· · Photos
· · · · Cameras (70 fragments)
· · · · Scanned (3 fragments)
· I apologize in advance for bragging, something I do here only rarely. But my Mom taught me to make pie and now I make pies. It’s a beautiful thing, and there are lessons to be had ...
Gareth and Rune
· He’s leaving and she’s dying. Still, these are happy pictures ... [2 comments]
· On a recent Saturday we accidentally took in two very different pop-music concerts; I got one decent pic but ended the evening angry ... [2 comments]
Still Blogging in 2017
· Not alone and not unread, but the ground underfoot ain’t steady. An instance of Homo economicus wouldn’t be doing this — no payday looming. So I guess I’m not one of those. But hey, whenever I can steal an hour I can send the world whatever words and pictures occupy my mind and laptop. Which, all these years later, still feels like immense privilege ... [19 comments]
· Most places know four seasons, but for the most intense experience of spring you really come Up North. I’m in Saskatchewan visiting my Mom, went for a short walk in the park behind her house, and came back with pictures of the experience ... [1 comment]
· Seems like everyone I know is blue and grouchy and angry; can’t say as I blame them. But it’s time to turn a corner, because the future’s just as long as ever, and we need joy to face it. Let me see if I can help ... [3 comments]
The Women’s March
· Just like everyone else I have a theory about What It Means, but I also have a story and a cool picture to illustrate ... [3 comments]
· Vancouver’s last two winters had no snow, and never even got very cold. Just now we’ve had a week of white pre-Christmas, with lows down to -8°C. But tonight the rain starts and we’ll hit 9 above tomorrow. So I went out to take snow pictures ...
On Loving Rock and Roll
· Put another dime in the jukebox, baby. I like more or less all the music, at least all of it’s that written by humans and performed by musicians, which excludes most modern industrial. But Rock is the music of my time and tribe, and while other kinds can make me dream and weep, it’s the only one where the first guitar chord makes me smile and before long I can’t not dance ... [2 comments]
· What happened was, I went down to the dock in the dark, and took pictures that no phone-cam should ever be asked to take. You might be amused ... [3 comments]
· When I pull out my Pixel for a picture, I have to pick which app to tap: Google’s Android camera (which oddly seems to have no link) or Adobe Lightroom’s. The choice isn’t hard, but is interesting ... [1 comment]
· I pre-ordered the basic Pixel (5", 32G, Silver) because the 5X was getting on my nerves (more below); here are early-days notes. Tl;dr: Ugly, solid, fast, cool camera ... [3 comments]
· Most years I hate this season; less light every day, and with every gust a whirl of summer leaves torn from winter branches. Maybe I dislike the resonance with my life’s own greybeard season. Maybe it’s the trio of huge Pacific storms we’re dealing with. Let’s be honest: Mostly, it’s shitty US politics. Some of the colors are beautiful though ... [3 comments]
Focal Length and Angle
· If you care about cameras you probably like learning about interesting new (and old) lenses. They’re described by two numbers: How wide they open (also: aperture, brightness, speed), and how long they are (also: focal length). That first number is generally comparable across lenses: Lower is better. The aperture unit, “F-stop”, is hardly intuitive, but whatever. Focal lengths are hard to compare, because how much the lens sees depends on how big the sensor behind it is, and there are lots of different sensor sizes ... [8 comments]
· Lots of photographers, and people who teach them, talk about the advantages of shooting under a cloudy sky, or of having the sun’s light behind you. Increasingly, I’m enjoying pointing my camera straight into the sun ... [2 comments]
· This morning we went to the Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market, which is small and good, if kind of pricey. It’s soup-to-nuts where by “soup-to-nuts”, I mean meat, vegetables, and booze. I approve of all three, but it was the vegetables in the sun that wanted to be photographed ...
· I care most about the ocean, while Lauren cares more for the forest; fortunately the Pacific Northwest offers Cottage-Life compromises; illustrated with the help of a giant hemlock ...
· Everyone takes pictures everywhere now, 24/7/365. So does “photographer”, in the amateur sense, still mean anything? I have pictures and questions that say it does ... [8 comments]
· A little while ago I tweeted “One thing phone-cams aren’t much good for is shooting out airplane windows.” Since then, I’ve noticed my Nexus 5X looking at me in a hurt sort of way ... [1 comment]
Lenses and Cameras in 2016
· I’m on the way back from a couple of weeks in Australia, and of course Pictures Were Taken. I brought almost all my photo-gear but used it very unevenly; concluded that I have too many lenses, and was left wondering whether you really even need a camera any more. Herewith notes illustrated with Pacific-ocean (mostly) pictures ... [4 comments]
· We’re visiting friends in Australia and I watched a pair of
parrots interact (oops, Marius Coomans writes from Australia to tell me they’re Galahs); photographed them, but didn’t understand. Oh, and a koala ... [2 comments] Low-light Phone cam
· Regular readers will know that I have a thing about low-light photography. My new photo-toy is the Nexus 5X and I’ve the urge to push it further into the dark than it really wants to go ... [1 comment]
· I’ve been cycling to work since late last year. It’s good, for me and the world. But there are more convenient alternatives, and they tempt. So here’s a little incentive: #Bike2WorkPix. Consider joining in! ... [4 comments]
On the Nexus 5X
· Well, the OnePlus One was a lot of phone for the money but, only a year old, is dying; the GPS has checked out and the pictures it takes look bad. I didn’t feel like phone-shopping but when I did, the 5X was an easy choice. It’s just fine, but only three features matter. With winter beach pix ... [5 comments]
· I hope that lots of you are having an excellent Christmas; I am. Here’s an illustrated card featuring Vancouver Christmas visuals ...
CL XXXV: Fading
· This year’s Cottage Life chapter is over. Not the best, either; what with my new gig and all we visited less, and the kids would as soon be in the city. Still, it’s a rare privilege ... [1 comment]
· What happened was, Shane & Ally asked us to a rooftop barbecue with views in every direction. Most of them featured cranes, and I don’t mean birds. And it would be unfair to omit the moon ...
CL XXXIII: Fire and Water
· We’ve had week after week of blue skies and warm air; which in the green/grey Pacific Northwest begins to feel oppressive, you can almost hear the plants, great and small, whimpering for water. After a while every morning‘s news told of new forest fires marching up one tinder-dry mountain or another. Which lent visual drama to the July 4th weekend but I have to admit soured the Cottage-Life ambience ...
· In which I have excessive Lightroom fun with a simple photo of some leaves ...
The New 40
· June 21st this year was its longest day, also Fathers’ Day and my birthday. I feel vaguely guilty because I haven’t the slightest insight into this growing-old thing, so don’t expect golden-years reportage ... [6 comments]
Lightroom at the Whitecaps
· Yesterday I installed Lightroom 6 and attended a Major League Soccer match, which the Whitecaps lost to D.C. United. Here’s a combo review, with some Lr6-enhanced footie pix ... [6 comments]
Trees With Names
· This is the end of stories and pictures from New Zealand. It’s green there; grasses and shrubs of course, but especially trees and trees and trees. Some have names; individual trees I mean, not species ... [2 comments]
NZ Garden Waters
· Three more pretty pictures which, as I keep saying, are easy to find in New Zealand. Thanks are due to Hamilton Gardens and, surprisingly, to the Ingress community — yes, that augmented-reality game that I’m still playing, two years later ...
NZ Eye Candy
· I have a few more pictures I want to run and most have stories wrapped round them. These don’t; except I guess the larger narrative about New Zealand being exeptionally pretty, and a nice place to visit. I suppose we could pick up and move there; the subject’s come up at the dinner table ...
· Turns out all the shots-worth-keeping from my phone were landscapes. So here are three. Also a pronunciation lesson for Americans ... [2 comments]
· I don’t do much wildlife, and I don’t shoot animals in captivity, and I don’t publish blurry pictures. Let’s break all those rules. Oh, and Terry Pratchett too ... [1 comment]
· The Māori people, who arrived in what they call Aotearoa in 1300 or so, have since the 1600s been sharing the islands with New Zealanders of Euro-extraction, for example my wife and children. They and their culture are definitely part of the package a tourist like myself sees and photographs ... [1 comment]
· I sure enjoyed visiting it but I’m not sure I’d want to live there. Green, maritime, rounded, not obviously scalable. With back story and of course pictures ... [1 comment]
· Recently, I wrote this about the Fujifilm 10-24mm ultra-wide lens: “I’m finding it hard to get comfy with. What I really need to do is go out for a couple of photowalks with just this puppy and force myself to see the kind of picture it wants to take.” Here are some of those. Warning: Heavily-processed photos ahead ... [3 comments]
· Just possibly I may have already touched here on the excellence of the Fujifilm 35mm F1.4 prime lens. This is just more of that, with illustrative late-winter/early-spring shots ...
The Crocuses of 2015
· They’re traditional in this space this time of year, representing the first day I’m at home and it’s not too cold and there’s some light. Nobody’s ever complained about me running more or less the same pictures early every late winter. As always, they’re lovely in purple and gold. This year they carry along stories about old books and global warming ... [3 comments]
End of 2014
· As the year winds down I’m mostly cheery about my slice of life, though distressed by much of what I see looking outside it. There are cheery-side pictures here ... [4 comments]
More Cheap Lens Fun
· On the weekend, I took candid photos of friends in soft indoor evening light. The best lens for this sort of thing, speaking as a member of the Fujifilm cult, would be the awesome portrait-optimized 56mm F1.2, which has reduced many reviewers to quivering jelly. I didn’t have one of those but the pix are still OK ... [1 comment]
The Dock at Gibsons
· Gibsons is mostly another strip-mall-along-the-highway town, but includes “Gibsons Landing”, a nice albeit touristy place mostly famous for starring in a Canadian TV show that people’s grandparents liked. It’s got a big useful public dock — we say “government wharf” round here — which looks really good in mid-November’s slanting sun ... [1 comment]
Ten MOA Faces
· On a recent rainy weekend I took my daughter to MOA, the UBC Museum of Anthropology. I think it’s maybe Vancouver’s single best tourist attraction, and we have plenty of those. The shelves are crowded with objects made by the hands of Homo Sapiens and many of those objects are heads. Here are ten of them ...
· Herewith two pictures of leafy branches dipping into Sankt Jørgens Sø, one of what in English are called The Lakes in Copenhagen. This is at the northeast, near where Vester Søgade crosses Gyldenløvesgade. (OK, I admit it, I love typing “Ø” even though I can’t pronounce it) ...
Nine of Denmark
· I spent a week in Denmark, doing conferences and of course taking pictures. It’s not the most visually dramatic place but you can find good shots anywhere when you’re in tourist mode with fresh eyes ... [1 comment]
· Our record-setting summer at one level was sobering (although I was cheered by the Climate Change March stories) but now kiss it goodbye. The sun came out and as it got low I went stalking flowers ...
Styling More Pixels, with Beards
· Our cameras put more pixels in each picture than our computers’ screens can display. But the screens are catching up, doing smart things with pixels so small you can’t see ’em; Apple says “Retina”, but everyone who ships things with screens is going that way. Publishing pictures on the Web so they look as good as they possibly on whatever whoever’s looking is carrying… well, it’s hard. But I’m working on it ... [1 comment]
CL XXXII: Listen to the Trees
· On the forest-walks part of Cottage Life, a problem is that the kids chatter and squabble. So I tell them, “Shut up and listen to what the trees are saying.” They think it’s just Dad being silly, but I keep insisting that if they listen for that, they’ll learn things. And I’m right, they will ...
CL XXXI: Forest Light
· Our Cottage Life happens on an island mostly covered by temperate rainforest. Not old-growth (that’s hard to come by these days); but logged a hundred years back, so the trees are big. Such forests have qualities of light that make me happy but are hard to photograph ... [2 comments]
· Recently, several times per week I’ve been spending an hour or two biking. Usually after supper, with Ingress as a motivator. My route home goes by a flamenco bar; and it’s absurdly easy to counteract the biking benefits with a couple of Guinesses while I watch the last set. And take pictures ...
The Moon With No Mirror
· What happened was, we came home late and there was that Supermoon beaming through the trees. So I screwed the big ol’ 400mm Tokina onto the Fujifilm camera and got a pretty decent picture even though there was quite a bit of haze. It’s so much easier when you’re not using an SLR ... [5 comments]
· Pictures of people are better than pictures of plants, but the plants hold still and don’t worry about how they’re going to come across. Actually I’m trying to figure out how to use depth-of-field, but these are a decent side-effect of that study ... [2 comments]
· Photographic subjects can be sorted into any number of mental baskets. Mine are, more or less: People, Nature, and Human Constructs. The objects in the first two baskets are curved, mostly; but those Constructs are mostly about line segments, the angles they meet at, and the surfaces between them ...
CL XXIX: Biryani
· What happened was, my family signed me up for an Indian-cooking class. On Thursday Nasreen taught us Chicken Biryani and so I thought I might try to enrich early-2014 Cottage Life with it ... [1 comment]
More Funky-lens fun
· I previously wrote about sticking a groovy 100mm F/2.8 tele/macro Pentax lens on my Fujifilm X-T1; here are a few leftover pictures with no unifying theme, but they’re pretty ...
Camera Combo Fun
· What happened was, I got an adapter and slapped a Pentax 100mm Telephoto-Macro on my Fujifilm X-T1, and had a ridiculous amount of fun. Herewith pictures of an iris, a dancer, and a muscle car; and of course the baroque camera/lens combo. But there are things to watch out for.
[Update: The lens adapter did not break, I was just using it wrong.] ... [1 comment]
· I mean at the Richmond Night Market. Richmond is a suburb of Vancouver noted for flatness, Chinese-ness, and the airport. I gather night markets are a big deal in the great Asian cities, so why not Richmond? ... [1 comment]
Pistils and Stamens Oh My
· Being four photographs of the insides of rhododendron blossoms featuring the sex organs named in the title. Some of the color is extraordinary ...
Yellow Film Treatments
· One of the nifty features of the Fujifilm X cameras is a set of filters that try to capture the color flavors of their famous film products from days of yore: Astia, Provia, Velvia, and so on. But this is for JPEGs and I shoot raw, so I’d pretty well ignored them. Recently, the filters got added to Adobe Lightroom, so I thought I’d try them out ... [6 comments]
· Most photographers know about Bokeh. Herewith a couple of blossom renditions that I hope illuminate the subject, which is not that simple ...
Pink and Blue
· I have a new camera and it’s spring. Which is to say, if you dislike botanical photos you should avert your eyes from this blog for the next little while. The (many) photogeeks among you can consider this sequence as in part a meditation on early-2014 issues in photography and inevitably, I suppose, an extended review of the Fujifilm X-T1 ...
· It’s spring. I have a garden, a camera, and a blog. What more need be said? ...
CL XXVIII: Bigger Glass
· We did an opening-up overnighter; another year of Cottage Life has begun! Attentive readers will have noticed that I’ve become a Fujifilm fanboi, but at the cabin I’m still a proud Pentaxian, because my longest Fuji lens only goes to 55mm and things on the island are further away. So let’s see what you can do with bigger glass ... [2 comments]
Spring on the Main
· Which is to say on Vancouver’s Main Street, never actually been Main as such and isn’t as cool as it thinks, but it’s my ’hood and full of life, and when the sun interrupts the long grey Pacific Northwest off-season, you can feel it in the sidewalks and the buildings that are too old and shitty to gentrify, and even the hipster beards have better curl and loft ... [1 comment]
· Two pairs of pictures that could only have been taken right here in my hometown ...
· The name is a back-formation from “selfie”, obviously. Herewith four botanicals only conceivable in the season after winter ... [1 comment]
Choose the Right Fish
· We had informal Saturday brunch with families of kids in our second-grader’s class in Old Chinatown at The Emerald, once a dim-sum joint, now a hipster supper club. The old-Chinatowners are aging out and some of the people moving in look Chinese because hey, this is Vancouver, but they’re younger and single-er and probably don’t speak much 廣州話. Whatever it’s becoming will probably be interesting, but not the same ... [5 comments]
· That’s the official name I guess, but taxi drivers just say Barceloneta; it’s a little triangle of Barcelona enclosing Port Vell, the Old Harbor. It’s not fancy but it’s nice, and it’s not like any neighborhood I’ve stayed in before ... [4 comments]
· The nations that matter are those that export culture; China is one of those. Particularly this time of year and around the Pacific Rim; because it’s Chinese New Year. On Sunday, I marched in the big Vancouver parade ... [3 comments]
Wiggly Reflection Improvement
· Not too long ago I stayed in a random hotel in a random downtown and took a picture out the window because the windows across the street were apparently curved and there was a sort of funhouse-mirror effect ... [4 comments]
· I looked it up: “A traditional German alcoholic drink for which a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips into mulled wine”. It was a tasty treat, on offer at Vancouver’s Christmas Market, itself a treat for the eyes, so I took pictures ... [3 comments]
· This was an odd but not-bad little developers’ event in San Fran put on by VC-biz pub VentureBeat. I’m not 100% sure what DevBeat 2013 was trying to be, but anyhow the venue was cool and I got a neat picture of RMS ... [2 comments]
· Implicit in the Maker movement is a Fixer movement, and that’s what Our Community Bikes is. They’re right round the corner from us, and my 14-year goes there to patch up his commuter vehicle ... [1 comment]
City of Trees and Cranes
· Vancouver I mean, of course. We’re big on trees, and growing, so it’s hard to take a picture without one or the other ...
CL XXVI: Driftscapes
· Here in the top left corner of urban North America, we have a special relationship with wood. We live in it, sit on it, eat off it, and burn it for warmth and pleasure. Also, as part of Cottage Life, walk by the sea to admire the portions cast up ... [1 comment]
· I went for a couple days for the OED Symposium (about which I have a huge ongoing splodge in progress) and of course took a camera ... [1 comment]
· I’ve been to this event a bunch of times over the years, always as a speaker I think. But if I couldn’t speak I’d probably pay real money to come anyway. It feels, for the moment, still essential ... [1 comment]
CL XXV: Work Week
· There were two nations’ birthdays in four days, thus a slow spell at work; so we decided on a solid week of Cottage Life. And we invited all our friends to come for lunch. Friends came, work got done, and photos got taken ... [3 comments]
Native Mock Orange
· Wikipedia does not list this among the common names of Philadelphus_lewisii but that’s what we call it. At the moment it is a wild eruption of blossoms and perfume, actually managing to outshine the roses, which are in full-on attack mode too ... [1 comment]
IO in the Rearview
· I enjoyed it more than any other so far. More APIs, less hardware. More sessions, each shorter. One keynote ... [16 comments]
Fun at IO
· There is a conscious effort to make Google IO not just an information-dense environment, but a party. I joined in the fun for all three evenings I was free in San Fran. This included one photo-walk, one rock & roll performance, and one cross-faction Ingress event. Here are words and pictures ...
· I used to run lots of flower pix; it was almost a trademark for this blog in its early days. Their absence hasn’t been a matter of policy; whatever mental subsystem it is that pulls the camera up to the eye operates several levels below the one where I think about things. But the sun was just right after supper tonight ...
HP7 — Draperies
· My Hawaii Problem is solved, or anyhow I’m out of Big-Island pictures I feel compelled to share. These last two have absolutely nothing specific to the geography ...
HP6 — Greens
· This, I promise, is the second-last outburst consequent upon the Hawaii Problem where my Lightroom is all bulgy with nifty Big-Island photos. Today, shades of green at Akaka Falls State Park ...
HP5 — Lava Context
· Having bombarded you with lava pix while dealing with my need-to-overshare Hawaii Problem, I thought it’d be nice to show the story of where the hot rock came from ... [1 comment]
HP4 — Botanicals
· Botanical gardens are A Good Thing. If you haven’t been to any, you should rectify that soonest. If you get to Hawaii’s Big Island, you should definitely drive north from Hilo and visit the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. In this entry, the Hawaii-Problem you-gotta-see-these-pix monotony is relieved by sex ... [3 comments]
HP3 — More Hot Lava!
· I wrote about hiking across hard lava to poke a stick into hot lava, and the pictures were groovy, but I had more than I could squeeze in there, so here are the rest that are worthwhile. Those who don’t sympathize with my Hawaii Problem (the urge to force recent-vacation pictures down the world’s throat) will be happy to hear that there are only a couple more instalments after today ... [1 comment]
HP2 — The Last Palms
· The Hawaii Problem is when you come back from there with an irresistible urge to show off your pictures. Today, some lonely palm trees ...
HP1 — Sea Turtles
· HP stands for “Hawaii Problem”, which is what happens when your friends come back from it and insist on showing you their pictures. Except for since this is the Internet, nobody can insist you look at anything. Anyhow, I have a few more I feel the urge to share, starting with sea turtles ... [1 comment]
· The game still feels like a big story to me, and still under-reported; so herewith Ingress coverage, featuring tourism, community cancer, client controversy, and tactical tips. With pictures of places Ingress players see ... [3 comments]
Tropical Mirrorless Research
· I claim that watching people photograph the Big Island is effective camera-futures research; and camera futures are interesting now. So here’s some research. Oh, and Big Island photos ... [3 comments]
Finite Surface Integral of the Earth
· I have watched the piecewise creation of the world; new pieces burn gold-red, creeping into place like honey, lethally hot in the ocean-moist air ... [3 comments]
X-E1@東京: Still Water
· I bought a ticket on the Tokyo airport bus leaving from near the Google office and thought my fun with the new camera was over; but I was wrong. A half-hour wait provoked a random stroll which brought me to a little teeny shrine down a little teeny alley ...
