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Archive for February, 2007

Sperm dinner in Tokyo

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Dammit. I just found out that the creamy white blob things I ate at my birthday sushi dinner in Tokyo was cod milt, or shirako. Hitomi’s father ordered them for me (I ate what he ate), and when I asked what they were, the translations were all pretty vague. And so I ate them. 4 of the little buggers. And now, I wish that I had photographed the dish.

Would I have eaten them if I had known that they were sacks of cod sperm? Probably, since everything I ate that night (save the cake) was ordered for me by her father. You can’t really not eat something in that situation. In fact, I remember thinking, “I don’t know what these things are, but if I’m going to eat them, I might as well really taste them,” and so I spread each piece over my entire tongue and mouth in order to sample it properly; because I was so deliberate about the experience, I can still vividly remember the vinegared taste…

Anyway, I’m going to order shirako for one of my friends sometime. I’ve read that it can be found in the Bay Area and in New York. I’m pretty sure Patchen would eat it. In fact, he’s probably out trying to find some right now…

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 8 comments » | Feb 28, 2007 02:01:51

“You must have a nice camera.” II

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posted with permission from What the Duck

I love it. Part I of this conversation featured some interesting comments. There’s also an interesting thread running at Wetpixel about the importance of a photographic eye. (thanks, George, for the link to the comic)

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 11 comments » | Feb 28, 2007 01:36:58

Ahhh, fame… sorta

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I’ve been going to the same dive shop in San Francisco for probably about five years now, and the owner is an old-timer who knows a lot of the “greats” who made the industry what it is today.

Rushing in to get out of the freak hailstorm, I went in today to drop off a regulator and dive bag for servicing. During all of my time in the shop, the staff have always been polite and professional, but today, something changed: they discovered that I was the same “Eric Cheng” with a portfolio in Fathoms Magazine, and suddenly, big smiles and friendly banter were unleashed. They asked questions about my experiences, about photography, about the camera I use, and more. With each response, they reciprocated with one of their own experiences, and even broke out some prints to show me.

It’s nice to get a bit of recognition, but I’ll always remember the difference between this visit and my last.

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | no comments » | Feb 28, 2007 01:11:26

Canon virtual lens plant

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The online Canon Camera Museum has an excellent flash presentation about how lenses are made.

In particular, one presentation I found interesting is the virtual lens plant, which takes viewers through all the steps necessary to create and assemble a Canon EF 500mm f/4.0L IS USM Autofocus Lens (a lens I wish I had in my arsenal!). Pretty impressive!

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 2 comments » | Feb 25, 2007 15:25:01

EARTHQUAKE!!

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We were just hit by a big jolt here in Oakland — biggest one I’ve felt in a long time. (it turns out that it was only a magnitude 3.4 quake, but the epicenter was basically where I live).

Oakland, CA | link | trackb | 3 comments » | Feb 23, 2007 15:47:42

PDN’s World In Focus Contest 2007

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jellyfish lake, palau

My image of a bunch of Mastigias sp. jellyfish in Jellyfish Lake, Palau, is a winner in this year’s National Geographic Traveller and Photo District News’s World in Focus professional photography contest. Unfortunately, it appears that the version shown in the winners’ gallery wasn’t converted to sRGB, so it appears in a rather desaturated state.

The website says that winning images will be featured in the February 2007 edition of Photo District News, and will also be displayed in November at the World in Focus Gallery at PhotoPlus Expo in New York.

Nagoya, Japan | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Feb 22, 2007 16:21:38

Bangkok airport sucks

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Bangkok airport is cold and commercial. It reminds me of casinos in Vegas in that they shunt you through long shopping areas to try to entice you to spend money. And there are no chairs anywhere except in places where you have to buy food/drinks. I hate this place. Tony Wu just left here yesterday, and he feels the same way.

I did, however, find a way to get free internet access. Connecting to the airport access point “aotwifi” (the only one I can see right now) and using Firefox or Safari on Mac OS X fails — the access point default page doesn’t allow any actions other than a login (it appears to be broken). But for some reason, running a web browser in Windows XP in Parallels bypasses those screens. So here I am, online. :)

I had a fruit plate at Mango Tree just past the gates at D, and it was really good. I want to come to Thailand for a food-fest one of these days.

Bangkok, Thailand | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Feb 22, 2007 06:54:01

Katsu-don in Bali

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I’m sitting alone at a Japanese restaurant in Sanur called Ryoshi — the very same place Robert Delfs took me to in 2003 during my first visit to Bali. Dave Patchen was with me during that visit, but he had stomach problems and was unable to come out and eat with us.

It’s been a real treat having such an international community of acquaintances and friends, as someone is bound to be wherever I happen to be at the moment. (read more »)

Bali, Indonesia | link | trackb | 6 comments » | Feb 21, 2007 20:28:05

Diving FakFak, Indonesia

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wide-angle at little Komodo, fakfak, indonesia, originally uploaded by echeng.

I love this place. :) (uploaded via BlackBerry while steaming by a little town)

Near FakFak, Indonesia | link | trackb | 4 comments » | Feb 12, 2007 05:36:29

NGO-Photographer Intersection

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Norb and I spent the evening with Robert Delfs, who drove us across to the Kuta side of Bali to a party hosted by Jos (ex-TNC) and Lida Pet (WWF). Also there was Mark Heighes, whom I had only heard about previously from his aunt, Valerie Taylor, and from my friend, Douglas Seifert. Dr. Mark Erdmann (CI) was also there, along with a bunch of small children and Dutch divers.

What I discovered is that everyone seems to know each other in the little intersection between photographers and conservation researchers. (read more »)

Bali, Indonesia | link | trackb | no comments » | Feb 4, 2007 06:13:56

Monterey media bash @ Berk’s place

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monterey underwater media party at berk’s place

Drove down to Monterey with Alissa Everett and Eli Woolery to see Berkeley White and Norbert Wu a couple of weeks ago. ’twas fun.

Singapore Airport | link | trackb | no comments » | Feb 2, 2007 23:26:50

Nash Birthday Party

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photos from the annual nash birthday party
 

Singapore Airport | link | trackb | no comments » | Feb 2, 2007 23:22:18

Gone to West Papua

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Hey friends. I’m off to West Papua, to a region called “FakFak” (yes, it is pronounced the way you think it might be) for the next three weeks. I’m currently on the plane for a layover in Hong Kong. After a few hours in Singapore, a night in Bali, and a short, regional flight, I’ll board a boat for 15 days of exploration before another 3 days of travel back to California.

Yippee! Sit on a couch and watch some movies for me while I’m away. It’s funny how you crave what you don’t have, eh? :)

Hmm. The guy next to me is picking his nose and flicking his booger bounty into my space. Lame.

UPDATE: the flight will be even worse. Tomorrow, I fly Denpasar to Makassar, then to Ambon. Spent the night there, and then on to Kaimana. I don’t even know where kaimana is!!

Hong Kong Airport | link | trackb | 1 comment » | Feb 2, 2007 15:48:48
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