theKitch

Abandoned

Sony Voigtlander

Sony NEX-5 with Voigtlander Nokton 40 1.4

It’s been over 6 months since I have made any updates on the blog. Woefully underutilized. Such is life sometimes.

The only big thing happening for me on a technology\photography front is that I sold all of my Canon gear and picked up a Sony NEX5. It’s a very small APS-C sensor camera that I an quite enjoying when I get around to shooting. Photography comes and goes for me, and right now it’s very much in the background. I am headed to Europe in less than a month with Becky, so that will definitely be a chance for me to work my photography chops a bit more.

Deconstructed

Becky and I deconstructed via mirrors and the NEX

The best thing about the NEX is that Leica M-Mount lenses easily adapt to it. So there are a vast number of old Russian lenses and Voigtlander glass available for reasonable money. I’m definitely partial to the Voigtlander Nokton 40 1.4 and the Jupiter 3, 8, 11 lenses for it right now.

Portraits of Raleigh

Click Image for full invite details in PDF format

This Friday evening, August 6th, at First Friday in Raleigh will be the opening for Series 1 of the Portraits of Raleigh exhibit at the Raleigh City Museum. I’ve been privileged enough to be selected for the exhibition. The opening reception will be from 6pm-9pm and will be on display until November 27th, 2010. There will be a “Sir Walter Award” given to the photograph selected as favorite by the reception attendees. So please stop by and vote!

In addition to my piece some good friends of mine have also been selected. Look for pieces from James Gries and Abby Nardo as well.

Plastic 52: A 2010 Project

Plastic 1: Trapped

I have decided to do a 52 weeks project this year (one photo each week for a year) and it’s been fairly enjoyable thus far. I had given brief consideration to a 365 (photo a day for a year) but quickly dismissed it for fear of it becoming an absolute bear. I enjoy photography, but it has its limits. Setting myself up for failure is something I strive to avoid.

There are a lot of approaches to this little project. Many people choose to do self portraits, some choose to do landscapes, a number of people choose an object to focus on. I’ve gone with the latter as you can see. Batman and The Joker are now on the loose!

You can watch my progress at my 2010 52 Weeks Set. I would also recommend checking out the Triangle 52 group and the Plastic 52 group.

I have more concepts for photography in 2010 as well. Hopefully I can execute and you will see more of that here in the future.

Plastic 4: The Streets

Canon S90 and Distortion

All in the Family

I recently picked up a new Canon S90 point and shoot so I would have a nice little compact camera to carry around with me when I’m feeling too lazy to lug the 40D around. It’s been a real blast to play around with. One of the small drawbacks of the camera is that its fast and tiny lens does have a fair bit of inherent distortion. The camera fixes this itself almost entirely in the JPEGs. However if you shoot RAW you were stuck with using Canon DPP. A recent release candidate of Adobe’s DNG converter and Lightroom resolved this by adding distortion correction.

After all this we were left with only a tiny amount of distortion that Canon DPP was able to correct in addition to it’s base RAW conversion correction. This resulted in “perfect” shots with zero distortion. This was something we did not have the option of in Lightroom even with the release candidate. Until now…

PTLens has been updated for the S90. It has RAW and “standard” correction. If you are using LR 2.5 or DNG 5.5 release use the RAW option. If you are using the release candidates then use the standard correction. I’ll never have to use DPP again!

For the image below I used DNG 5.6 RC to convert the CR2 to DNG. Then I did all my editing in LR 3.0 Beta. Once completed I did an external TIFF edit in PTLens to do the final distortion correction. Thrilled with the results! The sign being dead straight made me quite happy.

Oh, did I mention that PTLens is only 25 bucks? It’s got support for nearly every camera and Lens you could imagine.

http://epaperpress.com/ptlens/

Note that I am not affiliated with PTLens in any way. I just think it’s awesome!

Little Boxes

Mac and Lightroom Shortcuts

I love my shortcuts. Especially since I have moved back to Mac where they are implemented much more consistently across the OS and all of the applications. Everyone knows about Command-C, Command-V, Command-X. Some might even know about cool things like:

Command-W: Close Window (or tab)

Command-Space: to start Spotlight. This is the BEST way on the planet to start up apps and finder folders. Just start spotlight and start typing the application name and hit enter. It rocks.

