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Monday, October 30, 2006

I Miss Film

Shot using Alien Skin's Exposure. A plug-in that simulates tons of different films and settings. This simulates the legendary Ilford HP5 Plus 400 (pushed 1-stop). I really like the program's interpretation of this film. Judging from the shots I've seen using the real life counterpart, this is pretty accurate.

Or more specifically manual film SLR's. I noticed this today when I was having trouble figuring the manual settings on my 350D. Using a dial clicker and a button is a boring way to set shutter and exposure. Not only that, but there is no way to turn off the light meter. Part of the magic of my film SLR's was the fact that neither of their light meters worked (well anyway). When I got a shot that was just the right exposure, it was something to be proud of because I accurately calculated the exposure in my head while looking at the scene. When I got it wrong, there was something to correct.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Rebel. It's become a part of my vision, as did the Yashica. It's got a lot of great features and the lens options are outstanding. I can't help but miss the options of film. Knowing that the choice in film either made a shot or broke a shot. Too much grain or too little. Fine details or details lost among the tones. Even toning or hard contrast. It wasn't just point, compose, expose, post process. It was a mystery with an added confidence that "I got this right without a doubt." Well, sometimes.

Will I "go back" to film? Not necessarily. However, I either want to fix one of my film SLR's or purchase a cheap fully manual SLR (in the flavor of M42 mount or the old Minolta mount system). If I never get a great shot or a popular shot out of a film camera, at least I stay brushed up on my scene exposing skill. Something I feel I'm losing by using a camera that automates so much of what I enjoy.

Just thinking.
Currently Listening To: A Perfect Circle - Blue - Thirteenth Step - 2003

Friday, October 27, 2006

Windows Vista RC1: Round Two

Pro: Dual-boot works without a hitch, however, there are minor glitches with shortcuts and the "old.Windows" folder.

Con: Simply shutting down Vista takes about one full minute.

I was very worried about what would happen when I restarted and booted the old WinXP install. Worried that that install would no longer work. I was worried for no reason though as the only problems encountered are iTunes 6 complaining about a bad install (but working fine), Firefox taking a second longer to load up (oh boo hoo), and shortcut images going blank.

Just a couple updates about Vista RC1...

The install is a whopping 5.5 GB! WHOA! No wonder the DVD ISO was 4 GB.

nVidia's graphics options are nearly impossible to get into. Once I do, I have to get around the silly menu made up for it. This is an nVidia issue, but it'd still be nice for Vista to offer the options on the display options tab instead of being hidden in the control panel.

The application protection program is highly annoying. When any program is run (even some of the Windows internals), it asks the same "Allow" or "Do Not Allow" questions as the firewall. While I can see why this is good to an extent, it's also very silly for experienced users. But, that's why they included the option of disabling it (which makes the security manager go red).

Next do benchmarks and game tests. I'm curious to see if the 64-bit code will have an effect on my system's performance. Most benchmarks I've seen show slightly decreased performance in games by using 64-bit. We shall see.
Currently Listening To: A Perfect Circle - People Are People - eMOTIVe - 2004

Windows Vista RC1

It's hard to say exactly how I feel about Vista RC1. On one hand, it's got a ton of great features, is very slick, and looks daggum pretty. Especially in motion. I haven't had any real compatibility problems (even the beta X-fi drivers are working great). One big downside I'd like to mention though... restarting takes roughly two minutes on my machine. Two freaking minutes. Compared to the 30 seconds or less of WinXP. However, this is just a beta, so I can't really complain too much. Perhaps all of this will be worked out. Another plus: iTunes 7 runs without a hitch. Go figure..
Currently Listening To: Massive Attack - Angel - Mezzanine - 1998

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Haha, my mom is funny and she doesn't even know it. I really love how cross processing this shot really brings out mom's blue eyes. When I did the solid color muliply layer of yellow, I nudged it more towards the green than usual. I felt it rounded out the skin tones better and made everything else pop. Mom would kill me if she saw this, but I see it as fair for not reading my blog. ;) lololol
-Technical Junk IN YOUR FACE-
(wondering when the "your mom" joke will sprout from that title)

Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT)
Lens: Canon 18-55mm
Filter(s): None
Flash: Vivitar 2000, overhead bounce.
Shutter Speed: 1/50th of a second
F/number (aperture): f/6.3
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 54mm
Post: Processed JPEG in CS2, unsharp mask, cross-processed (E6 to C-41), framed.
Currently Listening To: Third Day - Your Love Endures - Conspiracy No. 5 - 1997

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Vivitar 2000 Flash Unit

When Pawpaw gave me his Minolta film SLR, he also gave me this Vivitar flash. The batteries in it were old and I never though to replace the four inexpensive AA's. Well, this morning I did. I turned it on and heard the high pitched sound of the unit charging. When the orange light came on, I started popping off shots on my 350D. The 350D didn't compensate for the flash as it didn't detect it. But it didn't take much for me to find the right timings in manual mode. It's remarkable how much of a difference a "bounced" flash can make. This unit won't turn left or right, but the flash head will tilt up and straight. By pointing the unit up, I can bounce light off of the ceiling, thus illuminating things in a much more natural looking light. There is no soft diffuser on this unit, but I plan on getting one as the head on flash is powerful.

This is (of course) me in my sexy work shirt. This is a very unremarkable bathroom mirror shot. However, there is much more to this than initially meets the eye. If you'll notice, the flash head is pointed up, thus bouncing light back down onto me. Not only that, but I'm holding this expensive camera with one hand very dangerously over a hard, hard floor... crap.. okay, that has nothing to do with the photo, just noticing. Anyway, the thing that stands out about this shot is the fact that it was taken in the bathroom with the light off.. and the door closed. Yes, there was no ambient light in the room, at least not a visible amount. Want proof? How about a close-up of my (weird looking) dilated pupils?

Yep, this is a decent flash. These shots were taken at 1/15th of a second with an aperture of 6.3f. ISO was 100.
Currently Listening To: Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall (Part II) - The Wall - 1979


Praying Mantis are one of the strangest creatures on earth. The little black dots for eyes, the creepy form of their bodies, and their unusual behaviour. I tried to capture all of that in this shot. I chose not to relocate the mantis to a more natural location, as our electrical meter box provided a more alienated look.
-Technical Mumbo Jumbo-

Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT)
Lens: Canon 18-55mm
Filter(s): None
Shutter Speed: 1/125th of a second
F/number (aperture): f/8.0
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 55mm
Post: Processed JPEG in CS2, levels, unsharp mask, cross-process, framed.
Currently Listening To: Institute - Secrets and Lies - Distort Yourself - 2005


Yes!!! Finally, nine-thousand pageviews on deviantART! Bwahahahahaaa!
Currently Listening To: Lifehouse - Walking Away - Lifehouse - 2005

Monday, October 23, 2006


Thanks to Congressman Ed Whitfield and Col. Boggess of the Army Reserve, I finally get what I deserve for joining the military during wartime. After some jerk SSG screwed my contract and lied to me, it's good to see that SOMEONE in the Army gives a crap that I signed up. Even my Unit Admin didn't put an effort to help me out in my problem. He didn't contact a single fricking person. So with dad's help, I went higher. Much higher. Here is an excerpt of the letter I received today. The monetary values have been x'ed out, but the figure is correct.

"Private Potts is assigned to a unit within the 88th Regional Readiness Command. The Incentives Branch of this Headquarters reviewed Private Potts' contract and determined he is entitled to receive an $xxxx Non-Prior Service Enlistment Bonus, a $xxxx Quick Ship Bonus, the Student Loan Repayment Program up to $20,000, and the Montgomery GI Bill.

This Headquarters has authorized an exception policy for Private Potts to receive the bonus payment due to him. Private Potts' Unit Administrator will submit all required documentation to Fort McCoy Pay Center. Upon receipt, the Fort McCoy Pay Center will process his paperwork and Private Potts will receive payment within 4 to 6 weeks. His unit will monitor this action to ensure he receives payment."

