March 2009


Green Activism: A dying tree fell onto an (empty) SUV in Hoboken last Friday


Some electric cars kick ass:

Electric cars are no joke. Yes, it’s true that many EVs are small, ungainly-looking oddities, but the other end of the spectrum—the realm of high-performance supercars—might surprise you…


Photos from the California coast and backroads are up at Zenfolio

Michael Totten reports: “Baghdad in Fragments”:

Many third world cities look better at night than during the day. Darkness hides shabbiness. You have to imagine what the city actually looks like. If you live in a first world city yourself, you might fill in the blanks with what you’re familiar with. It’s only during the day that you can see just how run-down the place really is.

Baghdad isn’t like that. Baghdad looks worse at night because you can barely see anything. When your mind fills in the blanks, real and imagined roadside bombs, militiamen, booby traps, and snipers lurk in the shadows.

The city can be spooky at night. Millions of people live in Baghdad, but it’s dark after hours. Few lights illuminate the mostly empty sidewalks and streets. The city’s electrical grid is still offline half the time and must be replaced. Homes without generator power are dark more often than not, and almost everyone who owns a generator turns it off when they go to sleep. Baghdad after sundown is as poorly lit as a remote mountain village…

…Many of the streets in the neighborhood were unpaved. Raw sewage ran in rivulets down the center of many.

“Local contractors were hired to fix these problems,” he said, “but they took the money and ran.”..

…I was happy to get a look at Baghdad without having to worry overly much about my own safety. Many reporters who stayed away from Iraq during the surge in 2007 and 2008 but went back at the end said they could hardly recognize Baghdad any more, that it was a different city. Those reports raised my expectations too high. It didn’t look all that different to me. There were more people out on the street. The security situation had been completely transformed. But the city was otherwise as run-down and corrupt and generally dysfunctional as it was before.

We passed beneath a rat’s nest of electrical wires. A transformer sizzled and popped over my head and blue smoke curled upward…



While going through old photos, I noticed that I never miss an opportunity to take candid camel shots. So I posted them on flickr & zenfolio.


I’ve just signed up with Zenfolio to sell my photography online. If you’re in the mood for desert scenes, I’m currently uploading Lawrence of Arabia’s “clean” desert, Wadi Rum.

Take a look –

Thanks to Air and Space Magazine

1. Anticipate. Learn the performers’ routines, listen to the announcer, and be ready to trip the shutter at the right moment..

2. Set a slow shutter speed and follow the aircraft. The result: a photo of fast—the airplane in focus, the background blurred.

3. The chance for air-to-air is rare, but an offer to buy the gas can sometimes earn a ride…

4. To get a full propeller arc (like the ones in the photo on the opposite page), Bowen says to try a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second. But use your airborne time wisely: As you fly to a site, make test shots, checking various exposures and settings….

5. Show up at small fly-ins, where the people are friendly and the mood is laid back.

6. I like to position myself strategically near interesting aircraft, and wait for the fans to show up. People interacting with aircraft adds energy to an otherwise static photo…

7. Experiment. A single airplane shouldn’t fill every frame; focus now and then on details. Look for strong geometric shapes, symmetry, patterns, and repetition….

8. Also, vary your perspective: Get up high and look down, or get on your belly and aim up…

9. Light is magic. It can transform an average scene into art.

10. Professional photographers love dawn and dusk because of the soft light and strong shadows…

More, with photos

Next Page »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.