Category: Ramblings

Polaroid is in the Press This Week

Polaroid instant film was such a fantastic medium when I was young. This week there are a few articles worth reading on the original “instant gratification” in photography. Check out the articles linked below:

Back to the Future: What Makes Polaroids Cool at The Atlantic.
Why Polaroid Was the Apple of Its Time at Wired.
Polaroid’s Instant Karma at Fortune/CNN Money.

Posted on Friday, October 5, 2012 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

Copyright Troll: The New Bottom?

I have zero respect for patent trolls, and I am a firm supporter of copyright laws protecting content creators, but now there’s a new twist: a law firm named Righthaven is apparently engaging in “copyright trolling”. As described by Christopher Mims on the M.I.T. Technology Review blog, Righthaven is making a business of suing people and businesses for copyright infringement by waiting for an image to go viral and then buying the rights to it for the purpose of suing those who have posted it on the web.

As a photographer I value my copyrights, but I surely do not support this type of trolling abuse of an otherwise important method of protecting content creators. It’s actions such as these which may ultimately bring about changes in laws which weaken protection for artists, designers, writers, musicians, photographers and other makers of creative content. This kind of misuse of copyright law should not be rewarded and the actions should be penalized.

Mim’s post is here: Post a Copyrighted Picture, Face a $150,000 Lawsuit

If there is good to come from this, perhaps some exposure to this sort of thing will get people to think before posting others’ images without permission and attribution. Still, I’ll be happy to see this “business model” practiced by copyright trolls FAIL.

(To those following the RSS feeds from both of my blogs: sorry for the cross-post. The topic fits in both places, though are seen by different people.)

Posted on Wednesday, February 9, 2011 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

PBS and National Geographic Showcase White House Photographers

On November 24th, PBS aired a documentary produced by National Geographic titled “The President’s Photographer: 50 Years in the Oval Office”. The film is quite well done and shows the nature of a career where the photographer must be ever-present yet invisible in the room — not to mention deliver results every time.

I suspect that it will be aired again. It’s worth a look. It can be ordered on Amazon as a DVD as well. 

Posted on Thursday, November 25, 2010 in Ramblings • (3) Comments

Peter Turnley: A Visual Interview

The Online Photographer has posted a visual-style interview with Peter Turnley. If you’re not familiar with Turnley’s work, he is a celebrated street and photojournalistic photographer responsible for many moving and inspiring images. The post includes several wonderful images by Turnley from the 1970s through 2009. It’s worth a look.

Peter’s website can be found here. I especially like the “Parisians” portfolio set.

Posted on Monday, January 4, 2010 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

“No Hands” Bridge On the American River

My home in Auburn, California is near the American River. Within walking distance of the confluence of the north and middle forks of the river are four bridges: the Foresthill Bridge, which has been used by base-jumpers because of it’s great height, and was featured in the action movie xXx; the locally-known “U-shaped” bridge; the Highway 49 bridge; and this old railway bridge called the “No Hands” bridge pictured below. This bridge was built in 1912 and at the time was the longest of its type (a concrete arch bridge) in the world, and the first of this type built in North America. The rails were removed for the steel during World War II. Today the bridge is used only by hikers, trail runners, and horseback riders. Here’s a link to a bit of historical information on the charming and durable old bridge.

I photographed the bridge in 2005 to produce a black and white image and have wanted to revisit the spot for a color image when the light and skies were more interesting for color photography – and I wanted to shoot it with Phase One/Mamiya medium format equipment. About a week ago we had a day with potential for better light and skies for such a shot. So I headed to the river in the late afternoon, set up to shoot, and waited until the sun had nearly fully set. The view of the bridge and the interesting lines and shapes of the water-polished serpentine make it a pleasant place to hang-out while waiting for the light.

Posted on Sunday, November 15, 2009 in Ramblings • (2) Comments


Bird is a collection of wonderful images by photographer, Andrew Zuckerman, and a production group. The minimalist-style site is well done, with fantastic images of several bird species (more than one image of most) as well as the vocal sounds of many. There are some videos to watch as well, including the worthwhile “Behind the Scenes” video. These are shots of birds in captivity rather than in the wild, but their presentation on white is rather different than I’ve seen elsewhere. Included is also information about the bird species as well. See the site here.

Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

How Well Do We See Color?

Online Color Challenge:

FACT: 1 out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency. Take the online color challenge, based on the official FM100 Hue Test by X-Rite.”

X-Rite has a fun color vision test based on the FM100 Hue Test. Take the challenge here.

