I'd like to mention that it is truly a pleasure to work with my friend Peter on his occasional postings here. The response we got from yesterday's essays—the written one as well as the picture essay—has been very gratifying.
Meanwhile, on that subject, there's an interesting article about another famous 9/11 picture, the troubling "Falling Man," here. Zach Bagnall sent me this. It's the first time I've seen other shots from the sequence.
But 9/11/11 is over; onward to today's back-to-life-as-normal postings.
You might have noticed that I, uh, am not really doing camera reviews any more. (Points gun at own foot; BANG! Not a very smart thing, given the main subject of this site. There's a reason for it, though, which I will get around to explaining one day.)
In any event, I'd rather just use the cameras and talk about what comes to mind as I go. Kind of like I did recently with the Ricoh GXR.
Next up, I'll be using a Sony A900 for a while, which means it's fine that I'm not writing a formal review, as the A900 is now officially Old, capital O, having been introduced about thirty years ago. (Expressed in digital years, which are even worse than dog years.) It's still a perfectly viable camera, it's just that it's a known quantity to the Netizens and hence nobody will be Googling "Sony A900 review." So I'm safe.
Taken out on Road DT, west of town, night before last, looking west, 7:08 p.m.
Same spot, looking east, a few minutes later, 7:21 p.m.
I had to cheat on the second shot. It was quite dark by then and the right exposure for the ground and sky—I was going for just the right shade of dark rosy glow in the sky, which in the big file is marvelous—wouldn't hold the moon, which was too bright by that time. It's just a featureless white blob (without, however, the usual fringe of purple, and that was good). So I went out last night in the St. Mary's church parking lot and snagged a donor moon to chop in.
The donor moon—deliberately blurred.
Annoyingly, I had to blur the donor moon. Know why? Because my ratty old Konica-Minolta 28–75mm ƒ/2.8, temporarily the only lens at TOP World Headquarters that will fit the A900, won't focus at infinity. Well, it will, but it will turn straight past infinity when it's set on manual focus, and it's difficult to see where exactly infinity is in the semi-dark. (Sigh.) So to match the slightly soft horizon line in the second picture I had to blur the donor moon to match.
Not sure why I bothered, as I am not going to print the picture. Too pretty. I have trouble taking my landscapes seriously; there are too many people out there who are too much better at them than I am.
I superimposed it directly over the real moon, but I know those of you with long memories will bring this up whenever I get sanctimonious in the future about documentary purism. I know Oren G. will never forget this, for one, because Oren never forgets anything.
First observation re the Sony A900: it is truly a pleasure to work on these huge files in ACR. I love that. (Second observation: my computer needs more memory.)
No place I'd rather live
We have had some absolutely gorgeous days around here in the past couple of weeks. Wisconsin's other three seasons are ordinary: summers are intermittently hot and surprisingly muggy, white-skied with water-laden air; springtimes are rightly known as "two weeks of mud between winter and summer"; and the winters, though periodically beautiful, are overly long. But autumn—fall—fall is Wisconsin's glory season. The light, the smell of the air, the clouds, all the lovely foliage colors at and around the warm end of the spectrum—it's just...wondrous. Wisconsin weather just comes alive at this time of year; for the next two and a half months, there's no place on Earth I'd rather live.
Too bad it will never last. Winter always claims it in the end. But getting there is nice, indeed.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Paddy C: "Your seasons (or should I say your view of them) are a lot like ours here in Ottawa. I could live in an eternal Autumn and never grow tired of it. I even like November!"
Featured Comment by Steve G., Mendocino: "Yes, you do do camera reviews. Their style and content are different from those of the other websites and/or magazines covering photography, and that is precisely why I read and value them. Keep doing them—or not doing them, if you insist."