I worked on a fun project this week. On Thursday I had supper with a friend and we were talking about photography. He is a potter and mentioned that he tries to keep overhead down by doing his own photographs. Taking pictures pleases me and it’s a lot easier to do if I have a project. I knew that my sister-in-law makes jewelry which can be a pain to take photos of because they are so reflective. Pottery and jewelry are pretty similar in that respect.
So I decided to build a softbox for nice diffuse light. The light box helps to keep reflections to a minimum. Whenever you are shooting shiny surfaces you really have to pay attention to what is reflected in those surfaces. A light box envelopes your entire subject in white, although there is usually a black opening where the camera sticks in.
Instead of buying these two things, I decided to make my own, which will be much cheaper. I started out with the softbox. I purchased a plain old work light with a metal cone. Then I attached 4 dowel rods with strap, screwing them into the metal cone—you can see the screws sticking through the metal here:
I also purchased a “daylight” CFL for the light source. Turns out that it isn’t actually white, but it is close enough that I can easily correct it in Photoshop.
Once the dowel rods were in place, I measured and cut 4 square dowels for the base frame. I used corner irons to give it some stability. Then I used the strap to attach the round dowels.
The bottom of the soft box is just a piece of white cloth that we had lying around, which I stapled to the square dowel. I decided it would be much easier to staple to square dowel, which is why I went with square over round on the bottom.
Originally, I was going to wrap the sides with black cloth, but then I decided I needed something shiny to reflect the light down to the big white diffusing cloth. I thought about cutting the fabric and then attaching shiny fabric or tin foil to the interior, but eventually decided I didn’t really need the black cloth except for looks. Since I’m the one who has to look at it the most, I decided it wasn’t worth the effort to make it look nice. I stapled the tin foil to the square dowel and then wrapped it around the sides towards the top. I left one panel easy to remove in case I wanted to change the light bulb or otherwise get into the interior.
Once I had the softbox finished, I took a couple photos:
This was with a grey backdrop, just a quick photo before I went to bed. (I have also changed the bulb so now the shadow and white highlight are all but gone, as you’ll see.)
Pottery isn’t as reflective as jewelry. You have to look close to see where the paper that I was shooting on ends in the photo. For shiny metal jewelry, you really have to wrap the whole thing in white. So I decided to build a light box to shoot in. I took four pieces of foam board and taped them together to make a nice big white box. I have a fifth piece loose to help with closing the top or side, but I wanted to be able to move my light source. So here you can see it on the side and on the top.
With the light on the side, I can shoot down on things like jewelry. With it on the top, I can shoot things that stand on their own, like Santa Claus.
As you can see, the shadows all but disappear with this wonderful combination of softbox and light box:
The pitcher also takes on a little better feel with the light box:
Here is one of Kristi’s pendants that Kathy owns:
I’m still working out some of the kinks, and need to find a good way to color correct, but I’m pretty happy with the results!
I bought a new single by my brother-in-law Jon! I was on Amazon and for some reason decided to search for him and his band JRL. According to the site, it was released in September so I’m a little behind. 5 minutes of song for one dollar! What a deal!
You can find three JRL albums on Amazon, too.
I’ve been meaning to put this photo up for some time. Our dishwasher has only been broken for six months…
This is the mechanical timer on our dishwasher, and it doesn’t work anymore.
The little metal bars are switches that control the various modes. The plastic underneath raises the metal to close the switch, unless of course, the plastic gets completely destroyed. You can sort of see that several of the raised rims are stripped and “plowed” by the metal. I might try to get a better picture…
Anyway, we have been hand washing our dishes since this happened. Maybe I’ll get a new one for Christmas!
Our Ultimate club season is over.
Deep breath. Just in time for the weather to turn colder. Kathy and I were pretty happy with the season overall. I think every team will have its issues, but we had plenty of fun this year, and met lots of wonderful people!
And we finished 5th at Regionals (came in as the 10 seed)!
Here they are:
(row 1) Derek, Witham, James, Tom, Scooter, Coach Dave, Maria, Seth, Kathy, Craig, Lucarotti, Paivo, Putman, (row2) Jules, Lucas, Chani, Amish, Sam, Pug, Ashley, High School, Sherri, (laying down) Vic, Stewey, Juggles (reading a book: Alicia)
My ribs have been sore for the last couple of weeks. And I can finally blog about it.
Well, I could have blogged about it before, but I was waiting for the video proof and it is finally available.
You might have to watch a second time to figure out which one is me during parts of the video. Look for number 42. Or just look for the guy rolling on the ground.
