Thursday, January 31, 2013

Easy $5 Wall Wart (Power Adapter) Cluster Fix (Video)


Photographer? Have a lot of power adapters and battery chargers? As you know hotels usually do not have many open outlets for you to use and with wall warts (power adapters) covering multiple outlets, how are you suppose to use multiple of them at a time? In this video, I provide you with a easy under $5 compact solution in splitting 1 outlet into 4 with enough room for up to 4 wall warts!

Dislaimer: You follow the instructions in the video at your own risk, I will not be responsible for any damages or injuries you get.

Generally a few battery chargers/power outlets will not overload a power outlet, however you should never plug in high current devices (hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, etc) into an extension cord or power outlet splitter. Also make sure you add up all the wattage ratings on ALL of your adapters and make sure it does not pass the LOWEST allowed wattage on all of your splitters/extension cords.

I got the extension cord and outlet splitter at Walmart in the Hardware Section (I think) where they sell light bulbs. They cost me just right under $5 around $4. I didn't find the same products on Amazon, but I found a few similar to the ones I found at Walmart (they will cost you a bit more than $5 on Amazon). You can find those below.



If you enjoy my video reviews, you can follow me on Youtube here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Donner Memorial State Park/Downtown Truckee - Lake Tahoe/Reno 2012 (Part 8)

If you live in the SF Bay Area, you probably know it never snows here. Many people like me who live in the SF Bay Area love snow. The nearest place that does get snow is in Lake Tahoe and Reno. Many of us go there in the winter to go ski and snowboard, but for me, I don't like any of that. I enjoy taking photos of snow and playing in it. :) Here are photos of Lake Tahoe and Reno I took during my trip in Christmas of 2012. I will be splitting them into several parts as I took a lot of photos there. Hope you enjoy.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best Lake Tahoe/Reno/Donner Lake photos from 2012, use this link. To see all of my photos from this trip, use this link.

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Before I get started today, I would like to tell you about a great product to add to your camera bag. The product I would like to tell you about today is called the Giottos Rocket Air Blaster. This product is pretty much a rubber air blower. You squeeze on the ball and a big puff of air comes out of the tip. I always use this product on my lens before I wipe to get rid of any big  particles that could potentially scratch my lens. It usually does a good job and I don't even need to wipe! This product also lets me dislodge any dust that have gotten onto my sensor without even touching it. This is usually all I need to bring my sensor back to a clean state. Not only is this product great for cameras, I also use it to dust my keyboard and mouse. Another great feature that sets this product apart from other air blowers is that it includes a patented one way valve that prevents you from sucking up and dust that you have just dislodged! Greatest invention ever and I never regretted my purchase because it is so useful. If you don't have one, you should get a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster now! The company makes the product in 3 sizes: Large (Also Available In Red), Medium, and Small. The company also makes a Q-Ball Version that has a flexible tip that can be angled.

Okay, now let's get started with today's photos. :) The photos for today are from my 3rd day. These photos are from my trip around Donner Lake including photos from the residential area (on Point Drive), at Donner Memorial State Park, and Downtown Truckee.

So these beginning photos are from Point Drive. Here is the snow covered road continuing from Part 7

Giant trees covered in snow. Love them! Really adds to the scenery and the sky. 

Try out a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster today!

The view with the house right in the center with a snow covered road leading up to it. On the sides are snow covered trees. 

Photography Tip: Try to use lead in lines in your photos to guide the viewer's eyes to your subject. In the photo above, the snow covered driveway acts as a lead in line. 

Finally found a place to get a clear shot of Donner Lake!



Now starting photos from Donner Memorial State Park. 

A shot of the snow covered trees in the park. 

Technically I wasn't suppose to walk into this area because a sign said "No visitors beyond this point", but there wasn't any rangers around so I took a short walk in and then quickly came out. Nothing really to see except some tool sheds, a few ranger trucks, and some snow removal equipment. Didn't take much pictures either because it was dull and boring. 



