Activity from DaShiv

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LCD Discrepancy?
There's no raw mode on the A75.

TurkishGolds: Are you using the monitor to guestimate exposure setting in manual mode under low light? The camera's meter works pretty well on its own to prevent gross underexposures in P, Av, or Tv modes, so there's no reason the pictures should be "almost black" unless you're exposing in full manual. In which case, you'd need to tweak your exposure settings accordingly against the histogram (NOT the screen) which is brought up… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 3:33 PM on April 12, 2005

Getting over specific disappointments
I try to turn failures into motivation: each is a signpost that says "I am here" today but will say "I was here" some time in the future. The direction and distance between the "am" and the "was" becomes either decay, stagnation, or growth. Choose what it is you want to look back upon.

Alternately, failure is the price of anything worth doing. Those who have never failed deserve no admiration.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 9:19 PM on April 10, 2005

Digital Camera
Canon's PowerShot A-series (A70, A75, etc) have always been among the cornerstones of their market segment, being top-selling perennials in the "most camera for least $" category due to having better optics, larger zoom ranges, and a much richer feature set than the more compact and expensive S-series ELPHs. The Canon A510 [Review] is the newest and most aggressively priced member of the A-series lineup (about $170-180 online) and features Canon's latest Digic… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 1:52 PM on April 4, 2005
The A510 certainly doesn't sport the Digic II moniker of Canon's latest DSLR's, but IR's tests (A510, A75) show that despite using only half the batteries of the A75 (significantly reducing the A510's size and weight), the A510 still retains about 60% of the shooting life and 75% of the playback life of the A75. Lower tested image noise was also mentioned. These power and processing improvements were among the features that motivated me to upgrade from a Digic I DSLR to a Digic II one -- for… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 6:03 AM on April 5, 2005
Unfortunately, critically fast shutter lag (such as on the Sony V3 and Casio P-600) is mostly found on high-end models out of your budget. Write speed is often dependent on image quality, and while many cameras can write quickly if you turn the image compression up and the size down, few non-DSLR's can maintain this at max quality (and few non-DSLR's have intelligent buffers in non-continuous mode that allow simultaneous writing and shooting). So to fully satisfy what you're looking for, it's… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 7:23 AM on April 5, 2005

Preferable digital camera battery type?
Since I'm buying a new camera, I can choose whether to purchase one with a rechargeable battery or one that takes AA batteries. Because I am scarred, I am leaning toward a camera with a rechargeable battery. Am I wrong to be doing so? Why or why not?

It doesn't really matter what type of batteries your camera takes. There are far more important things to worry about when choosing a camera.

Rechargeable AA's (NiMH) are great… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 2:53 PM on March 21, 2005
By the way, this DPReview chart lists some empirically-measured battery lives (scroll to the bottom of that page). As you can see, there's a ton of variation between different camera models and no direct correlation between in-camera battery life versus battery type used (whether AA or proprietary Li-ion). Interestingly, cameras with Li-ions dominate the top 13 out of 15 positions, but there's no clear pattern since different cameras turn in very different performances even using identical… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 8:12 PM on March 21, 2005

Lost Digital Camera Software
As others have mentioned, use card readers to offload data and image editing software like Picasa or iPhoto for edit photos. But the proprietary software is still needed to do certain obscure things -- for example, customizing the author field in the EXIF headers with most Canon cameras must be done via ZoomBrowser (or another program that came with the disc, I forget). Don't ask me why they do it this way.

Aside from little things like that though, I'm not sure why… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 3:03 PM on March 21, 2005

Kurt Vonnegut: Where to begin?
Vonnegut said that Cat's Cradle was his favorite of all the books he wrote.

I'd agree -- it touched my sole, too. Okay, you had to have read the book to get that one...

There's probably a healthy glut of opinion by now, but if you want to have read Vonnegut, you need to hit Slaughterhouse 5 at all costs. If you want the most enjoyable… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 11:53 AM on March 18, 2005

MFA-filter: photography or writing?
To clarify: a photography MFA would provide some formal grounding to building upon, which I already have and appreciate as a writer. I'm concerned that without a formal education -- and the peer review process -- my growth there will ultimately be stunted. Is this unfounded?

Thanks to everyone for their responses so far, and for the Pinksy quote. I'm not a particular fan of his poetics, but he often has insightful things to say about poetry.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 9:56 AM on March 15, 2005
What do you mean by formal education? Studying theory, criticism, technical elements, history? (My understanding is that most MFAs don't touch technical stuff, and some don't even do much theory.)

Yes -- I can probably pick some of this up at a local community college as well, but that probably won't be sufficient for me. It seems that there are some pitfalls ahead.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 10:25 AM on March 15, 2005
maybe (and i say this with no authority whatever) you're overestimating the importance of technical training?