It's about f'ing time. I will definately be writing a personal thank you to Congressman Whitfield, and he most certainly gains my vote.
Currently Listening To: A Perfect Circle - Thinking of You - Mer de Noms - 2000

Sweet Molasses

Mmmm! While I was in Wynne, AR, I picked up some delicious molasses. I even watched them make molasses the old fashioned way, very cool. Anyway, here is a biscuit with molasses drizzled all over it. I am certainly not posting this as a piece of art photography wise, as the true art here is the sweet golden goodness. Mmm... The only thing better than this on a biscuit is pure honey (with the comb in it).
-Technical Mumbo Jumbo-

Camera: Canon 350D (Digital Rebel XT)
Lens: Canon 18-55mm
Filter(s): None
Shutter Speed: 1.3 seconds
F/number (aperture): f/5.6
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 55mm
Post: Processed JPEG in CS2, levels, unsharp mask, framed.
Custom Function: Mirror lockup. When this function is active, the mirror will lock up when I depressed the shutter button once. It will stay locked up until I hit the button again. At that time, the shutter will fire and the mirror will drop back down. This eliminates mirror vibration, thus keeping finer details intact. Essential for macro photography.
Currently Listening To: Thomas Newman - Any Other Time - American Beauty Soundtrack - 1999

Sunday, October 22, 2006

O M G! Bow & arrow skillz!

We were having some bow & arrow fun at Alicia's today and WOW.. talk about some fun! I do believe I found yet another hobby. Oh, that picture up there? Yeah. I was the first to hit a bullseye. You know how many times I've shot a bow? Never, with the exception of today. Seriously. You should've seen the look on my face. I still can't believe I got it... Wow. I believe we were anywhere from 25 to 50 meters from the target. So not a super hard shot, but very difficult for a complete beginner like me. After that point, Jessica and I kept shooting for a while and that was a lot of fun. We were both getting pretty good at it.

More photos to come, I took 237 while I was in Memphis and Wynne, AR.
Currently Listening To: Gary Moore - Devil In Her Heart - Out in the Fields - The Very Best of Gary Moore

Thursday, October 19, 2006

X-Fi SCP Fix?

A most unusual thing has happened. Somehow, I was able to uninstall every last bit of Creative data from the initial X-Fi install, and still be able to install the latest 2.9.1 driver. This is great because now my X-Fi actually works without crackling (for now), and instead of taking up 843 MB, it's only taking 732 KB. No bloated install, and no sluggish interface. How did this happen? I can only find two things wrong with this current setup. One, I cannot adjust my bass redirection. This would be a bad thing if I didn't know to tone down the Window's bass slider and up the sub slider on the speakers (not exactly a 200 Hz, 15 dB gain, but it keeps my tiny sat speakers from buzzing). The second problem is not being able to access the THX setup. I can setup everything else, but I can't adjust the speaker distance and angle compensation. Not that big of a deal though.

Currently, I can't really complain. It sounds as great as it did the first time around, possibly even better. I can still use CMSS-3D* and SVM** for my music, and quickly turn them off before a game. I stress tested the card last night with the demo for Quake 4. Why Quake 4? It uses OpenAL, something that sounds great while stressing every last feature of the card. There were about a dozen fixes for this game in one of the driver updates. Worked without a hitch. Never a pop, crackle, or unusual noise. If this is currently working like this, how come Creative's most recent update on fixing SCP is to use a motherboard other than an nForce4 chipset? Sorry Creative, I like my nTune, onboard gigabit ethernet (like I'll ever use it to full potential), and onboard raid abilities. OH, and I like money. Something that's required for buying a motherboard.
*CMSS-3D: Upmixes 2 channel audio to either expand stereo or expand surround. It runs realtime in hardware making my 2ch music seem like it's 5.1ch music. Works great.

** SVM: You know how iTunes has volume management? Yeah, this is the same thing except in hardware. Real-time calculation of all audio passing through the sound card. This is great for playing games at night when everyone is in bed, or playing music at night.
Currently LISTENING(!) To: Snow Patrol - Run - Final Staw - 2004

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

FEAR! Beat Again...

(not original size)
I beat fear again today. I've been playing it on hard and it was definately a challenge. Next I might try expert.. but that's going to be insanely difficult. As is playing Far Cry on its most difficult setting. Stupid Trigens.... >.<

Currently Listening To: Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees (Acoustic)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Halloween

A Halloween themed shot for an early "happy halloween" . I'm not much for Halloween, but oh well.
Currently Listening To: Rage Against The Machine - Born Of A Broken Man - Platinum Collection 2000

Monday, October 16, 2006

Photography! Part One

Grats to Steven on your new camera! I understand that moving from a consumer point & shoot to a better equipped camera can mean a LOT of questions. Things that didn't really play a big part in a point and shoot camera can play a much larger part in a better camera. With my old A520, aperture was mainly ignored. It wasn't a telephoto lens, and with an aperture range of 2.6 - 8.0, it was mainly "set it to 2.6 for macro/portrait, and somewhere around 8.0 for landscapes." I don't know your complete knowledge of photography terms and such, but I'll try to start from the top of what I know and just go with it. Maybe there will be something useful in it all. OH! My grammar and spelling sucks.

