Thursday, June 03, 2010

154/365

I forgot to post a picture and have no computer with me so here's a picture of a picture I took tonight in Fremont. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Moving on...

I've been a user of Blogger since 02/05. I've written about a lot of stuff here, ranging from my music to my kids to my dad's passing. I'm still going to write, but I'm moving the writing to a different blog host.

Not that there's anything wrong with Blogger.com; Blogger's been great to me. But I came across a different blog host that seems a little neater with some cool bells and whistles.

I've imported the last 50 or so posts from here to the new link so you can check it out. In the meantime, if you are looking for new So Yummy content from me, check it here:

http://soyummy.tumblr.com

I'll continue doing P365 with Blogger.com for the time being. I like the format there, but I will mess around with tumblr's templates to see if there's something else that's better suited. Plus, I'm hoping the switch will inspire me to post more boring stuff to entertain you with.

Hit it!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I feel like such a slacker!

It has been almost a month since I last blogged here! I've been spending most of my time blogging pictures. I figure I'm not important enough to have to blog here as well. Then I read someone else's regularly update blog and thought, "What the heck? Let's blog!"

It's been the same old, same old on the job hunt front. I've been looking, but to no avail. I'm pursuing this photography thing a bit more seriously, though. If you haven't already seen, I'm putting some of my better shots (IMO) on a fan page at Facebook. There's no nice, direct link, but if you click here, you'll go to it.

The past week I've been able to get out and shoot stuff I don't normally shoot. On Friday, I asked some skater kids if I could take their pictures and they let me. I put the ol' camera in sport mode and clicked away. The shots turned out cool and you'd never know that they didn't land any of the tricks.

Yesterday I hit up Capitol Hill in the afternoon prior to and after a gig we played at the Comet. Talk about an awesome place to take pictures. Everywhere you look there's something interesting and colorful. I have about 200 shots to wade through before putting them up.

I hit up Discovery Park last week to scout locations to shoot a friend's sister's engagement photos. I think the location is incredible and the light will be great in the late evening, but with the daylight stretching out until after 8pm these nights, we'll be out late if we want to capture a nice sunset shot. Trouble is, we haven't been able to hook up yet. Hopefully time and weather will cooperate this week.

I have some photos I shot of my hairdresser's family at Gene Coulon. I've been editing them and hope to have them up for consumption sometime soon. We really got unlucky on the weather; that day, it was pouring intermittently and very overcast and gloomy. We did the best we could and I think I got some good ones. I'll post the best ones for viewing soon.

As I've been working with photos, I've also been deleting a ton, trying to conserve hard drive space. It's a good exercise, though, as who needs 14 shots of the dog panting in the grass? I'm also trying to develop a better work flow, especially with shots I'm putting up on my P365 blog. I'm finding myself leaning toward a high contrast, slightly desaturated look. I'm so new to things, I don't know if that's lame or not, but it's how I like it to look.

These days, I just need to find a block of 2-3 hours where I can edit, learn, and put myself out there. Trouble is, between the kids and stuff around the house, the only time I'm finding that kind of time is after 10pm or so. Makes for late nights. Then, I feel like I need to be out shooting and trying to get out of my comfort zone, so sitting around the house doesn't feel as productive as it could be. Add in the looking for jobs thing and I seem to stay pretty busy without a lot to show for it.

I'll keep plugging away, though. I think I have my picture for day 136 shot (just did it). It's nothing spectacular, but I think it'll be pretty cool.

In the meantime, keep reading, keep checking my photos and, hopefully, keep enjoying them. I love putting them out there for you to see, that's for sure. Here's a dude checking his phone.

Monday, April 19, 2010

So slow. So very slow.

Last week I hit Fry's to buy memory for my computer. I've been thinking I needed memory because of all the photo editing and multi-screening I've been doing, so I added 1 whopping gig of RAM to my aging rig.

