Monday, 28 December 2009

Your Japanese word of the week is...

"hikari" 光 which means light or ray (of light).  And this being the Christmas season, festive lights are everywhere.  Such as the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver.  It's really a rather nice garden with a huge variety of plant life and every winter many of the plants are draped in lights to celebrate the holiday season.  This year, me and my dad braved the cold to check it out. 

As you can see, a lot of the setups are quite nice- like this tree with "balls" of LED's hanging off them like ornaments.

And then, posted along the various paths, are hot chocolate shacks and some tents with heaters for a brief respite from the cold.

They also had a neat model train display near the gift shop.  And, being a model, it lends itself to some more tilt-shift heh.....

Also, the new Windows Live Photo Gallery that comes with Windows 7 is actually quite good in terms of minor post processing of photos.  I was quite surprised when I fired it up because it really adds a lot of accessibility to a variety of changes you can make to your photos.

Lastly, being a night scene, I shot a few HDR's so when I get around to compiling and tone mapping them, they'll be up here.  Check back soon and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Your Japanese word of the week is...

"kumiawase" 組み合わせ which means combination/pairing.  I actually just picked this word up watching Best Motoring, an awesome monthly DVD-zine that has racing drivers testing new cars.  Less awesome is the fact that it's all in Japanese but that's ok, I persevere and get as much as I can out of it.  Like this new word.

But it actually turns out to work quite well because this week, I discovered Mike Stimpson and his site, which specializes in Lego.

Most specifically, he's combined (see how I transitioned there?? heh) Lego with some of the most famous photographs in history to produce recreations, which you can find on his Flickr page.

To give you an idea of what he's done, here's an example that I'm sure everyone will recognize.

The key to making pictures work (as Stimpson so dutifully describes in his Flickr descriptions) is the lighting, which has to be done in such away as to reproduce the lighting found in the original.  Luckily, Stimpson usually provides a picture of the setup to show just how much thought goes into each shot.

In other news, congrats to all those who graded at PSWK's last grading of 2009!

Lastly, I hope everyone has a very happy holiday season and thanks for checking into the blog all this year =)

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Your Japanese word of the week is...

"matomeru" まとめる, to compile.  Some of you may remember it was almost a year ago that, for Christmas, I bought myself a new camera.  Then I took it all over taking pictures, the two big ones being my travels around Japan and to Hawaii.

So, to celebrate it's one year, I've put together this compilation of some of my favourites pics from this past year.

I should preface this with a note that it seems like Windows MovieMaker turns up the saturation and it's noticeable in the really deep reds and oranges in the pictures.  I didn't do this and the pictures certainly don't look like that on my computer, but there's not much I can do about that.

Anyways, the song is "Giving Up The Ghost", by DJ Shadow.


Saturday, 5 December 2009

Your Japanese word of the week is...

"yatta" やった which translate roughly into "I did it!/Yes!!".  No really- It's the past tense form of "yaru" やる which means "to do".  It's generally heard in a slightly childish way once you've accomplished something.  Here's some examples of when you can use it.

1- I'm finished first term and am now on holidays to January ____ (I actually don't know the date I'm supposed to go back to school heh)...  Plans for the holidays??  Relaxing haha....  and spend my first Christmas home in two years.

2- In our bio class, we, in groups of 4, had to design an activity that could be used in a high school class.  I helped my group make these cut out flower pieces which the students would label, colour, and assemble.  Then we made a presentation to show the class how we'd run the activity and everyone did it.  Surprisingly, it was quite a hit......  I supposed there's something everyone likes about personalizing and assembling things.

3- I think this one speaks for itself.  I've never done a regular 3x3 Rubik's Cube, let alone a 5x5 Rubik's Cube (aka- Professor's Cube).  It took me 2 days, 3 restarts, and a few Google hints to solve.  A far cry from some of those 2 minute speed-solvers...  but, with time heh....