Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Touching base with pretty things





Touching base in April with images -- not specifically art, but straddling that line where photography and art merge, one into the other. Why? Because my big PC (which handles the 3D art programs) is staggering, and if I try for a long render, it'll croak! Also, it's permanently offline with an uncooperative modem. And I can't get a new system till Christmas! So 3D adventures will just have to wait ... but I do want to touch base at least once a month, keep this blog juuust ticking over, and say hi to everyone, especially when we're all locked down so tight, I know a lot of people are increasingly bored out of their collective gourd! So...





The big news for me personally is that I took the plunge and bought a new camera in February. The bummer deal (and that is putting it mildly) for the whole world is that by the end of March the pandemic was hitting everyone, everywhere; and as a result, I can't take the new camera anywhere until about September! To set your mind at rest --

Dave, Mike and I are in the safest place in the world, in South Australia. This state is starting to see days with zero new cases reported ... SA was able, via stringent measures and public cooperation, to hold the number of cases reported locally to very low numbers (in a state of 1.7m people, most of whom live in the metropolitan area, only 433 people have tested positive by the time we start to see our "zero days." Never more than twenty people, maximum, were hospitalized at one time, and I believe the most people at one time in ICU was six, (possibly seven). There have been four  -- yes, just 4 -- fatalities in this state, but my information is that each them was literally too sick to be rescued after contracting the virus overseas, most often on a cruise ship. One's heart goes out to the families of those four grandparents who, tragically, came home to die ... at the same time, one applauds SA, where -- at least to this point -- no one actually who fell sick here has perished, because medical care is top-notch, free, and fast. At this time, I'm extremely proud to be a South Aussie.





So, where are we at this moment? In lockdown, yes; in self imposed exile ... not taking the new camera anywhere -- being good and "staying home." But in the few expeditions where I had the opportunity to field test it, I was impressed: Leica lens elements, 20.3MP, 1,005mm zoom, far better "register" than any of the Fuji cameras, which all gave very harsh images. I'm loving my Lumix TX90 and -- well, roll on September, when the lockdown lifts and we can go places! We'll be visiting Mount Gambier, Clare Valley ... lots of places. Having said that, at this moment we're all well, and working hard. I'm writing. I've sold four short stories to SF and fantasy magazines, and am working on a second novel. Am also looking forward to the end of the year, and that new desktop PC with the "oomph" to run the demanding imaging programs, but till then...





...well, till then I'll touch base now and then, either with photos or art, even if the art is reposted ... or perhaps a review of an artist, or art book? However it works out, Christmas will be upon us before you know it. Someone said not to long ago, "Once you get past Easter, the rest of the year goes like a shot." Uh huh. Easter was last weekend, and I spent the four-day "break" (a misnomer, because when you're in lockdown there's nothing to take a break from; and Dave had shifts right through Easter) transferring hundreds of Gigs of data to and fro between drives. Now I have access to every digital shot I've ever taken, back to the first 1MP Kodak camera we ever had, in something like 2001. So with every image at my fingertips...





--suffice to say, there's no shortage of images to share! And there is a line where art and photography blur, one into the other. I like to think that I'm riding that line a lot of the time. And yes, this year, like a kid, I'm waiting for Christmas! There will be a post called "Happy New Computer" at some point! Then I'll spend a few days getting everything installed, and we'll get back to 3D art. The wonderful world of Iray. Till then -- have some more photographic eye candy here.

See you in May! (Or perhaps sooner, if some of the art ideas in my imagination that don't involve long renders bear fruit...)





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