1. ISO (also known as ASA or "film speed")

This is known by most that have ever touched a camera, whether it be a film or digital. The "speed" of the film or sensor is how fast the chemicals or sensor reacts to light. 50-200 is considered slow, where as 400-3200 is fast to extremely fast. Ever buy 400 ISO film for a camera? Sure, it does what it says and is great for indoor/outdoor photography. Ever get pictures that look like they have sand all over them? This is called grain and most are already familiar with this. For film, grain can sometimes add to an image and give it a certain desired look of being aged or stressed. However, digital's equivilent "noise" is rarely desired and can really ruin a great shot. For reducing digital noise, I'd recommend doing a google search for "Neat Image." This is an amazing program that actually uses your camera's uniquie noise signature and makes a profile for it. Anyway, the general rule is: the higher the speed, the more grain/noise, especially in low light.

1a: ISO "bloom"

Using a high ISO in non-low light requires a fast shutter speed and a small aperture. I've found that by using a high ISO with a wide aperture, but using an even faster shutter speed, light seems to "bloom" around its source(s). Sometimes an interesting effect can be achieved from this.

2. Shutter Speed

This is how fast the shutter opens and closes in the camera. My camera has the ability to click as fast as 1/4000th of a second or as slow as.. well.. as long as the battery will work. Without using a timer for the "bulb" setting, it goes as slow as 30 seconds. However, by setting it to "bulb" and using a timer, it is possible to hold a shutter open for an hour, sometimes more. This is how photographers grab photos of stars trailing across the sky. General rule: a fast shutter will "freeze" action, while a slow shutter will show the course of the action (motion blur). A tripod, or an extremely steady hand, are required for shutter speeds lower than 1/10th in my experience. Remember, if mounted on a tripod, even the motion of your finger hitting the shutter button can jar that first fraction of a second, causing a loss in detail. Use a timed shot!

3. Aperture

Inside every lens there is a diaphram. When purchasing a lens (in the case of SLR users like me), we tend to look for lenses with a very wide aperture for more versitility. The wider the aperture (say, 1.9f or stops), the more light is let in. However, the more light that is let in through this wider aperture, less detail is captured from the unfocused regions of the shot. This is called depth of field. One use of aperture is getting the full shot. If you want to focus on a foreground subject, like your mom, but also want to capture the distant beach behind her, simply set the aperture to a higher f number. The higher you set it, keep in mind that it will have a drastic effect on the amount of light going to the sensor/film. This is even more pronounced when using a telephoto zoom. Sometimes you simply don't have time to mess with aperture, set it to an aperture priority mode. This will allow you to set it to an f number in the middle, such as f/8, and the camera will choose the shutter speed for the scene. Very handy. Stacking is another fun thing to try with aperture. Say you see a row of.. fence posts. Zoom as much as you can and line up where you see the posts going down the row, seemingly right next to eachother. Set the aperture to a high value (f/11, f/16) and take the shot. If done just right, the posts will appear to be in the same field of focus. Fun trick for the eyes. Aperture is usually the most overlooked part of the lens, but it is very important. Want to turn water to silk? Use a tripod, set the ISO as low as it can go, set the aperture to a higher value, and use the slowest shutter speed you can for the metered scene.

And so ends Part One. It's pretty lame and a bunch of stuff you already know, but hey, it can't hurt. If anything it's resparking my creative interest in photography.
Currently Listening To: Michael Buble - The More I See You - It's Time - 2005

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Quick 3DMarks

2.16 GHz 3000+, 400 MHz 1 GB, 7800 GT @ 495/1.13

3DM03: default - 15,799

2.2 GHz 3700+, 400 MHz 1 GB, 7800 GT @ 495/1.13

3DM03: default - 16,117
3dM05: default - 7738
2.6 GHz 3700+, 400 MHz 1 GB, 7800 GT @ 495/1.13

3DM01: 1152x/4x AA - 22,062
3DM03: default - 16,505
3DM05: default - 7827

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Overclocked (of course!)

