Photos Spare Cycles MythBusters

Category: Photos: mine

May 9, 2007



April 14, 2007

Good news (for me)

crossposted from Spare Cycles

I just got confirmation that one of my Levi photos from the Tour of California will be on the cover of Road Bike Action issue 2. I also got several photos inside, including the Table of Contents. I don't know when the issue is coming out but I do know that it has gone to press.

With absolutely no conflict of interest, whatsoever, I encourage you all to become Road Bike Action subscribers (only $9.99).

January 11, 2007


IMG_9542 IMG_9543

Do either of these creep you out?

January 8, 2007

Ode to Rothko

Ode to Rothko

Ode to Mondrian


At my current rate, I'll get to processing my Humboldt photos in the year 2020. In the meantime, some are fun enough to share now.

December 29, 2006

A Whole Buncha Comic-Con Photos

I uploaded a bunch of Comic-Con photos thinking I was going to process them, but a lot of them look close enough for government work. If I haven't touched them up after 5 months, might as well just post them. This is a small sampling of what I posted in the Comic-Con '06 set, but it is probably the better of what's there. A bunch are still marked private awaiting processing that will probably never come.

Battlestar Galactica

A whole buncha Edward James Olmos:

IMG_0780 IMG_0783

IMG_0747 IMG_0738

Lucy Lawless:

IMG_0769 IMG_0770 IMG_0759

James Callis (most need reprocessing):

IMG_0768 IMG_0705 IMG_0703

Aaron Douglas (most need more processing):


One of Ron Moore:



I also went to the Hood of Horror panel in the hopes of catching Snoop Dogg in person. Snoop Dogg of course showed up too late, but I did catch Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson. There was also a scary-looking Diamond Dallas Page, Pooch Hall, Brande Roderick, Daniella Alonso, and Lin Shaye (thank you, IMDB).

IMG_0651 IMG_0659 IMG_0648

IMG_0588 IMG_0592 IMG_0574 IMG_0560

And I also snuck this awful photo of Jennifer Love Hewitt through a crowd of people (the only photo that I processed, as it was just 1):

Jennifer Love Hewitt at Comic-Con

The more important task for me that lies ahead is finally aligning all the Quick Draw photos with the notes that parakkum sent me long, long, long ago.

August 8, 2006

Wedding photography

Joy and BP-01 Bryan and Joy Wedding-07 Bryan and Joy Wedding-04

Joy and BP-02 Puffer Kelly-06 Puffer Kelly-03 Puffer Kelly-01

I thought I'd share a few of my favorites in this entry because weddings, Comic-Con, and the Tour de France pretty much dominated my July, and I've already blogged plenty about the latter two. (I can't share some of the Iowa ones, as they are still marked private).

Suddenly my Flickr photostream makes it looks like I'm a wedding photographer, which couldn't be further from the case. If you told me last year that I would be credited as a wedding photographer, I would probably have laughed my butt off, in fact, I still do, but somehow that happened twice this month with bp/joy's wedding and another in Iowa. It helps that d and I did this together: I was lost through it all while she seemed to fall into role directing people around -- it probably isn't all that different from managing kindergartners.

I'm used to outdoor sports photography, so it's taken a bit of getting used to shooting in low-light indoor settings, but I think the hardest aspect is the logistics of it all. Admittedly, shooting bp and joy was rather easy, as we just had to sit back and let them be happy and kiss while we photographed it all. Shooting in Iowa with bridesmaids, groomsmen, mothers, fathers, grandmothers -- that was tiring, especially when people keep wandering off or are running late. You spend the whole time searching around to find better lighting or checking out the ceilng to see if you can bounce your flash or scanning back through the photos you've taken to make sure that you have good takes of all the shots you've been requested to take. You're sweating in your suit in the 100 degree humid weather and you're trying to think of something clever so you can get something better than the tired smiles from all the shooting.

