People Photo

Flickr a Day 109: ‘Two Seconds of Hesitation’

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Thai Cafe

Our selection compliments Day 108. Both photographs use different techniques to split the viewpoint between subjects. Here, the mirror image creates dynamic perspective and leaves anyone looking closely wondering. Because to the far right, there is a man’s partial face in the reflection, watching her. The questions raised by his presence make the image more interesting—even more so with self-title “Two Seconds of Hesitation”.

Thibaud Saintin used Nikon D700 and 50mm f/1.4 lens to shoot the pic on Jan. 1, 2013, at the “Edelweiss cafe, Georgetown, Penang”. He lives in Bangkok, Thailand, where he teaches French. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 1000, 1/40 sec, 50.4mm.  Read More

Aspiration Photo

Flickr a Day 108: Bus Ride

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Bus Ride

Early Micro Fourth Thirds and oddballs like the Sigma DP1 led affordable, mirrorless cameras to popularity. Among the key benefits: Convenience of a rangefinder, like the one used on Day 87, but for much less cost; physically smaller size; and lenses that are less bulky. The DP line, like the Fuji X100 series or the Leica X1 and X2, stand out for being compacts with fixed lenses and APS-C sensors common among digital SLRs. Another, the Sony Cyber-Shot RX1, and companion RX1R, up the ante by offering something more: full-frame sensor.

A full-frame sensor is typically 24mm by 36mm with an effective focal point of 35mm. APS-C is cropped, by comparison, adding an effective multiple of around 1.5 times (depending on the camera) to the lens’ focal length. Full frame captures more detail, suffers from fewer visual artifacts, and produces better results in natural or low-light. You pay more, too. Either RX1 retails for around $2,800—for camera with fixed, non-interchangeable lens.

Justin Kern used the RX1 to shoot today’s selection, which I chose for its detail, rich color, and stark contrast—perspective smartly split between the bus interior and the road outside. Vitals: f/2, ISO 125, 1/80 sec, 35mm. Read More

Amazon Gear Stupidity

Amazon Warehouse Makes Me Mad

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Harmon Kardon Nova

Yesterday, I made the mistake of ordering Harmon Kardon Nova speakers from Amazon Warehouse, which advertised: “Used, Like New. Item will come in original packaging. Packaging may be damaged. All accessories are present and undamaged”. Present, yes. Undamaged, no.

A cord connects the two speakers together, but the pins on one end were badly out of alignment. I did try to straighten out the damn things but failed. I’m not sure success would have been better than what happened: Demanding a refund (that will take days); writing a stinging one-star review; and reboxing and returning the Nova.  Read More

Critters Photo

Big Cat in a Small Tree

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Neko Treed

Neko is primarily an indoor cat, but we do take him out for brief jaunts in the apartment complex courtyard. While he’s not trim, our bulky boy can still climb when motivated. Here he finds his way down from one of the trees, after shimmying up in chase of a hummingbird.

My wife captured the image quickly using the Motorola Droid Turbo, which camera is surprisingly good. Her only gripe, and it shouldn’t be one, is lag. Shutter isn’t instant by any means, even using Google Camera app. Still, she managed to capture a half-dozen pics from his short run up the courtyard tree.

I waited all week to post the pic, and I am too impatient to hold out another 15 hours or so for caturday. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Anne Wilcox

Critters Photo

Flickr a Day 107: ‘Snowy’

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Snowy Owl

When choosing photos for this series, I weigh many considerations, such as: Image quality and appeal, composition, and story behind the image or the one about the shooter. Today’s selection is soft and doesn’t represent the high IQ typical of Matt MacGillivray. But it’s a great shot superbly composed (or cropped) that is interesting. Bird and bricks? WTH?

Matthew works for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a web application system architect. But birds are a passion, as his photography shows. He shot self-titled “Snowy” on Jan. 4, 2009, using Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi and Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6 lens. Vitals: f/7.1, ISO 200, 1/400 sec, 400mm. Read More


Flickr a Day 106: ‘La Nave de Juan Diego’

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La Nave de Juan Diego

Today’s selection comes with a question: Does the effect appeal to you? Computer scientist by day, photographer the rest of the time, Pedro Szekely is a fan of HDR—high dynamic range—techniques for shooting and processing images. Done right, the method can add great depth to the final photo, particularly when taken in unfavorable conditions, such as low or harshly-mixed lighting.

Self-titled “La Nave de Juan Diego”, captured on July 10, 2013, is one of Pedro’s better photos using HDR. On Day 105, we saw example of a photographer who years later decided the original was better than the HDR composite. By contrast, given the high view count of this photo, more than 22,000, and that of other renders in the photostream, many, many other people presumably prefer Pedro’s punchy style.  Read More

Amazon Digital Lifestyle Food Web

Amazon Brews Unexpected Coffee Deal

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Cafe Bustelo and Cats

I best be watchful, for my wife is smarter than she pretends to be. If not, she’s the mother of all coincidence. Because by all appearances, the woman used the vendor online tracking everyone suspects to snake a great discount from Amazon. Maybe you can turn to advantage persistant invasion of your privacy.

