and soy sauce. The third dish was a steaming hot bowl of miso soup with the customary tofu, seaweed and green onions. The fourth dish was a small sampling of daikon, cucumber and carrot pickles that were firm and mildly acetic. The fifth dish was an unusual twist on the conventional shrimp tempura obtained by covering the battered shrimp with crunch rice spheres before frying, along with typically prepared yam and enoki mushroom tempura, the sauce for which was enhanced with the optionally added cone of daikon radish and garlic. The sixth and final dish of the main course was a sizable portion of perfectly broiled yellowtail garnished with a crisp slice of lotus root, daikon and lemon atop a bed of tender sea vegetables flavored with bits of bonito.
The service was great and the desert of mango ice cream and a sugar cone cookie complimented the complimentary hot green tea served after the meal. The food was wonderful and I look forward to going back soon.
After lunch we toured the garden which Penelope and I are considering as a wedding venue. My mom took advantage of the open wireless access point and checked her email and I helped her with a few things on her PowerBook and then we walked down the stairs to Weller Court where she went book shopping and then we parted ways, she headed to Marukai and I to do some programming. [Photos are here]
I've been saying this was going to happen for a while now, it just makes sense that Google would create its own operating system. I actually hadn't thought too much about a cheap computer, but I suppose that makes sense, too bad WalMart will be selling it. Google just announced that they will be selling TV content via Google Video and also that they are offering the "Google Pack" that comes with Firefox, Ad-Aware SE Personal, Google Desktop, Google Toolbar, Picasa, Google Earth, and Adobe Reader 7. No Google OS Yet.