I’m always a little bit behind the times – the kid always chasing their older sibling around trying to see what they’re doing because it must be the coolest thing ever. If you were to ask me about any of my interests, more than likely I could point to someone I know and say “that’s who turned me onto this.”
Take photography. My Dad is an amazing photographer and I particularly enjoy his black & whites. I’ve never been spelunking, but I’ve been inside many a cave and seen water slowly drip off a stalactite through his sequence of photos. My stepmother is equally talented; she also happens to be an artist who approaches her subjects with that eye. I love her photos. You should get her to do a scrapbook for you; they’re amazing. My uncle had several of his photos published in national magazines. You’d think I could have picked something up along the way. I wish there was some genetic code that made me a natural photographer, but the only blood relation I mentioned above was Dad, so it’s a bit of an uphill battle.
I’ll fast forward through my semester in high school photojournalism (they made a scheduling mistake, but I did learn how to work in a darkroom), having my 35 mm stolen while a friend borrowed it (he paid me back, but I think I put the money towards rent) and all my many sad attempts at photography. Don’t give me the practice lecture! What I want to talk about is Flickr. (www.flickr.com)
I’m thoroughly addicted to it. I mean seriously addicted. In fact, rather than typing right now I’d rather be Flickr-ing. Last night it was hard beating up 15 year-old boys’ avatars because I wanted to return to Flickr (and I love beating people up online), but I persevered. (Trust me, murdering avatars online helps with the stress.)
I got on there because of Anna. Sure, I’d seen Seth and Lori’s photo streams and enjoyed the occasional one I’d pull up, but it never occurred to me to go online and set-up an account. Now Anna, who is not the least bit bossy, sent me a note “Get on Flickr.” Now I hate having 30 million online accounts and 30 million passwords that I can’t keep up with, so I wasn’t keen, but she promised I could see all the pictures that weren’t public and she knows that a hook for me – seeing things other people couldn’t see – it’s like being in a members only club. It also helped that I already had a Yahoo account, so I didn’t actually have to create a new login. Once I was there, I thought what the heck, Lynn keeps hassling me about posting pictures from Dragon Con and I’ve got the account, I might as well upload something.
I tried doing searches on tags and groups, because I wanted to populate my “Favorites”. (You can see my favorites by going to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bigbluemess and clicking on “Favorites”.) I found I kept putting up Seth’s pictures (http://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/) and I was feeling a bit creepy and stalky – again like the kid that wouldn’t leave their cooler sibling alone. Then I branched out by looking at Seth’s favorites (ok, ok, it still sounds like I’m stalking Seth, but I was using his favorites as a launching pad). I loved this one guy’s pictures – Michael DaKidd (http://www.flickr.com/photos/commortis/). I posted a comment on one of his pictures. The next thing I knew, I was Mr. DaKidd’s newest contact, which made me want to hide all of my pictures; they just don’t come close to comparing. He was kind enough to recommend one of my pictures to a group (I still don’t get the group thing). Trust me when I say, it doesn’t belong among all of those great pictures but it was flattering as hell. It was a bit like having William Faulkner say “good story, kid”. Still I got it accepted and it sits there like the ugly kid at the beauty pageant. (I really need to start using analogies like – the airhead at the tech convention, but you get the point.)
I’m having an easier time populating my favorites now that I’ve started looking at other photographer’s work. If they take the time to comment on a picture, I make sure to drop by their area and I’m never disappointed. There are just so many beautiful, wonderful, amazing and outstanding pictures out there. I wish I could bundle them up in some gigantic coffee table book and flip through them or have the rest framed and hanging around our house. I wish for one day I could see the world through their eyes – be there when they capture that moment. The computer has pulled me out of this world for a long time, but for the first time in a long time I feel like I’m being pulled back into it – trying to adjust to “real” images instead of pixilated cartoons named Mepwnulolol (roughly translated from d00d l337 speak (dude elite speak) that’s “I’m a mighty warrior haha”).
If I’ve piqued your interest at all, be sure check-out Farl’s photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/colloidfarl/
Now I’m off to discover new interests through Seth’s website (hey, it’s not stalking – he’s got a LOT on that site – keeps me busy for hours www.b12partners.net/mt) plus, I’m always trolling for new hobbies and you never know what I’ll discover.
Seth, thanks to one of your latest entries, Jay is now getting the RC helicopter. His bi-plane crashed on a neighbor’s roof. Whoops! However, there are no rules in the HOA manual about decorating the neighbor’s roofs with toys.
You guys are the best. Does it being so brilliant? Thank you for answering all of my questions.>>RC cars have been a big hit with Sage – they’re frightening at first, but once you get a handle on pouncing, it’s all good. I’m already picturing a lot of leaping with the helicopter. Hodi will doubtlessly watch from afar with great disdain.
… and tell me everything you know about HDR photography.
If you “blog this” it will create a blog entry with the photo you have selected, assuming you set up your blog settings. >>Join an HDR group and you’ll get a link to how-tos and the like. JOIN A GROUP!!!!>>Oh, and you don’t have to be invited to most of them. You view the info on the group and click the link to join.
Aren’t you glad you turned on comments?
And now you have to download and install Flock (http://www.flock.com) and use that as your browser so you can click the pretty little icon that opens up your contacts photos on flickr without actually taking you there. And it lets you browse randomly. And blog from others’ photos. And. and. and. Get it!
anna answered most of yer q’s, most groups have a ‘join here’ button, and most are not very restrictive as to what you can post, within reason. I have gotten kicked out of one for using an expanded vision of “similarities”. >>Del.icio.us is a social networking site (I have them embedded in my side bar, and also generates the daily link page at my blog). I use del.icio.us as a snippet keeper – between laptop and desktop, and for pages I thought interesting, but don’t want to devote an entire blog post to.>>http://del.icio.us/swanksalot>>HDR = High Dynamic Range, which translates into bracketing 3 or more photos of the same shot, usually with tripod, then combining them into an atypical photo. There was a NYT write up recently which explained a bit, gave examples, and links to tutorials.>>I blogged about it here (with permanent NYT linkage)>< HREF="http://www.b12partners.net/mt/archives/2006/08/hdr.html" REL="nofollow">hdr<>>>Whoo hoo! Any other questions? 42!>>Oh, I ordered one of those helicopter thingys too, you guys will probably get yours first – take photos as you buzz over your kitty. Ahem….
I think you are my first friend who, after being pointed to my flickr stream, actually grokked flickr, and joined. I’ll admit to spending way too much time browsing – by tag, group, or contact. >>Groups are collections of photos on a topic, or abstraction, and are an alterative way to find new, interesting photos. For instance, a few of my faves are Urban Decay (http://www.flickr.com/groups/decay/), or the Magic Hour (http://www.flickr.com/groups/magichour/), or Naturally Black and white. Dozens more, but you get the idea.>>Was there a teacher at Travis called Hines? seems like that was his name – taught photography, wasn’t too challenging of a class, maybe I even learned something, but maybe not. Probably not, I mostly remember gossiping.
For this particular definitely post, yes. 🙂>>For the rest, with a small handful of exceptions, I’m going to still stick to no. I actually prefer the e-mails I get instead – they help me improve my writing (not that it’s improving) more.>>And I bet you were hoping for an unqualified “yes”. 🙂 The ol’ “How are you doing?” “Fine.” :)) I’m way too bitchy to give a simple answer.