That was suppose to be a information booth, but obviously isn't in use because there is too much snow for anyone to get in!

More buildings drowned in snow at the park. 



Downtown Truckee, CA. Some snow covered houses. 

Sierra Tavern in Historical District of Truckee, CA.

California Welcome Center in the Historical District of Truckee, CA.

These are all the photos for today! I hope you have enjoyed them. Next time, I got some night long exposure photography I did during the night of the 3rd day of my visit and I might also start on photos from my 4th day of the trip. Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Lake Tahoe/Reno 2012 (Part 7)

If you live in the SF Bay Area, you probably know it never snows here. Many people like me who live in the SF Bay Area love snow. The nearest place that does get snow is in Lake Tahoe and Reno. Many of us go there in the winter to go ski and snowboard, but for me, I don't like any of that. I enjoy taking photos of snow and playing in it. :) Here are photos of Lake Tahoe and Reno I took during my trip in Christmas of 2012. I will be splitting them into several parts as I took a lot of photos there. Hope you enjoy.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best Lake Tahoe/Reno/Donner Lake photos from 2012, use this link. To see all of my photos from this trip, use this link.

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Before I get started today, I would like to tell you about a great product to add to your camera bag. First question I for you is, do you do panoramas? If you do, have your panoramas ever turn out tilted? I have an easy solution for you. In order to have a straight panorama, not only do you have to get your camera leveled out, you also have to get your tripod leveled (usually the root cause of tilted panoramas)! Most tripods only have levels for your camera but not for the legs itself, but that is easily fixed. The product I want to tell you about today is the Manfrotto 032SPL Autopole Spirit Level. This tiny level is adjustable, and fits on most tripod's center columns so you can easily level your tripod legs so you can fix the root problem with panoramas. There isn't much else to say about this, and using it is pretty self-explanatory, so if you are interested in getting your panoramas leveled and straight the time that you take it, please check out the Manfrotto 032SPL Autopole Spirit Level.

Okay, now let's get started with today's photos. :) The photos for today are from my 3rd day. These photos are from my trip down to Donner Lake and also some photos from the residential area (on Point Drive for a few) near Donner Lake.

Continuing my trip down to Truckee, CA to go see Donner Lake. These first few photos are from the Hirschdale Road Exit (bridge) on I-80 near Truckee, CA.

Beautiful tall tree covered in snow at the Hirschdale Road Exit.



Then I proceeded to take a photo of the Truckee River on the bridge at the Hirschdale Road Exit. So much snow right?

Here is a photo of the bridge and a bridge for walking (not too sure what the right bridge is for) at the Hirschdale Road Exit. 

Tree covered in snow.



Then I proceeded to Truckee, CA and circled Donner Lake. This is not Point Drive yet, just some other residential area near the lake. 

More houses covered in snow! 



I think this might be Donner Creek? Not too sure though. Photo taken on the bridge on the east side of Donner Lake facing east. At approximately +39° 19' 25.31", -120° 14' 13.41" (Thanks Google Maps!). On the mountain in the distance is the Abandoned Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR) Tunnels.

Photography Tip: Try to use lead in lines in your photos to guide the viewer's eyes to your subject. In the photo above, the creek acts as a lead in line. 

Same location above, just facing west this time. Donner Creek (again not too sure) flowing into Donner Lake. Donner Lake off in the distance. 



Now here are the photos I took on Point Drive (a small residential road near Donner Lake). The whole road was covered in snow! In fact, the hill was so slippery, I asked my parents to park the car on the side of the main road and I just walked down there. The hill is too hard to drive down on, might get stuck, in fact as I was going up hill, I saw a guy's car just slide half way downhill! Lucky he didn't hit anyone. 

Another shot of the snow covered roads. The area sure got a lot of snow fall this year. 

The reason I circled Donner Lake was to find a wide open area where I can get some landscape shots. Didn't really find one. Most of the parks and decks had too much snow piled up to access. Here is another shot in that residential area with a small view of Donner Lake. The snowy landscapes was beautiful too, but I wanted the lake. 

