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The Unforgettable Photograph: 228 Ideas, Tips, and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life
The Unforgettable Photograph: 228 Ideas, Tips, and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life
by (Photographer) George Lange
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.61
102 used & new from $4.24

7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good guidance on composition and choosing of photographic moments, but also some troubling aspects, November 30, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The author seems to go out of his way to invalidate use of higher quality cameras and lenses, such as SLR's (even though most of the photos in the book seem to be taken with an SLR and with good lenses). He also seems to have a negative slant about editing of photos or post processing after the photo is taken. It seems to be a way to attempt to appeal to more entry level photographers and smart phone photographers, since that is probably a larger audience. There is nothing wrong with entry level or smart phone photography, or not doing post-editing of photos. But I don't like authors who seem to suggest that using simple and less expensive equipment is somehow more "real photography" than is using better and more powerful equipment, or doing some digital dark room work with an editing program.

There are some good tips and good guidance about composition, and many intriguing and excellent photos to look at and learn from. However I was turned off by the section in the book titled "Keep it Real", that seems to advocate photographing people and their expressions as they really are, warts and all, somewhat embarrassing and private or intimate moments and all. Unless one is a journalistic photographer or is recording an important historical event or behavior, I think we have a responsibility as photographers not to show photos of people in moments that they would find embarrassing or very unflattering. An example of one such photo in this section of the book, titled "Embrace the Awkward", is a woman dressed in a fancy party dress, reaching in to the upper part of her dress to install a bra pad, with a startled and embarrassed look on her face as the photo is being snapped. It's true that most people don't like photos of themselves, but I believe the photographer has a responsibility to at least satisfy themselves that they are capturing something about the other person that is compelling in a positive way, or that suggests a strength or quality about the human condition that is admirable. Photos that clearly would be embarrassing to most people, or that seem to ridicule that person, should not be taken if possible, and clearly should not be shown in most situations.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 31, 2014 7:13 AM PDT


Narrow Escapes: A Boy's Holocaust Memories and their Legacy
Narrow Escapes: A Boy's Holocaust Memories and their Legacy
Price: $9.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Evil Doers, November 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The focus of Narrow Escapes begins with the German invasion of Poland in 1939 when Samuel (“Schmulek”) was 9 years old, and the progressive brutalization and terrorizing of his Jewish family. It soon proceeds to his experiences in 1942 as an 11 year boy when he and his whole family are suddenly wrenched out of their home by the actions of Nazis and Polish collaborators and brought to Bobowa Ghetto, one of Poland’s infamous Jewish Ghettos. About two months later, on the day that his entire family and all others in the ghetto besides himself are being “liquidated” (murdered), he is miraculously able to escape with the urging of his stepmother. She tells him to save himself and tell others what happened. He didn’t know what to do or where to go. His entire family is gone and death seems to wait around every corner.

Samuel eventually finds some refuge in the home of a non-Jewish Polish family, but his life remains in great peril. Most of the rest of the book deals with his life under these circumstances, the harrowing further dangers that he faces on almost a daily basis, and the inspired and inventive ways that he survives. The extended epilogue tells us about the adult that he becomes, how his early experiences have helped shape his on-going productive life, and how he carries out his stepmother’s wishes to tell others, as she was about to be murdered.

One of the reasons that Samuel’s book and career (author of several books and holocaust Sociology Professor at Humboldt State University in Arcata California) are so inspirational and distinguished from some of the other accounts of the holocaust is the balanced and complex picture he gives about the human dynamics involved in what took place. He certainly tells it like it is about the evil doers, their unbelievable brutality and inhumanity. His book pulls no punches in fully, and vividly describing and attributing responsibility for it. But then he goes beyond that and also teaches us about the scale of human responses to what was occurring – the collaborators, the bystanders, the reluctant and occasional victim helpers, the rescuers, and the liberators. It’s that full range of human behavior that gives his presentation such realism and power. And it challenges all of us when we wonder about ourselves, where on this scale might we fall?

As a victim and survivor, he has chosen not only to tell the story of the immense evil that happened, so it is never forgotten and to help decrease the chance of some kind of convenient distortion of it as time goes by, but he has also chosen to help make sure the world knows that there were resistors and rescuers, and fighters, who jeopardized themselves on many different levels to combat the evil. And as a result, that particular evil at that particular time was defeated.


