Of course, there are a gazillion different things you can do with Flickr to get the most out of your photos. But one simple and easy-to-use service is Mosaic Maker by BigHugeLabs. You can quickly turn around something like the below poster I made from photos I took at this year’s O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro contest. No need for Photoshop, just plug the photo urls from Flickr in and hit Create. You’ll see there are a few different customization features to take advantage of, and best of all – it is free.
I was recently contacted by Turner Publishing with the offer to receive a complimentary copy of “Historic Photos of Reno” by Donnelyn Curtis. All they asked of me in return was that I provide an honest review of the book here on my website. I replied that I would be happy to do so, and the book appeared at my doorstep just a few days ago.
As an amateur photographer and writer, a graduate of the University of Nevada, and a former resident of Reno, I assumed I would find great pleasure in combing through the composition of someone who has made a career out of compiling and organizing historical information about the area. I was not disappointed.
Donnelyn Curtis is the Director of Research Collection & Services and head of Special Collections at the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries, where she has been a librarian since 1998. She embarked upon the painstaking task of compiling some of the most poignant and compelling black and white photographs, complete with text and captions, that Reno historians have meticulously gathered over the years. The combination of context and imagery provides a window into the raw soul of a city that has weathered a a rich and sorted past.
The images, text and captions are organized in distinct periods:
- Hub of the Mining Boom (1868-1909)
- Emerging Playground (1910 – 1949)
- New Approaches to Economic Development (1930-1949)
- Growing and Thriving (1950-1979)
The “Biggest Little City in the World” has always taken an unconventional approach. Long before Las Vegas, Reno, Nevada was referred to as “sin city.” Gambling, prize-fighting, prostitution, and divorce were prevalent. There was a certain lawlessness that attracted people to Reno. Adversely, since Reno’s beginning a strong, moral community of men and women have carved out their lives against the beautiful backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the Truckee River which rolls through the center of town. These lawless and law-abiding factions contributed to a menagerie of people and pursuits that have defined the course of Reno’s creation and expansion. There are so many facets to Reno, Nevada, and “Historic Photos of Reno” brings that to light.
It is eery, exciting, and educational to follow your way through the pages and see the history of the city of Reno, Nevada unfold. Curtis digs up forgotten people and places that stare up at you from the pages and remind you all things change and human time is fleeting. The photographs project personality and feeling that speaks a thousand words. You will look into the eyes of both ordinary and exceptional individuals that contributed to the uniqueness of Reno’s identity. You will learn for whom the city was named after, how it got its start, and what carried it forward into the modern age.
What is it about us that loves to peer into the past? I for one saw so many similarities to where Reno was and is now. Entrepreneurs and motivated minds working hard to reinvent the city and carry it forward into the future. A relentless desire for a new and improved identity, and yet, a strong connection to a proud history and the land it was built on.
Curtis will be doing a book signing at signing at the Meadow Wood Court Barnes & Noble on June 14th from 2-4pm. Get out and pick up a signed copy. It is the good storytellers who give us greater context.
Spring in Lake Tahoe is one of my favorite seasons. Snow still blankets the mountains of the Sierras, and the lower elevation rivers rise as the days grow longer and warmer. It is this time of year that I find myself having to make the difficult decision of skiing vs kayaking.
As I prepare for an upcoming California road trip, I can tell you that the gear I am planning on taking is getting a bit overwhelming. Just thinking about trying to fit it all into a little biodiesel powered VW TDI has me wondering if I need a semi-truck.
No matter what the weather dictates, I inevitably find myself catching up on whitewater community sites like boof.com and americanwhitewater.org, as well as looking through old kayaking photos to remind myself that I still know how to boat. Here is a little slideshow of some kayaking” I have accumulated from years past. Can you tell which ones I took with an old 35mm camera and slide film and then scanned?
Friday night I took in a little bluegrass at Jannus Landing in downtown Saint Petersburg, Florida. Lots of crunchies and self-indulgent ragers running around, but Yonder Mountain String Band laid it down and it was well worth going.
On my way to the bar I took a special interest in this sign and decided to snap a photo. I made a few more trips to the bar, and then some time later found myself in front of Photoshop.
In the animal kingdom certain colors say poison, others say sex. We humans are creatures of color with response dictated by a combination of nature and nurture.
What is interesting to me is that each image has it own decidedly different feel. The composite might be an onslaught for some, but either way the combination of message and hue draws the eye.
What do you see after a few of the old Makers Mark?
Last weekend I made my way to Charleston, South Carolina to spend quality time boating, fishing, and camping with some good ole childhood friends. I have been somewhat deprived of the Lowcountry over the course of the last decade, and while there have been many changes, much is still the same.
Despite being December, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, and some of us even took a dip in one of the creeks. The highlight of the trip for me was doing an 8-mile loop around Bulls Island, which is a part of the Cape Romaine National Wildlife Refuge. It is filled with wildlife and incredible scenery.
There is a section of the hike called, “The Boneyard” where dead trees stand and fall at the water’s edge. Beaten by hurricanes and bleached by sun and salt, they appear like fossils being pulled into the sea.
The remnants of an old fort made out of oyster shells lies at the north end of the island. Built some time in the late 1600s or early 1700s, it served as a lookout for marauding pirates who would often ambush incoming ships carrying their cargo to Charleston and beyond.
I am growing tired of the mediocre camera I am using to shoot video. The lack of image stabilization and high resolution are disappointing. Time for a new one. Any recommendations?
Now, if that does not get you excited to watch this video I don’t know what will! Either way, you can look away or choose not to hit play. ;~)
This is some footage from this past summer that I had sitting around, and being the type of person that does not like to waste anything, I decided to slap together a quick video. The main point to it is – the video is of a friend of mine, Brad Brewer, who I met in college at Clemson University, and subsequently taught me how to creek boat years ago.
Around 1995, there were not nearly as many whitewater kayakers as there are now, and there were even fewer people running steep creeks and big waterfalls. Brad was one of the few. He also knows a thing or two about playboating…