These are all the photos for today. I hope you have enjoyed them! Next time I got more snowy landscapes from residential areas and also some photos from Donner Memorial State Park. Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lake Tahoe/Reno 2012 (Part 6)

If you live in the SF Bay Area, you probably know it never snows here. Many people like me who live in the SF Bay Area love snow. The nearest place that does get snow is in Lake Tahoe and Reno. Many of us go there in the winter to go ski and snowboard, but for me, I don't like any of that. I enjoy taking photos of snow and playing in it. :) Here are photos of Lake Tahoe and Reno I took during my trip in Christmas of 2012. I will be splitting them into several parts as I took a lot of photos there. Hope you enjoy.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best Lake Tahoe/Reno/Donner Lake photos from 2012, use this link. To see all of my photos from this trip, use this link.

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Before I get started on today's blog post, I would like to tell you about a great product that I own. Let me ask you first: Do you have a device like the Canon EOS 7D that only takes Compact Flash cards? Hate the big prices on the Compact Flash Cards? What if I tell you that you can use your current SD cards lying around your house in these devices? Well you can with the SD-CF II: SD to CF Type II Adapter. This little adapter will adapt all your SD cards (SDHC and SDXC) into a CF card! Unlike other brands of adapters, I can shoot 1080p video on my camera with no breaks! Other cheaper adapters sometimes don't have the speed to support 1080p video, this adapter is not one of them. If you are tight on your photography budget and have a bunch of SD cards lying around, this adapter is definitely a must have for you!

Okay, now let's get started with today's photos. :) The photos for today are from my 3rd day. In the morning, I did time lapse from my hotel room of Downtown Reno. I also have a few shots of my trip down to Truckee, CA to go see Donner Lake. For the time lapse, you can click on the first photo and navigate the time lapse with your arrow keys. Hope you enjoy the photos for today.

The view of Downtown Reno from my hotel room.  





I begin my trip to Truckee, CA. Took a photo of the highway of people installing chains.  

 Truckee River. Photo taken at approximately +39° 23' 40.64", -120° 1' 31.91" at Exit 199 (Floriston) on I-80. Thank you Google Maps and Google Street View!


Another shot at around the same area as the above photo. 

Now heading back to I-80, I thought the snow covered trees looked nice so I took a few shots. 

Here is another photo of snow covered trees. 

This is all the photos I have for today. I hope you have enjoyed them and the time lapse. Next time I will have photos from Truckee, CA with photos from Donner Lake and more photos from my trip to Truckee, CA. Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Midway in Circus Circus - Lake Tahoe/Reno 2012 (Part 5)

If you live in the SF Bay Area, you probably know it never snows here. Many people like me who live in the SF Bay Area love snow. The nearest place that does get snow is in Lake Tahoe and Reno. Many of us go there in the winter to go ski and snowboard, but for me, I don't like any of that. I enjoy taking photos of snow and playing in it. :) Here are photos of Lake Tahoe and Reno I took during my trip in Christmas of 2012. I will be splitting them into several parts as I took a lot of photos there. Hope you enjoy.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best Lake Tahoe/Reno/Donner Lake photos from 2012, use this link. To see all of my photos from this trip, use this link.

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Before I get started today, I would like to tell you about a great product to add to your camera bag. First question I for you is, do you do panoramas? If you do, have your panoramas ever turn out tilted? I have an easy solution for you. In order to have a straight panorama, not only do you have to get your camera leveled out, you also have to get your tripod leveled (usually the root cause of tilted panoramas)! Most tripods only have levels for your camera but not for the legs itself, but that is easily fixed. The product I want to tell you about today is the Manfrotto 032SPL Autopole Spirit Level. This tiny level is adjustable, and fits on most tripod's center columns so you can easily level your tripod legs so you can fix the root problem with panoramas. There isn't much else to say about this, and using it is pretty self-explanatory, so if you are interested in getting your panoramas leveled and straight the time that you take it, please check out the Manfrotto 032SPL Autopole Spirit Level.

