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What’s Old?

Whenever I update the What’s New? page, I delete entries that are no longer new (i.e., more than a year old) and move them to this archive. That keeps the What’s New? page to a reasonable size, while maintaining a complete history of this Web site for anyone who might be interested. I can’t imagine why anyone would actually be interested in such a thing, but here it is.

Since this archive goes back to 1999, some links and other things mentioned in old entries may have changed, moved, or disappeared. I’ve removed outdated links and annotated some entries to indicate where things have moved, but I’ve otherwise left the original text unchanged. I add the annotations when I archive the entries, so in time the annotations may themselves become outdated.

Newer Entries

15 October 2020

Even though I apparently can look forward to sheltering in place for at least another year, I’m grateful that I can still enjoy a beautiful solitary walk every morning. And in October, that means I can gawk at the Halloween displays. I’m not surprised that this year those decorations are more profuse and elaborate than usual. I have thus seized the opportunity to add six new pictures to the collection of Halloween images I’ve been building up over the last few years. That collection used to be on the Fine Art page. But it’s now big enough to need its own gallery.

The new pictures include a skull that might be screaming, laughing, or yawning; a giant spider with iridescent fangs; a skeletal musician; a deflated pumpkin; a colorful corpse that’s about to become a spider’s dinner; and a masked skeleton reminding us to take proper precautions against the coronavirus.

13 September 2020

Yes, I’m still here. The Global Pandemic derailed the plans I made for local travel that would have provided some new material for this Web site. Since sheltering in place doesn’t provide much opportunity for photography, I’ve been spending my “creative” time in lockdown arranging music for clarinet quartet. You can visit my other Web site if you’re interested in that.

But I have now updated several popular articles on this Web site. They include Scanning 110-Format Film (and Kodachrome), Raw Demystified, Image File Formats (Google’s WebP seems to be decisively leading the race to replace the 28-year-old JPEG), DNG, and my review of the Plustek OpticFilm 7600i and 8200i Scanners.

27 January 2020

Happy new year (solar and lunar)!

I have overhauled the Travel Town section of the Travel Photo Essay on Griffith Park in Los Angeles. When I first made that page in 2007, I included four pictures from a visit to Travel Town in 1997. I originally prepared the digital versions of those pictures in 2002 (from Fuji Superia 400 negatives) and placed them in the Fine Art section; but I didn’t make new versions of the pictures when I moved them to the new essay. I have now made new versions (this page explains why), and added five more to the collection.

18 December 2019

A small update with two new pictures. The first is a nice scenic detour along the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. The second is an “artistically” processed detail of an unusual layered house exterior. I took the latter one almost exactly three years ago, but I’ve only now figured out what to do with it. I’ve also updated or removed dead or changed links on several pages.

Let me wish you and yours (in chronological order) IO SATVRNALIA, Blessed Solstice, Chag Urim Sameach, Merry Christmas, and/or Joyous Kwanzaa. And finally, as one of the many people who, for so many reasons, are glad to see 2019 recede in the rear-view mirror, a very happy 2020!

14 November 2019

With no fall foliage anywhere near where I live, I decided to revisit and overhaul my Travel Photo Essay on the Eastern Sierra Nevada. The area around Bishop, California surrounding US Route 395 is one of the best “leaf peeping” destinations on the West Coast. I consolidated the two pages I made in 2003 into one new Autumn in the Sierra Nevada page. Along with new versions of all the pictures, I’ve added four new ones.

I also have new versions of Hay Bales and Red Tree at Monticello. The Then and Now page explains why I made new versions of those older pictures. I’ve added two examples from the current batch of updated images to that page.

I’ve made some minor updates to my reviews of iCorrect EditLab Pro, the color-balancing plug-in for Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro that I’ve used since 2002 for most of the pictures on this Web site, and the Plustek OpticFilm 7600i and 8200i film scanners. And finally, I’ve updated Scanning 110-Format Film (and Kodachrome). Since the last update in April, the links and prices for several products I discussed have changed. A few others have disappeared, including “ghost” pages for long-discontinued slide mounts and adapters.

