Facebook, Twitter, and Paper Shredders

I gave up Facebook and Twitter for Lent.

Well, I gave up most of Facebook1 and Twitter for Lent. I’m allowing myself five minutes of time on Facebook and Twitter each day (total for the both of them, and no rollover minutes). And even then, the only reason I’m doing that is because there are still some critical communications and event planning that occur through them. I don’t want to be completely antisocial, you know. I also want to be able to respond to @ reply’s on Twitter. So the five minute limit is really just designed so I can get in, do what I need to do, and get out.

I figured this was a good thing to give up for Lent because I found myself constantly checking Facebook and Twitter even when I had no good reason to. Basically, if I was bored or didn’t have anything fun to do (which should not be confused with not having anything to do) I would check those sites. The most annoying thing was that I found myself doing that the first thing in the morning while eating breakfast. I would sit there in my pajamas, eating my cereal, scrolling through the Facebook updates with one finger on my Android phone.

And so it was.

Yesterday, I went to Costco to get some supplies and made a somewhat big-for-me purchase (it was $50…not that big I suppose, but still). I got home and broke my new toy out of its packaging and thought about posting something witty about it on Twitter. I started thinking about what I could say in 140 characters or less.

Then I remembered that I couldn’t. Because I gave it up for Lent2. I actually kind of felt sad! That’s when I knew that giving up Twitter was probably a good idea.

I also think Twitter — and even Facebook to some degree — have contributed to my lack of posting here. Why write out 300, or 750, or even 1500 words on something when I can be lazy and write 140 characters?

This brings me to by big announcement: I bought a paper shredder, which makes me feel like an adult. But oh how I like to shred!3

Now, the whole irony of this thing is that new posts on my blog get automatically tweeted to Twitter, and then pushed to Facebook. But that’s pretty much the only activity you’re going to see from me on Facebook and Twitter until April 24th.

Anyone else give anything up?


  1. which is quite incredible considering that just give years ago I passed up on giving up Facebook for Lent because “I’m really not that into Facebook (I might check it every three days or so)“…Facebook, you time sucking bastard. 

  2. who’s silly idea was that? 

  3. 90 characters 

Spring 2010 Portfolio, Art Show, and the UW Garage

It’s been a while since I’ve inducted photos into my portfolio, which is a shame because I’ve had some amazing experience and photographic opportunities over the last year or so. Typically, I did portfolio inductions in coordination with the Spring/Fall photo exhibit at school. Since I’m graduated, I have really had a chance to display my work (although I have made two photo books).

Seattle Academy, my alma avia1, is hosting an Alumni Art Show in the spring, and it’s been so long since I’ve done an art show that I decided to submit two pieces.

I’m planning on submitting them as 30″ x 20″ pieces, which is the largest format I have submitted to date. There are a couple of technical issues to overcome as well. First, is can I even get a decent print at that size for a decent cost? The answer is yes; Costco is on the low end at $8.99, while Kodak Gallery is on the higher end (of this little experiment) at $27.99 for Profession Matte prints. SnapFish and ShutterFly are in the middle in terms of cost. Kodak obviously uses their KODAK Professional Color paper, and Shutter fly uses Fujicolor Crystal Archive photographic paper2, but I can’t figure out what everyone else uses.

Framing is currently going to be done with an Ikea RIBBA frame, which will fit a 19.75″ x 27.5″ photo, which is only a titch smaller than the print. It also comes with a mat, although I’m not sure of its quality since it’s paper.

The other issue is can I really get away with printing at that size? Here’s the math:
My Nikon D70 takes 6.1 megapixel photos at a ratio of 3008 x 2000 effective pixels: \frac{3008 \mathrm{\ pixels}}{30 \mathrm{\ inches}} \approx  100 \mathrm{\ DPI}

Costco recommends a minimum 115 DPI, SnapFish says 90 DPI, and ShutterFly says 66.6 DPI. Ideally, I would be printing closer to 200 DPI.