A perfectly valid critique. What concerns me is that I can name a goodly number of literary trends in the last century but have a virtually nonexistant understanding of the same historical developments in photography; I can make barely intelligent statements about maybe a dozen historical photographers when I should be able to speak more… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 11:44 AM on March 15, 2005

Digital photography workflow on a Macintosh
If you love wide angles (like me), you're in for some growing pains with DSLR's. If you love telephotos, you're in for a real treat.

I use Imatch to manage and organize photos, and burn onto DVD. I wouldn't even bother with CD's unless you either don't shoot much, or shoot exclusively in jpeg. Backing up (along with CD/DVD's if possible) on external harddrives are a good idea as well.

I don't have a lot to say about Photoshop, since I swear by… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 9:42 AM on March 14, 2005 marked best answer
20mm FOV on a DSLR is tough; on the Nikon mount, your choices are Nikon's extravagantly-priced 12-24mm DX, Sigma's rather bulky 12-24mm, or wait to see how Sigma's upcoming 10-20mm or Tamron's upcoming 11-18mm pan out. The Nikon and the two upcoming lenses I mentioned are not backward compatible with your film equipment, and all four of them without exception are slow. There are no primes in this range unless you're willing to defish via software.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 1:36 PM on March 14, 2005

What is ontology?
Ontology = theory of being, epistemology = theory of knowledge. Not exactly opposites like tacit (implicit) vs explicit. I'm resisting the temptation to use metaphors on one hand, and to fall into verbosity on the other, so the brief version will have to do until the next person does a better job than me.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 10:51 AM on March 14, 2005

Should I go to MIT?
Not to sound overly presumptuous, but it seems to me like you're just looking for a little kick in the butt to overcome your current inertia. You're lucky I don't own any steel-toed boots. :)

Even with all the professional, contacts, and girlfriend/Boston advantages aside, there's a very real value to moving on. Even my brother at Caltech was encouraged to go elsewhere instead if he wanted to pursue graduate studies (although um, I don't think they would endorse MIT as… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 10:20 AM on March 10, 2005

Googling a non-alphanumeric whatsit
Here is an example in context. Look at the section dividers.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 10:31 AM on March 4, 2005

How to open RAW files correctly
To open Nikon NEF files, you'll want to use either Nikon Capture, Capture One, or upgrade to Photoshop CS for the Adobe Camera RAW plugin. All of these are commercial programs that will cost you, of course, but they're leagues ahead of Picture Project, which I've heard some rather poor feedback about (but I've never used myself).

A free alternative that's in the same league as the above RAW utilities is the very new RawShooter, created by a couple of ex-members of the… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 8:19 AM on March 1, 2005
You'll have to upres using Photoshop or a similar program if you want more pixels to print larger at higher DPI. A RAW converter won't give you any more pixels than what your camera can capture, but it'll give you much more control over the quality of those pixels which will allow them to be upres'd more cleanly -- advantages that were discussed by the sites you mentioned earlier. The D70 has a native resolution of 3008x2000 pixels, whereas an 8x10 at 360 DPI requires 3600x2800 pixels (that's… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 9:10 AM on March 1, 2005
On a different forum, someone summarized it as: "Did you used to keep your negatives, and have you ever ordered reprints?" That pretty much answers whether you'd shoot RAW or jpeg in the digital age.

Many commercial photographers shoot jpeg -- wedding, event, sports, news, etc. It's great if you've nailed both white balance and exposure, and have optimized your camera's settings for the shooting conditions (for example, loaded an appropriate tone curve for… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 5:07 PM on March 1, 2005

Firefox extensions: anyone know of one for saving all my tabs upon exit?
Curse you, Murphy!


Hours of searching defeated by minutes of having posted on AskMe. That'll learn me.

posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 12:53 AM on February 11, 2005
Eh, I meant that I had managed to stumble upon it myself by blind luck right after posting, not that you answered the question too quickly, Dipsomaniac. :)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 12:57 AM on February 11, 2005
The source of all fu. (Scroll down to translation and usage.)
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 4:50 AM on February 11, 2005

Recommendations for camera upgrade?
From a different angle: from my experience on various digital photography forums, the vast majority of those who have asked "DSLR-or-not" questions turned out to have been best off with a compact camera instead. Those who were happiest with their DSLR's tended to already know exactly why they wanted to go that route beforehand, while those who simply thought the DSLR was the "next logical step" got bogged down and mired by the larger size, lens buying/swapping,… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 6:58 PM on February 9, 2005
I took a closer look at your website, and read that you were used to carrying your camera around with you. If you'd like a same-brand replacement for your old PowerShot in terms of size (I'm not sure which model you had) but with an "upgrade" in performance, I would look to the Canon PowerShot S70 and Canon PowerShot A95 (the G6 and V3 I linked above are larger, less portable models with more manual controls). I think you may be pleasantly surprised by how much better compact… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 7:58 PM on February 9, 2005

