National Geographic Found


FOUND is a curated collection of photography from the National Geographic archives. In honor of our 125th anniversary, we are showcasing photographs that reveal cultures and moments of the past. Many of these photos have never been published and are rarely seen by the public.

via National Geographic Found.

National Geographic is celebrating 125 years and “Found” is certainly a wonderful find. (h/t PhotoJojo)

If you are lucky enough to be in the LA area, there is an exhibition on from October 26th until April 2014 at the Annenberg Space for Photography highlighting 500 photographs from past issues of National Geographic. Personally, I don’t know how they managed to keep it to only 500 images from the past 125 years.  National Geographic pretty much set the photography bar for anyone who came across the magazine as a child and was entranced by its images; I certainly was. Reading the NYT Lens article about the exhibition it was interesting to note that NG (like so many other print magazines) is looking forward to its digitized, interactive future, as am I, even though  I still enjoy the experience of hearing pages being flipped and the slightly musty smell of garage sale finds.


Interesting Times


As the old photographer’s adage goes, the best camera is the one that you always have with you.

Since its invention in the late 1950’s, the Single Lens Reflex (SLR) pentaprism camera has been the workhorse of the professional photography industry, thanks to its ability to accurately reproduce the view of the lens through the eyepiece as well as for its changeable lens design.

In the early 1990s the SLR got a digital upgrade from its 35mm roots by replacing the mechanical film system with a digitizer back.

Since then, the digital-SLR (DSLR) has evolved to become the platform of choice for many pros and prosumers as developments in digital photography have also improved with each successive generation, such as pixel density and sensor size, faster autofocus motors, stabilized lenses and more advanced signal processing chips, as well as the ability to shoot video.

Read more at Yes, smartphones have killed the DSLR | ZDNet.

It certainly has been an interesting week for photographers. Lots of talk around the web of how standalone cameras are becoming have become secondary to smartphones (deja vu, anyone?). And now it looks like the Nokia 1020 has hit several more nails into the digital camera coffin, let alone film cameras. (hat tip to warptest) If you want to read the full specs, Nokia has published a white paper (PDF) with all the technical details on their newest, dare I say it, phone.

4842840757_d227d2e8a2_qArticles like the one above from ZDNet, and this one from Mother Jones, will most certainly engage photographers of all sorts in discussions over the nature of photography and what makes a photograph. Perhaps the day is already here when the experience of standing in a darkened room with the acrid, vinegary smell of developing agents is gone or left to a dwindling number of people interested in esoterica. (It’s been nearly 35 years since I last developed my own film, but I can still smell the darkroom.) Personally, I find posting film photographs on sites like flickr and 500px the ultimate irony.

So what drives what? Is the fall of film/digital cameras due to the demands of the consumer in an increasingly digital world or has the paradigm just shifted to embrace the current axiom? What are we losing, if anything, by the shift from film camera to digital camera to camera phone?

(Image Attribution: The featured image appearing in this post courtesy of Kurt Torster on flickr and released under a CC BY-ND 2.0 License and the inset photo appearing here courtesy of Thomas Prenner on flickr and released under a CC BY-SA 2.0 License)

Tips for Taking Fireworks Photos with Your Smartphone



IMG_3347copyHappy 4th of July to all my American friends! (Someone please light a sparkler for me.) :)

Originally posted on Tech:

Watching the July 4th fireworks has been a long-standing family tradition. But, capturing the beautiful aerial displays can be hard if you stick with the auto settings on your smartphone. So, try these simple tricks for fireworks photos you’ll want to keep.

1. Use a tripod

When you take picture of fireworks, your phone’s camera needs to hold the shutter open long enough to “see” the fireworks. The longer the shutter is open, the more susceptible your photo is to motion blur. So use a tripod to make sure there’s no movement. Joby’s GripTight Gorillapod, which can wrap around trees and poles or stand up on the ground, is a great option that fits most smartphones. Price: $29.95 on or Amazon

2. Use the “landscape” mode

Your camera automatically tries to find an object on which to focus. And when presented with a black featureless sky, the camera doesn’t…

View original 277 more words


Sunset on the Med

Since I’ve been pursuing offline life, I came late to the announcement that flickr has re-imagined itself yet again.

The biggest uproar so far has been over the redesign. Navigation is a challenge, to say the least, and for the moment full screen viewing seems to be broken.  Another sore point is the loss of the Pro account, which gave users access to their visitor statistics. If you had a Pro account when the switch was made, then all is good. (Here’s the official flickr thread about the new account options.)

The change in space allotment now means that, even with a free account, all the photos you’ve uploaded should be available for viewing, as well as all your sets. This makes me particularly happy as all the sets I created while having a Pro account have returned.

Here’s an early flickr set I created of one of my favorite subjects. A brief explanation on how I embedded this below.

We’ve been able to embed flickr photos and sets since at least 2009, when oembed was introduced in WordPress. Simply copy the URL of the photo or set (not the flickr slideshow) from your browser’s address bar and paste it on its own line in your post or page. Make sure it is not an active link. If it is, use the “Unlink” button in the Visual Editor tool bar (the one that looks like a broken link) to remove the link. If you are trying to embed a slideshow, add show/ to the end of the URL.**

How big is a Terabyte of storage space? Let’s compare it to  Each user currently receives 3 Gigabytes of free storage. The Space Upgrade prices, as of today, are:

10GB Space Upgrade: $20.00

25GB Space Upgrade: $50.00

50GB Space Upgrade: $90.00

100GB Space Upgrade: $160.00

200GB Space Upgrade: $290.00

This site has been on since December 2007 and so far I’ve used 2% of my available 3GB storage space. Optimize! Optimize! Optimize!  Remember, it’s not only about storage space and preserving quality of your images, which are important, it’s also about how long it takes for your page to load for visitors.

Jury is out on the new Android app, which I’d been waiting for. I’m out of space (sic) on my smartphone!

**If you need or want your site to be entirely mobile friendly, then the oembed method is not recommended. While I have not been able to test this on all devices, on my smartphone the above flickr set was MIA.

Related Links:

For those of you who want to embed the official flickr flash slideshow, Panos has written up a tutorial on using the gigya shortcode:  The gigya shortcode 2 – inserting Flickr slideshows Do note, however, that there is no longer a need to “enable autoembeds” as this option is now missing from the Media Settings.

Instagram Love


Having so little internal memory on my Android “smartphone” means that I regularly swap out apps depending on my current needs. Instagram was removed in favor of other apps before our trip in April. But now I have another reason to get it back on my phone (besides following my youngest son’s backpacking progress across South America) and start posting again.

The long-awaited and newly available Instagram widget in my sidebar!  Thank you!

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