Sharp Lens, Dull Mind


Click the photo to see a larger version.

We have just moved, and now we are unpacking and I am consolidating things in boxes. And I came across a tiny compact camera that I knew I had but hadn’t looked at for a while. I took out the card and stuck it in the computer.

It’s got photos taken on that camera and on other cameras. And they go back to 2007.

I just processed one and the EXIF data says I shot it on 16th November, 2007 with a Nikon D40 with a lens with a focal length of 55mm.

So that must have been the 18-55mm kit lens I got with the camera. I sold the lens and kept the body and used it with a little 35mm lens. And the reason I did that in part was that I was convinced that the kit lens was not very sharp and was going to hamper my photography.

So now I put this photo through Photoshop and I wonder what I was thinking. It’s sharp enough and the colours are pleasant. I know colour is mostly a function of the sensor in the camera body, but a poor lens will rob colour and micro-contrast out of a subject.

And I am still doing it – chasing sharper lenses. Crazy.

The ‘dull mind’ in the title of this piece is a play on my lack of clarity in seeing that the lens was perfectly adequate, and a nod to the clarity of mind with which the woman in the photo is concerned.

The woman in the photo was part of a Falun Gong group. They had a stand and leaflets and were talking about how they are persecuted in China.

Look them up in Wikipedia – it describes Falun Gong (Dharma Wheel Practice) as a Chinese spiritual practise that the Chinese Authorities cracked down on, deeming it a heretical organisation that threatened social stability.

I shot this in England somewhere. I can’t recall where but I think that is a ‘Pret a Manger’ cafe sign in the background – so I probably shot it in Leeds.

The first time I saw a Falun Gong group was about fifteen years ago. They were protesting – gathered on the grassed area outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C.


Peace For The New Year


JenT and Cardinal Guzman, both bloggers, published posts on the topic of 2016 in review.

It got me wondering what had stuck a chord with my readers in 2016. In fact, nothing did the way one photo got a lot of attention a couple of years ago. It is this photo of a auto-rickshaw driver in Delhi. I think someone in Delhi who recognised the driver must have come across the photo and then his friends and everyone in Delhi looked for it.


Back to the photo at the top of this article. I saw it in the folder on my hard drive today and want to make it the motto for the coming year. And the motto is – Peace.

From The Jane Austen Promenade in Bath

Jane Austen Promenade in Bath

Click the image to see a larger version.

Note the modern spectacles that the woman in blue is wearing.

The spectacles on an otherwise lovely outfit meant that this photo didn’t make the cut in the article Tamara wrote about the Jane Austen Festival Grand Promenade In Bath.

And here is the full frame of the photo, so you can see that the photo at the top is a crop of about of 10% the full image. It is a testament (again) to the Fuji X100s camera.

And to give some context, at the end of the parade the participants walked on to a gathering in a nearby hall, and it was en-route to that that I took this photo.

Jane Austen Festival parade in Bath