Teko

Teko, originally uploaded by rPawela.

Here’s a shot of Teko from My Canon G7. I did some color adjustments with photoshop got a pretty good light burst by blocking the flash a bit with my finger.

Unfortunately in April Teko was having some health issues and we found out she had cancer in her liver, spleen, kidneys, and lungs. It was too late to do anything so we had to put her down.

Rest in Peace Teko. We Love you so much.

Iguanas in Herzog’s “Bad Lieutenant”

Recently saw Bad Lieutenant, Port of Call. Here’s Werner Herzog Talking about the iguana scene.

There’s the misconception that this is Herzog’s attempt to remake the 1992 Ferrara Bad Lieutenant featuring Harvey Keitel. Here’s what Herzog had to say on the subject:

It is not a remake. I’ve never seen Bad Lieutenant; I don’t know [Ferrara], and I’ve never seen any of his movies. So I think that’s off the table. One of the producers owned the rights to the name Bad Lieutenant, and he thought it would help the profile of the movie to give it the same name. I tried to stop that, but I did not win. Once it was decided that we would not shoot in New York but in New Orleans, the compromise was to call it Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Ferrara has a right to be angry, but this is not a remake. It has a life of its own.

Read more: Werner Herzog on Bad Lieutenant, Singing Iguanas, and Prop Cocaine — Vulture

They Eat Horses Don’t They?

Several groups are pushing to renew the slaughter of horses in the U.S., possibly starting in Oregon.

Proponents are pushing Congress to introduce a bill to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture to resume inspecting horse meat for human consumption. Until two years ago, as many as 100,000 horses were killed annually in the U.S. for meat for foreign markets. A federal court ruling in 2007 closed the nation’s last horse-processing plant — Cavel International in DeKalb, Ill. — on the heels of two Texas closures resulting from a state decision to enforce a 1949 ban on horse-meat facilities. interesting debate on this subject can be found here

Canon G7 and the CHDK firmware

Just installed the chdk firmware for my Canon G7 and I feel like I have a whole new Camera. The firmware upgrade offers expansions such as Shutter Speed overrides, Time Lapse Video Shooting, the ability to add a battery life indicator on the viewfinder (something I was surprised to find that Canon didn’t automatically include), scripting capabilities, and what I find most useful, the ability to shoot in raw format.

Raw allows users a wider spectrum for editing image color, exposure, and balance. One of the reasons I like editing in Raw is that you can make photos overdramatic or almost appear to look surreal or blended with a painting.

Here’s a few photos I shot and processed from raw images. Most of the processing on these images was made using a few tweaks in Adobe Camera Raw. Click the images to view larger versions.

comrade-chdk

teko-chdk

rogue-chdk

Installing the CHDK firmware was a little confusing. There are detailed instructions on how to do so on the chdk wikia site. Another thing worth noting,   I couldn’t open my raw .crw files in photoshop straight off the camera so I had to batch process them into digital negatives (.dng files) using DNG4PS-2, a free raw converter utility that can be downloaded from google code. The files were converted I was able to edit them in Adobe Camera Raw and then bring them into Photoshop.

National Crisis: Can Americans live without TV?

So today is supposedly the big day when Analog Television sets will no longer work without a digital recieved box. This whole thing is a big joke. The FCC has enlisted over a dozen organizations such as AmeriCorps to help Americans make the switch so they don’t have to go 1 day without television. AmeriCorps has helped rebuild communities in the gulf coast and with the Iowa flood relief. Now they are wasting their time setup television sets.

Congress also kicked in additional cash, about $650 million on top of the $1.5 billion that had already been allocated for DTV readiness. The bulk of the $650 million was given to the Commerce Department to fund its voucher program. And Congress authorized $90 million of the $650 million to be used by the FCC for outreach programs. So far, the FCC has received $65.7 million of that money, and the Commerce Department has authorized another $9.65 million to help pay for call centers that are in place to address consumers’ questions and concerns.

Is this really something our country needs to be so concerned about? So a few people are forced to get out of the house and keep themselves entertained. Where does all of this money from Congress come from? The American people? How about if the corporations who use the media to advertise paying the bill on this one?

It just seems like our country has a really messed up order of prioritizing our issues. I’ll admit, this issue as well as most are probably way over my head in terms of full comprehension of the problems and solutions, but I think most people underestimate themselves and their ability to survive without television.

I got rid of cable television about 4 months or so ago and have had on broadcast television on for less than a half hour since then and I haven’t starved. If anything I feel much healthier. I am eating better, I sleep better, I spend more time reading and teaching myself new things, I exercise more, my dogs are healthier because I spend more time with them. The list of benefits goes on and on. The only disadvantage is that I feel alienated when my coworkers and friends are discussing the hundreds of mindless reality TV shows that consume their lives and I have no clue what they are talking about.

I will be among the forgotten souls that opted not to upgrade to a digital tuner, AmeriCorps has not come to my rescue. I only hope that I can survive the upcoming months of trying to keep myself occupied before I die from thinking on my own.

Big Run Wolf Ranch

Last weekend, we drove out to Lockport to check out the open house at the Big Run Wold Ranch, a non-profit, federally licensed, educational program which specializes in education and conservation of North American wildlife. Most of the animals at the ranch have either been rescued or orphaned. All of the work staff is volunteer. They have many animals including several wolves; both adults and pups, a Canadian Lynx, a cougar  sheep, donkeys, ponies, turkeys, a skunk, some raccoons, a possum, and a black bear. Below are some photos I took at the open house. For More information on the Big Run Wolf Ranch, check out their website.