blah blah


 My Photo
Name: toan
Location: Maryland, US

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Curry Chicken

Wow, I cooked three days in a row. Something is seriously wrong with me. I also made tomorrow's lunch. (I have been eating lunch at work instead of going out like usual. I really need to save money for this year's trip).

Monday, March 27, 2006

Simple Homemade Dishes Tonight

I made carmelized pork and bok choi tonight. The pork cooked with lemongrass, garlic and chili pepper and then simmered to perfection. It was a bit difficult to make dinner especially when I ran back and forth from kitchen to my room--"24" was on. Anyway, I was quite pleased with dinner tonight.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Hot Dog For Dinner Tonight

Oh yeah! Single guy's favorite dish.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Tamron AF28-300mm (F/3.5-6.3 XR Di MACRO) Sharpness Test

What I did with this test wouldn't consider scientific but I think it's close enough to what I will be doing during sunny days in Europe--hand holding my camera. (Though I will use a small tripod or rest the camera on something while doing night photography). The image above shows the distance between me and the clock. This is also the spot where I tested various focal lenghts. Click on the links below to see samples. Keep in mind, these samples, shot at ISO 200, are shown @ 100% from 36.4MB files with some Photoshop sharpening. (Note: Judging lens quality from an image viewing at 100% in Photoshop, though this seems to be the standard practice, IS NOT fair to any lens because viewing at this size, the image is many times bigger than the actual print size. Plus, not all computer monitors are set at the same resolution. The true test is to make prints and then do side-by-side comparison).

- 1/800 F8.0 - 50mm - View @ 100%
- 1/800 F8.0 - 70mm - View @ 100%
- 1/800 F8.0 - 100mm - View @ 100%
- 1/1000 F9.0 - 130mm - View @ 100%
- 1/640 F11 - 200mm - View @ 100%
- 1/640 F11 - 300mm - View @ 100%

In reality, I wouldn't stand this far back to take a picture of the clock. In fact, I would get a lot closer. The point of this test is to see how far I can push this lens.

At 200mm and 300mm, the image is a bit softer than the rest hence required a little more sharpening and chromatic aberration is really bad though easily removed. I think shooting at these two focal lengths, the images are still presentable with some help from Photoshop.

Below is another shot I took last week. It was shot at 1/1250s F8.0 100mm (ISO 400) with AI Servo AF mode. You can see full frame and close-up at 100%.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pasta With Clam Sauce For Dinner Tonight

I decided to make penne pasta with clam sauce tonight. I never make anything like this before so I did not know what to expect. First thing, I boil the pasta. Easy. Drain and set aside. Then I sauté chopped garlic and chopped red onion in olive oil. And then I throw in the minced clam. Sauté a little more. Add some dried chives, basil and red pepper flakes. A pinch on salt to taste. Add clam sauce to pasta. Buon appetito!

Ok, I have to do the dishes now. Arggg!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Canon EOS 5D and Tamron 28-300mm Lens Part II

I took a drive down to D.C. park and the marina next to Reagan National airport this afternoon. Above are some more samples from the shoot.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Canon EOS 5D and Tamron 28-300mm Lens

I went out to test my camera again this afternoon. Above are examples of my test. I shot in raw mode, which allows you to have greater flexibility during editing. I used Canon Digital Photo Professional, though I prefer C1 Pro, to process my raw images. I then used Photoshop for further editing such as cropping, removing dust (on sensor), sharpening, density and color correcting.

In this test, I used the Tamron 28-300mm lens. The reason I chose this lens because of it practicality (no need to change lenses), cost and small size. In this case, smaller is better which is great; especially when you're traveling. I wish I have the money to buy Canon L lenses. Right now, Tamron is all I could afford. Based on the tests done in the last few days, I am confident that images produced, so far, from this Tamron lens are acceptable by photo agencies' standard.

So why not buy a cheaper camera with high quality lens? Well, as of now, cheaper cameras such as Nikon D70, Canon EOS 10D etc. means dealing with APS sized sensor. Shooting with a full-frame sensor not only gives you more resolution but also less noise than APS sized sensor cameras would.

Friday, March 10, 2006

It's A Beautiful Day...

Ah, what a beautiful Friday. We took some chairs outside to soak up some rays. I made some turkey/swiss cheese sandwiches.

My boss, who is in Las Vegas, let us leave at 1:00pm today. Nice! I am gonna stick around a bit to test my camera.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Some Pix From Last Weekend

Kathy's birthday at the Walnut Room in Philadelphia (where is she?)Lunch at Pho Ha with Dave and cousin Kimmy Battleship USS New JerseyPierogies and Kielbasa

Went to N.J. last weekend. It was nice to get away for a few days: went to a birthday party, had some pho, took a tour on the battleship USS New Jersey and had some Polish food. Click here to see pix. I've also tested my first D-SLR, Canon EOS 5D (no pix posted yet) for my Prague trip in May.

This camera burned a hole in my wallet. I have been trying to bring lunch to work...doing whatever to save some cash for the trip. I need to do some booking on soon. At least I got the plane tickets out of the way.

Dinner tonight: Hot dogs.