Check out this Apple Support page for TONS of Mac shortcuts.

Lightroom has zillions of keyboard shortcuts. OK, maybe like 200 or so. Anywho, there are a ton of them. Check out the LRKeys app for your iphone for some flash card like training tools to memorize your LR shortcuts. It is 99 cents so if you are feeling cheap check out the help docs or this PDF file(Mac) for printing and quick reference from the Lightroom Queen.

Check out both shortcut sets and start kicking some keyboard productivity ass!

10.5.8 and The End of a (short) Era

OSX 10.5.8 recently came out so I figured I would do the update on my Lenovo S10 netbook. Just did the usual software update. First reboot I had no wifi. Did a quick reboot and wifi was back! The only other issue was with sleep. It stopped working because the fix for it from the usual install method gets overwritten. Just had to do the quick Info.plist change, refresh the kexts and all was well.

In related news I sold the Lenovo S10. My mention on the blog got a bit of attention and I received a few emails. Shipped off this morning with all the goods to its new owner. I really enjoyed the whole project and what I learned from it. Plus, I had a very low cost mac for a while that served me quite well. Sounds like it’s going to serve as a road warrior now for email, web, etc now. It will also be used as a media container\offloader for photos and video. Hope it serves well!

Mac OSX on Lenovo S10 Revisited

S10MacBookPro

It’s been a LONG time since I have done any updates on running a Lenovo S10 hackintosh. When the 13″ MacBook Pros were released I ran right out and picked one up. I love the little hackintosh netbook, but it just doesn’t have the grunt I really need for running Lightroom and other photo editing software. So I am thrilled with the real deal Mac, but I still wanted to revisit the Lenovo to see how things were coming along. The good news is that it’s going VERY well.

What you’re going to need now:

  1. A working OS X 10.5.6 install (use your real Mac or a friends Mac or Hackintosh, you can do this with only a windows system but it’s a bit more complicated. See this thread from SilverZero)
  2. Retail OSX Leopard DVD 10.5.6
  3. NetbookBootMaker 0.8.1 from http://netputing.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4
  4. VoodooHDA from this thread.
  5. kext helper from http://cheetha.net/

If you have all the items above you are ready to go! Most everything you need to do is covered in this NetbookBootMaker howto thread. The only change is that in step 9 do not hide files. Once you have completed these steps pretty much everything other than audio and sleep is going to be working on your Lenovo. Those are up next.

To enable sleep you have to edit the Info.plist in

/System/Library/Extensions/IOUSBFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleUSBEHCI.kext/Contents/

You need to add these lines

<key>OSBundleCompatibleVersion</key>

<string>1.0</string>

under

<key>CFBundleVersion</key>

<string>3.1.5</string>

Then you will need to refresh your kexts by using the advanced section of the kext helper utility and running the kext permissions and tag cache rebuild options and rebooting.

To get Audio working:

  1. Delete the AppleHDA.kext from /System/Library/Extensions/ (make a backup of it somewhere to be safe)
  2. Copy the VoodooHDA.kext to the /Extra/LenovoS10Ext/ folder on your boot drive
  3. Run UpdateExtra from the /Extra/ folder
  4. Reboot
  5. You’re done!

There are still shortcomings however. Still no mic working. Still no wired ethernet working. The Audio has some issues after resuming from sleep. I haven’t tried it but apparently this thread has some steps that can fix the sound on sleep issues. Some nice bonuses are a new trackpad control panel entry that gives REALLY nice two finger scrolling capability. Very impressed with this, a huge improvement to the overall experience.

Finally, I’m not really using my S10 anymore. If you are interested in purchasing it please send me an email at web@thekitch.com I’m somewhat flexible on price, make me an offer. This includes both the stock 3 cell battery and a 9 cell battery as well as the 2gig ram upgrade. I’m happy to sell it with a working OSX installation but you’ll need your own 10.5 licensed copy.

V-Moda Vibe Duos and the iPhone 3GS

So I have a set of v-moda vibe duos (I have an older version than in the link) that I have used for a long time with my 1st gen iPhone. I love them for music when sitting around or traveling. The audio quality and depth of the bass is just amazing.

