Google Maps

So I have been getting back into the habit of driving around to a new place several times a week. I, like many, jump onto Google Maps to get an idea of where today’s adventure might lead. I tend to use the map in the default state as it gives me an idea of if the area will be desert and what the mountains might be like. Then once I have picked a rough idea of where I want to go I check the street view to see what’s there. I had yet to find anything interesting like most people, lots of cars, empty road and the occasional blurred face of a passer by. Today though, I stuck gold? I dropped the street view guy and was met with a stripped screen. You can check it out here, or at the link below.

Not sure where it might be other then corrupted pictures maybe but it made my day to find something other then the norm on Google Maps today 😀,-113.75846,3a,75y,124.65h,179t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sTtIeXksEePwZaPknHNyiHw!2e0


Note to self, insect repellent is not optional….

So after a year of procrastination I’m finally trying my hand at night sky (astral?) photography. I would have to put it right after timelapse/hyperlapse for my favorite type of photograph. The amazing work of Tom Lowe (TimeScapes) makes me feel wander as if i where a child again, from the way it puts the universe into perspective to the infant beauty of a star filled night put into motion. I could ramble on and on about how amazing it is, but back to the buzzing noise of the first mistake u made while trying my hand at this art form.

So on with the story.

As i was saying i have always wanted to try this type of photography but just never got around to it so today i charged my DSRL’s battery, read a few quick tips and headed out to one of the local lakes just before sun set. Since this was not my first photo exploration at this location and had a good idea of the shot i wanted i didn’t leave too much scouting time. Once at the location i setup my gear and scoped out the shot and setup, the part i thought was going to be hard finished in no time, but i was dead wrong on the hard parts, those had yet to come.

So after about 15 minutes waiting for the sun to set i realized my first mistake, bringing nothing to do to pass the time waiting for the light to go down and waiting for the exposure to be taken… ugh this was going to be a long night….

So after about 45 minutes of waiting the light finally started to fade off so i figured it was time to snap a quick test and see how things looked. As i got out of my car i was ambushed by what must have been about a thousand mosquitoes. As i made my way to my gear it hit me, i really should have used bug spray, mistake number two. So after test and finding out there was still too much light i quickly made my way back to my car only to be welcomed by a nice buzzing sound by what must have been my new best friends, all 100+ of them.

So as i repeated this process testing and retreating i found out mistake three, well more of an issue brought on by lack of gear then a mistake, i had no way of doing an exposure greater then 30 seconds with out manually holding down the shutter button. So the quest continued on for a few more house until my limited gear could no longer handle the ever growing darkness. So i packed up my camera, tossed my tripod in the back seat, rolled down my windows and drove home in hopes my new friends might find there way out of my car and back home sooner then later.

Here is what i came up with from my first attempt into night photography




As you might have noticed there is a huge issue with noise. The body I am currently working with, the Nikon D3000, does not like low light at all. These where shot with an ISO of 800 and the camera still struggled to make an image out of the more then ample light. I am hoping to switch to a dx format body, and drop the fx format as it seems the full sensor cameras do a way better job in low light.

Anyway thanks for reading my rant!

Here are a few Kickstarter Projects to check out!

So first off is a project that combines Fire and Video games. Its one of many projects running currently to try and help fund installations at the Burning Man 2013 event. It looks kind of interesting and combines two great things.

Charcade – Burning Man 2013

“We’re building an arcade and it’s rather non-traditional. (Translation: We’re building the CHARCADE and ALL THE GAMES SPEW FIRE)”



Next we have a cool spin on the 3D printer movement, a small portable 3D printer that has a cool design and great build quality. The Bukito looks like it should be able to print out any 3D thing you can imagine and you can tote it ar0und so you can build a project even if your not at home!

Bukito Portable 3D Printer – Take it everywhere!

“A sturdy, fast and portable 3D Printer that you can take everywhere. Where will you take your Bukito?”



Last up is an idea that really does not need to be made….

The CelGo is a simple suction cup arm to hold your cell within arms reach while you are driving. The maker is implying that its “safe” because the phone will not be right in front of your face, instead it will be just down from your field of view thus making you look away from the road if you check something on it. It seems when you drive around anymore about 1 in 13 cars you pass has a driver on the phone, checking a phone, or doing something with a phone. We don’t need more things to put phones in front of drivers… On the other hand it does look handy for say a Satellite receiver or stand alone GPS unit, anyway check it out.

CelGo: Flexible Hands-Free Cell Phone Holder For Your Car

“CelGo mounts your cell phone in your car where you want it; easy to see & reach without blocking your driving vision. Made in the USA!”

(Am I  the only one tired of everything getting pointless labels like hands free?)