Posts Tagged: “Ms. Jen”

Ms. Jen’s Travel Video: Kofa, Palm Canyon, and the Kokopelli Spiral Labyrinth

This was originally posted as Early Access at my Patreon account.

I have received requests for videos on the adventures of RV living, so here is the first.


Feb. 20, 2018 – On Saturday of President’s Day weekend, I drove to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to camp and take some night sky astro photos. When I arrived, I found the Kokopelli Spiral Labyrinth on the road to Palm Canyon.

The afternoon was beautiful and the earth art spiral was beautiful.

Video taken by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950 camera phone.

The Tale of Two Cameras, Part I

This was originally posted as Early Access at my Patreon account.


Olympus Pen - The View From Palm Canyon

Feb. 12, 2018 – I am finding that the differences between the photos that my camera phone, the Lumia 950, and the new Olympus micro 4/3rds Pen E-PL8 mirrorless camera are both evident and very subtle.

As my previous post states, I had hoped to replace a camera phone photo practice with a very small mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. The transition is coming along in fits and starts.

The immediate difference between the two example photos taken yesterday while on a hike to Palm Canyon in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is the way that the cameras handle color. The Lumia 950 is rather famous for its yellow-tinted take on the world and the Olympus Pen E-PL8 for its lack of neon saturation.

My eyes have become so used to the vivid to neon saturation that most camera phones produce that the subtler colors and tones of the Olympus Pen appear almost desaturated (top photo) until I look at the Pen’s photo carefully – wherein a world of beautiful tones opens up – esp. at the dusty horizon.

Lumia 950 - The View From Palm Canyon

In the Lumia 950 photo (directly above), the sky, plants and rocks are much more cheerful in color and the horizon is just a few volcanic cones peeping up from the dusty, windy day.

For what the Lumia photo lacks in contrast and strong shadows, it makes up for in bright color. For what the Pen photo lacks in saturated color, it more than makes up for in mood, contrast, contour edges, and shadows.

What do you think?

The $/£/€ 1,000 Smartphone: Oh Hells No!

This was originally posted as Early Access at my Patreon account.

Please forgive any awkward writing, as I wrote it quickly in the Patreon editor in a snit about all the super expensive flagship camera phones.


Olympus Pen - Lagging Behind

Tues. 01.30.18 – Yesterday, I enacted out a strategy that I have been considering for nearly two years: I bought a small mirrorless micro four-thirds camera with interchangeable lenses that is not much wider than my camera phone in its wallet case.

Two years ago, when the top of the line flagship smart / camera phones were approximately $/£/€ 800 when purchased new and unlocked, I looked around and saw the the cameras on these expensive so-called tech wonders were only OK. Meh – certainly not worth $800.

The years of great leap forwards in terms of technology for camera phones are not necessarily over, but the companies that design and manufacture said smartphones do seem to be more interested in increasing their market cap than giving me the photographer a kick-ass camera phone.

In May of 2010, Roland and I were invited to a private meeting in San Francisco to help Nokia envision the smartphone of 2015. I asked for a mashup of a smart phone and a mirrorless camera system with interchangeable lenses.

Samsung released one poorly done mashup in the mid-2010s and it garnered more complaints than users. Since then it appears that no other tech company cares to try. This makes me sad.

I want good lenses, a good sensor, and good algorithms to power my camera phone. The newest versions of this or last year’s flagships have focused on algorithm and have taken out the photographer’s prized manual settings (I am looking at you, Pixel2).

My current $500 Microsoft Lumia 950, as of July 2016, is still performing better than the Pixel2 in a few blogger’s comparisons (Steve L’s post if you are interested) when the algorithmic magic is examined closely and photos compared at 1:1 crop. I have to fight the Lumia’s software’s choices on low light. Why would I spend $1,000 to fight a camera that wanted to make its own decisions about how low light should be rendered?

