Captured: Farewell to Summer

I'll preface this post by saying that I'll try to post stuff somewhat more regularly. Well, I could post way more regularly, but then it would be a bunch of stream-of-consciousness-type gibberish that wouldn't really be worth reading anyway. So yeah, that's my excuse for taking FOREVER to post this.

Back on topic — this year, bidding summer adieu was a lot more difficult.  The summer of 2010 was full of beach days, music, movies, good food and great friends.  And while I had a great time, there are still things I didn't get a chance to do this summer (Visit Coney Island or Atlantic City — for outlet shopping, obviously! Drink copious amounts of homemade iced peppermint tea! Take swimming lessons!). However, I'll gladly take what I can get: roadtrip + rock climbing in Kentucky; pig roast + bioluminescent algae in Maryland; baseball, concerts and just truly awesome, terrific people in New York City.

The following is a photographic recap (in no particular order) of many of the things that made my summer pretty memorable this year!

Photoshop v. Illustrator (or: who cares?)

Lately, I've been hearing a lot of chatter about which tools web professionals should use and why. I'd like to begin by saying that I've never been one to drone on about tools. My perspective is you need to choose the right tool for the job. How do you ascertain which tool is the right one? The right tool is the one that does the job.

Let's take an example from the painting world: Bob Ross. I remember being a small kid, watching Bob Ross create beautiful paintings on PBS. Later, I re-watched those programs and found that he was not using a fancy set of expensive brushes. But rather, he was using a standard painter's brush — something most people own or can easily and cheaply find at their local hardware store. In 30 minutes at a time, using a big bushy brush, he created some pretty great work and a following of folks who suddenly realized that painting was accessible to them. Continue reading "Photoshop v. Illustrator (or: who cares?)"

Captured: Farmer's Market

I went to the Farmer's Market this morning (well, actually this afternoon) which happens to be right around the corner from my house.  I'm always captivated by the beautiful color combinations found in nature and today was no exception.  The prunes were particularly inspiring in their dusty indigo coloring mixed with touches of a yellow mustard color, bordering on gold leaf.  The vibrant pink of the flowers in the first photo also caught my eye.

Captured: Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand by Jen Gallardo (some rights reserved)

This weekend, I was running a slew of errands (if you call shopping errands…) on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. As I was walking across town on 86th Street, I spotted this scene. A young girl scout and her mother were selling lemonade and lemon tarts by the stoop of their building. Needless to say, the lemon tarts were delicious.

The State We're In

Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but last night I got sucked into a British gossip website. I think what particularly struck me was that Rod Stewart was expecting his eighth child (at 66 years old, which I think is terribly irresponsible, but that's a story for another day…). Of course, once you are in a gossip site, you can't disengage. I clicked around for the better part of a half an hour, consuming silly articles about celebs behaving (mostly) badly. I got around to one article about Lady Gaga where the author wrote something along the lines of she'll be performing her next show at "New York's Staples Center."

I could let the reporter slide for not being from the United States, but I won't. For the record, the Staples Center is not in fact in New York but actually in Los Angeles (it is where the Lakers play their games). This error really struck a chord with me in part because it is so lazy. The writer of this article should have done some fact checking prior to reporting something so completely false. If one were to google (or even bing, for that matter) "staples center," it is very clear from the ensuing results (like press releases that begin with "LOS ANGELES, CA") that there is definitely no Staples Center in New York. Furthermore, the writer's editor should have noticed and corrected this pretty egregious error.

In general, though, I've noticed a lot of errors in online journalism (not just the lack of fact-checking, but also spelling and grammar mistakes). It's really a shame because bloggers often are overlooked by mainstream media as amateurs yet it is this kind of thing that fuels that notion. My opinion is if you are doing any kind of journalism (not all blogs do this, but some — like technology-focused blogs, for instance — report on news that very few print outlets touch), you really need to maintain a level of professionalism and maintain that everything that prints (even if it is printed onscreen) has been thoroughly reviewed for accuracy.

Several large magazine retailers (that have been hurting very much with ad sales plummeting) began a campaign a few months back called "The Power of Print." While at first it seemed a bit pretentious, I think they do have a point (besides protecting their livelihood). Something about the nature of a magazine, perhaps the fact that it is written word, makes it tangible. There's also a definite craft to it — a page can only be so long, a layout must be aesthetically pleasing. And I have to say that I do enjoy reading magazines because the distractions (like typos and errant facts) are very rare.

In short, you can distill my thoughts down to the fact that quality control is incredibly important. For any brand, whether you are Conde Nast or Gawker, maintaining a consistent product is vital for enduring in any market.

I love the smell of fixer in the morning!

In college, I took a black and white photography class. I have to say, it was a ton of fun. I remember developing my own film with pride (I even developed my friend's black and white headshots). I also remember the chemicals — stop, fixer, developer. Good times!

Adorama Learning Center has a run down of the supplies you would need to build your own darkroom. While I would love to have my own b&w darkroom, I don't think I have the space. I've heard stories of folks using their poorly ventilated and poorly lit bathrooms as darkrooms but I'm not sure if my boyfriend Anthony would appreciate the aroma of chemicals in our tub!