Saturday, October 18, 2008

Domai art contest

Art from the Domai art contest a few years ago. There's a lot of great stuff.

I'd like to do it again, but I need a bit more energy, it was a lot of work.


TC (our animal photographer from some days ago) mentioned an old article of mine where I'd said: "I think the world would be a better place if everyone were more open about things..."

My older sister, after reading another article of mine many years ago, said to me: "from the article you sound like a very open person, and I don't think you are really." I said "no, but it's my ideal".

I've made a lot of progress since, but still have a ways to go.

TC added: "I think that it is cool that you are at least aware that you are not yet where you want to be (and really...whom among us can really say that we *are* there?!)"

Yes, that's important. Like Ghandi said: be the change that you want to see in the world. But it's not easy to see that. When I started out as a "seeker" as a very young man, I pretty much thought I was perfect. It was the world which was messed up, not me!

But the more I have improved myself over the years, the more my eyes have been opened to seeing how much more there was to improve yet.
And the more it makes sense to me that the problems we see in the world are really reflections of inner problems.

Aristotle and Piet Hein

Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.
-- Aristotle

Den, som kun tar spøg for spøg
og alvor kun alvorligt,
han og hun har faktisk fattet
begge dele dårligt.
- Piet Hein

(He who sees in jest only jest, and only seriousness in the serious, he has understood both things pretty poorly.) (I wish I could find Piet's own translation, he surely did it better.)


To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.
-- Albert Einstein

Flying police spy camera

Flying police spy camera (and more). And here we thought it was just a dystopic science fiction idea. Ain't it lovely.

More videos.

Leviathud said...
The worry/scrutiny shouldnt be focused so much on the technology but rather on those who wield it.

Using words that are not emotionally inert (such as spy) colours the issue from the get-go. This is a device which allows law enforcement officers to observe a subject, be it a crime or suspect or location, from a distance. Just like binoculars. Why havent we protested the binoculars?

Pubic Relations

Pubic Relations, an inquiry into the whys and wherefores of hair removal. I'll look forward to seeing results, since I'm always asked why Domai models typically come shaved, and I don't know, except it seems "everybody does it".
Maybe you'd be interested in doing their survey.
(Oh, and it turns out it's a woman making the research, and she is quite beautiful.)

Update: it seems the survey turns into a full blown sex life survey in the middle, I don't know why.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Adobe price gouching

I am upset. I really feel Adobe is robbing their customers.
I've paid for Photoshop 3, 4, 5, 6, and seven. I've paid for Creative Suite One and Two, which include Photoshop 8 and nine.
And now they tell me that I'm not elligible for an upgrade to Photoshop 11 (CS4), because it's "a different product" than the Creative Suite, even though it includes Photoshop. I have to pay full price! Oh, it's on special offer, "only" five hundred and thirty pounds! (A thousand dollars!)
This is just f***ing disrespectful of loyal customers.

Update: I looked it over, and I could get the upgrade to the Suite for a hundred pounds less, and I might like to have the newest version of Illustrator at some points, so I decided to go with that.
I still think they are really exploiting their near-monopoly though.
At least I skipped CS3, so I avoided one "upgrade tax" payment.

Other comments: If you're hooked on confusion, try to figure out which of the myriad versions of the Creative Suite is right for you. They have to have special software on the site to help you choose!
Also, getting the box version (including shipping) was cheaper than buying the download. Very odd.

Sorry for all this bitterness, I just had to vent.

ISO settings

If you're serious about photography, I recommend experimenting with your ISO settings (the sensitivety setting) to see what you can get away with. The setting which is right in one situation may not be right in another.

If you're getting shutter speeds so low that all your pictures are shaken, it's worth it to set a high setting, even though you're getting slight noise.

And conversely, it's stupid to use a very high setting if you're walking around on a sunny day with a wideangle lens.

Of course it ties in with experimentation (and study) about what shutter speeds you can get away with, and how different aperture settings affect your image quality on what lenses (many lenses are less sharp on full opening).

The Nikon D90 has excellent performance at high ISO, so I've decided (so far) to have a standard setting of 800, and auto-correction up to 3200 (if the shutter speed falls under 1/30 sec). On models older than the D90 I'd recommend 400 and 1600 instead.

I may set it lower than 800 if I need short depth of field in good light, or if peak sharpness is essential.

