Old Portraits.

Swabbed, Jabbed, Side-effected, Basically Happy.

 I swam hard this morning. I swam hard because I predicted I won't want to get out of bed tomorrow morning. I was trying to save up some exercise. I won't want to get up tomorrow morning because after swim practice today I made my way to my favorite (non-chain) pharmacy to get poked twice in the arm with vaccines. At 10:20 this morning I got the latest flu shot and the new, bi-valent Moderna vaccine against Covid. That marks my fifth adventure with the Covid vaccine and if past performance is a good predictor of future events I'll have a headache, a slight fever and acute fatigue by tomorrow. Maybe, since I bundled both vaccines, the general malaise will strike tonight. 

I'm happy to get vaccinated and so far (leaving desk and finding wood to knock on) the vaccines seem to have done their jobs as I have yet to test positive for Covid-19 in the past two and a half years. I hope to continue my record of good health. 

While I do interface with humanity at swim practice (outdoors), at photo shoots, and in small social gatherings I have not flown on an airplane since 2019. I have eaten indoors at restaurants only a handful of times and usually only during times when community spread is low. I've done several big, multi-day corporate events but each one required all participants to show proof of current vaccination. I have turned down a number of assignments that would have required me to fly commercial or spend a lot of time in rooms filled with large numbers of people whose health status info was vetted by the "honor system." 

Don't write to tell me that you've had Covid X number of times and it was mild, like a head cold, or a demure case of the flu. We still don't have a good handle on the long term effects of Covid infections. Everyone has a different response. Many of us who are healthy and well positioned to resist the effects come into contact frequently with people who are not so lucky or not at all impervious to the side effects that are currently killing 500-600 people per day in the USA (Another metric in which we lead the world...). Telling me about the effects you experienced in the moment is like chain smokers telling me smoking will never affect them because they feel okay right now.

But spending less time out in the virus stew pot gives me so much more time to look at photo stuff on the internet....

Like the new Apple iPhone 14 Pro. If you haven't read the specs you might want to visit the Apple.com website and take a peak. 48 megapixel sensor that automatically samples at 12 megapixels in low light. The world's fastest phone processor. An action mode for handheld video work that makes gimbals less necessary for highly kinetic work. 2X the low light photo ability of the previous phone cameras. Emergency satellite texting from....anywhere. Etc. There's so much computational potential to this generation of iPhones that, if I were thinking of starting a photography business today I'd probably choose one of the two Pro models as my basic camera. And all of this with no price increase from the iPhone 13s from last year. 

I've been waiting for a good reason to upgrade from an XR and I just found one. I can order mine tomorrow and, if I read the website correctly, can get delivery sometime near the end of the month. Nice. Here's what they have to say at the world's biggest digital camera review site: https://www.dpreview.com/articles/6110937480

Or you can tell me about how you build your own phones to save money....

Another "camera" that caught my attention was the newly announced Hasselblad medium format camera, the X2D. It bumps up resolution from their previous model to 100 megapixels. It now features in body image stabilization (5 axis) that's claimed to be good for up to seven stops effect. The camera now uses a combination of CD and PD AF for much faster focusing. The camera shoots in 16 bit and should have crazy good color discrimination in the files and you couple that with 15 stops of dynamic range. Should be an absolute killer performer. But there's more. I never looked twice at the X1D. A different time I guess.  The new model was announced alongside three brand new lenses that are relatively fast; all f2.5, but more importantly, all of them feature built-in leaf shutters. 

After reading all the available info about the new X2D and the lenses I started putting a kit together in my head. It would consist of the camera and the 55mm f2.5 XCD V lens. That equals a 45mm focal length on a 35mm sensor camera, is chalk full of interesting glass and promises to be the perfect lens to mate with the X2D for a "take anywhere" travel camera for someone who just wants a single unit for travel and found art work. It would not be cheap. The camera is about $8K and the lens adds another $4.5K. So, once you pony up for some extra batteries you are looking at just shy of $13K + sales tax. But....it's about as cool a camera as I've seen in the digital age and it clicks all the boxes. Can we wrap one up for you? (Kidding, we don't sell cameras and we don't do the affiliate thing... I make money making and selling photographs to commercial and advertising clients). 

The other camera I am anticipating is the one I think Leica and Panasonic are jointly working on. I have no insider information but I'm hoping for a Leica Q variant that, like the older X-Vario camera model, has a potent zoom lens permanently mounted on the front. Something like a 28-65mm f3.5 which would be wickedly sharp and yet still low profile. They might as well launch it with the recent Sony 60 megapixel sensor. If I'm right and they do this I'm just hoping they keep the same battery as we currently have in the SL cameras and the Q2; I'd hate to have to "invest" in yet another proprietary line of batteries from Leica. That would be an absurd stretch. Also, hoping they take a page from the Apple playbook and add some crazy good computational image enhancing magic to the system.

They could launch this camera as a Panasonic at $4500 or a Leica at $6500 and I think they would constantly sell more than they can make. I'd be first in line to order one.  From either camp. 

On a domestic note: We now have a new refrigerator. The delivery/installer damaged the first one during the delivery process this week so we rejected it and had the retailer rush out a new one the next morning. B. supervised the second install process with an eagle eye and saved the installer from their own incompetence more than once. I guess this is just another supply chain issue. This appliance was not our first choice. That would have been a beautiful Bosch side by side unit. But we just couldn't survive the 9 months between now and the anticipated delivery date to get that one so we compromised and got a unit that could be delivered in a week. I think it's fine.

If we decide we can't live with the second choice we'll order the one we really want, keep the current unit until the new one arrives and then donate the recently delivered one to a local charity. So many complications compared to life before Covid. 

Stay healthy. Stay fit. Remember that Happiness is a choice. Make good choices.