Beware! Labels Stick

Lunch time means a chance for me to catch up on Facebook friends and play a mindless game of Bejeweled 2 or Globs (which is especially relaxing these days since my focus in on Polaris and coordinating the training involved).  Today I happened upon a post by the Central Library Manager, Nina Krzysko that included a link to a YouTube video.  What an enlightening video.  It really struck a chord in me and I just had to share it.

But before you watch this – what would be your first reaction if you saw a man in his early forties, biking around your neighborhood or area where you work every day.  He sometimes wears funny hats or saying on his shirt and he sometimes stops, gets off his bike and waves to the cars that go by.  Bum!  Lunatic.  Or just a harmless guy with nothing but time on his hands?  I’ve heard all of these and more to describe the man in the video.  Now watch the video and tell me what label you would use.  But be careful because those labels stick and are hard to remove.

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Friday and Payday, What’s Not To Like? – Day 5

TGIF!  End to a full, long, interesting week.  One thing I really love about my job is the variety it affords me.  I never really know what will come my way each day.  Since this is the last day for documenting I thought I’d try something a little bit different.

Day 5

  • Pulled into the parking lot and entered the building. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Unforward phones, swap out tapes in the server room, checked Twitter, email and Staff Intranet. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Went to get ice for my green tea, turned on lights for the building, checked reserves and visited my book display on 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Back to the office to get down to business. Annotated video on YouTube
  • Uploaded the aforementioned videos to YouTube since they were too long to use on Flickr
  • Consulted with co-worker who was doing the morning duties.  She was getting bounced back to beginning page of her account in HIP.  Tried recreating it on my machine and she showed me on the Day End machine – still wasn’t able to recreate it.  Chalk it up to computer gremlins.
  • Typed up my blog for yesterday – Day 4
  • Got a phone call from the Glenwood branch manager regarding the email I had sent out asking them to cleanup the branch notices on Staff Intranet.
  • Since my boss was out on vacation, I assigned the IT staff to their day at our Admin office for next week and posted the notice on our Staff Intranet.
  • Uploaded my photos of my 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing display to Flickr
  • Deleted notices for Glenwood branch manager per email she sent me (after phone conversation)
  • Worked on bounceback email notices – since this is such a tedious mind numbing job I decided to blip some Robert Palmer songs on while I did this.  Having great music to listen to helps!
  • Bounce backs make me hungry so I went and popped some 94% fat-free popcorn
  • Checked the helpdesk tickets and assigned on to fellow IT-er
  • Downloaded Adobe Flash CS3 Professional to my Windows machine
  • Got a call from our Network Administrator who is on vacation in England (visiting his wife’s family) – just checking in with us to make sure things are okay
  • Installed Adobe Flash CS3 Professional on my Windows machine
  • Emailed staff member who submitted a helpdesk ticket.  Needed more information so I could solve her issue.  Consulted with web programmer to see if he had any suggestions but agreed we needed more info before we could proceed.
  • Children’s librarian came to my desk asking questions about burning music to a CD for children’s classes.  I pointed her to the FAQ on our Staff Intranet with great instructions and screen shots.
  • Got a call from HR dept. regarding publishing an announcement on our Staff Intranet.
  • Wrote another post for my blog – not related to Library Day in the Life
  • LUNCH finally seems I’ve been eating later and later this week
  • Children’s librarian came back up for some assistance with burning cd – went down and showed her how to add songs, delete ones you don’t want and move them so you get the order you want.
  • Analyzed current navigation and started documenting what different departments use on Staff Intranet in hopes that this will help us set up better navigation for the new version.
  • Got a follow up email from the staff member in regards to her helpdesk ticket.  Solution was a simple one – she needed to log in with username/password to access forms list.  Emailed her back and closed helpdesk ticket
  • Saw a Tweet from @julie and realized I had missed T is for Training podcast.  Logged into the chat area for the last 15 mins or so of the show.
  • Got a call from hubby that severe storm had blown down 2 trees (turned out to be just very large limbs not the whole tree) onto our garage which houses his precious baby, a 1960 MGA.
  • Took personal leave to go home and document damage for any insurance claims.

What To Do With Your Digital SLR

nikond80_mirrorI had the good fortune to attend a WONDERFUL class last night at the Howard County Library.    My hats off to Cristina Lozare of the Central Library  for orchestrating this.  She not only contacted the two passionate photographers to teach the class but she really marketed the class – so well attended class there were no empty chairs.  The class was presented by Anne Kelley Looney and Jeff Kniple.  They did an amazing job of sharing their love of photography, answering questions and making things make sense to this buddy photographer (read very, very much a beginner).  They even kindly stayed after the library closed to help people with the cameras they had bought.  I love to see passionate people share with others.  It was just such an infectious atmosphere to be in.

I decided to Twitter my notes with the hashtag #dslr so I could go back and put them altogether.  The infectious atmosphere must have translated to my Tweets because I had 2 of my followers tell me “really enjoyed your #dslr tweets” and ” following your tweets makes me want to go out and take pics…but it’s dark!“.  I even had a couple of comments on my Facebook page because of my tweets from the class.  I was happy to share this fabulous class with everyone.  I promise Cristina that I’d pull my tweets together into a cohesive list so she could let those pass them on to those who attended the class last night.