· Ah, the camera and the motorized vehicle; both blossomed last century but are going strong. Let’s apply the first to the second and do it with a new camera in Tokyo. What’s not to like? Shameless plug: Includes my personal favorite picture in this series ... [4 comments]
X-E1@東京: Shades of Grey
· I’m a color guy; but some pictures cry out for B&W. These are both from Kitanomaru Park, which I recommend to anyone for a walk, whatever the weather. There are museums about, and the Budokan; if that name rings a bell in your head this is probably why. Also it’s just a nice garden; the botanically-inclined will appreciate the careful labeling ... [2 comments]
· The event that took me to Tokyo with a new camera was in Chiyoda, which is to say right next to the Imperial palace. On two successive days, I took the opportunity to go visit; once to Kitanomaru Park, and once to the East Garden itself. Pictures today from the latter ...
· On Day Two of the new-camera-in-Tokyo trail let’s move gradually from people to geometry. Because any city has lots of that ... [4 comments]
· So, I took the new camera to Tokyo and came back with pictures, which will inhabit this space for the next few days. For most, I’m not gonna claim they’re “typical”; but these are. If you’re going to show the truth about 東京, it has to be people. Because its buildings and cars and streets and so on are mostly nothing special, but the people who live among them are ...
· What happened was, this month includes trips to Tokyo and the Big Island. And lately I’ve been reading about cameras full of shiny new ideas. So I decided to indulge myself; here are way too many words about the state of cameras in general and in particular the one I bought ... [13 comments]
· OK, so I took these pix on the 11th not the 14th and, what’s worse, processed them heavily, but they’re still a love letter to That State. They’re from Venice Beach in LA, which I think a deep expression of Pacific Timezone consciousness. Yeah, it’s sorta sleazy and drug-oriented, but I’ll deal with that in exchange for that light and those colors ... [1 comment]
Every Year This Time
· These little guys show up in our front garden, and every year this time I run photos of ’em, not that there’s anything really new or different compared to previous years; but they’re whispering “Spring!” in violet and yellow, so how could I not share? ...
· I still think Ingress is the most interesting New Internet Thing on the current radar. What else is there to get excited about, Vine? Gimme a break. Also I can’t write about work until the release pipeline unjams a bit. So herewith more news from the front ... [6 comments]
· My father died ten years ago. Still, it’s not surprising that we turned up a box in a corner with some of his old files inside, and a nice belt, and these ... [4 comments]
· After a dry bright summer and a forgiving autumn, winter is biting down hard; day after day of lashing rain and single-digit-°C temperatures. And dark. Dark, dark, dark. When the sun comes out, it’s surprising ...
· Right at the moment, the Most Interesting Camera in the World is clearly the Sony RX-1. It’s started to hit the streets; for example, check out some early pix from Duncan Davidson. They’re good! The concept is brilliant, and I salute The Most [well, only] Interesting Part of Sony for it. But I probably wouldn’t get one even at a less-stupidly-high price ... [12 comments]
CL XXIV: Autumn Drama
· Each year’s Cottage Life ends when you Shut Down For Winter; this sad task includes tidying, sealing, draining, and then going away. We left it later this year than any before, into the season of storms and rain and darkness ... [1 comment]
· I spent most of last week in Antwerp at Devoxx 2012, probably the biggest developer event in Europe. The European context was front-of-mind since, for recreation, the week before I’d been occasionally reading US right-wingers introspecting on why they’d lost the election and where America is going. A repeating theme is how the US is at grave danger of becoming like Europe; they’re convinced that that’s Barack’s hidden agenda. And Europe, you see, is a terrible place ... [6 comments]
That Time of Year
· In which northern-hemisphere photographers are tempted to shoot autumn leaves, autumn leaves, and more autumn leaves. I’m jaded but couldn’t resist these ... [2 comments]
· Probably everyone else already knows this trick, but in case you don’t: You can tell Lightroom that whenever you import photos, if it recognizes the lens, to just go ahead and apply the default lens correction ... [3 comments]
CL XXIII: High Pressure
· I mean the large zone of elevated atmospheric pressure which has blessed the Pacific Northwest for many weeks now, making this past summer’s Cottage Life a more or less weather-untroubled sun-bath. Me, I can’t wait for the rain (coming Friday they say) ... [1 comment]
· We were going downtown on a shopping errand and just where we parked, found Button Button (view source on that site for a giggle). As they say, it’s an amusing little button store, and the buttons amused my eyes, so here are some pictures that might amuse yours. [1 comment]
· We’re heading out after dinner to pick up gelati. Vancouver’s been blessed with loads of surprising September warmth, but sunset’s now soon after seven ... [7 comments]
CL XXII: Blackberries
· Let’a be honest: Cottage Life is pretty soft. That’s the point, I believe, but... There Are Enemies. Chief among them are blackberries, not mobile devices I mean but vicious resourceful adaptive bloodthirsty vegetables. This story has a happy ending: we beat ’em and we eat ’em. In this lifetime, anyhow ... [3 comments]
The Big Picture
· A few weeks ago I was sitting in an airplane with mountains going by outside the window, and idly snapped a few pictures. They weren’t bad, and I wondered about printing one ... [5 comments]
· A few days ago, I got on a plane heading just south of west out of Vancouver, in a window seat; the window unscratched and unsmudged, a rarity these days. And then there were clouds low over those Pacific Northwest mountains ... [8 comments]
· Just some pretty pixels, no thematic or narrative distractions here ... [2 comments]
CL XVIII: Misty Mountains
· We were recently on the Great Plains and I love ’em, but a few days there and I miss the mountains. Some prairiefolk can’t settle down here on the coast, they feel shut-in because you don’t have the big sky and long view. Cottage life is about earthstone fences in front of the horizon, and I’m OK with that. And still, our skies feel big sometimes ... [1 comment]
· This is one of Hafford’s big tourist attractions. Since Hafford is a small place, it’s actually a very small tourist attraction, a clump of trees on someone’s farm down a country road off a country road. But they’re weird trees: Aspens, just like the other clump across the parking lot, only different ... [1 comment]
· I spent a couple of days visiting family in Hafford, Saskatchewan. These Western towns aren’t like anywhere else, and my Dad came from one; I like visiting and photographing them. Here’s the water tower through the trees, incredibly lush this time of year up into the edge of the parklands ... [5 comments]
Three of San Fran
· Photos, I mean. I was staying a few blocks west of Moscone West, and that’s the wrong direction. But I enjoyed the walk even though there were severely damaged people along the way to smile at or avoid or step over. With a sad story ... [11 comments]
· Greater Vancouver’s geography includes inlets of the vast Pacific and the delta of the mighty Fraser; thus a lot of bridges. The Port Mann is one of the biggest and it’s getting a bigger replacement; I have pictures ... [1 comment]
· No, that’s not a typo. I’ve always seen Poutine as the Great Québec Mistake, a culinary misadventure which for some reason has become sort of hip in our nation’s downtowns. Basically it’s fries and gravy and cheese. Except when it’s in a Thai restaurant ... [6 comments]
Laugh at an Eagle
· They’re serious, fierce-looking birds; except when they’re not ... [2 comments]
· Particularly intense botanical red; it remains the Achilles’ heel of the sensor in many (all?) digicams. I often see things in my garden that I just can’t get close to with the combination of camera and screen; hm, perhaps the problem is computer screens not camera sensors? Here we have some Japanese maple leaves against blue sky ... [1 comment]
CL XVII: Faraways
· It’s May so Cottage Life is recurring. On the island, many of the things one sees and wishes to photograph are far away thus must be captured through fairly specialized lenses which tend to impose their perceptions, particularly when the lenses are elderly and actually not that elite. Here are three of those ... [4 comments]
· Two wet rhodos and a tricolor carpet ... [1 comment]
Same Old Sex Organs
· Of plants, I mean, of course. Which is to say, around this time every year I get all deranged about the flowers and inflict loads of pictures of them on you. If this sort of photographic cliché offends or (worse) bores you, stop right now and move on to the next blog ... [2 comments]
· When I’m down here visiting the Plex I often stay at Hotel Zico; it’s comfy and attractive and inexpensive and central. It offers more or less nothing by way of food but I have breakfast at Google and don’t eat at hotels otherwise anyhow. It’s right at the intersection of 85 and 82 and thereby hangs a tale ... [8 comments]
· I’ve written before about our Little League’s opening day, but this is probably the last time; my 12-year-old son is graduating and my daughter shows no interest ...
· It was a sort-of holiday (Easter day off in Canada, but not for Google US) which meant I was juggling childcare and OAuth-related meetings and MySQL issues. By “child-care” I mean going out on a walk where the kid has a bike and I have a camera ...
· It’s what you do when you fly into San Francisco; you take pictures out the airplane window, because the city is photogenic. And those of us in the tech business fly in a lot ... [6 comments]
· Three darkish photos taken on a Vancouver Sunday evening ...
· Not just any place, but BC Place, our local football stadium, which got a welcome refresh last year and is lit up in colors that change from night to night; it’s nestled among buildings and there are very few (any?) places where you can see the whole thing. But after dark, you keep getting surprised by bits of it from here and there around town ... [2 comments]
Eight From Maui
· Pictures, I mean. I suspect that many readers have been somewhere in Hawaiʻi at least once, and may find smiles in the photos. For those who’ve not, or who have but not to Maui, I’ve wrapped some words of advice around the pictures ... [7 comments]
Waterfront Life and Death
· Vancouver includes a small ingression of the mighty Pacific called False Creek. Three busy bridges cross it and many boats (including ours) are moored there. The space that surrounds it is overly planned but still interesting. I include two photos, one of which you might not want to see ... [2 comments]
· I took my little girl for a walk, she with her little training-wheels bike, me with my camera. We prefer the neighborhood’s alleys for these expeditions. I was struck by the textures and colors of the garages backing on the laneways ... [1 comment]
2012 Floral Drumbeat
· Nearly every year round this time, I run pictures of crocuses from our front yard. Each year’s batch looks pretty much like last year’s batch. I’m not going to let that bother me ...
· This is an event, a new idea I believe, an after-dark thing in an old now-fashionable brick-warehouse neighborhood. We went down to check it out, and before we got to the actual illuminations, ran across a hat shop party. [Update: The band was Maria in the Shower.] ... [4 comments]
Fog and Public Service
· It was super-foggy last night, so I went out to look at streetlights through tree branches. You could spend a lot of time fooling around with silly depth-of-field tricks ... [1 comment]
· For a while it seemed like I was going to lose my dingy but exquisitely-located office on The Main. So I was going around town, looking at offices for rent. This one was actually pretty nice, if too far downtown ... [1 comment]
· Over on Google+, there are a lot of photographers. I mean, really a lot. And not just nerd-with-an-OK-camera dabblers like me; we’re talking pros, big-name pros some of them. Organized in circles, of course; go have a look ... [4 comments]
Grey and Red
· The grey is one of Vancouver’s rare snowy evenings. The red is the new illuminated circumference of BC Place, our venue for football and big-name rockers and the Home/Boat show. Its new look, with illumination and slanted retaining piers, has definitely added to the visual appeal downtown ...
· It snowed last week and, come the weekend, it’d stayed cold and dry enough to leave some on the ground. I went out for a walk with my daughter, both of us carrying cameras ... [4 comments]
· I usually ask for a window seat, and try to have some sort of camera handy. I’ve been flying since I was very young and I’m not young any more, but I’ve never tired of taking pictures through airplane windows. I get the occasional raised eyebrow from the other frequent flyers sucking on their Bloody Marys, but I can take it ... [2 comments]
· Thanksgiving has passed in Canada and has yet to arrive in the States. However, even in a dark time there are thanks to give ... [1 comment]
GDD in Yokohama
· I was part of the entertainment at the recent GDD Tokyo 2011; I guess nobody’s feelings are hurt if you hold a Tokyo-branded event down in Yokohama ... [4 comments]
Five of 上海
· Pictures of Shanghai, I mean. Not including any tourist attractions ... [2 comments]
Bar Android & Twicca
· On Monday nights, this funky little teeny second-floor bar in Shibuya becomes Bar Android, a gathering place for Android geeks. This last Monday, which was Hallowe’en, I went; what a blast, and I got a new Twitter client ... [10 comments]
Jing ’an Temple
· Its sprawling golden roof, all curls and curves, dominated my hotel’s neighborhood visually. This is impressive since its neighbors are towering skyscrapers and gleaming malls. I wouldn’t say it really belongs on Shanghai’s must-see list, but there were some awfully nice pictures to be taken inside ... [3 comments]
· Roppongi is a district in Tokyo that I don’t much like; Roppongi Hills is a glistening temple of ultramodernism that I can’t avoid because the Google offices are there. It’s all very nicely done but flavorless in an international way. I will say that, particularly now with the Tokyo International Film Festival in progress, there are more drop-dead cool outfits (for both genders) walking around than I’ve seen in one place for a long time ... [4 comments]
· As progress progresses, increasingly there are fewer things for which it’s worth paying what it costs to fix them when they break. I think that many of us are offended by the disposability of things like kids’ toys, Ikea furniture, computers that aren’t brand new, sunglasses, and mobile phones ... [11 comments]
· We were strolling our neighborhood, I encumbered by a camera, she by her age, currently 5. She’s been advised by her Goddess-like teacher to watch out for “fall things” ... [2 comments]
· A bright weekend day in mid-October doesn’t happen so often in Vancouver that you can ignore it. So I took my little daughter out for a bike ride; as in, she rode, I walked along with my camera in one hand, the other ready for a quick grab for when she teetered. The remaining flowers are in harbinger-of-winter mode, but still worth looking at ... [3 comments]
Photos of Wata of Boris
· I can’t remember how I first heard Boris, but I fell in love right away. They’re from Japan and play very loud, very deep, very beautiful music; some of it on Tuesday evening in Vancouver, and I was there ... [7 comments]
Two From Mexico City
· I was sorting through back photos and ran across a couple I wanted to share; they have nothing in common aside from having been taken in Mexico City when I was there in August ... [1 comment]
· I have a nice photo on my Mac desktop, but I never see it because it’s always covered with windows. I see my Android-device wallpaper all the time though, because I’m always hitting the “Home” button. I think this pattern is general and thus mobile is more interesting than desktop on the wallpaper front ... [2 comments]
· I totally promise that this is not going to become a sheepblog. Having said that, here are two ...
D.F. From Above
· The letters stand for Distrito Federal which is (using Wikipedia’s felicitous adjective) “coterminous” with Ciudad de México or what we’d call Mexico City. I’m really fond of it ... [1 comment]
· Haven’t run a flower picture for a while ... [2 comments]
CL XVI: Eagle’s Nest
· This will be two consecutive Cottage-Life posts focusing on eagles, and that’s OK because they’re at the center of the thing. Herewith a nest with an eaglet in residence; not the greatest picture but it’s something that I feel blessed to have seen and can’t not share ... [1 comment]
Still Life Paintings of Daisies
· One of my favorite online activities is the discussion of photography and (often very loosely) related subjects over at PDML. A thread last March made me want to take pictures of daisies to serve as examples to support a point I was trying to make on the subject of nothing less than Art Itself. Unfortunately, this far north (and with a cool spring) they’ve been hard to come by. But I found some ... [1 comment]
Porto Alegre — Usina do Gasômetro
· This is a power-generating plant on the waterfront that has been converted for art-and-culture purposes; there’s a cinema, a café, a children’s space, and lots of nice walls for hanging pictures. We got there as dusk was beginning to fall; a treat for the eyes and camera ... [2 comments]
Porto Alegre’s Central Market
· Like the rest of town, it lacks the extremes of drama and beauty that conventionally attract tourists. We went there on Wikipedia’s recommendation and I’m glad, since I got that you’re-a-long-way-away-from-home shiver too rarely enjoyed by over-frequent travelers, but always by those who find their photographs rather than planning them ...
Porto Alegre — Around Town
· It’s not the most glamorous or glittery place in the world, but it’s nice and friendly. For one reason or another I took a whole lot of pictures in Porto Alegre. I think I’ll have to break them up across a few entries here ... [1 comment]
· I’m not sure what the F and I stand for, but the last two letters are for “Software Livre”; FISL is the largest FLOSS event in the Southern Hemisphere, and brought me to Porto Alegre for a few days ... [2 comments]
· Just a tulip, and mostly out of focus at that ... [3 comments]
· I like to walk around and take pictures. My little girl, turning five next month, desperately wants to be part of anything that’s going on. So lately, I’ve been giving her the little pocket Canon while we’re out and about. Somewhat to my surprise, she’s into it, taking hundreds of snaps. It turns out they include a few smile-provokers ... [6 comments]
CL XV: Eagle Glass Again
· The Cottage life series has previously visited the subject of bald eagles, and of using long telephoto lenses to photograph them. Can’t have too much of that stuff ... [3 comments]
Shrubberies by Moonlight
· In recent years I’ve developed a mild obsession with low-light photography; this was a big factor in the decision last month to open my wallet for a Pentax K-5. I went crazy on the weekend and tried to use only moonlight; while it didn’t, strictly speaking, work, the results are still interesting ... [2 comments]
· I mean our son’s little league, Vancouver’s own Little Mountain Baseball, Canada’s oldest Little League and, with 600+ players up through the age of 12, quite the going concern. The Little Mountain in question is a pretty big hill in the middle of Vancouver whose name constitutes part of my neighborhood’s ... [1 comment]
100mm of the Day: Red
· This is a rhododendron, a very red one. Often they’re hard to photograph because their redness enters a space that’s welcomed by the human eye but stresses out camera sensors. That didn’t happen here; not sure whether it’s because it was kind of cloudy and grey, or maybe the camera sensors are evolving, or maybe this flower’s redness is subtly different ... [4 comments]
100mm of the Day: Pink!
· Well, I did warn you up front that lenses with “Macro” in the name tend to be instruments of photographic blossom abuse; in this case, of an early and rather wet rhododendron ...
100mm of the Day: Overcommitted
· Today is Monday; four weeks from the week of Google IO. What happened was, I liked it last year and told everyone “Hey, I’d like to work on IO” and they said yes. So you won’t be hearing much from me between now and then except for maybe a few pictures, because you’ve always got time to shoot when you have a new lens; today’s are close-ups from the Bugdroid surgical facility ... [2 comments]
100mm of the Day: Bee and Violet
· I recently acquired a new and sort-of-exotic lens; a Pentax 100mm “Macro”. This is what people my age may remember used to be called a “telephoto”. When you look through it, you don’t see much of the landscape; so it’s for zeroing in on a flower not a bush, a face not a crowd, a ship not a harbor. I’ve been having tons of fun with it so I’ll load up the Internet with a few more pictures and share some ... [4 comments]
· This is BC Place, where the Canadian Football team plays and the really big concerts happen. It’s never been very nice under the vast dingy inflated roof, and the concert sound is reliably putrid. So they’re making the roof retractable, and I went by while the sun was setting behind the project ... [2 comments]
· I got a new camera! A Pentax K-5, and I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it. But at the same time, sort of by accident I bought a lens, Pentax’s D-FA 100mm f2.8; it’s a little on the exotic side and fooling around with it has been eye-opening and also pure fun ... [5 comments]
The Drive at Dusk
· In Vancouver, “the Drive” means Commercial Drive. [Note: That Wikipedia entry needs some editorial attention and pictures.] On impulse, and because it was sunny, we went over there for gelato after dinner and I took my camera ... [1 comment]
The Main, Transpacifically
· I can honestly say “I liked Main Street before it was hip”; but only because we happened to buy a house 2½ blocks away in 1996 and were introduced to its motley charms back then ... [3 comments]
Fish and Baubles
· Lauren was having eleven knitting friends over Sunday so I took the 4½-year-old girl out for an outing. She and I both like trains and boats, so we took the Canada Line to the Seabus to Lonsdale Quay, where there’s a nice little public market with things for kids to do ...
· I just realized that just because in 2009 I wrote “I just realized that just because in every previous year I’ve run an excited photo of the spring’s first crocuses, that’s not a reason not to run an excited photo of this spring’s first crocus”, that’s not a reason not to run one in 2011 ... [3 comments]
· The boy had a soccer game today down at Andy Livingston turf which is right up against Vancouver’s infamous Downtown Eastside; I ended up in a parking lot down an alley that seemed to have just an unreasonable amount of geometry wherever I looked ... [1 comment]
Barcelona Nightlife and Out
· I’ll just tidy up the last lingering worth-showing Barcelona pix and it helps that they share an inside-after-dark theme ...
