sylvar: (Default)
A Flickr user tipped me off that PopSci has used a photo of mine with credit in this story about red-light cameras: "Unbelivable cheapskates, a big magazine company stealing from flickr instead of goint to a microstock company for $5.00. You wuz robbed..."

I'm guessing that user had a similar photo on a microstock company's site and was selling it for $5.00. :)
sylvar: (Default)
I've finally got all the photos uploaded and mapped; tagging can come later.

Follow these links to see lots more photos:

Krista's Wedding Weekend (the short version) -- also available as a slide show without explanations.

If you're a photography glutton, you can also see all the photos.

But here are the two that I like best:

Krista's Wedding Weekend - Photo 070
Love, a pillar of strength.


Krista's Wedding Weekend - Photo 293
If you've never met the bride and groom before, at least now you can say you know them.
sylvar: (B5: Sheridan: Big Damn Hero)
Three things that made me happy today:
  • Resigning from both chess games with honor, and realizing that I enjoyed them enough that it didn't matter that I lost.  I'll probably return to those boards in a few days to analyze them.
  • Having an early VD with Jodi (dinner and a movie)
  • Specifically, watching Sweet Land (about which more later, probably in a day or two) and talking about it afterward.  For now, I'll just quote without context: "Hallo, hems."  And I want an icon of Brownie's "Have more pie" line.
Three things I accomplished today:
  • Configuring the assistant director's new Treo smartphone to connect to the Exchange server
  • Taking some pretty good photographs of one of the new employees, for our website
  • Finding a supplier for custom compounded medication for Pied, and then finding an even better supplier after she started drooling, Turner and Hooch-style, following the administration of 1mL suspension p.o. (apparently the fish flavoring is what did it; the better supplier makes their own fish flavoring from scratch)
sylvar: (Default)
I took a bunch of photos yesterday on the way to getting my hair cut, including some great ones at the Let Them Eat Cake bakery. I used the new Cosina 19-35mm wide-angle zoom lens and got some great shots that would've been impossible without it, like this one.

Picture 097

Not bad for an $80 lens!
sylvar: (Oh purr!)
Now that the holiday season is drawing to a close, I've used some gift money to treat myself to a few things I've been wanting:
I also got a few things that weren't just for me:
And if I can just find out where exactly Office Depot delivered my assortment of disposable fountain pens, I'll have fun with those soon too.

Bed shopping is continuing.  It occurs to me that maybe we should buy a low-profile foundation first, and then if that doesn't provide the support Jodi needs, we could go for a new mattress.
sylvar: (Default)


I've posted 37 photos (in a row) from our visit to Duke Gardens. I hadn't uploaded them until tonight because conference photos ate up most of my capacity for October, but tonight I felt confident that I wouldn't have any reason to upload dozens of photos until November.

Click the photo to see the entire set.

sylvar: (Default)
  • Free dinner at Trang Viet Cuisine.

  • Watched a Babylon 5 episode ("Sic Transit Vir") with Jodi, who rarely has any interest in it, but put up with it for my birthday -- and Amanda, who is watching the whole series with me (we're on S5E02 next, which I think has the Declaration of Principles).

  • Will watch an episode of Buffy (S2E01, whatever that turns out to be) soon.


  • A bit of drama, but that's how LJ is sometimes. I might should have put my birthday stuff into a different post. Ah well. I know y'all wish only the best for us, and I love you for it.

    For the record, Jodi is quite capable of handling graduate work; she's taken many graduate seminars and been graded as a graduate student (and earned good grades even by grad-student standards), and the organizer of the PIKSI all-expenses-paid trip told her that her references are glowing. And we do regularly discuss the job prospects available in this area that don't involve four hours a day waiting for hourly bus routes to connect. But she's gung-ho on GRE prep, to which the thousands of filed index cards for vocabulary study will attest. And that's going to not only get her into graduate school, but get her fully funded somewhere. She's not as dumb as I look. ;)

    I didn't like the idea of selling the camera. At first, I downright hated the idea. But it gradually dawned on me that it was the single most powerful thing I can do to move in the right direction, and now I think it's a darned good idea. A bit humbling, but wise. When I have enough free time, I'll write some more crossword puzzles or sell some articles, and I'll use the proceeds to get a decent digital with some sort of optical zoom. I really don't need pro-am gear, I just 'shiny' it.

    The road trip is still on; Dad's paying for gasoline and we're gonna use CouchSurfing.com to find places to sleep. (If you know someone in Nashville, St. Louis, DeKalb, Milwaukee, Kalamazoo, Oxford OH, Cleveland, Kent OH, Boston, Blacksburg VA, or Atlanta who would like some polite houseguests who plan to bring a gift like some key lime juice or other Floridiana, let me know!) So it's basically just food for an expense, and we were planning to eat some of that anyway. (Though not necessarily the likes of R. Thomas, Giordano's, or equivalent legendary foodstuffs of the cities we're visiting. For that matter, if you know a must-eat food along the way, speak up! We're already planning to have some frozen custard, too.)

    And by the way, we DO have air conditioning in the car; it was my dad's graduation present to Jodi and his birthday present to me, and a very generous present at that. So it's all good.

    We should really have some sort of get-together so people can hear more about our lives than I have time to post. Who's interested?
    sylvar: (Default)
    I've now got an occupational license ($11 for a half year), a Florida tax certificate, and an IRS employer ID number. I expect my employer will approve my official request for outside employment, since it doesn't conflict with their interests, and then I'll officially have a side business. I've already registered with CompUSA and Costco.

    My dad is my model for a successful independent business owner, and he's proud to give me advice. I've also had very helpful advice from [livejournal.com profile] gardenwaltz and others.

    Since I'm starting in the red, I'm trying to be careful about expenses. Model releases, if I need them, can be printed on 4x6 cards and filed in an index-card box I already own. I can burn CDs on a computer that's already in our household, and I can find a cheap filing thingy to store all necessary paperwork. I should probably get some sort of order/receipt form, too. And business cards would be a nice touch. Oh, padded mailers, of course.

    On the other hand, I don't yet need a DVD burner with LightScribe (though that would be classy; you can burn a photo's image onto the surface), so that's $130 Costco won't be getting. And therefore I don't need any DVD blanks. If I find a steady stream of income, I might start saving up for the next Dell half-off laptop sale; my current laptop has only 1GB free space (of 6GB) and USB 1.x, making it unlikely to be useful for quick turnaround at a shoot. Then again, perhaps nobody wants just the CDs. Perhaps most people want me to send them prints in an album or something. We'll see. And later, again if there's a reason to do so, I might try full-color business cards. Meanwhile, I'm using a free online spreadsheet for my records. I want to keep this lean unless there's a really good reason to invest more.

    PS to [livejournal.com profile] kiarrh: if you have a wildflower vanity plate, I think I saw you coming home on MLK around quarter to seven. I was one of the guys passing your column of traffic in the other lane, getting around that truck before the I-75 on-ramp.

    New camera

    May. 20th, 2006 07:42 pm
    sylvar: (Oh purr!)
    Well, I got the new camera. It's liberating to be able to burn through a dozen shots in four seconds and not be spending any money on film. And if I didn't quite get the right framing, I can see that instantly. (Or I can just try fifty slightly different approaches and sort through them later.)


    Tupperware olive keeper melted into a burnerHere's one of the first photos I took with the camera. This happened a few weeks ago, but I saved my mistake so I could take pictures of it. The burner wasn't on, but it was above the oven's heat vent... oops.

    The really nice thing about a digital camera is that you don't have to guess when you took it, or even how you took it. It's all in the EXIF. And I've even figured out how to put my name into the camera so that the EXIF data on future photos will say Owner Name: Ben Ostrowsky.

    A friend I see too seldom had a great idea -- itinerant portraiture (by appointment) of kids and moms at public parks. And since she's a stay-at-home mom, she has (in addition to some experience in every occupation imaginable) an informal social network bigger than Myspace. So I will probably give this a try some weekend soon.

    Which means I should get my occupational certificate really soon, since I've already got my state sales tax certificate. (It's not only a responsibility to collect and pay sales taxes for tangibles like a CD of photos, it's also the ticket to a corporate account at CompUSA for better prices on a good USB extension cable, a DVD burner, or anything else that has a justifiable use for a semi-pro photographer.)
    sylvar: (HIMYM: The Finger Thing)
    I've realized that I really enjoy photography and I want to explore turning it into a side business. I've got a Federal EIN and a state sales tax certificate on the way, and I'll pick up a county occupational license soon.

    The stack of library books about the business of photography all seem to assume I want to be a copyright baron. I don't. I'd prefer to sell my services as a wedding/event photographer and provide my customers with CDs and a written license to do as they please with the images.

