People Photo

Flickr a Day 244: ‘SR-850 Lord Nelson’

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Train Engineer

“Displaced Australian” Neil Howard spent some years in Singapore before ending up in the United Kingdom. “I am living in Alderney in the English Channel. My work takes me to many places in the World, but only for short visits. but I always have my camera”.

He says about today’s selection, captured using Olympus E-M5: “The engineer and fireman working hard at the business end of the Steam Loco SR-850 ‘Lord Nelson’ on the Watercress Line in Hampshire—actually a well-earned short rest”. Hence, the self-title. Vitals: f/9, ISO 200, 1/8 sec, 27mm. Shutter is slow, and Neil held the camera still enough, looks like. But did the engineer move or are there artifacts from an HDR render? Look larger to answer. The pic takes the Day for composition and perspective.

Neil joined Flickr in November 2005. You can keep up with his photo journeys on Google+ or his website.

Photo Credit: Neil Howard

Music Web

Which Is It, Tidal?

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Which One Tidal

I canceled my Tidal subscription yet again, but a day later look at returning. But when prompted on iPhone 6 Plus, I see a price increase ($25.99). What the frak? But in my laptop browser, whew, it’s the expected — eh, lofty — $19.99 fee for 1411kbps lossless streaming. Why are there two different prices? Will I be charged more for subscribing on the mobile, which fits the adage: You pay more for anything Apple. Hehe.

Maybe, Tidal detects my country wrong. The exchange rate doesn’t work out for Canadian—$26.99—nor Australian ($28.10). In the local currencies, Tidal sub is $19.99 and $23.99, respectively. Why do Aussies pay more?

Perhaps Tidal plans a rate increase, which can’t be good for business. See, what the screenshot doesn’t show is the other higher price: $12.99 for the 320kbps streaming—what competitors charge $9.99 for, including Apple, which offers a family plan of multiple users for $14.99.

Update: A commenter on Google+ explained. It’s the Apple app tax. Thirty percent.

People Photo

Flickr a Day 243: ‘Biancaneve’

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Snow White

They say that “the devil is in the details”, which takes on different meaning applied to the crisp, compelling photography of Luca Rossato. Some of his portraits evoke religious overtones by the props used, like the bare-breasted woman duck-taped to a cross in mock crucifixion. Many other photos are subtle but graphic metaphors for life and death, sometimes grim and foreboding, like the couple kissing with plastic bags over their heads. Love is suffocating?

His images transcend the conventional but go farther. Most of the photographers featured in this series thus far capture a moment. Luca creates one. If you spend time really looking, each piece of art conveys a story, subject to the viewer’s interpretation. There is formidable expression, emphasized by how he uses light and shadows.

Today’s selection, self-titled “Biancaneve”, or Snow White, captures his style—shattering sacred conceptions. Luca shot our Day taker on June 3, 2013, using Canon EOS 6D and EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, which is an excellent prime for portraits. Vitals: f/2, ISO 1600, 1/640 sec, 50mm. Living in Legnano, Italy, Luca joined Flickr in January 2008. His website portfolio is better showcase of his art.

Photo Credit: Luca Rossato

Apple Mobility

Storm Warning for Apple and iPhone

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Storm Clouds

On September 9, Apple will hold a media event, where, presumably, the next-generation iPhone(s) will be unveiled. The company announced new handsets the same date last year, the 10th in 2013, and the 12th in 2012. But as the big reveal approaches, shadows rise over iPhone’s future: China’s slowing economy; smartphone saturation in core markets; lower selling prices in growth geographies; the end of cellular carrier subsidies in the United States, and, most serious of all, the “good enough problem”.

iPhone rode a perfect storm of success, raising Apple’s fortunes like a tsunami crashing down on competitors. This fact cannot be emphasized enough to illustrate how the bitten fruit logo company’s fortunes could fall as quickly, and as dramatically, as they rose. All the while, Android grows from swell to monsoon.  Read More

People Photo

Flickr a Day 242: ‘After the Storm’

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Storm Debris

Picking a pic from the photostream of Eric Verdaasdonk is easy. This series only features images with Creative Commons licenses, and among his 5,000-plus there is but one so designated. He shot self-titled “After the Storm” on Nov. 4, 2013, using Fuji X100. Vitals: f/8, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 23mm.

