Monthly Archives: December 2011

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 A & S 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?

Early Saturday Morning: Full Lunar Eclipse

6:07am Looking East towards the Sunrise 6:07am Looking West towards the eclipsed full Moon

Photos of the Lunar Eclipse taken by Ms. Jen on Seal Way with her Nokia N8.

Sat 12.10.11 – Saros Cycle 135 Full Lunar Eclipse was visible from Seal Beach from about 4somethingAM to about 20 minutes before the moonset at 6:50am, as the last I saw a faint remnant of the eclipsed moon was at 6:27am. Left my house just after 5:45am to walk along Seal Way to see both the eclipsed moon setting in the west and the sun rising in the east.
While cold, it was a lovely morning to see the full moon slowly but surely being eclipsed by the earth’s shadow.