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Typhoon SSBN

Forgot about the 1965 Jupiter-9 85mm f/2

Posted on 2016.07.26 at 21:54
Current Location: 67114

I forgot all about the 1965 Jupiter-9 85mm f/2, so started playing with that focal length strictly as a portrait lens. The massive throw of the focusing ring makes it easy to get perfect, even with the sun glaring on the fixed live-view screen. Again, this is a super heavy lens, especially attached to such a small, lightweight body. As I am new to this focal length, the example pictures show me I will have to work on framing. Additionally, this is the first time I've used flash. I got a 4-hour crash course from the wonderfully talented Terrell Neasley when I was in Las Vegas. I don't have enough time, nor subjects to shoot, as quickly as I'd like to master flash, so this is pretty much trial and error right now.

For something different, the lens under the cutCollapse )

Eric B&W


Posted on 2016.07.21 at 15:57
Current Location: 67114

So portrait lenses. I don't have any. I've been using my two Helios (58mm f/2 44-2 & 50mm f/1.8 77m-4) for the most eye-catching ones, and my Canon 50mm f/1.8 for just about everything else.

And just when I was about to purchase the Canon 85mm f/1.2L for a whopping two grand, I took a step back and decided to wait on the rumored Sigma 85mm f/1.4 ART-series lens to be released sometime in September. If that turns out to not be the case, I think I'll get the Tamron 85mm f/1.8 with optical stabilization. Both those are half the price of the Canon, and I'm still considering the Helios 40-2, a not-inexpensive 85mm f/1.5 manual to add to my swirly collection.


Highway Robbery

Posted on 2016.07.16 at 16:05
Current Location: 67114
Fuck the North Texas Tollway Authority with their 600% late fee.


VPS Upgrades

Posted on 2016.07.14 at 15:55
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

VPS Roulette

So I lost the $12/annual one (ehowton.us) - they had a billing glitch and terminated my box a month ago. That was the old one which held all of michelle1963 and I's deprecated blog projects. Its gone, and since it was a month ago, the backups are gone as well. Back to the drawing board on that one. I will likely just have them build me another template, because at that price, I really don't want to lose the good deal.

Wild Damn Texan (wilddamntexan.com) - this blog's online repository - was an ancient (circa 2012) Ubuntu installation I'd upgraded from 10.10 when I migrated hosts. And that was long enough ago I'm still paying $15/mo for their (now) $3 server. Egads! I made a snapshot of that VPS, created a chunk four times the size and capacity, and restored the snapshot to that new size, upgrading it in the process. Once everything is online, I'll swing over the DNS and no one will be any the wiser.

Then there is my new venture (newtonkansas.us) - where my EHOWTON PHOTOGRAPHY site resides. Koken - my CMS - was hammering the CPU on that little box, but the host, Safe House Cloud, has a nifty dynamic reconfiguration process where, upon reboot, completely resizes any chunk, so I doubled that one and added online backups. While it took me only 4-minutes to get it up and running initially, I don't want to lose the configurations I've made to the CMS - nor upload all my pictures again, many of which I've already deleted from my laptop.

And I'm doing all this amidst SLES and RHEL upgrades at work. Or perhaps, prompted by them.

Fujian GDS-35 35mm f/1.7

Posted on 2016.07.13 at 21:19
Current Location: 67114

What I wasn't expecting was swirly bokeh. But this lens has it - all for the crazy price of $25. It the cinematic lens I was telling you about which prompted me to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-3n. Also because, well, f/1.7 for the cheap. I can't say its exactly sharp, at least wide open - I haven't yet attempted a smaller aperture - but that may be because its a cine lens, and doesn't have clearly marked settings, it smoothly transitions from completely open to completely closed with nary a click. So I'm still getting used to it, and deciding when and where to whip it out. And even with the APS-C sensor on the NEX I still get some vignetting due to its small size, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Two under the cutCollapse )

