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Interesting little things…

Photos That Make Skier Look Amazing

This past weekend has been my 6-year-old son’s second time in his skiing career, if we can call it one. He started to like it. He’s not as remarkable as I have heard about other kids of his age. In my eye, and in particular through my lens, he is a pro already. Alright, I admit, he looks much greater in these photos than he really is. But hey, that’s what photos are for right?

Yoyo elegantly dodging a fallen skier on his way down

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Tech Review: Facetune 2 Putting Photoshop on the Phone

I’ve recently tried quite a few iPhone photo editing apps and Facetune 2 is my favorite, here are real-life case studies:

Tricks applied above:

  • Defocus (the holy grail that the iPhone has been trying relentlessly to emulate after – the shallow depth of field)
    [You may try the auto feature but I find it hit or miss and the manual is definitely much better, if not perfect]
  • Vignette (an oval shaped spotlight effect, with a subtle dark frame around the person(s), on your chosen area of focus)

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Stories from TD, the Human Bank

Paid Parental Leave: TJ Phelps Family

I adore this family and I am so honored to have the opportunity to film them. I am indebted to their generosity with their time, and their son Chase’s camera-friendliness gave me a lot of fond memories. TJ talked about Chase’s bossy, Arnold Schwarzenegger-like tone while saying “Sit down!” And I tried to put that bit in an earlier draft, but eventually it didn’t make the cut; otherwise the video will end up like 5 min.
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Yoyo Scroll

A picture every three months or so, since January 2012.

An ever evolving documentary project.

What I learned so far: capturing the right moments matters the most to the quality of the picture, not whether you have a backdrop or lighting and all those things. But a good lens does help a great deal. Also available at yoyozhao.me


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TD GIFs & Clips [data guzzler]

There is a little bit of buzz lately of China’s ascendance, even on innovation. And here are a couple of numbers from a NYT article about urban China leapfrogging on mobile payments (2016 data via iResearch):

112
United States ($ billion)
5500
China ($ billion)

This, below, is my personally preferred way of looking at this, thanks to GIF and data visualization and things that I love doing at TD Bank now:

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Air Quality Action Day? Worry Not, NYers!

If you have never heard of an air quality action day, you are most likely a perfectly typical resident in the U.S. who is also lucky, the latter of which you may have been taking for granted. Because a hazy day like July 20, 2017 in Manhattan almost never happens. (Hazy is not the same as “foggy.”)

Manhattan skyline July 20 vs 21, 2017 seen from Queens

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GIFs: California Reservoirs From Drought to Deluge

A five-year drought in California ended spectacularly this winter, with the state emerging from one of its driest periods on record by enduring one of its wettest. Reservoirs, lakes, and mountainsides are now brimming with water and snow, though scientists caution that the unseen reservoirs—underground aquifers—are a long way from having the same bounty that is visible on the land surface. [Full post on NASA Earth Observatory]

Trinity Lake, the third largest reservoir in the state (after Lake Oroville and Shasta Lake). The artificial lake in northern California connects to the Trinity River and is part of the Sacramento basin. On April 29, 2015, Trinity stood at 59 percent of its historical average level for that date; by April 2, 2017, it stood at 114 percent.

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GIFs: Shanghai Adds 10 Manhattans

Before I did my googling and math, I couldn’t believe it but here it is: Shanghai has added as much land as 10 Manhattans over the past couple of decades. Here are some satellite images as witness:

The number of people living in Shanghai is not the only thing about the city that has increased dramatically since the 1980s. The amount of land available to its residents has grown as well. By building seawalls just off the coast to capture outflowing sediment, and by using dredging equipment that sucks up and moves large volumes of sand, Shanghai has added well over 580 square kilometers (220 square miles) of land to its shorelines since 1985.

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