It's an addiction, honestly. But paying for a 2.2 GHz CPU and then OC'ing it to 2.6 GHz on stock HSF is extremely fun. The stock voltage was 1.35v, which is very nice and all, but as I bumped it up, I obviously needed more. First, I set the HTT multiplier to 4x instead of 5x. The MCP really doesn't like to go beyond an HTT of 1000 MHz. Besides, there is no performance difference between950 MHz and 1000 MHz. Next, I set the memory to 166 MHz so that I wouldn't get memory errors. I wanted to see how far I could push the CPU, not the RAM. If I could get the CPU high enough stable, it would equal out close to the same speed anyhow. As I hit 2.5 GHz, I began getting Prime95 errors even though the temp was still in good range. So I bumped up the volts. At 2.58 GHz, I only needed 1.375v. Not that much of an increase really. However, the jump to 2.6 GHz was an interesting one. 1.375v didn't load windows, 1.40v gave errors in Prime95, but 1.45 was the money spot. Not only did I blaze through the Windows bootup, but Prime95 didn't give on single hiccup. The temps are a little high for my liking, but certainly not in a dangerous range. 45 degrees celsius is still safe, and that's what it capped at after 5 Prime95 CPU torture tests.

This does bring in the video card though. My video card is nicely OC'ed to a quick 495/1.13, with a load temp in the mid 60's celsius. Now, two very hot components can quickly raise the case ambient temp, and thus raise eachother higher and higher during an intense game of Battlefield 2 or something. Whether or not they will be able to rise enough to crash, I don't know yet. But I intend to find out. A new case is perhaps on the horizon. But I'll get my car insurance paid off first I think.. something about priorities. ;)
Currently Listening To: My computer's fans whisping cool air across my totally awesome overclocked goodness.


A643000+ @ 2.16 GHz , 1 GB DDR3200, 7800 GT @ 495/1.13

3DMark03: default - 15,799

A643700+ @ 2.21 GHz, 1 GB DDR3200, 7800 GT @ 495/1.13

3DMark03: default - 16,117

Not only that, but FEAR played WONDERFUL. Better than I have ever seen it play. I never realized how much games and video skipped [on my 3000] until I got this proc. Great stuff. Not to mention, the processor temp has dropped more. Down to 32*C now under slight load, but that's still not where I want it.

The Burn

I must say, I love watching a temp monitor during a CPU burn in. I ran Prime95 for a while on its CPU torture test to get all the AMD goop good and set. Sure, I would've used AS3 for thermal goop, but I didn't have any on hand and didn't think to order any. AMD goop isn't too awful anyway.

Anyhow, the test was fun. The CPU topped out at 48* C, that's pretty warm for a San Diego, being that its core voltage is only 1.35v. But then, even at 100% use, the temp began to fall until it settled at 41* C. I stopped the burn in and watched as it settled back down to 36*. My case temp is to blame when it comes to these higher temps. Hmmm.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Athlon64 3700+

My current overclock with my A643000. This is up from 1.8 GHz. I could push it further by bumping up my voltage slightly, but it's not always stable given the temperature in my room.

2.2 GHz, San Diego E6 core, 1 MB of L2 cache.
I've read about its overclocking potential online with both air cooling and water cooling.
Highest OC I've read of with stock air cooling: 2.8 GHz
Highest OC with Water: 3.2 GHz
Highest OC with Peltier cooling (insane): 3.42 GHz.

Tomorrow I get in my 3700+. I'll run it through the tests and such that anyone should before they OC a new processor. But afterwards we'll see what sort of OC I can get out of the stock cooling option. I'm hoping for 2.6 GHz given my computers highest ambient temp. Also, I'd like to add that the speeds do not compare with Intel Pentium 4's. A 3.2 GHz P4 is no where the same as a 3.2 Athlon64.

