Events Photography

25th Anniversary of the Nutcracker ballet by the ESMDM in Monterrey

A few weeks ago I was invited to the 25th Anniversary of the Nutcracker ballet by the ESMDM in Monterrey. As I’ve done for the last 3 or 4 years (maybe even more) I’ve been attending to the Nutcracker (and other events) by the ESMDM and took some pictures of it. Instead of just sharing on my Flickr page, I’d like to share them here too.

This year I initially forgot my camera at home, but since the theater is about 5 blocks away, in the intermediate time I ran back to get it. So I don’t have any pictures of the first act this year. Before the ballet started there was a celebration and commemoration of the 25 years of the Nutcracker every winter. It was that they made a plaque with the names of every dancer that participated on the ballet for those 25 years.

At the end, all the ex-alumni of the ESMDM who were at some point part of the Nutcracker cast took a group picture. I think I saw at least two generations of the same family in that picture, that was something nice to see.

I used my Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens with varying exposure times. For these type of events, since there’s low light and little time to adjust your camera, I use the Tv setting and adjust shutter speed as needed depending on current illumination. I still find it hard to find the perfect balance between fast shutter speeds and low light compensation to capture the movements in mid air, but I’ve found that the shutter speed setting and AI Servo auto focus mode makes it easier for starters.

Do you have tips for stage photography? What lens do you recommend for these events? Let me know in the comments.

Events Photography

Occupy San Francisco images

The 99% is waking up

Last week I went to San Francisco to do some business, and having some extra days I decided to get outside and take a few shots around the city.

Little did I know that there was an Occupy San Francisco movement over at the Federal Reserve bank building. It was an interesting and shocking thing to see all those signs and tents and people camping there. Everyone was in peace and calm. People got close to them to talk and exchange ideas, there were books and publications scattered everywhere and they had some kind of lectures and classes at certain times.

The funny thing was the coincidence that earlier on that same day I went to see the musical Hair, at the Golden Gate theater. It’s sad so see how similar the movement for peace in the 70’s is to the movement for freedom (and many other things) today, because it’s a sign that not much has changed, or a confirmation that history has repeating cycles. One way or the other, it’s not good progress for humanity.

Here are some of the pictures I took of the campings and the signs and some Hair music to accompany them:

01 Let the Sunshine In by Ritter Hanz


three strikes


end the fed


Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Occupy Love

SFPD Police line, do not cross

give something, borrow something, take something

Occupy tents

99 occupy

occupy daylight

no life is illegal

Freedom is a hoax

What do you think about the movement? Have you participated in one? Tell me what you think in the comments, as a foreigner, I’d like to learn more about it.

Events GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source personal

Will be speaking at FSLVallarta 2011

This year I’ll be giving two talks at the Festival del Software Libre in Puerto Vallarta. This time I got invited on two topics, I’ll give my talk about DRM and for the first time I’ll be talking about Free Network Services (FNS), a topic I’ve been interested since my problems with google services and the increasing move of personal (and server) computing to the cloud. Although I definately cannot say that I do not depend on any cloud service (I do enjoy them), I am very aware of the risks. It’s not a technical talk at all, but a more philosophical one (FSF style).

I’m very happy to be invited to the event. I miss hanging around with all the friends from across the country, interesting and smart people that are always at software libre events. The exchange of ideas and debates are motivation boosters for new projects and great learning experience-sharing moments. Also the partying gets to be very hard as well… if you hang out with the right people.

It’s been a while since I went to my last free software/open source event and it’s been also quite some time since I’ve given my last talk. So I’m exited and nervous. I’m sure there’s going to be lots of interesting things going on and good stories to tell afterwards.

If you’re interested in the event’s schedule and the topics of all talks, you can consult FSLVallarta’s program.

Don’t foget to say hi if you see me over there, it’s fun meeting new people.

Events GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source

Robots and Gadgets at Google IO 2011

There were a lot of robots and gadgets at Google IO 2011.

This machine was a very cool implementation of a 360 degrees view of Google Earth. The sensation of the view was fantastic, you could almost feel like flying in there.
Google Earth 360

I got to play a little with the Sony Xperia Play, and it was very nice. The screen size and buttons felt good and the phone has a good size and weight. Graphics are not exactly the best thing ever, but decent enough for a casual game. I’m not an expert gamer, so lets see how others review it now that its out in the market.

Sony Xperia Play

There was also exhibitions of the Google TV platform with some new demo products of companies developing interesting apps for it.
Google TV

Another cool thing was the giant labyrinth operated with a Motorola Xoom Android tablet using the Arduino Android Development Kit. I was not able to get one of the free Google Android Development Kits but the possibilities of what you can build with it are pretty exiting. That and the Android Open Accessory Platform, which will make it a lot easier for manufacturers and amateur developers to create great accessories compatible with any Android device.

