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Under Construction
Friday, after work in Oakland

May 8th, 2005

Life Is Amazing
Sunday. After writing that horrific last entry about terrorists and torture (torturous to write, anyway) I was listening to a public radio interview with an author flogging his latest book, this one an examination of the 9 - 11 group of terrorists and what kind of people they seemed to be. Where did they come from, how did they get to a place where they were willing to fly airplanes full of people into buildings full of people, the questions we've all asked ourselves.

One comment was they seemed to live in a fantasy world (which makes sense, committing suicide and all), a fantasy world that was and is evidently shared by hundreds, as bin Laden and the rest had many more people willing to blow themselves up then than they had targets. Which also makes sense, I guess, what with all the suicide bombings going on in the world.

My own thought (getting away from this terrorist crap) is now much of my own life is a kind of a dream, a fantasy world in its own right: go to work, put in the hours, carry a camera, shoot pictures, write a journal, go to work, wonder about the ever aching head and sinuses, say hello to friends, go to lunch, read the paper, write the journal, shoot more pictures, buy more books, don't read the books I buy, buy more PhotoShop books, don't read the PhotoShop books, buy more camera equipment, occasionally learn something new about photographs, have lunch, go to work. Then write it down on a long strip of paper, staple one end to the other and read it out loud, over and over, around and around.

And do you have urges to fly airplanes into buildings?

Shit no, but both worlds are fantasy worlds: one leading to death and destruction, one leading to banality, photography, online introspection and the American Dream. Which is curious, I suppose, although nothing earth shaking, here (in Oakland).

The photograph at the top and the photograph behind the Sole Proprietor logo were taken with the Nikon D2X which arrived Thursday and seems to be living up to its hype. The D2H shoots a 4.1 mega pixel image, 6.1 megabytes in RAW format. The D2X shoots a 12.3 mega pixel image, about 20 megabytes in RAW format. The size is nice, in the sense you can blow up portions of the image with good results (as you can digitally scanning film), but the real difference is in the color, the saturation and balance at higher ISO's. The photograph above was shot at ISO 400 using auto white balance without a flash and, quite honestly, I'm not sure it needed any tweaking in PhotoShop. So that's good. We will know soon enough.

My thoughts, by the way, have changed somewhat on the D2H. There's a feature where you can make color adjustments to a profile and save that profile to the camera so if you're shooting in low incandescent light at a higher ISO (for example) and that tends to demand certain adjustments in the reds and the yellows (for example), well, you can store those adjustment in the camera and call them into play when you run into hight ISO low incandescent light. Another reason to skip working for a living and devote my time to the cameras and the manuals. Or am I getting too deeply into fantasy time (in Oakland)?

Well, the mouth and sinuses are feeling better today and I'm in a pretty good mood. The laundry is in the washer (I'm down to white socks and one last remaining clean pair of shorts - this has not been a good week) and this is good, I haven't developed any film (what else is new?), but it's raining outside and, who knows, there's an entire afternoon ahead (and) I seem to be writing, something I haven't been able contemplate for this last week.


I know, I know. Life is amazing.

The photograph was taken Friday after work with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 17 - 55mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at 1/15th second at f 2.8 at ISO 400.