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To finish off our trip to Utah Rob and I hit Vegas to grab a buffet. I’d been looking at buffet reviews online during the outlandish amount of time we spent in the coffee shop over the past week. We decided to make our move on one just outside of downtown Vegas and the bustle of the strip. Vegas is huge…by the time we’d gotten on the phone with the buffet place to get directions…we were way off where we needed to be. Rather than try and navigate the Vegas freeway system, which was/is in the midst of major construction we opted to pick another buffet from the list.

 

The winner was the Mirage….primarily because we could see it close by.

 

To say we ate a lot is an understatement. Rob has a video of me recapping everything I ate during the experience. It was a lot of food…most of it was very good. I made sure to eat my weight in crab and shrimp…as well as finishing off the whole ordeal with two big bowls of gelato….and toppings

 

I was full.

 

Painfully full.

 

Rather than immediately getting in the car and driving to Death Valley….we decided to shoot the strip and look at the Peter Lik Gallery….which was located in Mandalay Bay….We could see Mandalay Bay from the Mirage…we decided to make a little walk.

 

2 hours later…we arrived.

 

Vegas deceives you with distances. While you get a good visual of another casino on the strip…you have no idea that it’s really 2 mile walk to get there. It’s not an easy walk either. The casinos have purposely set up the sidewalk system so that in order to continue down the strip…you must walk through certain casinos…which ALWAYS ends up being a maze of confusion before you finally get back out to the strip…if indeed you’re even still headed the right direction when you do. I can’t tell you how many times we were foiled by this setup…and we were sober. I watched one poor drunk guy cursing and wandering aimlessly in one of these traps. I’m convinced he’s still lost somewhere in Excalibur.

 

I liked some of the Peter Lik gallery…some I wasn’t crazy about. I think mostly I was just really full of buffet…and tired of walking...so my artistic appreciation filter was a bit off. I’ll say this, the guy is a marketing genius to be able to get to the point he’s at now. Rob asked the guy working the desk which image was the best selling…it was a shot of Mossbrae Falls in Dunsmuir.

 

Crazy.

 

The nice thing about our walk to Mandalay Bay was that we were able to repeat it again on the way back to the car….funny how we got lost AGAIN on the way back…in completely different spots than we had on the way there.

 

I hate you Vegas.

 

The best part of the whole walk (there or back) was watching the fountains at the Bellagio do their dance. I don’t think I had ever seen them before…or wasn’t paying attention if I had. It was really very cool…and I almost wished I had taken the camera with me.

 

Driving OUT of Vegas is as confusing as driving IN Vegas. Turns out, they really would rather you didn’t leave. I’m convinced that’s how the motto; ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ originated…you never get out to share it with anyone.

 

It took forever to finally get on the road towards Death Valley. Just in time for my buffet to decide it was no longer happy being in my belly. Turns out that what happens in a Vegas buffet doesn’t stay in Vegas either….to make a long story short, there is a very humiliated bush out in the Nevadan desert somewhere.

 

We made only one other stop before arriving in Death Valley, an out of the way casino/ RV place. When Rob and I walked in the door the population of the building doubled. (The other two were employees) They still had on dance music, and a disco-ball spinning.

I thought it would’ve been fun to have an spontaneous dance battle…but I was tired, and my stomach wasn’t entirely right…so we opted to keep our time brief, and buy only snacks.

 

It was after 2am when we arrived in Death Valley…under a cloudless desert sky we set up Rob’s tent in the Furnace Creek campground….sometime later that morning the coyotes howled their disapproval that we did not bring a crock pot for them.

 

Sunrise was dull. We chose to explore the Badwater area for the morning…but it wouldn’t have mattered where we shot…the sky just wasn’t cooperating. We took a few shots anyway before making the long drive north hoping we could finish with a bang in Lake Tahoe.

 

This is another shot from Antelope Canyon…this section of the canyon was lit beautifully, and I really liked the color palette the camera picked up.

 

SURPRISE! & Nooo dont get me wrong..i didn't go to Canada haha! Well, this is the 1st time i've posted a shot that is not mine! :)) This shot was taken by one of my mates in 2005 during her canada trip, in which i had the privilege to copy some of her beautiful shots across as my desktop wallpaper.

