Since my first post about the D300 is generating some traffic, I thought I’d post some additional pictures here. If you want to see full resolution shots of any of these images, please feel free to contact me.
Got my D300 yesterday and had an opportunity to go and take some shots with it. Let me say from the first that I am rather impressed. I wasn’t sure how much of a step it would be over the D200, but results so far are rather impressive.
High noise levels are, so far, fairly impressive. One shot taken yesterday:
This image was taken @ ISO 1600, F11, 1/250. Here is a 1:1 crop:
Obviously, noise levels are fairly well controlled.
An example @ ISO 3200:
This sample is particularly interesting as it contains both deep shadows and strong highlights. Even in the transition and highlight->shadow gradients, the results are very impressive.
A third example, this time from 6400:
These results from 6400 are likewise encouraging, but my initial tests containing deep shadows on 6400 aren’t quite so nice. There does seem to be a good bit of chroma noise in the darkest of shadows, but I’m going to hold off on making a definite statement on that until I’ve had a chance to shoot with it some more.
At the end of the day, though, the D300 seems to do very well in the noise department, though we’ll see how that stacks up in general use.
Some more general shots from the day, as well as a full gallery:
We come before you, humbled by the display of your mighty power as you bring life and renewal to the world. We ask for that same power to enter our hearts and bring change and renewal in our lives, according to your promise to make all things new.
In this week we set aside to remember the blessings in our lives, we ask you to place on our hearts those who have not, and that you move us to act as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in a world of desperate need. Teach us to use the blessings we have from you to bless others, instead of gratifying ourselves.
We ask that we would be transformed from people who care so much about ourselves and what other people think about us into people who are concerned with your kingdom, and the liberation and reconciliation you have offered in the person of Jesus Christ.
And may you work in us and through us,
transforming our lives into the image of Christ
and our world into your Kingdom
where there is no death,
neither sorrow nor pride,
but fullness of joy and peace
through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior,
It’s been a week or so, but I got some cool pictures at Texas Motor Speedway at the races last weekend. This is going to be a ridiculously long post, so I apologize in advance, but there are far more pictures you can look at. Check out my galleries from practice and happy hour, as well as the actual race on Sunday.
Gilliland’s M&M’s car going around the track. Happy Hour is the last time teams can run around the track before the race, and they try to learn as much as possible so they can make adjustments for the next day’s race.
Jimmy Johnson has the highest winning percentage of any driver with 32 wins and 132 top 10′s in only 6 years of racing. The guy is a beast, and incidentally won this weekend too. As of today, he’s won 4 straight races.
Tony Stewart. These cars are going so fast that I took a wider angle picture @ 1/250th of a second, which generally can stop anything, but they were still streaked. I don’t think there’s anyone alive who could take a picture of them without panning.
One huge difference between NASCAR and other racing is the distance the cars get from each other, especially in the corners. Going 70 a few feet behind a car is scary. Going 200 a few inches behind a car is insane.
“If our church were to disappear tomorrow, who would notice?”
“If I were to disappear tomorrow, who would notice – who would come to my funeral?”
I was having breakfast with Kelly, I think, when he first brought these questions up. The questions weren’t asked out of a prideful sense of “look at how much we’re doing” or “I’ve got a lot of friends who would come”, but rather a reflection on the impact we make in the world. If we were suddenly to disappear, would it make a difference in the world around us? We talked about it for a while, and our conclusion was deeply disturbing.
Certainly for the second question, there are people around me who would notice. My family and friends would be impacted, and perhaps some of the people who meet in my house on Monday nights. There would be people at work who would notice, of course, as their workload picked up a bit. But other than that, who would really care. How many people in the community know my name. I get coffee, fast food, eat out, buy groceries, get gas – a variety of daily or weekly tasks – and I generally see the same people there every day or week. How many of their names do I know? How many of them know or remember me? Am I that bland and nondescript that the people around me don’t take notice of the life and joy I have (or am supposed to have) in Christ? Is my kindness, love and charity so common and unspectacular that nobody around me feels blessed after I’ve left?
