homemade flash gels


ah, the fruit of my labor. custom fit for both of my flashes, the 500EX and the 420EX, two sets of gels for the two sizes. it’s amazing what kind of effect they have when used…now the trick is to figure out how to use them more effectively. i think that they are too hot in my initial testing, so i suspect that i will need to take longer exposures, but i’m not sure. i guess i have a lot more learning to do when it comes to lighting.


little bit o’ shopping

i went on a little bit of a shopping spree today. i didn’t mean to, but there was something that i was interested in getting so i went around hunting for just the right thing.

primarily, i was looking to find some cheap gels for my flashes, but that led to also trying to find backgrounds for portrait photography. man, what an undertaking!

my first stop was aaron brothers. they were absolutely, completely without a doubt unhelpful. nothing. they didn’t have anything i wanted. my next stop was TAP plastics. it was the first time that i set foot in that store and i felt like a little kid walking into a toy store for the first time.

it’s not that there’s really anything particularly exciting about plastic, really…but there was something about the fact that pretty much everything in that store was made out of plastic that really piqued my curiosity. i went from aisle to aisle looking at all things plastic. i was tempted to grab a whole bunch of stuff but then i started to ask myself questions like:

“why do i need a 4 foot, 1/4″ neon orange dowel made out of plastic?”

“why do i need a plastic cube?”

“why do i need sheets of plastic?”

but it’s still fun to take a look at all of the things that they have. so that’s what i did, i looked.

finally, i got what i went there for: sheets of acetate paper. i wanted to see if i could make my own colored gels for my flashes and it all began at TAP plastics. they had 4 colors: red, green, blue, and yellow. i got a foot of each of them. it’s too bad that the sheets are about 4 feet wide because i only used about 20 square inches for the gels. what am i going to do with the rest of them?

after the gel purchase, i started to think about getting a backdrop for portrait photography. so i went to the local fabric store and looked around. while i was shopping there, one of the customers came up to me and asked me if i worked there. i told her that i didn’t and she apologized explaining that i looked so at home at the store that she mistook me for an employee.

i sort of stood there dumbfounded. this was the first time i had ever set foot in a fabric store so her comment was a little disconcerting. but i picked up two cords of cloth and had 4 yards cut out of each, so hopefully they’ll work out ok.

after that i headed out to borders at oakridge to check out the new store. while there, i was reading up on portrait photography. there’s one book that i really want to buy, it has a lot of good advice, however the store copy was very worn, so i didn’t want to buy it there. i’ll probably check out another borders and see if they have a copy of it.

as i was leaving borders, i saw that the da vinci code was on sale and since i had heard so many good things about it, i decided to pick up a copy. i hope it’s worth it!


early morning ramblings

i’ve been trying out a new schedule at work these past few weeks. today, i got into the office at 6:46. yes, 6:46 in the AM. i’m thinking that i ought to be able to leave by around 3ish then. what i’m finding is that i get so tired when i get home that i end up napping for a few hours. i’m not sure if that’s really all that cool, but i think that i end up napping because i have nothing else to do.

so the routine appears to be:
5:30AM — wake up, get ready
6:00AM — leave apartment for work
7:00AM — arrive at work
3:00PM — leave work
4:00PM — arrive at home, go to sleep
7:00PM — wake up, start evening
1:00AM — go back to sleep

i’m not sure if that’s a routine that i like…it still seems like a waste of the afternoon. hmmm, i guess i’ll have to try and stay up and sleep earlier. trying to distribute my sleep over two sleep cycles in a day is kind of weird for me.

the nice thing is that i can run errands during the day now, though. that’s quite an added benefit for me. yesterday, i stopped by compusa to pick up the hard drive for the xbox mod. i’m not sure what i’m going to do today, but i’m sure that something will come up.

mom and sister

my mom and my sister gave me [url=http://www.oneaday.com/]a bottle of one-a-day men’s health formula[/url] and [url=http://www.drugstore.com/qxp16753_333181_sespider/amlactin_12/moisturizing_lotion.htm]AmLactin lotion[/url]. though not as bad as previous years where my mom gave me hair tonic because she thought that i was balding, i don’t quite understand why they give me these kind of health products.

are they implying that i don’t look healthy? are they implying that they don’t think that i’m eating well and my diet needs this supplement? are they saying that my skin looks rough and dry? ummm…yeah.


after work today i went to compusa to pick up the current hard drive sale. this is all in part for the xbox hacking that i’m planning to do soon. the modchip is on its way and i’m reading up on how to install linux and other interesting things onto the xbox. i decided to get a 200GB hard drive. i originally was going to go much smaller, but with the hard drive sale, i guess it can never really hurt to have more hard drive space than less.

i still haven’t opened the xbox that my friends gave me, though. i guess that i should open it. my brother even lent me some xbox games that he has so that i can play…i just haven’t gotten around to setting up the xbox to play the games. all in due time, i suppose.

i think that i have everything i need for the mod, it’s just a matter of time for the xbox modchip to come to me. ahhh, come here, chippy!


bittorrent, part 2

as someone had suggested, i downloaded azureus, the java bittorrent client. i must say that the client is very pretty and it is everything that i would expect a p2p client to be. so, so much better than bittornado.

performance appears to be better with this client as well, so that makes me reasonably happy. we’ll see how it goes. i guess my first experience with bittorrent is also a little unfair because i’m downloading a 7GB torrent.



one of the reasons why i am not particularly fond of bittorrent is because each instance of bittorrent is independent of each other. this is bad for me because i have a limited upload rate. as a result, when my uploads reach my upper limit, my internet connection slows to a crawl. this, by itself, isn’t a big deal except for the fact that it limits me to downloading only one thing at a time. sure, i can set my upload rate low for each torrent, but i haven’t figured out what the relationship is with upload rate and download rate, but they seem related to each other somehow.

oh well, the one thing that i do like about bittorrent is that it appears to have a more steady rate of acquiring stuff compared to overnet. the thing i really, really hate about bittorrent is that it requires the use of a seed and it doesn’t have a built in searching mechanism. so unless someone has published the seed to something that i want AND i can find that seed, i won’t be able to get it.

tea with dardy, yo.


i had tea with dardy at the new san jose q-cup. this location is, by far, the WORST q-cup location i’ve ever been to. the complete lack of ambiance and cheap look of this q-cup was really disappointing to see. the quality of the drink, however, is pretty much on par with the chain. so if you need a quick fix, this is the place to go, otherwise, go elsewhere.

dardy was reunited with his puma jacket that i got from carol who got it from alice who found it at her place after dardy left it there after carol’s birthday celebration…man, her birthday was back in november or something. that was a long time ago. he seemed happy to be reunited with his jacket and what the first thing he did when he was reunited with it?

he gave it a good whiff.

no, he didn’t try it on, he inhaled deeply.

heh. only dardy.