Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sold: Nikon D50 Body

THIS CAMERA HAS BEEN SOLD.

Thanks to all who showed interest in purchasing it. Although I'm sad that I had to let this camera go in order to buy my new one. I'm looking forward to using my new camera. A nice shiny Nikon D300.


For Sale: Nikon D50 Body
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

The Nikon D50 is a 6.1 megapixel D-SLR camera. It is an excellent camera for someone upgrading from a point-and-shoot or looking for a second body for back-up.

The camera only has 6500 actuations out of a projected life of 50,000 and is just over one year old (Purchased in Sept. 2006). The sensor has recently been cleaned and produces magnificent pictures (See my flickr stream).

This was my first D-SLR and has taught me a lot about photography and is the reason why I have taken up photography as a serious hobby.

Also included in the sale:
- 2GB SD Memory Card
- Pocket Tripod
- Magic Lantern Guide - Nikon D50 (Book)
- Nikon D50 Digital Field Guide (Book)
- Photography Focus Guide - Nikon D50 (Book)

Here is a full review of the Nikon D50:
www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond50/

E-mail me for pricing and other details.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Photo Friday: Silence


Photo Friday: Silence
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

Please note that this will be my last post to this blog as I will be focusing on my Flickr account. Thanks to all who have visited me here since I started this ride and I hope to see you over at Flickr.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Photo Friday: Real Life


Photo Friday: Real Life
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

I was coming home from training and I was snapping some candid shots of people on the Metro. Ironically, as I took this picture, the song "The Metro" by Berlin started playing on my iPod.

This was my favorite shot of the day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You must bow to me! I am the Nerd King!

As I sit here in a Cisco Boot Camp this week, I visited another bloggers site (Thanks, Lee!) and saw that she took this great nerd test. I knew right away that I had to take the test to see how I would score.

My result is:

NerdTests.com says I'm a Nerd King.  What are you?  Click here!


If you take the test, please stop back and let me know how you did. I love these kind of tests.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Photo Friday: Comfort


Photo Friday: Comfort
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

This is probably more like the opposite of comfort based on her facial expression. Alice has a necklace and hat on, as well as being hugged. Her overall look is like "Help, get me out of here." All I can say is that she is well loved.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Photo Friday: The Beach


Photo Friday -- The Beach
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

Took this from a pier on Waikiki Beach near my hotel.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Photo Friday: Fantasy


Photo Friday -- Fantasy
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

Played around with Split Toning in Lightroom to come up with this one.

You can see more pictures for the topic 'Fantasy' at Photo Friday.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Photo Friday: Insignificant


Photo Friday: Insignificant
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

What is more insignificant than garbage?

Here are some paint cans that are ready for trash night.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Photo Friday: Unfinished


Photo Friday: Unfinished
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

This was the last week of summer for the boys before school starts next week. They were very invested in their Fisher Price GeoTrax train set this week. They called me out of my office to look at the "huge mountain" that they built out of the tracks.

As I was editing the picture, I saw this weeks Photo Friday topic was "unfinished." It all fell together and here is my entry this week.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Photo Friday: Old


Deserted
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

This is a house in my neighborhood that people really do live in. They obviously do not use the front door often.

The house is circa 1870.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Breakfast time


Yellowjacket and unknown bug
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

This morning, we had a bunch of ants and a yellowjacket eating some unknown bug on one of our sidewalk pavers in our backyard.

I thought it was very cool seeing a bee in action while eating. I cannot remember ever seeing this. Although I only got a few shots off that came out, I enjoyed the experience.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

First Published Photo

Well, not much has happened since my last post.

We've been installing some new kitchen cabinets, waiting for new kitchen countertops, studying for my Cisco certification exam, getting ready for school to start, and got a photo published in an online travel guide.

WHAT! Did I just say that? Yup! I was contacted by Schmap Baltimore for a photo that I had on my Flickr photostream. It was taken at the Holocaust Memorial at the Inner Harbor. The direct link to the website where it is located is:
http://www.schmap.com/baltimore/activities_innerharbor/p=209989/i=209989_2.jpg.

