Month: January 2010

They Say It’s Your Birthday

birthdaytwowebIt’s hard to believe but it’s my birthday today. Those birthdays seems to turn the corner faster and faster every year. I picked out the Kodak Zi8 HD Movie Camera for a present. It was the best choice because of the microphone input jack included, which gives it much higher audio quality if needed. The photo, above left, is the ice cream cake I picked out for tonight and, below, is a photo of me from over 50 years ago. Did I say that, “50 years ago?” It just doesn’t seem possible. -RL
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City Hall & The Times

cityhallandtimes

iPhone Photograph by Robert Lachman © 2010

A view of Los Angeles City Hall and the Los Angeles Times building taken from Second Street and Grand Ave. during my lunch break last night. I did use Photoshop CS4 and Topaz Clean 2 to make a few adjustment and tweaks. -RL

 

The Apple iPod Announcement

AppleIpad
Steve Jobs made it official, the new Apple iPad is a steveiPadreality and will be ready for shipping in a couple months. It looks very sleek and should compete well at it’s $499 price point with many of the e-readers and mini-notebook computers.

Probably the most important feature, to me, is the availability of the keyboard dock. Also, they have introduced an iPad iWorks app for $9.99 which should make it a more functional computer.

While it’s really not much more than a jumbo iPhone without the phone and camera, it is an amazing piece of engineering. It may be a replacement for a laptop computer for some, but not for me. -RL

My Random Thoughts

iTableTues450

By Robert Lachman

It’s almost time for the Apple announcement: What’s it going to be, the amazing bigger-than-an-iPhone, smaller-than-a-laptop “iTablet”?  I can wait. How about making an affordable laptop?

Mac laptops start at $999 while other brands start at $499. I am sure the “iTablet” will come with some amazing widgets and apps. Did I mention super-cool graphics and multimedia? You just know it’s going to sing and dance. I’m not sure how I have lived without the Magic Eight Ball app on a ten-inch screen instead of my iPhone.

The Apple announcement I’m looking forward to is hearing them say they’re going to make the iPhone a better phone. I’m not sure you could hear me if you’re listening on your iPhone. I can’t hardly hear anyone, the volume is always so low. Is there any chance of increasing the ring tone and vibrate, I never know when people are calling, especially while walking or riding my bike. Did I mention the part about how it constantly drops calls, plus the coverage area is so weak? NoAARPw I’m sounding like Andy Rooney which leads me to AARP…

I received another invitation to join AARP. For those young tech-photo-geeks who are reading this, it stands for the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons. They say it’s an association of people to promote the welfare of senior citizens. I’ve got to tell you that qualifying for AARP really hurts. I’m not joining as long as I have a profile on Twitter and Facebook and have my own website. Never, never, never, I’m not joining…..

I went to take some pictures of the heavy storm surf next to the Seal Beach Pier this week and learned a valuable lesson: Put money in the meter, even when you’re only going to take a quick look to see the size of the big waves. It only took 10 minutes and I had a forty dollar parking ticket waiting for me.

 

Blue Skies in SoCal

fishsignweb

iPhone Photograph by Robert Lachman © 2010

We finally have some nice blue sky in Southern California after so much rain above Don the Beachcomer’s restaurant in Huntington Beach. No time to write today. It’s almost time for work. Have a great week. I hhould have new work up tomorrow. -RL

iPhone + LA + CS4 + Topaz Plug-ins

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iPhone Photographs by Robert Lachman © 2010

The photo above from one of my recent “Lunch Break” walks was taken in downtown Los Angeles during the early evening after a day of rain. On the photo above, I used the Topaz Clean 2 plug-in with Photoshop PS4 to blend the colors and give it an artistic look. With the photo below, I tried giving it a gritty downtown look with Topaz Detail. Let me know which you like best.

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Is it Worth More than a Cup of Coffee?

worldbookcoffee1This week it couldn’t have been an easier pick. The World Book CD can’t be worth much. Times have really changed. It’s another win for a cup of coffee, and a nosedive for the price of vintage technology.

I decided I needed to take a break from writing on Fridays. I need some exercise, so I have started, “Is it worth more than a cup-of-coffee, Fridays?”

Any outside submissions would be greatly appreciated. I just need two photographs (cell phone quality is perfect. That’s what I use). Take a close up of your old technology and any drink: wine, soda, tea or coffee. It couldn’t be any easier. The email address in the left sidebar. Have a nice weekend!