Shooting cycling is so much more relaxing in comparison. Even with the additional challenge of shooting fast-moving objects, it's nice to know that you have no control over the situation: I don't have to tell a cyclist to smile or move a little to the left or go find his grandma. I just point my camera, click, and wait for the next lap.

I'm going to a wedding in Chicago on Thursday -- I think I'll leave my camera in the suitcase for that one.

May 11, 2006



Sakura Sakura Sakura Goryukaku Park Sakura

The cherry blossoms in Hakodate are finally full bloom (mankai). I've uploaded this small selection of unprocessed photos to Flickr (top photo is actually from Matsumae).

April 3, 2006

Dry Ice and Jello fun at the Exploratorium

Dry Ice-3 Dry Ice-6

The Exploratorium is as much fun for my camera as it is for me. The optical effects and cool experiments that are candy for your eyes are just as fun to get on film. They have a table there that small bits of dry ice get dropped on every couple minutes. There is a small amount of liquid on the table, so the pieces of dry ice dance around the table and create little miniature hurricanes. You can checkout some more tiny dry ice swirl and other Exporatorium exhibit photos on Flickr.

Exporatorium-4 Exporatorium-3 Exporatorium-2 Exploratorium-1

I also got some more photos of Liz Hickok's San Francisco in Jello-O. This time around, she had done a model of the Palace of Fine Arts and Marina.

Jello SF 2-2 Jello SF 2-5 Jello SF 2-3

February 5, 2006

Monterey Aquarium Cliches

Some of my own cliches for the Monterey Aquarium Cliches group on Flickr.

Monterey Cliches-06 Monterey Cliches-2 Monterey Cliches-02 Monterey Cliches-04 Monterey Cliches-03 Monterey Cliches-08 Monterey Cliches-11 To the Mothership Monterey Cliches-07 Monterey Cliches-01 Monterey Cliches-05 Monterey Cliches-1 Monterey Cliches-09

see also: horizonline's photos

January 6, 2006

Photos: Sasebo Favorites

1 2 3

4 5 6 7 IMG_1600_edited-1 IMG_1389_edited-1

I couldn't post all the photos I wanted to from Sasebo, so I'm limiting myself to two sets: one with my favorites and one from around the city center. I would have omitted the latter, but it wouldn't have been fair to the city to do so. When I first showed my mom the photos I was taking, she complained that I was taking "ugly photos." She wondered why I wasn't taking photos of the more beautiful areas of Sasebo, whereas my photos seemed to all contain rust stains and grime. This is a frequent interaction with my mom. Several years ago I was taking her around MIT, she made hardly a comment. Later in the day we visited Harvard and she immediately burst out with a, "This is so much prettier! Why didn't you go to school here!?!?"

It isn't that I find rust attractive. Sasebo is filled with so many textures and has such an overwhelming density of architecture. I can't help taking photos of parking lots on top of homes, rooftops that meet in anything but right angles, buildings that similarly lack right angles, a narrow sidestreet adjacent to bright shopping plaza, homes that rise up and up into the hillside, and stairways, stairways, stairways. Zen photos are fun, but it's just as fun to take a stroll around town.

Full photoset

Photos: Sasebo City Center

IMG_1367_edited-1 IMG_1387_edited-1 Toy store in Sasebo

I've already posted some photos from the area around Sasebo, Japan, including spiders (kumo), 99 islands, and Braille-encoded city, but it's taken me quite awhile to start putting up photos of the city itself. I took hundreds of photos and I just want to post all of them with detailed explanations so that I could try to convey all the interesting aspects that I strangely find fascinating, like a shopping mall that could be Anywhere, US, a train tunnel through a shopping mall, four-way overpasses, and more. Neither you nor I really have time for that.

