Monday, March 31, 2008

your lowly and humble photographic subject.

As Regular Gentle Viewers know, The Thing of the Moment consists of 2662 posts with only 1 of me. (Regular Gentle Viewers keep track of such stats much like devoted baseball fans.) Others have appeared from time to time and then disappeared almost as soon as posted, just a little treat for the Feed Readers who eat me.

I have NOW dug into the extensive jkirlin self lovin photo archive of pictures of myself and found my 4 faves by OTHER photographers who I have BLATANTLY stolen them from. Behold, your lowly and humble photographic servent on the WRONG side of the lens.

photo © T U R N O R A M A

Photo © Mike Murphy of Whittling Fog (Added bonus, I'm on there AGAIN. Sneaky devil.)

Photo © Justin Russell of Pine Tree Photography

Photo © S. Patrick Kaine of What's Better Than This. (Who said to me, "Betcha can't bump your head against that cruise ship.")

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Divorce Photography

As regular Gentle Viewers of The Thing of the Moment know, your lowly and humble photographic servant is no wedding photographer. However, I did add in a new FAQ section that I'd LOVE to be a divorce photographer.

I find myself much more interested in divorce than marriage. Marriage is so two dimensional, so shallow. Two people fall in love like no others before them and get married *yawn* But divorce is multi faceted. It comes from a greater variety of causes, results in excommunication from Churches, divides your friends and family, can rip you apart financially, you NEVER know how it's going to turn out and although your marriage wasn't forever, your divorce will be.

I said to my ex-wife once that I enjoyed having an ex-wife so much that, someday, I hope to have another. She replied "I'm sure you will." I'd have photographed my own divorce but only a gastroenterologist would have recognized any of the images and besides that I'm chicken.

I've recently been shown up by another far more courageous photographer than I'd ever be. This photographer is going through a certain above named unpleasantness is is documenting it here ( in words and images that leave me slack jawed with not much to say.

If you want to see raw, angry, sad, compelling, yet hopeful words and images, go check her out.

All images in this post © LKG

The Secret Life of Crows

Musical Chairs.
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One of the Two Sure Signs of Spring

When You First Start Seeing Kelly Eating Out Of The Birdfeeder FOR HER BIRTHDAY!

Happy 30th Birthday, you old Bird.
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Thing of the Moment's Tasty Snack of the Day Quiz®

Is this massive 2.1 lb (950g) package of Pepperidge Farm®'s Baked Goldfish® Crackers___________________

A. a low cholesterol snack?

B. baked cheesey fish shaped goodness?

C. 1760 Goldfish crackers and 4480 calories according to the 'Nutrition' label?

D. Pepperidge Farm®'s Goldfish® SINGLE SERVING package!

That's right, I think you heard me, Gentle Viewers.
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Friday, March 28, 2008

This is My United States of Lensbaby®

Yer laughing now, Gentle Viewers, but you won't be laughing next year when Lensbabies® are 10 bucks more because they are paying me 10 bucks each for this great marketing line. THANKS LENSBABY! ;)

Reposted for Shutterday: Star


Last chance, Lensbaby, before I offer this to Holgamod!

Oh....wait....damn it.


Update! This from the comments!

Samuel said...

United States of Lensbaby!(r). We Offcially love it:) Very nice to see your patriotic spirit. This would be a nice image and tag line for the Fourth of July. Maybe we need to work the star aperture in there somehow. . . .Thanks for your enthusiastic support!


Sam Pardue CEO, Co-Founder

Lensbabies, LLC

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sebastian Cabot Lives!

My dear close personal friend IronFlatine mentioned doing this thing using Maximum Aperture and ISO1600 to take some lowlight snapshots. I wasn't really satisfied with these until I recalled he used the technique of a MUCH better looking subject.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Thing of the Moment's Guide to Photographing People

My friend CNeves and I had JUST walked out of Logan Airport after sending Mean Don off to war and we were waiting for the bus and I'm taking picturesof trash cans and taxi signs when I see this couple sort of standing around like us when the girl jumps up and kisses the guy. I said to CNeves, "I think I just GOT that." So we checked and sure enough, we had the following 3 images.

...Which I wasn't totally happy with. So I went up to them and said "Excuse me, would you mind jumping and kissing him again and (to the guy) you sort of lean back and (to the girl) you sort of hug his neck a little more...

Hee...and they did without even asking who I was, what I was doing, or what I was going to do with the photo. I didn't offer them the image, there was no exchange of email addresses. They just did it and that was it. I have no idea who they are and never saw them again.

It's like that a surprising amount of the time.

I have found that people will happily let you photograph them if they are doing something which MAKES sense to photograph. From The Carnies, to The People at Work Series, to people butchering a whale washed up on the shore, if it makes sense as to WHY you might want the photo, most of the time people will let you have it.

