Archive for the Philosophy and Spirituality Category

Nikon D750 First Impressions

Posted in Photo Gear with tags , , , on December 15, 2014 by chamimage
Mural

Mural

I have had my Nikon D750 for about a week now. Long enough to read the important stuff in the manual. The first thing I noticed was the size of the camera. When I ordered the D750 I expected the same D300/D700 chassis as previous cameras of this line had. This camera is much smaller and lighter. I was pleasantly surprised. Holding it in one hand is very easy. I just now grabbed my D4 to look at something and what a shock to hold that monster after a week with the D750!

The second thing I noticed is how quiet the shutter is. I am used to the snap of the D3 and D4 that is anything but subtle. Just what a wildlife photographer needs, a loud rifle shot every time you trigger the shutter. The D750 whispers. I still haven’t gotten used to it. Since I had hoped to use this camera to do more street photography I am very pleased that it doesn’t announce to all that I am snapping photographs.

On the subject of stealth. I walked around town with this camera and it got hardly any attention at all. My D4 draws people like a magnet. Big pro camera – people get curious. Little camera – meh. I like meh.

I bought this camera with the memory of carrying my D3 around Guanajuato, Mexico and Florence, Italy all day and having such pain in my shoulders it hurt to just think about putting the camera bag around my neck the next morning. I will be able to forget I have this camera with me.

So far I have not found anything this camera can’t do (it’s only been a week, give it time). The noise is a bit more than the D4 at the same ISO. I did find that it does not have a 10 pin connector so I can’t use my shutter release cable. You can buy a different cable that plugs into a USB type port in the side of the camera, or you can get a wireless remote. I bought the wireless remote after finding out the D750 has an infrared receiver on the back of the camera and you no longer have to fire the wireless remote from in front of the camera. I also learned that unlike the MC-30 cord that costs $64.95 (I bought a Chinese remote for $20 instead for my D4 after a energy bar melted chocolate into my MC-30 recently. You can still use the MC-30 if you want about 100 frames before the button finally comes back up.) The wireless remote was $13 – for the Nikon brand! Generics were $10. Unfortunately to use the same wireless remote on my D4 I think I would need a $99 receiver. I’ll meed two remotes when I bring both cameras. Fortunately the wireless remote is unbelievably tiny. I bet I lose a bunch of them.

The D750 has two card slots and both take SD cards. No XQD slot! Yeah! I guess now that SD cards have so much memory Nikon has decided why waste space with CF cards? I have only used SD cards in point and shoot cameras before so it is a bit to wrap my mind around, not having a CF card. The card slots are in the right side of the camera behind a hinged door that opens by sliding it sideways until it springs open. It seems like it might open too easily and spring open unexpectedly at inconvenient times and get broken, but it hasn’t happened yet. Strange that they put Fort Know security into opening the D4 card slot door, but make this door so easily opened.

The files from the D750 are 24 megapixel so I can envision maybe needing the second card in Africa where I have made one thousand images in a morning before. But I am never going to be a fat enough shooter to fill two 64 gig cards before downloading. Perhaps if I have a computer failure and can’t download it will come in very very handy. We did have a lightning strike take out some computers in camp in Africa on the last trip. I stopped leaving the computer plugged in while I was out.

I haven’t worked on enough files to get a feel for color and exposure biases with this camera. So far I just know that ISO 800 resulted a more noise than I had hoped for.

The D750 has gone retro and put the mode dial (for P/A/S/M; it is now a dial) piggyback on top of the release mode dial (S/CL/CH; Q/Mup,etc) that has always been there. ISO and white balance are now assigned to the buttons to the left of the LCD screen. Pushing the ISO or white balance button brings up a menu on the LCD. One small gripe I have is that it takes a while for the menu to appear on the screen. Of course I just tried to time it and for the first time all week the menus came up instantly. I am going to be using the back LCD to make ISO and white balance adjustments, among others, a whole lot more with this camera.

Oh what an LCD screen it is! Nikon’s first articulating LCD screen in a DSLR, I believe. No more crawling on my belly in the mud! Just pop that screen 90 degrees and hold the camera on the ground and use Live View to focus and frame your shot. So very cool. Hand held macro shooters will be in heaven. People who shoot video of their small children or pets will be in heaven.