· I mean the big Gaudí church in Barcelona, whose official name I can’t not include: Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família. Words are entirely inadequate to describe it, as are pictures. That isn’t stopping me, but what’s on offer here is a poor substitute for standing inside it with eyes wide ... [7 comments]
· Barcelona, compared to some other Eurocities I could name, is relatively graffiti-free. Which doesn’t mean pristine ... [1 comment]
· Las Ramblas are a chain of nice wide tree-lined Barcelona boulevards, mostly touristy now. This is a picture of one late at night, wet and uncrowded ... [2 comments]
· Just got in, the long haul from the Left Coast. MWC starts tomorrow and all the bank machines at the airport were empty except for the one attached to the bank, still open at 8PM on Sunday. I envisioned minions shoveling money in the back ... [2 comments]
· I mean in the Manhattan sense; I was there Tuesday and having an hour to spare went for a walk, ending up at the South Street Seaport, from whence this picture ... [4 comments]
· We spent this last Christmas in Saskatchewan, which is flat, and so we went to a part that wasn’t to have very cold fun ... [1 comment]
Stuck in the Ceiling
· Just a picture I shot while walking around San Francisco not too long ago ... [1 comment]
Nexus S with Gingerbread
· I’ve been carrying the new thing around for a few weeks now, and had fun taking pictures of it ... [7 comments]
· Maybe this is a lousy autumn, or maybe my tolerance for light starvation is ebbing as I age, but I seem to be working up an early case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, inflicting dark moods on my loved ones in a rhythm that echoes that of the storms and rain ... [16 comments]
Bright Early Winter
· It was a brutally cold Sunday in November, getting close to record-setting territory. I wanted to stay inside, but then the sun came out. Once it was possible to go out it was necessary; the four-year-old had been cooped up all day and some running-around in the fresh air was clearly going to benefit everyone’s sanity. So she got to play in the snow and I got to take pictures in the sudden sideways light ... [4 comments]
· Three photographs of Santiago de Chile by night from a hotel rooftop ... [4 comments]
· What happened was, we’d done a Google DevFest all day, dealing with crowd overflows and balky Internet connectivity and covering too many sessions with too few speakers in a hot room with not much ventilation. After, Fumi and David and I climbed out of the taxi by our hotel in the financial-as-in-boring part of town (although the name of the street is pretty wonderful: Avenida Isidora Goyenechea). I spotted some sort of patio with awnings and trees and said “Let’s have a drink”, so we found ourselves settled at Tiramisú which is called a pizzeria on some maps, but has higher aspirations ...
· San Cristóbal hill (Cerro San Cristóbal) rises 300m above Santiago, Chile. On the hill are a park, a zoo, a Japanese garden, and some really great views when it’s not too polluted, but the summit is about that old-time religion, in this case Catholic. Pope John Paul II rode the funicular to the top and gave a mass, in 1987. I rode it last week, along with some French hipster tourists, in the car with the best view, which still has a plaque about John Paul ... [2 comments]
· During the ten days centered more or less around Hallowe’en, I (in the company of my Google colleagues) visited four countries in South America. This is not the way to do it. But still, fun was had. Here are a few superficial yes-I-was-there photographs ... [4 comments]
· As previously related, I traveled last week from Montevideo to Buenos Aires on a bus/ferry combo operated by Buquebus. Here are a couple of pictures from the ferry terminal ... [1 comment]
A Week From Hallowe’en
· On October 31st, I shall wake up in Montevideo and go to sleep in Buenos Aires, which is to say away from my children; and I regret it keenly. So we bought pumpkins early and carved ’em today; maybe the pictures will help get you in the mood ... [4 comments]
End of the Light
· This last couple of October weeks, since I got off the road, have been eerily beautiful here in Vancouver, tons of sun and still lots of green on many trees, while others send cascades of red and yellow twirling through rays which are increasingly coming from near the horizon ...
· Read the streetsign if it’s not obvious where this is ... [6 comments]
· See all those building blocks left of centre? There’s really a whole lot of money there ... [1 comment]
· Tokyo is one of the most glamorous and intense places in the world. I’ve photographed it a lot, and my pictures tend to reflect that. But on returning from my most recent trip, along with the usual stuff, there were some distinctly unglamorous photos. Not that good; but I thought they told interesting stories ... [1 comment]
· This fashionable suggestive-of-NY trigram is the new handle the UBC Museum of Anthropology would like to be known by. Well, I guess two syllables is better than twelve. When people coming to Vancouver ask what they should, the list I offer depends on what kind of person is asking, but it always includes MOA. Here are some pictures ... [2 comments]
Those Skies Again
· This past August, as we do most years, we visited relatives in Saskatchewan and spent some time out in the country. As always, I took pictures; here are ten of them ... [1 comment]
Mobile in Mainz
· That would be MobileTech, a conference earlier this month in Mainz, a city near Frankfurt, famous for the Gutenberg legacy and not much else ... [3 comments]
CL XIV: Bad Animals
· Only some of the animals are bad. Most of the photos are; but with redeeming features. Cottage life inevitably involves wildlife and thus danger ... [2 comments]
CL XIII: Carpentry
· Most people who have a cottage which isn’t a mini-mansion spend a lot of their cottage life maintaining and improving it. This can be a little stressful to those like me who are more or less entirely without home-improvement skills ... [9 comments]
Opaque Visual Remnants
· I’ve been so busy at work this last little while, I still take lots of pictures but don’t have time to run that many. I was glancing back over the library and pulled out a few to publish for my pleasure and I hope yours. These have in common that they’re sort of opaque; in the range from non-self-explanatory to mysterious ... [2 comments]
CL XII: Far Away
· The primary recreational activity in our cottage life isn’t boating or hiking or swimming or any of those undoubtedly worthy and improving pastimes; it’s leaning back in a comfy chair on the deck admiring the view, frequently through a camera with a great big chunk of glass on the front, with a refreshing drink (this can range from a stiff G&T to a nice cuppa T) ...
· What happened was, I was sitting on the back porch in the sun drinking white wine and shooting flowers while the rest of the family cleaned up after dinner (I’d made it so that’s OK) and picked fruit and so on. Only the camera was a little out of whack ... [3 comments]
Three Pictures of Illuminares
· For many years, Vancouver’s Public Dreams Society has presented Illuminares, a summer-evening festival built around a lantern procession. Typically held outside, around Trout Lake, it’s a nicely-hippie-flavored explosion of fire and noise and energy. This year, because Trout Lake park is under construction, they held it inside and it was still fun, if not quite as much. I got some pictures which are sort of pretty and represent a new frontier I think in my current low-light-photography obsession ... [1 comment]
Five Pictures of OSCON
· It’s my favorite conference, I think. I love the smaller, more focused events too, but OSCON is a gathering of the tribes and we need one of those ... [4 comments]
· If I read the tea-leaves correctly, this is increasingly the tool of choice among serious photogs, although Aperture isn’t going away any time soon. The new release has been well-covered elsewhere; I don’t have too much more to add, but I do have a major gripe and a couple of pictures to illustrate the much-ballyhooed noise-reduction filters ... [10 comments]
· On July first, Canada Day, we went down and took in the big show at Canada Place; fun was had. We’re officially and as a matter of record here in Canada supposed to be about multiculturalism and any idiot can see we’re multiethnic, but that doesn’t actually mean we’re eating off different tables or listening to different tunes ... [6 comments]
· Being a sunlit rain-forest interior from somewhere on the north slope of Keats Island ... [3 comments]
CL XI: Treeset
· At the cottage, life is surrounded by trees and constrained by the sun’s coming and going. Especially going. In these pictures, it’s going behind some trees ... [3 comments]
Unfinished, With Clouds
· What happened was, we went to a party at Shane and Ally’s place on East First Ave at a mixed residential-commercial development with a common rooftop garden. We barbecued up there, sharing the space amicably with a couple of other parties. The view was compelling and the clouds were interesting ... [2 comments]
· The idea was, since I just upgraded to Lightroom 3, that I’d import whatever was on the cameras, beautify it, and report back on the big new release ... [3 comments]
· The weekend of May 24th, my extended family gathered in Calgary from points East and West across Canada to celebrate my Mom’s eightieth birthday. Herewith storytelling and pictures ... [1 comment]
I/O 2010 Words and Faces
· I worked like a madman right through I/O 2010 and went straight from there to an internal meeting and from there to my Mom’s 80th-birthday bash, so there hasn’t been much time for reflection. I can’t find a theme to organize my notes by, so what you get is a dozen poorly-sequenced take-aways interspersed with seven faces ... [4 comments]
Being at I/O
· The facility, Moscone West, is jam-packed to busting; the organizers slammed on the attendance brakes weeks back, worried about militant fire marshals, breaking the hearts of outsiders and Googlers alike. It’s a nice building, full of light even in a grey California spring ...
· Our pear tree died, a victim of old age, root pathology, and a high wind. Herewith consequences bureaucratic and photographic ... [2 comments]
· We’ve been having one, just as the garden’s citizens have been in maximum-reproductive-frenzy mode, which I’m afraid leads to horrid overindulgence in photographic cliché. But they sure are pretty ... [2 comments]
Looking Up Near Holyrood
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 133 on 2010/03/28: “Sunday Challenge: Backlighting in a scene can create drama. Make a photo with interesting placement of backlit subjects.” ... [4 comments]
Where the Roads Cross
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 152 on 2010/04/16: “Bright, vivid colors can draw attention and add "pop" to a photo. Make a photo that has vivid colors today.” ... [1 comment]
New Photo Workflow
· As a side-effect of joining Google, I have a new 13" MacBook Pro with a solid-state disk (good!) whose capacity is only 113G. This has pretty well screwed up my previous picture-management habits so I had to invent a new workflow, which is working out pretty well. I’m not claiming it’s right for anyone else, but others might find it a useful read. Plus since it’s photo-related I’ve dropped in three miscellaneous pix that I think are eye-pleasers ... [7 comments]
First Day of Spring
· There’s an offical definition; on the radio someone says “Spring begins Wednesday at 3:18PM” or some such. For me, it’s the first day I can go out in the yard with the kids after supper and shoot flowers while they hit balls and squabble over sideline calls ... [2 comments]
CL X: Nautical Visual
· Cottage Life almost by definition occurs near the water and in our case, lacking road access, is necessarily punctuated by time spent messing about in boats. This is an activity with many rewards, chief among them the things you see ... [1 comment]
Round the Fountain
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 125 on 2010/03/20: “Liquids can be still and reflective or in motion and chaotic. Make a photograph of something liquid today.” ... [1 comment]
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 116 on 2010/03/11: “"Rules" can be stifling if taken to extremes. Break the rules today with focus, composition, etc, and see what happens.” ... [1 comment]
Theory and Practice
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 114 on 2010/03/09: “Most of us enjoy some symmetry in our lives. Look around for it today and make a symmetrical photo. (via @melhutch) ” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 110 on 2010/03/05: “Food engages all the senses. Make a photograph of food that causes our mouth to water or pucker. Get the viewer engaged.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 108 on 2010/03/03: “Weathered objects have a lot of character: cracked, rusted, bleached, etc. Give us your best weathered shot today.” ... [2 comments]
· One of the more heavily used controls in Lightroom’s “Develop” module is labeled “Clarity”. Here’s a nifty little illustration of its powers ... [4 comments]
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 107 on 2010/03/02: “Find out what those buttons and dials on your camera do. Play today! Try a new setting and make a photo. (via @dibytes) ” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 105 on 2010/02/28: “Sunday challenge: Make a photo that invokes or communicates happiness to the viewer. Make 'em feel it, not just see it!” ... [1 comment]
Within the Rhythm
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 102 on 2010/02/25: “Negative space can be just as important to a composition as your primary subject. Explore negative space in a photograph.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 101 on 2010/02/24: “There is often a conflict between traditional and contemporary. Make a photo that shows this tension. (@melhutch) ” ... [1 comment]
Off By One
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 100 on 2010/02/23: “Monochrome photos don't have to be the result of processing or desaturation. Find a monochrome composition and shoot it. ” ... [2 comments]
Brown and Green
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 98 on 2010/02/21: “Backgrounds are tricky. They can make a subject stand out or distract from it. Make a photo with a good background today.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 97 on 2010/02/20: “An old adage in photography says if you want to improve your photographs, move closer. Fill your frame today!” ... [1 comment]
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 96 on 2010/02/19: “Symbols can be simple, ornate, plain, or colorful. Make a photo of a symbol that represents or stands for something else.” ... [4 comments]
Black, Yellow, Violet
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 95 on 2010/02/18: “Frames outline the focus of a subject. Make a creative photo with natural framing: windows, doors, trees, borders, etc.” ...
Shawl, In Progress
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 93 on 2010/02/16: “Things are always a-changin'. Make a photo that offers a snapshot of something being built, fabricated, or assembled.” ... [2 comments]
Riding the Bus Together
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 91 on 2010/02/14: “Sunday (Valentine's Day) challenge: What is love? Make an interpretive photo today. Keep it clean, people. :-)” ... [2 comments]
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 89 on 2010/02/12: “Continuing the Friday fun theme, make a photo that goes with the title of a book you've read.” ...
Awaiting the Torchbearer
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 88 on 2010/02/11: “We often get stuck in a rut of always zooming to the longest focal length. Break out today by making a wide-angle photo.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 87 on 2010/02/10: “We all have some sort of hobby or favorite activity. Make a photo that shows something you enjoy doing. (via @azmichelle)” ... [3 comments]
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 85 on 2010/02/08: “Pet photos are such a cliche, but they're also cute. Make an interesting photo of a pet today. (via @rmanalan)” ...
· Young men’s fancy turns to thoughts of, well, it depends ... [2 comments]
Heading Out to the Game
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 84 on 2010/02/07: “Challenge: Practice storytelling today. Look for 3 images that tell a story, and make a set of photos that go together.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 83 on 2010/02/06: “Curves carry the eye along with them. Make a photo that creates a sense of movement with curves today.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 82 on 2010/02/05: “More fun on a Friday: Make a photo that goes with the title of a movie you've seen, interpreted any way you like!” ...
This is not like that
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 81 on 2010/02/04: “Contrasting ideas engage the mind. Make a photo today that tells a story with contrasting elements. (via @dibytes)” ... [2 comments]
Vacant Lot (detail)
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 80 on 2010/02/03: “Make a "sharp" photo today any way you interpret it, either tack-sharp focus or a subject that is sharp itself.” ... [1 comment]
Wet, Blue, and Early
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 79 on 2010/02/02: “It's Groundhog Day in the U.S. Make a photo that illustrates whether it's more like winter or spring where you live.” ...
On the Main
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 78 on 2010/02/01: “Time for another color theme: Orange! Keep your eyes peeled for anything orange today and make an interesting photo.” ...
Edges of the sky
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 77 on 2010/01/31: “Sunday Challenge: Wherever there's an edge, there's energy. Make a photo where two things meet: land-water, land-sky, etc.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 76 on 2010/01/30: “Get up close and personal with a building today. Make a photo of an architectural detail.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 75 on 2010/01/29: “Sugar, spice, and everything nice. Make a photo of something sweet today.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 73 on 2010/01/27: “Take something common--an object, building, or landscape--and compose an abstract composition with it.” ...
Arts & Crafts
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 71 on 2010/01/25: “Right (90-degree) angles can help define a composition. Make a photograph involving intersecting lines. (@lyzadanger) ” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 70 on 2010/01/24: “Sunday challenge: Experiment with shutter speed today by making a photo with a long exposure. ” ...
"Words fail me."
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 67 on 2010/01/21: “Quirky things often catch your eye and make for interesting art. Make a photo of something that makes you go "Hmmm" today.” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 66 on 2010/01/20: “Make your camera the star of the show today. Use another camera or mirror to put your camera in a photo of its own. ” ...
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 64 on 2010/01/18: “Practice the art of simplicity today by making an interesting photo from a minimalist perspective (@domingocaceres).” ...
Lauren, by candle-light
· Assignment for Dailyshoot 63 on 2010/01/17: “Sunday challenge: We've photographed many things, but few people. Make a photo where the theme is a person or people.” ...
· I speak of Yakisoba and Yakiudon, Japanese stir-fry dishes differentiated by whether the noodles are thin buckwheat (Soba) or thick wheat (Udon). The way I make them, people like them; but the names are a little misleading because the noodles are pretty well backgrounded. Herewith some illustrated recommendations; including exotic hand-imported ingredients ... [9 comments]
Boxing Day Fog
· You can buy 1-Terabyte disks for $79, or 40-inch TVs for $500, or you can pretend the air isn’t a wet grey mass and head for a wintry beach ... [4 comments]
· I hope you basked in the warmth of loved ones’ company, ate well, and were pleasantly surprised. I have seasonal photographs, with thoughts on Joseph Ratzinger, McKinley Morganfield, and turkey stuffing ... [5 comments]
· What happened was, for that Sex and T.E. Lawrence piece, I had to engage in an old-fashioned paper chase; books, scribbles, large work surface. I’d say “No search engines involved” but that wouldn’t be true ... [4 comments]
· That’s the name of a pretty nice park on Vancouver’s University Endowment Lands, which sort-of belong to UBC but can’t for the moment be covered with condo towers, which is a Good Thing. Observing in the Saturday morning forecast the heavy rain I now hear on Sunday evening as I write this, I determined that force-marching the urchins into the Pacific Spirit woods would be a good idea. Plus, I brought my camera ...
· A domestic wintry day (high of 3°C with gusts of very unpleasant wind) recalled and illustrated ... [2 comments]
Oddball Beet Salad
· Last weekend, friends were about and we went to the market and I made lurid bicoloured salad for the ballgame and it was all good. With pictures and a recipe ... [1 comment]
· Recently, I’ve been taking public transit around town more and more. The advent of the Canada Line is one reason, and another is that since I’ve been carrying the Android-flavored Internet in my pocket, travel time isn’t necessarily downtime. Plus, as I steer thousands of pounds of steel and glass and so on around town, the proportion of my mind that’s thinking about carbon-loading keeps increasing unnervingly ... [6 comments]
· The conference was in an Embassy Suites right there by San Fran airport, thus for the first time in years I found myself in The Valley but without a car; felt weird. As usual, a bracing blend of geek love and mind food, plus this time with musical and athletic side-trips ... [3 comments]
CL IX: Closing Up
· For those of us who live North of the 49th parallel, an essential feature of Cottage Life is the sad process of “Closing Up”; acknowledging that you’re just not going any more till Spring. We did, but remain ambiguous ...
· It comes from the sun. Through leaves in the autumn, and lampposts too ... [2 comments]
島根 September — Canal Farewell
· I suppose that’s about enough words & pictures from around Shimane prefecture. Here are a few farewell shots from the Matsue city canal-boat tour ...
島根 September — Ruby Road Trip
· Our story thus far: a gaggle of gaijin are invited to hold forth at RubyWorld 2009 in a little-noticed corner of Japan. The conference was on Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday they took us on a scenic Shimane tour. Matz and Ko1 and Prof. Takeuchi came along, and I got pictures so you can too ... [2 comments]
島根 September — RubyWorld
· The reason I went to Japan was to attend RubyWorld 2009, a conference centering around the Ruby programming language. The reason the conference was in this rather remote corner of Japan is that Matsumoto Yukihiro (known to geeks as “Matz”), the inventor of Ruby, chooses to live and work in Matsue, and the city and prefecture governments are trying to use his presence as leverage in diversifying the local economy into Open-Source software. While the conference was reasonably well-covered in the Japanese media, I’ve seen nothing in English, so I’ll try to rectify that here. With pictures ... [2 comments]
Take the Train to Tokyo
· Being an illustrated mini-travelogue on taking the new Canada Line train to Vancouver airport. Almost certainly of interest only to people who might do such a thing ... [9 comments]
A Light in the Forest
· Sunlight, of course. I only took the little camera along for the most recent cottage weekend, but those woods sure are pretty ... [5 comments]
Hector and the Gulls
· We were walking along Jericho Beach around suppertime of a recent weekend when the clouds and light performed a summer-afternoon dance for us. I was shooting in every direction and present for your entertainment one marine vessel and two feathered scavengers; nothing you can’t see there every day ... [3 comments]
CL VIII: Building Things
· In the first couple of years after you acquire a cottage, you spend a lot of time adding stuff to it. Since fewer and fewer things come pre-assembled, and if they did you wouldn’t want to take them on the boat put-together, that means you have to build them. This Cottage Life piece is, weirdly, mostly a plug for a barbecue-maker’s publishing talents; but there are some pretty pictures, including a failed eagle ... [2 comments]
Cute Little Yellow Guy
· I almost never run wildlife photos here, but I did yesterday and here’s another, of a cute little part-yellow bird I saw flitting around in the bushes near Lake Okanagan. With a note for photo-geeks ... [6 comments]
· The dogs are Prairie Dogs, which are interesting little rodents, and “bad” is about the Badlands. Two photos of Prairie Dogs in the Badlands near Drumheller, Alberta ... [4 comments]
· I’d be hard-put to say whether OSCON or RubyConf is my favorite conference of the year; when I miss either I’m grumpy. Here’s a brief report from the latest San Jose instalment, with pictures ... [3 comments]
Alberta Skies — Distant Rain
· There’s nowhere in the world with skies like the Canadian West; well, maybe the steppes of Russia, but I haven’t been there. I kept having to take pictures of the sky; on this occasion, the alternation of blue skies, distant squalls, and intense local storms brought the canvas continuously alive ... [1 comment]
Alberta Skies — Incoming!
· The best part of our recent Western Canada vacation swing — aside from those dinos, of course — was the storm-watching. Our ride through the mountains in Alberta was pretty sunny, but as we headed north toward Drumheller, the clouds got more and more and more threatening, and then the storm caught us ...
