23 Oct. 2008
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Is There A Danger of a Nose Falling Off?

If this were a review of the Sony HDR-SR12 Video Camera, I would have more to talk about than just how ridiculously many still photos it can take.

If this were a narration of more than a tiny excerpt of a "vacation," I would probably start from the beginning instead of with this Q and A excerpt.

Cover - Don "Nick" Clifford Mount Rushmore Q&A But it's neither.  Rather, it's just a few words about a camera, a bus, and a carved mountain.   

The Camera

I'm not a big video fan.  I've always felt that if God wanted pictures to fly through the air, He would have given them tickets.  Even so, there are occasions when video is useful, and the price of really, really good video cameras has dropped spectacularly.  I was visiting a friend and he showed me pix taken with a consumer HD camera compared to a professional one.  I couldn't tell the difference.  More significantly, he said that a professional video editor was content to use the consumer camera "footage" as part of a production.  Our marketing department needed a new video camera for an upcoming convention, so I suggested the Sony SDR12, which takes HD video pictures, and claims 10.2 megapixels for still photos.

I borrowed it for a bus trip.  When I turned it on and took my first picture, the number of shots remaining was displayed on the screen.  It declined with each picture I took:

9999, 9998, 9997, 9996...

Is there a danger of a nose falling off?

My tendency toward photographic frugality was born in my youth, when I had to pay for film and "developing" out of my "allowance."  I think this camera has finally broken through that conditioning.  I ended up taking over a thousand still photos and a couple of hundred short videos.  With which I managed to fill less than 10% of the camera's disk storage.  Other tendencies toward frugality remain with me.  For instance, you can just bet that I shall derive a number of additional blogitems from those thousand-plus photos.

The Bus

If you've never been on a tourist bus trip, it works like this:  You go somewhere, get on a bus, see a lot of neat things, get off the bus somewhere else, and come home.  Remember, I promised (above) just a "few words" about the bus.  You can just bet that I shall derive a number of additional blogitems from the bus trip, too.  Hint.  It's a lot more fun than I made it sound!

The Carved Mountain

Of course, that would be Mount Rushmore.  (And Crazy Horse, but that's another nearby subject.)  You've probably heard a lot about Mount Rushmore, including the fact that it seems "so much smaller" up close.  Not so!  It seems just as large as it seems.  Once you're beyond the depth-perception range of binocular vision, it's nearly impossible to judge the size of something without additional cues.  To me it looked big.  I think that's the point of using mountains as a canvas.

Yes, some of those thousand-plus photos were of Rushmore.  But rather than bore you with them on my blog, I made a "synth" of them that you can see here at Microsoft's remarkable Photosynth.Net site.  If you've ever had the urge to stare up a president's rocky nostril, here's your chance.  (You will need a "plug-in" for your web browser.)

Mount Rushmore is very impressive, as is the pavilion where all the state flags are flown.  But not so impressive that I eschewed using some more of those photos to capture some Rushmore humor. 

Back of Mount Rushmore T-shirt Mount Rushmore cartoon - Extra eye, missing nose
Mount Stoogemore Mount Rush Limbaugh
Mount Rushmore presidents:  Smile for the camera!

Yes, there are even more.  Don't ask.

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(The Mitsubishi has been sold, and the buyer (from South Dakota!) has it safely home.)

NP:  "Happiness is the Road" - Marillion  (just received by post yesterday)

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