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Coding Design Education Miscellany Photography Useful stuff

Opportunistic diversions for 2019-04-17

I watched a couple interesting videos that I enjoyed, and thought I’d share:

This Engadget video about the differences between DSLR and mirrorless cameras is terrific. Chris Schodt did a great job explaining both camera categories, and the advantages each type has. Well worth watching.


Leonardo Da Vinci was clearly a remarkable person, and this Vox Almanac video by Phil Edwards highlights just how perceptive Da Vinci was.

You can find a few more related links in Edwards’ post “How Leonardo da Vinci made a “satellite” map in 1502 – Vox“.


I work with CSS every day as part of my work at Automattic, and while I’ve encountered pseudo elements, I haven’t really understood them until I watched Kevin Powell‘s video.

This video is the first of a three part series, and just having watched this first episode, I feel like I already have a better understanding.

unsplash-logoFeatured image by Victoriano Izquierdo

I’m trying out a post format for sharing a few quick things that probably wouldn’t make for a decent length post. I like the idea of this sort of collection of interesting things, but it feels a little disjointed. Perhaps three short posts would work better. What do you think?

Categories
Mindsets Photography

Capturing moments: dedicated cameras vs smartphones

When we think about photography now, we think about capturing moments on our phones and sharing them on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp or Snapchat.

We’re capturing more moments daily than we ever could before digital devices became so readily accessible. I love that about digital photography. It can be a little overwhelming at times but I’d rather have more photos of a moment than none.

At the same time, there is a downside.

What I’ve noticed is that this new habit also has a tendency to take us out of the moment we are capturing and that bothers me.

Ever notice how we lose the moment when we start sharing it with everyone? We take the photo and then, almost immediately, we find start sharing the photo with our communities. We pick the filters, make the photo just the way we like it to be, type the caption and share.

In the process, I think we often lose ourselves in that process instead of returning to the moment with the people or things in our immediate space. It’s ironic, really. There we are capturing a moment with our family and we fall out of it in our process of sharing it because we are more focused (excuse the pun) on the act of sharing and the other people we are sharing it with.

In contrast, a dedicated camera gives us an opportunity to be completely present when we are capturing moments and then return to it because we simply don’t have the immediate means to do much else. At the same time, it can also be a matter of focusing on one moment to the exclusion of others so there are still choices to make.

I’ll often be walking with somewhere with my family and I’ll stop to make a photo. Doing that interrupts a conversation with my son or just a moment walking with my family. It’s almost a blessing that my camera isn’t connected to anything because it is easier to go back to where I was before the photo.

When I make photos with my phone, the sharing habit can be strong and that just pulls me even further away. It has its uses, I suppose. Still, if my photography is about being more present, then my smartphone camera habit doesn’t support that.

The more I think about it, the more I appreciate my distinctly unconnected camera. It is a superior mindfulness and presence device because it doesn’t give me the opportunity to do much more.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Categories
Photography Travel and places

What do you think of this: Tel-Aviv beach trip

We were on vacation recently. It was more of a stay-cation – we are new to Israel so it was a perfect time for some local tourism. Instead of renting a car and heading to some holiday resort, we slept at home and took day trips. We spent the afternoon of our third day at a terrific beach in Tel-Aviv at the Tel-Aviv Port. It was my first time in the ocean here and I couldn’t believe how warm the water was. I’m not usually a beach person but I think that could change.

We left the beach shortly before it closed and moved up to the boardwalk where we had something to eat and took some photos. I like how some of these came out and I’d love to get some feedback if you have any.

I had my 18-55mm kit lens and my f1.8 50mm lens with me and I shot this with the kit lens. I’d like to buy a f1.8 35mm lens for the wider angle stuff but the kit lens works pretty well in good light. I like this shot mostly because of the way the beach line almost takes your eyes out to see. This next one does a better job of that and the curvature from the zoom adds something to the shot that I like:

This next one was an experiment with a slower shutter speed. I usually shoot in Aperture priority mode and switched to Shutter Speed priority. I like the effect on the waves but I think there is probably too much motion in the photo to save it. I don’t usually shoot much with a slower shutter speed but I get the feeling a shot needs more prominent, static reference points to prevent the motion from just looking like a blurred shot:

The sun was setting so I spent a bit of time taking photos of the sunset. I like the railing in this photo which I took with my iPhone 5 and debated whether to switch to my DSLR and my 50mm lens with its shallower depth of focus to highlight the railing. That said, this photo didn’t work out too badly:

It sometimes amazes me that my iPhone can take such great photos. I use the VSCOCam app which is a great photo capture and editing app. Here is another photo that I took with my iPhone which came out nicely:

When I looked at this next sunset shot to add to this post I thought it was from my DSLR but its actually another iPhone photo. This kind of quality is why camera quality will always guide my phone choices:

My full set is on Flickr if you’d like to see more. In the meantime, I’d appreciate feedback on the photos, technical or otherwise.