folding reflector, great for portrait lighting and archaeology too

Making light work for you is the photograher’s struggle and there is a tool that more people should try out. A number of manufacturers make a folding light reflector that might be of considerable help in getting more light on to your photographic subject, both sunlight and bouncing electronic flash light.  Certainly for field work enough gear is already on archaeologists’s backs but this folding reflector is small when folded and light in weight.  The model shown in the following photos is very useful and quite large when unfolded.  The biggest hurdle is learning the slight trick to refold it and get it back into its case.  The circular reflector has a wire in the perimeter.  I bought mine a few years ago for about $40.  One side is silver and the reverse is white.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

two shots of me – you can see which one had the reflector balancing out the light

my Sony ereader and returning library books early

Got my Sony reader for Christmas and have added a number of books, newspapers and magazines to it.  Some from the Sony Reader Store, some from the Gutenberg Project, and some books from my public library.

I have read about 6 books so far and enjoy this book method.

I borrowed Dick Van Dyke‘s memoir from the Midland Public Library and their ebook cooperative, and finished it in two days.  The book was borrowed for 14 days, the default loan period.  That was when the trouble started.  I dropped by at the library on the way home and spoke with one of the librarians who was knowledgeable about ebooks and readers but we could not work out how to return a book early.  I puzzled it out last night.

It may be in the user guide but I did not check there.  As an old tech writer, that was quite a sin.

With the Sony Reader running and a wi-fi connection, open the Books folder from the Home screen.  Change the view of books from cover icons to the text list of books.  Then press the options button and go to the second page of options for that screen and view.  Return library books is an option that you can select.  Only the library books show a check box for you to check to make your selecction of returns.  Press done, found at the top right of the screen.  And back they go.


Kodak Box Camera

Kodak Box Camera – part of my collection of 20th century film cameras –
bought used around 2002, uses 120 roll film which is still available, simplicity itself


(this was written back in 2001, so you will need to adjust prices which have been affected by inflation, recession, bailouts, recovery and other acts committed by politicians, bankers, economists, and FOX NEWS)

Through the letter slot, a million and a half flyers have arrived over the past few days. It is the great season of printing. I look forward to this every year. I bet the printers do. I now feel fully involved in the economy. Christmas shopping stimulation through four colour printing.

One little booklet caught my eye as I was shovelling flyers into the garbage. It suggests some things I really need. Not all of them are Christmasy, but still…..

Laser hair removal for men and women. Specifically lip or chin (from $53 per treatment), underarms (from $80 per treatment), bikini line (from $80 per treatment), men’s back (from $347 per treatment), women’s legs (from $347 per treatment, which is $173.50 per leg). It is good that they don’t mention doing women’s backs and men’s legs.

After all that hair removal, I may just want to look at buying a new furnace or a fireplace to keep warm. A gas insert fireplace will set me back $1299. An electric fireplace is a bargain at $999.

And since I am warm and cosy with my new heating installation, there is a company that will bring me all kinds of stuff not just groceries so I don’t have to venture out in that cold air. They will deliver gifts, toys, chocolates, flowers, magazines, books, health and beauty (not just the products but the actual states of being I suppose), new movies, software, and office supplies.

There is a store specializing in perfume. A pair of products caught my eye. Versace Blue Jeans for men. Red Jeans for women. These are spray bottles for $29.99. I always wondered where women bought sprayed on jeans. Now I know. I was sad to note that Versace has nothing for Mr. Greenjeans.

To every thing there is a season. And although I have my new heating, a company wants me to buy central air conditioning. Another wants to steam clean my carpets and upholstery, my whole home for $79 or my car for $49. Either they think I have a small home or a very very big car.

After the carpets are clean, I can visit a 35,000 square foot showroom and buy an 8 pc. Italian bedroom with 4 door wardrobe available in 2 colours for $1989.

Next comes windows, storm doors, and a sunroom. This company suggests I can have installed vinyl windows for as low as $25 month. I was hoping to buy them rather than rent them, but maybe they’re right.

Another laser hair removal company seems to be priced less competively. This may be a misprint, I hope so. For women, they will remove hair from underarm, bikini, half leg (what not the whole leg?) or for men, full back or chest, for a mere $2,999. Perhaps, they will keep removing the hair for your entire life span. Seems pricey.

Once the fur is gone, the next obvious step is liposuction, breast augmentation, and something called micro-dermabrasion (“chisel away years” sounds pleasant doesn’t it).

Then there is the great nightmare of the closet. A company offers to get me a bigger house without getting a bigger house by organizing my closets. Real estate agents weep at this revolutionary idea. The company offers free installation for a limited time only. Does that mean that they take them out after a while?

Once I have my closets organized and all my “stuff” (apologies to George Carlin), I need to get some security window and door guards. But before that, I really need some custom wood shutters. I can have Californian, Plantation, traditional, arches or exterior shutters.

Now that everything is secured and shuttered and organized, I still need more service. It won’t stay neat long. So it is time for housekeeping. They do everything including cupboard fronts professionally washed (one would not want amateur washing). They also list one item that has me puzzled: right after senior discounts they list “injury claims”. This suggests to my over advertised imagination a vision of an unsatisfied granny smacking the cleaning crew with a rolling pin or a cane.

If that cleaning approach doesn’t work out, I can spring for a central vacuum system for a mere $649.99.

This is also my chance to buy solid wood furniture. I had my heart set on liquid wood, but I guess I can adjust.

Tis the season to shop, shop, shop. My addition may be off but I think I just spent $9,030.37. Yikes!

Text copyright © William Joseph Gibson 2001

Text copyright © William Joseph Gibson 2001

Nikon D3100 DSLR – starting out

just bought one today, my treat to me,  still unpacking, charging battery and getting ready to take baby steps with it.

It is an awkward time to be buying , a new digital camera with the new kids on the block,  CMOS sized sensored mirrorless interchangeable cameras just getting onto the market blurring the line between point and shoot and dslr….

a camera out of the old film slr tradition with some size and an actual viewfinder which is what I used in my film days, had the strongest attraction for me.

I did a lot of research and paid attention to Ken Rockwell and to

some  first shots today:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.