Google Reader’s Last Day – How to Keep Reading

For the last few years the most popular RSS reader by far has been Google Reader. In fact it was so popular that it pushed most of the others to either niche markets (people who really hate Google) or abandonment. if you’re not familiar with an RSS reader, it is in effect an easy way to follow updates from a web sit without having to visit the web site constantly. The site would publish a list of recently posted content that the reader would then check and let you know when a new item appeared. This could be new articles on a blog or magazine site, new comments, or even new releases of software.

Earlier this year Google announce that they would kill Google Reader effective July 1, 2013. That’s now just a few days away and since some readers of this site do use it too keep up, I’d like to point out a few alternatives. First you can look at a replacement for Google Reader. A few always were around and a number of new products appeared after the announcement of the end of Google Reader. For those you can simply import your Google Reader settings to the new program or add the feed into your new reader and keep business as usual. I’ve personally moved to NewsBlur, but also am interested in Feed Wrangler from trying it.

If you’re giving up on RSS, or have no idea what it is, then you can also keep up with new posts by following me on Twitter or through my Facebook page. Posts here should always be linked to from both locations. In addition you also get the occasional snarky comment as a bonus.

Orias with Invisible Man

I usually go into a shoot with the concepts that I want to work around pretty much in mind. Often though when working with a model the two of us combine ideas and produce something different than the original plan, and usually to a better result. These photos arose from that. Orias and I were working on some images with her wearing black gloves and I noted an almost Venus De Milo effect when I moved to a low key lighting against a black background. We explored that concept and This led to the idea of playing up that using the fact that wearing flat black on this background and lighting left those parts invisible. We played with it a few different ways. First some shots with someone else draped in black behind her and out of the light. The result is the other person isn’t visible and where his body overlays hers you get an almost cut out effect. The concept is actually pretty old. I believe it goes back to stage magic in the 1800’s if not earlier. In this first photo you can just see the arm to the right of the model.

Orias 1

In some other images we shifted a bit. Here you can see how her arms disappear where she’s wearing the gloves while only the non black covered arms of the other person are visible. I’d prefer an assistant to stand in as the shadow here, but without one I had to improvise and work on both sides of the camera. Needles to say, this requires a very professional approach and a lot of trust between model and photographer given the contact involved. I’m wearing black pants, a black shirt, and a black ski mask pulled down. Even a slight sliver of skin showed up in photos and in one of these I did have to clone out a small element of my neck that peeked out during the shot. The camera is mounted on a tripod. A wireless remote allowed triggering of the camera and a delayed timer on the camera allows the shot to be triggered and then to finish posing.

Orias 2

An interesting set of images and while not something I’d do everyday or even that often, I think they came out well.

Orias 3

Noir with Shelby J

Had the chance to work with Shelby back in April. We did a number of styles of work, but my favorites from the shoot came from some later images. Both are interestingly implied nudes where Shelby is only lit by a single light that’s been tightened down to a small circle of light. The first is the noir styled image. I intentionally left the light visible here as I like the effect of it almost as a camera at the side and I think gives the overall image a bit more interesting feel that ties in with her expression. I’d consider this an implied shot even though her nipple is just visible under one arm.

Shelby 1

From just a bit later comes another image. This one I leave color thought the lighting is similar, in this case reduced to a bright strip with barn doors on the strobe. I like the intense look from Shelby off the camera here. Again an implied shot.


Overall a nice shoot and there are some other photos I’ll come back and share at a later time.