December 19, 2010


Doing what I can to keep the rubber side down in this weather.

September 16, 2010

Fire and Ice

Big Pour 4 at Construction Junction, Pittsburgh, PA

May 30, 2010

Door Knocker

I really, really like this door knocker.

Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, PA

June 18, 2009

Lightning in Greenfield

Also published at Only In Pittsburgh.

Greenfield, Pittsburgh, PA

March 20, 2009

Perfect Pink Orchids

Pittsburgh, PA

March 19, 2009


Pittsburgh, PA

January 21, 2009


In a room full of orchids, I was drawn to these weathered stone heads.

Pittsburgh, PA

January 20, 2009


I'm realistic and pragmatic to a fault, but I don't think I'm as hardheaded as this guy.

Pittsburgh, PA

January 19, 2009

Rain Chain

This thing is called a rain chain. The idea is you hang it from your gutter instead of a downspout. The rain fills up the little flowers and trickles down. Seems like a neat idea.

I love back and white photos from other photographers, but never seem to like my own after I remove the color. I felt this one worked without color.

Pittsburgh, PA

January 18, 2009

Purple Orchid

Orchid show going on now at Phipps Conservatory. I can't wait for the spring show!

Pittsburgh, PA

December 30, 2008

Winter Rabbits

There are quite a few rabbits hidden throughout this scene. There is also some scary looking monster on the right. I'm not sure what it is, but it seems like something that was leftover from Halloween rather than created for the holidays.

Pittsburgh, PA

December 29, 2008

Coming around the bend

Pittsburgh, PA

December 28, 2008

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

October 25, 2008

Target Field II

September 27, 2008

Target Field I

Minneapolis Skyline in the background, new Twins ballpark in the foreground.

Minneapolis, MN

August 20, 2008

Emma's Emma Emms

Customized birthday M&Ms, with the birthday girl's face on them.

Here is a better photo of what they looked like:

August 19, 2008

Birthday Bouquet of Fruit

Los Angeles, CA

July 18, 2008

Making a Business Card

At some point during my search for gainful employment I decided it would be a good idea to have business cards to hand out to people I meet at conferences and meetings. I wanted something more than just my name and number on a 3.5" x 2" piece of card stock.

I opted to stick my name and number on the back side of a 3.5" x 2" piece of card stock with a nice glossy photo on the front. My goal was to take a photo that was unusual, eye catching, and represented "computational chemistry". I figured even if I didn't impress the recipient, at least they could stick the picture up on a cork board.

Unfortunately, the bleed for the printer I use is 1/8". This is not a big deal for a 8" x 10" sized print, but on a 2" wide card moving the image 1/4" either way makes it look pretty lopsided. I sent my centered image off and hoped for the best, but to my disappointment it came back trimmed exactly 1/4" from one edge. I either need to find a different company with more exact specifications or redo my design so it won't look so lopsided after trimming.

If you are curious about how I took the photo, below are two shots of my setup. I have no real photo equipment aside from a camera and lenses, so as you can see, I need to...improvise. My light stands are inverted stools from my kitchen with $5 utility lamps from the hardware store. The light diffusing tent is a cut up cardboard box covered in tracing paper, and that big pole holding the wires in place is a Swiffer Sweeper.

May 25, 2008

Pretty Flower, Hidden Spider

If you look real close (big version), there is a spider hidden somewhere in this photo.

San Francisco, CA

May 14, 2008

Seattle Center Monorail

I bet the window wasn't so scratched up in 1962 when the monorail began service (wikipedia).

Seattle, WA

May 13, 2008

Big Bolts

Seattle, WA

May 01, 2008

Bad Henna

On picnic day, my friends saw a bunch of sorority girls selling henna tattoos (Mehndi). We must have waited around in line (in the sun) an hour, and maybe 20 minutes more for them to get tattooed. I don't know what they were using for their dye, but it was most definitely homemade. I could have artfully smeared some mud on their arms in about 5 minutes. Same net result. At least they had fun!

Davis, CA

March 20, 2008


One of those days...

Wikipedia entry for Thomas Crapper.

Seattle, WA

March 19, 2008

The Bottom Side of a Sidewalk

I have another LaTeX entry all typed up, but figured I better keep my postings mildly entertaining so people don't give up on me. You probably have never noticed this, but every once in a while you will walk over little bits of glass (often purple in color) embedded in a sidewalk of a big city. I've seen this in San Francisco and Seattle. This picture is taken standing in an underground tunnel underneath the sidewalk, looking up. The plants are growing out of the sidewalk and UNDER the sidewalk...

Under a Sidewalk somewhere in Seattle, WA

February 27, 2008

Downtown Seattle

Here is another HDR shot, this time taken from the outdoor viewing area on the space needle, looking toward downtown. I was a little annoyed that most of my EXIF data went away after I saved a photo using photomatix, so I started to play around with ExifTool to copy over the original EXIF data from the raw files. It couldn't be easier!