Hopefully, I'll be posting more frequently once things calm down here in the next month.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Photo Friday: Vacation


Edinboro Landscape
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

We went to Edinboro, PA for a few days as part of our vacation. We dropped the boys off at Cathie's parents for about a week and a half. The boys loved the country and all the adventures they experienced with Granny and Poppa. While there, we were able to visit our all time favorite diner, Taki's. As well as get a ride on Cathie's dad's new Honda Goldwing trike. Cathie was also able to visit the Edinboro University book store and get some swag to wear. She loves her new Boro baseball cap.

While the boys were away and we were back in Maryland, Cathie and I had our hardwood floors refinished. We also got a chance to slip away to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC and many, many places to eat. Our last day allowed us to visit the Johns Hopkins book store to get some JHU things. All this in preparation of her finishing her Autism certificate in just 9 more classes. YEAH! Go Cathie!

If you get a chance, you must try The Melting Pot. The experience is awesome! From the Cheese fondue appetizer, to the salad, to the entree, and finally the chocolate fondue dessert, nothing was disappointing. It is our new favorite place to go and cannot wait for the next occasion to go back.

The boys came back today with Cathie's parents. So, we are all happy to be back together.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

07_07_07

Well, this is a day that only occurs once every 100 years.

So, what did I do to celebrate it. I walked around downtown with my boys and took some pictures to upload to the Flickr group dedicated to this day. The group is hoping to put together a book of photographs where all proceeds will go to UNICEF. Looks like a good cause. I'm excited.

It was a great day. We started with a mid-morning snack at the local bagel shop and them went to the library. We relaxed in the pool and finished the day with a nice dinner out. Tomorrow will be more relaxation by the pool and not much more.

What did you do today?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Da Blimp


Goodyear Blimp
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

Well, I've got good news and bad news.

The good news is that I am loving Adobe Lightroom. What used to take me quite a while in multiple programs to get just right, now takes me a few minutes. I did learn something very frustrating about Lightroom this week, however. It doesn't like compressed folders. I was not able to save any of my changes until I uncompressed my folders with my pictures. No big deal (for now).
-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
The blimp was seen a few times by us tonight. We first saw the blimp as we were heading home from Party City and Pizzeria Uno's. Later, while we were at home playing in our back yard, it flew over our house. That was when I took his picture. It was surprisingly low to the ground it was.

Now, for the bad news. The Cavaliers lost the NBA Finals by a sweep no less. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy for Tim Duncan and team, but Lebron James was AWESOME this year. It only makes me excited to see what they will do next year after another year under their belts as a team.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Lightroom Software is Here!

I know how much you all have been waiting in anticipation since my last post for my copy of Adobe Lightroom 1.0 to arrive. Well, you'll be happy to know that it arrived in the mail yesterday. I was so excited about its arrival that I almost couldn't wait to open it and install it. But alas, we had other plans that kept me from playing with it until later in the evening.

Along with the software, I purchased Scott Kelby's "Lightroom book for digital photographers." This book was an addition to "Adobe Lightroom Workflow" by Tim Grey that I already purchased a week ago. From what I have read so far, I would recommend both books. Grey's book helps you get familiar with the different sections of Lightoom. While Kelby's book is more focused on "how to" tips for different projects that you can do in Lightroom.

Now, to the meat of why I did this post.

The Adobe Lightroom package comes with a CD in a jewel case. The Users Guide, and a coupon for Adobe Photoshop Users magazine subscription.

Okay, enough with all the pictures. I think we have all seen what comes in a box of software. Can we get to the software discussion already?

Boy, your testy this morning.

No, your just irritating me with this nonsense. We want to hear your thoughts of Lightroom.

HMMPH!

Adobe Lightroom falls under the new Photoshop family. The difference is that it is far easier to work with for usual photography changes. If more elaborate modifications or major customization is required, it interfaces nicely with Photoshop CS2 (I know because the books say so and I own CS2 and have tried it).

