2016.07.20

Surfing nightsurfing Scripps Pier La Jolla glow stick Firewire
The session

The water is super warm and there was a full moon (but unfortunately high tide) last night so I got Derrick and Scott to do a stealth sess.

After Hawaii I was confident in my Ikelite flash, meaning no scrapped session or dealing with ziptied Speedlite or manual trigger.

Underwater photography flash Ikelite Substrobe snoot

From the times it had worked intermittantly, I knew that it would blow out the water right in front of me. I attempted to mitigate this (a bit) by taping the lower section of the flash. The solution is a snoot, of course, but I need to think about how to do this such that it will survive waves.

Surfing nightsurfing Scripps Pier La Jolla

The directionality of leds had proven to be difficult last session, so I went with glowsticks. This turned out to be a mistake - they weren't great for viewfinder aiming and not nearly bright enough for focus.


The other problem was that the flash was too powerful on manual mode and too weak on ttl. So I went with manual and tried to hit them at greater range. Still, there were a few that ended up blown out.


But if there is a theme to all these sessions, it's that focus is a harsh mistress. Sometimes it turns out kind of cool (above), but most times it just results in disappointment (below).


But even the squirrel with cataracts occasionally finds a nut:

R&D

I'm wondering if I can rig an some sort of IR flashlight to the housing to further assist.

I should really get on this.

I ordered a scuba-rated led glowstick that I'm excited to try. Probably considerable brightness with 360-degree visibility. There seemed to be something similar available through Amazon from a nearby dive warehouse. Even if the IR beam works out, it'll be crucial to have a guide in the viewfinder.

Some sort of flash snoot would be great.

And I need to figure out the deal with flash power - probably need to go manual with on-camera and on-housing compensation.

Surfing nightsurfing Scripps Pier La Jolla duck dive ominous

I actually quite like this one.




2016.07.17

Office kicking back Covert Beer Friday Bender
July 4th

La Jolla fireworks show cove

After a morning paddle out with the bros, Jes and I went down to the cove to watch the fireworks. The bluffs above the caves were a great spot, although the people on kayaks might have had more fun.

I didn't set out to photo the show, but grabbed a quick phone snap and video to illustrate the view.

MST3K reunion

Rifftrax live show MST3K

The theatre was packed. I am amped about the return of the show.
Master bathroom

In wall vanity shelf

Medicine cabinets really aren't my thing, so I tiled the alcove to match the bathroom.

Vanity mirrors

I looked around for 72x36 vanity mirrors. There seem to be a few, but either as a part of a vanity set or a special order. Dual mirrors are the other way to go with a dual vanity. And this meant I could take advantage of the vaulted ceilings once more. Like most everything else, this calls for cable lights, or maybe a track.

LG front load washer dryer

And the washer from the Morelos house finally died. I took the opportunity to upgrade both units. They're now stacked, which is great for space.
Lil'J's first


We did a photoshoot, it was partially successful.
Fallout finale

Fallout 4 Prydwen explosion

It took a little while, but I got back to Fallout to complete the journey. It was a semi-satisfying ending, but perhaps frustrating that you can't find the way to unite the factions.

Still, it was fun to play around with legendary tactical nukes:


Warframe progress

Warframe Mag screenshot dissection

I'll be up to rank eight soon, and J and I founded our own clan. We finally took down Lephantis and had a laugh at the alert that set all enemies to level 9,999.


The Tonkor (nade launcher) was a really solid investment.



Someday I will upgrade my Archwing.


The Last of Us

The Last Of Us Ellie screenshot bow arrow hunt

On universal endorsement, I picked up The Last of Us (Remastered) and buckled down for some survival horror.

The Last Of Us Ellie screenshot clown mask

Being unwise, I decided to go for it and went straight into hard difficulty. That made for a lot of deaths - between the tankiness of almost everyone, the one-hit from clickers, and the general lack of ammunition. But heightened anxiety is what zombie games are all about, right?

The Last Of Us Joel Ellie screenshot hiding cab city

TLOU is very The Road-like, but with zombies. And so it makes for an intense, bleak, and well-developed story that is told in a cinematic, immersive way. Some credits:

The production quality and immersiveness really elevate the game to must-play levels, but they also impact gameplay. Sneaking is mandatory and combat is not easy - traditionally this makes a game unfun but it's a hallmark of survival horror. Areas are confined and linear. Ordinarily bad, this thankfully saves aimless wandering and avoids the need for distracting navigation elements. So it's limited in a world of sandboxes and MMORPGFPS gameplay, but it fits the game.


Unlike The Road and Silent Hill, the story is not claustrophobic. The environments certainly are, but our hero and heroine traverse a variety of landscapes and interact with numerous well-developed characters.


The only real gaming-type mechanics are crafting (which is fairly simple and probably superfluous) and listening (which is essential to sneak). Beyond that, TLOU gameplay breaks down into four modes:

The Last Of Us Joel Ellie screenshot mountains bridge

1. Walking/talking - tension breaks that develop the characters and story.


The Last Of Us Joel Ellie screenshot flood plank

2. Puzzle solving - which is usually trivial placement of bricks, planks, and ladders.



3. Sneaking/combat - the harrowing bits.


The Last Of Us Ellie screenshot jugular cut

4. Cinemas - the really harrowing bits.




Next up, Witcher 3...
Some lulz

[Map pin at Shores]
Derrick

Gage
I bet you're not surfing
Surfing the wave of adulthood and responsiblity.
I've spent my whole life paddling away from that one


Chris
Wayne what is our startup going to be?
Better get me as your sw lead before another company snatches me up.
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