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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

My Favorite Things: The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Digital Archive

October 9th, 2018 Comments off

Interesting Sites: The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Digital Archive

My Favorite Things: The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Digital Archive

I am not sure exactly where I stumbled across this site, but it is amazing — especially if you are interested in or researching children’s literature. The digital archive allows you to page through books from the comfort of your own home without ever visiting the University of Florida’s Libraries. Of course, you could also visit and see the books up close.

Interesting Sites: The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Digital Archive Aaron wildlands Interesting Sites: The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Digital Archive

Some example covers

The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature in the Department of Special Collections at the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries contains more than 130,000 books and periodicals published in the United States and Great Britain from the mid-1600s to present day. The Library also has manuscript collections, original artwork, and assorted ephemera such as board games, puzzles, and toys. The Baldwin Library is known for comparative editions of books, with special emphasis on Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim’s Progress, Aesop’s Fables, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Library also has the largest collection of Early American Juvenile Imprints of any academic institution in the United States.

 

Other strengths and distinctions of the Baldwin Library include: marginalia and inscriptions, the Hans Christian Andersen Awards Collection, Little Golden Books, religious tracts, and illustrated editions from the Golden Age of Children’s Literature. Scholars worldwide use the Baldwin Library for research in fables, fairy tales, alphabet books, morality tales and religious tracts, conduct of life, gender roles, comparison of editions, adventure stories, and boys’/girls’ series books.

Interesting Sites: The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Digital Archive

Interesting Sites: The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Digital Archive

What One Tiny California Island Can Teach Us About Dealing With Climate Change via Pacific Standard

August 29th, 2018 Comments off
Since I have begun volunteering with Friends of the Island Fox and visiting Santa Cruz Island I have become much more aware of stories about our own Channel Islands and all the history and magic they hold. This article adds a few more pieces of information to my understanding of the Islands and mainland California, too. — Douglas
 
What One Tiny California Island Can Teach Us About Dealing With Climate Change via Pacific Standard
 
It was a small, flat-bottomed, soapstone cup, the likes of which the team had never seen before, in part because Santa Barbara and its fellow Channel Islands have been subject to a century and a half of looting. The cup is one of hundreds of new objects Perry and her team found during their survey, which suggests Santa Barbara Island was much more important to ancient people than previously thought—and shows the people inhabiting the island might have figured out an innovative way of dealing with water scarcity, a problem that’s still at the top of Californians’ minds.

Read What One Tiny California Island Can Teach Us About Dealing With Climate Change via Pacific Standard


Want to learn more about the California Channel Islands? Check out these books as your local library and on 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

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

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!

This British caf is serving to-go coffee in ceramic mugs to combat waste via Inhabitat

July 5th, 2018 Comments off
We try to use re-usable mugs and cups as often as we can. We even started refusing lids and straws where possible. This idea looks back — to reusable ceramic cups — and forward to a new way to use them. Great idea! Love to see someone implement out here. — Douglas
 

A 2017 report from Britain’s House of Commons discovered as many as 2.5 billion coffee cups are disposed across the United Kingdom every year. This equates to more than 6.8 million cups per day. To cut down the amount of waste from hot beverages, the La Tour Cycle Café has started serving everything — including to-go beverages — in reusable mugs.

Although customers sometimes choose to take their beverages with them, supplying more mugs for the next customer isn’t a problem for the café. Every day, the business puts out a collection basket for coffee drinkers to return their cups. While many choose to come back with their glassware, even more use the opportunity to clean out their cabinets and donate their unused mugs to the café.

Get your own reusable mugs here

See even more mugs here!

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs


An interesting link found among my daily reading

The Cosmonaut Cocktail Is the Perfect 4th of July Drink via Lifehacker

June 30th, 2018 Comments off

I talked about 3-Ingredient Cocktails in a recent blog post — Read it here — Douglas

“…I found the recipe in Robert Simonson’s 3-Ingredient Cocktails which, as you probably guessed, is extremely my shit. Though the original recipe calls for raspberry jam, I give you permission to play around with various fruit spreads; I made mine with blackberry preserves, and it was very nice. To make one yourself, you will need:

2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 bar spoon of raspberry (or your other favorite) jam

…”

Read The Cosmonaut Cocktail Is the Perfect 4th of July Drink via Lifehacker


An interesting link found among my daily reading

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

January 16th, 2018 Comments off

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

Still life is a particular style of photography that slowly lured me into its clutches. The gateway drug was, of course, food photography, and before I knew it, my weekends were spent combing secondhand shops for props and buying up linen in all different shades.

he popularity of Instagram has given rise to images of every different kind of food, drink, dessert, cake, and cocktail. You name it, someone is shooting it, adding a filter and posting online before they even taste it. Except for the one thing it really shows, is how hard it is to compose and take a good still life image, especially with a cell phone. There are a lot of really awful shots out there. Someone even made a hilarious video about the effort needed to get a good shot.

Of all of the techniques I have learned in my photography journey, none has taught me as much as doing still life work.

Read this entire article – 5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School





An interesting link found among my daily reading

Physical Communication is Universal | Andy Dexterity | TEDxSydney [Video] via YouTube

October 5th, 2017 Comments off

A great presentation on sign language and the power it can bring to artistic expression and life in general. – Douglas

Physical Communication is Universal | Andy Dexterity | TEDxSydney

Physical Communication is Universal | Andy Dexterity | TEDxSydney [Video] via YouTube

Subscribe to TedX Talks on YouTube

Andy Dexterity offers a glimpse into the ways humans communicate and interact using just our physicality. He also loves translating music and song into movement and finishes with an epic performance to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody at TEDxSydney 2017.

Thanks to Queen for permission to use the song.

Animation by Brendan Harwood.

Andy Dexterity is a Green Room Award-nominated performance maker primarily recognised for his unique brand of movement, fusing dance, physical theatre and signed languages. Andy is fascinated by the way we communicate and interact as a species and creates work with the intention to connect and empower.

Hailing from a theatre background, Andy has performed roles in award-winning shows for Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia and Belvoir Street Theatre, including the Australian premieres of Urinetown and Altarboyz.

Andy conceived original “signdance” choreography for Grammy Award-winning pop singer, Kimbra, conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for The Wiggles Meet The Orchestra, was special guest in the 2014 Outgames Opening Ceremony, performed “signdancing” with Tina Arena and opened the 2015 Australian Dance Awards at The Sydney Opera House. As a choreographer, he devised en-masse “signdancing” for the opening ceremony of the 2015 World Netball Cup, choreographed the Australian revival of RENT – the musical and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, both for The Hayes Theatre Company and is currently coordinating and conducting The Sydney Auslan Ensemble for The Sydney Philharmonia’s production of Elijah. As artistic director of the 2016 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, Andy’s main focus was festival accessibility, incorporating Auslan (Australian Sign Language) into as many aspects as possible, including a sign language spectacular for the opening ceremony.

Andy is also an ambassador for Deaf Australia, teaching Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as a part of this role. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. 

 


* 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!