Ferris Bueller

Oh Yeah

Posted on 2016.07.13 at 15:55
Current Location: 67114

The Fifth Element

Big Bada Boom

Posted on 2016.07.07 at 21:00
Current Location: 67114


Learning to Fly

Posted on 2016.07.01 at 10:18
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

I began teaching my son how to drive a stick the day he received his provisional license. On gravel roads. My Tiburon is the GT model, so it's basically all drivetrain. I am training him how to use the clutch to hold the car stationary on grades while slowly disengaging. I figure if he can master the gravel road, he won't have a problem anywhere. But today was a special day! First, it rained. And I mean a torrential downpour. Then it hailed - while it was still raining. Then the dirt roads flooded when the lightening started to crack down all around us. I fully expected to end up in a ditch, and was mentally prepared for it to happen as part of the learning curve; and in fact twice he nearly lost control of the vehicle - all while doing under 30mph. I had previously mentioned to him that when dirt roads turn to mud, its like driving on ice - but now he has the experience behind those words. Coincidently, it was also his best day shifting to date! Smooth and purposeful. He still needs the hours behind the wheel to best determine which gear best matches trajectory and velocity - and he was damn nervous out there with visibility so low and the crashing of the thunder and hail and rain, but did a fine job. Very proud of my boy. And though I was expecting him to slide the Tiburon into a ditch, I'm very grateful that part didn't actually happen :)


The Vegas Experience

Posted on 2016.06.28 at 13:00
Current Location: 67567

First time in Vegas, baby! I was very excited. Though admittedly, "The Strip" looked nothing like any of the television shows or movies I'd ever seen. Probably because all of those were shot on Freemont street, the details of which I will surely have to look up before my next visit. Though I did recognize many of the places from co-workers' pictures during HP World a couple years back.

I was excited for a whole slew of reasons. First of all, playing catch-up with the recently relocated suzanne1945 and her new roommate, Susan. Primarily because Dan had been able to come up with an impressive enough dowry to sway her to marry off her only child, michelle1963 at the famed `Little Church of the West.` Viva Las Vegas! Which was itself an adventure, as they have a laundry list of complex "packages" from which to choose. For example, there's a fee to have their photographer shoot your wedding, but also a fee to not have their photographer shoot your wedding, should you choose to hire your own. Either way, they're getting paid. As an aside, I was very thankful our gracious hosts purchased the package in which we were allowed to sit. That said, the moment the words, "I do" were uttered, the doors were thrown open with much fanfare indicating GTFO. (I assume requisite applause immediately following nuptials was an additional, prohibitive cost as well). But I did get to meet and greet so many people and take so many pictures. I was in photography heaven.

Immediately following the wedding was the after-party (I believe some call this a "reception" but I wasn't the only one devoid of marital lore as that's what everyone was calling it) where there was a bonafide pig in a box (Cuban-style I overheard someone say), and metric ton of beer. I spent the rest of the day meeting fascinating people and capturing them with my beer-powered camera.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. There I was, patting myself on the back for scheduling mostly non-busy, short-distance, well-arranged Summer outings when the wedding announcement came. I was excited for my friend and replied with a sincere, "Congratulations." That's when GF excitedly states, "OMG WE HAVE TO GO!" And that's when I decided to shoot my first wedding.

I started looking at the lenses professional wedding photographers use, the Canon trifecta, mostly - three "L" series zoom lenses, only one of which I owned, the other two being far outside my budget. But this was also when I considered renting a lens for the first time - and while the prices of online lens renters is adequate, I really couldn't fathom sending and receiving packages on a schedule meeting my travel dates. So I turned to local businesses and found a store with outstanding reviews, B&C Camera right there in Las Vegas - they even had the one I was eyeing, the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II. But I was sitting on the fence about spending the $40/day and trying to decided whether I wanted it for shooting a half-hour wedding wedding, the strip the following day, or both. Either way, it was my first stop from the airport.

They didn't have the lens.

