Tuesday, December 25, 2012

My year in photos, 2012

I figured i'd do another one of these, describing my year with photos from each month in 2012. Obviously this will most likely get NSFW again.

   Slow month for photos, the best was the shoot with Jade, she's an awesome model and fun to work with. I took a lot of infrared shots, and they turned out great, the color ones turned out great too. Really need to work with her again i think. It's odd, it feels longer ago thinking about it, but i mentioned that last time i did this too.

   Quite a few things it seems, African Night, Dancing with the UW-RF Stars, the wearable fashion exhibit, and Hot Air Affair in Hudson. Going with an IR shot of African Night, the belly dancer, i had made a diy infrared flash and was trying things out. Nice as it let me get better lit shots without annoying anyone.

   Another interesting month, with the Warehouse benefit fashion show, Roots and Bluegrass in town, and St. Patrick's day bed races also in town, almost all done in IR, i seemed to be on a kick. ;) Going with a shot of the lead singer of I-Scintilla, back in the 90s i had spent a lot of time at the Warehouse where i made a lot of good friends and still have a lot of good memories of that time. 

   Lots of things, besides my birthday, Painted Ladies body-painting meetup, Unity in the Community, Drag Show on campus, and the International Bazaar on campus. Think i'll have to go with the body painting though, how often do you get to shoot such great painters and models? Not often enough sadly. 

   Things slowed down here, for various reasons. I only posted 45 images in the whole of May. I did go to Pittsville though and got to see my whole family at once, which is rarer than you'd think with families now. So this image is one of my mom's irises that i always love. 

   Good month for photography, but the writing was on the wall for my bunnies sadly. The good was the Olde Farm shoot, Chi in the park, Summer Music Series, and the Anything Ghost haunted house shoot. This is a rough one, the Farm shoot and Ghost ones are some of my favorite work, one of nudes and the other gothic lolita, which i don't shoot enough of. For the image here though, i think i'm going to have to go with the Ghost shoot, not to slight the others though.

   Bunny wise this month sucked big time. Emily died suddenly (may have been late june, it's all a blur), Kitty deteriorated to the point where she needed to be put to sleep after hurting her back, Jerry got sick and was taken to the vet, but passed away the next day. I tried to distract myself with some photography though, Taste of Nepal, a Ballet Dancers meetup, Club Splash meetup, and one of the days of River Falls Days. Going to have to go with the Club Splash meetup, i wasn't the most with it with the bunny troubles, and it was insanely hot in the pool room, and outside even, but i did some more fun IR shooting and met some great models and other photographers. 

   Seven photos total in that month, Amanda was depressed from Jerry passing, and when i took her in to the vet he found she was riddled with cancerous tumors, most in her guts and lungs. He felt she would have a painful time and it would be best to not let her wake up from the anesthesia from getting x-rays of her. It was hard, especially since she was the last bunny of the four passing in such a short time, but i had to agree. I was a wreck until later in the month, when one of the best things to happen to me was brought up here by an old friend of mine. Butters the awesome bunny. 

  Still not many photos, was still reeling from loosing so many of the bunnies, but Butters was helping. 

   Still not many photos, did get another camera converted to a different type of Infrared that can get more color than the previous one. 

   Finally got more shooting in, still miss the bunnies who passed, but felt good to shoot again. Had the Riverdazzle Parade, shot Kaia, Culture Fest at the university, and the Hot Sams fire spinners meetup. Again, this one is hard, Kaia is awesome, and so were the fire spinners, and i shot both in IR again. Think i will have to go with the fire spinners as it's something i've never shot, and was a new and fun experience. 

   Not much shooting this month at all really, and i don't see any happening until the new year, so this will be it. Going to have to go with the fact that i recently got a friend for Butters, named Plopp. (was named Somo at the humane society, but it didn't seem to fit, hopefully he doesn't mind)

So there you go, pretty crap year, seeing as i also didn't talk about heath issues and trips to various doctors, car troubles, etc. Hopefully this next year will be better, both personally and photographically. You know it's bad when your camera gets dust on it. :P

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Roo Bunny Butters

Now i'm living with just one bunny, Roo Bunny Butters, so named as my friend who brought him had already named him Butters, and another good friend send me and him mail calling him Roo Bunny Butters. He's a beautiful rex, way too smart for his own good and always trying to get in things and past baby gates.

Here he is on the chair i have in my library/living room. He hopped up there and was curious what i was doing with the camera.

Dancing like a manic. He bounces from a stand still straight up in the air, around three feet up sometimes. Very hard to catch on camera, but adorable.

