TheJoyOfHack

For people who like to make things

Examining a Picture

A few minutes ago I zoomed in on a photograph that I had taken in April. I saw details that fundamentally changed my understanding of what’s going on in the picture. It’s funny how often that happens.

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A Change of Scenery

I had been taking the same path to work for the past ten years. Sure, there were minor variations - I could turn this way a block earlier, go that way a block later - but essentially the walk was the same. I started recognizing the people I’d see on the street (and secretly naming them in my head), the doors on buildings, and even the various imperfections on walls and on sidewalks. I am an amateur photographer and, in a word, I was bored. On a typical walk to and from work, I could look at anything and feel I knew every visual facet of it. Leisurely photo walks were always different, but were few and far between. And then, I moved to a new job.

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Level Up In Photography

Remember what I said a few days ago about fitness? “Just show up”? Today is such a day with this blog for me. I’m tired, I have a headache and I would rather not write. But I’ve shown up, with the idea that a small, helpful blog post is better than nothing. So, here goes. I’m gonna talk about taking better pictures.

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About That Antelope Canyon Shot

One of the best portraits I’ve taken is a picture that I took quite by accident as I was calibrating my camera for a future shot. This is the story behind that picture. If you know the subjects, please have them get in touch with me, so that I may give them this photograph.

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The Difference Between a Good Picture and a Great Picture

Travelling often gives you the opportunity to take unusual pictures of street scenes. In this post I describe three pictures I took of the same scene, and how a small change in the third (completely out of my control) changed the picture from a good one to a great one.

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Recreating David Hobby’s Profile Picture

When you’re a beginner learning a new skill, it’s okay to try to recreate the Masters’ works as practice (in private). With that in mind, when I was learning to use external flashes with the Fuji X100S I gave myself the task of recreating David Hobby‘s iconic profile picture. I asked David for his permission to blog about it and he graciously granted it. There are serious ethical issues involved with publishing this sort of practice work. To jump directly to that discussion, go here.

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External Flashes with the Fuji X100S

As an amateur photographer I’ve found it hard to find information on how to use external flashes with the Fuji X100S camera. In this post I’ll show what I did to get it to work and how I used a Fuji with two external Nikon SB-800 flashes.

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Bokeh Fireworks

I attended the Glendale Heights SummerFest fireworks display last night. As the fireworks started I tried to take a video of them on my iPhone. I must have placed my finger in front of the lens because the focus locked on a short distance (as opposed to the infinity needed in such situations). The resulting bokeh was unexpected but very beautiful.

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Running Out Of Power At The Grand Canyon

I’m currently in the last 48 hours of my first ever visit to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Just hours before setting out to see the Canyon for the first time, I realized that I couldn’t recharge my camera’s battery. I had 80% of a full charge, and four more days of vacation to go. Time to panic?

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