Author: xensenPage 1 of 33

“If you see me, weep”

Our ancestors carved “hunger stones” as a warning about climate catastrophe. Will we heed their warning?

Good typography in five minutes

Good advice well presented.

My Micro Four Thirds Photography, 2022

The Micro Four Thirds camera format still offers many attractions. In this post I look at five M43 lenses

Great opening paragraphs: The Confusions of Pleasure by Timothy Brook

The opening of Timothy Brooks’s The Confusions of Pleasure is a great one — even if it might not be true.

On Aspect Ratios

Exploring aspect ratios in photography, fine art, and publishing.

The House of the Camel, Venice

Palazzo Mastelli, in the sestiere of Canareggio, is a peculiar and characteristically Venetian mélange of Roman fragments, Byzantine elements, and a lot of sixteenth-century construction, all topped with a Gothic balcony. On its walls is a depiction of a camel. Why?

Identify the Commonality

What do these words have in common: awkward birth dirt gap ill mire muggy ransack rotten rugged scant scathe scowl wrong?

Albrecht Dürer, The Great Piece of Turf

A seemingly ordinary clump of turf is actually a radical step in Western painting — and one of its masterpieces.

How to figure an advance against book royalties

How much should an advance against royalties be?

Photo to Line Art Technique

How can we convert an image made of pixels into line art?

Astronomicum Caesareum, 1540

A monumental example of European book arts of the sixteenth century, and one of the most beautiful books ever produced.

Shakespeare’s Globe

The aged are inclined to live in the past. In 1576, when Thomas Platter was seventy-seven, he published a charming autobiography. It would be admired centuries later by…

A Test of Adobe Super Resolution

Adobe has released a feature that expands on the previous “enhance details.” Super Resolution uses artificial intelligence to increase the resolution of camera raw images. How well does it do?

A First Test of Photoshop’s New Sky Replacement Feature

Photoshop 2021 has introduced some AI features that are a mix of exciting and disturbing.

Nine Views of Point Pinole

All taken 14 April 2020 with a Samyang / Rokinon 12mm f2 (wide-angle) lens.

My Watercolor Palette

My pigment selections.

Riso Circles

An exhibit of Riso printing presented at San Francisco State under the auspices of the faculty and students of the Design Gallery class of the department of Visual Communication.

Scientific Historica: How the World’s Great Science Books Chart the History of Knowledge, by Brian Clegg

What is wonderful about this book is its visual content, and for that it is highly recommended.

The Nature of Plants: An Introduction to How Plants Work, by Craig N. Huegel

This book’s analysis of how plants work is its most important contribution. For, as Huegel says, “When we understand plants, we understand the foundation of life on earth.”

The Golden Ratio: The Divine Beauty of Mathematics, by Gary D. Meisner

Although I remain largely unpersuaded by Meisner’s survey of the golden ratio in artworks, his book is well produced and rich with images.

La Vie en Rose

Text of a bit I wrote on what it means to be alive, selected as a notable essay of 2019 in Best American Essays 2019, edited by Rebecca Solnit.

Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the New Millennium

An old book review, recently unearthed.

Swiss Exhibit, 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

The Swiss pavilion won the Golden Lion national pavilion award for presenting “a compelling exhibition which was enjoyable while tackling the critical issues of scale in domestic space.”

Garamond Premier Pro

Working with Garamond Premier Pro for my book on Persian ceramics, I have been impressed by the range of sizes and weights the typeface includes. There are regular,…