Why JSON is bad for applications

Today I read an article about how company X has improved things by amongst other things ditching JSON after 2 years of using it. Before I start on this subject I should say that JSON does have its place. If you have a web application where a browser is talking to a web server and in particular uses JavaScript then JSON is a good fit.
I’ve discussed this issue several times before with Brian Aker who works with me at HP’s Advanced Technology Group and in the past I have been hit with the issues I’m going to talk about here.
JSON is human readable and easy to parse, that cannot be denied and for prototyping is good in a pinch. The first problem comes when you need to validate data. I’ve been stung many times by one end trying to read/write the JSON in a slightly different format to the other end, the end result is always not pretty. This is one advantage that XML and SOAP has going for it over JSON since validation is easier. I’m personally not a fan of XML but there are many who are.
There are additional problems when you start using mobile platforms. Mobile networks are unreliable, you may have a good 3G signal but it is possible to only get dial-up speed through it due to all the other users. JSON is verbose, XML more so which requires more data transfer. Whilst this can be resolved with protocol compression it will require additional decoding on the client side to do this. In addition data conversion will be needed in many cases for numeric fields.
The biggest problem with JSON is versioning. As you add more features to your application there will likely come a time where you need to change the data structure for your messages. Often you can’t guarantee that your client is using the same version of the software as your server so backwards and forwards compatibility problems can arise. Resolving these often makes the JSON messages very complex to create and decode. This is not as much of a problem for web applications because the browser usually grabs an update version of the JavaScript on execution. So changing the data format at any time is easy as long as both ends agree on the format.
The solution
For many applications the data you are sending is directly from a database or at least data that has been modified since being read from a database. So you will likely want the data model for your messages to match this as much as possible. This is where Google’s Protocol Buffers fit nicely.
Protocol Buffers allow you to specify a schema for the data in a human readable format, it actually looks a little like a database schema. They will automatically validate the data for you and have versioning built-in. This means you can make your code easily backwards and forwards compatible.
There is a positive and negative side to the data transfer of Protocol Buffers. It is a binary protocol. This means it takes up minimal bandwidth on the wire but also means that it is very hard to interpret the data without the schema. The same could be said if you were given InnoDB table data without the schemas. It also means it may be possible to compress the data further with something like LZO or DEFLATE.
I recommend application developers consider Protocol Buffers instead of JSON when they are next developing a server/client application.
via Planet MySQL
Why JSON is bad for applications

The world is now safer and better than ever and here’s the evidence

The world is now safer and better than ever and here's the evidence

These series of statistical graphics show that, while there’s still plenty of war, hunger, sickness, and poverty in the world, things are much better than what they were only a few decades ago—not to talk about centuries ago. We are still far from utopia, but the data is stubborn: We are getting there. Fast.

Check out this graphic of death in wars since 1947—when the Indo-Pakistani war started two years after the end of World War II (the deathliest human conflict in absolute numbers.) Even while the doomsayers argue that we are in another valley of relative peace preceding a major worldwide conflict, even while we there’s the ISS, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Ukraine, and Afghanistan, it seems the world is pretty much in calm.

But while war and conflict have terrible consequences, they are temporal events. More important through time is the level of poverty, food consumption, or child mortality. Here’s the map of food supply. Click on the years to see the differences since 1961:

# World Maps of Food Supply (kcal per capita per day) 1961-2009 – Max Roser6

This data comes alive in this two insightful (andpresentations by Swedish statistician and expert in development Hans Roslin:

Make sure to visit Our World In Data to dive into all these fascinating stats.

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via Gizmodo
The world is now safer and better than ever and here’s the evidence

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can’t Believe How Much I Like This

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This

Standing desks are not cheap. Or at least, the extremely handy motorized ones aren’t. That’s why everyone—including this desk-agnostic blogger—freaked out when IKEA announced that it would sell a sit/stand desk powered by electricity for less than $500. Finally, a healthy desk option for the masses. Finally!

But, well, it’s… IKEA. The Swedish flat-pack furniture giant is known for forward-thinking design, innovative assembly methods, stores that you could live in, and delicious meatballs of questionable origin. It is not, however, known for quality or durability. This is not a surprise or a problem, necessarily, because IKEA’s products are often impossibly cheap, and, well, cheap stuff is cheap. So I went into my experience with the Bekant Sit/Stand desk with a measured amount of skepticism. IKEA did not let me down.

What Is It?

The Bekant Sit/Stand desk is a desk at which you can either sit or stand. Without the motor that elevates the desktop, it would be a totally satisfactory however entirely unremarkable surface on which you could rest your laptop or draw detailed pictures of scarabs (or whatever). But that motor. Boy does it turn a simple solid tabletop into the convertible piece of furniture you never knew you needed.

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This

It moves much more than that. In fact, the range of different heights is impressively large.

All that said, this piece of furniture is probably not for very tall people. The maximum height is 48" which is high for a desk but not high enough for someone who’s, say, 6′ 6". I’m 6′ 2", and the most comfortable height for me was just a couple inches below the maximum. A tall drink of water like, say, Shaq could certainly use the desk, but the standing feature wouldn’t be as useful.

Who’s It For?

Honestly, this thing’s for anyone who uses a desk. A second ago, I referred to myself as desk-agnostic, and I meant it. My entire life, I’ve always thought of desks as a surface for doing work. Some are big. Some are small. Some are cheap. Some are expensive. But a desk is a desk. I also had—shall we say—a negative attitude about the standing desk trend. It’s not as bad as the treadmill desk trend, but it strikes me as one of those groupthink things. To me, standing desks are the CrossFit of furniture.

