Sunday, January 24, 2021

New Headshot

My department asked for a new headshot at Hamline University, so I snapped a few back in November. I just had access to a small softbox and a small "bare bulb" flash with a gel, so this is what I was able to do in a random small basement classroom at Hamline:

[click each image for a larger version]

Without a gel in the back.

With a blue gel.

As I was getting ready to turn those in last week, I realized my beard wasn't trimmed, and I had been unhappy with how my collar was laying (I was wrestling with it as I was shooting those 2 months ago). So I quick shot another headshot with a "better" shirt and with a trimmed (but longer) beard:

This new one is the one I submitted. I'll post about the updated faculty/department page when it goes live.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Praxis Facebook Post

I nearly forgot to share this. Praxis Gallery and Photo Center posted this on their Facebook page when I stopped by to see the exhibition that I was a part of last year:

(Had I known I was going to be photographed, I would have worn a better shirt...)

Here are some photos that I made of that exhibition, and here are a lot more images from a Facebook album that Praxis shared.

Monday, January 18, 2021

J-Term Zoom Meetings

I posted this on Facebook last week:

This is exactly what happened in yesterday's class when I joined a few minutes early. This is also the reason I purposefully joined today's scheduled class 1 minute late.

I added in a comment: "Don't worry: my Minnesotanness kicked in and we chatted about the weather for a minute before the rest of the class joined in." J-Term is still going well! Looking forward to my students wrapping up their final 2 projects this week.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Recording Lectures

Over the weekend, I prepped for my first fully online course. Like, SUPER prepped. I moved a table (that had an iMac locked to it) in position in front of one of my classrooms, erased the board, and then started giving lectures to the (recording) computer. Here was the scene 7 hours later when I was wrapping up on Saturday night:

CLICK HERE for a large version.

That image shows my laptop on the far left (because I had to glance at the syllabus now and then), cameras and other things to discuss in the back left, the iMac propped up and pointed at the white board to record, and my 2nd camera on the far right. And obviously, a board full of notes at the end of the day.

I was there for 2 days recording demos and recording lectures. By the end of the weekend, I had about 2.5 GB of videos (just the ones worth saving), which totaled nearly 3.5 hours of video. Whew! (And this is all moving "faster" than a normal in-person class because I know students can pause to get caught up and/or rewind for a moment to reiterate a point that they didn't quite understand the first time.)

I have the video files saved 5 different ways/places right now: on that iMac, on a flash drive, on Google Drive, on a private (new) YouTube channel, and on North Central University's video sharing platform. The whole idea with the YouTube channel is that they are not public, but anyone with the direct link can view them, so I can share them in the future when I have a student miss an important class: "Here Johnny, check out this video. It's not EXACTLY what we covered, but it will get you mostly caught up!"

The start of a new (and private) YouTube channel.

On top of everything listed above, I have 4 more videos ready to upload as well: the running total is now just over 4 hours, and I've got close to 4 GB of video files. Sheesh!

Thursday, January 07, 2021

J-Term: First Critique!

I'm 4 days into my first J-Term class (as I wrote about this past weekend). I posted this on Instagram on Monday after class:

"Before and after on the first day of J-Term. Here’s to packing a 16-week semester into 2.5 weeks..."

Today, we had our first critique (with prints, just 4 days in). Tonight, I posted this on Facebook:

Whew. Let's keep this up. This is kind of fun!....

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Monthly Challenge 12 of 12: Prepping for J-Term

Tomorrow I start teaching my first J-Term class. My department at Hamline University hasn't offered J-Term classes before, but they have one this year. So I'm working to pack as much of a normal 16 week semester that I can into 2.5 weeks. Yikes.

I've been working on this pretty much since Thanksgiving. I'm more prepared for this than ANY other class I've taught. I won't have time to prep things "mid-semester" like I usually can. So I mapped out the folder structure that I have placed on Google Drive for my students:

That shows the main ideas of what's there: 42 files (or folders). But in reality, at this moment, there are already 197 files (or folders) uploaded within this structure so far. And I know I'll be adding a few more things to go over as the J-Term moves along.

Stay tuned, as I'm sure I'll be sharing updates about how this fast-paced J-Term class is going. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Printer Ink Joke

Friday, December 18, 2020

An Eight Year Long Exposure

Here's an excerpt from a press release from the University of Hertfordshire from last week:

A photograph thought to be the longest exposure image ever taken has been discovered inside a beer can at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory.

The image was taken by Regina Valkenborgh, who began capturing it towards the end of her MA Fine Art degree at the University of Hertfordshire in 2012. It shows 2,953 arced trails of the sun, as it rose and fell between summer and winter over a period of eight years and one month. The dome of Bayfordbury’s oldest telescope is visible to the left of the photograph and the atmospheric gantry, built halfway through the exposure, can be seen from the centre to the right.

Click here to enlarge.

The previously "accepted" record for longest exposure was a Michael Wesely photo that was just over half as long: 4 years and 8 months.

Here's a bit more on Valkenborgh's record-breaking image from the Smithsonian Magazine.

And here's a video by Justin Quinnell showing how to make your own pinhole camera that can hold up for a long exposure:

Direct link:

An example of a 6-month exposure from Quinnell.

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