However, the other thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the arc length. It would seem to me that if you maintain the same arc angle, as if you had printed it at 200 DPI, since the radius would have to increase, the DPAA (Dots per Arc Angle) would remain constant. In short, if you stand back farther, which you should do since it’s a bigger photo, it should look just fine.

This is all really perfect timing as I just got back to shooting some fun stuff, which I haven’t gotten to do in a while.

I like to wait a couple months before I add new photos to my portfolio, so these won’t make it this time. But enjoy them all the same.

A couple weekends ago I walked around the UW Quad and shoot the cherry blossoms.

DSC_6239
48.0 mm || 1/500 || f/4.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States


DSC_6270
50.0 mm || 1/400 || f/1.8 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

This past weekend, I participated in the Seattle Flickr Meetup where I got to play around with some off-camera lighting, including a ring flash, for the UW Garage 11 event. I spent most of the time mentoring another fellow on off-camera lighting, so I decided to get some more practice with my 50mm and be a bit more creative in the Lightroom3.

DSC_6369
50.0 mm || 1/125 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

DSC_6368
50.0 mm || 1/125 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States


DSC_6374
50.0 mm || 1/125 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States


DSC_6382
50.0 mm || 1/125 || f/5.0 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

Special thanks to the models: Vivian Luu (top) and Aisha Rose (bottom).

Anyway, I’m going to be working on selected the next portfolio inductions. Feel free to shout out any favorite photos you have from the last year or so.


  1. alma mater is Latin for “nourishing mother”, “alma avia” is Latin for “nourishing grandmother”, which seems like the appropriate relation for my high school 

  2. Have I become that pretentious? 

  3. A darkroom is the place where film is usually developed. Lightroom is a digital darkroom program made by Adobe for editing photos 

The Free Range Method

After talking with many great people, I think I finally have a plan.

There are really two parts to this story, however I’m going to tell them in reverse order.

On Monday, I was feeling quite anxious. I’ve been feeling rather anxious all semester and I wasn’t entirely sure why. I went to More on Mondays, which is a targeted “seminar” that The Annex arranges. This past Monday was specifically for graduating seniors and they brought Cindy Smith, a woman who specializes in transition. Cindy usually deals with missionaries, expatriates, and repatriation. But being a senior is not entirely different. She provided us with a slide that shows the major steps of transition and then walked us through them:
transition
Click image to embiggen

This was really helpful. Just realizing that transition, especially on this scale, can be stressful and chaotic. This also helped me realize another thing: transitioning from college/Colorado to mission trip to work/Seattle would be way to much for me to handle. So I pretty much have nixed the idea of doing a mission trip over the summer, and I think it’s a good call.

Second, I talked with Jessica a couple weeks ago. She spent last fall traveling for about two months in Europe, which is great because that’s basically what I want to do – although I may go farther East than she did. I also filled in some important details of my trip. For me, it will probably cost about $4k-$5k, which is a lot, but I don’t think unreasonably so. I saved at least $1000 by using airline miles to fly from the US to Europe (assuming there isn’t some insane “fee” for booking said flight). Keeping cash on hand seems the way to go, which is what I remembered from my trip to Europe a couple years ago (I paid cash for everything…still have some left over, too).

In terms of getting around, Jessica said that using RyanAir (which I’d heard of) and easyJet (which I had not heard of) were probably better than getting a Eurail pass, although I don’t have to make that call just yet. In terms of sleeping accommodations, HostelWorld.com is the site to visit. I poked around it a bit and it seems really easy to use and should fit the bill just perfectly. The Lonely Planet series of books is what Jessica used, I currently have one on reserve at the library to see if I like the format and what they cover. If not, I may just end up using Rick Steves’. Or just wing it.

The plan, thus far, looks something like this: fly into and out of Europe via Paris or Frankfurt using airline miles. Spend several days in each city until I’m ready to move on to another city. Use HostelWorld to find places to sleep and meet new people. Theoretically find some other people travel with at a hostel and join them for a little while. Rinse and repeat. I’m calling this the free range method.

