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Sunday, 06 July 2014


Re the new house: HURRAH! (And Courage, mon ami! during the inevitable periods when you find yourself mumbling, "I must have been mad…" or something less printable. As my old Mum used to say, "This too shall pass.")

Mike, good to hear the positive news about a new TOP HQ. Do you need to sell your present house to enable the purchase of a new one? As someone who is (trying) to go through this whole tedious and expensive business in the UK (for similar reasons - more space), it can be a slow & frustrating process. I hope you have a more sensible and speedy approach to these things in the US.
Best wishes for the move.



New neighborhood means that all walks with a camera will be exciting for a while again, eh?

That thingamabob for the A7 looks interesting, but I guess I've waited long enough for an affordable, decent shift adapter for M43 so that I just don't care anymore. I can do my corrections in Lightroom without having to buy all the gear and decide what old 20mm lens to get.

Arthur D. Little, Inc., made that silk purse in 1921. I guess you could say the expression stood up for quite a while before technology caught up with it.


GX680 is my all time favourite camera, and my heart aches to see it cannibalised in this way...

Congratulations, always a big event moving homes.

Congratulations on your accepted offer / be nice or take pity on us Aperture users / I wasn't impressed either with the posthumous prints I saw at the Winogrand show, when it was in DC ... except, maybe, the LA Sunset Blvd hit-and-run

First. congrats on the move. But be warned-it will take weeks to really get settled in your new quarters. I speak from experience-12 moves, 7 with family over my career (I worked in an industry I referred to as being "high priced migrant labor"). You will get everything into the new digs, and some basics like bed in bedroom and pots in the kitchen are usually not too bad. But setting up your new office needs planning. I suggest a good size to scale layout of your space, scaled cutouts of the desks, pool table, and every thing of any size, be placed on the layout to assure fit, space contraints, space to move around, etc. This can reduce the relocation of "stuff" greatly. Hope you will have time to do TOP while this is going on. And don't get frustrated, it will end and you'll have your world headquarters.
And that Chiek bellows looks interesting. I expect it will be available for other cameras soon. And its cheaper than a tilt-shift lens.

That definitely looks like a GX680 front element, but with a bodged Canon mount? Weird.


Congratulations, you deserved. Just keep doing what you have been doing.

Now you should name the Planetary Headquarters.
(e.g. TOP Gear Landing Station Alpha)

Don't forget that you have a printer to review that was waiting for this move.

(Seriously: relax and plan your move)


Congratulations on the impending purchase/move! We moved from our apartment to a house in May. Though being in the house is nice, and was worth it for a number of reasons, the move reinforced how loathsome the entire packing/moving/un-packing process truly is. However, wishing you much joy and happiness and peace in TOP's new HQ.

Congratulations on the new digs. Now comes the tough part -- getting your current house fixed up and on the market. Hope it sells quickly.

Congratulations on the new home and headquarters of TOP!

Wonderful news.

Congratulations on the new house ;-)

Are you still planning on doing a review of your DP2 Merrill Black&White camera?

James asked...why on earth would you stick a tilt-shift lens on a bellows?

I can think of a few reasons, but the most likely one is extra movements to allow for better perspective correction and/or depth of field, the scheimpflug principle. Or it might be something as simple as that was the one he had lying around.

I have seen several setups similar to this where people have used DSLR's, modified view camera backs, and stitching software to make large files.

Big move, wow, excellent news. Lots to do and organize. Stressful, but worth it in the end. How exciting for you.

Ah, the mere thought of a "dry" basement gets my heart racing. Being in Florida, basements are rare. Sandy porous soil and a million feet of rain during the rainy season is a spoiler. Our house sits on a concrete slab that varies from 18" to four feet thick. The upside: nice winters. We once had a sweet little house in Boston. The basement was bone dry. I built a lot of furniture there. I never worried about moisture spoiling my inventory of cherry, maple, walnut, and mahogany. I sold 90% of my woodworking equipment when we moved to Florida.

Will you build a darkroom?

[Given how much I've used the one I built here--very little--probably not. :-( --Mike]

Hello Mike,

Congratulations on your new headquarters, “… for my continuing plan of becoming an Internet tycoon–and it actually is kind of sprawling, ...” Beware you don’t fill up the sprawling space too quickly. As the old saying goes, “Today the basement, tomorrow the world.”

