Friday, May 4, 2012

Bigger and Better

Isn't this the typical human desire - get it bigger and better, faster, 2X as many features etc.? And don't we always fall for this ad-schlok hook, line and sinker?

In addition to cats, photography is another of my passions. Not that I do it particularly well, but I'm trying and hopefully one day I'll be able to take more consistently good photos.

I was drooling over the Nikon D7000 reviews the other day when a comment came to mind, from one of our local folk who is a pretty damn good photographer. He mentioned that he had around 20 cameras - and he has taken good and bad photos with every one of them.

The difference is the person behind the lens. To them falls the understanding of the tool in their hands, their knowledge, technique and understanding of light, their creativity, their ability to view the world through the eyes of an artist - because photography is an art form.

As Darren Rowse wrote : "Sometimes I think our lust for cameras and gear could be getting in the way of actually becoming better photographers.” 

And Valerie Jardin added in her article Stop whining about your equipment, Get out there and shoot! : "That new camera and expensive lens does not create a good picture. You do! ....A new camera will not make you a better photographer. Period. It will only make you a new camera owner.  To become a better photographer, learn to see.  Learn to see the new and see the familiar as new."

The Nikon D7000 is a wonderful camera for an amateur enthusiast like me - but frankly I'm not sure how I could justify buying it. The reason being that I still don't know all the workings of my Canon, and I continually rely on the camera making key decisions for me - like speed and ISO settings for a given aperture. I think that when I get to the stage that I understand all that the camera can do, and that I am capable of twiddling all the settings to achieve my creative designs, then I will have a better idea of the real shortcomings of the camera  (if any - for my purposes).

I will by all means buy a new camera - but will do so only when I'm sure in my mind why I need one, what my current equipment cannot do for me, and how the proposed new camera will be able to fulfil my artistic objectives.

My son in law got my old camera - a Panasonic which was pretty good, but not up to my Canon spec. His brother took some photos with it when they were on a trip in Namibia recently. The desert scenes he shot were magnificent - hue and texture, light and dark, skillful use of silhouette and background, composition and planning of the picture. He's not a photographer - but he has passion and he's an artist. 

Now there is a man who knows how to look, and to see......

In the mean time, maybe I'll practice looking. Maybe there's a lesson there for all of us.

Bull$#it Baffles Brains

This was a favourite saying my father had. The meaning of course is that the more bull that is talked, the more people get taken in by it. I think the brain closes down in protest to the unrelenting deluge of airborne shite being pumped in through the ears and eyes - "Please PLEASE!!! I give up - I'll believe - just SHUT UP already!!!!!"

Get the picture?

Now - to the point. Remember last year on May 1st when Bulldust O'Barmy got up and proclaimed to the world that the Americans had killed nasty old Obama Bin Lying? Jolly good, old chap, what? Hear Hear, and the US patted itself on the back.

Well - guess what? Exactly one year to the day they are raving on again about having found "hidden" documents disclosing all sorts of dirty secrets about Al Quaeda, and how old Bin Laden was sitting cooking up plotlets and more plotlets etc. etc. bla bla.  The timing is fantastic - and fantastically improbable.

We all realise (well maybe not "all" - it seems that there are a remarkable number of people in the world whose gullibility is positively gobsmacking and who don't know an impossible coincidence when it's served up right in front of them), that the US intelligence community are quite clever. But they are rather overwhelmed by their own intellects and fall down by assuming everyone in the world are bloody idiots and believe all the crap they dish up. For those of us who aren't so stupid, consider the following :

- On Sept 11 2001, NORAD (the N American Air defense capability) inexplicably delayed in scrambling fighters to intercept and destroy the "hijacked" aircraft

- the 3 buildings that collapsed all were steel framed constructs and were the first (and only) 3 buildings in history to collapse because of fire damage

- this collapse took in the region of 9.3 seconds to occur. For those interested in physics, the formulas of motion reveal that given the height of the buildings, all support columns had to have been sheared simultaneously - in other words the WTC towers were in freefall.

- nanothermites (explosive) remnants were found in the wreckage of the buildings.

- a prominent congressman suddenly changed a normal daily habit and called off breakfast on the morning of 9/11

- abnormally high volumes of financial futures trades took place in securities of companies which would get badly hurt by the disaster, in the days preceding Sept 11th, making hideous amounts of money for the traders.

- the WTC disaster is the first time in recent memory that the FAA was barred from examining a crash site

- it is on record that authorities agreed that WTC7 had to be "pulled" (demolished) because of damage from the other 2 WTC towers. It collapsed the same day. The only problem is that demolition rigging takes weeks of work. So therefore somebody rigged it in advance, didn't they?

- the WTC demolition material was speedily disposed of in a landfill

- all of the aircraft manufacturers whose planes are involved in the disasters deny the engine found at the Pentagon on the lawn is one of theirs. So what hit the Pentagon?
- George W Bush's brother just happened to be the head of the security company responsible for the WTC complex.

- then the man everybody wants is found and killed, but not before his wife is shot dead. No - sorry! Shot in the leg - the story changed. She obviously is not dead, but nobody hears from her again about what actually happened - or didn't.

- and then Bin Laden's body is not retained and shown as proof of the kill - it's quickly (in indecent haste) disposed of in the sea.

- In fact, Bin Laden is widely thought to have died as early as 2002 from advanced kidney failure. He had 2 dialysis machines and was in and out of hospitals - including a CIA hospital around the time of the WTC disaster.

"No really - the cheque is in the mail". "Honest!" Yeah - right.

Nasty bunch of coincidences and unexplained nonsense - isn't it? And in my experience, when the type of B/S described above takes place, somebody is always lying.

Bullshit baffles brains. And the more you say it and the louder you get, the more people believe it - sometimes.

There is another saying "you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time".

So why on Earth would I believe that the US has suddenly unearthed the Bin Laden secrets? The CIA may have been spending a year manufacturing them, but that's not the same thing, is it?