Saturday, August 31, 2019

Photography Stuff...

Touch screen - pen monitor for photoediting:

Portfolio site free with Adobe Creative Cloud:

Monday, August 26, 2019

Putnam Heights Meetinghouse

The third meetinghouse raised on then Killingly Hill, the Putnam Heights Meetinghouse erected 1818.

I suspect I missed the best shot by about ten minutes -- before the shadow started to sneak across the bottom.

Canon EOS 50D,0.001 1/1000, f/8, focal length 13, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D,0.001 1/1000, f/8, focal length 13, ISO 100

Sunday, August 25, 2019

New Tripod

$89 off Craigslist.

Bogen 3050 tripod with 3047 head.

Holy shit, first time using a professional level tripod and it is difficult to describe so how much easier to use, more stable, etc. than other ones I've used. It also weighs a ton, maybe a ton and a quarter. o_O

Technically, it only weighs 17.75# with a payload capacity of 16.5#. Modern equivalent probably is in the $500-600 is nice.

iPhone 7,0.000167000668002672 1/5988, f/1.8, focal length 3.99, ISO 20

Canon EOS 50D,0.000625 1/1600, f/8, focal length 500, ISO 400

Ok, so this is the money shot:
Canon EOS 50D,0.003125 1/320, f/11, focal length 500, ISO 400

Compared to similar photo from my old Tripod, which I was having to help stabilize by hand and had VC (lens stabilization) enabled despite being on the tripod:

The second photo I haven't bothered to adjust exposure and de-haze in Lightroom, but I think the increased sharpness (relative at least) is noticeable. At this point I'm sure I now have more lens and more tripod than my camera can handle. These shots are out at 650 meters so I can't complain much.
...looks at DxO Mark Scores

With my Canon 50D, this lens is rated at "5 Perceptual Megapixels" (the sensor is 15MP, so if I understand right the "softness" causes it to act like 5MP).

Meanwhile the indisputably pro-level Canon 5D clocks in at 17 Perceptual on a 30MP sensor.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Jeep Links

I understand how thoroughly irrational Jeep prices are (second only to pickup trucks, at least ever since Cash for Clunkers set the used market for trucks crazy). But despite being overpriced, this is why I'm having such a hard justifying used instead of custom ordering something exactly like I'd like -- 4 years, 50,000 miles and the price is only 25% less.

Un-stucking Stuff:

MaxTrax Recovery the home built ones I used to get the '84 2wd Ranger free on Tripp Hollow many years ago :)

6,000# More Power Puller, Synthetic Rope 3-35-A-SLT, plus extension handle

ARB Land Anchor:

-- Recovery Strap (want it ~17,500# for Jeeps; too strong is counterproductive for recovery since you want to absorb some of the shock) or better Recovery Rope (7/8" for Jeep / SUV; can be a bit stronger than straps since it has ~40% stretch). I'm thinking a 20' Bubba rope is good, can use a tow strap to extend if necessary but can't make 30' shorter.
-- A couple Tree Saver (anchor point plus another for a redirect)
-- Winch Extender or Tow Strap, both of which stronger is better
-- Bull Rope (I'm thinking 200' low stretch, 5/8" around 17,000# breaking strength) -- Shackles (rope and metal) and tackle

SWL/NWL/WLL -- Safe Working Load, Normal Working Load, Working Load Limit
MBS/MBL -- Minimum Breaking Strength, Minimum Breaking Load
Typical SF Safety Factor is 5:1 MBS = 5x the SWL
10kN = 2,248#

Add to that a bull rope and pulleys for a mechanical advantage system if additional pull is needed, I just haven't finished working out the math yet on rope size, pulley load rating, etc.

Why Amsteel Blue isn't good for a bull rope (it's too slippery / loses strength dramatically when knotted and for similar reasons can't be prusick'd if I'm using that word correctly :D
"Recovery rings" that are even simpler than traditional pulleys, plus soft (rope) shackles. "Rigging rings" on Arborist sites seem to the be same thing but considerably less expensive (i.e. no Jeep premium) :) :

And some Rigging Plates. This is rated at 32kN; again I haven't worked out the math yet:

Wyeth-Scott More Power Puller
3-35-A-SLT $399
Extension Handle $9
35' 5/16" Amsteel
6,000# dead lift on double line
100' 5/16" Winch Extension $230
Has eyes on each end

5/16" = 8mm
Recovery Ring & Soft Shackle $189 x2

Or snatch blocks -- heavier, but more efficient
Needs to be U-groove for synthetic
15,000# Block $105
Shackles $44 of each???

