Pickles and Mustard

Posted March 17th, 2006 by
Categories: Rants and Raves

File this rant under “You know that civilization is in deep trouble when…”

A normal morning routine for me includes turning on the local news on here in the Bay Area. (KTVU) After grabbing some coffee and keeping an ear out for the weather, I usually start right in working. Sometimes I get so engrossed in work, that I forget I left the news on. But I always know when the news is over, because at 9:00 AM I hear the god-awful screaming and yelling of the Maury show. (I’m not even gonna bother giving a link.) This noise pollution forces me from whatever I’m doing to go back and turn the TV off.

So today, as usual I hear the screaming, yelling, and crying that tells me the Maury show started. As I came out to turn off the TV (and having missed the weather report), I noticed the little “announcement” in the lower left part of the screen that tells what the topic of that day’s show is about.

Today: “My Fear of Pickles and Mustard is Ruining My Life.”

I immediately knew two things: I couldn’t find the off button fast enough, and our society hit a new, even lower, intellectual low.

Photo: Crumbled Rocks at Death Valley California

Posted March 15th, 2006 by
Categories: California, Deserts, National Parks, Photos

Picture: Crushed rock due to mechanical weathering, near Badwater, Death Valley National Park, California

Crushed rock due to mechanical weathering, near Badwater, Death Valley National Park, California

While talking with a friend today, he reminded me that it had been almost exactly a year since we were in Death Valley. Like so many others, we were caught in the spring wildflower bloom fever that made national news headlines. But as myself and several other photographers have commented on in the past, “You can really only have so many images of little yellow flowers…”

This is one of the ‘different’ images that made this trip memorable. Literally within weeks of my return, a client request came in for a geology textbook illustration, and one of the specs was for Mechanical Weathering, and in this case, weathering caused by repeated exposure to heat and cold. I sent in this one image – a photo that I took by chance while walking back to my truck – and this was the one they selected for use in the book.

See more of my Death Valley images in my online picture gallery.

Something funny happened on the Way to the Market

Posted March 15th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Stock Photography

I was reading the recent blast of entries over at StockPhotoTalk, especially the ones that discussed Bill Gates and his initial view of where the market would go when he founded Corbis. Also, there are the considerations that have played out in the Big Agency marketplace, and the evolution of the MicroStock sales models. One thing struck a chord in my memory; Recently there was a news story about Knight Ridder selling off a bunch of it’s Newspaper assets, and the sale has made for some serious ripples within the industry. But what caught my attention was…

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2006 – 63rd Annual POYI Winners

Posted March 13th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photos

The winners of the 63rd annual Pictures of the Year International (POYI) Photography Competition for 2006 have been announced. There is some really great images, and while I haven’t seen all the winning entries, there were a few that really caught my attention. In addition to a fun look at the Twister Sisters, I was most struck my one image of a person walking in a snowy park. This image more than any other reminded me of the classic images that graced the pages of Life Magazine from the 30′s and 40′s. The other image – and talk about a great catch – was an image of a hawk with it’s prey. And in the same ‘lucky catch’ category – there is a fabulous image called “Return to Flight” and Joel Sartore’s excellent image, “Waiting in a waterfall”.

This is definitely worth the time to look through, and this will be added to the archive listing on my Photography page.

Expanding space

Posted March 9th, 2006 by
Categories: Space and Science

Orion Nebula as seen from the Hubble Space telescopePhoto: Orion Nebula as seen from Hubble courtesy of NASA.

Tuesday evening was a really cool evening for me. My mom has tickets for the Oakland Speakers Bureau, and I got to attend a great lecture given by Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe. I’d seen his Nova series by the same name several times, and was looking forward to hearing him speak on the nature of time, space, and extra dimensions. While waiting for the talk to begin, I happened to recognize and subsequently meet Astronomer Alex Filippenko of the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department. I recognized him because I am an admitted Discovery Science Channel junkie, and he has been featured on a number of their programs. He has been one of the key leading researchers working on calculating the actual expansion rate of the universe, and the subsequent discovery that the expansion of universe is not slowing down, but is actually accelerating. Wow! – Big Stuff indeed, and a key part of our current scientific understanding.

And on another note, I spent part of last night and this morning listening to physist Lisa Randall speaking with Art Bell on Coast to Coast AM. You can see her book and others listed on my Cosmos & Science page. Then just a short while ago, NewScientest delivered a newsletter, featurning a link to an article that may crush the theory that black holes exist

Now all I need is a jelly donut to go with my coffee, and all will be right in the Universe, except for the fact that everything will fly apart until there is nothing left – anywhere.

Photo: Stormy sunrise on the Oregon Coast

Posted March 8th, 2006 by
Categories: Clouds and Sky, Coast, Oregon, Photos, Sunrise, Travel, Water, Weather

Picture: Sunrise light through storm clouds at Rocky Creek State Scenic Area, Oregon Coast.

Sunrise light through storm clouds at Rocky Creek, Oregon

I realize that I haven’t done this blog stuff for too long. I can say that I have some real complex rationale for the process of choosing what photos get posted here. I mean – I could say that; but I won’t. It’s not nice starting off a new relationship without being honest, so I’ll follow the same course here. The truth is that this image is a completely random selection. It just happened to be the image left in my file browser from when I finished keywording the other night.

You can see more coastline pictures in my online photo gallery.

Digi-crop explained

Posted March 8th, 2006 by
Categories: Digital

For anyone curious about how most digital cameras differ from more traditional SLR’s, the smaller sensors apply a ‘crop factor’ – essentially zooming in on every scene. Photographer Bob Johnson has a great explaination of the technical aspects on his Tip of the Week. Additionally, he promises more on the subject next week.

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Orphan photos

Posted March 8th, 2006 by
Categories: Copyright

I was supposed to be on an assignment today, but alas, the clouds have rolled in again. Now I can catch up on a few items that have come to my attention recently. This one I’ve known about for a while; and while I tend to shy away from talking politics online, creative voices are rising en-masse to voice objections to Congress.

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Technorati Tr0uble

Posted March 4th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

Does anyone else have trouble getting Technorati to recognize the Embedded Code that links to your Technorati Profile? I’ve been finding it to be a complete PITA – everytime saying “we’ve encountered a problem.” Well I’m getting to be the one with the problem, especially if this alternate method doesn’t work either.

RRRRrrrrr.

New Photo of the Month March ’06

Posted March 4th, 2006 by
Categories: California, Mountains, National Parks, Photos, Spring, Sunset, Travel

Picture: Sunset light at the base of Cathedral Rock in spring, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California.

Sunset light at the base of Cathedral Rock in spring, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California.

This image is about as far off as possible from how the Valley looked today. I’d been watching the Valley Live Cam for several hours this afternoon, and due to a series of late winter cold fronts, snow and grey clouds shrouded the cliffs well into the evening. This photo however, was taken just about a year ago. This is one of the few photos I’ve taken of the Valley that immediately remind me of one of Albert Bierstadt’s paintings. My own feeling is because of the strength of the directional sidelighting.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think of this image, or visit my online Yosemite Photo Galleries.

Also, as Photo of the Month, the cost of the Limited Edition Prints are on sale at Half Off, so be sure to Order yours today, before it’s too late.