DotD: Elegantly Scary
· The management of The Tyrrell are obviously quite taken with this dinosaur since it appears extensively in the crowd-pleasing lifesize models outside before which tourists pose in a hearteningly cheery way. I can’t remember what it’s called, but this fossil skeleton is featured in the main display hall with a combination of lighting and positioning effects so obviously designed to be scary that I had to try to go with the flow. I’m thinking Sigourney Weaver ... [8 comments]
DotD: Triceratops Mounted
· Did I mention that Triceratops is my fave dino? Judging from the comments to yesterday’s Triceratops, Stegosaurus may be more popular among the readership here. But this is my blog, so here’s a nicely-presented Triceratops skull ... [3 comments]
DotD: Triceratops Reflected
· Today’s dinosaur is in the nicest room at The Tyrrell, a big softly-lit space filled elegantly with fossils ranging from big to huge. I didn’t manage a good general shot of the room, but this gives something of the feel ... [6 comments]
Dino of the Day — Eyes!
· Our friend Sally from Australia is visiting, so in early July we took a seven-day drive around nice bits of Western Canada, notably including the badlands-and-dinosaur country of Southern Alberta. I’ll run some dinosaur shots over the next few days ... [2 comments]
Junepix 9: AFS
· This acronym is much-used among photographers around here. “A” is for “another” and “S” for “sunset”. Being on the left side of a land mass will do that to you ... [1 comment]
Junepix 8: Misty Mountains
· Tolkien’s mountains were mis-named: not misty at all, but craggy and storm-struck and often bathed in fierce sunlight. Here’s a picture of the real things ... [3 comments]
Junepix 7 & CL VII: Mountain Climb
· Attentive readers of the Cottage Life series will recall that one of the motivations for acquiring a strip of Howe-Sound waterfront included my discovery that I was raising a city boy who needed a little more exposure to the outdoors. So, last weekend he and I climbed a mountain together ... [3 comments]
Junepix 5: Trees and Mountains
· OK, pictures of large plants and very large rocks taken from our place on Keats Island are in danger of becoming a visual cliché around here. But this is an awfully pretty one ... [1 comment]
Junepix 4 & CL VI: Monster!
· The June-pictures and Cottage-Life threads intersect in a photograph of a stiffly-serpentine beast that appeared on our beach. With a true story about a real serpent ... [3 comments]
Junepix 1: Car-Free
· I was editing some pictures (which I organize per-month) and realized that there were a ton in the June folder that I’d been meaning to run, and now it’s not June. So let’s populate the first few days of July with some of ’em. First, musical faces of Car-Free Vancouver Day ...
Royal Sunset Again
· Yes, I run pictures of this one particular plant’s blossoms all the time. I can’t help myself, particularly when the sun goes to work adding drama ...
· The rose is a Mme. Alfred Carrière, the gryphon is just a garden ornament ... [1 comment]
Grainy Eye Candy
· Here are two images with nothing in common except being kinda grainy but pretty anyhow ... [3 comments]
· They’re pretty, but they’re aggressive. Many of those in this picture, taken only a few days ago, are now history, slaughtered to make growing room for something we like better ... [4 comments]
· We planted a bunch a couple of years back, and now you get a chance to look at a few every spring if you want. These two are white and violet with slinky stems ... [1 comment]
· A photo of a three-petaled flower on a plant whose leaves come also in triples ... [1 comment]
It’s a Beautiful Day
· Opening Day, I mean. Around here that means Little Mountain Baseball, for boys and girls aged 4 to 12. That first number’s not a misprint; they have this thing called “Blast Ball” for the near-toddlers. The sun was up and the colours were bright ...
The Anticipation of Pleasure
· I try to do this once every spring: Run some pictures of where there are going to be flowers pretty soon. In this case, the magnolia in late-spring-afternoon sunlight ... [4 comments]
Ground Zero Balls
· The kinds of balls that go on the ends of cables hanging from cranes I mean; don’t even know what they’re called. These particular balls and cables and cranes are on the Ground Zero site in lower Manhattan ... [4 comments]
Ouch, That Smarts
· Quoting from About Photography (1949) by American photographer Will Connell (hat tip Brendan MacRae): “Every medium suffers from its own particular handicap. Photography's greatest handicap is the ease with which the medium as such can be learned. As a result, too many budding neophytes learn to speak the language too long before they have anything to say.” [10 comments]
Sunday at the Seaside
· If you’re fortunate enough to live in a city by the sea, you should bloody well go visit it sometimes. This last weekend I was on single-Dad duty, so Sunday morning I ignored the lowering sky and general dampness, bundled the protesting urchins into the van, and took them to the beach ... [5 comments]
· This last Friday and Saturday I spent in the company of 250 or so people who self-define as contributors to the Net, at Northern Voice 2009. On the one hand, it’s like being in a warm bath; everyone here thinks it’s normal to want to tell your story to the world, usually on more than one channel. On the other, everyone goes around talking about “Social Media”; the clock is totally ticking on the time when you can do that unironically. Having said that, our traditional media are looking pathetically clapped-out and we are sure as hell going to need something to fill the gaps. With pictures ... [1 comment]
· I just realized that just because in every previous year I’ve run an excited photo of the spring’s first crocuses, that’s not a reason not to run an excited photo of this spring’s first crocus ... [2 comments]
Eight Pictures of 香港
· Poor travel planning: Twenty-four hours in the air (13 there, 11, back) and less than 72 on the ground in Hong Kong, which is a sort-of-phonetic rendering of the Cantonese pronunciation of the characters in the title above meaning “fragrant harbour” ... [2 comments]
2008/12/23, Four PM
· We spent time near Christmas at a family farm near Esterhazy in Saskatchewan. Regular readers will know that I enjoy photographing this part of the world. On December 23rd, as the clock marched toward four in the afternoon and the December sun (at 50°39'12"N) neared the distant flat horizon, I resolved on a photo-walk. It was around -30°C with a mild but painful breeze in the fast-changing light; one of the most intense experiences in my 2008. Herewith eight pictures, mostly of snow ... [7 comments]
Fog, then Steam
· I’ve whined recently about Vancouver’s untypical and long-lasting fog problem and, as I write, it’s back, accompanied by freezing temperatures. But we had some bright relief ... [3 comments]
Cloud Interop Session
· I spent Tuesday at the Cloud Interop event organized by Steve O’Grady and David Berlind. Scientists say that even a negative result is useful in advancing knowledge; I’d go further and say that a wait-and-see attitude in the heat of a hype cycle is often optimal. By those criteria, this was successful. My attendee count peaked at 51 ... [3 comments]
· That’s been our weather for days, and it doesn’t look like changing ... [3 comments]
· Vancouver’s weather has been sufficiently bad this winter to have made the national news a few times, and if you follow any local online voices, you may be growing tired of our whining about the weather. Well, I’m going to publish a few pictures of the carnage anyhow ... [11 comments]
· Being two photographs of cow hair. Live and on the cow I mean. Really ... [9 comments]
The School Concert
· Our son is attending Grade Four in a specialized program that includes a compulsory String Instruments class, thus he’s been struggling to master a screechy little violin since September. It’s a public school; by some budgetary jiggery-pokery they manage to retain the services of a nearly-full-time Strings teacher. Last Thursday night was the Christmas Concert featuring the fourth and fifth graders, and we had no idea what to expect ... [6 comments]
· Walking down to the shops at the corner in the damp Pacific Northwest dimness, a hold-out rose caught my eye. It’s beat up and soaking wet, but this time of year you take the flowers you can get ... [2 comments]
Fuzzy Clichés and Money
· Being an illustrated ramble through the last three days, which I spent in Manhattan talking about money. Some of the photos are the most painfully obvious clichés and to make it worse fuzzy and blurry too. Those adjectives might apply at least in part to the money business too ... [5 comments]
CL V: Rain and its Culture
· There won’t be any more Cottage Life pieces till next year, because we spent American Thanksgiving, when you can’t get anything done anyhow, closing the place up. We found out why they call all those great big trees a “rain forest” ... [3 comments]
· I actually don’t like hardly anything made with eggplant, but I’m glad other people do so that there are baskets of them at the market to take pictures of ... [9 comments]
Round Yellow Tree
· The mixture of green and autumnal yellow produces the illusion of a springlike colour, but in fact this is pure November ...
· In which I once again ignore the conventional photographic wisdom holding that shade is your friend and sunlight your enemy ... [3 comments]
· On a recent weekend we took the Seabus over to Lonsdale Quay. The Seabus is both romantic and reliable, a rare enough combination in this world. On the way back, I took a photo of the big container-handling cranes ... [1 comment]
· I spent four days there last week and enjoyed it. Herewith words and pictures ... [2 comments]
· Being a photo of some jetsam on Vancouver’s Point Grey foreshore ... [1 comment]
· There are still a lot of green leaves left, but we’re definitely in early-autumn mode. Check out these many shades of yellow ... [1 comment]
· I’ve got a touch o’ them old autumnal-financial-meltdown blues, so I’ll post a couple of garden shots as therapy ... [1 comment]
· Like most people on the left half of the New World, driving has informed and constrained and enriched my adult life. I’ve enjoyed it. Indications are that mine will be one of the last drive-everywhere generations. The shape the tribe settles into may be more pleasing, and strengthening local culture is a fine thing, but the loss of the time-behind-the-wheel, with the music playing, going places, well, it’s sad ... [9 comments]
· Being three photographs of a lonely old rose. In June of 2004 I said I’ll try again next year, and I did too but this is an elusive target; follow that link to read why. This year, what with the cool spring, it didn’t bloom till September ... [1 comment]
· Being another photograph of that same sunset, once again without benefit of clouds, this time with the help of an aluminium shed ... [3 comments]
White on Green
· Being a photo of a cluster of small white flowers against a leafy backdrop ... [2 comments]
· Being a photo of the sun approaching the horizon with no clouds to serve as a canvas for its setting rays. But there’s a little tree ... [3 comments]
· Being a photograph of a Saskatchewan hayfield and a cloudy sky ... [2 comments]
· We left summery August Vancouver for a week on the prairies, where blazing heat and lashing storms alternated, thunder often in the distance ...
· I’ve always had a weakness for cowboy fashion, and when we visit Saskatchewan, we always drop by the big Cowtown store in Regina to do our bit for the Prairie economy, not that it needs it what with grains and potash and petroleum all booming ... [3 comments]
Five Living Skies
· That’s what it says on the Saskatchewan license plates: Land of Living Skies. We spent a few days out there earlier this month and the plates pretty well have it. if you’re a photographer, you’ll find yourself pointing the camera up ... [1 comment]
Whitecaps vs. Silverbacks
· My son is an avid soccer player, has been in an organized league for four years now. Vancouver has a team, the Whitecaps, in the USL, one down from MLS. As a promotion, the boy’s team was invited to a match, some of them to march out with the players, some to play a mini-game at half-time. I went along and took the camera ... [5 comments]
CL IV: Peace
· Most of these Cottage Life posts are going to be on the cynical side; with luck, good for a laugh or two. But there is a reason we do this, and here it is. With a furniture recommendation ...
· July was an excellent month, almost all sunshine. My flower-photo mojo had pretty well run dry, but then out walking after a shower, there were all these droplet-laden blossoms and there I was shooting away ... [1 comment]
· Screwdrivers are important. Really; you just can’t do anything without them. And it turns out that lots are lots better than just a few. This is about that. Illustrated ... [34 comments]
Happy Backyard Story
· We bought our house in 1997 and were expecting our first child in mid-1999. This caused us to launch a pretty major Home Improvement project, which was painful but successful; herewith a small photo-essay ... [1 comment]
Nine Pictures of OSCON
· Herewith some illustrated take-aways from OSCON 2008; I enjoyed it (and, I think, benefited from it) as much as any conference in recent years ... [1 comment]
· There’s nothing wrong with kids having some weeks of flat time in summer with an empty schedule; they’ll look back on those days fondly. There’s also nothing wrong with the odd soccer or basketball camp. I rather enjoy dropping the boy off at these and watching the other parents, who appear, pre-9-AM on a weekday, in a remarkable variety of apparel and presentations. I caught one of my recent faves for this summer day’s photo ... [1 comment]
· We spend a lot of time on our back porch this time of year. Unfortunately, the beautiful plum tree that kept the setting sun from boiling our eyeballs died, and until the replacement gets big enough, we’ve been hoisting bedsheets on the west end of the porch roof at suppertime. Which can make for some interesting shadowplay, as in the Summer Picture for today ...
SPotD: Ball Game
· On July first, we celebrated Canada and my son’s birthday by going to the ball game and fireworks. It was a warm, warm evening. The Summer Photo for Today is an outfielder and a scoreboard ... [1 comment]
· I’ve been too overloaded to write much or even post pix, but never (it seems) to take pictures, so they’ve been building up. I look at the buildup and discern a theme; herewith the first Summer Picture of the Day; more to come. And what could be more summery than lemonade? ... [2 comments]
(Last) RotD: Lucky Sunset
· The last rose of the day is a “Royal Sunset” in the sunset, A lucky shot, another small instance of good fortune in what’s been (so far) an unreasonably lucky life ... [4 comments]
· I like mornings. Especially bright ones on foot in the city. People are up and about for a reason; it’s easy to believe the world is on the whole is a well-organized purposeful kind of place ... [3 comments]
RotD: Morning Mist
· We planted today’s rose in an awkward corner of the garden and thus had to move it; this summer it’s recovering and only produced one blossom. Pretty pictures are a relief, I hope, in a week that feels like summer’s Horse latitudes ...
· This rose-of-the-day grows in our front yard, but we inherited it and I don’t know what it is. Plus, Nikon is making waves in the camera world ... [2 comments]
· I think today’s roses are Wild, but it turns out that label can apply to a bunch of different things, including the official flower of the next province over, where I sometimes think I’m from ... [1 comment]
CL III: Semantic Gaps
· I do intend a Cottage Life post soon that’s not about maintenance, but this isn’t it. I thought I was trying to fix the water heater, but in fact it became a four-way semantic mapping conundrum ... [1 comment]
RotD: Yellow Rugosa
· Today’s rose is awfully pretty, and is accompanied by amusing erudition-soaked dialogue. Rugosa is a rose species and “yellow” is self-explanatory. But the combination is rare ... [1 comment]
RotD: Single Petal, on Violet
· I thought I’d shot my Flower-of-the-Day wad last month, but I have two problems: First, there are a lot of pleasing photos of roses on my computer, and second, I’m a bit bored. Thus, a Rose-of-the-Day series ... [4 comments]
CL II: Water-Displacement Forty
· Cottage Life, unless yours is a mansion with full-time staff, is mostly maintenance, with a few intervening breaks for nature or beer. I’m neither deft nor mechanically gifted, but the right industrial chemicals can make up for that ... [7 comments]
· Its full name is Car-Free Vancouver Day and it happened last Sunday. We hadn’t been planning to go but stumbled in more or less accidentally and it was good fun. It gave me an excuse to take pictures of people; something I’m too shy to do except in a crowd ... [1 comment]
· Two photos of not much in particular, but with explanations ... [1 comment]
· Our house is near, and my office on, Main Street, which despite its name is not, nor has it ever been, the main street of anything. These days “The Main” is starting to be hip and fashionable, but the process is hampered by the fact that the buildings are, on average, old, and mostly weren’t very good when they were built. So it was kind of nice when some street art popped up on one that I walk by every day ... [5 comments]
· Now we’re real Canadians. As of June 11th, Lauren and I own a cottage on Keats Island (Wikipedia, map, keatsisland.net). The consequences include a sudden interest in remote-area Internet options ... [15 comments]
· Photographic sketches, I mean. Earlier this month, Eve and Eli were up from Seattle to visit and after dinner, we all dropped by the Kino Café to take in the flamenco. It was passionate and sexy and fun ... [2 comments]
San Fran Shadows
· Last week I took a brief trip to San Francisco, and managed to escape for a walk. Lots of buildings had interesting shadows on them ... [2 comments]
Cup of Tea
· This would be on Zipang Sushi on Main Street in Vancouver ... [2 comments]
(Last) FotD: May 24 Menton
· Just like last year, I haven’t published all the flowers, but enough is enough. Let’s end with three “Menton” tulip photos; they’re of a colour that I don’t think English has a word for, although “flesh” might do if you limited your flesh-tones to the European spectrum. Anyhow, I think I saved the best for the last ... [1 comment]
FotD: May 21 Tattered White
· Pear-blossoms actually, and en masse elegant; the individual flowers have a tough life but still deserve a look ... [2 comments]
FotD: May 18 Violet Riot
· The magnolia is just coming off its riotous pink and purple peak. So instead of yet again zeroing in on one or two blossoms, I shot a whole bunch ... [1 comment]
FotD: May 16 Orange and Blue
· Orange and blue and green, actually. I could give you the flower names and so on but why bother, it’s just some blossoms and leaves, cheery stuff ...
FotD: May 15 Trillium
· I’ve written about them before, how the flowers start out the purest and most delicate white imaginable and then fade into purple decrepitude. Wikipedia suggests this is Trillium ovatum ... [1 comment]
FotD: May 14 Icelandic
· I’ve run a few pictures of these over the years, repeatedly mislabeling them as California poppies, and each time been corrected by better-educated readers; it’s an Iceland poppy ... [2 comments]
FotD: May 13 Flaming Spring Green
· Last year, it started a month earlier; a couple of weekend days around the town and my computer is bulging with spring-flower shots. So, with apologies to those who come here for technology, we’ll be in Flower of the Day mode for the next little while. Today’s Flaming Spring Green is a tulip, about my favorite of this year’s crop ...
· Being a picture of one, with some other things ... [4 comments]
Wet, with Forget-me-nots
· Tulips, I mean. Our front yard is riot of tulips all shouting “Look at me!” It rained and I thought “wet tulips, mmmm”, and by coincidence three of them had forget-me-nots somewhere in the frame ... [3 comments]
· This will not be of interest to those who are here for the technology; move right along. It will also not be of interest to serious photographers, who scoff at bright pretty pictures of bright pretty flowers ... [3 comments]
April 18, 2008
· I had a little slack in the schedule heading for the airport, so when I left work, I stopped on to photograph a marsh ... [2 comments]
The Anticipation of Pleasure
· I plan to re-use that title once each springtime as long as I go on writing this. This year, tulips about to open ... [2 comments]
· I finally got around to unloading the memory card from the pocket cam and gosh, were there ever a lot of garden shots on it. Hey, Spring is happening, which means these pages will be flower-infested for some weeks now. If you like flowers at all, you’ll probably agree that the little Ricoh has a gift for ’em ... [2 comments]
· Here’s the short form in geek-speak: Apparently, you can use rsync to keep two computers running Lightroom in harmony. The long version is well, long, and digresses into Deep Vein Thrombosis and Olympic Table-Tennis qualification ... [19 comments]
· I mean Earth Hour. Lauren lit a bunch of candles and we just sat there enjoying the silence. Well, until I got out the camera ... [4 comments]
FSS: Under Paris 1994
· Friday Slide Scan #34 (wow, it’s been over a year) is from early mid-1994; views of Paris, including a couple I bet you haven’t seen ... [2 comments]
· Here are three photos of two ladies taken on Maui, one of whom is addressed with a capital L ...
· It’s a word for thinking, “reflection”. That’s odd, because thinking is more than echoing the world back to itself ... [6 comments]
· So, I got into the hotel room and found that blogging grumpily at my travel and blogosphere problems didn’t cheer me up. Lauren and Simon each sent me the number of someone I know around here, but I was just too pissed at the world to pick up the phone. So I picked up the new camera instead and went walking ... [6 comments]
· In single-Dad mode on this brilliant Sunday morning, I decided to pack the urchins up after breakfast and take them down to Granville Island. It’s one of Vancouver’s nicest things and too often we abandon it to the tourists (In fact, on this occasion I helped a posse of Germans figure out the parking-ticket machine). Well, and I had a new camera burning a hole in my pocket ... [10 comments]
· “First Crocus of the Year”, I mean to say. For me it’s a major transition when, after the months of grey, our garden starts to have some colour in it. Not the best crocus photo ever, and probably not the best crocuses either. But they’re important to me ... [1 comment]
· Earlier this evening, I finished scanning the slides I have that my Dad took. That’s a lot of slides and a lot of bits. With observations about Wal-Mart and Ubuntu and the end of optical storage ... [10 comments]
In the Lane
· I have written here before about alleys and back lanes and today I took my daughter and my camera for a walk down ours. She has only recently learned how to walk and this has been the first couple of days of decent weather since ... [1 comment]
· We’ve had snow on the ground for days and days and days, which is not how it’s supposed to be in Vancouver in February. Today finally some sun, and signs of Spring even ... [2 comments]
· Being a blurry photo of boys having a ball with a ball in the gym ... [1 comment]
· I’ve photographed this member of the Plant Kingdom any number of times, even wearing snow. Those who feel this happens too often can have their money back ...