My reason for waiting on dual-core: I am buying this processor cheap before all the socket 939's are phased out. Currently, the 939 X2's are being phased out to the point of being very hard to find and expensive when found. I hear that the Windows XP key is tied to the computer's motherboard, so changing mobo and CPU would require a new key. Therefore, I'll be waiting until Vista (when I have to get a new key anyway) to purchase either an Intel Duo2 setup or an AMD AM2 setup. It all depends on price/performance/overclocking. This will give me time to save my money and get something decent. Or at least I hope so. ;)
Currently Listening To: Nine Inch Nails - Closer - The Downward Spiral (Deluxe DVD-A in 5.1)

Monday, October 09, 2006


With no warning today, mom and dad gave away Winston. I didn't even get to express how much I cared for the cat so I could keep him, let alone say bye! I cannot put into words how much this upsets me. I honestly cried today. Yes, they gave him to good people, but that was my cat. And I loved that cat.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

15,002 Songs

Oh yes. It's true. I've cleaned up a bunch of music and I'm still breaking 15k. More to come actually... muhahaha! And I now have the new Skillet album. Finally. One day after Steven, and I pre-ordered the dang thing! Haha, good stuff. And Company of Heroes came in today.. oh my goodness. I can completely see why PC Gamer gave it a 96%. Game of the year, I'm calling it.
Currently Listening To: Dream Theater - Octavarium - Octavarium - 2005
(24 minutes of Dream Theater goodness.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

X-Fi Review

Kaboom! Or something like that. Yes, after several hours of scratching my head, uninstalling drivers, reinstalling drivers, hitting random objects in the room, one blue screen, opening my computer, unhooking, hooking, unhooking again, and hooking again... I finally got my new x-fi working. And trust me, once I did, I was thinking that this better darn well be worth it!! Lucky for me, it totally was. The sound on my Audigy was good and I really didn't think I would notice that big of a difference moving to an x-fi. But the minute I heard the WinXP login chime, I knew this was much better. The highs were sharper, the lows were more defined and the mids were right where they should be. I immediately loaded up iTunes and starting playing some music while the x-fi control panel was up.

First I tried the "24-bit Crystalizer." This was something I was both excited and worried about. I mean, even though the processing power of the x-fi chip rivals that of a slightly older desktop processor, the idea that it could "up-mix" music in real time to 24-bit quality was something to laugh at. Until I actually turned it on. Without a single delay, without a split second of distortion, the audio became even more dynamic sounding. It's difficult for a audio-noob like me to explain, but it all seemed to.. punch more without being overblown (like the "sound enhancer" itunes offers).

The next "test" was for the hardware EQ (controlled by software of course) and the CMSS-3D. The hardware EQ reacts instantly to adjustments, with no hint of distortion. The presets available are accurate, but limited. As for CMSS-3D, it's neat to hear stereo music in "simulated" 5.1. Some sound actually do seem to travel from rear to front and from front to rear, while some simply stay in location. Vocals tend to come from the center channel more often than not. It's pretty impressive given that it's been a gimmick for such a long time. It's still a gimmick for the most part, but it will do until multi-channel audio becomes the norm.

In games I have noticed a slight increase in framerate, but a huge increase in quality and stability. I never realized how much my poor Audigy struggled with Advanced HD until now. Surround in soooo much better and far more believable. The whispers coming from random locations in FEAR are far more frightening. Which brings me to another thing... this has onboard DTS decoding as well as Dolby Digital. And that's not all.. oh no, this board is THX certified and completely customizable. I can adjust all of the THX settings for speaker distance, volume comp, and even the speaker's angle relative to the user! I totally give the x-fi two totally crooked thumbs up (and this isn't even one of the versions with onboard ram).(The other thumb is on the camera)
Currently Listening To: Nobou Uematsu - Divinity II - Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children - 2005


Winston. Picture was shot using the Yashinon-DS 50mm (from the old Yashica) using my 350D. Combination of a polarizing filter and the camera's internal B/W Yellow filter used to deepen detail and contrast. The lens is stuck wide open at f1.9, thus the shallow DOF* and swirling bokeh**.

Got the new soundcard in. I'm about to install it pretty soon. If I go away for a long, long time, I obviously did something terribly wrong.
Currently Listening To: The lack of audio drivers present on my PC.

* D.O.F. meaning "depth of field." Term for the range of focus on a lens according to the aperture used.
** Bokeh is a term given to the out of focus areas present in images. The more the colors "blob" and "smudge" together (sometimes swirling), the more "bokeh." If the out of focus area appears even and colors are still pretty well defined from eachother, the less bokeh. This is from my small understanding of Bokeh, for a better explanation, look it up on Wiki.