Goodbye, Dolly

Dolly on the wingback chair
Dolly on the wing-back chair, November 2007, Racine, Wis. | Canon 1D Mk. IIN and 300mm f/4L lens | Exposed 1/80 sec. @ f/4, ISO 1000

It was so easy to say “hello” at the Humane Society all those years ago.  Sleeping in a cage adorned with a sign that read “I need a home for Christmas” was the cat who would come into our home and into our hearts in time to discover the joy of shredded wrapping paper under the tree.  This little but loving nine pound ball of fur named Dolly has been in my life since I was in the fifth grade.  Mom always said that Miss Dolly was going to sleep her life away, and indeed she spent at least 18 hours a day in one of her many nests throughout the house.  She lived a good life as an indoor cat.

Sure, she clearly wished she could go outside sometimes so that she might suck the breath out of the local wildlife, as evidenced by her cackling at the window and powerful flicks of her tail against the tabletop.  For a stretch she perfected the art of indoor hunting.  My parents were especially happy when Dolly’s interest in mousing indoors waned, as waking to a cat gleefully taunting its prey at the foot of the bed was a little too much for them.  She was trouble, but the best kind.  Most nights she’d patrol the yard from atop a wing-back chair in the living room while we turned in to bed.

Dolly lived a long life, and we’re better for having her in ours.  And while it’s one of the hardest things to do, today we all had to say goodbye.  Living in North Carolina, I couldn’t be there.  But none of us will ever forget that tabby cat.  Dolly, you’re loved.

Tigers vs. Sooners Women’s Basketball & The X-Rite Color-checker Passport

Missouri women's basketball forward Jessra Johnson, left, fails to prevent Oklahoma's center, Abi Olajuwon, from making a two point shot on Wednesday, 20 Jan. 2010 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.
Missouri women’s basketball forward Jessra Johnson, left, fails to prevent Oklahoma’s center, Abi Olajuwon, from making a two point shot on Wednesday, 20 Jan. 2010 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo. Olajuwon wears the same number as her father, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, from his college career. The Tigers lost 61-62 to the Sooners. | Canon 1D IIn and 50mm f/1.4 lens; exposed 1/1250 sec. @ f/1.4, ISO 800. | Color corrected with X-Rite Color-checker Passport.

The Set-up

Last Wednesday I found myself sitting on the court at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo. with two different camera bodies and three different lenses.  So, what’s the problem?  The 7D and the 1D Mark IIn see colors differently.  Add to the equation that the glass in a lens affects the color rendered in the final photograph.  For newspaper photography, usually captured in JPEG instead of RAW, this is just something you would normally “live with.”

Maybe you’d just take two identical bodies and figure no one will notice the difference once its printed on Charmin, any ways.  But online, the differences can be stark.  Take, for instance, this Columbia Missourian slideshow where I was using my 7D and a 1D Mark III on loan from CPS, but my colleague Chris Dunn was using an older D2Xs body at the football game between MU and Kansas State.  This is an extreme example, but it is amusing to watch Kansas State’s jerseys suddenly jump from purple to blue depending on which camera was used.  Hint: Nikon didn’t figure out what purple “looked” like until the D3 and D300 came out.

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Rice to the Rescue…With Help from my Favorite Tool Kit

The other night I found myself on assignment in the pouring rain and my 1D Mark II N, as well as my cell phone and a 50mm f/1.4 lens, all came into contact with the buckets of cold water falling from the sky.  After I got home, as a result of improper weather precautions, generally wet conditi0ns, and some forgetfulness regarding the acclimation of a cold camera body to a warmer, drier environment, I found myself resorting to dunking my lens, cell phone, and even my 1D II N into containers of rice.  To recount: rice: 1, weather: 1.  My cell phone came back alive, but my 50mm is on its way to Canon’s facility in Jamesburg, N.J. at this moment.

What I didn’t mention much in my previous posting was the sad state of my 1D II N’s viewfinder.  It completely fogged up after coming home, and I immediately began to kick myself for not sealing it in a plastic bag before taking it inside, as the viewfinder had not been a problem–had not been fogged up–before bringing it in.  Absolutely brain-dead stupid!!!

1D II N with rear viewfinder cover plate / convex lens removed.
1D II N with rear viewfinder cover plate / convex lens removed.

Anyone who knows me well knows that one of my greatest personality flaws is my impatience.  When I want something to work, I want it to work right now.  I also have a tendency to tinker with the electronics that I own; when they stop working and they’re within warranty, I’ll send them in for repairs.  Why not?  But when something is long-since out of warranty, I have the proper tools, and the fix looks like something anyone can do, why should I spend lots of money to FedEx the product to the manufacturer to have them do exactly what I could have done, and have them bill me for it?

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