Monthly Archives: April 2010

Jump with Philippe Halsman

Jump with Philippe Halsman

Fantastic collection of images by the the late photographer Phillipe Halsman.

There is a show of Halsman’s Jump series on right now at the Laurence MIller Gallery in New York. including the most famous image in the collection of Salvador Dali, cats, a chair, and water all in mid-air.

Laurence MIller Gallery
20 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday 10-5:30, Sat 11 – 5:30

[via Coudal Partners Blended Feed]

Spring on the Housatonic

Spring is here

West Cornwall, Connecticut. Hiking along the Appalachian Trail with the Housatonic River behind me. This field and these hills are coming to life so fast they seem to have changed colors in just a few days. Of course with the march toward summer comes the march of insects in New England. I guess it’s worth it but when they’re buzzing in your ears you think fondly of winter.

Both of these images were taken with a Canon G11 “pocket” camera.


Ferns of all types are opening so fast now they’re only in this embryonic "fiddlehead" state for a few days.

Everyday objects

Pocket knives

Warren, Connecticut. I used to collect these things but then when I lost one to TSA just after 9/11 I stopped. No hard feelings, just can’t always remember to leave these things at home. Note the various one handed knives, the thin French fruit testing knife and the black Kershaw with the Damascus (folded steel) blade.

Truth be told, the very thin Swiss Army knife is in my pocket more than the others when I’m not doing outside chores. I use the larger Gerber/LL Bean nylon handle knife for chores.


A variety of flashlights including a Surefire headlamp that’s in my pack on hikes and two Surefire G2 lights, all of which run on CR123 batteries (in tube) which have a ten year shelf life.


I’ve had these Smartwraps for a while and they’re incredibly useful.

iPad and disabilities

iPad Could Be A Beneficial Device For The Disabled

I’d change the title of the piece: The iPad IS a beneficial device for people with disabilities.

I’m quite sure that my friend David Niemeijer is hard at work redoing his… wait, he’s already done it.

As is stated in the piece, when you walk around a trade show floor at an assistive technology conference you find extremely expensive, dedicated devices ($2500-$8,000) that allow people like Stephen Hawking, for example, to communicate. Now you can buy an iPad for $500 and add an app like David’s Proloquo2Go for $189 and you’re good to go.

[via Sanford Shapiro]

How Lucas Jackson shot the Eyjafjallajokul volcano

Freezing the volcano’s lightning

This is an excellent piece on how Lucas got some amazing images.

It took me a while to nail down the correct exposure. I did a custom white balance off of the lightly clouded sky above the volcano to get the color that you see in this frame. Below is a handful of images that were not quite right, to say the least, but in the end I managed to capture something that was as close as possible to what I was seeing.

Everyday stuff

Everyday stuff

I decided to do a "pocket dump" of things I carry daily.

For every "thing" you see here there are numerous others that I bought and tried and put in a drawer because I don’t like them. I have a bunch of watches, a bunch of wallets, numerous pocket knives, numerous things to hold my keys, many pocket notebooks and hundreds of pens. Actually, I only have one cell phone.

I see that the watch is a few minutes off, I’d better go reset it.

LL Bean Self-Illuminating Field Watch
This is the highest-end watch I’ve ever bought or owned and I love it. The regular LL Bean field watch is similar but after a while it loses its glow in the dark. This watch stays lit forever so on long night flights or in a dark room you can see what time it is. Worth the extra money to have this feature to me. It’s a bit on the heavy side but it’s built to last and no doubt LL Bean will stand behind it with their no questions asked warranty.

County Comm A&P Keyring
This simple 6″ cable keyring with male and female connector is incredible. No more keys and rings getting tangled up in your pocket. It’s flexible and it’s easy to take apart to get keys off. I love this thing and I guess that makes me an uber geek. Browse County Comm’s site, no doubt you’ll find some geeky tools you like.

Nite Ize S-Biner
The little carabiner clip on the keyring allows me to hook it to a belt loop or to my pack but isn’t nearly as big as a full-size carabiner (which I have plenty of as an ex-climber).

Streamlight Nano flashlight
This flashlight lights the walk between our garage and house at night as well as the front door so I can find the keyhole to open it. In other words, this small light packs an LED punch. However, it has a fatal flaw: you turn it on and off by twisting it’s body and that’s also how batteries are loaded. After a while it can come apart in your pocket spewing batteries and the LED end into pocket or worse, floor. I have a few of them and will use them up before switching to another type.

iPhone 3G
We only recently got cell coverage out here in rural Connecticut where we live and I don’t travel for a living anymore, so, we’re late to having cell phones. As a Mac guy (from 1984) I wasn’t going to get anything but an iPhone and I’m glad I did. I love the thing and while we still don’t have great coverage out here, I’m finding it useful when I occasional travel and on hikes.

The small notebook/journal is a simple blank book covered with katizomi-she stencil-dyed paper that I love. Each time I return to Hiromi Paper I buy more of them because I love the patterns.

Victorinox Swiss Army Bantam Alox pocket knife
I have a lot of pocket knives, I’ve been collecting them for close to twenty years and some of them are expensive, handmade numbers that are beautiful. However, this little knife will cut things and open a beer bottle and tighten a screw and its so thin I hardly know it’s in my pocket. I use it more than all of my other fancy knives put together.