24 October 2019

One last update to the Autumn and Halloween collection for this year. A new skeleton and spider; and a new version of Nature’s Kaleidoscope, replacing a version I made in 2002. This page explains why I’ve been gradually replacing pictures I prepared in the early days of this Web site. [The Halloween collection has since moved to its own Halloween Haunts gallery.]

20 October 2019

Several more houses in my neighborhood have just received their Halloween finery. I guess their owners recognized that late has multiple meanings. I have thus added two more pictures to my Autumn and Halloween collection: A (not-so) cute baby ghoul, and a pair of skeletal hands. [The Halloween collection has since moved to its own Halloween Haunts gallery.]

7 October 2019

For some reason, the Halloween decorations in my neighborhood have not been as profuse as in recent years. I don’t know what, if anything, that might mean. But I still found a fine display of ghostly skeletal pirates to add to my Autumn and Halloween collection. I also have a nice new picture of a rose and fleur-de-lis fence. I’ve updated the Los Angeles travel notes page, mainly to fix links that have moved or disappeared, and to note a useful book that has gone out of print. [The Halloween collection has since moved to its own Halloween Haunts gallery.]

13 September 2019

Happy Friday the 13th!

I’ve added a newly-rediscovered picture of a colorful sunset on the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. I scanned the original slide when I reworked the Yellowstone Travel Photo Essay four years ago. But for some reason I never did anything with that “raw” scanned image. Maybe that day I got tired of cleaning up the little dust spots that always end up on slides and negatives, even with automatic infrared cleaning, and just forgot about it? Whatever the reason, I recently rediscovered the file, cleaned it up, and processed it. Better late than never.

30 August 2019

I’ve finally acceded to Microsoft’s demand that I replace my soon-to-be-abandoned “legacy” Windows 7 with the newer, slicker, and far more bloated Windows 10. Now that I’ve reinstalled decades of accumulated software and wrestled the wonderful new Windows into submission— at least until Microsoft pushes the next major update and conveniently resets everything to Microsoft’s preferences— it’s time to get back to work. To start with, I have four new pictures. First a black and white abstract detail of the Santa Lucia mountains near San Luis Obispo. Closer to home, there’s an abstract array of succulents; a fence and shadow; and the only color picture in the lot, a colorful little pot of succulents.

I’ve also updated the discussion of color management and browsers with instructions for restoring the full color management capability in Firefox that Mozilla inexplicably removed by default. I’ve also added a note to the review of the discontinued Pantone huey monitor calibration tool. The native software does not work with Windows 10, but there is better (freeware) software that does. I’ve also updated the review of Take Command, again related to Windows 10.

18 April 2019

Ted Marcus’ Virtual Light Table is 20 years old today. In honor of this momentous(?) occasion, I have written about my 20 years on the Web.

After a very wet winter, some places in Southern California are enjoying a “superbloom” of spring wildflowers. The nearest of those places to me is the Palos Verdes Peninsula, where the hills are covered with the bright yellow blossoms of black mustard plants. I have four pictures of the colorful hills. (1  2  3  4) Also from Palos Verdes is an ocean view at sunset, which I’ve also added to the collection of higher-resolution wallpaper for your screen.

I’ve added three new pictures to the Europe Through the Front Door gallery: A black and white picture of classic London phone booths; a marble basin in a Pompeii bath (the page also tells the story of our Fascist tour guide); and a detail of the Colosseum in Rome. The Kodachrome-X slide from which I made the Colosseum picture is probably the sharpest and most detailed image I made with my Pocket Instamatic 60 camera. A full-sized section of the 7200dpi scan from this slide shows the detail the 110 format could capture.

I’ve also updated a few articles, including Scanning 110-Format Film (and Kodachrome), e-mail and privacy, and the discussion of color management and browsers. As of last month, just under 68% of desktop computer users access the Web with Google’s Chrome browser. That’s not quite the near-monopoly Microsoft’s Internet Explorer had at the turn of the century, but seems to be heading in that direction. At least Google frequently updates Chrome to deal with security threats.

It’s not surprising that nearly 88% of Windows 10 users have rejected the Edge browser Microsoft “integrates” into Windows, despite the pathetic plea to keep using Edge that pops up when a user tries to set a different default browser. But I do find it surprising that some 63% of Macintosh users prefer a browser other than Apple’s Safari. My own choice is Vivaldi, which might be simplistically described as Chrome with a better, highly customizable user interface.

