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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

January 12, 2010

Goes Well
Tuesday. I did get over to see Avatar yesterday in the late afternoon, early evening, taking the D3 with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 lens this time, setting the ISO at 5,000 rather than taking the D2X when I set out to see Sherlock Holmes on Friday at the same time, outfitted with a 35mm F 2.0 lens and set at ISO 800 (photograph behind the Sole Proprietor's Journal title above). The two photographs of the front of the apartment building aren't really directly comparable, but it's a step toward making an effort to do some further comparisons, particularly between the D3 and the D3S. I'm not all that into the technical testing side of cameras, although I pay attention to noise at higher ISO's, but I do occasionally get questions.

The difference between my first professional level digital, the D2h, and now the D3S is so incredibly vast as to be a joke when comparing color and low light. Interestingly, the difference in the D2h 4 meg and the D3S 12 meg picture size makes little difference for the way I shoot (it makes a difference, I prefer the 12, but just not that much when you're dealing with the web). I suspect in another five years you'll have cameras built into key rings and ball point pens that shoot pictures in even lower light, these things are like computers in how fast they're improving and how low their prices are going, but who knows where I'll be in five years let alone be around? One reason I said to hell with it and bought the D3S. Why wait? Wait long enough, my bucko, and you'll find yourself trying to shoot from your coffin. Unless, come to think of it, I arrange a bite on the neck. Has anyone ever used a vampire photographer in fiction? “I photograph blood,” he said.

The movie?

Ah, yes: Avatar. I now understand all the hoopla. The combination of 3D with an exotic world of special effects (that really are special effects) makes it work. I've heard it criticized for the simplicity of the plot, but most good plots are simple; it's the execution that makes them work. If you dissect the movie into whatever elements - plot, acting, characterization, effects, editing and whatever else - it's a bit cartoonish and trite and doesn't sound like much, but put them all together in a first of its kind and it's a killer. You want to see it in a theater in 3D. Believe me, you do. Big screen. The bigger, the better. I was thinking, sitting there glued in the chair, people who saw those first movies in the early twentieth century or those who watched the first talking movies or the first color movies were probably similarly impressed. Avatar, as such, is well worth the ticket. Nice.

Oh, and “hallucinogenic” episode, other than the movie: not a peep. Felt good throughout, less than I'd like sleep the night before or not. Go figure. It will go along like this for a couple of weeks, if it holds true to its past, and then no doubt surprise me again. But I can wait. I have a doctor's appointment in Palo Alto later, an annual checkup for the prostate (bad results on this test are not to be thought about), and I'll make that appointment with the recommended neurologist. Unless I don't.

Oh, and it's morning after a long night's sleep (eight to ten hours), breakfast is complete, the papers read, the day ahead. The trip to Palo Alto in another hour for the prostate exam (basically a blood test and a couple of questions: do you feel OK, can you still get it up?). The blood test is the test, everything else is distraction from the main event. Best to get a note later in the mail with good news instead of a phone call from the doctor himself. Is my guess.

Later. It does take a while to drive to Palo Alto and back, but the visit is done for another year now (one hopes), the blood has been drawn and the return trip complete. A picture or two through the windshield on the way after crossing the Dumbarton Bridge, the light through the clouds a good omen I was thinking, as it is thoroughly overcast up here in Oakland. Another day on the road. “What have you been up to”, he asked. Oh, breakfast, the papers, a walk and some photographs. Life goes well.

The photograph was taken at the Mochi Ceremony at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum with a Nikon D3S mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens at f 4 at 1/30th second, ISO 3200.