Unintended consequences


Being an appaholic means I download and check out a lot of apps. I am particularly entranced by photographic apps for the iPhone 4. I have settled on a few as default, or go-to, apps. That said, I am always on the lookout for apps that can expand my iPhone’s photographic capabilities.

As background, my love of photography goes back to the film days, and was developed with my good and faithful friend Elizabeth during our salad days at the U of S, she a BFA student, me a BSc. My approach to iPhoneography is very much informed by that experience. For instance, I have carried over several habits from the film-shooting days, one of which is a tendency to not look at my images until after I have completed a session. (Another is the use of “in-camera effects,” the idea that the best way to accomplish special effects is to do them in the camera as opposed to in the darkroom [because darkrooms are — or were — expensive and you wouldn’t always have access to one.])

Today, many errors of basic technique can be smoothed over in post processing, so my clinging to the in-camera effects will probably be considered “old school”. (I am about to knock down a strawman, here!) I disagree. I believe images should be processed as little a possible to be considered “art” in the photographic sense. Where, for instance, is the art in wiping a pseudo depth of field effect onto a snap shot?

My belief, for the moment anyway, is that the goal is to achieve the performance with an iPhone that could be achieved with a 35 mm film camera with a fixed-length lens, which boils down to focus, aperture and shutter control.

20120805-093832.jpg One app that I have been checking out is something called HDR Photo Camera, a camera app that captures “HDR” images. What, you may be asking yourself, are HDR images and why should I wish to capture them? HDR images, or High Dynamic Range images are images created digitally by combining several images of the same subject matter at different exposure settings to maximize contrast and dynamic range of midtones in each of the color channels. (Dynamic range refers to the absolute difference between the top value and the bottom value in a data set.)

Necessarily, these multiple exposure occur over a given stretch of time and then recombined, algorithmically, to produce the final image. Something implied, but not explicitly noted in any information about this process, is the requirement of subject matter that does not move over the course of the multiple exposures. I discovered this for myself, in this photograph. In this image, my intent was to evaluate how the app handled the subtle shading of the light falling off and, likewise, I was interested in how the app captured the white balance.

In the case of this image, I was amazed.

20120805-104721.jpgGhostly Doug. HDR Photo Camera image.

Doug’s Arm Detail. HDR Photo Camera Image.

When I zoomed in, I was even more amazed by the ghostly effect of the living versus the inanimate., as seen in this detail.

Which got me to thinking…


I was out on my bike a few days later, getting reacquainted with my city, taking pictures along the way in hope of getting inspiration for my blog. I was just riding, taking side streets as they looked interesting, with a general direction of the Christie Pitts in mind. I mention this to underscore how utterly random the next ∑∑location was… I had no idea such a place ever existed or that its remains were in such good repair.

I love type and the art of typography. The rise to ubiquity of inexpensive publishing systems has led to the near death of the beautiful typesetting of yesteryear. My surprise at finding this place led me to want to photographic it to share it with Christiane, my friend and colleague, the lead proofreader in our shop, who shares a passion for type. And then I remembered.

The following are HDR Photo Camera shots using three different lenses on my iPhone 4 with the Ōlloclip lens adapter. In these shots, everything is intentional and was captured in camera… no post processing outside of that done by HDR Photo Camera app to assembled its data files.

1. Regular iPhone 4 camera

2. Ōlloclip Fish Eye Lens20120805-112612.jpg

3. Ōlloclip Wide Angle Lens20120805-112758.jpg

All of which are a bit on the poignant side, in my opinion–the ghostly image of times gone by. A proper staging of the image would be to use an iconic vehicle of the era, the heydays of the mid-70’s to mid-80’s of the last century. This auto choice would more directly bring to mind the notion of things passing beyond their time frame. [Classic American muscle, the Challenger, the Judge; Camaro, Firebird or the Goat: imagery all the more poignant in the aftermath of the 2009 takeover.]

As they are, however, we get a more dismal, if ethereal, suggestion of the fleeting nature of human life in times of profound cultural and technological change, a suggestion menacingly underscored by the ages of the vehicles used: not of the period of the subject’s peak activity, but of the era after it would have been shut, but not of modern-day. [Simply put, the cars are OLD but not old ENOUGH.]

