life Photography travel

Viva Las Vegas

I realize it has been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, but I’ve been busy!

New York, New York

Most recently I’ve found myself down in Mesquite, Nevada getting ready to watch my brother-in-law compete in the World Long Driving Competition.

Today my family and I drove to Las Vegas to take in the sights and sounds of the notorious city. I’d share everything that I did, but you know what they say about what happens in Vegas.

If you’re so inclined, you can check out and comment on some of my flickr photos from today’s travels.

Photography Sport

Glen Hutchinson in the World Long Drive Competition

My brother-in-law, Glen, was in Wyoming a couple weeks ago competing in an Open Long Drive competition and ended up winning a ticket to the Re/Max Long Drive World Championship Tournament in Mesquite, Nevada this October.

Glen Hutchinson in preparation for Long Drive Competition lists him as the Open Division Winner with a distance of 337 yds 24 inches. I’m looking forward to watching him progress through the 11 rounds that it takes to win the Championship in Mesquite.

(Photo credit to Glen’s talented wife Jackie Hutchinson. IMHO she’s the best photographer in Drayton Valley Okotoks.)


The Amazing Intelligent Resize

Currently if you have a large image that you need to make smaller for the web you can either scale it or crop it. Scaling makes everything smaller and cropping can cut out important content. This incredible video demonstrates an image re-sizing algorithm that is content-aware. It’s pretty cool and I figure it’s something that is going to make someone a boatload of money.

[Content Aware Image Sizing – YouTube]


TED Talk by Blaise Aguera y Arcas

What you are about to watch is truly remarkable, and it just gets better as it goes.

Using photos of oft-snapped subjects (like Notre Dame) scraped from [Flickr], Photosynth (based on Seadragon technology) creates breathtaking multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectation. Its architect, Blaise Aguera y Arcas, shows it off in this standing-ovation demo.

See more on Seadragon and Photosynth.


Flash Photography Tip

I just rediscovered a great photography tip. It involves setting the flash to fire at either the beginning or end of a long exposure.

But only when I read this article was I reminded that the rear flash on a long exposure can be a great way to expose those fun low light party situations.

For Nikon DSLR users, like myself:

“Press and hold the flash pop-up button, then rotate the thumbwheel. Try having the camera in the “M”, “A” “S” and “P” modes to see the different flash sync options in different modes.”

Instructions for other cameras are given in their comments.

This is something I learned some time ago but somehow neglected to put into actual use. Now that I’ve been reminded of it, it will change the way I use my on-camera flash; it will tide me over until I get that off-camera flash that I’ve been dreaming about.

documentary Photography Politics

The Kurds of Northern Iraq

During a seven-week stay in 2005 in Iraq, photojournalist Ed Kashi captured thousands of images that were used in this interesting flip-book style animation, “Iraqi Kurdistan“.

Iraqi Kurdistan is an expansive look into the daily lives of the Kurdish people of northern Iraq. These images provide an alternative perspective on a changing culture, one different from the destruction and discord that dominates so much media coverage of the region.

Here are policemen seated on the floor, eating lunch and laughing, old men taking care of their fields and young girls celebrating at a suburban birthday party.

There is also hardship and tribulation, to be sure; the Iraqi Kurds endured generations of brutality under Saddam Hussein. His genocidal campaigns cost close to 200,000 lives. But as Iraqi Kurdistan documents, the region is mostly peaceful today. The people enjoy more autonomy and women’s rights continue to grow stronger.

Very compelling on a social studies level, but also I also found the images themselves to be fantastic—they are not only beautiful but also capable of stirring a variety of emotions.

I had a hunch he was using a Canon 5D and though I’m still not 100% sure, I saw the Canon logo in one of the photos with a mirror in it. I would love to get myself one of those.


April Snow

Snowy Travels

They say April showers bring May flowers. What does April snow bring?


Flickr Safe Searches

Lately, Flickr has been whipping out new features left and right. I particularly like their new “collections” feature for Pro account holders and the ability to mark images as either photos, screenshots, or art/illustration is also nice. With it comes the ability to search by image type as well.

flickr safe search screen cap

In addition users can now set their comfort levels for what kind of images they want to see.

Photography physics

Lunar Eclipse

On Saturday and Sunday we, the human population, had an opportunity to see the moon completed blotted out by Earth’s shadow in one of those rare events known as a Lunar eclipse. Personally I’ve always thought solar eclipses to be the more interesting variety and so I never even bothered looking for the moon over the weekend.

However, thanks to the power of modern computing, here is an animated version of the entire phenomena, for those like myself that want all the reward without any of the effort.

animated eclipse

I have to admit, the orange glow that appears on the moon during the middle of the action is kind of cool.

article Photography

In Search of Autumn

Nick Tosches spends a year in search of the mysterious origins of his Windows desktop image: Autumn and the Plot Against Me. It’s an interesting read for all of us would-be detectives.