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February 4, 2011

Work On A Zoom

Friday. We talked of sake last night (we do go on and on about it for a lightweight consumer of such) and we thought about it this morning when we awoke before nine after what was likely nine hours rest, but it doesn't seem to have altered my morning. It took fifteen minutes for the sleep to clear, but that's not unusual. It does clear and the various parts of the brain come up to speed soon enough. I drank more than my two (two would have been considered abstinence in our younger days), but hardly enough to write about.

You do go on.

Maybe that's success: whether or not you have a glass or two of sake in an evening now and again being the crucial decision of the day. Better than going on about whatever hopeless political situation, I'd think. Diddle-dee-dink.

So, up at nine, to breakfast maybe half an hour later, back now feeling pretty good, the day outside the kind of day the tourist people use in printing their postcards. It's now pushing noon and I've been listening to the new Greg Allman album - not bad, not bad - and getting the Photoshop class handouts in order.

They went over a number of color adjustment tools that got my attention, useful in getting skin tones and such to behave, and I really want to go through them once or twice again so I don't forget them. I'm looking forward to the portrait class for this reason. Sometimes a subject likes a bit of subtle cleanup done on a portrait, to, um, lose some wrinkles and such. Good to know the techniques, especially those that aren't so obvious to the observer. But I suspect that's not altogether surprising.

An aside with political overtones. Interesting. I've been watching Al Jezeera over the web and in half hour segments on a local PBS station. Evidently it's not available in most areas throughout the United States. They're glued to it in Washington D.C., as its Egyptian coverage is hands down the best available, but otherwise it's been essentially boycotted since the Bush administration attacked it for its Iraq coverage and called it naughty names. Oh, and had one of our tanks put a round into an Iraqi hotel room where they're reporters were working. What I discovered this morning was its available through Roku as one of their free selections. Nice.

My feeling on Al Jezeera is you know its position and take on Middle East issues, but also note how careful they are in presenting even that news with reasonably good balance. Their world wide coverage is very good, better than most of our own news organizations now that they've been shutting down their overseas offices for budget reasons, and I've heard many people with a wide variety of political positions watch it with interest to broaden their own understandings of what's going on.

The Russia Today (RT) channel is much more biased, for example, although they're watchable too when they're not so obviously piling on the U.S. (and sometimes when they are). So, information is creeping through the cracks everywhere, even here, not just in totalitarian societies. Go people of Egypt! Go with God, if you like, but my thought is go with a good dose of fortune and luck.

Later. I've been playing with various longer lens setups to see how they might perform: first the recently acquired 70 - 300 Nikkor f 4.5 - 5.6 VR lens on both a full frame and smaller frame sensor camera and now today, on a short walk, with the 70 - 200mm f 2.8 mounted on the 2x tele-extender on a full frame D3s. The second combination seems to give better sharpness and resolution than the first without adding too much bulk and weight to the package and I'm thinking of trying it out tomorrow in San Jose for the Tet Lunar New Year festival.

You've skipped out on going to that festival now for years.

I have no idea what the parking may be like and that alone slows me down. At my age any additional obstacles can slow me down to a stop, so tomorrow - hup! hup! - we're just going to say the hell with it and go! (hup)

More puttering around with this and that for the rest of the afternoon and evening, I'm thinking. A good day, not too strenuous. The walk around the block with the new lens combination wasn't long enough to call a walk, but no complaints. Tomorrow will take care of that. And I've had the tele-extenders now, all three of them, for how long without trying them out on the 70 - 200? Why did I think they wouldn't work on a zoom? Doodle-dee-doom?

The photograph was taken on the way back from my Photoshop class in San Francisco last night with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24 - 120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.