ADK Labrynth

Robots were everywhere! And most were all connected in one way or another to an Android device.

Android Robot

The PR2 Robot is a robotic experiment platform. Its very expensive, but its equipped with a lot of tools (and an Xbox Kinect). On the talk they demonstrated how with the cloud robotic api and a few lines of python code you can manipulate and program this robot.

PR2 robot platform

This little robot was remotely operated and it had a Nexus S as its head.
Robot with a t-shirt

There were also automatic gardening implementation demonstrations.
robotic farm

These two wheel robots were roaming around everywhere. They look very cool and remind me of Rosie from the Jetsons. Only that Rosie had one wheel instead of two, and did lots more than just roam around. The interesting thing was that none of these robots bumped with the people at any time.


This is a hydraulic muscle robot, completely inflatable and could walk around and move.
hydraulic robot

This robot was improvising music playing the xylophone, or as I like to call it in Spanish: “marimba”. I hope to see someday a demo of this robot playing along with the mexican marimba players from the Veracruz state, where its a popular traditional instrument.
Marimba playing robot

This robot from the iRobot company (the guys who make the Roomba) was taking video testimonies about the event and asking attendees to answer polls. Now that’s a cool way to gather marketing material!

Video and poll robot

Soda serving robot

This is a modified roomba with an XBox Kinect and some more powerful processing that you can buy from iRobot as a home robotics platform to build interesting things. Such as a robot that can serve sodas in a party, or better yet, bring you beer.

The following video is of Sphearo, a robotic sphere that you can control like a remote control car using your Android device via Bluetooth. It seems like a very fun and probably pricey little toy.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a video compilation I made of the dancing android that spent the whole night dancing around at the after party, making everyone smile with its moves.

Events GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source personal

Great time attending Google IO 2011

This year I got to finally attend the Google I/O event. I was lucky to easily get my entrance ticket the day they opened for registration. That day the tickets sold out in 59 minutes! (or so they say)

Google IO badges

Gabriel Saldaña at Google IO 2011

The place was packed! There were about 5,000 attendees!

Google IO packed with people

I even got to see Leo Laporte and Gina Trapani recording some material for their This week in Google show.

Leo Laporte and Gina Trapani at Google IO 2011

The talks were very interesting with lots of surprises and new release announcements. I attended several android development talks, as I’m starting to get into Android development (can’t wait to finish my first app). The new development tools improvements and the changes for big screen (tablet) layouts looked very nice. And also went to different Google APIs talks like the Google Charts API talk.

The big topics were Android and Chrome, with complementary HTML5 and WebGL talks. There was very little about GoogleTV though. I couldn’t go to all talks, that’s an impossible task. But fortunately for everyone who attended or not, all sessions are available for viewing online.

Some people got surprise presents at the end of a talk, like free Sony Xperia Play phones or the Arduino Android Development Kit. I was not lucky to get any of these, but the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a very nice present enough.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Limited Edition

The after party was also great! Well, how could it not be? They had loud music and all the beer, wine and crab cakes for free.

Robots were everywhere as well as exhibits of cool experiments as the yike bike, the Google self driving car and a car/plane.

car plane experiment

Google Self-driving car

I also saw this cool electric car but I don’t remember the company behind them.

Oh and did I mention free concert of Jane’s Addiction?

Jane's Addiction concert

Gabriel Saldaña at Google IO after party

I had a great time!

Events GNU/Linux Free Software & Open Source

Going to Google I/O 2011

Google I/O Developer Conference

I’m going to be at Google I/O 2011 in San Francisco. I’m exited!

Its the first time I’ll attend a Google event. On previous events Google has given away gadgets that are yet to be released to in the market. So I hope they don’t break tradition this year so I can get my hands on a Nexus S 4G or something cool like that. Also I’ve heard that Jane’s Addiction will be playing there.

About the Nexus S, I’m a bit dissapointed that the normal Nexus S 3G band won’t work with my Mexican carrier Telcel. But I’ve heard rumors that the Nexus S 4G will work for networks similar to AT&T’s since its targeted to a Canadian carrier that uses the 850Mhz band. Hope it does.

I hope to see announcements on Android Honeycomb, hopefully they release the source code anytime soon. I’m also excited about the android talks and what’s planned for the GoogleTV project that hasn’t gotten much attention lately since its launch. Another interesting project I’m looking forward to is the CR48 laptop machines and the Chrome OS.

There’s an android app for the event that you can download here. You can see the schedule, the sessions and also the live streaming if you’re not at the event.

If you’re going to be at the event too please come say hi, and maybe we can gather and go for some beers or something.

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