Dec 032014

For Thanksgiving, we embarked on a hiking trip through Cottonwood and Marble Canyons in Death Valley National Park. It was an orienteering hike, in that there was no signage the entire way, and we would have to depend on old fashioned maps and compass most of the way. In addition, there was no guarantee that would be water through the 4-day hike, so I ended up carrying 11 liters in. Here’s the National Park Service info page on the hike, and below is a topo of the two canyons. View Larger Map If you’re going to do the hike, I’d recommend these maps: Cottonwood Canyon 7.5′ USGS Topo 2012, Harris Hill 7.5′ USGS Topo 2012, East of Sand Flat 7.5′ [more . . .]

Jan 062013

Back in November, I took a two-week vacation down to Argentina and Patagonia. I’ve finally uploaded the photos online. Please go view the full album here! Some selected ones below: Butterflies in Iguazu: Iguazu Falls Panorama: Perito Moreno Glacier: Torres del Paine: Bariloche: Recoleta Cemetary:

Feb 252012

Continued from Part I. (For the complete set of photos, see the SmugMug gallery.) On one of the days, we headed over to Mono Lake for the sunset. We were hoping to catch sight of some of the brine flies that we saw on Life (or was it Planet Earth?), but the main visitor center and local interpretive centers were closed, so we ended up going to the southern tufas, where none of us have been. Driving down the road to the lake, it looked like this: You can see the tufas near the edge of the lake off in the distance. Tufas are these vertical mineral structure that are built up over thousands of years of underground mineral springs [more . . .]

Feb 252012

(The complete set of photos can be found in my SmugMug gallery.) After the disastrous 2nd annual Mammoth Lakes ski trip, we embarked on our third one this year over MLK weekend. The problem was that there wasn’t any snow in Mammoth Lakes. Well, no problem, some of us said; we’ll just go hiking. And so we hiked through terrain for five days that’s usually completely impassable this time of year save on cross-country skis or snowshoes or crampons. Tioga Pass was open this time of year for the first time since the 1930s, which cut an hour or two from our drive from the Bay Area to Mammoth. Tioga Lake was frozen over though, so we had a bit [more . . .]

Nov 242011

The autumn colors are sparse here in the bay area. Only the rare maple or oak puts on a show of its warmer pigments, and often for just a few days before it realizes that it is in sunny California, and quickly blushes yellowish-brown in embarrassment at its own fortune. When I was out in DC, I brought back the leaves from a few gorgeous maples, and shot them against a black background, much like the maple leaf I had shot over a year ago. The full album is here, but below are some of my favorites from the shoot. Cartenoids aplenty: Some veins are better at supplying the chlorophyll nutrients than others: Freckles: Beautiful lobes: A guest photo by [more . . .]

Aug 202011

Someone recently contacted me to ask the following question: What is the probability that two students, each taking the same multiple choice exam, with q possible answers per question, will get k or more identical answers in a row? I initially imagined this to be straightforward. It’s just a sequence of n Bernoulli trials with p=1/q, with k successes, right? Probably just a few terms clumped with a binomial distribution? Oh, boy was I wrong. Go try it out. MathWorld has an especially interesting solution:

May 312011

A few weeks ago, I was walking past the Lorry Lokey labs and the Mudd Chemistry Building on Stanford campus, when I noticed how interesting the bamboo that lined the exteriors of the buildings looked in the evening light. If you just let your eyes drift, the bamboo is so thick that it creates this relaxing background. And if you look closer, and near the ground, where it’s dark, the bit of light that filters in gives the bamboo shoots some incredible highlights.

Jul 292010

It has been three weeks and three days since I began my quest for a photo a day, for a year, and already, I have noticed how difficult it is to take a quality shot every day, especially when you often return from work after sunset. However, I have also started noticing all sorts of small details in my daily routine as I constantly search for interesting subjects and patterns of light for my daily photos. The way the light shines on the neighbors’ hedges as I go for a run, the patterns of steel girders on a building in downtown Palo Alto, the way the sidewalk seems to subtly change shades depending on the color of reflected light from [more . . .]

Jul 182010

A little over a week ago, I decided to start my attempt at taking an interesting photograph a day, for a year. It’s a little frightening to commit to this, considering that I have never failed to renege on a majority of my summer plans, but I hope that by doing this, and announcing to everyone that I’m doing this, I will, (1) have an excuse to take my camera to even more places than I am already–yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s possible; (2) hopefully improve my photography, and practice thinking about the three D’s of photography: destination, determination, deliberation; and (3) quickly run out of the easy things to photograph–the cats, the housies, the flowers, [more . . .]