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Our office resides in Athens, GA about an hour from Atlanta. A work news post noting Atlanta tech blogs was strange to me. There is plenty HERE. Why ignore all the great local stuff?
And I do not mean my blog. I post too infrequently to really matter and mostly ignore technology of late.
- Four Athens is a technology incubator here in Athens. They organize networking events and have a good calendar of various tech meetings happening here. (Twitter)
- Free IT Athens is a local volunteer organization who help re-use computers and free software for the needy. They recently brought Richard Stallman here. (Twitter)
- Vitamin C makes healthcare software. (Twitter)
- The Accidental CIO is run by the Chief Information Officer for UGA. Work is related to UGA, but not part of their organizational structure. Tim has a seat on the search committee for our replacement CIO because, well, who we select is critically important to UGA. (Twitter)
- The Hatch is an Athens makerspace. (Twitter)
- Mark Fennell is an Athens DBA / web developer. (Twitter)
If there is something IT-related going on in Athens, then these two are probably writing about it.
Blogs are like so 2000s. They are sunsetting as the readers spend more time on Facebook and Twitter. All of you probably noticed I put links to the Twitter feeds for those blogs. That’s because much of the conversations who used to occur on blogs have shifted to Twitter. Actually, most of the blogs listed above I found through Twitter. Some other Athens Tech Tweeters:
Tags: athens, Chief Information Officer, Free Software Foundation, georgia, Richard Stallman, technology, University of Georgia
Back in July I mentioned Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk. A number of people from the Athens Flickr Meetups group showed for the August walk at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia (my photos). At both of these, the same individuals talked quite a bit about the newest toys Tim Rogan built and strobist techniques.
From what I gather strobist is about shifting camera flash from near the camera lens off to the side. Similar to golden hour sunlight, the light is more dramatic when not coming from near the camera. Also, camera flashes throw harsh light so soften the light by having it reflect off surfaces or go through translucent material.
Interest built about having a strobist meetup to shoot together and help each other. Steven Skelton, Tim, and Megan arranged a meetup last Saturday (group photo set). I was the only photographer walking into this totally cold without having at least read or watched any tutorials. So the quality of these pictures could better be a testament to the efficient teaching by Steven and Megan. At least it didn’t seem nearly as difficult as I expected.
This would also be the first photoshoot where I consistently used Manual rather than Shutter Priority.
This was also the first time I worked with models. (top right: Renee, right: Leann) The one wedding I shot taught me I really do have to direct people to get what I want while listening to get a feel for what they want. Megan sensed my hesitancy and worked through some ideas with the first few pictures then let me to go work on my own ideas. Models are people too. As a card carrying introvert, dealing with people normally exhausts me. This not so much.
This was a fun experience. I know I have things on which to work:
- Putting together my own strobist setup.
- Compose more carefully.
- Find dramatic locations.
- Become more social to approach people to photograph.
The mechanics of photography are also entertaining. Call me a geek, but that there are so many values to track in photography fascinates me. Plus there are tons of toys. I’m not really a builder, so I probably will not be crafting custom flash grids or softboxes.
I knew I enjoyed watching the antics photographers go through to get the right shot. The antics a good model will go through to be in the right shot adds a whole new dimensions for me. For example, pictured right is Clinton easily a dozen feet off the ground so Megan can take a dramatic shot.
For about a year I’ve really slacked off using my camera. The wedding, photowalk meetups, and now strobist meetups put me back in the mode of thinking about what I should do next. That is a great thing.
P.S. Normal is about 100 views of my photos a day. Since I posted the photos Sunday, traffic has been 250+ views a day.
Tags: athens, botanical garden, camera, geek, models, off camera flash, photographers, photoshoot, shutter priority, Steven Skelton, worldwide photo walk
Playing with trains
Originally uploaded by Ezra F
A while ago, I mentioned the Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk scheduled for Athens Georgia. Several folks from the Athens Flickr Meetups showed up for this yesterday. Others I know from work, photography classes, and even just eating at restaurants also showed. Twice today people have mentioned they saw me and expressed interest.
Steven Skelton did a great job.
After 3 hours of walking and standing my feet hurt.
Tags: athens, Blog Software, blogs, flickr, georgia, job, photos, scott kelby, sneezy, Steven Skelton, worldwide photo walk
For about eight months I have participated in a group called the Brunch Bunch here in Athens. We get together to eat and talk. Many conversations drift into the nerdy (my forté?). The locations vary so I have gotten to try new (to me) restaurants. Elizabeth (pictured right) vouched that I am a great guy. Well, these are great people.
Elizabeth also brought a friend of hers from out of town, Claudia. Claudia, smartly has a newer version of my Canon Rebel. I have the XT. She has the XSi (two models newer). The newest is the T1i.
Downtown Athens is a great place to shoot photos. So, we walked around for an hour or so looking in stores to get out of the heat. This is the hat Elizabeth bought from Helix who also had some cool stone candle holders. Native American Gallery had some interesting petroglyph jewelry and gray flower pottery. I’ve got some ideas for gifts to give for upcoming birthdays, holidays, etc.
One of the employees at Helix and Claudia both asked if I had a blog. I’m sure it was because of my shirt! I only admitted to this one and blogging about Blackboard. Though, I guess I have diversified somewhat here. I probably should blog more about local stuff as well. That would mean getting out more as well.
For years, I have been collecting teeshirts from thinkgeek.com. At present the collection consists of:
Some others are on my wishlist. I do have some shirts from other places. By far the most popular is the xkcd sudo comic. I’ve added a few others from xkcd to my wishlist as well.
