Tag: people

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Comic-Con Heroes: The Collectors

Two weeks ago, I started serializing my ebook Comic-Con Heroes: The Fans Who Make the Greatest Show on Earth. Welcome to the third of 13 installments before the book releases into the public domain, on July 8, 2015, after my current commitment for Amazon KDP Select ends. In the first segment we met The Dark Knight, and in the second a Medieval, Scandinavian fighter.

The third profile gets more to the core Con—not people who attend to dress up and be someone else for a day or few—but those who are there to collect. Comic book and toy collecting are undercurrents that keep the event vital. Hollywood productions may get more media attention, and for sure lots of people line up for television show and movie star-studded panels. But the show’s lifeforce are the artists, their fans, and people who look for rare comics or limited-edition items. 

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Flickr a Day 18: Painted

Student Satya Vrat Shukla should seriously consider just how good are his “outtakes”, which is how he describes this remarkable photograph. The colors and bokeh—painter and background—rivet my eyes.

“This is one of my really good friends, Ethi, who is an amazing painter”, Satya says. “She basically oil-painted this within a couple of minutes while I pestered her to ‘paint something good'”. Pester. I found the pic searching Flickr for the word—like yesterday’s selection, which shares something else: Camera choice. Satya shot with Canon EOS 550D and classic 50mm lens (f/1.8). Gotta love them Primes! 

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Flickr a Day 12: Tribos Bar

Tight describes the playing of great rock bands. It also applies to the photos Alvaro Sasaki takes of them—in Brazilian clubs, cafés, and bars, where getting the shot means close quarters, big crowds, and hostile lighting. His best photos pull you into the performance. You can taste the sweat in the room, breathe perfume and liquor, and tremble to the vibration of music and stomping of the crowd.

The image above isn’t my first choice but the second, and I started with an unusually large initial selection—about a dozen, which is the most for any photographer in the Flickr-a-Day series. Alvaro’s musician performance pics are that good. I chose the audience shot because of the entire album set—Mestre Ouriço @ Tribos bar; 26 photos. 

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Flickr a Day 10: ‘Cold Wet Saturday’

Because I authenticate Flickr photo ownership before posting pics, each new find is an adventure. With Vancouver, British columbia-based fashion photographer Kris Krüg the journey is an archaeological dig into the social web’s iterations over a decade.

I started simply, by searching Flickr for “Saturday”—appropriate given that’s today. The photo above caught my attention, for its rich, vibrant color, contrast, and composition. The EXIF data revealed the camera to be the Fujifilm SP-2000. Huh, that one is new to me. Some Googling here and raw EXIF there, and I discovered the camera was a scanner. Oh la la! Kris shot film! 

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A Storyteller Returns (Or So I Hope)

One of my favorite bloggers is photographer Carl Rytterfalk, whose voice silenced several years ago. But in a post overnight (in my time zone) he asks: “Am I back?” That’s a good question, which answer is complicated.

“In February 2013 my life changed dramatically with the early birth of my son who was born with the rare and somewhat difficult chromosome disorder named Trisomy 9 mosaic”, he writes about his absence. “Since William was born I’ve been using Facebook instead of rytterfalk.com and I think it should be the other way around. So I’m trying to convince myself that it’s ok for a while to post more from life and when ready—about photography, too”. 

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The Geography Lesson

I spent a good chunk of my twenties traveling, for reasons better explained some other time. One day—oh, winter 1985—I walked into a west Texas fast food place looking for cheap Mexican eats.

I’ve got to digress and talk about Texas towns and food, or what they were then. Pretty much any Texas town big enough to have a gas station has a Diary Queen. Rule goes: Every town in the Longhorn state has a Dairy Queen (It’s not true, I found one in southern Texas near the New Mexico border without a DQ. Of course, my last visit was years ago, and there might be one now). Restaurants are a good measure of just how many people live in a Texas town. First there’s the DQ (about 25 to 3,000-4,000 people) and next up is the Sonic (4,000-5,000 range or so). Pizza place means more people, etc. etc. 

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Mittens and Shoes

This afternoon, on what turned out to be an uncharacteristically summer-like day, I walked toward the veterinarian’s office to see if Mittens the stray survived her fender bender. Turns out the real bender—chug-alug-lug—was the man who first came to our door about the car-struck cat. He walked back from the direction of the vet’s, in socks. No shoes! Sure the day was warm, but not for going down the street in socks.

Turns out he drank up overnight and someone stole his shoes and jacket, or so he claimed, during a blackout. “Could you help me out?” he pleaded. I felt somewhat entangled because of yesterday’s goodwill with the cat. The guy said he couldn’t go back to his “woman” without shoes. I decided to be generous, and gave him a good pair that I don’t wear anymore. He took the shoes and disappeared. I had my misgivings, because sometimes some people take advantage of generosity. 

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Gramps and Digicams

It’s mixing-and-matching time—pulling together elements of the last post (on digital prints) and the next-to-the-last (about my father-in-law).

I have used digital cameras for a long time, at least as far back as 1997. The photo of my daughter and her grandfather was taken in late 1998 with a digital camera I can’t recall. I suspect that it was Kodak’s then top-of-the-line 1.6 megapixel shooter, which sold for more than a thousand bucks. A year later, I moved up to Canon’s PowerShot S20, a lightweight (for the time), full-featured 3-megapixel digital camera.

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Simply Amazing

My father-in-law visited over the last two-and-half days. I didn’t spend as much time with him as I wanted to, because of my work schedule. That’s too bad, because my wife’s father is an amazing man.

He’s 83, still spry, alert, and interested in continuing to grow and mature his character. He flew out to Philadelphia and drove down to Washington for the visit. Later, he braved the pelting rain (more than five inches fell in the Washington, D.C. area over the last two days) to drive back to Philadelphia, before going onto New York and then back to California.