But guess what. Trendy things are sometimes trendy for a good reason. Now that I’ve spent a couple of weeks with one, I am inclined to believe that the standing desk is one of those things. Sit/stand desks, as opposed to standing-only desks, are even better. IKEA’s Bekant Sit/Stand desk is perfect for someone who wants to enjoy the proven health benefits of a standing desk, while also maintaining the option of sitting in a chair like our forefathers did—all without breaking the bank. In other words, this desk is for everyone.


IKEA furniture is famous for its utilitarian simplicity, and the Bekant Sit/Stand does not disappoint in that regard. It’s almost identical to the standard Bekant desk which is a simple particleboard desktop with a stain-resistant veneer and a handy cable management net hidden underneath the surface. The only real difference is the motorized frame, controlled with a small push-button interface tucked under the right side of the desktop. This comes equipped with a safety, in case you ever want to disable the motor.

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This

This handy net contains any and all cables you might need to keep them out of the way.

The Bekant desk also makes an effort to keep your cables out of the way. Depending on the location of your power source, this may or may not work. My outlet was placed right in the middle of the desk, so I ended up kicking the cables quite a bit which is annoying but not the end of the world. I probably could’ve done a better job tucking them in, but since I constantly had to pull my laptop charger out to move to a different part of the apartment, I got a little bit lazy.

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This

See how they dangle?

All things considered, it’s a pretty nice-looking piece of furniture. It’s no Herman Miller Aria desk in terms of elegance or eye-catching design, but the basic design and sturdy construction do the job just fine. The Bekant desk has that office feel. (I’m not sure how else to describe it.) The cable management net is almost completely concealed. The up/down button module could be a little less ugly, but again, it does the job just fine.

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This

For the record it took four pillows to get to the right height. You get the idea, though.

The motors, by the way, are built into the legs and entirely out of view. They also makes very pleasing whirring sound when the surface goes up and down, but it’s not loud enough to be disruptive. Also, the speed seems just about right. It goes from bottom to top in a little under 20 seconds, but most of your adjustments will be small and last only a moment.

If you’re someone who puts lots of heavy stuff on your desk, you should be wary. I put two heavy boxes of books on the surface and could definitely hear the motors strain a little bit. It’s supposed to work with a load as heavy as 154 pounds, but I’d imagine the long-term integrity of the motors could be comprised if you’ve got even 100 pounds of stuff on your desk. But seriously, who keeps 100 pounds of stuff on their desk?

Oh and one more thing: this is a big desk. Let me rephrase that: If you live in a cozy, New York City apartment this is a very big desk. I had to rearrange my bedroom to accommodate it. It’s helpful, however, that the tabletop goes down almost all the way to coffee table-height, so it feels less intrusive. (The low mode is also good for pillow-sitting, if that’s your thing.) All that said, a large surface area means you have a lot of surface to work with—duh. The desk could easily double as a dinner table, and in fact, I think I might just do that.

Using It

This is the fun part. Like I said before, I’ve always been a bit of a Negative Nancy when it comes to expensive standing desks. That’s not to say I don’t work standing up from time-to-time! My IKEA Hopen dresser—you can see it in the background of the photos—is almost the perfect height for me to use it as a standing desk. But I never really do that because my toes hit the bottom of the dresser, and I don’t know, I just feel weird working on top of my dresser.

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This

I’m a bit of a minimalist so I didn’t end up using most of the desktop.

The up/down action changes everything. What I like best about the Bekant Sit/Stand desk is how quick and easy it is to make adjustments to the height. This seems embarrassingly obvious, but it’s actually thrilling to work on a surface that is at the perfect height for whatever posture you’re in, sitting or standing.

Quick note about ergonomics: be nice to your body. I just used my aging MacBook Pro when working and found myself slouching quite a bit. But since I do not want to become a hunchback, I plan on elevating my laptop to eye-level and using an external keyboard and mouse. Obviously, the need to make a desk more ergonomically friendly exists for any desk, but don’t expect this magical, motorized IKEA creation to magically fix your bad posture.

Oh, and assembly is a breeze. I did not assemble the desk—although I wish that I had in retrospect. A couple of very nice fellows that IKEA hired to deliver the desk did, because that was the plan for press who were reviewing the desk. (I think IKEA was just trying to be nice.) The process only took about 15 minutes. Basically, you have to bolt the tabletop to the motorized legs and plug it in.


I seriously can’t believe how much I liked working at the desk when it was at standing height. Even with the back injury I got from rowing in college, I tended to average about four hours per standing session. Thanks to the expansive desktop I found myself moving around a lot more than I would while sitting on my ass, and this even made the time pass a little more gracefully.

Once my feet started to hurt from standing, I’d sit, and that felt great, too. I was actually incredibly surprised that I didn’t really think about sitting at all during my four-hour-long standing sessions. It’s more comfortable than you think! If my posture was good, I could adjust the desk to the perfect ergonomic position. If I was feeling slouchy, I could slouch the desk down a couple inches. (My comment above about ergonomics still apply, however.)

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This

This is me lowering the desk. The buttons are located in a pretty handy spot.

Aside from how much fun it was standing up and smashing laptop keys for hours at a time, I was also surprised by the quality of the desk. It feels rock solid, especially compared to my dirt cheap Arlik swivel chair. The motor works better than I expected, and the desk just glides up and down when you’re adjusting it. Finally, the surface seems like it would look new for years, and if something happens to the desk, IKEA’s likely got you covered with a 10-year limited warranty. They probably don’t got you if you sit on the desk, however. Again, the load capacity is 154 pounds, so this desk is not for sitting—unless of course you weigh less than 154 pounds.