Lightroom takes a new approach to handling photos which is different than any other software I have used on a Windows machine. (I have never worked on or owned a Mac since I started getting into digital photograhy.) The workflow is to have a library of photos that you can work with, makes changes to, and output them to some format. The five stages, or modules as Adobe calls them, of the Lightroom workflow are: Library, Develop, Slideshow, Print, and Web.

Library

As you can guess by its name, the Library module collects all of your photos into a single place. You can view your photos as thumbnails in a grid or a single image at a time. This is the file management module and how you Import your files into the program. Once the photos are imported, you can work on photos directly in your Library module for simple changes.

The one issue that I have found with Lightroom is a feature that I have come to like with Picasa is the "Watched Folder" feature where is recognizes changes to files in a given folder and adjusts the library accordingly. In this version, Lightroom cannot do that since it works off its own database and not the actual folders and files. This seems to be a common gripe among users on the Internet. I see this as minor and only requires some rethinking in my workflow process.

Another issue that I have found is that I cannot use my network server as the Library. Adobe chose not to support networked drives with Lightroom. I see this issue as my way of keeping a backup. I have all my photos local on my laptop and then use Karen's Replicator to backup the files to my network server. No big deal.

Develop

The Develop module is where all the magic happens. You can make all of your heavy duty changes to your photos in this module. What I really liked about Lightroom is that it supports changes to both RAW files as well as JPEG files in a non-destructive manner. This means that it saves changes to it database without actually modifying the original RAW or JPEG files. Once you are happy with the changes, you can export the changed image to either en external editor such as Photoshop CS2 (or CS3), or select a third-part editor for additional rework, such as airbrush touch-ups. The exported images are separate files from the original so you still have a copy of the original in addition to the new copy. Another gripe I have seen on the Internet has been that Lightroom does not allow multiple copies of the same file even if they have different extensions, i.e. JPG, DNG, NEF, TIFF. I can see where this can be confusing or an issue, but right now, I don't have this gripe.

Slideshow

I have not used this module, so I don't know what it does. Therefore, I cannot write anything about it.

So, off to the next module.

Print

I have only used this feature once and I must say it was pretty cool and fairly easy. I added a watermark to my photo and looked really good, even though Cathie was not please with the picture of her that I chose to print for my office desk.

I haven't tried it but I thought that I read that Lightroom can interface directly with online developing companies. This would be cool if it can happen. I'll have to update when I play with that module more.

Web

I have only played with this feature once as well. I found a trick that allows me to upload pictures directly to flickr using their flicker uploader program from within Lightroom. Very cool, although I found some of the limitations of the uploader tool, but that is a different discussion.

Conclusion

All in all, I am still very pleased with this program. I know as I get more accustomed to its features and understand its capabilities more, I will love it more and more. If anyone makes changes to their photographs and is looking for a great program to both manage photographs AND edit them, this is the program.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

New Desktop Wallpaper

I haven't been doing much lately besides work and studying. Well, that's not entirely true. We had James' birthday at Chuck E. Cheese with Cathie's parents and some friends from school. They had a blast and really enjoyed meeting Chuck E. Cheese.

I also created this desktop wallpaper from a photo I took during our trip to the Baltimore National Aquarium in March. Since the screen on my laptop is 1920x1200, the original is that size. I submitted it to InterfaceLIFT, a website who posts widescreen high resolution wallpapers and it was accepted. They have it offered for dowload in other screen sizes as well.



I'm off to finishing the kids breakfast and waiting for my new software, Adobe Lightroom. I REALLY liked the beta and 30-day trial, so I'm excited. More to come on that once I have it installed and have played a little more with it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Photo Friday: Purity

I'm not really sure if this is purity, but when I downloaded it from my camera, I just felt that it fit this weeks Photo Friday theme.



This is the new stone bridge along Carroll Creek in Frederick, MD. It was taken on our way to get some Ben & Jerry's in celebration of James' birthday. The whole evening just seemed perfect.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Something High, Something Low

Today, I saw two interesting things in my backyard. A blimp (something high) and a snake (something low).


