Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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Class Warfare: Heroic Labor (pictorial)

Docudharma has an excellent selection of WPA and other photographs from the Great Depression era, showing us what real work was like. Those who whine about laboring in air conditioning in front of keyboards — take note, and pray that this doesn’t happen to you.

One thing about the New Deal is that it was well documented. Some of the best photographers of the day were hired by Roy Stryker in the Farm Security Administration. Lewis Hine worked for the TVA/CCC.

Pretty much every New Deal agency sent photographers out to document both the need for their activities, and also the results. There’s some terrific photographs which don’t have the artist identified. And I do mean artist.

Docudharma:: Class Warfare: Heroic Labor (pictorial)

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The World’s Most Patient Photographer?

3-months-in-the-death-of-blance-grace-and-dorcussmlJason Quinnell is not in a hurry when he takes pictures. He likes to make pinhole cameras out of soft drink cans lined with photographic paper, and use long exposures. Like, six months!

The image on the left is an example, although it’s teeny and only a little ol’ three month exposure. The glowing curves are the sun passing through the sky, and the jaggedy look is caused by cloud cover.

To view some of his images, Click here to download a PDF file. (Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to view the pages.) Then visit Justin’s site to find out how he does it — and how you can do it too.

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Great diffusion

IT is fascinating how philosophic and cultural ideas spread freely in ancient times across formidable barriers such as mountains and oceans. Ideas can have a life of their own and it is often impossible to contain them within national or geographical boundaries. One of the greatest stories of the diffusion of ideas is that of Buddhism via Great diffusion.

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I do this once a year, just before the holidays…

For the last four years I’ve been parking most of my photos on  In fact, the only reason I have any elsewhere is if I need to give other people editing privileges.  During the four years, I have had zero complaints, and I’ve watched them roll out one superior feature after another, most with no charge above the basic price.

Yes, there’s a charge.  But for about 11¢ a day you get things like: secure backup, unlimited storage on Amazon’s S3 servers, backup DVDs for a minimal charge, NO ADS, total privacy, controllable as you wish, a broad variety of themes to personalize pages, photo email, storage of images at full size, online editing, retrieval and downloading of high resolution images at full size, your own subdomain (like, timeline view, iPhone access, posting of phone images, and a lot more.  That’s all for $39.95 a year, along with your own self-administered groups, a huge community, unlimited linking, complete viewing statistics, and other amenities.

Smugmug is a great place to park holiday photos to share with family and friends.  They can download them, or have them professionally printed for a very reasonable price.  Dozens of pros use this site, and the printing options are amazing!

Sure, it’s not for everyone.  This isn’t your buddy’s free site, where everyone’s pages look the same.  It’s a site for professionals, made available to anyone who really cares about their online presence.  You should at least take a look, and if you decide to join us, you can use code sXsDnPsEq7NcE when asked for a referral source, and they’ll knock $5.00 off the tab.

If you want to see what one of the many gallery themes looks like, check this out.

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Fleabane and Plantain Shoots

Fleabane and Plantain Shoots

As a photographer I’m often moved by the beauty of common things.  These tiny members of the aster family are thick on the ground in my neck of the woods, but they never fail to thrill me with their perfection.