Guest Contributor – TomD – 31OCT2022 – Photo

Tom | Flickr




It’s now been very close to a year since we ditched our Sony A7III’s and procured Sony A7IV camera.

As a now pushing 2 decade user of Sony Cameras, starting with the A100 in 2005, I was used to each subsequent camera generation being a huge improvement over the preceding in at least several important aspects. That is until the A7III to A7IV jump. Other than the sensor resolution change from 24 to 33 megapixels, the rest of the differences seem that they were closer to a firmware update than a generational change. And, frankly, I’m not at all certain that my image quality has changed much at all over the last several generations.

I’m now hearing rumors of the Sony A7V but I’m pretty sure I won’t be an early adopter.

I think the Sony that I liked the most was the small APS-C Sony A-6300. It was so small that I could carry it anywhere and you would have had to study long and hard to tell the difference between than camera’s images and the images from it’s much larger brothers. It did give up a LOT in low light though.

In 45 years of semi-serious photography starting with a early 70’s Nikon F1, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions about the order of importance of the various elements to the system that, combined, make a good photograph:

1: The photographer (at least 80% right there)
2: Lens
3: Camera body
3: (tie) The rest of the equipment, filters, tripods, etc.

Though this is hard to admit for an engineer, I question the extent that technical merit even plays in a good photo. Below is a shot that I took 15 years ago standing at my Fathers grave at Arlington National the day after my mother’s body was added.

Happy Halloween 2022 – This’N’That

The last day of October is cool, bright and breezy.  Camera Girl is out and about returning a DVD player that I bought that didn’t work and as it turned out we didn’t need.  I’m supposed to be filling out an asset statement for a business I’m starting but it’s so boring I can’t keep my concentration on it for more than thirty seconds at a time.

We’ve got a bunch of Hersey’s chocolate bars and M&M candy bags ready in case the grandkids show up in their costumes.  Living out in the boondocks where there are no sidewalks means no actual trick or treaters ever show up at our Halloween bedecked door (ah well).

Camera Girl has been feasting me of late on a number of soup recipes that she’s been playing around with.  She made a minestrone with escarole added in.  She has a split pea and sausage soup and later on this week there should be a chicken and butternut squash soup on the stovetop.  These soups are splendiferous and are partially responsible for me not falling into despair over the pathetic condition of our fallen republic.  It’s almost as if these soups are an antidote to Joe Biden.

Tomorrow I have to report for duty on the election and I will be assigned the most important tasks; probably sharpening pencils and placing tape on the floor.  If nothing else it should be interesting to see just how fouled up elections are in Dunwich.

The hubbub over Musk taking over Twitter is interesting.  If nothing else it will make news blackouts less effective.  For instance, when Pelosi’s husband was “attacked” there were a lot of sources on Twitter commenting that the whole thing didn’t add up.  Even Musk hinted that maybe Pelosi’s attacker might not have broken into the house but been let in by someone there.  Before the sale Twitter might have made it a policy to delete any tweets that suggested this or even closed the accounts of those who tweeted it.  But now it’s out there for everyone to read and laugh about.  So when Joe Biden tries to tell us that somehow this is January 6th all over again the mockery overflows.

I was on my weekly zoom with the coffee walk guys and the idea of the San Francisco Militant Nudist as MAGA extremist was just too much.  They were laughing so hard they were practically crying.  The jokes about the exact nature of the hammer went on way too long.  The consensus was that Old Paul was in a dispute over Terms of Service.  He may have exceeded his milage limit or something and didn’t want to incur any extra charges.  Customer service is a dying art.

Then the conversation turned to the elections and I complained that the way things are looking I might not have an excuse to give up on the Republicans yet.  One of the guys pointed to a few pretty good candidates and told me to suck it up and hope for the best.  I have to admit there are some tiny rays of light out there.  Lake is a good example.  So I kind of grudgingly agreed.

This is going to be a busy next week and more.  But it could also be filled with interesting occurrences.  Who knows, Joe might even start a war.  But I think we’re all hardened to whatever outrages the Biden machine will commit.  So Joe, “send in the clowns.”

Holding Onto What’s Real

Imagine allowing yourself to be talked into letting your children be neutered.  How exactly does any parent do that?  I get angry just thinking about somebody else doing it.  Exactly how insane do you have to be and how exactly do you get there?

Obviously, it’s a long path that involves allowing your children to be proselytized by the culture and the institutions that we surround them with.  Teachers and administrators are the primary culprits.  But let’s not forget public television, social media outlets and Hollywood’s contributions.

It’s not my intent to try and convince anyone stupid or crazy enough to believe in these things otherwise.  What I think is better is making the practice of neutering children a felony.  I’d say it should be somewhere between murder and aggravated assault.  No, I take that back.  I’d make it a capitol offense.  It’s the most heinous crime imaginable.  It’s not only a crime against the victim, it’s also a crime against the ancestors of those children going back to the dawn of time.  And I would extend the criminality to anyone who even promulgates the idea of transgenderism to children.  For those people I’d recommend twenty lashes with the cat o’ nine tails for the first offense and then up the ante from there.  And I’m only being slightly facetious.  These people who advocate these things are a cancer.

Look, we can’t afford to lose any more of our humanity than we already have.  Men have been cajoled and browbeaten about being men.  We have to speak softly and mince words for fear that we’re mansplaining.  We’re not allowed to notice a woman wearing a plunging neckline or pants so tight they might actually be painted on.  Women have to pretend they’re men.  They are told that if they’re not as good at something as men are like sports or aren’t as interested in something like computer programming then it’s discrimination at work.  They’re lied to and told that they can wait until their forties and then have all the kids they want when the truth is they’ll be lucky to even have one.

Being a man or woman is one of the miracles of life.  And to have a chance to bond with a human being completely different from and complimentary to you is a remarkable experience.  And then to make that the basis for keeping life on this planet going is brilliant.  Anyone who has successfully raised a family knows that it is the most painful, frustrating and ultimately the most worthwhile thing you will ever accomplish.

If and when we have the presidency and the Congress back in Republican control, I think one of the highest priorities should be to make a national law to criminalize the neutering of children.  I don’t see any serious obstacle to getting it passed.  Except in the Northeast and the West Coast all the other states will have a majority of citizens who are horrified by the idea of these mutilations being committed against children.  And guaranteed if someone votes against it in one of those states, he will be tossed out in the next election cycle.

And I think this needs to be part of a larger effort to expand parents’ rights.  Schools need to be held accountable for infringing on parents’ rights to raise their kids their own way.  Sex education and “critical race theory” should never be forced onto children whose parents object.  Once again these are common sense laws that will be wildly popular in most places.

Part of the problem with the way we live is that experts have started telling us how to live.  Worse, they’re telling the people in charge how to make us live these ways.  It’s time we start making some decisions on our own.  We have to find new leaders.  Our lives are short and the things that make them worthwhile can’t be curtailed without rendering them meaningless.  We want to enjoy the simple things, like food, simple comfort and the joy of living in a family of a man and a woman raising their kids.  That’s what we want.