Skip to main content

Mardi Gras at Universal

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2011
"Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons"
Olympus E-P2 with OM 50mm 1:1.4
1/100s, f/2.8, ISO 400, Manual Mode

The wife and I did something we haven't done together since 1992 - we purchased a pair of year passes (at a good discount) to Universal Orlando. Tonight we used them to see Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Since it was the start of Mardi Gras 2011 at Universal, we were also treated to a Mardi Gras Parade before the outdoor concert of Frankie Valli.

The concert was very well produced and Frank and the Four Seasons put on a great show. I can't remember the last time I saw concert entertainers in suits and ties. It was a class act all the way around. We had a really great time. 

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2011
"Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons"
Olympus E-P2 with OM 50mm 1:1.4
1/100s, f/2.8, ISO 400, Manual Mode

The concert was packed, both with oldies like the two of us as well as a lot of surprisingly younger listeners. There were a lot of Orlando City police on hand for crowd control, but while we were there the crowds were mellow and no problems were seen anywhere. Everybody was just enjoying the music, the ambience, and the beer.

Man with a Fork (43/365)
"Man with  a Fork"
Olympus E-P2 with OM 50mm 1:1.4
1/200s, f/2, ISO 640, -1.3 EV

The Mardi Gras parade was interesting, with three very elaborate floats filled with costumed revelers throwing booty out to the crowds. I got hit three times with necklaces.

Night photography is, for me, a real enjoyable challenge. Although I took a lot of photographs, I wound up with very few keepers. And it could be argued I shouldn't have kept the few I did keep. Since we now have year passes to Universal, and they don't black out Mardi Gras or the concerts, I think I'm going back out, at night, on a fairly regular basis to hone my 1337 candid night photography skillz.

I used the E-P2 with the manual OM 50mm to avoid the very slow focusing delays I would have encountered with regular auto-focus lenses. The E-P2 is a lot more responsive when you use manual focus, specifically zone focusing. Other observations: I used aperture-preferred exposure for the parade because of the wildly varying light on the subject, while I used full manual on the concert because I could quickly establish a good shutter and aperture and then leave them alone to compose and shoot. Although I like the 50mm, I'm tempted to purchase something sharper in that focal length or wider.

Or not. I can't shake the feeling that part of the problem I'm having is my poor technique using the OM 50mm on the E-P2 for night photography. More work needs to be done before I do something I'll regret, like invest in another lens I didn't really need.


Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.