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Category: Miscellany

Foreign language study resources

Foreign language study resources

This article was first posted in February 2020 and has been periodically updated. Although I continue to regularly use my favorite tools, I no longer really test-drive language apps. The features and pricing of many tools evolve very quickly – while this compendium may remain useful as a starting point,…

My favorite shots and lessons learned from them

My favorite shots and lessons learned from them

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I participated in a 10-day challenge of a daily impactful travel photo posted without explanation. It turns out that I somewhat disliked the requirement to avoid any narrative. I happen to love talking about my pictures – well represented by my…

A combine harvester from UGears

A combine harvester from UGears

I do not recall ever being too invested in model assembly kits. Surely in my childhood I received a fair share of constructor set gifts, and seem to vaguely remember assembling a model navy cruiser when I was in elementary school. But nothing that I can point to in the…

A place in my memory: Mottingham

Majority of my readers would most likely not know Mottingham. Do you mean Nottingham, of Robin Hood fame?… Native Londoners may recognize the name of the village but give me a quizzical look as to why I would choose to highlight a rather nondescript location instead of one of hundreds…

In Madrid to see a soccer game

Fun trips are coming thick and fast in the second half of this year for me. I am still several photo-essays away from completing the story of our summer trip to Catalonia, I just returned from a jaunt around California wine country, and there I am in Madrid for a…

A decade of blogging

We interrupt the current stream of travel vignettes in order to celebrate a truly momentous occasion: the 10th birthday of my online journal. It is no testament to either perseverance or superior writing that the blog, started as the written record of our expatriate experiences, has survived our subsequent repatriation,…

Of copyrights and privacy

Of copyrights and privacy

As banquet photographs go, it was a pretty good one. Anyone who’s ever been to a Russian restaurant party will recognize the concept. There is always an “affiliated photographer” who moves from table to table taking pictures of the party-goers. He or she then tries to sell the printed portraits…

Service review: Siteground

Service review: Siteground

You need to find a host for your website. If you are like me and prefer your hosting provider to give you all necessary tools, fast response times, and then basically get out of your way while remaining at the ready to help, you can hardly do better than Siteground.…

Gear review: Joby Sling Strap

My most useful photography-related acquisition of all time has nothing to do with the process of taking pictures, per se. Instead, it has everything to do with what I do with the camera in between shots. For years, I carried my camera around my neck, as many other people do.…

Software Review: Photomatix Pro

Software Review: Photomatix Pro

  Why HDR? These days capabilities of photo-processing software are such that any resonably exposed shot can be turned into a brilliant one in post. Especially if you shoot in RAW, which gives you an ability to manipulate the entire data from your camera’s sensor. Nonetheless, the dynamic range that…

Ctrl + Alt + Del

If you clicked to the website in the last couple of days, you probably noticed that things have changed a bit. Ok, not a bit – a lot! Part of the reason for this was that the last time I re-decorated had been over 7 years ago – an updated…

10 Movies for vicarious travel

10 Movies for vicarious travel

My blogging angle has clearly become almost exclusively travel-oriented, and any self-respecting travel blogger has to have a list of his favorite travel movies. So here is my attempt to establish bona fides. I set out with the goal of picking not just the movies filmed in gorgeous locations but…

How Six Flags lost our custom

We live half an hour away from Six Flags Great Adventure amusement park in Jackson, NJ. Every year, we would buy a family season pass to the place. The economics are pretty straight-forward: A single visit to the park is so expensive that even if you go just twice during…

Blame Trey Ratcliff. Or thank him.

I first came across Trey Ratcliff’s website, Stuck In Customs, about a year ago. Given his huge worldwide following and my general predisposition to travel photography, it is quite surprising that I did not discover his work earlier. I almost instantly became a fan of HDR photography. Scroll through Trey’s…