Most of the time I ask after having already taken one, like the above shoot. And a few times I've asked and been told no, and A COUPLE OF TIMES the reaction was one that made me think I was lucky to get away with my camera and life. But after you get a couple of those, everything else is easy.

Gentle Viewer Speak Coffee (I love that name) writes in the comments section: "So if kissing is one of the things it makes sense to take a picture of, what are things that don't make sense? or result in threats?"

I actually have an ANSWER for that. People smoking in a huddle outside of a red neck bar don't like it. A lunatic railyard worker who works on Labor Day and does NOT want his photo taken lest he end up on ANOTHER Internet database, he will not like it. People who had a reasonable expectation of privacy may not like it. People fighting (even in public) tend to unite against you so they don't like it. Someone who has just done something to look stupid won't like it. And photographers...photographers hate it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Greatest Photo Credit Evar.

Thaaaat's right. You can have your AP, your Getty Images, your Corbis, but when you need photos of the American Folk Festival, you turn to The Thing of the Moment.

Last year I called the American Folk Festival office to see if they wanted a volunteer photographer, I wanted to help out but didn't feel like carrying ice and water all weekend, and somehow just ended up asking for press credentials instead. I was put through to the LOVELY and TALENTED (an occasional Gentle Viewer) Heather McCarthy who wanted to know what press I was with. So I mumbled a little and said I had this little website...the Thing of the Moment. And she said. "Oh, I KNOW THAT!" There was a pause as I waited for the dialtone. Which never came! As a lark, she gave me a media pass.

So when she wrote several weeks ago and said in effect "Time to pay up camera boy, we need some photos for our annual report." I was more than happy to oblige. (Because, after all, this is an American Folk Festival THIS YEAR, also.) and just asked if I could get a copy of the report and found this DELIGHTFUL little credit on these images and a few others.

I'm quite fond of The American Folk Festival and look forward to doing more with them in the future. (Given that it's one of the few local projects I haven't burned bridges with yet.)

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Incredible Edible Lensbaby® Egg

This totally contrived shot staged, taken and posted for Unique Exposures "The Incredible Edible Egg"

Disclaimer: One egg was harmed in the taking of this photograph.
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

That Is One Dude Who Does His Mother Proud

Look how he obeys that sign and watches for turning traffic!

The last laugh was his as moments later I was struck down and killed by turning vehicles after taking this, my last photo ever.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Thing of the Moment's Guide To Understanding the Unheard Conversations of Strangers COMPLETELY Through Body Language®

Lady in Blue: "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah BLAH BLAH blah blah."

Lady in Black: OKAAAAAAAAAY, JESUS, I GET it! WHY are you SCREAMING? WTF? Calm DOWN all ready."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dear lowly and humble photographic servant In Re: Your Vast Experience With 120 And 620 Film Photography And All Things Photographical..."

Begins a letter from a Miss laanba of Houston TX, (I continue) "I have so admired for these many months your photographic skills and technical wizardry and how you put photographic prowess above all else, even in lieu of personal relationships and friendships, and now I must ask "Perchance can you roll me some SWEET 120 Film onto 620 spools and mail them to me post haste?"

The answer dear laanba is sadly "no."

HOWEVER...let me show you something. Below is a 120 spool from the Kodak Brownie 2 (now drop down with me one frame)

And HERE is a 620 spools from any of the many 620 cameras I picked up for TtV photography.

NOW...if you look at exhibit 3, you'll see that many years ago those rat bastards at Kodak simply changed the size of the spool so that 120 spools wouldn't fit into 620 cameras. The ends are a bit too big, and the spool of the 620 too small.

There are a few options here. I read that if you have plastic 120 spools, which is how it's sold today, you can clip them with nailclippers and get the 120 spool to fit into a 620 camera. HOWEVER...(Again with the howevers?) I'm pretty sure the different diameter of the spool will throw off the frame when you try to advance the film. I'd waste some film and show you but I waste enough already anytime I try to use it.

BUT given a darkened closet, the one where one might hide skeletons, unnatural sexual preferences, or thousand dollar per hour prostitute habit, you can unroll 120 film to your hearts content and grope around and simply reroll it onto the skinny little 620 spools. Then you can send it in to be devloped that way or wind it back onto 120 spools when you are done. I've found that even more than sending back decent prints, photo shops are more than happy to mail you back your spools. ALWAYS GET YOUR SPOOLS! ALWAYS! 120! 620! Doesn't matter! Just get them back!

And now, to practice identification of said spools...

The Thing of the Moment's 120/620 Spool Identification Quiz®!

No cheeding!