Ain't Misbehavin'

Both the songs and Waller's piano are just unsurpassed. Wonderful stuff.
(Too bad I couldn't find the studio version on utube, since that one has a great and long piano intro. Otherwise it sounds perfectly like this one though, so I suspect the movie used it for playback.)

Sex on Dubai beach

"Britons jailed, fined for sex on Dubai beach", article. When cultures clash.

Side note: as if the grammar of paper news publications was not bad enough, news outlets even insist on export the attrocious practices to online publications, even though space is not an issue there. Replacing "and" with a comma reduces redability, makes no sense, and saves only three characters.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joris van Daele

One of my earliest Net friends, Joris van Daele, has a book out.

Pat Boone

Somebody once told me I sang like Pat Boone, and of course I took that as a compliment, but I was never really familiar with his work. So when I heard Lisa Simpson say about Ned Flanders' home that it is like their own, but everything has a "creepy Pat Boon-ish quality to it", naturally I had to look him up. Bless YouTube.

I can see what she means. Like myself he's an excellent singer and devilishly handsome, but a bit over-slick and over-wholesome. For instance he is singing "you broke my heart" and "you're to blame" with a huge, happy smile.
(I don't really find him "creepy", but the joke works.)

Firefox download issue

For the past few months, both Firefox and Mozilla have refused to download anything. I get this message.
I can't get them to save anywhere else, and it does not help to change permissions for the desktop.
Any ideas?

Damien wrote:
From various internet boards, I gathered this much :

• When starting a download, Firefox first creates a temporary file in a default internet download location, then moves it to the user-specified download folder.

• Apparently, that "default download location" is some obscure system-wide setting which, in your case, still points to the desktop of your deleted account.

• This setting may reportedly be changed by editing some .plist files, or... through the old Internet Explorer's preferences panel.

That did it! Incredible! There was actually this system wide default d/l location, and it is no longer accessible, since there's no longer an "internet" control panel. But the ancient IE has direct access to it...
And it works now!
What a story.

D90 test

I finally got my Nikon D90, been delayed for three weeks.
The camera feels good, and image quality seems really nice, both from the camera and the 18-105 VR zoom lens. Below is a test shot from the middle of the zoom range. (Of course sunshine pictures tend to look sharp.) And here is a zip file (9MB) of the full, un-edited files from short, middle, and long range, straight from the camera.

At 3200 ISO it has grain, but it's finer grain and more pleasant than what my Canon 5D has at 1600 ISO, and until now that camera has been king. (Amongst those I owned.) And the 5D is a full-frame camera, meaning the D90 uses smaller and cheaper lenses.


The Lyrebird, nature's mimic. It even copies sounds of cameras and car alarms.

Topcon Super-D

I just got this camera this morning. Isn't it just beautiful in its own square and heavy way? I just love it.

The Topcon pro camera line was an underdog, but I think they were good cameras, and this one seems like it. Despite it being an almost 40 year old model, the mechanics feel great, and the finder is huge and bright. A big difference from my other cameras of the same age.

"The Topcon Super represented quite an advance when it was introduced. Meters coupled to the shutter speed dial were nothing new. Meters cross coupled to the shutter and aperture already existed on the Contarex, Miranda Automex and Nikon F. Topcon's big advance was combining all of this in the camera body and reading light through the lens. Again, I'll remind you that Topcon did this in 1963. Most other Japanese manufacturers didn't get TTL metering on the market until 1965-66 and for most of them it was a slower "stop down" style system.
These features were combined in a rather impressive body, too. The camera has the look and feel of having been milled from a block of brass, then chrome plated. Indeed, the quality and quantity of the plating would make a '58 Buick envious! The Super is eminently adaptable, too. The viewfinder is interchangeable, a motor can be added to the bottom and a bulk film back can be attached.
The Super was a legitimate rival to the Nikon F in capability and superior in some features."
- article

How about that: in 2003, Voigtlander made a "tribute camera" to the Topcon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adobe upgrades

Am I the only one who often has problems when upgrading an Adobe Application?
It's just never simple. Right now it's Photoshop CS4 which just won't accept the serial numbers for either Creative Suite one or two.
The installer only has options for earlier versions of Photoshop, not the full Creative Suite (which I've given up buying since I don't use the other apps anymore). But if having those don't qualify me for an upgrade, I'll go ballistic. I've used a @£!$+*&$!! fortune on Adobe software over the years.


Though I have praised the Nikon superzoom, it is undeniable that it's not quite as sharp as shorter zooms. In the corners at big apertures and at the long end, it's not quite fit for the most critical work.