Full photoset

January 4, 2006

Great Mountain View Blackout of 2006


Power went out on the north half of Castro Street in Mountain View last night. After taking an initial trip around the block to search for techies rioting and throwing chairs through windows -- all we found were people BookBuyers attempting to browse using flashlights -- parakkum and I returned back to Hope to retrieve my camera and warmer clothes. Witness the horror, the devastation, of absolutely nothing happening... in my flickr photoset:

Blackout Pouring light on the Blackout Blackout

Full photoset

October 31, 2005

Photos: 99 Islands

99 Islands-4 99 Islands-2

My cousins and aunt braved the cold for me so that I could snap some sunset photos of the 99 Islands from the top of Yumihari Mountain in Sasebo. The city of Sasebo is busily spread out around the harbor along one side of the mountain, while, on the other side, things are mostly green and blue with ony the occassional settlement dotting the view. I'm not sure how one counts the 99 Islands, as there are many formations barely larger than a boulder, but by the official metric it is actually closer to 218 or so. At night you can see a string of lights snaking across the water between the islands as the squid hunters go out and try to lure their prey.

99 Islands Photos (9 photos)

October 24, 2005

Four views of Mt Fuji

Four Views of Mt Fuji-4

Four Views of Mt Fuji-1 Four Views of Mt Fuji-3 Four Views of Mt Fuji-2

Our pilot was nice enough to fly us past Mt Fuji on our route back. I love how Mt Fuji completely stands out from the surrounding landscape, leaving no doubt about its iconic popularity.

September 7, 2005

Wedding photos processed

I've finally posted some much-belated wedding photos for those of you on my Flickr friends list. Months old pqbon wedding photos have now been posted as a set. I decided to only post one photo from the Strange wedding, which I've called "Do the Tooch". It is a charming montage in which a father tries to impart the lessons of Boogie onto his child, only to discover that his child rocks to a different beat. Perhaps I should have posted the pqbon wedding photos earlier so that Tooch could have stolen his son's moves.

August 13, 2005

Photos: 3 Takes on a Fountain

Couldn't figure out which of these color-corrections I liked the best (though the first could use a bit more gloom), so here are all three:

Sticks-3 Sticks-2 Sticks-1

June 23, 2005


The CAFE-ization of one of my photos is complete. I submitted this photo:


The relative consensus was: eliminate the street sign, crop tighter, lighten the face. One of the group members produced this, which also clones out the face in the bottom right:


June 20, 2005

Going negative

I'm almost through my backlog of photos, but it gets tedious, so naturally I found even more photos to process by going through some of my old photos and seeing if they have anything more to offer.

Inverted I Big Sur-52i

These are just standard invert actions, but I like the affect (blue flame, black water spray).

June 18, 2005

My first cutouts

Punk Sheep.II Star (cutout)

Haven't made up my mind yet whether or not I like cutouts yet. The effect is pretty, but I often feel that the effect is to distract the viewer from looking at the picture as a whole, and instead shout, "over here! over here!"

June 10, 2005

B&W Study

(still incommunicado, but also innundated with digital imagery that I need to offload)

There are a lot of techniques for converting digital photos to black and white. I've generally been lazy and just done standard desaturation, but I'm starting to discover the wonder of 'Lab mode' in Photoshop. This technique involves converting your image into Lab mode, then switching to the lightness channel, which will be a black and white version of your image. If you know what you are doing, you can then do things in this channel to get the black and white image that you want. So far, I haven't figured out what those things are, but I did stumble across the 'a' channel in Lab mode, which is even cooler, and I did figure play around a bit with curves in the lightness channel to get a B&W image that I like better than standard desaturation (but am too bleery-eyed to improve anymore).

left to right: original (unaltered) photo, 'a' channel

B&W Study-1 B&W Study: Lab mode ('a' channel)

left to right: desaturated, lightness channel with some curves adjustments, lightness channel plus this fill layer technique

B&W Study: Desaturation B&W Study: Lab mode (lightness channel) B&W Study: Lab mode with fill layer

update: added in one more photo using a this lab mode technique. I also did some sharpening with the unsharp mask. I think this one has the best dynamics.

June 5, 2005

Playing with Fire

I just got back from a 3-day, 20 mile hike in Big Sur. Quite a lot of fun, quite a lot of photos. I have big plans for the photos, as I took along a GPS device to record the location of most of them. That, however, will take quite awhile to put the tools together for.

