Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The painted ponies go up and down*

It's going to be a short posting today. I need to make time to create my bread dough. Tomorrow's highs are forecast to be in the mid-50s and rain is in the forecast, too. Lake Superior may get some 25 foot waves. I'm glad our visits were a couple of weeks ago. This week's weather means its time for home-made bread and soup or stew even if it is early September. (Gordon Lightfoot never sang about the gales of September, did he?) If you're a regular reader, you know that, as a recovering planner, I believe that no amount of planning can replace dumb luck. That's what I had yesterday, when I managed to take this photo of a Ruby Meadowhawk.

Ruby Meadowhawk (Sympetrum rubicundulum) on deck railing

Photo by J. Harrington

When I manage to get a decent photo something like the one above, I have to go back to square one on whether the problems I often encounter are due to the equipment or the operator. My experience with computers is that the problem is most often, but not always, operator error. I think I'm seeing a similar pattern with cameras and lenses. Maybe I won't ask Santa for a $10,000 lens for Christmas to cure all my problems. Imagine if I got one and still had focus and depth of field issues. I also want to be sure to avoid being the kind of photographer Wendell Berry describes. It's an easy trap to fall into.

*check the lyrics in the chorus of Joni Mitchell's The Circle Game

The Vacation

By Wendell Berry 

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which his sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. He showed
his vacation to his camera, which pictured it,
preserving it forever: the river, the trees,
the sky, the light, the bow of his rushing boat
behind which he stood with his camera
preserving his vacation even as he was having it
so that after he had had it he would still
have it. It would be there. With a flick
of a switch, there it would be. But he
would not be in it. He would never be in it.


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