EDays 2009: Diamond AnnivarsarE-Days Videos

  • Mines

This is going to be the first of many posts over the next few weeks as I slowly process and upload over 24GB of data. Today, videos! In High-Definition! For free!

I did something odd and posted them in two places. Why on earth would you do that? you ask? Because I’m trying to keep most of the stuff on Flickr, however they have a 150MB/90sec limit. I keep this value in mind when I shooting. However, some clips are several minutes long and/or several hundred megabytes in size1, and those went on YouTube.

Enjoy the video’s. I’d suggest you watch all the Fireworks ones (because they were that awesome this year). Also make sure that you watch all the videos in HD. On Flickr, click the “HD” icon in the bottom right corner. On YouTube, you’ll need to click the play button before the “HD” button will come up in the bottom right corner.

Click for: EDays 2009 Videos on Flickr – Part 1
Click for: EDays 2009 Videos on YouTube – Part 2
Remember, there’s different content on each site!

Some highlights:

  1. my thanks goes to Academic Computing and Networking, who unknowingly facilitated my 6GB of video uploading 

In Seattle For Two Days Only!

My Farecast.com alert sent me an email last night for a last minute, mid-week special on flights to Seattle. It’s been a rather stressful and exhausting last couple of weeks (and it doesn’t look to let up soon either), so I decided to jump on it. Timing couldn’t be better; all the professors tend to let up a little bit right before EDays, so I’m not missing out on much.

Flying in on Alaska 677 which arrives just after 9am this morning and I’ll be taking off tomorrow afternoon at 12:45pm on Alaska 672…just in time for EDays to start.

Who wants to hit up Thai Tom for lunch?

Track my flight: Alaska 667
Track my flight: Alaska 672


EDays 2009: Diamond AnnivarsarE-Days

EDays is upon us once again. And once again, I’ll be taking photos! I’m the official EDays photographer for The Oredigger and the EDays Committee. Last year was great and I got some great photos. But this year. This year is going to be epic. This year, I’ll be renting a Nikon D90 and a Nikkor 12-24 f/4G DX, both from Pro Photo Rental up in Boulder. Thanks to Jared for the hookup and working out all the details with me!

So yes, that means that I’ll be shooting with two cameras. My D70 with an 18-70 (or 50mm) and the rented D90 with 12-24.

I also made up this years new press pass. It’s very similar to last years press pass, but with an updated picture, ID#, and expiration date (natch). I also added some text on the back of the pass.
Total cost: 10 cents for the color laserjet print at school plus $1.25 for the lamination at FedEx Kinko’s.
My enjoyment: Priceless.


I will also, however, have my legitimate concert backstage access/press pass, just like the last three years1, special thanks to Tim Weilert for helping me out with this.

My goal this year is two-fold: shoot more people pictures and take video (which I can do using the D90…in HD no less). I really just hope I have less than 2000 photos to edit.

The Oredigger also published the E-Digger, a guide to Engineering Days. I got2 two full page photos and a double truck3 wide! It’s pretty awesome and I recommend you check out a copy if you’re on campus.

27.0 mm || 1/4000 || f/3.8 || ISO400 || NIKON D70

10.5 mm || 3.3 sec || f/16.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Golden, Colorado, United States

10.5 mm || 18 sec || f/16.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Golden, Colorado, United States

10.5 mm || 1/80 || f/3.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Golden, Colorado, United States

10.5 mm || 1/1000 || f/7.1 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Golden, Colorado, United States

I also know there are a couple of Facebook groups that are using my photos too, I basically have the market cornered on “csm edays fireworks.” It’s all good though.

Over the last 5 EDays, I’ve published over 1000 photos4. I’ve gathered them all into one collection over at Flickr: A collection of all EDays photos I’ve ever taken

Stay tuned for this years report, it’s bound to epic.

  1. Holy crap, have I really been doing this for that long?! 

  2. my photos were used on 

  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_truck 

  4. I suspect I’ve taken closer to 5000 

MediEval Days – EDays 2008 Roundup

I was going to post this over the weekend, but I ended up writing my paper instead (which I’ll post as a serial soon). I also appologize for the length of this post. It’s a little on the long side, but I packed it with some pictures and graphs for all you ADD kids. So here’s the much belated EDays 2008 post:

I’ve been shooting EDays for about 3 years now and it’s one of my favorite things to shoot. It’s three days of non-stop action with little sleep and lots of variety. Over the three days of shooting, I got about 11 hours of sleep. But I took 1190 photos and only 456 made the decent cut (38% isn’t actually half bad). Of those, I think there’s less then a dozen (about 1%) that I really like (and you’ll see those in a few months when I do my next round of inductions into my portfolio.

But, I still wanted to do something fun and different this year, so I rented a lens. In my current setup, I have a:

  • 18-70mm
  • 70-300mm
  • 50mm f/1.8

…all Nikkor.