When I built this computer back in September of 2004 (OMG), I just wanted it to be able to run Half-Life 2. And it could, but not all that well. I forget how much RAM I had in it, but until last week, it was 2gb. And in some horrid oversight, the board I bought could only hold 3 sticks, so unfortunately, I'm stuck with 3gb max (and, IIRC, Windows XP only sees 3gb anyway, so more wouldn't help anyway).

It's been a week now since I've upgraded and... I'm wondering if I should just build a new rig. Or repurpose an old rig I have from the old business that's just sitting around.

I got a new camera (used T1i) yesterday and it's been fun playing with that. Trouble is, when shooting in RAW, the files are twice as big (15mb) as on my ol' Rebel XT. So downloading the pix takes... a... long... time. Though I think there's something up with my Photoshop Elements. I switched over to Lightroom for now to import the pix in.

Either way, this computer is starting to show its age. For surfing, movies, light gaming and daily duties, it's just fine. But for what I'm trying to do with it, photo editing (and not even that intense), it's getting a bit porky. Turn on an mp3 player (MediaMonkey) in the background and it's positively glacial at times.

Oh well. I will soldier on.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Snow, brush with death, working late

We took a mini-vacation to the great state of Leavenworth this week. It snowed today. In order, we did the following:
  • Took a hot tub in said snow (kids and wife, not me)
  • Visited Jim and our dog, Bella. Not as much snow at his house.
  • Went to lunch with Jim, no Bella, at the Gingerbread House. Tasty sandwich and soup!
  • Went back to Jim's and geeked out on photography and stuff.
  • Drove to Smallwood's and looked at peacocks, colored chicks (literally), goats, alpacas, sheep, pigeons and lots of candy.
  • Drove over Blewett Pass, saw a SUV going uphill somehow fishtail, over-correct, then plow into the car RIGHT BEHIND US. Whew. Not us.
  • Drove to I-90 and had clear sailing until the base of Snoqualmie Pass, then it was everyone stop and put on chains.
  • Drove over I-90 and felt sorry for everyone that had to put on chains, because, in reality, you didn't need 'em. SUCKERS!!
  • Stopped off an exit because Riley had to pee, and man, did he have to pee! Melted about a 2'x2' patch of snow.
  • Drove to Issaquah, almost got blinded by sun in the low western sky and also its darn reflection DIRECTLY INTO MY EYES LIKE A SODDING LASER BEAM! Almost death again, but I'm being dramatic.
  • Ate dinner at Pallinos Pasta or Pasteria. I simply don't remember.
  • And now I'm working on updating my P365 blog to look nicer. It's not a cool gallery format, but it's free and I'm liking where it's going.
So, back to that blog. Back to Bellevue. Had tons of fun in Leavenworth and look forward to doing it again.

Peace out.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hello friends

Day 84 is up and done! It's been fun and most days, I totally look forward to shooting something for my P365. Other days? Not so much. Either I need to get out of the house more or I need to start finding beauty in the mundane.

Seriously, how many more shots of flowers and junk can I take???

In lieu of killing myself with boring shots, I've been working on learning more technique (using the histo more than ever!), post-production (just got a refurbished Wacom tablet for my controlling pleasure), and setups (lightbox, anyone?).

The past few days have been a little off for me. I think I have a sinus infection. I don't feel horrible, but I do feel off. Like on a 1 to 100 scale (one is good, 100 is bad), I feel about a 5. Just enough to notice, not enough to care, I suppose. Hopefully it's not a sinus infection and it goes away on its own... but I think it's a sinus infection. Bleh.

Oh, hey. I cleaned my desk today!

I'm trying to set up a gig for the Lunds at the Comet on Capitol Hill. I have my friend's band, the Hard Way, willing to play with us. Now I just need another. It'll be for May 15th, and it's a "matinee" show, meaning late afternoon. Know anyone??
I guess that's it for now. Here's what the tablet can do!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bring on spring

I am sick of being cold!