$ exiftool -tagsfromfile IMG_xxxx.CR2 IMG_xxxx_tonemapped.jpg
In this case, the HDR is constructed from three shots, +/- 2 EV from the center, metered one. EXIF data for this center photo has been copied to the final HDR jpg.

Downtown, Seattle, WA

February 25, 2008

Space Needle

I'd like to think is my best attempt at an HDR picture yet. My someone special took me on a trip to Seattle this weekend for my birthday. The weather was fantastic, and as you can see in this shot, it was actually sunny! I had a great time.

Space Needle, Seattle, WA

February 20, 2008

Tour of California

Yesterday I sat outside in the cold rain waiting for a hundred plus guys in spandex to speed by on their bikes. I positioned myself at the last corner before the sprint finish, hoping everyone would be going crazy trying to get to the front of the pack and get the sprint points. If they were, they rode past too quickly for me to see.

Downtown Davis, CA

February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday

I voted.

January 29, 2008


A break in the rain on Saturday let me outside to snap a few photos.

Arboretum at UC Davis, Davis, CA

January 23, 2008

More Spicy

Big version.

Global Village, Dubai, UAE

January 22, 2008


With so many things being built it was surprising to see one being torn down. The full version is more impressive.

Deira, Dubai, UAE

January 21, 2008

Construction Thing

Not sure what this is. It was in a different location each day, but I can't say I ever saw it moving. I'm guessing it pounded big things into the ground?

Bur Dubai, Dubai, UAE

January 19, 2008


It looks like the sun is gigantic here, but it is just a perfect little sphere of over-saturation. I enjoy the synchronicity of the sun setting behind the dune, while the SUV is sliding down the other side.

Dubai, UAE

January 18, 2008


Yes, I am sitting on a camel - preparing for the shortest camel ride ever. The trainer took us around in a circle and sat the camels back down. It lasted no more than 5 seconds total. After getting off the camel he looks at me and says, "tip, tip, tip". Uhg.

Dubai, UAE

January 16, 2008

Building on the waterfront

Dubai Marina, Dubai, UAE

January 14, 2008


Courtyard, Dubai Marina, Dubai, UAE

January 11, 2008


Deira Spice Souq, Dubai, UAE

January 10, 2008

Sorting Bling

The subject here is sorting diamonds by color, cut and clarity, and doing so very quickly. I took a look through the eyepiece and I couldn't tell one from the other.

January 09, 2008


It is difficult to snap a photo in Dubai without getting a construction crane in your shot. While roaming around lost one day, I had the inclination to climb a wall and snap a picture of just what these guys were working on. You really need to zoom in and look at the full version to see any details.

Post processing this shot was a bit of a challenge. The biggest problem I've run into with the 10mm is getting the correct exposure for the entire shot. The sun is behind the cloud in the middle, and the construction pit is in the shade. Without Photomatix, this was either completely black in the pit, or crazy blown out at the top. I think I came up with a nice balance using pseudo-HDR. I've also blurred some HDR artifacts, selective color and adjusted the brightness / contrast in selected areas. It was a tad overexposed to start with, so the shadows are a bit grainy. If I wasn't peaking over the top of a wall, I would have broke out the tripod and taken a real HDR shot.

January 08, 2008


Aboard one of the abras (water taxies) in Dubai. In a city where you could spend $28,000 for one night in a hotel, I am still amazed it was only 1 dirham ($0.27 US) to cross the creek in one of these.

January 07, 2008

Sunset Dune Bashing

in the middle of the desert, Dubai, UAE

December 13, 2007

Casting a Big Shadow

San Francisco, California

December 12, 2007

Commanding the Cluster

3rd floor, Chemistry Building, UC Davis

December 06, 2007

Administration Bvilding

According to wikipedia, the letter U is a fairly recent addition to our alphabet. Prior to this, words were written with only the letter V for both the consonant and vowel "form" of V.

From Angel Island, San Francisco Bay, California

December 05, 2007

New Planes

My previous post was some old airplanes. It is simply amazing how fast technology moves. Here is a huge jumbo jet I captured on the same day. Sorry about the poor quality, but this was pretty much a speck in the sky from where I was standing.

December 04, 2007

Old Navy Planes

No, not that Old Navy. These planes were flying around the bay as I was walking around Angel Island. Kind of neat that they were so low.

November 30, 2007

Doe, a deer

I'm not 100% sure this is a doe, since it was a very small deer following its mother. I am guessing it just lost its spots recently.

November 29, 2007

Happy Camper

It has been a long time since I posted a picture on here. I have been taking some pictures, but not many.

There was a camping experience last weekend on Angel Island. There weren't any light switches, TVs or hot showers. Only... nature. Some people took issue with this. I'm sorry.