One of his favorite spots, on the windowsill of the front window. He mostly goes up there during the day, and will sit there for hours, sometimes falling asleep.

A view of him from the outside, heh. How cute is this? Very. That's the answer.

So anyway, he makes me very happy now, and i honestly don't know what i would do without him. It was especially hard before he came, as i went to many humane societies around here and before he came, none of them had any bunnies. I might get him a companion at some point, but i want his health to be good and possibly get him fixed before that, even though if i do get another, they will most likely be fixed already.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Amanda Bunny

I had just realized i hadn't posted in quite some time, and didn't post about Amanda. Amanda passed not long after Jerry. She had a rough time with him passing, and she had stopped eating so i took her to the vet. He could tell something was very wrong with her, and after sedating her and getting x-rays, he saw that she had very advanced cancer that had spread to her lungs and stomach. He advised that she was in a lot of pain, and was having a hard time breathing, and it would be best to not let her wake up. My heart still breaks at this decision, she was the last of the four to pass over summer, but i want to share some good memories of her.

Here she is with Emily quite soon after i brought them home, look at how tiny they were! Little bunlets who got along for a good time, and then they got older and started fighting, which made me sad, but i've been told that female bunnies are the ones that get more territorial.

She used to love to jump up in the hay box and munch away for quite some time. It was pretty cute how she'd hang out in there for a while.

Her and Jerry were really great partners, and they would hang out in these boxes by the back door. Jerry passed away right next to this box actually, and Amanda avoided it after that. It was great how they got along though, perfect friends, always eager to be together, grooming each other, although some times Amanda would mount Jerry and try to hump him. He'd have none of it though, not getting angry but just hopping away until she gave up.

The last photo i took of her. She pretty much hung out under this stool after Jerry passed. She didn't play much if any at all. She'd rest her chin on the bar, and ignored treats. She was a great bunny, even if she wasn't ever too keen on me, probably because i had to separate her and Jerry so other bunnies could play.

There was a period of no bunnies here, and it was rough. Just too quiet, i kept looking for them even though i knew they weren't here anymore. I was getting pretty depressed too, not seeing much hope or anything. That is, until a friend had a stray bunny brought to her and she suggested bringing him up here for me. That bunny was Butters, who is awesome.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Jerry Bunny

One of the very first images i took of Jerry after i got him.

Jerry passed away wednesday, even though i've lost total track of time since then and it feels like that's not the day, but it is. This loss has hit me the most, i can't really put it into words, but i'm devastated by this loss. Emily passing was a shock and surprise, and hurt a lot, but the other bunnies were around to help. Kitty was something i was building myself up to, still hurt, and miss her a lot, but knew it was coming. Jerry was surprising to me, even though he was over 10 years old, and expected someday, but not so soon after both Kitty and Emily. 

Jerry on the rug, Emily in the cage (she fought with Amanda, so they had to be separate when the other was playing). Black rug with a white bunny, that rug never stayed fur free. ;)

 I got Jerry from the Humane Society that used to be here at the end of 2004. They had caught him outside, someone had just let him go, probably when they tired of caring for him, which boggles my mind, beyond the fact that he was the sweetest bunny ever, and so affectionate. They named him Jerry after Jerry Garcia, since he was so mello and calm. He was good friends with everyone besides Kitty, who he got into a bad fight one time when she opened up her area and got out. He bit her pretty hard on the face, the only time i've ever seen him fight or bite. Not sure what set them off. Kitty has always been pretty territorial, but she was also found after someone let her go. He also didn't seem to get as well along with Zack, but seeing as Kitty and Zack were very well bonded, and always together, that kind of makes sense. 

One of my favorite photos of him. I was at the counter, and heard this odd nose, and saw this. So cute, he was digging and playing in the dirt. Made a little bit of mess, but how could i mind? 

Jerry seemed to have a good life here, two girlfriends, lots of room to run around (almost never in a cage, only when others he would fight with were out for safety), and plenty of good treats (not too many though). It was always sweet how he would like to sit by my feet in the kitchen, and greet me when i came down for the morning. It seems so empty here now, with only Amanda (who is depressed since he passed, she's avoiding the room he passed in, not playing, but she's eating, so that's good) around. Amanda has always been kind of the odd one, she's never been rough with me, but seems to not like me as much. She'll avoid me picking her up, touching her, etc. Love her tons, but it's funny how she is so strong headed, even after all these years. I am debating getting her a companion, but she's eight also, and she might not get along with them. I do know once she passes that it will be even more lonely here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

kitty bunny is breaking my heart.