This blimp was first seen by my wife, Cathie. She called in to me to come out and see it. The kids were already outside getting ready to play in their kiddie pool. We were all excited about this cool event.

I actually saw this guy earlier while getting the kiddie pool filled. He was in our garden hanging out in the sun on the warm dirt. I felt lucky that he allowed me to get so close to take his picture. I was only able to get four shots before he had enough and took off into our neighbors yard. He sure was beautiful.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Photo Friday: Large


Photo Friday: Large
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

This is a very large mural at our local library. It is located in the Children's Reading Room.

This room is great because it also has puppets for the kids (and adults) to use and a little stage to perform stories with the puppets.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Illustration Friday -- Citrus

When I saw this week's topic was Citrus, I had a pretty good idea what I was going to draw. I did my second favorite drink of the summer, lemonade. (Iced tea being my first:) )

Here is the sketch of a cut lemon with a glass of lemonade.



I thought it needed more color to it because it looked like fruit next to a glass. So, I added color. Here is the color version.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Photo Friday: Amber


Photo Friday: Amber
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

Here is my submission for this week's Photo Friday challenge.

This was taken in our backyard during our first fire of the season in our new fire bowl.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Vote for Me

Today I submitted two pictures to JPG Magazine for their upcoming issue. You can vote for them to be included in that issue.


















I've been wanting to submit something ever since I found out about their magazine a few months ago. I think they fit the themes. Hope you agree and vote!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Photo Friday: Smoke


Photo Friday: Smoke
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

Looking across Constitution Ave down 10th Street.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sock It to Me

No, No, I'm not quoting Full Metal Jacket or a 2 Live Crew song. I'm talking about homemade socks.

Not sure if anyone remembers the great socks that I got from my Mother-in law. They are ones that she knit for me. My recent round of new socks from her can be seen over at my Flickr Account

Well, she has made the blogging plunge. You can see what she has to say over at her site.

Hope you visit!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Still alive... and finally inspired!

I know its been close to a month since I posted anything. A number of things have contributed to this. First and foremost, I have been uninspired. Second, I have been pretty busy at work. And last, we have been busy with projects around the house.

However, I finally felt like getting out my camera, the colored pencils, and pens this weekend. Maybe this was because Cathie's mother was in town and seeing her knit inspired me to do something. Also, I think that because Cathie's birthday was on Saturday and I needed to make her a card helped with my inspiration.

Whatever it was, it felt good. And I think what made me feel the best was that we were able to REALLY clean our house this weekend.

Living Room

Living Room

Reading Room, a.k.a. the middle room

Reading Room, a.k.a. the middle room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Our list of projects for the next few months is pretty aggressive. We hope to build "built-ins" on either side of the fireplace, paint all of the ceilings, and get the hardwood floors refinished.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Photo Friday: Sentimental


Photo Friday: Sentimental
Originally uploaded by louhamilton23.

Cathie's grandfather gave this to her when she was a little girl. It has TONS of sentimental value to her.

Since the core of the body is plywood, the head broke at the neck. She was very upset about this and was thrilled when I has able to fix it.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What are people thinking?


I was just on another blog and he was talking about penny stocks arriving in his e-mail as spam and who would ever take these offers. This made me think of all the stupid, waste of time e-mails I get in a day. I'm glad most of them get filtered into my Junk Mail folder.

I cannot stand these people who forward e-mails about the war, pictures that are "too good to be true," poems that need to be forwarded, and god knows what other crap I choose not to read.

Most of these e-mails can be proven to be false just by going to one website, www.snopes.com. Just do a quick search on the subject of the e-mail or a phrase in the e-mail and you will most likely find it to be completely false.

A recent e-mail I got showed a soldier with a black patch on his shoulder which says, "Doing the work for" and the flags of Germany, France, and Russia below it. A quick search on "black patch" proved the picture of be false and gave an explanation of where the original, unaltered photo came from.