No Like

This is a big desk. It’s entirely possible that IKEA is planning to offer sit/stand options for its smaller, more city-friendly desks, but for now, you’re pretty much screwed if you’re trying to squeeze this thing into a small room with other furniture. There’s also no way to add a shorter desktop due to a support beam that connects the two legs. The control is also fastened to the tabletop, so that annoying. Then again, if you do the dinner table trick, the tabletop will fit six people, snugly. And you can even adjust the height for a standing dinner!

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This

The pin works kind of like those things on treadmills. Meanwhile, the buttons are pretty much flush with the surface of the device so they’re kind of hard to feel. But only sort of.

The only other gripe I can think of are those ugly buttons. Not only are they ugly, they’re also a little bit finicky. They’re barely buttons, really. They’re more like little bubbles, not unlike the buttons you find on shitty stereo remotes. When you’re adjusting the desk, moving your finger even slightly to one side or the other will disengage the button, and the desk will stop moving. You get the hang of it, though. It’s just a bummer that IKEA did so much great work building a beautiful desk and then skimped on the gadgety bit. Then again, IKEA’s never been into gadgets.

Should I Buy It?

Yes. Ok, let me dial that back. If you’re in the market for a motorized sit/stand desk and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, this is an excellent option. You can buy a fancier sit/stand desk that will do things like learn about the way you work and automatically adjust itself, but I don’t really believe that justifies the high price. The price tags on many of the competing desks are north of $1,000, and even the "most affordable, automatic sit-to-stand desk" Kickstarter project is expected to retail for $600. The Bekant Sit/Stand Desk starts at $490.

I’ll admit it. That $490 price tag is a sturdy mark-up from the non-sit/stand Bekant desk which costs just $190. But the versatility that a magical moving desktop affords is more wonderful than I ever expected. I’d pay the premium, and if you’ve been thinking about giving this standing desk trend a try, you should too.

Note: IKEA tells me there is currently product delay on the BEKANT sit/stand desk. Please note that this delay only affects the sit/stand desk and does not affect the rest of the new IKEA BEKANT series of professional desk/tables. I’ll update this post as soon as they give me a release date

IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can't Believe How Much I Like This

This is what I look like when I am blogging. Believe it or not it is a very exciting activity.

IKEA Bekant Sit/Stand Desk Specs

• Desktop materials: Particleboard, Ash veneer, Stain, Clear acrylic lacquer, Foil, Clear acrylic lacquer, ABS plastic

• Underframe materials: Steel, aluminum, polyester powdercoating

• Dimensions: 63" x 31.5" / Height ranges from 22" to 48"

• Max. Load: 154 lb

• Price: $490-$1,200

• Warranty: 10 years

Photos by Nick Stango

via Gizmodo
IKEA Sit/Stand Desk Review: I Can’t Believe How Much I Like This

Vermont’s Automatic License Plate Readers: 7.9 Million Plates Captured, Five Crimes Solved

The sales pitch for automatic license plate readers is how great they are at helping cops solve crimes. From hunting down stolen cars to tracking pedophiles across jurisdictions, ALPRs supposedly make policing a breeze by gathering millions of time/date/location records every single day and making it all available to any law enforcement agency willing to buy the software and pay the licensing fees.

The systems come with civil liberties baggage — privacy issues that aren’t completely articulable, at least not in terms of what the courts have held to contain sufficient expectations of privacy. A single photo of a car on a public road isn’t a privacy violation. But what about dozens or hundreds of photos that more resemble a passive tracking system than a set of public snapshots? That’s a bit more of a gray area — one that hasn’t been fully explored by the courts at this point. Adjacent decisions notwithstanding, ALPRs are mildly intrusive and have troubling implications due to their capabilities, but at this point, they still operate within the confines of the Constitution.

So, if civil liberties are still intact, what’s the next point of attack? Maybe it’s the alleged efficiency. Are law enforcement agencies getting their money’s worth?

It’s a trick question. First and foremost, it’s the public’s money paying for these. In many cases, DHS grants have paid for ALPRs, with local agencies name-checking terrorism and extremism to increase the odds of obtaining funds. Even when paid for out-of-pocket, it’s still the public footing the bill.

The systems aren’t cheap. And from what VPR (NPR Vermont) has uncovered, they’re not really worth the expense. (via Digital Fourth)

Over the past five years, law enforcement agencies in Vermont have invested more than $1 million in technology that gathers millions of data points every year about the whereabouts of vehicles across the state.

Yet even with the millions of scans, the system has not led to many arrests or breakthroughs in major criminal investigations, and it hasn’t led to an increase in the number of tickets written for the offenses the technology is capable of detecting.

No one sells a city council (or the general public) on the wonders of ALPRs by highlighting how many unregistered vehicles might be ticketed or pointing out other mundane traffic enforcement benefits they might provide. Probably just as well, considering these systems have had no discernible effect in these areas.

It’s the "big ticket" crimes that sell ALPRs and push them past the complaints of those concerned about citizens’ privacy and civil liberties. Kidnapping, auto theft, child pornographers, terrorism, etc. These are the sort of thing that put lead in legislators’ collective pencils, stirring them to approve funding or sign off on grant requests, and so on. How do Vermont’s ALPRs stack up against capital-C "crime?"

In the 18 months leading up to Jan. 1, 2013, the 61 license plate readers operating in the state at the time did a lot of recording. A VPR study of public information from local, state and federal law enforcement showed that during that time period, police across the state logged 7.9 million license plates and stored them in a central, statewide database along with the time and location they were scanned.

Despite the financial investment in the systems, they were helpful in solving fewer than five crimes in 2013. The number of tickets written for driving with a suspended license and driving with an expired registration (two violations that ALPRs can detect) hasn’t gone up since the technology was introduced in mid-2009.