I haven’t challenged the autofocus with birds in flight yet. That will have to wait until this weekend when I will mate this camera up with the 600 mm lens for the first time. In theory that will take some strain off of my shoulders when carrying my rig on the tripod, but with the superior high ISO performance of the D4 it will still have to remain the main big lens wildlife body.

I was pleasantly surprised when I put my non-CPU 24 mm prime lens on the D750 and told it what the lens was the camera recognized the aperture setting on the lens. On this lens, anyway, you can’t set the lens on f/22 and use the sub-command dial to set the aperture, you have to use the aperture ring. The manual suggests otherwise so apparently with other non-CPU lenses that might be different.

This camera has a built-in flash. I only use built-in flash as a commander unit and I have a commander unit for the D4, anyway, but for getting the accessory flash off of the camera without having to buy a commander unit this is a blessing for most people. I can use it to trigger my macro flashes without having to worry about the commander unit battery going dead, as it likes to do on a regular basis. Changing batteries in the dark is not fun.

When I first got the camera I decided the longest period of time known to man is the time between un-boxing your new camera and when the battery is finally charged and you can finally check your new camera out. While waiting for the battery to charge I couldn’t get the camera to manually focus. I tried adjusting the diopter. Everything was still blurry. I had major worry. As soon as the battery went in it focused like a champ. Not sure what that is all about, but I tell you because I know you will do the same thing.

So far this is looking like one beautiful little camera body. At $2,300 it is expensive, but cheaper than the Df. I think the light weight, quiet shutter and the articulating LCD screen are going to prove to be impressive and useful in the months to come.

Salem Building

Salem Building

 

 

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Nikon Capture NX-D beta

Posted in Photo Gear with tags , , , , , on March 24, 2014 by chamimage
Nikon Capture NX-D

Nikon Capture NX-D

I have been toying around with the new beta version of Nikon Capture NX-D.

Nikon Capture is the program Nikon provides to work on and convert Nikon RAW files. It will only read RAW files in Nikon’s NEF and NRW  formats, jpeg files and tiff files. Unfortunately, Capture does not show PSD files so cannot be used as a browser to find a psd file and open it.

Previous versions included NX-1 and NX-2. The two previous versions were a collaboration with NIK and they included NIK’s control point technology for selective editing. Nikon has gone a completely different approach with NX-D and no longer has control points or any other selective editing option, at least in the beta version.

On the plus side, the browser has been laid out in a much more user-friendly and familiar way. The new look is impressive. It is a browser and the layout is much like what is found in Lightroom or Bridge, very familiar. It generates jpegs faster than Bridge (who doesn’t? Really Adobe, that is the best you can do? Little Breeze systems and Photo Mechanic with a millionth of your budget have no problem generating jpegs fast), but you can overwhelm it and freeze it up if you go from one end of the film strip at the bottom to the other end too fast. Hopefully that will improve with the final release this fall.

The jpegs it generates are gorgeous. Flipping back and forth between Capture and Lightroom with the same image shows a clear advantage to Capture. Jpegs and TIFF files are equal in the two programs.

Which leads me to what I use Nikon Capture for. Mainly I want to convert RAW files with it. I want all of those beautiful colors that Nikon intended for that image to have. I do very minimal work in Capture, just global exposure, contrast, Picture Control settings, and Active D-lighting, which is Nikon’s way of handling highlights and shadows. Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw have come a long way with their camera profiles for Nikon files, but they can’t match the colors you will get converting RAW files in Capture NX. I had been very lazy lately, just using Lightroom for all my basic editing and RAW file conversion. Then I ran across a problem I haven’t seen for a while. I worked on a file in Photoshop for thirty minutes before discovering there were color shifts in the gray of the clouds. Greens and magentas that didn’t belong there. They will also crop up in shadows from time to time as well. I had to start all over with a file converted in Capture NX to get rid of the color shift.

There has been a lot of hand wringing about how Capture NX-D does not allow any selective editing. It is not a stand alone product that will let you do it all in one program. I have never used one program alone for processing my files so it is less of an issue for me. I rarely used the Control Points in Capture NX2. I do now have Capture NX-D, Lightroom, and Photoshop all open at the same time, but I like the Capture NX-D RAW conversions so much better than what Adobe can do it is worth it for me.