· It snowed a bit yesterday, and then sort of sleeted and rained a bit on top, then froze in the morning. So overnight passers-by had their footprints preserved. Whose are these? ... [8 comments]
SSS: My Family
· Over the past few years I’ve been slowly working through an inventory of some thousands of 35mm slides taken by my Dad and others in the pre-digital era. I used to run a “Friday Slide Scan”. It fell off a bit because I neglected to scan for months at a time, and because the sequence I was working through was all adorable babies and cute toddlers; of limited interest. Well, it’s not Friday, and these are that kind of picture. But still ... [5 comments]
Sin and a Tiger
· Whenever I walk around, I have the little Canon in my pocket. Since I’m shooting JPG and have a 2G card in there, it holds a more or less infinite number of pictures, and I have to remind myself to unload ’em every couple of weeks to see what’s there. Often I’m surprised ... [3 comments]
· Three photos on bright December days; not common in Vancouver, so this is a quality of light you don’t often see ... [10 comments]
· A picture of snow-covered mountains from our bedroom window ... [1 comment]
· The family gathered this year here with us in Vancouver. Intimations of mortality occurred, but I’m still glad of the visitors ... [1 comment]
Across False Creek
· This is just to celebrate being able to run Lightroom again; a photo looking south across Vancouver’s False Creek at night, from Bill and Trish’s place ...
上海: Shanghai Wrapup
· Miscellaneous pictures and thoughts to wrap up the Shanghai series. These should be taken very lightly, based as they are on a big four days of jet-lagged reportage ... [4 comments]
上海: That Light
· I haven’t been to China since the Nineties and that was Hong Kong, but I remembered the special Hong Kong light. There it was again in Shanghai, so maybe it’s Chinese light, or at least South Chinese ... [3 comments]
上海: Those Buildings
· I already noted that the really in-your-face thing about Shanghai is its forest of huge soaring buildings. Enough pictures have probably been taken, but I couldn’t resist adding a couple to the collection ... [1 comment]
上海: After Dark
· The lights are bright in Shanghai at night, most places ... [1 comment]
上海: 430 km/h!
· When I arrived, they’d said to take a taxi to the hotel so I did, and the price was reasonable, but it was an hour of dice-with-death Shanghai driving through not-very-exciting neighborhoods. But then I found out about the MagLev train to the airport. It’s really fast, and the station (a short taxi ride from the hotel) is totally all mod cons. I lashed out for the first-class ticket ... [1 comment]
上海: Under Construction
· Shanghai really is. They’ve built a mega-city in a young lifetime and they’re not slowing down at all ... [2 comments]
上海: Hidden Stories
· I have a lot of pictures, but not so many words, from Shanghai. I’m impressed but inarticulate because after four days on the ground, I’m mostly mystified. I’m old enough to have a few regrets, and among the sharpest is that I’ve never taken the trouble to be really fluent in a language other than English. In particular, I am in awe of my colleagues who switch back and forth between Mandarin and English three times in a sentence. And everywhere I look I see stories I’ll never know, because, first of all, how could I ever get into a conversation with the woman on the back of the bicycle behind the other woman on the bicycle, both of them laughing so hard they’re in danger of swerving in front of a BMW? And if I could, I wouldn’t understand the words. And if I did, I maybe still wouldn’t get the joke. And there are twenty million people here, that’s a lot of stories ...
· The big trees are haven’t turned en masse, but there but Those Colours are still everywhere you look ...
· Four pictures of Northern California waves at sunrise ...
· Aptos is a little town not far from Monterey, where I and a couple of hundred other Sun engineers are hiding to talk about what we’re doing and what works and what doesn’t. Can’t report on that much, but the next best thing about California after computer technology is sunsets. So here are two.
· There haven’t been enough pictures here lately ... [1 comment]
· I spent time with the baby in the garden this afternoon, and we both had fun ... [3 comments]
· Brown and yellow, to be precise. Leaf and Volkswagen ... [4 comments]
Tab Sweep — The World
· Today we have an aviatrix, a last message, a beautiful voice, and a set list ... [3 comments]
· It wasn’t that great; there was some good weather but not enough, and much of that while we were off in Berlin or Saskatchewan. But there were compensations, family things ... [2 comments]
· Taken from an airplane heading into the Pacific Northwest at dusk ... [1 comment]
Lauren and Jean
· Hey, this is my blog, if I want to run a picture of my wife and my mother, I can ... [3 comments]
· I mean birch trees not Adriatic dancers. Although some times they are nearly spotless and others more statuesque than sylph-like. Whatever; I love ’em ...
· We’re also visiting Lauren’s mom and her husband on their farm near Stockholm, Saskatchewan. People talk about doing “photo-walks” in glamorous urban locations; you’d have just as much fun touring around a nice piece of prairie ... [5 comments]
· We’re visiting my Mother in Saskatchewan. Here are some of her flowers ... [2 comments]
· I posted that apricot-rose picture last night, late, and when I looked at it on the big screen at work this morning, I thought “Ouch, that’s borked”. It turns out that I’d cranked Lightroom’s “Fill Light” control all the way over to the right, liking the effect on the centre of the blossom, missing the damage elsewhere ... [5 comments]
· One of those great summer days. Baseball, happy boys, good food, and sunlit flowers, all among friends ... [1 comment]
· This is the second ongoing post which more or less just two pictures of Echinacea blossoms. Hope that’s OK ... [3 comments]
· I was coming home from a late night out and the moon hung full, bright in the windshield. I’ve tried to photograph it so many times over the years and generally failed. Finally, a partial success, which I’ll indulge myself by sharing with the Net ... [9 comments]
· This one is always a midsummer highlight; I’m sure it’ll keep appearing here as long as I live next to it ...
· They’re everywhere. This one is orange (a nasturtium) ... [1 comment]
From Route One
· A beach, somewhere north of Half Moon Bay. It’s getting late ... [3 comments]
Trains and People and Restaurants
· I’ll close up this miniature series on Germany’s capital with observations on getting around, the people who live there, and going out to eat ... [13 comments]
Going for Beers in East Berlin
· Since I wasn’t personally close to any of the wedding party, the big day for me in our Berlin trip was the Sunday after; our one day of interrupted sunshine, and we spent it all in beer gardens with attached playgrounds. In the morning, we had breakfast (no beer involved) with some of Lauren’s old school buddies, and in the afternoon we had dinner and beers with some geeky ongoing readers ... [3 comments]
Schloss and Dom
· In German, the first means castle, the second “dome” and often, by attribution, cathedral. In the center of Berlin, one’s right beside what used to be the other ... [2 comments]
The Boy’s View of Berlin
· When we’re out and about and I have both cameras, I’ve started offering the little Canon to our son, just turned eight, asking him if he wants to shoot a few. He almost always says “Yes” and if you will indulge the fancies of an indulgent Dad, I think he’s good. Here’s his take on Berlin ... [7 comments]
· On the seventh of July this year, we participated in the global lucky-number wedding boom by attending Gerhild and Reinhard’s wedding in Berlin. Here are some photos, which are only of interest if you like weddings or modern Lutheran ecclesiastical architecture ... [1 comment]
The Number of the Rose
· The title refers obviously to the Umberto Eco work which anyone who cares about knowledge and its preservation ought to read if only for fun; but the picture refers only to itself. With exegesis from Larry Wall. [Oh, my; give this audience a chance to indulge in linguistic pedantry and, well, you don’t have to ask twice. If you like this kind of stuff, don’t miss the comments.] ... [16 comments]
東京 XII: Changing
· I’ve been coming to Tokyo since 1991 or so, and while Japanese culture is often called insular and set-in-its-ways, the changes have been dramatic ... [6 comments]
東京 XI: Lounging
· On the Tuesday evening before I left, we had some pure fun, attending the “Developer’s Lounge”, organized by Sun but attended by a menagerie of geeks, every flavor. Think of a short unconference with free food and beer ...
東京 IX: Working
· This is just a thank-you to a few of my Tokyo colleagues, but it has my favorite picture from the whole trip ... [1 comment]
東京 VIII: Shopping
· Whatever you may say about Tokyo, whether you like it or not, it’s a great place to shop. For selection not bargains; there is lots of stuff you just won’t find anywhere else ... [3 comments]
東京 VII: Drinking
· The last couple of months I’ve been in both Tokyo and London, and I visit Silicon Valley all the time. Tokyo and London are like each other, and unlike the Valley, in that they have a business-drinking culture. Maybe it’s as simple as the fact that in the Valley you have to drive everywhere, and you’d have to be pretty booze-hungry, or just suicidal, to load up before getting behind the wheel on 280 or 85 or 237 or 101 ... [1 comment]
東京 VI: Recharging
· Tokyo is big and fast and intense and it’ll make you tired. And, many months of the year, hot and sweaty too. Fortunately, it offers a solution for these problems ... [5 comments]
東京 V: Playing
· I don’t know what Japan’s largest export is, but I think its most important export is culture. Pop culture to be precise; there are few places where as you walk the streets you see things you’ll see on fashion catwalks and in TV-show backdrops and and Paper pages this time next year; and Tokyo is one of them ... [3 comments]
東京 IV: Phoning
· Here’s a travel tip: When you go to Japan, rent a phone! It doesn’t cost too much money or time and it simplifies life incredibly. With remarks on Japanese phone culture and a completely unrelated picture ... [2 comments]
東京 III: Traveling
· Tokyo is huge any way you measure; one of the world’s largest cities by population and not built up that high, so it sprawls forever across the Kantō plain. Even the city’s core, which I would roughly say is everything inside the Yamanote JR Line or walkable from one of its stations, is pretty vast. Most times, though, you don’t notice because everywhere you go, you go by train, often underground or with not much of a view ... [5 comments]
· Here I am in superultrahypermegaTokyo. I’m tired ... [3 comments]
AFS × 3
· I believe it’s been a couple of years since I’ve inflicted a Vancouver sunset on ongoing readers, so here are three. What happened was, Eve Maler and her husband were here; we had dinner together and went for walk in the dusk west from Kitsilano beach. I was itching for a chance to work out the new wide-angle lens, and the mountains and the ocean are just the ticket ... [1 comment]
· The roses keep going for months, some of them into autumn; the irises are here only for a few days. So they have to try harder ... [1 comment]
· These are some pretty darn nice poppies just down the street from our place; also an example of the power of wide-angle photography ... [2 comments]
· Sometimes it seems that’s all that’s out there, and out the other day, strolling the Drive, we discovered that it may even have a business model ...
· I’m programming these days in an environment that makes me grumpy, so I console myself by shooting flowers. These are especially tasty, I think ... [3 comments]
· In the Rumplestiltskin story, the miller’s daughter had to spin straw into gold or die, and however evocative the dwarf’s overheard song (Wikipedia has nine versions) I could never stop wondering what the spun gold might look like. Now I know ...
· Herewith a couple of shots of young, half-formed
Astilbe flowers. [Update:] Oops, I had the wrong end of the stick. These are actually “Native Solomon’s Seal” (Smilacina racemosa). But they grow where the Astilbes do (or actually, where they will, in a couple of months) ... Orange
· Man, I love California poppies. Along with the cheery but intense colour, the petals’ rough-ish textures make me think of Japanese architectural woodwork. [Hmph. It’s been suggested that these are Iceland poppies. Maybe so.] ... [1 comment]
· Cornflower-blue to be precise; few shades are more intense ... [2 comments]
The London Illustrated News
· I spent the week in London. Fun was had, pictures were taken, I learned things. Herewith illustrated notes on transportation, energy, finance technology, businesslike drinking, women’s clothing, Groovy, excellent lamb-chop curry, and a round red anomaly ... [8 comments]
· We went for early Sunday dinner at the terrace at the Jericho Sailing Club and then of course for a walk on the pier. On the pier was free entertainment; Kris Holm was having a performance filmed. He claims to be the world’s best known Mountain Unicyclist, a category that’s new to me. I got a few pictures ... [2 comments]
My Other Office
· In this space, I write often enough to whine and bitch and moan about business travel, so I ought to give an occasional tip of the hat to the parts that aren’t too bad ... [6 comments]
(Last) FotD: April 22 Rhodo Overload
· I still have a few flowers in the folders, but the backlog is mostly cleared. I’ve already run one picture of pink rhododendrons, but that day at the Botanical Garden produced lots, and you just can’t have too many. So here are five more. [1 comment]
FotD: April 21 Magnolia
· The magnolia looks better every day, with the leaves starting to fill in around the blossoms, which are pretty well at their peak. Yes, I take too many pictures of this tree; deal with it ...
FotD: April 20 Scarlet Tulip
· Looking down from above, you could imagine parachuting in. But also check out the blue flashes of forget-me-not in the background.
Interop Impressions and Pix
· We worked from noon till six Monday, and from 8:30 till the middle of Tuesday; a little over twenty people in the room. I got the Ape talking to a few and failed with a couple of others, but in those cases the problems were implementation glitches, not the protocol. Surprises? I saw a couple of servers that didn’t accept Atom entries, just various kinds of media objects. OK, I guess. Pleasant surprises: getting pretty well complete interoperation with (on almost the first try) Nikunj Mehta’s code and (after a bit of work) Kevin Beyer’s and James Snell’s. I’m running a few shots of the event just because I like taking pictures of people. I’ll write another piece drawing some technical conclusions ... [1 comment]
FotD: April 18 Early Azaleas
· This bush, Alex Waterhouse-Hayward told me upon hearing its description, is a Japanese Azalea; distinguished by vanishing, when it’s in full bloom, behind a solid mass of blossoms. When so covered it requires substantially greater skill than mine to photograph because the all that red overloads the camera. But at the moment it’s tractable. [2 comments]
FotD: April 17 Rhododendron Buds
· When these open, they’ll be rhododendrons and probably very pale yellow. Once again, two pictures, but quite a bit different. I find that I don’t really have a word to describe the colour ...
FotD: April 16 Tulips
· Yellow tulips with scarlet sprinkles at the peak of their youthful beauty. I had two shots that I liked and was agonizing about which to run but hey, this is digital, bits is free, right? [2 comments]
FotD: April 15 Trillium
· We have a little trillium patch in the corner of the yard in an angle of the cedar hedge where there’s not much direct light. This is a Pacific Northwest native; I don’t know if it’s the same plant as Ontario’s provincial flower. I once threatened another human being with death over this these flowers ...
FotD: April 14 Pale Rhododendrons
· After having shown this shot in yesterday’s Lightroom rave, I guess I should give it pride of place in its own piece. Another Botanical-Garden capture. I have a whole lot of rhodo shots but all the others are pink ... [1 comment]
· I really don’t often use this space to blather on about how good some piece of commercial client-side closed-source software is, but, well... Adobe Lightroom is a truly great piece of work. Not only is it just the thing for the serious photographer, I think it may have advanced the state of the GUI art ... [9 comments]
FotD: April 13 Fallen Magnolias
· Another shot from the botanical garden; the magnolias there were fading and those ones are hard to shoot even at their peak because they’re on 50-foot-high trees. But the pink-on-brown under the trees was attractive to the eye as well.
FotD: April 12 A Different Daffodil
· There are still lots of daffodils splashing their yellows around cheerily but they’re past their peak, and our attention’s turning to the rhodos and azaleas and tulips. So this is by way of good-bye for 2007. When I was shooting I didn’t even notice that one of the flowers was special. [1 comment]
FotD: April 11 Wet Pink Rhododendron
· On the weekend we took Mom, who’s visiting, to the UBC Botanical Garden. It had rained earlier and the sky was mostly grey. The magnolias were past their peak but charming; the rhodos were just ramping up their first wave of flowers, mostly wet that day ...
FotD: April 10 Camellias
· I always have trouble growing camellias. Either I’m not giving them enough love or there’s something wrong with our soil; so the leaves and flowers turn brown. The other day I was walking through the neighborhood and there was this big (way taller than me) camellia bush that was just the picture of glowing health; every leaf and flower seemingly perfect.
FotD: April 7 Magnolia
· Some combination of arriving in Spring, thinking about cameras, and acquiring Adobe Lightroom has led to flower-filled photo folders. I was trying to think of a clever way to organize them but couldn’t, so I’ll do a Flower of the Day till I run out. Today, white magnolia blossoms, black branches, blue sky. [1 comment]
· I really had fun with this one, and if you think you’re tired of these shell pictures, well maybe not just yet. [Series intro here.] ... [1 comment]
· Once again, scanned using the Waterhouse-Hayward technique, the obverse and reverse of an eroded seashell. Offered only to please your eye. [Series intro here.] ...
· I’ve been doing less technical writing here recently, the kind of stuff about the Web and Sun and so on that I think is why most people come visit. I think this is because I’m getting deeper into the Sun internal ecosystem; morphing from a wild-eyed guy cruising the halls muttering radical ideas about REST and Ruby and RSS, to being up to my elbows in some skunkworks and products and communications programs. In an ideal world this should result, down the road, in some really meaty pieces in this space. In the interim, I can post pictures and report on the camera market ... [5 comments]
· Another forty-eight hours in the Golden State, half of them rainy. I was looking around the Sun campus for a cool rain shot I could call “Sun in the Rain” but struck out. I do have an interesting city pair and and a dangerous wet-pavement thing ... [1 comment]
· As I noted yesterday, I was having no luck with pictures of daffodils. The problem is that the outer fringe of petals is so much lighter than the inner trumpet that it’s hard to make the trumpet look good without over-exposing the fringe. I’ve still got some ideas to explore, but I am making progress, I think ... [4 comments]
· The rain let up about three and we got out to do a little pruning and gardening. The daffodils look good but I got something wrong and even under a cloudy sky the yellows were too much for the Pentax. Hmm. The magnolia is maybe a week and a bit from showing blossoms ...
· I broke down and got a Canon A710 IS and, like the reviewers say, it doesn’t weigh much, it didn’t cost much, it has a great big zoom and seems to take OK pictures. There’s nothing very inspiring about it and I would probably have been willing to pay twice as much for something with RAW and more interesting glass and so on, but apparently the camera biz has walked away from the high-end compact ... [4 comments]
Mashing with Mike
· Today we had that Mashup event at the Sun campus with Mike Arrington. There were somewhere between 100 and 200 people there; I had fun and learned things ... [4 comments]
· Ooh, I got the Waterhouse-Hayward technique working with the flatbed scanner; it’s wonderful! Check out what happens when a dead mollusk collaborates with several years of intense surf. [Series intro here.] ... [4 comments]
· Still haven’t debugged the scanner process, so this is another Pentax/Tripod/Tamron shot. Series narrative here. Damn, these are pretty shells ... [2 comments]
· Attentive readers will remember that in January of this year, the family and I spent some time in Gippsland, Australia, in particular on the beach at Cape Conran park. On the big beach there where they surf, you can find remarkable sea-shells. The process by which the waves slowly turn them to white sand is transparent here, as you can pick up all sorts of shells once cone-shaped which are eroding away, revealing in the process unsuspected beauty of internal structure. They look like flowers. I brought a bunch home and I’m trying to photograph them ... [3 comments]
Characters in Grey
· The grey is the sky, all we’ve had for some weeks, and the characters are a closed shop’s sign becoming a palimpsest ... [2 comments]
Photo Camp and High-End Compacts
· At Northern Voice, one of the best sessions was the Photo Camp; the only problem was that, at ninety minutes, it was way too short. I did a little presentation on the state of the high-end-compact market (summarized below), but as usually happens at an Unconference, I learned more than I taught ... [32 comments]
· Both my cameras are having problems so I’m grumpy; I’m cheering myself up by watching the digicam market, appreciating what I have, and enjoying flash photography ... [15 comments]
2007 Crocus Crop
· Round about this time every year, photos of little violet blossoms start to show up in this space. I worried that I might be repeating myself, but how can posting spring flowers not be a good thing? ... [2 comments]
The Jagged Edge of the World
· Caught in pixels for your, well, not pleasure exactly. I’m talking about the World Press Photo Contest Winners’ Gallery. If you have any kind of a heart, there are pictures here that will tear holes in it. And some that are just insanely pretty. This year, parents of babies might want to avoid looking at the “Spot News” category. [2 comments]
· It’s been an incredibly nasty winter so far, but this last week has been cold/bright, what Vancouver gives you when it’s not grey/mild ...
How Many Pixels?
· Now that you have a ten-megapixel camera, do you sneer at miserable peons like me who are still limping along with a mere six or seven million? It turns out that you may not be getting the use of all the pixels you’re paying for. There’s an intensely technical debate between Charles Sidney Johnson and Nathan Myhrvold (yes, that Nathan Myhrvold) at The Luminous Landscape (boy, does that site ever wrap some beautiful pictures in some butt-ugly web design). Frankly, I didn’t go slowly enough to follow all the math, but that’s OK, because there’s a tutorial called Diffraction & Photography over at Cambridge in Colour with a working demo where you can see how cranking the f/-stop decimates your pixels. Oh, and while we’re on things photographic, here’s some extreme camera porn. [2 comments]
· My local, in fact, where, if I added up all the cash spent on coffees in the course of a year, I’d probably be shocked. Which is probably why there are so many of them ... [1 comment]
· The left-hand side of North America has big mountains, many of them apt to erupt one of these centuries, at this time of year all snow-covered. This is one of them ... [1 comment]
· The last of the beach pictures: weathered rocks at Cape Conran ... [1 comment]
· Minimal beach landscape: grass, sky, gull ... [1 comment]
· Skyscapes with eucalypts; one, in a sense, firelit ... [1 comment]
· A farm scene in Gippsland, with eucalypts and drought colours ... [1 comment]
· A red ventilation fitting against blue and white sky ...
· This is the trunk of a paper-bark eucalypt ... [3 comments]
· Two large-scale shots of the beach at Frenches Narrows at Cape Conran park, with people fishing into the surf ...
