Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ancient Cameras, Modern Photograph -- December 5, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
I did not think it would be against any type of rule, to take photographs in a photography museum. Some might disagree but I see too much irony in restricting photography in a photographer's museum to even worry about it.

So when I saw this beautiful collection of antique wooden cameras in a wonderful display I could not resist. I waited until I was alone in the room and pulled out the D200. No flash, of course, lest it damage the artifacts I took an entire series, which you can find on the photoblog.

One of my favorite Black&White images, shown here, came from that series as well. It does not have the same warm honey coloration that the original does, but it honors the detail more clearly, I think, and helps remind me of just how old the subject actual is.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Flickr, SmugMug & Unlimited Uploads

I thought I had given up on the Yahoo/Flickr service (at least, moved to another provider for primary archiving activities) however, upon renewing my Flickr (a bi-yearly process it seems) account I was compelled to read the terms of service and review the Flickr Pro Account feature list.

And what, to my surprise, did I find?  Unlimited monthly uploads have come to Flickr!  The primary draw of Smugmug (at least initially) was the unlimited uploads.  So now we have two services, one costing about $25/year and the other about $150/year (SmugMug Pro.)  Certainly, I want to understand what the major differentiator is if not unlimited uploads.

Friday, December 29, 2006

New Blogger

I converted my Blogs to the new "Beta" Blogger today. Looks cool to me, not many changes from what I can see. I will post a review in a few weeks.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Qualities of Da Vinci's Genius

  • Curiosita: An insatiably curious approach to life.
  • Dimonstratzione: A commitment to test knowledge through experience.
  • Sensazione: The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experience.
  • Sfumato: A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.
  • Arte/Scienza: The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination ("whole-brain thinking").
  • Corporalita: The cultivation of ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.
  • Connessione: A recognition and appreciation for the connectedness of all things and phenomena; "systems thinking."

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Congratulations Mindy & Jeff

Special congratulations to Mindy & Jeff on their wedding day!

Best wishes & congratulations. Enjoy your sun-soaked honeymoon!

I was so pleased to be involved on your wedding day!

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Being Busy

A blessing and a curse...
  • Love having lots to do
  • Hate doing so much that some things get ignored
  • Love being involved in so many things
  • Hate telling people I cannot do more
  • Love working with so many different people
  • Hate not having time for everyone

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Light of a Distant Star

I find despair in the corner of my mind echoing failure and my own indecision. I had seen so much more in my future than I found. I feel self-pity -- almost. The cold logic of the facts stares back at me from the darkness and I find I cannot even forgive myself.

I was so certain that my life would be more than this -- I would do more for the world, leave a bigger memory behind, make a real difference. Now I cannot even seem to remember why I was so sure.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Newly Fixed IE 7

Google has released a fixed version of IE 7.0 that gets rid of some of the really annoying bugs in IE 7.0 -- such as using Windows Live Search.

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Back in the USSA

Well I made it home from the travel abroad. Things are swell here, I have my puppy back and my routine seems to be (mostly) back in action.

The jetlag is killing me , though as normally I would not be caught dead blogging at 7:30AM on a Saturday.

Also, I do not know what to do today about breakfast. Since we got back from IRE (where I ate 75% of my calories at breakfast) I've been getting by at the work cafe, but today I have no way to obtain a free or nearly free 1200 calorie breakfast extravaganza. That is why I got up at 5:00 -- to puzzle over that one.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Newgrange & A Final Trip to Wicklow -- December 12, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
The farewell day in Ireland.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Be a Nice Horse -- December 11, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
And back again to the peace, rest and wide open spaces of rural Ireland.

A long day today ... one of the longest by far I think. Early morning travel from Venice to Dublin -- complete with delays, chaos, and a scheming, scamming Italian taxi driver from Venice -- left exhaustion and frustration in its wake.

Having completed the journey, gathered the luggage and driven to Trim, Ireland ... the journey was complete. Dinner in a pub and checking in to the B&B completed the day ... almost.

Trim is a small town located in County Meath, on the banks of the river Boyne. The rain had just let up and the sun was out ... I went for a walk down the banks of the Boyne and photographed some of Trim's major landmarks, the Yellow Tower, Shepard's Gate and the Trim Castle. Having shot to my hearts content, I set off down the Boyne, away from town.

After a while, I found my way to another small castle and what I suspect was the ruins of an abbey or church, as well as a roughly kept graveyard of indeterminate origin. Running in a field set behind the castle's outer wall I happened upon the four connemara ponies pictured here. They were very friendly, perhaps a little to friendly and very keen on seeing if any part of me was edible. I climbed back up the wall and took some photographs. Of course, by that point it was raining rather hard and I was at least a mile from my room. Cameras away, hood up I finished the day with a cold, dark hike in the rain along the Boyne.

