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Fred A discussion in a photography forum got me to thinking about what I like about black and white images (only some of which I can put into words).

Smooth gradation looks awesome in black and white, e.g. an area of sky fading from one gray level to another. Smooth gradation is of course also possible in color but there's something sublime about how it looks in black and white.

Black and white lets you take considerable liberties in altering contrast. When you darken skies with a red filter (or the digital post-processing equivalent), the resulting image is artificial but it doesn't look blatantly, annoyingly artificial.

Sometimes color is a distraction. Some compositions are about form and shape.

In any case, my interest in black and white is not about nostalgia. I don't aim to make pics that look like they were taken 100 years ago, nice though some 100 year old pics are. click for full bird
Roadrunner this morning.
Click on the pic for larger uncropped version.
it's definitely a Q if you look closely I liked Martin Landau's work in Mission: Impossible. And I like the misspelling ("disquise") in this still from an episode in the first season. Yes, I am easily amused. this guy and his buddies have been devouring my neighbor's tomato plantsAnthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director

For a larger view, click on the pic of the animal that didn't recently dismiss accusations that he's willing to suppress his ideals for the sake of power. Program notes for Holst's The Planets often point out that the vocal parts in the last movement (Neptune, the Mystic) are performed by an offstage choir. The score has specific directions:
The Chorus is to be placed in an adjoining room, the door of which is to be left open until the last bar of the piece, when it is to be slowly and silently closed. The Chorus, the door, and any Sub‑Conductors that may be found necessary, are to be well screened from the audience.
Neptune ends on faintly sung notes. I can see how Holst felt that punctuation was in order. The door‑closing is like a period.

And I like the ritual aspect of the instructions. Even though the audience neither sees nor hears, the closing of the door is a moment to be savored. It's an esoteric touch, an arcanum shared by the composer and the performers (and anyone curious enough to have read the score).
The laws of mathematics are very commendable but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia.

- Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

One channel in my stereo preamp went bad recently. I got around to dealing with it today. Sometimes trying to fix stuff is fun, sometimes it's frustrating, sometimes it's both.

The problem was in a stage that I guessed I could just bypass and let another similar stage perform the same function. The good news is, the preamp does work now.

Texas Instruments TL072CPThe other news is that an IC op‑amp I took out of the signal path was displeased with what portion of the original circuit remained. I'd left the op‑amp on the board because who wants to desolder an 8‑pin DIP, but I ended up having to take it out anyway after the way it went pop when powered up. Smoke came out of the dark spot in the middle of the package.

Oh, and I blew the fuse in the preamp while poking around, no big deal except that this one was soldered in.

Yeah I could have paid a competent technician to fix it but where's the sport in that.
We had a couple telescopes around the house when I was a kid. The bigger one had a 6" diameter mirror which, by the time I was a teenager, had turned dull (the silver coating had tarnished). My dad and I took the mirror to an optics supply company to see if there was anything they could recommend for restoring it.

"It's got a fillum on it," the guy behind the counter said. In the spirit of not being contradictory, my dad followed his lead and pronounced film with two syllables for the rest of the discussion.

The old mirror was deemed a lost cause and I bought a new one (aluminized rather than silvered) which I still have.

I wonder if the dude who said fillum was responsible for editing their catalog, which included this: top-knotch If I start spelling top‑notch with a k, now you know why. robber fly (Asilidae)