Friday, October 30, 2009

Better Prothom-alo site

Since prothom-alo launced their site in unicode, I try to visit their site once in a day. But the flashy ads are so annoying, I decided to write a simple greasemonkey script to hide all those ads.

A few observation in firebug and some time of mine yielded the following result. If you are a firefox user and use greasemoneky and read site, then please give it a try.

In short, it hides the banner ads and some unnecessary portion from the prothom-alo site.

Please leave a comment if you liked it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mission peak trekking

Last sunday (10/25/2009) me and shishir vai went for another (we did it the earlier week as well) trekking on mission peak. This time we started to ascend at 5:35AM and reached the top by 7:05AM - one and half hour in total. So after a long time I had the privilege to enjoy the sunrise again. It was beautiful - just beautiful. Though it was pretty early, there were a small crowd of people on top. And I overheard this conversation :D

I was a bit reluctant to take my camera with me (it weighs a lot) but had no regret when I reached the top. Here are couple of pictures that I took -

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kids conversation

I went to Mission peak again today. While resting on the top a group of kids (6/7 in total) came up. One of them was very interested in knowing how long it took for them to come up. So he asked the other kids about this. The overheard conversation:

kid 1: How long did it take to come up?
kid 2: one hour.
(Doesn't believe his answer.. turned to another one)
kid 1: How long did it take?
kid 3: (sarcastic) A looong time.. (chuckles)
(Now getting annoyed by this answer turned to another one)
kid 1: How long did it take to come up?
kid 4: We started at six and now its eight o three. Umm so one hour..
       Oh wait.. two hours
kid 1: two hours!!! can't believe it.

I have no idea why I liked this conversation - but hell yeah - keep asking questions as long as you don't get the answer (possibly the one you want to hear) :)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Waiting for my Galileoscope

Got mail from the Galileoscope that my one will be shipped end of next week and I can expect it by end of October. This is quick compared to all the reviews I read before, people waited for more than two/three months to get this in hand. I ordered on September 15th. I am so excited! Cant wait!!

Click to order your Galileoscope!

Got my Galileoscope on 16th Oct. Just assembled the parts - No moon so no viewing.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Disappointed at Blood Donation Center

Today after a long time I went to a Blood Donation Center. But there I came to know that I am not an eligible donor. According to FDA rules I have to stay here in US for three consecutive years to be eligible. That sucks. But I think FDA is right. They seems to have lots of different restrictions based on donor's previous geological, medical, habitual history. Well I don't think I won't be staying in US for three consecutive years. So no luck on donating in US.

Note to thyself - Donate when I visit my home country.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Modifying Flickr feeds through Yahoo Pipes

Flickr api provides rss feeds which I think is really awesome. I can get all my friends updates right within Google Reader. But there is a caveat, those feeds comes with only small size images. So I searched around flickr api to find feeds with bigger size images - but there were none. But luckily there is yahoo pipes. As the feed already has the image url, I can just change the width and height of <img> attribute and get better images in the feed.

So here is what I got. If you want feeds from one individual, then you can use this pipe (or this pipe) to get feed with larger images. Here is my flickr stream feed. And when I ran through yahoo pipes I got this feed.

I liked this pipe very much. Its simple and basically it can set any flickr stream feeds images to larger images. Now you can pipe feeds from your contacts or from friends & family.

Friday, October 02, 2009

How to approach an engineer?

If you need to talk to your co-worker who happens to be an engineer, then never (i mean never) go and tap him/her to start the conversation. It will freak him out. And in case he is listening to some music with his headphones on (which is true 90% case) then tapping him may make him fall from his chair. So don't do it. If you want to talk.. then send an im first. That the best practiced approach. Thats the general norm. :D

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Best place to buy used photography items

If you are looking for used photography items, this is the best place to buy. Why? - cause the rating they uses is pretty strict. I bought several items from here and found items graded lower than they should be. Like new (LN-) items are marked as excellent (EX). So you can blindly keep faith on their grading. The price a little bit high though. But the satisfaction you get from the product - thats worth it.

in reference to: KEH Camera: Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Film Cameras, Laptop Computers and More. (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fireworks photography

I found it quite hard to take fireworks pictures. When visiting Lake Tahoe over the labor day weekend I suddenly came across the fireworks show near south Lake Tahoe. This was my first time to take fireworks pics. The main problem i faced is its very hard to predict where the main burst will happen. So framing is damn difficult. Next problem is you will want better DOF to get the whole fireworks in focus, I tried with F2.8 but found F8 or higher would be better. So for that you will need some pretty slow shutter-speed. So if you are without a tripod then don't expect to get 'awesome' fireworks pics - though you might get some decent one.