Tags: America, athens, birthday, blackboard inc, brunch, brunch bunch, Canon, canon rebel, Comic, conversations, culture, flickr, friend, geek, helix, native american gallery, photos, SMART, thinkgeek, Turing test, version, wikipedia, xkcd
I’m looking forward to this Athens part of the Worldwide Photo Walk in four weeks. I’m even more impressed it filled to the 50 person capacity. We have been having meetups for Athens Flickr users since September. I don’t think any have approached half that number. (There are only 32 members in the Flickr group.) I attribute this success to Steven Skelton‘s efforts spreading the word.
Tags: athens, blogs, flickr, member, person, Photography, photos, reading, sneezy, Steven Skelton, users, worldwide photo walk
All over Athens, people have been mourning over the Georgia Theatre fire today.
When I got home, I found a weird voice mail: “Hi, Mr. Greene. My name is <removed name>. I would like to discuss with you the property at 215 North Lumpkin. Call me at <removed number>.” I listened to it a second time. It hit me. Isn’t the Georgia Theatre on Lumpkin? I put the address in Google and found it is indeed the address. Wilmont Greene is the owner.
Tags: athens, fire, flickr, georgia, Georgia Theatre, Google, Green, music, name, photos
The United States Postal Service keeps raising postage rates. Yet, I still wonder about this statement regarding the 2 cent increase going into effect this year.
When the postal service announced price increases in February, postal officials estimated the hike will cost the average household $3 a year. Forever Stamps not lasting long: Brisk sales before rate hike | onlineathens.com
To cost a household $3 a year, the household would need to buy 150 stamps a year. That is 12.5 a month! Obviously I am not the average household. I bought a set of 20 Forever Stamps about 2 years ago just after they became available. I just used my 5th one for something today. So projecting at the current usage the next year would cost me 4-6 cents if I didn’t have the Forever Stamps.
That’s not exactly budget breaking….
If Internet usage is causing people not to send mail anymore, then I am an exemplar.
Tags: athens, Internet, online, OnlineAthens, rate increase, stamps, usps
Surely the GBI isn’t looking for anyone about 6’3″. That is a lot of folks out there…. Even me. Maybe my only saving grace is not looking like I weigh 240. Hopefully Bankhead’s quote was taken out of context?
While Zinkhan could have changed his appearance, [Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John] Bankhead advised people to look for his build – 6-foot-3, 240 pounds. “He can’t change his height. He can shave, he can dye his hair, but he can’t change his height,” Bankhead said. Zinkhan a no-show for flight | News | OnlineAthens.com
This would be a good time to be black. Oh… Wait… I am… Sorta.
Tags: Adobe AIR, appearance, athens, Blog Software, Chief Information Officer, GBI, georgia, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, online, OnlineAthens, race, user interface
Its funny what people think about something we take for granted. Brown tap municipal tap water was stated as the reason for drinking bottled water. Is it a corporate v goverment thing? Is it because bottled water is so much more expensive than tap water so it must be better?
From Coca-Cola’s letter to the state of California about what is in DASANI water:
Most facilities that purify and bottle DASANI procure water from municipal water systems. At a few plants, however, water is obtained from protected groundwater sources managed by the bottling plant, with approvals from local authorities. DASANI® Bottled Water Report as required by California SB 220 (PDF)
It goes on to describe what they do to purify the water they procure: activated carbon filtration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet light disinfection, re-mineralized, ozonation. So the municipalities get the water to within EPA standards but not FDA standards. Companies selling bottled water have to adhere to the FDA standard not the EPA. Maybe its a good thing: “Generally, over the years, the FDA has adopted EPA standards for tap water as standards for bottled water.” FDA Consumer magazine: Bottled Water: Better Than the Tap? (Should we be worried the same overworked agency which lets us get hit with all kinds of bacteria is protecting us from bad water?)
Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department has a similar report where they list how the water exceeds the EPA standards.
Personally, I would love everyone producing water to publish reports about their water quality with the amounts of detected contaminants listed as is shown in this DASANI analysis example. Too bad its just an example of a typical analysis. Anyone know where the real DASANI quality reports might be found?
Tags: athens, bottled water, companies, consumer, contaminants, Environmental Protection Agency, epa standards, funny, municipal water systems, person, port, user interface, vehicle
Found an interesting comment on an article the state of Georgia observing the Confederate Memorial Day….
The truth of history means very little to those who are dead set against learning anything from it. No matter what the history books used in our public school system say, most will never believe anything other than their own opinion about the Civil War. History revisionist are the celebs of the day. As long as people like Rev. Wright, and David Duke exist, history’s truth will be filtered through lies and distortions. Few observe Confederate Memorial Day: UGA to display original constitution; state offices closed
Truth may very well be completely relative. Back during the US Presidential election, I ran across an interesting article in the Washington Post discussing research John Bullock did about the effects of misinformation and idealogical bias ties. I used to think it had to do with a handful of people stuck in their green, second ammendment, pro-life, pro-choice, capitalist, regulation views. My favorite pasttime in college was assuming positions contrary to others even when I agree with the others.
I doubt the effect solely affects conservatives as was proposed in the article. More likely everyone has some blindspots in determing truth from myth or fiction kind of like optical illusions. (Yes, even myself.) We have to choose which information to believe any time we interact with information. Much of the rules in philosophy and science are built around combatting the biases we have.
Rather than force ideas on others, I think we should be teaching children from an early age to recognize when others and most especially themselves are operating under a bias. Its the only way to find detachment.
Tags: api, athens, Blog Software, books, detachment, filter, georgia, Green, History, information, ISP, logic, misinformation, online, OnlineAthens, optical illusions, President, rar archive, relative truth, Science, search, state of georgia, uga, user interface