Flickr a Day 90: ‘A Perfect Day in Lisbon’

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Lison Portugal

Where is the year going? We end the third month in this series with a beautiful townscape from Portugal, courtesy of photographer Diego Sevilla Ruiz. He shot self-titled “A Perfect Day in Lisbon” on Nov. 17, 2006, using the Nikon D50 and 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens. Vitals: f/6.3, ISO 200, 1/160 sec, 18.3mm.

Nearly nine years later, Diego uses the Leica M9, which he fairly recently acquired. But his tool chest isn’t so limited as the fantastic rangefinder. Take a look at his “Gear” album for a real gadget feast. He joined Flickr in January 2005, and you also can find him on Instagram.

Photo Credit: Diego Sevilla Ruiz

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Google, Love You, Love You Not, Love…

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Google HQ

As a working journalist, I am conflicted about Google. In my ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, I call the company a “leech that feeds off the intellectual property of legitimate content producers” and rail on the Google free economy’s negative impact on the Fourth Estate. That said, I am a huge consumer of the company’s products and services, which enable me to better do my job and that empower my life.

Something else: A decade ago (yes, 2005), I identified “Search as the New User Interface“—and it has proved to be for a generation of computer users. The UI, particularly from Google, helps to democratize content, and so doing empowers (there’s that “e” word again) everyone. But search also encourages content piracy. Philosophically, I strongly believe in information for all. Economically, I want to earn a living from writing, which is much more difficult in 2015 than 2005. Read More

People Photo

Flickr a Day 89: Dreamy

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What Gabriela Camerotti chooses not to post on Flickr is more interesting than what she does. She treats her photostream like a literal pond or stream across which pics skip like stones. Today’s selection is good example. She presents more photos from the model shoot on her Tumblr. That one, and others, deserves your attention. Her work is best appreciated seeing each image in context of the others.

There is a youthful vivaciousness to her fashion photographs—dreamy, sensual, and surreal are all appropriate adjectives. Colors typically are soft, and she shies from heavy contrast and strong saturation except when deliberately producing specific mood, such as retro-look.  Read More

Aspiration Critters Living Photo

Luna Moths

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Luna Moths

On the afternoon of June 14, 2004, something quite remarkable happened in my Kensington, Md. backyard, about which I briefly posted on that day. My wife urgently called me from my basement office. Beautiful butterflies had taken up residence on my daughter’s snow sled, which she had dragged out and left for some inexplicable reason. I immediately recognized them as something better: Luna moths.

I was an amateur bug collector in my youth and teens (someday I should tell you about raising praying mantids). So interested, I came a hair’s width from majoring in entomology (e.g. study of insects) in college. I dissected a good number of animals during anatomy and physiology classes, but nothing grossed me out more than cutting open a cockroach. But I digress.  Read More

People Photo

Flickr a Day 88: ‘High Hats & Goggles’

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Steam Punk Googles Riders

While compiling this series for the past 88 days, my appreciation for black-and-white photography increased immensely—particularly people. Belgian Fouquier shoots little else. “I am a firm believer”, he says, “in the Ted Grant quote: ‘When you photograph people in color you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!'” Mr. Grant is a renown Canadian photojournalist, living in Victoria, British Columbia.

Fouquier’s photostream is filled with screaming B&W street photography that demands close attention. Today’s selection, self-titled “High Hats & Goggles”, shot on July 27, 2012, is fine example. Read More

Apple Critters Gear

Say, Hello, Sammy

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Happy Caturday! For months, I have wanted to introduce you to the kitty who resides at local Mac dealer DC Computers. But Saturday comes, I forget, and is gone. Finally, I remember, while the sun still shines brightly overhead and Modest Mouse blasts form Chromebook Pixel LS. Mmmm, cat and Mouse (song “The Ground Walks, with Time in a Box“, BTW).

Sammy is about four years old, and she amazes me for her territorial confinement. During hot summer days, DC Computers cracks wide the doors and circulates the breeze blowing from the ocean, just 9 kilometers away. Sammy may sit inside, nose held up sniffing the air, but she doesn’t cross the threshold into the bustling parking lot. She never ventures outside. Read More

Aspiration Digital Lifestyle Events

Comic-Con Heroes: The Millennial

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Monica Kong

Today’s excerpt from my 2013 ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth is the last of the dozen profiles, which I started serializing Saturdays more than two months ago. One more installment remains, posting in a week, after which the book releases into the public domain.