August 21, 2007

Ride a Bike!

Below is a video of Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) mocking the suggestion that bicycles may alleviate some dependance on foreign oil. I put over 4,000 miles on my bike last year, and not even a quarter that many on my car. I fill up with fuel every other month or so. The reason I can do this is because my city invested in a bicycle infrastructure (a few signs, bike lanes, tunnels, paths, and even a couple bike signals) that allow me to pedal to the store, work, school, etc.

Rep. McHenry - maybe a bike would also help you and your constituency shed a a few pounds?

Watch the Video

August 16, 2007

Bright Flower

August 15, 2007

Magenta Flower

A bright and beautiful flower to brighten your day.

August 13, 2007


Those are my eyes and my cup of coffee, however I didn't trigger the shutter on this one.

August 12, 2007

Yeller Watermelon

I've been buying these little yellow seedless watermelons from the farmers' market. They are so incredibly tasty...

August 11, 2007

Berry Nice to Eat You

I was playing around with an external flash last week and this is about the best that I had to show for it. I think I need some practice or I just need to stick to natural light.

August 10, 2007


These two were at the farmers' market Wednesday. They had been goofing around playing with one another for about a half hour when I glanced over and saw this. The one with the hair did not look amused when her friend finally let go. It is all fun and games until someone loses a fistful of hair.

August 08, 2007

Pretty Flower

I have a weakness for flowers. I guess that is what nature intended.

August 07, 2007

Yellow Sponge Looking Thing

This looks like it was taken at the bottom of the ocean, but it was with a bunch of cacti.

August 03, 2007

Where is fish?

I can has fish?

August 02, 2007


As I was riding home last night from the farmers' market I stopped by to hear the last song of the evening. BeauSoleil (wiki) was playing on campus as part of some summer concert series. I managed to take a few pictures, below is Michael Doucet playing the fiddle.

August 01, 2007


Duck in Putah Creek on the UC Davis campus. If you've ever seen Putah Creek, you know I photoshoped this picture a bit.

July 31, 2007


Beignets are French doughnuts. They don't look too hard to make, but a giant pot of oil is always a mess.

They sell freshly made ones every Saturday morning at the Davis farmers' market.

July 30, 2007

Tiny Tomatoes

Fresh produce! I <3 the Davis Farmers' Market!

July 29, 2007

Bumble Bee

Another bee picture. Bees are fast. I feel pretty proud about this one.

July 28, 2007

Big Bee and Lil' Bee

Two bees caught mid-flight. Sorry they're both a little out of focus. It is difficult enough capturing one flying insect with a 200mm lens, let alone trying to get two of them in the same frame. I really like the shadow of the big one against the flower petal.

July 27, 2007

Pitcher Plant Pit

I thought I uploaded this one yesterday, but I guess not! This is the yummy looking liquid inside a pitcher plant. This is where the magic happens. The nasty little bugs fly in there, drown in the black goo, and start dissolving releasing the vital nutrients that the plant then absorbs. The plant gets no calories or energy from the bugs, but does get minerals and other chemicals that the soil doesn't provide.

July 25, 2007

Pitcher Plant

Lolplants anyone? They just look so cute and lifelike.

I'm in ur gardens drowned ur bugz!

July 24, 2007

Hot Lips

This carnivorous plant had a tag that said "Hot Lips", and I am guessing it is a Nepenthes Ventricosa but I could be wrong.

July 23, 2007


Another carnivorous plant. This one has caught itself a fly and sucked all the life force from it. Check out the full sized picture for a better view.

July 22, 2007

Another Lily Pad Flower

I have received a lot compliments on the flower photos so here is one more.

July 20, 2007

Plants with Pitfalls

Until November 4th, 2007 the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers is hosting a special carnivorous plant exhibit. It is worth checking out if you are already visiting [or live in] San Francisco.

I now regret being so focused on taking pictures rather than reading the signage and writing down the names of the plants. I believe this carnivorous plant is of the pitcher plant variety. Specifically I have estimated it is some type of North American Pitcher Plant belonging to the genus Sarracenia. If you are a plant person, feel free to correct me.

July 19, 2007

Lily Pad Flower

Another lily pad flower!

July 18, 2007

Depth of Leaf

You can't tell, but this giant leaf is probably about 4 feet long, and rippled like an accordion. This is a shot down the length of the thing with a shallow depth of field.

July 17, 2007

Lily Pad Flowers

This one feels lopsided to me, but I wasn't ready to jump in the pool and rearrange the pads to get a better shot.

July 16, 2007


I've been slacking on the photo stuff. I have pictures to post I just haven't done it. Sorry! I started ordering actual prints of some of my photos again and have been really pleased with the results. If you see a picture or two you want in physical form, let me know and we can figure out what would look best.

