Monthly Archives: May 2007

Workflow secrets of David Sifry (the photographer)

Sifry

Most people know David Sifry as the serial entrepreneur who founded the blog search engine Technorati, but during a recent weekend I learned that he is also an accomplished photographer.

The above photo of David is by another friend, Loic Le Meur and the below photo was taken by David during the weekend at Martin Varsavsky’s farm, Torrenova, in Menorca.
Torrenovagroup2

Not only was I impressed with David’s photographs and his determination to carry around a tripod and other equipment, but also the workflow he uses for dealing with huge numbers of large digital images. What follows is technical, but could prove useful to others.

In terms of equipment, David uses a basalt tripod that is light, but very steady. The main lens for his Canon EOS 5D is a 70-200 zoom with a maximum aperture of 2.8.

Shooting only in RAW (the largest size files), he downloads images into a portable 160 GB LaCie drive that he always carries. He has a back-up system when he gets home.

The images are imported into iView Media Pro, which allows for quick navigation to compare which image is best (If you type Apple / you can compare three images at once.) Instead of deleting files (he does not believe in deleting) David types cntrl-3 to rate a photo as having 3-stars. At the end of the process, he can ask the program to only show photos with 3 stars.

Those he likes are then opened up in Photoshop CS3 where he fiddles with light balance, exposure, contrast and sharpening (zooming in to see grain) as well as luminance to give better skintone. Once the settings are good for one photo, he applies all the changes to photos taken in the same session. This makes for very fast adjustment to a large number of photos.

At that point he uploads the images to Flickr and uses Quicksilver to save digital negatives for those he wants to print (using a $300 Canon i9900 printer).

Another program he is considering is Adobe’s Light Room instead of iView Media Pro.

Any further suggestions for digital photo workflow are very welcome!!

UPDATE: Dave posted corrections/additions in a comment below.

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Getting a NY Birth Certificate with Apostille

Certificate

This posting is a public service for anyone born in New York City (Bronx, Kings, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island) needing a birth certificate with Apostille.

I need it to get married in France.

Following numerous phone calls, the system – which I could not find fully explained anywhere on the Internet – is as follows:

Step 1

Contact the Bureau of Vital Records in New York City at the department of health by telephone.

Important: Do NOT order via the very speedy and efficient online VitalCheck service, they only issue a “short form” birth certificate. You need to call and specifically request a “long form” (or “vault copy”) of the birth certificate with letter of exemplification. The cost is about $35 dollars and it takes about five days from the time they receive your request.

Address:
Bureau of Vital Records
125 Worth Street NY, NY 10013
Tel: 212-788-4500

Step 2

Send $3 with the long form birth certificate and letter of exemplification to be certified by the Manhattan County Clerk Notary Department. Include a note asking for certification in order to get an apostille:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am in the process of getting an apostille on my birth certificate so that I can get married in France.

Enclosed please find:

1- My long form birth certificate with a letter of exemplification.

2- A check for $3 to get the document notarized.

Please return this at your soonest convenience to me at the below address

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me or call.

In advance, thank you for your assistance in helping me get married!

Sincerely,

Thomas Crampton

The fees must be paid in cash, by Visa or Mastercard, by an attorney’s check made payable to the New York County Clerk, or in the form of a U.S. postal money order made payable to the New York County Clerk. (We sent cash and it worked.)

Address:
NY County Clerk, Attention Notary Department
60 Center Street, NY, NY 10007
Tel: 646-386-5955

Step 3

Send documents from Steps 1 and 2 to the NY Department of State with a $10 check payable to the “New York State Department of State” with a letter asking for an apostille:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am in the process of getting an apostille on my birth certificate so that I can get married in France.

Enclosed please find:

1- My long form birth certificate with a letter of exemplification and notarization from the county clerk in Manhattan.

2- A check for $10 to get the Apostille for my birth certificate.

Please return this at your soonest convenience to me at the below address

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to email me or call.

In advance, thank you for your assistance in helping me get married!

Sincerely,

Thomas Crampton

Address:
New York Department of State
Miscellaneous Records Unit
41 State Street
Albany NY, 12231
Telephone: (518) 474-8642

Conclusion:

Needless to say, this is a nightmare process to accomplish when you live overseas, but it does work!!

As evidence: Photo below of me in the Paris newsroom today with my Apostille. Now that I proved I was born, I can get married!!

Happy Tom

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Libération 2.0

Picture 40

Journalists from the troubled French daily newspaper LibĂ©ration are finding life after print. (At the IHT we have chronicled the iconic newspaper’s problems numerous times.)

Pierre Haski, a longtime and respected Beijing correspondent for Liberation, last week launched a news site called Rue89 and has already gained traction with a scoop about French first lady Cecilia Sarkozy not voting for her husband.

According to Rue89, the original story scheduled for publication in the Journal du Dimanche was suppressed by the owner, a friend of Sarkozy.

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Joost and the French elections

Picture 26-1

While millions of French citizens sat back to watch the debate between the two leading candidates on television, a large number of them logged on to chat live on Second Life and in blogs.

(This image is from the crowded Island of Nicolas Sarkozy supporters in Second Life.)

Group chatting live about the political debate yielded great insight (and humor) through a back-channel. It seems inevitable that the two platforms – television and blogs/chatrooms – will merge. (As the Joost founders have long suggested)

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