Okay, now let's get started with today's photos. :) The photos for today are some of the photos I took on the second day of my trip at night. It includes the rest of the Circus Circus performance continuing from Part 4. I hope you enjoy them.











Thank you for viewing my photos. On the next blog post, I will start on the photos I took on the 3rd day of my trip. The next post will include a time-lapse I did and also a few photos from my trip to Truckee, CA to go see Donner Lake. Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Next Post >>
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Night Photography/Midway in Circus Circus - Lake Tahoe/Reno 2012 (Part 4)

If you live in the SF Bay Area, you probably know it never snows here. Many people like me who live in the SF Bay Area love snow. The nearest place that does get snow is in Lake Tahoe and Reno. Many of us go there in the winter to go ski and snowboard, but for me, I don't like any of that. I enjoy taking photos of snow and playing in it. :) Here are photos of Lake Tahoe and Reno I took during my trip in Christmas of 2012. I will be splitting them into several parts as I took a lot of photos there. Hope you enjoy.

Full Resolution Photos and Prints: If you want to see full resolution photos or buy prints of any of the photos you see, they are up on my portfolio for viewing. To see my best Lake Tahoe/Reno/Donner Lake photos from 2012, use this link. To see my best sunset and night photos of 2012, use this link. To see all of my photos from this trip, use this link.

Parts: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11

Before I get started today, I would like to tell you about a great product to add to your camera bag. The product I would like to tell you about today is called the Giottos Rocket Air Blaster. This product is pretty much a rubber air blower. You squeeze on the ball and a big puff of air comes out of the tip. I always use this product on my lens before I wipe to get rid of any big  particles that could potentially scratch my lens. It usually does a good job and I don't even need to wipe! This product also lets me dislodge any dust that have gotten onto my sensor without even touching it. This is usually all I need to bring my sensor back to a clean state. Not only is this product great for cameras, I also use it to dust my keyboard and mouse. Another great feature that sets this product apart from other air blowers is that it includes a patented one way valve that prevents you from sucking up and dust that you have just dislodged! Greatest invention ever and I never regretted my purchase because it is so useful. If you don't have one, you should get a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster now! The company makes the product in 3 sizes: Large (Also Available In Red), Medium, and Small. The company also makes a Q-Ball Version that has a flexible tip that can be angled.

Okay, now let's get started with today's photos. :) The photos for today are some of the photos I took on the second day of my trip at night. It includes some night time long exposures, indoor long exposures, and some photos from the performance I saw at Circus Circus. For the performance, the rest of the photos of the performance will come in the next blog post.

 Like I showed you in Part 2, it was snowing in Reno. This view was taken from Harrah's parking lot. If you compare it to the same view in Part 1, I think you'd agree with me that the snow adds a nice "fog" to the whole image bringing out all the lights in the buildings. In fact, I used my Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT to capture a few falling snow flakes. See those dots in the upper right hand corner? Those were snowflakes falling captured with several flashes (Using Multi) of my Speedlite

Afterward, I went into the city to take some of the snowy landscape in the city. Very different from the dry landscapes I showed you in Part 1. Great photo ideas here!

 Here is another night long exposure with part of a car captured using my Speedlite

Try out a Giottos Rocket Air Blaster today!

It was a bit cold and wet outside for me so I headed back to the hotel. Here is a long exposure I did indoors at Harrah's before the security guard headed my way. LOL Probably was going to tell me not to loiter. Anyways, just got one shot before I went to go drop off some stuff in my room and headed to Circus Circus.  

Midway at Circus Circus! This photo actually turned out great, but I was testing out my camera settings (ISO, Aperture) before the show started.  

 And the show begins!






It was an okay show, but wish there were more performers. 

These are all the photos I have for today. I hope you have enjoyed all of the night long exposures and the photo of the performance at Circus Circus! The rest of the photos I took of the performance will come next time. Thank you for looking! Please don't forget to share with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Google+. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

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