When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'."
I see that Typepad has made some changes in their operation without asking me. I love it when techno people decide to get cute with a simple system that worked so well. Oh, well. And this ties in with what I was going to write about today....that is software operation and the people that make life more difficult.
This past week I've had the "opportunity" to purchase a couple of items for my education and work process. The software, a new HDR product that has recently been released, had some great pre-launch videos that seemed to indicate that it was better than what I have been using. So, I made the purchase and the devil walked into my computer. As it turned out the software does not meet its pre-launch hype and is dismal, to say the least. I notified the company that I wanted my money back and they replied, "no problem". They did ask if I would send them a sample of the problem image...I did. I also sent them the same image processed by a competitor HDR product (which came out much better) so that they could see the difference. After that I also tried to run another image through the "offensive" software and the result was worse. I sent them that image as well.
My point to all this is to ask...why do computer/software brainiacs send out products for us to test? Isn't it their job to get the bugs out prior to release? Wouldn't that be better than having droves of people very unhappy and wasting their time? Makes sense to me, how about you? Kind of like buying a car without a steering wheel. Yeah, it can be fixed but why would anyone want to go through the hassle of having to get that steering wheel?
On a more positive note...Among my purchases this past week were two videos by Tony Sweet about iPhone photography or iPhoneography. They were very helpful and his work is incredible. And along with that I purchased his recently released "Visual Creativity" video which is a 7 session instruction on creative photography. I've been a attendee at two of his 5 day workshops and have been an avid follower since. This video did nothing to change my view. His instruction is simple, well thought out and served with his normal sense of humor. While getting the ear full from Tony you also get an eyeful of his work which is used as examples for his tutelage. The man is a master that makes one want to search and work harder.
Finally, the image above is the result of some of the things I learned from his iPhone instruction. I happen to be in the small town of May City, Iowa to get new tires put on my truck. May City is a very small town that is sliding away, as many small town in Iowa and the midwest are facing. Curt of Curt's Repair (now Van Steel) has been a gem of a business for May City and farmers in the area. He's fixed anything I could break.
While waiting I saw this scene across the street. This building is part of what used to be the May City Store. My children stood in front of this building every morning waiting for the school bus. Since the store handled everything from candy to nails, I tend to think that my kids kept their sweet tooth satisfied. Joyce and Bill Shattuck (now deceased) were the owners and two of the most special people that I've known. Joyce would always have coffee on and some special pastries waiting for those farmers (like me) that would need a break in the morning. Joyce was the "keeper of the board" which was a small blackboard on which she would document the passing of birthdays and anniversaries of the town people and local farmers.
This place is where I worked and where my children grew up and I'm sad to see it disappearing as are so many other towns in America. These towns were a part of the landscape and served it's citizens more than we will ever imagine. Yes, it might be easier and more convenient to visit the "big box" stores, but these small town stores are run by our neighbors, our friends. They stand beside us at weddings, birthdays and funerals. They pitch in when times are tough (Curt was a blessing when the farm crisis hit our family in the '80's) and they're there when it's time to celebrate. Big box stores...not so much.
To end this, support your local business', especially those in small towns and "burgs". They will support you if you support them.
Thanks for visiting this site and have a great weekend. We've got snow!
Sic 'em Bears". Baylor Football at Oklahoma State - TONIGHT!
For more views of my work visit;
Arts On Grand, Spencer, Iowa http://www.artsongrand.org/
Lanesboro Art Center, Lanesboro, Minnesota www.lanesboroarts.org
Summer Wind Gallery, Arnolds Park, Iowa