My tweets from the class – a lot of good information that I’m happy to share:

  • Sitting in Digital SLR class at Central Library waiting for it to begin – going to hashtag it #dslr for my notes
  • Class offered by Anne Kelley Looney and Jeff Kniple
  • this class will help those stuck in the program mode to get out of it – get a little bit technical to get creative
  • 5 main things – focusing, shutter opening, aperture, ISO speed, white balance
  • your eye sees things differently than the camera
  • Nikon D200 has 11 focal pts where as the Canon 5d only have 9 pts
  • use whatever you are most comfortable w/live view or viewfinder – most don’t focus as accurately in live view
  • biggest reason to use viewfinder – DSLR were designed that way and can be held more firmly/proper grip – leads to sharper pics
  • subject not moving/nor you -choose manual focus – subject not moving too fast – single shot autofocus
  • subject moving – use servo or continuous autofocus mode
  • Exposure – if you can’t see it doesn’t matter if it’s in focus
  • aperture let’s light in more or less efficiently depending on setting – aperture is like the size hose to fill the bucket
  • to a camera the world is grey – camera’s try to average the range of tones into an exposure
  • scenes that fall into the extremes throw off many cameras – sun in frame, beach or snow scene, night time, high contrast
  • camera is trying to capture the best image wo/over or under exposing what it thinks is the subject
  • shutter speeds – camera is giving you a fraction of a second for shutter speed
  • camera is trying to capture the best image wo/over or under exposing what it thinks is the subject
  • fix exposure change the shutter speed, too dark – slower shutter speed , too light – faster shutter speed
  • aperture – fstops – lower # = bigger the higher the number the smaller the whole in the lens
  • fix improper exposure is to change aperture – too light close down lens w/higher # too dark open lens to lower #
  • ISO lower # less sensitive it is to light – higher speed requires less light for correct exposure
  • ISO range fromn 50 – 25,600 most DSLRs 200 – 3200
  • too dark – go up to higher ISo , too light – go to lower ISO – be careful to a pt that is OK – no free lunch
  • higher ISO lose bit of color, clarity – and you get grainy/noise less sharpness
  • wt balance – natural light different colors, tungsten – yellow, shaded areas more blue, fluorescent is greener
  • when possible use white balance setting for the type of light you have – if mixed light use camera’s auto balance
  • read up on raw files change light and switch things around
  • 4 exp. modes – Program camera chooses apt. and shutter speed
  • A or Av you pick apt. S ot TV – you pick shutter speed
  • simplest solution to too dark or too light – adjust your exp comp wheelt to a + number and take it again
  • if too light – turn exp to – side and repeat the process until you get it right
  • inside or if dark enough around you – look at screen
  • if too bright use the highlight warning screen or histogram
  • blow out the highlights means too much light in a particular area – no value – the bucket is over filled -over exposed
  • digital you are exposing for the highights where as film was exposing for the shadows
  • using histogram don’t lose stuff on the far right of the image – the white side
  • don’t over extend the sensor on the dark or the light end – you want it to be in a range – you don’t want extremes
  • got to get it right in the camera no matter what editing software you use
  • larger apt give smaller amt of photo in focus – smaller apt gives more in focus
  • shutter speeds 2nd most important key to sharp images – blur or freeze the subject
  • old rule of thumb – equal length of lens that you are using to ensure sharp pic
  • 1 1/2 times the length of lens w/today’s DSLRs – 50mm 1/75 or faster 100mm 1/150 or faster
  • you can cheat a little if your lens has VR or image stabilization – read manual or marketing on it
  • shoot at lowest ISO rating that your camera is made for – move it up if you have to – no farther than you have to
  • most important accessory – flash! match a flash to your camera system
  • bounce flash gives softer look – bounce off wall can give directional light no harsh shadows
  • shadow directly off to the side – from on board flash
  • if the photo is not interesting, you are not close enough – Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • flash can be a great way to freeze action
  • evoke a feeling – tell a story – document a moment – express imagination – be fact or fiction – be understood uniquely – suspend belief
  • compostion – how you want everything in the image to relate to each other
  • composing your image what/where main subject is and what else is included – yopu are telling them what YOU want them to see
  • white card under subject draw light from the sky into the subject – simple way to get more of what you are looking for
  • composition – size, position, focus of subject
  • where does your eye start? how do your eyes move around the image
  • main subject – where you want viewer’s eye to go – rule of thirds based on 19th cen painters
  • most powerful spots where the lines intersect in the rules of thirds
  • upper left and lower right most compelling spots for main subjects
  • our eyes will follow the subject’s eyes – make sure there is room on the left and right of subject
  • support the main subject – soft focus background, lines leading to the subject contrast between lt & dk framing subject
  • your image is a story – support main character but there are supporting characters too
  • main subj – edge light – juxtapose near/far objects, include something in foreground – leading lines, tone, contrast create depth
  • looking at photographs from famous photographers over the ages to demonstrate the things that support main subject
  • creative ways – get close, wide angle, strong light as an edge light, shift subject away from center
  • watch the background – so easy to make this mistake but so easy to avoid this mistake
  • 2 or more people similarly toned clothing allows focus to be on the people expression relationship than the clothing transcends style
  • remember wide angle lens will widen the subjects at edges – use 50/70 and walk a bit away – will look better
  • always power off before changing memory, battery or lens
  • don’t change lens in dusty area – have camera down to take off lens and put new lens on
  • your computer monitor can be out of calibration so what you think is color correct may not – create relationship with photo lab

Hubba, Hubba, Hubble

My library has the honor of displaying some of the fantastic photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in our Central library’s main stairwell.


One of our talented Children’s Information Specialist & Instructor, Barb Langridge, was the mastermind behind this.  The pictures tie in with a couple of programs (one for kids and one for adults) that will be taking place in December and February.  She blogged about the photos and programs on our library blog, Highly Recommended.


If you can’t make it to our Central Library before March 15th to see the spectacular photos, you can see my photos of the photos on Flickr.  Truly makes you realize how grand the universe is and what a small part you play in it.  Perfect time as it is the holiday season and with the economy being what it is – helps to put things into perspective.