Mark Bult Design: San Francisco, CA, Established 1988

Web design and development for small and large business, e-commerce, b2b, b2c, SAAS, and community websites. User experience design and usability testing.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The photoblog is back

In preparation for the shutdown of Blogger’s FTP service in a little over a month, I’ve started the long process of converting all my blogs to WordPress. This is a rather involved process, as it first requires doing several things that aren’t even related to the blogs.

For example, my web host, Media Temple, has been urging me to upgrade to their Grid-Service for over a year, and I’ve been putting it off. However, in order to take advantage of MT’s one-click WordPress installation capability, I had to do the migration first. So I did that over the weekend, and it went without too many hitches; I had to reset a bunch of passwords and some other paths and things, plus my two Pixelpost photoblogs (mine and Velma’s) broke. It took me a couple more nights (Monday and Tuesday) to fix mine, and I’ll get to Velma’s photoblog soonish.

To fix it, I had to reinstall the Pixelpost software and move it to a new directory, hook up the new installation to the old MySQL database containing all the old photos, thumbnails, and metadata, and then copy all the old images and thumbs over to the new directories.

I haven’t had time to check through it much, and my old template doesn’t work anymore so I’m just using a basic one that comes with the Pixelpost ZIP (it’s pretty good though). However, upgrading the Pixelpost software did fix my commenting system and the browse function, so you can look at my photos by category again. Like “green,” for example.

So, update your bookmarks — from now there’s a new URL for my photoblog, Fun With Light:

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Top 5

Honest Twister Commercial
For sexually frustrated people ages 8 and up.

Little People – A tiny street art project
Jason really liked this book.

“A Million Ways” by OK Go

“This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go
This one’s for Jenny.

Hot Dog Launcher

The weekly Thursday Top 5 lists the five most notable, interesting, funny, outrageous, cool, or simply strange things of the week. It is intended for distractionary purposes only. Do not take orally. If ingested, seek a doctor’s advice. If you like it, share it with others, or check out the long list of previous entries.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Small picture in Alaska Airlines magazine

One of my pictures is featured in this month’s Alaska Airlines Magazine alongside a blurb about Save the Redwood League’s Plant a Redwood Seedling program. It was part of the magazine’s Holiday Gift Guide, in the section about cause-related gifts.

It’s just a tiny picture, but it’s one of my favorites, so I’m glad they chose it. And that they credited me ; )

I often take photos of events for SRL, where my wife works. Most of them are on Flickr, and a 2007 set from Mill Creek, Humboldt County, is where the seedling photo comes from.

Thanks to the SRL folks for letting me know about the magazine, and letting me borrow their copy.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thursday Top 5

Redwoods: The Tallest Trees
Photographer Nick Nichols spent a year planning the nearly impossible: a top-to-bottom photograph of a 300-foot-tall redwood tree, featured in a five-page fold-out in the October issue of National Geographic Magazine. It’s on newsstands now. Buy it!

Amazing new design technology
Whoah, I need this app!

Bert and Ernie tries Gangsta-Rap
Is dey West Coast or East Coast?

I Will Derive!
For the math dorks.

Western Spaghetti by PES
Quirky animations by PES. [via Fwegan]

The weekly Thursday Top 5 lists the five most notable, interesting, funny, outrageous, cool, or simply strange things of the week. It is intended for distractionary purposes only. Do not take orally. If ingested, seek a doctor’s advice. If you like it, share it with others, or check out the long list of previous entries.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Top 5

From Comic Book Panel to Screen
Just a week after I watched Hot Fuzz (hilarious, 5 stars) and learned that the director is the guy who’s adapting my favorite comic into a movie (Edgar Wright, who also did the amazing Shaun of the Dead), I randomly came across a film site featuring a video from the shooting of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. They’re regularly posting videos (nine so far) at Bonus points on the one above, since it also features Chris Murphy of one of my favorite bands: Sloan! I can’t wait to see this film.

Wreckage of My Past: The Story of Ozzy Osbourne trailer
A documentary being produced by a company started by Ozzy’s son Jack, due in 2010. Directed by Mike Piscitelli, and written and produced by Jordan Tappis.

Make a moving photo
Like in the Harry Potter movies.

Take On Me: literal video version
Awesome parody of an ’80s modern rock hit by A-Ha.

Flying with a Cat: From Sweden to SF
Anders, who works at and recently moved from Sweden to San Francisco, and brought his cat Tailer along. He produced a six-part series about his experience flying internationally with a cat, including tips and an interview with a vet.

The weekly Thursday Top 5 lists the five most interesting, funny, outrageous, cool, or simply strange things of the week. It is intended for distractionary purposes only. Do not take orally. If ingested, seek a doctor’s advice. If you like it, share it with others, or check out the long list of previous entries.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thursday Top 5

45 Beautiful Motion Blur Photos

As if being a sports mascot wasn’t bad enough

History of the browser user-agent string
Aaron Andersen explains one of the many reasons why web developers get grumpy.

Blogging from 25,000 feet
Virgin introduces in-flight Wifi.

Holy zeppelin!
Airship Ventures offers rides over the Bay Area in a real zeppelin, taking off from historic Moffett Field.

