Ever since I saw a silly little film called Ramen Girl, I've been wanting to try authentic Japanese Ramen. I thought I would have to go to NYC or LA to get my fix, so I was stoked when I discovered Monta Japanese Noodle House here in Vegas. I'm new to the world of real Ramen, but the Tonkotsu that I ordered was absolutely amazing. The noodles themselves were basic, but the broth and all the ingredients combined to provide a very satisfying experience. The mini pork belly bowl was also very good.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I finally got to try the long-awaited Fukuburger truck. Fuku means lucky and this photo depicts all the lucky people who are about to indulge in the latest gourmet burger truck to hit the Vegas streets. I ordered the Tamago because egg burgers are just my thing. It was absolutely delicious!
On my way to watch the Frank Marino show at the Imperial Palace, I wasn't sure if I'd have time afterward to get my photo. I took this quick parking lot shot just in case. I ended up liking the way the car's brake lights extended into the ceiling. This photo was taken handheld at half a second, so it's not the smoothest zoom photo, but it works for me.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Extra points if you get the title. This is just a photo of a paint brush I have in my garage. I was looking up abstract photography and came across a closeup of a brush. Whenever I am out of ideas, I look up photos and try to emulate them or use them as inspiration for my own take.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
OK so my racquet strings aren't really catgut. They're just cheap strings from Sports Chalet. But I'm all about the alliteration in my titles. This photo was taken out in the afternoon sun, on the tennis court, with a sky that's not really that blue. The white balance makes it look like it was shot under lights in a studio.
I took my third Bikram yoga class in four days. I'm somewhat enjoying it, but I'm not sure I'm fully sold on the idea. I have 25 classes to use in two months. I plan on using most of those up by going 3-4 times a week. Afterward, I might just go to regular yoga at LVAC. We shall see.
My first thought for a Summer Solstice photo was Stonehenge. That's a little out of reach. I then remembered the idea of HDTR (high dynamic time range). It's where you take a series of photos of the exact same scene at different times of the day and then blend them together to depict the passage of time. That sounded like a good idea since it's the longest day of the year.
I've been meaning to try HDTR for a few months and I will do so eventually, but it's a big time commitment. For this photo, I cheated and took several photos of varying exposure. You get the idea.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
One of these days, I'll start taking normal photos again. For now, I'm still looking for macro photography subjects. This evening, I decided to get some Poppy's Frozen Yogurt because (1) it's delicious and (2) I thought it would make a good subject. I actually don't get their yogurt; I get the berry sorbet instead. Man, I want some more just looking at it. Fortunately, my next one is free!
This is just a closeup of a beer bottle I hadn't yet put into the recycling bin. I'm still on my reverse lens macro kick. I shot my flash through the underside of the bottle to get the glow.
The real story here is that I finally had a complete brain fart and failed to take a photo on this day. I'm somewhat saved by a technicality. The photo above was taken pretty much right at midnight, so it's good enough. The kicker is that my camera's clock was ahead by about 8 minutes, so this photo was recorded as being taken at 12:08am on June 19. That's also the reason why I didn't use it for the previous day. I've been anal about the whole "daily" thing, and I couldn't bring myself to use it for June 18. Well, that decision ended up saving me.
This all probably sounds like madness, but if I'm going to do a daily photo blog, I want to do it right. This little hiccup irks me, but I'm determined to continue this blog. Project 306 goes on!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I'm still trying to find interesting subjects for extreme closeups. I took a few different shots today and some of the others were decent. However, I think I can do better, so I'm keeping them in my back pocket for another day. For now, you get lemon.
I'm continuing to play around with the reversing ring. I knew that I needed to stop down the lens to help get more things in focus. However, I wasn't sure how to do that with a reversed lens. I discovered that the only way is to mount it normally, set the desired aperture, press the depth of field preview button, and then unmount the lens. I'm hoping this doesn't ruin it, but it's just my cheap 50mm anyway. The other downside is that my sensor is probably getting even filthier than it already is.
I only recently discovered the reverse lens trick for ultra-cheap macro photography. My lens reversing ring ($12 from Amazon) came in today, so I immediately put it to the test. It's pretty tough getting things in focus, especially since you can only do so by moving closer to and farther away from the subject. Also, the magnification on my reversed 50mm lens is pretty severe. This flower is actually quite tiny.
Friday, June 18, 2010
I won't lie. This photo is basically a blurry accident. I thought about getting an interesting shadow from the lamp on the wall by firing my flash at an angle. This is just an initial test shot before I set up my actual shot. But I like it so much, I'm going with it instead.