Most of all, I guess I am now officially Middle Aged, as the very idea of $1000 for a flagship smartphone makes me want to yell and shake my fist. Even with the best components that is over $750 pure profit for the tech giants. No.

Why should I when a vast array of tech companies are releasing more than sufficient Android smartphones for $200-400?

Thus, my new strategy: Buy a good small to tiny mirrorless camera system with wifi and interchangeable lenses on sale with rebates and then get a small sufficient Android when the Lumia 950 dies – all for less than a flagship smartphone.

Then go take photos with a darned good small camera that will fit in a corner of my purse and do all communicating and internet functions on a phone I can root and hack all for less than $1,000 in total.

Yesterday, I implemented the first part of this strategy when I bought the Olympus Pen E-LP8 camera and two lenses (14-42mm and 40-150mm) on sale with rebates for a total of a bit less than $700. My Lumia 950 is doing just fine right now, but when it is not, I will take recommendations for a nice little hackable Android phone.

My future is my now, for less than $1,000.


Photo of a dad and his two daughters off across the sand for a beach day taken at noon today at the Huntington Beach State Park with my new Olympus Pen E-LP8 using the 14-42mm lens. I am very happy with the quality and color of the photo, I did crop it in Lightroom and do a few adjustments.

Jenifer Hanen is Creating Art & Writing at Patreon!

Greetings Lovely folk of the Internet!

The past two years have been very fruitful creatively for me, I have been quietly writing fiction stories and working on a film photo project, as well as my working on my mobile and DSLR photography. The writing and film projects take time and money to complete.

It is time for me to bring my work out of Google Docs files and the black hole of Lightroom on my computer and share them in a more substantial way with folks who wish to help support my writing and art making endeavors. By support, I mean a community of folk who are excited to read, view, comment on, and receive photos, stories, essays, and be the first to hear about new works in progress.

Would you like to participate in a community that supports my creative endeavors with a monthly photo and story, as well as a weekly link round up? If so, come join me at Patreon by make a pledge.

The various tiers of monthly pledges will range from thank you and here is a weekly round up of links to Patreon-only Monthly photos and stories all the way to a Monthly mailed Photo Card (real printed photos from the film project) to a Yearly signed Photo and|or Story Book. I will also be making and sharing my photos and writing at this blog and other social media sites with a weekly round up of links of my work and other interesting links here at Patreon.

The monies from the pledges will be going to help fund the writing and photography.

Thank you for joining me in this creative endeavor. You rock!

Jenifer Hanen, aka Ms. Jen

Become my patron at Patreon

Lumia Conversations Interviews Ms. Jen in ‘Out of this World’

The Moon, as shot through my telescope using my Nokia Lumia 1020

Microsoft’s Lumia Conversations interviewed me this last week about my love of mobile photography and my quest to take photos of the Moon, planets, and some stars with my camera phone in an article entitled ‘Out of this world: Meet Jenifer Hanen, astrophotographer‘.

This upcoming week, Lumia Conversations will publish my camera phone astrophotography tutorial, so that you, too, with every little gear and some gumption can go out and take photos of the luminaries with your mobile phone.


For folks who want a little data on how I shot the Moon photo above:
Telescope: Celestron Astromaster 130eq (who knows what year, my Dad bought it used)
Telescope eyepiece: Celestron 15mm
Nokia Lumia 1020’s Nokia Pro Camera app set to 200 ISO, 1/100th shutter speed, EV -1.0, WB to fluorescent, and focus set to infinity.

