Monday, April 12, 2010


Today I walked to a field near my apartments to take some bluebonnet pictures.  It's funny - people go crazy for this flower in Texas.  It has to be the fact that they grow in enormous blue patches all over Texas and they look really neat blanketing the grass along the highway and in empty fields.  They're a really friendly-looking flower, what with that pleasing shade of blue against the almost fuzzy edges of their green leaves.  Here's a few shots I got today.  Not near as many as last year, but also probably because I now know that every shot I take is one I have to click through on my computer when I upload and edit them.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It's been an interesting month... to say the least.  Dell offered me a job - Microsoft went in other directions.  After my salary negotiations, I now have a start date of January 18th!  Which means... I have a lot of work to do.  In the week before Christmas, I:

  • Got a job offer with a June start date
  • Tweaked the offer
  • Received my final offer with a Jan 18th start date and higher pay
  • Promptly started looking for a car and some place to live
  • Bought a 2006 Honda Civic Si two days later
  • Found a small apartment in Round Rock two days after I got a new car
The car-buying itself was enough to give me a heart attack.  I have enough trouble clicking 'place order' on Amazon, much less signing a paper promising to pay back more than $10k.  It was a tense day to say the least - I'm glad I have Anna...

My new car!

I've since signed my offer and have begun all of the other things required, like setting up electricity in my new apartment, getting my drug screening, and talking to the relocation people.  It's difficult to do all this since there are so many holidays now.  Everyone I try and communicate with is more than likely on vacation.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Good thanksgiving, now time to lose weight

Thanksgiving is officially over.  I also officially over-ate two days in a row.  I don't think I've ever been so uncomfortable after eating in my life.  The food was so good!  My parents made three pies.  There were only five of us eating! According to my calculations, that's 3/5 of a pie per person!  I think I've used up my exclamation point quota for today.

As far as photography goes, I got to take quite a few pictures this week.  My parents wanted some pictures taken of the whole family, and I got to take some of just them, also.  I think they turned out pretty well.  I even got an 8x10 of the best one from my new photo lab.  They sent me a neat package with my test prints and a sample package of all the different papers they print on.  I have to say - metallic paper and pearl paper are absolutely the neatest thing I've ever seen an image printed on.  Ask me about them at our next portrait session. ;-)

For all those Baylor Bears out there, tell me what's missing from this picture.  Your campus isn't that big so I know you'll notice.  For everyone else, just admire the great picture.

This was another one of my favorites.

As far as day-jobs go, I am leaving tomorrow for a two-day excursion in Round Rock for my interview with Dell on Friday.  They are paying for me (us) to stay at the Sheraton @ the Capitol for two nights.  I have three 30-minute interviews on Friday and the rest is pretty much a tour and speakers telling us how great Dell is and why we should work there.  They always convince me.  Should be no big deal since they want me for software development and I know my stuff.  Should be a fun couple of days - especially if it really does snow!

No word back yet from Microsoft.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Exciting Week

This should be a fairly exciting next couple of weeks.  I finished the first half of the 135 Prime project, and i'm waiting on the go-ahead to come in and shoot the menu.  In the mean-time I've been furiously working on my website and I think it's now good enough to replace my old one.  It's a significant improvement from the old one.  I built this site from the ground up for everything except for the gallery page, which I would like to eventually have a modified version of the homepage, but with a scrolling thumbnail chooser like the viewer I have on the gallery page now.  I haven't yet worked out the kinks with Internet Explorer (sorry!), so if you use IE and try and visit my site, you will be redirected to the old one until I have more time to beat IE into submission.  Just use a more secure and faster browser like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

Speaking of Internet Explorer, I have an interview with Microsoft on Thursday (and one with Dell on the 4th of December).  Pray this goes well and that they see how smart I am and are willing to pay me big bucks to write the next Windows.  I will spend the rest of the week reviewing principles in C++, as well as my algorithms, data structures, encoding procedures, and cryptographic principles now that my website is more or less presentable.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Busy Saturday

I've been surprisingly busy lately. I've really been trying to finish my website. I finished the homepage, but everything past that I have no idea how to style the pages. It should be up within the next week I would hope.

Other things that have kept me busy other than my new website is my recent trip to Waco where I am taking the marketing shots for 135 Prime. While we were there on Saturday (for 6 hours), Anna's dad's fellow dentist from church called and asked if we could take some shots of him for a website he is having made for his office. And then after that, we had to rush to the in-laws to catch Stephanie and Maggie before they went out trick or treating. Oh yes and then we immediately went to my parent's house for dinner. It was a busy saturday to say the least. Here are some shots from the day, except for the 135 Prime images, which I have not gotten to yet:

The challenge for Mark was his glasses.  Absolutely everything in his backyard reflected off them.  A little positioning and photoshop magic fixed most of it.

This is Maggie the duck.  I love the yellow she's wearing against the green of the grass.  I didn't noise ninja Maggie's images.  Even though I shot at ISO 400, I thought it might take something away from the image.  I feel like my camera has had more noise at lower ISOs than it used to...  I'll just sit and wait for my d700...

I was playing with a setting in lightroom called 'clarity'.  Turns out, if you turn it way down, everything magically smooths out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Creativity lacks...

So this whole not having a job thing is getting kinda old.  I basically spend all of my time either playing team fortress 2 or working on my web development skills.  Which, I might add, have expanded considerably since even a month ago.  My website, according to my standards, is pretty awesome and other than external scripts, doesn't contain any javascript.  I'd like to be out taking pictures, but there's only so much you can take a picture of when all you have is the apartment and it's immediate surroundings being as I don't have a car yet and all, which also leads back to the job thing.  I've been trying to think of a good website idea to implement with my newfound web building skills.  It's gotta be really good to compete with the likes of facebook...

Still no good ideas...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Maggie can ALMOST talk

I took Maggie, my niece's 9-month pictures the other day. A lot more turned out better than I thought were going to, as far as sharpness goes. Here's a few that I captured: