Aanand Prasad, pictured above, has written an amusing — and exhaustive — guide to taking selfies:
Do you ever hate how you look in photos taken by other people? That’s because other people have no clue how to make you look good. But you can very easily learn how.
Selfies have been a positive force in my life ever since I came across the wonderful #dudetime and its gently radical flipping of the default male gaze. If you think selfies are bad for any reason, I don’t want to know. I suggest getting in a bin and sharing your bad opinions with the other trash.
The target audience is straight dudes, but there are tips in here for everyone. He covers topics like lighting, camera angles, facial expressions, backgrounds, composition, and more.
Here’s an iPhone photo I snapped yesterday that I think illustrates the early evening feel around the Columbia campus.
I took this at about 6:30 p.m. from a pedestrian overpass that connects the 116th street campus to the Law School, looking south on Amsterdam.
The sun had gone down, the temperature was falling, and folks were hustling to and from campus. A moment captured in time, as they say.
Photographic cliché or not, I am a sucker for sunsets.
I often post Bangkok sunset pics to my Instagram feed (I’m @newley). And I just realized I’ve snapped many such images over the last year or so.
Here are some of my faves. All images were taken with an iPod Touch or an iPhone 3GS, and all — except for the very last one — were processed with Instagram filters.
I took this one from Suvarnabhumi airport:
Here’s the gloaming as seen from my office:
And finally, this one may be my favorite. I didn’t apply any filters or effects:
Okay. Thanks for indulging my inner Ansel Adams. Normal programming will resume shortly…
Some links that have caught my eye of late:
- Facebook Exodus [NYTimes.com] — "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. Facebook, the online social grid, could not command loyalty forever…"
- Bumpy Pitch — retro US soccer shirts. — Very cool. Love the Beth Steel FC tee, especially.
- The Chart of Fantasy Art [The Publisher Files] — Which artistic elements are most common on fantasy book covers? Swords and "glowy magic" lead the way…
- "Best of Wikipedia" — [bestofwikipedia.tumblr.com] — Via kottke.org
- "We Can't Afford to Ignore Myanmar" — Sen. Jim Webb's NY Times op-ed — US Sen. Jim Webb writes about his recent visit to Myanmar, US engagement, and China's influence.
- Showcase: Forgotten Elephants [Lens Blog — NYTimes.com] — "Once the revered symbol of Thai culture, the backbone of industry and the protector of the country’s sovereignty during war, elephants now wander the streets of Bangkok, reduced to providing rides for tourists and helping their owners beg for their next meal."
- Is Britain really like The Wire? [BBC} — "It's a TV series featuring murderous villains, cynical politicians and corrupt, lazy detectives. Fans of The Wire say it's a realistic portrayal of American poverty, violence and hopelessness. But what, if anything, do the mean streets of Baltimore, Maryland, have to do with Britain?"
- Old Growth Media And The Future Of News [StevenBerlinJohnson.com] — "I think that steady transformation from desert to jungle may be the single most important trend we should be looking at when we talk about the future of news."
- "Twitter Postings: Iterative Design" [Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox] — How to write easy-to-read tweets.
Striking images from The Big Picture: The year 2008 in photographs.
Google’s new LIFE photo archive is an impressive online collection of recently-digitized images dating back to the 1750s.
A search for “1975,” the year I was born, yields some interesting results. Some notable TIME covers from 33 years ago that prove there’s nothing new under the sun: “Can Capitalism Survive?” (see: the global money crisis) and — better yet — “Rebates and Smaller Cars: Detroit’s Big Gamble,” pictured above (see: the the proposed Detroit bailout).
Same with 1948, the year my parents were born.
And I’ve also enjoyed perusing the images from 1920, my 88-year-old grandmother‘s birth year. A few pics from that year that caught my eye include:
— “Typical 1920s big city street…“
— “Three women in classic 1920’s attire…“
— “The 1920 Yale News Board magazine edit staff…“
— “Model wearing fashionable satin dress and coat very indicative of 1920’s style.“
–“3rd Ave. elevated railroad running alongside the Bowery.“
You can find more info about the LIFE photo archive on the Google blog:
The Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination; The Mansell Collection from London; Dahlstrom glass plates of New York and environs from the 1880s; and the entire works left to the collection from LIFE photographers Alfred Eisenstaedt, Gjon Mili, and Nina Leen. These are just some of the things you’ll see in Google Image Search today.
We’re excited to announce the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive. This effort to bring offline images online was inspired by our mission to organize all the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.
Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We’re digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos.
Thanks to the eagle-eyed KB for discovering that a photo I took here in Bangkok in October, 2006 has made its way into an Internet meme ((Related newley.com post: “My Buddy Lands a Deer — A Mile Offshore“; verification at Snopes.com: “Deerly Departed.”)) featuring funny photos of motorcycles and motorcyclists.
Above is the image. Someone grabbed it from my Flickr photostream and added it to this collection of photos purporting to document silly scenes ((Many of the images remind me of “Bikes of Burden,” a book that, in fact, contains authentic images from Vietnam.)) in Vietnam. (Many of the images in this Web collection are from other parts of Asia, it appears.) Someone in KB’s master’s degree program at a Bangkok university forwarded her the email and the images, and KB recognized my pic among the others.
While I’m no stranger to Vietnam, I actually snapped the image above — hat tip to A for spotting the guy that day — in the Bang Na area of Bangkok on a Saturday afternoon. The driver seemed to be transporting the bucket on his head since he had no other way to carry it.
But I like the appended caption better: “No helmet – no problem. I got what I need.”
Don’t miss “Scenes from India,” from the Boston Globe’s exceptional photo blog.
Number 19 — the pic of the Bengal tiger being returned to the wild — is one of my favorites. Number 24, the shot of the human pyramid, is also incredible.
(My own meager attempts to make compelling photos in India can be found here and here.)