Author Archives: sam.c photography

Major Copyright Victory

@lensculture: Haitian Photographer Wins Major U.S. Copyright Victory (@nytimesphoto)

So It Seems

@UberFacts: Ignorant people are more likely to believe they are brilliant, while intelligent people are more likely to underestimate their abilities.

The Prayer

A song to begin the new year! Let us be mindful of all that we have and what we have to offer!

Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer” choreographed with the record-setting Dubai Fountain in the UAE, filmed with 5 high-definition video cameras.


Sony a65: the new standard in digital photography

The Sony a65, premiered during the summer of 2011, alongside the a77, is a step forward for Sony. Offering a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor, 10 fps continuous shooting rate, full-time live view and phase-detection AF as well as numerous other features that it shares with its higher end sibling. The a65 is unique in its market segment. On paper, the a65 is a significantly more interesting camera in some respects than its peers like the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D7000.

Of particular interest is Sony’s SLT (single lens translucent) design, with its ability to offer DSLR-style autofocus in live view, having eliminated the need for a prism and flip-up mirror. As a result, this allows for a higher shooting rate and a more silent operation, as well as real-time live view. In addition, without the mirror/prism design of traditional DSLRs, the A65 pushes the technology considerably further, with the introduction of a high-resolution XGA OLED electronic viewfinder.

Having used the Sony a65 during the past year, in a variety of shooting situations, with a number of different Sony lens, I have come to admire its competent capabilities. The camera feels superbly in the hand, the electronic viewfinder (EVF), with its excellent refresh rate, is brighter and clearer than an optical viewfinder, and the on-board menus are clearly displayed. It’s the perfect blend of camera and computer in one package optimized for the aspiring photographer.

Here is a video of the Sony a65:

Leica Lenses… I love ’em!!

A video of the manufacture of Leica lens… quality second to none… they’re the best… in German engineering!!

Leica Lenses (English) from Leica Camera on Vimeo.

Celebrating 100 Years of Oreos

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The “Oreo” cookie was first developed and produced by the then National Biscuit Company (now known as Nabisco) on March 6, 1912. The current design was developed in 1952 by William Turner; the traditional white creme filling was formulated by Sam Porcello.

Currently, celebrating its 100th anniversary, it is a snack food with which most of us are familiar. Many of us have grown up eating Oreos; debate continues to this day as to the best way to consume them. Are they to be dunked whole in milk or twisted open. And thus beckons fond memories of carefree and innocent times of childhood. 50 percent of all Oreo eaters twist apart their cookies before eating them; there are more women twisters than men twisters. Besides eating them plain, countless recipes exist, using Oreos in cakes, ice creams, and assorted desserts. Oreos have indeed become a part of twentieth century pop culture. Today, Oreos are enjoyed in more than 100 countries, with the biggest markets in the USA, China, Venezuela, Canada, and the UK; it is the world’s top selling cookie.

If all the Oreos ever manufactured were lined up, they would circle the Earth 381 times at the equator; stacked on top of each other, they would reach the moon and back four times.

450 billion Oreo cookies have been sold since their introduction.

A controversy came about this past summer (June 2012) when Nabisco published the following photo of an Oreo in support of Gay Pride month on their Facebook page.

National Weather Service Open House

The National Weather Service (NWS), headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, is one of the agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States government.

The purpose of the National Weather Service is to provide “weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy.” This is done through a network of national and regional centers, and 122 local weather forecast offices (WFOs). Since the NWS is a government agency, most of its products are in the public domain and available free of charge.

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Hirshhorn Museum

Modern art at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC.

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Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82

For the person who pioneered the final frontier… we will miss you as well as remember your words: “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” (2:56 UTC July 21, 1969)

Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82.

Happy Hour

On a recent Friday evening, a friend asked if I wanted to attend happy hour at a nearby establishment. Since I’m not usually into the bar scene (been there, done that), I was pretty ambivalent about going to another gathering of strangers to make superficial small talk at the end of a long and tiring work week.

The term “happy hour” always seem weirdly strange to me. Are the people who attend really “happy” or is this type of gathering ever limited to an hour?

From what I’ve read, it seems that the idea of holding “happy hours” is an attempt by restaurant owners to attract customers to frequent their establishments during the slower times of the day between the lunch crowd and the evening dinner crowd. Therefore, during the 4 pm to 8 pm time slot, owners would entice customers with reduced drink and appetizer prices.

According to Acton, Adams and Packer (2006), in their book, Origin of Everyday Things, the term “happy hour” originated with the United States Navy in the 1920s, when boxing and wrestling matches were scheduled on-board ships to entertain sailors on long voyages.

During the Prohibition years (1920 – 1933), the manufacture, sale, transportation, importation, and exportation of intoxicating liquors within the United States were prohibited.  As a result, citizens began operating illegal drinking establishments to produce, distribute, and consume illegal alcoholic beverages. Therefore, people could still enjoy a few cocktails before going to dinner at a restaurant where alcohol could not be served.  These illegal drinking establishments held “Happy Hours” for citizens who were daring enough to break the law.

After some mental deliberations, I decided to attend this particular “happy hour”, in part, because I wanted to try out a new lens. The lens is the Sony DT 35mm F1.8 for APS-C sensors, providing the full frame equivalent of 53mm. As a DT lens and a member of the Sony “easy choice” lens range, it is very affordable, turning in a stellar performance. Check out the excellent review here.

This particular happy hour was held at Jackson’s, in Reston, VA. As I approached the place, I sensed the cool and dry evening, with the sun beginning its journey below the horizon. As I train my eyes on the establishment, the mob of bodies was clearly visible a block away, like a gathering of assorted animals at a water hole in the arid Serengeti Dessert; there were big ones and small one, short one and tall ones. Some were colorful, while others were quite drab. The odor of pheromones was not too noticeable, though certain peer-to-peer stereotypical behaviors were easily observed.

Walking through the front door, I had an uneasy feeling in my gut, scanning the scene for the leader of our pack. After a few minutes of wandering around, I settled among a group of familiar people.

The evening turned out better than I had anticipated. Although the liquid refreshments never wavered from the usual, the local food in this section of the Serengeti was quite satisfying. I met a number of interesting denizens, providing me the opportunity to test my lens. A couple of us broke away from the masses to sample the local flora and fauna.

             Sesame Crusted Tuna

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