Trim, Ireland is a great place. It is located about 45km. (28 miles) North-West of Dublin. The name comes from the Irish 'Baile Atha Troim', which translates as 'the town of the ford of the alder trees' and its origin dates back to the 5th. century A.D. Parts of the Mel Gibson film Braveheart were filmed here.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Train -- December 10, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
The train, oh the horror on this train. Purchased tickets and boarding in Rome, on the last train with "seats -- or so the ticket sales person claimed -- may have been a mistake. A flight to catch, however, drove us to this desperate situation.

Once we had found enough space to stand (and sit our packs) the real horror of the situation began to sink in. Six, maybe seven, hours on a train with 3 people for every seat. Cramped, crammed and packed in like sea rats on an outbound grain ship I stood, sweating, swearing, straining and stringing my mind along by grabbing a few passages from the book I was reading.

Even faced with the crowd in the photograph, people continued to try (and some even managed to succeed) to board our car. Departing from the third stop along our Rome-Venice ride the car had, impossibly, even more passengers than it did when we left the Roman terminal.

I did manage to have an hour long conversation with a nice older Italian gentlemen using nothing but hand gestures, laughter and little dancing/play-acting sketches. Good times!

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Queue -- December 9, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
Today we learned about what a real queue looks like. I did not realize just how long a line could get. This photograph presents a captured moment for some thousand of souls, visitors to the Vatican, trapped in the queue.

Departing from the subway we proceeded to walk to the Vatican museum and begin our trek backwards to the queuing end of the line. What appeared to be a "long" line stretching "all the way down to the next corner" was, in fact, stretching around the next five corners and was well over 1000 meters in length, and at most places at least five visitors deep.

We stood in this line for about 3 hours. The line was less crowded than the actual museum.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Roman Scale -- December 8, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
It is amazing, the scale of this Roman city. It is awe inspiring.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Tombs of a Saint, Echoes of the Past -- December 7, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
Something good will go here soon

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Florence, Ponte Vecchio -- December 6, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
And we found overselves, on the 6th, in Florence, Italy. On schedule, amazingly enough almost a week into the vacation. Luggage is still with us, "safe" in a B&B somewhere in the city center. The cameras have not been stolen and we have managed to pick up a guide book somewhere along the way...

The Ponte Vecchio is the only of Florence's bridges to have survived WWII, and in 1966, when a massive flood wiped out the shops on the bridge, the bridge itself was strong enough to withstand the roaring waters.

The Ponte Vecchio embodies the progress of humanity because it has come from carrying soldiers to battle, to open commerce, to a vast gathering place for peoples from all walks of life.

Florence is a jewel, a wonder of Italy. Of this grand city Virgil Thomson said "In Paris, you learn wit, in London you learn to crush your social rivals, and in Florence you learn poise." An poise is certainly something Florence has in abundance.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Rain in the Ocean City -- December 5, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
Venice, the city on the ocean. Arthur Symons said "A realist, in Venice, would become a romantic by mere faithfulness to what he saw before him."

It rained, it smelled terrible and it was among the most amazing things I've ever seen in an urban setting. I've seen the canal city of the north, the Dutch exposition known as Amsterdam but I must admit I have never seen a thing like Venice.

Where Amsterdam goes in straight lines, Venice goes in circles. While Amsterdam sinks into the sand, Venice floats upon the surface. Venice is both more than I expected and something I never imagined it would be.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

A Cold and Desolate Place -- December 3, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
Of all the places I saw in Ireland it was Connemara and the Wicklow Mountains that effected me the most. This photograph shows a snippet, a mere snapshot of the desolate expanse that is wildlands of Ireland. In every direction you looks you saw this same scene -- no sign of civilization, no marking of humanity. Just wind, rocks and pete.

Distant hills rising up from the mist, sullen and distant. The wind blows so hard that the sound of voice feels stolen from your lips, even when it is a yell. The loud silence of the unrelenting wind and eerie uniformity of the terrain makes for a haunting trip through this rugged landscape.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Castle By the Lake -- December 2, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
My second visit to Kylemore Abbey, and this time I had the good sense to bring a kick-ass camera and take fifty or so shots of the building. This photograph is from across the lake.

The last time I was here Andrew and I purchased full tickets and explored the grounds, gardens and the remote citadel/cathedral. This time I saved the money and did my work from behind the fence. Great pictures on this day though, between the torrential rains we had short periods of sunshine.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

We Reach the Sea -- December 1, 2006

Originally uploaded by digital2noise.
Having made the way from Dublin in the east to the sea in the West, we fully traversed Ireland (for the first time) this day, December 1, 2006. It was a journey, to say the least, but we have seen a great many sites and met a great many Irish. The natives are a friendly, hardy folk with pragmatic and hospitable world views. We avoid discussions of politics and stick to discussing the weather, crime in other countries and local news.

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