Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Photography (Page 2 of 12)


Always Be Catching Delightful Eevees.

That’s one mechanized toy up front, two snap-together kits (left center and far right), one Funko (those eyes give it away), and one Nanoblocks hiding on the far left. And yes, they’re on an Eevee blanket.

It’s been so long since I used the Lumix that the battery had completely drained and I had to tell it what time & date it is all over again. (Whoops.) I also had to go into “aperture priority” mode to get enough depth of field to prevent either the front Eevee or the Funko from showing up as fuzzier than they should be.

With that said, I’m glad to have taken the Lumix out of mothballs. While I really want to play with the GoPro some more, it wasn’t really a great choice for this particular shot.

Next time… more ducks…?

Looking A Bit Dicey

I went into the weekend wanting to put my new toy through some more paces. My original plan was to drop duckies into a basin of water and catch that in slo-mo on the GoPro but that was a no-go. (I’ll revisit that idea later once I’m able to figure out workable logistics.)

Instead, I found a wide and shallow box top suitable for die-rolling, set up the camera, and threw some dice to see what kind of results I could get. My first setup used natural light, since the “bouncing duckies” test runs showed that the light tent could be a bit too bright. Unfortunately the natural light wasn’t enough so the video turned out a bit grainy. Not entirely unexpected, but also completely unsuitable.

Out comes the light tent! And in goes my entire D20 pouch contents:

Yes, the foreground is out of focus. The GoPro is very, very close to the action in this arrangement. Also note the lack of 20s and the presence of at least one 1.

Which was neat and all, but what really turned out great were a couple of my D6 test shots, one of which I kept & posted:

There’s a long pause between throws in the one-tenth-speed version. I really need a speed-ramping software rig.

It’s wild just watching those last couple of dice turn… and turn… and turn… and finally settle. This is what I came here for, yes indeed. And now I have a fairly good idea just how slow I can go. I started with 240 frames per second and took that down to 23.97 in the converter. (Speed-ramping tricks are for another day. And, yes, the second video could really use it. I know.)

Next time… the previously-promised duckies, I hope!

Timey-wimey Time

I’m absolutely digging this GoPro HERO9. I did another session outside, because I cannot get enough of watching clouds go ‘vroom’.

And yes, I learned how to “blur” out sections of video in Hitfilm Express for the neighbors’ sake.

I also wanted to play a bit with slow-motion video, and this afternoon I got that chance. I put together the light tent (as all advice I’ve read about doing 240fps video emphasized the need for good lighting), I gathered some handy duckies, Vyx had the bright idea of putting cling-wrap onto a small mixing bowl, and I found a pillow with a nice bit of “bounce” to it. The results are… modestly amusing:

We got some good hang time out of this method.
This was the 2nd pillow test, where I dropped a couple more ducks in more rapid succession instead of one at a time with pauses between.

My original plan was to do “speed ramping” in Hitfilm Express, but I learned today that the software is kind of… actually terrible at that. (Speed ramping is that moderately-overused “things are going fast then they slllloooooowwww doooooowwwnn and then go fast again” visual effect you see in a lot of action shows/movies lately.) So I just loaded up VirtualDub and said “yeah, take this 240fps thing and make it 30fps for me” and here we are.

Look, if nothing else I’ve found a fun new thing to do with duckies. Can’t go wrong, there.

All Sticker, No Shock

Every year, Vyx does some kind of advent-calendar-y thing, because she’s creative and such that way. For Yuletime 2021, this took the form of a series of small envelopes with stickers inside.

Here’s all 24, in order top to bottom, left to right. (There was no 25th.)

I want to use all of them. I want to use none of them. This is the eternal struggle of someone who likes stickers.

At some point I’m going to need a sticker storage device, aren’t I?

The Summer of Our Discount Tent

I bought a “light tent” some time ago in order to get portraits of the various duckies (as well as, potentially, anything else we want a Very Nice Picture of) but I noticed something after the first couple of sessions that bothered me a bit. Due to various circumstances mostly having to do with living in a pandemic and not wanting to deal with much of anything, I didn’t get around to trying a solution until this week.

The problem? The LEDs at the top of the tent leave a bright glare in the photographs of any smooth, shiny subject. The solution? Buy some kind of light-diffusing material and find a way to “mount” it in the tent.

Let’s see how that went, shall we?

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Winter Weather and My Superpower

In January, we had a couple hours of snowfall. Not snowstick, mind you, it just fell and melted. I went out on the balcony and took a short video with my phone, saying on the record that “this is it, this is all the winter we’re getting.”

Content Warning: My Droning Voice

So of course here we are a couple weeks later and the Portland Oregon metro area is blanketed in ice and snow, with more coming down this morning.

We got a bit more snow this time around. And it definitely stuck to the ground.

My superpower, as I may have noted before, is Being Wrong. As soon as I state something with absolute certainty, the universe will bend over backwards to prove me wrong as soon as physically possible. Usually this happens within minutes, but apparently entire weather systems take a while to move into place.

I’m glad that we finally got some winter in our winter, but I can’t help but feel like the programmers and management of this Matrix-y simulation we inhabit are laughing at me every chance that they get, and I’m a bit tired of it.

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