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Entries in canon EF70-200 F2.8 L (12)


Even a rainbow might feel under dressed

This weekend we celebrated Holi in Union city with friends. Many years ago, we made this a local event in a park in Cupertino.. but that was just the 15-18 of our close gathering.. last three years we decided to join a much bigger crowd of a few thousand people and it is a lot more fun!

As usual I get to take pictures of the group and send to everyone. I love editing photos of the happy faces after coming home as much as jumping up and down with colors everywhere! 

and then there are the kids.. just amazing.. innocent.. putting colors on themselves and everyone.

I had put some of this on FB already, but given my FB acts up and no one knows what will happen over time, posting some of that in the blog as well. 

One thing that is amazing is that playing Holi with strangers or friends and family works the same. San and jr. went into the crowd to meet our friends. As I walked into the crowd with a heavy camera bag on one shoulder and a camera on my hand ( I had to protect the lens from being powdered!!) a kid came running out of nowhere and hit hit head on my lens.. By the time I checked to make sure he was fine, he ran into the crowd. Now I was lost.. trying to stand on tippy toes to see if there was any chance of locating the tallest person in our group.. while doing that a group of strangers asked me if they could put color on me. I said yes and they promptly colored me! Then they shared their colors with me to put it back on them. 

At this point I would not have recognized myself anyway and when I finally found our group, they were all giving me the look that said "so, you have already been playing Holi with someone else all this time!" . 

Also the group is totally international and inter racial. Probably there were people from every country in the world there.. not to mention pet dogs. Even the dogs were colored and they seemed to be enjoying it! 

Some pictures from the celebration..

A picture of the kids taking a selfie.. it is my favorite shot of the entire album.. I would like to see that actual picture. They never smiled like that when posing for me.. but their smiles on the selfie must be priceless!! 

Also made a composite of all the recent Holi celebrations.. Missed the little one the last few years. She always ends up with a conflict of sorts on these days. Next year I have begged her to come celebrate with us...

Finally, a video with snippets that were recorded partly with iPhone and partly with the 5D Mark ii... that shows how grand this was!

The bay area is truly an amazing place.. We get to celebrate everything in style! 

Happy Holi to everyone! May your life be colorful and bright !!


Never pick your middle aged dad to help with assignments

Jr. learned that lesson over the weekend when she asked me to videotape her baking for a school assignment. Given she wanted a "high quality" video, I used the 5D for the video shoot while being worried that it had a focus issue. Luckily shot it with the 70-200 mm lens which seemed to work fine. 

The only mistake she made was in picking me to do the video. I stressed her out with a lecture on the value of money, trying to be perfect, not waste things, be fast etc. Pretty much micromanaged the thing and lectured her. It is not easy to work with me or work for me.. or live with me for that matter. So while watching this video I realized that I owe my wife, kids, friends and colleagues and especially my boss an apology for being so pushy and demanding and being obsessive compulsive in a lot of ways. The only people who are immune to this influence are my yoga teachers and yoga buddies. 

At the end of it, the cookies came out very tasty. The little one helped big time in being moral support for Jr. as well as coming in and providing her expertise in fixing mistakes during the baking process. 

The smiles say it all! 


Harvest moon

The moon is always beautiful and fascinating. Friday morning I opened the front door and the moon looked a little bigger than usual and it was full. 

So made Jr. wait for school and took a few pictures from our doorstep.

After a few mintues realized that using the extender would definitely give me a better shot. So put that on and took a few more pictures. It was a setting moon. 

Moon photos are always better if there is a backdrop that shows it in scale.. this one was just a handheld shot but it is beautiful in its own way..

Later that evening got to see a lot of posts from the previous night on the rising moon. Apparenlty it is called a "harvest moon". Had no idea. Have been living in a very busy and warped world recently. 

Just happy to be able to upload some pictures and be normal again!


Bloody eclipse.. 

One minute I am on an international call. Next minute there is a lot of commotion outside the house...

Turns out a large gathering of people in our neighbors driveway decided to watch the eclipse. Given the vantage point was a few steps from our house, decided to capture it right there.

The moon's redness was almost gone by the time I got set up..

Then the clouds moved away and got a series of shots which ended just a few minutes ago..

do click image to see the larger version.. 

It was fun catching this on our neighbors driveway and chatting with folks at the same time!


The lens returns

Recently, my Canon extender just gave in and dropped the 70-200 lens to the ground. In my impulse to stop the lens from hitting the ground, I put my foot out to "catch" it. It was a painful mistake. First the foot took a few days to heal. The lens was not broken but just dented. 

Sent the lens and extender to Canon service to get fixed. The lens came back and it would mount on the camera body okay. The extender which was supposedly fixed, had the same problem. Canon made me send it back again to be checked out by a "senior technician".  The whole ordeal cost 500$ for a problem caused by a Canon part malfunction. Unfortunately, the warranty on the extender expires in 3 years and this was year 4. Even if it was valid, it would not cover the more expensive lens that goes on the extender.

Finally got a chance this evening to put the lens on the extender and see if the whole assembly worked like before.

Looks like it .. 

This little one went for the same flowers every ten minutes or so. 

Got it on the third cycle. 1/1600 th of a second, f5.6, ISO 3200 and still cannot catch the wings. 

Will try 1/4000 or 1/8000 tomorrow and see how it goes. Hopefully the bird will visit when it is brighter outside.

Warning to folks like me who buy 300 dollar extenders in an attempt to not spend on a 400mm zoom lens. Bad idea. The extender fails, your lens is toast! 

Just talk to the CFO at home, use my painful example and get yourself that 400mm lens!