Blog - Links to other blogs: March 2005 Archives

Peter Chou has uploaded a new gallery on Taoist Festival of Singapore at It features Taoist mediums going into trance and perform rituals that are seldom documented. Peter's been featured on this site before, wonderful pictures.

"Anti-war photographer" James Nachtwey has his work online at Really heartrending and yet gorgeous material. I heard him once speak at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He's a warm and humble man, perhaps one of the best of the current generation of documentary photojournalists.

AFP reports on the outcome of the 62nd annual Pictures of the Year International photojournalism competition held recently at the Missouri School of Journalism in the United States. Complete coverage may be viewed at:

David Alan Harvey, noted Magnum photojournalist, reviews the Epson R-D1 on the Digital website. He gives it two thumbs up (except for the faux-retro wind-lever).

Blog: Welcome Mehyar

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Some of you have already noticed the new postings that he's made, but I wanted to formally introduce a new contributor to the blog, Mehyar. He's an avid photographer and -- like me -- travels an incredible amount on his job as an engineer between the United States and Japan. I noticed him posting comments on the blog, as well as being a source for many of the public posts I've made.

Just keep a heads up to see who is making the posting, since some people are already privately commenting to me that they like "my" new photos of the flowers, when it's Mehyar they should be complimenting.

Photo: Spring Arrives..

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The sun is about to cross the celestial equator and that will mark the beginning of the new year for many people around the globe. I was surprised when discovered that in Japan spring equinox day is a national holiday and is celebrated at shrines and temples. For instance, the ceremonies at Pure Land Buddhist temples are believed to help souls enter the world of light, and at the famous Shinto shrine of Ise dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu, a festival is held to celebrate the renewal of life on earth.

Here in San Diego, spring arrived in mid February. The as yet unidentified tree outside the office presented the opportunity for this picture.

Blog: Street Art in Japan

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One comes across rather imaginative signs in Japan. Public art can no doubt play a role in humanizing the city and expressing its traditions.

The picture shown here* is from Martine Cotton's site at:
*Copyright guidelines are posted at her site under FAQ

Erwin Puts is a prolific and controversial author and reviewer of Leica cameras and lenses. Like with most professional reviewers, you often have to read between the lines of his reviews since he makes a good deal of his money writing for Leica. Nonetheless, he's uploaded a fine review of the Epson R-D1 digital rangefinder.

My own take on the R-D1 is that it's brilliantly flawed. Kudos to Epson for proving it could be done. But the R-D1 is much too expensive ($2700 in Japan) and early indications are that its mechanical reliability doesn't match the price. We're already getting reports of viewfinder focus drifting and the analog dials sticking. Epson should be providing these cameras with a 5-year guarantee given what they're asking for it.

I hope that the new Zeiss-Cosina collaborative venture which gave us the Zeiss Ikon will give us a next generation digital RF. It has to be absolutely sturdy and built to last at least 5-7 years of professional use. My own dream would be a digital Hexar RF or Zeiss Ikon. They both have the mechanical guts to please any rangefinder afficianado. posted a very extensive review of the Pentax *istDS. The *istDS is one of the few low-end DSLRs that has a glass pentaprism instead of a pentamirror. The difference is in the viewfinder -- it's much brighter and contrastier compared to the companies cutting corners. The photos posted with the review are very good although I'm bothered by the numerous blown highlights. This could just be user error.

Critical Design has a nice series of web pages that take you through the history and various facets of visual anthropology, including still photography and ethnographic film.

From the Harvard Business School Leadership Workshop: Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload.

I wish I could charge some of my colleagues $5 for each e-mail they send me.....

On Kerim Wiki is a short article originally posted in the Anthropology Newsletter about how/why anthropologists should be blogging. A must read.

I was in Washington DC last weekend for a committee meeting. On Sunday, I had some time off so I visited one of my old professors who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Washington DC has an excellent subway system (the Metro) and the Amtrak lines connect DC with Baltimore as well as cities up and down the entire East coast.

I've criticized the high price of inter-city transportation in Japan, but I should note that it costs $80 to go on Amtrak from New York to Hartford CT, which is about 350 miles or the same distance between Tokyo and Osaka (556km). It'll also take you 6 hours compared to the 2 hours 36 minutes (and $130) on the Nozomi Shinkansen "Bullet Train", so maybe the Japanese prices aren't out of line.

One thing I can say is that Amtrak trains have 120V power outlets at the seats in many of their cars. This makes all the difference between a productive and unproductive 6 hour ride. The Shinkansen doesn't have any user accessible power outlets except in the toilets....

Visiting my professor was quite nice, except that after she dropped me off at the BWI station at night, it turned out all the trains were delayed for over an hour. Except for the numerous suicides in recent years, Japanese trains run on time, period. So I ended up sharing a cab back to DC. Oh well, so much for praising inter-city transport in the States.

I have another beef about Amtrak, but I'll post it under a separate entry.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Blog - Links to other blogs category from March 2005.

Blog - Links to other blogs: February 2005 is the previous archive.

Blog - Links to other blogs: April 2005 is the next archive.

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