Here is a hawk I captured a couple weekends ago in San Francisco near the ocean.

July 13, 2007

Ring a Ring O'Roses

Sculpture in the Central Park Gardens (wiki) in Davis.

July 12, 2007

Game Boys' Game Boys

Yesterday at the Farmers' Market, while everyone else was enjoying the live music, pony rides, bouncy castles, great food, etc.. these two kids were sitting on the sidewalk playing video games.

I wonder what they were playing. The kid on the right looks like someone just sank his battleship.

July 11, 2007

Gene in a Bottle

It is tough to take pictures of chemistry demos, since many of the ones in the magic show involve something changing color or exploding, both of which are hard to capture with still images. This is just some H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) decomposing into H2O (water - as steam) and O2 (oxygen). There was a catalyst in the bottle that accelerated the reaction as he poured in the peroxide. You can see him yanking his hand away as its started up, splashing peroxide everywhere.

July 10, 2007


They were giving a chemistry demo for some high school kids today. I showed up to take some photos.

Here is a superconductive electromagnet cooled with liquid N2 which is supporting a suspended, spinning permanent magnet.

July 09, 2007

Lotus Seed Pod

This is a photo of an aquatic plant. It had a long stem, at least five or six feet up in the air and the alien looking thing at the end was a little bigger than my fist.

Edit: Thanks to ana, who pointed out this thing appears to be a lotus seed pod. Based on my own googly investigation, I would have to agree.

July 08, 2007

DIY Fireworks Again

Here is another backyard fireworks shot I liked. It is not framed particularly well, but I like the explosion of light on the left hanging in midair and the reflection on the wet pavement.

July 07, 2007

DIY Fireworks

A few of the fireworks pictures from the 4th turned out okay. Here is one I liked.

July 06, 2007

Find Some Water

If you live in the Sacramento Valley like me, you already know how hot it is. At least 108°F today, and it looks like the high will be over 100 through the weekend. Albert has the right idea splashing around in the water!

July 05, 2007

Smoke Ring

We had our own fireworks this year. There were a little lame. This one was an overpriced road flare.

July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

I don't know that I am taking pictures of fireworks this year, and it will be the 5th of July by the time I get them home and online, so I give you a flower photo I've titled "Flowerworks" as it reminded me of a fireworks explosion. Taken at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers on Sunday.

Enjoy the day everyone!

July 03, 2007

Empty and Almost Gone

Backlit subjects are hard. I like the way this turned out. If I had to redo it I'd set focus on their faces rather than the glasses.

July 02, 2007

Light at the end of the cave

Taken at Sutro Baths.

July 01, 2007

Wedding Photographer Trio

"Hey honey, did we really need three photographers?"
"Absolutely, I feel like a movie star!"

June 30, 2007

Everybody knows the moon's made of cheese

Mmmm, cheese.

This is a straight crop. I can zoooom now, but I can't zoooom quite enough to capture a nice, crisp moon image. This is the best I could come up with. About 24 hours before the full moon.

June 29, 2007

Matchstick Macro

I got all sorts of neat toys in the mail today. I will tell you about them in future entries. Here is an extreme close-up of a wood matchstick. There is no full sized version, as I just cropped this image from the original.

June 28, 2007

C-H-A-R-D-O-N-N-A-Y is tough with seven letters

June 27, 2007

Scrabble Sunset

A sunset scrabble game at the farmers' market.

I always like to add a little disclaimer when I do any significant editing on an image, and this one had a some work done to it.

June 26, 2007

Orange Flower

I didn't feel like taking pictures today, but my friend Melanie sent me this one a few days ago. I liked it so much I wanted to share it.

She asks you email her for permission before reproducing the image, so creative commons does not apply to this one. Thanks.

June 25, 2007

The Kitchen Sink

I had jury duty today. I was excused without being called. I just sat around listening to them ask all the other people questions. It was not quite as boring as I imagined. Both the lawyers and the judge had a great sense of humor and were cracking jokes the whole time.

I tried to take some pictures of the courthouse on my way out, but the nice men with machine guns kindly told me to move along. Hurray paranoia!

So I give you a picture of the kitchen sink. That guy in the middle? That's me!

I only adjusted the colors a bit with photoshop, no crazy effects were used - only what came out of the camera.

June 24, 2007

Filoli Garden Redux

A big purple vine growing up on the mansion. From the Filoli Center several months back.

June 23, 2007


Kind of boring? Yea.

June 22, 2007

Extend an olive branch and get it chopped off

Right outside my apartment there is a street lined with olive trees, for maybe five or six blocks. Yesterday they did the worst pruning job I've ever seen. Just chopping these giant branches right in the middle on only one side of the trees. They look so lopsided and sad now with these giant bare branches sticking out into nowhere. Every single tree was like this, for all five or six blocks.

