Photo/Video Equipment Sale

For Sale
Image by Ian Mutto (

In preparation for my move to Australia this fall, I am selling  some of my photo and video equipment. Everything listed here is in excellent to “like new” condition.  Please let me know if you are interested in anything:

Calumet Cocoon 70 Light Tent (product page)
For use in photography and video to achieve a uniform bright white background. The Cocoon 70 is perfect for small to medium objects (up to about the size of a digital SLR). Retail price is $84.99 at Calumet. Selling for $40.

Tempo SATA E2P interface card
(Amazon item page)
Allows you to connect two eSATA hard drives to your Mac Pro or desktop PC. Listed at $42 on Amazon. Selling for $20.

Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro HDMI Editing Card (Amazon item page)
PCI Express interface card for a Mac Pro or Desktop PC. Allows you to capture uncompressed HDMI video along with analog component, NTSC, PAL, S-Video and analog audio. Listed at $189 on Amazon. This item is only three months old (I will provide a receipt) and was used two or three times. Selling for $150.

Epson Stylus NX420 All-In-One Printer (product page)
This printer also scans and copies, and is Wi-Fi enabled. It is brand new and still sealed in the box. Retail $99. Selling for $50.

Pentax W20 Waterproof Camera ( listing)
This small point and shoot camera is waterproof and durable. It comes with the battery and charger. Takes SD cards (not included). Selling for $100.

Massport Doesn’t Want Me Taking Pictures of the Snow [UPDATED]

The offending picture.

Today, I was asked to leave a public park by a Massport policeman for taking pictures of the snow.

I was walking in the Bremen Street Park for about a half an hour this morning, taking some pictures of last night’s snowfall. As I was about to take a simple picture of the shadow of a railing on the snow, I heard someone yell something at me. Turning around, I saw a Massport policeman calling to me from the window of a small official building in the park, but I couldn’t hear him at first (I was standing next to an unoccupied — but running — Massport police vehicle). As I walked toward him, I could hear him say “The park is closed.”

Now, this particular park is right down the street from my apartment, so I happen to know that they do a very good job of letting you know when the park is closed. There are big metal gates that get locked and bright yellow chains that are hung across any walkways they don’t want you using. Today, the gates were open and the chains were down, so I said to the officer “It’s closed? Even though the gates are open and the chains aren’t up?”

He said something like “Yes, the maintenance people must not have closed things back up after clearing the snow — I’ll go close them now,” then told me I had to leave the park.

I didn’t know the exact legal status of this park (is it public land? does it belong to the port authority, or do they just patrol it?), so I left. But as I did, I couldn’t help but notice all of the other people walking in the park, or the children playing in the snow, or the sign that gave the park’s winter hours, and said nothing about it being closed in bad weather.

The building the policeman was in, to the left of Mr. McKay.

In fact, even if the park was closed, the section where I was standing when I was asked to leave is almost always open — it’s right in the middle of the path people use to walk to the MBTA station that’s only accessible via the park.

And, hours later, the gates to the park are still open, the yellow chains are nowhere to be seen, and people are still walking in the park, undisturbed.

The only reason I can think of that I would be asked to leave is that I had a camera, and police often single out people with cameras. The MBTA police have done it to me, military police have done it to me, federal police have done it to me, and none of them have ever been in the right.

So, Massport: was the park closed, or was your employee inappropriately harassing a photographer? Maybe I’ll go take a walk in the park to think about it.

UPDATE: I just got off the phone with Massport’s Director of Media Relations. He called to apologize about the incident, said he’d look into it, and told me he would give the police officer a “good long talk” if the park wasn’t actually closed. He also promised to follow up once he does some investigating, so I’ll report back when he does.

Digital Photography Workshops on April 10th

I’ve been asked many many times to do a workshop on photography, so I’ve finally set something up. On April 10th, I’ll be holding two workshops at the Cultural Exchange Center at 80 Border Street in the East Boston neighborhood. Here are the descriptions:

Digital Photography Basics Workshop

Want to learn how to use your camera to its full potential? Need a new camera (or even a first camera) and don’t know what to get? Spend two and a half hours learning the basics of digital photography from photographer and experienced technology educator Adam Weiss.

