Month: August 2016

Reprocessing old images… Two Examples

A basic fact of a photographer’s life: you go looking through your image collection, and you see images that make you think I can do better than that. What I normally do is flag them with a rework keyword for later review, but sometimes you just need to sit down and fix them now. Here are two images that I put into my candidate list for a contest I’m going to be submitting to, and when I went to review the candidates to cull to the final selection, they both immediately stood out — and not in a good...

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iPhone 7 and the death of the headphone jack…

One of the controversies leading up to the release of the iPhone 7 is the rumored end of the headphone jack. This has some people up in arms, and it’s been a kerfuffle the likes we haven’t seen since, oh, Apple decided to delete the floppy drive from the iMac. It’s even bigger than the kerfuffle over Apple’s decision to remove the DVD drive from the laptops! Horrors! Or removable batteries in the laptops and phones. Horrors! And you can see just how wrong Apple was in both of those decisions… And that’s kind of my point. I could mention some more, such as, oh, the transition from PowerPC to Intel. Or the transition from ADB to USB. Or SCSI to Firewire. Or… Or… And each one has a similar set of reactions: initial outrage, a period of time (typically from about 6 months to 18 months) where there are pain points for us as we have to shift to the new technology bits and bobs, and then a realization that the new reality isn’t that bad. Except for the small but noisy group that will never get over it and wants everyone to know that. Although it’s been a while since I’ve heard anyone make that argument over the floppy drive; I expect they all died off of old age… But.. battery life! Yes, we can argue battery...

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Announcing Occam’s Fireaxe, a new podcast about books

I seem to have committed podcast… About Occam’s Fireaxe Occam’s Fireaxe is a podcast by Internet veteran and two-time Hugo Award nominated Chuq Von Rospach. Every two weeks Chuq will have a short discussion on a topic of the day and review a new book that’s caught his fancy. You can talk to Chuq at http://www.chuqui.com on twitter at @chuq, or leave this podcast feedback on twitter using #occamsfireaxe. The goal is to publish an episode every two weeks, each about 15 minutes long, with a review of a book I’ve read or listened to — mostly Science Fiction or Fantasy, but occasionally something non-fiction because I have a strong interest in military history and biography as well. There will also be a short commentary on some topic of the day, hopefully one that ties into the book in some way. About this episode Welcome to episode 1 of Occam’s Fireaxe, a new podcast from two-time Hugo Award nominated internet veteran Chuq Von Rospach. Every two weeks Occam’s Fireaxe will bring you a review of a book that’s caught his fantasy as well as some quick commentary on a topic of the day. You can find Chuq at http://www.chuqui.com, on twitter as @chuq, and please send us feedback via twitter at #occamsfireaxe. Things noted in this episode: This Episode’s Review: Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings Brandon Sanderson’s BYU...

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Does this new Oakland Stadium Proposal have a chance?

In a word, no. We’ve hit the point where the latest attempt to find a way to replace the aging (and decrepit) facilities for the Raiders and Athletics has been formally submitted to the City for consideration. It will soon be made public officially, and soon after that, it will be dead. This is a $900 million plan that if we lived in a magical world of unicorns and ponies would appear one morning with a new stadium, hotels, retail and office space and a balanced budget with no debt so that everyone can live together in harmony and the teams will play on in Oakland forever. In practice, this deal looks to be requiring significant investments by the city (which says it has no money), the county (which is actively trying to sell it’s share of this property to the city and get out of any involvement), the Raiders (who have said they hate it and aren’t interested in spending money on it) and the A’s (who aren’t thrilled at spending money on it either). By the way, the Raiders have hired Carmen Policy to oversee the possibility of the Raiders move to Compton to a proposed new stadium to be shared with the San Diego Chargers. A second stadium proposal for LA involves the St. Louis Rams moving to a new facility on the grounds of what...

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Photographing birds with your iPhone? Or do I need a real camera?

I got this question in email, and once I got it answered I felt the info was of enough general interest to go ahead and post it to the blog as well. The basic question: how do I take better photos of birds and wildlife with my iPhone — or do I need to get a real camera? I would like to take better photos of wildlife near my home. We have hummingbirds and turkeys! I find that the biggest impediment to great photos with my camera, my iPhone 6, is the lack of optical zoom. I got a detachable zoom for the iPhone and took some photos of goats clearing a hillside. The optical zoom allowed me to get some nice details on the goats, but the images have chromatic distortion, presumably an artifact of the detachable zoom lens. My question for you is whether you are aware of a detachable zoom lens that does not have chromatic distortion. Alternatively, should I invest in an actual camera? Here are my thoughts, ranging from as simple as inexpensive as I could think of to, well, lots and lots of money… There are a lot of options you can consider, depending on how much you’re willing to spend, and what your tolerance of carrying stuff around with you. Here are some possibilities I’ve come up with for you to think...

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