Tuesday, January 22, 2008

rights of a photographer

The Photographer’s Right: a downloadable flyer explaining your rights when stopped or confronted for photography (in the USA). If you are interested here it is the full book as a reference. For the law affecting photographers in the UK see here.

[via ExposureCompensation]

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dial a carol

Dial A Carol is a FREE service that my old dorm at the U of I does every year during their finals week. You call them and request a seasonal song and they have a CD player hooked up to the phone line and pump it straight into the phone. 24 HOURS A DAY THROUGH THE 14th of December!! They have just about every rare holiday song you know, plus several variants of the more common songs to choose from. You can also tell them your favorite artist and see if they have anything by that person - you'd be surprised, the collection is HUGE.

If you have a cell phone and call during your freebee time at night, it's totally free. And they LOVE getting out of state calls. Plus, if it's 3am and you're stuck on the last paragraph of your paper, call them just so you can hear a human voice and get through those last few lines!

217.332.1882 is the phone number. Have fun. I know it's crazy that this is free, but it really is. It's a dorm-bonding/campus service kind of thing.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

Meli Kalikimaka
Funky Funky Christmas
Percy the Puny Pointsettia (I don't think they have this anymore Karen!)
Dominic the Donkey
Little Drummer Boy by David Bowie & Frank Sinatra

[thanks Megan for the reminder!]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

more photographer inspiration

Dave Hill recently updated his site. He has a distinctive high-contrast, almost cartoonish style. While such images are likely post-processed in the computer, I believe that they also requires control over lighting to achieve.

Joey Lawrence (not from TV) does some pretty amazing work, especially considering his age: 17.

Todd Hido has a clean website. His landscapes have a dark yet dreamy quality about them.

James Balog
is a nature photographer. Check out his work on glaciers. There's an article on the Nikon Pro Challenge that shows some of the behind-the-scenes setup. [via strobist.com]

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Chicago: Fifth Best City for Singles

Forbes has created a list of best cities for singles, and Chicago comes in fifth. It's best subranking was "online dating" where it came in second.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Losing my Ambition

I would like to say that I don't watch TV, but it wouldn't be exactly true. When on the gym's treadmill, I'm quite the captive audience. Once, I tried to read a book, but text was too small to see while running. Generally, I get a few minutes of ESPN or Food Network and as much time in commercials.

A few commercials were for shiny new sports cars. One may expect that I would be more sensitive to such persuasions, given my fender-bender from Monday. In fact, the accident made me less excited about a new car, given possible interactions with other young mothers distracted by children in the backseat.

Also, I have my friends to thank. They do not pursue extravagant lifestyles, and I, likewise, work only as hard as to keep up.

Perhaps that is the bigger issue: that I've lost my drive. Last year, a friend lent me "The Paradox of Choice", a pop psychology book which proposed that more choices often resulted in lower overall perceived happiness. One of the suggested remedies was to be satisfied rather than trying to maximize every situation. The idea appealed to me, and I took it to heart, even too far. In finding contentment in my station of life, I've quenched the fire to go further.

Yet ambition is not so dichotomous. Rather than abandon it completely, I ought to focus my priorities. Even if I do not strive for materialistic superiority, it is of little benefit when the saved time and energy is lost to idleness.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I was driving home a few days ago, when I found myself behind a slow driver—one who followed the speed limit. The traffic light at the next intersection turned yellow, then red, during our lethargic approach.

Unable to endure a full cycle of changing traffic lights, I turned right and then turned left into a side street, when I drove one block before turning left so that I could return from my efficient detour.

And, ambling before me, was the same car.

It had only felt like I was driving a minute, yet I ended right where I started. I know that if I had waited at the original intersection, I would have thought it an unendurably long wait. Einstein had already stated in his explanation of relativity, "A man sits with a pretty girl for an hour and it seems shorter than a minute. But tell that same man to sit on a hot stove for a minute, it is longer than any hour. That's relativity."

Practical tips: I've recently switched cellular providers to Sprint. In the interests of efficiency, I set up my voice mail to expert mode and removed the robot lady caller instructions ("Press 1 to leave a message, or wait for the beep. To leave...") This setting was actually hidden under the greetings.

To enable expert mode: from the main menu: 3, 3, 1
To remove caller instructions: from the main menu: 3,2,1,3

For those who call me (or anyone on Sprint), you can skip the voice mail by pushing "1". Verizon used "*".

Friday, April 13, 2007

flickr and IPTC tags

I played with PictureSync when looking for a faster way to upload files to flickr (the Mac version of flickr uploader takes a long time to start) and I noticed it edited the IPTC tags of my JPG files before uploading. Apparently, the headline field (instead of the title field) is the one that maps to the display title in flickr. Also, this field will be overridden by anything written in the title field in the flickr uploader (which is the filename by default).

Adobe Lightroom can edit the header field, but under the metadata Library module, you'll have to switch from "Default" to "IPTC" or "All" to see it.

Headline: Title
City,State,Country: Tags
Keywords: Tags
Caption: Description