I decided that going with a small focal length lens, somewhere on the order of 10-18mm, would be ideal to rent. The first thing I did was find places to rent from. In the greater Denver area, I found Mike’s Camera Store and Camren Photography.

Mike’s didn’t have any Nikkor lenses with a small enough focal length, so I was able to narrow the selection to the DX 10.5mm f/2.8 AF-S G and DX 12-24mm f/4.0 AF-S G.

Both those links go to Ken Rockwell’s site. He does what I believe to be the best and most useful review of lenses. When I get an aching to buy a lens, I pretty much always head over to his site and see what he thinks.

Based on data from Wikipedia on viewing angles, I whipped up this graph that shows viewing angle as a function of focal length:

DSC_3081 (by Mr Ferguson)

I found it very interesting that relationship isn’t linear, so I opted to go with the smallest focal length to get the most “bang for my buck.” That and I’ve always wanted to shoot with a fisheye.

So I rented the 10.5mm for two days and since Camren Photography isn’t open on the weekends, I got it for four days (for the price of the aforementioned two days).

Here’s a breakdown my day of the lens I used, how many photos I took with each lens, and how many photos with each lens (by day, again) ended up making the cut. Numbers above the zero axis are photos taken, numbers below the zero axis are photos that made the cut.

DSC_2267 (by Mr Ferguson)

When I edit photos, I ask myself three things: Do I like it, does it tell a story, and does it move the story along. If it doesn’t meet all three of those criteria and I can’t make it meet those three criteria, then I dump it.

That’s why there is a lot of atrophy on the lasts days pictures. I tend to take a lot of photos of action shots (because you can’t predict everything) and then severely whittle them down to ensure the story continues.

Shooting the fireworks was absolutely amazing this year. Having the wide angle lens allowed me to get all of the fireworks and often times the crowd (at least for the non-aerial shots). Many people thought that this has been the best show since 2004.

Norm Zehr (L) and  Al Ireson (R) (by Mr Ferguson)

The alumni panel was pretty interesting. I wish I could have stayed for the entire thing, but I had to race over to shoot Deanne Bell from Smash Lab. If you’ve ever seen Smash Lab, you know that Deanne is very animated when she talks. I had a blast photographing her while she presented.

DSC_2626 (by Mr Ferguson)She also had a great slide about her life philosophy that I thought was pretty spiffy as well and worth mentioning here:

  • Surround yourself with people who love what they do and are damn good at it
  • Don’t get too comfortable
  • Suck it up sometimes
  • Be confident and persistent
  • Imagine the impossible

The concert was also pretty good. The music was okay. I think that I Hate Kate should have headlined instead of Goldfinger (who enjoys listening to 40 year-old emo has-beens?). Learning from last year, I talked with all the bands and CSC before hand to get the rules for this show. All three bands were very fine with me taking picture throughout. Wes, the CSC supervisor, was also very helpful and nice, especially when compared to their performance last year.

Here are some notes I made while editing; mostly for my reference, but you may find some use as well:

  • Don’t use a flash during concerts (or anywhere else where there is non-white light), it destroys the Look and Feel (LnF).
  • When nothing is going on (relatively), posed shots always win over bland.
  • Using a fisheye makes it bit harder to crop since the distortion is uneven across the plane.
  • I need to shoot with a faster shutter more often.
  • Talk with the comics before hand. This will ensure that you don’t tick them off and that they don’t make fun of you.

DSC_2431 (by Mr Ferguson)

I’ve also come up with the official checklist for a good EDays:

  1. Are you drinking, drunk, and/or hungover?
  2. Are you sleep deprived?
  3. Are you sore?
  4. Do you have a sunburn?
  5. (Bonus) Did you meet attractive members of the opposite sex?

Answering “yes” to all of the questions means you had a good EDays.


Done Editing EDays Photos

I edited the last of the 2008 EDays photos last night and I’m uploading them to Flickr right now. I’ll post a complete report of EDays over the weekend. I’ll also whip up a “best of” set of pictures to show off as well.

Stats: It took about two weeks to go through 1143 RAW photos. I ended up with 459 JPGs.

Enjoy your Friday.


10.5mm and RAW are Hawesome!

I shot just a bit over an entire roll on RAW (RAW is the format and an entire roll for me, at the moment, is a 1gig memory card, which is about 187 RAW photos).

The 10.5mm fisheye lens is freaking amazing! Also, shooting in RAW is the way to go, hands down.

I’ve taken a quick glance at the roll in Adobe Lightroom (which is also awesome and probably the best way to ‘develop’ RAW photos) and I am sooo happy with how everything has turned out so far.

I won’t get to any processing until after EDays, so don’t expect anything to appear until after Saturday at the very earliest and realistically not until later in the week.

I’m off to bed. I’ll get about 4 hours of sleep and then I have to get up for the Orecart pull (which I really actually have to get up for since the Oredigger photographer won’t be able to make it).