October 2012

Linx for some day or other

Faking It: A Visual History of 150 Years of Image Manipulation Before Photoshop” from Brain Pickings. Hey, guess what! there have been photographic tricks in play for… quite a while! Highlights the need for all of us to have some visual savvy!

From NPR Music, “First Listen: ‘REWORK_Philip Glass Remixed‘”. You can stream the hour-plus album, an exercise in remixing by contemporary musicians, of works by Philip Glass, on the occasion of his 75th birthday year. One can, of course, also buy the music.

Around the world in five minutes, viewed from space, with scientist narration, at The Chive (requires Flash).

Michelle Vignes, Magnum editor, Gamma photog…

IN MEMORIAM Death of Michelle Vignes” on Le Journal de la Photographie, via Kim Komenich on LinkedIn, veteran photographer, San Jose State professor, bank robber catcher.

I may have heard of Ms. Vignes but sadly had not appreciated her work until this memoriam.

Intentionally Left Blank


© Copyright 2012 David Nuss

Some time ago I scheduled some photo posts for odd days of the calendar, while cleaning out the backlog of everyday shooting.

That list of scheduled posts was finished on the 19th! I haven’t scheduled more yet but it’s an odd-number-day!

So I decided to post this image as an IOU, placeholder, etc. Initially it was going to be a 1 pixel x 640 wide image but instead, considering at least a passing attempt at artistry, I sized it 76×640 not as you might think since I flew an S-76 helicopter, but the ratio of 76:640 is about the same as the John Cage famous silent composition, “4’33″”, or 4:33.

Plausible? maybe.

Hoping to get some editing done and schedule more odd-day photo posts for a couple of weeks…

[Pixelmator new image file, jpg Best Quality; no sharpening or other effects used]

Links for lunch: science, animals, history! Get down!

Hot Fuel, Burnin’ Blades

IMG_0474 - Version 2

© Copyright 2012 David Nuss

It’s the copilot’s job to get out and monitor the safety of the helicopter refueling, know as ‘hot fuel’ if it’s done with engines running/blades turning. Happens all the time in military and civil aviation. Some folks freak out about it, if you do it often and follow procedure, it’s no big deal, everyone knows what to do, you’re in and out with some important savings.

The iPhone’s shutter is not like a film camera, it exposes a line at a time, in the orientation above, from bottom to top. So as the sensor is exposed to light, the blade moves from right to left, thus appearing curved. Can make some interesting shots, both still and moving.

Taken at Westhampton Beach, NY, on Long Island. Also known as Gabreski airport.

[iPhone 4, iso 80, f/2.8@1/2230; Aperture cropped, exposured, saturated, yellow signs emphasized]

Early adopter blues

Right, so as soon as the S110 Canon camera came out, I pounced, stayed up late reading the manual and fiddling plenty. In some ways better, some ways not vs. the S100.

But as it goes, a digital photographer’s software of choice usually takes a while to catch up to the RAW formats of new cameras. So for now all I can use are jpgs from the S110. Alas. Sigh.

Some initial thoughts, S110 vs. S100 and G11:

  • wi-fi is a good feature, remains to be seen if it eats battery like GPS did
  • so I bought a spare battery just in case
  • if user has to have GPS, the 110 is not for them (location metadata can be added in many ways later, though)
  • buttons are flatter than the S100, not as easy to find by feel
  • especially the on/off and movie shooting buttons, which I’d like to use without looking; other buttons looking is more reasonable expectation
  • lack of a grip on the front is a minus-S100 was better that way
  • main control knob on top sticks up higher with sharper knurls; could be a plus
  • touch Screen! Yes! as a long time iphone user it makes perfect sense
  • LCD resolution not so hot (G15 about twice pixel density)
  • S110 compared by specs side by side nearly matches the new G15, a much bulkier camera
  • no ttl using slaved flashes
  • improved video quality, up to full HD
  • high speed video at twice the resolution! ( I have a nice ‘slo-mo’ video of my brother’s dog grabbing a dog biscuit off its snout, but only 320×480 size or so)
  • easier (or maybe I just finally learned it) to move focus/exposure point (G series has a dedicated button, then you just scroll the point around)

Once Aperture is updated to handle Canon’s .cr2 raw files, I’ll be able to post even nicer images; for now just the jpgs.

