Saturday, February 9, 2013

A couple of “Found” antiques

Well just for the heck of it, and because occasionally you NEED to, I decided to drag out the bigass monolight to take a photo of a couple of antiques I found at the local Goodwill. 


The first is an old weather station with a simple barometer, alcohol thermometer and a hygrometer.  The second is a Hamilton MECHANICAL clock, which I grabbed the instant I saw it!  It took a little work to get it operational (the key was missing, and the pendulum hanger was bent) but it works perfectly and I am currently in the process of calibrating it to WWV.

And no, I did not use a white powder flashpan to take this photo, the “flame” reflected on the clock is actually my left hand, held parallel to the Sunpak 522 flash on the side of my camera (both to warm the light and to fill in the shadows left by the White Lightning, which was to my right when I took the photo).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Beer & Chick'n


Just a quick update on the progress of my new flock. Today I cleaned out the brooder box, in the interim confining the chickens to four empty beer cases (three birds per box, which allowed enough room to prevent a potentially fatal “piling” situation). All 12 birds are doing well, and as of now I have three “confirmed” males (judging by comb and wattle growth; unlike with mammals birds have no visible genitals, and can only be sexed by secondary features) which is, fortunately, about what I initially suspected. Sure this means less (if any) Spring Chicken (as I think I can give away at least two of these cockerels), but it also means less dealing with the “issues” of Spring Chicken…


The boys, currently seperated from the girls, huddle together; hiding from the overhanging Sun(pak). Actually this is normal behavior when a small number of chicks are isolated in a dark place; and my ├╝ber bright flash gun has nothing to do with it (and coincidentially, it fired just over minimum power).

That’s all I have for now. More later…

Friday, March 18, 2011


Yes it’s that time of year again…  And I already got my Peeps!

The difference here is that the ones I bought aren’t marshmallows, they’re “made with real chicken…”  Mostly because they ARE REAL CHICKENS!



And here they are.  Last Saturday I purchased a dozen Rhode Island Red chicks, and this is their progress after six days. 

I’d been wanting more chickens, and specifically Rhode Island Reds if possible.  When I went to Tractor Supply they actually had them as one of their featured breeds, so I bought them instead of the Golden Comet pullets in the next brooder over.  Of course this means that I have a few cockerels in this bunch, but any I get will serve their purpose (which by the way is NOT replacing my current rooster!)


This Golden Comet cock (rooster) isn’t due for replacement for at least another year, and possibly quite a bit longer, for three reasons.  First, he is still too young for his intended final purpose as coq-au-van.  Second, as you can see he is tame (at least with me) and the only bird I own that I have any sentimentality about…  And third (and likely foremost) this rooster fought a hawk, and won!  I didn’t actually watch it happen, but I’m pretty certain that he has chased off, and almost certainly fought, the neighborhood hawk at least twice.  If for no other reason that’s worth keeping him around!


Finally here’s one for posterity.  Little Mr. Curious looks right into my camera…  Or is it Miss Curious?  Still to early to be sure…


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Photography: Fifty friggin’ Megapixels!


Unbelievable?  Maybe.  Impossible?  Not for 135 film! 

I just purchased and received a high-resolution flatbed scanner with a transparency unit, that allows it to scan both color negative and color reversal (slide) films.  Needless to say I am very impressed:  At the scanner’s native resolution of 6400 DPI a standard 135 frame (24x36mm) equates to 49.5 megapixels, with a quality level that blows the socks off of anything digital I’ve ever shot! 

So far I have tested this scanner with two color negative films (Fujicolor Superia 200 and 800 Xtra) and one color reversal film (Kodak Kodachrome 64) both with extraordinary results! 

Anyways here are some 50MP scans of some 135 photographs.  Enjoy.


Fujicolor Superia 800 Xtra scan

Kodak Kodachrome 64 scan

Fujicolor Superia 200 scan

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Big Mid-December Update!

After talking about it for over a year now I finally got a proper chicken coop!  With the help of my parents I got a Suncast shed, which with my brother’s help I erected yesterday and completed today.  Chicken Coop.


Of course the chickens need a way of getting in and out of the coop, and here it is. 






Now the only problem is convincing the chickens that they should be INSIDE that building!  Hopefully the heat lamp I placed inside, as well as moving their feeder and water bucket in there helps…

Frozen Chicken...

And now for some “Frozen Chicken…”  In other words at the time of this writing my chickens STILL haven’t realized that the new, heated building that houses their food and water supply is a good place to be…

 In Other News…

In the Can!

Also today I finsihed off my “bonus” roll of Kodachrome 64.  Hopefully I’ll be mailing off both rolls this Tuesday, as I sent a question to Dwane’s Photo to see if I could get my empty rolls back (I want them for use as display pieces). 

That’s all I have for now…  So until the next update…

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sunflower harvest, speedlight guts and more…

I realize that I’ve been awhile in posting, and that most of my more recent posts have been strictly about photography.  The first is just plain laziness, and the second I have taken care of by adding a Flickr photostream to my sidebar. 

First:  the Fall of the Sunflowers


It’s been over a month and a half now, but my sunflowers finally ripened and I cut the heads down.  Here is a photo taken just before the harvest.



One of the astonishingly-large heads that we harvested!  Most weren’t quite this big, but…





Just to give you an idea, this is about HALF of the harvest!  All in all it equated to about a half-bushel of seeds.  I’m rather impressed, especially since only about half of the plants actually made it to harvest!


Of course most of my corn is still in the field (I need to deal with this), most of what isn’t has already been fed to the chickens. 


And just one more quick thing…  Have any of you ever wondered what was inside a speedlight (standard camera flash)?  I had purchased a Sunpak Auto 411 Thyristor (a fairly powerful late 70s flash) off eBay.  When I got it the thing didn’t work.  So I tore it apart to see if I could find the problem.  So far no luck, but luckily for you I photographed the innards for all to see…


Click the picture to see a larger, annotated version on Flickr. 

Hopefully I can get this sucker working; it’s fairly small but when it does work it packs a surprising punch! 




Well that’s all I have for now.  Hopefully I won’t go so long without a post again…

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Film Photography


Yes, it’s a horrible pun but I couldn’t resist.  However this still-life is not what this post is about…

Yesterday I finally got back my test roll, and I am very pleased with the results.  My $2 Nikon performs like a champ!  Aside from the one picture that the lab screwed up, and the two that they (understandably) didn’t print the rest came out beautifully…

Sadly the same can’t be said for the photo CD that came with my enlargements.  The main problem is the resolution; the images I got are 1.6 megapixels (remember that a 35mm film camera is essentially a 10-20 megapixel camera, depending on what film you use) and the colors are screwed up (I knew I took a picture of a 24-bit palette for a reason!)  Oh well.  If I ever shoot any more film after my Kodachrome I’ll be sending it to a professional photo lab that provides “professional” photo CDs, not just the local “lab.”

Below is a somewhat hastily reconstructed picture of a sunset taken with my Nikon 5005 from the p**s poor scans on the Photo CD.  The film is Fujicolor ASA 200, camera is using programmed Auto-Exposure.  This picture looks “close” to both what I actually saw and what the actual enlargement looks like.  I will be scanning a selection of my enlargements and posting them on my online photo gallery soon.