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Thursday, 13 December 2012


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An 0.3 ND filter should do it.

Mike, thanks for another great recommendation as I've not heard of this photographer and the book looks great. Amazon UK have this at GBP38.00 (!!) and Amazon USA list it at USD37.80. How does that work, given the exchange rate?

Enjoy your standing desk! I built one about a year ago and have been really enjoying it. I don't feel nearly as tired at the end of a day.

Two pieces of advice: starting out, get a bar stool or something you can use to take a break. The first few weeks, my feet and hips were getting a little sore after an hour or two on my feet. Gradually, it'll get better as you get used to it. About 3 months in, I ditched the stool and now stand all day with no problem. Second, try to take 5 minute breaks to walk around a little a few times a day; it helps keep the joints loose and comfortable (at least for me). The only time I find myself getting uncomfortable standing these days is when I realize that I've been standing without moving for hours.

About your mac issue: There's no way to do it from the computer, but there should be some buttons on the display itself to adjust brightness and contrast (as well as a menu system for adjusting other things probably). If you don't see them, feel along the bottom.

[Nope, nuthin'. If I find the answer to this, I'll post it. --Mike]

"Do any of you Mac experts out there know how to control the brightness of the screen on a mirrored display?"

Usually a second external monitor has its own little buttons on the monitor itself to control brightness and contrast.....

cheers, Frank

Mike, I downloaded a free program to my Imac, that controls the brightness of the screen . It's free so you can see if it works for you.
Shades preferences.prefpane
It creates a logo at the top line next to the Imac display logo, so there is easy access to it.

Just a guess from a bloke with a 2008 iMac, but in the system preferences under Displays (I noted the plural here) I found a brightness control, and a Detect Displays button. It doesn't do anything for me, but I only have one screen. I suspect that you can select the display and control it from there.

Thanks for the recommendation.
So glad to hear that you're using a standing desk.

One would need to know the make and model of your second monitor in order to give you guidance on adjusting its brightness. Typically it will be changed on the monitor itself not through the OS.

Ray K. Metzker is among the top photographers in my book. Has been for many years. Main reason: he spent his educational and professional career with a great adventurous curiosity in imagery. Ray was a student at the Institute of Design (the Chicago Bauhaus) at a remarkable time. (If you want a wonderful glimpse of the I.D. grab a copy of David Travis's and Liz Siegel's "Taken by Design".)

I had the remarkably good fortune of spending an evening with Ray Metzker several years ago. For his accomplishments he's a completely unpretentious fellow, perhaps even just a bit shy, who, it seemed, probably knows more about photography than I ever will.

Keith Davis is no slouch as a curator and writer, either. As Mike notes, he "gets" photography and has for a long time.

Thank you for the tip, Mike. I've not yet seen this catalog but I collect every Ray K. Metzker book. Bought!

If Ray Metzker's images can't get your butt out of the chair and your eye behind a lens you should take up crochet.

Brightness .. is controled at the monitor .. locate the manual for the monitor

A Google search revealed a donation-ware program named Shades, at http://www.charcoaldesign.co.uk/shades. I've done a bit of testing and it seems to work as expected. YMMV...

"One would need to know the make and model of your second monitor in order to give you guidance on adjusting its brightness."

That makes sense. It's a 27" Apple LED Cinema Display. There are no buttons of any sort on the display itself. In System Prefs > Displays > Arrangement > Mirrored, two panes open up, one labeled "iMac" and one labeled "LED Cinema Display." The "iMac" pane has a brightness slider that controls ONLY the screen of the iMac, and the pane labeled "LED Cinema Display" has no brightness slider.

I keep my iMac at 1/2 brightness, and the Cinema Display is considerably darker than that.


Mike, you may find the answer to the display question here:


About the mac issue: Is it a mac display or just a monitor? If its a mac display i believe it can be done, you have to have them physically connected by a usb or display cable. With wifi mirroring it cant be done.

Thank you for bringing him up on TOP. Had never heard of Metzker before. Looks like I have something to ad to my "Christmas for me" list. Color me inspired.

I've actually met him...and chatted briefly with him about his work. Long ago, when I was a student. And before I knew "who he was." The short take in the air at the time was that he was a rich guy who dabbled in photography. That was very unfair. Sometimes artists are rich, sometimes they're not, and that in itself makes zero difference.

Plus, I have no idea if what I heard way back then was even true.


I just placed my order, but I feel bad that you, Mike, won't benefit. As a Canadian, I prefer to buy at Chapters.indigo.ca, and that's where I've purchased a number of books you've recommended. Have you looked at their affiliate program?

re display brightness: Do you have the Display tab selected in both windows?

