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10 September 2020

In this recurring column, we highlight a few items we've run across that don't merit a full story of their own but are interesting enough to bring to your attention. This time we look at wildfire skies, falling trees, covering protests, Rebecca Solnit, transparent masks, the Holodomor, that large camera, Z lens design, favs and Canon R5 heat emission.

We're a little heavy on items from the New York Times today. We appreciate that a subscription to the paid site is out of reach for many, especially now after many have lost jobs during the pandemic. But we suggest you explore your public library's options for online access to the newspaper of record during the pandemic. In San Francisco, for example, library patrons can get a free three-day pass. Private libraries may offer similar access.

  • In California Skies Glow Orange as Wildfires Continue, Michael Williams presents a set of realistic photos of yesterday's phenomenon. The tendency of digital cameras and smartphones to oversaturate color generally and reds in particular worked against an accurate rendering of what was going on. But these images reflect what we saw. When it was light enough to see something.
  • In A Photographer Works to the Sound of Falling Trees, Max Whittaker visits Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Central California. Whittaker, who has covered wildfires for 19 years, hiked in when he thought the active fire danger had passed. "On my hike out I saw downed trees that had not been there on the way in," he writes. "I clambered over trunks that blocked the road and thought about the immense job the park had ahead."
  • In How the Courier Journal Has Covered 100 Days of Protests, some of the four dozen journalists and photographers describe how the Louisvilled publication has become "a different newsroom." Photographer Sam Upshaw Jr., who grew up in west Louisville, "wondered what it would be like to cover such a historic moment as a journalist. I never thought I would get the chance until now." Photographer Michael Clevenger doesn't want things to return to normal. "My hope is that, when we do get back to 'normal,' we have become a new city. A city that becomes the new standard for how we relate to each other."
  • Author Rebecca Solnit, whose River of Shadows explored the work of the photographer Eadweard Muybridge, writes, California's Dark, Orange Sky Is the Most Unnerving Sight I've Ever Woken Up To. "People around California reported that the birds that would normally be singing were silent," she writes. Birds don't fly at night. It was that dark all day.
  • PhotoshopMaskMask is a graphic play on the checkerboard pattern used to indicate transparency. We ironically discovered it on the same day journalist Bob Woodward revealed his interview tapes in which Trump Admits Downplaying the Virus Knowing It Was 'Deadly Stuff'. As the U.S. death toll approaches 200,000, Biden, who has worn a mask in public, reacted to yesterday's revelation by characterizing Trump's behavior as almost criminal.
  • In A Transdisciplinary Memorial to Millions Lost in 1932-33 Soviet Ukraine, Amy Parrish explores Lesia Maruschak's project on the Holodomor in a limited edition book.
  • Fabienne Lang reports on the First 3,200 Megapixel Images Taken by World's Largest Digital Camera. It uses an array of 189 individual sensors which would require 378 4K ultra-high-resolution TVs to display full size.

More to come! Meanwhile, here's a look back. And please support our efforts...

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