It was already rented out. But a super-friendly and knowledgeable sales associate talked me into the Tamron version - same lens plus image stabilization (IS), and for the weekend rate of $40/Saturday-morning-through-Monday-evening! This same sales associate also solved my tripod problem. I have two at the house, but didn't want to ship them to Vegas and back, and Michelle was unable to find anyone local who had one. GF had suggested purchasing an el-cheapo and just throwing it away, but the last time I'd purchased a sub-par tripod, it didn't look sturdy enough to hold my camera let alone an enormous, expensive, rented lens on it. I'd decided to see if I could get a super nice one while in town, and then just ship it back. Despite all the many tripods they had available for sale, the sales associate showed me exactly one - the ProMaster XC525 - which I didn't know how to use, but after his hands-on tutorial, I was ready.

I hit the strip early the day after the wedding - something like 0600 - well before anyone was up and moving around the shopping areas and casinos. The fact that it was already over 100-degrees probably comes into play here, though I wasn't aware of it quite yet. GF and I walked to The Venetian and had just set up my tripod near the indoor shopping area when I was approached by a security guard. "No tripods," he said.

"Seriously? Why?"

"Tripping hazard," he said. His voice echoing off the enormous, empty, cavernous space.

That evening we decided to hit the Stratosphere at dusk, to capture the gleaming city from the tallest observation tower in the United States. With the minutes ticking away, we were stuck in a photobooth queue where people were getting their pictures taken in front of a green screen. I asked the attendant, "Is there a different line to the observation deck?" The attendant threw a brilliant smile at me and proclaimed, "Nope! These pictures are all part of the experience!"

"Really? They're free?"

"No, but if you decide you want them later," she said, "They're all part of the experience!"

"Is there a way to get to the observation deck bypassing the...experience?" Her smile disappeared in an instant. "You can go on by."

Frustratingly, tripods were disallowed from the Stratosphere as well.

The rest of the trip was filled with lots of walking, a cancelled flight due to the 115-degree heat, waiting for city buses then getting kicked off of them, getting stranded at a bus stop after dark across from a bailbonds place with caged soda machines, and absolutely no sleep whatsoever. That sales associate from the camera store? We exchanged shots and ended up shooting together before I left Vegas. I also met another super-friendly photographer at the pool party and am hoping she visits us in Newton for a grand shooting adventure!

All in all, it was indeed an, "experience" with good friends, new friends, and the reason we were all there to begin with, a wedding.

Eric 1stDiv, Triumphant

The Venetian

Posted on 2016.06.23 at 16:54
Current Location: 89109

Tripods not allowed

Sun Logo

pkg update

Posted on 2016.06.09 at 17:00
Current Location: 67567
Tags: ,

Note to self: Solaris 11.3 utilizes pkg update now to...well, update its packages.

I found myself messing around with an x86 VM I have on one of my computers (probably installed for some work test I don't even remember) and was surprised I didn't even require an Oracle support contract (because Oracle) to patch the system.



Posted on 2016.06.08 at 00:00
Current Location: 76234
Tags: ,

Dad, doing his best to recreate my daughter's pic against the wall.



Posted on 2016.06.03 at 13:15
Current Location: 67114

I can't remember the last time I flew for pleasure, rather than business, and/or when everything became so goddamn complex. I often see these ads, "Fly anywhere for $65!" and that sounds like such a good deal, that I booked early enough in advance to take advantage of these deals. Which, as it turns out, aren't really deals. Unless you're rich. Or retired. Or both.

The $65 is only if you fly out at 0200 on a Tuesday, otherwise its twice that price, and doesn't include the trip back, which is twice THAT price. And there are increasingly pedantic rules of what constitutes a "carry-on" (which is now another $50) and a "personal item." Oh! and if you're travelling with someone, not only is all that doubled, but - if you want a seat, that's an additional $20. Per seat. Each way. So like, another $80.

Then there's the rental car - which also have incredible deals! I could slip into that new Cadillac Coupe I've been eyeballing for only $35 a day - if I arrive on a Tuesday, and return it before Friday, otherwise, the micro-compact is that price. I didn't even know there was such a class as, "micro-compact."

