Auld Lang Syne; It’s Music To My Ears

"Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here!"--J. K. Rowling

Because a Baltimore guitarist named Joe Farace recorded with a rock group called Orange Wedge I occasionally get e-mail about the band. Recently a German record label called Long Hair ( that focuses on 1960s and '70s music contacted me asking if I wanted to talk about doing a reissue. Their reason: "More and more people get back to the old music because it is often better than most contemporary stuff." I hated to disappoint them by telling them that I'm not that Joe Farace. Because of research done by Shutterbug's Andrea Keister, she was able to do something I couldn't; find that other Joe Farace. He's now a guitarist for a band called Bottle of Blues and you can read more about them at You can even listen to some of their music there. Enjoy!
Ever since reading Joseph A. Cocozza's landmark book Astrophotography Near City Lights I've been fascinated by astrophotography. If you've ever wondered what the fuss was all about, take a look at John Lanoue's views of outer space made from his backyard observatory. The first thing that will surprise you are the colors. There's lots of color and drama in Lanoue's celestial images, including his view of the Pelican and North America Nebulas. Bucking a trend on photographers' websites of offering little or no caption data, Lanoue strikes a balance between providing information for the layman and astronomer alike about what you're looking at and how it was captured.

© 2007, John Lanoue,, All Rights Reserved

The no-nonsense site features collections of images based on their method of capture and astronomical category. Thus you'll find Nebulas next to Narrowband Imaging followed by Galaxies and Black and White Photography, which contains photographs of the Horsehead Nebula that are beautiful to behold on so many levels. Closer to earth, be sure to check out Lanoue's Aurora Borealis images and be sure to read how he inadvertently captured his first one. My favorite part of the site follows the construction of his observatory, showing more than a trace of Yankee ingenuity and craftsmanship and visibly demonstrating how hard work, a few tools, and passion for a subject have allowed Lanoue to create these breathtaking images that are indeed out of this world.
British photographer Rich Page takes pictures of boats. Not just any boats, mind you, but racing yachts in action, which is a technical and aesthetic challenge of the highest order. His galleries are built around a racing event calendar, so if you want to see images of the final day of the Super Yacht Cup Palma, just click away and be greeted by a grid of thumbnails that, when clicked, open up into larger size and allow you to click the "next" and "prev" buttons to see all of the images from a particular race.

© 2007, Rich Page --, All Rights Reserved

Page's images manage to capture the inherent beauty of the craft of racing yachts and, like John Toll's lovingly crafted cinematography in the motion picture Wind, manage to illustrate that hard work and teamwork are important components of winning, too. Occasionally there are a few more images of people who might be the nautical equivalent of traditional "grip and grin" photos than I might prefer to see, but that shows the reality that without corporate sponsorship neither the yachts nor the photographs of them could exist. Page considers himself to be a "transportation" photographer, so in addition to racing yachts you'll also find classy images of Bentley, Rolls Royce, and Land Rover automobiles--the kinds of cars yacht racers drive, I guess--rounding out his galleries.