Things that make me wish I was a developer

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Safari (Mac web browser) plug-in or preference that allowed you to automatically uncheck those “keep me logged in” boxes for web site logins!

Bus Readiness

IMG_3616 - Version 3

© Copyright 2012 David Nuss

I had a long break between flights at a former military airfield on Long Island, so I went for an afternoon walk to get a bite and then came back through a different entrance. I was transported back to my military days, seeing the institutional installation setting, buildings, and the landscape of a former military base, which you can see once you’ve been around them enough.

On this corner was an interesting combi of shapes and light. I do tend to like weather phenomena, don’t I?

I usually manipulate as little as possible, this time I knew I wanted to emphasize the growing distant thunderstorm clouds, so I went a little wild by my standards on the digital effects.

After the buses, I took another side street and shot for quite a while, it was a really great creative exploration and escape from an unhappy day with a colleague.

[Which is to say, Canon S100, iso 80, f/4.5@1/500; Aperture crop, exposure, brushes for burn, contrast, saturation, and sky polarization]

Summer at Martha’s

IMG_3607 - Version 2

© Copyright 2012 David Nuss

Flew some customers out to the airport at Martha’s Vineyard island in June.

After cleaning up for the next leg and taking a break, I looked back and the angle of light, colors just made it look interesting, like a cutout form against blue construction paper.

[Canon S100, iso 80, f/8@1/200; Aperture cropped, straightened, exposure, sharpness]

Happy World Standards Day!

Yes, it’s true:

World Standards Day, via TechHive

Somehow the dnpixl team here passed 100 blog posts and didn’t even mark the event. Sorry state of affairs at the pixl HQ. Tsk, Tsk.

Anyway, nuff said on that.

We have to wonder, today, what the folks involved in Apollo are thinking, watching the skydive-from-120k’. Things change pretty quickly you might think, but then again, today’s record only beats one set, ahem, before my lifetime, back in 1960 by the quite possibly more shall we say, gutsy, Joe Kittinger.

Herr Baumgartner had quite the kit and support team, but nonetheless a good ol’ Army ‘hooah’ to him! (he probably also passed 100, mph, without noticing!).

[addendum: sharp eyed Bob asked me what I meant by FB passing 100 mph in the parenthetical above when he certainly went much faster. The reference was so skillfully inserted above that many readers didn’t catch it! Self included just now! but the reference was to having not noticed that I passed 100 blog posts, as FB probably didn’t notice passing 100 of anything on the leap.]

Community College Regenbogen

IMG_0525 - Version 2

© Copyright 2012 David Nuss

On the way to some kind of class on an evening visit to the community college here, the rain stopped, the sun shone and Lo and Behold dances broke out.

[iPhone 4, iso 80, f/2.8@1/2155; Aperture straightened, cropped, exposure, saturation adjustments]

Drat! missed it!

Yesterday was 10/11/12, and I missed celebrating it! Ack!

Well, if you follow the month/date/year convention anyway.

That’s probably what I’ll do then! celebrate Nov 10 as 10/11/12 using the day/month/year thing.


Empire Sparkle

IMG_7914 - Version 2

© Copyright 2012 David Nuss

Here we have the time of day and year when there’s a little sparkle reflection from the base of the Empire State Building spire and the Chrysler top is also sparkly.

Kinda neat.

[Canon 7D, 70-200 L, iso 200, f/8, 1/200, gitzo tripod; Aperture straightened, cropped, exposure, white bal, levels]

Make way, Maker Faire is on the way!

