Cerebral Gibberish

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Archive for the 'Photography' Category

Models for Charity @ Sparians

Posted by heymoe on 9th January 2011

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Well it’s a new year so I guess it’s time for me to start updating my blog again. We’ll see how long this last. 🙂

A friend of mine, Lindsay S., recently joined the Models for Charity organization and her first runway show was this past Friday (1/7/2011) at Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro’s Grand Opening Celebration. I headed out there with my gear to capture her public debut and met up with a few other local photographers that I know there. I was able to capture some amazing shots of Lindsay and her fellow models who all did a wonderful job.

Sparians Bowling Boutique & Bistro is not your typical bowling alley. They basically took a full service bar attached it to a decent sized dinning room and a bowling alley which has been classed up with really big protection screens over the pins and comfy sofas and chairs along with a very different atmosphere. There are also two rooms in the back for private parties each with their own lanes and one with another stocked bar. The alleys are lighted with dance lighting effects and black lights with a fully automated scoring systems which seems to really watch the clock in that it will start nagging you if you don’t bowl your turn quickly after the last person. I will say the grand opening wasn’t as packed as I thought it would be and the service was a little slow but better then the previous night that I was there so hopefully they will find their grove and have a prosperous future in the area.

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Photo in the Wild

Posted by heymoe on 17th March 2010

My Photo for the 50 Photographers, 50 Images Show

Back in 2008 I took part in an art gallery show titled “50 Photographers, 50 Images”. The photo I submitted for that show was taken inside the “Levity III” Luminaria by the Architects of Air that was setup at the Art on the Edge event downtown Raleigh late that summer.

The artist that creates the Luminaria, Alan Parkinson, saw my photo on Flickr and contacted me to get permission to use my photo to promote his wonderful works of art which I was more then happy to do.

Well I received an email from Alan a few weeks ago letting me know that their website has been updated and my photo is on display in their gallery to show visitors what the inside of the “Levity III” Luminaria looks like.

My photo is currently located in the bottom left hand corner of the gallery and is credited to me. It’s so cool to see one of my photos on display one someone else’s website.. Woot! 🙂

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Posted in Internet / Tech, Photography | 1 Comment »

LEGO-palooza 6

Posted by heymoe on 15th March 2010

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Yay! Not only is this the first post of the year it’s the first official post in about 8 months. I still have a backlog of stuff I will eventually find time to post but I figured it would be best to post about recent events first then feed the older stuff in later.

Any ways, this past weekend I went to LEGO-palooza 6 at Morehead Planetarium to checkout all the creations by the members of NCLUG (North Carolina LEGO User Group).

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Getting to Morehead Planetarium was an adventure in of itself since I don’t visit Chapel Hill all that often. Finding the place was easy enough thanks to my GPS but finding a packing space was a whole other story but I did eventually find a parking deck within walking distance. Once there I think I wondered into / past just about every possible entrance into the building except for the one that took you to LEGO-palooza 6. I will admit that there were signs pointing people in the right direction but it wasn’t until after multiple failures at picking the right door that I ended up asking for directions at which time I saw the signs. Also I wasn’t the only person having problems finding the right door since I heard other people in the wrong lines I were in talking about going to see the LEGO structures.

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Entering the building via the correct door this time, the first thing you sew was a huge LEGO skyscraper in the stairwell leading to the second floor where the rest of the displays were located. The skyscraper was just about 2 stories tall and you circled it as you walked up the stairs. Entering the main room for the event you were greeted by a large ocean battle scene with armadas of ships in in battle with each other as well and with creatures of the deep. At one end of the display was a coastal fortress with troops at the ready to defend their fort from the pirates.

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The rest of the room seemed to be divided into different genres for the most part. You had science fiction / fantasy on one end, more modern times on the other, wild west and navel / pirates in the center, medieval / castles along the back wall, etc… Some of the displays were made up of standard kits you could buy at a LEGO Store while others were custom creations or a mixture of both. All of the displays had some sort of story to tell and if you looked hard enough there were even some Easter Eggs for the adults to enjoy such as in the western display that had a saloon / brothel in it with LEGO cowboys handing over cash to LEGO “cowgirls”.

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Some of the displays that I really liked the most were the Star Wars: Battle on Hoth, the LEGO Transformers that actually transformed, the finer details of the large cityscapes and the medieval castle with landscape and no I’m not just including the castle because I know who built it. I found the multi-layer design of the castle to be unique and that each layer, which represented different areas of the castle such as stables, dungeon, dining hall, etc…, in of itself had it’s own story to tell and were very detailed.

Well, that’s all for now.. Enjoy the pictures!

