Downtown Austin, Texas

I took this, driving through Austin this last Saturday.  Actually I should say I took these because this is a composite image.  

(click to embiggen)

Nikon D7000 ISO 400eq. f/8 1/250sec, Nikon 50mm 1.8


Missed it By That Much!

I got exactly one chance at this guy.  He was out working hard and I was just getting off work.  The manual focus/eyeball combination was disagreeing with Nikon’s autofocus indicators in the viewfinder.  I went with my eye and it came out okay.  I chimped the exposure and looked up, and he was off to the next flower.  One shot.

DSC_5844Nikon D7000 aperture priority automatic 1/800 ISO800, Canon FD 100mm “approximately” f/4

I missed focus to the near side, by a couple of millimeters from a meter-ish away.  I love this lens.


Some Guys Just Know How To Sap The Life Out Of You

As I suppose is fitting for the blog of an archeology enthusiast, I have *very* slowly been reading through the archives of Detritus of Empire.  Here I was, with some movie marathon being ignored on the Idiot Box and Darling Wife scrolling down through Facebook posts, reading about this guy’s European vacation, when he knocked my props out.

That right there is a place to make me cry.

DW was LOLing at a picture of a dog in a bathtub while I was over here ordering my tears not to flow.  Those are part of the defunct works of either German or French soldiers long dead by now.  Dead, in fact, since 1916.  Notice how the row of construction sort of stops near the middle of the screen?  That was probably collapsed by one of sixty MILLIONS of artillery shells that fell on this ground.  An average of 150 per square meter.  A half million-ish men injured, a quarter-million-ish dead.  Right here in this grassy, flowered clearing in a forest, men were blown to smithereens once upon a time.

I know where it comes from, but I have a special dislike of death in general.  But when it comes to the deaths of men-at-arms, there is a special kind of hurt I get inside.  I would like to go to Verdun.  But I would not like to have any company.  I think I might need some extra water bottles, too.  Cry enough, and you’ll get dehydrated.

History Is What Happens Around You

The Enlightened Warriors project has been staging amateur MMA fights in Central Texas, making history as they go.  Recently they were the first to use Ring Boys during their fights.  This Friday, they were the first to have an all-female panel of fight judges.*

Enlightened Warriors project makes history . . . again
History looks like . . . regular people?

I’ve been around a few history-making ‘firsts’ in my time and there is a common thread through all of them so far: the people involved were . . . just folks.  These three ladies didn’t make a big fuss.  Nael Chavez announced them, but only once.  And if you talk to them, they don’t have big heads, they’re just regular people.  Making history one day at a time.

You’re a regular people, too, aren’t you?  Can you make a difference for good in the world?

Will you?


*Okay, to be precise – Combative Sports Ringside Officials, licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

In The Mist

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D7000 ISO 250 1/160 f/5 50mm 1.8D

This was much more impressive, and creepy, in person.  “Across the intersection” visibility is no way to drive around.  At least the picture came out. Then the sun as well.

It’s nice to live in these days. Not only do we have magic cameras to take pictures in the dark, we know that fog and mist are just extra-low bits of cloud and such, vs. a hideout for demons and wolves waiting to gobble us up!

. . . But I’m Proud of It

The photo: it’s nothing much, but I’m proud of it.  It took a couple of minutes adjusting the camera to get this one.  I consider this to be another example of the difference between Photographs and snapshots, and I am quite confident in saying you will *never* get a result like this from any sort of an automatic camera setting.

The lighting is pretty much true to the life.  The dots all over the frame are rain on the windshield of the car from which this picture was taken.  As I look at this a month or so after it was taken, it occurs to me this could easily have been shot somewhere in southeast Asia. Have a closer look at the bottom-right of the picture. Texas!

I like to think this is worth going to Photobucket and downloading the higher-resolution version. If you don’t, you will probably not understand why I like this image so much.

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D7000 ISO 1600 1/8 second Nikkor 50mm 1.8D f/22  The bokeh is characteristic of the lens, and it is not great but oh well.