Photos from the Box Office

DSC_8018

Beer bus at the Box office in Redwood City.

I spent the afternoon trying out different headphones and amps at the Box office with Patrick and company. While we were there, Raymond gave us a tour of the multi-floor office. I have to say, they have some pretty cool stuff there, and the space is wide open.

DSC_7995

Fancy uncomfortable chairs.

DSC_7993

Chairs made from skis in their ski lounge.

DSC_7990

Indoor basketball.

DSC_7989

Themed rooms.

DSC_7994

Standing desks and plants.

DSC_7997

Lovely view of Redwood city.

DSC_7999

Gong.

DSC_8009

Full kitchen and cafeteria.

DSC_8015

Strange chairs that make you feel like you’re going to fall over.

DSC_8017

Every vintage game you can think of.

DSC_8019

No tech office would be complete without a bar.

DSC_8025

Insane conference rooms.

DSC_8020

Branded billiards table.

DSC_8021

Custom plaque from one of their board members.

DSC_8008

Curtain dividers. This is clever.

DSC_8000

Fun murals.

Macro Photos of Jasmin Flower Buds

DSC_7912

Photo of Jasmin buds after an evening storm.

After a stormy evening, the morning sun punched through revealing gorgeous flowers in our back yard. After posting one of the photos on instagram, one of my coworkers identified it as jasmine. The smell of this particular flower is divine, reminiscent of an expensive yet subtle perfume.

Jasminum polyanthum, also known as pink jasmine or white jasmine, is an evergreen twining climber native to China and Burma (Myanmar).[1] It produces an abundance of reddish-pink flower buds in late winter and early spring, followed by fragrant five-petalled star-like white flowers which are about 2 cm in diameter. It has compound leaves with 5 to 7 leaflets which are dark green on the upper surface and a lighter green on the lower surface. The terminal leaflet is noticeably larger than the other leaflets. The plant is very vigorous and can grow up to 6 metres in height when supported. Depending on the climate, this vine has a semi-deciduous to evergreen foliage. –Wikipedia

DSC_7915

Close up of a jasmine flower.

I used my dad’s 55mm f3.5 with an extension tube to shoot these macro photos. It’s astonishing to think that this lens is probably over 30 years old and can still produce stunning images.

DSC_7927

Close up of tiny water droplets on a leaf.

As much as I like the 58mm f1.4, this old 55mm f3.5 is a ton of fun to use… and has the ability to create curious images like this. I’m thinking the next step is to try shooting more macro photos with a strobe and stopping down the lens to create even sharper images.

DSC_7935

Photo of the foliage growing out of control in our back yard.

I’m not sure what kinds of plants these are, but they’re growing like wild fire. I’d like to grow a garden, but these things have literally taken over.

Anyway, I’m hoping everyone is enjoying the weather. It finally feels like spring.

Bokeh Comparison of a Full Frame 58mm DSLR vs iPhone 7 Plus 58mm in Portrait Mode

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2888/33481160326_ea7885b7ed_k.jpg

Shot with a 58mm f1.4g at f5.0 on a Nikon D600.

The iPhone certainly can produce amazing images, but I wonder if it could be a replacement for a full frame camera. I think for certain photos it can produce identical results, but I was curious to see how well “portrait” mode would work. So I did a quick test shot with my DSLR versus my iPhone.

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2906/33481160226_37f2896d62_k.jpg

Shot with an iPhone at 6.6mm (58mm equivalent) at f2.8.

So the answer is, it actually does a pretty good job blurring things, but it has trouble blending around sharp edges with high contrast. For whatever reason, this photo exposes the weakness of portrait mode.

The biggest difference to me is that my DSLR lens can shoot all the way down to f1.4, letting in more light and can potentially blur the entire background. The bokeh also has much more character versus the iPhone. The iPhone photo also feels like it was a still photo from a video, and the photo from my DSLR feels like it was shot on film. Keep in mind that both of these photos had little to no post processing.

Anyways, you can see the difference yourself. The iPhone portrait mode has a lot of potential, but still lacks a natural feel. I bet in the right environment with the right subject matter, it could actually work pretty well… but that’s an experiment for another day.

Monday Music: Patriots Day Soundtrack

“Resolve”

Okay, I’m cheating—I’m a day late. I forgot to post this yesterday… but I promise you this is worth it.

I was watching Patriots Day with Annie and her sister last week, and I noticed that the music sounded very… familiar.

These two songs are hitting all the right notes for me, and reminds me of some of Trent Reznor’s best work—The Fragile. If you like NIN, you need to check this out. I’m hoping that he does more work like this. It’s breath taking.

“Long Shadows on the Street”.

And this one is amazing too. I can’t wait to listen to these on my Sennheiser headphones tonight.

Ps. Patrick and some of his friends are hosting headphone/amplifier testing session. There’s going to be nearly two dozen high-end headphones there. It’s going to be bonkers… I’ve got to start picking out songs that I want to test.

Another 58mm 1.4g Test Shot

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2837/33481160536_de1d028239_h.jpg

Photo of Annie getting ready to watch Logan.

I slipped in a couple of photos using my 58mm 1.4g at the mall today. I think I’m starting to figure out the sweet spot for this lens.

When your subject matter is at the right focal distance, the background is rendered in such a way that it looks almost like an anamorphic lens effect. In addition, the image is soft like film—an analog feel. That is the je ne sais quo. And I kind of like that.

I think this lens is showing its strength when shooting portraits and candids. The image has the ability to focus on the person and a little of the environment.

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2888/33481160326_cdbba1326a_h.jpg

Photo of my ticket stub and the Logan movie poster.

As I play with it more, I believe that the 58mm would pair well with a 20mm or 24mm. That could be an interesting duo. But it would be a hassle to constantly change lenses or carry a second body to dual wield. I could see a professional photographer doing this, but it would be strange for someone like me to carry around that much gear just as a hobby.

I’m hoping take some more photos tomorrow morning with Annie. If I’m not convinced that this is the right lens for me, I’ll may have to return it. I want to love this lens, but right now I only like it…

Then again, I felt the same way about my 35mm when I first got it.