December 2011

Winter Pastelset

Manhattan Pastelset

© 2011 David Nuss, All Rights Reserved

Nice pastel sunset to wrap up the first week of Winter. Kept the kind of hazy look instead of Adjusting It Out.

The S100 is on the way to Virginia to the Canon hospital. Its LCD developed a black stripe about 1/4″ wide vertically along the right edge, and the battery indication would show full and suddenly red flashing. Hm. Will see, so for now back to the bulkier but good old reliable G11.

[Canon G11; Aperture tweaked for black point and saturation, both slight]

Witful Wednesday #5

Last Wednesday of 2011, woo hoo!


The Rise and Fall of a Gizmo” in Slowpoke comic by Jen Sorensen, via Daily Kos


North Korea caught-gasp!-using Photoshop by the NYT Lens blog

Still on that crazy blue kick

Blue cloud kick

© 2011 David Nuss, All Rights Reserved

Today I just felt like messing around with Aperture adjustments, kind of aimlessly, on this full-frame cloud/sky image, till it felt right.

[iPhone 4 jpg, Aperture adjustments all over the place just for fun]

Own your online work with embedded metadata

If you publish media content online, like posting photos, videos, graphics, music, you should be concerned about losing control of your intellectual property, your creativity. If you create for a living, you should be even more concerned.

We do live, these days, in an online ‘sharing’, or ‘social’ environment, which sometimes means instead, you give me a piece of your creativity or personal information so I can profit from it without compensating you. It’s an aging adage of the online world that if something is ‘free’, you are the product.

Sometimes the terms and conditions of a site or service allow them to strip the metadata and use your work without compensation. There are tools to check on the survival of your metadata after an image has been published. Try Jeffrey’s Exif viewer or search online for terms like ‘exif viewer’ or ‘metadata viewer’. If you find some good ones, add a comment or email me.

Give these things a thought next time an application or online service wants to have your information. They’re asking you to give them, free of charge, raw material that they can sell and profit from. Not fair, right? Do you care about fairness?

Certainly there are times when we post images or creative works online which we think have little commercial value. Well, that’s fine as far as it goes. But think about the bigger picture. Unrestrained ‘sharing’ is actually killing the concept the you own what you create, the fundamental basis of copyright. Once every member of a society no longer owns their creations (their intellectual property), then what do you have left? The door is left wide open for the thought police for instance, or the degradation of privacy principles we in the US take as a right.

(Whenever I post images, I mark them as copyrighted, include metadata, and when posting to third party sites I do so with the knowledge the work can easily be stolen, but at least I’ve asserted ownership; I don’t earn my living from photography; it’s not an easy balance for me and I am struggling with what is the right thing to do if I want friends and family to be able to view my images).

Creative Commons has taken interesting steps in the direction of giving creators finer control of their copyrights, but as a movement it is based, in my experience, on a rather extreme view of ‘fair use’, too extreme for my taste.

Have a look then, at the Embedded Metadata Initiative, supported by some rather significant tech and media entities. Their linked logo is in the sidebar as well.

[Disclosure: no financial interest, full support of the idea]

Why is there no “price paid” column in iTunes?

Here’s my gripe of the day re iTunes.

I have a lot of apps (300), but only sync some of them to the iPad and iPhone. Plenty were freebies and plenty I’ve carefully or not so carefully analyzed and paid for.

But I have a MacBook Pro, and am running out of space on the internal HD. So… I’d like to get rid of unused apps, with preference to the ones that were free. The ones I paid for, I could offload to an external HD if necessary, but perhaps getting rid of unused freebies I could free up a good amount of space.

(It would also be interesting to know at-a-glance how much I’ve spent! like, in the lower margin where it shows total apps; regardless of trimming efforts).

So… Why isn’t there a View > View Options… column for “Price Paid”? There IS a column for “Purchase Date”, so they know when, and of course, how much, you paid, but we’re not allowed to see the price as a View Option in iTunes.

Sure, Apple sends you receipts and of course we all keep track of those in a detailed Numbers spreadsheet, right? Ha ha ha!

So, Apple, dare you to provide a ‘Purchase Price’ column in a future iTunes update; no, take that back, double-dog dare ya!

Witful Wednesday #4

WW #4 kicks off with some interesting links!


You could certainly find some witful photography on sale via the Aperture Foundation holiday sale page. (no financial interest on my side, just like their work).


Sense of Flying” video on YouTube, see what it’s like for Espen Fadne flying down a mountain at 250 km/h.

Marco Arment, creator of the awesome Instapaper, compares the Kindle Fire and iPad 2 in a side-by-side comparison, for those with a sense of tech humor.

So… a bit short on the humor, sorry about that! better luck next week!