I was wondering whether Canon had made a much better one with their own version which has just arrived, seeing as they sound very proud of it indeed. But it seems the trees don't grow into the heavens, as we say in Denmark.


Does anybody have experience with eMusic? User experience quality etc?

Dusk photos

Funny enough I had to turn exposure compensation two steps up in the moon picture. I could understand it if I was using centre-weighted metering, but matrix metering is supposed to compensate for bright light sources. I suspect though that the lamp was just big enough and central enough that the camera's software and database suggested it was the central subject rather than a light source.

On request: one wide version added:
(... I wanted to put in on Flickr, but flickr seems to downscale it to max 1224px wide. And yet I've seen bigger there, what's up?)
From today.
Again, do click for full sized version, the textures are great.

I hope my neighbors don't think I'm mental, walking around in the dusk pointing my camera at the ground...

Below, a funny picture. It sort of looks like the ground since the flash flattens things out, but it's actually a bush, and not a big one.
Does anybody like it, or do you find it too messy?

Apple and the experience

Like I expected, the Apple laptop "keynote" (read "press event") is now viewable on

Update: comments on the event: Apparently the MacBook is the best selling Macintosh ever. Pretty cool. And this is a major update for it. (They are keeping the plastic model too, at a lower price.) I think the choice between the MacBook and the Pro is now pretty hard.
Update: this article makes it easier.
"The Energy Saver icon used to be an incandescent light bulb; Apple has replaced it with a compact fluorescent as a part of its quest to reduce the energy consumption of its icons."

Also if I were one of the many people who use a portable for all their computing and taking it back and forth to work, I'd get the new display for it. Built-in charger, built-in USB 2 hub, built in camera, microphone, and speakers. Dang kewl.

I commented recently how amazing it is that streaming video has gone in a handful of years from an unreliable thumbnail-sized window, to TV-quality. And now I find that I can watch streaming video from Apple... in full HD! Holy mama.
The only weakness, I think, is that if you pause the stream for more than a minute, when you restart it, it takes several seconds to reconnect and start playing. Why doesn't QuickTime just buffer a minute or two so it can start playing immediately?

I used to be highly involved with Macintosh/Apple culture, writing about and checking the news every day, and evangelizing about it. Now not so much. I'm not sure why, it could be 1: personality change for me. 2: the fact that Apple is flying so high that my helps seems superflous. 3: After all these years, I finally have my perfect computer. My Mac Pro is fast enough that I never have to think about it, and also it is quiet, which was certainly not the case up to and including the PowerMac G5. For years, the noise bothered me so much that I used a laptop or iMac for surfing and email, and a PowerMac for image processing and design. Now I can use a single machine for everything.

Also I've lost a lot of the "us versus them" think I used to have, so I don't really give a hoot anymore if anybody uses Mac or Windows or Linux or whatever.
In other words I've not been following developments really, so I'm surprised to hear in this video that Apple, which last time I heard had 5% market share at a generous estimate, now is up to 17%, and a revenue share of 31%! That is an astonishing change. I remember Jobs saying, back when they started the "switcher" campaign a few years ago, "what's a couple of percentage points between friends". Well, it has become more than just a couple.

I remember back in 1995 when I bought my first Mac, a friend drove me out to collect it, and he said he did not think Apple would survive, because they had a too small market share, ignoring the fact that if a brand had to have a majority market share to survive, the world economy could not function.

The fact that I get a little pleasure from being right makes me realize that I still have a little bit of "us versus them" mentality left. Durnit. :-)
But more importantly I want Apple to succeed and survive because I believe they care more about quality and the customer's experience than, say, Microsoft, and so they have a positive influence on the whole market.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Morality and resources

Here's an interesting argument from the Dilbert TV show:
"As long as there are starving people in the world, you can't have money in the bank and still claim to be moral." And: "... until you give it all away, you're not more moral, you just feel less guilty."

It's said by a character in a story, but it seems that the author believes it, and I've heard it said before (by Dave Sim). And I think many people believe it, and many of us partly believe it or suspect it.

But it's absurd. After you've given it all away, shouldn't you be working more hours, so you can save more poor people? And then wouldn't it be a sin to buy a pair of good shoes instead of the cheapest ones you can find? Or go barefoot actually? If you live in a home bigger than twice your bed, aren't you taking food out of poor people's mouths?

