Monthly Archives: September 2008

Sierra Nevada in California

Sierra Nevada in California

Los Angeles, California. There was some nice light and bokeh behind my glass of Sierra at the Getty Restaurant so the camera had to come out.

While I enjoy the ambiance in that restaurant I got the sense that it’s not doing all that well; unlike other dinner’s we’ve had there, the room was far from full. Still, it’s a wonderful place to have dinner watching the sun go down with light streaming in through glassware, camera at the ready.

Bud and bokeh

Bud and bokeh

Los Angeles, California. There are many things in bloom Inside the labyrinth that is Robert Irwin’s Central Garden at The Getty Center. I shot this plant hoping that the colorful blur behind it might be as or more interesting than the plant.

For those of you who are interested in such things, note that this was taken with the long end of a Canon 24-70 lens. Yes, there’s a difference between "closeup" and "macro" but for many flower shots like this, closeup is enough. Great lens, flexible, fast, wonderful color and bokeh.

Bud and bokeh

For Rock-Climbing Guru, the Sky Is His Roof

For Rock-Climbing Guru, the Sky Is His Roof

He was known as the king of the Yosemite lifers, that proud band of rock climbers, tightrope walkers and seekers who made camp on the margins of the law, sleeping under the black oaks and sequoias and California stars.

Oh my, where to start. I don’t know if I ever saw this guy during the summers I spent living in my 1967 VW bus in Camp 4/Sunnyside parking lot in Yosemite Valley in the late 1970′s but I absolutely get the spirit of what he was doing. I wasn’t a Yosemite lifer but I got and get what it might be like to turn into one.

I still have my shower key used to take showers in the communal Lodge shower. I still have matchbooks taken from the Ahwahnee Hotel where I had tea and cookies a few times a week in the amazing living room with the walk-in fireplaces and Chinese vase lamps.

While many of my friends focussed solely on climbing I got a taste of this other life in the Valley and it really did appeal to me. I was no Chongo and I doubt I ever met him but somehow his story rings true for me. I can easily see attempting to make a life as a Valley bum or “lifer” as they were called. My guess is that those days are long over and it’s a shame. Climbing is now a high end sport and this “grunge” aspect is no doubt extinct.

Google Reveals Wireless Vision – Open Networks

Google Reveals Wireless Vision – Open Networks

“Google’s vision of tomorrow’s wireless network is in stark contrast to how wireless operators do business today, setting the two sides on a possible collision course. Earlier this week, the search giant filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office describing its vision of an open wireless network where smartphones aren’t tied to any single cell phone network. In Google’s open wireless world, phones and other wireless devices would search for the strongest, fastest connection at the most competitive price. Essentially, wireless operators’ networks would be reduced to ‘dumb pipes.”

This is a comment on slashdot, not an official announcement but it smells like it’s what’s coming and if they can pull it off it will change the entire playing field.

Hovis Bread TV Commercial

Hovis Bread TV Commercial

This video has been making the rounds and for good reason, it’s great. And, there’s lots to be learned even for us still photographers in the ad. Each scene is beautifully set up and choreographed, keeping the focus on the boy and the bread but showing the context, less to show how important the bread is more to give it a backdrop.

Watch it a few times, it’s brilliant.

[via Daring Fireball]

Cross-industry body publishes metadata guidelines

Cross-industry body publishes metadata guidelines

Photokina 2008: The Metadata Working Group, an alliance between Adobe, Apple, Canon, Microsoft, Nokia and Sony has published its first guidelines on the use of image metadata. The guidelines suggest methods to increase interoperability and storage of shooting settings and other associated data in digital images. It aims at standardizing the availability of metadata across all applications and devices, making it easier for users to create, organize and share their pictures.

Metadata is all of the information that is stored with a digital image: camera, lens, exposure, data and time and more.

Interesting that the Camera makers aren’t part of this, just the users of the metadata.

Google’s G1: First Impressions

Walt Mossberg gives us Google’s G1: First Impressions.

Google’s new G1 phone announced today is the first real competitor to the iPhone. Like Apple’s product, it’s a serious handheld computer with a powerful new operating system (called Android) and a clever touch-based user interface. Like the iPhone, it’s likely to be a major new platform for third-party software. But it’s also very different, and may appeal to different buyers.

Vincent Laforet on the Canon EOS 5D MK II

Something very interesting is coming…

For me, the key quote came in the discussion thread:

I shot one still with a 400mm 2.8 of a silhouette of a woman…. a beautiful woman – a model – and you could literally count the hairs on her face in a full head profile… at 3200 ASA -with close to ZERO noise… this camera is STUNNING – I’m not throwing around expletives needlessly here…

This is sounding great to me.

[via Dilip Muralidaran ]

Observing Ramadan

The Big Picture has a wonderful series on Observing Ramadan.

Muslim faithful throughout the world are currently observing the holy month of Ramadan. Observant Muslims participate in fasting (sawm), one of the five pillars of their faith, this entire Lunar month (this year it extends from September 1st to the 30th). Eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity is prohibited from dawn until sunset, when the fast is broken with the evening meal called Iftar. Local customs define varying traditions, including differing types of food used to break the daily fast. The fasting is meant to teach a person patience, humility and sacrifice, to set aside time to ask forgiveness, practice self-restraint, and pray for guidance in the future.