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Fuzzyglass

09 Mar

Legally Speaking My Phone is Me

I have always loved technology.  When I was just a dirty haired kid growing up in Pennsylvania I couldn’t get enough of tech.  I was the kid who took apart his perfectly working flip style digital alarm clock and put it back together minus a couple of missing half numbers.  If you are old enough to remember those fun devices you remember a time when technology was all about making everyone’s life easier.  The products that where produced could be bought and used without any further cost being incurred by the purchaser.  Boy those where the days.  I long for those days.  I remember recording music off of the radio onto cassette tapes.  I remember 8-tracks, Oh my wasn’t that fun technology.  In high school I was introduced to the Radio Shack Tandy Model I and Model II.  Wow, I couldn’t believe the power that I had in my hands.  These where beasts of machines.  If memory serves me correctly they rocked 16kb yes Kilobytes of memory, no floppy and a monochrome 9 or 10″ screen.  It was programmed in Basic.  You saved your programs on cassette tapes,  yes as basically audio files.  To reload your programs the next time you had to have an index of where on the tape your program started via a 3 digit not very accurate rolling counter.  Type CLOAD at the prompt, press play on the cassette and pray.  Sometimes it took several times.  But Wow, it was fun.  I was hooked.  I created all sorts of programs that did all sorts of things.  I even dabbled in creating a Stratego game, you against the computer.  I never finished that one but it was just great.

Fast forward to College and I purchased an HP-41CX.  This is in my opinion the best calculator every made bar none.  The Reverse Polish notation, modules, expansion ports, external card readers, printers and a whole hardware based system of cables and software that could control almost any laboratory device from the calculator and you had one spectacular piece of technology.  I programmed this device during my college years to solve almost any large math problem I came upon.  It was fantastic.  I of course had to show my work but after programming a computer to solve a complex math problem I could do the problems without hesitation and simply used the 41CX as a check to my work.  Unbelievably useful.  To keep with my game programming theme.  I created a program for my 41CX that allowed the user to play Monopoly without any money and it forced everyone to follow the rules, knew the board, where everyone was.  The only thing missing was the Free Parking function.

During this entire time the technology was built for ease of use, the consumer and longevity.  I would argue that today our devices are built by the overlords, given to us for free for the supposed great deal of allowing the overlords to track us so they can know us better, help us.  Hogwash.  It’s all crap and I’m tired of it.  I want a phone that doesn’t transmit my every move to 27 affiliated companies and data brokers.

But hey I’m realistic and those days are long gone.   For those who would say well then don’t use a smart phone.  Ya right that’s a great choice and is short sighted.  While I may be able to get by without a cell phone, in the comping years everything we purchase will be doing this.  My car already does.  Next up the Internet of Things (IoT).  Get ready this should be called “Give us your data so we can get rich using it instead of you”  All that being said I think the pendulum will tip and some products may still be created that are for the “rest of us” that don’t desire a free product in exchange for my life stream.

What I do want is for the court system to catch up and understand that if are devices are going to report to big brother, the overlords, the government and anyone else that gets included in the fine print, that these devices are an extension of my self,  That is my self with a space.  And as such none of the data can ever be used against me because of a simple constitutional amendment labeled #5, as in the 5th.  Currently this is not the case.  Companies, Police, Governments, Insurance Companies and god knows who else are using our information against us.  We may not see external actions, we may not be able to point and prove anything, but I’m telling you that I think they are going way overboard.  They hide behind master plans who’s sole purpose is to hide the fact that they are pimping us out, making money and decisions based on data generated by us, all the while being able to claim a privacy policy stands and compliance that is worthless.

I’ve included some links and snippets.

The Fifth Amendment – http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/get-involved/constitution-activities/fifth-amendment.aspx

  • “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Wikipedia Article – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-incrimination

  • Self-incrimination is the act of exposing oneself (generally, by making a statement) “to an accusation or charge of crime; to involve oneself or another [person] in a criminal prosecution or the danger thereof.”[1] Self-incrimination can occur either directly or indirectly: directly, by means of interrogation where information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed; indirectly, when information of a self-incriminatory nature is disclosed voluntarily without pressure from another person.
Mobile Operators

Verizon Wireless – Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) for Consumers : http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/globalText?contentType=Legal%20Notice&textId=181

