Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop

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Photo of the Day: Baby Prairie Dog

Posted 31 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Photography) 4 comments

Baby animals are (usually) very cute. This prairie dog (or should it be prairie puppy?) is no exception. I took this photo at the San Francisco Zoo in April several years ago.
Baby Prairie Dog
Handheld, 1/2000 sec at f/2.8 on ISO 200, 70-200mm f/2.8 lens

Photo of the Day: Lazy Dog

Posted 30 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Photography) No comments

After finishing a tour of the Glow Worm Caves (really caverns) at Waitomo on the North Island of New Zealand, Tina and I walked over to the nearest place we could find for some lunch (which ended up being one of the most inedible pizzas we had ever had - but that's a different story). On the steps leading up this place we ate at was a sleeping dog with his legs sticking straight out. I just had to take a picture.
Lazy Dog
Handheld, 1/180 sec at f/4.8 on ISO 100, 17-35mm f/2.8 lens

Photo of the Day: Sharing

Posted 29 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Photography) 5 comments

Prairie dogs are fun animals to photograph at the zoo. There's always a bunch of kids around getting super excited about them and they are rarely still for more than a few seconds. In this photo, I took a shot of two (and half a second later - three) prairie dogs fighting over a piece of lettuce. Had I had the presence of mind to zoom out a little, it would have been revealed that the prairie dogs were fighting over their meal when there was an entire bowl of lettuce just two inches to the right of the frame. Since the infinite lettuce supply was right next to them, I figured they were just rough housing (although from the yipping and scrabbling that I saw it looked fairly violent). Later, when I looked through my shots, I realized that in the moments that I had captured, the prairie dogs looked like they were peacefully sharing food. So, I called the photo "Sharing" and that was that. Now you all know the real story.
Sharing
Handheld, Unrecorded exposure on Kodak Gold 100, 170-500mm f/5-6.3 lens

Photo of the Day: Merced River

Posted 28 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Photography) 2 comments

Here's a couple photographs of the Merced River (taken near El Portal, California). I used these two shots to demonstrate to Tina the difference between a long exposure and a short one when moving elements (in this case water) is part of the scene. In addition, the long exposure shot also uses a circular polarizer, the effects of which can be scene on the rocks (reduces shininess from glare) and the relatively calm areas of water (water becomes transparent once the glare is removed with the polarizer).
Merced River
Tripod, 1/750 sec at f/4.8 on ISO 200, 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 lens
Merced River
Tripod, 1/8 sec at f/22 on ISO 200, 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 lens with circular polarizer

Photo of the Day: Night (Big Sur, California)

Posted 27 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Photography) No comments

I took this night shot facing on the California coast near Big Sur. I believe I made a 30 second exposure, but I can't remember. You can tell how long the exposure is by the arc of the star trails. Every 1/4 degree (15 minutes of arc) is 1 minute. (I remember this by remembering that 360 degrees is a whole day, so 15 degrees per hour.) I'm too lazy to measure the angle right now so I'lll just guess it was 30 seconds. The bright yellow light is a lighthouse.
Night (Big Sur, California)
Tripod, unrecorded exposure on Velvia 50

Photo of the Day: Glacial Melt

Posted 26 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Photography) 1 comment

While flying from the Rotorua on the North Island to Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand, I spotted this incredible looking combination of colors. The colors of the lakes and canal are impossibly cyan and blue due to the sediment suspended in the water carried by the melting glacier water. (Or at least that's what they tell me…)
Glacial Melt
Handheld, 1/1500 sec at f/4.8 on ISO 100, 70-200mm f/2.8 lens

Photo of the Day: Bricks

Posted 25 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Photography) No comments

Bricks
Handheld, 1/90 sec at f/5.6 on ISO 200, 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6 lens

Photo of the Day: Fern Fronds

Posted 24 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Photography) No comments

Ferns are beautiful plants both from a distance (where you can see the whole fern or many ferns as a group) and from close up. Ferns unlike most plants carry their reproductive centers in their leaves (called fronds). In this backlit shot of the fronds of a fern, you can see the spores.
Fern Fronds
Handheld, 1/90 sec at f/2.8 on ISO 100, 17-35mm f/2.8 lens

Photo of the Day: Puppy

Posted 23 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Photography) No comments

I spotted this tiny puppy being carried by a little girl at the Campbell Oktoberfest. (The festival - which claims to "aim to be among the most authentic around" - wasn't much different from other street fairs. It was more crowded than any other food festival we've been to, but I suspect it was because of the beer theme. Didn't really feel German though.) I really like how the puppy has its tiny paw resting on the girl's thumb.
Puppy
Handheld, 1/1600 sec at f/5.0 on ISO 100, 70-200mm f/2.8 lens

Photo of the Day: Beef Tenderloin

Posted 22 October, 2008 at 9:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, Photography) 1 comment

Chef Christopher Kostow used to helm the kitchen of Mountain View's 2-Michelin star restaurant, Chez TJ. I had the pleasure of dining there just before my 30th birthday and had a great time working my way through a twelve course tasting menu. When Chef came out to chat briefly, I told him my food was delicious but I found the amuse bouche and the first couple courses a bit overly salted. (When I go out to a nice restaurant and someone asks me what I think of the food… well, I tell them.) I think he was a little taken aback that I would make such a comment (he soon excused himself) and Tina gave me a "look". (She still tells people that I made unfriendly comments about Chef's food to his face - I always defend myself saying that I praised the other aspects of the food as well!) In any case, most of the twelve courses were excellent and this beef tenderloin, slowly poached, and served with slices of Burgundy truffle, parsnips, and black trumpets was a real highlight. The meat was perfectly cooked - extremely tender and juicy - and the truffle's earthy tones complimented the beef perfectly.
Beef Tenderloin
Handheld, 1/40 sec at f/2.8 on ISO 250, 17-35mm f/2.8 lens

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