There are a few nitpicky things I hope they change before the final version comes out. There is no zoom or hand tool so to zoom to 100% you need to use a keyboard shortcut or go into the Image drop down menu. The same with sizing the image to fit your screen. I hate that. If you zoom a horizontally oriented image and then fit it to screen, your next vertical image will not fit to screen. Argh!

There is no longer the Double Threshold check box above the histogram on previous versions of Capture NX that allowed you to adjust both your white point and black point. You have to, again, use a keyboard shortcut or drop down menu to adjust white point and then go back and do the black point. There are no white point and black point eyedroppers in the toolbox above as before, but  they are in the levels and curves tool below on the right column.

There is a way to batch process and there is a way to paste your setting changes to other images, so if you have five images from the same set-up you can adjust one image and paste those setting to the others. You can even save recipes to your hard drive if you create something wild and wacky you might want to use again.

My workflow for RAW files has now become 1.) Edit globally in Capture NX-D for exposure, white balance, contrast, and Active D-lighting to bring back any errant blown out whites or blocked up blacks. 2.) Convert RAW file to a tiff in Capture NX-D. 3.) Make further minor changes in Lightroom to white point, black point, gradient tool, etc. 4.) Open in Photoshop for application of NIK filters (they can be put on a layer and painted in or out on a layer mask in Photoshop), levels and curves (again, layer masked), dust spotting (I always forget to do it in Lightroom so do it in ACR as a filter {in CC version of PS only}), rarely color correction or saturation. 5.) Save psd file with layers intact, save flattened large jpeg for stock agency upload, save small jpeg for web.

I am hoping Nikon users will try Capture NX-D beta out and comment to Nikon on what they would like changed so we can get some changes made. When Capture NX-D is released this fall it needs to be the best it can be because Nikon will then no longer support updates for Capture NX 2 so as soon as we get into the next generation of cameras Capture NX2 will not have a camera profile for them.

Tell a Story

Posted in Philosophy and Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2014 by chamimage
Anhinga with Rainbow Bass

Anhinga with Rainbow Bass

Most days all of the social media sites I visit just seem like one big time suck that I should live without. But then I will run across a gem of a post that makes it all worthwhile. I will share of few of those gems today. They are words to live by for 2014 for me.

1. Tell a Story – I got this one from Karen Hutton on The Grid podcast last week. When you find a subject and you are looking for The Picture, try looking for The Story, instead.  That will inform your decision on how much of the environment you need to include, what mood to go for. It wasn’t hard to find the story above – that anhinga may have bitten off more than he can chew. Adding more rain forest wasn’t needed for that story.

Wild Timber Wolf

Wild Timber Wolf

A tight shot of this wolf would have been ugly, but showing what a miserable day it was to be out in the woods was the story. He was walking along the cleared road side to keep out of the wet brush, cars be damned. A good photograph informs the viewer of an aspect of the subject they had not previously considered, a new truth, like leading them to think about the wild animals out in the forest on a wet, stormy night.

1a. I can’t use the one above without adding the famous saying by Jay Maisel as a corollary – “If you want to take more interesting pictures, be a more interesting person.” Listen to music, watch dance, read classics. It can be pretty interesting what bangs around in your head while you are out with your camera.

2. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – a quote from John D. Rockefeller I found on Sue Bryce’s Facebook page last week. I don’t think he had photo editing in mind when he said that, but that is certainly where I will apply it. We all have the problem of all of those technically good documentary images that we can’t get ourselves to delete. Let them go. They are not great so they are of no value to you. Post only your great stuff. My recent trip with Todd Gustafson was helpful in terms of seeing that he chose to keep maybe twenty images from the 300 we had shot that morning. On the first edit. That is my goal. To be able to find and keep only the images that speak to me without having to edit the folder four times to get there.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

3. Find your passion, then build a body of work in that area. This doesn’t mean you have to shoot just birds or do macro only, but it doesn’t make much sense to build a portfolio full of landscapes if your passion is wildlife photography. I remember a conversation with Wayne Lynch in Africa about how it would be better to work locally and build a deep body of work in your local wildlife refuge or national park than to try to piece together enough trips to Africa and the arctic, etc. Give yourself creative projects in your genre rather than doing assignments that someone else makes up that accomplish nothing on Google+. Build a body of work. Get better at what you love.

Slaty Flowerpiercer piercing a flower.

Slaty Flowerpiercer piercing a flower.