 

Quite a lot of ppl I know are too shy to share their photos online cos they think that their shots might not be of high quality enough esp when its taken from an inexpensive or old compact cam. Wrong wrong! :)) To me, everyone deserves an equal chance to share along what they've seen & let others enjoy it too. This is why I've decided to post this photo with full credit to my friend who prefers to remain anonymous ;) Of coz, with my itchy fingers, i've to at least first try it out in my hdr factory b4 its showcased. I'm really happy with the outcome esp how the foreground turns out even when its just a single shot tonemapping. Not truly a hdr too but enjoy!

 

View LARGE On Black to see the clarity of the water

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About

 

Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta Canada

 

The Shot

 

Standard 1 exposure shot (0 EV) taken handheld using Ricoh Caplio R3

 

Photomatix

 

- Tonemapped generated HDR using detail enhancer option

 

Photoshop

 

- Added 2 layer mask effect of 'curves' to increase the contrast

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (greens) to tone up the water

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (blues) to desaturate the tone of snow

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (reds) to desaturate some rocks

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'photo filter' (blues) to enhance the sky

- Slightly cropped part of the original shot for a better composition

- Applied noise reduction to foreground

 

You

 

All comments, criticism and tips for improvements are (as always) welcome. Be kind :P

 

Music

 

Enya - Amid The Falling Snow

 

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Rua dos Melos - Soure

Portugal 2011

www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMqsWc8muj8

Everything about you is how I wanna be

Your freedom comes naturally

Everything about you resonates happiness

Now I won't settle for less

 

Give me all the peace and joy in your mind

 

Everything about you pains my envying

Your soul can't hate anything

Everything about you is so easy to love

They're watching you from above

 

Give me all the peace and joy in your mind

I want the peace and joy in your mind

Give me the peace and joy in your mind

 

Everything about you resonates happiness

Now I won't settle for less

 

Give me all the peace and joy in your mind

I want the peace and joy in your mind

Give me the peace and joy in your mind

  

First of all, my apologies if i have not been to your photostreams yet. I have been studying for an exam almost the whole of last night and haven't had much chance to spend time online.Therefore thank you so much for your time to pop by again! Appreciate them as always & i will be back soon to catch up with you all! :D .....

 

....& wish me luck of course! :P The exam is going to commence in an hours time! from the min of this post!

 

As i am unable to process new hdr last night, I decided to post this shot which was captured ages ago.. i reckon its around the time when i just started doing hdr. This hdr has been done a long while back but have been re-processed to further remove noise artifacts. It might not be of a real high standard (still naive then LOL!) but hope you will enjoy it :)

 

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About

 

The Sunset Reflection at River Torrens

 

The Shot

 

Standard 3 exposure shots (-1..0..+1 EV) with tripod using the Canon kit lens EF-S 18-55mm

 

Photomatix

 

- Tonemapped generated HDR using detail enhancer option

 

Photoshop

 

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'curves' to increase the contrast

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (yellows) to slightly tone up the whole image

- Applied slight dodging on the trees (not too much as i want to have silhouette feel to it)

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (reds & cyans) to brush off the ghost artifacts of the trees

- Used 'unsharp mask' (as always) on the background layer

 

You

 

All comments, criticism and tips for improvements are (as always) welcome.

 

Music

 

Christina Aguilera - Reflection

 

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Intentionally processed this to have that painting feel & look to it. NZ has always been like a fantasy world to me so hopefully this fits the bill & not totally disgust my lovely kiwi mates here. Sorry no bad intention here but if you are still not at all impressed, pls kindly have a look at some online, you might realise that this can't really be that bad rite lol! :P

 

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About

 

The view of Queenstown in South Island, New Zealand

 

The Shot

 

Standard 3 exposure shot (+2..0..-2 EV) in RAW taken handheld

 

Camera :: Canon EOS Rebel XTi (400D)

Lens :: Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM

 

Photomatix

 

- Tonemapped generated HDR using detail enhancer option

 

Photoshop

 

- Added 2 layer mask effect of 'curves' for overall contrast

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'levels' to lighten all dark areas

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'levels' to bring out the details of the mountain

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (blues & cyans) to darken the sky

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (yellows & greens) to desaturate the vegetations

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (reds) to tone down the foregrounf

 

Music

 

Tommy Page - Paintings in My Mind

 

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Included in "nuove architetture" gallery

(www.flickr.com/photos/69901321@N08/galleries/721576295454...)