  • In addition, we can disclose your CPNI to comply with any laws, court order or subpoena, or to provide services to you pursuant to your Customer Agreement

ATT Wireless – Privacy Policy : http://www.att.com/Common/about_us/privacy_policy/print_policy.html

  • Web Browsing & Wireless Application Information tells us about the websites you visit and the mobile applications you use on our network;
  • Location Information tells us where your wireless device is located, as well as your ZIP-code and street address;
  • We collect it from how you use our products and services;
  • Other sources, like credit agencies, marketing companies, and other service providers, provide it to us.
  • “Do Not Track” Notice: Because the providers of “do not track” and similar signals do not yet operate according to common, industry-accepted standards, AT&T currently does not respond to those signals.

T-Mobile – Privacy Policy : http://www.t-mobile.com//company/website/privacypolicy.aspx

  •  Personal Information. Personal information means information we directly associate with a specific person, for example your name, address or email address.
  • Network and Device Information. We may collect information about your use of your device and our network, WiFi usage, and performance information, as well as data relating to your use of our website, applications and other products and services.
  • Information We Collect Automatically. We automatically collect a variety of information associated with your use of your device and our products and services, some of which may be associated with you or another user on your account.
  • Acquisitions. We may also transfer your information in a corporate business transaction, such as a merger or acquisition.
  • De-Identified Data. We may provide your de-identified information to third parties for marketing, advertising, or other purposes.
    • We may automatically collect your information when you use your mobile device or our products, services, or websites, including:
      • You phone number and device identifier.
      • The location of your device on our network and the GPS location of your device.
      • Details about calls and text messages you send and receive, such as the time, date and phone number you are calling.
      • Details about your use of our data services, including data used and remaining on your plan.
      • Information on the use of other data services, such as ringtone and application purchases.
    • Cookies and Web Beacons. We may also collect information about you by using cookies, web beacons or similar technologies when you visit our websites or access the Internet through our services or devices. Examples of the types of information collected include:
      • IP address, browser type, date, and time.
      • Web page(s) visited.
      • Routing information when using our services to access the Internet at T-Mobile HotSpot or from your wireless device.
      • If you use a voice-controlled application, that application may collect your requests and other information from your phone in order to work.
    • Device Performance. We may collect and report performance and diagnostic data from your device, including information about your use of applications on your device, such as the fact that an application has been added, when an application is launched or fails to launch, length of time an application has been running, and battery strength.
    • Web Browsing Activity
      • Our Websites. When accessing our websites, mobile websites, applications and widgets designed for your device or web-based experience, we automatically collect certain information about your device and your visit, such as your IP address, browser type, date and time, the web page you visited before visiting our website, your activities and purchases on our websites, and other analytical information associated with the sites.
      • Other Websites. When your device’s Web browser utilizes our data services to access websites other than our own, we automatically capture information associated with your browsing activities, and measure and monitor network and Internet connection performance, throughput, latency, and similar network data.
      • Do Not Track Policy. Some browsers have incorporated “Do Not Track” features. Because there is not yet a common understanding of how to interpret the DNT signal, we do not currently respond to the browser DNT signals when you use our services and products or interact with our websites or online services. We do, however, allow you to exercise choice regarding the collection of information by third parties about your online activities over time and across third-party websites or online services for online interest based advertising purposes and to opt out of our interest-based advertising on your device, as described below.
    • Voice-Controlled Apps. If you use a voice-controlled application, that application may collect your request and other information from your phone in order to work.

Sprint – Privacy Policy : http://www.sprint.com/legal/privacy.html

  •  MPORTANT NOTICE: Sprint’s opt-in Mobile Advertising program, which allows Sprint to use information it collects to provide service to you to make the ads you see on your device more relevant, and Sprint’s opt-out Reporting and Analytics program, which creates and shares certain business and marketing reports, are governed by this privacy policy. We do not share any information that identifies you personally under either of these programs. For detailed information on these programs and to learn how to opt in or out, please visit sprint.com/privacy.
  • Information that we automatically collect. We automatically receive certain types of information whenever you use our Services. We may collect information about your device such as the type, version of operating system, signal strength, whether it is on and how it is functioning, as well as information about how you use the device and services available through it, such as your call and data usage and history, your location, web sites you have visited, applications purchased, applications downloaded or used, and other similar information. We may link information we automatically collect with personal information, such as information you give us at registration or check out. We may use systems or tools to follow your use of our Services and other applications, including using cookies, web beacons and other mechanisms, along with analysis of network and device information. For example, we allow collection by analytic service provider(s) of site click-stream and cookie data to help us track aggregate and individual use of our Services. We sometimes use cookies to enable features on our sites, such as the ability to save your shopping cart or set preferences. Advertisers and advertising networks that serve ads on our sites may also use their own mechanisms, including cookies. These third party cookies or tools are governed by the privacy policies of the entities placing the ads and are not subject to this Policy.
  • Affiliates. We may share personal and non-personal information with affiliated entities for approved business purposes.
  • Service Providers. We may share personal information with third parties who perform services on our behalf.
13 Nov