GF and I, in an attempt at frugality (and thank the gods we have a Suzanne and Susan where we're headed, you don't want to know how many thousands of dollars a suite is on a weekend where we're going), decided to vacuum pack only silk items, and wear four pair of underwear on the flight. Did you also know that too large a container of deodorant could be construed as bomb-making materials? Whose pockets are getting lined? Seriously, whose?

Anyway, we decided to share the "carry on" for a change of clothes and each bring everything we'll need as a, "personal item." Thankfully they have clearly defined dimensions for these, and within those constraints I was able to find a Chinese-made DSLR backpack on Banggood for under $20 including shipping! This bag would even fit a tablet (if I had a tablet). All I have to do now is continue to stuff every last piece I'll need into it, but what a great find! its like something finally went right on this trip :)

The interior options were electric green, blinding orange, & horror red


ehowton photography

Posted on 2016.06.01 at 21:39
Current Location: 67114

My Kansas-themed photography site:


And requisite Facebook page: facebook.com/ehowtonphotography

synapse, cyberpunk


Posted on 2016.05.31 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114

mysql. Ugh. I did find a nice little helper this time around named, mysql_setpermission which is a godsend for both cli and non-dba's (have always despised the web-based mysqladmin tool).

So, notes!

# apt-get install graphicsmagick

# apt-get install php5-curl

# a2enmod rewrite

# printf '%s\n' 'define('DARKROOM_MAGICK_THREADS', false);' 'define('DARKROOM_MAGICK_MEMORY', false);' 'define('DARKROOM_MAGICK_MAP', false);' >> /var/www/html/storage/configuration/user_setup.php

# service apache2 restart

Fix this:
  • Database connection error: This database contains Already on installation of Koken. If you'd like to install another copy in this database, click the "Advanced options" link below and change the table prefix.

With this:
  • mysql_setpermission

Choosing this:
  • 6. Create/append full privileges for an existing database
    and host combination (user has FULL privilege)

And don't forget to add this line to your 000-default.conf (or applicable vhost) under DocumentRoot:

RewriteEngine On


YONGNUO YN35mm f/1:2 AF

Posted on 2016.05.26 at 16:39
Current Location: 67114

YONGNUO YN35mm f/1:2 AF

There I was, first session of a new shoot in Larned, KS this Spring. We were up the concrete steps dwarfed by the massive pillars of the architecture and I was pressed against the bricks trying capture my model who was opposite me against the column. The 50mm lens on the crop sensor increased its focal length and the 24mm prime I have was too wide. (As an aside, I was not directly behind the camera, either, and as the Rebel SL1 doesn't have an articulated screen, I had to rely upon my limited number of autofocus lenses.) If I slid to either side to increase the distance, the shot wouldn't work, and if she moved she'd be in angry, shadow-casting direct sunlight. Resignedly, I grabbed my 18-55 kit lens and framed the shot. Pulling it back, I looked down at the barrel and noticed it was sitting at 35mm. I announced then and there I wanted to add a 35mm AF prime to my collection.

And that was the easy part.

The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM was my first choice, but at $999 retail, awfully pricey. I mean, not for an, "L" series lens, just...expensive. And every "pre-owned" lens site out there (and there are quite a few of them) had them used at the low, low price of...$999! Which of course, is retarded. So I started looking at alternatives, where I ran across the Chinese version of Canon's previous model 35mm f/2 for nearly $200 less than Canon's previous model 35mm f/2. That's quite a savings. Enter Yongnuo. But what sold me were the reviews, some of which described in detail how the Yonguo surpassed the Canon. Sample pictures sealed the deal and it arrived 3 days later.

It is by far the noisiest of my AF lenses, and I haven't had a chance to use it in a shoot, but here are basically the first two pictures I took with it (if you're not getting tired of seeing my daughter model - seriously, I need more models, she begs you!)