Happy snapping,
Leslie Q.

"Personally I'd like to see Leo Rubinfien's Winogrand show at the Met, because I have yet to see a single posthumous Winogrand I thought was any good."

I've not visited the show but I've had the catalog for a year. Having many books of Garry Winogrand's work in my library, some show catalogs, I found this one to be an excellent wrap on Winogrand's work. Although I personally find Rubinfien's writing to be rather garrulous, with no exception here, his essay, along with Sarah Greenough's excellent-as-usual work paints what I believe to be a good-as-needed portrait of Winogrand.

Is the exhibition and collection of work as Garry would have wanted it? Who the hell cares? I doubt that Garry would. He was not some deep mysterious artist. He grabbed moments with his camera, then sometimes gathered those moments to make a joke, usually a pretty crude joke. Winogrand's attempts at social messages were not his strengths. His reflexes and OCD were his strengths. Each of his pictures stands, or slumps, on its own. And I am extremely grateful that John Szarkowsky's imperious, self-important, and downright snotty condemnation of Garry'a final works will not stand as the last word (on any works, frankly).

Oh dear, as a hobbyist since the fifties,
Aperture was a blessing of nifties
But Apple is a money maker
Not interested in a photographic baker
So where to go from here?
Is it Adobe, whom I fear
Or should I go and drink a beer?

Congratulations Mike!

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I always thought that expression about the silk purse was analogous in meaning to the slightly less refined, "it's like polishing a turd." Ie, there is only so nice you are going to make a turd, no matter how much time and effort you put into it, and there is only so nice your sow's ear purse will be, no matter your level of skill at sewing. Of course, I would be remiss to not discuss "gilding the lily," which refers to the other end or the spectrum, of taking something that is already perfect and beautiful, and wasting time and money to end up cheapening it.

Great news about the new TOP Headquarters. I'd put an old cooker in the room off the garage, where bits of motorcycle can be put in the oven to make the metal expand, while the new bearing has been contracting in a plastic bag in the freezer all night.

The cooker rings can be used for treating drive chains with Linklife. This chain grease comes in what looks like a giant tin of shoe polish and you gently heat it until it melts, when your newly cleaned chain sinks into it.

The first process may well make your Sunday roast taste oily, while the second might just make the kitchen smell a bit. If you use the cooker in the kitchen for either it's probably best to do it when your 'other half' is out for the day.

Mike, congratulations on finding a new home which will provide you with the room and design you need. I wish you well.

re: Apple's naming of "Photos": searching for how to maintain/extend/use your app, eg. "Photos third-party plugin denoise" is counter to Apple's philosophy that the computer must "just work", and that the app is perfect on its own. It is meant to be an extension of you, the center of your digital life. You are meant to need no education about the app. Instead, it educates itself (and Apple, and partners) about you. There is no product to search for. You are the product ...

In response to everybody who's suggested rear-standard movements as a reason for mounting a TS on that contraption--I looked at the pictures and I only saw controls and mechanisms for one kind of rear standard movement: lateral shift. Admittedly, that would be very useful for parallax-free stitching (I often lament the lack of a front-mounted tripod foot on my TS lenses), but hardly an impediment that would call for that massive contraption.

All the pictures of the device also show front movements only.

So I'm still wondering: why stick a tilt shift on it?

[I'm guessing just for the extra coverage. Don't know anything about it, though. --Mike]

Congratulations on the first stage of the new TOP Galactic Headquarters (why think small? :) ) and I hope the rest of the process runs as smoothly and painlessly!

Mike, start packing as soon as you can. You will be amazed about how much 'stuff' you have. I live on my own, and apart from several hundred books, a dozen cameras, a darkroom and a fairly large mechanical and electrical toolbox, I don't own a lot. I was appalled, and wondered where it had all come from. Reading that sentence now, I'm beginning to realise....

I'm now in a bungalow of 580 sq. ft, about 25% bigger than the old place and it took me nearly two and a half weeks with lots of help. It was a near run thing. I didn't do much else in the time.

Congratulations.I am jealous, i have always been very excited in moving house.Hope there is space for a dark room.

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