· This is another flower from Sally’s garden, an agapanthus ...
· The moon over Melbourne on a delightful Southern Hemisphere summer evening ... [3 comments]
· This Saturday we took the train out to Williamstown, a waterfront neighborhood near where we’re staying. We found its charm considerable despite the putrid weather, a uniquely Australian combination of grey skies, high temperature, and howling wind ... [3 comments]
· We took the kids to Melbourne Zoo, which is OK if in parts too old-fashioned (but the Australian-animals section is fine). I find zoo animals kind of depressing so I usually don’t take pictures. But there was an attractive red-headed black duck swimming in murky water with its baby chicks—a volunteer I think, not a zoo animal—and they were too cute to resist ... [4 comments]
· Two random roses from Sally’s front yard in Newport, a suburb of Melbourne ... [7 comments]
· My writing energy here in Australia is about fully occupied by a writing assignment I took on for O’Reilly; details when there’s something to point to. However, lots of pictures are occurring. Today, Melbourne, inside the Victoria Market butcher section, early on a Sunday New Year’s Eve morning ... [4 comments]
· Another Christmas in the bosom of the family; we got all of Jean Bray’s children, their spouses, and her grandchildren together, which we don’t manage often enough, in Calgary. Like many others, I find with every year that passes that the people seem more important, the eating and drinking and so on less; but I got an outstanding present ... [5 comments]
· A picture of a derelict building on 2nd Avenue east of Main in Vancouver, which is an interesting neighborhood ...
· The tree doctor came by this morning and gave us the bad news; the wounds were fatal. So the plum tree, the one Maryam said grew the best plums she’d ever eaten, pictured here and here, will be firewood early next year ... [1 comment]
The Colours of Snow
· We’ve had a lot of snow and and a long freeze to keep it on the ground. All those shades of white and grey pulled the camera out of my pocket as much as any summer day’s flowers, this year ... [1 comment]
· There’s been much jawing about David Pogue’s claim in the New York Times that 5 megapixels is enough. He didn’t just claim it, he claims to have proved it. I think he may have a point, but the quality of evidence is crappy. First of all, he doesn’t say where the 13MP picture came from (probably a pretty high-end camera), nor how he photo-reduced it (PhotoShop and friends have all sorts of smart anti-aliasing), nor how the print enlarging was done (are the results comparable to the ones you’re going to get at your local print-shop?) It would have been way more interesting if he’d taken a two carefully-composed pictures, one with a 5MP camera and one with a bigger one, had them both photo-enlarged at the nearest drug-store, and compared those. Also, he ignores a real advantage of having more pixels; you can crop a picture way down to focus on the interesting parts and still have enough pixels to look good. Weirdly, he also fails to point out the downside of bigger pictures; they’re slower to transfer, edit, and display on-screen. So this is hardly a triumph of journalism. In this week’s other photo-news, the much-ballyhooed Leica M8, maybe the world’s most expensive consumer digicam, turns out to have quality issues. I still want one; but that would be unforgivably self-indulgent, I’ll only award myself one as a prize, say if I manage to bring peace to the Middle East, or (even tougher) make my Ruby parser go fast. [6 comments]
· That bad weather I wrote about a couple weeks ago is still bad, the baby and I are both sick; things could be lots worse but complaining is a sacred human right. With pictures ... [1 comment]
· A photograph of a light ... [2 comments]
· You don’t really expect much from the weather up here in the November Pacific Northwest, but boy, it’s been brutal. We’re way past the average rainfall for the month and we’ll probably set a record; enough Wednesday to dump landslides into the reservoirs and now we’re all drinking boiled water. Trees down in the wind, and a four-story steel-frame building under construction. Nobody hurt on that one—it was at night—but you gotta feel sorry for the guys who showed up to work on the site in the morning. I took a picture outside my office ... [3 comments]
· I don’t know why this tickles me so much, but it does: ongoing is getting a couple of thousand visits a week from people searching for “tea” or “cup of coffee” on Google Images. The piece entitled, well, Tea, is number one! And for “cup of coffee”, A Damn Fine Cup of Coffee is #5. Interestingly, neither of them show up anywhere near the top in the image-search functions of either Yahoo! or Microsoft’s Live Search. In fact, typing those words in and seeing what the three engines produce is kind of interesting (Live Search notably includes actress Téa Leone). [2 comments]
· This week I saw quite a bit of Frankfurt and for some reason all the interesting pictures were of tall things ...
· That local spelling is nicer than the ugly English “Munich”; the even uglier airport code is MUC. It’s a rich, shiny, gleaming place ... [4 comments]
· At RubyConf, a person I’d never met before said “You should be running more pictures” and he was right, for some reason the camera hasn’t leapt out of my pocket as readily in recent times. But today I was walking down to the store and there was this tree with the sun behind it and the leaves just reached in and pulled the camera out ...
· What happened was, we had Kerith over to take some real family portraits (they came out great) and when I scanned her negatives, there were gigabytes of pixels that I didn’t really want to copy around the network, so I thought I’d drop ’em on a DVD. This fragment combines Open Source serendipity, Microsoft-bashing, and adorable baby photography ... [7 comments]
· On the weekend, we visited Steveston, a touristy little waterfront town in the south suburbs. It’s got some mildly-interesting shopping and a lot of good food. Some of the restaurants are elegant, but we prefer Pajo’s; fish & chips on a floating dock at the west end of town. Good fish & chips are not that easy to find. The waterfront was formerly industrial (fish-canning mostly) and is becoming recreational/residential. But there are a lot of old wooden pilings left in in the water ... [1 comment]
‘Waterlily’ Autumn Crocus
· We came back from the Botanical Garden with pictures; along with that Gunnera, there was this dramatic pink flower that I wanted to run but couldn’t remember what it was, so I asked Daniel Mosquin, the main man behind Botany Photo of the Day, and he told me; it has two pretty names, of which one appears above ...
Portobello West Colours
· What happened was, I was listening to the podcast from CBC radio 3 and there was this great track from something called Lola Dutronic (@ MySpace); I emailed the distributor and all the record stores they sent me to were sold out, but he said they’d have a stand at Vancouver’s new-ish Portobello West market, so I dropped by and they were sold out there too, but I totally recommend the market. There were some deeply cool clothes and other oddments; I bought some candles and just avoided a couple of shirts. And also captured some serious colour with the camera ...
· What happened was, I was strolling in the pasture trying to get a camera angle on a hill across the road and I just about stepped on this cow that was sleeping in the long grass with her calf. We were both surprised ...
· In mid-August Saskatchewan, the first crop of hay bales is out in the fields ...
White Rock Dock
· Central Vancouver is about 50km north of the U.S. border. Down at the border, on the seaside, is the town of White Rock, which has a beach extending right to the edge of America, a traditional pier, and a whole lot of restaurants. I’ve been living here mostly for over twenty years and never visited it, so we did, and I took some pictures off the pier. There actually is a White Rock; I have no pictures of that, but I do have an international-boundary shot ...
· A photograph of a boy flying a kite, in Saskatchewan ...
· Last week at OSCON, I had dinner downtown with David Van Couvering and then we walked over the Steel Bridge to the conference. We were worried about making it there for the opening session, and the wind was howling so I was worried about losing my hat, but there was a photo op. [Updates: an explanation and another photo.] ...
Ubuntu Gimp Intelligence
· Well, I was going to have to do it sometime. I got out the USB cable and plugged the camera into the Ubuntu box, not expecting much ...
Pale Blue to the Max
· There aren’t that many really great pale blue flowers; the object of the game for the plant is to attract the bugs’ attention, which is tough if you blend with the sky. Hydrangeas are a notable exception. Shot with a new camera setup, too ...
· Just a picture of some pretty clouds over a mountain from an airplane, with a mildly funny story ...
· Friday Slide Scan #33 is from early 1962; it features my bare bottom ...
Canada Day Fireworks
· The only substantial show in Vancouver this year was at Nat Bailey, the minor-league ballpark ten blocks from home, much written-about in this space. Since Canada’s birthday is also my son’s we took him along and let him stay til the end to see them. They aren’t the world’s biggest fireworks, but the intimacy you get in a little park like that is hard to beat, and nothing improves the enjoyment of the fireworks experience so much as having a kid along. Now I’m going to waste your bandwidth with six different fireworks pictures, none exhibiting any photo-realism ...
· In the neighbors’ back yard there’s an immense cherry tree; someone told me it was a leftover from the orchard that was here before the houses were built, but ours was built in 1919 and it’s hard to believe the tree’s that old. Anyhow, the cherries—as is common with old fruit trees—are probably not that tasty any more, but we don’t know because they’re way up there and hard to come at, and the wildlife get them first. This evening in the late sun there were two raccoons having cherries for dinner, and I got a couple of pictures ...
· Everything happens at once. The pregnancy draws heavily to its end, the house is being renovated (we need another room), the kid’s in baseball playoffs and rehearsing for his summer festival and school is winding down. Work’s busy, too ...
FSS: Double Wedding
· Friday Slide Scan #32 is an early-nineties picture of a wedding. It’s not a double wedding, but it is a double exposure ...
Underground, Invitation, Le kick and rush
· I wonder if there’s any real benefit, when someone whom I’ve already highlighted writes something exceptionally good, in pointing to them again and saying “read this!” But sometimes you can’t not do it. Item: my brother Rob on the joy of underground high explosives. Item: Alex Waterhouse-Hayward on Ana Victoria (oh, my). For my last link you’ll have to be able to read a language somewhat but not entirely unlike French; Mondial 2006 is the World Cup 2006 blog from Libération ; its torrent of high-velocity low-rent French baffles me in places, and it doesn’t help that I’m not 100% au fait with les Bleus, but you have to like pieces like Panini, beer & Co.
· These are happy things, perhaps not the world’s most refined flower; modest in size, they come in cheery orange, cheery yellow, and the occasional white ...
· A photograph of a bathroom fixture ...
FSS: Domestic Bliss
· Friday Slide Scan #31 is a 1992 fireside shot, with a candle and a secret added bonus ...
· Friday Slide Scan #30 is from a 1988 visit to Avebury, a place in England with standing stones, not too far from Stonehenge and a much nicer place to visit ...
· This is the name of the southernmost bridge across San Francisco Bay. At the west end is our Menlo Park campus, where I usually work while I’m here, and at the east end is Newark, a salt-mining town, where I usually stay. So I’ve driven across that bridge a lot, usually in a hurry, often noting that there’s a walking trail at one end and a wildlife refuge at the other. Yesterday I stopped at both. Herewith the pictures, with remarks on tequila and hell ...
· Spring encourages the tulips and then the rain dampens them. Wet or dry they’re fine by me ...
Spring in White on White
· Most people would generally prefer a climate where it’s bright and warm most of the time. But for Canadians and others who live where it’s not, there are compensations, and one is the experience of spring. I have a picture ...
Jacobs, Pictures, Spartans
· Jane Jacobs died; the city I live in, Vancouver, is pretty solidly Jacobsian both in its current shape and its planning dogma. By choosing to live here I’m empirically a fan. Oddly, few have remarked how great Jacobs looked; her face commanded the eye. Which leads me Alex Waterhouse-Hayward’s wonderful Jane Jacobs & Viveca Lindfors; surprising portraits and thoughts on decoration. W-H’s blog has become one of only two or three that I stab at excitedly whenever I see something new. For example, see Sex Crimes, Homicide and Drugs and yes, that’s what it’s about. Staying with the death-and-betrayal theme, and apparently (but not really) shifting back 2½ millennia, see John Cowan’s The War (after Simonides), being careful to look closely at the links. I’ve written about those same wars.
FSS: Pink Flowers
· Friday Slide Scan #28 is two Eighties florals, one interior, one exterior. With a confession ...
· Three pictures around Vancouver; one of a fresh green springtime tree, two of rotten old buildings being torn down ...
· On this vacation, given that Lauren is seven months pregnant, we picked something that was low-stress and low-adventure (starting with the location; there’s a direct Vancouver-to-Kona flight). I like lounging by the pool and sampling the local beverages as much as anyone, but with a deadline-free week, I also found time for some recreational programming. The result is something I call “Framer”, which generates borders and/or drop shadows for images in most popular formats. It writes PNGs with variable alpha channel so the drop shadows will look OK on any color background. It has some options and you’re free to use it, but it’s not problem-free and unless there’s a lot of interest I’m not going to open-source it. Illustrated with groovy Big Island sunset photos ...
The Big Island
· I’m good at vacationing; sleep a couple hours extra every night, lose all ambition, disconnect from work. Here are some photos from the Big Island, which is a good vacation spot, and remarks on: palm trees, resort maintenance and economics, bad clothing, lava, the size of things, where to buy fish, beer, flying with the kid, weather forecasts, Kailua-Kona and sea turtles ...
· Friday Slide Scan #27, like #26, has two twenty-year-old photos from Hawai’i, the Big Island; but unlike last week, these are ordinary pretty-plant pictures. Like last week, I picked them because we’re going to be spending the a week there, leaving tomorrow, April 1. If anyone I know is going to be there too, let’s get together for a Mai Tai ...
· I’m trying to stay on top of one or two too many things and feeling kind of stressed out, so I thought I’d post a picture of a tea service ...
· Friday Slide Scan #26 has two twenty-year-old photos from Hawai’i, the Big Island; unusually for such photography, neither includes the ocean, nor any flowers, nor any plants even; there’s one non-native animal. They’re pretty enough, and that island’s in my mind because we’re going to be spending the a week there starting next Sunday, April 2nd. If anyone I know is going to be there too, let’s get together for a Mai Tai ...
Pink to the Max
· As noted elsewhere today, we visited the UBC Botanical Garden, and only the early rhododendrons and a few magnolias were in bloom. I didn’t get any good rhodo shots, but with magnolias you can’t miss. If extreme densities of the colour pink bother you, please stay away; but these are some awfully great-looking flowers ...
Jon and the Minotaur
· Jon Bosak (father of XML, terrific photographer, good person, etc.) was in Vancouver for some meetings having to do with UBL (and be warned, there’s going to be some more UBL tub-thumping around here), and encountered a monster ...
Snow, Death, Verticals
· This trip is supposed to be for Spring Break, but in Saskatchewan, Spring hasn’t arrived yet. It’s been hitting -20°C at night, with the wind brisk; that’s a nasty combination. Well, you don’t come here for the weather, but the photo opps have been scarce too; the March light, until Friday, was alternately hazy and harsh. Herewith four pictures of snow ...
· Here are three shots of the oldest Swedish Lutheran church in Canada, which you’ll find down a side road off a side road that doesn’t go anywhere else ...
· It’s Spring Break, so we’re in Saskatchewan with the kid visiting his grandmothers. I’ll be out at Lauren’s Mom’s farm for the next three days with lousy Internet access. This is partly by design; I am seriously behind on my Java One deliverables and a day or two hiding upstairs at the farm, away from the Net, while Lauren hangs out with her mother and the kid with the animals, may help get me caught up. In the interim, here are three very Saskatchewan photos ...
FSS: Casablanca Eclipse
· Friday Slide Scan #25 has two pictures of a partial eclipse of the sun over Casablanca, Morocco ...
· On Friday morning I flew down to Portland, drove to Salem, and helped out with a Sun sales presentation to the state government from 10AM to 5PM. I don’t get to do many sales calls which is a pity because I love them. I probably shouldn’t queer the pitch by going into details (I will if we get the business, because it’s interesting), but I have to say that the state-government people we were pitching to had smart questions and were endearingly obsessive about the application; and I would be too in their position, it’s one of the Things That Matters. I flew home out of PDX that same evening and damn was I tired. But the State Capitol is worth looking at, so I took a couple of pictures ...
· Well, I didn’t have time to do the Friday Slide Scan, and I’m not going to fit the 5✭♫ for Monday in either; just too much happening. So I thought I’d post a couple of random—extremely random—pictures ...
FSS: Cypress Hills Again
· Friday Slide Scan #24 is a shot that should have appeared in FSS #6: Cypress Hills; it caught my eye when I was going through the files and it is, if you like the Prairies, just too pretty to skip. As a bonus, there’s a Prairie story of jailbreak and highway terror ...
· I unloaded the pix from camera and there were a couple from the OSBC trip last week, which gives me an excuse to say a couple more words about the conference, Microsoft, and copyblogging ...
FSS: Wood in Black and White
· Friday Slide Scan #23 is another December-1985 Pacific Rim shot; the wood is driftwood, most of its colour bleached out ...
FSS: Zürich and Yvoire
· Friday Slide Scan #22 is two pictures from 1990, Zürich at dusk and old stones in Yvoire. I have some history with Zürich ...
· Regular readers have been putting up with quite a bit of whining about the endless weeks of solid rain. Well, that seems to have blown itself out with a bang, and the sun rose this Sunday morning. It turns out that all that rainy weather was also kind of warm, and the first flowers were more than ready to show their faces ...
FSS: Feather, Gauze, Vase
· Friday Slide Scan #19 is from around 1990 and is well-described by this fragment’s title; it’s really very pretty ...
Surprising the Eye
· What happened was, I was speaking at a conference, sharing the stage with the Chairman of the SEC (by video) and (in the flesh) the SEC’s CIO and the FDIC’s Deputy CIO. No pointers because it deserves serious coverage. For the occasion, I (obviously) wore my best custom-made Italian suit (grey) and an understated-but-strong tie (mostly blue), along with my dapper new Bailey’s fedora. Then I took off for two heavy-geek meetings at Sun campuses and a visit to Technorati. When I pulled into the Sun parking lot, I thought about pulling the tie off and the jeans on but decided it would do ’em good to see a geek in a suit, and I have to say I got as many blank-faced WTF-is-this looks as anyone could want. But then, at the end of all my meetings, while I was trudging down a SoMa street to my alarmingly-huge Avis van ($20 in gas for a day going up & down Route 101; dear America, something’s wrong), I saw something really alarming ...
Football, Beans, Sunshine, Sex
· What happened was, we had some friends over for the Sunday football games, and the day turned out very pleasantly in a bunch of ways; herewith an illustrated narrative ...
· Friday Slide Scan #18 is from my Dad’s “Roads” category; three pictures spanning three countries, two continents, and two decades ...
Pictures of Not Much
· I’ve used “prognosticator” as a veiled insult, just because it sounds so nasty. Last year I played that game though, in a post with a title like this one’s; now it’s a quiet New Year’s Eve (we’re tired and have a big day tomorrow), so why not consider last year the start of a tradition? So let’s look back and see how I did last year, then try again. And again toss in some pretty pictures of not much ...
· Friday Slide Scan #17 is from August 1971, featuring lichens from Mount Lebanon ...
· Recently my Mom and I found ourselves driving around in an industrial subdivision of Burnaby when we ran across this, which I think is worth reproducing ...
· We had a week or two of clear bright cold (well, down to -3°C or so) weather; each morning each leaf was limned frost-white ...
· It’s been bright and cold the last couple of days in Vancouver, and at 49°N., the sun never gets that high, which makes for strong shadows wherever you look. I walk by this yellow house on my way to work every day ...
From Nob Hill
· I stayed a night last week at a hotel on on Nob Hill in San Francisco which was only OK so it gets no link, but my room was on the nineteenth floor looking south, and the Fogtown morning air and the vista’s breadth were way too much for my little pocket camera, but a couple are worth publishing anyhow just because they’re fun to look at ...
FSS: Henna Hand
· Friday Slide Scan #16 is from July 1983 and is labeled “Loni MM, hand painted: henna” ...
Pix You Like
· The idea of the little picture on the right side of the screen, aside from the fact that it pleases my eye, is that it’s supposed to tempt you into wandering into the back rooms here at ongoing. So, does it work? Not very well; there’ve been twenty-five thousand or so such visits since ongoing launched in 2003. It’s evenly distributed; the top article so visited got 476 and the tenth most popular 284. The ten ongoing fragments most visited via the little picture are What Japan Looks Like, California Wedding, Lustre-Lustrous, Javapolis Jet-lag, Warm Wind Off the Ocean, Dynamic Java, The Island Rose Trip: Day Two, Foo Camp 2004, More Patent Funnies, and Genx Status. Unsurprisingly, most of them have lots of pictures, except for the last, which has only one.
· This morning took us down to old Chinatown on a shopping mission. We don’t live that far away but it’d been a while; I’d forgotten its cheerful grubby intensity, and you can get some bargains. With a Cantonese-food lament ...
· Friday Slide Scan #15 is a picture of, uh, well, I’m not sure what it is. The other night I scanned through the relatively small number of surviving slides that Dad had classified as “Art”, which we’ll be mining for the next two or three fridays. Reasonable people might disagree about whether this is “Art”, but it is kind of pretty ...
On the Naming of Roses
· I have on several occasions linked to the UBC Botanical Garden Botany Photo of the Day (“In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily”), and while Lauren and I did help by encouraging them to launch, I would have done this anyway, just because it’s great. Yesterday’s entry, entitled Rosa ‘Harwanna’, is outstanding, both for the ethereal rose photo, not taken with a camera, and for its discussion of the intersection of intellectual property and flower names. Did you know that flowers can be patented? And further, trademarked? And further, that these practices damage our ability to talk about flowers? This entry touches me at an uncanny number of points: Alex Waterhouse-Hayward, the featured artist, took the best picture of me that anyone ever has, and the flower is named after Jacqueline du Pré!