Why Title II is the solution for Net Neutrality

Recently President Obama made a statement regarding Net Neutrality and Title II.  I am here to say I couldn’t agree more.  I have been following the debate about Net Neutrality and the various pros and cons.  For the most part the only option I see for continuing the open free expression that is for the most part the internet of today is to make sure that no one can manipulate, slow down, create toll booths, nothing, is to make any ISP simply a pipe and if that means Title II status then so be it.

Title II of the FCC regulations for those that are not aware is the common carrier provision.  In it’s most simple terms means that any communications system deemed to be a Title II entity is unable and disallowed from treating any traffic they carry any differently than any other traffic.

Why is a level playground so important? – If the ISP’s are allowed to wheel and deal for separate channels of internet traffic the entire look and feel of the internet will be changed forever.  Do you want the internet to be like Cable TV is now?  With tiers of service, one includes fast netflix, the others don’t.  One includes facebook, on the others it’s blocked.  This is what will happen if the ISP’s are allowed to continue down the path they are pushing congress and the american people.  It is a destructive path and only leads to one place.  A place where ISP’s control the flow of information.  That is not why the internet was created and certainly not what anyone except the ISP’s could want.

But wait I don’t like Government intervention – And neither do I.  I like small government, government for the people, government that helps creates an america of widespread knowledge and information.  Making ISP’s fall under Title II will not harm or stifle any innovation.  It will create an internet where “Garage” companies can continue to create new ways and amaze the world with what can be accomplished with an open and free connected world.

Wait, won’t Title II status force the ISP’s to slow down or change the reach of their services? – This is the biggest lie being told by the ISP’s.  It is a FUD campaign of the highest priority for them and only them.  The ISP’s are worried that their grand business plans where they conquer the world and become the gateway to all information for a price is in jeopardy.  My answer to that, of course this threatens their business model, of course they will make less money.  Of course it will be harder for them to build out service to those areas that don’t have high speed internet or have slow internet.  To that I say fine, if the current companies don’t want to take the ball and run with it let’s force them to sell their companies to people who will work within the new rules of Title II and finish the job.  Where is it written that a few greedy people have to get their way and become even more rich at the expense of the rest of us.  The entire idea that the internet will come to and end because the business model changes is IMHO complete and utter nonsense.

If I haven’t convinced you yet here is my last attempt – Many people like to compare the internet under Title II to the National Electric Grid.  Let’s do that.  The usual response is look at our Electrical infrastructure it’s horrible, terrible, it’s outdated, it’s hard to maintain, keep going, blah, blah.  That is not really the point.  The American Electrical System works at a level that far exceeds the level of internet access today.  By making the Electrical Grid a Utility a wonderful thing happened EVERYONE HAS ELECTRICITY, Period!  That can not be said of our internet today.  The second biggest misconception about the Internet under Title II is that the innovation will cease, it will decay and stop in it’s tracks.  So let’s compare the electrical appliances that we have today under the tyranny of the electrical system being a utility with the appliances we had 50 years ago and see if innovation stopped because the source of our power was regulated and a utility.  The TV was invented, My refrigerator can know when I’m out of milk.  The entire computer revolution.  It’s amazing any of these electric devices where created and brought to market.

In closing as this nation moves forward and tackles this problem lets keep some perceptive and see things as they are. The best tools we have as human beings is our ability to think and reason for ourselves.  To ask questions and demand answers from our leaders.