Millions of plates. Five (5) crimes solved. Number of tickets issued flat.

So, what do you do? As a legislator who approved funding for this, do you accept this as part of the learning curve or do you demand more from the technology? Do you tell the public, "We appreciate your input but feel that a literal handful of successful criminal investigations far outweighs any privacy issues or budgetary concerns"?

An interview with an officer who uses the ALPR system adds some nuance to the discussion, including the fact that law enforcement’s civil liberties precautions contribute to the perceived inefficiency of the system. But underneath it all, it’s viewed as just another "tool" for local law enforcement to use, albeit one that can’t seem to pull its own weight. No one wants to say the equipment is non-essential or possibly redundant, but the officer interviewed (Sergeant Cram) makes this damning statement.

Despite the $25,000 tool, Cram says the majority of the Winooski Police Department’s traffic stops are still done the old-fashioned way, with officers stopping drivers for infractions like rolling through a stop sign or failing to yield at a crosswalk.

Still, Cram says the federally-funded ALPR is a valuable tool, even though he doesn’t think the city would have put up $25,000 of its own money to buy one.

The city wouldn’t have ended up with one if the DHS wasn’t giving them away. That’s how extraneous this "tool" is. The lack of successful criminal investigations backs this up. The fact that traffic enforcement has remained stagnant even with the addition of several million plate scans per year is the final nail in the coffin.

No one — at least not in Vermont — needs this technology. But if someone else is willing to pay, they’ll take it. And they’ll use it. And years down the road, they’ll likely still have nothing to show for it but a massive database tracking the movement of millions of non-criminals.

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via Techdirt.
Vermont’s Automatic License Plate Readers: 7.9 Million Plates Captured, Five Crimes Solved

This is the vault where KFC guards the Colonel’s secret original recipe

This is the vault where KFC guards the Colonel's secret original recipe

In a random hallway inside the KFC headquarters, inside their legal department, across from a copy machine, next to a shelf that stores three stacks of paper and possibly the saddest Keurig machine in existence is… a broom closet. Or well, that’s what it looks like. It’s actually the vault that hides KFC’s biggest secret: the Colonel’s Original Recipe.


KFC goes to extreme measures to keep the original recipe a secret (and to exploit the mystery for a big capital-M marketing ploy). Only one person in the world knows the combination for the safe and only two people know which 11 herbs and spices actually go into the Colonel’s secret recipe and how much of each. In fact, KFC purposely uses two different companies to make the recipe for them, one company does one part, the other company does the other and then a "computer processing system" blends it together. So secretive!

And yet they couldn’t even put a poster of, I don’t know, The Colonel on the wall or something. Or make it out of steel like a bank vault. Or at least, plug in the Keurig. Nope, the vault stays sad.

For what it’s worth, the safe is more intimidating than it looks. The security is layered like an onion. The sad, empty exterior hides thick cement walls, another safe and probably more security measures that might include lasers, sharks and or laser sharks. But still, dress it up a little! Have some fun! Hide it in a giant bucket of chicken. Or guard it with a thousand Colonel Sanders in Terra Cotta form. Basically anything but that blank wall.

To their credit, no one can find it because for one, it looks like every other wall and secondly, it means you have to step into the legal department of KFC:

This is the vault where KFC guards the Colonel's secret original recipe

Here’s what the previous vault that hid the original recipe looked like:

This is the vault where KFC guards the Colonel's secret original recipe

From Fort Knox to the set of Office Space.

Disclosure: KFC arranged for travel and accommodations to tour their kitchen and facilities at the KFC headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky as part of a KFC Insiders Event for the media.

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via Gizmodo
This is the vault where KFC guards the Colonel’s secret original recipe

You’ll Never Not Know What To Watch On Netflix Again

You'll Never Not Know What To Watch On Netflix Again

For everyone out there who’s spent a feature-length-film amount of time trying to find something good to watch: What Is On Netflix is about to seriously streamline your selection process. The site lists streamables, ranked in descending order based on their respective Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB scores. Yay!

You'll Never Not Know What To Watch On Netflix Again

How cool is this?? Reddit user BelgianMyWaffle posted about this cinematic accomplishment on the r/movies thread this morning and I think the best part is how varied the top results are, in terms of genre and year of release; for example, there’s a seamless run of Apocalypse Now to Jiro Dreams of Sushi to 20 Feet From Stardom, all ranked up at 99% on the Tomatometer and all ready to watch right this very moment. The rating Netflix imagines you’ll give its recommended titles is… not always accurate, even when you can compare it to its general average amount of stars, so these two, maybe-a-little-bit more authoritative takes are nice for perspective.

Sure, it’s a pretty bare-bones interface and there are some limitations—it’s not comprehensive, and doesn’t dip down into the lower-rated films—but for an at-a-glance decision-maker, it’s pretty freaking great.

This really, really makes me realize how much I need to hunker down and commit to seeing way, way more movies. Also: Has anyone done this for the AFI’s 100 years categories yet? C’mon! [What Is On Netflix, via Reddit and @nickbilton]

via Gizmodo
You’ll Never Not Know What To Watch On Netflix Again

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

The leaves of fall are one of the most gorgeous gifts from nature. Every year, we ask you to share your best photo of the season. And as usual, you didn’t disappoint.

Winner: Norway Maple

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This is a photo of a Norway Maple tree trying to make it’s colors seen through the forest. Often confused with the Sugar Maple… It is very invasive in North America and can choke out native vegetation.

