google-site-verification: google617314e106a28fde.html

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Or Leave the Knot Off the End of the String, and You'll Have a Perfect Metaphor for Housework

Here's a little bead lacing toy I put together for Ellen:

All I did was buy some large wooden beads and some shoelaces and make a little bag to keep them in. I thought I'd post it as a cheap & simple gift idea. Tie a bead onto the end of each lace to keep the others from sliding off.

Of course, these beads would be too small for a baby still in the choking hazard stage. And of course any toy with loose, small parts is fatally flawed, but we'll see how it goes. I thought putting the clear window in the bag might make putting the beads back in more appealing. Yeah, wish me luck with that one.

So far, Adam and Zuzu are more interested in it than Ellen. Adam spent a long time carefully filling his whole shoelace, asked me to tie it for him, and proudly marched out to show off his new necklace around the neighborhood.

I wish my camera handled lower-light conditions better. For these pictures, auto mode turned on the flash, which looks like this:

The focus is sharp enough, but the lighting is totally unnatural. So I always wind up turning the flash off. And then I get images like this:

Now the lighting looks much better -- just like it really did in the room -- but the shutter has to stay open so long to collect enough light that the subjects come out blurry. This is the clearest one I could get out of dozens I tried with the flash off:

So I set it back to auto and let the flash do its thing:

Not bad, but still the lighting looks so different from what my eye sees. So, let's turn the flash off again . . .

And so on, ad nauseum.

Somebody should design a camera that interfaces with my eyeballs. I've got some sweet lenses in there. You should see how well my eyeballs handle all kinds of light conditions.


Anonymous said...

very cool. I like the clear storage bag. I tend to like clear storage. Something about being able to see what's in there without having to dig through the bag. My newest makeup storage is just a small clear snap tupperware. I've liked it.

Anonymous said...

haha, I just came back, which made me pay better attention to the title of the post. Nice one.

Stephen said...

Yeah, clever title.

As to the lighting comparison, I prefer the "unnatural" lighting. In it, the skin tones look perfectly natural to me. When people are the subject, I always want good skin tone.

Anonymous said...

After taking a bunch of photos of t-shirts last night, I ended up preferring the flashless pics because the colors were more true. But, unlike their diminutive wearers, tee shirts aren't in constant motion. (That reminds me that I meant to take a pic of Rose and Henry in their new tees today, but I missed the window of good light. Maybe this evening.)

That's a fun toy. It's great how something simple but with a great design can fascinate kids.

hannah said...

I also have this problem when taking pictures. Flash makes for bad lighting, but if the kids hold still long enough to take a good picture, they are unnatural looking.

Pilcrow said...

They do make a lens that matches your eye; look up "nifty fifty," i.e., a 50mm ƒ1.8 or better still ƒ1.4 (the Canon ƒ1.2 is fantastic, as close to magic as you can buy, but not worth the extra $1200). You are definitely ready for a good DSLR. I recommend the Canon XSI, or better still the 50D. I'd put links to shops in my comment but I'm afraid blogspot would tag this comment as spam :-P

Time to do some research on cameras, hun!

Shane's Angie said...

OK, I'm still amazed at the fact that you "made" the bag. Who does that? Apparently, you do! Kudos!

Pilcrow said...

I came back to say that your title for this post is really clever. Also, buy a DSLR.