 

16 Oct

The Lost Art of Innovation

I was recently involved in an effort to define the rules for being innovative. The group was made up of different disciplines across the business sector. I represented the Information Technology sector.  The group started down the technology road, what software or hardware would the biggest bang for a buck.  Which shiny new object should we pay attention to. As the discussion continued I tried to steer it down what I think is a more appropriate path.

Innovation is not about technology, Innovation is defined as striving for opportunities to use any method or means possible to provide a more efficient process or outcome.

On its most basic level innovation is not about taking a process and technofying it, but how inventive, ingenious can you be with all of the tools, methods, talents and resources you already have.  You shouldn’t look around for a tool or process and force it into your processes.  You should spend your time figuring out how to best accomplish the task or goal you are working on.  This could be anything from the simple task to a multi-step cross departmental process.  Either way you need to dream, think What if.  Think outside the box.  Once you have the best ideas, then you start trying to figure out which tools and resources fit where.  It’s only with this approach that I believe you can really achieve those moments that can be classified as Innovative.

27 Jul

The Middle Class is becoming the Digitally Poor Class

I’m old enough to remember going into friends houses and seeing their display of culture and knowledge in physical form. Want to know what books someone has read, the movies and music they like.  You could by taking the tour, interacting with your host and learning many insights into their personality.

Are you interested in preserving history the knowledge of society, owing videos and music.  It is becoming increasing harder these days to do so.  Newspapers and Magazines are being replaced  by so called online equals.  Every time you turn around you are “purchasing” the “right to use, view or read”.  There is no ownership, there is no right to store this away for 100 years.  The middle class is becoming the class that doesn’t own information and in the future if you don’t own information you will be a slave to those who do own the information.  We will go back to pre-printing press times, except worse because there might not be a way for individuals to save the information they think is important.  You will be relying on the whim of some company’s service.  When is the last time you received information from your employer, school, government or company that was in a form you could save for the years.  Many more times it’s a web link, an email or simply a click to agree I read check box.  Where does this leave us all?

As we continue to move towards a more digital economy and processes I worry that consumers will become The Digitally Poor Class, a new class of people, a very large class of people who will not have the means or methods to find or use historical data.  Imagine if the history of wars was only available online.  What about political races, court cases, etc.  How will my grandchildren find out all sides of the War on Terror?  What will replace the published materials of the losing side, the winning side can simply remove them.  Look at what Europe is forcing Google to do.  The Right to be Forgotten.  Unbelievably harmful to the worlds history.   By the time my grandchildren take history class it is very possible that the media outlets will be controlled by very few individuals.  How can we be sure that all sides of any issue will be preserved.  What happens if your point of view just went away.  How will we learn from our mistakes?  How would the future generations know our  history, and what history there is might not be complete and it might be on purpose not because it was “lost”.

 

 

23 Sep

LeMay Museum and Point Defiance Zoo

My day of photography started around 9am.  I gathered my gear and hit the road destination Tacoma Washington and the LeMay Museum.  I had also checked out some other sights one being the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The 2hr or so drive from Portland was uneventful I didn’s a even see any traffic police. I arrived at the LeMay Museum around 11am.  The parking lot was very busy and I was surprised by this, I wasn’t expecting to see this many people. I found my parking spot.  The lot is a pay to park style with the self service kiosk.  I approached the kiosk and was immediately stopped in my tracks because it asks for the parking spot number.  I had never seen such a thing, I had to walk back to my car and take note.  As if that wasn’t weird enough when I returned to the kiosk a couple was trying to purchase their ticket.  I watch as the man struggled to get through the process, at the very end when he needed to insert his credit card he did so in an what can only be describe as awkward.  He ended up rolling his knuckle over the cancel button that was in my opinion too close to the slot where you insert the card anyway but the funny thing was as it cancelled the poor guy had no idea what happened.  Luckily I was in a good mood on some other day I might have gotten frustrated over this delay.  As he mumbled in that tone that asks strangers around you for help, I mentioned that I thought his hand had pressed cancel and he should try again.  He did and now it was my turn.  I had much better luck but there was still one thing funny about this kiosk.  It didn’t say whether to keep the parking ticket or place it on the dash of your vehicle.  So picture me walking around near the kiosk looking at dashboards.  About half of the cars had them on the dash, half didn’t.  I chose to put mine on the dash.  Into the Museum I went.  As I paid for my entrance and received my arm band and instructions I mentioned in that half joking, half informative voice that the parking kiosk  didn’t have an indication as to what to do with the ticket and that there seemed to be confusion.  I mentioned a small sign on the kiosk and she laughed acknowledging that this would fix the problem but she also seemed to enjoy the confusion or not really care.  In the end we had a good laugh.  She then proceeded to tell me that the best way to view all of the cars was to go down the center and continue turning right until you reached the lowest level, then go back turning left.  This would mean you repeat the centers but that is the way it is setup.  I was in!