Is this the standard way to prune olive trees, does anyone know?

June 21, 2007


Just a peach I got at the market on Wednesday. I was going to slice it open and photograph the inside, but I don't want to get my white tag board all juicy.

I still need more lights for my light tent. The colors tend to get washed out when I try and correct for lack of lighting.

June 20, 2007

Canon RC-1

I got a new toy for my camera. A Canon RC-1 wireless remote. This lets me trigger the shutter without touching the camera. It is much smaller than I expected.

Speaking of toys for my camera, the lens I've been eyeing is on sale for a couple more weeks. This one went on sale too, but I'll have to settle for the 4.0L non-IS for now.

June 19, 2007

Sunset, Take 1

I biked out west of Davis Monday evening to take pictures of the sun setting. I shot in RAW with multiple exposures with the idea of doing some HDR stuff, but I am too tired to figure it out, and my camera was inadvertently in ISO 1600 for the entire 2GB collection of images, doh. Here is the best I have to share at the moment. Maybe something better later this week.

June 18, 2007


Clear skies make for some harsh shadows in my photos. I decided to just go with the flow and photograph the shadows.

June 17, 2007


Careful, the water might be slippery when it is wet.

Forgive me for the title. The owl must have collaborated with the duck you see swimming in the background.

June 16, 2007

Hella Hot?

Summer is here, and my plastic patio chairs are 133°F according to the little wireless indoor/outdoor thermometer I have sitting on them. I decided to bring the light tent outdoors and see what temperature it actually was with my Taylor High-Temperature Instant-Read Pocket Thermometer. One hundred and one degrees fahrenheit, in the shade. Dare I say it is hella hot outside?

June 15, 2007

Cool shades, Greg

This is Greg, he seems to strike a pose every time I aim my camera at him.

I was going to make a Ponch joke, but when I googled for a picture to steal, I noticed that CHiPs didn't issue mirrored lenses. Michael Jackson on the other hand...

June 14, 2007

Spin and Grin

I think this is the last of the triathletes I am going to share. I'll come up with something more creative for tomorrow.

June 13, 2007

Sad Racer

This kid looks a little bummed. I was positioned near the end of the course for these guys, so maybe he had a rough go at it.

Eventually I'll get tired of posting pictures of the little triathletes with training wheels and go take some real pictures.

June 12, 2007

In the Zone

While there may be training wheels on the bike, the little girl is most certainly in the zone.

Look at that expression, priceless!

June 11, 2007

Stay Vertical

I was a corner marshal at the 2007 Positive Energy Kids Triathlon on Sunday. A number of the 6 and under group rolled on past sporting some training wheels. Rock on little man.

June 10, 2007


June 09, 2007

Drive by Fooding

Yoink - An exclamation that, when uttered in conjunction with taking an object, immediately transfers ownership from the original owner to the person using the word regardless of previous property rights.

June 08, 2007

Strawberries in a Beaker

I am feeling a little photographically uninspired this week. I got half a flat of strawberries at the farmers' market on Wednesday and they taste amazing. I put a bunch in my beaker and stuck it in the light tent.

I learned today that strawberries and coriander (cilantro) share a lot of the same flavor components so they go really well together.

Since I usually google my goofy titles before I use them, I also learned that it is pretty easy to get the DNA out of strawberries without any fancy lab equipment (although they do suggest using a beaker - who the heck would have a beaker in their house??). I am going to eat all my strawberries' DNA, thankyouverymuch.

My favorite application for strawberries is marinating them for a couple hours in a bottle of red wine, honey, lemon zest, and a dash of ground black pepper (yes really - pepper - just try it!). My friends, this is the path to strawberry shortcake nirvana.

June 07, 2007

Hedge Art

These are just hedges someone planted and groomed to look like they're weaving through one another. I took all these pictures on a very bright day and the colors were washed out. I was able to digitally fudge them back into the interesting range.

June 06, 2007


This is about a block from my apartment. The buildings are university ones and all the mailboxes belong to the domes. I took maybe a half dozen of these trying to get a nice one with a car driving past (like this one!). This is when some crazy lady plowed her ginormous SUV up on the sidewalk and started verbally assaulting me for standing there with a camera. She didn't approve of night photography I guess.

June 05, 2007

Waterproof Camera

I made some subtle adjustments to my "light tent" and was able to get a decent picture of this waterproof camera with a highly reflective plastic casing (not an easy task without a light tent!). I bought it to bring river rafting. I went to three different "1-hour photo" places in Davis on Monday to try and get the pictures in here developed; they all had "broken" photo processing machines and told me it would be anywhere from 3 days to a week to get prints back. I finally convinced Rite-Aid to just process the negatives and digitize them to a CD. What a huge hassle this film stuff is. Sadly, the picture of the camera itself is more impressive than any photos that came out of the camera.