This is Kitty Bunny in better days. The last month or so has not been good to her. She's pretty old now, around 10 or older, and her health has gone down hill. Today she seems to have lost the use of her back legs. She's been having a harder time grooming herself lately, and getting in and out of the potty, but today she spent most of the day in there. She ate a good deal of fresh greens, so that's good, but when she tried to get out, she got stuck. I recently replaced her old pan with a much lower one, so she can get in and out better, but seeing her half in and half out just broke my heart. She didn't want me to help her, when i tried she acted like i was going to hurt her. She is so far from her old self that it's like she is a completely different bunny. The only thing the same is that she is a fighter. She's very frail looking and feeling, and rests more than not, but the fact that she is still going is how i know it's her.

That's her with Zack, who passed away a while ago due to kidney failure. He got skinny too really quickly, and had many visits to the vet to make him more comfortable, but he passed pretty quickly. I went upstairs and an hour later he was passed away in his and Kitty's house. She was devastated. She didn't eat for a while, and took a few months to act like herself again, although to be honest she never really seemed to get back to how she seemed with Zack around. They really made a great couple, especially since she really never got along with any of the other bunns in the house.

This is the most recent photo i have of her, about a month old or so, and will probably be the last i take, as while i love her, i want to remember the good, not how sad she looks lately. We were hanging out on the stairs, giving her medicine, grooming her, and watching her rest. She's still an awesome bunny, but i'm now bracing myself to come down and find her passed away. When she's too quiet lately, i go and check on her even.

I know and knew when i got these poopers that while they can live 12 to 14 years, that i would most likely outlive them and have to watch them pass. It's just after Clover having the surprise death (vet said he may have seen a predator out the window and freaked out), and Zack with being sick but passing relatively quickly, watching Kitty take so long and being so helpless is rough. It's even harder that when i have to do things that help her, like bathing, meds, etc, i can't explain to her that i'm trying to help make her feel better. I know it's not the most enjoyable experience for her, but it would be nice if i could get her to understand. I'm also bracing myself for Jerry having problems. He's her age or so, and is also showing his age. He's also been having potty troubles, and sleeping a lot, but still moves pretty good. Especially when treats are involved. Anyway, not sure what this post is about, other than to get these feelings out. These bunnies have been there for me longer than anyone i've dated, and quite literally saved my life more than once. So i hope they were made happy while here.

So i typed this last night. Today around 2 or so, i heard Emily screaming loudly and had no clue why she was. I rush in there, she starts convulsing in bad directions i've never seen a bunny do. She then passed away. All within a couple of minutes. I didn't even have time to run to the phone and call the vet. I'm heart broken, she and Amanda are the youngest, at about eight years old, and as you could probably tell from the post i was expecting either Kitty or Jerry to pass first. I didn't see this coming, at all. I'm devastated.

My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Worried about Kitty Bunny

This is Kitty Bunny from a while ago. I'm pretty worried about her, she was at the vet a few days ago as she stopped eating like she used to, and wasn't acting like herself. The vet found she had a very, very high white blood cell count, so an infection of some sort. She didn't know exactly what caused it, but Kitty stayed overnight so they could watch her. They sent her home the next day and said they are optimistic about her odds. She seemed better for a couple days, nibbling on food, but still obviously not happy. Sadly she seems to be not doing so well. She's not too keen on taking her medicine, three different types, and will try to avoid letting me give them to her, but eventually does. She's eating less, hiding, and seems really skinny. I'm reminded of when Zack was bad off, although the vet said her kidneys were fine, but it's got me preparing for the worst.

I know they don't live the longest, about 12 to 14 years seems to be the longest, and kitty was an adult when i got her about eight years ago. So who knows how old she is, but none of the bunnies are very young anymore. Funny fact, i've had the bunnies much longer than any relationship i've been in (talking dating here, not family and such), so they are a huge part of my life. They've been there when i've needed them, and hopefully i've been there when they need me and hopefully they all have had a better life after coming here from the humane society. I love my crazy pooper bunnies and hope they all stay okay.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

IR Roots and bluegrass photo talk

This past weekend I got out to the Roots and Blugrass Festival that was in town, and as usual took my IR camera out. I wanted to give it a shot with the new version of the flash, and see how it would work. Mostly quite pleased, although holy crap the batteries got hot, had to swap them out at the halfway mark, and they almost burned me it felt like.