    I need to figure out what legal forms to use so that I don't lose my shirt if I get sick the day before the wedding and Bridezilla sues me for malpractice. Perhaps one of these books will have sample wording.

    Also, I need to get in some serious practice. I bought the digital camera I've been lusting after, but I need to know its limits: How many shots can I get in 60 seconds? How long until the flash recharges? How long until I run out of battery power for the flash and/or camera?

    Then there's my limits. How long can I run around the room before I need water and a protein bar, and can I snarf them discreetly without missing a shot or smudging the gear? Can I stay focused for hours on end? Can I remember to get all of the standard shots (waist-high individual shots of each attendant, ceremony stuff, kissing, rice, etc.) and actually pull it off with no do-overs?

    Of course, that's wedding photography -- it's an entire sub-discipline. I'd also enjoy selling rights to stock photos, selling framed prints of nature shots, maybe a bit of pro-am stringer photojournalism... the nice thing about a sideline is the freedom to dabble.

    I suspect the best thing for me to do is photograph a street fair and figure out my limits. Tropical Heatwave is this weekend... hmm...

    On the other hand, if anyone needs an event photographer and wants to give me a chance, let's talk!
    sylvar: (Default)
    I've taken a few pretty good photos recently:




    Seagrape blossom
    Seagrape blossom
    and wasp (?) pollinating it



    2 more photo thumbnails )


    I've also gotten a few contributions to the "buy Ben a better camera" fund. If you've got something to buy, it doesn't hurt to use my link to Amazon.com, and it helps me. Thanks to those who have gotten this katamari rolling!

    I wonder if any of my photos are interesting enough to sell framed prints of, say in a coffeehouse...
    sylvar: (HIMYM: The Finger Thing)
    My camera is having some shutter problems:



    This will cost so much to fix that I'm seriously considering replacing the camera body with the Canon Digital Rebel XT (the lenses and flash unit are compatible). With the $100 rebate, which lasts until mid-July, replacing the 35mm camera would cost as much as getting it repaired and shooting 50 rolls of film.

    I've gotten pretty good with a camera, I think.

    Pattern interrupted by a dove Plumeria Milan street seen from the roof of the Duomo Foucault's Pendulum

    I'd love to not have to worry about whether I'm wasting film; I'd get more good shots to share with everyone. And I do mean everyone, since I use a Creative Commons license.

    If anyone would like to contribute, an Amazon.com gift certificate to sylvar@vaxer.net would be the ideal way to do so. I told [livejournal.com profile] cardinalximinez that I wouldn't set up a tip jar for fear of getting my ego crushed. Oh well, go ahead and crush me.

    Or, if you feel generous, send me a gift certificate.

     
    sylvar: (Default)
    I finally found and sorted through my archives of photos -- several shoeboxes worth -- and I was about to take them to Walgreens for scanning at $2.99 ($3.99?) per CD, with about 100 pictures per CD. And then I found out that they changed the pricing model about a month ago. Now it's 39 cents per photo (with a minimum of ten photos).

    So does anyone know about a scanning service that's comparably priced? I'll scan 'em myself if I absolutely have to, but this was going to be a great way to put almost 15 years of photography onto Flickr with a Creative Commons license. (I've already had photos used by a Scandinavian newspaper and (soon) a British physics journal.)

    Damn, damn, DAMN my delay!
    sylvar: (Default)

    Distributor and spark plug wires?

    My mechanic wanted to know if I have a four-cylinder engine. I think so, based on this photo, but I emailed it to him just in case. I love the Internet!

    Photo meme

    Jul. 22nd, 2005 03:07 pm
    sylvar: (Default)
    OK, [livejournal.com profile] jitterbug5bi5 asked me to do this, so here goes:

    Request a picture. You can request anything you want--a picture of something in my house, in my life, at my school, in my city, ANYTHING. I will either post a picture that I already have, or I will take a new one.

    Then post this in your own journal and name five LJ users you'd like to do the same.
    1. [livejournal.com profile] heyharmony
    2. [livejournal.com profile] poppinjaye
    3. [livejournal.com profile] bethlynn
    4. [livejournal.com profile] moxymoth
    5. [livejournal.com profile] stonegargoyle
    sylvar: (Default)

    Leslie's graduation

    Boy, do I need a haircut or what?

    Anyway, as soon as I saw this photo, I knew I had to respond. So I hijacked a classroom LCD projector, balanced the camera on top of an overhead projector, set the self-timer, and...

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