Stofen OM-EY Omni-Bounce for the Canon 580EX Flash diffuser
Stofen OM-EY Omni-Bounce for the Canon 580EX Flash diffuser
Offered by Outdoor Photo Gear
Price: $11.95
13 used & new from $8.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tool for flash photography with Canon Speedlight 580 EX, July 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This Stofen is a replacement for one I lost and have enjoyed for several years. It's a great and inexpensive diffuser for the Canon Speedlight 580 EX. It is light, relatively small, and easy to store. When used inside with light-medium colored ceilings and walls, it really spreads out and softens the light, and reduces shadows on faces and behind people or objects. The quality of the light is attractive and displays facial tones and colors naturally.

I keep the Stofen on my flash unit for almost all my flash photography. I normally use it with the flash pointed straight up, or tilted a little forward (60 degrees up) for slightly longer reach if needed. The only time I take it off is if I need a real long reach like the end of a long banquet table, or far-away subject, or for a very large object in the dark (like the outside of a house at night). I also take it off normally when I use the flash for fill flash in bright daylight. But I sometimes keep it on even for daylight fill-flash if the subject is close in a portrait situation where I only want a small touch of additional light, or just want to add sparkle to the eyes.


Treasury of Ukulele Chords
Treasury of Ukulele Chords
by Roy Sakuma
Edition: Paperback
20 used & new from $23.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Complete and well organized listing of chords for ukulele, July 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book presents a complete, well organized and easy to use listing of chords for the Ukulele. Each page is devoted to a specific category of cord (such as "Major Chords", Minor Chords", "Dominant 7th Chords", etc), and shows how that chord is fingered in all the different keys, with multiple options for fingering each chord at different locations on the neck. There are approximately 21 chord category pages, including all frequently played categories as well as such esoteric ones as "Major Chords with Added 9th".

The chord diagrams are large and easy to understand. This must be THE DEFINITIVE book on this subject, as I can't imagine a more complete or better way of presenting this type of information. This book is a must for anyone with a significant interest in learning how to play chords on the ukulele. It is truly a "Treasury", as included in the title.


Sandbag Sandbags Black Yellow Sandbag Photography Sandbag Studio Video Equipment Sandbag Sand Bag Saddle Bag for Boom Stand Tripod By Fancierstudio Black Yellow Sandbag
Sandbag Sandbags Black Yellow Sandbag Photography Sandbag Studio Video Equipment Sandbag Sand Bag Saddle Bag for Boom Stand Tripod By Fancierstudio Black Yellow Sandbag
Offered by Fancier Studio
Price: $29.99
4 used & new from $1.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product, January 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Excellent product. I am using 3 of these sandbags, filled with pea gravel, to stablize a tripod and mast for a portable HF (shortwave) ham radio antenna. The mast extends up to 18 ft high, with 2 horizontal telescoping whip antenna elements at the top, spreading out as far as 27 ft from end to end. I've placed each of the 3 sandbags at the bottom, over one of the 3 lateral support arms at the tripod base (down close to where the legs of the tripod rest on the ground). This seems to be providing very solid support against the wind tipping over the structure. Except for very high wind situations, it seems to be sufficient.

The sandbag is made of very good, thick and sturdy material, and has both an outer and an inner zipper to keep the contents (sand or pea gravel) cleanly inside the bag. I placed a 1 gallon freezer-type plastic bag inside each of the 2 sides of the sandbag, and trowelled the pea gravel into the plastic bags. When both sides of the sandbag are filled with pea gravel, the sandbag weighs a little over 13 lbs. So the 3 sandbags on base of the tripod weigh a combined 40 lbs.


The National Parks: America's Best Idea [Blu-ray]
The National Parks: America's Best Idea [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Adam Arkin
Price: $47.99
33 used & new from $42.23

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking scenes and great tales of triumph and sacrifice, October 6, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
An earlier reviewer states "You will not be seeing much of the actual National Parks here". The Ken Burns series I just saw in the high def PBS-TV showing had hours of breathtaking and spectacular scenes of National Parks, scenes I've never seen before. The scenes ranged from small detailed views to grand majestic panoramas, and everything in between.

Yes the earlier reviewer is partially correct in stating "it is really about the people and politics of making National Parks". Much of it is a tale of individuals, starting with John Muir, and followed by many more, who fought against all kinds of adversity and obstacles, and won! They won their individual battles to preseve these beautiful places. It is a tale of human beings who made a difference, a story of triumph and sacrifice. The stories are of famous people and of little known people. The stories unwind in a fascinating way, little by little, as the series progresses.

But the most prominent part of the series is the high def, wide screen, visual presentation of the incredible beauty of our National Parks. In my estimation this is Ken Burns best so far.


