Monthly Archives: December 2011

New Year’s Eve 2011

Swan Tube Blur Last self-portrait of 2011 At Mecca's New Year's Eve Party Mecca and her two friendsSparklers!

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

Sat 12.31.11 – The last day of 2011 was spent with a nice big walk through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park before returning to my hotel to get ready for Mecca’s New Year’s Eve Party in Kew just outside of London Central. The party was a good deal of fun and I met some very lovely folk, it was a relaxed way to spend New Year’s Eve.

Resound #11, One Word: Forward

#resound11 Prompt 31: One Word
Earlier this month, we wrote about our one word to describe 2011. Today, let’s write about our one word for 2012. What word do you want to use to describe how you will approach 2012?
Will it be awesome? Will it be frugal? Will it be open? Will it be the year of yes? What is your 2012?
How will you resound?

Sat 12.31.11 – Before I look to 2012, allow me to look back a bit.
Me on Twitter today:

@msjen: Actually, I am looking forward to saying goodbye and don’t let the door hit you on the way out to 2009-2011.

Then @technokitten RT’ed with a +1, to which I replied:

@msjen: @technokitten +2012 I want to move forward rather than a holding pattern w/great effort to not fall back which is how the last 3 yrs felt.

(more…)

The Gilbert Scott

St. Pancras exterior Lunch at The Gilbert Scott The dining room after lunch

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.

Fri 12.30.11 – This afternoon, I had the marvelous opportunity to join Mecca and Michal for lunch at The Gilbert Scott in the St. Pancras Renaissance hotel. The food was lovely, the architecture amazing, and the conversation was good.
It was a lovely way to ring out the old year on the Eve of New Year’s Eve.
Mecca’s photos from lunch are on the Great British Chef’s Flickr.

Hello London

Hello Oxford Circus

Thurs 12.29.11 – I arrived mid-day, with a couple hundred other folk on a Boeing 777 from LAX to LHR, in London today for a two week Christmas present to myself. After cleaning up, I decided to step out in the late afternoon darkness to buy 120 film for the ADOX at Jessops, check out the sales at the various Clark’s in and around Oxford Circus, and get wet as I forgot my umbrella at the hotel.
Very glad to be in London.

Scruffy and Belle at Dog Beach, The ADOX Camera Version

Scruffy and Belle at Dog Beach, photo taken with a vintage film camera
Tues 12.27.11 – Photo of Scruffy McDoglet and Belle le Cane taken yesterday at Dog Beach in Huntington Beach, Calif, with Thomas Bertling’s ADOX Golf 63 1950s era vintage bellows range finder medium format camera. I used Fujifilm 120 color film at 200 ISO and got the film developed and printed at Fromex in Long Beach.
I am very pleased at the results as Thomas did not think the camera worked any longer as it was given to him by an aunt who had it since the 1950s and neither of us had a manual or much of an idea how it should work. I took the ADOX to Samy’s Camera in Santa Ana yesterday morning to see if the folks at the film counter would be able to help me and they did by determining that 120 film would fit in the canister.
The first few shots on the roll were taken by complete trial and error as I tried to figure out how to advance the film, as well as the settings of the f-stop and the shutter speed in conjunction with the focus ring as all three are interconnected at the end of the bellows on the lens with out much explanation and no light meter. When I got to Dog Beach, I used the Nikon D70s’ light meter settings to determine that at 200 ISO, I should shoot at f22 and 1/200th shutter speed, as the light declined and the sun set, I switched it to f11 at 1/50th shutter speed.
The ADOX Golf 63 has the following available settings:
F-stops: 6.3, 8, 11, and 22
Shutter speeds: B, 1/25th, 1/50th, and 1/200th
Focal length: 1 meter to 20 meters and an infinity setting
There is no ability to set ISO.
I am very pleased on how well the photos turned out since I was guest-imating on focus, f-stop, and shutter speed. Why was I guessing on focus? The ADOX is a range finder camera and I don’t have a siting attachment for it, so I was looking through the little eye hole that does not change in focus at all as you turn the focal ring.
The first roll from the ADOX Golf 63 is here at Flickr so you can see all 12 photos. I just scanned them and did not do any photo editing. The color is pretty accurate to the printed photos, and any grain is from the photo paper and spots on my scanner, as the actual printed photos are wonderfully clear. The vignetting is a result of the square medium format film and the size of the lens/bellows set up.
All in all the whole experiment is/was so successful that I am taking the ADOX on vacation with me, so expect more photos, printed and scanned.

