Todd Heather Alex |

There are always many current photos and videos of Alex on Alex's page.

September 28, 2011

September 16, 2011

August 12, 2011

Video: Lego Rope Crawler

August 12, 2011

The International Space Station as seen from Sugar Land, Texas. The ISS flew over the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern United States. The center of the image is looking southeast. Four 30-second exposures.

July 4, 2011

Video: Fireworks

June 21, 2011

June 12, 2011

May 30, 2011

Video: Snap Circuits Time Lapse

May 26, 2011

This red-shouldered hawk was on our fence this morning, looking for sticks. It flew down into our yard after studying the ground from its perch on the fence. It grabbed a stick with its beak and returned to its perch on the fence. It then moved the stick to its right foot and flew off.

Its other leg and foot is tucked into its feathers.

May 22, 2011

Not yet...

Now!!! A Green Heron going for the catch...

This Green Heron was fishing at the pond in Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston during the Art Car celebrations.

The heron used its bill to spear the fish.

Baby Muscovy Ducks. Cute now, ugly later.

May 15, 2011

Alex and I made an electromagnet this weekend. He wanted to know how a speaker worked, so I thought that making an electromagnet would be a good project and might help him understand a bit better. I don't know if he really understood, but it was fun.

Details: 30-40 wraps of 22 gauge wire (thinner would be better I think). 6x 1.5v AA batteries. Batteries and the electromagnet connected to a momentary switch on a breadboard. Note that this is essentially a short circuit, so the batteries can get a little warm.

April 30, 2011

Video: Time Lapse of spheres that absorb water. These are from one of Alex's science kits. Time span is about four hours. The camera was set to run through 580 exposures every 20 seconds, but that wasn't enough time -- so I added 80 more after noticing the camera stopped taking photos. I also added more water at this time.

April 2, 2011

Wisconsin trip, February 2011

January 12, 2011

Self-portrait with new camera. PP in PSPXI.

January 8, 2011

This guy was using dry-ice (frozen CO2) and a grinder to modify (fix?) a seam.

December 24, 2010

December 10, 2010

Alex loves playing with Scratch. This is the super-simple code needed for the above program. This isn't one of his programs, but I may post some of his programs in the future.

June 12, 2010

Alex at Quintana Beach County Park

May 17, 2010

I have posted three videos of Alex reading on Alex's page.

April 24, 2010

A family photo I took. It only took 50 or so shots to get something decent where all of us were smiling, Alex was looking at the camera, and a ray of sunshine wasn't finding its way through the trees onto someone's face or head.

Detail: Remote trigger via my laptop and Canon EOS Utility (4 groups of 10 frames w/ 5 sec delay between each shot), Canon 30D, 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 @ f/4, 1/50 sec, exp. bias +1/3, ISO 100, on-camera fill flash, RAW. Processed over-, under-, and correctly exposed shots in Canon Digital Photo Professional and then generated a high-dynamic range image in Photomatix 3.2. Tone-mapped the HDR and used this image for most of the background and a small bit of the three of us. Put this layer on top of the correctly-exposed jpg-from-RAW. Used some selection/masking to selectively brighten the three of us (except the dark pants), as the three of us were too dark and the background was already too bright. Final layering, masking, touch-up, etc, performed with Paint Shop Pro XI.

I realized that the background was going to be close to blowing out while setting up the shot, so I looked for a different area close by our house. Unfortunately, I didn't find a better place where I could keep the background sufficiently far away (to keep it blurred) and have the backgound be the same brightness as the (necessarily) shaded subject matter. So I turned on the flash and took the photos in RAW and hoped I could fix us (being underexposed) and reclaim the background from the RAW headroom. I didn't completely succeed, and a bit more work in post might have yielded a better result, but hey, this isn't my day job. I probably also should have used my external flash for more power and waited until later in the day when the sun wasn't so bright (creating such a dynamic range). Of course, I didn't realize I would need the flash until Alex was already ready to go, so I just used the on-board flash. And when your three year old is ready for family photos, you start taking photos...

April 6, 2010

Future Astronaut? Engineer? Scientist?

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