Luc Lavign

Orange Tower

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this last weekend with a Samsung NX30 using an 85mm lens while walking along Summit Avenue in Saint Paul, MN with my mom. The light was perfect and many of the trees were at peak color – couldn’t have asked for a better chance to take some photos.

Andrew Putschoegl


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this pic after I asked my crush to go on a walk with me but she denied. I went by my damn self and took the picture while walking through the woods. The picture was taken with a GALAXY S4 using the SnapChat Camera app.

Billy Gonzalez

The Road

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Just took this in Zion National Park, Utah.

– David Tobin

Hide, Dad!

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

A reach Julian shoot that i took with my Canon 6D, 24mm L 1.4 mark II lens. Shoot at F 2.5 in Sweden this year before the last days of fall, which sadly already almost is over. I was out shooting with my dad and told him to hide in behind the leaves, and reach towards me.

– Julian Castaneda

Cape Breton Pony

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

25 year old Shetland Pony with Coxheath mountain in the background . Taken a week ago in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. Photo taken with HTC one m7

Michael MacQueen

Blue House, Orange Tree

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this last week on Rt 100 in southern Vermont. Drove up from Connecticut in the rain in search of some color. Never left the car. Stuck my Fujifilm x100s out the window and got this one. f/6.4 1/850 ISO 800

Tom DeRosa

It’s Hard

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

It is damn hard to get a good picture of falling leaves. I was disappointed that I never got a good one in focus – but liked this one. Shot with Nikon D40x/50MM lens.

Tom O’Brien


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I shot this nearly a month ago, actually, but the leaves were already beginning to peak up in Elora, Ontario by that time. That little pumpkin-head over on the left is my son.

I would normally have shot this on a Panasonic GX7, but we left the house in a hurry that day, and I forgot to bring it, so I had to resort to my Nexus 5 in panorama mode. I have to say I’m quite pleased with the results — I gave it a slight sharpness bump and a bit of corner vignetting in Snapseed, but otherwise this is as-shot with the phone. Doesn’t hurt that early-evening light in Elora at this time of year is completely magical.

Gabriel Hanna

Bright Red Creep

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Headed into the backyard after a rainstorm to take a few autumn leaf shots. These bright red leaves creeping over my neighbor’s fence certainly grabbed my attention. Canon EOS 5D MkIII, Sigma 24mm f/1.8 @ f/2.0, 1/125, ISO 125

Tim Heyer

At An Old Military Base

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this at an old military base (now a small town) a couple of weeks ago in Central Massachusetts. I used my Nikon D7100 with a Tokina 11-16mm lens. I was just shooting upward and kept rotating until I found an interesting perspective. Hope you like it!

Cassaundra Morin

Go Explore

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

The story behind it is the beauty and colorfulness of fall. Red, orange and green are the colors that rule the image. Red is the symbol of warmth, joy, and passion. Orange is similar to red, but it has more power. Green symbols life, nature and harmony. The combination of these colors create an incredible experience with these stunning details. The best thing about this image is that it is not an artificial effect, you can also find it in the nature. The goal of this image is to make you go out into the nature and find similar beautiful places. So please go and explore your environment! You cannot find more peaceful and amazing place in the world than mother-nature itself especially in the fall…

Kristof Karpati


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I came to work and saw this leaf sitting on the wall next to the entrance with a few drops of rain/dew. Not having my handy DSLR with me, I whipped out my Nexus 5 and tried to take a close-up picture. On the 2nd try I captured this shot. I then tried a a few filters and the "bleach" filter made the wall stand look bold in the background against the leaf. So I saved it.

Amit Bagadia

Ann Arbor

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this shot depicting some fallen leaves on a patch of grass on my way back from shooting the foliage in the Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor a couple days ago. It was taken with a Sony Alpha NEX-7 and a Sigma 19mm f/2.8 Prime lens, shot in RAW and developed in Adobe Lightroom. Hope you like it!

Jason Contangelo

Mount Seoraksan

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This photo was taken on my first trip to Korea in October 2014 at Mount Seoraksan in Sokcho. It was also my first time experiencing leaves changing colors (I am from Hawaii and our leaf colors don’t change during fall).

It was quickly shot on my iPhone 6 with no additional filters applied nor was a tripod used. I saw the branch above me, grabbed it so I could frame the branch properly with the sun behind it, then shot the photo. I am not a photographer, so excuse the poor quality or composition.

Chris Ota

Van Buren National Historic Site

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I am not a professional, and I am just getting started into serious photography. I used a Canon EOS Rebel T3i with the Canon EOS IFS 18-55mm Lens with a UV filter. I took in on Sunday 10/19/2014 at the Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook, NY. I touched it slightly with iPhoto. Again, not a professional, but I wanted to submit something. I have a billion shots from that day, but I think this was one of the best. Fall colors with a green backdrop and trees behind it. It just looks fantastic. I have included as an attachment a small file and the original.

Chris Sehne

After the Eclipse

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this photo using my Canon Rebel SL1 with a 55-250mm lens. I took this photo the morning of October 8th, 2014. After watching the lunar eclipse, I went for a walk on a bike path behind my house to get some leaf pictures.I took about 200 pictures on this walk, but this has to be my favorite. This photo has not been edited.

Caleb Haley

Carried Away

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Taken with my Nikon D610 and Nikon 24-70 f2.8. Shot was taken at f/11 and 1/80 sec handheld in my front yard. I had set out to do some macro work, but got carried away just taking snaps of the trees. I was right at the base of the tree for this shot and tried to get the limb at an angle where it’d provide an appealing contrast to the orange/yellow leaves with the blue sky.

