Mar 15, 2014

The NEW Magnum Arts Blog

It's time for a change.

The time for this blog to remain on the Blogger platform, has come to an end. 

There will be no more posts on this blog format, It's been a good platform, I've done a lot with it, but as I move into creating websites for a living, it is time to move to a better, more customizable and more responsive blogging platform.

The new Magnum Arts now has a new logo, a new look and a new user experience.

The new blog address is A lot easier for people to type in than It's three simple syllables: mag - arts - blog. Compare that to mag -num - arts - dot - blog - spot.

The new blog, created on a WordPress platform, will have several important advantages:
  • More flexibility of layouts, added widgets and appearance
  • Blog posts that are "excerpts", meaning, only the first few lines of the post appear, with a "Read More Here" link to take you to the post. This avoids having to slog through an entire post to reach the next one
  • Much better image presentation, with slideshow galleries that display captions, thumbnails, and smooth transitions. Images are also optimized for the web; they will use less bandwidth, and load faster
  • Responsive design, making the blog easier to read on mobile devices
  • The ability to add new features, plugins and other upgrades to make the blog better serve its readers
I will be importing some of the best of the Magnum Arts blog over to the new format in the days ahead. This blog will remain active and accessable, and all of the links to the blog posts on this site will continue to work.

But all new blog posts from this point forward will be on the new blog format, not this one. Check it out at or click on the new Magnum Arts logo, at the bottom of the page. Your feedback, it goes without saying, is always welcome!

Mar 2, 2014

Dark Sky Festival 2014

This is the 5th year I've organized the 501st Legion's participation in the Dark Sky event, which draws attention to the growing problem of light pollution (the reason we don't have pitch-black nights anymore). The Dark Sky festival gets more bigger and more popular every year. The crowds are respectful, excited and fun to hang with. The event takes place in the small, Mayberry-like street in the town square, which was filled with interesting exhibits, displays and demonstrations. Telescopes were set up to observe the night sky; visitors could see Jupiter, and other planets.

Enjoy these pictures, which were taken by Keith, a 501st Member, and Amanda, a woman who works at Walt Disney World as a photographer. She heard about the event and wanted to hang with us, so I put her to work with my camera, and I think you'll agree she took some amazing shots.

Click on each picture for a larger view

Below left: this one is a bit blurry, but I like the effect. The woman in the center is almost completely transparent. She's a ghost!

Below: this wild picture was a ridiculously long exposure withthe D90 on a tripod, with a twirling light gizmo sold at the Dark Sky fest. I asked a kid who was waving it if I could get a picture with it, and the shutter stayed open far too long. Pretty trippy!

Clowning around in the cast changing area. Maturity...? What's that??

The next morning Brian, our Vader, and I enjoy the flawless morning quiet on Aligator Lake, at the Lakeside Inn, a charming motor court right on the water