Anyway here are the ones that I got

After searching on internet for fireworks photography, I found these setting. Next time I am gonna try these.

Exposure - Shutter Priority (6/8 sec)
ISO - (upto good level of your camera)
WB - AUTO (shoot raw and you can fix it later if not good)
Focus Length - Manually to Infinity
Extra - Tripod, Shutter Release

Exposure - Manual
Shutter Speed - 6/8/10/15 sec(vary it if you got time)
Aperture - F8/F13.. (might try F2.8 or lower)
ISO - (800+)
Focus - Infinity
Extra - Tripod, Shutter Release

Another thing to keep in mind - Fireworks emits heavy light so exposing for long time will overexpose your image.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Geotagging your photo...

I have been searching for program that can geotag my pictures based on a gpx file. On my android phone I have this awesome app called 'MyTracks'. It records GPS tracks and let you view live data. The sweet part is this data can be exported as gpx file. There are few softwares that lets you geotag your photos based on this. I am using Jeffery Friedl's GPS plugin for Adobe lightroom. I like this plugin cause it doesn't hamper the workflow of post processing. And it works like a charm. There is also Geotag, a java software which lets you do the same thing.

I have geotagged my team offsite pictures. Here is the result.

Google Reader team on a boat trip..

On september 2, we, all the members of Google Reader team went to a boat trip in San Francisco Bay area. This was our official team offsite and it was great fun. We played this song several times and I think its still circling inside my head. Surprisingly the weather was too good that day, warm and sunny - not like typical San Francisco weather. It was almost 2 and half hours journey. Here is the route map generated from my android phone.

As usual, didn't miss the chance to take few shots. Here is the album.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Harry Potter and The Magical Wand

Few days back I watched the 'Harry potter and The Half Blood Prince' movie. Then this thought came into my mind. Who are those who uses the wand (or wand like) objects in the real world.

Well here is for one.. the real magcian.. just 'swish and flick'.. Just fast forward 20 secs..

And here is one of my fav scene from the Harry potter movie..

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Photography Experiments : Water droplets

I haven't done any shooting or experiments lately. Got my tripod few days back. I bought Benro C-258 M8 and Benro B-3 Ballhead. So far I am satisfied with the tripod.

Yesterday I tried to take a picture of water droplets. Here are the pics:

Water droplets

A drop of water

I had to set the focusing manually cause the lens was having very hard time focusing on the droplets. Strobist info: I used white background, SB-600 at 24mm, 1/16th power placed 1 feet away from the drops. And It was triggered by gadget infinity's cactus v4. Camera's white balance was set to tungsten to get the blue effect.

Update: I tried to describe the whole process here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Google Profile Business Cards

Few days back Google announced free business cards for anyone who has google profile. I already had my profile created. So I took the chance to get some geeky business card (and of course the main reason = it was free). My 25 cards arrived earlier this week. Here is the picture of my card.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Awesome videos on Digital Photography

Here are few great videos on digital photography I found on youtube. These are mostly on off camera flash photography. First one is a video series made by photographer Bert Stephani. Its called the "Confession of a Photographer". Here it goes.

Also check out other videos made by Bert.

The second one is by Mark Wallace of This series called "Digital Photography One on One".

You should watch his other videos other videos.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Photographers Legal Rights

I have found a great document on legal rights of photographers. I think every photographer should know whats legal to shot and what not, also whats legal to publish. The document explains what to do if confronted for photography.

Download the flyer from I think its good to have one copy in your camera bag.

Also read Legal rights of photographers written by Andrew Kantor.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ebooks on Digital Photography

I have found a good collection of e-books on digital photography. I haven't read all of them. So I can't tell you which one is good and which one is not. I am definitely planning to read few of them - at least the books by famous Ansel Adams. You can download them from here.

If you happen to know any good books on photography, please leave the name in the comment section.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cleaning my Nikon D40x camera sensor

Today I got my DSLR sensor cleaning kit from copperhill images. Few days back I tested the sensor for dust and I found plenty of them. I never did this before so I was a little bit afraid. But anyway did it. The result is awesome. Almost all the dust are gone. This video helped me a lot. I just omitted cleaning with the old pec pad and the vacuum cleaner. Though I think you should read the instructions carefully given in copper hill images website.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

My n-th impression on the movie - Dead Poets Society

Tonight I recapped one of my all time famous movie - Dead Poets Society. Every time I watch this movie I feel pleasure and sorrow both at the same time. It just gets better and better. I dunno if I said the same thing about other movies - even if I say so, that list would be really short.