Danny Holland

After Rain Showers

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this photo with my Nikon D3100 with an 18-270 lens on October 22nd, 2014 during a yellow-orange tinted sunset after rain showers. Leaf came from one of the prettiest trees in the city. Taken in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Mary Brunick


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Multiple exposure on a tripod and combined in Photoshop to extract best color. It’s a Lover’s Leap State Park looking over Lake Lillinonah towards Bridgewater, CT. I went up one day after work to see what I could get with the new camera. Came out pretty well. Fujifilm X-T1, 18-55mm lens.

Carl Keyser

Enchanted Trail

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This shot was taken while trail running the 19 mile Enchantment trail in Washington state. Every fall the larches change into this brilliant fiery yellow. The camera was a Panasonic LX7, and the shot was pretty much taken as we were running down towards the lakes.

Zachary Thomson

Spur of the Moment

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Taken with an iPhone 6 Plus on the spur of the moment as I left my garage in the morning. Minor editing using Camera+ to bring up the contrast and vibrancy.

Nick Diaz

Santa Fe

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Photo taken in Santa Fe Ski Area, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Gerri Reese


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

On holiday visiting family in Toronto, Canada, was out taking family photos by some amazing trees, thought be nice to capture some close ups of the leaves. It had just rained as well leaving some droplets on the leaf for a nice effect.

Tor Harrington

Lincoln Park Zoo

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

According to the farmer’s almanac, this is the peak week to see fall colors in Chicago, my home city. I knew Lincoln Park would be a great place to take it all in, so I ventured out there and shot this photo today during that golden hour before sunset. The Windy City’s skyline, with the John Hancock in the center, is framed by a wonderful sculpture by Studio Gang Architects on the Nature Boardwalk of Lincoln Park Zoo.

Jenny Lam

My Picture

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This is my picture, taken by me.

Todd Harper

Weeping Willows

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I live on the Upper Klamath Lake, Chiloquin OR. On a dark overcast morning the sun rose out of the southeast and shone brightly on my weeping willows so I quickly grabbed my cannon and snapped the shot. The white spots on the lake are ducks.

James MacPherson

Dinosaur Foot

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

A nice walk in the nature with some friends in the Netherlands. GH4 with 35-105 canon fd f3.5 ISO640 1/100 sec

Davide Bellotta

Roaring Fork Falls

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This is a photo I took of my wife on the trail to Roaring Fork Falls in western NC. My idea of heaven. Unfortunately, this was after the rains and winds that denuded the trees of many of their leaves.

Marcelo Yanes

Blue Mountain

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I’m a hot tub repair person in Collingwood Ontario Canada, at the foot of Blue Mountain. Beautiful country, any season. Fall is particularly brilliant tho and I’m constantly looking for the perfect picture.

This one was taken near part of the Bruce Trail, just south of Blue. For me, the colours are breathtaking but what puts it over the top is the form of the branches. To me it’s very evocative of a Mandelbrot set, which of course in some sense it is. I’ve taken a lot of pictures and this is one of my favorites.

Sean Sallows

Lone Soldier

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Walking through the woods behind my home.

Jared VanLeuven


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

When fall began, I had this photo in my mind. I tied a pretty leaf to a string and a shot weight, and attached the string to a long stick. I handed the makeshift fishing rod to my 4 year old son, and had him attempt to hold the leaf over my daughter so I could take the picture. There were many instances of crawling away (by both of them!), but after my husband stepped in to help keep my daughter looking upwards, I finally got this shot. Taken with a Nikon D600, 24-70mm, f/2.8, ISO 400, 1/320.

Angel Caracciolo

Rocky Mountain National Park

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This photo was taken in September in Rocky Mountain National Park. We are midwesterners who head to the hills at every chance we have, and were on one last mountain adventure before our first child is due in November. The weather was great on our trip except for one rainstorm, providing awesome shots of the aspen leaves on the ground, in addition to in the air. Shot with a Sony A6000 with a 35mm F1.8 prime, shot at F/4.

Jordan Chapell


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I had gone out to the brick wall at the front of our driveway to try and take some macro photos of a really nice little purple flower sitting on top of the bricks. On my way back inside I noticed this maple leaf sitting on the flowers in the pot on our front porch. I thought this would be a neat photo opportunity. The leaf is exactly as I found it, and I liked the contrasting colours quite a bit.

I shot this with a T3i with a 50mm f1.8 wide open. ISO 100 and a shutter speed of 1/250th. No flash. The shooting I did that day has made me interested in macro photography, so I want to pick up some extension tubes. There is a minimal amount of editing in PaintShop Pro X6, just and auto colour, and maybe some light sharpening.

Stephen Nelson

Leaves In a Puddle

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Picture was taken while walking through my neighborhood during an overcast day. It had rained previously so I was looking for downed leaves to take pictures of. I came across this cluster of leaves in a puddle in a park. It was shot using a Canon 6D camera with a 500MM f/1.4 USM lens. I took the picture using Aperture mode at f16 at 1/30 sec. with Auto white balance. Landscape picture style, evaluative metering and ISO 400 was used. It was shot in RAW format(is there really any other way to shoot?) and processed in Lightroom 5.6. This was one of a series taken that day celebrating the fall.

John McNamara

On the Hillside

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Shot in Aspen Colorado 3 weeks ago, a few days after the first snow of the season. Saw this hillside on a drive and had to stop! Used Canon 5D Mark III with 70-200 F2.8

Abe Kislevitz

From The Bell Tower

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Canon Rebel T2i, settings automatic, shot on October 17th, 2014 from the bell tower at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Stockbridge, MA.

