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Archive for December, 2014

New Photography Web Site

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Jim Plaxco Photography Web Site
Jim Plaxco Photography Web Site

On Dec 12, 2014 my Jim Plaxco Photography web site officially went live. I have amassed quite an archive of photography over the years but never sought to profit from it. Visually my primary interest was in digital art and the creation of a variety of painting programs and generative art programs.

Prior to this my photography fulfilled three purposes. The first was documentary in nature: taking photographs of places I had visited, sights I had seen, and events I had been involved in. This is the purpose that most people pursue when engaged in photography.

My second purpose was to capture scenes for either artistic inspiration or to use as an image source for my digital art. One example of the latter is Digital Self Portrait which is an algorithmic self-portrait created by taking a photograph of myself and using that image as input into a generative art program that I had written.

My third purpose was to experiment with the creation of abstract photographs. This was the only truly "in-camera" experimental photographic work I performed. It was a quest to see what sort of unique imagery I could create by manipulating the factors of time, zoom, focus, motion, and lighting. Many of these experiments in abstract phtography were an aesthetic flop – but enough of them were successful to keep me going.

So what brought about this sudden decision to market my photography? As with many things it began slowly. I had created an Instagram account out of curiosity as to how the platform functioned. I took several photos and left it at that. It then occurred to me that I could use Instagram as an alternative marketing venue for my art. I deleted most of the photographs I had taken and began uploading my artwork.

About the same time as I had decided to start using Instagram to market my art, I discovered Twenty20 (formerly InstaCanvas) – a service for printing your Instagram photographs. So I set up a gallery on Twenty20. I wound up making available a mixture of art and photography. However I pulled most all of my work off the site when, earlier this year, they decided to offer digital downloads of all art and photography. Unfortunately Twenty20 adopted an all or nothing approach leaving artists and photographers with no ability to specify which of their works should be available for download. Not only did I remove most of my work but I have not uploaded any new art or photography since that time. In defence of Twenty20, they do offer excellent commissions on the digital downloads – better than several of the stock photography web sites I checked.

The combination of having used Instagram and Twenty20 to market my photography led me to create my own photography web site. While I could have gone with one of the many portfolio hosting services or stock photography sites, I opted for my own site on my own domain as I prefer the degree of control that provides me with. Conveniently, some years ago I had purchased the domain name jimplaxco.com but had not done anything with it. It seemed logical to use that domain as the home for my photography. I then spent the month of November and the start of December building the site and populating it with an initial set of photographs.

I completed work on the site last week and as a part of the rollout I’m offering a 20 percent discount on all available photography products. The coupon code to use during checkout is 508BD0, which will expire at the end of this year. So please visit Jim Plaxco Photography and let me know what you think.

Jim Plaxco Photography
508BD0
20% off all prints
Valid from 17 Dec 2014
Valid until 31 Dec 2014


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Voting Open For Enterprise In Space Orbiter Design Contest

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

NSS Enterprise In Space Orbiter Design Contest Vote
Enterprise In Space Project

The open submission period for the National Space Society (NSS) Enterprise In Space Orbiter Design Contest is closed and
the polls are now open for the public to vote for the best NSS Enterprise Orbiter design submitted.

For those not familiar with the project, the goal of the Enterprise In Space (EIS) project is to design, build, launch, orbit, and re-enter a satellite. This satellite, the NSS Enterprise Orbiter, will carry approximately 100 competitively-selected student experiments to space. The mission will orbit the Earth for approximately one week before re-entry and recovery. The satellite will then embark on a tour of museums world-wide before becoming a permanent exhibit at a museum yet to be named. Enterprise in Space is a project of the non-profit National Space Society of which I am a former Vice President. Among those who have endorsed the project are Buzz Aldrin, John Billingsley, Hugh Downs, Nichelle Nichols, and Eugene Roddenberry. See also the Enterprise in Space Board of Advisors.

As a part of the desire to involve the public in the project’s progress, it had been decided that the exterior design for the spacecraft would be determined by way of a public contest. Designers and artists were encouraged to submit science fiction inspired designs.

My involvement in the project began in July when I was asked to join the EIS Board of Advisors. Then in mid-November I was asked to take on the job of managing the Enterprise In Space Orbiter Design Contest. I accepted. In addition to managing the contest I will also be serving as one of the judges in the contest’s final selection round. In that round, I and six other judges will formally select the Grand Prize, First Prize, and Second Prize winners. While a major factor in our decision will be the results of the public vote, we will also be considering the design originality, visual aesthetics, and engineering practicality. While engineering considerations were not meant to be a driving factor for the contestants, they will by necessity be a factor in the construction of a spacecraft that will have to carry some 100 student experiments to space will meeting launch-vehicle-imposed restrictions on dimensions, weight, center of mass, etc.

Even though I am a judge in the contest, I still took the opportunity to vote for my favorite design submission. Voting closes on December 19 at midnight UTC so why not vote now in the Enterprise in Space Orbiter Design Contest .

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