Dealing with Suicide
I posted in the Blue a while back about a former roommate of mine committing suicide right in our apartment. A couple of thoughts:

1) No matter how close or distant you were, whatever happened the last time you two talked, it's not your fault. I know it can sound like a trite and obvious thing to say, but in retrospect, it helped to hear it aloud from a friend of mine. Don't waste time going down the finger pointing or "what if" route. Ultimately, it wasn't… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 5:05 PM on January 25, 2005

Framing Holiday Gifts?
Voice of dissent here: I don't give photographs away as gifts, unless someone specifically expressed that they liked it (such as seeing the piece at my place or if they saw it in my gallery, etc). Why? It's not an issue of pretentiousness, but because there's no accounting for taste differences. It's also particularly awkward when people feel obliged to make compliments about a photo they might not particularly like (and this is also true for other types of "art" or… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 12:22 AM on December 18, 2004

Upgrading Canon Lenses
Most people with Canon DSLR's (including people with the Rebel/18-55 kit lens) upgrade to the 17-40mm f/4L if they're looking for a lens near the zoom range of the kit lens. If you can take the $700 hit to the wallet, the lens is definitely one of Canon's cheapest L lenses and gives you full-time manual focusing (which will make your life much easier if you prefer manual focus from time to time), as well as all the other niceties of Canon's L series--pro-quality construction, sharpness, color… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 8:13 AM on December 17, 2004

Programs Emphasizing GRE over GPA?
High GRE scores barely help you at all, whereas low GRE scores give the admissions committee an excuse to pick someone else over you for the spot. I was a bit miffed to find my 1570 quant/verbal and perfect writing score netted me exactly zero grad school acceptances. Should've taken classes in college more seriously, I guess.

As for your specific question, with the current trend in higher education being largely that of moving away from standardized testing (and… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 4:07 AM on December 8, 2004

Reommend Nikon D70 lens, filters and accessories.
He mostly likes to take nature/outdoor shots.

As far as kit lenses go, the D70's is very nice indeed, but many nature/landscape photographers like to go wider than the 27mm FOV (field of view) it provides. The Sigma 12-24 is the most economical (though still pricey) way to go wider, to a 18mm FOV. Nikon's version clocks in at 50% pricier and uses a less backwards-compatible DX format, but has the advantage of being of half a stop to a stop faster to… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 3:18 PM on November 24, 2004

Important poetry
It feels like cheating to use a collection here, but Elizabeth Bishop's The Complete Poems continues to astound me. This year marks the 25th anniversary of her death.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 11:14 AM on November 20, 2004

why won't my digital camera turn on
My question is: is anybody aware of any shop or online service that will fix digital cameras for something more reasonable? I know it's a long shot...

To the best of my knowledge, what the Casio dealer said is par for the course. Unlike older film cameras that people are still cleaning, disassembling, replacing shutters for, etc., most digital cameras are "lifestyle accessories" with built-in obsolescence and are not really meant to be… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 9:59 AM on November 4, 2004

help me choose between 2 photo printers
Recently discussed.

Wilhelm is the most authoritative on this subject, of course, but the magazine articles I've seen also show that Canons fare very poorly to Epsons (pigments) in comparison on age/fading tests (i.e. 3x-4x worse).

As a 2200 owner, the bad things for it are slow rate of print, slightly muted colors, and there's a newer replacement for it coming out within the next half-year or so. The print quality, though, is simply as good as… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 7:14 AM on October 29, 2004

Printer for fine art on OSX
I own an Epson 2200 and I agree with C_D here--I've seen the Costco prints and I can see why many people swear by them (I'm not convinced either one is really better though). Although I think C_D's prices are a bit overstated, since a good CIS will make the overall printing costs somewhat cheaper than Costco et al., but he's still basically right--the difference in hassle is enormous. I'd save printing at home for smaller prints you want now and let other people handle… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 1:05 AM on October 24, 2004
Worst case scenario: about $25 bucks for a 100 pack (4x6 paper and ink) for Epson's PictureMate 4x6 printer, or $0.25 per print. That's the worst case--a tiny quantity of ink and a small pack of pre-cut paper. You can definitely halve that or more with a CIS and cutting your own paper (or even just buying larger quantities). But as I mentioned, I don't think cost is the real issue here--convenience is. It can actually be pretty darn inconvenient to print for yourself if you're not ready to… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 8:44 AM on October 24, 2004

Help a white guy to shop for food in Chinatown
Are tones in Mandarin any more more difficult than tones in other Chinese dialects, such as Cantonese and Taiwanese? That hasn't been my personal experience (but then again, Mandarin is my native dialect). Are there any particular reasons why you believe Mardarin is harder?

