White House Under Construction

Did you know that during the late 1940s the White House was completely gutted and rebuilt? Apparently repairs and maintenance had been neglected during the Depression and War years, and so when Harry Truman took office he inherited a home that was by many accounts nearing collapse. You can read about the story at the White House museum web site, but you can really delve into the reconstruction via the US National Archives, which has put many of the interesting photos from this unique time online in its Flickr photostream. It's fascinating to see the addition of what became known as the Truman Balcony, as well as the cavernous interior of the east wing entirely gutted and held together with a spiderwork of steel. Another instance in which I'm glad someone had the foresight to commission a photographer to document such a one-of-a-kind historic event.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/8451613392/in/photostream
http://www.whitehousemuseum.org/special/renovation-1948.htm
DPMag
Did you know that during the late 1940s the White House was completely gutted and rebuilt? Apparently repairs and maintenance had been neglected during the Depression and War years, and so when Harry Truman took office he inherited a home that was by many accounts nearing collapse. You can read…

PocketWizards For Everyone!

Whereas my experience with PocketWizard radio transmitters, receivers and transceivers has always been outstanding (courtesy of the company's Plus and Plus II models), any time I've had the occasion to use a considerably more affordable off-brand of radio transmitter, I've tended to find myself disappointed. Delicate construction, confusing controls and simple unreliability have cursed me on the few occasions that I've dabbled with el cheapo wireless radios for triggering flashes. That said, the biggest problem I've always had with my PocketWizards is simply their price. A few hundred bones for a transceiver makes it tricky to always be sure you've got a backup or two (or ten). But not any more. Pocketwizard's new $99 Plux X remote is the wireless transmitter that I'm willing to bet fits the bill for 99% of photographers. David Hobby agrees with me. Read all about it at his Strobist blog, and start saving your nickels—it won't take too many of them to afford this remote.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2013/03/pocketwizard-plus-x-remotes-break-100.html
DPMag
Whereas my experience with PocketWizard radio transmitters, receivers and transceivers has always been outstanding (courtesy of the company's Plus and Plus II models), any time I've had the occasion to use a considerably more affordable off-brand of radio transmitter, I've tended to find myself disappointed. Delicate construction, confusing controls and…

Photoshop For Your Phone

Call me crazy, old fashioned, or just downright simple, but I just can't figure out why I would want Photoshop on my iPhone. Is it just me? Don't get me wrong: I love (LOVE!) Photoshop, and I love (LOVE!) my iPhone, but for some reason Adobe's announcement of Photoshop Touch for Android and iPhones just makes me want to… shrug. Am I the only one? Maybe I'm being a hater and I need to get my hands on the thing to see if I can really put it to use. Or maybe I'm just being an old fuddy-duddy. Maybe it's just a matter of simple miscommunication, and I shouldn't think of Photoshop Touch as Photoshop for my iPhone as much as I should think of it as Adobe's competition for the one-click filters of Instagram. Viewed through that lens, I'm starting to see some of the appeal. Check it out for yourself via this article, and the even more informative comments that follow, at the DPReview Connect blog.

http://connect.dpreview.com/post/6244411084/adobe-photoshop-touch-android-ios-mobile
DPMag
Call me crazy, old fashioned, or just downright simple, but I just can't figure out why I would want Photoshop on my iPhone. Is it just me? Don't get me wrong: I love (LOVE!) Photoshop, and I love (LOVE!) my iPhone, but for some reason Adobe's announcement of Photoshop Touch…

Leaning Houses Tromp L’oeil

When I first saw this gallery of photographs of leaning houses in Minnesota, I wondered what on earth could cause a house to lean so much, but I didn't bother to look closer. That was my first mistake. When a few days later I saw the collection referenced again, I did think about the concept long enough to wish that the photographer had done more—tilting the camera, perhaps, to mess with our perceptions of these tilting houses. Still, I skipped past and didn't look closer. This was my second mistake. Then I saw the gallery again, and rather than making a third mistake of ignorance I decided to look closer. It turns out what photographer Cameron Wittig did was even better than I could have expected. I'm glad I looked closer, as these photographs are not at all as they first appear. And that makes them simply spectacular. The photographer has twisted reality in a playful way, and the result is a wonderful use of our deceptive medium. Rather than tell you what's going on here, I'll let you avoid the mistakes I made and tell you to go now, and look a little closer.

http://www.featureshoot.com/2013/02/typologies-of-minnesota-houses-built-on-steep-hills
DPMag
When I first saw this gallery of photographs of leaning houses in Minnesota, I wondered what on earth could cause a house to lean so much, but I didn't bother to look closer. That was my first mistake. When a few days later I saw the collection referenced again, I…

James Balog's Chasing Ice

James Balog is a phenomenal photographer. In 2005 National Geographic sent him to the Arctic on assignment to document earth's changing climate. Balog was somewhat skeptical, but after a single visit to the Arctic he says his eyes were opened to the severity of climate change. Eight years later he's become the focus of the documentary Chasing Ice, which chronicles Balog and his crew as they scramble to record glaciers as they disappear forever. The film's synopsis spells it out: "It's the story of one man's mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet." The film looks gorgeous and riveting, and can still be found in some theaters throughout the country. If it's not playing in your area, though, you can log on to the web site to help bring the film to a theater near you—which you might have to do, as there's no DVD available yet.

http://www.chasingice.com
DPMag
James Balog is a phenomenal photographer. In 2005 National Geographic sent him to the Arctic on assignment to document earth's changing climate. Balog was somewhat skeptical, but after a single visit to the Arctic he says his eyes were opened to the severity of climate change. Eight years later he's…

Interesting Aerial Lens Arrays

Have you ever used one of those old-school camera calibration charts to test the resolution of your lenses? Did you know they're called Tri-bar Arrays? For years they were the standard test of a lens' ability to resolve fine details. The standard was created by the American military back in the 1950s, and the Tri-bar Array remained the de facto standard until the digital era brought it to an end in the mid 2000s. Because of the pattern's military origins, there are still some intriguing large-scale remnants of the pattern in use today. You see, various air bases and military installations around the country painted giant versions of the Tri-Bar Array adjacent to runways for use as a calibration and testing tool for aerial and satellite cameras and lenses. It's a pretty neat holdover from the cold war days, and thanks to Google earth we can see these interesting artifacts for ourselves. Thanks to Michael Johnston of The Online Photographer for pointing us to this interesting article at the Center for Land Use Interpretation.

http://www.clui.org/newsletter/winter-2013/photo-calibration-targets
DPMag
Have you ever used one of those old-school camera calibration charts to test the resolution of your lenses? Did you know they're called Tri-bar Arrays? For years they were the standard test of a lens' ability to resolve fine details. The standard was created by the American military back in…
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