I posted a set of 21 snaps from my awesome visit to the second day of Maker Faire NYC 2012, held in Corona, Queens  9/29-9/30:

dnpixl’s Maker Faire set on Flickr

It was a pretty amazing event, with science, crafts, displays, talks, wild stuff, serious stuff, funny stuff. Just wildly inspiring and that over 50,000 people attended over the weekend is also… as the kids used to say… “rad”.

If you like creativity, inquiring minds, this is your kind of event. They have mini versions all over the place, just go to the Maker Faire Locator.

And now, speaking of colorful!

NJ tstorm clouds at sunset

© Copyright 2012 David Nuss

Our balcony faces south, towards Manhattan, and in summertime when we get afternoon thunderstorms, the setting sun can make some nice compositions, this looking southwest at the trailing edge of a mature thunderstorm as it goes northeast past Manhattan and Long Island.

I like to use these kins of shots for iDevice and computer wallpapers.

[Canon S100, ISO 80, 1/80@f/4.5; Aperture enhanced for exposure, sharpness]

Wind in the waves

wind in waves

© Copyright 2012 David Nuss

In the summer, flying around the northeast, we frequently encounter and avoid thunderstorm cells and related turbulence. Sometimes you can see the turbulence as its hits the water, here on Little Peconic Bay, NY, Long Island, heading westbound. There is a little boat upper right and whenever I see these I just have to wonder what their experience of the winds is.

Some pilots are observant and, ahem, observe, these indicators; others, ahem, are busy texting…

Flying over the more agricultural southeast PA/Maryland area you can see similar wind-waves on the crops at the right time of year.

[Canon S100, ISO 125, 1/200@f/5; Aperture worked for contrast, sharpness, exposure]

Summer Sag hat


© Copyright 2012 David Nuss

They have this park by the waterfront in Sag Harbor, NY, with plenty of grass, benches, picnic tables. I tried to have my dinners/breakfasts there when overnighting for work. In early June, a colorful RGB scene unfolded.

Don’t remember seeing the owners of the other two coffees appear, and if they were similarly colorful or not. Must have been distracted by food.

[Canon S100, ISO 80, 1/400@f5.9; cropped, exposured, lightly saturated in Aperture]

Now with extra ad-free goodness

With the price reduction and new apps calling to me from the blogosphere, I have joined App.net, (“a real-time social feed without the ads”) to check it out.

So far, so good. Found many of the Mac/tech related bloggers I follow on there quite easily through a third-party app for finding Twitter follows who are also on app.net.

I’m using multiple pseudo-desktops (forget the right term just now) on my Mac, so I keep Twitter and this and related apps on one screen together, a simple couple of swipes or keyboard shortcut to get to them.

Copy a document name in Mountain Lion

There might be plenty of occasions when you want to copy a document name in Mac OS X Mountain Lion to the clipboard for use elsewhere without navigating to the file itself where it lives using Finder. Here are some techniques.

From the document’s title bar

  1. mouse over the title until you see the down-pointing triangle right of the title
  2. click on the title or arrow and choose Rename…; document title is selected
  3. select Copy from the Edit menu OR keyboard ⌘C

From an icon on the Desktop

  1. click the icon or its name to select it
  2. keyboard the return (enter) key to select the document title
  3. select Copy from the Edit menu OR keyboard ⌘C

Note of caution

Once you’ve copied the file name, remember to click away elsewhere before doing anything else, lest you risk accidentally changing the file name.


I saw these guys from Eepybird do their coke and mentos demo on Sunday at MakerFaire NYC Fun! but I stayed way at the back and did not get wet!:

MakerFaire NYC totals are in, I was among over 55,000 attendees for the weekend event:

On a Maker-related note, via the iFixIt blog,

Art with a cycling focus:

Perspective illusion! from xkcd:

Can one ever know enough about eggcorns?

iOS Maps, schmapps… problem?… issue?… thinger?…