Panasonic Viera TH-42PZ85U 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2008 Model)
Panasonic Viera TH-42PZ85U 42-Inch 1080p Plasma HDTV (2008 Model)

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The HD picture on this plasma TV is outstanding - mesmerizing!, April 19, 2008
We purchased the 42" 2008 Panasonic plasma 1080p model TH-42PZ85U about 5 weeks ago, after about 2 weeks of almost non-stop comparing of different sets at various stores. We've watched it during bright glary daytime conditions and dark room evening hours. We've watched HD channels and SD (standard-def) channels, and HD-DVD movies. We're familiar with the amazing picture quality of High-Def because we've had a Fujitsu plasma for the last 5 years, which was excellent. The Fujitsu developed an un-repairable problem with it's power supply circuit panel.

To summarize, the picture quality of the Panasonic TH-42PZ85U plasma is absolutely outstanding! It is stunning! It's mesmerizing. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. It was great in the store, but even much better under home conditions, without bright store spotlights, with good cable HD service, and without having to share a TV signal with 83 other sets.

In doing the visual research at various stores, I was attracted to LCD sets because of their incredible brightness and bright colors. Under the bright store lights, the poor plasmas looked like dim, lost souls next to the super-nova LCD's. However it soon became evident to me that LCD's had more of an artificial look to the images, especially the human face. Faces on LCD sets looked more plastic and flat, without real-world color gradients. They looked more like a poster. Faces on plasmas looked real, with real texture and color gradations, with a 3 dimensional quality. Other scenes on LCD's also looked more 2 dimensional. On plasmas, the same scene had depth and a 3-D quality. I had read about this, but didn't understand what it meant until I saw it with my own eyes.

The TH-42PZ85U is more than bright enough at home, even during a bright sunny day with lots of direct light coming in from our patio. The brightest picture mode, called "vivid" is too bright for even those conditions under its default settings. The default color setting is also way too strong and a bit too green. But after adjusting down the brightness and color strength, and adjusting the color tint a little away from green to red, the picture is truly outstanding. In the evening we use a picture mode called "cinema", which is soft yet sharp, beautiful and so real you think you are in a movie theater. When "cinema" mode is not bright enough for our inside lights, we change it to a mode called "standard". Each of the modes can be adjusted as you wish, and then retains that adjustment when that mode is chosen later.

Regardless of the picture mode, with an HD signal, the picture is incredibly sharp, smooth and non-grainy, and the quality of the colors is great and realistic. I see no motion artifacts, even when watching fast moving action such as in a basketball game. There has been no burn in of any type, even temporary. The blacks are super black, there are lots of gray shades in the dark areas, and the whites are very white. To make blacks even blacker, there is a "black level" setting under the "advanced picture" menu. It gives a choice of "light" or "black". I like it better set to "light" because "black" takes away a little from the gray shades. Even on "light", the blacks look almost as black as the bezel that surrounds the glass panel. This plasma TV has a 3-dimensional quality that just seems to make images pop out.

We have a small room (about 14x10). Two of the chairs are on either side of the TV, within 4-5 feet of the TV. The 1080 resolution screen resolution really pays off from this close distance. Even from 4 feet, when we are on channels with strong HD signals, the screen is totally smooth, with no graininess, screen-door effect, or ghosting or other artifacts. It is just as bright from an extreme side angle as from head-on.

As good as a general cable 720p signal looks, even more outstanding is the signal from our (now obsolete) HD-DVD player, which actually puts out a 1080p signal. I was watching Planet Earth on the new Panasonic plasma. The picture quality is incredible.

There are a few things about the TV that are not outstanding. Standard definition programming is very ordinary, not very exciting. I wonder if the 1080 screen resolution of the TV makes standard definition signals look even worse? The built in speakers are so-so, not great. It doesn't matter to us because I put the audio through a surround sound receiver and external speakers. The anti-glare capability of the screen is average. During sunny days we can see some glare from the sunlight outside our patio sliding doors, although the reflection is muted and dimmed.

Overall we are thrilled with this plasma TV. Even though we have had a plasma before, the picture quality is so outstanding we can't seem to pay attention to the program we are watching. We are just mesmerized by the quality of the picture we are seeing.


Magellan Meridian Color Handheld GPS Navigator (16 MB)
Magellan Meridian Color Handheld GPS Navigator (16 MB)
3 used & new from $179.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great device, August 23, 2004
The Magellan Meridian Color is my first GPS receiver, so I can't compare it with others. But it is an amazing piece of equipment. It is extremely versatile, well made, fun and useful. With the latest firmware upgrade, v5.34, and the excellent optional MapSend DirectRoute mapping computer software (made by NavTech) this is both a great handheld hiking GPS and an in-car, turn-by-turn, street/address routing device.