· The 30th was our ninth anniversary, and I brought home flowers ...
· I was going to call this “XML Abstracts” because the reason we were in Atlanta was the XML 2005 conference, which came off pretty well and which has been sufficiently reported elsewhere. I’ll write up my Why not to invent a new XML language as a big piece here some day. But instead, here are a couple of pretty pictures of not much at all from Atlanta, plus an O’Hare interloper ...
FSS: Chipmunk and Lacy Dress
· Friday Slide Scan #13 is a picture of a squirrel cadging food from Lynne, who was a good friend for a long time but we’ve lost touch with; you can’t see her face, but her summer dress is remarkably pretty. This was shot sometime around 1990, on vacation by the waters of Georgian Bay, near Parry Sound. ...
· We’ve had brutal fall weather, repeated heavy rain & wind warnings, have had to shovel rather than rake the fallen leaves. But today that slanting winter sun came out and tempted the photographer’s eye. Very Vancouver. [Update: the next morning, it’s pouring and grey. So if I snarl at you in an email or over the phone or whatever, it’s early-onset Seasonal Affective Disorder at work.] ...
FSS: Baldini Sunset
· Friday Slide Scan #12 is a picture of a sunset near Fort Vermilion, Alberta, which is way up north. It’s by my Dad, and while it’s pretty nice, it’s not his best, not even his best sunset; but it’s the oldest I’ve scanned so far, dating from 1953 ...
The Spirit Moving
· Containing three travel photographs from Oct. 28, 2005, one enigma, an out-take from Genesis 1, and a tugboat ...
Red Berry Leaves
· In our garden, there is nothing more intense than the color of the blueberry leaves come autumn ...
· Two pictures of dying flowers; I can’t think of a way to say “maybe you really want to check these out” without sounding immodest, but maybe you really do ...
Autumn Eye Candy
· This weekend’s been rain-free, which in late September in Vancouver is a notable event. I have a ton of pictures, but let’s do them in little thematic chunks. This one is just dead vegetation ...
FSS: Dad, Rob, Bike
· Friday Slide Scan #11 is from the summer of 1964. It shows my Dad fixing my bike, with my brother Rob looking on. The location is the Beka’a valley in Lebanon, so there’s some back-story ...
Extreme Low Tide
· A couple of weekends back, we took a walk on the beach when the tide was way, way out and the sun clear and slanting ...
Slovenia From Above
· Was just cleaning out the camera, and there was this photo taken during the climb out of Ljubljana last week; it suffers, obviously, from being taken with a pocket camera through an airplane window, but is still kind of pretty ...
· Tuesday evening and Wednesday were in Edmonton, Alberta which, oddly, is kind of my hometown. I did a couple of lectures and took pictures and dealt with unexpected sorrow. In this fragment we spend some quality time with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, consider whether electronic documents will outlive books or vice versa, and conclude with a conundrum ...
· It’s a tourist town, you see, but that’s OK; I come from one so I understand. Herewith Prague words and pictures ...
Check out Marlowe
· Marlowe is a kitten and joined our family two weeks ago. Herewith some cute-kitten shots and stories and also some kitten ethics ...
How To Shoot Flowers
· The admirable Botany Photo of the Day sometimes takes a side-trip into photo technique (as for example in today’s remarkable shot). A few weeks ago they pointed to this lesson in lighting technique from Nature Photographers Online Magazine; I suspect anyone who’s snuck up on a flower with a camera will find it interesting. Oddly though, I found that in that photo sequence, I vastly preferred the first, unimproved, shot, with the sharpish shadows highlighting the petal textures. What do you think?
· It’s been far, far too long since I wrapped a fragment round a flower. That’s because our summer, and hence our garden, was generally pretty terrible here this year in Vancouver; the exception being a bumper crop of blueberries. Anyhow, here we have a picture of a yellow rose blossom and a couple of buds, that’s all ...
· Starting way last year, I noticed occasional fetches of the big versions of the pictures here at ongoing from places like xanga, LiveJournal, and MySpace. Turns out it was mostly teenage bloggers using my shots as background images, it seemed harmless, but then the volume went up and up and I did the arithmetic, and it was adding up to many gigabytes a month. So I blocked ’em, but I feel a little sad; herewith some notes on who these kids are and what kind of pictures they like ...
· I don’t often do straight product plugs here but I just spent some quality time grinding out prints from the Prairies trip, and while I don’t have a deep knowledge of the competition, here’s the ultimate compliment: The Canon i9900 makes me look like a much better photographer than I really am, the prints are wonderful. Also, no setup hassles, on either OS X or Windows. Also, it works remarkably fast.
· While everyone else was off at those foobar camps, we spent the weekend (and will spend the week) in Saskatchewan, hanging out at the kid’s grandmothers’ places and mostly still working, but in in a different kind of topography. Saskatchewan is a good place for taking pictures ...
Don’t Feed the Bears
· Just some pretty pictures, that’s all folks, nothing here to think about, move right along. Including, along with the title shot, one AFS, one AFSF, and a plum in a dishrack ...
Crane on Hastings
· I took this weeks ago and liked the geometry, but the picture was still a little on the boring side. So I abandoned photointegrity and jammed the PhotoShop controls all the way over. Which, among other things, covers up the collateral damage from the War on Drugs ...
· We visited The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon; it’s a nice place, follow that link and read all about it, and if you’re anywhere near, drop on by. But this entry is just two cute donkey pictures, that’s all; no larger lessons or technology metaphors. [Malcolm Rowe writes to let me know that “Devonshire” is at best book language, at worst ignorant-tourist talk. So “Devon” it is; anyhow shorter is better.] ...
· Our long English weekend was almost entirely unlit by sun; but the colours and light of that countryside are worth looking at, even with grey overhead. This small photo-essay features Lyme Regis, a likeable kind of place ...
· Herewith two pretty outdoor-summer shots, one featuring a humble spoon. Dear reader, my motives are not entirely pure; I have in my hands a beta release of an actual Atom 1.0 newsreader, and, well, yes, I’m debugging. But still, that spoon shot is one of my prettiest ever, I think ...
· Early summer has been so undistinguishedly grey that I was considering declaring a unilateral case of SAD in July, but finally we’re seeing some real light and feeling some real warmth. Herewith some pictures of the summer things that people do ...
Harmless Family Fun
· First, you have three glasses of wine with dinner. Then, you look at some pictures that are kind of interesting but not really up to scratch. Then, you go berserk with PhotoShop ...
· We took our friend Sally on a mini-vacation this long weekend, up to the Okanagan Valley, B.C.’s wine country, distinguished also by beaches, outdoor fun, beautiful mountainside views, and generally nature. Here are some tourist tips and a first photographic fruit ...
· Herewith photos of two San Francisco storefronts, one whose name I don’t know, the other whose name I liked enough to use for a title ...
FSS: Snowy Rainbow
· Friday Slide Scan #10 is a bit of a mystery, the file was in a folder labeled “Ontario” but it really looks to me like a winter shot of Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park. Which I would highly recommend as a tourist destination to anyone ...
Oceanspray, Creambush, Ironwood
· These are all names for Holodiscus discolor; it’s a Pacific-Northwest native and the last of the names is a translation of what the aboriginal people called them, apparently the wood is hard enough to make knitting needles and so on. It’s three years since we put it in, and the first year it’s flowered ...
Royals 8, Giants 1
· We took in the game Tuesday night; here are some notes on the occasion, a nice picture of the ballpark, and a recommendation for an online ticket seller ...
· I’ve been asked why I keep pointing to “that dude’s incomprehensible gibberish”, but hey, this is my blog. Anyhow, visit Tim Caynes’ Latest and either read it or don’t, but do follow the link at the end to a really remarkable picture labeled “cairn”.
· Others just talk about B2B. Here at ongoing, we have the pictures ...
The Ultra-Rare Breed of Chicken
· Being a compendium of impressions left during my recent short trip to Japan, illustrated with photographs of Makuhari Beach ...
People in Tokyo
· Last Thursday and Friday I had a bunch of meetings with people in Tokyo and Chiba and thus there are stories and pictures ...
· As previously noted, we bought the Pentax DSLR because we already had some Pentax lenses around the house. Except for, we stuck the general-purpose zoom on it and that’s about all we’ve used, until this weekend. The kid plays soccer and baseball, and I thought I’d try out the telephoto and make like one of those Sports Illustrated photogeeks. Yow! This could be addictive ...
Spring City Skies
· Herewith two photographs featuring cloudy Vancouver skies on a mild Spring day ...
Winner of the Rose Race
· This year, one of the Rugosas out by the back fence was first across the line. There’s magenta and then there’s extreme magenta ...
· Through most of March and the first two weeks of April, Winter was a cold grey dam holding the next season in check; on April 19th or so, the dam broke and we’ve been in a glorious flood of summer since then. One of these pictures is remarkable ...
Spring Baseball Weather
· The weather, shifty this weekend, held off until just after the Little League game. It was sunny even, then we saw that behind the bright branches half the sky was storm-coloured. As I snapped this, the first hailstones fell, you can even see some ...
FSS: Yellow and Blue
· Friday Slide Scan #8 is from sometime in the late Eighties, a dandelion in a sea of forget-me-nots ...
· I take and even publish pictures of, well, nothing, when the shape demands it. Blame that math degree. Two of these these are on the Steveston waterfront which is pretty darn nice on a sunny day; the other in a random sunlit stairwell.
· There’s this azalea in our front yard (you walk right by it on the way in) and it’s a photographer’s problem because at its peak it vanishes behind a solid mass of red petals, bright red, arguably garish but you have to smile; only no camera, film or digital, has come close. “Beauty is hard” said the poet, and so are extreme reds. Anyhow, here are three shots of its prepubescent phase in very vertical sunlight ...
FSS: Still Life
· Friday Slide Scan #8 is from October 1992, a still life featuring a computer and some daisies in an oddly empty room in Waterloo, Ontario ...
FSS: Chinese New Year
· Friday Slide Scan #7 is from whenever Chinese New Year was in 1984, in Vancouver’s Old Chinatown. It is egregiously PhotoShopped ...
Worst March Ever
· I’ve been living here intermittently since 1983 and I haven’t seen a springtime like it. Sad ...
Pictures of Lauren
· She needed some photos for professional reasons, so I took a bunch and then, while fiddling around with PhotoShop, discovered that you can have some serious fun in the glamorizing line. Herewith Lauren Wood, Ph.D. with plumblossoms, twice ...
· The weather’s been terrible pretty well all month, we’ve hardly seen the sun and the temperature’s hardly been over 10°C. At six-ish this Equinox afternoon, I glanced out the front window and gasped aloud; a trailing shaft of sideways sun sliced through the drizzle, some of the visuals were surprising. Then my integrity slipped ...
· What happened was, an unexpected email from Quentin Cronk led us to a feast of flowers, which may spill slightly onto the Net. This gig comes with fringe benefits, you betcha. While over-long, this fragment has a picture of a very beautiful flower that almost nobody’s ever seen ...
Geometries On Main
· My “Home Office” isn’t actually at home, it’s over a store near 21st and Main in Vancouver. Main Street is interesting; at heart still pretty grungy and low-rent, it’s trying to gentrify. It’s hard to tell, looking forward, whether it’ll retain its essential grubbiness or vanish under a wave of mall stores and Starbucks. For the moment, it’s visually fetching ...
The Anticipation of Pleasure
· Last year, I waited till May 2nd to write a piece with this name about the forthcoming flowers. I got a couple of hours gardening in today and the anticipation is sharp ...
FSS: Totemic Jet
· Friday Slide Scan #7 is from Alert Bay on Vancouver Island, and dates from September of 1986; it shows a totem pole and an airplane ...
· The second half of February was pleasantly bright; but chilly, with the mercury dipping into the frost nearly every evening. A few flowers managed to get their heads above ground, but were kind of stunted and unenthusiastic. This last week’s been warm, alternating sun and rain. If you stand still in the garden, very still, you can almost hear the flowers growing ...
Errors and Omissions
· Attending a meeting in a downtown office building in Vancouver, I photographed the nameplate on the door of a business that I hadn’t known existed ...
Search Optimization (Low-Rent)
· In Vancouver, as in most cities, the poles that hold up the traffic lights and streetlights and, well, anything, are plastered with posters advertising soon-to-be-famous rock bands and tarot readers and, well, anything. Search Engine Optimization, too ...
FSS: The Mission at San Diego
· Friday Slide Scan #5 is from the Spring of 1990: an internal shot at the old Mission of San Diego in the city of that name; Unix and the Oxford English Dictionary took me there ...
St. Valentine’s Hibiscus
· I had the good fortune to grow up in a warm climate, surrounded by large hibiscus bushes, well-supplied most months with luscious tropical blooms, in our case usually crimson. But in Hawai’i they come in apricot too, and what could be more appropriate for this day? ...
· Hey, this is my space, if I want to run a picture of a chair I can. And it’s a nice chair ...
· I’m here in the Valley for this and that and especially the Sun Analyst Summit, where I’m part of the entertainment. Here are a couple of sunrise pictures from the east side of the bay ...
· Those who have been following along here since I launched almost two years ago know that in the spring, There Will Be Pictures of Crocuses. Those who haven’t lived lived above 49°N latitude may have trouble understanding how much these little violet flashes mean to the winter-weary Canadian eye.
PhotoShop Elements 3 Review
· Skipping to the conclusion: It’s good, if you’re using Elements already go upgrade. But along the way, there are thoughts on software’s lifespan and pricing. Plus, a thin black woman kissing a flower taller than herself ...
· Last week, we had one of our rare Vancouver snowstorms. But the stuff’s still on the ground ...
· Anyone who, like me, worries about the relationship between photography and truth, should take the time to read this New York Times piece on the subject. [Update: What was I thinking? I neglected to mention probably the most thoughtful writing ever on this subject, which was of course by Susan Sontag; some is online here and here.]
· We’ve spent quite a few bucks this last couple of years with one photo-finisher or another, and recently Lauren’s been cooking up business ideas around photography. So she went out and got a Canon i9900 and I got my hands on it first; wow! It’ll probably end up plugged into one of the fixed machines but we didn’t have the right cable, so I FireWired it into my Mac (grr, had to reboot to install the driver) and ran one or two of my favorite prints at 300dpi and well, my goodness gracious, they look just like what comes back from the online print service, only better. I’m sure that a fine professional photo-finisher who puts their soul into their work can do better, but that’s not what I’m getting when I upload my JPEGs to one mass-market printshop or another. And there’s lots of playing-around to do with DPI and paper finishes and colour spaces and so on. I assume that, things being what they are, the competition is about as good too, which is very good indeed.
· Weekends here at 49°N latitude in the short-day months, if the sun shows you really need to get out into it. We favour the beach, in particular the Point Grey Foreshore, which is nicely rough and scrambly and uncrowded. Herewith some winterbeach pictures ...
· This time of year, weeks yet till the shortest day and still it’s dusk so early, and the weather not helping; only today there was light enough for pictures, albeit dark ...
· I am the lucky owner of one of the plates used to print the original 1928 version of the Oxford English Dictionary, a trophy of the years 1987-89 when I worked full-time on a sideshow of a sideshow of the production of the OED Second Edition; this fragment’s title is the range of words that were on that page. Herewith a brief visual essay on the plate, which surprisingly includes a curvy fashion shoot ...
The Last Leaves of 2004
· Back in September of last year, I wrote: “There’s a visual effect that I’ve only seen here in rainy green B.C. and has so far eluded all my cameras. It works like this: On a grey day, as dusk gathers, something you’d think would be unremarkable, like a fern against old wood, or these autumnpearleaves, can make you look twice or three times, colour reaching deep into your machineries of vision. I think it’s of the mind rather than the eyes, but haven’t abandoned hope for lucky light on a dark day with camera in hand.” This one gets halfway there ...
Canon Upgrade and Eulogy
· My beloved Canon S50 has not been doing that well. It takes pretty good pictures, but it’s been dropped and whacked a few too many times (my fault) and has been in the shop twice for a problem which just now recurred, here in Washington at XML2004. Over at DPR, they’ve reviewed two generations of S50 successor (S60 and S70, how imaginative), all very positively, and a close reading reveals that the things Canon had changed are exactly the ones that had been irritating in the S50. So rather than fixing the S50, I escaped the conference for a bit—ah, balmy sunny DC autumn day—and got an S70. Lighter, stronger, thinner, better lens, can re-use the old flashcard and battery so now I have two. Very nice. Plus, prices haven’t adjusted in Canada to the recent steep climb in our dollar, so I probably saved $50 or better by buying down here, even after I pay the sales tax at the border. By way of eulogy for the S50, here are three recent nature abstracts; evidence that a little wee pocket camera, when the photographer gets lucky, can hold its head up unashamed in the company of titanic cameras three times its size and ten times its price ...
· A few minutes of sunshine on a mid-fall day with leaves on the ground, not everything is yellow but there sure is a lot of it about ...
· When I grow up, I want to take more pictures of people and fewer of flowers. It’s photos of faces that move me, but—to be brutally honest—I have a courage deficit when it comes to pointing the camera at people I don’t know. On Saturday we had brunch at Havana on Commercial Drive, “the Drive” in Vancouver parlance; Havana has managed to stay stylish for years and years, the food’s good, room and patio are nice, and the Drive has outstanding people-watching. So I shot some of ’em ...
· Canadian Thanksgiving, that is, today, October 11th; I won’t be working much. So, late on Thanksgiving eve I say thank-you to the world for being what it is, and to my family and friends for being what they are, and to the people at work for the good stuff there. And I’ll throw in a photograph of the Autumnal bounty ...
· A day trip today, Vancouver to Victoria and back; some might not find it self-evident that Victoria is on Vancouver island but Vancouver isn’t. There are a bunch of ways to get there; herewith a little photo-essay on the best ...
The Last Warm Weekend
· The forecast says rain setting in tomorrow then a few days of mixed grey; which in Vancouver, this time of year, could stretch for weeks. So let’s share some sunny-weekend eye candy ...
· That would be a jazz standard by Johnny Mercer and Joseph Kosma, two verses in English and one in French (Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s’aiment/Tout doucement sans faire de bruit), awfully pretty and sad, just like, well, autumn leaves. I have pictures ...
Caught In Action!
· Herewith a rare excursion into wildlife photography; I got lucky and captured one of our featured local species showing a burst of speed ...
· This is just a photograph of a wall. [Update: Enriched with a geek metaphor.] ...
It’s Not Fair
· Back in May, I whined that Jeremy Hedley of Antipixel would get better pictures than me even if he was using a drugstore disposable. Well, OK, so it turned out to be a cellphone camera. Sigh. (Oh yes, and Simon Phipps has a little masterpiece today, too).
Brussels × 5
· Brussels again, and there’s something about the place that makes me reach for the camera. Includes yet another WiFi story ...
· The Brussels airport has three chapels all in a row: Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic. I found myself walking back and forth spending time looking at each, and now you can too, without going there ...
· Vancouver’s summer was good but ended, more or less, August 10th, so when on this last weekend the Sun manifested, we felt recompensed a little. Herewith some illustrated words on flowers that end in -ia, learning about the world, Jericho, harvesting and fishing ...
· When we were in Saskatchewan earlier this month, I didn’t (unlike last year) get many interesting Prairie snapshots; a pity, because it’s always a feast for the eyes. But I got two ...
Sweet Pea Shadow
· To bring you this photograph, Dear Reader, I braved the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune or at least skepticism on the part of my loved ones, provoked merely by my taking seventy-four exposures, each different in the fast-setting sun, of this little tableau ...
My Mother’s Garden
· My mother Jean Bray is an avid gardener who contends mightily with the Saskatchewan climate (zone 2B for aficionados); her space is in summer always a delight to the eyes ...
· Some point each year (well after “midsummer” in late June) comes to feel like the heart of summer; it’s been there a long time, it’s going to be for a while yet, days are still long, the garden has left its spring sprint behind but is still running strong. This year’s midsummer-pictures assemblage features “Gooseneck Loosestrife,” and what a name that is ...
· This year our Yucca has flowered, the first time since we bought the place in 1997. So are all the others in Vancouver ...
White Bricks (Many)
· I understand that there are those who may not wish to look at photos of a large brick building with many windows. I find that hard to understand ...
Brick, Dusty, Creamy, Silky
· There’s an old rose in our front yard that we inherited with the place; it’s slender and spindly and not very tall, and produces only one or two flowers each year; its colour has, every year since 1997, defeated my photographic wiles. This year we have a partial victory ...
· Herewith two lilies and an emerging hydrangea. The latter, in particular, deserves a visit ...
· It was bright today, very bright, and I did a Nasturtium follow-up but spent time too with some journeyman roses ...
· There’s a hanging pot on the back porch with a thriving nasturtium. I had a close look ...
· On display here. I love massed displays of little flowers and I shoot tons of pictures of ’em but they almost never come out any good. I wonder what Alan’s doing right and I’m doing wrong.
Airphotos and Levels
· Herewith two shots taken on the trip to the Bay yesterday, with an advisory on the awesome power of PhotoShop ...
Two Birds, Many Candles
· Recently, while digging through old photos of tourist attractions, I ran across a few taken in Chartres. This small town, 96km southwest of Paris (the train is fast and comfy) holds a cathedral that has been, for the last 800 years or so, arguably the most beautiful structure on the planet ...
