Skip to main content

mastering mediocrity

industrial tourism
There are two kinds of photographers; those who label themselves as enthusiasts, and everybody else. The everybody else category includes pros and amateurs and snap shooters who don't care about the endless minutiae that enthrall the true enthusiast and drive them to pontificate endlessly on multiple fora around the Internets.

Photography enthusiasts will spend nearly endless sums on expensive gear of every strip because they can, in pursuit of ever diminishing returns. Everybody else spends only what is really necessary to get the job done. If it happened to cost a lot at the time, then that's what it costs.

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of those two categories. I'd probably be an enthusiast if my wallet could stand it, but I'm constrained by budgetary realities. I tend to feed the enthusiast beast within by picking up the odd little piece of gear when it's been marked down; my inner enthusiast doesn't care, or at least that's what it tells itself.

Another reason I tend to switch into don't-care mode is you really do reach a point where you have so much stuff you can't use it all. I now have a Kata DR 467 backpack with four (and sometimes five) mirrorless cameras in them, each with a different lens on the body. I've found some space to hold those lenses not mounted, as well as chargers and cables and spare batteries and SDHC cards. Big enough to hold everything, yet small enough and light enough to grab by its top handle and put in the back of the Prius or on my back. If I really intend to travel there's a slot on one side where I can slide a Macbook into it, for post processing on the go. Note there is no flash or tripods. Just bodies and lenses. This is an available light only kit.

With all that firepower I have slowly come to the realization I'm well situated to document the boundless mediocrity I live in and drive through every day. I'll never be recognized as a Photographic Mover and Shaker, so I might as well do what I do best, photograph mediocrity in my best mediocre style.

And to that end I've picked up a few extra extensions for Lightroom 4.x. I picked up the complete Nik Collection on Monday when Google had marked it down another 15%. I may even pick up the VSCO kit for a completely different look. Right now I'm in something of a film noir mood, and Nik's Color Efex Pro 4 is helping to aid and abet that streak.

I'm also tired of Orlando and its environs. It's full of kitschy shit and places where new business is plowing over the wetlands and other green spaces. So I'm going to document and interpret all this crap and throw it out there. You have been warned.
zoned out in traffic
grounded pirate boat
pirate cannons
pirate figurehead
pirate quarterdeck


Olympus E-M5, Panasonic 1.7/20mm, everything manual. Post in Lightroom 4.4 and Nik Color Efex Pro 4.


  1. Your second paragraph is spot on, Bill. Good Stuff!


Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…