Posted on Monday, November 9, 2009 in Ramblings • (2) Comments

Jane Bown: The Eyes Have It

This is a good article on iconic photojournalist/portrait photographer Jane Bown: The Eyes Have It. She has photographed some of the great personalities of much of the last century and is said to be continuing to do the same in this one, at the age of 80. With a remarkably simple kit, and with a special attitude and talent, she gets her shot, typically in just a few frames. No fancy-schmancy digital gear, no entourage, just remarkable images. Watch the video for a very interesting narrative by the photographer.

From Nixon to the Beatles, Bette Davis to U2… Over the past 60 years, The Observer’s Jane Bown has photographed many of the world’s greatest personalities. On the eve of her retrospective, she talks to Robin McKie about her life’s work.”

Check out the article and video here.

Posted on Saturday, October 24, 2009 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

It’s a Small World: Nikon Photomicroscopy Competition

Nikon has sponsored a photomicroscopy competition each year for the past 35 years. The entries are judged on both scientific and artistic qualities. This year’s winners can be viewed here.

Photomicroscopy is photography of microscopic subjects using cameras attached to microscopes or similar devices. Nikon is one of the preferred brands of microscopes for such photography because of the quality optics and the rigidity of certain models. Other quality brands include Leica Microsystems and Olympus. Isolation from vibrations is of paramount concern for this type of photography. I have two Leica MZ12 stereo microscopes and lots of fiber optic lighting equipment. I need to dust off my camera adapters (they’re not really dusty, just in storage) and try this subject again. I have never gotten the quality of the results shown by most of the samples in the Nikon competition. I’ve not been able to isolate my microscopes from vibration in their current locations. Maybe this winter I’ll give it another try.

Some of the images in the winning and finalist sets are amazing. Take a look.

Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

The South Fork of the Yuba River


Last week I needed a break from the drudgery of office work, computer coding, file sorting and the like. The weather was beautiful, but not what I would call “photography weather”, still, anything would be better than what I was doing. So, at around 3:30 p.m. or so we (my wife, Chris and I) went for a drive “up the hill” for a change of scenery and to stretch our legs, clear my head, and exercise the Mamiya camera a bit. These shots were taken on the south fork of the Yuba River, about 45 miles (72 km) from my home, so it’s a pretty easy drive. I waited for the light to soften as evening approached even though the light was rather flat, but the distraction from work back home was really enjoyable. We poked around the area until it was too dark to shoot, including a few exposures lasting around 15 seconds. Regardless of photographic outcome, I need to make more of these impromptu outings.


Posted on Monday, October 5, 2009 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

Normandy 1944: Then and Now

This is a wonderful series of 204 images, depicting scenes alternating between 1944 wartime conditions and present day. The contrast is fascinating, as well as humbling.

It’s surprising to me how little things had changed in the 65 years. Most streets and buildings remained more or less the same and were refurbished, rather than being removed and redeveloped multiple times over that period.

Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2009 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

Elliot Erwitt

Elliot Erwitt is in Austin, Texas this week, at the Austin Center for Photography, participating in the “Icons of Photography” lectures. You can visit his website to view his work, and puruse his collection on Magnum here. An amazing and humbling body of work.

At 81 years of age, Elliot Erwitt is still very active, traveling around the world sharing his passion for photography.

Posted on Friday, September 25, 2009 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

Fractal Dreams: Roman Loranc’s New Book

Roman Loranc is a Polish-American photographer who emigrated to the U.S. in 1981 and is now living in the Central Valley region of California. I discovered his work some time ago, but was reminded to visit his site again when I heard of the publishing of his new book Fractal Dreams: Photographs from Two Decades. The book is $150, and reports are that it is beautifully published. I have yet to see it, but intend to check it out. A collector’s edition can also be ordered, which includes an autographed copy of the book and an original print.

The book can be ordered via his website or from Photography West. Neither website is ideal to navigate, but the photographic work is inspiring.

Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

Kseniya Simonova – Amazing Sand Animation

This is an amazing performance by Kseniya Simonova of Ukraine. It's artistic, emotional and fascinating. Wow.

Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 in Ramblings • (0) Comments

Maiden Post

Welcome to my new website and blog. The old site was growing moss around the edges, as other projects kept me from updating it. This new site is built using the ExpressionEngine framework and will hopefully be more inviting than my previous website. This post marks the beginning of the blog, and I hope we’ll find many topics surrounding the subject of photography (among others) to share here.

As of the date of this post, many images have not been uploaded to the new site. Stay tuned, I’m uploading images to the Portfolio Sets as I have time. Check the Portfolios section often for new images.

Thank you for stopping by.

Posted on Monday, August 10, 2009 in Ramblings • (2) Comments