 

Best seen on black: press L to view.

Army Photography Contest - 2007 - FMWRC - Arts and Crafts - A Plumpish Proportion

 

Photo By: SSG Robert Stewart

 

To learn more about the annual U.S. Army Photography Competition, visit us online at www.armymwr.com

 

U.S. Army Arts and Crafts History

 

After World War I the reductions to the Army left the United States with a small force. The War Department faced monumental challenges in preparing for World War II. One of those challenges was soldier morale. Recreational activities for off duty time would be important. The arts and crafts program informally evolved to augment the needs of the War Department.

On January 9, 1941, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, appointed Frederick H. Osborn, a prominent U.S. businessman and philanthropist, Chairman of the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation and Community Service.

In 1940 and 1941, the United States involvement in World War II was more of sympathy and anticipation than of action. However, many different types of institutions were looking for ways to help the war effort. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one of these institutions. In April, 1941, the Museum announced a poster competition, “Posters for National Defense.” The directors stated “The Museum feels that in a time of national emergency the artists of a country are as important an asset as men skilled in other fields, and that the nation’s first-rate talent should be utilized by the government for its official design work... Discussions have been held with officials of the Army and the Treasury who have expressed remarkable enthusiasm...”

In May 1941, the Museum exhibited “Britain at War”, a show selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery in London. The “Prize-Winning Defense Posters” were exhibited in July through September concurrently with “Britain at War.” The enormous overnight growth of the military force meant mobilization type construction at every camp. Construction was fast; facilities were not fancy; rather drab and depressing.

In 1941, the Fort Custer Army Illustrators, while on strenuous war games maneuvers in Tennessee, documented the exercise The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Feb. 1942), described their work. “Results were astonishingly good; they showed serious devotion ...to the purpose of depicting the Army scene with unvarnished realism and a remarkable ability to capture this scene from the soldier’s viewpoint. Civilian amateur and professional artists had been transformed into soldier-artists. Reality and straightforward documentation had supplanted (replaced) the old romantic glorification and false dramatization of war and the slick suavity (charm) of commercial drawing.”

 

“In August of last year, Fort Custer Army Illustrators held an exhibition, the first of its kind in the new Army, at the Camp Service Club. Soldiers who saw the exhibition, many of whom had never been inside an art gallery, enjoyed it thoroughly. Civilian visitors, too, came and admired. The work of the group showed them a new aspect of the Army; there were many phases of Army life they had never seen or heard of before. Newspapers made much of it and, most important, the Army approved. Army officials saw that it was not only authentic material, but that here was a source of enlivenment (vitalization) to the Army and a vivid medium for conveying the Army’s purposes and processes to civilians and soldiers.”

Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn and War Department leaders were concerned because few soldiers were using the off duty recreation areas that were available. Army commanders recognized that efficiency is directly correlated with morale, and that morale is largely determined from the manner in which an individual spends his own free time. Army morale enhancement through positive off duty recreation programs is critical in combat staging areas.

To encourage soldier use of programs, the facilities drab and uninviting environment had to be improved. A program utilizing talented artists and craftsmen to decorate day rooms, mess halls, recreation halls and other places of general assembly was established by the Facilities Section of Special Services. The purpose was to provide an environment that would reflect the military tradition, accomplishments and the high standard of army life. The fact that this work was to be done by the men themselves had the added benefit of contributing to the esprit de corps (teamwork, or group spirit) of the unit.

The plan was first tested in October of 1941, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. A studio workshop was set up and a group of soldier artists were placed on special duty to design and decorate the facilities. Additionally, evening recreation art classes were scheduled three times a week. A second test was established at Fort Belvoir, Virginia a month later. The success of these programs lead to more installations requesting the program.

After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Museum of Modern Art appointed Mr. James Soby, to the position of Director of the Armed Service Program on January 15, 1942. The subsequent program became a combination of occupational therapy, exhibitions and morale-sustaining activities.

