Viewfinder: Sloth


To celebrate her birthday, my friend and coworker Karlie brought a sort of traveling zoo to her home. This capture of Karlie with a sloth is why you, as a photographer, should resist the urge to tell people to smile or pose. Wait for them to do it on their own; the results are so much better.  

Weekly Reader: November 13, 2017

Help Name a Kuiper Belt Object!

My vote is for "Ziggy Stardust." Or "Mitch." 

Scientists knew that New Horizons would keep going past Pluto and head into the Kuiper Belt, and hoped that NASA might give them a mission extension to explore one. Hubble Space Telescope was used to search the volume of space the probe would fly through, and MU69 was found.

The encounter with this odd object is only a little over a year away, and the New Horizons team has decided to do something fun: They need a nickname for MU69, and they want your help.

Instagram is Loving Nature to Death

"Five years ago, Horseshoe Bend saw only a thousand visitors in a year. But this year, over 4,000 people a day have come to see the bend, take selfies at the rim, and dangle their feet over the exposed edge. All this traffic has put a lot of strain on the attraction, or at least its parking lot. So on November 6, construction began on new parking amenities and a platform at the canyon’s edge complete with railing and signs to safely handle all the new visitors. Once complete, the bend will be a perfect tourist attraction with great parking, water, and shade. But the wild beauty that brought so many here in the first place will be gone."

Tiny Desk Concert: Ani DiFranco

I adore Tiny Desk Concerts, and I ADORE Ani. So this isn't so much a "Reader" as a "Watcher" but IT'S MY WEBSITE, SO SHUT UP.  

Viewfinder: Fort Knoxious Gas

Couple things: 

1) I came up with a better name for my daily-ish photography posts, so now they're called "Viewfinder" instead of "Eye Level." Please excuse this bit of meta. 

2) I dedicated a whole post yesterday to my niece, so I wanted to include one more photo from her first birthday party—this one of her big brother, Knox, my nephew. I adore this kid, who'll turn four in February.

The day he was born, I locked myself in a bathroom off the hospital waiting room and bawled my eyes out—for the world he was coming into, for the passage of time, for my brother and sister-in-law, for all the people like my grandfather, Brian's brother, and my aunt Betty who'd never get to meet him, for myself and my (absolutely correct and spot-on but still occasionally difficult) decision to live a childless life. I cried for joy and sorrow and hunger and tiredness and hope and despair, because they were all turned up to a hundred in that instant. 

I love you, buddy. You make all our lives so infinitely better. 


Ol' Blue Eyed Heartbreaker


I hinted at this in my last post, but I'm super behind on processing photos. A decade ago, before I knew jack about photography, I enjoyed the process. Part of this was ignorance; part of it was a different time. iPhoto was a really handy way for an amateur to set up a workflow, and I was still running CS2, through which I'd purchased and/or downloaded access to a bunch of handy actions—not knowing, of course, that this was a pretty Basic Bitch move, but at the time, it seemed kicky and fun.

Anyway, these days it's less fun, and working fifty hours a week publishing a magazine that features some of the best photographers around is a good reminder of my own shortcomings. I no longer carry a DSLR camera with me everywhere—though I may change this habit. 

But you guys. Look at these photos from my niece's first birthday party this past August. I MEAN LOOK AT HER, YOU GUYS. 







She's one year old, and I'm 100 percent enchanted by her. I spent an enormous amount of time processing these photos, because my uncle heart is entirely in love, and I wanted to get them just right. I'm excited to see the girl and the woman she's going to become. I'm only thirty-seven, but my awareness of the passage of time seems to get more acute every day. It's started to sting, watching Greer and her brother get bigger, for their abilities and vocabulary and fine motor skills to grow. It's the most exquisite kind of pain, watching a child you love get bigger and bigger. 

So super belated Happy Birthday, my blue-eyed heartbreaker. Twenty more years, I promise to teach you all about bourbon and hold your hair when it all goes horribly, horribly wrong. 

Eye Level: In Paradise


Our first morning in Kauai, we took a sunrise stroll along Shipwreck's Beach and encountered this bit of glory. I haven't processed any of the photos from my DSLR yet, but I am going to try to do that this week. In the meantime—wow, right? Wow. We've been back a week and a half, and my withdrawal symptoms get worse daily.

Weekly Reader: November 6, 2017

Weekly Reader: November 6, 2017

Recently, I went in search of remnants of my former blog on the Internet Archive. One of the results of this trip down memory lane is a resurrection of my "Weekly Reader," a roundup of my favorite links from the week. Consider this your invitation to waste time while at work. 

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