Tag photography

Dark camera flash with infrared / UV light could revolutionize low light photography

This is some really phenomenal core technology that could finally solve the classic problem of blurry low light photos. The leftmost photo is a photo taken with a dark flash, and the 2nd photo is one taken using ambient light at high ISO (noisy!). The 3rd photo is the synthesized version that actually looks even better than the 4th reference photo taken with a long exposure.

As a photographer, one of the hardest tradeoffs has always been ISO (fast shutter but noisy, vs slow shutter but blurry) and whether to use flash (annoying, noticeable, vs. having enough light). But this sounds like best of all worlds.

At the very least, tech-savvy paparazzi will now be able to take low light photos undetected.

If I had more hours in the day, I would want to do more music and portrait photography

Like this one of my friend Mike and the band he is lead guitarist for -- The Fancy Dan Band. Must have been over a year ago!

Portrait photography is about capturing that kernel of humanity. It's the hardest to do well, but the most rewarding by far. Makes me sad my SLR is sitting alone on a shelf.

But there are many other things to be created in the meantime.

Cole and Roberta

It was a pleasure and a privilege to be asked to photograph my friends Cole and Roberta for their wedding recently. We had a blast doing portraits at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. Here are just a few of the highlights...

Shot with a Canon 5D, 35mm f/1.4L, and 85mm f/1.2L lens, all natural light.

Money = Happiness only if it's an investment in experiences. I'm living proof.

Money can lead to greater happiness for the person possessing it and those around them, if it is used to buy experiences, not possessions.

This explains why a spoiled rich kid can have all the toys in the world and still be empty inside. Buying stuff is a short term high, but money also lets you experience more too, and that's what matters in the long run. I'd add another aspect to this -- money is needed to let you connect to other people.

Last year, I spent many thousands on pro camera equipment (dSLR, pro lighting gear, top quality lenses and all the accessories). But along the way, I discovered that I absolutely loved capturing the beauty of life in photos. I got to go to concerts for free, get to know party promoters, connect with cool local SF bands, and help them on their road to stardom in some small way with my concert photography. Same with the various models I did promotional shoots with. I got to take photos on editorial assignments with a hip hop magazine Hood Star Magazine, and got to see a side of hip hop and street culture from the inside I would never have seen otherwise.

My first interaction with Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston of Y Combinator was actually through my photos of Startup School. Shortly afterwards, one of my photos appeared on the front page of the Startup School -- with thanks from PG himself. Awesome, I thought. It might well have given us a small push when we applied for YC later that year. When Jessica invites me to an event these days, she makes sure to ask if my camera is coming too. =)

I also learned the wonder that is a great, functioning user-generated content community (Flickr), and it helped Sachin and I every step along the way as we designed Posterous. Flickr addiction taught me the virtuous cycle that can happen when personal creativity gains a very real audience.

So I think the money was well spent. The experiences it purchased altered the very trajectory of my life. It put me in touch with new and awesome creative people, let me express myself in a powerful new medium, and in aggregate I'm happier and more engaged in my life now than ever before.

The next time you're considering whether or not to drop the cash on that new gadget or that trip or whatnot, think about whether it will unlock new avenues. If it will, consider it an experiential investment. Take that path and good thngs will come.

A good time at Picaro in the Mission. Cheap Tapas and good friends.

Got together Saturday night after Sachin's movers finished dropping off all their stuff. Andalu couldn't seat us, so instead we went down the street on 16th to Picaro. Way cheaper, way better. I love inexpensive food! We were celebrating Sachin's return to the SF Bay, and man am I ever glad we're in the same city again.

 Good times to be had by all. Try Picaro on 16th and Albion. Delicious and totally worth it. The whole meal with sangria cost $25 per person, probably 1/3rd of what we would have paid at Andalu.

 Welcome home, Sachin!