Mark Fanders


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I’ve been doing a bit of traveling this autumn season for the sole purpose of capturing the leaves. I got a lot of cool shots, but this one (which was taken just a few weeks ago) seemed extra cool to me. I’ve never seen a leaf do this! I found it balancing one day on the edge of our deck all by itself and was able to capture it before a breeze came and took it away. I hope you guys find it as cool as I do! This was shot with my Canon Rebel SL1 fitted with the 40mm pancake lens (the shorty forty). A little bit of post work was done just to get the colors right—otherwise, that’s it!

Armont van Dyck


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This was shot Sunday morning at around 8, with a Canon EOS Rebel XSI with the kit 18-55mm lens. This shot was taken at 55m, with ISO 200, with a shutter speed of 1/125, and f/5.6

Tyler Triemstra


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I live in Melbourne, Australia, where seasons are the opposite of what happens in the northern hemisphere and due to the highly variable weather conditions in Melbourne it is not easy to find definite transitions between the seasons. However, each year the autumn pays a visit to Melbourne too. I captured these photos during my early morning walk in a beautiful rainy day in May 2014.

Reza Marzooghi

Droplet Leaf

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I called it Droplet Leaf (not very imaginative I know) I chose to photograph it because the dew had beaded beautifully on it and looked quite refreshing. I used a Sony Alpha 6000 with a Sony 35mm prime lens at f1.8, 1/640 of a sec exposure, ISO 100. Camera was hand held over the subject.

Daryl Jewell

New River

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

In Arizona, we don’t get much in the way of fall colors, or leaves, for that matter. But we do get our share of amazing color. This probably doesn’t qualify for the challenge, but I thought I’d submit it anyway. Taken with my iPhone 6 while riding in the New River, WA, in the far northwest Phoenix area, just south of Lake Pleasant.

Dave Reuss


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

The leaf was harmed in the making of this picture 🙂 [Ed note: well, sort of.]

Hans van der Kruijf

Door County

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This photo was taken in Door county, WI which has become my fall destination for the past 4-5 years. This is my 3rd submission to Fall Photo contest to Gizmodo in 4 years.

It had rained in the morning and I found this leaf had water droplets that were visible in the afternoon sun. Thought of taking it with a fall color background and the resulting image. Taken using Nikon D7000 and a 35mm f/1.8 lens.

Deepak Sundar

Veteran’s Park

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This classic reflective image was taken at Veteran’s Park in Mentor, Ohio during a beautiful fall hike. Veteran’s Park is part of Lake Metropark’s. My favorite images to shoot are reflective. I used a Cannon T3i, 18-55mm Canon lens, Iso 800, F 6.3, shutter speed 1/2000, focal length 40.

Angie Simone

On the Patio

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Looking out a back window in Vermont earlier this month I saw this leaf lying in between the slats on the patio. It just landed there. Amazing how leaves can fall in perfect little places. This is an iPhone 5 photo.

Kasy Prendergast

One Of The Four Most Interesting Seasons Of The Year

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Fall being one of the most interesting seasons of the year, I visited Door county during its peak and got hold of beautiful scenery around.

Clicked few interesting snaps and found these two beautiful maple couple leaves as I state, holding onto the branch tightly is the one which is close to my heart.

Sumeet Sindagi


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Shot with Nikon D3200 and its kit lens. Leaves gathered on an Autumn walk with my wife in Kansas City. She was determined to collect leaves from every color of the rainbow. She was the inspiration behind this photo.

Dustin Sharp

Shih Tzu

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Taken with Samsung GalaxyS3. Buried in these leaves, you’ll find my Shih Tzu hiding. Can you find her? Follow her adventures on Instagram #lifewithtayter . Hope you like it!

Jocelyn Schell

Oyster Bay

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This year’s Fall contest came a little early for my area of NY, with many of the leaves not at their peak of color yet. This image was captured across Oyster Bay Harbor, of the trees above Shore Road. This road, which was closed for months after Hurricane Sandy, is open now.

Jonas Demuro

The Grace of the Fallen

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This picture was taken at Stony Creek MetroPark in Michigan, on 5 Oct, 2014. This one leaf with its deep orange-red color caught my eye and the grey background helped to bring out the colors in a more deep manner. I started to think about it as the grace with which a part of nature falls/fades away. I would like to title this picture as ‘The Grace of the Fallen’.

Pavana Kumar


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this photo on Sunday 19th October on Verulamium Park behind the cathedral in St Albans, UK. It has been the usual wind and rain overnight the previous night.

I was running around with my 21 month old son Daniel. Just stopping for a second, I looked down and saw the leaf. The sky was overcast above me but a bit brighter in front of me which lit up the droplets on the leaf. It looked fantastic. I only had my iPhone 5S with me, so I used that to take the photo.

David Burrows

The Fallen

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Massachusetts, Fall 2014. Sony RX100 M2; ISO 200; f/2.8; 1/100 s.

Costas Kitsos

East Dorset

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

No tripod no nothing- just an impromptu shot taken while waiting for a couple other people to get ready, just wandering around the yard with my dog. Taken Columbus Day weekend (10/12) up at my house in Dorset, VT. Taken late morning looking east towards East Dorset. Just a perfect fall morning- about 70 degrees and was about to head out for a long drive/hike in search of the perfect foliage shot— hard to beat this view from the top of my driveway though! Day before was horrible, cold/rainy and windy. Drove for about 5 hours day before/day of and after 500+ photos this one was near perfect for its nice contrast of sky/colors with some scattered clouds. Granted I did some minor saturation work but frankly even the raw jpeg has fabulous colors (happy to provide that instead).

Charles Macintosh

Canada Represents

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I decided to represent a Canadian submission with a photo of a maple leaf for this week’s photo challenge. This image was taken during a hike at the Kortright Centre for Conservation in Woodbridge, Ontario. This particular leaf caught my eyes as it popped up against others with its interesting pattern of colours.