The lobby entrance has several cars for viewing after  looking at those I proceeded past the gift shop and into the first section of cars.  The Museum has a large footprint and the viewing, lighting and atmosphere is very nice.  I don’t know much about cars I just think old cars look unique and cool.  I was in the minority, most there seemed to have some connection to the cars.  There are very old cars like a 1912 International, there are more recent cars like a 1969 Camaro.  The walls are covered with stories and explanations of the time periods and cars.  You can easily spend a couple of hours wondering around.  I took many many pictures.  There is a section where you can race slot cars and ??????  I didn’t do this but it seemed popular.  Along with street cars they also have a great selection of race cars.  Along with the Gift shop they also have a small cafe’ if you get hungry.  All in all a very pleasant place to visit.  A note for those photog’s you can take as many photos as you like, in fact the lighting and the arrangement of the cars allows for great photos, but they can only be for personal use.  You are not going to be able to sell them.

After stopping for lunch I was on my way to either the Japanese Gardens or the Point Defiance Zoo, both where located near each other and google maps had them with the same address.  I reached the Zoo first and after driving around checking it out I decided to stop and take pictures.  I figured I wouldn’t have enough time to visit both before wanting to head home.  The gardens would have to be the next trip.  Like most zoo’s you start at the top, go downhill and then back up.  This zoo had it’s kid zone at the top and right after you entered, a wise idea.  The weather was nice many families and couples abound.  I walked around hoping to see each animal but missed the Polar Bears and some others that I wish would have been out.  I find taking pictures at a zoo difficult.  I had switched to my 70-200mm and that was a great choice but with all of the fencing, nets, glass and other protective elements it is just hard to get good pictures.  It was still an enjoyable trip.  The zoo seemed well run and had a very nice outdoor theater where animal shows where put on.

Here on some of the photos from the day.

 

26 Jan

Water Drop Photography – Glass Bubble

This picture is near the end of a water drops life.  Using the stopshot and the water value I was able to get this shot.  Below are the quick details.

D700, 105mmf2.8 Lens set to manual 2″ x f5???

The flash is bounced off of one of the sides of white poster board.

The water is in a large wine glass.

the water value is approximately 12 to 16″ above the rim of the wine glass.

The stopshot water value setting is 7ms,  the delay to flash is 440ms.

I have a printed rose photo behind the wine glass, and a piece of green foam to the right.

Water Drop Reflection

06 May

Southern Waterfalls, Roseburg

April 28 thru May 1st 2011 – I drove down directly from work Thursday evening, I arrived at the Windmill Hotel I-5 exit 125 around 6:30pm. The room was nice but located right next to the stairs. Time will tell if this will be a noisy place. I had my Nikon D700 body, 50f1.4, 105f2.8 Macro, and my 24-70f2.8 lens.

I left the Windmill early friday morning the 29th around 7:30. The weather did not look very nice but as long as it didn’t rain too much I would be ok. On the way out Hwy 138 I noticed an Abby’s Famous Pizza restaurant, I thought to myself I might just have to visit.

1st Stop – Colliding Rivers Viewpoint – It was wet and gloomy. There is a fairly large island like boulder sitting in the middle where the two rivers collide, The water was swift but the only spot where any really exciting water action was happening was in the middle where the two rivers met. I was able to find a spot to the left of the viewpoint on a small path that offered a good vantage point. I took several pictures from there. I also explored down under the bridge and along the bank but I didn’t have a long enough lens and the vantage point wasn’t as good. After getting back in my car I went back over the bridge to see if I could find a better location that looked straight at one of the rivers. I did find a turnout right on the west side of the bridge that had a small path going down the side of the hill towards the river, it was wet and rock filled and while I did go part way down I didn’t want to push my luck and risk falling in the water or simply falling with my gear. If it wasn’t so wet I might have tried although looking back at the colliding point I didn’t have enough lens to make this vantage point a tight shot.

