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Saturday, 10 June 2023


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A discussion, from 2012…


Keep in mind that Leica now has experience building four M Monochroms, in addition to the Q2 version. The M10 Monochrom project, for instance, was initiated simultaneously with its color-based sister, the M10-R. Both of these sensors derived from the Leica S3 sensor wafer/architecture, which is common for Leica to spread the significant cost for the unique S sensor. I believe the S007 and the M240/M246 (Mono) similarly share sensor architecture.

I’m curious what prompted this very true insight.

Art requires craftsmanship but isn’t defined or limited by it. Art is a daemon inspired by the Muse.

I've always enjoyed the line, "You can buy better but you can't pay more."

True but who gets his very best is where a nexus of wallet size and how much the world at large values his best, come into play

Respectfully disagree Mike.

We're in the midst of massive house renovations. All our tradespeople are Master Craftsmen.

But the quality of execution is inexorably linked to the time pressure that they're under, as they try to complete their part of the process so that the next trade can do its part.

[Well, yes, there's a lot of room UNDER the threshold of "the best they can possibly do." And that is affected by all kinds of things, including time pressure. But once you get to the very limit of what they can do, then Pye's insight takes over. --Mike]

And, if I might add, the best quality is of the moment, and often can’t be repeated at even a high level continuously. Many factors come into play to make excellence happen. Ask any decent creative.

Mike wrote, "You can't pay someone to do better than their best. All you can do is get them to do their very best ... "

But if you pay them to do it again and again, their best will get better and better.

You can't get blood out of an onion. I always try my best, and I do better some days than others, but I have always known others can do better than me, and that is okay. I saw recently how my workmanship could fluctuate. I was surprised how after 10+ years, the gear has improved enough for me to predict my capabilities, choosing to use tools that a few years ago were considered less than desirable.

A business friend operates a theatre out of an old railroad station. Twelve years ago, he hired me to shoot interior and exterior architectural photos. The interior was challenging due to the various lighting types, but I enjoy shooting challenges. He was very happy with the work and paid me with a smile and a check.

During COVID, the theatre closed, and the exterior was renovated. Recently he hired me once again to shoot his theatre. I like the current images better than the previous set. What changed? Instead of shooting medium format digital as before, I used my APS-C because I felt it would be good enough. It was a good choice as the shoot went quicker, and so did post-processing. He is happy, I got paid, and I had a better shooting experience because the gear is easier to use and set up, etc. So many factors can add to the quality of what we produce. I never think it is one thing alone (unless it is an accident, etc.), but a series of events that takes us over the finish line.

Sometimes you can get someone to do better than their previous best, though. Craftsmen / artists (not terribly distinct categories in my opinion) sometimes make fairly sharp jumps upwards in their abilities, perhaps based on opportunity, perhaps based on reaching a point where they're ready to move up, maybe just by luck, I don't pretend to know. (And of course you don't actually know their possible best, you only know their previously achieved best.)

Climate change not being a serious problem makes perfect sense for those 23% of Republicans if you add "to me." I've been thinking for a while now that one of the the big drivers of the political rift in this country is that extreme right-wingers are thinking about only the short term and how an issue affects them personally, right now. Folks on other parts of the spectrum are thinking to varying degrees about the future.

The statistic that blows my mind is the estimate that there are over 70 septillion stars in the universe, or 10,000 times more stars than there are grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth. If you hold a handful of sand in your hand, the number of grains isn't close to the number of stars in the Milky Way. And finally, the distance between each grain of sand in your hand would be equivalent to 4-5 light years apart, which at our current technology level would take us over 6,000 years to traverse.

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