The Ukiah State Fair might be small, but any state fair is a great time to enjoy the overpriced rides and take some photos.
Scout Willis, daughter of Bruce Willis, did what more and more women are doing every day: took a walk around New York topless. While this may shock some people in some parts of the world, toplessness is becoming more and more "normal", especially now that gender equality is rising in popularity.
In much of the world, it's completely acceptable for men to wander the streets sans shirt, while women are berated and insulted for even desiring to do the same. Why should women NOT be allowed the same freedoms as men?
Scout Willis publicized her topless day-trip in order to show how her public sharing was banned from sites such as facebook, twitter, instagram, and other social media. Willis' posts were deleted, censored, and generally frowned upon, meanwhile posts of topless men are ignored and allowed. Willis also flamed social media for allowing images that sexually objectify women (so long as the nipples are blurred out) but not allowing images like those pictured in her posts (copied in this blog)
I look forward to seeing women being allowed the same freedoms as men, and applaud all of those out there fighting for it.
Find out if you live in a topless freedom state. If you do, enjoy your rights!
The Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society has gained some ground in the news industry lately, and I expect this train to gain speed, and I'm glad.
As a formally trained artist it's obvious that I have no issue with nudity, looking at it or being seen nude, and as a child of a New York hippie I have always been irked by double-standards. It has always boggled me why men are allowed to run around topless when women are not, and I'm not the only one. "Topless Freedom" is an issue being debated and protested all over the world, whether you are just hearing about it or not, it's been a long battle.
One of the biggest statements against women being allowed to brazenly bare their bodies wherever they please is that since men are more violent and prone to be "creepy" women are in greater danger when they are topless than men. The Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society has disproven that argument by baring themselves in the heavy population of metropolitan New York.
If women can be topless in New York without becoming victims because of their nudity, I would gamble that they can do so anywhere in the continental U.S. with the same safety. After all, New York gave us organized crime, so it's not a city without it's violence.
This group of book lovers has been enjoying their topless freedom, and nude freedom where allowed, for years now, and if they can enjoy the same safety that a clothed person has, it's obvious that being topless is equally safe as wearing a parka.
Whether you believe in topless freedom or not, the fact that there are so many people brazenly enjoying it throughout the country in safety proves that the safety argument is invalid.
Most wireless flash triggering systems are big and ugly. They remind me of early cell phones with copious amounts of plastic and awkward antennas all over the place. Even if you give up TTL and all the other fancy features, go back to basic off/on triggering, you still have an ugly piece of plastic stuck to your fancy camera, and if you use a modern mirror-less or micro 4/3 the problem is even worse.
The FlashQ project has designed the smallest wireless flash triggering system to date, and it's almost not ugly at all. It's definitely above the rest in style. There are really only two downsides to this system, the included sync cord will not work with my studio strobes and the project has not been fully funded (so it's not technically for sale yet). The list of "pros" is longer than the "cons" list though:
The smallest off camera flash ever, cool color options, 2.4GHz radio for around 20 meter range, 160 possible channels so you can shoot right next to someone using the same system and not interfere with each-others' flashes, compatible with almost any shoe-mount flash out there (and optional sync-cable for some studio strobes, anything is possible with the right cable), basic functionality allows for an incredible 100k+ triggers from a single battery, and the list goes on.
The sync speed is limited to 1/250s, even if your camera's SS is higher, so this might be a pain for some of those HSS-ers out there (but most flash systems are a pain for the HSS-ers, sorry guys).
After all is said and done, this is very similar to the setup I use every day. I stopped using TTL for my strobes a long time ago and adopted a basic wireless trigger system that offers very few features. I'm used to it, and I've become very familiar with my light's settings, even my hot-shoe flashes. This system is even smaller than the one I use (and I thought I had the smallest) and drastically more stylish.
Watch the video, then check out FlashQ!
Mr. Siyad Ma, who you see above being reunited with his precious Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.
If you haven't heard about Lenstag, check out my first post about it here, then download the program for your Android or Apple device. They are even improving their web based app for those people who don't have android/apple devices or prefer not to use them.
Lenstag is a user driven database of serial numbers and their corresponding camera/lens/flash/whatevers, verified ownership via user uploaded photos. You can flag your gear if it goes missing, and you can look up a piece of used gear before purchase to see if it was stolen or not. If you sell your gear, you can even transfer ownership. New features are being added all the time. Maybe it won't cut down theft, but it will prevent you from purchasing stolen property.