Through the efforts of Mr. Soby, the museum program included; a display of Fort Custer Army Illustrators work from February through April 5, 1942. The museum also included the work of soldier-photographers in this exhibit. On May 6, 1942, Mr. Soby opened an art sale of works donated by museum members. The sale was to raise funds for the Soldier Art Program of Special Services Division. The bulk of these proceeds were to be used to provide facilities and materials for soldier artists in Army camps throughout the country.

Members of the Museum had responded with paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings and lithographs. Hundreds of works were received, including oils by Winslow Homer, Orozco, John Kane, Speicher, Eilshemius, de Chirico; watercolors by Burchfield and Dufy; drawings by Augustus John, Forain and Berman, and prints by Cezanne, Lautrec, Matisse and Bellows. The War Department plan using soldier-artists to decorate and improve buildings and grounds worked. Many artists who had been drafted into the Army volunteered to paint murals in waiting rooms and clubs, to decorate dayrooms, and to landscape grounds. For each artist at work there were a thousand troops who watched. These bystanders clamored to participate, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography were offered. Larger working space and more instructors were required to meet the growing demand. Civilian art instructors and local communities helped to meet this cultural need, by providing volunteer instruction and facilities.

Some proceeds from the Modern Museum of Art sale were used to print 25,000 booklets called “Interior Design and Soldier Art.” The booklet showed examples of soldier-artist murals that decorated places of general assembly. It was a guide to organizing, planning and executing the soldier-artist program. The balance of the art sale proceeds were used to purchase the initial arts and crafts furnishings for 350 Army installations in the USA.

In November, 1942, General Somervell directed that a group of artists be selected and dispatched to active theaters to paint war scenes with the stipulation that soldier artists would not paint in lieu of military duties.

Aileen Osborn Webb, sister of Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn, launched the American Crafts Council in 1943. She was an early champion of the Army program.

While soldiers were participating in fixed facilities in the USA, many troops were being shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific (1942-1945). They had long periods of idleness and waiting in staging areas. At that time the wounded were lying in hospitals, both on land and in ships at sea. The War Department and Red Cross responded by purchasing kits of arts and crafts tools and supplies to distribute to “these restless personnel.” A variety of small “Handicraft Kits” were distributed free of charge. Leathercraft, celluloid etching, knotting and braiding, metal tooling, drawing and clay modeling are examples of the types of kits sent.

In January, 1944, the Interior Design Soldier Artist program was more appropriately named the “Arts and Crafts Section” of Special Services. The mission was “to fulfill the natural human desire to create, provide opportunities for self-expression, serve old skills and develop new ones, and assist the entire recreation program through construction work, publicity, and decoration.”

The National Army Art Contest was planned for the late fall of 1944. In June of 1945, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., for the first time in its history opened its facilities for the exhibition of the soldier art and photography submitted to this contest. The “Infantry Journal, Inc.” printed a small paperback booklet containing 215 photographs of pictures exhibited in the National Gallery of Art.

In August of 1944, the Museum of Modern Art, Armed Forces Program, organized an art center for veterans. Abby Rockefeller, in particular, had a strong interest in this project. Soldiers were invited to sketch, paint, or model under the guidance of skilled artists and craftsmen. Victor d’Amico, who was in charge of the Museum’s Education Department, was quoted in Russell Lynes book, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. “I asked one fellow why he had taken up art and he said, Well, I just came back from destroying everything. I made up my mind that if I ever got out of the Army and out of the war I was never going to destroy another thing in my life, and I decided that art was the thing that I would do.” Another man said to d’Amico, “Art is like a good night’s sleep. You come away refreshed and at peace.”

In late October, 1944, an Arts and Crafts Branch of Special Services Division, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations was established. A versatile program of handcrafts flourished among the Army occupation troops.

The increased interest in crafts, rather than fine arts, at this time lead to a new name for the program: The “Handicrafts Branch.”

In 1945, the War Department published a new manual, “Soldier Handicrafts”, to help implement this new emphasis. The manual contained instructions for setting up crafts facilities, selecting as well as improvising tools and equipment, and basic information on a variety of arts and crafts.

As the Army moved from a combat to a peacetime role, the majority of crafts shops in the United States were equipped with woodworking power machinery for construction of furnishings and objects for personal living. Based on this new trend, in 1946 the program was again renamed, this time as “Manual Arts.”