Monday, June 14, 2010
I suspended a water balloon using some string over my bath tub. In a mostly dark room, I set my camera to expose for five seconds. This gave me enough time to simultaneously pop the balloon and pop the flash in my hand to capture the appropriate moment. I did this with about a dozen balloons and my timing was only off for a couple of them. The photo above is the best example.
Germany absolutely massacred Australia. At least I got a decent photo with my Socceroos jacket from the '06 cup. On a related note, I used to play as Germany all the time in International Superstar Soccer on the N64. I would always play the through ball to Klinsmann for the score. Konami didn't have the proper rights, so I think his name was Sieke in the game.
I want to try some high speed photography. I'd love to capture shattering glass, but I'm going with a much cheaper and safer alternative. I went to the dollar store and bought a 100-pack of water balloons. For the sake of this blog post, I counted them and there were actually 102. As for this photo, I mounted the camera underneath my tripod and faced it straight down. It's a 10-second exposure with a slow, gradual zoom in.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
For a while, I've been wanting to get a huge clock to mount on this space on my wall. I finally found this cheap clock at Ross. It's not as big as I originally envisioned, but looking at it as I type this entry, it's probably close to the right size for the space. It's definitely good enough for about $12.
I'm trying to look for objects that might make a good abstract photograph. I lit this basket from the inside and just shot it straight on from the side. The result is decent enough. What I really want is a macro lens. I'm not in a position to buy one right now, but I discovered the trick where you mount a lens backwards. How did I not know about that before? I ordered a $13 reversing ring for my 50mm lens. We'll see how that works out when it arrives.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Maybe I still have Greek mythology on the mind from watching Percy Jackson & the Olympians, but I'm calling it a Minotaur. I decided to revisit my failed attempt at capturing smoke from a few days ago (June 3). This time, I used the Googles to help me figure out what to do.
The shot below is one of the first frames I captured. It's a decent smoke trail and would have been my choice. However, as soon as I saw the photo above, I stopped shooting because I knew I was done. I just loved how I immediately imagined some sort of creature rising out of the burner.
It's becoming increasingly tough to keep this daily photo thing going. The insane Vegas heat isn't helping with the motivation and I'm pretty much out of things to photograph in my house. Anyway, in order to capture this illuminated light bulb, I had to way underexpose the frame. I bounced some flash off the wall to give the surrounding area some detail. Nothing special. Just playing around with exposure.
We celebrated Ate Sarah's birthday with a little get-together at her house. Joe BBQ'ed up some burgers, Carlo and Phil brought a ton of Cane's chicken, and we had plenty of beer, wine, and spirits. Despite the Lakers losing, a good time was had by all.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
I took my car in for its 45K service this morning. I didn't spend a lot of time trying to get a killer photo, so I figured I'd just get something decent and then play around with it in Photoshop. I've always wanted to create a cartoon self-portrait. I used this photo to play around with some simple techniques. I'll save the self-portrait for another day.
Picked up my HTC EVO 4G from The Shack. Forget about it being the best-spec'ed phone in history. The two most important features are conveniently easy to depict in photography. (1) Its interior is pimped out with this awesome Ferrari Red and (2) it has a freakin' kickstand!
I'm liking it so far. I still think Palm's WebOS is the most elegant and intuitive phone OS on the market. However, there are a few features that I like about Android and HTC's Sense UI. Of course, the EVO's hardware runs circles around the Palm Pre (as much as I love the Pre).
Thursday, June 3, 2010
This is just one of the burners I bought at Pure Aloha for use with scented sea salts. I wanted to get a shot of smoke coming out of the spout, but that didn't work. I'm not sure smoke even comes out of that spout.
Plan B: Photoshop it. In the process of learning how to make fake smoke, I discovered the brilliance of the "Liquify" filter in Photoshop. I used it here for creating smoke, but it turns out to be widely used for "fixing" facial features. Hooray for learning new techniques! (Incidentally, the word is either misspelled in Photoshop or liquefy/liquify are both acceptable).
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
On the way home, I noticed a decent sunset brewing. After a quick shower, I headed out to Red Rock to capture yet another HDR image. I shot a few multiple exposure sets and being satisfied, headed back home. Of course, as soon as I got home, I noticed the sky had developed a nice purple haze.
Oh well. If there's one thing we have no shortage of in Vegas, it's heat and nice sunsets. (Yes, that's an enumeration error - it's on purpose).
A while ago, I had this idea to do a self-portrait using my iron. So I tried it and it was pretty lame. Then, as I usually do, I thought about possible blog post titles. "Iron Lung" immediately came to mind and thus we have a photo of Method Man (aka Iron Lung among other monikers) reflected off my iron. The resulting photo is only slightly less lame.