Our story starts on Feb. 11, 2015, when following days of price comparisons she ordered a 12-pack of one pound Café Bustelo from the Internet retailer. Price: $52.90. As we consumed coffee, she returned to Amazon on March 17, when a shocker waited: Same item cost $69.31. Ah, yeah. That’s a 31 percent increase. But by apparently gaming the system, she later purchased for 19 percent less than previously paid.  Read More


Flickr a Day 105: ‘Mickey’s Diner Take 2′

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File today’s selection under category “less is more”. Joe Dammel borrowed a friend’s Nikon D3000 to shoot self-titled “Mickey’s Dining Car” on Oct. 26, 2011. The original was a “7-shot HDR image” that nearly two years later demanded re-processing “to better-reflect my editing tastes today”—June 2013, according to the metadata.  “I realized that the original single image kept all of the tones I’d ever need”.

Hence, we have “Mickey’s Diner Take 2″. He adds: “My workflow now is about isolating the subject in a more natural way, emphasizing the tonality of the image rather than tone mapping the hell out of it”. Please compare to the original; I, too, prefer the second take. Vitals: f/8, ISO 100, 1 sec, 18mm.  Read More

Ethics Money Web

What Sucks about .Sucks Domains

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Money Monopoly

As someone whose name also is his brand (welcome to 21st-century journalism), I watch with interest the new .sucks top-level domain, which is available for select preregistration through May 29—the only time to surely secure your .sucks. Yesterday, i looked to a reputable registrar to see what would cost me. Cough, cough: $3,797.99 now, during the so-called Priority Access (e.g., Sunrise) period, or $407.98 when general pre-reg starts in June.

The new TLD is just one among hundreds of available or forthcoming domain extensions sanctioned by governing body ICANN. “I think the motivation behind the release of all these new domains is money”, says Roger Kay, who describes the sellers as shady land speculators. “The .sucks domain is particularly nasty”, the president of consultancy Endpoint Technologies Associates emphasizes. “It’s pretty close to blackmail”. But is it really? This analysis means to help you decide.  Read More

Photo Science

Flickr a Day 104: ‘Sun Over Earth’

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International Space Station Sun Earth

In making today’s selection, I set out looking for a dramatic view of our planet—perhaps surging storms below. But self-titled “Sun Over Earth” wins the Day for composition, perspective, and sense of being there.

NASA explains: “The bright sun greets the International Space Station in this Nov. 22 [2009] scene from the Russian section of the orbital outpost, photographed by one of the STS-129 crew members”, using Nikon D2Xs and 12-24mm lens. Vitals: f/9.5, ISO 100, 1/350 sec, 12mm.

My pick means to draw your attention to the One-Year Mission that started in late March 2015 around American Astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. Scott has a twin, also an astronaut, Mark, who will participate in a separate study comparing physiology and other attributes between the men. The collected data is expected to be useful for future long-term exploitative missions, including trip to Mars or permanent station on the Moon.

Photo Credit: NASA

Aspiration People Photo

Flickr a Day 103: ‘La Course’

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Kids Running

Today’s selection is good example where black and white makes an image that color could ruin. I generally like the energy and enthusiasm of self-titled “La Course”, which Franck Vervial captured on Aug. 19, 2011, in Madagascar. There’s a white dude’s head bobbing out behind one of the running kids, which I find distracting but not devastating to the otherwise excellent composition. However, if rendered in color, he likely would be the total photo bomb.

I prefer self-titled “A Girl in Salary“, shot two weeks earlier, but picked the other pic to emphasize one of the many benefits of black and white over color. Franck used Canon EOS 60D and EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens for both photos. Vital’s for the Day: f/4, ISO 400, 1/1250 sec, 50mm. View his Madagascar album/set for more like these.

From Hirson, France, which straddles the Belgian border, Franck lives in Singapore. He joined Flickr in January 2009, but he is more active on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Franck Vervial

Blogging Ethics Journalism Marketing New Media News Media Responsibility

‘Trust is the Currency of the Sharing Economy’

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Some days you wake up and wonder. As part of my morning routine, reading email and recent posts to my social networks and from RSS feeds is the first activity after greeting my wife. “The Risk Of Reviewing The Reviewer“, which actually published yesterday, riveted my early-day attention. For TechCrunch, Aimee Millwood writes something everyone, particularly bloggers and journalists, should read. You aren’t her intended audience, but you should be.

The headline to this post is among her key quotables and resonates with a point that I repeatedly make here on this site and emphasize in my ebook Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers: While inexplicably intertwined, trust trumps truth. The pursuit of truth isn’t your first ethical objective but establishing and maintaining trust with your audience—and, yes, this concept contradicts traditional journalism teaching. But it doesn’t, since truth ties to trust.  Read More