And of course it negates personal responsibility. If I stop working, soon I'll be poor, and then apparently it will be your duty to feed me.

Not to mention it's a completely mechanistic viewpoint of the world and resources. It is the idea that resources, represented by "money", is a finite quantity, and anything you use is taken from somebody else. It simply does not work like that, not even on a practical level and certainly not on a metaphysical level.

I'm not saying you shouldn't give. (Just an hour ago I gave $111 to Chicago Public Radio.) I'm just saying you can't judge others by what they give, it's a personal choice. And to claim that the only moral viewpoint is somebody who gives everything, is ridiculous. Just for one thing, it leaves not a single person I know.

I invite more arguments, on either side.

Through The Lens said:

According to an age-old adage, anything you give comes back to you multiplied. If true, then giving must be the most efficient method of wealth creation there is. Regardless of how you define wealth.

In 1985, Roedy Green donated his fully paid for 4-bedroom house and everything else he owned to help out with the Ethiopian famine. Today he seems to be doing well (he even survived AIDS), so maybe it works. But I'm sure there are counter examples, too.

The Dilbert moral code "As long as there are starving people in the world, you can't have money in the bank and still claim to be moral." plays on the Christian idea of morals which I certainly don't subscribe to. (Roedy Green, by the way, is an atheist.)

On the other hand, giving (or more generally, action) is the way we affect (move things in) our environment, whether it be the giving of energy, mass or finances. The more we give (act), the richer our life experience becomes.

I wouldn't give away resources I need for myself. But then if I am perfectly honest with myself, I don't need much at all. The question then becomes, are the resources I hold but don't need right now a liability? Would it be beneficial for me to get rid of them as soon as possible, recognizing that they are contributing to immobility and thickness of energy at the moment, and also trusting that should I ever need them I can easily acquire them again at that moment?

Tim Ferriss coined the term "The New Rich", replacing the old definition of wealth (money) with time + mobility. Mobility contributes to more meaningful encounters with people. Mobility is also lightness. And lightness contributes to spirituality.

To summarise: rather than looking at giving as a moral obligation, I recommend looking at it as a way to enrich one's experience. And indeed, giving seems to be the direct way to get the most out of life.

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.

I think that Ferriss' definition is better than "money". For sure, having a Billion bucks don't do you much good if you have no time and can't move.

I also think "wealth" is different for each of us. For me, time and mobility are very important, and I'm blessed with much of both. I work just a couple hours a day, and can do that from anywhere in the world with Net access. But also increasingly a "connection with Source" is my top priority. However, that gets very metaphysical, so...

This American Life radio show on money

This American Life on Chicago Public Radio has two episodes online about trying to understand the credit crisis.
This one and this one. (Click "full episode" on the left.)
One of the official loan products is (surely that's "was") a "NINA" loan. It means "no income no assets". And this title did not set off any alarm bells?

I've only heard some of the first one yet, but it came warmly recommended, and so far it does seem highly interesting. Big concepts and clear concepts.
Update: brilliant stuff, do listen in. They interview a guy who worked in this mortgage debt chain, and he made around $70,000. Per month!


House prices will drop 40% by 2010, says report.
"The average price of a house in the UK will not climb back to its 2007 peak until 2023, a leading academic said today."
... OK, I'm sorry, but I have to say this in public at least once: Told Ya So!
I've been saying since around 2003 that a housing crash was coming. It was delayed due to the new high-risk lending, and it has become much worse because of that. But even without any knowledge of technical matters, it was just obvious to me that house prices can't continue to climb ten percent year over year indefinitely.
And if you look at the long-trend graph, the last crash had prices falling for six years before they started to recover. So I'm not planning any house purchases until 2012 at the earliest.

"Clare said his survey was "very bad news" for anyone who bought a house in the UK last summer and predicted that negative equity would become a big feature of "our economic landscape for years to come".
However, Clare thinks this correction will make UK properties affordable again."

By the way, the same article says that UK inflation is expected to fall now, maybe even become deflation. Which is good news to me, but unexpected. Does anybody know why this would be so?

For all those who forgot that house prices had fallen before, be reminded by this Spitting Image spoof song (from the early nineties?).

New MacBooks

Apple has released new MacBooks (there's a new MacBook Pro also) and a new external display made for use with a laptop. (So far I'm not sure what the raison d'etre is.)
Possibly tomorrow there'll be a video of the press conference.

