The Egyptian Revolution
I've just this minute heard from Peter in Cairo. We'll feature a ground-level photojournalistic report on TOP very soon—Tuesday, it looks like. Good pictures, those will be. (More about the "BAD pictures" of the post title later in this dispatch.) I'm still stunned by Peter's ability to place himself right in the middle of the action before it happens.
Ah, now that's better
Now that I've just used it, do you ever get annoyed by the overuse of the verb "to stun"? Stunned, to me, is what a baby seal is when whacked upside the head with a club—nothing good about it. When you're Tased, you're stunned. Stunned is what you are when you hear your whole village just went down in a shipwreck. The English language is on a constant quest for new and better intensifiers for "good" and "I like it," but I don't quite see how "stunned" is an improvement. "Stunning"—the adjectival form, if I'm right—is a slightly different matter; I have been stunned by the beauty of a stunning woman now and again (oh, Sienna Miller—a British celebrity who I just saw on Top Gear—would that I were twenty years younger, three clicks handsomer, and, say, half a billion dollars richer); but I think the term should be reserved for something startlingly beautiful. Gob-smackingly so, as our U.K. friends would say. (I should just move to England and be done with it. I'm clearly a Brit wannabee. T. S. Eliot and Bill Bryson both did it; why can't I?)
But I digress. You might recall that in my post about my new computer I complained about the colors of the screen, even after calibrating in the "Expert" mode in System Preferences > Displays > Color > Calibrate. Well, yesterday the box arrived from B&H Photo with the X-Rite I1 (Eye-One) Display 2 in it. Our friend Carl Weese had recommended it to me as an excellent profiling device for the iMac (and it's much cheaper than the ColorMunki Ctein uses).
Calibrating is no substitute for profiling. X-Rite manages to make an exceptionally easy-to-use product slightly less so, in that the software isn't entirely intuitive to load (and the instructions just say "Load software" and let it go at that). But in the end even I was able to figure it out—which, at the risk of being obvious, certifies it as idiot-proof.
The actual profiling process is a breeze. Plug the sensor into a USB port, hang it on the screen (on the glass iMac screen you can actually use the suction cups that are there for old-fashioned CRT monitors if you want to), hit the go command, and it happily builds a profile for you and loads it in the proper folder. Four mouse-clicks, I think. I just used the "Easy Mode," which (as Carl pre-predicted) is so good I hardly feel the need for geek mode, which I gather is very close to being just as easy as the Easy Mode. TOP's colors are thankfully all back to normal now, and the iMac screen looks...well, yes, stunning.
Every good monitor deserves profiling. If you have local friends or any kind of photo club or group, an Eye-One colorimeter can be shared (I think—if the software will load on more than one computer), assuming you're willing to do the legwork of passing it back and forth. You don't need to actually run it all that often. Graphic artists and custom printers profile weekly, but ordinary Joes can get by with doing it every few months (and ordinary Mikes, who are lazier than ordinary Joes, can get by with even less frequent touch-ups).
So, what to watch on a magnificently profiled new monitor? Has to be something really, really "bad." You won't often do better than this little career-summation video. Wonderful. Thrilling, in fact (and I don't gush easily). Bruce has lived the coolest life. I remember many of those pictures, too, especially the opening one.
I hereby heartily recommend BAD photography. It's...no, I won't use the word again. I'll just say it's good and I like it. I've watched it three times. A treat for a leisurely Saturday afternoon.
The Commentariat shines
I enjoyed the comments to the Martin Parr "Last Resort" post. Thanks for those. Nothing like a good discussion about what's good and bad and why.
No, not 'The Woodsman'
The next noise you hear from yours truly will be the Winter Print Offer announcement on Sunday (tormorrow). However, it will be posted a little earlier than originally advertised—about 10:30 a.m., if I stay on schedule—because shortly thereafter I'm headed to Chicago for the afternoon showing of "The Woodmans."
Have a lovely weekend, and please stop back tomorrow!
(Thanks to Malcolm Leader)
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.