Tag Archives: photography

Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup can start your week off with a good chuckle. Check out Fumblerules of Grammar. Fans of William Safire won’t be disappointed. And for another delightful distraction, hop on over to Whimsical Photographic Abstractions of the Joy of Reading.

  • The Birth and Decline of a Book: Two Videos for Bibliophiles.”Why Do Old Books Smell? Produced by Abe’s Books, and drawing on research from chemists at University College, London, this video looks at the science behind the aroma of used books…When you’re done watching the video, you might want to spend time with a second clip that deals with another part of the lifecycle of the book — the birth of a book. Shot by Glen Milner at Smith-Settle Printers in Leeds, England, this short film lets you watch firsthand a book — Suzanne St Albans’ Mango and Mimosa – being made with old school printing methods. Enjoy.”
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? “In the world of digital documents, you might ask do we really need brick and mortar museums? Not quite the same as man and machine, but it is a question of digital versus “the real thing” and a topic that must be discussed among archivists today.”
  • Whimsical Photographic Abstractions of the Joy of Reading. “As a lover of books and advocate for reading, I was instantly enthralled by photographic artist Joel Robinson’s whimsical visual abstractions of the reading experience and the joy of books that capture with equal parts imagination and reverence the familiar mesmerism of getting lost in a great book, the pleasure of curiosity tickled, and the explorer’s wonder of discovering new worlds.”
  • Nostalgia As A Drug. “Nostalgia is seductive. We yearn and yearn for bygone days, when life was simpler, or more creative, or more exciting, or more…whatever. Whatever we need at the moment. Are those good old days really that much better, or is it just easier to imagine they are because we can “remember” only what we choose to?”
  • How to Open a Memoir. “I’m honored to provide a guest post by multi-published author and writing instructor Sara Mansfield Taber, whose latest memoir, Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter, has just been published by Potomac Books. I first met Sara when taking a workshop taught by her at The Writer’s Center, and I’m flattered she’s willing to share some of her wisdom here today, a post relevant to any creative writer.”
  • Fumblerules of Grammar. “Late-1979, New York Times columnist William Safire compiled a list of “Fumblerules of Grammar” — rules of writing, all of which are humorously self-contradictory — and published them in his popular column, “On Language.” Those 36 fumblerules can be seen below, along with another 18 that later featured in Safire’s book, Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup has a couple of useful articles that’ll improve your website. After reading Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page?,  I realized that I’ve got some work to do on my About Page. And How to Write is a pithy 10-point list that all bloggers need to take to heart. If you’re a personal historian and unfamiliar with Cowbird, you owe it to yourself to read Cowbird Debuts New Saga on Valentine’s Day. It’s another innovative way of collecting stories.

  • My Memoir Helped Me Reconnect With My Family. “The writing of Man Shoes was a legacy exercise for my sons that turned into a therapeutic exercise for myself. The healing and understanding that has come about through the writing of Man Shoes is miraculous. At fifty years of age, I am now a much stronger, more secure, happier, and more productive individual than I have ever been. Hopefully Man Shoes continues to inspire others in the coming months and years–just as it did me as I wrote it.”
  • Graphic Atlas. “…a new online resource that brings sophisticated print identification and characteristic exploration tools to archivists, curators, historians, collectors, conservators, educators, and general public.”
  • Cowbird Debuts New Saga on Valentine’s Day. “Email and text messaging have left many of us accustomed to instant gratification when it comes to communication, though impulsive tweets and status updates often lead to regret. Our methods of communication have evolved so rapidly, many of us can now tweet about anything (or nothing) within a few seconds. In the era of 140-character updates, when the lingo has become so foreign that you may need a translator to follow Twitter conversations, have our messages lost their depth? Jonathan Harris thinks so – and says his new project, Cowbird, houses personal, searchable storytelling – and may someday be the one-stop shop for an inclusive public library of human experience.”
  • How to Write. “On September 7th of 1982, advertising legend David Ogilvy sent an internal memo to all employees of his advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather. The memo was entitled “How to Write,” and consisted of the following list of advice.”
  • A Way with Words. “Public radio’s lively language show.” [Thanks top Wendy Ledger of VoType for alerting me to this item.]
  • Best of the Blogs: Old School and New Skills. “Don’t have time to keep up with design and photography blogs? Keep calm and read on. In this blog round-up you’ll find the most popular fonts of 2011, an amazing type book from 1912, a Herb Lubalin video from the 1980s, and a Photoshop cooking demonstration from 2007. Plus, there are plenty of Photoshop how-tos, digital photography tips, and design ideas.”
  • Are You Making These 7 Mistakes with Your About Page? “…lots of website owners have an easier time proposing marriage than they do writing a solid About Page. If that’s you, you’re probably overcomplicating things. A good About Page is simple, straightforward, and it communicates just a few key things.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