I'm going to post the straight out of camera ones, since the ones made black and white are on my flickr in this set. As a side note, what i use to convert to black and white is Nik Siver Efex Pro 2, it does a great job and gives more control, especially for a newbie like me.

 Here is the perfomer Randy Burger singing on the sidewalk, notice the yellow, that's because i balanced the camera to white with the flash. I don't know a middle ground currently, i use a calibration reflector to get white balance better, but it's not perfect. Something funny to note is that the reflections of the people in the window are much more defined than it seems in true color.

Another interesting case of white balance, as what is illuminated by the flash is basically grey scale, and the light coming in from outside is the yellow. Also funny, the flash in the window, not visible by eye, but shows up on the image as the flash has a filter that only lets out ir light. I believe this is also one where i decided to try and bounce the flash at a forty five degree angle up, not sure though.

This one is interesting to me, that room was a basement with almost zero light, so what you see is mostly illuminated by the IR flash. Pretty neat, especially since it would have blinded most people if not filtered for IR. Damn that was packed though, barely room to move, so i didn't get many shots there.

Another flash shot showing how it helped, with a bit of yellow light from other light sources in the background.

Last one, again a very dark room, band farther away, lit by the flash. That window behind them was tinted to visible light too, and also shows more of the daylight balance in the background.

So there you go. Not too thrilling i bet, but its' a learning experience for me, and quite fun trying to predict what things are going to be like. It's also very nice to get the details of dark areas of performances, even though it's only really going to be black and white in the end.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DIY Infrared Flash talk

Okay, this is a nerd heavy post, just to let you know. Going to talk or ramble about my experiments in making an infrared flash for my infrared converted Canon XTi. (done by Lifepixel for those curious, and i highly recommend them) Basically, my desire for an infrared flash is so i can shoot in infrared in low light conditions with a flash, but since a regular flash is an annoyance in those situations (and banned in lots of places like that) i decided to search around for a do it yourself solution. I found lots of vague posts online via google that were of some help, but mostly instructed to stick some sort of ir filter or exposed and developed slide film over the flash, but not too close as the heat from the flash can melt the filter. So with a lot of trial and error, here is what i did.

Version 1. Basically a thin plastic ir filter in a LumiQuest FXtra Gel Holder, which was then held to the camera with velcro. Electrical tape (you'll hear these words a lot, heh) was then used to seal up any escaping light leaks. Not horrible, but a pain to take off and put back on. So i started to look at other routes.

Version 2. (the one that is up and to the right, not on the flash) I took the filter from Version 1 and put it over a STO-FEN Omni-Bounce (found a couple cheap on amazon, like a fourth of the cost listed there) and wrapped the rest in electrical tape. Thought about painting the exposed plastic on the Omni-Bounce, as light did come out where tape didn't cover. Then i decided to try version 3.

Version 3. Pictured on the flash above. One my now unused Hoya glass ir Filters, attached to an Omni-Bounce that was cut in half to get the filter closer to the flash head for a less narrow beam. Then electrical taped around to prevent light leaks. If i spent more time on this one, i would epoxy or glue the filter better on the Omni-Bounce and pain the Omni-Bounce, as the electrical tape is kind of hinky looking, and with the tape i wrap it around the end to keep light from getting out. So far, this is the best i've done though, and it works great.

What i did find after all this though, is Quantum makes accessories for their flashes that does all this much better, but at a much higher cost. Here is a great write up on that.  Maybe in the future i'll work on getting that, as the flash head alone is pretty awesome, and being a better IR flash just adds to it. It's a head that needs a pack though, so instead of just a head, there is quite an investment going in. I guess i'll update if and when i do that.

So anyway, more about what i've done so far. Some of the results i've found while using the flash is interesting. Challenging, but interesting, to say the least. Playing around in my kitchen last night (which is messy, so i'm not posting those pictures), i found that with the flash being normal with no filter, the light was good, but no reach it seemed. With filter on, it lit up the whole room. Seems counterintuitive, especially with the filters looking black to the naked eye. White balance is hell too, if you balance for the flash, any other light that has ir wavelengths has a different color. For example:

I took this one at a local university event, and had the white balance set to the flash, so what the flash lit looks close to black and white, while the stage lights have a very yellow tint to them. It's a neat effect, but unpredictable. This is also the kind of situation that calls for not having a bright flash going off while taking photos. Whats not colored yellow was hit by the flash, but not visible or annoying to anyone there. All that you can see if you look directly into the flash is a dim red light, barely visible.

Another from the same night with the version 1 filter. kind of looks sepia toned, and was also well lit by the flash. Did a great job of freezing action, even though the camera wasn't set too high of a shutter speed.

