Unusual fisherman
Nov 29th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

Fishing from the Santa Monica pier is a very popular pastime. Some of the fishers can look a bit strange.

Articles on UCLA jackboots
Nov 17th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

RODERICK T. LONG: License to Taser.

I’ll join the fray below on the Green/Libertarian issue as soon as I get a chance (I was lecturing in Asheville last weekend and in New Orleans the weekend before that, so I’m even less caught up than usual!); but in the meantime, here’s my Center for a Stateless Society piece on the recent UCLA tasering incident. See also Charles Johnson’s post on the same subject.

[Liberty & Power: Group Blog]

Both articles are very good, but I disagree with this from Roderick Long’s article:

In short, a group of armed assailants, refusing to identify themselves to bystanders, repeatedly inflicted violent and painful attacks on an unarmed library patron who had neither used nor threatened violence. Ordinarily anyone would think that in such a case the bystanders would have been within their rights to intervene forcibly to protect the victim. And ordinarily, I wager, these bystanders would have done precisely that.

I don’t think they would have. The bystanders are Americans, and everything I’ve seen and read confirms that Americans are generally far too cowardly to do anything, regardless of who the attackers were. Certainly there are exception, but those exceptions are even more rare in a city like LA, and especially on a college campus. I’m sure that if the attackers were a random group of (non-government) thugs, the bystanders would have done nothing more than call 911 and beg to the government for help.

Velvia 50 going back into production
Nov 15th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

Don’t Call It a Comeback: Velvia 50 Returns. Just when you thought everything was going digital, not so fast: high-saturation and vivid color are back, but in 35mm. Due to popular demand from photographers, Fujifilm today announced the re-introduction of its Fujichrome Velvia 50 professional film under the tentative name Velvia II. []

I’ve used Velvia 50 myself a few times, and there’s really nothing else like it. Since I bought the last three rolls at the camera store I go to a few weeks ago, I’m glad the supply will be renewed.

On Racism
Nov 12th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

I came across two good posts on the subject of racism today. The first, by L. Neil Smith, is about politicians pandering to bigots. The second, by John Tierney, is about Borat.

Silly Law
Nov 12th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

As the sign in this photo illustrates, you can never have too little respect for the law.

Music photography in the Times
Nov 10th, 2006 by Ken Hagler

All-access pass to history. [Los Angeles Times]

An interesting article on photographer Neal Preston, including some interesting comments on the history and present state of music photography.

US privacy ranking
Nov 2nd, 2006 by Ken Hagler

US privacy ranking. United States: Haven of Privacy? Raving Reporter Thunder here. How much do you like your privacy? If you live in the U.S., you have a lot less privacy than you think you do. This isn’t news to most privacy advocates, but care to guess how the U.S. compares to other nations? 2nd? 3rd? 5th? Try ranked just above countries like China, Russia, Malaysia….. Here’s the link to the reporting story. (Thanks to Gunslinger for the link) [Wolfesblog]

The survey is rather limited in scope. I’d like to see how the US compares to countries like Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia (not too well, I suspect).

Tripod review
Nov 2nd, 2006 by Ken Hagler

Lately I’ve been doing more outdoor photography around Los Angeles, so I finally got around to buying a good tripod and head. After doing considerable reading, I opted for a Gitzo 1157 tripod with a Really Right Stuff BH-40 ballhead. The combination weighs just over three points, and can support up to ten pounds–more than enough for any 35mm SLR with any lens short of the enormous telephoto lenses used by wildlife and sports photographers. The tradeoff for the light weight was a rather large price tag.

I ended up going on a short photography trip to the Eastern Sierras last weekend, just days after the tripod arrived. The new tripod performed quite well during the trip, allowing me to get many shots with long exposure times that would have been impossible without it. The light weight presented no problems when carrying it up steep mountain trails at high altitude. I do need a better way to carry it, though–I was holding it in my hand, and carrying it that way for more than two hours would have gotten uncomfortable.

The process of shooting from a tripod inevitably slowed me down considerably, as I was stopping to take photos so often. Gitzo’s system of rotating clamps on the telescoping legs made it very quick and easy to set up, but even so I don’t think it would be a good idea to use it if I were hiking with other people, or if I needed to be somewhere at a particular time.

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