Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Old School!

...or "Cheap Bastard".

You tell me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


It took the death of my old camera to get me to join the world of digital photography. In case you haven't noticed, 9 out of 10 digital cameras suck a horribly sucky kind of suck. Or maybe I'm really picky, but here's the list of requirements I believe every digital camera should have before it even makes it to market:

When you press the shutter button, the camera takes the picture.

There. I know (based on the fact that so few cameras do this) that I'm being really picky here and I should pare my list down to a shorter one containing, say, no requirements, but I'm just not there yet. Often, what I like to do when picturetaking is to look for a moment when something is happening. When I see one, I push the button in an attempt to capture said moment. If the camera then decides that it will snap the shutter a second or so after I press, there's a good chance that moment will pass. It may result in a picture like this:


This is why I still liked my old film SLR. Even though it was less convenient because of the expense of film and developing, it at least took pictures when I wanted it to.

Well, until it broke. The shutter started sticking at random times and a lot of my pictures came out with the top half completely black. That wasn't really working for me. So at $110 to repair, I didn't really jump right on that. Actually, I kind of just forgot about it.

Two years later, it occurs to me that I don't have a camera. Time to look at those digital jobbers agin'. Turns out that if you spend enough money, they have one that takes the picture when you ask it to. You don't even have to ask nicely. That works out well because nice has never really been my strong point.

Ultimately, I wasn't going to buy no newfangled damned digital camera unless it was going to be an upgrade. So I made sure to make this whole thing worth the while. So what makes this one an upgrade?

Bokeh. Narrow depth-of-field. I can now focus on a subject in the foreground and have the background be way out of focus, which means I can take pictures of samiches.

Yum. I've never had a lens that could do that very well, and this lens almost does it too well. It can focus so selectively, the subject's nose can be in focus, but the eyes aren't.

Or here, in the case of Right vs. Left eye...

But let's just say I'm circling it. Sooner or later, it'll all come together - hopefully all in the same shot. In the meantime, this blournal is going to fill with lots of amateurish pictures with questionable composition and focus.

Did you pay very close attention there? See, now it's pictures that have the questionable composition and focus.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Nature's Way

This AM I received an e-mail from Dad. The subject heading was "Today's Death Toll"and it read as follows:

1 small iguana at about 12 PM
1 medium (4 ft long) Florida moccasin (cottonmouth) at about 3 PM.
Absolutely classic pit viper arrow shaped head, blackish gray color with
somewhat lighter, wide vertical gray stripes.
Dispatched with Winchester Air rifle, 800 FPS with 1 stroke, full wooden stoke, heavy...over 6 pounds, .177 cal pellet or BB. I don't use BBs.

Alright then. Dad extinguished a snake, and perhaps an errant iguana. Last I heard of this was a few years back when he discovered a coral snake in his backyard. Attractive design on those coral snakes. They're really timid, too. Yeah, they are the most venomous in North America, but like most snakes, they just want to go hide. No big deal. Snakes aren't usually much to get worked up about. Just don't step on one.

Wasn't exactly sure where Dad was coming from with the whole iguana genocide, but he later informs with this:

The iguanas are real pests. They are not native to Florida, not a protected species either. They have no natural enemies (well, except alligators and crocs) eat flowers, shrubs and SHIT on decks and docks (MY dock) with gay abandon! They need to be eradicated...I'm
happy to oblige.

Man, I had no idea they were gay. Really makes sense though. Those tails. Come on.

Then at about 5PM today, this comes via e-mail:
(And pictures, to boot:)

Got another cottonmouth in same location, only this time used the .22 pistol with rat shot. Also got 2 large iguanas.

Look - I don't mind snakes, but from what I've seen, read, and tried to understand about these cottonmouths, they are really aggressive and quite venomous, and most of them frankly are just complete assholes. Just real attitude problems. They have very strong jaws which gives them a tendency to bite and not let go. Little fuckers. That's just rude. Their venom is quite effective and... Christsakes - you've got freakin' venom already, just bite, inject, and let the fuck GO. That holding on is just bullshit. Jesus, what assholes. Snake fuckers.