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Category: Photography

Atlas of Beauty

Atlas of Beauty

Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc quits her job and travels around the world taking photos of women to create the ‘Atlas of Beauty’. Far from being a beauty contest, she tries to show how we are one large family. I hold out hope we can heal and find a way to live that vision someday.

Skylight – or why waiting 5 minutes gives you a completely different shot during magic hours

Skylight – or why waiting 5 minutes gives you a completely different shot during magic hours

A mind blowing collection of unique moments was captured from mountaintops to rooftops to coastline, at locations including: 
Los Angeles • Chicago • NYC • Tokyo • Singapore • Sydney • New Zealand • Big Sur • Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest • CARMA • Eastern Sierra • Death Valley • Yosemite • Vermillion Cliffs • Mojave Desert

More info about the film and some of the shots is available on Chris Pritchard’s blog.

Skylight from Chris Pritchard on Vimeo.

Stainless – slow-motion train stations

Stainless – slow-motion train stations

Amazing.  Adam Magyar takes high-speed video of crowds as his train pulls into stations and then replays them at slow speed – creating a ghostly passage through the terminal. He did this in New York, Berlin, and Tokyo. Having just been in Shinjuku station a month or so ago, this one is my favorite.

Framed

Framed

I just got my photo of the Japanese Gardens printed and framed. I went and got a 24×20 print made on photo paper by a local high-quality printer who did a good job with the proofs and tweaking it for large prints. I then went over to a frame-it-yourself joint and got it put on foam-core, double-matted, and then framed. All said and done it was about $175 (framing being the majority of the cost), but it came out great.

Here’s a shot of it hanging on my wall. And least you think it’s not too big, I was using my wide-angle lens and that’s a Dell 2407 24″ screen to the side:

They think I can probably go as big as 30×24 without digital artifacts – which is huge.

If you think you might like a print (frame/unframed) let me know as now that I have the digital matte file saved with them, they can do further 24×20 (not exact dimensions) prints for a reasonable amount. Going up to 30×24 pushes it quickly to about $100/print (no frame) so just email me if you’re thinking about it, but the 24×20’s are very reasonable. Batch jobs are cheaper – so just email and if a group wants to go for prints, I’ll see what the rates are.

This one came out so good that I’m probably going to do a couple of my other photos.

Mt Hood

Mt Hood

Got a great shot of Mount Hood right at sunset from the Pacific Crest Trail.

It was a real whim that I went up there.  It was a beautiful day – one of the few we have left before the winter rains come – so I wandered up to Mt Hood as sunset approached.  As it turns out, it was a 3/4 moon too – which I just got lucky with.  I hiked out to the spot I planned to shoot from.  But as sunset came I was somewhat disappointed with the colors even though it was a beautiful, cloudless evening.  I guess I was hoping for more oranges/reds – maybe a little Alpenglow (I’ve seen Mt Hood light up before – so I know it happens).

The pictures were just so-so in my book, so on a whim I switched to black and white.  Well, the oranges/reds that I did get on the mountain acted just like a red filter and as soon as I saw it I went ‘Wow’.  Maybe you will too.

Some random thoughts and a quick weekend shoot

Some random thoughts and a quick weekend shoot

Saturday was simply wretched – constant rain and wind all day, so there was no photo shooting. Instead, I had the perennial fun of getting to re-install my OS because the latest driver for my Intel motherboard RAID controller completely pooched the Vista shutdown cycle – and no amount of restore points helped. Shutdowns would just hang which meant every time you restarted you were told the raid was corrupted/shutdown improperly and would need to re-verify the whole raid (2+ hours). I’m now on my 4th Vista re-install, and I’m becoming more and more unhappy about the stability all the time. (Vista Ultimate 64-bit by the way). Plus that with just weird/random connectivity problems with my USB ports and odd audio behavior and I was ready to re-install. Now everything works again – but why? I had the same driver versions installed before, the same patches – why is the old install so unstable and a fresh one not?  That coupled with the latest drivers not always working as well as the previous ones (64-bit versions) and things just feel dodgy in Vista 64 land – which is very quickly grating on my nerves.  I want to do my photos dang it – not lose all my weekend doing OS re-installs.

On the plus side, I picked up a BFG nVidia 8800 GTS OC, and it’s very very nice. Unfortunately for me, it came at the expense of my ATI XT1900 going south. A couple notes:

  • The fans on the ATI’s are universally TOO LOUD. I simply can’t stand any of their dual-slot fan/cooling solutions anymore, and their single-slot solutions are only *just* tolerable from the noise standpoint.
  • My XT1900 was just 2 days out of warranty when it died. <sigh>
  • 3dConnect is the worst company. They never gave me my $75 rebate after 8 months of constant remailing, messages, and emails.  They actually have a phone tree that at NO TIME can you actually talk to a real person. I went through the whole tree – you either leave a message (which will never get returned) or just get an automated response which tells you to go someplace else. Horrible – 5 thumbs down.  On top of that their manufacturing sucked – cards ran way too hot right out of the box.
  • Performance wise, the ATI XT1900 from a year ago is about the same performance as the nVidia 8800GTS released this year (as far as Steam/Half-life 2/CounterStrike:Source are concerned – which is what I do) nVidia cards suck on Half-life, which means you need to get a high-end one in order to get similar performance.
  • The 8800GTS is QUIET – I have yet to hear its fans kick on.
  • Now that I have DX10 compliant card at home, i can try some coding experiments out (muhahaha!)

Got up early on Sunday morning, hit mass early, and then went for a little shooting – and it wasn’t a bad day for it. I got a couple of shots, but I think the best ones are done for the year. On the fun side, I saw a total Nikon fanboy at the Gardens. Nikon D200 hat, Nikon everything. The gardens filled up with people fast when they opened for the general public (photo members can get in 2 hours earlier than general public), so after shooting and the folks started pouring in – I took off. This was from a weekend or so ago, but it’s still a good shot. I’m going to start looking into some really big prints here 30-40″ range for a large wall-size photo. Now that I have this 5D, the 4200×1900 resolution should be able to do so without any trouble.