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4th of July 2009

Posted by heymoe on 6th July 2009

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. I was on-call but did manage to get out of the house and join some friends at Cary’s Booth Amphitheater where we enjoyed a picnic style dinner, a bottle of wine and some ice cream while listening to the NC Symphony and ending the evening watching the fireworks. I forgot to bring my tripod so my fireworks photos are a little shaky / blurry this time.

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Catching Up

Posted by heymoe on 17th February 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates and it wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to write about. I’ve had several things queued up over the past several months that I’ve been meaning to write about but for one reason or another, I just wasn’t able to find the time to get the work done.

So, since I had a 3 day weekend and was more or less stuck at home because I’m on-call this week, I decided to finish post-processing the photos and create a single post to get caught up. Enjoy!

George Clinton Concert: 05/10/2008
I think I found out about this concert over the radio and ever since watching the movie PCU, I thought it would be cool to see George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic in person. Hobex was the opening band and before George Clinton took the stage, the large cast of “characters” that make up the Funkadelic did their performances with their normal to the “OMG I really didn’t want to see that” type of outfits (IE: A grownup in a diaper). This was my first attempt at photographing a concert which also happened to be outside at night. I wish I had the Nikon 80-200mm lens I have now back then but I made due with my Sigma 150mm lens. I left after the last official song but later found out all the bands headed inside Lincoln Theater and kept on rocking into the night.

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Triangle Strobist Auguest Meetup: 08/19/2008
I attended a monthly Triangle Strobist (Flickr) meet up which was held in one of the parking garages on Centennial Campus. These meet ups are suppose to teach people lighting techniques using off camera lighting typically with small strobe / speedlight units but this meet up turned more or less into a free-for-all. The wife of one of the photographers was kind enough to be our model for the event and another let us use their Mustang as a prop as well. I did learn that even though my camera supports an IR wireless flash trigger system, it has line-of-sight limitations and I really need to get some actual RF wireless flash triggers.

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Lassiter Mill Park: 10/12/2008
Someone in one of the Flickr groups I subscribe to posted about their waterfall photo shoot they had at Lassiter Mill Park. I like taking photos of flowing water so I took a trip out there to check it out. I had my tripod with me so I could take some long exposures of the waterfalls and since I was wearing shorts, I waded into the water around the falls to try and get closer to them. There isn’t really much left of the mill except for some old framing timbers and metal beams. Yates Mill Park is the place you want to go to if you want to see a mill.

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Zombie Walk 2008: 10/25/2008
I spent a few hours downtown to photograph the 2008 Zombie Walk before heading to Fair, which I already posted about HERE. I don’t know exactly how many people showed up but I would say there was at least 100 people there dressed up as zombies walking the streets of downtown.

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Lake Lynn Park: 11/02/2008
I driven past this park many times but never realized there was a lake you could walk around. Yeah, I know the park is called Lake Lynn Park but I didn’t learn that until I visited the park that day. Any ways, I think I missed the peek of fall colors by a week or so but some of the trees still had their wonderful colors going. I didn’t walk all the way around the lake during this trip but did go back recently to test out my new Ultra Wide angle Tokina 11-16mm lens and did one full circuit around the lake which I believe was a little over 2 miles.

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Full Moon: 12/12/2008
I took a short drive down some back roads around my house to find a nice dark area to take some pictures of the biggest and brightest full moon of 2008. I wish I had a longer zoom lens but even with cropping the photos taken with my 200mm lens, you can still make out features on the moon’s surface.

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Museum of Life and Science: 01/18/2009
I made a trip to the NC Museum of Life and Science with the Raleigh Outdoor Photography Club Meet-Up group to take some photos inside the butterfly house. The Museum has a lot more things to see outside the butterfly house so I really need to make another trip out there to check out all of the other exhibits.

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Snow 2009: 01/20/2009
YEAH!! We finally got some snow. Just eyeballing it, it looks like I got between 4″ to 6″ of snow around my house. When I shoveled my driveway I piled it all on one side hopping enough would stick around to make a snowman during the weekend but when I woke up on Saturday, it was all gone 🙁

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First New Year Photos: 2009

Posted by heymoe on 4th January 2009

It has been awhile since I’ve posted some new photos and that’s not because I haven’t taken any. I’ve just been too lazy to post process them and get them uploaded but they will come sooner or later.