Portable compressor:

...or just setup a CO2 system; since the bottle will need to be hydro'd/replaced every 5 years so maybe you can swap at a welding shop?

Extendable Shovel:

Chopping Axe:

And a Pro-Bar Halligan, just because -- of course:

Metal Cloak front bumper: Tool carrying tire rack -- get the universal tool carriers for either side, one for shovel & axe, one for boards:

LOD Destroyer Tire & Tool Carrier:

(And use a a couple keyed-alike gun cable locks to secure the handtools, another for jack.)

Nice pic of a camping setup along with a rear shelf:

Over window Mosquito netting:

Also need string / carbiners / curtains to hang up for privacy.¤cy=USD&utm_campaign=gs-2019-06-03&utm_source=google&utm_medium=smart_campaign&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsKrz1eOc5AIVF8DICh10Iw3FEAQYBSABEgK02_D_BwE
Sleeping pad for Wrangler:

DIY pad:

Mosquito nets for windows for ventilation:

Self-supporting shelter (smaller than an EZ-UP to pack); just need to figure out if the side door would clear. Looking for both "sitting room" as well as being able to get in / out in rain reasonably dryly:

Above, plus a inner release latch for tailgate, from

Sunray 109 mini-camper
Really impressive site on discrete camping:
Over the wheel table: Nice compact grilling rack: and nice utensil kit I stumbled across: Coleman Stove/Grill combon: Electronics:

Especially that antenna that can lay flat!

Nice head mounting long as it's detachable. Actually couple real good ideas on page 2 as well, including wiring them to the factory AUX switch which would make it easy to turn them all off at once (i.e. mute)
When choosing an inverter try to get one that puts out a sine-wave (best) or modified sine-wave (not as good) waveform, has low-voltage cut-off (to save your battery from being run down too low) and GFCI protection (to prevent electrocution). These tend to be more expensive, but it's worthwhile to protect your life and your rig.

Rust Encapsulators:

Backup camera integrated factory radio:
Remote starter with "reservation mode" for manuals

500 amp Winch battery switch (call me leery of the fire hazard of powerlines run along the chassis for years and years...) .

Probably a better idea for my use case, put a quick-connect pigtail on the battery, pigtail on the winch, and quick connect ends on a appropriate length cable. Still have to open the hood (which I would do to turn the switch). "Jumper cable" clamps aren't as efficient as having the wiring bolted to the battery.

Stinger video:
To download FB videos, get the URL and convert the www to ""

Square link tire chains:

REAL nice tailgate table:

Lange Original Aluminum Bumper

JK Fusebox Layout

MCE Fenders

Metalcloak Bumpers

How to reverse pull yourself out with a winch:

Not a Jeep, but I just like the recovery video for Sherman tanks :D.

Coffee, camera, Congregationalists, carnivores.

This morning around Thompson, Connecticut:

Canon EOS 50D,0.0004 1/2500, f/2.8, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D,0.000125 1/8000, f/1.4, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D,0.0003125 1/3200, f/2.8, focal length 50, ISO 100

Friday, August 23, 2019

Another Daylilly...

I guess I have some late season (mid-late?) by the mailbox :)

Canon EOS 50D,0.0025 1/400, f/2.8, focal length 50, ISO 100

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Playing with Flash & Jerry

So this starts off with a Reddit post with this beautiful photo:

Folks were asking how it was done, and some folks were talking about using background sheets and such and I answered "expose for flash, and some distance from the background."

(Based on another comment, at least in part if not all, I believe this was really bright sunshine from windows behind the photographer instead of flash -- basically same idea, but gave cooler "catchlights" in the eyes! Same principles apply of high aperture, fast shutter so only the subject is exposed and the background is 100% underexposed, or done so in post production.)

Since I'm being anti-social today and don't even feel like going outside to play work in the yard (it's kind of schmegy), I figured I'd go back and provide them an example of what can be done with modest equipment.

This is my "studio" (please ignore dust, etc. and an iPhone struggling with the window light v. rest of room)

iPhone 7,0.06666666666666667 1/14, f/1.8, focal length 3.99, ISO 50

It was good for me to practice a bit, I need a lot more practice with flash though I figure I have the winter to play with it :)

But pretty soon I had this dialed in:

:shrug: I don't know why it won't display portrait on it and you'll see the pic correctly.

