A Little Canal

The Mumford is one of the major tributaries of the Blackstone. It, as well as the Blackstone, run right through the middle of Uxbridge. Can you spell flooding? Between the main Mumford and the old Bernat Mill runs a tiny canal. It has its own locks, even though it is no more than a dozen feet wide along most of its length.


To try Windows 8.1 or not … THAT is the question!

I got an email from Microsoft asking me if I would like to try the new Windows 8.1. It came out in Beta today. I am not, as you probably know if you’ve been following me for a while, thrilled about Windows 8. I like Windows 7 and can’t see a single reason why Microsoft can’t support both a standard interface operating system — Windows 7 — plus their new tablet operating system, Windows 8. They have supported more than one operating system before and are doing it now. Why not let us — their customers — have an operating system with which we are comfortable and familiar? Why force us to relearn everything when we don’t (a) want to, and/or (b) don’t need to.


I work on my computer. I process photographs. I blog. I edit. I write. I design. I don’t see what I have to gain from Windows 8. It seems to be aimed at stuff in which I have no interest.

But here’s the dilemma. I’m not the kind of reviewer who writes about products she hasn’t used. I wouldn’t put Windows 8.1 on any of the three computers on which I depend, but I have an entirely functional, if emaciated 10-inch Dell notebook. It doesn’t have much horsepower. But, it has a full Windows 7 operating system and it works. There’s nothing wrong with it except it was never powerful enough to do anything except light surfing and email.

Maybe I could install Windows 8.1 and use it for testing? It has a 1.7 GH board, just 1 GB of RAM, but a 320 GB hard drive, so it is a real, if slow, computer. I don’t use it any more so it’s just sitting in a bag getting old. What do you think? Should I give it a trial and see if there’s anything in Windows 8.1 I might like?

It’s about the light

Sometimes I get so involved in the technical stuff of photography I forget the impact that small technical changes have on what the picture says.

Yesterday I posted the second of a series of pictures of my kitchen. The pictures were taken only a few seconds apart. The difference between them is the light.

The first picture (below) isn’t about the kitchen. It’s about the window. What’s going on outside. It’s about the trees. Flowers. Everyone who commented on it mentioned how nice it was to have a window so you could look out while you work.


To capture the image, I took the light reading directly on the window, which darkened the foreground and made the window and trees outside the important features of the shot.

Morning AgainThe second picture (above) is about the kitchen. The window is just a solid, bright light, as if there is nothing outside but light. The picture is about interior — not exterior — space. Comments reflected this, talking about the kitchen, its old-fashioned coziness. No one even mentioned the window.

For this shot, I took my reading on the dark wood cabinets. It made the kitchen bright and eliminated all detail through the window.

I use spot metering almost exclusively. It gives me control of my metering. I get dependable results. I know exactly what I’m reading. No guessing. With “center-weighted” I’m never sure how much is weighted to the center, or where the camera’s light meter is taking its reading.

I use prime lenses rather than telephotos for similar reason. I like the consistent depth of field and aperture from primes. There’s a trade-off, of course. Primes aren’t versatile. When I’m in a rapidly changing environment, a telephoto is better.

Choosing to read the window instead of the cabinets gave me two pictures that tell different stories.

As usual, it’s about the light.

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That’s why they call it a trunk!

75-ItsATrunkNK-2This is the only photograph I have ever published that I took on my cell phone. It was taken on my old Blackberry — my beloved, long gone, and oh how much I miss it, Blackberry. It’s one of no more than half a dozen pictures I’ve ever taken on a cell phone!

These days, I carry a camera everywhere I go, so if I were to encounter this car tomorrow, I could grab the shot on my Canon point and shoot. I’m not sure it would have come out different, but maybe. Maybe not. Given the location — the grocery store parking lot — I’m not sure what else I could have done with the picture. What do you think?