Answer key: 620, 120, 620, 620, 120, 620, 620 and Bonus: The standing spool to keep them from rolling off the desk? YES! 620! See? Not hard.

Getting the film developed properly? That's how you say. a little bit more the hard.
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Sunday, March 16, 2008


This is the key to my new car. I'd never had one of these fob key things and love using it to lock and unlock and doors and open the trunk even when I have no need. But I didn't know what the Panic button was for so I pushed it.

It's a little prerecorded message from the salesman telling you that EVERYONE has a car payment like that and it'll be ok.

Submitted to Macroday: Keys

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Canon 55-250 IS f4-5.6

Ok, here is my quick and dirty honest review.
This lens is a little slow to focus in dim light. The Image Stabilization works nicely and is only activated when pressing the shutter button. I've VERY satisfied with how it performs and let's me shoot in dimmer light or compose shots better. MY PARKINSON'S IS CURED!

At $299, you aren't going to get a cheaper IS telephoto zoom. Well, unless you bought the $175 18-55. But you know what I mean. I think I can shelf 2 other lenses in place of this now but this lens isn't going to set your world on fire like the Sigma 10-20 or the Lensbaby. You know how you set your alarms so you can be the first to see shots by those lenses on The Thing of the Moment (I SEE YOU WITH MY SITEMETER EYE), you'll sleep in for shots from this lens. They are nice and sharp but know. Just decently sharp photos.

If you are GOING to buy it, buy it here and good karma be upon you.

My verdict? I like it. And when I upgrade to the XSi with the IS kit lens for an additional $899, I will have a camera system ALMOST as good as the Canon Powershot S2 I bought 3 years ago for the price of this one lens. :) *update* Upgraded to the XSi, the IS makes more sense on the 55-250 than it does the 18-55. I never notice it on the 18-55 OR hear it.

*update* I also reviewed this lens on which may or may not be more helpful. The link to that is here.

I got the Canon hood for it because...I'm a dork. I don't notice any difference shooting with it but I like knowing it's a LITTLE protected.

Which means it's the ONLY PROTECTED END.

CANON!?!?!? HELLO? Can you hear me? WTF is with the REAR LENS CAP? I can't keep that thing on without resorting to duct tape. It just barely sits there and FALLS OFF if it's not held when taking the lens out of the bag. The lens seems to fit securely ENOUGH on the camera but not as snug as other lenses and I once had a contact error, the flanges aren't damaged or anything and I've tried several rear lens caps, all of which fit other lenses.

In my Amazon review I sort of chuckle about people who complain because it doesn't have a metal back and I suggest that if they NEED metal, perhaps they are being a little rough with their cameras. But Canon...seriously...did you have your kids make the mold on Bring you Child to work day?

Amazon is also now honestly reporting the MSRP as 299.00 unlike the 400 it initially stated and is now selling it for 279.99. If I had not bought this lens on Amazon and found that sending it back was such a nuisance and bought it, like at Best Buy or something, I'd DEFINITELY take it back to try on other rear lens caps. But as it is, I'll just bitch about it here.

This lighter lens has completely replaced my much heavier Sigma 70-300 and I've not once wished I had the extra 50mm zoom at the end and I've been EXTREMELY glad to have the additional 15mm at the wide end.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Breathe In, Breathe Out

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My Apologies to Governor John Elias Baldacci and Family

Governor John Baldacci
Originally uploaded by jkirlin
Regular Gentle Viewers will notice that from time to time that I, as an ASHAMED fellow Democrat, have found it necessary after repeated Gubenatorial demonstrations of cowardice, poor judgment, racism and sexism, that I need to vent a little about how John Baldacci is the stupidest Governor in the Nation.

It now appears that I was wrong and that title goes to New York Governor Eliot Spitzer for getting involved in a prostitution ring and leaving a VERY attactive First Lady in the Governor's Mansion (SILDA SPITZER not Karen Baldacci for clarification purposes.)

Should Governor Spitzer resign in the next hour or so, Governor Baldacci will once again regain his title of Stupidest Governor in the US.

But until then, no hard feelings.

We Are The Ones

Yes We Can

I found this after Googling myself (Oh, you do it, too!) and found 50 of my images of the caucus here at

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tourists Call These Lobster TRAPS

Mainers call them lobster POTS.

ok..Mainers really call them Tourist Coffee Tables.

This confession brought to you by The Maine Department of Tourism and their 2008 Summer Campaign: "Buy Yer Shit and Git."

Last year's campaign: "Maine, The Way Life Should Be."

Next year's campaign: "Maine, Home of the 50th Stupidest Goddamned Governor in the US, When You Get Back To Your Home State: SEND HELP!"

We'd use that campaign THIS year but we need to get bigger signs.

The Porthole Fountain