Canon EOS 50D,0.004 1/250, f/22, focal length 50, ISO 3200

Well frack me, I got a Reddit Gold for the post I took these pics for:

Hibbard Hill Sunflowers

Hibbard Farm, Woodstock, Connecticut.

This was a nice surprise to stumble across while having a Sunday morning coffee drive on a morning that started off gloomy.

Canon EOS 50D,0.0005 1/2000, f/2.8, focal length 50, ISO 100

Canon EOS 50D,0.0003125 1/3200, f/2.8, focal length 50, ISO 100

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

U.S. Flag

Coffee break at work yesterday...

iPhone 7,0.0006680026720106881 1/1496, f/1.8, focal length 3.99, ISO 20

iPhone 7,0.0007727975270479134 1/1294, f/1.8, focal length 3.99, ISO 20

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Ekonk Hill Church

Started to consider taking out the powerline, and it's shadow, in the pic. Then realized there is the shadow of an entire pole, transformer, and streetlight on the church :D

The church's left side is in Voluntown, New London County while the right side is in Sterling, Windham County.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Back in June on Child Dome

Harmon Farm on Child Dome Road -- private property but with an agricultural preservation easement that should hopefully keep this amazing 180 plus degree northern view open for all time.

This is part of the "Woodstock Drumlin Field" that stands in complete contrast to the adjacent ledge-riddled Bull Hill.

If you really wanted to divide the soils of Connecticut into convenient categories, you could start with the worst ones, which would be the sugar maple country, the bush pasture, the ledge country. This is too rough for cultivation or really mowing, or even good pasture.
One of the other most distinctive soil types are these upland soils that you see here in drumlins. A drumlin is a rounded hill that formed when the stony, silty, clay rich paste being carried along the base a glacier was literally smeared across the bottom of the landscape where it developed into these really lovely rounded and streamlined shapes.

So a drumlin is one conspicuous landform in Connecticut. These drumlins lent themselves very well for pasture because they were very good at holding water. It wouldn t run off the way it would it ledgy terrain or soak in quickly. In very sandy terrains, the rainwater would simply infiltrate straight through the sand down to the water table and the grass would parch fairly early. But in drumlin terrain, the rainfall would get absorbed into the silt and clay and last and last and last. So the hills would stay green, right up to their summits, through much of the summers.

A drumlin is an ideal soil not so much for agricultural tillage but for pasture. They just grew grass luxuriously. So when you would have lowland terraces parched, when you would have lowland soils boggy, these soils would tend to be easy to walk on, easy to pasture, easy to mow, easy to cut, because of the smooth shape and the absence of truly jagged ledge.

I was hoping to get some shots of lightning, which never did set up -- I left as the rain got to me, and ended up driving through hail (so I hid the car under some trees figuring that would break the hail up a bit). Stopped to get gas in Dudley, and watched a cluster of 7 lightning strikes while filling my car :D The lightning ended up developing just south of where I had been looking north.

Canon EOS 50D,0.003125 1/320, f/7.1, focal length 18, ISO 100

Westminster Meetinghouse

From time to time you see things that show the droll sense of Yankee humor.

"Ledgen Wood Road" in North Stonington ("Ledge-and-Wood") which far as I can tell dates back long before unproductive land was absorbed into Pachaug State Forest. What to call the west society of Canterbury? Westminster of course!

Canon EOS 50D,0.001 1/1000, f/8, focal length 42, ISO 200

Early August Potluck...


So I think I have to revisit this one...Ekonk Hill meetinghouse. I'm thinking the left door and the steeple-on-the-ground? And does just taking the church's left (south) side count as part of the steeples of Windham County if that half of the church is in Voluntown, New London County?

Taken 8/6 @ Beavertail:

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Point Judith Redux

Rockville Mill on the way there. Beautiful, utterly impractical rehab -- 14 Section 8 apartments for the low sum of $298,000 each (Ok, plus a post office open four hours a day to pick up some of the rent.) There was a single car in the parking lot, checking Google it seems the well has failed and they lost Section 8 status so the project is in limbo at the moment. Well, continuing limbo since the original developer fled the country shortly after the project opened and the mortgage holder (a bank in Utah) has been keeping it running to avoid taking a bath on it.
Canon EOS 50D,0.000625 1/1600, f/8, focal length 25, ISO 200

Not sure why I didn't get EXIF data on the rest of these :/

Condo complex that had some lovely flowers...I may need an 8x12 frame since I'm not liking any of the 8x10 crops I try and I don't think a 4x6 print will do them justice.

Camp Cronin