Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tree leaves at LeRoy High School Trail

RebelXT | 70-200mm f/4L @ 200mm | ISO400 | f/4 | 1/500s

Friday, November 28, 2008

Finster at LeRoy High School trail

Taken at the LeRoy High School trail (not sure what it's called). This is my favorite place to walk Finster during hunting season. There are no hunters, it has water, and very few people.

RebelXT | 70-200mm f/4L @ 154mm | 1/250 | ISO200 | Slight post-processing in Picasa

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Genesee County Park in Bethany, NY

I rather enjoy this style of shot, especially with my 10-22mm

RebelXT | 10-22mm @ 10mm | f/8 | 1/13s | ISO100 | Little post processing

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shot from a portrait session

Here is one of my favorite shots from a portrait/candid photo session I did for a new client. The flash bounced perfectly to the opposite side of his face, and the eyes are nice and sharp!

RebelXT | 24-70mm f/2.8L | 24mm | f/2.8 | 1/125s | Speedlight 430EXII flash fired

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

GCC Photography Show

Here are the shots that I hung for the GCC art show. These shots are now hanging at Present Tense in Batavia, NY

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trail 1 (Middle Falls) Letchworth State Park, NY

This is actually a manual merge of two shots. A darker shot was used for the sky. Also, a bit of burning was done on the stairs. Also, the usual sharpening and warming. Hover over the photo to see the original base shot.

RebelXT with 10-22mm @ 16mm|.6s|f/22|ISO100|Tripod

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fungus on White Birch on Trail 7 at Letchworth State Park, NY

RebelXT with 10-22mm @ 10mm|1/30s|f/4|ISO200

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another morning frost

Chilling morning in front of my house after taking Finster for a walk.

RebelXT with 10-22mm @ 10mm|1/25s|f/4.5|ISO100|Desaturated in Picasa

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Morning frost

In front of my house on a rather chilly morning after walking Finster.

RebelXT with 10-22mm @ 10mm|1/20s|f/5|ISO100

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Deep thoughts on war

I'm currently reading an advanced readers copy of The Weight of a Mustard Seed an Iraqi General's Moral Journey During the Time of Saddam. I am nearing the end of the book and I just finished one chapter that has very effectively summed up some thoughts that I've had lately. The chapter describes a scientific study done at Yale University where people were told that they were testing shock therapy and that when the other participant got a question wrong they were to shock them. With every question wrong they were to increase the intensity of the shock from 15V, "slight shock", to 375V "danger: severe shock", and then finally 450V labeled "X X X". In the study the participant getting "shocked" was the control (he was in on it and actually just acting, he wasn't getting shocked). So the study was really testing the "shockers" to see how far they would go. This study was administered all over the world to many different types of people living in varying cultures.

Across the board over 60% of the participants "continued to administer increasing amounts of clearly painful electric shocks, even as the subject appeared to lapse into unconsciousness, until the end of the switches and 450V had been delivered [many times]". They concluded that "obedience to authority was a learned cognitive behavior that ran through almost every society." And that "most people do what they are told for no other reason than they were told to do it". One of the characters in the book goes on to say "I am beginning to see that perhaps Iraqis are not crazy Arabs after all... they might be just ordinary human beings!" And then, "... human nature is the same, people are not good because they are taught in school to be good, there is a cultural impart over generations to make people comply, certain things are not acceptable, these norms are sanctioned under authority... Iraqis are repressed and exposed to violence..."

I think that the majority of who we label "terrorists" that are fighting against us in Iraq are probably not evil, but are just following their authority figures, just like over 60% of the participants did in the study. How we label everyone who fights against us as "evil" is just too easy; too black and white. They are scared, don't know who to trust, and are likely just trying to protect their families, religion, and way of life. All they have to go on is the propaganda that their authority figures are feeding them. I'm not proposing that we are evil for fighting them, I think we are the same; our troops are the same 60% who fight because authority tells them to.

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