Saturday, September 30, 2006


This is the first in a series of posts about the popular photography site
To get the non-photographers who visit here up to speed, is a place for you to see equipment reviews, discuss photography with others, read articles and essays, and most importantly (it seems) get your recent work seen, rated, and critiqued in the hopes of learning what's right and what's wrong with it.
Critiques from a vast variety of sources can be extremely helpful when you want to learn and improve.
The site has a huge membership that is truly world-wide, with often stunning photos coming in from the far reaches of the planet.
The skill level and artistic ability also covers a lot of ground, with a beginner's work having every bit of exposure as a seasoned pro's.

But all is not right in this artistic oasis on the web.
People are starting to freak out about the way the site and it's members are evolving, so I decided to point out what I personally feel are some of the major issues.
(Click to enlarge, or you'll be lost)

Keeping in mind that a critique of a photo is best when served warm, while the details and settings are still fresh in the photographer's mind, I would guess that the only reason this photo was posted recently was to garner high ratings on a 1-7 scale for aesthetics and originality.
High ratings will earn you nothing zero zip nada but ego strokes, while a particularly helpful and insightful critique can turn your life around.

And I have a big problem with people that post photos in the concert section like this. He neglected to spend 30 seconds googling to put a name on the face in his photo. It's NOT a photo of Cinderella. It's Jeff LaBar, who plays lead guitar.
It's disrespectful as hell to use an image of a man to try and further your career without making a tiny effort to learn his name.
Sorry Art, but you're an ass.

This one is a more minor peeve of mine, but is still worth mentioning.
Because people can (and will) upload photos at wildly different sizes, the site's software automatically re-sizes the displayed version to fit most browser windows.
When the original is bigger than that, a button appears that lets you see the original.
David wants to make damn sure you look at the "best" version, and will possibly ignore comments from anyone who didn't bother to click it a bit bigger.

Fair enough, but all of the real photographers I know take a few extra minutes to figure out what the size limits on a particular website are, and maximize the quality and sharpness of their uploaded photos to display them to their best advantage.
And when a photo is worth a second glance, the first thing us experienced viewers do is look for the "Larger" button, so we don't need to be told.
Or begged.

I'm not exactly afraid that anyone will get upset by these posts, seeing as how the readership here at Z'sG is so small.
But if you see a thumbnail of your work with your name here, please leave a comment (with proof) and I'll delete your shame.
But only if you admit that I'm right...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


(Click to enlarge)

With all the recent rain comes a downside.
About an hour with a hand saw just to make our driveway usable.
A few more hours to make the pieces small enough to carry.
A trip to a friend's house to add it to her own pile of tree trimmings, since the city brush pickup for our neighborhood isn't until November.

The guy up the street looked at me like I must have been high when I told him I didn't hear it fall.
But my theory is that it fell very slowly.

Friday, September 22, 2006

UP #2777

(Click to enlarge)

Engines are commonly patched-up with whatever happens to be laying around, but that usually means scrap steel or parts from a dead unit.
Cardboard and duct tape is kind of ghetto, even for Union Pacific.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Wrestler

(Click to enlarge)

Every weekend that I'm downtown I see this guy.
Different outfits, masks or makeup, but always with the championship belt.

Never saw him do anything but walk around the tourist areas, up one street and down another, a wrestler on the move.
People he passes look amused or scared, but he just keeps on walking.

On this particular evening my friends and I called him over and it turns out he's friendly and cheerful, and perfectly willing to pose for pictures.
Just another free spirit, living life in his own unique way with no apologies or regrets.
I admire that, and think more people should follow their dreams no matter how odd.
Happiness can be hard to find, if you're unable to just let go and be yourself.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


(Click to enlarge)

Saturday morning (morning to me, afternoon to normal people) in search of breakfast.
Hmmm, something's going on that I don't know about. This is the second vehicle I've seen in ten minutes with a similar nose-motif.

Later, I found the University of Texas/Ohio State University game on TV.
The Longhorns vs the Scrapbookers or Buckeyes or whatever they're called.
Well, that sure does explain it. The #1 team against #2.

Too bad the college puke driving this car didn't have a real longhorn skull.
The horns would be wider than his car, making for interesting photo-ops as he tried to park in a normal space or knocked someone off their bike in traffic.
Or, God forbid, scratched some dude's pickup truck.

(Do OSU fans put Buckeyes on the front of their cars? That's something I would like to see.)

Didn't watch the game, don't know what the score was.
Texas lost, and I'm fine with that.
I got a photo for the garage, and my friends in Ohio got bragging rights.
A Win/Win situation in my book.

The first time he caught me trying to bag a photo, the dirty look I got was a rather impressive attempt for a virgin.
I was hungry and didn't want to waste time out-dumbing him, which photographer's call 'waiting for the light' sometimes. Walking out to our car after eating I saw that patience had rewarded me twice: it was 3 percent less totally overcast and gameboy was nowhere around.

Anyone care to guess what's in the big cup he left next to his car?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Perimeter Security

(Click to enlarge)

One of our neighbors must be pretty smart to have come up with this idea.
His dog now has a way to see through the back fence in two directions, for accurate threat assessment.
The wire mesh keeps children's fingers safe.
Fucking Brilliant!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


These are the lowest gas prices since......I can't even remember when.

On the way home from The Vodka Store I saw this sign and instantly knew I had to shoot it through the windshield ASAP.
Luckily the fartknocker in front of me was the 2nd-slowest driver in human history.
I was able to review the previous shot, notice the blue color-cast (from my camera still being set for tungsten bulbs) and correct the matter in time for a second try as seen here.
All without holding up traffic and getting honked or shot at.

It's a good day when you can bring home The Vodka and an entry for The Garage.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fine Dining

(Click to enlarge)

Late on a Friday night many of the better dinner choices have closed, but try telling your stomach that.
It's especially hard to find a place with 'atmosphere' still open this late.
The Food Network's Rachel Ray always suggests trusting the locals.
In this case, maybe you should take a pass.

(30 minutes ago, Babcock and Hamilton Wolfe, 90f)