2nd Stop – Just past Idleyld Park, Oregon there is Narrows County Park. This is located just above a spot on the Umpqua River that has a decent little rapid. I tried going down to the right but it was steep and the vantage point wasn’t great. Over to the left by the bathrooms is an easier path that led right down next to the rapid. I took several shots from different locations.

3rd Stop – Right near the Mill Creek Bridge (although the sign said Rock Creek Bridge) there is a fairly large parking lot that turns into rock and gravel as you get closer to the river. I noticed a small set of trees that where growing right out of the river water. I thought this looked really cool and so I setup along the bank and shot a few pictures.

4th Stop – Lower Deadline Falls – I went down to the bank just after the bridge and shot a boulder out in the middle of the river. Not really the falls but near it.  At this point it really began to rain. I waited in my car for about 30 minutes and finally decided to call it a day. I had saturday and sunday so I had plenty of time. I wanted to also find a camera store and purchase an ND and/or Polarizer, I did find a Kodak camera store, he only had a polarizer thou. I was going to go purchase it but at the last minute decided not too, one I didn’t really know or trust this store and I didn’t have any idea of what brand names to look for. I also figured it would be overcast the rest of the weekend and that I should be fine. In the end It was a beautiful day both saturday and sunday and I could have really used the polarizer. I will be purchasing these items before my next trip. I spent the rest of friday reading an Adobe Photoshop book and practicing. It rained almost the entire day.

Saturday Apr 30th

1st Stop – Deadline Falls – I started once again around 7:30 in the morning. I headed straight for Deadline Falls where I left off yesterday. Since the rains had stopped I was able to get out onto some of the shore rocks. I have a series of photos where I’m right at the edge of the rocks where a massive wall of water slopes down and through the falls opening. I also got some other shots from farther down looking up at the river. Not a spectacular falls but interesting none the less.

2nd Stop – Susan Creek Falls – A nice hike up to the falls, it is wheel chair accessible. I had a little confusion as at one point the path goes back and down to the left or goes right. I choose right and it was the correct choice. The falls was running swiftly and there was some water spray coming off of it. I was able to get on the right hand side and get a few good shots. I also went more toward the middle almost in the river and took a couple straight on. I saw a couple of ladies on the walk back down, I would see them again at Toketee Falls later today.

3rd Stop – Falls Creek Falls – A vigorous walk, the river is on the left side as you walk and there are many little rapids and mini falls along the way. It was very scenic and peaceful. The falls itself is beautiful. I was able to shoot from two different vantage points but I really wanted to get across the river to a small flat spot where I think I could have gotten the upper falls and the lower falls in one shot. From the locations I shot I didn’t really get the entire falls. The water was about 2-3 feet high by my estimation and it can be hard to tell. I didn’t want to be wet the rest of the day and if the water was deeper I might have gotten completely soaked. On the way back to my car I stopped at several locations and took some other pictures. There is just so many spots on this river that you are tempted to go over the bank, however as wet as it still was I shot from the path.

4th Stop – Toketee Falls – This was a popular spot even this early in the morning. The parking lot has a large wooden water pipe that apparently takes water from the river and powers some hydro plants for Douglas County. When I say this is large I mean it is 12 feet high or something. The hike was a little strenuous and I still had my winter jacket on, I should have switched to my lighter one. The trail is well maintained and it needs to be, you are walking right on the end of a very step hill. When I came around the last corner and saw the end point I wasn’t sure I was going to be ok. My fear of heights kicked in about have way around the 180 degree curved path. The viewpoint is very high up and you are looking out over a canyon. It is amazing and breath taking but a little nerve racking for me. The platform is resting on a very large boulder or rock with a large maybe 4-5 foot tree right up through the middle of it. Picture a donut. I was feeling uncomfortable but there is a bench resting against the tree and I was able to setup my camera and tripod away from the end. I carefully setup my camera at the edge and began shooting. The clouds had all but disappeared and I had wished I had gotten there earlier. I took many shots at different exposures trying to find one that worked. I was able to but I really wished either the clouds would cover the sun or I had the ND and Polarizer. I took a break and rested on the bench for about 20 minutes hoping some of the remaining clouds would cover the sun for just a little bit but it never happened. I want to come back and try to get another picture. The hike back was uneventful except for seeing the two ladies I saw at Susan Creek Falls.  Apparently we where on the same plan.

