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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