As a church, the answer to me gets even worse. If all the members of our church were suddenly to not exist, again the people closest to them would no doubt notice and feel loss. But would our community be saddened to see us go? Are there programs we are involved in where we are making enough of an active difference that people would even notice? Is there a neighborhood where we minister, or a group of people we work with? Do we do anything at all for the benefit of people outside of our walls? Some churches, perhaps, would have the community breathe a sigh of relief if they disappeared. Why do we think our condition is much better?
Two things trouble me:
- Too many of our church structures are set up like a country club – for the benefit of people who are on the inside.
- Too often I can’t be bothered to treat others with the same level of importance as Jesus would.
My vision for our church would be that if we had to close the door, there would be a huge group of non-members and non-believers whose lives would be adversely impacted. My prayer is that we would be so vital and involved in the community that our loss would be lamented by the entire city – young, old, rich, poor. We have so far to go, but so many opportunities.
My hope for my own journey of transformation is that I would take more time – all the time – for those around me. My prayer is that I would do *something* to stand out. My prayer is that my funeral wouldn’t just be filled with people who look a lot like me. My prayer is that I will ultimately be like Jesus, and that I would draw all I encounter to Him.
I got some of these several years ago in an email and thought they were funny, and as I’m writing another paper right now I thought I would post them, as well as adding a few that were missing.
There are certain phrases that pop up in the scientific community which might appear to mean one thing, but in reality mean another. It doesn’t take long reading any scientific paper to see these phrases come up again and again, and I’m pretty sure we’ve all used them. Just in case you ever see them, you’ll now know what they mean.
“It has long been known/It is well accepted…”
I can’t find the original reference.
“It is believed that…”
I think that…
“It is generally believed that…”
At least one other person thinks so too…
“Experience suggests that…”
I heard some guy somewhere say something that sounded pretty good, but I can’t remember who or where.
“It can be shown that…”
Somebody claimed they did this, but I can’t get it to work. I can’t find the reference anymore either, or I would cite that.
“Previous work has focused on…”
Everyone who’s looked at this before got it all wrong.
“Very little fundamental work exists…”
Google didn’t turn up any obvious results.
“Of great theoretical and practical significance/importance…”
Either I think this is interesting, or someone paid me money to do it.
“Typical/representative results are shown.”
The best results (or the only results) are shown.
“Three (or some other number) samples were chosen for detailed study.”
Only three (or some other number) of my samples made any sense, and I ignored the rest.
“The significance of these results is unclear.”
There’s an artifact in my data I can’t ignore or explain away.
“A trend is evident…”
You can kind of imagine a trend, but no statistical analysis will ever support it.
“The trend becomes more evident when…”
If you just look at it like this, you’ll see the same thing I do.
“The data seem to indicate…”
This is what it looks like, but I really don’t want to say it with any certainty.
“Results were inconclusive.”
The experiment didn’t show anything, but I can still publish it somewhere.
“Correct within acceptable error.”
Not very close.
“Correct to within an order of magnitude.”
“A careful analysis of obtainable data…”
I analyzed what I could, which wasn’t much due to (computer failure, chemical spill, equipment malfunction, etc)…
“Data limitations did not allow the project team to fully develop the relationship between…”
Our experiment failed.
“Despite these limitations…”
We did some other stuff so we could write the report and get additional funding.
“Even though researchers experienced difficulty obtaining sufficient data…”
We think we did pretty good, even though our experiment failed.
“These results will be described in a subsequent report…”
Either I was in a rush to get this paper published, or my sabbatical is over and it’s someone else’s job to mess with the data.
“Additional work will be required in order to determine _____”
I have no clue what’s going on, and I don’t care to be the one who finds out, or I’m looking for additional funding.
“It is hoped this study will stimulate further investigation…”
If I cared about looking into this further, I would tell you. Let someone else see if they have better luck.
I don’t usually post a lot of articles, but I found this one fairly compelling as well. It’s written by a doctor and discusses death and dying.
“What I have learned from my patients since that day is that we give death power (as if it needs it) — power not to kill us but to rivet us, to silence us, to drive us from our humanity while we still live. We give death power precisely to the extent that we work to ignore it, to blind ourselves to its closeness, to imagine we have the power to stave it off forever. If we go through life imagining that, then the moment when we are forced to look at death can only rupture everything we know and paralyze us, still alive. That’s not a good way to die.”