Monday, March 02, 2015

The Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Versus… a Two-Year-Old Pocket Camera

The Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Versus… a Two-Year-Old Pocket Camera, article and photos.

So how much more detail do you really gain when you choose one of the world's finest and most expensive lenses (over four grand) and high resolution cameras, over a (admittedly good one) $600 pocket camera?



posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, March 02, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Friday, February 27, 2015

New media, new art

Modern Family has just, and justifiably, attracted a lot of attention with an episode taking place on Claire's laptop screen, and the video chats and other stuff that happens there. It was very good.

Somebody beat them to it, though. Noah is just the same, and almost the same length, 17 minutes (the MF episode was 21 minutes without ads).
I think Noah was good and interesting, although the ADD Hyper-speed young people operate at digitally and which was captured well, did tend to confuse.
I guess this ultra-multitasking must be addictive, I doubt you get more done that way.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, February 27, 2015   6 comments links to this post

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Unbearable Lightness of Tweeting

The Unbearable Lightness of Tweeting, article.
[Note: the article does *not* end with the graphics.]

I have earlier (to my shame, more than once. I'd like to be more positive, but sometimes it's hard) kvetched about Twitter. It's a small wonder I can't find anything interesting on it, who can be interesting in 140 characters?

But I thought at least it might be a good platform to share links, both for me and for others. A portal medium, leading to substantial stuff, relatively.

But no, it turns out that even at best, only about 1% of twitter readers who interact with a tweet, click through to a link! That is so depressing. It means Twitter actually *is* useless as a medium, except for such superficial use as sharing 140-character jokes or making 140-character arguments.

I, like many others, have found our attention span horribly diminished in the digital age. That many, many others are far, far ahead in this slow mental suicide might be a solace, but sadly it does not feel like it.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, February 24, 2015   2 comments links to this post

photograph reportedly just went for a world record $6.5 million

...photograph reportedly just went for a world record $6.5 million, article.

Australian photographer Peter Lik will rarely pass up an opportunity to show his biceps. There he was, wearing a cowboy hat, trekking up a snowy mountainside, arms bare. There he was, behind the wheel of a green truck, flexing. ...
art consultant David Hulme saying. Commenting on one of Lik’s pieces that went for $1 million, he added: “I don’t fancy the owner’s chances of recouping anywhere near what he paid for this one.”
That assessment hasn’t stopped Lik from selling. Take it from photographer Scott Reither, who also sells pictures and once worked as one of Lik’s salesmen. He wrote a lengthy blog post on his travails in which he spoke of hustling photographs like a used car salesman and pushing fine art on a Las Vegas clientele caught up in “impulsive behavior while visiting Sin City.” Reither said he sold $700,000 worth of Lik’s photography in seven months and quit, unable to “stomach it any further.”
“I felt like I had to feed people a bunch of lies,” he wrote, questioning the “absurd pricing structure for the not-very limited editions of 950″ print...
-

Get this print for $6.5M. 

---
Pop singers "design" Leica cameras, and the Marborro Man sets world records in "art photo" pricing. It's a brave new world. Or at least a brass one. 

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, February 24, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Lenny Kravitz, Leica designer?

This is one of those increasingly frequent stories where you check mentally "is it the first of April already?"
Lenny Kravitz, by virtue of being a medium-popular pop-rock singer, and by virtue of apparently sometimes using a Leica camera, has achieved the status of now being a Leica designer!
His "design" consists of no more changes to the camera than having machines and assistants rubbing off the black paint in corners and some areas on a black Leica camera, so it looks like it has been used a lot! Awesome...
(Having seen some documentaries about how things work in Celebrity World, I would be surprised if Lenny even had anything to do himself with this design "idea".)

Read Mike Johnston's no less sarcastic take on this.



posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, February 24, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Friday, February 20, 2015

Atlas of Beauty

Atlas of Beauty is a photo project just after my heart.
Project's home page.
Romanian photographer Noroc Mihaela is on a mission to photograph women from every single country on Earth in order to show that beauty is found everywhere.




Mihaela is doing this entirely self-funded, so I hope you will join me in donating what you can afford to her project.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, February 20, 2015   4 comments links to this post

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dubai hyper-lapse video (updated)

A "hyper-lapse" video is a time-lapse video which is done with a camera which is moving (beyond a few feet on a track). It's all the rage now, partly because Instagram has released an app to make them pretty easily (Microsoft has made software which evens out all the dramatic raggedness of camera "shake" which a first-person moving video tends to have. Pretty durn advanced software.)
Update: I have now tried Instagram's app, and I'm not impressed at all. It seems to simply make a speeded-up video, with no processing at all to enhance quality, unlike the Microsoft app's amazing stabilization, which uses bits of frames to expand other frames so as to avoid a severe cropping. The result I got from the Instagram app was extremely jerky and pretty useless.




