Mar 4 Photo

Hipstamatic released a free film recently called Arjan BW. It’s in honor of a member of the Hipstamatic community, Arjan van der Horst, who recently suffered a fatal stroke. He was know for his black and white street photography. 

I am not know for my street photography. I don’t work in a city, and I don’t get out of my office building except to go home. So that fact that I went to Panera to pick up dinner gave me a chance to take some street photography pictures. What I found was that the film probably works best in outdoor environments. 

In this case, I used the Arjan BW film, the Lowy lens, and the Spiro Gel flash. 

Feb 14 Photo

My wife and sister-in-law have had this funny Valentine’s Day tradition for years, and that is to give Valentine’s Day the middle finger and go out for sushi. And even though my wife and I have been married for close to twenty years, it’s a tradition that persists. So today we went out to get some sushi with the kids and an old friend of ours. 

The picture above is part of an order of crab rangoon (yes, I know, it’s not a sushi, but it’s an appetizer), which itself is seems to be something of a anomaly up here in New England. At least, as far as we’ve seen. Up here, you ask for crab rangoon, the restaurant knows what you mean. Anywhere else, they seem to be called crab dumplings. (Well, at least in Maryland anyway.) Not sure why that is. 

These crab rangoon are a little different than what you usually see. Most times, it’s crab and a cream cheese filling in some dough, pinched together and fried.  The crab rangoon we had today was crab and cream cheese, along with some additional herbs, wrapped in a thin dough and deep fried. Looked different than usual, but still very tasty. 

Feb 13 Photo

I love Scooby-Doo. I remember watching it when I was a kid, usually before school, waiting the time when I would leave to walk to school. Five or six years ago, I rediscovered Scooby-Doo when my younger daughter began to watch the shows. 

A month ago, I’m walking through Target, and lo and behold, Lego has introduced a Scooby-Doo line. The Mystery Machine above is a recent birthday present, and maybe the coolest Lego I’ve gotten in a long time. 

Feb 12 Photo

My town has, of all things, a dairy. Model Dairy operates out of Main Street. I’ve lived in my town for fifteen years, and I still know next to nothing about this dairy. Their website is a Facebook page. They have a truck that roams around town that looks like it dates back to when Ike was president, and smells even older. They have a building that is down the street from me, yet I never see anyone coming or going. I’m sure this dairy is fully functional, but it must be a word of mouth kind of thing.

This morning, after dropping my daughter off at school, I noticed that the morning light was hitting this mystery building in a way that begged to be photographed. I pulled over, pulled out my phone, and started snapping. One of the results is above.

I played around with this one in Enlight. I’m still getting to know Enlight, to figure out all of its tips and tricks. One of the things it offers that some of the other photo-editing apps don’t is the use of curves. Using curves is essentially just picking a spot on a curve, overlaid on top of the photo, and dragging it this way or that to change the color within the part of the photo the curve falls. Think of curves as a way to alter the hue and saturation of a part of the photo only, and not the entire photo. Using the curves, I was able to enrich the warm color hitting the upper part of the picture, and cool down the lower part of the picture with the snow.

I think the result is okay. It’s not the best picture or post-processing I’ve ever done, but it’s still interesting enough (to me, at least) to post.

Feb 4 Photo

One of the lens that comes in the Ztylus lens kit is a fish eye lens. Fish eye lens are a little on the weird end of photography, I find. It gives you an really interesting picture in certain situations, but its application is so limited. How many landscapes of selfies can you really see in a fish eye view before you go “Okay, enough already, I get it, the world is bendy.”

That said, I had to try the fish eye at least once. I knew the picture I wanted to capture, it was more a question about whether the fish eye lens would make it look cool or just kind of goofy. I walked along a path at work today until I came to a group of trees, pointed the camera straight up, and snapped. 

I gave the picture some post-processing in Snapseed to make it more moody. I think it turned out, for the most part okay. I don’t know how often I’ll use the fish eye lens, but once in a while, it’s fun. 