In other news, I had a job interview today. In fact, I had one on the phone yesterday, so I'm on two interview streak. Both went pretty well. Both are for jobs that would pay less than what I'm getting via unemployment. However, I am totally putting the cart before horse here, so until something gets offered officially, I'll just keep thinking about things.

The job I interviewed for today was at a high-end car dealership to be a porter. You know, the guy who brings the car around, gets it cleaned up, runs all over the lot, etc. That guy. It's an entry level job that pays as such, but I'm trying to look at it as a foot in the door. Doesn't mean I wouldn't do my best at it, but it's not necessarily a career move (being a porter).

One interesting thing about the position would be the scheduling. 3 days on, 4 off. And those 3 days? You work a lot! 12-13 hour shifts! But, having 4 days off would be cool. Take a day to cool out, hang with the family for a few days, then work on photography and building that up!

Speaking of photography...

After the interview, I headed around Chinatown in Seattle to take some pictures. It was a little rainy so I was trying to be selective of shots and standing under awnings, etc. I was going to shoot an old decrepit sign when the darn camera locked up again. :( So, I missed the shot, of course, and had to worry about the stupid thing all the way home.

At home, though, I was able to get the camera up and running again, but I have no idea what's causing the issue. I have not been able to definitively link it to any one thing, so it's a little troubling. I guess the good news is that I don't have any big "shoots" to worry about in the near future.

Speaking of shoots...

I was lucky enough to be asked to shoot a family for their portraits last month. I took a ton of shots and whittled them down to the best ones. I did some PP (post production) on them via Photoshop Elements and have uploaded them to a free smugmug.com account. I do have their permission to post, so here's a link to the site: link.

Anyway, take a look at the pictures and make some comments. Also, if you want me to take pictures for/of you, let me know. I am starting out and I am reasonable and I want/need the experience!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Camera update

Well, so far so good. I did some troubleshooting today and found some tips regarding yesterday's ERR 99. Apparently it is a kind of "catch all" error, meaning that it's nothing specific, but it's still an error that needs to be reported. According to websites out there, it can be caused by a CF card, battery, shutter, lens contacts, and other things.

I tried messing with the CF and battery and that didn't seem to do anything. Then I tried using a pencil eraser (as advised!) to wipe down the contacts on the lens and the camera body. At first I used a yellow eraser and that didn't seem to work. Camera was still dead and I was still panicking. After that failure, I tracked down a pencil with a standard red eraser. Did the erasing and a different battery. That seemed to do the trick! I've been able to take more pictures tonight than I did yesterday and this afternoon and so far, it seems to be working. (Please, please!)

Time will tell, I suppose. Here's a shot from today to prove that it works. Get ready for something amazing.


I guess we need to dust...

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Camera woes

We took Bella out for a romp at the dog park in downtown Renton today and I had my camera and new lens in tow. I was all excited to shoot and see how things would turn out.

A few shots in, the shutter closed and did not open again. I saw "ERR 99" on the screen. Flipping the switch didn't do anything so I removed the battery, which usually resets everything. Well, after doing that, the screen stayed dark and I had no power or anything.

Weird.

I thought it might have been the battery and, since I didn't have my spare, I was out of luck.

Once I got home, I did some research and found that "ERR 99" is kind of a general error, meaning anything from a bad connection between lens and camera to a faulty memory card and anything in between. Using my masterful deduction skills, I deducted that my problem was due to my CF card being weird. It's said that instead of simply deleting photos off the card when you don't need them, you should use the camera to format it from time to time. I don't know if that was the issue, but after pulling off a few sorry pictures (my P365 will be lackluster yet again), I formatted that sucker in the camera. So far so good.

Last thing I need is for my camera to fail me. I love this old thing and would be bummed if it took a nosedive.

Here's a picture from a day without technical difficulties.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Friday, Friday!

