Rachel Hofacker

Blue Angles at Seafair

Pictures from Seafair have arrived! I worked really hard to cut the field down with this batch. Of the 921 pictures taken, only 29 made the final cut (3.14%).

The shot I really wanted was of the Blue Angles in front of Mount Rainer, I got a couple of good photos, but I want to try again another year. I think I need to be a bit closer to the action in order to get the framing I want. I’m not sure exactly where I’ll need to be, but it will have to be north of I-90 and on the west side of the lake.

All of these pictures were taken on my D7000 with a Nikon 600mm f4.0D AF-S II VR (which I affectionately call “The Beast“) that I rented from Glazers. It was sort of a spur of the moment thing. I literally walked into the shop and asked for the largest lens over 300mm. It was either this or a 400mm zoom lens. Rachel pushed me to get this one, and how could I say no! She was advocating me spending more money on a cool toy! The Glazers rental guys upsold me on an L-mount, which was actually worth it.

I have some video too, but will need to spend some more time to edit it.

I also want to spend some time maturing Aerotags to include some standardization for military planes. I found an amazing collection of military serial/bureau numbers from Joseph Baugher’s that can be searched with Jeremy’s Aircraft Serial Number Search. It takes a little bit of leg work to understand the numbering scheme, but it’s pretty easy to figure out the full serial/bureau number with just the last three digits of the number and the type of aircraft it is.


Mike and Tiffany, an Engagement Photoshoot

Photography is my hobby, not my job, so I can afford to pick and choose what I want to shoot.

One of the reasons I took this job was that the prime location was to shoot from the top of the top of the Space Needle. Yes, the very top. Also, Mike and Tiffany are awesome! Seriously, this wedding is going to be the bomb.

These photos were from back in January, over my birthday weekend. Rachel made a surprise visit to Seattle, so I roped her in to helping me set up these shots and providing assistance as a voice activated light stand. Unfortunately it was overcast (not so much of a problem) and really windy (much more of a problem), so we didn’t get any superb shots.

50.0 mm || 1/500 || f/5.6 || ISO400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

It was still a fun challenge and I’d do it again.

Fortunately, we had a backup plan. Retreating to terra firma, we headed over to Gas Works Park, which has some awesome locations that I was familiar with from a shoot a couple of years ago.

44.0 mm || 1/160 || f/4.2 || ISO400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

70.0 mm || 1/125 || f/4.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

18.0 mm || 1/160 || f/4.0 || ISO400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

18.0 mm || 1/250 || f/10.0 || ISO400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

18.0 mm || 1/500 || f/5.6 || ISO400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

18.0 mm || 1/320 || f/5.6 || ISO400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

See the rest of the excellent photos on Flickr: Mike and Tiffany


Convenience Fees, a Logical Fallacy

Rachel and I are going to Portland this weekend (after we were preempted by a family emergency)!

Rachel suggested we see Ovo, a Cirque du Soleil touring production, and I thought it was a great idea!1.

I went to go purchase tickets2 and was about ready to check out when I noticed there was $26 in fees3.

“Convenience fees” are nothing new, Ticketmaster has been making untold millions on them for years. And perhaps in the beginning it really was a convenience for people to not have to trudge down to the ticket office. However, these days I believe that offering tickets online is more of a convenience for the seller instead of the buyer. So why the fees?

I called Hadley Media, the marketing group that was responsible for the discount, and asked about it. Their response was something that I’ve grown all to accustomed to hearing: “That’s a fee typical of the industry.”

That, ladies and gentlemen, is an argumentum ad populum4 and is a logical fallacy.

Why not simply include the “fee” in the actual cost of the ticket? What would you do if a company listed hamburgers on their menu for $2.65 and then charged you $1 for actually consuming the food?

To me, that’s lying. They are not disclosing the true cost of the item in a place where such costs are purported to be. When a company uses such tactics, my trust of them lessens.

I should make clear that Hadley Media doesn’t actually sell the tickets or charge the fee, they’re fault in this matter was explaining the fees as: “everyone does it”. Shockingly, even Ticketmaster isn’t behind this. Interestingly enough, this fee appears to be the result of a joint venture between AEG, Outbox Technology, and Cirque du Soleil presumably designed to compete against Ticketmaster.

  1. We had wanted to see Cavalia when it was in Seattle, but didn’t jump on it fast enough. 

  2. Noticing that I have a 15% discount through work! 

  3. Technically, five of those dollars were for sending me my e-Ticket, however the only alternative was to pay $7 for will call 

  4. appeal to the people 

Empire Builder 8

  • Travel

Rachel’s grandmother passed away last week, so we’re making the trek to Montana for the funeral service. We were going to visit Portland this weekend, but that trip has been preempted by this.

Since the funeral isn’t until Monday, we decided to inject some fun and take the train to Montana and then fly back.

We’ve never ridden on a train for travel, except when I was in Europe. So this will be a first for both of us in the US, which Rachel calls Darjeeling Limited-style.

The train ride takes 23 hours, so I’m hoping to provide some updates en route.


4.3 mm || f/2.4 || ISO160 || iPhone 4S
Seattle, Washington, United States

Free booze? Yes please!