Sometimes the steps required to do something become part of the experience; making tea or playing a record on your turntable instead of on your iPhone. The steps add to the satisfaction, make the event more of a personal experience than just doing. This can make a simple task personally therapeutic or cathartic — often allowing a simple task to remedy the stresses of the day.
via Doing things the hard way — The Northwind

My family often chides me — calling me a snob — for the way I obsess over how I make my coffee. I’ve never had a good way to explain the feeling I get from the four or five minutes I spend making coffee. Grinding the beans. Measuring and boiling the water in my kettle. Waiting for just the right temperature to pour the water and brew the coffee.

Yes, it takes more time than popping a pod into a machine. But I get to enjoy a few minutes of “in the moment” nothingness. It’s worth it.

When Scott Wyden posted a Google invite event for a press event at the 32nd annual New Jersey Festival of Ballooning I said yes immediately.

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Although I had to be at my client’s office at 8AM, I decided that I could arrive just before 6:30AM, snap some photos, and be back on the road by 7AM.

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But as the date approached, I realized that attending would mean getting up at 5AM. This is 1 hour earlier than I normally get up.  It also meant I wouldn’t have any time to eat a proper breakfast or do my normal coffee ritual.  I almost backed out.  I am glad I did not.

I got some great photos.

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A scientist at George Washington University may have found the location of the human brain’s off switch in the claustrum.

When the team zapped the area with high frequency electrical impulses, the woman lost consciousness. She stopped reading and stared blankly into space, she didn’t respond to auditory or visual commands and her breathing slowed. As soon as the stimulation stopped, she immediately regained consciousness with no memory of the event. The same thing happened every time the area was stimulated during two days of experiments. New Scientist

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Despite severe allergies and feeling tired from another photo event the previous day, I decided to join a group of photographers for a walk through the Duke Farms estate in Hillsborough. I popped one Zyrtec, one Singulair, and squeeze a mist of Nasonex in each nostril and drove the ten minutes to the estate. Once again I met with Ed and Prasanna, our leader Loren, and a few other people from my last photo walk.

The first stop along the path was the waterfall feature. On the last photo walk, Ed and Loren had talked to me about Neutral Density filters. I learned that an ND filter is essential for creating that creamy white water look in photographs of waterfalls and rivers. After some online research I purchased a Hoya 55mm Neutral Density ND-400 X, 9 Stop Multi-Coated Glass Filter from B&H to use on my Nikon 18-55mm f/5.6 lens. I used it for the first time today. What do you think of the result (above)?With some trial and error I took a 20 second exposure of the waterfall at f/22.

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Above is a closer crop of the image.

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I didn’t take many photos on this photo walk. I had too much fun being outdoors and enjoying the company of other photogs. Perhaps I’ll come back in a few weeks when the trees have more flowers.

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Some of the images were post-processed in Silver Efx Pro and Color Efx Pro.

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