Friday, April 30, 2010

Captured: A Look Back at the Vietnam War on the 35th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon – Plog Photo Blog

Because it is 30 years ago today that Saigon fell at the end of the Vietnam war, many publications have retrospective galleries on their websites. The best I have found is on the Denver Post. 141 images, many of them iconic and etched in people's memory.

Captured: A Look Back at the Vietnam War on the 35th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon – Plog Photo Blog

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Saguaros are the iconic cactuses from the Sonoran desert that spans Mexico and Arizona. I was in southern Arizona this spring on a little vacation with my family. This was before the rather ill-thought out law requiring non-citizens to carry immigration papers on their persons came into effect. Although I do believe a lot of the reporting on this law has been overly sensational (the requirement is already a federal law), being a very legal immigrant myself I am quite ambivalent about it as it reeks rather of racial profiling. But enough of that. I have lots of pictures from that trip that I haven't put up yet. One thing I put up was some sunrise pictures from the goosenecks, which we visited on the way back. We also hiked a little in Picacho Peak State park, which I put up as a featured gallery a while ago. I will write later about that place which is a lot of fun to visit in early spring when all the poppies and other flowers are in bloom. Right now, I'll just put up a few pictures off a Saguoro that my daughter chose as her Saguaro for her junior ranger program in fantastic Saguaro National Park. This was a big giant with lots and lots of arms.

This one I call "the rocket" for obvious reasons:

Flickr link for this image.

and this "the arm." Another appropriate name would be "the finger." ;-)

Flickr link for this image.

Here is my daughter next to "her" Saguaro

It takes Saguaros 75 years to grow their first sidearm. This one has seen quite some history. I have many more images of seas of Saguaros that I still have to work up, so more later!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lens correction will be included in Lightroom and ACR!

See the scuttlebutt here. The video is alas private at the moment but the text of Tom Hogarty's blog post is pretty clear. This is a great development.

EDIT: here is the video. Be sure to watch it on youtube in highdef.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Amazing images from the Iceland volcano

As by now everybody knows there is a volcano erupting on iceland (Eyjafjallajokull) that has brought down most air traffic in Europe. As annoying as that can be to travellers (and I have several friends stuck because of it) it does give rise to beautiful images. Later there will be some really nice sunsets and sunrises too because of the volcanic ash in the higher atmosphere. There is a really nice gallery on the big picture here. They show and link to extraordinary images from Belgian photographer Olivier Vandeginste. Well worth a look.
More pictures:
Earlier Big Picture gallery
The Frame 1
The Frame 2
Denver Post (love that picture of the icelandic horses before the cloud
NY times lens blog Superb images!

I like this image from flickr user Sverrir Thor, who has many more nice ones in his stream.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Costco's photo printer service

I had heard a while ago that costco would now print 16x20 and 20x30 in house in their stores instead of at a lab. I never thought much about it assuming that the quality would be low until I noticed at my local lab that they are using Epson 7880 printers. These are really high quality printers using fantastic inks. Even better, costco subcontracts with dry creek photo who regularly profile the printers and provide instructions on how to use the ICC profiles. These profiles also work great in Lightroom. I sent a few very large files to my local costco and had them print and the prints are gorgeous. Basically perfect color reproduction using the supplied profiles, fantastic toning and very vibrant colors. I was floored that they can offer these prints for the ridiculously low prices they charge ($8.99 for a 20x30). There is no way you can print this large yourself for anywhere near this price. The paper is not extremely good, but pretty reasonable and this gives you a closed loop color management. Pretty amazing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SFO BART station cones

I put this cellphone image of safety cones at the San Francisco International airport BART station on my flickr account with the remark that there must be 1000's of images of these cones on flickr.

Safety Cones at the SFO BART station

And lo and behold, there is a flickr group dedicated to them. Very funny.

Beautiful Iceland images

In this NYT profile of Ragnar Sigurdsson. I like the giant images placed in the landscape.

EDIT: Some great images of the erupting volcano are here.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Goosenecks State Park

I recently spent a sunrise at Goosenecks State Park. This is a beautiful and aptly named, but not very well known place near Mexican hat and Monument Valley. The State Park is basically a point that overlooks the San Juan river that snakes very deeply (> 1000 feet) below. It was a little too cloudy for a really spectacular sunrise, but it was wonderful nonetheless as it was quiet except for the sound of the river and of birds waking up. I highly recommend to check it out if you are in the neighborhood. These are panoramic images that will print wall-sized. There are much bigger versions of these images in the links.

This is shortly before sunrise. Purple and magenta tones dominate.

Right at sunrise (not too strong because of the hazy clouds) it is more yellows and reds

Shortly after sunrise, we start seeing greens too from the vegetation. This image is also on flickr

Here is the map to show what you are looking at:

View Larger Map