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Friday, November 14, 2008


I spent much of this week coding and testing a new site for my friend (and client) Diane Choplin.

Diane is a longtime friend whom I met through BAA, where she was the coordinator of the Schools Group for a year or so. These days she directs the documentary photography program at SF’s Academy of Art.

I bought Diane her first domain years ago as a gift, and put up a rather rudimentary gallery featuring some of her photos from her time in the Peace Corps in Niger. We’d both neglected the site ever since, but a few months ago we decided to do something about it.

While I’d been working on the designs here and there for a few months, we had a mad rush to finish this week as Diane was applying for a fellowship and had a deadline. So the site was built entirely in the last week and a half, using Photoshop, Lightroom, SlideShowPro, Soundslides, Dreamweaver, and W3C-compliant XHTML Strict and CSS.

It’s not completely finished. There are always some loose nails to be nailed down (although I’m just happy it validates and works in all the major browsers), Diane didn’t have time to finish some of the galleries yet, we need to tweak some little things in SlideShowPro, there’s a Discussion section to be added later, and the whole thing needs to be converted to Wordpress.

But it was done (enough) for her deadline, and all the pages but one validate. The one that doesn’t contains some poorly generated code from Soundslides, the Flash app she used to make her multimedia slideshow (their fault, not Diane’s), so I’ll have to fix that later.

Let me know what you think of Leave a comment.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Top 5+1

Yes We Did
MoveOn’s pimping a commemorative “Yes We Did” poster and sticker by Shepard Fairey (of Obey Giant fame). You can get one sticker for free, although I’m pretty sure it’ll put you on MoveOn’s email list. I contributed $35 to get two posters. BTW, MoveOn’s new home page design is a leap forward, I hope they’ll extend it to the inner pages soon. [via Jason]

Candid pictures of Barack Obama
By Time photojournalist Callie Shell, who’s been photographing Obama for four years.

Pomegranate Phone
Awesome! Screw the iPhone, this is the one I want! It even makes coffee!

Mission Blues
Conceptual artist Daniel Dancer transforms 200 Presidio Middle School kids into an endangered mission blue butterfly. Pics and video. User Sues
Anthony Michaels has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that used deceptive marketing to get him to sign up for a premium account, when former schoolmates weren’t actually looking for him.

Best man drank a bit too much last night I guess.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday Top 5

The Cat House on the Kings

Animated short by Graham Annable.

Man decorates basement with $10 worth of Sharpie [via Jason]

9 Reasons Your Pet Should Give Up Drinking

How To Use Vintage Lenses with Your DSLR

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Lite Brite picture featured in podcast

One of my photos is featured (very briefly) in this podcast from Deke McClelland and O’Reilly Media, Inc., titled “Spirographs on Steroids.” The video, which describes an Adobe Illustrator technique, uses a high-energy production style that cuts to lots of images very quickly, including a picture from my photoblog called “Fun with Lite Brite”. And yes, they did ask permission, and they credited me at the end.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday Top 5

“The Streets of San Francisco” might get remade
This was a great show, and it looks like CBS might remake it. The original made a star of Michael Douglas. But the best part was the theme song. Even today it still starts playing in my head whenever I drive around the hilly parts of SF. I need to burn the song to a CD and keep in it my car's player at all times.

Trailer for the biopic of the most unpopular president in history, by Oliver Stone.

Save Polaroid
Polaroid announced early this year that the company would cease making instant film. It’s a shame that this unique and distinctive photographic medium will go the way of the dodo. But you can do something about it.

Ani DiFranco
I've never really been much of a fan of Ani DiFranco; while I like some of her songs, and I greatly respect her socio-political views and her DIY work ethic, I just never really liked her voice much. The interview with her on “City Arts & Lectures” was worth it, though. Unfortunately, the program doesn’t make downloads or streams available of past shows, so unless you catch the show some time on a rebroadcast, I guess you're outta luck : \

Walmart's growth
A map that animates the stunning spread of Walmarts across the U.S.

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Friday, June 27, 2008 features moving documentaries

MediaStorm is an interactive agency that specializes in storytelling. They've developed documentary-style content for clients such as Apple, National Geographic, and the Los Angeles Times. Their own site features a plethora of rich and moving documentaries, and I found this one touching:

“One year ago Matt Eich, 20, and Melissa Turk, 19, were typical college students. Then, everything started changing. Matt won the prestigious College Photographer of the Year contest, Melissa found out she was pregnant, they got married and moved from Ohio to Portland, OR, for Matt’s summer internship.”

Watch the video.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thursday Top 5

Cirque du Soleil: Wheel of Death
A few weeks ago I surprised Velma and my mom by taking them to see Cirque in San Jose. They had the Wheel of Death at this performance, although there was only one of the contraptions (with two wheels and two guys). Still, it made my skin crawl to watch it.