Jan 30 Photo

  I’m still playing around with the new lens kit from Ztylus. This is a shot with the wide angle lens, taken at the new music hall at the Joy of Music Program (JOMP) in Worcester. The new music hall is absolutely beautiful and the sound is great. The lens is also nice, providing a much better picture than the one I have from CamRah. I may post a review of the lens kit after I get the chance to use it some more, but for now I’m just enjoying playing around. 

Dear Victoria’s Secret: A Rant

Dear Victoria’s Secret:

What the hell’s the matter with you? You should know better.

You know what, maybe I should back up, provide a little context as to why I’m so angry with you. Let’s start with your most recent catalog. Something that was pointed out to me by a friend from high school, Leanne, on Facebook. Something I, sadly, wouldn’t have thought to look for. But I’m not the market for this catalog, am I, so why would I give a crap? Well, I do. I have daughters, so I care quite a bit.

Here’s a snapshot of the lacy thing on the back cover:

Notice anything funny (and I’m not talking funny haha) about this picture? No?

Let’s zoom in, shall we:

See it yet? Still no? Are you really that blind, or are you just being obtuse? Okay, let me outline it for you:

See it now? Compare it to the picture just before this one. Notice how this model’s underwear seems to extend out beyond the end of her hips? How the underwear is just magically floating out there in space? See it now?

So, I ask again: what the hell is wrong with you? Why would you think this kind of thing is okay?

Let me lay some foundation here. I’m not a body shamer. I think that people are the shape that they are, that it’s none of my business, and that’s that. Some of us work to change our shape because we don’t like it (that would be me right now, trying to lose all the holiday weight I put on). Some of us don’t care what our shape is. Some of us are larger and that’s just the way our body is, and some of us are rail thin, again because that’s the way our body is. I’m not about to start shaming a VS model for being too skinny, because I know nothing about her or her body. I don’t even know her name. Maybe she starves herself to make it into the pages of the catalog, living on Diet Coke and cigarettes. Maybe she works out eight days a week and eats well and her body is the fruit of those labors. Maybe she has the metabolism of a high school football player, eating Big Macs everyday and losing weight in the process. Doesn’t matter what her situation is cause it’s none of my business.

What IS my business is the blatant Photoshopping you’ve done on a catalog that comes into my home. When I (or in this case, my wife) invite you into our home, I expect you to behave in a manner that is polite and respectable. You’re digitally shaving off part of this girl’s body is not polite. It’s unbelievably rude. It shows incredibly disrespect for the human body. And it’s dangerous.

I have a twelve year old daughter. She’s too young for most of your stuff, thankfully, but she does like the Pink line you sell. Sweatshirts, comfy pajamas, stuff like that. Sure, I get that. Who doesn’t like comfy pajamas. She doesn’t look through the catalogs, it’s not her thing. She could care less about sexy lacy things at this point, and I’m more grateful for that than I can express. I’m completely unprepared for the day when sexy underwear becomes her thing. At that point I may lock her away in a tower, hire a contractor to dig a moat, and rent a dragon.

Except, what happens when she DOES start to look through the catalogs for those things? When she see these girls, who are made to look rail thin, simply because you want to sell more of a sheer lacy cover thing? God forbid she thinks this image is something to emulate. The last thing she, or any girl, needs is an eating disorder because of something she saw in a catalog. There is plenty of evidence that things that glorify “thinness” are a contributing factor to body image issues. Don’t believe me? Review this link, and notice the third category from the top.

Or maybe it’s even more insidious. Maybe you know and you simply don’t care. Maybe you have inventory to move and gross margins to hit and shareholders to report to. That would be even more inexcusable.

As a concerned, and irate, parent of daughters, I’m challenging you to fix this. How about you produce a catalog of VS girls in their underwear with NO photo editing at all? How about you let us see that these girls have paunches, cellulite, moles, birthmarks, and no gap between their thighs? How about you show the world what real women look like, apologize for your crassness, and make a statement that it doesn’t matter what you look like, that as long as you’re comfortable in your own skin, you’re beautiful? That would be a catalog I think we all would appreciate.