Category Archives: Design

making things look nice and/or work well

Discuss: Photography

Instructor: “Okay photogs, post about how your photography is going and any “ah ha!” or “oh no!” moments you have. Focus on sharing your work flow and software/camera used and what you’re learning about that.”

Me: “Wow. This is hard, and it takes a lot of time, and I appreciate a good photograph(er) more than ever.”

I borrowed Marlboro’s Canon SLR and used the sun as a key light (which I had to dampen to prevent severe shadows) and three lights for more key, fill and hair light. The set up looked like this:


Four light sources



Shooting a picture of hot peppers at Marlboro College Center for Graduate and Professional Studies

Below you will find four pictures (out of close to a hundred) that came from the shoot, but let me say first that I tried different angles, different ways to set the shot using thirds, tried moving and lessening the shadows, played with manual and autofocus, and after an hour or so I was exhausted! All the variables really started to make my head spin – this wasn’t just an exercise in photography, it felt like physical exercise too.

img_1027 img_1038  img_1058 img_1062

I brought all the shots into ‘Photos’ on my Mac laptop, threw away about 75% of them and started editing them with the tools and threw away about a dozen more. My major take-away was that even though I thought I was taking advantage of the rule of thirds in my shooting, I could see in the editing, as I cropped, that I really didn’t know what I was doing at all – so the post production cropping didn’t have as much on an impact as I had hoped – I have so much more to learn in that arena.

I think the lighting was good – I put most of my energy into that. If I were to do this shoot again I would bring in some every day objects to shoot alongside the peppers and not just use a white background – bowls, napkins, cut peppers and the knives, etc.

Custom CSS in WordPress

I changed the look of this site using custom css in the appearance section of the dashboard:


It’s really satisfying for me to know how to this little bit and know that I’m off to a good start to learn more. Maybe it’s the control freak in me, or just the immediate satisfaction of seeing the design change, or perhaps because I think I may have improved the look of the site – or at least have the ability to do so if I wish.

A link to a website that has a color scheme/palette that I like.

As the second part of my assignment for my web design class I’ve been asked to provide a link to a website that has a color scheme/palette that I like. I’ve been spending some time on the DIA Foundation’s website as my son works for them and I’ve been looking at some of the exhibits he looks after. One of them is De Maria’s “The Broken Kilometer.” The color scheme is different shades of black. This seems to make a lot sense to me as the continuity of the site demands that it show many different works of art within the same matrix. I would not necessarily want to see “The Broken Kilometer” against a particular pallet that looked fine with another piece of art. Using shade allows for all the exhibits to fit in a balanced format.

The Daily Kos uses color wisely. I like the way the designer counters orange and a shade of orange by the use of mouse-over. Text-links mouse-over to a darker shade, while community users’ links are given as the shaded orange and turn to the lighter orange used on text-links, with a grey background on mouse-over. It provides a smart and tight feel – quick and usable while limiting any chance of overuse of color. The orange is repeated throughout the sight without seeming overbearing.