Did some cool stuff today. In no particular order, I:
  • Drove my mom's new BMW into Kirkland for an errand.
  • Picked up Riley from school for the first time in a while. It was his "half-birthday" today.
  • Had lunch with a new friend and hit it off quite nicely.
  • Received a new lens from said friend. Thanks!!
  • Talked photography for the better part of an hour over Thai food.
  • Took mom's new BMW to BMW Seattle with the kids. Only made it to Mercer Island with the top down before the kids started getting too cold.
  • Saw my brother at BMW Seattle.
  • Took some pictures of the kids dancing at the new BMW parking lot. It's quite the facility.
  • Met a neighborhood dog in our back yard at home. We think it belongs to a family around the corner. Very friendly Golden Retriever.
  • Decided to try to teach Riley how to ride a bike sans training wheels. Was minorly successful. He did better than I thought he would.
  • Had breakfast for dinner.
Not a bad day! :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

XM/Sirius radio

We've been subscribers for several years and each time we think about canceling, they give us insane prices for six months.

I love/hate the service. Love it because it's commercial, static and, for the most part, DJ free. I hate it because it's like they have a stable of 1000 songs they rotate and nothing more.

For example, I might be listening to a station and a cool song I haven't heard in years comes on. Something obscure enough to be cool, yet popular enough to be known. Then, I'll be listening to the same station the next day and that same song comes on.

Maybe it's the station? Right now, I'm listening to 80's on 8 and just heard one of my favorite songs, Easy Lover by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey (don't tell me you don't love that song!). Now it's Why Can't This Be Love? by Van Halen. Another good song that I loved in the 80s.

Now, I suppose there's only so many songs they can choose from the 80s. Even so, there should be a whole bunch, you know? But it wouldn't surprise me to hear either one of these songs in the next few days (or maybe another awesome one I heard earlier, You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates).

At least they're cool songs, right?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekly update

Hello friends. Sitting at the computer on a Sunday night, weeding through hundreds of pictures snapped in the past week, listening to Fountains of Wayne and freezing my tail off in the basement.

In other words, things are cool.

What weather lately, huh? Sunny, but cold! Brr! I am seeing signs of spring everywhere and I can't wait! Some friends and I took advantage of the weather on Friday and took family portraits. We hit up Kelsey Creek Farm out in the Wilburton area of Bellevue and spent an hour or so looking cute (them) and taking pix (me). I have a lot of work to do, but and I'm excited about the potential of these pictures.

I've been doing a lot of reading too, both fiction (currently: Dennis Lehane's A Drink Before the War) and non-fiction (mainly about photography, of course). Though this year's pace is a bit off last year's. I think it's been due to some big-ass books I've read. And maybe all the photography books, too.

My second-hand Blackberry is starting to act funny too. The battery cover is taped on now thanks to Riley dropping it a few months ago. That's no big deal. The phone just locks for no reason. It'll be sitting in standby and I'll hit a button to light it up and... nothing. Just the spinning "wait" symbol. The good news is that my contract is up and I'm eligible for an upgrade. The bad news is that an upgrade costs money and, well, money's tight. For now, it's the Blackberry.

Had a Lund Bros. gig the other night. Went ok, I suppose. Played with a so-so band called Full Life Crisis, and a really eclectic band called Bone Cave Ballet (ok, I hate the name too!). BCB was very good at what they did. Two girls singing wicked harmonies, a really solid band behind them and some really gothic, indie, proggy music. Does any of that make sense? Next up is the Scheme at the New Frontier in Tacoma on Friday.

Kids go back to school this week. I'll hopefully be able to catch up on photo editing (Yakup's recording sessions, plus shooting some more for him; Ben's birthday from last week; the McCaskill family shoot; various shots on location, including my friend's motorcycle shop, Twinline Motorcycles) and job hunting and taxes and stuff.

Whee!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hi everybody

Still here. Still doing my thing. Been spending most of my blogging moments updating P365. So far, haven't missed a day. Still am enjoying it and looking forward to learning, shooting and posting.

