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Entries in news (2)


Welcome the New Baby

SOOC test shots from my first spin with the D800

*Alert! Alert! Full camera geekiness ahead! You have been warned!*

I have been lusting for Nikon's new D800 since they announced it several months ago.  Up until now Nikon has not had a full frame camera or one with broadcast-quality video. Canon, with their 5D Mark II, has been the standard bearer for the category and I was seriously considering switching, even with the significant investment it would take to buy not only the body, but to replace my collection of Nikon lenses.

I held fast though, and was surprised and delighted when my local camera store called yesterday morning to say the camera had arrived, faster than I expected.  I was completely impatient for the work day to end so I could go claim my new baby.

Ezra, naturally, was much more interested in digging in the 15 cubic yards of mulch we had delivered Tuesday than letting me focus on the camera long enough to figure out how switch it out of automatic mode.  So the camera sat patiently on the dining room table while I impatiently dug mulch with my short (but demanding) overlord.

As soon as Will got home from work I begged him to take over Ezra and dinner duty so I could show the camera the block where we live.  It was an overcast evening and getting late, but the photos in the above collection are all straight out of the camera, edited only to crop them into the collage, but not at all to manipulate their exposure or color.

Off the bat I will say that I am completely impressed with the camera's low-light capabilities, the richness of the color it produces and the detail it (and the 50mm f1.4 lens I shot with) captures.  Rumor has it the video is pretty damn nice too, and I hope to begin to experiment with that this weekend.  Being a person who hates to read manuals of any sort, I am a bit intimidated by the complexity of the controls on this instrument but I'm determined to learn to harness its capabilities and so excited to discover where my vision will lead as I play.

Here we go!


Bright Spots

I have a confession to make: I stopped consuming news. 

I say this as a former journalism student, a person who had a short-lived journalism career, and someone who has fervently believed for my entire adult life that it is actually my (and all of our) responsibility to know what's going on in our community.  That's the way this whole democracy thing is supposed to work, after all.

But something happened, somewhere between the debt ceiling crisis, the 47th Republican Presidential debate, and the tear-gassing of Occupy Wall Street and I just couldn't take it anymore.  I got this very clear sense that all my efforts to inform myself were making me angry, despairing, and - perhaps worst - dumber.

So I stopped.  Cold turkey, basically.

I am not so willfully ignorant as to be unaware that millions of people are still out of work, the presidential contest is already mind-numbingly cynical a year ahead of the election, and sports gods exploit children while entitled kids riot in the streets in an inconceivable protest.  The amount of bad news out there is chilling.

But here's the thing:  there's a bright spot, and I'm pretty sure it's growing.

I feel like I'm talking to a lot of people lately who are daring to dream out loud, living from their hearts.  A lot of people lately are telling me stories of transformation in their lives, saying that their dreams are coming true.  The more I step onto this new practice of mine, the more I know I am not alone. 

A friend told me this weekend that she's found a way to do potentially groundbreaking scientific research on mothers and newborns outside of the rigid confines of the academic establishment.  That seemed impossible a couple years ago but she's doing it now.  Another friend yesterday told me she's on the verge of scaling up a program she created to take art supplies and art therapy to underprivileged kids around the world.  A series of inspired synchronicities combine with hard work to look like a small miracle.

I hear these things and think Sorry NPR.  I don't need you anymore.  I want to smother the politics and the business-as-usual with a wet blanket.  I want to give all my oxygen to the small sparks of inspired work I see around me.

I'm back to my favorite MLK quote:

Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.

It gives me a little glimmer of hope, this vision of a small but growing critical mass, lighting the way.