I have a few more that are appropriate to the conversation. They are oldies and on my New Year’s Resolution list every year lately, but always good to be reminded.

4. Live as if every thought and action affects the collective consciousness and might just possibly influence others in a positive way. 

5. Less lawn mowing, more adventures. Metaphorically and literally. See Brooke Shaden’s recent blog on busy-ness. Don’ confuse being busy with accomplishing anything worthwhile. I have a theory that every meaningless meeting I am forced to attend, every sales pitch I get sucked into, every soggy sandwich vendor-sponsored lunch I eat, and every PBS pledge break is like smoking a cigarette, they shave minutes off of your life.

6. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Live accordingly. Leave nothing undone and nothing unsaid. Lie in your death bed with no regrets about the life you lived.

7. No negativity allowed.

8. Be generous.

9. Be humble.

10. Be loving and kind. Speak gently.

Epson 3880

Posted in Photo Gear with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2013 by chamimage
Queen Anne's Lace Seed Head

Queen Anne’s Lace Seed Head

I have been printing with the Epson 3880 printer for about three weeks now. So far I am impressed.

In previous blogs I detailed my efforts to rehab my Epson 4900. I lost the battle in the end. I don’t print on a consistent basis. I print like crazy for a gallery opening and then not so much for a few months. With the pigment based inks it is better to keep the ink flowing or the pigments settle and they can clog nozzles and lines. I went too long without printing on the 4900 and could never get everything unclogged and it needed a new print head. That would have cost about two hundred dollars less than a new 4900 and four hundred dollars more than the 3880 after the rebate. So I had to sacrifice the ink I had remaining for the 4900 (it is not compatible for the 3880) and get the Epson 3880.

Maasai Woman in Doorway

Maasai Woman in Doorway

My biggest concern was that the 3880 has eight ink cartridges and the 4900 has ten. The difference is that the 4900 has orange and green. So far I have not noticed a difference. I have one print (above image) with some oarnge-ish reds that I wish were richer and are out of gamut on the proof in Photoshop, but I haven’t finished fiddling to see if I can do better in post production yet. I would love to print that image side by side with both printers as it is to see if there is a difference.

The skin tones on the above images were perfect. I have made a lot of prints lately while catching up after trying to rehab the 4900 for six weeks (hey, I wasn’t going to give up) and have not been disappointed in any of them.

The 3880 prints 17 inches wide and has profiles for the Signature Worthy papers by Epson that I like.

Dislikes

My dislikes are minor. I wish there was a roll paper spindle.  I am now cutting sheets from the roll paper I had left over and it is a bit of a challenge. The paper doesn’t like to be handled so I wrinkle it. The sheets I cut are quite curled so I weight them down for a while before printing to avoid having the paper curl up and hit the print head and damage it. The make a de-curler, but it costs $360. The print of the top image is now completely flat after a couple of weeks after cutting it so the framer will have no problem with it. In the future I will just buy sheet paper. I did want to try the new Ilford Gold fine art paper, but it does not come in 17 inch sheets, only rolls.

The 4900 has a cool clear plastic window on the top and you could watch the printer working. It sounds minor, but I just saw a video where National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson commented that he also enjoys watching the printer work through that little window so I am not the only printer voyeur. The 3880 has an opaque black  plastic top cover. You can open the top cover during printing with the 3880, just don’t spill coffee or let dog hair in there.

The 3880 definitely prints slower than the 4900. I don’t think that should surprise anybody and given the price difference a 4900 purchaser would be disappointed if that were not the case. The print head on the 3880 is physically smaller and not as much ink gets put down on each pass. I am not a high volume, wait until deadline to print a whole gallery show kind of guy so it really doesn’t impact me if the printing takes longer. I have heard the Epson rep (Danno, I believe) and Jim Richardson say that printing in high speed (the head lays down ink in both directions) does not impact the quality of the result with the 4900. I have not heard if it does with the 3880 so always turn high speed off since the manual states that it will improve quality.

Likes

I like the paper feed better with the 3880. Thinner paper feeds from the top, which is quicker and less scary than putting paper in a pull-out tray on the bottom face down as with the 4900 (how does it not scratch the paper? It never does, but why doesn’t it?). The thicker fine art paper is also fed from the top in the 3880 via a second paper guide that has a less acute angle so the paper doesn’t have to bend as much. In the 4900 I fed the fine art paper from the front by hitting button that opened the platen and then feeding the paper into the printer, hoping it wouldn’t scratch or pick up ink somehow. It never did affect the paper, but sometimes I struggled to get the paper lined up perfectly straight and would get a paper skew warning.