... Beware, if you watch the intro/promotional video in HD, it's full of close-up interviews with middle-aged men, don't sit too close to your monitor. (This trend in recent years of filming interviews in super close-up is not a good idea. Almost nobody looks that good.)

Bjørk and Freud

Both Bjørk and Charlie found much humor in Bjørk's use of the term "anal" for being overly meticulous. It's reasonably common slang.

The term, I'm sure some are not aware, is short for "anal-retentive". See below.
... Man, Freud was messed up!

Wikipedia: anal retentive
The term anal-retentive (or anally retentive, anal retentive) derives from Freudian Psychology, although in common usage the original meaning has been altered. This term is an extension of anal, and can be used interchangeably.

Common usage
Conversationally, the term is often used to describe a person deemed to be overly obsessed with minor details. Its roots are said to be from Sigmund Freud.

The term is often used in a derogatory sense to describe a person with such attention to detail that the obsession becomes an annoyance to others, and can be carried out to the detriment of the so-called anal-retentive person.

In the psychology of Freud, the anal stage is said to follow the oral stage of infant/early-childhood development. This is a time when an infant's attention moves from oral stimulation to anal stimulation (including the bowels and bladder), usually synchronous with learning to control their excretory functions, a time of toilet training. Freud theorized that children who experience conflicts during this period of time may develop "anal" personality traits, namely those associated with a child's efforts at excretory control: orderliness, stubbornness, a compulsion for control.[1] Those whose anal characteristics continue into later life are said to be "anal retentive", or conversely, those who reject anal characteristics are said to have "anal expulsive" personality types. Some believe this to be a mild expression of obsessive-compulsive disorder or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

Although Freud's theories on early childhood have been influential to the psychological community, research suggests that the overall pattern of parental attitudes has a much more concrete effect on how an infant will grow up. There is no conclusive research linking anal stage conflicts with anal personality types.

Drawing Dilbert

Scott Adams has made a post and a video about how he draws Dilbert on a tablet screen.
I liked how he uses Photoshop. Many years ago I found out how it's much easier to make smooth lines using Illustrator, so I've stuck to that. But there are advantages to Photoshop too, so I think I'll fool around with that.

I had tip for him, I hope he can use it. I wrote to him:

You wrote: "Before I add the color, I convert from grayscale to bitmap then back to grayscale and up to CMYK. The detour to bitmap makes the color fills cleaner, going all the way to the black lines without leaving a little border."
You can skip the detour if you set the Tolerance of the paint bucket tool to a higher number. 99 seems to work for me.

Unusual Real Political Parties

Unusual Real Political Parties

[I didn't write this one. I think they are real because I know the Danish one was real.]

Bored of the same old two-party system? Check out these actual political parties that exist or existed.

THE RHINOCEROS PARTY - This Canadian Party existed with a very unusual platform. It included: repealing the law of gravity, paving the province of Manitoba to create the world's largest parking lot, providing higher education by building taller schools, instituting English, French and illiteracy as Canada's three official languages, making bubble gum the national currency, putting the national debt on Visa, counting the Thousand Islands to make sure none were missing, and banning lousy Canadian winters.

BEER LOVERS PARTY - This post-Soviet assembly was founded in 1993 in the state of Belarus. Among its major goals was the push for the cleanness and quality of the national brew. Its logo was a cartoon of a drunken hedgehog. The party was liquidated in 1998.

THE ABSOLUTELY ABSURD PARTY is another Canadian joke party which advocates the following: Lowering the voting age to 14 (Because, after all, when was the last time a 14-year-old started a war?), changing the rules in federal elections so that the candidate in last place becomes the elected official, raffling off Senate seats as a fundraising mechanism, and replacing the Department of Defense with a crack elite squad of Rock/Paper/Scissors commandos.

THE UNION OF CONSCIENTIOUSLY WORK-SHY ELEMENTS was an unusually successful frivolous political party founded by comedian Jacob Haugaard in Denmark in 1979. Haugaard eventually won a seat in the Danish Parliament by making the following campaign promises: Tail winds on all bicycle paths, better weather, better Christmas presents, more pieces of Renaissance furniture in Ikea, Nutella in Army field rations, more bread for ducks in the park, and free beer and sausages, funded by his state party funding, served to his voters in the public park in Aarhus after each election. (The last three were actually fulfilled during his term in office.)

