Saturday, September 6, 2008

canon 40d at the Hampton Classic

I got a chance to play with my new canon 40D at the hampton classic. Wow.

First off it has a 6.5 frame burst rate so it's like a machine gun taking pictures. This also meant it can easily take a lot of pictures and my 2 gb card that can hold almost 500 hi-res images was quickly reduced to under 200 pictures in less than 2 hours of horse jumping. Also it handles the higher ISO much better than the old Digital Rebel. Which means I can capture action and motion in freeze frame better (among other things) and have less noise/grain.

The image above is from the far side of the course. I have a 300mm zoom lens that worked really well with it. I was able to get a lot of great pictures from the 17th row in bleachers. (This was the first year I was told I couldn't stand at the wall by secuirty. For at least the last 4 years I've been going this was never a problem. Harumph! I say. I think it's because the "official" photographers want the exclusives. They claimed I was" blocking" a walkway that was so wide you could drive a golf cart through it and still not hit me. Not only that, I made sure I was standing in an area the wasn't visually blocking anyone either. Harumph!)

Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Roy's Top 10 Writing Process Tips

After a couple of conversations with people and some discussions about writing. I began to think about the various things I do to help along in writing my novel. I wanted to share my take on some of the things I do to help my writing process. Here's some insightful suggestions that I use myself. These may not work for everyone, but they do work for me. No one example is directed at any particular person; so without further adieu... and in no particular order:

  1. No Video Games. I do not have any games installed on my computer. There's no temptation to reach over and click, getting sucked into wasting two or four hours playing around in someone's else's story. I avoid all the MMPORPG games and I've never played freecell or any of those types of games either. Those are incredibly mind numbing to me. I'd rather find something else to do. I'm not saying I don't play video games, My wife and I play LEGO indiana jones on the PS2. It's in the other room and since she and I play Co-Op, we only play when her and I have time together, so it has limits in time and location, and we get to have some fun together.

  2. Limited TV. By this I mean I don't have tivo full of " gotta watch my shows". I don't have a tivo. There might some things I'd say "ohh- I'd like to see that" ( usually it's on Discovery Channel during Shark Week) But I don't have my week planned out for me by unfunny sitcoms, reality TV or dimeadozen cop shows. I don't watch sports at all. So with all of this elimnated, It does free up a lot of time for other things.

  3. Keep a reasonable schedule. Even on the weekends I try to get up early enough. It's the most creative time for me it's quiet and I try to untilize it. Obviously I'm not a robot, But if i get up at 7 am on saturday, like I do during the work week., I'll use that quiet, creative time to focus and write.

  4. Writing Accessible. I don't bury my writing in a maze of sub folders. I keep the writing open, minimzed if I'm working on other stuff, and full screen when I walk away, so that it's in my face the next time I sit down.

  5. Do something with it every day. Even if it's just a changing some wording. It's still progress.

  6. Keep inspiration around. As an artist I can visually create characters and make logos and other things to realize my story so even if i can't work on directly I can keep thinking about it. I listen to music when I write. Some of my best ideas are developed in the shower, or at night before bed. ( which usually leadsto me jumping up and rushing to the computer to make notes of some brilliant revelation I had, which upon review in the morning makes little to no sense.) Movie posters or keep pictures of your dream cast around when project is made into a hollywood blockbuster ( indulging in a little day dreaming never hurts either.) I keep a couple of my favorite books around relating to the story, that I will stop and flip through. Dragonlance and Alice in wonderland, usually.

  7. Write notes- I have simple TXT file I keep right on my desktop that I type scenes notes and reminders. If I have an idea at work I'll jot it or I will e-mail it to myself if I can.

  8. Write about writing it. uh.. kinda like I'm doing now.

  9. Don't listen to critics. By this I mean the nay sayers. Constructive, professionalism critisms of course you should listen to. But in the end it's your project. Reagardless if it's your bar buddies or Stephen King giving you insight, in the end it's your project and Stephen King might have some good ideas, but he's not vested in your story like you are. I would imagine Stephen King might have a little bit moe on target comments though, than your weekly bowling team. Still, you never know. You have every right to pick and choose what you feel is best for your story. You're the one that is doing it- not the naysayers. They are not vesting thier time and energy into it. Most time people will try and knock you down to make them feel better or criticize just because their opinion has been asked. People tend to mistake eliciting feedback for "fishing for compliments", and then any feedback you might get may be skewed by resentment. So as a general rule... I don't listen to people who go.. " oh, you're writing a novel.. we'll make sure you lead character does this." or "take it from me don't even bother, you'll never get published." Well they might be right, but it's your choice not theirs. When Iask for feedback on something, It's the fact that I'm asking that person in the first place, is really meant as a compliment. but often, people will give feedback and be insulted when it's not incorporated. Which I think is a common misunderstanding. Typically, I ignore that sort of stuff though. Why give power to the people who tell you can't do it? When they're not doing anything themselves. The best information is the drive to prove some jerk they are wrong. Instead show them you can do it. And then do it which leads us to number 10...

  10. If you start it, finish it. If you take yourself professionally, seriously then other people will too. It will come back to you and you will be professional and serious about it. But the other part to this is- Esteem. It's always satisfying to finish a project you start. It's a measure of yourself. Certainly push your comfort zone a little, but know your limits or it'll back fire and you'll have a lot of half started failures and no esteem. Pick a small project plan it out and make it happen. Be careful of what you commit to, but when you do commit. do so fully and finish it. Even if it sucks, see it through to the end. why? Because you commited to it. It's about intergrity.
  11. Be aware of what you choose to do with your time. There may be times when you don't feel like writing or working on your project, which is fine, but be aware of it. I say to myself "well I could surf the web for a little while.. or I could write". Then usually, if you're doing it right, guilt kicks in and you'll be writing. But also by establishing you are choosing one thing over another, you are also reminding yourself to write even if you don't , and showing yourself when you are or are not. If you find yourself choosing to do everything but write, then get back to it!

Yes I know.. this top ten list goes to eleven. Thank you Captain Obvious.

So... Thailand (part 1)

I went to Thailand. (It was awesome !) I had always wanted an opportunity to get up close with elephants. Being on safari in ...