Mt Hamilton, California (C)2005 KB. Yeah, this is a film image

The words you don’t want to see if you own a Canon: “ERR 99”

My 300D blinked them this afternoon. The manual suggested removing and replacing the battery. Nope. “ERR 99” again. Switched CF cards. ERR 99. Eventually, I gently lifted the mirror to look at the shutter.

Wow. Ouch.

~1 min read

Margo Davis Workshop

John Erhart

This past weekend was the Margo Davis “Photographing People” workshop, offered through UC Santa Cruz and given nearby in Palo Alto. This was actually the first sort of photo class I’ve taken since my brief distribution semester back at CalArts…

Margo is a well-known B&W portraitist and creator of the recent book and gallery show Under One Sky. The course brought in students of varying interests, levels of experience, and backgrounds; and she was great at being inclusive and attentive to all.

Margo is small and very kinetic — watching her work with another student as a subject, and then in her suggestions to my own shooting, I came to appreciate how that same (inate?) kinesthetic and spatial sense could be (and was) reflected in her way of posing subjects, moving the camera, etc.

I was happy with the experience because I learned a lot of things that I wasn’t really expecting to learn from really everyone there, including the formal characteristics of what Margo describes as “edge of the forest” lighting, which is what I used for the portrait at right, of activist and co-student John Erhart.

I’ll try to post some other photos from the workshop to flickr in coming days, under the shared tag margo_davis.

Hacked-Up Life

Empty Desk = Empty Mind I had meant to spend a couple of brief minutes this morning writing about how incredibly busy I have been in recent days, how fragmented it often seems as I leap between multiple tasks roles/mental frameworks/whatever hat-related-metaphors. Funny thing is that I was too busy to get to it. Well, not that funny.

The five computers (sharing four monitors) on my desk (plus the hidden sixth one, used to snap the pic) are only the start — the snap doesn’t show the other three computers on my workdesk at home (augmented by the traveling Dell as #4) or the Tivo or the kids or the actual physical 43 folders sitting next to the kitchen phone or the developer events or the time spent trying to prove to myself that I am actually a social person or the workouts or the latest stack of books that’s been growing and spreading in the space around my bed (still no time for Happiness BTW).

2 min read

As If I Were Surprised

From the Merc: Silicon Valley Hurting for Culture

“A majority of regional leaders believe Silicon Valley is losing ground in its ability to attract a creative workforce, in part because of an inadequate cultural environment, according to a new survey.”

What seems evident from my silicon valley cubicle is that there are biases within the question itself which point a finger directly at the reasons for this perceived lack. The purpose of the arts is not to enhance the creativity (read: economic value) of the general workforce.

~1 min read

No Excuse


I keep telling myself that my perpetual smirk came from a diving accident about five years ago. Today I found this old cardkey for the DP Cray lab. Another theory shot to hell!

“Senior Technical Director” w00t!