15 October 2018

I can’t blame merchants for wanting to start the Season of Conspicuous Consumption as early as possible. The local Costco had Halloween paraphernalia in mid-August; and Halloween costume shops started sprouting like toadstools soon thereafter. One benefit of the increasing commercialization of Halloween is elaborate decorations, whose lavishness is beginning to rival that of Christmas displays. I actually find Halloween decorations more interesting and photogenic than the Christmas variety. I have added five new pictures of some Halloween displays in my area to the Autumn and Halloween section of the Fine Art 1 page. [The Halloween collection has since moved to its own Halloween Haunts gallery.] I’ve also updated the article on the DNG raw file format.

You may have noticed that it’s been six months since the last update. That’s mostly because, for reasons I’d rather not make public, my travel is currently limited to day trips in the Los Angeles area.

You might wonder why that’s a problem, or even a real limitation, particularly if you don’t live in Southern California. It’s neither hyperbole nor exaggeration to assert that there are enough fascinating places to visit and photograph around here for a lifetime of great travel experiences. The problem is getting to and from those places, in what is “officially” the world’s worst traffic congestion. (I have trouble believing that driving in Los Angeles traffic is worse than getting around in places like Bangkok, Shanghai, or Delhi, but that’s beside the point.) That traffic inevitably makes what should be a fun adventure into a trying, stressful ordeal. Listening to podcasts and audio books is the best thing I’ve found to help me cope with the traffic. But that helps in the same way as taking Tylenol for toothache or hemorrhoids: It can dull the pain a little, but it does nothing to alleviate the cause.

In October 2007, after two particularly unpleasant experiences with air travel, I decided to make a two-week vacation out of day trips. I bought guidebooks, visited Web sites, and delighted in the same sort of research and itinerary planning I’d do for an exotic foreign destination. I was eagerly anticipating a wonderful “staycation” before anyone started using that reprehensible term. While it lasted, it was actually as interesting and photographically “productive” as any other trip I had taken, as the Photo Travel Essays on San Pedro, Venice and Naples, the Getty Villa, and Griffith Park attest.

But each day made me more stressed and upset from the traffic. Griffith Park was on the itinerary for Thursday of the first week. I made sure to linger at the Observatory until it closed at 10pm. After a 2½-hour stop-and-creep drive home, with no accident, construction, or any other visible explanation for the congealed traffic at that hour, I decided I couldn’t continue my itinerary.

The next morning, instead of going to the Queen Mary as planned— I did go there three years later— I stayed home to figure out what to do. With no appealing alternative, I decided to abandon the second week of my vacation and go back to work early.

That experience put me off day trips, until I discovered I could go to Downtown Los Angeles on a bus that stopped just around the corner from where I lived. That bus provided a welcome, if much too limited, alternative to driving. I also didn’t need to spend 14 consecutive days of far-flung exploration. (A visitor would surely choose accommodations closer to where they want to go than the out-of-the-way area where I live.)

Traffic in Southern California is significantly worse than it was in 2007. I have also moved since then. On top of the more congested traffic, any day trip from where I now live requires at least one more hour of driving than it did in 2007. And there’s no bus around the corner, or any other usable public transportation. Taking a bus or train requires a 13-mile drive each way to the nearest station or transit center. None of that makes me particularly eager to go out and explore. There is no easy solution to this problem, and I haven’t yet worked out any suitable difficult solution.

18 April 2018

The first version of Ted Marcus’ Virtual Light Table “went live” 19 years ago today.

I have updated Los Angeles Travel Notes, my Bestiary of File Formats, and Some Pocket Instamatic and 126 Resources, along with fixing dead and changed links and removing references to several recently-“retired” software downloads on various pages.

2 February 2018

A “Santa Ana” condition this week is producing spring-like temperatures here in Southern California. Fortunately, there haven’t been any wildfires like we had in December. But there was a sunset that made me grab my camera. Viewed through a long lens, it became a work of Abstract Expressionist art painted by Nature on a canvas of sky and ocean.

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