Although the internal memory is only 16 MB, enough for the adequate base maps that are pre-installed, the capability to use SD memory cards for uploading detaled street or topo maps from the computer greatly expands the usefulness. I am using a 256 MB memory card in my Meridian Color, on which I currently have uploaded detailed street maps for most of California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas from the DirectRoute software. These have to be limited to no more than 64 MB regions that can be selected on the GPS through the "card utilities - change map" menu, and are available in the GPS at all times. If I want more maps than fit on one card, I can buy another card and swap them as needed.

The color screen is very good and can be seen well in a car from the drivers seat position when the unit is held in the optional dashboard suction-cup mounting bracket. Unless the sun is right on it, it is bright enough to be seen in the middle of a sunny day, and can be dimmed at night. The zoom function allows you to quickly zoom out to see your current position in reference to the whole world, or zoom in in reference to as close as a 100 ft scale of detailed street or topo maps.

The only negative comment I have is that the output connection from the GPS to a computer is a serial port type, rather than USB. Most newer laptops don't even have serial ports anymore. However, this is remedied by using a serial/USB converter (about $20). The uploading of detailed maps is much faster anyway when done directly to the SD memory card using an SD memory reader/writer (also about $20), which makes it mostly unnecessary to connect the GPS directly to the computer.

The GPS receiver goes through 2 AA batteries in about 6 hours of use with screen continuously at full brightness. I bought an AA battery recharger with 6 batteries for about $20 which works great and takes away the cost of replacing batteries.

The Meridian Color can quickly convert among all major coordinate systems, and has multiple screens to show you such things as your current coordinates, elevation, speed, heading, and needed bearing toward a chosen destination ("waypoint"). It can store up to 500 waypoints and 20 routes. For hiking purposes it can track your movement and then allow you to use a "backtrack" function to see and re-trace your path back to where you started.


Magellan Meridian 2.2-Inch Portable GPS Navigator
Magellan Meridian 2.2-Inch Portable GPS Navigator
Offered by bookscoutfinds
Price: $599.99
4 used & new from $68.00

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great device!, August 9, 2004
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Magellan Meridian Color is my first GPS receiver, so I can't compare it with others. But it is an amazing piece of equipment. It is extremely versatile, well made, fun and useful. With the latest firmware upgrade, v5.34, and the excellent optional MapSend DirectRoute mapping computer software (made by NavTech) this is both a great handheld hiking GPS and an in-car, turn-by-turn, street/address routing device.

Although the internal memory is only 16 MB, enough for the adequate base maps that are pre-installed, the capability to use SD memory cards for uploading detaled street or topo maps from the computer greatly expands the usefulness. I am using a 256 MB memory card in my Meridian Color, on which I currently have uploaded detailed street maps for most of California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Texas from the DirectRoute software. These have to be limited to no more than 64 MB regions that can be selected on the GPS through the "card utilities - change map" menu, and are available in the GPS at all times. If I want more maps than fit on one card, I can buy another card and swap them as needed.

The color screen is very good and can be seen well in a car from the drivers seat position when the unit is held in the optional dashboard suction-cup mounting bracket. Unless the sun is right on it, it is bright enough to be seen in the middle of a sunny day, and can be dimmed at night. The zoom function allows you to quickly zoom out to see your current position in reference to the whole world, or zoom in in reference to as close as a 100 ft scale of detailed street or topo maps.

The only negative comment I have is that the output connection from the GPS to a computer is a serial port type, rather than USB. Most newer laptops don't even have serial ports anymore. However, this is remedied by using a serial/USB converter (about $20). The uploading of detailed maps is much faster anyway when done directly to the SD memory card using an SD memory reader/writer (also about $20), which makes it mostly unnecessary to connect the GPS directly to the computer.

The GPS receiver goes through 2 AA batteries in about 6 hours of use with screen continuously at full brightness. I bought an AA battery recharger with 6 batteries for about $20 which works great and takes away the cost of replacing batteries.

The Meridian Color can quickly convert among all major coordinate systems, and has multiple screens to show you such things as your current coordinates, elevation, speed, heading, and needed bearing toward a chosen destination ("waypoint"). It can store up to 500 waypoints and 20 routes. For hiking purposes it can track your movement and then allow you to use a "backtrack" function to see and re-trace your path back to where you started.


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