Corsair F4U-1A

Planes of Fame flew their Corsair F4U-1A over a couple of days last week. It was nice to see the plane up in the air, took some pictures of it and then edited them in Lightroom. Still out practicing getting ready for the first airshows of the season that will be coming up soon. Rally excited for Airshows to be happening again and looking forward to being out seeing the planes fly.

Additional Astrophotography in Joshua Tree

Went back over the 4th of July weekend to take some shots. Unfortunately the cloud cover caused the shots to not be perfect. However I think there are some good ones that I was fairly happy with it. I did some additional edits to them to make them look a little better and take out some of the highlights and fix some of the issues that I did see in them. All shot with the my Sony A7Riv and the 16-35 F4 lens.

Topaz Denoise AI is wonderful

On a chance I purchased the Topaz Denoise plugin for Lightroom. I have to say I am very happy with what it has done so far for me. I was out shooting this weekend in low light at the Bolsa Chica Reserve. It meant I was going to have some high iso shots so I am really looking forward to going through and fixing some of these shots and making them look even better. Here’s an example of an ISO 10000 shot that I did, the original isn’t bad, but it is noisy. I ran it through Topaz and chose the clear option and it looks so much better.

Before

Joshua Tree Astrophotography

I signed up for a class at Samy’s camera to go out and do Astrophotography. I drove down and met up with everyone at Joshua Tree on a Saturday night and we shot until the wee hours of the morning. It was interesting to do some different type of photography and to get some what I thought were good shots of the Milky Way Galaxy. These shots were at 20s, 6400ISO 16mm with the Sony A7Riv and the 16-35 F4 lens. I think took them into Lightroom and only did some edits with cropping, but left the photo mostly as is.

P-38 Lightning flying

The Planes of Fame P-38 lightning was up in the air over the weekend and I was able to go out and get some shots of it. I played around with the shots in Lightroom and also played with the super resolution features that are in Lightroom right now, pretty happy with what I got out of it and like the shots. Need to continue working on my panning and also didn’t get some shots as the pilot was doing some acrobatics and need to work on that. All shot with the Sony A9ii and the Sony 100-400.

Check your Raid: Cisco ASA and Sourcefire

Over the past week I had an issue where one of my Cisco 5545 with a Sourcefire module went down and failed and I couldn’t get it restarted. When I looked at the console for the SFR Module I saw disk errors and I opened a ticket with Cisco to have them look at it. One thing that I found appalling was the quality of Cisco TAC engineers has dropped dramatically. I spent more time on the phone with these guys not knowing what to do and and my showing them commands that I had just googled and what needed to be done. If these guys are supposed to be the experts in the device and technology I am not impressed. Especially since Cisco keeps raising my rates and the quality seems to get lower rather than better.

Back to the issue:

The Cisco 5545 Sourcefire unit has two SSDs in a Raid 1 configuration, so you would think that if one failed the other would take over. At least that is what I thought, however it turns out that both of the SSDs had failed and there was no notification at all on the unit itself or in the logs as to one of the units being bad, let alone both of them. The only place I found it was running the “sh raid” command on the terminal. After seeing the failure of this unit, I then went through the rest of my 5545s with Sourcefire modules and found two others that had a failed drive and there was no warning, no error lights on the drive or the firewall itself. I had to run the command to find the issue.

Here is what a healthy raid set looks like:

/dev/md0:
Version : 1.2
Creation Time : Fri Feb 19 18:27:16 2021
Raid Level : raid1
Array Size : 124969216 (119.18 GiB 127.97 GB)
Used Dev Size : 124969216 (119.18 GiB 127.97 GB)
Raid Devices : 2
Total Devices : 2
Persistence : Superblock is persistent

Intent Bitmap : Internal

Update Time : Wed Jun  2 20:05:01 2021
      State : clean

Active Devices : 2
Working Devices : 2
Failed Devices : 0
Spare Devices : 0

   Name : ciscoasa:0  (local to host ciscoasa)
   UUID : 244baa9a:b6e40506:f7384510:fcb42706
 Events : 12123

Number Major Minor RaidDevice State
0 8 0 0 active sync /dev/sda
2 8 16 1 active sync /dev/sdb

Here’s what an unhealthy raid set looks like:

/dev/md0:
        Version : 1.2
  Creation Time : Mon May 25 12:42:13 2020
     Raid Level : raid1
     Array Size : 124969216 (119.18 GiB 127.97 GB)
  Used Dev Size : 124969216 (119.18 GiB 127.97 GB)
   Raid Devices : 2
  Total Devices : 2
    Persistence : Superblock is persistent

  Intent Bitmap : Internal

    Update Time : Wed Jun  2 20:01:32 2021
          State : clean, degraded
 Active Devices : 1
Working Devices : 1
 Failed Devices : 1
  Spare Devices : 0

           Name : ciscoasa:0  (local to host ciscoasa)
           UUID : 0ed2ca7c:260897dd:f183f4bf:c0f15bfb
         Events : 12258234

    Number   Major   Minor   RaidDevice State
       0       8        0        0      active sync   /dev/sda
       2       0        0        2      removed

       2       8       16        -      faulty   /dev/sdb

I can’t believe there is no logs or notifications, Solarwinds didn’t pick up the hardware issues. You would think there would be some sort of notification sent out or the HD light on the firewall would turn orange, what a novel concept to notify people of a failed hardware item before it causes major problems.

So if you run any of the modules in your ASA firewalls, make sure to check the raid level and that the drives are in a healthy state, if not get the ticket open with TAC. Where they can give you such brilliant ideas as move the faulty drive to another ASA, or swap the drives(which causes the firewall to crash, so don’t do it).

Corsair in the Air and Photo Edit

Planes of Fame, took their Corsair up into the air last year before the pandemic. I was out shooting it from the ground and decided to go back through and edit some of the photos. Unfortunately for California we don’t get anything fun for the sky except blue and bright. Below is the shot as I originally took it, kind of dark and not very attractive. This was with the A6500 and the 100-400 lens. This was a handhold at 1/320 as the plane was going overheard.

Below is after I did an auto apply for settings and then tweaked the exposure a little bit. I also cropped in and then added a little vignette to bring the plane into the center.