I must admit the 3880 also gives me some paper skew warnings with the fine art paper, but I credit that to using the cut, curled roll paper that is harder to feed in straight.

Like the 4900, the 3880 has both photo black and matte black ink cartridges installed so switching from one to the other occurs at the flip of a switch. Gone are the days of my trusty old 2400 where you had to physically switch the black ink cartridge (that 2400 is still making prints for a friend of mine, after all of these years). The 3880 is said to switch the ink automatically depending on which paper you designate in the print dialog. Truth be told, I have never brought myself to actually trust the printer to switch the ink yet. I guess I’m a control freak when it comes to printing. I want to switch the inks myself and know that it is done and ready to print when I hit that print button.

The 3880 weighs forty pounds and I can easily move it myself. The 4900 weighed 150 pounds and was too large and bulky for one person to move (I did, but I shouldn’t have). I almost killed my retired neighbor when I recruited him to help me carry the 4900 downstairs and out to the car to take it for its final ride to the repair shop. Sorry, Roger. The college kid next door wasn’t home.

The 3880 is very economical with ink. I have made quite a few prints and even though the ink cartridges are smaller than the 4900 cartridges, I don’t seem to be seeing the ink levels go down nearly as quickly. The 4900 does do more head cleaning on a routine basis so maybe that is where the ink goes.

Love my 3880 so far. I miss my 4900, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Printer Rehab

Posted in Photo Gear with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2013 by chamimage
Windblown Grass

Windblown Grass

I took my Epson 4900 printer to the printer hospital today. The prognosis is not good.

What I should say is that I roped my neighbor into helping me lug a bulky 150 pound printer downstairs and into my car to take it to the nearest repair shop 50 miles away after trying to fix it myself to avoid all of that trouble for the better part of the past six weeks.

Centennial Mountain Storm

Centennial Mountain Storm

I made the mistake of not making a print for a few months. I know now that the pigment inks in the 4900 tend to settle out and clump and then harden in the lines and the ink nozzles.

When I first turned it back on after all of that time it put zero ink on paper. All of the nozzles were clogged. Head cleaning brought back all but two of the nozzles, but at the expense of using a considerable amount of ink. Ink cartridges for the 4900 cost $89.95 each at Adorama. There are 11 of them.

Fence Post

Fence Post

After much research on line I found that this is a common problem with this printer. I also learned that the dirty little secret to fixing the last two nozzles was to soak a folded paper towel in Windex and put it into the printer and position the print head over it overnight. They say the ammonia vapors is what loosens the dried pigment so don’t use the non-ammonia kind. I don’t know if the foamy stuff might work better or not.

That cleaned up the two remaining nozzles, mostly, and I got a print made, but then I switched the black ink to matte black and could not get it to deliver any black ink from that point on, photo black or matte black. It sounds like this is something other than a simple clog. A new print head costs $1200, plus labor.

So, I am researching options in case the news is bad and the print head can’t be saved. I have about $500 in new ink cartridges invested in the 4900 so biting the bullet and fixing it is hard to not consider. I could buy a 3880, another 17 inch printer, for $1100. I think buying a used 4900 would be too risky, considering their known problems. For what it would cost to replace the print head I could pretty much write the old 4900 off and buy a new one. I am kind of stuck with Epson because I have developed a look I like with Hot Press Bright paper and know nothing at all about Canon printers.

All I know for certain right now is two things. I will be happy to get back to being able to print again and I am going to move my office downstairs.

All of the above images are from Red Rock National Wildlife Refuge in that little finger of southwest Montana that protrudes into Idaho.

Truth

Posted in Philosophy and Spirituality with tags , , on June 17, 2013 by chamimage
Canada Geese

Canada Geese

“Every truth is a distortion of what is.”

Byron Katie

I have always been fascinated by the concept of truth. How can there be a republican truth, democratic truth, Christian truth, and Muslim truth all at the same time. And all convinced of their truth as the absolute truth?

Is there such a thing as an absolute truth? And if so, how do we know it?