Also, acclimating oneself to the atrociously-delivered Chinese lines by whites in kung fu movies can make any native Chinese speaker a decent guesser. :) In my experience, most non-natives use some… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 10:12 PM on October 11, 2004

What does "middle class" mean to you?
I really enjoyed Paul Fussell's cheeky Class: A Guide Through the American Status System in looking at the status and culture side of the class phenomenon (in addition to the usual money and occupation concerns, of course). I don't agree with some of its observations and the book's references date back to the early 80's, but many of his points, IMO, are spot on. He characterizes the middle class as the neurotic class--"keeping up with the Joneses", sending their kids to the… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 1:28 PM on October 9, 2004

I'd like to learn how to take pro-quality portrait photographs.
(1) Lights are the most important. A lot of fledgling portrait types swear by AlienBees. For quality 8x10's under controlled (i.e. good) studio lighting, the camera is least important as long as it has reasonable flash sync capabilities. Just about any recent, decent digicam (even non-DSLR) will do here, although you'll have possibly more flash options and much better DOF control for when you're feeling creative if you splurge on a DSLR (not really necessarily to produce saleable images… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 9:51 AM on September 30, 2004
I disagree with the film angle since 1) scanning slows down the digital workflow he's trying to adopt, and 2) despite the cheaper initial outlay, film costs discourage experimentation. Being able to see the results of a lighting setup instantly with digital is invaluable. I heartily agree with a firm grounding in photographic basics, with the caveat that studio portraiture requires a rather narrow range of camera techniques compared to location shooting.

I can't really… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 11:44 AM on September 30, 2004
Not to get off too much on a tangent, but defocus control is different from soft focus. Generally lenses with "good bokeh" (i.e. pleasingly smooth out-of-focus renditions, especially of highlights) on the background will have "bad bokeh" (i.e. harsh, especially clearly delineated or "donut" highlights) on foreground objects. Defocus control lenses allow you to shift the "good bokeh" (usually on background) to the foreground instead, which is useful if… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 5:06 AM on October 1, 2004

Cheap good camcorder, or else!
Unfortunately, DPR doesn't cover camcorders/videocams. It's a strictly digital photography site.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 10:33 PM on September 19, 2004

Win2k Image Previews
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 12:42 PM on September 15, 2004

How do you say "thirty one" in other languages?
Here's a link to 31 in Chinese (pronounciation--the numbers represent tones, 1 denotes neutral and 2 denotes ascending). The three characters read, from left to right, "three ten one", although if you want to be more traditional about it you'd write them from top to bottom.

If this is for an upcoming birthday, happy birthday. If pig fucking is slated as entertainment, we want pictures.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 10:40 AM on September 10, 2004

Do you find that you like or dislike most people? Why do you think that is?
I dislike people. They're my species.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 4:28 PM on September 9, 2004

Gifts to Send to Iraq
That sounds good to me, too, Yelling At Nothing.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 11:36 PM on August 24, 2004
Wow--thanks for all the links, everyone!
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 1:01 PM on August 25, 2004

What's a good but affordable 2 person, 3 season tent?
Footprints are a much more tidy solution than tarps for ground cover, IMO. It's not much more for one compared to what the whole tent costs.

If all else fails, I'm sure if you ask scarabic nicely, he'll let you spread your sleeping bag out under his truck. :) That's what I'll be forced to do myself if I don't pick up a tent sooner than later, since I don't think he's too keen on the whole "in-coitus" concept with me.… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 2:28 AM on August 12, 2004
Isn't Burning Man getting a little long in the tooth these days? I can't imagine it being anywhere near as hip as it once was.

Only for the burner-than-thou's who insist on being hipper than everyone else and bemoaning how "commercialized" it's gotten. :)

I'd be happy to gift you a metric ton of cheap plastic trinkets if you or anyone could show me how to put together a sturdy, reasonably water-resistant tent from… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 8:37 PM on August 12, 2004

Emotionally-involving videogames?
Glad to see Ico mentioned. I should add another of my personal favorites to the list: Grim Fandango. Disarmingly charming and never lets you forget that it's "just" a game, but manages to sneak in a surprisingly poignant ending anyway. Bastards.
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 7:34 PM on August 12, 2004

Looking for an attractive, inconspicuous, sturdy camera bag
I bought my Crumpler backpack from the link mathowie provided. Very few places carry the Crumpler backpacks, but quite a few of them carry the Crumpler shoulder bags. B&H has the shoulder bags but not the backpacks, for example, as does my local independent photo shop a few blocks' walk from my apartment.

Domke bags are great but are more photojournalist-oriented--rugged and quiet to operate but with minimal padding (to reduce bulk and maximize mobility, especially… [more]
posted to Ask MetaFilter by DaShiv at 5:53 PM on August 11, 2004

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