‘Supermoon’ Eclipse Videos

Sunday turned out to be overcast and as the day went on it looked like it wasn’t going to be any better for the Supermoon Eclipse that was supposed to start around 8pm.  Then around 7:30pm things started looking better and I decided to setup the GoPro on a tripod and see what I could do.

I’m still figuring out all the settings on this camera & as soon as I saw the results of the “NightLapse” I realized I had the camera set to medium vs narrow.  In all fairness the GoPro is designed for a much closer subject & if I had to do it all again I would have used the trusty Nikon D2x to shoot a series of stills and stitch them together afterwards.

Here are the results both cropped and right out of the camera.  I will say that the low-light performance of the GoPro is pretty impressive and I have a few ideas for some night shots in the near future.  The Moon is blown out for the first half.  I think I know what caused that.

 

“Among the Hidden” Book Series

How does this book sound to you?

In a futuristic society the world is controlled by a new government and “The Population Police” who have decreed that no family shall have more than two children. These laws having been brought on supposedly by overpopulation, severe famine and death. Any child being born third or after in a family is a “shadow child” not to be seen by anyone or they will be taken away and killed along with their family and anyone who harbors them. – Book synopsis from Wikipedia

Sounds like a scary scenario right?  Here’s the kicker.  My son was assigned this book to read in 6th grade!  Doesn’t that seem a little dark for pre-teen kids?  I’m not alone according to some of the reviews on Amazon.

When I asked him about the Diary of Anne Frank he’d never heard of it.  This “Among the Hidden” book has a similar premise of hiding form the outside but at least Frank’s tale is true & discusses an important part of world history.

Not sure what to think of this…

Siri Accidentally Activates During White House Press Conference

This should make you think twice about enabling the Always On “Hey Siri” in the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus!  When I’m listening to Podcasts in the car and someone mentions Syria Siri wakes up half the time.  IOS9 has a training feature that will, hopefully, eliminate this.

Are You Ready For Some Futsal?

Went downtown with the boy on Saturday and stopped by Pan Am Plaza to check out some Futsal.  We’re both Soccer (MLS & EPL) fans but neither of us have ever heard of Futsal before!  This was titled the “Mayor’s International Futsal Cup 2015” & there was a pretty large turnout for the event.

In a nutshell this is 5 on 5 soccer played on a small, hard court using a smaller ball.  Unlike he full-sized game scoring is done quite frequently & it’s non-stop action.  We took some pictures and made a few court-side recordings with the GoPro (I’ll post those after I get a chance to edit the footage).

Once the rain stopped it was a great way to spend a few hours downtown!

GoPro Amazement – Part 1

Decided to bite the bullet and purchase a GoPro this past weekend. I keep seeing all of these cool videos with interesting angles and pumping soundtracks. I’m no extreme athlete but I think I can put together some quality material of things I’m involved in and activities around the city.  Hell, driving to work some days is like a scene from an action movie.  Why not put that action to music!

gopro-hero4-lrgAlways a lover of photography I’ve never really done any videography (except for that one time I had a camcorder and my kids were babies). One of the biggest problems I remember about  the camcorder era was all the tapes you had to purchase and keep track of. With everything now being digital it’s not as much of physical space you’re worried about it’s virtual (hard drive) space. Same problem, different decade I guess.

The GoPro series of cameras have evolved pretty steadily since 2005 with the introduction of the “GoPro HERO 35mm, All-Season Sports Camera”. An update was introduced just about every year with the release of the latest “Session” model in 2015.

I picked up the late 2014 model called the Hero4 Silver. It’s not bleeding edge but it’s got some pretty good specs when it comes to shooting video and taking stills. Some features to note are:

  • 2704×1520 at 30 frames a second (2.7k) video*
  • 1920×1080 at 60 frames a second (1080p) video
  • 1280×720 at 120 frames a second (720p) video**
  • 4000 x 3000 12MP photo with a 30/sec frame burst mode***
  • Time Lapse (0.5-60 second intervals)
  • Night Lapse (low light capability)

*The Hero 4 will do 4k video but only 15 frames a second so I don’t see it being that useful.
**This is what I’ll be shooting at while I learn. Gives a decent picture, smaller file size and Slow-Mo capabilities.
***Could be useful for close up fast action sports but there is a noticeable shutter lag

gopro-hero4-lrg backSo after charging the Hero4 and inserting the MicroSD card I took off to shoot some random videos. Filling about half of the memory card with a lot of miscellaneous shots I headed back to the IndyScan HQ to see what I had and what I could do with it.

Then it (finally) hit me. This is nothing like photography where you’re dealing with a single image capturing a fraction of a second of time. This is a living picture (for lack of a better term) that not only has (many) images but audio!

Time to use technology to solve a technological problem (I bet our parents never said that). I hit up the Google Machine and within a few seconds I had all the tutorials I could ask for. One in particular I want to give props too is Village Park Source who has a great 42-part series that walks you through Go Pro Studio. The videos are short and to the point. Easy to follow along and test yourself on what you learned afterwards too.

So what I thought was going to be something I could just pickup and run with turned out to be anything but that. It’s a great opportunity to learn something new and interesting. It’ll be a while before I get up to a jog from this walk.

Time to get back to the tutorials and see what I can learn over the next few nights. I have some activities this weekend I want to shoot both photos and videos of. Look for Part 2 in a few days.  Videos coming soon too I hope!

P.S. I’m trying the “new” (to me) writing style where you don’t put 2 spaces between your sentences. Anyone older than 35 probably does this instinctively but evidently it’s frowned upon in the professional writing community. Thoughts?  Post them in the comments section below.

All Day Breakfast Coming to a McDonald’s Near YOU!

I’m actually kind of excited about this.

I’m a sucker for a Sausage Egg and Cheese McMuffin but I’m not always craving it first thing in the morning.  I could pass on the other items McDonalds sells (although I always seem to want a Big Mac after a hard workout at the gym).

Starting on Tuesday, October 6th, McDonald’s will be offering some breakfast items all day long. According to the McDonald’s website, “Depending on the local market, All Day Breakfast will have a limited menu that focuses on either McMuffin or Biscuit items.”

So it’s a 50/50 chance I’ll be able to get a McMuffin vs a Biscuit.  I’m going to make an educated guess that the biscuit option will be available in the south and rural areas (but I could be wrong).

Anyone else excited about this?  Leave your feedback below.

Buy This – Biscuits and Gravy Lays Potato Chips

I love Lay’s potato chips but these flavor contests they’ve been having were lost on me (until now).  The year several new flavors were released and I decided to try a few of them.

lay-s-new-chip-flavor-finalists-include-biscuits-gravy-reuben

The Ruben tasted like Rye bread to me.  Not bad but not great.  There was an occasional tartness from the kraut flavoring but the Rye taste was the dominant flavor.

The Gyro (I’m a big gyro fan) had a B.O. smell/taste.  Gross!

The Truffle version had no discernible truffle taste to it at all.  I can handle a little truffle but I usually think it’s over done on dishes.  This was more of a sour cream and onion flavoring but not as good.

That leaves us with Biscuits and Gravy.  It tastes just like it’s supposed to!  Subtle sausage seasoning and a powdered creamy component that, when mixed together, was outstanding.

I must not be alone in my desire for these.  Like the elusive Chicken and Waffle flavor that was such a hit last year (I never got to try them because no one had them in stock), the B&G flavor is absent in all but a few obscure places. The local gas station has small $1.50 bags and Subway has all the flavors in the single serve bags.

If you’re going to jump on board and play the Lays Flavor Game start with the Biscuits and Gravy.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!