Photos From Centennial Lakes Park in Edina, Minnesota

August 5, 2017

Today, I visited Centennial Lakes Park in Edina, Minnesota, for the first time. I was getting some more photos with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 G lens, which I have on rental until Monday.

An egret at Centennial Lakes Park

A clock at Centennial Lakes Park

My mom at Centennial Lakes Park

Pugsley at Centennial Lakes Park

Missy at Centennial Lakes Park

A wedding photo with a smoke bomb at Centennial Lakes Park

Photos From Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis

August 5, 2017

Yesterday, I visited Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis for the first time. I was getting some more photos with the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 G lens, which I have on rental until Monday. The photos show my mom and our dogs (puggles).

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls

I Started Taking Photos in RAW Tonight

July 29, 2017

My first RAW photo
My first photo taken in RAW: a Doppler radar at the National Weather Service's forecast office in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Today, I started taking photos in RAW. I've actually only used JPEG since getting my first digital camera, a Canon PowerShot A60, in 2003. In 2005, I got my first SLR, a Nikon D50. I took photos in JPEG because it's what Ken Rockwell recommended. But I recently started watching YouTube videos by another photographer, Jared Polin, who is a big believer in taking photos in RAW (like many professionals). The main advantage of taking photos in RAW is that it gives you the raw camera data. It's basically the same as a film negative, so you have more to work with (for example, many people like the ability to adjust the exposure without losing image quality).

I am impressed with the way these RAW photos turned out. I took them with a Nikon D3300 DSLR and Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens. I used Photoshop for the RAW editing and JPEG image conversion. Here are three more photos:

Yellow flowers
Yellow flowers in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

A walking path and bridge
A walking path underneath train tracks.

Mediacom's Chanhassen office
ISO 11,400! Mediacom's Chanhassen, Minnesota, office. In case you wanted to know my cable provider, this is it.

Buy an iPod Shuffle Before They're Gone Forever

July 28, 2017

iPod Shuffles for sale at Target

Yesterday, Apple announced they were getting rid of the iPod Nano and Shuffle, effectively killing the iPod. Yes, there's still the iPod Touch, but, as Wired notes: "[the iPod Touch is] not a real iPod; it's an iPhone-lite."

Myself, I love the iPod Shuffle. I've owned three of them (going back to 2010), because I used to be careless and lose them. They're great because they are virtually indestructible. I've read reports from people on Facebook about iPod Shuffles going through washers, dryers, and swimming pools, and still working. Last December, I got a new Shuffle and have been using it when I'd rather not take out my iPhone.

My first thought when I saw this news yesterday was I would need to buy a backup. I did not check Apple's site, however, until this morning, and saw they removed the Shuffle from their site and that it was sold out on I then called my local Target store and was relieved to hear they still had them in stock. I just got back now and was able to purchase a backup Shuffle.

A Target employee scanning an iPod Shuffle

If you're reading this, chances are it's already too late to buy a new Shuffle from your local retailer. But, in the off chance that you're reading this today, I highly recommend you buy an iPod Shuffle.

Swearing at Alexa

July 27, 2017

I think I found an Amazon Alexa Easter egg. The other day I was pissed off and said, "Alexa, play some fucking good music for once!" She replied: "Here's a station you might like." She immediately started playing "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac -- which, honestly, couldn't have been a better song to listen to when I was pissed off and trying to get a Photoshop tutorial to work. So now I calmly say, "Alexa, play some fucking good music for once." I am rewarded with a steady stream of high-quality '70s hits.

I've read that something similar happens when you call a company's customer support number, for example, and are greeted with a robot. If you swear while talking to the robot to get a "Live Person," you will be bumped up in the queue. Is this what's going on with Amazon Alexa?

Page last updated on 2017-07-19 at 15:09 CDT