June 04, 2007

Reflections of a Silhouette

I was leaving work late one evening and when I flipped off the light I had visions of an iPod ad.

June 03, 2007


I am going rafting today. I thought a shot of this little turtle would be fitting.

June 02, 2007

Arthur St

Another night picture. I'd take pictures of the stars or something, but we have all these streetlights and junk, so you get to look at those instead.

June 01, 2007


I tried to take some night pictures, being a full moon and all, but people get a little crazy when they see a guy with a camera. I need a "photography is not a crime" t-shirt (or bullet-proof vest).

May 31, 2007


Albert playing the shell game with transparent cups, pool balls and his foot. I'm sure it made perfect sense to him.

The past two days are a sign I need to get out and take some more pictures.

May 30, 2007

Bartles and Jaymes

Strange things happen when the keg runs dry. People start drinking...other things. Mike and Chris reached for a Bartles and Jaymes premium wine cooler. It would appear that they misplaced their sanity somewhere near the bottle opener.

Keep that pinky out! They thank you for your support.

May 29, 2007

Ambulance in the Night

I was trying to get a neat picture of an ambulance at night. It started to drive off past the camera (from left to right) while the shutter was open and I figured it would look really cool. You can barely see the light streaks though. This is the best shot I had unfortunately.

May 28, 2007

Waterfall: The Big Picture

Here is the waterfall that provided this weekend's photos. Again, this was taken at night with a long exposure time. The colors turned out great considering how dark it was at the time. It looks like the middle of the day!

May 27, 2007

Waterfall Again

I turned the flash on to use the autofocus assist (since it was so dark). I forgot to turn it off and ended up taking the picture I wanted to take using flash, then took it without flash. I liked the way the rock looked without the flash, and I liked the way the water looked with the flash, so I just photoshopped the two together. It isn't a perfect merge, but it would be hard to notice if I didn't tell you.

May 26, 2007


Just a rock sticking out of a pool waterfall. I like the coloring. This is a 30 second exposure taken at night.

May 25, 2007

Laundry Pole Raising on Woodland

Since I had a bit of fun with Mike yesterday I figured it was only fair that I oblige his request for today's photo. This was the heaviest, most sturdy laundry pole ever constructed. As if the overuse of concrete wasn't enough, that top piece was a solid rod of steel, not a hollow pipe. This thing weighed enough to turn the two-wheeler you see below into a one-wheeler.

I believe there were at least one or two jokes likening the whole thing to the flag raising on Iwo Jima:

(Image believed to be in public domain, and not protected by Creative Commons license listed here.)

May 24, 2007

Digging for Buried Treasure Beer.

As soon as Mike finished his beer (lower right), he immediately wanted another. We told him the rest was buried at the corner of the house and hilarity ensued.

For those who don't know me (or Mike) the caption above is a joke. We were digging up fence posts that someone put in with waaaaaaay too much concrete, and the resultant holes were quite large, as Mike is demonstrating in this picture.

May 23, 2007

Asparagus Makes My Pee Smell Bad

I love asparagus. Steamed with a little cracked black pepper or cooked out on the grill with a little olive oil. No vegetable matches its magnificence for me. The downside to the wonderful green spear is the unpleasant odor 20 minutes after ingestion. The chemical responsible is unique to asparagus, a disulfide called asparagusic acid. Only about 40% of the population has the enzyme necessary to metabolize this chemical into stinky pee. So you may be thinking right about now, "hey I am one of the lucky ones lacking said enzyme!", but you may be wrong. Not everyone has the ability to smell the stinky metabolites. So even if you've never noticed an unpleasant stench after you ate asparagus, doesn't mean your pee don't stink. Me, personally.. I can both metabolize asparagusic acid and smell said metabolites.

As the comment system seems to be largely underutilized (outside of the spammers advertising community, of course) I pose this question to you, my readers: does your pee stink after you eat asparagus? The comment board is open!

May 22, 2007

Medium-sized Bubbles

I was going to title the post tiny bubbles, but they're more average sized bubbles if I had to score them. The kid's expression is a cross between curious, confused and terrified. I say it is never too late to experience the joy of scary looking plastic Disney characters spewing out iridescent spheres of surfactant laced water.

May 21, 2007

Drummin' Along

Ladies and gentlemen, Jim on drums! Jim who? I have no idea. He was at fish* on Friday.

* "fish" is a weekly barbeque I attend.

May 20, 2007

Rose Water

Rose floating in the water.

May 19, 2007


Yea. I took a picture of myself.

I've added links on the side of the main page to be my Netflix friend or my Facebook friend, if you are into either one or both of those things. I also linked my site's RSS feed to my Facebook notes, so when I add a new entry here, it should show up there. Syndication rocks!

