“I see a bright portion under the overhead light that shades into darkness and then into darker darkness and I can’t see beyond that.” Charles Bukowski, You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense
I was reading the N.Y Post yesterday and saw an article about a cow attack. It said a highly aggressive bovine wreaked havoc in the German state of Bavaria after escaping from a farm.
The runaway cow attacked its owner, smashed a greenhouse and damaged a patrol car. She also caused a lengthy police chase until she was finally shot with a tranquilizer dart and brought home.
Since I literally live in cow town I took a ride this morning to see some cows and learn their ways. They seem friendly enough and usually come up to see what I want and probably wonder why I’m taking their picture.
But if you look at them carefully you can almost sense a darker side to these placid creatures. This one slowly walked up to me and gave me a look, a look that said in New York speak: “What the F*** are you lookin at?”
Maybe number 26 always looks like this, and maybe her two friends were not her muscle but just normal cows trying to kill the day. I wasn’t about to find out though and left for McDonald’s where I ordered two hamburgers and a milkshake.
“When we see the shadow on our images, are we seeing the time 11 minutes ago on Mars? Or are we seeing the time on Mars as observed from Earth now? It’s like time travel problems in science fiction. When is now; when was then?” Bill Nye the Science Guy
“There is no doubt that creative work is itself done under a compulsion often indistinguishable from a purely clinical obsession. In this sense, what we call a creative gift is merely the social license to be obsessed.” Otto Rank
Note to self: check the date on my social license to be obsessed, I don’t want it to expire anytime soon.
“This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.” Rumi
When you realize that by changing your perspective, big things can be seen as little things, it becomes much harder to worry about anything.
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” William Blake
Note: beer can not only help you see things as they are but can make a cavern into a man cave.
“Normal people have no idea how beautiful the darkness is.” Unknown
I was re-reading a Bryan Peterson book on composition and he suggests that compelling photography is not about the content but about the arrangement of the content. I think that’s only partly true but he does have a point.
I went out for my usual newspaper and coffee and passed a wide variety of interesting but common things like huge pumpkin stands, Amish children of the corn and even a rare steam engine at the Strasburg Rail Road.
But I was looking for something different and a mile from home I stopped to check out some potatoes. They had three sizes and I noticed this old cash jar that said medium on it right next to the medium potatoes.
For some reason this fascinated me and I decided to photograph it featuring the jar as the main subject. Between the Amish woman that owned the stand and the potato junkies that kept pulling in it was distracting but I persevered.
Eventually I realized that I could move things around to get the composition I wanted and the last three images I took were the best. Despite the clouds and an umbrella blocking the light I got a shot I’m happy with.
Now is this the kind of thing I would hang on my wall? No, but my Psychiatrist has been asking me for a photo and I think if I had this printed and framed she would not only stop asking me but would probably give me better meds.
“Inside of us, there’s a continual autumn. Our leaves fall and are blown out over the water.” Rumi
I read an article this morning about how Sony’s Clear Image Zoom feature will double the focal length of your lens with almost no loss of quality. Actually the term used was minimal loss of quality.
In theory it sounded great and in practice the focal length was indeed doubled but the images were terrible. And to do a proper test I used a tripod and shot in manual at several different apertures.
Just figuring out how to do it with my A6000 was a challenge. First of all you can shoot only JPEG. Then you change the Zoom setting to ClearImageZoom. Then go back to Zoom and Zoom from 0-2x.
After looking at the images I remembered trying this with my RX100 and the results were equally disappointing. But that camera can focus much closer so I shot this Dahlia with it from about an inch and a half away at 10mm.
If you’re interested B&H photo has an article called “Sony Clear Image Zoom: The Most Amazing Shooting Mode You Never Heard Of.” They used a Sony Alpha a7R II so their results might be different.
There is an old proverb that says there is no need to put legs on a snake. But you can get some great shots of him if you use the right lens, until he bites you and then it really won’t matter at all.