Great beer ad
Nice slogan too: "Carlton Draught — Made from Beer"

The Email Standards Project

Know your rights as a photographer
Good legal tips for the next time you're stalking Britney of taking a picture at the airport. I'll have to remember these the next time I'm in Boston and they give me a hard time again about taking pictures in the T. Live: Queensrÿche
Queensrÿche was one of my favorite bands when I was in high school, and they played a live acoustic set at my former workplace recently. Wish I could've been there to catch it, but these four videos are good.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Velma surprised me

Velma woke me up this morning before she left for work and told me to meet her at Market and 2nd at 5pm. I remember groggily protesting but she insisted she had a surprise for me.

I dutifully turned up on the corner downtown this afternoon, not knowing what I was in store for.

Turns out The Dandy Warhols, one of my all-time favorite bands, were hosting a pre-release listening party for their new album at 111 Minna Gallery. Velma had signed up for their emails a long time ago so she could pull something like this on me.

The album's called ...Earth to The Dandy Warhols... and I liked the sound of it (although it's always hard to get a good impression when there's a buzz of assorted merry socializing competing with the music). It comes out May 19 on their site, and they've offered the first track, “The World The People Together (Come On),” as a free MP3 download.

Brent and Zia were there early. Zia even came with her case of records to spin for our aural pleasure after they'd played the new album two or three times through. I'm not sure whether Courtney and Pete came down from Portland for this, as I left pretty early. Maybe I'm just old, but after Velma left (she had a prior engagement so she could only spend an hour with me) I got bored looking at people I don't know drinking and socializing. So after a beer and listening to some of Zia's picks, I headed for the hills.

Astute readers may recall that The Dandy Warhols are actually listed on my very long list of clients. I used to shoot the band every time they'd play anywhere in the Bay Area in their early years (mid- to late-1990s) and at one time their management asked if they could use some of my photos for publicity since they had just switched drummers and didn't have any new pictures yet. A bunch of my live shots had been featured on their website way back then too, but they're long gone by now.

Funny enough, I'd just recently been thinking of getting together all my Dandys photos and putting out a book. I'd even gotten the box of prints and negatives down off the shelf just last week.

To top it all off, the photo featured today on my photoblog is one of those old Dandys pictures, which I'd added to the database last week.

I think it's all a sign that I should do the photo book.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thursday Top 5

"Hit Me On My iPhone"
Somebody mixed a hip hop song with the demo videos from

Jewelry made from recycled camera parts.

Indian cover of "Sweet Child O' Mine"

This Japanese rock band pushes the outer limits of weird

Dear Velma, I'm sorry about your faulty MC1R genes
What makes redheads?

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Top 5

Vinyl Sleeve Heads
Art made from album art.

Harmonica + Beatbox: Final Cut
I think I posted a video of this guy, Yuri Lane, a couple years ago. Amazing skillz.

Bog we are so dumb. D-U-M dumb.

20/20: "Stupid in America"
Oh man, it gets worse. The whole Miss Teen South Carolina thing led me to this "20/20" episode. It takes about ten minutes before you see some hope: Some of the alternative schools, where teaching actually happens (shocking!). Oh bog, this makes me want to vote Libertarian again.

Voice of Bart Simpson gives $10 million to Scientology
I don't know what's more appalling, that she gave that much dough to the lunatic cult, or that she earns $250,000 for every episode of "The Simpsons."

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday Top 5

Music for one apartment and six drummers

The Koepp and I (A Play in Two Parts)
An interesting post by screenwriter Josh Friedman, who wrote the early script versions of "War of the Worlds," about how a completely different writer got all the credit.

Not Martha
My favorites are the logo cupcakes! Well, that's not what they call them, but that's what I call them.

The Easter Bunny Hates You
What the Easter Bunny does the other 364 days of the year.

Spiders on drugs

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Thomas Allen, Uncovered

I can't remember where I heard about Thomas Allen's book, Uncovered, but I mentioned it to Jason the other day and I thought I'd post it for others as well.

Allen's photographs breathe new life into vintage books and magazines by literally liberating some of the heroes and heroines from the pages, sometimes (as in the example above) creating a new pretext in the story.

Here are a few other shots of his work. The book, featuring an intro from Chip Kidd, is available from Aperture (the publisher) and Amazon.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008


One of the photoblogs I like the most is Absenter, by Chicago designer Naz Hamid, who also designed one of my favorite online publications, Gapers Block.

Naz stopped updating Absenter a while back (I think he primarily uses his Flickr stream now), but I went through every photo again this afternoon. I always liked the way the background color for the title card at the bottom changes to a hue picked from the day's photo.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday top 5

Big Rig Jig
This sculpture is going to be at Burning Man. Waah! I wanna go.

Spoon's "Don't You Evah" (featuring Keepon)
Heh heh, cute dancing robots.

How to take a product-shot photo on a white background
A pretty simple method. I tried it out the other night, and while it's a little harder to get a really good result than it might first seem from this tutorial, it works pretty well.

Horn guy

Original Design Gangsta
"No widows, ya heard?!" Okay, only the design geeks are gonna get this, but what the hell.
BTW, the video's by illustrator Kyle T. Webster.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Gap photo used alongside an article on NowPublic

Kaitlin posted an article on NowPublic, a social media site, about Gap founder Donald Fisher's intention to open an art museum in San Francisco's Presidio. She found my photo on Flickr and asked if she could use it along with the article. Thank bog some people ask.

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