© 2011 David Nuss, All Rights Reserved

This is a variation of an image first posted to Instagram/Flickr of a recent sunset on Manhattan.

[Canon S100 hand-held full zoom; Aperture for cropping and cyanofiltering/exposure, contrast etc]

In other news 100 years ago today…

Roald Amundsen and team reach the South Pole.

Certainly this was a lead item on today’s tv and print news, right?

“South Pole Discovered, December 14, 1911” by Scientific American

Witful Wednesday #3

Third week done, now on a roll with fun links and such.


  • The Photo Society, “We are a group of contributing photographers for National Geographic Magazine, committed to telling the world’s stories through pictures.” Tell it they do, awesomely as you might expect, in a very nicely designed web site. I’ve been fortunate to meet some of these photographers in the past and they really are caring, concerned people. Bookmark the site, subscribe to its RSS feed, and spread the word.
  • Ultra Fast Camera Records at Speed of Light


Funny, if it wasn’t so sadly true

Got to find a way to get more Wit in the Witful!

Subsequent thoughts on the S100

Some things about the S100 I’m liking more, some less as time moves along and I use it more and more, some wishes remain the same from earlier versions and other Canon models.


This must be an engineering thing, but with the Canon smallish cameras I’ve owned, to get the closest focus you have to be at the widest angle of the lens, which seems backwards. Shooting wide brings complications like too much background, distortion, and light source flare.


Why not? still not a standard feature. I don’t get it. You’d think it would be a simple matter of software and some settings for the user, and perhaps a warning if the user selects a time duration outside the range of the battery life. But let us set up the camera, choose the interval and duration, then freeze the camera settings and sort of snooze the camera until it’s time for the next shot–ie don’t unzoom, remove image options, etc. just leave the thing as is but power down with lens out and display screen off until the next image, then powering up only enough to take the shot-the display doesn’t need to come on or anything.

Battery Life

I find the battery icon oft showing low on cold days. The G11, which I’m hoping to replace for casual shooting with the S100, has a physically bigger and longer lasting battery. Tradeoffs perhaps. Will need to carry the relatively large charger (compared to battery size) along on long days.


Tamrac #5686 case

A very good fit for the Canon S100 plus extra card and Whi-Bal or whatever you like. Has features I look for: double attachment belt loop that allows putting on and taking off without unfastening and unlooping the belt; vertical orientation; velcro flap on top for quick access but good security and modest moisture protection.

Apple store stench and other retail smells

Apple might be admired widely and far-ly for many things, but retail aroma is not one of them. For me, at least; it makes me want to turn around and shop online.

Ba-thousands of people go into their stores daily to pour money in and take goods and services out, and they haven’t been held back by the first-impression smell when entering an Apple store.

Perhaps it depends on the ventilation of each store, but I’ve noticed the same smell at a mall in NJ and the Fifth Ave NYC store, strongly, and to lesser extents at about 10 others I’ve visited. It must be the aroma of hundreds of sweaty people. Maybe some people find it attractive, consciously or not. We know that many people like crowds and maybe this is a factor. We know smell is a a powerful factor in human behavior.

It would be interesting to read a scientific review of the smell and compare it with other stores.

For instance, it must be a dispenser of some sort, but Whole Foods stores also smell the same at their entrances, a kind of spicy-fruity smell, and then visually you get the produce and flower section. To give you that ‘just stepped into a spice garden’ sensation.

Apple, I don’t think they pay attention to this smell. I complained that it reminded me of musty locker room smell when I worked at a mall location but management just shrugged their shoulders and took no action, gave no information. Sense of smell does vary widely among people so maybe they honestly didn’t notice it, but it repulsed me. Then again, I don’t like crowds and if they do maybe it was the smell of money to them.

Witful [but somber] Wednesday #2

First, a serious note. 70 years ago as I write this, Japanese planes were airborne on a surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. You should read about this topic today, for instance:


Now back to the regularly scheduled Witful Wednesday #2


Want to look at 400 pix ordered with “little rhyme or reason”? View the “A World at 7 Billion” feature on NY Times Lens Blog.


Jason Kottke tweets: “The great thing about getting “pay-by-the-pound” food from the deli is that you know exactly what you’re gonna weigh after lunch.”


Have a look at the Leica Camera Blog, Photographers section



Swirly 430

Swirly 430

© 2011 David Nuss, All Rights Reserved

An idling Bell 430 helicopter at night with swirly colors from aircraft lights and heliport lights reflected in cowlings and main rotor, using a slow shutter speed.

[Canon S100 handheld 1/15th sec ISO 1600; Tweaked and cropped in Aperture with a couple of brushes like burn, saturation, contrast]