Monthly self-portrait challenge: April. Theme = Water

April 22, 2014

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The 12-self portrait challenge continues in April with the theme water.

This is one that I would have liked to spend more time and use more equipment on, but when it came down to it, I let the deadline inform the way I took the photo.

Sunday slash Easter was one of the warmest days we’ve had so far. My three nephews were here, and after dinner, I said, “Hey guys, I need your help.

I only have one Paul C Buff Einstein that I could trigger, but I popped off a PCB Alien Bee 800 as well.  You see, to stop water in motion, you need a short pop of light. And in a case like this, the more light sources the better as we were covering a pretty large area of splash.

It was either that or I needed a studio full of lights I don’t own.

My intention was to stop the water completely, but I needed a few more faster pops of low light, and I didn’t have time to pick up triggers for my Speedlites from Bill.

So I compromised.

I set up a backdrop in our parking area, and had water coming at me from the sides and above. My family were all involved by the end, as they thought dousing Jeremy while he tried to capture it on film was hilarious.

Enjoy.


Happy Record Store Day from #Gramaphone Records

April 21, 2014

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Reader, meet a Pangolin. Pangolin, readers.

April 21, 2014

Check this out!

Via TYWKIWDBI: Quick – name some bipedal mammals


We’re going on vacation! We’re going to jump cars in the hills of San Francisco.

April 21, 2014

A couple months ago, we booked airfare and accommodations in sunny, saliva-y San Francisco.

I’ve never really visited anywhere in California.

We have friends in San Francisco proper. We’ll be staying with them a couple nights, then doing a circuit of little tourist-ish-y places, like Napa Valley, Big Sur and Monterey.

In the Big Sur area — where the West coast killer in James Paterson’s book Kiss the Girls kidnaps his victims to kill — we’ll be staying at a little farmhouse in an area called Carmel.

Hopefully the killer from the book doesn’t come to life, because Tina’s looking really fly lately, and I don’t want the Gentleman Caller to kidnap her and brutally murder her.

That would be a difficult vacation.

We use this service called AirBnB for most of our accommodations.

I really don’t know what to expect. I haven’t even had two seconds to do any research on the trip.

I know I say this all the time, but damn, we have been busy. Busier than we have ever been.

One good thing about our schedule lately is that I’ve been filling more time with reading. Real reading and not Internet reading.

I recently finished Kiss the Girls, which is why I alluded to it above. Almost concurrently, Tina and I watched the movie in three sittings. Imagine that. We can’t even watch a movie in one sitting right now.

And like most movies, the book was much better. The Ashley Judd character in the book gets her ass handed to her not once, not twice, but three times. I read a Jonathan Kellerman suspense thriller called Victims right before Kiss the Girls, and it was pathetic in comparison.

Kellerman spends way too much time with interviewing witnesses and leads rather than getting into a fun, fast run of energetic pacing.

For my vacation, I have several eBooks on my iPad that range from academic to stupid. They are:

  • Dave Barry, I’ll mature when I’m dead. 
  • Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang
  • Photographing Shadow and Light by Joey Lawrence
  • Sloane Crosley’s How Did you get this number
  • Zealot, by Reza Aslan
  • John Grisham The Racketeer

Zealot is a historical book about Jesus and what academics really know about him. I’m almost halfway through it. The information it’s presenting is really not new. There’s a lot known about Mr. Yeshua, and it’s boggling that some people wonder if he ever actually existed. There is good evidence he did.

Aslan corroborates a lot of other academic information about Jesus’s life that I’ve read extensively in other books and learned back in college. But to deify him confuses me. When read in context of the years that he lived, countered with how fairytale-ish his life was as recorded in the Bible, it’s a wonder to me that anyone believes him to be the savior of the universe, world or country. He’s a boring, run of the mill peasant gone popular …

I mean, to each his own. I don’t have to like One Direction, but that doesn’t mean they are famous. Or there are Katy Perry songs that make me want to slit my wrists, but that doesn’t mean she’s awful. She just doesn’t appeal to me.

Facebook showed no lack of He-is-risens yesterday. Jesus is such a letdown, though. What great being is so absent from every day life and so lackluster in on-going performance? Sure he seemed great back then. But where is the greatness now?

Bueller?

Dave Barry is an old guilty pleasure of mine, and I’ve been looking to read something a bit less murder-y lately. I’ve read a bit of it already, and Tina’s going to kill me for laughing out loud. She’ll probably ask the flight attendants if she can be moved to a different seat or if I can be tossed out the emergency door.

My list of books was dictated by what’s available right now. And thankfully, the available books are good for me. There are zillions I haven’t read.

I will hopefully get updates here while gone. So check back like 60 times a day until the middle of next week.

 


80,000 year old Aspen trees in Utah? That’s a whole lotta tree rings.

April 19, 2014

There’s a book of photography from Rachel Sussman called, “The Oldest Living Things in the World.” In it, she documents living organisms and plants that have been alive upwards of 2,000 years.

There’s a bundle of trees that are said to be 80,000 years old, obviously planted by the devil to confuse young earthers.

Her words:

I’m researching, working with biologists, and traveling all over the world to find and photograph continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older. I started the project 5 years ago, and have since photographed nearly 25 different organisms, ranging from the Bristlecone Pine and Giant Sequoias that you’ve surely heard of, to some truly unusual and unique desert shrubs, bacteria, a predatory fungus, and a clonal colony of Aspen trees that’s male and, in theory, immortal.

The video above gives a little trailer-sort of understanding about the book. Enjoy.

Via Kottke


The Drones have taken New York City!

April 19, 2014

AERIAL NYC – RANDY SCOTT SLAVIN – DJI PHANTOM from director. randy scott slavin on Vimeo.


Finally! Righteous justification to flog a banker! Thank you, Jesus!

April 17, 2014

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Graphic of Jesus turning over the tables at the famous scene in the temple reads, “Celebrate holy week by flogging a banker. It’s what Jesus would have done.” 

Thanks, Brian! 


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