• Jefferson Graham is a USA TODAY tech columnist and the host of Talking Tech, seen on USA TODAY and Gannett TV stations, and an accomplished portrait photographer and jazz guitarist.

#TalkingTech in #VeniceBeach

It’s always a highlight of every week to stop by #VeniceBeach and talk with the chatty tourists and locals about tech in my home away from home. For my #USATODAY #TalkingTech series, I’ve tried all sorts of spots in the L.A. area for what’s known as the “MOS,” video–”Man on the Street.” Hollywood Blvd., Beverly Hills, the Grove and Farmers Market shopping center, the Manhattan Beach Pier, downtown Pasadena–but nowhere else do I find people in a better mood to talk–and know the subject well. Plus, it looks fabulous on video.
Here’s a collection of screenshots from a recent outing.
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Crazy Ice Cream in PDX!

You’ve never seen an ice cream parlor like this! Flavors like Cucumber and Raspberry Sorbet, or Strawberry with Cilantro Lime Cheesecake, and folks are lined up around the block to get in.
Tastes are encouraged at Portland’s Salt&Straw ice creamery in the city’s Alberta Arts District. After all, what better way to decide whether or not to go for the Pear with Blue Cheese or Coconut with Petunias cone?
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My selectionL Birthday Cake with Black Berries on top, Sea Salt with Caramel on the bottom (pictured in the waffle con) while RuthTalksFood went for straight vanilla and raspberry.
Verdict: terrific, a wow experience, but I wouldn’t make it a weekly habit. Way too rich for that!

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Oregon in black and white

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The colors here in Oregon are super green and lush–thanks to the months of heavy rain, but there’s something about the power of black and white that really pops.
The two images above are from the dramatic Oregon coast–and the Yaquina Head lighthouse in ultra-windy Newport, about a two hours drive from Portland.
Below, is a fishing boat docked in the Newport marina at dusk; farmland in Gaston, and of course, the world famous Mt. Hood near the Columbia Gorge area of the state.
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Readers, what do you think? Do you miss color?
FYI: These photos were shot on the Sony RX10 camera, a great travel camera, and images were processed in Lightroom, with the Nik Silver Efex Pro plug-in.

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Photographing the “Silicon Desert” tech geeks for USA TODAY


The USA TODAY #TalkingTech assignment: illustrate the tech scene in the Phoenix area. So what better than to bring a group of startup folks out into the open space, surrounded by huge green cacti, out in the “Silicon Desert?” (Thanks Tishin Donkersley for helping to set up.)
The location: Desert Botanical Garden, near Scottsdale.
My lighting gear was at home, so I had to make do with available light and make it work for me.
Here are some of my favorite shots from the afternoon, along with some BTS photos by one of the participants, Mark Kirshenbaum of Hypoxic, who sells a wild GoPro rig for $99 to confirm that the camera is actually recording.


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