Category Archives: Photography

Clearing out the memories…

There is only so much stuff a guy can keep, right?

Kristin and I are clearing out some of our high school era memories and deciding how best we can move on.

I have decided that for some things, a picture will suffice.  A tub of trophies is getting sent to the garbage, but first let’s relive my participation in the Bremer County Fair Crops competitions…

2000 Champion Beans, Reserve Overall


2002 Champion Soybeans, 2002 Reserve Champion Corn, 2002 Champion Overall

Purple County/Blue State Fair Ribbons

The last project there was for my exhibit on the differences between disc and drums breaks and how they worked.  Unfortunately, I think it may have cost some misplaced Chevelle parts at this point…

Sadly these items must go, but it was fun remembering talking to the judges and getting the awards!




Pictures of Baby Gabe are now up on Google+ – and there are some interesting differences in posting to facebook versus the big Plus.

Facebook allows for “High Quality” (no re-sizing on upload) pictures so long as you don’t mine waiting 10x as long for them to upload.  Google, on the other hand, offers no choices and re-sizes them.

Google allows for super granularity (per album sharing configuration) in its permissions via Circles, Facebook you set your permissions on your entire wall and not a per album basis.

Google will send a link to an email address whereas Facebook simply lists a public/share-able URL at the bottom of each album page.

High quality uploads are a big deal to me – I may want those pictures later.  Google is very fast, however…  It also appears that as a Google+ member you get unlimited storage (via Picassa) for photos smaller than ~2020*2020 whereas non Google+ members only have that for photos 800*600 and smaller – which is an incredible quality difference.

It appears that for the meantime, until Google+ allows for higher quality uploads and sharing, I’ll be doing my primary photo sharing via FB and the blog.


Bug on the Window Background

I heading to bed last night when I noticed that I had not shut the screen sliding door on the entrance to our deck (sorry Kristin) and so many bugs had been drawn to the light.  Here my new work PC background:

It is pretty cool how they can just stick to glass like that… I also liked how the top and bottom of the image was slightly blurred, bringing focus to this guys “face.”


Welcome to fall…

Kristin and I took our annual fall colors appreciation trip this weekend.  Instead of heading north, we went south east, driving down through Wisconsin to come back into Minnesotta at Red Wing and proceeded down to Lake City, MN which overlooks the massive (27mi*up to 3mi*) Lake Pepin that is formed by a naturual damming of the Mississippi.  I took about 90 or so pictures hiking throught the Lake City City (ha!) Park and the nearby Frontenac State Park.  Good news is that the weather was beautiful and our new little grill works great.

Tweaked for brightness and contrast, makes a good wallpaper.

Enjoy Fall, it always goes by too fast.


Mt. Denali

Mt. Denali (still officially Mt. McKinley because of a cranky old Ohio Senator) is the tallest mountain in North America and is stunning in its height compared to those mountains that surround it.  When you first catch a glimpse of it, coming up from anchorage on the Denali highway, you might not think it is very impressive.  The key is that you are still some sixty miles away from it.  Even when you are closer, it is hard to fathom that the mountain in front of you and Mt. Denali peeking over it are some thirty miles apart.

Since we were in Alaska in July it was highly unlikely we would see the mountain.  It is so tall that the warm air hits it and consistently shrouds it in snow storms.  We lucked out and took a couple hundred pictures to prove it 😉

We were about 25 miles away at this point.

The foreground mountain was about a mile away, Denali ~35.

Towering above the plains, it climbs ~18,000 feet from base to peak.

The mountain is really quite awesome, in the truest sense of the word, to behold.  It would be incredible to see it free of clouds as you can during the winter.


Animals in Denali

Kristin and I spent two days in Denali National Park and together I think we took ~1,500 pictures there.  You can therefore appreciate that the following is a small subset of that 🙂

Also, these photos have already been cropped in some cases.  Because of how you view the wildlife in the park, the animals are usually hundreds to thousands of feet away.  Good thing I had a long lens!  Too bad it was soft at full zoom…

Any animals in particular you’d like to see more of?


Home Data Protection Schemes, pt. 1

Having more and more digital “stuff” that’s somewhat important to retain, I’ve started looking at some solutions.  Already, we put all of our “important” files on our Windows Home Server because it has disk redundancy and is available from anywhere internet is accessible.  Our pictures, tax information, etc. is all stored electronically and it is important that it be protected.  The question then becomes how data is protected from there.

What are we protecting against is probably the first and most important item to detail.  What could happen?

  • Windows Home Server failure (hardware or software) resulting in corrupted data.
  • House fire/natural disaster.
  • Theft.

After that, we have to decide how much data loss would be acceptable.  If we could potentially lose thirty days worth of data, is that reasonable?  One day?  One hour?  One year?

Tiered backups is also something that has to be considered.  Some data, like important documents, likely needs to be more secured and backed up more often than the photo collection. The photo collection likely needs to be backed up more often and securely than the TV show collection, etc.

Some strategies will come in follow up posts…


A summer walk in the park…

A while back I took another walk through the little park near us.  I was trying out my big zoom lens and monopod for macro photography.  Overall, its a pretty soft lens and it was getting towards dusk so I had to fight to keep the pics from getting too dim.  I took about 130 pictures, only a few are even worth keeping at all.

That $450 zoom lens with image stabilization is looking pretty tasty about now…


The Best of April (pics)

I only took a couple hundred pictures, so there had to be a couple worth sharing 🙂

With any luck, I’ll keep getting better at this…