It's certainly a strong effect, but will it be a lasting art form? I think it will be limited exactly because it easily becomes too strong, just like fish-eye pictures, or star-filters (which makes highlights into stars). But I think it will be a good way to illustrate a special trip like skiing, climbing, scuba-diving, and so on.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, February 17, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A pen review...

This review of a very ordinary ballpoint pen on Amazon has a wonderful understated, creative humor, and so does many of the comments under it. (The link goes to the comments, scroll up a little to read the review first.)

It's uplifting how many people display inventive and subtle humor in such ways. And yet sad that I have trouble finding much humor amongst the many, many novels published each year.

Update:
Russ pointed us to technology to make BiCs multitask.




posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, February 15, 2015   3 comments links to this post

Sunday, February 08, 2015

"Everything Glows"

Music by Les Barker, sung by Genevieve Tudor.




posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Sunday, February 08, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Saturday, February 07, 2015

The Uberpreneur: How An Uber Driver Makes $252,000 A Year

The Uberpreneur: How An Uber Driver Makes $252,000 A Year, article.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, February 07, 2015   1 comments links to this post

Lars Andersen: a new level of archery

This is one guy I'm proud to call my countryman. He can not only split an arrow with his own arrow, but do it to an arrow flying towards him!!
And this is very far from his only remarkable skill, watch this.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Saturday, February 07, 2015   4 comments links to this post

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Majestic - Wax Fang - American Dad

To me this song (which I like) sounds like it was made as an homage (or rip-off?) of Pink Floyd, particularly The Wall. I found a bit of agreement on the web, but not as much as I'd anticipated. What do you think?

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, February 04, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Monday, February 02, 2015

Almost no one


Almost no one
There's a huge difference between "no one" and "almost no one". Almost no one is going to hire you. Almost no one is going to become a true fan. Almost no one is going to tell someone else about your work. Almost no one is going to push you to make your work ever better. If only 1% of the US population steps up, that's 3,000,000 people in the category of "almost no one." If only one out of 10,000 internet users engages with you, that's still hundreds of thousands of people. The chances that everyone is going to applaud you, never mind even become aware you exist, are virtually nil. Most brands and organizations and individuals that fail fall into the chasm of trying to be all things in order to please everyone, and end up reaching no one. That's the wrong thing to focus on. Better to focus on and delight almost no one.

Posted by Seth Godin feb 1, 2015

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Monday, February 02, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Eolake illness? and a new tea-warmer

I saw by accident that some people (enough to make it show high in suggested search terms) are searching on google with the words:
Eolake Stobblehouse illness
... showing me there's a vacuum of information there.
Yes, I have told things here and there, but I've been shy about it, because the situation is in itself complex, and because I was and am always hoping it will get much better Any Day Now.

Like many know, since 2013 I no longer own or run the nude-art site Domai. The main reason had to sell it was that I was not in a condition to work.
The doctors are not in agreement about what it is. But the current favorite is Chronic Fatique Syndrome.
Anyway, it involves debilitating pain, anxiety, and crippling chronic exhaustion.
I even stopped going out photographing, my dearest passtime.
As you may imagine, there are more fun times to be had than this, if you have a choice!
It is hard to pinpoint the start of it, but it got worse and worse until at least 2013. From 2014 there are signs of betterment sometimes, although it is still pretty uncertain. Some days I'm very low and pessimistic, others I can accomplish a little, and have some optimism (for example I've bought the domain stob.me as a memorable place to buy my art, but the site is not up yet.)

Here's to hope. Yours kindly, Eolake Stobblehouse


===========
I got a couple of fine hot-drink flasks (the brand Contigo ones turned out to be much much better than the more famous Thermos brand, for me), when I lost my last tea-light tea warmer. It didn't seem I could find a replacement for that. But now I did, though I had to import it from the states. Bought it at a site called Notting Hall (not Notting Hill).
I think it looks great, modern, and it's stable, and will service cups or tea pots of any size (the hole is smaller than the bottom of any cup I know of). (Though I think I'm one of few who use such for cups.)