May 18, 2007

Hippy Lessons Part IV

Duuuude...the fourth and final hippy lesson is to not photograph the stoners whilst they're becoming stoned. The gentleman on the left is giving me a malevolent stare (a.k.a. the evil eye).

May 17, 2007

Hippy Lessons Part III

Hula Hoop! Bring your brightly colored hula hoop(s) along. The girl in the second photo is quite ambitious in her hula efforts.

May 16, 2007

Hippy Lessons Part II

There were several cool bikes that made it to WEF 2007, and this is one of them. This guy has what looks to be a bolt-on sidecar for his kid - very cool!

May 15, 2007

Hippy Lessons Part I

You've missed your opportunity to attend Whole Earth Festival 2007, but incase you want to attend next year, I will give you a few pointers based on my observations this weekend. The first step seems to be moving your living room furniture outdoors. Perhaps this is part of the eco friendly ritual - unifying your couch with nature?

May 14, 2007

DIY Macro Lightbox

This weekend I made a macro light box ala strobist, but the pictures didn't look as great as I wanted. I only had one desk lamp and I need way more light. Here are two pictures using different settings. The brighter one I actually used a couple of LED bike lights, but it ended up being way too blue. I need to buy a couple nice bright lights and it should work out great.

I painted this mug myself, so even if the pictures don't impress you, maybe the art itself will!

Here is a picture of my lame setup:

May 13, 2007

Hippy Henna

I walked around the Whole Earth Festival today and took pictures. I've decided I need a longer lens.

May 12, 2007

Climber Eclipse

Just some anonymous person climbing when the sun happened to be in a great place:

May 11, 2007

Colored Flames

Another two pictures from the chemistry magic show. I don't know what exactly is in there, some kind of carbon based fuel source and inorganic salts to make the flames colored. Sodium chloride will make yellow, calcium chloride for orange, and strontium chloride for red.

May 10, 2007

Mg + CO2

I thought I had posted this before. It is from the UC Davis Picnic Day chemistry magic show.

If you start a strip of magnesium on fire, sandwich it between a couple slabs of dry ice, it will react like crazy. The overall transformation is 2 Mg + CO2 -> 2 MgO + C - so in other words, it would not be wise to use a CO2 extinguisher on a magnesium fire.

May 09, 2007


I went for a long bike ride through the west part of campus (farms and stuff) on Sunday. It was windy and I didn't come back with many photos. Here is an antique tractor on the corner of some little road. The radiator fan was spinning like crazy due to the high winds (the tractor was not running!).

May 08, 2007

Bobbin for Billiard Balls

Six ball out of the corner pocket...

May 07, 2007

Special Guest Pictures!

My friend Natalia (who organized the wonderful surfing weekend in San Diego) sent me an email last week after seeing the flower photos:

Saw your pictures and wanted to show you these two shots I took when I was in high school.

So with her permission, I give you the guest pictures of the day:

Here is a picture of her from our surfing weekend. Complete with surfboard (and beer bottles).

I've added the remainder of the San Diego pictures to the gallery.

May 06, 2007

Nightswimming VI

I was going to try and take a nice long shot of my friends walking across the beach, but they were using their cell phones as makeshift flashlights, so all I got was a big bright white streak across the shot. I cropped them out, but if you look (bottom middle), you can see the shadow of someone's legs, as cast by the light of a cellular phone display.

May 05, 2007

Nightswimming V

I love this one. No lens flare from the house light, there is some brilliant coloring, and if you play a little Where's Waldo you may see the couple sitting on the beach. With a 25 second shutter speed they must have been sitting quite still.

May 04, 2007

Nightswimming IV

It was hard to manually focus (much too dark for auto focus) in on the right thing, especially at f/1.8 with no distance markings on the focusing ring and very little light with which to see. I'd rather be focused further out on this one.

May 03, 2007

Nightswimming III

This one has some major lens flare going on. You can every element of my cheap ass lens, which I find a sort of interesting - but let us just call it 'artistic'. I dig the palm trees in this one.

May 02, 2007

Nightswimming II

This is my favorite of the series. It looks like a rock sticking out of some dry ice...

May 01, 2007

Nightswimming I

I spent the weekend in San Diego with some friends. I surfed, kayaked, BBQ'ed, laughed and walked along the beach. We were staying about a block from Windansea Beach (be sure to check out the wikipedia link, they have an image of the exact same surf shack as I have below - only in daylight) where I took some amazing pictures in the middle of the night. I have six that I liked and I'll post one each day this week. These are all moonlit pictures, long exposure using a Gorillapod to hold the camera steady. It was not foggy out at all; the fog looking stuff is actually the water averaged over the entire exposure of the shot.

April 30, 2007

Lightning Slow?