In the meantime, before I collapse from exhaustion, is a simple but fun fire study I did the first night down there:

The Dragon

Playing with Fire-11

Playing with Fire-14 Playing with Fire-10 Playing with Fire-13 Playing with Fire-15 Playing with Fire-16 Playing with Fire-02 Playing with Fire-03 Playing with Fire-04 Playing with Fire-09 Playing with Fire-07

Rest of the Photoset

April 30, 2005

Photos: Japanese Maple

I practiced my Japanese maple shooting technique after my not-so-great attempts 3 weeks ago. Here's the latest results from today's trip to Golden Gate Park (Japanese Tea Garden and Botanical Gardens).

maple-7 maple-5 maple-2 maple-1 maple-6

March 28, 2005

Photos: People on the beach

From my photo captioning entry, you might have inferred (correctly) that my metamanda/sunset/beach/maui photo is one of the more popular photos on this site. I decided to experiment more with the technique (i.e. overexposure) that I used in that photo while I was at the beach in Santa Monica. On a beach, at least, the end result is rather fun as it subtracts out most of the background (water and sand) and leaves just the people and more colorful items to be found on a beach. I also enjoy the technique because it anonymizes your photo subjects, which removes some of the voyeurism when shooting on a public beach -- or at least the feeling of voyeurism, which I find to be an impediment to taking photos.


If you like this photo there's more to be found in my People on the Beach Photoset.

March 23, 2005

Free photo captioning

It turns out that going through your referrer links is a good way of turning up photo captions for your own photos. For each of the photos below (all photos of mine that I have posted to this blog previously), I have found pages on the Web that are using them and have pasted in the text used to caption the image on those pages. It's like those contests in magazines, but the photos aren't as good and the captions only find humor unintentionally.

The Kill AOL License Plate

Friends don't let friends use AOL

surely someone can do better, let's move on

The Broken CD

user posted image


Hmmm, don't know what that means but it sounds like he's insulting Microsoft. The next one sounds more like it's straight out of the user's manual

if you drop it on a hard surface your "higher capacity medium" will turn into a "zero capacity medium"!

and finally, a haiku


i saw your parked car
looked in and saw my CD
lying on the floor

-The Mermaid

DC Car Show (speaking of parked cars)

Een auto voor meneer .. nu een koe.

according to Babelfish: "A car for Mr.. now a cow." (I just liked this translation)

Sunset in Maui

All The Drugs In The World Won't Save Her From Herself

February 2, 2005

Eiffel Tower at night

Apparently, likenesses of the Eiffel Tower at night have been copyrighted (post 2003, that is). While this (expressly) is not intended to prevent amateur photography of the Eiffel Tower, here is my amatuer, slightly blurry, but pre-2003-recopyrighting photo of the landmark at night:

eiffel tower at night 2001

June 23, 2004

Photos of the day: Kilkee

photo photo

I backposted these (click for more photos) as part of my Ireland trip log, but I enjoy them enough that I'm going to post them again :). (hmm, they would probably look better if the horizon was level)

June 8, 2004

One of my favorites

This is one of my all-time favorite photos. It's hardly extraordinary, but I like it nevertheless, though it is perhaps a 7-Up ad. (no filters or post-processing involved)

March 27, 2004

Photos: Prelude B

Back when I did the 100 photos set, there were a lot of photo juxtapositions that I had to leave out; they either didn't segue into other photos very well, or one of the photos may have been required to complete another set.

This set, called Prelude B as I was initially going to post an A, B, and C prelude, falls into the category of photos that went well together, but not with anything else. The first photo is from Monterrey (a high percentage of the photos posted on this site were taken during a single trip there). The second and third photos were taken with meta's camera, with the second taken returning from Tahoe, and the third taken driving to Tahoe on a different trip. I made a slight change to the set and chose a different photo for the second than I originally intended, though they were shot at the same time using the same technique. I also "cheated" as I think the second photo is the only photo that I have color corrected (autofixed the lighting).

