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I worked late on a video last night. Got home around 10:30pm and still had a couple hours of post production to wade through. The video shoot went like clockwork. It was tiring though because I had to pay attention to everything all the way through the run of the play. Monitoring two cameras and following the main actor with one of the cameras means never pausing to actually enjoy the performance. 

At any rate I survived and delivered files this morning after swim practice. I returned e-mails and calls and made myself a lunch and then prepared for my one p.m. call. I was on the line for an hour with a wealth advisor taking care of the boring part of being an adult and owning my own business. I had a weird feeling about the markets recently and decided to move sufficient money into CDs to allow me to sleep through the night. We also fine-tuned some diversification/asset allocation. After that I had to dutifully give full details to the CFO of my company and family. (Literal readers, by CFO I really mean my spouse who is, literally, much more adept at money and numbers than me...).

When we finally wrapped up I was shot, spent, tired, and felt like I'd just spent a week working overtime in a cubicle (apologies to any reader who works in a cubicle. It was a metaphor...).  What better antidote to maturity and responsibility is there than a nice, late afternoon walk through the downtown areas of my favorite city? It was 68 degrees and the skies were central Texas blue. 

I've felt a bit sheepish all week long about having wasted good money on the used Nikon D2XS so, of course, that's the camera I grabbed to take along with me. I'll tell you right off the bat that it's at least twice the weight of a GH5 with a similar optic on the front. My lens of choice this afternoon was the cheap 50mm f1.8 Nikon AF lens I picked up last week (adding financial insult to injury). It's a very decent lens from f2.8 to f8.0 or f11 but then what lens isn't?

As you can see from the image above I've been playing around with the black and white mode which was one of the features I think was added in the upgrade from the X to the XS. It's nice. The screen on the back doesn't do the files justice but they looks pretty in Lightroom, especially if you lean on the contrast slider a bit. Don't bother adding sharpness; they already have sufficient bite...

My goal was 10% about getting a decent little handful of photos and 90% about walking around without a schedule, a deadline, an assignment or a self-imposed goal. It's been a tough year for me as far as family goes and after losing my mom and getting my father situated in memory care it's been all I can do to get business done and then drop myself on the couch at the end of the day where I sometimes just fall asleep curled up with Studio Dog. This walk was the first one done in nice, sunny weather in weeks and the combination of bustling sidewalk traffic, clean, clear sunlight and 60 degree temperatures worked miracles on my recently re-acquired stress and anxiety. 

But what about that darn camera? Deja Vu. It's big and heavy. The rear screen sucks hard. But it focuses like a bat out of hell and the files are rich and satisfying. I remember why it was I had such fond memories of my first ownership of this camera model. In it's time the handling was state of the art. And, at ISO 100 and 200 its image quality might still give current cameras a run for their money. While its 12 megapixels might not give you the micro detail of the new generation of 40+ megapixel cameras I remember an article about "shot discipline" written by Ming Thein wherein he made the point that if you are using a camera handheld, in the street, you'll probably never exceed the image resolution that one gets at 12 megapixels and, that at higher megapixel densities shot discipline (technique) becomes ever more important. Perhaps 12 megapixels won't satisfy every situation but he made a good case for the many, many times that 12 megapixels is optimal. 

Here are a few shots I made shooting the camera at ISO 400, straight to Jpeg. I think it's a marvelous camera as far as images go and I'm trying right now to figure out how to integrate it into our shoot at a radiology clinic tomorrow, along with our GH5's. Maybe I'll bring it along as a "behind the scenes" black and white documentary camera. I've done crazier things.....

Hope your week was as productive as mine --- but a lot less stressful. Hope Mike Johnston can dig himself out of the snow banks! Hope Ben is staying warm in Saratoga Springs. 

I'll end by saying "I'm just an average intelligence, working photographer but I'm happy I've re-allocated some of my meager assets to cash (literally: CDs)". It will be interesting to see what the markets do in the next few weeks. I guess we've never touched on the topic of personal finance here on the blog before. I've always assumed that most of my readers are much more adept at finance than am I. But maybe this will open up some discussion. I'll admit that I vacillate between having a medium to low risk tolerance. Your mileage probably varies. Where do you think the market is going?

Will we be happily buying medium format digital cameras next month or boiling our leather camera straps to make soup? 

The famous electrical pole. With old fashion dust spots in the sky. (Left in for nostalgia. Yes literal readers I do know how to remove them with the cloning tool or the spot healing tool in PhotoShop.....and, no, this image is not intended as a marketing tool aimed a paying clients).

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