Many very learned people say there is no absolute truth. Your truth is your truth and that is all there is. The truth is different for everybody because we come at it from different life experiences. How could the truth of a person raised in a Somali refugee camp be the same as the truth of a privileged American?

The quote above seems to be of the same mind. All of our truths are distorted – by our family, our church, our nationality, our tribe, our friends, our school…

There is, in fact no absolute truth.

I have a hard time with that due to my scientific education. There is absolute truth in science and math. Scientists are awed by the way nature seems to conform to mathematical formulas, pretty much all of the time. How can that be? How can there not be a rebellious rose bush that defies math?

Some scientists see God in that. Einstein did. He was not a practicing Jew, but he felt that if there was a God, then what God did was set these guidelines, these mathematical precepts, for all of nature to follow, then he basically patted nature on the butt and sent her on her way and that was the end of his involvement. Einstein did not believe in a controlling God that had a ‘will’ about how things turned out.

Of course Einstein also threw a monkey wrench in whole unity of nature thing with his relativity theory. Everything behaves as it should, except when it doesn’t. Light acts like a wave when you ask it a wave question and like a particle when you ask it a particle question. It is both at the same time. That still blows minds.

Katie goes on to say “If we investigate, we lose even the last truth. And that state, beyond all truths, is true intimacy. That is God-realization.”

I had thought the spiritual path was the search for the one truth. Apparently, the path to being a spiritual master is to shed ourselves of all of our truths, until we are an aesthetic standing naked, pouring water from a bowl into the Ganges River. It is tempting at times, to go that route. Strip life to the basics – eat, sleep, meditate, repeat. There are no cubicles, time clocks, or work weeks with hump days on the shores of the Ganges. No mortgage. No need to insure your bowl.

To shed our truths would involve becoming totally accepting of what is (which is the name of Katie’s book, Loving What Is). Is that such a good thing? Just this weekend I was decrying that we are such a Prozac nation. The NSA has been caught spying on all of our phone calls and e-mails and there is no outrage. There are no riots in the street. Does our pacified acceptance of what is mean we are all well on our way on our collective spiritual path?

Buena Vista Ponds, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Buena Vista Ponds, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

Success

Posted in Philosophy and Spirituality with tags , , , , on May 7, 2013 by chamimage
Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

I was writing down some goals yesterday morning and decided to approach it by naming what constitutes success to me. I came up with 23 things. None of them involved money.

Yet I know many people, and certain entire city streets in New York, where money would be the only criteria. Period.

And I wonder how they know when they have enough money to be considered successful, because someone else is always going to have more, so are you not successful until you have the most? Apparently not based on the greed exhibited by very rich people in an attempt to have even more money.

Of course one of my criteria of success involves sharing and Wall Street labels that ‘socialism’ so it will sound bad and they won’t be expected to participate in such activity. It wasn’t that long ago that the person considered most successful in a village was the one who was able to share the most. Nobody killed an elk and stuffed it in their cave or tepee and horded it for themselves. The Maasai in Kenya still share every cow with the entire village. Each person gets a certain cut of meat based on status and gender. They claim that each family does not count their cows to avoid any superiority problems. I’m not sure I believe that because if a cow is missing they know it right away.

I also listed a few things that success is not to me. Counting down days to the weekend and sticking it out in a soul-sucking job until retirement does not constitute a life well spent to me. To many people, that’s enough because with that comes security and support for a beloved family. Success also has nothing to do with wearing the latest fashion, driving a Hummer, wearing a Rolex or having a huge house or yacht to me. It is not about being better than anybody at anything, because the guy I can beat at sports can do math better than me so what’s the point?

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

I tried to see if there were any published polls on what people consider important to a successful life, but the ones I found were biased populations. Healthy living magazines tended to show people thinking about faith and health and business magazines needn’t have even bothered asking, it was all about money and what you could buy with it.

I won’t bore you with my 23 criteria for success but a few of them involve doing what you love every day; living a spiritually-directed life; being of help to others; living according to my own personal moral code (sticking to your guns); being capable of seeing beauty everywhere, in everything; living in the moment; having the courage to create, and fail boldly; living to please myself, not others; and retaining the desire to play.

What does success mean to you?

Sunrise on a Farm Pond

Sunrise on a Farm Pond

The falcon was photographed on the Oregon coast on Saturday. He had no mate yet, that I could see. The farm pond was on the way to the coast in the foothills of the coast range.