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August 18, 2005

Happy birthday Juliet!

   Happy birthday Juliet!  To celebrate Juliet turning a quarter century, we all went out to dinner.  I did take quite a few shots, but forgot to clean my UV filter before hand.  It was a little foggy from the previous night after being placed in my pocket.  As a result, some of the pictures were a little soft.
      Interesting day for clouds, which is what most of my shots were.  After sunset, there were some large cloud formations with lighting visible inside.  However, when I tried to photograph them, they were moving too fast for the long exposures needed for the camera to see them.
Xadius

Xadius

   About 4:00pm, Tazz showed up to Park Place with his new 70-200mm 2.8 L series lens with image stabilizer-- the lens we\'ve both wanted for the last year and a half.  And it is beautiful :)  
   Both Tazz and I having to work, the photo shoot would have to wait until after dark.  We decided to return to the railroad yard and do a set of night pictures.  Unfortunately, the session didn\'t turn out nearly as good as I had hopped.  At the beginning of the shoot, I had forgotten to remove my UV filter.  This resulted in most of my early pictures to have rather severe light ghosting.  Part of the shoot was on a bridge that overlooked the railroad yard.  But the traffic was bouncing the bridge, and along with a good breeze, there was enough motion to blur many of my shots.  The shots I did get were alright, but many others were just unusable.
   Picture for today is Xadius (or \"X\" for short), son of Angie and Corry.
Kristy

Kristy

   So my RSS feed now functions with Live Journal.  A friend of mine requested an RSS feed for her LJ page, so I ventured out to learn what RSS needed to do.  Simple enough, and gave me a much need introduction into XML.  However, despite verifying as a valid RSS feed, I Live Journal didn't like it and kept return an error.  Turns out that the RSS feed validate ignores data in the <![CDATA[ ]> tags in which I made the newbie mistake of the wrong slash at the end of my IMG tag.  The hard part in tracking this problem down was that LJ doesn't refresh feeds but once a day, and they doesn't appear they have any debug platform for developers.
   Our group met at coffee and Tyson, Jake and I set to help Jake turn a video production into a DVD.  This picture was taken at coffee where we all met.  Pictured is Kristy.
   A close up of what I believe to be a fox skull.  The skull I found yesterday while shooting by the railroad yard.  I soaked it in bleach over night, and cleaned it up with a tooth brush.  Having no experience with skeletons, I learned a little too late that the teeth are not securely attached to the skull.  Thus, I lost a few.  Lucky, they were mostly on one side of the skull.  A little super glue on the inside of the mouth should keep the remaining teeth in place.
   Yesterday I bought a 48\" florescent light fixture and 2x 6,500K, 90 CRI tubes for it.  Putting the manual white balance to 6,500K looks turns out skin tones very close to daylight.  So, we might have to arrange a indoor shoot to see how good these lamps really work.
Old Tracks

Old Tracks

   We shot today with Tazz at a railroad yard located close to where Avalon Road (Highway 11) meets I-90.  I took about 200 shots and turned out over 30 proofs-- more than usual.  Many of the proofs look similar, but I really liked the location.
Spider

Spider

   Some species of Garden Spider I believe.  He/she sits out in the corner of our porch, eating irritating flying bugs-- thus, deserves recognition as a Park Place resident.  Perhaps this spider will one day eat the mailman, and he will stop stuffing our mail box full of all those silly ads we just throw away.
   Worked with Tazz at the end of the day, getting a design for his website more formalized.  In the evening, a storm had rolled in and we ventured out into the night to shoot it.  Unfortunately, the back of my UV lens fogged up and ruined most of my shots.  The shot for today (actually, taken at midnight, so technically tomorrow) is from the storm.  It is blurry, but looks alright small.  Sometimes you get it, sometimes not.
   On my return drive from Michigan, I stopped to photography Gary, Indiana.  My goal was to try and get a good shot of the US Steel\'s Gary Works factory.  Driving around, I found I was unable to get close to huge facility.  All roads getting close eventually ended with gated entrances to the plant.  A hill supporting railroad tracks blocked any view from the roads of the facility-- so the Works remains un-captured by my photography.
   I did drive around Gary a little, mostly along highway 12, where I ran across the former Interstate Inn.  Now the skeleton of a building, this building started it\'s life as a Holiday Inn sometime in the 1960ies.  With interstate 90 and 65, the motel became hidden and began it\'s decent.  Now it is fenced off, over grown and pretty much forgotten.  To my delight, I found this website that provided great information about the motel.  They also had information about a building I found in my July 21, 2005 picture-- a former railroad station.  It\'s good to see someone else likes the abandon as well :)