I would like to list out some places that I would like to visit, although I don’t want to attach a particular time or order in which to visit them. I think this will help move my journey along.

One of the other major things that I need to resolve is what I’m bringing. I would like to bring some photography equipment, but I’m not sure what and how much. There’s also the problem about what to do with all my photographs after I take them. Since I shoot in RAW, I need some special equipment and software to do any sort of editing, I can’t just upload them to Flickr. Do I want to just bring a stack of memory cards? I’m thinking about purchasing a netbook1 to bring with me. Costco is currently selling an Acer Aspire One Netbook with 8.9″ display, Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 160GB HDD, no optical drive, and integrated webcam for $299.99. I could load it up with the most basic of RAW viewing tools so I could delete any photos I think are absolute crap and would never keep (e.g. blurry photos) and then upload the rest to a secure storage space online. This way I wouldn’t be completely SOL if the netbook was stolen, lost, broken (not that I’m planning on any of that happening).

Also, how much stuff do I really want to be taking? I want to be nimble.

If you’ve ever traveled abroad in this sort of fashion, what did you bring?


  1. A netbook is a small and cheap computer used primarily to access the Internet 

A Photo Book

I was reading a post on a blog1 over the summer about how digital photography has change the way people take photos. One of the primary benefits of digital photography is that every picture is essentially free. Take as many photos as you want and it really won’t cost you a thing.

Being able to take photos for free2 does great things for the learning curve. Had I paid for all 15000+ photos I’ve taken with my D70 since I bought it four years ago, I would have spent over $2000 on developing photos alone. The benefits of digital are clear.

However, there is a trade off with digital. Digital photography is, by its very nature, a form which has no physical product. It’s just a series of 0’s and 1’s that make up an image. There is no negative and there is no final print, at least in the traditional sense. For the last year, I’ve been shooting in RAW format, which is the digital equivalent to a negative – if there ever was one. However, I rarely make physical prints.

When I do make prints, it’s usually when A) someone asks me to; B) I’m giving them as gifts; or C) I’m framing them for an art show. Of all the 10000+ photos I currently have on Flickr (which represents my body of work), I’ve printed no more than 125 photos, and most of those where for a Christmas present I made my Mom a couple years ago.

The post I was reading indicated that the author wanted to print more of his photos out because he had an incomplete feeling of the photo process. He wanted to be able to touch and hold them. And while I don’t share exactly the same feeling of incompleteness – most of my “career” I have been shooting digital and have never had the chance to even use a darkroom (although I’ve been inside several) – I do like the idea of being able to touch, hold, and see the physical results.

In particular, I’ve had this urge to make a photo book. Moreover, I would like to share the opportunity to purchase this photo book when/if I produce it.

The Idea:
My current idea is a history of the college years as seen through my lens. It would probably contain about 40-100 photos. Each photo would contain a story surrounding the events of the photo, probably no more than 300 words per a photo. I would suspect that many stories would be edited forms of blog posts, however I also anticipate that I’ll have to write several new stories as well.

I’m currently looking at both soft and hard books. Hard covers are obviously more expensive, but are also much nicer and will last longer. Since I want to keep prices low, a hard cover version would probably contain less photos than a soft cover version. I want to keep the price below $50, ideally around $30, but I haven’t run all the numbers yet.

My question to you is, is anyone even interested? Leave your comments and/or a simple yay/nay. You are not committing to anything at this point. I’m simply trying to figure out if there’s an interest. *wink* It would make a good Christmas gift *wink*

If there is enough interest, I’m looking to partner with either QOOP or Costco to have them printed as-needed. While this may raise prices a bit, it prevents me from having to bulk order the books and then hope that enough people want to purchase them.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a couple of photos I took up on the “M” a couple weeks ago:

DSC_5873
Nikkor @ 50mm || 1/1000 || f/2 || ISO200 || tripod

DSC_5888
Nikkor @ 35mm || 1/250 || f/13 || ISO200 || tripod


  1. …although I can’t remember or, for the life of me, find which one it was. If I do find it, I’ll update this post. 

  2. i.e. essentially free