Month: December 2016

Twitter is becoming USENET. And not the good parts.

I’ve been watching with some dismay how Trump has again used Twitter as an attack platform against someone criticizing him. First Boeing (which has now agreed to donate money to Trumps inauguration, a classic roll over and pee surrender) and now the Union head for the Teamsters that was fighting to protect jobs at the Carrier factory. The good news is, unions (especially the Teamsters) don’t shrink from conflict and he’s fighting back. Someone sure needs to. The bigger problem though, is how screwed up Twitter is. There’s no question that Trump has violated whatever rules ultimately led to Twitter banning Milo, although as badly and as inconsistently as Twitter enforces their rules, it sure comes across as the only real rule that matters is “Jack has said we need to deal with this”. Trump’s twitter account should be and deserves to be suspended for his actions, but I’m convinced nobody at twitter had the balls to do this. They are too afraid of possible retribution and bad publicity. But the thing is, if you want to build something worth building, you can’t not make enemies. If you try to please everyone, you'll fail, much as twitter is today. You need to take stands that both make your service stronger and make it clear what it stands for and even more importantly what it won't tolerate. You become a...

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Falling in love with Panoramas

I find I’m falling in love with the stitched Panorama image. To some degree this surprises me, but in retrospect, it shouldn’t. So much of photography is about pushing a viewers focus in on a specific thing and excluding everything else, but as I’ve tried to document what I really love about the wildlife refuges and some of natures landscapes I wander through, I keep butting into the idea that this deep focus and exclusion fight the openness and wide vista nature of what makes these locations fascinating to me. The panorama is an attempt to open these spaces...

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Sacramento and Colusa National Wildlife Refuges, November 2016

In mid-November I did a quick overnight trip and visited Colusa and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuges in the Williams area of Northern California. These are a couple of favorite refuges, but it’s 2.5 hours of driving each way to get to them from my place, and while I can day trip that, staying overnight gives me a much better ratio of photography vs. driving time. Both of these refuges support large numbers of geese — especially Greater White-Fronted and Snow Geese — as well as ducks and other species. Sacramento NWR also has a nice variety of raptors including eagles and Peregrine Falcons, and although I know people have been seeing bald eagles there, I missed them this trip. Oh, and masses of shorebirds, like these flocks of dowitchers that would occasionally mass fly I’ve been trying to think of ways to help people see and understand what visiting a National Refuge is like, and one thing I’ve started doing is panorama images that help show the space as you’d see it standing there looking across the area. I particularly like this one from Colusa that I think starts to give a feeling of what it’s like coming upon a flock of 10,000+ Snow and Ross’s Geese hanging out together. The small version doesn’t really do it justice, but it’s amazing to look at the full size (about 11,000...

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