Continue reading "Photos: Prelude B" »

March 14, 2004

Photos: Through the Looking Glass - Vinegar

Vinegar is surprisingly Post-Impressionist...


Continue reading "Photos: Through the Looking Glass - Vinegar" »

Photos: Through the Looking Glass - Chile Oil


Continue reading "Photos: Through the Looking Glass - Chile Oil" »

Photos: Through the Looking Glass - Tea


Continue reading "Photos: Through the Looking Glass - Tea" »

January 15, 2004

100 Photos: Sets A-J

If you actually enjoyed the individual sets, then here's all 100 photos presented in their intended sequence. Like I mentioned before, I presented the 100 photos in sets of 10 initially to make it easier on the download. If you viewed the other 10 sets, then this entry should load immediately. (See the individual sets for photos indentification). My final comment is in respose to meta's question of whether or not I used software to find similarities between the photos: no, I did not, but I wish I did.

Continue reading "100 Photos: Sets A-J" »

100 Photos: Set J

Calm restored... (The End)

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set J" »

100 Photos: Set I

getting hectic...

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set I" »

100 Photos: Set H

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set H" »

100 Photos: Set G

Back into light...

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set G" »

100 Photos: Set F

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set F" »

January 14, 2004

100 Photos: Set E

As much as an arrangement of non-humorous photos can be humorous, this is my "funny" set. This will be the last set I post for now. F, G, H, I, and J can wait for another time.

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set E" »

100 Photos: Set D

I cheated in this set and used a 2002 photo to lead it off.

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set D" »

100 Photos: Set C

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set C" »

100 Photos: Set B

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set B" »

100 Photos: Set A

This is probably my favorite of the ten sets. I'm going to post each set in its own individual entry, and then I'll probably do all 100 in a single entry at the very end. That way, if you're actually viewing these, by the end you'll have all the images cached and they won't have to download :).

Continue reading "100 Photos: Set A" »

January 12, 2004

100 Photos: Prelude

I posted previously about a photo project that I was working on. The idea is that I have 100 photos grouped into ten groups of ten. It turned out to be pretty hard to squeeze every photo in, so I actually have ten groups of ten, with a two photo prelude. The 100 (+2) photos aren't the best photos that I took this year, but the grouping will hopefully be interesting nevertheless. I imagine my posting of the project will take up a lot of bandwidth, so I'll only post the photos in the extended entries.

Continue reading "100 Photos: Prelude" »

January 8, 2004

First photo project

I originally got a camera because I was sad that everytime I tried to do a photoshop tutorial/trick/guide I had to use the stock art that came with the article rather than try and do something semi-original. I figured that with enough photos of my own I would have enough of a library to do just about anything. That was the idea, which I then forgot about.

(Skip forward three years) I decided that it would be good for me to go through my photos try to do a 2003 yearbook with my favorite photos as well as photos that would remind me of good memories. As I began assembling this, I realized that I have A LOT of photos. In fact, I have 3000 photos from 2003 alone, which comes out to eight photos per day on average (which is still strangely less than the number of songs I have in iTunes). So, at long last, I decided it would be time to do an art project with my photos. The project is going to be a linear sequence of 100 photos, organized into groups of ten. If I had more time and less RSI I would probably do something more interesting, but even this so far has been a lot of fun for me.

I'll post it as soon as I feel that I like the 100 photos I've chosen. Some of the sequences I really like, but some of the themes still feel weak or forced. I'm also leaving some photos that I would really like in there, though I did manage to include the very first and third photos taken with my digital camera in it. I guess I'll have to take more photos next year :).

September 24, 2003

Sunset on the beach photos

This is one of my favorite series of photos that I've taken, so I thought I'd post them. They were taken in Kaanapali during sunset, though you can't tell the time of day very well from them.
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Continue reading "Sunset on the beach photos" »

June 27, 2003

Photos of the day

These were taken at a wedding I was at last weekend (attendees can e-mail me for the full album with more personal shots):
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