Any ways, to start out the new year I decided to by myself a New Year gift. I’ve been using a Nikkor 17-55mm for almost a year now and it’s a wonderful lens but I found myself wishing it was a little wider. I thought about getting the Nikkor 14-24mm thinking that I would start collecting some full frame glass but in the end I decided to hold off since I would only gain 3mm on the wide end and it costs around $1500. I also looked at the Sigma 10-20mm and in general it sounded like most owner liked it but seemed to have some sharpness issues especially around the edges. After looking at a few others I happened upon the Tokina 11-16mm. Released in mid-2008, this lens has collected a lot of glowing reviews in the short amount of time. It has a constant f/2.8 aperture, very good sharpness numbers, good build quality and very well priced at around $570. Another good sign that I ran into was that this lens was out-of-stock at most of the reputable on-line dealers so I thought I was out-of-luck for the time being.. or was I. I stopped by Peace Camera to see if they had a filter I was looking for so while I was there I checked to see if they also had the lens in stock and they did. Well, my need for some instant gratification kicked in so I bought it even though it cost a little more then buying it on-line.

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So last Saturday I joined the Triangle East Photography group and went to their State Capitol Tour. I arrived downtown a little early so I took a quick detour to the N.C. State bell tower to test out the new lens. Now I’ve used my Nikkor 17-55mm to take pictures of the bell tower before and it worked fine since I had space to back up to get it in the frame but the new Tokina 11-16mm pretty much allowed me to get right up next to the bell tower and still fit the whole thing in the frame. This allowed for some really neat perspective shots.

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Well after about 20 mins at the bell tower it was time to head back downtown to meet up with the group next to the capitol building. We spent some time outside to mingle some and to take some shots of the building before we headed inside for the tour. This is the first time I’ve actually been right up next to the capitol building and it was neat to see the architecture up close. I also didn’t realize that there is a church at each corner of the capital building so I thought that was interesting.

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Heading into the capitol building our tour started on the 1st floor in the rotunda where a statue of George Washington sits in the middle. The tour guide explained how the capitol building came to be and a fascinating story behind the statue. From there we headed up to the 2nd floor and got to view the inside of the House of Representatives and Senate chambers. Outside the chambers was the 2nd floor rotunda. We then moved up to the 3rd floor where you can view down into the two chambers on the 2nd floor from the balcony. The 3rd floor also housed the Library and the Geologist’s Office.

After the tour of the capitol, the group took a short walk down Fayetteville Street to take some photos. I got a few shots of the Wachovia …. er.. I mean.. Wellsfargo tower and the RBC tower and other random stuff.

All in all it was a fun first photo outing of the New Year with hopefully more to come.

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Carolina Renaissance Festival 2008

Posted by heymoe on 11th November 2008

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Last Saturday I took a trip back in time to the Village of Fairhaven in 16th century Europe. Travel back in time was as simple as hopping into my car and a little over 2 hours later I was there. No need for a DeLorean and a Mr. Fusion either.

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This year the Carolina Renaissance Festival was celebrating their 15th year. The festival started in 1994 on 6 acres of land and has grown to 22 acres over the last 15 years consisting of 10 stages, an arena for jousting, arts & crafts shops, food, games and rides for the kids and grownups alike and more.

This was my first visit to the Carolina Renaissance Festival and I’m wondering why it took me so long to go. I’ve only been to one other Renaissance Festival when I was growing up in Atlanta and it was nothing like this. Granted that was years and years ago so things have most likely changed. Any ways, walking into the festival you really get the sense that you are in a 16th century village.

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The buildings and other structures are real and functional. Not something that was built up temporally just for the festival and to be torn down when the gates close for the year. Now I’m sure the buildings aren’t 100% authentic but you still get the feeling of being in a different time.

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Then you have all the dedicated people (staff and guests) in their period costumes to add even more realism to the festival. This past weekend was one of the festival’s special / themed weekend which tossed in some pirates into the story line which reminds me of the whole pirates vs. ninjas thing at Animazement.

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I was surprised by how many things there were to do at the festival. With their 10 stages there is always some show sit down and enjoy. Then you have all the shops to wonder though while trying to talk yourself out of spending even more money. Then you can’t forget the jousting which has its own storyline that is played in out three acts during the day so you really have to see each act. I arrived at the festival at around 11:30am and was planning on staying no later then 4pm but ended up sticking around until the gates closed at 5:30pm. I really need to plan out my time better next time.

I really had a lot of fun at the festival and think it was well worth the price of admission, which wasn’t really that expensive. Especially when you consider all the stuff you can see and do that is included in that price. I didn’t really get a chance to sample the different foods the festival had to offer but the prices didn’t seem to be insane and you do seem to get pretty big portions for your money. I look forwarding to going back next year.

