Monthly Archives: July 2013

Smart Mouse Trap

By Vladimir Brezina

A smart mouse-trap or a smart-mouse trap? Where are those hyphens when you need them? We’ll have to test this trapped mouse in the lab to see if it is a smart mouse. Probably it isn’t all that smart if it got trapped in a mouse trap, but then again, it is a smart mouse trap…

Photography 101: The Rules and Elements of Composition

<— Previous in Photography 101

This is the sixth installment of Photography 101.

Next in Photography 101 —>

The Daily Post

Recently, photographer Wenjie Zhang introduced us to the fundamentals of light. Let’s continue our journey through the Photography 101 series and move on to composition. For the next few installments, photographer (and active Daily Post participant) Jeff Sinon takes the reins. Here in part one, he introduces some of the “rules” and elements of composition, and in part two, he’ll offer insights and tips on how to find the best shot.

Jeff illustrates his points with stunning landscapes and nature scenes he’s captured, taken mainly with his Canon 7D, but you can apply his techniques to your own images, no matter your camera or subject matter. Let’s go!

View original post 1,175 more words

A Stand Up Paddle Board Earns Its Keep

By Vladimir Brezina

Finally! I knew there had to be some use for these things! ;-)

Spotted off Cape Ann, MA: A man on a paddle board tending to his lobster pots.

IMGP5092 cropped smallIMGP5094 cropped smallIMGP5095 cropped small

His comment: “This is harder in winter.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece, Take Two

By Vladimir Brezina

Here is a Masterpiece that I think our readers, especially those with children of the right age, just have to see…

(sorry for the ad the first time you watch it, but it’s worth it!)

For details see Johna’s original post here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Masterpiece.

A quiet little masterpiece that would not be out of place in the Metropolitan Museum, in its collection of Rococo decorative objects—


Travel Theme: Sweet

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Sweet.

Even heaven is not sweet, but bitter sweet… and it’s to be found in Brooklyn!

DSC_0124 cropped small

What are these space aliens doing wandering the streets of Brooklyn? Read the full story here!

The Dry Salvages

By Vladimir Brezina

IMGP5457 cropped small

… the ragged rock in the restless waters,
Waves wash over it, fogs conceal it;
On a halcyon day it is merely a monument,
In navigable weather it is always a seamark
To lay a course by: but in the sombre season
Or the sudden fury, is what it always was.

T.S. Eliot, The Dry Salvages

The Dry Salvages is the third of T.S. Eliot‘s Four Quartets, a landmark of 20th-century English poetry. In a prefatory note, Eliot tells us that the Dry Salvages are a group of isolated rocks offshore in the Atlantic Ocean, but in the body of the poem they are never  mentioned again by name. Rather, their symbolic reach expands immediately to encompass one of the larger themes of the poem, that of water as the eternal agent of birth and death. It might seem, therefore, that the Dry Salvages are a mythical place.

But they are real, and a couple of days ago we paddled out to see them.

Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh

By Vladimir Brezina

This week’s Photo Challenge is Fresh.

Kayaking, we soon become familiar with a distinct hierarchy of freshness. In descending order, there is—

Fresh off the tree!

(story is here)

Fresh and cold from the store!

IMGP1868 cropped small(more photos are here)

Fruit that stays surprisingly fresh on a long trip…

IMGP2862 cropped small(more photos are here)

and something that was fresh once in the depths of the dry bag.

IMGP7000 cropped small(story is here)

Travel Theme: Tilted

By Vladimir Brezina

Ailsa’s travel-themed photo challenge this week is Tilted.

Here’s a photo of me sailing my kayak through New York Harbor—that’s the Empire State Building in the distance—back in 2007. The camera, set to take a photo automatically every 10 minutes, was mounted on the outrigger arm, but evidently not very firmly: it started rotating round it, so that when I got home, I found I had photos tilted at all angles, even some upside down…


More about my kayak sailing adventures can be found here, here, and here.

What to Do with Visitors to NYC? A Round-Manhattan Paddle!

By Vladimir Brezina

Heading homeWe are constantly racking our brains trying to come up with new things for people who visit us in NYC to do.

Empire State Building? They’ve been there. Statue of Liberty? They’ve done that.

But how about… a round-Manhattan paddle!

Here are some photos from last Saturday’s Manhattan circumnavigation on which we took our friend R.

And I think she got all the excitement, as well as the unexpected quiet beauty, that she could have wished for.

(click on any photo to start slideshow)