There is lots of things to learn from this movie. As one commenter rightly said in imbd comments - "There is so much good about this movie". I don't want to write more about this movie. I just want to recite one of poems mentioned in the movie. Its by Robert Herrick. The poem titled - "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time".

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.

Poem quoted from wikipedia.

P.S: I remember now where I have seen this movie for the first time. It was in 2001 - In a film festival arranged by BUET-98 Electrical batch. I was young and I just believed in a movie there has to love affairs or great fights. I was so wrong. This movie showed me another world - movies are not just about romance and fights, it can also perfectly portray our day to day life and doing that it can just be extra-ordinary.

Carpe Diem

Friday, April 24, 2009

Color Degradation in Adobe Lightroom

Surprise! Surprise. I was totally in dark about this. Nikon's raw format (NEF Files) is proprietary. I didn't know that. Thus Adobe Lightroom couldn't render the images properly. I was so pissed of, I see beautiful color in my camera lcd but when I open it in lightroom, it kind of blurs out. Then I tried to open the file with Nikon's Capture NX. And voila. It renders the images properly. Now I love the options and workflow of Lightroom and I don't want to buy Capture NX (yes, its not free). So what should I do? The gurus here already faced this and they also found the way around. Apparently Adobe released DNG Profilers in their labs. You just have to select the correct camera profile. There is another way to cope with this. Shoot in NEF+JPEG mode. It will eat up your CF card space but you won't have to worry about post-processing that much. As Most of the time I just do cropping. If you need to post process then you have the NEFs as backup.

Here is the comparison with one image which is just coverted to JPEG from NEF by both softs without any edit. Capture NX one resembles the exact color.

Earth Day 2009 @ Google

April 22 is the Earth Day. This year we celebrated this with the theme "Lesser Energy Use". From office We got 2 LED Bulbs. This bulbs suppose to consume 50% less energy than the CFL ones. I am just happy as I got a geeky T-Shirt as well. Happy Earth Day.
Official Google Post about Earth Day

My T-Shirt

CFL Bulbs

Monday, April 20, 2009

Trekking at Mission Peak

Spring is here in California. The days are long and weather is just right for trekking. So we bunch of out of shape guys decided to trek at Mission Peak of Fremont. We were 6 in total. People goes here for normal backyard walk. Its only 2,517 feet high and 2.7 mile walk to reach the summit. Even so it proved quite hard for us. I haven't done any trekking for long time, I think it was july, 2008.

We started to ascend at 4pm. On our way to the top I thought several times to stop and go back. I don't know what kept me going, maybe it was the lure of taking pictures from the top, or just the kids who are going up. But despite of all the odds we didn't give up and finally reached the summit at 6:05pm. All of us were exhausted by then. But the feelings of reaching the top, the determination and not giving up made the whole effort worthwhile.

I didn't take that much photos while going up. Guess I was too tired to take the snaps. I did take few from the top. Here is few of them.


We started to descend at 7pm. Everything was fine but then I slipped. It was all because of my shoes. My elbow got scratched. Thank god that I only slipped once, with those shoes i was lucky not to slip again. Lesson learned in hard way.

hiking information

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Random snaps of flowers

I have got my Nikon D40x almost 3/4 months now. But I haven't done any serious experiments with that so far. However this week I tried to take few snaps around my apartment and my office. Most of them targeted to flowers. Feel free to comment if you like/dislike any of these.

You can see all my flickr pics here.

BTW: Most of the pics taken with the awesome AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G lens.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Back in social networking.

After a long time break, I am back again in all my social networks. Why? Yes I know its lots of time in waste. But again I miss the fun of not knowing whats going on. So people get ready. I will be poking around you even if you don't want to. :D

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Movie: 'Children of Heaven'

I just watched this movie named 'Children of Heaven' (imdb link) . Its an Iranian film made by Majid Majidi. I once heard that Iranian movies known to be simple yet powerful. And believe me, after watching this one, I totally agree with that. I don't want to say anything about this movie as it might spoil the fun. I highly recommend everyone to watch this. I guarantee that you won't regret it.

Here is the link if you want to watch it in youtube.