So is This Thing Stupid or Cool?

I had to ask myself that question this morning. I was sitting at my desk and the guy beside me showed me an ad for something called a selfie stick iphone. He was talking about getting it as a gag gift for his brother in law. Apparently he is both an Apple fan boy and one of those people who are constantly taking selfies and then emailing them to hundreds of people. I know a couple of these sorts of people and it really makes me wonder if they really think that they are that interesting. When I sit down to a plate of ham and eggs at Denny’s I never think that I should take a picture of myself and my food and then email it to all of the people in my address book. Read more →

Domke F-3X review + loaded photos

A number Incredible f Snapshots

  1. Domke F-3X review + loaded photos
    Image by bgolub
    The Domke F-3X is my new favorite bag. Thanks Megen for the birthday present!

    Some but not much. This isn’t a bag for transporting your gear long distances (although I’ve taken it all around the world and never had any issues). It’s a bag for shooting from. The bottom is padded but the sides are just canvas. In the top left photo you can see the one insert the bag comes with; it attaches to velcro on the 2 sewn in pieces of canvas that make the side compartments. The canvas actually does a good job to protect the camera. Better than I thought it would. I cannot feel the lenses or camera bounce against me as I carry the bag.

    This is a very easy to use, comfortable bag. The canvas material wears well and the whole bag molds to your hip. It looks much smaller than my Crumpler 6 million dollar home but holds more. The strap has rubber woven in to provide a nice grip that won’t move around. Loaded with 3 lenses and an FX body it got a bit heavy but I rarely take my 70-300mm with me. With just the D700, 16-35mm, and 50mm it feels perfect.

    It still looks like a camera bag to me; but less so than a Lowepro or even a Crumpler do. I like the green color but you can also get it in a traditional black. It molds to your hip so it looks smaller than what it’s capable of holding.

    The side pockets would be great for holding a flash. I use one to hold a rocket blower at the moment. The canvas pieces in the main compartment aren’t sewn to the bottom so they can collapse like in the lower left photo. My only wish is that the velcro came with a "muter" that some newer bags often have and that they used a plastic clip instead of a clumsy metal one that is difficult to use with one hand.


    Update: This bag made it through MOMA without a docent asking me to leave it at the coat check. The Crumpler 6 million dollar home, also a great bag, always needed be to checked.

    Hover over the photo to see notes on what each piece of gear is to get an idea of how much it holds in different configurations

  2. 70s Nikons: Nikomat with 50mm f/1.4 lens
    Image by Chris Devers
    These cameras belonged to my parents before I was born, when my dad was stationed in the army in Germany. There, they bought the Nikkormat (all manual) and the slightly newer Nikomat (auto-shutter, manual aperture). By the time I was given the cameras to learn on in the late 90s, they were around 35 years old.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Really, this is all the controls any camera ever needs. Right? Right.

    If you want to make some or all of this automatic, fine, but at least make the fundamental controls — shutter release, aperture (f/stop), exposure time (in 1/n second notation), and ISO sensitivity — super prominent and easy to manipulate.

    The D50 doesn’t really get this right, but then most of the cameras I’ve played with don’t either. It’s not too bad to hold for one of these settings — set the dial to "M" (full-manual), "A" (lock aperture), "S" (lock shutter speed), or "P" (err, I’ve never fully grasped this one, seems to let you manipulate the focus locking I think), then spin a dial to select the aperture or shutter you want.

    But I find the D50′s full manual mode too fiddly to bother with, so I never use it. And the canned program modes — "portrait", "landscape", "kids", "sports", "plants/macro" — seem too gimmicky. If you know what adjusting the fundamental controls will do, and really it’s not that complicated, then it’s easy enough to do it manually, provided that the controls are easy to manipulate.

    I guess that’s what I miss: the tactile feedback of these controls. Rather than having to look at an LED panel on top while spinning a thumbwheel, you can keep your eye through the viewfinder while adjusting rings right on the lens barrel to access the controls. On this one, the only viewfinder feedback you’d get would be a simple "over/under exposed" level on the side, along with a focus ring in the middle; with the Nikkormat it would display the aperture (and I think exposure time) as well, which is even better.

    Short version: mechanical rings good, software controls & too many options bad.

    All that said, I can’t see ever shooting film again, so as nice as these were, I think they have a permanent place gathering dust in the closet now. Poor things.

  3. Olympus E-3 with a Zuiko 90-250mm f/2.8 and EC-20 2x Teleconverter
    Image by Bryce Bradford
    That is a Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L in the background about 2 feet from the E-3.

Beating Back Death from Humanity

After going through several Vine Vera reviews before deciding to make a purchase, I came to the conclusion that I may have an obsession with aging. Without a doubt, the notion of what age is has been on my mind this past year thanks to my recently turning 30. I think, like most people, 30 represents the age in which we are passing through out 20's and thus leaving behind our youth. While I don't exactly subscribe to this sort of view I do find myself noticing the subtle changes in my body thanks to the unyielding march of time.

This product itself is a representation of a culture which has long been obsessed on claiming back our youth or at the very least preserving it for as long as we can. It's a feat which has only become easier over the years thanks to these advanced creams, the awareness of more healthy food choices as well as several more invasive options including laser treatments to remove unwanted wrinkles and lines from the body. Is this natural? No. Is it healthy? Maybe! I like to think that our war against aging is one that is going to be for the better of humanity.

I believe that in order to reach the full potential which our species may be capable of, we're going to have to completely remove aging from the process of our lives. This is going to open up a Pandora's Box of challenges but I am hopeful that by the time we have reached the capability to remove death from our species, we will also have arrived at the technological point where any hurdle that does present itself will be one that can be overcome. Otherwise, society and the world will be burdened by the presence of immortal humans.

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Steely Dan Jamalot Ever After w/ Bobby Broom

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In Need Of Auto Repair Info? This Is For You

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The Things That Can Ruin a Computer

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Dreaming About Your Next Camping Trip? Take These Ideas Along Too

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Washington Kastles vs. Boston Lobsters

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