Kelly Seto

The Berkshires

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

While walking along a rail trail in the Berkshires, I noticed a section in the canopy that displayed a full spectrum of colors. It was absolutely stunning so I pointed my Nexus 5 straight up at it. I had a DSLR with a16-35mm with me, but the phone camera pulled the canopy closer and captured the image the way I envisioned it. Sometimes it’s not about the image quality, but how you frame your subject.

Caitlin Tam


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This was taken in Vermont over Columbus Day weekend during a family foliage excursion. Struggled with choosing the optimal submission out of the cache taken, particularly with targeting shallower depth of field on isolated foliage ‘sprays’ versus more traditional landscapes. Settled on the image below as embodying the trifecta of chromatic harmony, clarity, and fall essence. ‘Essence’ in the creeping, brilliant encroachment of transition on the heady youth of summer, with the promise of uncertain winter lurking around the bend. Looking forward to seeing the other submissions and thanks!

Michelle Nichols

Stephen’s Falls

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This photo was taken at Stephen’s Falls in the Governor Dodge State Park (Dodgeville, WI) in the evening of October 25th. Even though I went hunting for fall color leaves, most of the leaves have fallen already in the Madison ,WI area where I live. But this water fall with all of the fall leaves on the ground gave me an opportunity for a photo that I liked.

Chamath Guneratne

Smoke On The Water And Fire On The Trees

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Taken not too far away from my office building in Michigan on a cold morning last week. When the pond water is still warm, there is often an interesting steam-like effect that emerges.

Brandon Satanek

The High 70s

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

My name is Kirk Davis. I hope you all understand how hard it is too get a good fall shot in Atlanta, GA when we’re in the high 70’s but I got one. I was testing out my new lens at the time.

Kirk Davis


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Late afternoon here in Gloucester, Ma, the light this time of year is low and intense… everything seems to glow.

Shot this leaf and as i was processing it, became aware of the unique shadow… and with halloween approaching, i decided to have some fun with it. So, boo!

Charlie Carroll


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

We noticed these leaves while taking some photos of our daughter. Leaves haven’t begun changing much around here yet, but I think this shot came out OK.

Kyle Spaans

Ohio State University

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this photo on campus at The Ohio State University. I thought the cloudless sky gave a great stark contrast between the blue and colors of fall. Used a Sony NEX5T, with a 35mm f1.8 prime lens, edited in Lightroom.

Devin Cheek

Presque Isle

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

My wife, son, and I were walking a nature trail in Presque Isle, WI this September and I decided to look straight up. Shot with a Canon S110 in HDR mode.

Jeff Thelen

Governor Dodge State Park

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I took this photo while out enjoying a crisp fall day with my husband at Governor Dodge State Park.

Shiranthi Wickramasinghe

On Ice

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

For this challenge, I found a few leaves and froze them in a thin layer of ice. Then, I put the ice over a makeshift light table to backlight the ice and leaf. The idea came from an article on Digital Camera World.

Christopher Sears

On the Bark

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

Shot with my Galaxy S5, then tweaked in Snapseed. More and more, my phone has been my go-to for photos… I came across this at a local park here in Kansas. I have no idea if someone placed this leaf on the tree trunk, or if it was blown by the wind and somehow became stuck, but I thought it would make for a great photo! Enjoy!

Kurt Gaulke


76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

No description given.

Jacques Surveyer

Public Garden

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

This was taken at the Public Garden in Boston right before sunset. Canon t3i, 18-200 ƒ/3.5-5.6 @18/3.5 1/60"

Katie Fennel

Green Holdouts

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

There was a lawn evenly covered in fallen leaves, edge to edge. I stood up on a bench and got the camera as high as possible to get as much of the leafy area as possible in the frame.

Nathan Fennel

Japanese Maple

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I have an interest in macro photography and was aiming to both develop my skill and capture the detail and colour of autumn from a different perspective which is necessary where I live in Norway (Bergen although originally from the UK) as autumn tends to be extremely wet, dark and dreary. I picked a single leaf from a lace-leaf Japanese maple and froze this in a thin layer of water. This was shot against a black background to generate a monotone setting interspersed with frozen air bubbles. The leaf was lit with a 100W light source positioned to the side.

Mathew Edenbrow

Largo Springs

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

The Fall color in Michigan has been phenomenal this season, but when I went out to shoot it this past weekend at Largo Springs (near Tawas) it seemed like it was about a week too late. Much of the color had faded, and on top of that it was a chilly, rainy day too. So rather than concentrate on the trees, I looked down and saw several leaves that had raindrops which made for a great macro view of the season. This was shot with the Olympus OMD EM-1 body and Olympus 60mm macro lens. Because it was quite dark in the forest I had to crank up to ISO to 3200 which gave me settings of 1/60 at F10 in the natural light.

John Clark

Cooling Pond

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

The area where this was taken was originally a cooling pond for a lead smelter at the turn of the 20th Century. It is now a peaceful and beautiful residential area that is a popular area for walkers and joggers. You are seeing the colorful trees across the lake reflected on the surface of the water. There were countless photo opportunities, but this is one of my favorites.

John Locus

Kensington Park

76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves

I happend to find an amazing spot at Kensington Park, along the road leading to island lake. Michigan is an amazing place to be in the fall, the colors displayed in the fall make putting up with the winters worth it. This photo was taken in the 2nd weekend of October during the golden hour.

Josh Young

So many wonderful photos! For those of you in search of a new wallpaper, the high resolution shots are over on flickr.

via Gizmodo
76 Stunning Photos Of Fall Leaves