I hate it when I lapse into “art speak”.

Lord Monckton says something interesting.

This is for my friend, Adele.

This was supposed to skip to a specified location, but appears not to do so.

Here are some starting points.
Brexit: ~6:00
Trump: ~7:00
Obama: ~9:00 … is a commie: ~11:30.

Climate discussion: ~12:45
History of process: ~21:00
Politics of Climate Science: ~25:00
IPCC: ~25:30
Settled science as fraud: ~27:00
“Funding Greenpeace is funding world communism” – Greenpeace Founder: ~28:00
97% Consensus: ~30:00

Sorry for the audio quality… it is in the original and I don’t know how to remove it.

That said, if you use Chrome, you can get a plugin that is used to EQ the audio of YouTube videos.

It’s called Audio EQ and is available here.

Check this out:

What it looks like in the Chrome store
What it looks like when installed, for example.
Perfect Preset to remove wind noise!

Another great song …

The video is cool, too.



It uses a very impressive (however familiar) technique. I’m really glad the technique is being reintroduced to a new generation. Well, it was released in 1997, so that new generation is now kinda long in the tooth; still and all, they keep the technique alive. And to me, that looks like the same room! I could be wrong.

Astaire Unwound (ceiling dance from Royal Wedding), 1951.

Joe Dan Gorman’s remarkably restrained reaction to President Elect Trump’s victory

No Rules for Radicals – It’s Intellectual Froglegs from IntellectualFroglegs w Joe Dan on Vimeo.

Please pay his awesome site a visit at: https://intellectualfroglegs.com/

This year I feel joyous!

Like so many, I feel a massive amount of relief after the past presidential election in the United States.

As the election season drew to a close, I was near my wit’s end. I just wanted it over. My preference was for a Trump victory, but either way I wanted it over.

For me, the past 8 years have been like a hell on earth with every day bringing some new atrocity perpetrated on my spiritual homeland. The worst were those inflicted by the man elected to protect that which he sought to destroy—the Constitution of the United States of America.

With the election of Trump, my very worst fears have been abated. Permanently, I hope; temporarily, I fear.

No matter. This Thanksgiving and Christmas, I feel joyous! Thank you Mr President-Elect Trump.


In and American Thinker post, “Calamity Impending for the Clintons” by Scott S. Powell, a passage stood out:

440px-gilbert_stuart_williamstown_portrait_of_george_washingtonIn his Farewell Address of 1796, George Washington laid out the essentials for the rise and prosperity of America:

[“]Let it simply be asked, where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may [due to] influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.[“]

This passage stood out to me because I am an Objectivist. Here’s why.

The vast majority of thinkers on the topics of morality and ethics reject outright the idea that morality can exist in the absence of religious faith. Thus, they reject Ayn Rand and Objectivism due to its explicit irreligiousity.

This has always irked me because Objectivism has a fully explicated ethics so this rejection is, at the same time, both dogmatic and uneducated, while, sadly, largely true for the population at large.

Thus, the extremely nuanced position espoused by President Washington – when translated from the original 18th century American English – shows how the idea was accepted by the thinkers of the Founding era as a fact of life. By focusing on the added emphasis, it is clear that Washington’s view is that it is, in fact, possible for people with minds of certain structure and educated [in the ways of critical thinking, I assert] can be moral without that morality being religion based.‡

He concludes, however, that the above is rare and therefore an electorate with a morality based on religious values is necessary in order to elect a government protect the natural rights of the individuals.*

I believe he nailed it. Religion for the masses is a good thing because it provides for a common morality that requires neither “refined education” nor “a mind of peculiar structure” to understand – its obvious appeal to authority, nothwithstanding.

† Sloppy, I know, but I don’t have the energy to document this. It is right, though, so I just assert it to be true. : )
‡ Late in life, in correspondence with that religious guy wherein she outright stated that Objectivism and Christianity are compatible.
* There is a lot packed into this… suffice to say, the ideas of “security for property, for reputation, for life” fall into the category “Natural Rights,” an area of philosophical thought developed during the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th and early 19th centuries, and was the underpinning of the Enlightenment view that a government exists only to protect the rights of its citizens from threat from other citizens and by from external threats.