 

80 MPH Winds Hit HB

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iPhone Photographs by Robert Lachman © 2010

A few arty photo from the aftermath of the tornado hitting Huntington Beach. You can tell they’re artistic photographs because they’re square, have cool borders, horrible color balance and look like Polaroids. I’m back to work on the photo desk this afternoon. Have a nice day. -RL

Storm caused tornado, water spouts, 80-mph winds, National Weather Service says on LATimes,com

Click here for more storm photo on the LATimes.com website

 

Bridge at the Wetlands

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iPhone Photographs by Robert Lachman © 2010

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By Robert Lachman
Just a little difference in weather conditions can really make a huge difference in style and substance of your photographs. Are you going after the dramatic silhouette or a more informational style with subtle colors? Certainly shooting in overcast skies doesn’t compare to the dazzling flare of a fiery sunset.

Good photographs sometimes are just a matter of luck, but you can increase your odds by planning and research by figuring when the light will make the most impressive moment. Lighting conditions are one of the most important aspects of taking great photographs.

You can see from the photographs above, taken from same location, the Bosa Chica Wetlands in Huntington Beach, what a difference it can make.

It’s not always the camera, it’s the light. When you look at that next great photo, take a closer look and figure out what drives home the impact, it’s going to one of three elements: subject, composition or light.

Certainly, it’s not an exact science when you talk about planning for the weather. It looks like rain for the next five days in Southern California, so I’m not expecting any intense sunsets, maybe just a few raindrop photos on the windshield.

 

Lunch Break Art Walk Thursday Pics

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iPhone Photographs by Robert Lachman © 2010

It’s always great, getting out the second Thursday night of the month and checking out the “Art Walk” event in downtown Los Angeles. At the The Contenental Gallery, located at the corner of 4th and Spring Streets, it was impossible not to checkout the amazing artwork (above in photos) by Sean Sobczak and his one person show “Luminosity.” -RL

 

Cool Christmas Tree Rocket

 

If you ever wondered about launching your Christmas tree into space, check out this ingenious YouTube video. -RL

 

iPhone Art X 4 and Rose

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iPhone Photographs by Robert Lachman © 2010

When in doubt, multiply by four when it comes to art. I couldn’t figure out which version of my iPhone photos of the fountains at the Music Center in Los Angeles was the most arty so I yellowflower1ajust combined them into one pièce de résistance. Ok, a masterpiece in my mind. I needed to use some fancy terms to sell you on my finely crafted skills.

I really need to get some gardening done. It’s hard to believe the weather is so nice today, 70 degrees and sunny in SoCal. I still have some beautiful roses (right) on my bushes, but it’s time for a trimming.

Have a nice weekend. It’s time for some work in the garden. -RL

 

Fuzzy Dog Alert, My iPhone Pic

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Fuzzy Dog in Truck – Huntington Beach, CA – iPhone Photograph by Robert Lachman ©2010

You might have noticed the very nice blurred vignetting which was I added using OnOne’s Focal plug-in software with Photoshop 4. -RL

 

All iPhone Vacation Pics

By Robert Lachman

I decided to try an all iPhone vacation road trip last weekend. No Canon G10, no Canon Mark2, just a casual day in Ojai, California with my wife, Lorelei. It was the first time we visited the Ojai Valley Inn Resort and Spa. I need to spend a month there, but I might need to win the Lotto first after checking out the prices to make it happen.

Back to the photography, I didn’t even try a panorama photo, that was the toughest part. I think I’m addicted to panos. Not sure why. They always come out skinny, plus, I don’t use one of those panorama tripod heads so, they never really turn out perfect.

Certainly the iPhone 3GS doesn’t really compete with my Canon G10 or a DSLR with interchangeable lenses, but who wants to carry them around all the time? I am sure there’s a compromise somewhere in between. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

 

Around the Internet

kodakplaysport1The Mac Observer
Kodak Debuts Pocket-Size, Waterproof Playsport Video Camera

By Brad Cook
Kodak on Wednesday introduced its new Playsport high-definition video camera, which is waterproof up to ten feet underwater and features a pocket-size form factor. Built-in software allows users to edit video clips and upload them to such web sites as YouTube and Facebook via USB. Playsport also features electronic image stabilization, 1080p HD video capture at 30 fps. READ MORE

googlenexusphoneLos Angeles Times
Google unveils new mobile phone

By Jessica Guynn
Internet giant Google just unveiled the Nexus One, a smartphone that it bills as the connection between the phone and the Web, at a news conference this morning at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.

A company spokesman said the smartphone is the next step in Google’s ambitious strategy to spread its dominance on personal computers to the emerging market of mobile advertising and products. Key to that strategy is pushing for devices that smoothly run Google’s growing number of consumer products. READ MORE