I took the photo about 30 minutes before sunset, as the moon would not be so luminous / glowing. It took about 12 test shots to get the camera settings and the angle of holding of the camera phone over the telescope’s eyepiece right. ;o)

Ms. Jen’s Life List

For years I have told friends and family that I really want to visit Central Asia, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and eat Chinese food in Greenland. I didn’t know that this activity was called a ‘Life List’ or a ‘Bucket List’, but I had one in my head and most of it revolves around the intersection of my love for nature/mountains, history, culture, and travel.
Given that it is now meme-able to post your life list on your blog, I thought I would write down the list items that have lived in my head for years and will add to this list as I think of more.
Ms. Jen’s Life List, in no particular order:
1. Travel to Greenland, eat at the Chinese restaurant.
2. Sit under a wild apple tree in bloom on the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains.
3. Go into space.
4. Travel around the world in less than 4 hours, stopping in London, Mumbai, Sydney, Tokyo, and LA.
5. Hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro before the glacier melts.
6. Travel the Silk Road.
7. Visit Tuvalu
8. Visit Tuva and Mongolia, go see some of the Mongolian carved megaliths.
9. Spot a Blackburnian Warbler in the wild.
10. Learn to fly a plane.
11. Learn to fence properly.
12. Spot a Vermillion Flycatcher in the wildFulfilled on March 1, 2009 at Buckskin State Park in Arizona.
13. Live in central London for a couple of years at some point.
14. Live in a loft at some point and actually paint in it.
15. Stay overnight at the Pic du Midi Observatory in th French Pyrénées.
16. Spend a week in a cabin / summer house on a lake in Finland.Fulfilled June 24, 2012 in Finland. While I was not able to find a summer cottage for rent over Midsummer, I did stay for a week in Hervanta near Tampere within 1/2 a mile of three lakes and then for Midsummer weekend I went to Turku and spent Midsummer’s day & evening on the water in the Finnish Archipelago.
17. Visit at least 2 of the Verracos, particularly the Bulls of Guisando.
18. Live in central Helsinki for a couple of months at some point. [Added 06.24.12]
19. Visit the Steilneset Memorial in Vardø, Norway. Bicycle the path along the Arctic Ocean. [Added 08.23.16]

Conversation with Al, Jeb, & Ms. Jen #3 – Mostly on Mobile Video

Conservation with Al, Jeb, and Ms. Jen #3 – Mostly on Mobile Video
Video’d by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95 at Tuttle Club LA on Friday 10.23.09
Video(s) edited on Ms. Jen’s Nokia N95.
Twitter: @not_al @jebbrilliant @msjen
Wherein we discuss:
1. The new underground, via Howard Forums, Google Voice client for Symbian S60 v. 5
2. Al attempts to demonstrate the Google Voice widget for the Nokia N97, but the lack of connectivity at the Library in Long Beach, Calif, defeats him.
3. In the meantime, Jeb answers Ms. Jen’s question on why he likes using Qik ( for live real time video feed to the web. Jeb uses heartwarming and heartbreaking stories to illustrate his point, Ms. Jen is still skeptical as most of the tweets about Qik streams are pixelated, bad sound, and rather dull.
4. Jeb also tells about the Santa Clara Social Web BarCamp that he and Ms. Jen will be road tripping to from SoCal on Mon. Nov. 2, 2009. Props are given to @torgo ( for the invites to the Social Web BarCamp.
5. Al continues to try to get the Nokia N97’s Google Voice widget to connect to the web and call Jeb’s Google Voice. Al tells us about his upcoming trip to Thailand to fix his father’s computer plus how he plans to visit the stores that sell fake phones.
6. Ms. Jen, Jeb, and Al discuss how all Nokia mobile phones that have video recording capacity should all have a native simple video editing app no matter what.
7. Due to the loudness of the room that the Tuttle Club LA is held in, Ms. Jen shows Jeb her cheap trick for creating directional sound when one is video recording with a mobile phone and has no external directional mic.
8. The Conversation returns to how all mobiles should be able to function completely on their own without having to do tasks on a computer or laptop. Ms. Jen’s twitter exhcange with @alsiladka ( is discussed as he said that the Nokia N86 sold in India does have a video editor but Ms. Jen was unable to find one on the euro N86 that she had on loan from WOM World.
9. Wrap up. @Norcalbarney is mentioned as a minor deity of mobile video. Good times.