At the same time, overseas programs were now employing local artists and craftsmen to operate the crafts facilities and instruct in a variety of arts and crafts. These highly skilled, indigenous instructors helped to stimulate the soldiers’ interest in the respective native cultures and artifacts. Thousands of troops overseas were encouraged to record their experiences on film. These photographs provided an invaluable means of communication between troops and their families back home.

When the war ended, the Navy had a firm of architects and draftsmen on contract to design ships. Since there was no longer a need for more ships, they were given a new assignment: To develop a series of instructional guides for arts and crafts. These were called “Hobby Manuals.” The Army was impressed with the quality of the Navy manuals and had them reprinted and adopted for use by Army troops. By 1948, the arts and crafts practiced throughout the Army were so varied and diverse that the program was renamed “Hobby Shops.” The first “Interservice Photography Contest” was held in 1948. Each service is eligible to send two years of their winning entries forward for the bi-annual interservice contest. In 1949, the first All Army Crafts Contest was also held. Once again, it was clear that the program title, “Hobby Shops” was misleading and overlapped into other forms of recreation.

In January, 1951, the program was designated as “The Army Crafts Program.” The program was recognized as an essential Army recreation activity along with sports, libraries, service clubs, soldier shows and soldier music. In the official statement of mission, professional leadership was emphasized to insure a balanced, progressive schedule of arts and crafts would be conducted in well-equipped, attractive facilities on all Army installations.

The program was now defined in terms of a “Basic Seven Program” which included: drawing and painting; ceramics and sculpture; metal work; leathercrafts; model building; photography and woodworking. These programs were to be conducted regularly in facilities known as the “multiple-type crafts shop.” For functional reasons, these facilities were divided into three separate technical areas for woodworking, photography and the arts and crafts.

During the Korean Conflict, the Army Crafts program utilized the personnel and shops in Japan to train soldiers to instruct crafts in Korea.

The mid-1950s saw more soldiers with cars and the need to repair their vehicles was recognized at Fort Carson, Colorado, by the craft director. Soldiers familiar with crafts shops knew that they had tools and so automotive crafts were established. By 1958, the Engineers published an Official Design Guide on Crafts Shops and Auto Crafts Shops. In 1959, the first All Army Art Contest was held. Once more, the Army Crafts Program responded to the needs of soldiers.

In the 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a new challenge for the Army Crafts Program. The program had three levels of support; fixed facilities, mobile trailers designed as portable photo labs, and once again a “Kit Program.” The kit program originated at Headquarters, Department of Army, and it proved to be very popular with soldiers.

Tom Turner, today a well-known studio potter, was a soldier at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the 1960s. In the December 1990 / January 1991 “American Crafts” magazine, Turner, who had been a graduate student in art school when he was drafted, said the program was “a godsend.”

The Army Artist Program was re-initiated in cooperation with the Office of Military History to document the war in Vietnam. Soldier-artists were identified and teams were formed to draw and paint the events of this combat. Exhibitions of these soldier-artist works were produced and toured throughout the USA.

In 1970, the original name of the program, “Arts and Crafts”, was restored. In 1971, the “Arts and Crafts/Skills Development Program” was established for budget presentations and construction projects.

After the Vietnam demobilization, a new emphasis was placed on service to families and children of soldiers. To meet this new challenge in an environment of funding constraints the arts and crafts program began charging fees for classes. More part-time personnel were used to teach formal classes. Additionally, a need for more technical-vocational skills training for military personnel was met by close coordination with Army Education Programs. Army arts and crafts directors worked with soldiers during “Project Transition” to develop soldier skills for new careers in the public sector.

The main challenge in the 1980s and 90s was, and is, to become “self-sustaining.” Directors have been forced to find more ways to generate increased revenue to help defray the loss of appropriated funds and to cover the non-appropriated funds expenses of the program. Programs have added and increased emphasis on services such as, picture framing, gallery sales, engraving and trophy sales, etc... New programs such as multi-media computer graphics appeal to customers of the 1990’s.

The Gulf War presented the Army with some familiar challenges such as personnel off duty time in staging areas. Department of Army volunteer civilian recreation specialists were sent to Saudi Arabia in January, 1991, to organize recreation programs. Arts and crafts supplies were sent to the theater. An Army Humor Cartoon Contest was conducted for the soldiers in the Gulf, and arts and crafts programs were set up to meet soldier interests.

