Guest Contributor – TomD – The Whichness of What

That presumes the universe can be comprehended by us. I suspect that the ultimate reality is buried beneath increasingly bewildering layers far beyond our comprehension.

We made it past Newtonian physics to Einsteinian relativity and are still wandering around in Quantum. Who says it ends there. With the colliders, every time we think we are at the base of things, entirely new classes of “fundamental’ particles are found. They are now looking for the building blocks of quarks. We’ve made it to Planck scale and declared it to be the finish line. Yeah?

I remember the quote but not where it came from. A maybe fictional religion hypothesized that the world was on the back of a turtle. A priestess (I think) was questioned as to what the turtle was standing on. Her reply was something like, “I see where you’re going with this young man but it’s turtles all the way down.”

Now there is talk that we are 3 dimensional shadows on a 5 dimensional brane. (as in membrane, not brain). Or maybe the universe is an infinite computer running a program. Or maybe every point in spacetime exists simultaneously and forever like a slide in an infinite stack illuminated occasionally by consciousness.

I think that not only do we not have a clue but aren’t capable of having a clue. So shut up and have a beer.

Guest Contributor – TomD – Hand Gun Training

Got my first .22 when I was single digits old, was raised hunting, Marine Corps, and now life long competitive shooter with shotguns and rifles, so I know a little. I reload all my ammunition too.

I never start someone off with a full power pistol, trying to learn the basics of shooting while dealing with very loud muzzle blasts and recoil is a bit much. I always try to teach the basics with a .22 pistol before going to full power weapons.

The Browning below is one of my 22’s but it’s just 1 of a zillion perfectly good 22 pistols available. You learn to shoot, the ammo is cheap, not loud, just enough recoil to learn to expect it. If your first shot ever is from the 357 revolver below, you just may be intimidated enough to not really want to repeat the experience.



Guest Contributor – TomD – An Alternate Technique for Extended Focus

Here’s another way to extend your focus range without special gear or software: shoot the scene from a distance using a telephoto lens. And then crop in. This works best when using a camera with sufficient MP that you can have a usable resolution after the crop.

This was shot from around 8′ away at around 180 mm.[img][/img]

Guest Contributor – TomD – 21APR2019 – Photo

Here’s a shot with a long lens of a roller coaster scene at a county fair.


Cell phones do a pretty good job for some shots but there are a lot of situations that are just beyond them. The shot below for instance was taken in an over 200′ long tunnel with one incandescent bulb in the foreground and the distant entry daylight backlit, that’s usually an impossible lighting situation.

16MAR2019 – Guest Contributor – TomD – B25 at US Naval Air Museum with the Zeiss 16 – 35 f\4

Here’s one I took today using my Zeiss 16-35 f4. The subject is a B25 at the US Naval Air Museum onboard NAS Pensacola.

Supposedly, this 16-35 is outclassed by the Sony f2.8 version. Maybe so but after a number of shoots with this lens, it’s hard to understand how the advantage could be more than barely detectable much less sufficient to account for the $1000 difference in price. My Zeiss 16-35 F4 G lens is probably my best lens in sharpness and consistency of results. And I have a couple of multi-thousand dollar Sony G Master lenses to compare it to.

I think that if given the constraint of having to use a single lens, this lens would be it. Several years ago, my ideal lens would have been “taller”, probably centered on around 50mm. But since then, one of my acquaintances has shot a stunningly good body of work using a fixed 25mm Zeiss Batis lens. My next lens will be a prime (fixed) in that range.

Using a short focal length lens in a museum environment has one big disadvantage, short focal length lenses tend to have a large depth of field, i.e., everything tends to be in focus. Good photography dictates isolating the subject but museums are so dense that oftentimes the intended subject is just one of several in the photo view.