Belle on a Monday

Belle le Cane surrounded by Purple
Mon 12.26.11 – Photo of Belle taken by Ms. Jen with a Nikon D70s using a 55mm 1.8f lens.

Thomas Shahan’s DIY Approach to High Magnification Photography


Wed 12.21.11 – Thomas Shahan, a photographer and printmaker from Oklahoma, has an amazing photography high magnification photography practice with garage sale DIY camera set up and his work has been published in National Geographic.
From today’s Flickr blog:

Thomas knowledge about his photographic subjects is paired with gear that helps him achieve the stunning results you see throughout this article: “I’m currently using a Pentax K-x body, a set of extension tubes, and either a vintage 50mm f/1.7, or 28mm prime lens reversed to the end of the tubes. For lighting, I have an old Vivitar Thyristor flash mounted to a flash bracket diffused with a homemade softbox constructed from cardboard, tinfoil, and paper towel. In the past, I’ve used a Pentax K200D body, and before that – a Pentax *ist DL. I’ve stood by Pentax as their bodies work with just about any lens they’ve produced, even back through the film era – meaning as a frugal guy, I could easily attain high quality glass for cheap.”
Given that Thomas works a lot with reversed lenses, I was curious if he uses a special filter or other means to protect them. But this isn’t a big concern of him: “I’m not the guy to ask about protecting lenses – I’m using 20 dollar lenses that are significantly scratched after years of tumbling around in my backpack without proper caps. I usually keep spare lenses in socks. My 28mm, a garage-sale find, is almost solely mounted backwards and never used as it was intended. I admittedly take very poor care of my equipment.”
Asked if he uses any equipment that he would call “out of the norm”, “DIY”, or “repurposed”, Thomas explains that “Reverse-lens macrophotography is a pretty odd way to go – but offers a lot of magnification for cheap.”

I love it when I see folks working with whatever photo tool that they have at hand and then pushing the medium to make great photos. Bravo, Mr. Shahan!

#resound11: 12 in 12

Some folks I truly like and respect have been participating in the month of Dec 2011 #resound11 blogging where they respond to a blogging prompt every day or nearly every day or occasionally.
It is J’s post on #resound11: 12 in 12 that got me thinking about next year.
So here are the 12 Goals I would like to accomplish in 2012:
1) Get one of the three mobile apps I am currently working on in the Nokia and the Android stores before the end of Jan 2012. Get the 3rd one in by the end of March 2012.
2) Take the #2 mobile app idea and make it a full working web app that any mobile phone browser can use, which will be a mild challenge as the iPhone doesn’t do this activity in the browser.
3) Go visit Cami and Alan in London before they depart to go live in Africa, which they depart in mid-January 2012, so I better hop to it. Hey London friends, I will most likely be in your city very soon.
4) Go visit Abhi & Sudha in their new place in Mumbai. Which then means I also need to get to Agra and drop some of Grandpa Bill off, hopefully CJ will still want to come with me. And then there is the Ladahk trip idea that Dhruv, Seetu and I have… Ok! So it is time for me to stop applying for the 6 month multiple visit tourist visa to India and just apply for the 5 year multiple visit visa. ;o)
5) Go to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and attend Swedish Beers, even if I don’t drink beer.
6) Read more fiction. Spend less time online in the evenings and read more books.
7) Move. I love my immediate community, but my apartment is the size of a postage stamp and I would like to be able to invite folks over for dinner. More than anything, I want the adventure of a new city. And a kitchen that more than one person can kind of fit in.
8) Make more art. Be it photos, or drawing, or painting, or writing, or poetry, just make more art.
9) Go visit Grandpa Jim and Nellie in Uraguay. Even if I don’t speak Spanish, I do understand most of what is said to me, and if my Grandpa can go to South America for 4-5 months per year, I can go for a few weeks.
10) Go skiing at least 2x this season, as I miss the mountains and snow.
11) Even if various iterations of my Creativity in Mobile session idea has been rejected by the SXSW committee for several years running, I would like to write more in this space on creating with one’s mobile. The mobile web is wonderful, but my true heart is encouraging folks to create with their mobiles, not just browse.
12) Leave the house more often and interact with more folks more often in real life. Most of my LA friends will be shocked to read this, as they remember my great Extrovert era of 1998-2005, but in the last few years, I have cycled through some introverted times and need to see some more folk regularly.
And you? What do you hope for 2012?