Colourful computer history

I love James Ball’s colourful photographic history of computers.

These machines are grossly under-powered compared to the devices we use today. Still, they’re a wonderful reminder of how far we’ve come, and what lies ahead for us in technological terms. This Telefunken RA770 (circa 1970) is one of my favourites:

Via The Stylish & Colorful Computing Machines of Yesteryear by Jason Kottke

A terrific way to spend a weekend

This looks like an awesome way to spend a relaxing weekend, actually.

Organ music and roller skating at the Moonlight Rollerway

Dominic, the owner of Moonlight Rollerway, playing organ music
“Dominic, the owner of Moonlight Rollerway, plays the organ there every Tuesday night.” – Lisa Whiteman

I love stories like this one about the Moonlight Rollerway by Lisa Whiteman. Mostly I enjoy the photographs of what seems to be to be fragments of Americana/American nostalgia that speak to a very different time.

Every Tuesday night, Lillian Tomasino laces up her roller skates, puts her arms around her partner, and glides in sweeping circles across the floor of Moonlight Rollerway. Holding each other like ballroom dancers, she and Tom Clayton move effortlessly to the jaunty, classic tunes played live on a Hammond organ above the Glendale, California, rink.

Via “Throwback: LA roller rink still has a weekly organ night” on Kottke.org (one of my favourite blogs).

100 Lightroom presets and nothing looks good

I usually use a selection of VSCO Lightroom presets when I edit my photos.

Today is turning out to be one of those rare days when none of my presets look vaguely appealing. It’s very frustrating. No matter what I use, the previews don’t come close to what I’m aiming for.

Fortunately the more natural look is working for me today. Still, this is clearly one of those days when using shortcuts like presets just isn’t working out for me …

Photo credit: Martin Reisch (he was clearly having a better day than me)

The camera phone was invented to share a newborn baby photo in 1997

We take for granted that we can take photos with our phones and share them instantly. We don’t really think about it and that this capability is only 20 years old.

Did you know that Philippe Kahn is credited with inventing the first camera-phone and he did it to capture the birth of his daughter? Here is his story:

This is the first photo taken with Kahn’s prototype camera phone:

Philippe Kahn's first camera phone photo, taken in 1997
Philippe Kahn’s first camera phone photo, taken in 1997

As incredible as his creation was at the time, I am even more impressed with his wife. There she was, pregnant and about to give birth, and she encouraged him to build the critical connection he needed to connect his camera to his phone and laptop.

Image credit: Alice Donovan Rouse

Black and white tribute to our ocean’s giants

Giants #3 by Jem Cresswell
Giants #3 by Jem Cresswell

Jem Cresswell has published a remarkable photographic tribute to some of our ocean’s giants, humpback whales titled “Giants“.

His collection of black and white images are dramatic and beautiful. According to Cresswell’s website, he photographed these whales over a three year period between 2014 and 2016 in the south Pacific, during their annual migration to Tonga.

You can’t look at these images and not see the majesty of these magnificent mammals. While you’re at it, set aside a couple of minutes and watch the behind-the-scenes video to see how Cresswell approached his shoots:

Source: Kottke.org

Israel as seen from the International Space Station

Israel as seen from the International Space Station

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough shared this beautiful photograph of Israel as seen from the International Space Station yesterday:

Images like these add some much needed perspective to our lives. You can see more of Kimbrough’s tweets here:

Featured image: NASA

Portrait photography lesson for Donald Trump

Portrait of Donald Trump from Quartz
Credit: Quartz

Quartz’s article about a tangle with President-elect Trump about a photograph CNN used for a publication about the 2016 Presidential Elections is pretty instructive.

According to Quartz’s Johnny Simon, CNN’s photographer wasn’t granted access to Trump for follow-up photos after his election and resorted to photographing Trump from the crowd at his victory party. The resulting photographs weren’t as flattering as studio photographs made previously.

Trump apparently complained about the victory party photograph used for the second edition of the CNN publication and Simon made a good point:

The dustup around Unprecedented teaches a pretty obvious lesson for the president-elect: If Trump wants better pictures of himself, the first step would be to let photographers in.

Source: Donald Trump’s criticism over the cover of CNN’s “Unprecedented” illustrates a pitfall in portrait photography — Quartz