The increased operations tempo of the ‘90’s Army has once again placed emphasis on meeting the “recreation needs of deployed soldiers.” Arts and crafts activities and a variety of programs are assets commanders must have to meet the deployment challenges of these very different scenarios.

The Army arts and crafts program, no matter what it has been titled, has made some unique contributions for the military and our society in general. Army arts and crafts does not fit the narrow definition of drawing and painting or making ceramics, but the much larger sense of arts and crafts. It is painting and drawing. It also encompasses:

* all forms of design. (fabric, clothes, household appliances, dishes, vases, houses, automobiles, landscapes, computers, copy machines, desks, industrial machines, weapon systems, air crafts, roads, etc...)

* applied technology (photography, graphics, woodworking, sculpture, metal smithing, weaving and textiles, sewing, advertising, enameling, stained glass, pottery, charts, graphs, visual aides and even formats for correspondence...)

* a way of making learning fun, practical and meaningful (through the process of designing and making an object the creator must decide which materials and techniques to use, thereby engaging in creative problem solving and discovery) skills taught have military applications.

* a way to acquire quality items and save money by doing-it-yourself (making furniture, gifts, repairing things ...).

* a way to pursue college credit, through on post classes.

* a universal and non-verbal language (a picture is worth a thousand words).

* food for the human psyche, an element of morale that allows for individual expression (freedom).

* the celebration of human spirit and excellence (our highest form of public recognition is through a dedicated monument).

* physical and mental therapy (motor skill development, stress reduction, etc...).

* an activity that promotes self-reliance and self-esteem.

* the record of mankind, and in this case, of the Army.

What would the world be like today if this generally unknown program had not existed? To quantitatively state the overall impact of this program on the world is impossible. Millions of soldier citizens have been directly and indirectly exposed to arts and crafts because this program existed. One activity, photography can provide a clue to its impact. Soldiers encouraged to take pictures, beginning with WW II, have shared those images with family and friends. Classes in “How to Use a Camera” to “How to Develop Film and Print Pictures” were instrumental in soldiers seeing the results of using quality equipment. A good camera and lens could make a big difference in the quality of the print. They bought the top of the line equipment. When they were discharged from the Army or home on leave this new equipment was showed to the family and friends. Without this encouragement and exposure to photography many would not have recorded their personal experiences or known the difference quality equipment could make. Families and friends would not have had the opportunity to “see” the environment their soldier was living in without these photos. Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Panama, etc... were far away places that most had not visited.

As the twenty first century approaches, the predictions for an arts renaissance by Megatrends 2000 seem realistic based on the Army Arts and Crafts Program practical experience. In the April ‘95 issue of “American Demographics” magazine, an article titled “Generation X” fully supports that this is indeed the case today. Television and computers have greatly contributed to “Generation X” being more interested in the visual arts and crafts.

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www.YouTube.com/FamilyMWR

Please press L (or simply click the image) to view on black.

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Warm, sunny summer weather has returned to Curitiba but I still wanted to post this series of wet windshield abstracts taken several days ago.

 

Hope your new week is off to a great (hopefully not too frantic) start.

 

Thanks for visiting.

© Angela M. Lobefaro

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  

or Twilights of the Gods

 

Götterdämmerung on Wikipedia

   

Sunset

taken in Koh Phi Phi Don, Thailand. June 2008

 

My Most interesting photos for a guy called Isaias

  

Darkr Gallery of my photos

 

Subscribe to my stream

 

My Interviews with my Flick Friends!

   

The Phi Phi Islands (Thai: หมู่เกาะพีพี) are located in Thailand, between the large island of Phuket and the western Andaman Sea coast of the mainland. Phi Phi Don, the larger and principal of the two Phi Phi islands, is located at [show location on an interactive map] 7°44′00″N, 98°46′00″E. Both Phi Phi Don, and Phi Phi Leh, the smaller, are administratively part of Krabi province, most of which is on the mainland, and is located at [show location on an interactive map] 8°02′30″N, 98°48′39″E.

