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Monday, January 19, 2004

I was starting to think that this whole redesign effort was a mistake. No orders had come in since the seemingly endless metamorphosis. I was thinking things like: hmmm, maybe the site actually looks too professional now. Or maybe the navigation has become more difficult. Maybe the galleries with thumbnails weren't a good idea. I'm sure that the journal readers have been totally bored with whatever I've been writing here.

And then, just like that, two very substantial orders arrived.

Then I started thinking: maybe this redesign did have some positive effects. Maybe the endless tweaking was worthwhile after all.

Maybe the redesign has no effect on sales whatsoever. It's weird, but this whole thing started with the idea of producing a catalogue with InDesign which led to getting new version of Photoshop, which led to new version of Dreamweaver, which led to the Blog software...

So much for sticking to a business plan.

Anyway, now I have lots to do in the darkroom which means that I'll get around to printing some new things as well. I basically almost never print anything new unless I'm forced into the darkroom by an order for something else.

7:41:55 PM    

Not that often anymore.  If I'm just going out to walk around (during the day) then the tripod stays home.  If I happen to be going somewhere by car, then I'll always toss the tripod in the backseat in case I need it.

If I know I'm going to be doing something with slow shutter speeds, such as night photography, or maybe something with the long lenses (which are slow) -- then I will absolutely bring the tripod, even if I'm just out to walk around.  In other words, don't see any point in bringing the 300mm lens, without a tripod.

There is a big difference in my shooting style with the tripod: more careful, more studied, and there is a strong inclination to shoot horizontal rather than flipping (even with the nice ball head) to vertical.

One other factor -- how much attention do I want to attract.  Bring out the tripod, and you are seen as a serious, possibly a professional photographer.

When I went to the Oldest House I left the tripod in the car, even though I knew I might need it.  First thing they asked -- are you a professional?  No, of course not.  I went in, did some wandering around.  Once the curators left, I went back to the car and got the tripod.

And, of course, in the old days, with medium format and large format -- the tripod was always with me.

5:06:55 PM    

As the cheering crowd of teamsters shouted "GEP-HEART, GEP-HEART" at the rally, and I was trying to use the sound to drown out the moronic movie that the moronic teenager was playing next door -- I had a minor epiphany of sorts. Candidates for president shouldn't have too many syllables in their names, and the underlying meaning of their CHANT NAMES was important.

According to this theory of Lowest Syllable Count (LSC), all things being equal, the person with the best CHANT NAME will win.

I haven't worked this theory out totally yet, but there are three factors that make a good CHANT NAME:

1) It should be one syllable, and no more than two. If you get to three, you are in the "Hey, hey, LBJ..." regions.

2) The first syllable should not be an "open" vowel sound.

3) Be careful with any underlying "ick" sounds.

Example: In the current race that would be either Dean or Clark.

But apparently, the candidates all know this, because they have, for the most part changed or shortened their names as much as possible.

Al Gore (LSC=2)

George Bush (LSC=2)

Wes Clark (LSC = 2)

Howard Dean (LSC=3) Now that may be a problem.

The Reverend Al Sharpton (I stopped counting)

CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN (LSC=5, see what I mean?)

John Kerry (LSC=3)
But two syllables in the last name is good as well: "Kerr-eee, Kerr-eee."

Lieberman (Not worth counting)

According to this theory, it is also unfortunate if your CHANT NAME begins with a vowel, which makes it harder to chant in a mindless way. So for that you also need to take a few points away from Edwards. "Ed-wards. Ed-wards." Even the "wards" has a soft sound to it.

Gore had the same problem but with his first name. He had chopped it from Alfred (no President will ever be Alfred) but "AL" beginning with the vowel is still a detriment. (Doesn't matter now, Al).

Dennis Kucinich
The reason that Dennis is not in the running has nothing to do with his calling for a "Department of Peace" but rather the complete inability of the average Joe to chant, much less remember his name: "KU-SIN-ITCH, KU-SIN-ITCH." And the first name, reminding us of the only Dennis we know: Dennis the Menace. All the LSC stars are against him. If not for that...

According to my LSC rule, the candidate that will win in Iowa will be:

DEAN.

However, the candidate that will win and go on to get the nomination will be Wes Clark.

Wes Clark has many things going for him: 2 syllables.

Many ways to chant his name: "CLARK, CLARK, CLARK!"

Do you hear all the hard sounds in that name?

Or for the bottled water crowd: "WES-LEEE, WES-LEE."

A name for all places. A place for all names.

4:38:12 AM