Uni-ball Vision Elite Stick Bold Point Roller Ball Pen
Being dysgraphic I can’t write with a fine point pen. I need a pen that let’s a lot of ink flow to mask the unsteadiness of my crappy handwriting. This one’s one of the best I’ve found and the ink dries fast enough so that being a lefty, I don’t smear it all that much.

The handkerchief was my late father’s. He died in 2000 and I started carrying his handkerchiefs then. They’re built to last and my guess is I’ll die with them intact.

Eagle Creek Wallet
Eagle Creek doesn’t make my wallet anymore and I’m glad I bought a few of them which should last me a while. I like their designs, and they stand behind their packs, luggage and accessories.

None of this stuff is very fancy or high end but it has served me well for many years. My guess is the object in this picture that’s worth the most money is the rainbow colored Apple keychain fob that I’ve had since the early 1980′s.

2000 Quotations by Women

I’ve been collecting quotations for years and figured I’d put my collections online for others to use as they wish. Enjoy these quotations, use the comment form to share any quotations by women you don’t find here.

I want to have children, but my friends scare me. One of my friends told me she was in labor for 36 hours. I don’t even want to do anything that feels GOOD for 36 hours.
- Rita Rudner

In life as in the dance: Grace glides on blistered feet.
- Alice Abrams

Prejudice squints when it looks, and lies when it talks.
- Duchess de Abrantes

Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel.
- Bella Abzug

All the men on my staff can type.
- Bella Abzug

I prefer the word “homemaker” because “housewife” always implies that there may be a wife someplace else.
- Bella Abzug

Congress is a middle-aged, middle-class, white male power structure… no wonder it’s been so totally unresponsive to the needs of this country.
- Bella Abzug

I began wearing hats as a young lawyer because it helped me to establish my professional identity. Before that, whenever I was at a meeting, someone would ask me to get coffee–they assumed I was a secretary.
- Bella Abzug

Time wounds all heels.
- Jane Ace

The chickens have come home to roast.
- Jane Ace

Continue reading

Reuters Retracts Icelandic Volcano Photo

Reuters Retracts Icelandic Volcano Photo

This is a fascinating story. This is the comment I made in the thread at PetaPixel:

I think most of us can agree that a DSLR is doing some processing before the image gets written to the card and how a photographer sets things up will determine how little or much is done. There is no “turn off all in-camera processing” as all DSLRs process the image that coms off the sensor in some way, even RAW files.

Maybe pointing the finger at processing or post processing is a mistake, let’s just let photo editors decide what they want and leave it at that. If they want a more conservative look or they want an amped up look, that’s their decision.

As photographers we know that even if we attempt to take and process images that, to the best of our ability channel reality, we all have different eyes and a different sense of what “real” is so it’s subjective all the way down.

As is said above, Ansel Adams put a red filter on to make Half Dome look more dramatic, and it worked. As one who’s spent a lot of time both in front of and on Half Dome, I can assure you that while I love the Adams image, it’s not the way Half Done looks to most if not all human eyes. Again, great image, but a Reuters photo editor might rightly reject it.

This remains a fascinating topic that has been “discussed” for years and will continue to be discussed for many years to come.

A Moment in Time

A Moment in Time

This New York Times Lens blog assignment is simple: they want us to document a moment in time all over the planet and submit the images we take to them for publication.

Take a picture on Sunday, May 2 at 15:00 hours U.T.C which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time (11:00 am EST, etc.). Follow the link above which has more detail.

This was their first mention of this project: A Timely Global Mosaic, Created by All of Us. Read through it for more detail if you plan to participate in this.

This will no doubt be more interactive and inclusive than projects like A Day in the Life of Africa where 100 professional photographers documented all corners of Africa for a single day. However, the organizer and producer of that series is Rick Smolan, a professional photographer who has done numerous similar projects and may be the “father” of the inclusive snapshot in time idea.

Benjamin Franklin Quotations

I’ve been collecting quotations for years and figured I’d put my collections online for others to use as they wish. Enjoy these quotations, use the comment form to share any Franklin quotations you don’t find here.

More on Benjamin Franklin:

We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.
- Benjamin Franklin

One of the greatest tragedies of life is the murder of a beautiful theory by a gang of brutal facts.
- Benjamin Franklin

There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government.
- Benjamin Franklin

Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.
- Benjamin Franklin

If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.
- Benjamin Franklin

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
- Benjamin Franklin

Clean your finger before you point at my spots.
- Benjamin Franklin

He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.
- Benjamin Franklin

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.
- Benjamin Franklin

He that falls in love with himself, will have no rivals.
- Benjamin Franklin

Continue reading

Should Kids Be Bribed to Do Well in School?

Should Kids Be Bribed to Do Well in School?

In junior high school, one of my classmates had a TV addiction — back before it was normal. This boy — we’ll call him Ethan — was an encyclopedia of vacuous content, from The A-Team to Who’s the Boss?

Then one day Ethan’s mother made him a bold offer. If he could go a full month without watching any TV, she would give him $200. None of us thought he could do it. But Ethan quit TV, just like that. His friends offered to let him cheat at their houses on Friday nights (Miami Vice nights!). Ethan said no.

One month later, Ethan’s mom paid him $200. He went out and bought a TV, the biggest one he could find.

This is a fascinating piece by Amanda Ripley for Time Magazine about the work of Harvard economist named Roland Fryer Jr. who’s done studies of this in numerous US cities. The results aren’t what you might think and the piece is worth reading.