If you had any doubts about the effectiveness of this type of thing, Lenstag celebrates it's first recovery today. Philip Martin, who is being heralded as the most ethical man of the moment, recently bought several pieces of camera gear from a stranger on craigslist.org, unfortunately, Mr. Martin did not check Lenstag before purchase, but DID return the stolen gear AFTER purchase and realizing that he had bought stolen goods.
Taking the high road and returning stolen goods feels great, you become someone's hero, but by downloading the free Lenstag app, registering your gear, and checking the serial numbers of potential purchases for flags, you can be a hero AND save yourself the potential losses of possessing stolen property.
Please visit the homepage of Philip Martin, Lenstag, and read the first story about the success of Lenstag here.
Well, people will still steal, but since you have all this expensive camera and electronics gear, you might as well use the wonderfully simple tool called Lenstag.
Lenstag is free for your Android device or IPad/IPhone/IPod Touch. You download it, add your camera, lens, or whatever, take a photo of your serial number and that's it.
Cameras, lights, lenses, computers, all verified by photos of serial numbers. If you want to sell or trade your gear, you can transfer ownership through Lenstag, and if you want to buy a piece of used gear, you can look up serial numbers to see if it was reported stolen.
If you want to buy a used item and find the stolen item, you can even notify the owner, and since many used camera equipment renters and dealers are now using Lenstag, the chances of getting back your stolen gear have just gone up.
Maybe Lenstag won't stop people from stealing, but it will help diminish the outlets for stolen goods AND increase the chances a theft victim will get their property back. Since Lenstag is COMPLETELY FREE there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't start using this amazing app.
Click here to get Lenstag completely free!
My good friend and tattoo artist, Cynthia Davis will be tattooing in Chico, California this week at Eye of Jade Tattoo. Cynthia has been a professional tattooer for well over ten years and has been an artist for twice that amount.
Cynthia resides in Salem, Oregon and calls All American Tattoo her home base. If you don't have time to go to Oregon, this is a great chance to get some amazing work by one of the hardest working ,and generally cool, people in the industry.
This is the cover of my newest book, the first installment of a series compiled entirely of photos I've taken with Pentax cameras, film and digital. Pentax is an underrated brand, they make gorgeous equipment with impressive quality (they also offer plastic stuff that feels like toys, but so do all the other companies). This book is for sale on Amazon, via your Kindle or Android, and maybe some other devices that are Amazon compatible for the low price of 99 cents.
(begin rant section)
When I compiled this book, my original idea was to give it away completely free on every digital book service available as a way to inspire and encourage people to take photos and share them with the world. The title of this book includes a hashtag for a reason, to show that I post quite a bit of my material on Instagram. That was my dream, free for the world to have. Imagine my surprise when I found out that I simply CANNOT give digital books away via digital book services!
Kindle Press requires a minimum price of .99 cents. They allow you to offer the book for free for 5 days every 90 days. So this book will be free for those 5 days every three months, but I have to put a price on it for the other 85 days. I even contacted Kindle Press directly about this, they forwarded my message to their suggestion department, but confirmed that they don't really want people offering things for free.
I've started the process to offer this on the google play store, as they allow free offerings indefinitely, but it's a shame that Kindle is against free materials. The attitude of demanding money for everything is what turned me off of Apple products, I expected so much more from Amazon and Kindle.
So, until then, download my book for free March 1st - March 5th. If you want it after that, get it for under a buck or email me for a free copy.
70mm f/6.3 1/125s ISO100
Last week saw the release of my second book, and my first literary work: The Gentleman's Guide to Pipe Smoking. This book is an introductory guide to tobacco and tobacco pipes the world over, including history, materials and design of this uniquely human indulgence.
Pick up a copy In your favorite medium (paperback, hardcover, or digital) via Amazon, Lulu, or on my website (in the SHOP section) and learn the why's and wherefores of smoking a pipe.
70mm f/8 1/160s ISO100
On May 3rd 2012 Solo Comics will have it's grand opening in Lower Lake, California. I have had the pleasure of doing some promotional images for them, and will be doing more in the near future. You can learn more about Solo Comics at www.solo-comics.com of on facebook at www.facebook.com/solocomicshop .
Comic books have alwas been a source of inspiration for me artistically, they showed me that people could create wonderful stories with words and pictures, and that I could do the same. I am still a sucker for a really cool comic, and I still do my best every day to create images that people will enjoy.
The comic industry has changed over the years, matured along with its fans, and together we watch the internet quickly change the industry. I hope that the opening of this store inspires the next generation to read the comics of yesterday and today, and to create their own.
Tonight, I raise my glass to you, Solo Comics. May your reign be fierce and long!