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2 March 2017

Scaffold. Be grateful you're a photographer.

This peculiar structure was erected over the sidewalk down the hill recently. It solves the problem of dumping roof debris into a truck when the house itself is set back from the street and there is no driveway.

We walked around it.

And we suspect the grammar school kids from the two schools in the neighborhood would not even be tempted to try climbing the thing should the roofers take a day off. It looks more like a diving platform than a scaffold.

Still, there's something uplifting about the shot. It picks up your spirits just looking at it as it rises from the hazy fog of the horizon to the deeper blue atmosphere. You could launch rockets from the thing, Elon.

The image itself happens to be something of a scaffold.

There's the 1980s-era Nikkor 35mm f2.8 with circular polarizer that focuses the image on the 2005 Nikon D200's 10-Mp sensor. The Raw Nikon NEF file was converted into an Adobe DNG Raw file on import from the CompactFlash card.

It was converted into an image in the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw, which let us straighten the verticals, something we couldn't have done very easily in 2005 (although a tilt of the enlarging easel would have done the trick in 1981).

We didn't sharpen it nearly as much as we normally would because when we tried it, we saw stair-stepping artifacts on the cross bars of the scaffold. Stairs would be nice, but not there. And besides, just how sharp does this image have to be to convey the fragility of the structure?

Ah, fragility. That's the theme. Ascendant, though. Ascendant fragility. Our enthusiasm, our pride, our ignorance of the dangers allows us to attempt the impossible. And then it all comes tumbling down, Icarus.

It may not fly but don't jump. Be grateful you're a photographer and not a roofer or some kid in grammar school. You can keep your feet on the ground while your eyes do the ascending.

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