This is Matt practicing last Monday for his qualifying exam. I photoshopped two shots together, the left and the right half are from different exposures using the same technique. The neat effect though, was all in the camera. It looks like Matt is super fast but in reality the shutter was just super slow. I had it stopped all the way down - f/36, 4 sec exposure, ISO 100. I would need a nice ND filter to get the correct exposure with any longer shutter speeds.

April 29, 2007

Pink Flowers

I'm out of town this weekend. Scraping the bottom of the flower picture barrel here, sorry!

April 28, 2007

Orange and Purple Flowers

I'm out of town this weekend. Scraping the bottom of the flower picture barrel here, sorry!

April 27, 2007


Little white flowers! Do you see it?

NOW do you see it?

It wasn't easy getting a bee to sit still long enough to take a picture. They are busy little bees.

April 26, 2007

Blurry Flowers

Sometimes I try too hard with the whole depth of field thing. There are a few flowers right in the middle that are in focus. I still like this picture, but if I had it to do over again, I'd set the focus on the ones in the front.

April 25, 2007

Lots and Lots of Pink Flowers

Many pink flowers, many tiny blue flowers, one rebellious red flower. A genetic mutant? user error? a disgruntled gardener making a statement?

April 24, 2007

Pink Flower

Here is a pink flower. I should mention that by far, the most popular images hotlinked from my site are the images of roses I took back in 2004. To the hotlinkers, just take them, please.. stop hotlinking.

April 23, 2007

Yellow Flower

Here is a yellow flower. It's pretty. I dig it. Try downloading the big version and zooming in.

April 22, 2007


I am going to do a week of flowers. This image is my new desktop wallpaper. To be exact, I have a Mac so I flipped it horizontally so the little icons would be on the black area. Enjoy.

April 21, 2007

Secret Booze Safe

Have trouble with vanishing liquor? Install a false wall, secret door, and a safe - like I found at the Filoli House.

I really like this first shot, and the second is just for context.

April 20, 2007

Still Working Hard

Here is Greg, hard at work, studying for some exam.

Let us take a closer look at what exactly he is doing...

Ahhh.. Good old acid (and base!) dissociation constants.

April 19, 2007

Working Hard

Sorry I've been flakey with the pictures the past two days. None for yesterday, but there were two with the hamster thing lets just call that a two in one. I've been busy with work this week. Just like the folks in the picture!

April 17, 2007

Hamster Ball Race

One Saturday morning at the Davis Farmers Market there was a hamster ball race. The final three contestants:

And the winner? Hamster belonging to the kid in the middle.

Lots of details are missed when I scale them down so small. Click on the photos and download the full sized pictures.

April 16, 2007

Molecules in Motion

This is completely staged. I asked my advisor to sit very still but rotate the protein on the screen as fast as he could. I think it turned out okay. I adjusted the curves for only the screen portion of the image to enhance the colors a bit.

April 15, 2007


I have this giant beaker at home that I like to drink water from. I'm such a total chem geek... It was sitting on my desk one day when something blue popped up on the screen and I liked the reflection of the label on the water. As with all the entries the full sized version is available from the photo page.

April 14, 2007

Up the Creek

Back in January I went on a hike with the Capay Valley Hiking Club. This picture was taken around here. You road you can see at the top of the picture is highway 16.

April 13, 2007

Mr. Plow

I was watching the national news a couple days ago, and noticed that just about the entire country was cold, except for of course where I live. This picture was taken a short time ago driving back from Lake Tahoe. It is pretty blurry, but considering we were each traveling 30+ MPH head on, I think I did pretty well.

April 12, 2007


While waiting in line to start The World's Largest Bicycle Parade I saw these two guys trying to ride their bikes facing backwards.

April 11, 2007


Mike, pushing his son Albert around in a brand new wheelbarrow. Albert doesn't really know how to use his words yet, but unfortunately his parents taught him the American Sign Language sign for 'more', and so the wheelbarrowin' continued.

April 10, 2007


Part of our Linux cluster, redline. Take a look at some of the calculations we run on these computers.

I didn't edit this picture at all. The overhead lights were off, so the only lighting in the room came from the computers themselves and other electronics in the room, captured with a 30 second exposure.

April 09, 2007

Water Euphoria

Some random kid at the Davis Farmers Market who seemed way too happy about water squirting out the sidewalk.

April 08, 2007

Majestic Beauty v2.0

I spent a bunch of money on a camera a while back, and haven't been using it as much as I should, nor have I been posting on my blog with any frequency. I figured posting a picture everyday would solve both these issues.

I proposed this idea to my friend Ursula, and without her nagging encouragement, I probably wouldn't have done anything with it. So I thought it fitting for my first picture to be a nod to her. On our way to Lake Tahoe, our GPS navigator sent us down some road that happened to be closed. This was a bad thing. The good thing was the dam and lake at the end of this closed road made for a great picture. Here is her picture, and below is mine. I touched it up a bit, dodging the sky, and adding a little bit of a blue hue.