Tripod Setup

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I recently upgraded (reverted?) from a ballhead to 3-way pan-tilt head. Above is the hardware I use to photograph artwork. Manfrotto’s 410 head with micro-adjustable 3-axis adjustment. On top of the head is Chris Hejnar’s elegant, custom arca-swiss adapter with clamp for the 410/405. And on top of that are some Really Right Stuff rails, clamps, and their pano adapter mounted vertically. All this hardware allows me to reposition the camera in small increments without having to touch the tripod’s legs--very convenient if you’re shooting a lot of work of similar sizes and you want to maximize the usable pixels of your capture.
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Magnolias (Union Square)

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Rented two 100mm macro lenses during Adorama’s Passover break: the Nikkor 105mm F2.8 VR and Zeiss’s 100mm f2. Both are great, both are expensive. Will have to run some more tests in the studio to see whether either beats my 85mm tilt shift for sharpness. These were taken with a lowly D40 body.
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New Lens (Prospect Heights)


Just got a stunning new lens: Nikkor 60mm f2.8 AFS. Very sharp and contrasty and not bad at all with flare.
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Kodachrome R.I.P. 1935-2010


Kodachrome was my first color film love. Great name, great colors, great longevity. 2009 was the year Kodak ceased manufacturing it and yesterday the last Kodachrome lab in the world--in Kansas--processed its last roll. Before Ektachrome and high-resolution color negative emulsions became the preferred choice of photographers, Kodachrome was the king of color. Much of the groundbreaking images in the history of color photography were shot on Kodachrome, but none are perhaps as well known as Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl, seen above. NYT has 2 stories on this here and here.
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The Death of Professional Photography


The New York Times has an article about how amateurs have been flooding the professional photography market. This isn’t news for somebody like me. This is what I’ve been calling the Craigslist phenomenon. The shitty economy has forced everybody to get more creative about how they earn money. And many photo hobbyists are discovering that they’d happily take photos for next to nothing, thus the undercutting of prices and the devaluing of pro quality. Wedding photography for $3-500 is now commonplace. Headshots for $75. When you’re an amateur, time is not money. The complication of course is that there’s often little that distinguishes amateur from pro work. This is often the case in the arts. But technology-based jobs have been getting outsourced to cheaper competition—India, China, etc.—for years. Professional photographers now either have to pursue the high-end or compete against the lowest-common denominator. Of course journalism and photojournalism are dying professions anyway. Twitter and blogs now deliver the news and flickr allows anyone to enter the stock photo business. Competition is healthy of course and as Cocteau said, a medium only really becomes an art form when it is affordable by the masses. So, while I love the increasingly visually saturated world, I’m preparing for my full retreat into another non-lucrative passion, fiction writing.
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Mouse Trail Art


I discovered a neat little program which records your mouse movement (clicks, pauses, trails) as you work on your computer. Above is 3 hours of mouse activity around my desktop. Below is 7.4 minutes of mousing without the background. Looks pretty, means nothing, but is very fun.
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Unbelievable CGI

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

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Hybridization of Beauty, Thanks to Photoshop

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Another Digital Manipulation Controversy

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Just in Time for the 4th!

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25,600 ISO Test

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Park Slope Rabbi Slaughters Nazis in "Call of Duty"

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Photoshop Grafitti

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ISO 12,500 on the Highway

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Speaking of Books...

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Sensor Noise

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Max on the iPhone

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Walk and Talk (Chelsea)

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Musicians and Royalties

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Apple Earns $1B in Profit

Apple pulled in over $7 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2007. The iPod strategy is clearly working, and the iPhone is the wave of the future. The Japanese are ahead of the curve with mobile phones that can do video, email, and web. 90% of the time, when we're not at our desks, that's all we need. Now if Apple could just upgrade their MacPros to the best Intel chips, it would be worth upgrading.
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Sony Walkman Monkey Dies

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