Happy New Year! And another year of Monday’s Link Roundup with connections to stuff I like and I hope you’ll like too.  My selections are loosely based on items that I think will be of particular interest to those of you professionally involved in personal history, genealogy, and memoir. Enjoy!

  • Grierson: A Documentary About the Filmmaker Who Coined “Documentary” “Grierson is a 1973 documentary about the father of documentary by Canadian filmmaker Roger Blais, now free online in its entirety courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada. Through archival footage, interviews with people who knew him, and footage of Grierson himself, Blais paints a lively and fascinating portrait of a man who was concerned not only with documentary film as an art form but also as a powerful tool of democracy.”
  • VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Scanner. “The Wand [is]a portable scanner—one of the most portable available. If you need to scan on the go, and don’t want to be weighted down with hardware, that alone makes it worth considering.”
  • Top 10 Photoshop Tricks You Can Use Without Buying Photoshop. “You can do just about anything to an image with Photoshop, but if you don’t have the cash to shell out, free program the GIMP—available for Windows, Linux, and OS X—can take you pretty far. Here are our favorite Photoshop how-tos that also work in the GIMP.”
  • Errol Morris: Two Essential Truths About Photography. “In this video created by the Guardian, writer and award-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris talks about the nature of truth, art, and propaganda in photography. He draws examples from the photographs of Abu Ghraib and the Crimean War, both cited in his book Believing is Seeing, and he asks the viewer to consider a most fundamental question: how does a photograph relate to the physical world? Unlike a verbal or written statement, a photograph cannot be true or false. It simply is.”
  • 12 Tips for the Year of the Memoir! “During breaks in your holiday celebrations, get ready for the Year of the Memoir–2012! Here’s a tip for each month, or you can try one a day for the 12 days of Christmas.”
  • The New York Times “The Lives They Lived”. ” The Lives They Lived is not a greatest-hits issue. Instead, we gravitated to those lives with an untold tale. For storytelling expertise, we enlisted Ira Glass and his team from “This American Life” to edit a special section devoted to ordinary people. And through social media, we put out a request to readers for pictures of loved ones. Samples of the hundreds of submissions we received are beautiful evidence that every life is a story worth remembering.”
  • How to Increase Your Focus. “I confess to being as prone to the distractions of the Internet as anyone else: I will start reading about something that interests me and disappear down the rabbit hole for hours (even days) at a time. But my ability to focus on a single task has dramatically improved, and that one habit has changed my life.”

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The Best of Monday’s Link Roundup.

Many of you know that every Monday for the past year I’ve pulled together 7 Internet articles that I’ve found noteworthy and presented them here. That’s over 300 items!

I’ve combed through the Monday’s Link archive and selected 7 posts that are particularly outstanding. If you haven’t had a chance to read these, make yourself a cup of coffee or tea, settle back, and enjoy some stimulating reading.

