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The New York Public Library is Turning Classics Into Instagram Stories via Gizmodo

November 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Mashing up media is one great way to create something new in the world and I am all for it. These Instagram versions of literary classics is just one way to mix things up and use new technology to deliver — still relevant — text in an interesting fashion. — Douglas

Gizmodo has advocated for libraries as an excellent means of logging off, because a library is a service that lets you “stream” films, music, magazines, books, and all other kinds of media for free.

But now one of the world’s greatest libraries is trying to enrich the social media experience. The New York Public Library just released the first of its InstaNovel series on Instagram Stories. NYPL followers can watch-read the first part ofAlice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll on the app. The feature shows the full text of the book, but also includes illustrations by designer Magoz, and animated pages that capture the liveliness of Carroll’s creative page formatting. As anyone who’s used Facebook’s Snapchat clone could assume, lifting a finger from the screen turns the page.

5 Camera Settings That All Macro Photographers Should Know via Digital Photography School

October 24th, 2018 Comments off
Do you macro?
 
I find that closeup major photography can be the most challenging photos I take. Focus and depth of focus are a constant challenge along with the fact that the breeze almost always picks up when I am shooting.
 
Digital Photography School always has the best advice and tutorials. Check out their entire site! — Douglas
 
 

This article will detail five camera settings that are essential and which all macro photographers should know. It was inspired by Will Nichols’ excellent tips Five Camera Settings Every New Photographer Needs to Know. You will notice two main themes in this article – ensuring a perfect point of focus and ensuring maximum sharpness. Both of which are critical in macro photography.

Included in the list of settings are Manual Focus, Manual Mode, Live View, the self-timer, and burst mode. By familiarizing yourself with these settings, your macro photography will grow by leaps and bounds.


Want to learn more about macro photography? Check out these books from Amazon!

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library


An interesting link found among my daily reading

50 Photos from WhoCon 2018, San Diego, California

October 22nd, 2018 Comments off

We spent the weekend down in San Diego attending WhoCon 2018. Rosanne was speaking on “Feminism in the Who-niverse in the Era of a Lady Doctor” (video coming soon).

Here are 50 photos from the presentation and the overall event.

I’ll also soon have a video interview with Dalek Builder Steve Roberts who kept us entertained all weekend with this fully functional Dalek!

WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  47

WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  6 WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  45

WhoCon 2018 San Diego California  41

See all 50 Photos — Facebook — Flickr

Learn more about Doctor Who with these books and videos!

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

What to Photograph on Vacation When You’re Feeling Uninspired via Digital Photography School

August 25th, 2018 Comments off
My problem is that I tend to take too many photos when on vacation, but there have been times when I have been frustrated by a particular location or day. I really want to share it with my friends when I get home but I can’t seem to find an “in” that helps me produce great photos. I’m checking out these tips as I prepare a trip to Milan, Italy in a few weeks. — Douglas
 

Vacation is a great time not only to recharge and relax but also to practice your travel photography skills. Whether you’re a pro with lots of gear, or a hobbyist with your first camera, there are plenty of photo opportunities in a new place. In fact, there can be so many that you can easily get overwhelmed or uninspired to shoot anything at all.

If you hit a wall and don’t know what to photograph while traveling, here are some ways to fire up your creativity.

Read What to Photograph on Vacation When You’re Feeling Uninspired via Digital Photography School


Learn more about photography with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library


An interesting link found among my daily reading

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), Van Nuys, CA, July 8, 2018 – 2 in a series [Video]

August 16th, 2018 Comments off

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), Van Nuys, CA, July 8, 2018 – 2 in a series [Video]

A Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) in the garden. A closer, head and shoulders shot.

This series of videos were taken on a particularly hot day hence the bees and hawk were both making great use of the birdbath. The hawk appears a bit annoyed when bees buzz by or try to land on them, but otherwise unperturbed by sharing the space.

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), Van Nuys, CA, July 8, 2018 - 2 in a series [Video]

 

More information on Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooper):

 Learn more about Cooper’s Hawks

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), Van Nuys, CA, July 8, 2018 – 1 in a series

August 10th, 2018 Comments off

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), Van Nuys, CA, July 8, 2018 – 1 in a series

This series of videos were taken on a particularly hot day hence the bees and hawk were both making great use of the birdbath. The hawk appears a bit annoyed when bees buzz by or try to land on them, but otherwise unperturbed by sharing the space.

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), Van Nuys, CA, July 8, 2018 - 1 in a series

 

More information on Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooper):

 Learn more about Cooper’s Hawks

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Tips for Shooting Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour via Digital Photography School

August 4th, 2018 Comments off
 

You have probably seen out of focus cityscape bokeh photos with pleasing lights, like the photo below. The term “bokeh” comes from the Japanese word “boke”, which can be translated as “blur”. You should be familiar with bokeh effect that is typically seen in portrait photography where a shallow depth of field is used to purposefully throw the background out of focus (i.e. bokeh) and draw attention solely to the subject.

Unlike portrait photography, everything is thrown out of focus for cityscape bokeh photos that we’re trying here. It makes colourful light orbs appear prominently in the image and creates a unique art style. If you haven’t tried these cityscapes with bokeh lights before, follow along with the simple four steps below. It’s super easy!

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), Van Nuys, CA, July 5, 2018 – 3 in a series [Video] (1:00)

July 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), Van Nuys, CA, July 5, 2018 – 3 in a series

A Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) in the garden again, so I’ll be sharing a series of video clips of its behaviors for those interested in raptors. This one appears to be a different hawk from previous videos as it looks much smaller at least to my eyes,

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), Van Nuys, CA, July 5, 2018 - 3 in a series

 

More information on Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooper):

 Learn more about Cooper’s Hawks

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Reading – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – 19 in a series

June 5th, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson – 19 in a series

Reading -  Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson - 19 in a series

It takes a special talent to explain science — and write a book on highly scientific topics — without erring in 2 possible ways. Typically science books for the layman go into far too much detail with far too much technical jargon and quickly leave the reader disheartened. They want to understand, but without a good intermediary to help bridge the gap from expert to everyman, they fail.

Secondly, science can be explained in such a simplistic way that the reader is left wondering about its importance to the world and also, perhaps, about why scientists find it so difficult to make theoretical and experiential headway into the particular topic. Scientists are always trying to find the “sweet spot” between over complication and oversimplification and it is a difficult path to walk.

Thankfully, Neil Degrasse Dyson has, for whatever reasons, been blessed with the ability to clearly explain complicated scientific concepts to the average person without either talking over their heads or, even worse, talking down to them. This collection of essays holds together nicely as a book, something that doesn’t always happen. Thinking back over my reading there were perhaps 2 times when I lost the thread of what was being discussed, but a quick re-read of a particularly troublesome section seemed to clear it up, at least enough for my purposes. When I read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking† there were many times when I felt hopelessly lost in the world of theoretical physics, but Astrophysics for People in a Hurry kept me involved, enlightened and educated throughout.

While many of us will never have a need for a deep knowledge of Astrophysics, I am a great believer in knowing a little about a lot. Learning new theories, reading new books and absorbing new ideas keeps us growing throughout our lives. Pick up a copy of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and I think you will enjoy the trip through the cosmos in all its, sometimes confusing, glory.

From Amazon.com…

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

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Tiffen Open House & Stabilizer Gear Expo – A Minute in Los Angeles 11 from My Word [Video]

June 5th, 2018 Comments off