5th Stop – Watson Creek Falls – I was getting a little tired at this point even though it was only like 1pm. I hiked across the road and into the woods and saw what I thought was Watson Creek Falls, I did take some shots at the top and at the bottom, but I didn’t hike in far enough as this falls is suppose to be like 270 feet. I will have to circle back and try this one again, probably when I do Toketee again.

At this point I headed back west towards Roseburg calling it a day. I did stop at Abby’s Pizza and grab some lunch. Their pizza is just so good. I spent the rest of the day in the hotel working with the pictures I had shot and uploading them to Facebook and Meetup. I then relaxed and watched TV the rest of the day.

Sunday May 1st

I got on the road around 7am, I didn’t want to just go back down hwy 138 again, so I decided to drive down I-5 to Exit 98 Canyonville and go out Hwy 227. As I headed south on I-5 toward Canyonville I hit an amazing looking fog bank. If I would have been there at sunrise I bet I could have gotten some very neat diffused and filtered looks. As it was the fog stayed around for several miles. After passing through Drew the road gets torn up and you can see logging activity everywhere. The top seems to be around mile post 41. At the intersection with Hwy 62 I went north towards Diamond Lake and Crater Lake.

1st Stop – Mill Creek Falls/Barr Creek Falls – A very isolated parking lot, my photography book warned of break-ins and the parking lot did appear to be a party location. The hike to the falls area was quick, the area doesn’t look like it is being taken care of anymore. I saw what looked like old signage locations but no signs. However once I got to the falls area it was quite spectacular. The view points for both Mill Creek Falls and Barr Creek falls are to say the least right at the side of a cliff. You need to be very careful and I was once again a little nervous. To shoot Mill Creek I was at the edge of the cliff with little room for mistakes. To say I got the shot and left is an understatement. A little further down the path to the right and you come to Barr Creek Falls. This too was on the cliff edge however there seemed to be a little more room and some rocky areas that I was able to shoot at. Both of these are well worth the hike.

2nd Stop – Pearsoney Falls – Just a short distance down towards Prospect is the Pearsoney Trail Head. This is a short slightly downhill walk. It is a little misleading as you are walking along the rivers edge and you can hear the falls but it doesn’t appear to be the correct area. You basically walk right up on the upper section of the left hand falls. It is quite interesting. There are plenty of locations along the bank on this side of the river to take pictures from. My 24-70 just didn’t go wide enough and it was the first time I wish I had a wider lens. I then looked for a way to get across the river to shoot from different angles. I saw a flattened large log that appeared to be either worn down flat or someone had flattened it, either way it maked a small narrow bridge out of the log. It was a little wet but I crossed and took some pictures from the other side of the river. I didn’t have to go completely up the bank and back down as there where several little paths along the river bank that you could take. I did go up the bank to see if any vantage point looked interesting but didn’t take any pictures.

After getting back to my car I checked my next stop and it was going to be awhile, so I went across the street as there was a gas station and general store. The gas station wasn’t open yet but the nice guy opened it up anyway. We chatted. I also went into the store and got some road goodies. I headed back to Hwy 62 and headed north.

3rd Stop – Rogue Gorge Viewpoint. This is a well maintained stop with fencing and placards. It is a very quick stop if you don’t do the longer hike. I took a couple of shots as the water squeezes through some very narrow portions of rock. I really needed an ND as the sun was bright and it was almost noon.

4th Stop – FR 6530 – National Creek Falls – This road was closed by about 5 feet of snow.

At this point I decided to just head home but I didn’t want to just go north to Hwy 138 back to roseburg, so I went Hwy 138 East to Hwy 97 North, then onto Hwy 58 to Eugene. I didn’t make anymore stops along the way but Hwy 138 East after the Hwy 62 junction is so straight it looks like you are driving to the end of the world. If it was cloudy, or maybe sunset/sunrise I bet this would be a very cool picture.

