Meet Cecil

Back in May, I adopted a young puppy that I’ve named Cecil! He’s a sweetheart, though also still a puppy and getting up to puppy-ish mischief. I’ll write more later (I’ve got several drafts sitting waiting to be finished, but have been – perhaps understandably – a little distracted), but seeing as I’m at the IndieWeb Summit this weekend, it seemed like a good time to post something new on the site. 👋

Cecil D. Dog
Cecil D. Dog!

Insta Repeat

Found via Demilked, there’s an interesting Instagram account that is finding repeated imagery in Instagram photos, called Insta Repeat. For instance:

or:

I think it’s an interesting project in a few different ways. On one side it shows how much we all end up copying each other, and how quickly an image concept can end up feeling trite and overplayed. But it also calls out the patterns we associate with photographic composition — often the images look similar simply because that’s the best approach for shooting a particular subject, so of course there are going to be similar photos. (The same goes for some location shots: why are there 5 million+ nearly identical shots of Half Dome in Yosemite? Because the park was designed to bring you to that reveal, where you’ll say “wow” and take the shot.)

While it’s easy to take a cynical view of this sort of project, it can be viewed in other ways, too. It’s telling to see what imagery strikes people, what patterns keep coming up, and to think about why those shots in particular seem to recur. Also, there’s a certain beauty in the collections themselves, the grids of similar photos all in a row, where the repetition is a part of the piece.

Olympic National Park

It’s been stupidly hot in Portland for the past week, so I opted to flee to the coast on Sunday, ending up wandering through Port Angeles, Washington, and Olympic National Park. It continues to be one of my favorite regions and parks that I’ve visited. I could totally see myself ending up out there, if I’m not careful.

Photos from the trip are in the gallery.

Snow Day

I’ve been trying to keep a regular routine of posting at 5pm (through the magic of scheduling posts), but this one is a little late. It’s been snowy here in Portland, and in that vein, here’s some snow related links for your perusal:

  • Project Habakkuk, a plan by allied forces in World War II to build an aircraft carrier out of pykrete (a mixture of wood pulp and ice). It ended up not happening, but even the stories that came out of the early phases are kind of awesome.
  • 2018 Sapporo Snow Festival, because who doesn’t love some exquisitely done snow sculptures? As a regular player of Final Fantasy XIV, I’m of course tickled by the Nidhogg they made: Nidhogg on Ice
  • Tom Waits performing a poem by Bukowski, “Nirvana”. The snow is a key set piece, in my opinion, but bonus points for being a story about a drifter and diners and the magic.
  • A collection of photos of snow over at Unsplash. When you’re stuck having to shovel or are stressed about driving conditions, it’s easy to forget that fresh snow can really be quite beautiful. Go take a minute to browse, and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m sure I’ll soon be back to griping about the deplorable state of the internet and how social computing has failed us, but for now, enjoy the snow day.

New Camera!

I’ve been running an original Canon 5D for the past 12-13 years (basically since it came out), and decided to finally pick up a new camera in anticipation of my upcoming trip. I’ve been a Canon user since I went digital, but decided to mix things up a little bit and try a (well-reviewed) alternative this time around, eventually settling on the Fujifilm X-E3.

I took it out to Vista House on Crown Point on Sunday afternoon, in time to catch the sunset. Other than feeling incredibly rusty (I haven’t been shooting a lot in the last year or three), it was a lot of fun, and got to experiment with some of the features of the camera. For instance, I was pretty impressed with its panorama feature — even zoomed in, the stitching is damn near perfect.

Panorama from Crown Point

The colors are also nice and vivid. (For the record: I adjusted the highlights slightly on the panorama, didn’t touch the Vista House shot at all, and fiddled with tones on the highlights and shadows with the shot looking east up the Gorge.)

Vista House in Afternoon Light

Sunset in the Gorge, looking east

Looking forward to playing with this more.