A shot from version 2 of the filters, where you might be able to see how the flash lit and helped with action. Panning with the runners, flash froze them and let the more distant blur. The colors are also from balancing the white to sunlight, with the flash adding a little blue. I know, it's screwy, but if balance isn't set right, everything is red. While interesting, and able to changed in post, it's nicer knowing what to expect before hand. What you can't see here is that the street signs reflected a lot of light, lit up from even far away. This event also showed me why i'm tempted about the Quantum flash, it fires machine gun style, while my flash has a poor recycle speed. If i want to do IR shots of action, i will miss a lot of them. Not even mentioning the fact that the XTi has a small buffer and less frames per second able to be shot. I think if i do end up getting the Quantum, and eventually the Canon 5D mark 3, i might get either my 7D or 5D converted, as they have more capabilities than the XTi.

So to wrap up, enjoying IR photography a lot lately, how it's surprising and letting me see in new ways. This weekend there is a Bluegrass festival in town, with several bands playing, and if i'm able, i hope to try out the version 3 flash with performers. Should be interesting.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What to say to who

Been having pretty bad depression and mood swings like i haven't had in ages, and it's also tossed my sleep schedule off like you wouldn't believe. I'm not exactly sure if something spurred this on or if it's just chemistry, but it's frustrating that i don't have someone to talk to it about, with all the things that are running through my mind. It's one of the things i miss about being in a relationship with someone who actually cares (rarer than you'd think, especially ones that are willing to handle the depression and fears), or even my old friend Jodi, who while maybe not as understanding as i thought, was at least willing to listen and not mock. Therapists seem to not really listen, they always seem to push to what they feel, at least a lot of the ones i've had were. Not really sure who i can talk to, or if i have someone i can, so most of the time i bottle it up or write it out here.

I read something a person i follow on twitter who also has depression that hit a bit home, "Sometimes it feels lie you've reached the book's end, yet everything keeps moving, going on long after it should've ended. This is no book." I so know that feeling. It's been feeling worse than a rut for quite some time now, nothing moving, nothing progressing, no movement all. Absolute zero. Everyone always seems to say how easy it is to change it, but if they've never been i am now, they can't understand. Every direction i see to move all leads to either the same or more disaster. An infinite amount of paths, all branching out into an infinite amount of paths, infinitely, and only one is the one that doesn't  lead to disaster or doom. So i am immobile with fear of not picking the right one. It's funny, i'm kind of obsessing on a near impossibility to help me move. I know the odds are astronomical, and yes i'm being vague, but it's also probably better odds than the other roads. I guess in a month or so i'll know.

Besides that, for some reason i got into a cleaning fit for the kitchen. It's funny, the depression keeps it a mess most of the time, things not so organized to put it mildly, stacks of papers and books everywhere (yes, in a kitchen too), and general chaos. Something got into me though last night or so and started cleaning it. A little while before i basically emptied the fridge, so many expired things, duplicate things, etc, but it was so full of crap i just didn't eat and probably couldn't eat even. So now i've gotten most of the countertops clean and organized, harder than you'd think, but getting there. I do like it clean, but when you hit the place i've been mentally lately, you look at it and just don't see the point. No one ever sees it besides me, except on the couple of times my parents visit each year, and it's gotten so bad that even with the few days notification that they are coming, i can't get it all clean. Just too much and never enough energy. I guess at least i got the garage clean that one time, now it's mostly boxes that need to be broken down and stuff that needs to be organized. Sort of like the rest of my house and my life too.

I don't know what i'm trying to say here, just rambling i guess. Tired, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc. Hopefully something will start to look up, i really need it.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Movie Night December 31, 2011

Oops, forgot to put what movies we watched last night, even though not an official movie night, we did watch some things. Oops.

How Not to Live Your Life, Its a Don-derful Life, series ender.
Aw, it's over, but it did such a good job at tying up things, and holy crap at the secret reveal at the end!! ;) I do love David Armand, that much is true.

Attack the Block
Kept meaning to see this. Loved the alien designs even if it didn't quite make sense, i guess that's the Rule of Cool though. Didn't quite care for the ending though, and the main protagonists bugged the hell out of me, maybe i'm just getting old. Get off my lawn!!

Burke and Hare
This was frankly, awesome. I had no clue about this. I had heard the story of the true people, but didn't know they made it into a film, with absolutely everyone from films and British tv that i like. I'm not even kidding here, it was almost every few minutes we were going "hey! it's so and so!!" ;)