16 Apr

Elowah Falls, Oregon

Apr 16, 2011 – I headed out about 10am from home and the weather looked dry.  By the time I was rolling past I-84 Exit 28 the rains where coming down.  I pressed on as the falls is 290 feet long.  I couldn’t wait to see it.  Hiking the Columbia Gorge calls this hike easy.  It wasn’t hard but easy?  Maybe not.  The start of the trail was semi-flat, a nice easy rise.  Once I arrived at the highest point I was looking at many many switchbacks.  I thought to myself, Hmm, this might be fun on the way back.  I had put my nikon 105 macro on at the start of the hike and now switched to my nikon 24-70f2.8 zoom as I could not only hear the falls I could see it.  Wow, it is worth the hike.  There where probably 15 people in various groups as I made my way there, strangely on the way back I saw nobody.  I’m not sure if I just took enough time that they had finished the hike or if they had all gone to the upper trail.  At any rate, there isn’t really any good vantage point on the to the bottom of the falls.  Once you are close to the trail end and the falls, the shear beauty of this falls and the power of the water flow is breath taking.  I went about as far as I could without getting my camera gear completely soaked and setup my tripod.  I got several shots of the falls and several of the lower rapids.  I then walked back after switching to my macro lens again.  I took a couple of macro shots but the trail doesn’t have alot of flowers or interesting vegetation, at least not at this time of the year.  Of course when I got back to the car the rain had stopped.  In the Main Elowah photo my lens just wouldn’t stay dry.  I need to figure out how to protect it without compromising the picture.

09 Apr

A day of Wildlife Photography

April 09, 2011 – I had contacted Chris Oertell of Portland Image Makers to see if he wanted to do some wildlife shooting on saturday.  He was down for it and setup a meetup.com short notice meetup.  Several others from the group joined us but instead of Fernwood, we went to Sauvie’s Island.  Most of us arrived at 8am, some had been there since sunset.  We met in the parking lot and traveled to three different spots.  The Reeder Road location had an Osprey and we spotted an Eagle but I failed to get a picture.  After several hours we where ready to move.  Jeff mentioned that Kline Line Pond in Washington had been seeded with fish for a neighborhood fishing event.  We had already seen some of Jeff’s pictures of the Osprey diving for fish and snatching them and we where all excited to see where this pond was.  After a stop at Billigan’s for Breakfast we arrived a the pond.  We shot an Osprey that was perched for several minutes before moving onto the pond.  There was alot of activity and many many osprey’s.  It was by far the most active shooting I have done when shooting wildlife.  Usually wildlife shooting is alot of waiting, this was not.  I am still learning my new Nikon D700 camera, so some of the pictures where blurry or just slightly soft.  I finally figured out some settings and technique that worked and the second half of the pictures turned out better.  I was able to get once good series of a Osprey snatching it’s lunch.

I was thinking this would be the last stop of the day, but then someone suggested we cruise to Ridgefield Wildlife Area and since the weather was nice, and I had never been I was all for this.  Several others where also, some went home at this point.  Ridgefield at this time of the year is a driving through spot only.  You have to stay in your car.  Ridgefield is off Exit 14 and quite a ways off of the freeway.  You have to cross a one lane wooden, multi grooved I guess is how I would describe it, bridge to get to the parking lot.  After paying $3 for access you are able to drive your car on a designated road around the preserve.  This was quite the challenge as you have to drive slow enough to spot the animals and you have to contend with other drivers stopping or wanting to pass.  As Chris put it afterwards the day was slow.  I guess this was a bad day.  However I was able right at the end to see a Bittern and not only did I get some very sharp pictures I was extremely lucky in capturing the Bittern eating a small green frog.  I was snapping pictures focusing on it’s eye when it struck out quickly and swallowed.  I remember saying to myself, “did it just eat something?”  I took a look and sure enough I caught the frog hanging out of the Bitterns mouth, you can almost see the terror in it’s eyes.  Unbelievable and I will probably never get another shot that is so good of wildlife action.

 

09 Apr

Darcelle XV – Behind the Scenes

Arpil 07, 2011 – My Newspace photography group was invited to Darcelle’s XV in Portland, Oregon for a behind the scenes opportunity to shoot the performers. Darcelle’s is not for everyone but the energy is high and the performers are fun, down to earth people.  We arrived around 6:30pm.  We where led downstairs where the performers where getting ready.  They where situated in front of mirrors applying make-up. They where engaging and fun and appeared to really enjoy themselves. The dressing room is tight quarters to say the least.  I was difficult to photography without getting another photographer in the picture. Once the show started we continued to take pictures and enjoy the show.

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