This is my exemplar. I love how with modern cameras, you don't need tripod and special lights to shoot something like this indoors, you just point and shoot. With a decent camera, and especially with a fast (sensitive, apertures 1.0 to 2.8) lens, you will probably get a good picture easily. (The big aperture also gives it a taste of "pro" with the softened background, which also softens any distractions which might have been there.) 

You put one of those little fat tea light candles (in a small aluminium pot) in the bottom. The lid does not get hot (at least in the short time I've used it), but the heat up through the hole is very effective. 
Biggest variable is the material and thickness of the bottom of your cup/pot. 
Funny, writing this, I think I can smell my last cup of Lady Grey, though I used to buy the popular brand Typhoo.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, January 29, 2015   8 comments links to this post

Friday, January 23, 2015

The cause of addiction? (holy macaroni!)

The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think, article.
If you get run over today and you break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief. The heroin you will get from the doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street-addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. So if the old theory of addiction is right -- it's the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them -- then it's obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets to meet their habit.

The funny thing is that this is right in front of our nose, and yet most of us still believe that addiction comes from the drug.

Nearly fifteen years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, with 1 percent of the population addicted to heroin. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse. So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them -- to their own feelings, and to the wider society. The most crucial step is to get them secure housing, and subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs.
[...] since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent.
-

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, January 23, 2015   6 comments links to this post

North and South

There seems to be some kind of universal "rule" that the expensive neighborhoods are north of a city, and the cheaper ones are South of it. (Anybody know any significant exceptions?)
Why should it be like that, that seems so weird to me, like 500 coin tosses all coming out heads. One should think that desirability of location would be by landscape features, not the Earth's magnetic field!
(Is it the same in the Southern hemisphere, or reversed?)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, January 23, 2015   10 comments links to this post

Dances with powder

Dances with powder.
(No, not that kind of white powder. At least I hope so, for his budget and for the dancer's health.)



There is also a video. 





posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Friday, January 23, 2015   2 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Senior sax humor

[Thanks to Kirk]

An older couple were lying in bed one night.
The husband was falling asleep but the wife was in a romantic mood and wanted to talk.
She said: "You used to hold my hand when we were courting."
Wearily he reached across, held her hand for a second and tried to get back to sleep.
A few moments later she said: "Then you used to kiss me."
Mildly irritated, he reached across, gave her a peck on the cheek and settled down to sleep.
Thirty seconds later she said: "Then you used to bite my Neck."
Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"To get my teeth!"
_____________________________________
DOWN AT THE RETIREMENT CENTER
80-year old Caroline bursts into the rec room at the retirement home.
She holds her clenched fist in the air and announces,
"Anyone who can guess what's in my hand can have sex with me tonight!"
An elderly gentleman in the rear shouts out, "An elephant?"
Caroline thinks a minute and says, "Close enough."
__________________________
OLD FRIENDS
Two elderly ladies had been friends for many decades.
Over the years, they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures.
Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week to play cards.
One day, they were playing cards when one looked at the other and said,
"Now don't get mad at me...
I know we've been friends for a long time but I just can't think of your name.
I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it.
Please tell me what your name is."  
Her friend glared at her.
For at least three minutes she just stared and glared at her.
Finally she said,
"How soon do you need to Know?"
_____________________________________
SENIOR DRIVING
As a senior citizen was driving down the highway,
his car phone rang. Answering,
he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him,
"Vernon,
I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on I85.
Please be careful!"
"Hell," said Vernon,

"It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Thursday, January 22, 2015   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hard rock classics

Karefully kollekted tonite for U, the conniseur, U no hoo U R.
All diffirant, all gud.






I tuk too from Ministri's "Ze Mine Iz A terrable Ting To Taist", 4 it's a rekord wich must be remembarred!! Takking bout Minstry, doen miss this!

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, January 20, 2015   0 comments links to this post

What if Michael Bay Directed "UP"?




Michael Bay is the director who is happy and proud that his crew is terrified of him. How do I know? He said so himself on a commentary track! (Transformers 1) He mentioned gleefully how when he was coming to the set in a bad mood, somebody would run ahead and shout "Coming in hot!", like the young boys in The Wire who ran around shouting "Five-Oh!" when the police were coming.

The one below is very critical, but it has some good points.
And M Bay recently walking off a stage because he was unable to say a few words about his process when the teleprompter broke? Whu?



(There are many of these "Honest Trailers", but be warned: don't watch them if they're about movies  you liked.)

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Tuesday, January 20, 2015   3 comments links to this post


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