Nice work on setting up a standing desk, Mike. Mark Sisson and Grant Petersen would be proud. I have bad upper back problems and posture problems from sitting at a desk all day- computer hunchback. I'd put together a standing desk but I answer phones all day and when standing and talking on the phone I like to pace around which would annoy my coworkers.

I checked out Ray Metzker's landscapes when you mentioned him using a square format, medium format camera for that work. I was impressed by what few examples I could find online. I'll have to search out that book at a local library as I prefer that type of work to pictures of people.

"Do you have the Display tab selected in both windows?"

Believe me, I've tried every permutation of every available control.


Hi, Mike,
It looks like several solutions to your display problem are discussed here:


Perhaps one of these solutions will help.

-- Justin

"taking their suggestions and finding further richness in it, like Hendrix playing the blues".
That is so very true about Hendrix and such a brilliant way to describe his talent.

I sympathise with the Mirrored Mac display issue. I use a MacbookPro with an Eizo CG241W in extended desktop mode so have not had to deal with the issue you raise. So I put them into mirrored mode and you're right! There is no way to control the brightness of the additional screen.
One solution, albeit expensive but thoroughly worthwhile is to invest in a colorimeter like the x-rite i-1Display and have it profile and calibrate the displays, including setting the screen's brightness to predetermined levels.
To my mind having displays hardware-profiled and calibrated is a minimum requirement for photographers, and is mandatory (!) if you are preparing photographs for clients or printing.

Mike, regarding your Cinema display... make sure the USB cable is connected to your mac, then try Ctrl-F1/F2.

Mike -- Isn't it time for a main post about your stand-up desk? I'm this -><- close to getting the same for my office. I'd really love to join in a discussion about the pros and cons, and the brands.

Obviously there has been a bit of an American push recently towards not sitting. I wonder if it can go too far?

I would also love to know about the desk. I've been thinking about going that way for quite a while now.

"Thank you for the tip, Mike. I've not yet seen this catalog but I collect every Ray K. Metzker book. Bought!"

Looking forward to hearing your impressions of it, Ken.


This is a cool column of comments Ray Metzker, I like his work, 27 inch iMac, I am using one right now, and I should be standing too as my butt hurts from Lightroom, Photoshop, post processing and printing for six hours.
But what really caught my attention tonight was Anthony Braxton, I am not a jazz or abstract music guy but I spent a bit of time in the 1970's photographing musicians and I photographed a weekend with Phil Glass and Anthony Braxton rehearsing together and eventually performing at a venue in San Jose.
I first met Phil at a rehearsal of his first Carnegie Hall appearance, it was his Einstein on The Beach period, and somehow I talked my way into the building and I walked around on stage with a bag full of various cameras, doing the best with a Graflex XL super wide holding an RB67 back and a Vivitar 283 flash.
A portrait from that session sent back to New York when I returned home to San Francisco led to a phone call from Phil when he arrived in California and his keyboard was lost in baggage, i drove him around to a rental house to locate a replacement for the weekend.
So that led to a weekend threesome, they played music and composed some new work using a Casio calculator to keep timea nd I shot a lot of film with my collection of cameras, we even went for ice cream sundaes together, Phil had butterscotch.
At the concert hall Anthony kept a locked room full of instruments including the largest saxophone I have ever seen, I got some good shots of him playing it with my Rollei, all my work back then was black and white printed on Agfa Portriga 118 surface of course.
So that is my riff on Metzker, iMac and Anthony Braxton, all about photography and the places it took me.

Interesting side note about R.K.M.

ditto being a Canadian; ditto, Amazon.ca

Thanks for the reference to Ray Metzker; just ordered it.

Mike, Metzker published a book called "Automagic" a few years ago and it costs a lot, but if you like cars, especially older ones, then this book is worth the money...

having trouble getting into Metzger, who I hadn't really known much about before. Still not convinced from the limited images I have seen. What was your objection to the printing style Mike? The crushing of the blacks in the backgrounds?

My copy arrived today. His work is brand new to me so this will be an exciting new immersive photo experience. Just a quick look-through so far, he truly has a unique "voice" and I especially like his landscapes. It's an exquisitely done book and I'm glad to find a lot of reading material as well as the superb reproductions. This will be a real treat.

Speaking of collecting things, as an act of self discipline I have cut way down on the buying of photo books for several years now. But this was something both special and new to me, so I ordered a copy and it was money well spent.

Thank you for posting the review,
(and I too would like to hear more about the standing desk)

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