  • A Tribute to KODACHROME: A Photography Icon. “They say all good things in life come to an end …It was a difficult decision, given its rich history …We at Kodak want to celebrate with you the rich history of this storied film. Feel free to share with us your fondest memories of Kodachrome.”
  • The Future of the Book. “Meet Nelson, Coupland, and Alice — the faces of tomorrow’s book. Watch global design and innovation consultancy IDEO’s vision for the future of the book. What new experiences might be created by linking diverse discussions, what additional value could be created by connected readers to one another, and what innovative ways we might use to tell our favorite stories and build community around books?”
  • Ira Glass on the Art of Storytelling. “Since 1995, Ira Glass has hosted and produced This American Life (iTunes – Feed – Web Site), the award-winning radio show that presents masterfully-crafted stories to almost 2 million listeners each week. What’s the secret sauce that goes into making a great story, particularly one primed for radio or TV? Glass spells it out in four parts.”
  • “Welcome to Pine Point”: digital narrative chases memory and loss.“What if your hometown disappeared, literally vanished from the map? How would you hold onto it? Would the community of people who had lived there continue? “Welcome to Pine Point” is a website that explores the death of a town and the people whose memories and mementos tell its story today. The site lives online under the auspices of the National Film Board of Canada and came into the world via the creative duo of Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge (also known as The Goggles).”
  • Memory and Invention: An Essay by Mavis Gallant. “Imagination, all invention, will occur spontaneously – occur or interfere. ‘Interference’ means it is false, mistaken, untrue. Although I have kept a journal for years, I never look anything up. A diary is not a dictionary or the record of a meeting. Sometimes a sharp, insistent image caught in one’s mind, perhaps of a stranger glimpsed only once, will become the living source of a whole story.”
  • Dear Photograph: A website with a window into the past. “In the past month, a summery, slightly sad website has made the trip from non-existence to international exposure. It’s called Dear Photograph, and its premise is simple: Take a picture of an old photo being carefully held up in front of the place it was originally taken, so it appears to be a window into the past.”
  • Affirmation, Etched in Vinyl. “For years I tried to construct a viable idea of my long-gone father by piecing together scraps of other people’s memories. I was only 6 when he died,…My father’s death stole many things from me, including the sound of his voice. For instance, I have tried to remember his laughter from that final night — its timbre and roll — but my mind is an erased tape. I possess the knowledge of his laughter and of Angie and Johnny’s bubbly white noise but have no memory of the sounds themselves. It’s as if I have garnered these details by reading a biography penned by a stranger.” [Thanks to Pat McNees of Writers and Editors for alerting me to this item.]

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20 Free Photo Retouching Tutorials for Personal Historians.

Where do you start to learn some of the basics of Photoshop? There are a bewildering array of Photoshop tutorials available online. But most personal history newcomers want lessons that relate more specifically to their work.

With this in mind I’ve selected these 20 free tutorials. Let me know if you’ve found a site, not listed here, that’s been particularly useful to you.

  1. Giving your Photograph an Antique Look
  2. Remove an object from background using content aware filling in Photoshop 
  3. Color Correction Basics in Photoshop  
  4. Old Paper Background Texture In Photoshop
  5. How To Repair Scratches, Tears, and Spots on an Old Photograph
  6. Local Contrast
  7. Super Fast and Easy Facial Retouching  
  8. Classic Vignette Photo Effect In Photoshop 
  9. Correcting a Red Over-Saturated Photo
  10. Overlapping Text With An Image In Photoshop
  11. Using Photoshop to Color a Black & White Photo From Scratch
  12. How to Change Skin Tone in Photoshop
  13. How To Straighten Crooked Photos
  14. Darken Overexposed Photos With The Multiply Blend Mode
  15. Brighten Underexposed Photos With The Screen Blend Mode
  16. Crop, Straighten and Open Multiple Scanned Images
  17. Fix Tone and Color with Levels In Photoshop
  18. Restore An Old Duo Tone Photo
  19. Shadow Recovery of Backlight Problem
  20. Worn, Torn Photo Edges Effect In Photoshop 

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Photo by Bart van de Biezen

Monday’s Link Roundup.

This Monday’s Link Roundup includes three thoughtful articles on the digital age and the future of writing and books: Books After Amazon,  Are Writers Powerless to Make a Living in the Digital Age? and Six e-Book Trends to Watch in 2011. Whether we like it or not, e-books are here to stay – with significant implications for personal historians who work in print.

