ClimbingFood for thought

Contrast

By March 27, 2020April 1st, 2020No Comments

The first time I picked up a camera, it wasn’t called a “phone.” It had weird numbers all over it, and when you got near the end of a roll of film, you were never sure if you’d get a free extra shot or two before having to rewind the roll and get it developed. Now we’ve all got cameras in our pockets, and software on those cameras for image editing.

Photographs can be awesomely powerful. Indeed, they can change history. The Vietnam War is, to me, an incredible example of how a few images can tell a deeper, more visceral story than the finest wordsmiths. There are plenty of other examples throughout history. Another that leaps to mind is the work of Dorothea Lange in Manzanar.

Uncle Sam didn’t provide much for elementary schools in Manzanar.

What are the first sliders you tweak when editing an image? We all have our own workflows, but it’s likely that “Contrast” comes to mind. What a concept, eh? The farther apart we pull the luminance values of highlights and shadows, the more distinction we get between objects in an image. Conversely, an image with very high contrast (how about that photo of Tommy jugging on El Cap during golden hour, while Kevin sits on the portaledge scrolling Pornhub Instagram?) grabs the attention a certain way, and only after some time spent with the image can the viewer begin to integrate the light and dark portions into an interconnected scene.

Thanks to the person on MtnProject who had taken and uploaded this photo.

There has been much contrast in the world lately. Contrast is good, because the alternative is a flatness, dullness, homogeneity. Right now millions of people (can you imagine “millions of people,” like, really picture them in your head? Me neither) are out of work, in stark contrast to how things were a month ago. When contrasted with a rational approach to purchasing commodities, the toilet paper hoarders are rightfully ridiculed.

In contrast to common sense, Los Angeles owns this parcel of land (among many others) adjacent to the Paiute reservation.

This morning, we watched Angela Merkel address the German republic, with English subtitles. I suggest watching it, and then contrasting her message with the complete mess that has been the Trump administration’s handling of this. One of the few who could stomach putting their name of a piece of praise for the Pumpkin Prez was Lara Trump, the POTUS Daughter in Law. Compare Contrast Lara’s message with what the rest of the world is saying, including our own public health experts.

Things she did not say: It’s ____’s fault; I give myself a 10 out of 10; We have this under control; I take no responsibility

The G-7 couldn’t put out a joint statement about Coronavirus because the administration that represents 330 million of us Americans insisted on being needlessly racist.

The U.S. government’s rigid stance is reflective of the course Trump is charting in the corona crisis: Namely that the Chinese are to blame and Europe responded too late — which is why the virus has now reached the U.S.

In recent weeks, he announced countermeasures like the entry ban to the United States for European Union citizens overnight and without even informing the Europeans in advance. He initially exempted putative friends like Great Britain from the entry ban, only to expand it to include the country a few days later.

The frustration in Berlin and Paris is great. Government sources in Berlin argue that Washington is definitively abandoning the idea of partnership-based cooperation. Trump’s battle against multilateralism has made it so that even formats like the G-7 are no longer working.

It appears that the coronavirus is destroying the last vestiges of a world order.

Der Spiegel: https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/dispute-over-wuhang-virus-g-7-drops-joint-statement-following-fight-over-language-a-48d278bc-20ba-41e4-b4a0-74ba70b9bbe6

The good news is the sun is shining in Bishop, Vikki and I are healthy, and we’ve got a woodie. We donated some time to help out down at the food bank yesterday, we talked with our families…ya know, it kinda feels sometimes like the world just really needed a vacation from all this psuedo-urgency of 21st-century life, a dopamine/serotonin/cortisol flush, some time to rebalance our portfolios of priorities…sure, it’s a little boring at times, but we need that boredom lest there’s nothing to contrast with the excitement of life.

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