Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Photo Work Lightened

For months I've grumbled to myself and photo colleagues about how heavy my tripod is. Finally I decided to do something about it. After reading a Mike Spinak (nature photographer elite) article about how to get tack sharp pictures, I knew what I had to do. This article, along with having the usual tips for how to make pictures sharp, also had good information on the types of tripods that work best for getting sharp pictures. I realized that what I had wasn't that bad, except for one major ingredient.
 
My tripod system is a Bogen, now marketed as Manfrotto (it was always a Manfrotto; Bogen was the U.S. distributor that expanded to other countries, and in 2010 Bogen changed its name to Manfrotto Distributing worldwide). The head I originally bought for it, was very large, with three different levers, degree markings, and spirit levels. When attached to the tripod it made the whole unit very awkward to carry. That was my biggest complaint--lugging it around. 
 
So rather than get a whole new tripod, I decided I would get a new tripod head.

Wow, did that ever make a difference. I lost four inches on the height of the head, and went from a 3 1/2 pound unit to a 12 ounce unit. The whole configuration is still heavier then many of the newer tripods, but suddenly the weight doesn't seem so bad. It was the levers that were really making things difficult. As you can see in this next picture, the change is dramatic.

With the handy carrying strap (far right), I now have no difficulty toting the tripod with me when I'm trekking around the countryside. I know I will still use my trusty monopod, but having a tripod with a smaller head will lighten my load and inspire me to take different kinds of pictures.

Monday, December 9, 2013

As I Was Saying

Wow, I could say that this article, "Quantum Theory Proves That Consciousness Moves to Another Universe After Death" (posted by one of my circle-mates on Google+) has fired my imagination. But in truth, my creative thinking had already come to these conclusions many years ago. I like that some people in the scientific community are as intrigued by this as I am. Dr. Robert Lanza, for many years a researcher in cell therapies, is the primary for this article. The article states:
"In fact, consciousness exists outside of constraints of time and space. It is able to be anywhere: in the human body and outside of it. That fits well with the basic postulates of quantum mechanics science, according to which a certain particle can be present anywhere and an event can happen according to several, sometimes countless, ways."
I have used this concept in all three of my Speculative Fiction books.
In The Gem of the Galaxy series the Evincor "collects/captures" a person's consciousness after bodily death. My protagonists, Dwinn (in Daughter of the Stone) and Juilan (in Child of the Mist) can communicate with past generations; their abilities and the Evincor are the basis of the Gem of the Galaxy culture.

In Dead Heroes, a prominent character insists "the body is merely a vessel," and one chapter is from the point of view of a character who has left her vessel—died—and how she perceives things. The important science I have called "strellics" is crucial to the entire story.

It is rather nice to have my creative process given a sort of affirmation in scientific study. Here's another article by Lanza on this subject.

One bitsy problem with this article, however, is the title "Quantum Theory Proves..." I'm not certain anything has been proven; it still seems to be scientific speculation...as string theory once was, and the existence of quarks. Proving this won't happen until we contact a consciousness that is beyond the constraints of time and space. Of course, some feel that this has been done. Psychics and mediums are often claiming to have communicated with people who have died. Perhaps we shouldn't chide them, but pay more attention.

While we're waiting for definitive proof, read about what might be real in Dead Heroes, Child of the Mist and Daughter of the Stone. All are available in print and for e-readers. Visit the Science Fiction page on this blog to connect with them, or visit my books page.