Our Day taker is but a teaser to Eric’s full photostream, which is a wonderful world of candid street portraiture, The X100 series tops my list of cameras balanced for street photography. But in 2015, Eric’s most recent captures are from Sony’s full-frame Alpha a7. He joined Flickr in February 2010. Also visit his Tumblr and website.

Photo Credit: Eric Verdaasdonk

Events People Photo

Flickr a Day 241: ‘Festival of the Dead, Missoula MT’

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Festival of the Dead

Is this one instance where color would work better than black and white? When shooting the Leica Camera AG M Monochrome and Summicron-M 35mm f/2 lens, as Mick Orlosky did on Nov. 2, 2013, color isn’t an option. But I want to see the subjects’ painted faces in living C. That said, B&W emphasizes their designs and makes the clothing part of the dark mood rather than distraction from it. Our selection is the fourth featuring the Leica. See Days 87, 120, and 131 for the others.

Self-titled “Festival of the Dead, Missoula MT” takes the Day for composition, and how B&W draws out the kids’ faces looking back as the adults move forward. But I considered passing on the pic, because depth of field is super shallow. Focal point is the gent’s jacket partially obscured by the umbrella, such that the onlookers are out of the field of focus. Vitals: f/2, ISO 1250, 1/45 sec, 35mm.

Mick joined Flickr in March 2005, but you should follow him on Twitter for photo tips and other tidbits.

Photo Credit: Mick Orlosky

Digital Lifestyle

I must kick the Autocorrect Habit

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MacBook Pro Retina Keyboard

My apology goes to Art Alexakis, lead singer for Everclear. In a post last night observing his role as a tattoo artist in movie “Wild”, his name is misspelled. Funny thing, so to get it right, I copied and pasted from the web into the WordPress post editor. Yet somehow when published, and I missed, his name appeared as Alexis. My thanks goes to Scott Bell, who pointed out the error in Google+ comment.

It’s strange how tech meant to be beneficial gets in the way. More mistakes appear in my stories because of autocorrect than I make myself. The pattern is consistent: I will write, nix autocorrect’s misspelling, but later edit something else in the sentence. Word changes! As a long-time writer and editor, I revise constantly until publishing—and afterwards, too. The mistakes I most often miss typically are the ones made for me during spot edits.  Read More


Flickr a Day 240: ‘Grande Velocidade’

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Bicycle Blurred Beach

Sigh, Dani Alvarez makes choosing one pic nearly impossible. But as the series approaches its ninth month, I must also consider what has come before; nothing is quite like our winner. He shot self-titled “Grande velocipede” two years ago today, using Nikon D3000 and 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Vitals: f/16, ISO 100, 1/30 sec, 22mm.

Dani, who lives in Barcelona, Spain, joined Flickr in May 2011. You can also find him on Facebook, or visit his website. I love his street-shooting style, which is best appreciated from this album/set.

Photo Credit: Dani Alvarez

Music Pulp Media

‘Wild’ and ‘Wonderful’

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It’s funny the people you see, and also recognize, in movies. I am watching “Wild”, starring Reese Witherspoon and see the guy with the glasses. He looks like Art Alexakis, lead singer for Everclear. I search IMDB. He is! Playing a tattoo artist.

YouTube wasn’t always with us, even though too few people remember, or care to remember, life before the service or others like it. But I recall the misery days, when watching music videos for Everclear songs like “Wonderful” was damn difficult. Capitol Records hosted a site with Hollywood and Vine in the name that offered some of the band’s vids—around the time YouTube opened to the public, in November 2005, but before Google bought the service the following year.

There was little wonderful watching online videos a decade ago or longer. It was still the wild, wild web.

People Photo

Flickr a Day 239: ‘Pure Happiness’

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Kids Playing Smile Water Pool

Few photostreams are as barren as that of Dianmas Jaya; fourteen lonely photos. He shot self-titled “Pure Happiness” on Feb. 17, 2013, the month after joining Flickr., using Nikon D90. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/640 sec, 50mm.

The pic takes the Day for clarity, composition, and color—and the infectious smiles.

Photo Credit: Dianmas Jaya