a teatray in the sky

8407 kitchen bar

Posted in 5D Mark II, Food, Maryland, Photography, Silver Spring by firthefirst on February 2, 2011

went with momo some time ago to eat in silver spring since she was house-sitting.  as a 270-corridor-ite, we rarely venture out to the 95-corridor to eat (or even 495-north I guess) but hey, we always welcome the chance to explore the known world a bit more.  8407 kitchen bar (more commonly referred to by either just “8407”, or just “kitchen bar”) is one of those trendy new establishments that combine local sourcing and reinvented american cooking.  the trend apparently also involves being very successful, because 8407 was packed while we were there, and once you take a bite you realize why. (more…)


Posted in 5D Mark II, Defrag, Maryland, Photography by firthefirst on January 27, 2011

so my wish came true and we got snow.  lots of it.  and you know what they say; be careful what you wish for.  because you might just have your wish come true … during rush hour.

it took me, Tina and Scott a total of 5 hours to get home.  from rockville.  to germantown.  that’s supposed to be a 20 minute drive.  5 hours is the time it takes you to drive to new york normally.  5 hours and I could be enjoying north carolina barbeque.  5 hours and we could have dropped Scott off at home and made it back.

5 hours is how long it takes a not-particularly in-shape fellow to complete a marathon.  which, incidentally, is a longer distance than the distance from our office to our home. (more…)

like shooting birds in a barrel

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Baltimore, Birds, Maryland, Photography, Technique and Development by firthefirst on October 20, 2010

bird photography is always a challenge.  they’re small, fast, and easily spooked.  so you’d think it’d be easier to get great shots in a zoo, where the birds are used to humans and confined to enclosed spaces.  not so fast there, mate.  zoos and aviaries often have walk-in aviaries where you are surrounded by netting that prevents birds from flying off into the wild blue yonder.  what the netting also does is it prevents photographers from getting a smooth background blur.  this totally can break an otherwise great photo, and the effect of choppy background bokeh shouldn’t be taken lightly. (more…)

chasing giraffes

Posted in 5D Mark II, Animals, Baltimore, Maryland, Photography by firthefirst on October 19, 2010

the last time tina and I went to the national zoo in dc, she asked if there were giraffes.  of course there are giraffes at the national zoo… except there aren’t any.  the last visiting giraffe had either passed on or passed away some time ago, and dc is officially giraffe-less.

but we couldn’t give up there, and so as the fall rolled around I decided to search for the nearest zoo which housed giraffes.  to my surprise, that was the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.  maryland has a zoo of its own?  25 years spent in maryland and I had absolutely no idea this existed. (more…)

is the good life better than the life I live

Posted in 5D Mark II, Cumberland, Food, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Photography, Technique and Development, Uniontown by firthefirst on August 23, 2010

the good life — it feel like … Cumberland?  Uniontown?  just because it’s puzzling doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing.  today’s post is going to be easy on the writing and heavy on the drooling.  just one of those days, I guess. (more…)

first film on the 5D II

Posted in 5D Mark II, Baltimore, Film, Maryland by firthefirst on July 30, 2010

this is my first attempt at taking decent video with the 5D Mark II … number of issues here (like insufficient DOF, poor focus pulling, lack of tripod), but I had a fun time shooting it and I don’t think it came out horribly.  definitely planning on improving with more practice, but I don’t think I will ever become as into film as I am in still photography.

jellin like magellan

Posted in 5D Mark II, Baltimore, Maryland, Photography by firthefirst on July 29, 2010

nothing to say about this, other than I’m in the sort of mood where I think I’d like to be a jellyfish today … be nice to float around in warm surface currents somewhere in the Pacific … and stinging random strangers. (more…)


Posted in 5D Mark II, Baltimore, Maryland, Movies, Photography by firthefirst on July 26, 2010

went to go see Predators this weekend and loved it.  as much fun as it is seeing predators duking it out with aliens, it’s much better seeing humans duking it out with predators … the way it was always meant to be.  plus, let’s be honest, the AVP movies are pretty horrid.  is Predators good as its non-plural namesake?  there’s an easy answer to that, and that’s not my answer.

as an aside, you’ll notice none of the photos have anything to do with the movie beyond the fact that all of these animals are predators (no vegans here).  there’s a couple of reasons for that.  first, Predators don’t actually exist, so I have no photos of them.  second, studios don’t like people reposting their property just as photographers don’t like people reposting their property, and I can totally understand that.  these predators are from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, still my favorite after all these years. (more…)

Ryleigh’s Oyster

Posted in 5D Mark II, Baltimore, Food, Maryland, Photography by firthefirst on May 20, 2010

wynee came to town a couple of weeks ago (yes I’m still trying to catch up to the present, eventually) and demanded to be taken to eat something yummy.  being the foodie kidnappers that we are, tina and I obliged wholeheartedly.  and that’s how we ended up spending the best part of the afternoon (the pre-food-coma part) at Ryleigh’s Oyster just around the corner of Light and Cross streets. (more…)

Tao Yuan (Pacifica Cafe), round 2

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

I think the one thing we can conclude right now is that food tastes better when you’re hanging out with your cousins.  last time we stopped by Tao Yuan in Kentlands was when Wendy and Laura were in town for the half marathon (here).  it took us longer than we hoped for the sequel to come out, but two weeks ago we finally managed to hit up Pacifica Cafe again, with my cousins in tow this time.

no mission this time, no hidden intent — not for me and Tina at least.  but for my mom it was a whole ‘nother ball game.  see, Tao Yuan has a few “Pre-Order Specials” on the menu.  and when they say “special”, they really know how to make it special.  you have to order these things at least 24 hours in advance. (more…)