Two under the cut...Collapse )

Camera Side

1960s Asahi Pentax-M SMC f/1.4 50mm

Posted on 2016.05.25 at 22:49
Current Location: 67114

I bought this lens at Moler's Camera in Wichita on the way to sit hospice with Bill, my second purchase from them (the first being the Sigma Mini-Wide II 28mm f/2.8). Given the circumstances which followed, its no wonder I never wrote about this lens. You can get one on Amazon for about $80, what this one set me back, which is really exceptional given its f/1.4 aperture. That's really what this one is all about - low light shooting and deep depth of field. That said, it can be tricky even using your camera's live view, but I almost always bring it out at least once during a shoot to highlight the subject, although its usually just quicker (and sharper) to use the auto-focus of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM. But then that's not why I use this one. Like with most lenses, its sharper > f/2.0 but I almost exclusively use it for its wide aperture. In that vein, its a bit of specialty lens, albeit one I use more often than some of my other 50mm primes. But not nearly as much as my Helios' for example.

Two under the cutCollapse )


Sony Alpha NEX-3n

Posted on 2016.05.24 at 20:27
Current Location: 67114

Sony Alpha NEX-3n

While researching and purchasing unique, inexpensive lenses from all over the world I kept running across these little 16mm cine lenses which utilize a C-Mount, and while EOS adapters are made for them, the depth of the sensor only allows for macro photography - which is one of the many reasons "mirrorless" (and 4/3 cameras) are so adaptable with older cinema and rangefinder lenses - their sensor is much closer to the flange, recreating old non-SLR film cameras. Additionally, my old Minolta lenses cannot be adapted to Canon because the rear-element extends too far into the camera, causing the mirror to hit the back of the lens rendering it ineffective. Those old Minolta lenses can, however, be adapted for these mirrorless cameras.

While I've been thinking about those cheap, 16mm cine lenses for awhile now, I'd only recently considered picking up a mirrorless camera. I really didn't want another gun in my arsenal, especially due to the stupidly overpriced G1X I almost never use; sitting there underappreciated. But when I found a brand-new-in-box NEX-3n on clearance for fully half off, I decided to see if I could at least turn it into a tax write-off after some sage advice from GF who's owned her own business now for 8 years.

The NEX-3n incorporates a similar APS-C "crop" sensor, which is slightly larger than Canon's APS-C spec. A nice comparative graphic here: http://cameradecision.com/compare/Canon-EOS-100D-vs-Sony-Alpha-NEX-3N. The thing is, many of these cheap cine lenses are f/1.4 which I have a difficult time finding inexpensively (I only have one, a Pentax-M Asahi SMC I haven't written a review on) and then only in 50mm. So these cine lenses come very wide in a great range of focal lengths.

I need another camera like I need a hole in the head, but maybe something will come of this?

Sensor depth differences


Monument Rocks

Posted on 2016.05.17 at 14:28
Current Location: 67114

Eric B&W

1990 Helios 77M-4 50mm f/1.8

Posted on 2016.05.12 at 00:00
Current Location: 67114
Tags: ,

1990 Helios 77M-4 50mm f/1.8

Having become fascinated with the exceptionally swirly bokeh of my 1973 Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 because it has been taking *the* quintessential shots of my sessions, consistantly - well, they're always my favorites - I started looking into which of the Helios 44 family was the swirliest, and discovered its not limited to the 44-series at all. Less swirly (until proven otherwise) is the 81N, and more swirly is the 77M-4. Its also four times more expensive, but arrived from the Ukraine in record time. I was hoping I'd get it before michelle1963's wedding in Vegas, but managed to get it prior to my Colorado shoot - where I plan to put it through its paces.

At 50mm its a little shorter (especially on APS-C) than my 44-2 and a two tenths of a stop faster. I haven't gotten to play with it much, knowing the "sweet spot" isn't going to be found by shooting anything indoors, but I did finally talk my daughter into letting me shoot her one day after school because I was so excited to see it in action. It seemingly has less contrast than my 44-2 (and I really should have used a fill-flash on her), but its absolutely more swirly. So we'll just have to wait and see what wonderful things I get to point it at on the way to Colorado!

Now, with more swirls!Collapse )

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