I had a busy weekend with cross-country skiing at the Middlesex Fells on Friday, pancake making (for the Nave Gallery fundraiser) on Saturday and some portfolio work yesterday.

Check out some pictures from sledding and skiing last week and a few from pancake making. Good times.

Nerve.com has a couple of pieces up about Malcom Gladwell, an author I’m a fan of. He wrote The Tipping Point and regularly contributes to The New Yorker. Check out an an excerpt from his new book, Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. Also interesting is an interview with the man himself.

posted January 31, 2005 – 7:17 am

I finished taking pictures for my portfolio yesterday, and started thinking about the layout last night. Fun stuff.

I also edited a few of the pictures I took of the finished bench and updated the piano bench page, maybe for the last time. I’m really happy with how it came out, though it’s always tough to let stuff go at the end of a project. I could easily have spent another couple weeks futzing with details to get it more perfect, but my peace of mind would’ve suffered.

posted January 26, 2005 – 7:48 am

I guess it’s not that hard to believe, but I’m starting to hit the 100 MB disk quota for my website. I’ll figure out in the next couple days if I want to start rotating the image galleries or add more space…

In the meantime, check out this picture I took at Christmastime in New York (thanks to Jess for the use of her digital camera).

posted January 25, 2005 – 5:50 am

I braved the cold out in the garage this weekend long enough to make a couple tools to disassemble my Canonet. The shutter and aperture blades were pretty sticky, to the point where the shutter fired in slow motion – it took about 5 seconds to open and another 5 to close. The tools worked out alright, Ronsonol (lighter fluid) worked its magic, de-gunking the works, and now it all works like a charm! The two tough bits were not damaging the small slots for the spanner wrenches (they’re really little and easy to strip) and making sure all the glass was clean before putting it back together.

Check out our driveway as of yesterday:

5 foot snow drifts in our driveway

It’s a blizzard.

posted January 24, 2005 – 11:45 am

Done! The piano bench is done! Look for pictures early next week.

It reached a balmy 11°F today, and the only time I’ve spent outside so far has been between my back door and basement to do laundry. Guess I should be thankful since the projected high was 10° – one whole extra degree warmer than predicted!

posted January 21, 2005 – 2:12 pm

Looks pretty certain that my Canonet QL17 has got the sticky shutter syndrome (hope it’s not contagious). I got a roll back that included a number of pictures taken outdoors. In this cold, the shutter is super-slow, so the pictures are way overexposed. The overexposed frames also seem to bleed into neighboring frames, ruining otherwise good pictures. A few shots survived, though – check ’em out here.

I decided it was high time to finish the piano bench, so I brought it inside last night. It’s been way too cold to work in the garage, plus the polyurethane finish doesn’t dry very quickly out there. Another day or two and it’ll be done!

I saw The Motorcycle Diaries last night. It was quite well written and the acting was great, but the cinematography really stole the show (see it on the big screen if you can). They clearly thought through each shot and did a fantastic job making you feel like you were in each of the places in the movie – it was really breathtaking.

posted January 20, 2005 – 10:42 am

Work on the portfolio continues – I took some pictures at work last night using the strobes and 4 megapixel digital camera we have. They came out well, and I’ll bring in some bigger items (the piano bench and coffee table) later this week. The piano bench is sooo close to being done, but the 5°F weather last night prevented me from putting on the final coat of finish. Maybe tonight – it’s supposed to get up to a balmy 17°F.

posted January 19, 2005 – 8:46 am

Benjy threw quite a party on Friday night (incriminating pictures already posted by Samara) – it was a Studio 54/1970’s themed affair. Scrounging at the last minute for a costume, I found some awesome, 70’s style sunglasses (visible in pic #2 on Samara’s page) in my desk drawer. Only after 20 minutes of wearing them and not getting a headache did I realize they were my prescription – I’d bought them in the early 90’s. How embarassing.

Shopping today (thanks to Becky for the guidance): for under $100, I got two pairs of pants, a merino wool sweater, a silk/cashmere sweater, and a pair of boxers. And I’ve completely exhausted my capacity for shopping for the next 6 months. Too bad I still need shoes, huh?

I’ve been working on the piano bench in the garage, putting the final coats of finish on it, and have only one thing to say: 20°F is too cold for garage work. Glad it’s gonna be done soon.

Oh, and I bowled a 151 last night.

posted January 17, 2005 – 11:52 am

I was scanning in some medium format negatives last night (from the Rolleiflex) and came across a roll of film I’d pretty much written off because of the light leak in the camera. One frame turned out to be salvageable, and produced a pretty okay image of my grandparents – check it out here.

posted January 12, 2005 – 7:56 am

I got a chance to scan in the latest roll of pictures from the QL17 – check ’em out here. There are certainly no major issues with the camera (light leaks, etc.), though I have noticed the shutter seems a little sticky – there’s a small delay between pressing the button and when the shutter actually fires. Like most other issues with this camera, someone else has had this happen to them and they wrote up a page on how to fix it – score!

posted January 10, 2005 – 7:13 pm

We had brunch on Saturday at Sabur and really enjoyed it. The snowstorm kept the crowds to a minimum (in fact, we shared the restaurant with one other group of people), and the food was fantastic. Highly recommended.

Craft Day yesterday was a great time – thanks to everyone for coming over (especially Lauren, who’s leaving for New York soon). Check out a few pictures here.

Also, check it out:

Assembled but unfinished piano bench

There’s still some work to be done, but it’s looking good. And as far as stability goes, it’s miles ahead of the previous design…

posted January 10, 2005 – 6:10 am

I got back some more pictures I took with my new camera. They came out quite well, and I’ll post them when I have a chance to scan them in. I definitely need to take a little more time when I’m taking pictures with it, though, to get the exposure & focus right.

It’s craft day this weekend! On the docket for Sunday is at least one of: scanning in pictures, finishing the piano bench, and lazing about while recovering from being sick – that’s a craft, right?

posted January 6, 2005 – 7:40 am

I watched the PBS documentary on Ansel Adams last night (from the American Experience series). The film itself was alright, but not as good as it could have been. For a show focusing on a photographer, there was remarkably poor treatment of his photographs and the venues he shot them in. The director, Ric Burns, chose to use the now cliched pan-n-zoom effect his brother made so famous, but it really detracted from the photographs. I would’ve loved to have seen the full pictures for a little bit to understand the composition and have a sense of scale before zooming around the various elements of the photo. They also had a lot of helicopter footage from the Sierras, but the camera was so shaky and not level, it was disturbing.

The American Experience website for this documentary, however, is quite good – there’s extra footage and some cool features. Check it out here.

posted January 4, 2005 – 8:12 am

I put up some info about how I fixed the flash that came with my recent acquisition (the Canon QL17) – you can check it out here. No pictures developed from the camera yet except for the all-too-grainy 800 speed film ones.

I also got a ton of work done today on the piano bench in anticipation of including it in my portfolio. Pictures soon.

posted January 3, 2005 – 2:54 pm
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