  • Books After Amazon. “Even before the Kindle, Amazon wielded enormous influence in the industry. Now it is positioned to control the e-book market and thereby the future of the publishing industry.”
  • The Enigma of Capturing Light. “It is light that colors our vision, our understanding, and allows us to feel the essence of our surroundings. We are able to capture all this through the lens, with the aid of light, into the medium of photography.”
  • Endings. “The ending is something special. The ending is the last word. It’s the writer’s final chance to nail his or her point home to the memory of the reader. It’s the moment when you give the reader something to take away from the story and think about or when you fail to achieve that.”
  • Are Writers Powerless to Make a Living in the Digital Age? “As paper and ink give way to electronic gadgetry, questions arise. What will reading be like in the future? Will long-form prose survive? Will the quality of literature get better or worse? To Jaron Lanier, those are the wrong questions.”
  • Six e-Book Trends to Watch in 2011. “Because I am the CEO of a book publishing company, I am regularly asked how I see the future of digital publishing. As Yogi Berra said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
  • Good Marketing vs. Bad Marketing. “Marketing, per se, is neither good nor bad. It is simply the way a company speaks to us. People use their mouths, companies use marketing. It is objective. However, how companies choose to speak to us is another story. And in that case how they  market to us is mostly bad.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup you really owe it to yourself to take a look at “Welcome to Pine Point”. It’s a dazzling digital reconstruction of a place that no longer exists and a glimpse into the lives of some of the people who lived there. If you’re looking for a unique way to present personal histories, take a few minutes to read the interview with the creators and then head on over to Pine Point. It’s quite a trip!

  • “Welcome to Pine Point”: digital narrative chases memory and loss.“What if your hometown disappeared, literally vanished from the map? How would you hold onto it? Would the community of people who had lived there continue? “Welcome to Pine Point” is a website that explores the death of a town and the people whose memories and mementos tell its story today. The site lives online under the auspices of the National Film Board of Canada and came into the world via the creative duo of Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge (also known as The Goggles).”
  • The Main Principle of Charging a Flat Rate. “…more entrepreneurs are turning to flat-rate pricing structures instead of hourly rates because of the advantages that this option offers. Here are the main arguments in favor of flat-rate pricing to assist in your decision of which option to choose.”
  • The Death of Book Design. “Book Design. (1452 – 2011). Born near Mainz, Germany, Book Design came of age in the heady atmosphere of Venice in the Italian Renaissance. He went through a rocky adolescence when he seemed to lose track of his roots, but matured into the confident and gracious Book Design of the twentieth-century’s Golden Age of Letterpress.” [Thanks to Sarah White for alerting me to this item.]
  • The Problem With Memoirs. “There was a time when you had to earn the right to draft a memoir, by accomplishing something noteworthy or having an extremely unusual experience or being such a brilliant writer that you could turn relatively ordinary occur­rences into a snapshot of a broader historical moment. Anyone who didn’t fit one of those categories was obliged to keep quiet. Unremarkable lives went unremarked upon, the way God intended. But then came our current age of oversharing, and all heck broke loose.”
  • Ultimate PhotoGuide. “Our goal is simple – provide the highest-quality photography instructional videos, tips and techniques and a place where photographers can come together– whether new hobbyists or seasoned professionals, to exchange ideas and experiences.”
  • Books as a Way to Grace a Room. “Thatcher Wine of Juniper Books creates custom libraries and decorative “book solutions” for designers, high-end builders and individuals. He can wrap books he’s collected — literary classics, for example, or German philosophy — in jackets of his own design.”
  • 26 Tips to Enhance Your Experience on LinkedIn. “With more than 85 million users and “a new member being added every second,” LinkedIn is often regarded as the premier social networking site for business professionals. Companies also see LinkedIn as a valuable place to promote their products and services.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

You still have time to ask Santa for a new camcorder. In this Monday’s Link Roundup you can find some help in selecting just the right one by going to the Videomaker’s Annual 2010 Camcorders Buyer’s Guide. For those concerned about the future of print you’ll want to head over to Bill Moggridge, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jimmy Wales on the Future of Media Design [Videos].

