Mostly photography but with bits of running, tech, and musings on life

50mm [1993]


50mm [1993]

Whenever people start getting into photography and they want to ask me for advice on what first lens to get (beyond whatever lens came with the camera that is) I ALWAYS recommend a 50mm prime, usually of the f/1.8 variety. It’s got basically the greatest price to performance ratio of all camera gear. It’s simple and not particularly versatile, but that helps make it ridiculously cheap for its quality.

So what are some of its main advantages?

  • The f/1.8 means it’s great in low light (a.k.a it’s super fast) and awesome for getting very shallow depth of field
  • Surprisingly cheap! Usually you’ve got to pay a lot for such a fast lens, but the simplicity of this lens gets the price very low. (When I got mine several years ago it was around $80. Sadly, its popularity has caused it to creep up a bit into the $110 range, but that still makes it one of the cheapest lenses you’ll find.)
  • 50mm is a very close approximation of your normal vision, so composing is quite a bit easier.
  • Plus, its lack of zoom is a great way to learn to move around when composing! It helps enforce a “zoom with you feet” mentality which is crucial when first learning photography. With a zoom lens, too many people get lazy and just stay in one place while fiddling with the lens. Moving around is one of the most important things you can do for finding the shot :-)

There’s a reason it’s got the nickname “nifty-fifty”.

Photo-a-Day: Year 6, Day 167 – Total Days: 1,993

laptop [1992]


laptop [1992]

Awww yeah… Working on my new laptop, in bed.

Photo-a-Day: Year 6, Day 166 – Total Days: 1,992

MacBook Air [1991]


macbook air [1991]

Ever since my MacBook Pro died a few months ago, I’ve been without a Mac (and have just been using my desktop PC instead.) While my PC is pretty awesome, not having a Mac has caused great discord for me.

But today, I picked up a 13″ MacBook Air. Now all is right with the world again.

Photo-a-Day: Year 6, Day 165 – Total Days: 1,991

Nada-Rasta [1990]


Nada-Rasta [1990]

You can tell it’s officially summer in San Luis Obispo when the Concerts in the Plaza start up. It’s a great thing about this town — local bands playing every Friday evening downtown at the Mission. The concerts are free and a lot of fun for all ages. Plus there’s bratwurst and beer stands!

Today was the first one of the season, and Nada-Rasta was playing. I’d never heard them before, but I’m glad I have now. Nice blend of Rock, Reggae, and Ska.

Photo-a-Day: Year 6, Day 164 – Total Days: 1,990


Bonus Photos below:


Nada Rasta

Nada Rasta

Nada Rasta

#663399Becca [1989]


Photo-a-Day: Year 6, Day 163 - Total Days: 1,989

I don’t know Eric Meyer personally and I’ve never met him. In fact, it’s a name I haven’t thought of in over a decade. But when he came up today on a blog I read (Daring Fireball), I was reminded of how I first learned CSS (Cascading Style Sheets – the main technology/language for controlling how web pages look) from a book of his and the extensive writing he had done about the topic online.

But sadly, the reason he came up was because today was his six year old daughter’s funeral.

Six. Cancer.

She died this past Saturday on her sixth birthday.

What unimaginable heartbreak. And when I learned of it I followed links to his blog and saw how now, instead of the articles advocating web standards and discussing CSS techniques that I remember from a decade ago, he’s been pouring his heart out over the tragedy and struggle to save his daughter’s life.

I also learned that his daughter, Rebecca’s, favorite color was purple. So several web luminaries and bloggers took it upon themselves to use the hashtag #663399Becca (#663399 being the way you define the color purple on the web) and to make other gestures like write their post about this with the font in purple or change the background color of their site to purple.

So for my photo of the day I went on a short quest to find something purple, as my own small gesture. Besides, it’s my favorite color, too.

I’ll end this with something Jason Kottke wrote on his blog, that I know will resonate with many:

“Sometimes parents tend to get caught up in the minutia of parenthood: the logistics of getting from one place to another without losing your shit, the weary deflection of the 34th “why?” question of the afternoon, and all the rest. At least, I know I do. You forget to lift your head up to appreciate what you have. Author Elizabeth Stone once wrote that having kids was deciding to “have your heart go walking around outside your body”. Steve Jobs put it similarly: your children are “your heart running around outside your body”. That’s the truest sentiment I’ve ever read about parenting; it feels exactly like that to me. Reading Eric’s writing about Rebecca, a girl so close in age to both my kids, has affected me greatly. That could be me. My kids suffering. My heart, broken and dying. Imagining one of them…I can’t even do it, the tears come hard and fast, washing away any such thoughts.”

Also worth reading:

Photo-a-Day: Year 6, Day 163 – Total Days: 1,989

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