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Sun, 28 Feb 2010:

Five years is a long time, no matter how I look at it. I've been in Yahoo! for half a decade now or to put it in perspective, half my adult life.

If I had to describe the last year of here, I'd use almost the same words as I'd used to describe my first year here (with fairy godmothers and unicorns inked in). And it almost feels like all that was yesterday as I stare at that gumball machine at my desk.

No matter how I look at it, working here has been a huge personal event in my life. Not just professionally, but with everything else that I've managed to accomplish over the years. I guess that's what's kept me here, year after year.

The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.
          -- Oscar Wilde

posted at: 23:03 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , ,

Fri, 26 Feb 2010:

I love Bokeh. Nothing stands out more in a portrait or a macro photo than the bokeh and the shallow DoF you can get out of a wide aperture lens. Here's a quick tutorial on how I managed to add to the effect of bokeh with some cheap carboard, masking tape and a bit of math.

The idea is to mask out the light from distant sources, without masking out the close up objects at all. The lens is designed such that the distant object light rays hit the lens and form large circles of light, instead of points as the beams focus before the sensor and diverge out into blurs. The math involved in designing the lens hood is to actually cut off some of the distant beams while retaining all the close object beams.

This is drawn roughly from a 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor. Anything covering the internal 15mm would block closer objects , but everything within the 20mm (approx) ring would only block distant objects. So anything you could punch out between those, would form a neat and clean bokeh image.

After trying to remember enough of 1st year engineering drawing, in my attempt to draw a heart with a 5mm tolerance, I gave up. Instead, I just took a print-out (A4) of something I could easily draw on a computer. Here's an easily printable PDF, in case you want to try it out on your own.

Here's how my Mk1 version looked like. I eventually ended up making a more collapsible version nearly completely out of duct-tape, which is far uglier, but has a slot in the top to slide in different filters. The tube collapses, making it slightly squarer and the pdf has the pull-tab version that the Mk2 uses.

Update: Someone pointed out that today's flickrblog covers this exact topic ... *ugh*, I'm an hour late. But at least, the PDF should come of some use to the lazier of you :).

It was fun because it's something we normally wouldn't do.
      -- Misty May

posted at: 03:11 | path: /tutorials | permalink | Tags: , ,