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2008 N.C. State Fair

Posted by heymoe on 27th October 2008

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This past Saturday I made a trip to the 2008 N.C. State Fair to take in the sights and sounds (more sights really). Saturday started out kind of soggy but by the afternoon things were dry and by time I got to the fair ground around 8pm it was jeans and long-sleeves weather.

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Normally I avoid the fair grounds and surrounding area like the plague due to traffic but driving into the heart of the beast last Saturday wasn’t all that bad. I pulled into the first parking lot I came across which as I expected was a pay-lot charging $10 to park. I felt the price was a little steep but didn’t really want to drive around to see if I could find something cheaper which I’m sure is what the people who own the lots are betting most people will do. Looking at the number of cars they packed into the lot (really just a really large field), they made a killing. I later found out that if I drove a little further down the street I could have parked for free at the RBC Center. Oh well.

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I guess one perk of where I parked was it was a short walk to one of the main gates to get into the fair. Luckily I was able to buy my ticket using a credit card since I didn’t make a stop by an ATM on the way there which left me enough cash to buy some snacks and drinks. I really didn’t want to use one of the fair provided ATMs since I would most likely get bent over with fees.

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I brought along my camera and tripod to take some photos, especially to play around with some long exposures to capture the sense of speed and motion. The first ride I took some photos of was called the “Dream Catcher” which basically was a side-to-side swing that had a seating area at the end that spun around at the same time. Next up was the spinning swing ride where I experimented with using a long exposure + a rear curtain flash so I could not only get the blur effect of motion but to also stop the motion right at the end. I used this same process on the free-fall ride which I think turned out really well.

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On my way to the next ride to take photos of the fireworks show started so I quickly setup and started to shot away using different exposure times and settings and I must say I’m very happy with the results I ended up with and it made up for my failed attempt at fireworks photography last 4th of July. So after the fireworks stopped I moved to the next ride which I must say was the best ride to take long exposure photos of. With the ride’s multi-colored lights going on and off seemingly at random at normal speed resulted in photos with color, shapes and patterns that were amazing (at least to me they were). Each time I clicked the shutter I couldn’t wait to see what I ended up with.

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After taking some picture of some other rides I more or less packed up my gear and did more fair type activities like eat food. I started with an Italian Sausage dog all the way and water and for desert I had my first deep-fried candy bar (Snickers) which as good as it tasted I’m pretty sure it took a few years off of my life (hehe).

Before I knew it mid-night rolled around and the fair started to close. It really didn’t feel like I was there for 4 hours so I guess as they say, time flies when you’re having fun.

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Capital City Bike Fest

Posted by heymoe on 6th October 2008

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A couple of weekends back I went to the 4th annual Capital City Bike Fest which was held on Fayetteville St. downtown Raleigh. I’ve been riding motorcycles for almost 10 years now and currently own two (a cruiser and a sport bike) but in all that time I’ve never actually been to a big bike gathering. Now I’m pretty sure the size of this event is most likely no where near the size of the other big name bike events like Sturgis, Daytona Bike Week or Myrtle Beach Bike Week but I think it was it was a good start for me.

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There were bikes of all shapes and sizes and even though a high percentage of the bikes were Harley Davidsons, other manufactures had a showing there as well.

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I even saw what most likely is one of the most expensive iPhone docking stations available (see Photo).

I really enjoyed walking around the event and seeing all the custom paint jobs and accessories that people have come up with. One of the cooler mods I saw was a front wheel rim that was made of bulletproof glass (click for picture) so it looked as if it was floating magically in the air. Yes, I know it looks like the wheel is made of solid piece of chrome due to the spray bottle but it’s actually two spray bottles that the owner set up to fool people walking by.

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There was also a BMX stunt show which gave me the opportunity to try some action photography. They had a half-pipe ramp setup at one end of the street that the bikers would use to gain speed so they could do tricks off of a take off and landing ramp setup at the other end of the street with a car between them. They even pulled people out of the crowd so one of the bikers could bunny hop over them (click for picture).

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I wish I knew they were going to allow motorcycle parking on Fayetteville St. during the event before I left the else. If I knew that I would have road one of my bikes down there instead of driving. I also thought it might rain also which didn’t help with the decision either. Oh well, there is always next year.

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EEK! Spiders!

Posted by heymoe on 14th September 2008

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The little lady on the left (Neoscona Crucifera aka. Hentz’s Orbweaver Spider) has been camping out on my back deck for the last few weeks. I actually ran into another one of these while doing some yard work today. She was very cooperative allowing me to setup two strobes and my camera on tripod with its lens a couple of inches from her. I ran into the little lady on the right (Argiope Aurantia (Black-and-Yellow Argiope) aka. Garden / Writing Spider) while visiting Pullen Park again last Saturday.

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