To recap: “Comic-Con Heroes” is a collection of profiles. Twelve attendees. The people whom I believe are the real stars of the show. Not Hollywood, which presence feels larger every year. As I write in the book’s opening section: “While many Conners role-play fictional characters or superheroes, fans of every ilk play the most important role of all. They are Comic-Con. But no one tells their stories. I want to change that”.  Read More

People Photo

Flickr a Day 87: ‘Edinburgh’

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Edinburgh Scotland Street

We begin, more by coincidence, two day’s study in black-and-white street photography. First up: Martin Mutch, who is founder of IT consultancy Rocela and self-described “street and social photographer”. His candid captures using Leica Camera AG M Monochrom and Elmar-M 24mm f/3.8 ASPH lens are classic. He makes me want to abandon color, and also to go Leica. For image quality, the X1 is still the best compact I ever used; something like Martin’s rangefinder—more than $7,000 just for the body—exceeds my budget.

Martin’s street photos are magnificent. They are super sharp and packed with motion and people. Choosing just one pic proved nearly impossible for me. Exhausted from even trying, I narrowed down to self-titled “Edinburgh” and outtake “Thirsty Dog“, which has nearly 20,000 views. Choice came down to superior composition and point of view.

Martin shot the pic on Aug. 24, 2014, in the Scottish city for which the image is named and also where he is based. Vitals: f/4.8, ISO 1250, 1/3000 sec. He joined Flickr in September 2006.

Photo Credit: Martin Mutch

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‘Really, Rupert?’ is the Right Question

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Question Mark

Today, Rachel Whetstone, Google’s senior vice president of communications and policy, asks what has been on my mind since a stunning scoop set the Wall Street Journal against the Federal Trade Commission and the search and information giant. As I explained in an analysis of the news reporting, the story is flush with insinuation and veiled accusation, bereft of context.

Among my more serious concerns: Journal-parent News Corp’s ongoing tug-a-war with Google’s business model and its impact on paid content. Both entities likely would benefit by any means that trustbusters could crimp Google. The scoop’s timing and tone look like they intend to influence European Union public policy. Rachel’s response is brilliant, because it gets to the point: Conflict of interest taints the Journal’s credibility and impartiality. She rightly observes: “We understand you have a new found love of the regulatory process, especially in Europe”.  Read More


Flickr a Day 86: ‘Broken Glasses’

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Broken Glasses

Among the best Angus Stewart photos are those this series cannot feature, because they are All Rights Reserved. “Double Dubious“, “Sneaky“, and “Three’s a Crowd” are examples. He shot today’s selection, self-titled “Broken Glasses”, on March 6, 2008, using the Leica D-LUX 3 compact. Vitals: f.4, ISO 100, 1/30 sec, 15.6mm.

More recently, Angus uses the Fujifilm X100S, although his newest, 2015 photo was shot with the Leica M rangefinder. That’s a big step up from the D-LUX seven years ago. He joined Flickr in April 2007. His hometown is Tumbleweed, Suffolk, United Kingdom, but Angus lives in London, where he works “with a range of performers including circus acrobats, clowns, burlesque, tumblers, this remains an ongoing personal project”.  Read More

Apple Digital Lifestyle Gear

If Just 1 Percent of Apple Watch Buyers Go Gold…

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Apple Watch

Behind buying polls there are as many questions as answers, like: “How many people saying they will buy X, really will?” Oftentimes the number wanting something and actually getting it are usually much less than tallied results indicate. Considering those caveats, an Apple Watch buying poll I have running at BetaNews nevertheless illuminates how the device could be hugely successful even from a small number of sales. I do mean big.

Among the more than 1,100 respondents, as I write, 19 say they will buy Apple Watch Edition, which price ranges from $10,000 to $17,000. Assuming they all purchase and do so on the cheap, the math is easy: $190,000. Another 482 people want either of the other two models (Sport and standard Apple Watch). for $216,618 calculated at base prices of $349 and $549, respectively. The closeness of these two total dollar figures, possible profit margins behind them, and differences per-customer profits are ghastly.  Read More

Music Photo

Flickr a Day 85: ‘Pioggia di Note’

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Piano Concert

Defining the photographic style of Davide Gabino is easy. Imitating it requires a discerning eye for composition with perspective. He presents point of view that draws the eye, often from foreground to background—or visa versa. Other techniques include selective depth of field or choosing two subjects that starkly contrast like this street shot I nearly selected instead.

Davide captured self-titled “Pioggia di Note”, which in English is “Shower of Notes”, on Feb. 2, 2014, using Canon EOS 5D Mark II and TS-E17mm f/4L lens. Vitals: f/6.3, ISO 320, 0.4 sec, 17mm. The Italian joined Flickr in December 2010, and he lives in Colloredo di Monte Albano, a commune located about 14 kilometers from his hometown of Udine.

Photo Credit: Davide Gabino