THE HUNGARIAN DOUBLE-TAILED DOG PARTY is a joke political party that was founded in 2004. All of the candidates are named Istvan Nagy, two very common first and last names in Hungary. While not an officially registered party, it nevertheless made the following promises in the 2006 elections: Eternal life, world peace, one-day work weeks, two sunsets a day, smaller gravitation, free beer and low taxes.

THE MCGILLICUDDY SERIOUS PARTY is a joke party in New Zealand that promotes the following: Replacing the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps with mounted knights, replacing money with chocolate fish as legal tender, using beer as a national defense strategy by leaving many bottles on all beaches so any invading army would abandon its attack and get drunk instead, restricting the vote to only those under 18 (with actual campaign ads run during children's programming), votes for trees (as New Zealanders have a reputation as environmentalists), air bags for the New Zealand Stock Exchange (in case of a crash), good weather (but only if the voters behave), job creation by carpeting the nations highways, and the sending-out of intelligence agents around the world to wipe New Zealand off published maps so no one could invade the country.

THE DONALD DUCK PARTY is a Swedish joke political party that received write-in votes before it even existed. Capitalizing on its popularity, one man, Bosse Person, registered it. He is its only member. In 1991, the party received 1,535 write in votes by promoting a platform which advocated free liquor and wider sidewalks.

THE HAPPENING HAPPY HIPPY PARTY was a spoof political party that was really more a Web site and "e-zine" that ran in the late '90's and early '00's. It promoted easing the burden on Britain's National Health Service by making accidents illegal and improving Britain's climate by towing the island 200 miles south.

THE MARIJUANA PARTY actually exists and is a current US political party that runs candidates who - you guessed it - work tirelessly toward the legalization of marijuana!

THE YOUTH INTERNATIONAL PARTY was a highly theatrical and anti-authoritarian political party that existed in the US in the 60's. Its members were called "Yippies." Better known for street theatre and politically themed pranks that mocked the status quo (such as running a pig as its candidate in the 1968 Election and throwing money out to the crowd at the New York Stock Exchange), this socialist countercultural organization was amusingly dubbed the "Groucho Marxists."


Well, it seems Apple will release new laptops tomorrow. But what really struck me today was that I walked past the local Currys (low end electronics and home appliances store), and they are selling a Packard Bell laptop for three hundred pounds sterling! Three hundreed! (about $500 or €400) Including wifi and everything. Holy mama, I never thought I'd see a laptop at such a price, how does anybody make a profit.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Harry Browne

"According to Harry Browne, not one person in a thousand really understands what money is. A proper grasp of it will give you the key that unlocks the many puzzles of national economic events. Without that understanding, it's impossible to think for oneself; instead, you're forced to rely upon the superficial conclusions of people with conflicting opinions and credentials."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Relationships and interests and Isabella Rossellini

It seems to me that many women (most?) expects that she, and the relationship, must be the most important thing in their man's life. This always seemed wrong to me.

So it's refreshing to hear Isabella Rossellini says in this interview (last half of the video) that if her man pays too much attention to her, she thinks, "what's wrong with you, don't you have something to do, something important to think about?"

And she lives it too, in fact she only talked about it because the interviewer brought up that it seemed to him that her husbands had always been men for whom she came second in their life.

Update: it just seems to me that considering a single person to be more important than the whole world put together is highly irrational. 

Getting close enough

One of my correspondents send me a page of her photos. She has a Nikon D80 and no training. And the pictures are better than I expected. I like them. (She is a bit shy, but she'd like comments.)

And here's one reason: unlike 99% of amateur pictures, she gets close enough. Or to be more precise: she knows to crop out all the irrelevant sorroundings. Most snapshots in the world have the main motif floating in a sea of messy, uh, mess.

My theory is that most people, not used to thinking about pictures, don't see the frame of the viewfinder. They just see the subject and don't notice the distance to the edge. And much less think about how thing are arranged in the picture.

Garden closeups

Just had a chat with the neighbors in the garden (it's a stunningly lovely day this Sunday) and took these.
Some of these, like the table and the leaves, are better in full size, for the texture and tones.

By the way, does anybody know: on most sites (like my an image will scale to fit the window in modern browsers. But for some reason on this site they don't, neither in Windows of Mac... ?

I was asked: "Do you have a green room? ... red room?... darkroom?"
I said I used to, but these days the computer and printer has all the advantages.

... Funny, the last picture (many leaves) I added later as an afterthough, but I think it is actually one of the best. I have it sitting on my screen desktop now. I like the interplay between the various sizes of leaves, and different colors.