Adam will teach you how a digital camera works, what makes one camera better than another, and how your camera’s features can help you take better pictures — or when they can get in the way. Learn how to use your camera’s modes, when to turn the flash off, and how to overcome its limitations in tricky situations. Once you understand your camera, you’ll learn how to take more interesting photos with tips professionals use to take beautiful pictures.

Bring your camera to try things out as you learn (not required), and be prepared to ask lots of questions. This workshop will be highly interactive, with plenty of time for discussion.

Saturday, April 10 from 10:00-12:30, including a 15 min. break. Workshop followed by informal question time until 1:00 pm.

Cost is $35 per person. Limit 20 participants.

Sign up for Digital Photography Basics Workshop

Taking Better Pictures Hands-on Workshop

Do you want to take your photography to the next level? Wish you could get feedback on your photos to improve more quickly? Bring your camera to a hands-on workshop that will get you outside taking pictures and teach you how to improve your shots.

Photographer and experienced technology educator Adam Weiss will provide a brief overview of camera functions and photo composition tips, then you’ll move outside to practice for an hour before heading back inside to review actual photos taken during the workshop. By discussing photos taken by your fellow participants, you’ll learn how to improve composition and choose better camera settings — as well as seeing how others like to photograph the world.

The outdoor section of the workshop will give you the opportunity to experiment while getting help and guidance from the instructor (if you want it). A few volunteer participants will then have the opportunity to have their photos critiqued by Adam and the rest of the class, giving everyone ideas for how to make their shots better.

Saturday, April 10 from 2:00-5:00, including 1 hour of picture-taking time (weather permitting). Bring your camera’s USB cable if it is a non-standard type.Cost is $35 per person. Limit 15 participants.

Sign up for Taking Better Pictures Hands-on Workshop

Attend Both Workshops for Just $50 (Use the second option when signing up for the second workshop)

Entering the “Live Off Groupon” Contest is running this crazy contest to find someone who is willing to live off of nothing but their coupon/gift certificates for a year. I thought it sounded really cool and decided to enter, which involved making two YouTube videos, writing an essay and a blog post, and of course being “eccentric” enough to actually want to do it. I’m putting the blog post (about the Brattle Theatre in Harvard Square) up here, along with the two videos. Those of you who know me can judge my eccentricity:

Blog Post: Bogart at the Gym

Fifteen movies in Harvard Square for $2 each! Why did I hesitate on that Groupon?

The Brattle Theatre‘s offer of a year-long membership for just $35 was so popular that they called Groupon after just a few hours to plead “Please shut it off!” Even still, 1250 people got tickets to 15 films, discounted popcorn, and the satisfaction of supporting a 120-year-old cultural center. They would have kept it going, but they’d increased their membership rolls by 25% in less than a day, and they didn’t want to be buried under a mountain of paperwork for months to come.

Of course, I saw this Groupon just minutes before it sold out. Before I clicked “Buy,” I paused to tell a few friends — when I went back, it was gone. Luckily, I didn’t let my disappointment stop me from dropping in on the Brattle’s Creative Director this week. Ned Hinkle has been at the Brattle Theatre for over a decade (he actually built their first website by hand), and he graciously invited me to climb up into the balcony with him for a chat.

The theater started out as Brattle Hall back in 1890, and it’s been in pretty much continuous operation ever since. It started out as a social club and live theater, and had stints as a ballet school and even a police gymnasium along the way. It was retrofitted for movies in 1953, and has spent the almost six decades since then showing art films, classics, and cult favorites. It’s also started a couple of cult traditions, including one that lures Harvard students away from studying for finals to watch Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca or The Maltese Falcon — a tradition that Hinkle said made Bogart the classic icon he is today.

Brattle Hall also houses a great cafe and restaurant, making it a one-stop night on the town, right in the heart of Harvard Square. Even if you missed out on the Groupon, the Brattle is a great place to experience films you’ll never get to see on the big screen — whether they’re classics or current contenders for festival honors.

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Video: Interview at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA


Video: “Live Off Groupon” Contest Introduction Video