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Archive for June 2011

Fireworks photo tips

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Just in time for the 4th (in the US) or the 1st (in Canada), Dave Johnson of PC World (syndicated over at Macworld), came up with a very nice basic set of 6 tips on shooting fireworks. To this, I’d like to add a 7th: Practice.

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Written by dominiquejames

June 29, 2011 at 10:13 PM

The sides of “good” and “evil”

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Tom Acitelli, New York Observer:

The head of the nation’s second-largest Catholic archdiocese and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a man 60 Minutes had declared “The American Pope” only months before, felt himself staring into the abyss. And the abyss seemed to be staring back: New York was on the eve of voting in gay rights—at the urging of a Catholic governor, no less!—and his months of trying to stop it had come to naught. So he did what a lot of us do and vented on the Internet, seemingly resigned but combative nonetheless.

It was 9:26 a.m. on June 14—10 days, it turned out, before gay marriage would pass.

What the “American Pope,” Archbishop Dolan, wrote on his blog:

Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America—not in China or North Korea. In those countries, government presumes daily to ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values, and natural law. There, communiqués from the government can dictate the size of families, who lives and who dies, and what the very definition of ‘family’ and ‘marriage’ means.

But, please, not here! Our country’s founding principles speak of rights given by God, not invented by government, and certain noble values—life, home, marriage, children, faith—that are protected, not re-defined, by a state presuming omnipotence.

With this, and for the Catholic Church, through it’s “American Pope,” the war between good and evil is being waged.

The question though that some are likely to ask is, which side is good, and which side is evil?

Improve your Flickr experience

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Let Derrick Story tell you how:

Many people don’t explore all of the personal settings in their Flickr photo sharing account, and end up using the default controls. But with a little customization, I think you can improve your Flickr experience.

Click here.

Written by dominiquejames

June 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Leica & Lonely Planet: A marriage made in heaven

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What could possibly be a better match than this?

Leica Akademie North America (with Lonely Planet) continues Leica’s long tradition of photographic education through experiential workshops offered in cities across North America. The Akademie’s goal is to increase the fun and enjoyment of photography, expand photography knowledge and bring the total Leica experience to a new generation of photographers.

Nothing, I guess.

Written by dominiquejames

June 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Starting the day with a printed newspaper

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This morning, I read a newspaper. I read today’s issue of the USA Today–section by section, page by page. While having coffee, I went through almost every headline, and actually read all the articles I happen to be interested in. In fact, I was so thorough that I even dutifully scanned almost all of the QR codes to look at more photos, watch videos, hear passages, and read more news–all from my iPhone. I must say that it has been quite an immersive experience.

And as if it weren’t enough, I even read yesterday’s issue of the USA Today when I finished with today’s papers. I went through it like I did with today’s newspapers–studiously. I even took out and set aside a total of three articles from yesterday and today’s newspapers that I want to read more at leisure later on. I believe the antique word to describe this kind of behavior is called “clipping.” (I read a bit about Vivian Maier yesterday from an official website about her, the nanny from the 50s who was made sensationally famous as a street photographer, who compulsively clipped thousands and thousands of newspaper articles during most of her adulthood and methodically compiled them together in hundreds of ring binders. Today’s digital equivalent of this behavior would be to use Marco Arment’s excellent software called Instapaper.)

I wouldn’t have read the newspapers were I not staying for a week at a hotel where they are delivered door by door every morning. I suppose I can tell them to stop the delivery if I don’t want it, but I didn’t. I surprised myself because I actually want it. Though I already know most of the gist of the news that’s printed, having been receiving news streamed constantly throughout the day from my computer and smartphone, I must admit that it actually feels nice to read the news from an actual newspaper–for a change. I like the feel of the paper in my fingers, the smell of the ink, and the look of the text and photos in print. I can’t honestly remember when was the last time I read the morning’s papers. The last time must have been from when I was staying at another hotel. So this is how it actually feels for the so millions of people around the world who still starts their day with a newspaper. It feels good. It feels normal.

Now this got me thinking–despite the fact that I like it, will I actually ever want to personally subscribe to a print edition? I know I like my news very much. I even think I’m addicted since I like to get them all the time. I’m one of those news junkies, so to speak. But it seems that I can’t imagine myself actually subscribing to a news source that’s printed on paper. I have nothing against printed pages. As I said, I like the experience. (For what its worth, I still buy and collect lots of printed books, the latest of which is the hardbound edition of “Onward” by Starbucks President and CEO Howard Schultz, which I got yesterday from a Starbucks store despite the fact that I’ve already bought and read the e-book edition almost a month ago, and despite the fact that I’ve actually since fallen into the habit of buying and reading e-book editions for quite some time now.) But when it comes to newspapers, for all its charms, I would much rather get my news whenever I feel like it, and when I have the time and chance, streamed throughout the day, from any of my desktop or laptop computers or from any of my electronic handheld devices. I know I am already comfortable with the idea of giving up the printed edition of the news on paper, despite and in spite of its charms, and I can see myself subscribing and amply plugged, into a motley of digital news services online.

U P D A T E: Since I’m staying at a hotel for three more days, I called the front desk and asked them if they can deliver the New York Times instead of the USA Today. They said yes they can deliver the New York Times for $2 a day.

The (very) long wait

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The Apple fanboy that I am, I’ve fallen into this crazy habit of checking out Apple stores wherever in the world I happen to be. So, I’m at the Apple Store in Galleria, in St. Louis, Missouri. This is the 24th Apple Store I’ve been to. It’s Monday afternoon, at a mall. The store is busy, but not nearly full. In my hands are a couple of boxes I plucked out of the display shelves, an Apple Battery Charger and a Mophie Juice Pack Reserve. And I pulled out my wallet from the back pocket of my jeans, ready. I’ve been at the store almost an hour. And so far, not a single blue t-shirt has approached me, let alone acknowledged my existence. I waited, and waited, and waited. After almost 2 hours, and after taking the humiliating initiative of finally approaching a blue shirt (who I learned goes by the name Barbara), I can now confidently declare that this Apple Store holds the record for the longest time I’ve been in one without anyone saying hello. Congratulations? Even during peak hours at my favorite Apple Store, the one in 5th Avenue in New York, someone invariably finds the time to say hello within minutes of stepping in, almost without fail.

U P D A T E: It was a very strange feeling to be ignored inside a lively place such as an Apple Store. It feels very surreal, lonely, and surprisingly, offensive.

Written by dominiquejames

June 27, 2011 at 2:59 PM

It’s not real

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20110627-121723.jpg

Detail of Roxy Paine’s interesting environmental sculpture called “Placebo.” This is made of stainless steel, completed in 2006, and installed at the grounds of the Saint Louis Art Museum. [Photography by Dominique James. Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved. Please visit http://bit.ly/5HY4wN for more. Thanks!]

Written by dominiquejames

June 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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