Monday, May 28, 2007

Going Away...

I'll be leaving on a little vacation and will be out of contact for a while. I plan to take a lot of pictures and will share them with you all once I've gotten back and have had time to post-process them. For now, good bye, and enjoy the summer!

The Solemn Observer
28 May 2007

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

[PHOTO] Flash Bouncer Test I

Here's the first series of tests that I did for the DIY flash bouncer. I forgot to reduce the ambient light in this case and so the flash served mostly as fill flash; I will correct this in the next batch.

The first image was taken with the flash directed at the ceiling of my room.

The Second image was taken with the flash bouncer + flash directed straight at the subject.

Without reducing the ambient light and making the flash the sole light source, I guess the pictures look a little weird. Even so, I think I prefer the second one with the bouncer.

I will post other pictures tomorrow.

The Solemn Observer

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Update on DIY Flash Bouncer

FYI: I should not have called it a flash diffuser in my previous post; it is, technically, a flash bouncer.

More importantly, the whole endeavor did not take me 5 minutes...

In fact, come to think of it, I spent the better part of an hour working on it.

I will post some test photos tomorrow if I have time.

Spiderman 3

It occurred to me that almost everyone I know has seen this movie, and so feeling a little left out, I went and saw it, too. After thoughts? For starters, nice special effects - the sandman was particularly interesting to see, and it explained how the movie's $258 million budget was spent. As for plot, well, some reviewers thought it was bad, but hey, I liked it. The dialogue was mediocre and a little far in between occurrences, but keeping in mind that this isn't a drama movie, I had no problem with it.

Overall, a nice movie to sit back, relax, and enjoy, with little processing power on your part required. I'd recommend this movie.

Monday, May 21, 2007

DIY Flash Diffuser

So I was surfing the web for photography tips today, and came across this tutorial that shows how to create DIY flash diffusers that work quite nicely! Check it out at

It's made out of Fun Foam and plastic mesh that you can purchase almost anywhere; the whole construction process shouldn't take more than 5 minutes, according to the author. It's easy to carry around in your camera bag, too.

Please note that I did not take the picture to the left; the author of the linked webpage retains the rights to this photograph.

[PHOTO] 2006 Abbotsford Airshow Part IV

[PHOTO] 2006 Abbotsford Airshow Part III

[PHOTO] 2006 Abbotsford Airshow Part II

[PHOTO] 2006 Abbotsford Airshow Part I

In anticipation of my photos becoming "hidden" on, I'm posting a few of my 2006 Abbotsford Airshow pictures here.

[PHOTO] Picture Posting Tests

Just experimenting with posting pictures uploaded to Flickr.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dismal Weather...

Just yesterday it was sunny and warm here in Vancouver, but today the weather has turned cold and rainy, with thunderstorms on the horizon - not the perfect day to pack up and move home for the summer, in my opinion. But that's life, c'est la vie, as the French would say, and so I continue to pack, in this dismal weather and in my dismal mood, quietly reflecting on my life at the same time. Doesn't seem like this blog has much of a relevant subject? Well, how observant of you, because, well, it doesn't, and I'm just typing away because I needed a break, and you're probably reading this because YOU needed a break...from something. Ok, I'll shut up now and get back to packing.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Re: My Flickr Gallery

Well, a great philosopher once said that nothing in life is perfect (actually, I don't know if he would be considered great...or a philosopher for that matter. In fact...I don't think any ONE person said this...errr...hmm...ANYway) and apparently this also applies to my Flickr account - once I've reached the 200 photo count (and I have, FYI), only the 200 most recent ones are displayed while the rest are hidden from view, including from myself...


So, here's what I'll do. I'm NOT going to upgrade to the Pro account, I don't care what anyone says, but shelling out $30+ for a photo gallery that'll be viewed by the general public while serving no other useful purposes is NOT what I'd consider to be a worthwhile investment. Instead, I'll upload photos to Flickr, but I will also post the new pictures on my blog (which you are reading, right now, right this moment, in your room/study/hallway/library/garbage bin/any variation of the word 'crib'). This way, as the photos become hidden, you'll still be able to see them here...if you want.

That's it for now. Now get back to work! (or studying/procrastinating/sleeping/etc.)

The Solemn Observer

[PHOTO] Why I Switched from

Some of the readers have asked me why I decided to cease updating my Fotopic gallery. The reason is simple, Fotopic, while free and very easy to use, compresses my images to the point that I find unacceptable. To illustrate exactly what I mean, I'm posting two identical pictures, the first one uploaded to my Fotopic gallery (the old one), and the second to my Flickr gallery (the new one) - you can see for yourselves what I mean by compression (you may wish to right-click and select 'view image' in Firefox to see the larger versions).

Image 1: uploaded to Fotopic gallery with compression:

Image 2: uploaded to Flickr gallery with noticeably less compression:

Hopefully you can see why I have decided to switch; the second image is sharper than the first one, which makes for a better viewing experience.

That's it for now.

The Solemn Observer

Friday, May 18, 2007

F-5F Crash

For people interested in the recent crash of the ROCAF F-5F 5371, I'm posting a link that will guide you to another blog - The New Hampshire Bushman in Taiwan. He is, as far as I know, the only person who caught the final moments of 5371 (the designation of the F-5F that crashed) on digital camera (not counting the lady who used her 0.3 MP cell cam) and who was able to provide an educated analysis on the matter. Here is the link:

My deepest condolences to the family of the two pilots, and I salute them for making the supreme sacrifice for the lives of others. They had ample time to eject safely, but instead they chose to go down with their plane and in the process save perhaps hundreds of innocent civilians from a fiery death. They are true heroes.

The Solemn Observer


Wow, it's only been a few hours, and already I'm getting visitors...from Germany?! Hmm, don't know anyone from that part of the I guess there are people who randomly check out new blogs. Regardless, thank you for visiting!

The Solemn Observer

Flickr address

First blog post. Probably no one will read this for the time being, as I haven't given anyone my address yet. But, in case someone does come across my site by chance, here's the link to my flickr site, which will host pictures I have taken:

My previous site: - will remain open but will not be updated anymore.

The Solemn Observer