I have another project scheduled. This one is doing some family portraits of some friends. I told them to set the expectations waaaaay low. I've been boning up on reading all about portrait photography and the like as well. Hopefully the weather cooperates (next Friday) and that I'm able to "connect" with the kids. (We all know each other pretty well, so that shouldn't be too difficult)

This will be a busy music week. Tomorrow night I have Lund Bros. practice for the first time in a month or so. We were supposed to gig a month ago but Chris was sick and we had to cancel. I think he's better now so practice should be on for that.

Thursday brings the first Scheme practice of 2010. The gig LB had to cancel on was originally offered to the Scheme, but both Gregg and David were out of town in Hawaii at the time (supposedly separately!). We will need the practice as we have a gig next week on the 26th.

Then on Friday, after my photoshoot, I have the first Lund Bros. gig of 2010, at the Skylark in West Seattle. Still following me?

In addition to that, I have to edit/primp/preen some pictures I took of my friend Yakup's side project. He hired me to shoot some more recording studio pix of him, a bassist and a drummer on three separate days. Kept me busy and got me out of the house to do some photography, so that was cool.

If only I could do all this cool stuff and make a living at it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lakland Duck Dunn pictures

Since my little widgets tell me that a lot of people come here by searching for "Lakland Duck Dunn", or some variant of that, I figured I'd put some pictures up of said bass, instead of the ones that the previous owner took.

Here you go!






 

 

Enjoy!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Feeling neglected

My poor blog. After starting my Project 365 blog, all my writing has gone to it. And all it's about is the photo of the day. Unless you're into the pictures, I guess it's pretty boring.

As far as So Yummy goes, things are pretty much the damn same, I'm sorry to say. No job leads. No progress on improving my resume. Just a bunch of the same stuff.

On the other hand, I have some friends going through some issues that make being unemployed look like a walk in the park. So, I'll stop complaining now.

I have a Lund Bros. gig coming up Thursday. We're playing with a couple bands we've never played with before. Look for me; I'll be playing the SB-2 and taking pictures before and after.

I had a friend dial me up the other day on Facebook. His bassist and him had some issues and, with a CD release on the horizon, tensions flared. He is now without bassist and has asked me to pinch hit. I told him I would and we're going to hook up tomorrow night. My other band, the Scheme, is on hiatus as the other two members are going to Hawaii on "business" related activities (re: their SOs are attending conventions and photo shoots and the boys get to tag along). Lucky them.

Haley has been selling the heck out of Girl Scout cookies. I don't think it's her superior sales skills as it is the GS cookie fiending old folks we live by, but we'll take it.

I guess that's it for now. I'll check in from time to time, but if you feel some compelling need to read something I wrote, you can find me at the So Yummy Project 365 blog. It's been fun doing that blog and I feel kind of obligated now.

In the meantime, if you see my earplugs anywhere, let me know. Last I used them was at Scheme practice in late Nov, early Dec sometime and I miss them dearly. I bought some replacements last weekend and after practice tonight, I will only use them in an emergency.

Who knew one could get so attached to earplugs?


A picture of my junk.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Had a run in with Johnny Law today

Though I had nothing to do with it.

Yesterday after a doctor's appointment at UW Physicians in Factoria, I drove through their parking lot and saw something I thought I might shoot for my Project 365. I jumped out of the car, snapped some pictures, jumped back in the car and continued my adventure.

Ultimately, I didn't use any of those shots and thought nothing of them until today.

Marci called as I was out and about and told me that we got a little visit from Bellevue's Finest. Apparently where I was taking pictures yesterday, someone saw me and was coming out to talk to me when I jumped in the car and took off.

I didn't see anyone, but he thought I was being suspicious or something, so he took down my plate and called the cops.

Anyway, the place I took pictures of was the Honda of Bellevue parking lot. There were a bunch of Civics or something backed in and I thought it would be a cool shot.

