AnalogSenses

By ÁLVARO SERRANO

The “Nail Houses” of China →

April 24, 2015 |

Fantastic photo essay by Alan Taylor for The Atlantic:

Across China, where new developments are keeping pace with the rapidly growing economy, reports continue to surface so-called “nail houses”. These properties, standing alone amid the ruins of other buildings, belong to owners who have stood their ground and resisted demolition. Defiant property owners say the compensation being offered is too low. Some of them have remained in their homes for years as their court cases drag on and new construction continues all around them. A few homeowners have won their fights, but most have lost. Meanwhile, these nail houses have become powerful symbols of resistance against the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

It’s unreal, but this is how far people are willing to go to protect their homes.

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Waterfall Season →

April 24, 2015 |

Jordan Steele, having lots of fun shooting waterfalls:

Spring is in the air, and the world is turning green once again. Spring is also the time when many waterfalls tend to run at their fullest, so now is an ideal time for photographing waterfalls. I’ve taken advantage of some of the flow already, though a few weeks more will bring brighter and more lush vegetation surrounding these lovely natural features.

If you haven’t tried your hand at shooting waterfalls, or are looking for some help in getting the most out your waterfall photos, here are some important things to keep in mind.

There are some really useful tips in this piece about the proper use of tripods, polarizing and neutral density filters, etc. These are essential tools that can make quite a huge difference in your images, and the gorgeous examples in Jordan’s article make an excellent job of showing their real-world benefits:

Now, take a look at the result with a polarizing filter. The processing on the two images is nearly identical (I did some finer color correction on the one below, since it was the one I finalized for print). The glare on the rocks is gone, showing the texture of the stone. The glare on the water is also gone, allowing the blue color of the water to shine through as well as extra detail in the sandstone gorge bottom. The overall effect is striking.

Striking, indeed. If you enjoy shooting natural landscapes, the polarizing filter should be your best friend.

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Felix and the Danish Cyclist Test →

April 24, 2015 |

Mikael Colville-Andersen describes the Cycling Test that kids need to pass in many Danish schools:

The test has been around since 1947. It’s not mandatory but many schools choose to do it. When kids are in the 1st grade they get a week of initial cyclist “how-to” regarding rules of the road, etc. Then, in 6th grade, they rock the test like today. In my opinion, the test is great but it’s also rather symbolic. Most of these kids have been cycling in the city since they were little. Felix has rocked the cycle tracks since he was three and a half. Parents teach them the rules and, most important, give them the practice they need. By the time they get to the 6th grade, the majority have a great deal of on-asphalt experience on their bicycles. Our school chooses to make passing the test a pre-requisite for going on outings by bike when they get older.

It’s such a different story around these parts. I’d love to see my future kids grow up in a bicycle-friendly environment like Copenhagen. But even Copenhagen isn’t perfect:

You can, however, see how the Culture of Fear has influenced things even here in Denmark. In the emails leading up to the day it was stated that helmets had to be worn. I informed the teacher responsible that Felix doesn’t wear a helmet and a longer discussion ensued. It’s clear that the Danish Road Safety Council have influenced a lot of people with their wacko ideology. I was informed that the school’s traffic policy requires helmets. I looked it up - it doesn’t. They merely “urge” students to wear them. I was told he could borrow a helmet. I asked if they were washed and disinfected. They weren’t.

Then I was told it wasn’t up to the school but that I would have to talk to the Danish Road Safety Council or the police. I responded that the Road Safety Council is just an NGO and has no power and the police merely refer to the Danish traffic law which doesn’t require helmets. At the end of the day I was told I could sign a form exempting Felix from wearing a helmet. Fine. Except there is no form and Felix just did as he pleased.

The helmet debate is one of the most annoying, time-consuming “issues” in modern urban cycling, and it’s still far from being resolved.

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Adobe releases Lightroom 6 and Lightroom CC Update →

April 22, 2015 |

This Lightroom update caught me by surprise. A word of caution for subscribers of the CC version, though: I’ve seen several reports of problems when upgrading via Adobe’s Creative Cloud application. For what it’s worth, I upgraded it on my main machine without any issues whatsoever.

Being a CC subscriber myself, I didn’t give it much thought before upgrading, but owners of the standalone version of Lightroom 5 will have to check out the changes to decide whether the upgrade is worth it for them. I haven’t had much time to play with it yet, but this review by The Phoblographer covers all new features and changes in the new version. They liked it enough to give it an Editor’s Choice award, so it seems like a solid update.

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The Glif by Studio Neat over at Tools & Toys →

April 22, 2015 |

I’ve always been curious about the Glif, the nifty little iPhone stand by Studio Neat. Josh Ginter’s fantastic review over at Tools & Toys has confirmed what I’ve long suspected about it: I really should add it to my camera kit.

As a side note, I found this review to be particularly interesting in the photographic department. This is the first time — to the best of my knowledge — I’ve seen a product review shot with Olympus’s new 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens, and the results are stellar.

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