a teatray in the sky

manfred von richthofen flies again

during his truncated career the red baron was credited with 80 confirmed air victories, and this saturday he took to the skies for a brief victory tour.  definitely my favorite kite from this saturday’s smithsonian kite festival (although the sharks were a pretty top contender … who doesn’t dream of seeing sharks gliding through the air?) (more…)

Hank’s Oyster Bar

Posted in 5D Mark II, Dupont Circle, Food, Photography, Washington, DC by firthefirst on March 30, 2010

I was going to do a kite series today but Tina talked me into teasing you all with a restaurant review instead.  while Hank’s Oyster Bar in DC (there’s one in alexandria as well for those of you living south of the potomac) fell off the washingtonian’s top 100 this year and so it won’t count toward our fooding mission, we’re a sucker for raw bar and luckily Zee is too.

Hank’s boasts a great off-Dupont location that comes with a strong reputation for classic dining, but there have been a lot of falling stars in the area lately and that left some doubt in my mind as to whether we were on the wrong end of the curve.  then again, it’s never a good idea to think on an empty stomach. (more…)

smithsonian kite festival 2010, and a peek at the 100mm L IS macro

Posted in 5D Mark II, Gearheadedness, Photography, Smithsonian and the Mall, Washington, DC by firthefirst on March 29, 2010

saturday was a real knockout beauty, the kind wednesdays dream of hooking up with.  the smithsonian picked a nice crisp day to get the 2010 cherry blossom season underway with their annual kite festival, and getting to hang out with my old studio mate Zee was an excellent way to spend it.  I decided to bust out the new 100mm macro for some kite-shooting and discovered that trying to capture the mood of a kite festival is pretty hard.

lots more to come this week, with a review of Hank’s Oyster Bar, a mini-review of Coco Sala, and a couple of photo series from saturday.  today’s a pretty lousy day for a number of reasons, but I figured I’d toss in a few kite festival shots to lighten the mood. (more…)

it’s raining [zombies] in baltimore baby

Posted in 30D, National Parks, Photography, Shenandoah National Park, Software, Virginia by firthefirst on March 26, 2010

… but everything else is the same.  still a pile of stuff to push out before 4 PM (after that, hitting the weights).  so since I didn’t have a lot of time to put something out, I dug around in the archives for a bit and came up with this. (more…)

of mice and autocad

Posted in 5D Mark II, Defrag, Photography by firthefirst on March 25, 2010

 wanted to do a post today on the Washington Post article regarding the proposed development plans for White Flint … but since work is all piled up in front of me, that will have to wait until this weekend. (more…)

National Museum of Qatar, Jean Nouvel

Posted in Architecture, Concepts, Jean Nouvel by firthefirst on March 24, 2010

I know what it looks like.  somebody’s unfinished 3ds max renderings just escaped from studio at 3 in the a.m.  for real, the sky hasn’t even been retouched, it’s just what the skylight system sets as the default environment map.     

but no, this is in fact what Mr. Nouvel dropped on tuesday as his proposed design for the new National Museum of Qatar at MOMA up in new york.  apparently, when you’re a student and you pull one of these, you get a frothing critic and ringing eardrums (up until the fifth beer or so that night).  when you’re Nouvel, you get the new york times critic and a gushing rave, claiming the project as Nouvel’s “most overtly poetic act of cultural synthesis yet”. (more…)

Tao Yuan (Pacifica Cafe)

Posted in 5D Mark II, Food, Gaithersburg, Maryland, Photography by firthefirst on March 23, 2010

the search for the perfect brunch is a ceaseless one.  wars have been fought over eggs benedict, cities razed for the perfect crêpe, families torn asunder because the french toast was just a little bit soggy in the middle.  chinese food has largely declared neutrality and abstained from the conflict, shielding itself behind great walls of tofu.  and just like chinese people, chinese food has come to settle in the DC area, where in the peace and quiet of the suburbs they can send their little buns to high schools ranked in the top 100 by usa today (thumbs down to rankings, an abomination of the pure form of lists).

well anyone who’s watched a Bruce Willis movie knows that peace and quiet just can’t last forever.  and there can only be one sheriff in this town.  so who will be wyatt earp?  and who will be billy clanton? (more…)

shooting in the dark

Posted in 5D Mark II, Photography, Technique and Development by firthefirst on March 22, 2010

so perhaps you were reading yesterday’s post and wondering, wait, I thought John was going to discuss whether the 5D Mark II could light up the 30D in (relatively slow) sports shooting.  I was, but as Tina noted in her comment, we were both pretty exhausted so nah.  I did also promise you I’d talk about how the 5D Mark II does in low-light portrait shooting.  so I’ll put yesterday’s peanut butter with today’s jam and give you a 5D Mark II sandwich. (more…)

2010 suntrust national [half] marathon, and on not following through

Posted in 5D Mark II, Photography, Washington, DC by firthefirst on March 21, 2010

a day after our 3 AM stint, Tina and I were up at 4:45 AM.  again.  on a Saturday.  madness you say?  I entirely agree.  if you think getting up before dawn to go flog yourself for 13.1 miles in a mob of 12,000 deranged athletes is strange… personally I think it’s weirder to get up before dawn and fail to go run.  embarrassing, really.  but that’s what I did.

I did take advantage of the fact that I was not panting, dripping sweat, and getting outrun by men in batman outfits to work on the ol’ photography, and to see if the 5D Mark II has any advantages over the 30D as a sports camera.  tomorrow I’ll show you how it holds up for low-light portrait photography. (more…)

roll tide

Posted in Defrag by firthefirst on March 19, 2010

I’m sippin on some sunshine, gonna save it for a morning in the afterlife, and she’s drunk by the daytime, I bet she feels its just the same in the evening …

pretty much sums up your worldview when you’ve been up until 3 AM.  at work.  not boozing, not carousing, not even photoshopping to your little heart’s content.  so you shouldn’t be too shocked that this post isn’t starting with a photo.  but – don’t think I am holding out on you.  what I am doing, is going to the store this very day and picking up the Crash Kings’ album because it is hot.  these guys know how to build a song up right. (more…)