My other favorite is when I get a poem or feel-good story that needs to be forwarded to 13 people in the next 15 minutes or you will have 7 years of bad luck. I'm sorry, I have never forwarded a damn thing and I have a never had a bit of bad luck. I have a beautiful wife, 2 healthy, handsome sons, an awesome job that I love to go to, and a house in a wonderful town. Where is the bad luck in that life?

My frustration come from thinking about these things too much. What kind of person creates this kind of fictitious information and puts it out in the Internet? I guess more importantly, why do people believe this and forward the e-mails along to others? Do people actually read these fucking e-mails before they forward them along? Do they actually believe in this shit? Again, what are people thinking? And then there is my favorite situation -- when you hear someone talking about these e-mail topics in public as if they heard it on CNN or some other national news program the night before. This actually was a conversation I heard where they were talking about a flight formation at an Air Force Base. I had seen the e-mail a few months before and knew that the photo was altered by Photoshop. Idiots!

Working in the IT field, I guess you can say I have the inside edge. This crap is polluting our Internet. It is preying on the naive. And most of all IT IS REALLY PISSING ME OFF!

On a better note, our weather finally has changed for the better. We will be getting into the 60's the next few days and hopefully stay this way for the remainder of the season. Anybody have any exciting plans for this summer?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My new toy

I know that I haven't been around much. Not dead, just busy.

Since I will be working from home more, I felt it was worth upgrading my home office. The upgrade that I decided to get was a new monitor.

When I worked from home in the past, I just plopped my laptop on my desk and did my work. It worked all right for me, but I wanted some additional desk space to spread out on.

This is what my desk looked like before the new monitor. (My old 15" CRT monitor was shoved below the desk for when I had to view my network server in order to fix any of my shares or print jobs.)

After doing a lot of research, the Samsung 22" monitor was best in its class. Additionally, it was on sale at Circuit City online. Therefore, I had to get it since the sale price was in my budget.

This is the box after bringing it home.

Yup. That's 22 inches of LCD flat screen, baby! It also has a 2ms refresh rate and 3000:1 contrast. The color and clarity of the 1680x1050 native resolution it awesome!

Nice packaging. Very clean and not over done.

Everything looks to be there.

And finally. This is what it looked like after everything was set up. I'm loving it!

I broke out my old 2-port KVM switch so I can use this monitor on both my network server and my work laptop when it is on its port replicator. (Anyone want to buy a Linksys 4-port KVM switch with cables? Let me know.)

Now, I just need to clean up and do some cable management then the work space will be perfect.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Last couple of days

This is what our Sunday looked like in front of our house. The snow came down so quickly that by the time I had a path shoveled, the walkway behind me was already covered. There were not too many people out on the road. This was a good thing because I'm not sure a snow plow was down our road until the afternoon.

If you are interested, more pictures of the storm can be seen at my Flickr account.

Today, Cathie and I were sitting eating lunch at the kitchen table when we heard some birds screeching outside. I went out to investigate and saw some birds in the trees fighting and yelling at each other.

I went back inside and got my camera. Since we have a second floor porch, I went out there to see if I could get some good pictures. This was the best one I could get. I am not sure if he was the instigator or not, but there were also blue jays and another bird that resembled a Flicker (Real long beak) flying at each other.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Our Personal Frozen Tundra


This is our backyard. It is completely frozen solid. I spent over 15 minutes with a garden pick trying to chop the ice so we had a pathway to our cars. I never made it deep enough to reach our cement patio pad. I only made it about 3 inches deep and still have another 2 or 3 inches to go. I also only made it about 10 feet out of about 80 or so feet. Instead, I gave up and decided to take a few pictures of items around the yard frozen in place.


This is a Fisher Price bicycle that my boys parked near the swing set. As you can see, it is not going anywhere for a while.


This soccer ball was under the swing set. Now, it only peeks out of it snow prison waiting for spring to come and have someone play with it again.


Here is the bicycle from above as well as another bike.

Today, it reached 40 degrees. I thought a lot of the ice would melt. Unfortunately, next to nothing melted.