I recently upgraded to a 3gs and sadly they have lots of odd issues with this phone. The volume randomly jumps around and it will also start voice control at random.

I sent a message off to v-moda support and received this response:

Jake,

We apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced. The newest iPhone has updated hardware that might not support all of the functionality on the Vibe Duos. We will have a compatible model coming out soon with an upgrade/exchange option available. If you have any other questions, please let us know.

Rock on,

So I guess I’ll wait a bit and see when something comes available. I think it’s awesome that they are planning an upgrade\exchange program. Hope it is reasonable.

UPDATE: They have stated these new models should be available some time this summer.

Apple, I want my pixels back.

I’ll be honest, the primary reason I am here is to bitch about Apple removing “Toppy Tabs” or “Tabs on Top” or “Chrome style Tabs” from the official Safari 4 release.  I was loving this little UI tweak on my Lenovo S10 hackintosh netbook from the Safari 4 beta. It’s limited to just 600 pixels of vertical resolution. So with Safari 4 plus my new most favorite Safari addon ever, Glims, I was able to get back 40 or so pixels of vertical resolution.  That’s like 10%!

For those not familiar, glims, is an addon for Safari that provides all kinds of cool tweaks to the browser.  My absolute favs are that it allows for running safari as a fullscreen browser, meaning hidden menubar, and also provides predictive google searching in the search box.  It does tons of other cool stuff as well.

I’ll be waiting patiently for a way to get back tabs on top.  Thanks Apple.

Tresspassing

Twin Towers

I recently took a trip down to the Charlotte area to visit a few friends.  I left early in the afternoon, early enough that I would have time for at least one photographic adventure on the way down.  I had decided that I would just truck along until I found a nice little detour.  I eventually found it when deciding to take highway 29 off of I85 in search of a location.  As you can see from the map embedded below that opportunity came almost as soon as I could exit the interstate.

I honestly have no idea what it is that I found.  The water towers were printed indicating that it maybe was the North Carolina Finishing Company.  I noticed that in the satellite view that whatever it was still stood at the time of the satellite imagery.  This is certainly not the case any longer.  Whatever it once was, it is now completely leveled.  I saw a few old broken down pickup trucks and heavy equipment, but overall it appeared to be deserted.  The one exception was a 18-20 foot camping trailer that was parked in an empty lot nearby.  This looked like it might be occupied, but possibly not at the moment.

Things looked quiet enough so I parked the car, grabbed my gear, and set out to capture some photos.  I have included a few here and more at my flickr site.  There are still more to be edited on my laptop, although many are fairly repetitious.  It was certainly an interesting site to photograph and given more time I’m sure I would have taken more shots.  Most of it was photographed from open land, however, some of the site was behind a chain link fence.  The vehicle gate was chained shut, but the pedestrian gate didn’t even have a gate anymore.  I didn’t see any tresspassing signs specifically, but it seemed pretty clear that it was.

After about 30 minutes of shooting I took a look around and noticed a figure in the distance moving along the side of the road.  It was a man, older guy, maybe around 70 from the distance I was viewing.  He looked to be the type of guy that could occupy a camping trailer parked out in an empty lot next to a demolished factory.  With this I decided to head back to my car.

As I approached my vehicle, so did the old man.  I could see now that he was pushing along a Vespa-like scooter and was dressed in some rather large and worn overalls.  We were equidistant to my car and once we were near enough, about 100 yards, he addressed me.  He asked what it was I was doing behind the fence.  I held up my camera and stated that I was taking some photos.  He responded by saying, “Did ya’ ever think that maybe somebody didn’t want no photos taken behind their fence?!?”, in a heavy southern drawl.  At this point we were both about 10 feet from the car and I decided that this old man wasn’t worth the fight.  I simply said to him, “Sorry buddy, I’m leaving”, jumped in my car slammed the door shut and took off while he angrilly shook his fist at me.

I looked in the rearview mirror and could see he didn’t have any fight in him today.  He just looked off at me, making no attempt to make chase.  In hindsight it was all pretty comical.  I do wish I had snapped a few shots of him and the trailer.  He probably wasn’t any real threat to me.  Although you never know what kind of firearm he had stashed in the scooter or the trailer.  Seems pretty likely that a 12 guage was lurking not far away.

Hijacked



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