Merry Christmas, Internet

My grandma had this photo taken as part of a Christmas series for my parents in 1981, and I remember my mom not liking it as much as other photos of me. "Too girly," she said. This is the same woman who refused to dress me in anything pink as a child, which resulted in two things: 1) I looked quite a bit like a boy until about 1981, and 2) I love pink and am still building websites specifically designed to show her exactly who's not the boss of me. 




I Miss Moujan.

Not that we aren't still friends, because of course we are... but now I don't see her every day, and that makes me sad. Mouji is one of the funniest people I've ever met. She also made this little daily croissant thingie in the toaster oven that smelled so good and made me want to sit in her cube and sniff the air while she ate it. I'm pretty sure if I had done that I would have made her horribly uncomfortable, but she would have let me and even smiled a tiny little smile, because that's the kind of person ol' Mouji is. If you never had the pleasure of watching some of her insane popSiren skits and monologues, you really should (Rev3 hasn't taken 'em down yet, why not?)

"Places I've Lived Before", A Bird's-Eye Challenge by Sarah Lane

I've lived in a lot of different places in my short, short 32 years on this great planet. Here they are in Google satellite view, which isn't always 100% accurate, so I gussied them up using Skitch. All photos come complete with fascinating anecdotes if you click through to the original Flickr set. Oh, and my current apartment is not included in this collection. Sorry, but I just don't have enough chips and salsa for all of you to drop by. You know how it is. Can you beat my 17 former places of residence? You may only include those you lived for at least six months. Go ahead....I CHALLENGE YOU!

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DSLR Advice, Por Favor!

I recently acquired a roommate, which added a new cat to my household and cut my monthly rent check in half. SCORE ON BOTH! Now I can finally afford a few things I've been lusting after for the past year, like maybe a vacation and some new shoes. But seriously... since my birthday is right around the corner, I think I'm finally going to treat myself to a digital SLR. Since 2004 I've survived on a Nikon Coolpix 5200 (as in 5.2 humiliating megapixels), and even though the little guy's always been good to me, my reputation demands an upgrade... especially since the battery door hinge fell apart in Cambodia and I was forced to wrap half the camera in duct tape. Hot. And sticky.

So I ask all of my informed, photographically inclined readers: What's the best mid-range DSLR out there?

I'm already eyeing the Nikon D90 for a couple of reasons: I've already got a decent lens from a Nikon SLR that I can swap in, and the HD video function is a huge plus. I'm also one of those lifelong Nikon enthusiasts and it would feel good to stay loyal, even though some of my friends SWEAR that Canons are better cameras overall.

All feedback is appreciated. This is obviously going to be an expensive purchase, and I want to be sure I'm doing the right thing before I pull the shutter. HEE HAW! Thanks in advance.

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Ever since I decided to showcase some of my favorite vacation photos online, I've been in love with Flickr. Mildly obsessed is perhaps a better description. Yes, I know I'm five years late. It's cool. I just never really had a good reason to use Flickr until I had a kickass photo collection that I wanted to share with the world. And now I do. But I like Flickr even more because it's a great place to browse the collections of photograhers who are much more talented than me. And there are many. I'm not a complete novice when it comes to taking pics, but I've still got a lot to learn, and you can learn a lot from metadata.

Anyway, yesterday I came across a photo with a lot of comments. Kind of brutal comments. Like “delete this, too processed”, “sorry, delete5”, “hate the framing, delete7”, and so on. It wasn't a bad picture at all. When did Flickr users get so critical? Turns out the photographer was part of a submission group called “Delete Me Uncensored” (occasionally NSFW) in which members savagely rate one another's photos via tags. It's extremely simple: ten “delete” tags and you're toast, but ten “save” tags and your photo goes in the Folio, or hall of fame. Whichever tag climbs to 10 first wins.

Like I said, I'm no ace photographer, but I've definitely taken a handful of what I believe are winners, and I love a good challenge. So I joined Flickr's “Delete Me Uncensored” group and submitted one of my favorite photos from Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I mean come on, who wouldn't like this picture? It's amazing (if I do say so myself, and I do).

I tried not to pay too much attention to the voting process throughout the day, but I couldn't help myself, especially once the “deletes” started coming in. Somebody said the walls were was boring. Someone else hated the framing. Another suggested that I might have submitted my photo more effectively as a “diptych”. I had to look that word up, and even then I had no idea what she was talking about. But there were a bunch of “saves” too, plus constructive comments. By 11 p.m., my photo's fate had not yet been decided. It was kind of exciting. 

This morning, I reigned victorious! But only by one vote. ONE VOTE! My amazing, amazing photo almost got the shaft? Wow. It was a little humbling to learn that not everybody thinks I'm quite as talented as I do. Hey, we all need an honest critique now and again. But still. My very first Flickr challenge, and I won! Yay!

I feel a little silly about all of this. I know that my Flickr winnings won't make me richer or thinner or more sympathetic toward people who think Wrangler jeans are cool again. I know this. But I'm still proud of myself. I feel vindicated somehow. I took a good picture, dammit, and nobody can take that away from me. And I'll probably submit another photo today, because I'm the sort of person who can't quit while she's ahead.

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Like Lightning

I love stumbling upon creative photography websites, especially when they involve bullets, dancing droplets, and raw eggs! Amazing.

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. August is already shaping up to be the busiest month ever. Feel free to plant an obligatory conspiracy theory about why I don't post enough personal info in the comments section.

Actually, I take that back. Comments are turned off until... who knows. Toodles!

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