  • On Light and Dark: the historicity of colour and non-colour photographs. “…the photographs, appearing in beautiful  vibrant colours, were taken prior to the First World War…There’s something about a colour photo that makes it feel more recent; closer to our own lifetime; more alive. When I think about this concept I know it’s ridiculous, but I adhere to it subconsciously. I think about the way I’m seeing these images and it occurs to me that I have certain expectations – cultural cues and codes my mind has been trained to see – as an observer of images in the 21st century.”
  • More Than 50,000 Historic New York City Images Online Now! “The Museum of the City of New York is pleased to announce the soft launch of its online collections portal…This is the first phase in a project to digitize the Museum’s entire photography collection, and additional images will be uploaded as they’re digitized and cataloged.” [Thanks to APH  member Marcy Davis for alerting me to this item.]
  • Bill Moggridge, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jimmy Wales on the Future of Media Design [Videos]. “Print isn’t dead, Designing Media, a fascinating new doorstop of a book by Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum chief Bill Moggridge, seems to say. It’s just waiting for design to save it. That counts as one of the more provocative ideas in a book full of the stuff. Moggridge — who invented the first laptop and cofounded IDEO — takes the fraught world of media, both old and new, and looks at it as a series of design problems. How do you design news as a social platform? Or newspapers at a time when everyone’s reading websites?”
  • How to Build a Referral Engine. “Getting a steady stream of referrals is the dream of most businesses. The right kind of referred leads are pure gold. They are often more qualified, less price sensitive, and more apt to refer business once they become a customer.”
  • Videomaker’s Annual 2010 Camcorders Buyer’s Guide. “In last year’s Annual Camcorders Buyer’s Guide, we divided camcorders by price. This approach still makes some sense, but it may not offer what you need to get your ‘perfect’ camcorder. The reason? The advent of flash-based ‘brick’ camcorders – often packaged like MP3 players with digital zoom lens added – and the growing popularity of HDTV at the high end means that your choices have become ever more complex. If you buy based on price alone, you could get the wrong camcorder for your needs.”
  • Interview as story: on radio, online and in print. “Whether they use full-on storytelling or just crib a few literary devices, interviews have their own narrative arcs and angles. From political drama (think the Frost-Nixon standoff or “The Fog of War”) to Studs Terkel’s cultural layering, interviews create a kind of permanent present-tense experience for viewers.”

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Monday’s Link Roundup.

In this Monday’s Link Roundup give yourself a visual treat by looking at National Geographic’s Photography Contest 2010. The photos are stunning! For a celebrity life story drop in on the NPR broadcast Sean Lennon And Yoko Ono: DNA Memory.

  • Early Experiments in Color Film (1895-1935). “Earlier this year, Kodak unearthed a test of Kodachrome color film from 1922 (above). But then you can travel back to 1912, when a filmmaker tested out a Chronochrome process on the beaches of Normandy.”
  • National Geographic’s Photography Contest 2010. “National Geographic was again kind enough to let me choose some of their entries from 2010 for display here on The Big Picture. Collected below are 47 images from the three categories of People, Places and Nature. Captions were written by the individual photographers.”
  • Five Commonly Repeated Words to Hunt Down in Your Writing. “Lifehacker AU editor Angus Kidman has spent the month of November writing a book as part of previously mentioned NaNoWriMo, during which he’s learned a lot about his writing habits. For example, he noticed he’d been overusing these five common phrases.”
  • Sean Lennon And Yoko Ono: DNA Memory.Sean Lennon is finding connections with his 77-year-old mother, Yoko Ono — not about the Beatles or John Lennon — but about her life in an interview broadcast on NPR as part of a national oral history project.”
  • Vladimir Nabokov’s unpublished love letters are released. “Over half a century’s worth of love letters from the novelist Vladimir Nabokov to his wife, Vera, reveal a new side to one of the 20th century’s best-loved authors. More than 300 letters have been collected by the Nabokovs’ son, Dmitry, and are to be published in English next year.”
  • Memory Loss Initiative. “Since 2006, StoryCorps’ Memory Loss Initiative has supported and encouraged people with various forms of memory loss to share their stories with loved ones and future generations…The Memory Loss Initiative has created a unique toolkit called Commemorate, designed to help organizations record, share, and preserve the stories of clients living with memory loss.” [A free downloadable copy of the toolkit is available.]
  • SepiaTown. “… lets you use your computer or mobile device to see what the very spot you’re standing on looked like decades or centuries ago. Registered SepiaTown users can upload, map, and share historical images (film and audio coming soon) from any given location and time period with other users around the world.”

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