· No, that title isn’t a misprint, it’s the name some trans-Pacific Lost-In-Translation scenario conferred on the Pentax Digital SLR we just got. Some notes on the new world of Digital SLRs ...
· I just posted some old snaps of Japan’s #1 tourist attraction, and while I was digging through the pix ran across these, of Asakusa, a Tokyo shopping district whose name written phonetically in English would be “Asaxa.” Japanese words transcribed into English contain many instances of the letter “u” which are not pronounced even though Japanese will insist furiously that they are there (a consequence, I think, of using syllabics for phonetic readings). Asakusa is really nice, a good place to shop, eat, and drink, and if you’ve ever seen anyone’s tourist snaps of Tokyo, you’ve probably seen it; but perhaps not these. [Updated: A note on Japanese pronunciation.] ...
3 Views of Mount Fuji
· What happened was, tired in an airport looking for lightweight reading, I grabbed The Last Defender of Camelot, collected late works of Roger Zelazny, who was at the centre of the SciFi universe a few decades back. It has a piece called 24 Views of Mount Fuji, by Hokusai which won a Hugo in 1986 and as a story is only OK but as a narrative wrapped around a famous set of pictures it’s awfully good. On impulse, I typed “hokusai 24” into Google, to discover that there are 36 pictures in the original series, but that Tim Eagen, back in ’98, poked around the Web and assembled the 24 images from the Zelazny story; a fine piece of curatorship and really an essential companion to reading the story. Looking at one of them, I thought: I’ve been there. There’s an amusing narrative to accompany the views ...
· The digital-camera world is in motion and there’s a lot of interesting stuff out there to read. Herewith a quick summary of the state of play, with pointers ...
· Sun, kitchen, grating, handles, choose yours ...
· A typically crappy cross-country trip following on two days’ East Coast insomnia has left me feeling pretty grungy, like the old campfire song has it: “My head hurts, my feet smell, and I don’t love Jesus...” But hey, I stumbled by the camera shop where the expensive repair job on the S50 was finished (not covered by warranty, mechanical failure due to external impact, sigh) and there are compensations, namely Maggie the Magnolia, often photographed in this space but really at her best this afternoon ...
· There’s a fantastic article by Eamon Hickey on how Sports Illustrated moves pictures from the corners of the field to the cover of the magazine. For any digiphoto hobbyist, it’s a must-read. [Update: Oops; I’d written “by Rob Galbraith”, having failed to read the byline; apologies to Mr. Hickey.]
· Vancouver is a very garden-centric city, so when I say that Murray’s is the best nursery in town, that’s a strong claim. To get there, get on Balaclava Street and go way, way South through the horse territory by the river until you see signs ...
Violet Secrets and Pearblossoms
· The light in spring isn’t like any other time of year; maybe it’s just our winter-starved eyes all atingle, or maybe it’s the crowding flowers tossing the new sun around in a positive-feedback loop ...
Red to White
· I walked by this tree this afternoon; it’s mostly still mostly-red buds, but the flowers are mostly not red at all ...
· Here in Vancouver we have multitudes of flowering trees. At this time of year they delight the eye, but are a challenge to the photographer. A bit of progress on that front, with a note on infused vodka ...
· I got finished a little early Thursday and when I got to the hotel the sun was coasting low with not many clouds about, definitely a photo opp; so I tossed the gear in the room and sallied forth with the camera. Unfortunately, it was about 0°C with a brisk wind, so I sallied right in again before very long, with numbed extremities. But I got three shots that I think worth looking at. I seriously considered splicing them into the narrative I’m going to write about OpenOffice and the future of XML and blogging clients and so on, just to force the pix on the geex, but that would be dishonourable ...
Brussels × 7
· Herewith seven photographs of Brussels, with some remarks on the place. Three, no less, of the airport, and this from a jaded traveler ...
Still Life With Cello and Kelby
· I’m in a picture-postin’ mood. But this one comes with a book recommendation, of interest I’d think to anyone with a digicam ...
· Via Jeremy Hedley’s excellent Antipixel, a pointer to the World Press Photo 2003 prizewinners. This has some of the most beautiful pictures you will ever see, but don’t go there if you’re feeling fragile or depressed; this is news photography, and news is usually all about pain and death and tragedy. In particular, if you have a little boy that you love, be careful; 2003 was a year that terrible things happened to little boys and photographers were there. For more cheer, skip down to the nature category, especially the lake-view of Chicago; really almost beyond belief.
Spring Again, with Blood
· We had rare Pacific-Northwest February sunshine today, and girded our loins for some serious pruning and cleaning. I took pictures and was editing them and thought “decent, but I had pictures of spring flowers (some of the same ones) this time last year.” Then I realized that was stupid; do I not look at this year’s flowers because I saw last year’s? And there are people who are living in places where winter is probably starting to wear ’em down again who might be cheered by a preview of what they’ll be seeing in a few weeks. So herewith the same old crocuses and daffodils, but this story has a pretty severe barb to it. [Update: Identified the mystery flower, worth checking out.] ...
Perfect Tool: C-Clamp Mini Tripod
· If you carry a camera around you should hide one of these at the bottom of your bag; there’s always one in my briefcase. It will turn a lot of basic shots from impossible to easy. [Updated again: blogging e-commerce in action!] ...
· Heading home; herewith more illustrated downundernotes, plus thoughts on crowded schedules and on retirement ...
· Since the friends down here knew we’d be visiting in February, Sally left her tree up and cooked everyone fabulous Aussie-style Christmas dinner (on the barbecue, of course) ...
· We were visiting our friends Sandra and Malcolm here in Melbourne and picked up a couple of striking closely-related photographs ...
· Those who walk on beaches and through forests with me have been heard to complain about sudden stops provoked by what they see as rotten pieces of junk and what I see as photo opportunities. My eyes love the progress of metamorphosis, entropic transmogrification by Nature’s undirected and indifferent hand. Here’s my side of the argument ...
Open Source Person
· I thought it might be entertaining to give a blow-by-blow account of my job hunt here, naming names, trading off pluses and minuses, telling all. Then it dawned on me how incredibly clueless and lame-brained that would be. But I do have some vignettes—one notably optimistic for our profession—and a couple of pictures, and also an explanation of the essay’s title, which doesn’t mean what you think it does. [Update: Found! Jonas the G.J.S.L.w.n.e.] ...
· Its high bare branches rise bright in low sunlight against the cloudscape ...
On Darkness and Film and Bits
· Winter solstice, which at 50°N latitude means damn few hours of light, and in this grey corner of the world the light is poor stuff, a dark cotton ceiling, edgeless, colorless. Which, plus an interesting essay from Glenn Reynolds has me thinking about film and computers and pictures and the light that isn’t here ...
· In this universe, life in general constitutes a losing battle against entropy, with intelligence perhaps our best tactical asset in that struggle. Recently we launched a domestic counter-offensive; herewith some battlefield reportage ...
One Corner of a Cat
· Previously I wrote in One Corner of a Cube about an Asian sage, name unremembered, who said that if you’re painting a cube, you need only get one corner right. In this follow-up we identify the sage and include lots of pointers and two samples of the “One Corner” school, one by its founder ...
Paint Shop Pro for Windows
· These days, I’m in heavy scanning (see also On Time) mode, which means that I’m using Windows a lot (and also, should you be a regular reader, that there are too many photo essays in your future). The downside is Windows’ egregiously ugly choice between cartoon-bright and battleship-grey colours, plus this idiotic notion that each Window should carry its own menu around so you can see eleven at a time each wasting precious screen real-estate even though nobody can possibly deal with more than one at a time... but I digress. The nice thing about this process is that I’m spending some quality time with Paint Shop Pro, a totally excellent and ridiculously cheap software package from JASC (of which company I know nothing). Should you be a Windows user and by some chance not already have Paint Shop Pro on your computer, run not walk to your nearest Web Browser and buy it already. In terms of putting what you need to do all the time under your fingertips and letting you do a whole lot of serious photo engineering in a big hurry, nothing comes close. In particular, Adobe Photoshop (and I’m not gonna put a link here, because Adobe’s Web site doesn’t make it easy to link to it, what’s wrong with them?) doesn’t come close in ease of use. Having said that, Photoshop has some seriously cool stuff that’s probably cost-effective for me given that I’m trying to get serious about photography, but in terms of easy-to-get-the-job-done, it’s poor by comparison. Anyhow, in case it’s not already clear: Windows + Pictures = Paint Shop Pro. Go get it.
· An unexpected interruption here today, not working and time to think and time on my mind, so here are some words and pictures on the subject ...
· Just more beach pix, but I used the number-one technique of professional photographers and one or two of ’em are surprising ...
· We were walking home to the hotel—cold but no rain on Hallowe’en—and the city sounded like a war zone, fireworks rattling and banging in every direction, pink and green lights against the sky. Down one little alley the explosions were particularly intense and I saw a wall painted in colour by leaping flames, and simultaneously firetrucks incoming. “Let’s check this out” I told Lauren and without giving her a chance to wonder if it was a good idea, headed down the alley into a different Dublin ...
Heathrow Sucks, Plus Arctic Lies
· This is mostly a rant about the extreme crappiness of the Heathrow experience and will probably be enjoyed by those who’ve shared it a few times too often; plus some pretty neat aerial photographs and a confession ...
Dublin in a Rainstorm
· Twenty-five minutes’ slog back to the hotel across downtown Dublin, the mist turned thicker then to real rain, thank god for the Akubra but my good grey suit is drenched; the wool can take it but in my head is a loop of Sinéad O’Connor crooning Dublin in a rainstorm at the opening of Troy, that croon explodes in that song and I saw her do it once live with just an acoustic guitar, more petrifying than the record (The Lion and the Cobra), though she should have credited Yeats’ No Second Troy for the lines she stole. As for Dublin, it’s pretty nice; this note is just visitor’s impressions and a couple of snaps ...
· Last week, we almost set a couple of different records for rainfall, and there was serious flooding not too far from the city. Real Pacific rain isn’t like a Midwestern bucketing or a tropical monsoon; days-long waterdrumming, never violent but never stopping. On the second day of this, the local paper distinguished itself with the headline “Drought Officially Over” (they weren’t being ironic, we really did have a drought) ...
White Pink Red Blue
· This is just another bunch of garden shots, some of the autumn colours are remarkable. In which context I want to send a long deep tip of the hat to Doc Searls, his shots from the Foo camp put me completely to shame. No flower is as interesting as a human face; I look into my heart and realize that up till now I just haven’t been brave enough to point my camera at people and focus in hard. Mind you, to Doc’s further credit, I’ve heard a few voices saying “When did he take that? I had no idea!” So I guess you have to be brave and sneaky, too ...
Trains and Taxis and Shop-Window Geeks
· Travel sucks, but some times less than others. Three days of TAG meetings, socializing, and jet-lag had left me pretty well an empty shell. But I had all day starting in Bristol to make the 4:15 to Vancouver out of Heathrow, an (infrequent) chance to just kick back and enjoy the process of getting there ...
On Reducing Images
· Here in ongoing, the images normally are scaled down to a width of 300 pixels (linked to a full-size version). Currently, I’m using the open-source GD image library to do the photoreduction; the usability is excellent but I’m unsatisfied with the quality of the results. Herewith a survey of some approaches, because I’m sure lots of other people have this problem too. [Update: Holy Cow, did people respond. This is now photoreduction comparative research world headquarters.] ...
West England Web Architecture
· I’m writing this from the West of England: Bristol, to be precise, where I’m attending a face-to-face meeting of the W3C TAG. Herewith a few illustrated notes on the place, the country, Canadian History, and the dreaded Semantic Web Insurrectionists ...
One Corner of a Cube
· I recall a Confucian thinker (or Kongfuzi himself? or a Taoist? or a Buddhist? I can’t find the reference) arguing that if you are painting a picture of a cube, you really only need to paint one corner and do it right ...
· We ended a very nice week very nicely at the beach, you don’t really expect to enjoy balmy temperatures in crystal sunshine late into September up here, so the beach was busy as the citizens drank it in. I took a million pictures while I thought about good things that happened this week, many of which are the usual “Vancouver nestled in the mountains in the slanting sun” thing, but I didn’t put any of those in here. Question: what do the children of urban fisherpeople do? ...
· The early-morning sun this time of year slants through the prismatic window beside the front door and for the last couple of days the incident rainbows have danced with the vertical slats of the big old leather chair ...
· Our endless golden summer ended, the grass is a happier green but the bike-ride to work is getting chilly. Vancouver’s at fifty degrees north latitude, and when the sun is out it’s coming sideways a lot of the time, which is photographer-friendly. There are still lots of flowers, but autumnal blossoms have to be twice as good as spring’s offerings to get half the impact, and they’re not. Still, they photograph well ...
Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown
· We moved Antarctica from funky fashionable Yaletown to smack in the middle of Vancouver’s downtown core. We got more space, better space, escaped our bubble-era lease, saved big bucks, so the move was a no-brainer. The downtown experience is way different; among other things we have front-row seats at a hot flashpoint in the coffee culture wars. Plus, I finally got a picture that shows how Vancouver really looks ...
· The pear tree is showing early signs of autumn. It’s old and tattered and unpredictable, the fruit prolific but lousy some years, scanty and excellent others, I can’t spot the pattern. This year is lean but good—the best pears I’ve ever tasted in fact—but we need a visit from the tree doctor, the leaves are going too early and showing signs of disease. But the symptoms are not unpleasing to the eye ...
· They say midsummer’s June 21 but that’s silly, midsummer is right now, the endless hot slant of afternoon sun pulls pictures out pretty well anywhere you look, here we have not just flowers but wildlife and a little illustrated family story ...
· In co-operation with Dave Orchard of BEA, I’ve spent the last few days hosting a face-to-face meeting of the W3C Technical Architecture Group here in Vancouver. I’m pretty tired, since there’s been some heavy lifting, with a background roar of allegorical artillery. But there are compensations ...
The Island Rose Trip: Day Two
· (For context, see the Day One narrative.) In this day’s narrative & pix: beaches, a bald eagle (!), a visual physics lesson, and an orgy of roses. (Later: there’s no Day Three; the camera stopped working. Sigh.) ...
The Island Rose Trip: Day One
· What happened was, we have a house-guest from Australia who’s already seen a bit of BC, and we also have an Internet-retail relationship with the Old Rose Nursery, which is found on Hornby Island, a speck in the ocean between the mainland and (the very large) Vancouver Island. We wanted to visit the Nursery in the flesh, and they say Hornby’s pretty nice, and not only Sally but we had never been there, so I took Friday off in honour of the USA and we went. (This part of the world ain’t real wired, thus ongoing has been silent. Not thinking about work and syndication technology was a refreshing change. But this is addictive you know; I really missed posting to ongoing.) ...
The End of Innocence
· I’m sorry, this has just gone way, way too far. Words written in public become deeds, and some deeds are inexcusable and I see no point in excusing the inexcusable. There are those who may not be able to forgive me for veering over the edge of politeness, but nobody can claim I’m the first to go there, and I just don’t care. (Update: extra fact-finding.) ...
Big, Small, and More
· Today’s weather went grey but stayed warm and we decided on a Sunday-afternoon outing to the beach, where a touch of soft rain only sweetened the waves’ welcome. This was balm to the eyes and after a bit the soul. Which was in order; it’s been a stressful weekend on the professional front and the sturm und drang seems to have momentum, so perhaps I can share a bit of that balm with the world via a tiny photo-essay. (Plus a practical undiscovered-Vancouver hint.) ...
· In the remotest, least-favored spot of our property stands a clump of poppies; Lauren thinks the label on the packet said “California Poppies,” but I’ve grown those before and I don’t recall the out-of-this world colour shadings. Really remarkable, and they’re also highlighting a problem I’m having with the new camera ...
Mastering the Art
· Back home, I took a million pictures of roses yesterday in the slanting afternooon sun, and very few came out. I think this magicamera will provide the ideal combo of quick-shoot and good-pix, but I’m going to have to invest some real effort in learning all its ins and outs. Herewith one more rose photo, skip if you’re tired of ’em (but it’s a good one) ...
· Very wet, very pink. (Warning: May be found lascivious by ascetics.) ...
Pix From Mars
· Slashdot had this today, tremendously impressive pictures of the Earth/Moon system and Jupiter, taken from Mars, the proper image credit is NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems. A bit mind-expanding; for me, it was the Earth and Moon seen in the same frame, from a distance, that for the first time made me feel like I really knew how big the pieces of the system are. Hats off to the people and machines who did this. But the pix are a bit too pretty. In fact, the photo-enhancement bothered me, so I deconstructed them a bit ...
· Lauren was away on business for two weeks and managed to get in a few days' vacation in Germany, where she used to live. She took lots of photos, including a few heroic shots of the reconstruction of Berlin. But a couple of domestic shots around Nürnberg (what we'd call Nuremberg) were the ones that I thought worth sharing ...
Still Life and the Hero's Eyes
· Just four more garden pix, but for the geeks a Microsoft analogy among the botanicals, and the cornflowers are startling ...
· Some hours were profitably whiled away this past weekend in the garden, I think more high-tech fly-wired types ought to devote an hour or six thusly, net sanity would benefit. Faunality, you ask? I suggest, by etymological analogy, sexual feelings in a gardening context, mind you this time of year in the Pacific Northwest when the women, mad with sunshine, discard the sweaters and slickers and boots for, well, much less, those feelings are On The Agenda anyhow, but check the magnolia out and see if you think I have a point ...
Glacier, God, Cat
· We've got the slide scanner pretty well in production now, and last night I ran a roll that Lauren shot in early 2000. Reviewing the captures is a joy, memories in each one and then sometimes treasure ...
Korean Turquoise, Trillium Pink
· My Mom left for home yesterday, and my wife for two different meetings in Europe, so it's suddenly quiet with just me and the kid around the place. My Mom's a serious devotee of the arts of gardening, so before she left we went for a walk around the Van Dusen Gardens, which I think would be impressive even if you're not a flower geek ...
A Perfect Spring Afternoon
· A golden afternoon here, some of it captured photographically by defeating the wiles of my camera-nemesis. The first in the collection below is, I claim, the single canonical, definitive picture of Spring in Canada. A couple of 'em are well worth the click to enlarge ...
· Well, the rhyme with “showers” predicts the flowers in May, but we've got 'em now, here's the evidence ...
Spring: Floristruck, Birdwillowmoon, etc.
· Up here north of 49°, the evenings are already getting longer, and after dinner, the sun came out, and drew us poor mossy rain victims with it. Some nature treats for the light-starved Pacific Northwest eye. (Warning: six big pix, modemistas beware.) ...
What the Rain Leaves Behind
· It's been raining really a tremendous amount recently, if we didn't like it we wouldn't live here, right? A couple of after-the-rain photos ...
Nasty Spring Day, with Pictures
· It's a nasty March day. Nasty because despite occasional sunshine, it's cold and blustery here in Vancouver, really unpleasant to be outside. Nasty because on the other side of the world, men, women, and children are suffering and dying in the service of, or in resistance to, geopolitical strategy. So this weekend, I'm writing about binary search and gardens ...
Towerhang Raintinsel Elevatorsaint
· Walking from one meeting to another through Yaletown, a nice part of Vancouver, the city kept throwing these weird rainsoaked scenes at me, or maybe it's just that I'm semilucid in the grip of a severe cold and suffering from a virally altered state of consciousness ...
The Beauty of Cities
· Conventionally, beauty is to be found in nature, and that is especially true here in the Pacific Northwest, which has mountains, trees, and other jewels waiting round every corner. But a couple days ago I stepped out the office door and the afternoon winter sun was spilling between the towers and streetlamp poles and bathing the construction sites, and, well, I'm a city boy. People create beautiful things, and among the most beautiful things they create are cities ...
Illustrated Conversation With the World
· Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?" [Lewis Carroll] And what is the use of a weblog, etc? ...
Heavy Pixel Lifting
· So, as a (strictly amateur) long-time photo weenie, I have a really fierce legacy problem, and I suspect others must as well, so this is going to be a number-filled digiphotogeek tech-out relieved only by a few (warning: BIG) pretty pictures and at the very end, a technology investment hint ...
· This bee was sexing it up something fierce with the crocuses, and while my current camera is not quite up to capturing something that fast with really sharp edges, between the flowers, the bee, and the sunshine, some pretty serious fun was being had here ...
Current Camera: Fuji Finepix F401
· I've had a camera almost always since I was a little kid; my Dad was a fine and prolific photographer. Got the first digicam in 1998, a 640x480 Fujifilm, and this F401 in Tokyo in late 2002. I'm not that happy with it ...
How to Publish Pictures Here?
· I feel naked when without a camera, and frankly don't care if anyone likes the pictures in here, because I like taking them and looking at them ...
· Was killing time in YVR (Vancouver's airport, regularly selected by travel magazines as the world's best, don't know if I'd go that far but it's OK), getting my shoes shined in fact, and I noticed the graceful geometries hovering under the ceiling ...
Construction on Homer
· Just down the street from our office, lacy white cranes and a bright blue winter sky. In a few more months the infill around our office will be finished and the place will feel unnaturally quiet ...
By Tim Bray.
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