**Edit** Yes, I was in two collisions in the same game. I did not play the rest of the day after the second one. My rib is still sore.
Here is another Ultimate article: http://record.goshen.edu/2009/09/6415-ultimate-fall-league-up-and-flying
It was published in the Goshen College newspaper. I don’t remember saying half of those things, although they are definitely the general gist and I could have definitely said them. =)
Kathy recently shared this article with me: http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Support-Should-Never-Be-Necessary.aspx#
Since I do support for computers, most of these are highly amusing and sadly true. While we don’t write software, we do provide support for software and often run into similar situations. “Many users are lazy, stupid, or lazy and stupid…” My favorite is:
"your getting than you used to be" (That's the entirety of the message from the client.)
While it is unclear whether or not this is actually a complaint, what is clear is that the technician's "getting" is in some way different than the technician himself was at some point in the past.
Each technician should take better care of his "getting", to ensure that it stops differing from how the technician used to be. That way, the technician will potentially be praised by the client with the commendation that, "your getting is now exactly the same as you are now". And those are the type of praises that result in raises.
Some of you have already seen this, but most of you probably haven’t. Goshen Ultimate Summer League made the paper. You can read the article here: http://www.etruth.com/Know/Life/Story.aspx?ID=487461. I am getting a few extra copies of the paper, too.
I’m still amazed at the turnout we have had. Everyone seems to be having a good time and to be learning the sport. There’s nothing like looking across a field of 80 people playing a sport you love and realizing you had a big hand in bringing them all together. Humbling, warm fuzzy feelings… (and thanks to everyone who helped!)
One of the things I have been meaning to try with my new camera: time lapse videos.
My office has been a mess and getting messier. But I knew that besides cleaning it up, I wanted to move things around a little. Kathy wanted a little space to work with her Wacom tablet, and the previous setup didn't work out so well.
It seemed like a perfect opportunity to try out time lapse videos. Watch the video and let me know what you think!
I signed up for an Ultimate rules list serve, where people can post questions about the rules and other members will answer them. I was only on for a week before I got annoyed and quit the group. Ironically, it was another Craig that rubbed me the wrong way.
We are quite excited about the turn out!
Kathy and I were watching the Cavs last night. After blowing another big lead and going down 2 with only one second left, I received this text from my friend:
Cavs choke???? Denver-orlando in the finals???? Blasphemy!
I wrote back:
Pssh. One second left on my tv!
I had been pausing and rewinding so I jokingly wrote this, figuring he had already seen the end of the game. But apparently not.
No sooner than I sent that text, I watched Lebron make the game winning three from the top of the arc. I was even more surprised than most because as I said I thought my friend had already seen the end of the game.
I called my friend to rub it in and found out that he had switched over to check in on the Cubs game. He turned back to the Cavs to see everyone jumping around. He missed it for the Cubs. Take that!
Kathy kept rewinding and rewatching. Lebron is calling it "the biggest shot I’ve made in my career." Instant classic. Apparently people in Cleveland want to call it "the shot" to try to forget Michael Jordan defeating the Cavs with the shot over Craig Ehlo.
I'm just glad I got to watch it.
If you any of you have been curious what we are up to, check out GoshenUltimate.com. We are starting an Ultimate summer league here in Goshen. We'll still be playing in South Bend, and occasionally making the trip up to Kalamazoo. Should be a fun summer.
As if that is not enough Ultimate, we are also joining a traveling team out of Ann Arbor, which is about 2.5 hours north east of Goshen. We're excited about the teams prospects, for fun as well as competitiveness.
Oh, there's a picture of me laying out on the Goshen Ultimate website. Pretty sweet--and staged.
Look what Kathy and I got in the mail the other day!
We are now officially certified UPA coaches! It may seem silly but for a growing sport (any sport, for that matter) it is important to have training and accountability for those teaching the game to younger ones.
I don’t know that we’ll explicitly use it this year, although we are starting a summer league and leading a women’s clinic in about a month. I am also going to help starting an official Goshen College team next year. Should be a fun year ahead.
We took the opportunity of a beautiful day yesterday to work on our flowerbeds. We got quite a bit done and they look great, although they will look better in a couple weeks when the new and split plants grow up.
I decided to take some pictures to share. I just quickly snapped three photos and figured I would try Windows Live Photo Gallery's panorama feature (panorama test of our Florida vacation). Here's what came out:
Our house seemed a little narrow, sans door. So I put it into Photoshop and used their automerge feature:
Um, wow. These results are even worse. So I decided to just manually put them together. The blending isn't that great; I didn't really spend any time on it. It does give a better idea of what our house actually looks like: