Sorry ’bout that

If you tried to hit the blog last night you might have noticed that it wasn’t resolving.  Things have been nice and stable here since I switched hosting providers way back when.  This time I kinda knew this was going to happen.  I’ve been using Godaddy as my domain registrar for as long as I can remember.  They were the upstart kid when register.com was the king of the realm and their service has been fine, but their CEO… is despicable.

A while back I meant to switch when it came out he was a big fan of elephant hunting.  Needless to say, that’s not my thing, but I sort of let myself forget about it because I knew it was going to be  hassle.

What finally pushed me over the edge is his self-defeating and frankly confusing support for SOPA – the bill that would kill the internet.  I’m not sure how much business they’re going to lose over this, but it’s more than none – at very least, it’s mine.  If Reddit is to be believed, it’s probably much more.  So in any case, I’m now using the services of the lovely people at name.com and if you have a domain that Godaddy still hosts, you can do the right thing and find another provider too.  Name.com is even running a promotion and has info on what it takes to make the switch.

Sad Sad Elephant

Recently I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting around the house with my macro lens.  I suppose there are two things I really like about it.  Seeing small things big, as simple as it sounds, can often reveal things you wouldn’t otherwise notice.  The second thing is that macros are notorious for shallow depth of field.

This shot isn’t new, but it’s also from my 100 mm macro.  It comes courtesy of the shots I did at the zoo way back when.  What it does share, however, is the super shallow depth of field.

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I love keeping things simple.  If you’re blessed with a subject isolated from a background, you’re all set.  If you’re (more likely) taking pictures of something with a distracting background, shooting for shallow DoF takes care of the problem for you.

If you don’t have a macro lens, you can still get shallow DoF, at least to a point.  Here are the steps:

1.  Open it up.  Whatever your available aperture settings (f-stop) are, make sure you’re using the widest (smallest number) possible.  This is often not a problem as unless you’re shooting under a lot of light, most cameras will do this automatically.  For the cheaters out there, the “Portrait” setting found on most cameras is going to pick settings to minimize depth of field for the same reasons as I describe above.  Use it as a quick way to get these settings.

2.  Get as close as possible to your subject.  Each camera and lens has a minimum focusing distance, and unfortunately this can be much farther than you want, but get as close as you can and still focus.

3.  Position yourself so that things in the picture other than the subject are as far away as possible – just get as much separation as you can.

That’s it – with any luck, you should end up with a sharp subject and buttery smooth bliss in the background.

This Elephant Wants To Wash Your Car

It must be one of the most iconic signs in Seattle.  The car wash itself?  Pretty plain.  But the sign… the sign!  There are other locations.  There are better car washes.  But this one is by Seattle Center and this one has the sign.

Pink Elephant Car Wash neon sign

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I was in a big hurry.  I only had my 50mm, which makes it hard to frame something this big from up close.  Unfortunately, farther away means standing in the middle of a major street or getting some unfortunate buildings and power lines in the background.  You shoot now and decide what you like later.  I surprised myself and liked the one shot I got with a very partial view of the sign.  I gotta remember that.