The police officer thought it was pretty funny. I guess she asked Marci if there was any reason I'd be photographing the lot. Marci told her that I am obsessed with photography and that was why I was shooting photos. The officer laughed and suggested Marci tell me to "tone it down" a little.

I'm guessing if the guy at Honda had gotten to me, I'd explain what was going on. Supposedly they've been having or just had cars stolen/vandalized/messed with and thought the perp would TAKE PICTURES OF THE CRIME SCENE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.

All in all, kind of funny. Though when Marci called, I was wondering what I did in Georgetown today to merit a visit from the po-po.



Big whoop, right?


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Finally. Sun.

So much so that I've walked the dog twice this week. Incredible!

On Monday, I took Riley to the Y for his swim lessons. After I dropped him off, I realized I forgot towels, so I headed to the front desk. When I got back, the pool Riley was in (there are 2 at the Y) was empty. He was in the lap pool.

I asked the lifeguard what happened. He said the pool was contaminated. I asked if that meant what I thought it meant. He said it could be one of 3 things.

Awesome.

Anyway, Riley was quite excited about it. He told me twice that someone "throwed up" in the pool because they drank too much water. It was in an area he wasn't in so I'm assuming he didn't get contaminated either.

Must be all the newbs. At the Y yesterday, I heard the staff complaining/commenting on how all the "New Year Resolutions" were showing up. Which explained the horrible parking (which is no surprise; whoever designed that lot should be fired) and the full house.

I guess the New Year is awesome for business at health clubs and the like, but I wonder at what point the huge jump in numbers smooths out.

 This is from last summer, not the puke Y.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Project 365 has begun!

It's no secret that I've developed some interest in photography recently. An "imaginary" friend of mine just finished this project and it inspired me to do the same. It's called Project 365 (or something similar) and it's about taking and posting one photo a day to a blog, flickr, Facebook, whatever.

This guy did a blog and, incredibly, finished it yesterday. It's pretty amazing how far his photography went from day 1 to day 365. I haven't seen all the pictures, but there definitely are some good ones there.

Today I took Marci's camera to a friend's party and ended up forgetting all about it. This evening, after dinner, I did some shooting around the house and didn't come up with anything super awesome.

What's cool about the project is that there really are no rules. Sure, there are some AWESOME pictures taken out there, but I'm going to post what I like and what works for me. I'm hoping to improve my technique and knowledge about photography as well as entertain some folks. Along the way, I'll have a cool little photo diary of sorts to keep as an historical view of 2010.

Assuming I complete it, that is...

I will try to update daily, but if I'm unable to, it'll just have to wait. After all, life does go on, right?

The link is here: gwonchang365.blogspot.com. I hope you check it out and follow me along.

Happy 2010!

Have a good New Year's Eve? Marci made it to 12:00am, as did I. It was pretty uneventful, but I, for one, am glad to have 2009 behind us. Though lots of good things happened, the one thing I'll remember the most is being unemployed for most of the year. So now that that's out of the way, here are the good things that happened, in no particular order.
  • We got to go on a vacation of a lifetime, right after my unemployment started, to Orlando, FL, as part of Riley's Make-a-Wish wish.
  • The family made it through the year with no major health issues save for Marci's burned hand in March.
  • We added a member to the family in June. A dog. We went from being non-dog family to complete dog lovers.
  • We witnessed the complete love and support from both new and old friends.
  • I personally discovered a love for photography and have spent a lot of time learning how to do it.
  • Being out of work, I've spent more time at home and with the family than I ever have.
  • I read a lot of books and rediscovered our local public library.
  • We went on a "camping" vacation during the hottest weekend of the year. I went 3 days without a shower, the longest I've ever gone without a shower.
I'm sure there are more, but I'm "busy" job hunting (and watching the Rose Bowl), so I'm gonna back out now. Go Buckeyes and Happy New Year!