Category Archives: Photography

Left is “right”

In a previous post (Left? … or Right?) I asked your opinion regarding which on my new professional portraits you preferred. Sadly only maggie0019 formally responded with a comment. I would have preferred more data points before reaching a decision, but it is what it is. It is not too late to voice your opinion. I will update the results if I get more feedback.

As you can guess from the title of the post and the “FEATURED IMAGE” at the top, the Left portrait appears to be the “right” one.


 

The break down was interesting. My wife, oldest son, and his wife all preferred the portrait on the right. My sister, the photographer, and everyone* else chose the portrait on the left.

The Mrs thought that the Right image made me look slimmer. She also thought that my cheek in the Left image looked “bulbous”, to which I must agree.

Those who preferred the Left image thought I looked friendlier and more approachable. Maggie’s humans both preferred the Left image. Her young human Jamie cracked me up with “He looks like Teddy Roosevelt. We can call him The Square Deal now! Actually, he looks like a military person. I’m kind of intimidated right now. He doesn’t look like the guy who’d tell you to do 20 pushups…he looks like the guy who tells the guy who tells you to do 20 pushups!” Teddy Roosevelt? Hmm. I did think that some of the images I rejected in the screening session looked more like Wilford Brimley.

I have decided to use the Left image for now as my LinkedIn portrait and for other business related content, but I can mix and match as the spirit moves me.
 

 
* almost everyone else

Left? … or Right? 

A? … or B?

This? … or This?

We’ve all been to the optometrist (or ophthalmologist) and had to look through the phoropter. Bet you didn’t know what it was called until now. Just another extra that you get but never pay for at Contrafactual.com. Wikipedia has an article on it HERE.

Anyway, back to phoropter … you look at one image of letters and numbers, then another whilst being asked “Which looks better … this? or this?” Eventually you reach a point where, try as you may, you can’t tell the difference.

Getting a professional portrait made is a lot like that. The photographer has you sitting or standing (or both, just not at the same time) and tells to move your head a little to the left or the right. Maybe he says something to make you smile. “Move your chin down just a bit … there!” Snap! Over and over and over. OK this part isn’t like looking through the phoropter, but the next part is.

Once the photographer is satisfied that he has enough shots (maybe a few dozen), you look at a display with an image on the left and one on the right. Left? … or Right? Left? … or Right? Left … or Right? Over and over and over until you can’t make up your mind.

Yesterday I had my first ever professional portrait session. My LinkedIn photo was years out of date and every selfie I have ever taken looks horrible.  I had just completed a job interview and since I had a new suit on anyway I decided to stop by the portrait studio to schedule a sitting. He was available then and there and the price was fair, so I did it. Normally you get three sizes of the same image: high resolution for printing, medium resolution for webpages, and a square-cropped image for LinkedIn (or Gravatar, etc.) all for a flat fee. In my case I got down to the final two and could not decide. The photographer was nice enough to give me the three sizes of the two images for the price of one.  If you live in the Houston Texas area be sure to check out Country Park Portraits.

So which one do you like best … Left? … or Right? *

                

I’ll let you know which one the Mrs likes best in the next post …

 

* note – should they display one above the other, the one on “the Left” will be above the one on “the Right”

Falcon 9 Re-entry … How it survives

The video below does an excellent job of explaining exactly how the Falcon 9 survives re-entry

The heat of re-entry is due to the compression of the atmosphere ahead of the re-entering vehicle, NOT air friction. Think of a diesel engine that works by highly compressing the air in the cylinder above the ignition temperature of the diesel fuel which is then injected at maximum compression and temperature.

Credit XKCD

Nostalgia

Kids graduating from high school today have never known a world without cell phones … or the instant gratification of digital photography. I remember once reading an article a long time ago that said that cameras were becoming so small and cheap that there was no reason not to put them in everything. Cell phones were the logical beneficiary. Now everyone has a camera on them at all times. If Big Foot were real, someone would have gotten an HD video of her by now. 

Photographers … professional and amateur … had to wait for film to be chemically developed in order to see the results. It could takes days before you saw the results. Film often had had to be sent out for processing. The arrival of onsite same-day processing was a big deal. 

From my post Welcome to the Future

  • No cell phone cameras, no digital cameras, no webcams, no camcorders; both still and movie cameras used film that needed to be developed before you could see the results

My favorite was a slide film call Kodachrome made by Eastman Kodak. So popular and high quality was this film that Paul Simon (formerly of Simon & Garfunkle) released a song about it. Kodachrome processing involved a variety of toxic chemicals and was discontinued in 2009, but its color saturation and time stability are legendary. I still have Kodachrome slides that are gorgeous even as other slides and prints have faded to red (and the lubricants in my slide projector have turned to glue rendering it useless). I keep planning to get these digitally scanned, but it’s not cheap for high quality scans and something always comes up that diverts the funds. I would like to get them scanned and begin posting then here someday.

When not shooting Kodachrome slides I (like most everyone else) shot print film. This involved a roll of film with a “negative” image that was developed and then used to create enlarged color prints. One dropped off the film for processing and the came back to pick up the prints and negatives.

Never knowing if any of my photos had turned out, I would take my roll of film down to the local photomat or camera store to have it developed. Invariably on the way out I would begin humming the first few bars of …

Bonus track …