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A Little Clear Sky Do Make a Difference

Jan 14, 2019

Yes, definitely a little clear sky “do" make a difference. I’ve been playing with this iPhone series since early August, and in that time it seems that it has always been raining, just got through raining or was building up to rain again. Looking back on my exposures for these – working to keep ISO down because of the size of the sensor – they are all 1/15 to 1/30 or a second. For this shot – clear sky with sun, 35 degrees and very windy – it came up a steady 1/125 of second. At the same time I found I had better control over focusing and exposure – I use the Camera+ 2 app / shifting position to auto expose and then lock followed by the same procedure with focus. Sort of brings home how wet and dingy a year we have just left behind. Here’s hoping for a little, a lot, less real.

The shot above is Kelley Dilworth. I liked this exposure because the expression comes close to matching that in the painting. Pam’s hands are slightly blurred as she appears to wipe off a brush, as she contemplates her canvas. I caught this one a little further along than most – looking, in B&W, like something of an almost finished charcoal sketch. It could be interesting photograph the final products, the finished paintings, and work them into B&W fine prints – could make for a fascinating series of same-size interpretations. Just a thought.


The Tangled Tree, A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen

I got this book for Christmas – another in a recent series of science tomes that stands out and a great way to start off the year. A Tangled Tree traces the history of our understanding of evolution from it's beginnings more than a half a century before Darwin to the present, in an uncommonly readable style especially for the subject matter. I've done a lot of reading on the subject in the past, but this one, along with introducing some of the latest findings, fills in some gaps. One emerges with a much better understanding of both where we came from, but how we are figuring it all out. "Radical"? Pretty much. "New"? Only to some who have not been following recent developments. But definitely a phenomenal summary and a fascinating update. Natural Selection is just part of a much more complex picture – fascinating stuff. Another on my list of books that every High School and College student should be encouraged to read, regardless of their academic interests. And it helps that the author is able to avoid putting one to sleep in the telling – I love his little trick of keeping chapters short enough, a full eighty four of them, to assist the reader in absorbing the information. Read a chapter, let it perk, etc. In the end, possibly mind blowing to some, one is forced to wonder just who and what we are – good science always creates more questions than answers. My first must-read book for 2019.