 

Ko Phi Phi Don ("ko" (Thai: เกาะ) meaning "island" in the Thai language) is the largest island of the group, and is the only island with permanent inhabitants, although the beaches of the second largest island, Ko Phi Phi Lee (or "Ko Phi Phi Leh"), are visited by many people as well. There are no accommodation facilities on this island, but it is just a short boat ride from Ko Phi Phi Don. The rest of the islands in the group, including Bida Nok, Bida Noi, and Bamboo Island, are not much more than large limestone rocks jutting out of the sea.

 

Phi Phi Don was initially populated by Muslim fishermen during the late 1940s, and later became a coconut plantation. The Thai population of Phi Phi Don remains more than 80% Muslim.But the actual population if counting laborers, especially from the north-east, from the mainland is much more Buddhist these days.

 

Ko Phi Phi Leh was the backdrop for the 2000 movie The Beach. Phi Phi Leh also houses the 'Viking Cave', from which there is a thriving bird's nest soup industry. There was criticism during filming of 'The Beach' that the permission granted to the film company to physically alter the environment inside Phi Phi Islands National Park was illegal. [1] The controversy cooled down however, when it was discovered that the producers had done such a decent job of restoring the place that it finally looked better than it had done before.

 

Following the release of The Beach, tourism on Phi Phi Don increased dramatically, and with it the population of the island. Many buildings were constructed without planning permission.[citation needed]

 

Ko Phi Phi was devastated by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, when nearly all of the island's infrastructure was wiped out. Redevelopment has, however, been swift, and services like electricity, water, Internet access and ATMs are up and running again, but waste handling has been slower to come back online.

  

My Most interesting photos for a guy called Isaias

  

Darkr Gallery of my photos

 

Subscribe to my stream

 

My Interviews with my Flick Friends!

 

from: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phi_Phi_Island

 

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A BIG HELLO to everyone! A late but great new year too! :)) Finally back for 2010.. well, not really quite back the way I would love to be but i'm sure I will build the momentum to flickr more in weeks to come. Life is getting fairly busy right here as most would expect at the start of the year & i'm honestly getting very lazy to go online as well :P Anyway, trust all of you have a great start to 2010! Keep enjoying & should catch up with u soon!

 

View LARGE On Black to enjoy the evening view

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About

 

Alexandra Suspension Bridge over Cataract Gorge's First Basin in Launceston, Tasmania

 

The Shot

 

Standard 3 exposure shot (+2..0..-2 EV) taken handheld using Sigma DC HSM 10-20mm lens

 

Photomatix

 

- Tonemapped generated HDR using detail enhancer option

 

Photoshop

 

- Added 2 layer mask effect of 'curves' to increase the contrast

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (blues) to enhance the water

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (yellows) to lighten the sunset

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (yellows) to tone up the vegetations

- Added 1 layer mask effect of 'saturation' (reds) to tone down the rocks

- Added 1 layer mask of 'photo filter' (deep blue) to enhance the sky

- Used 'unsharp mask' (as always) on the background layer

 

You

 

All comments, criticism and tips for improvements are (as always) welcome

 

Music

 

Cher, Neneh Cherry, Chrissie Hynde & Eric Clapton - Love Can Build a Bridge

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Title: Missale romanum ordinarium. : Misale romanum nuper adoptatum co[m]modu[m] quoru[m]cu[m]q[ue] sacerdotu[m] summa diligentia distinctu[m]: atq[ue] ita ex nouo ordine digestu[m] vt apposit[is] introitib[us], gradualib[us], offertorijs [et] co[m]munionibus o[mn]es miss[a]e sint in suis loc[is] integre. In quo etia[m] adiunct[a]e sunt mult[a]e miss[a]e uou[a]e [sic], [et] alia plurima sup[er]addita, q[uae] in missalib[us] hacten[us] i[m]p[re]ssis d[e]sideraba[n]tur. 1561

Identifier: missaleromanumor00cath

Year: 1561 (1560s)

Authors: Catholic Church Espinosa, Antonio de, d. 1578. prt León, Nicolás, 1859-1929. fmo RPJCB

Subjects: Catholic Church CSAIP Missals Gregorian chants Imprint 1561

Publisher: [8], 330 leaves : ill., music

  

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^atreg noftroe fiUcfctfi#ifl greg^s;red

 

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#ucto& m iwSwiiNw^ dtt^ratif tibciat fanctitari«

  

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London | Architecture | Night Photography

 

EXPLORE # 221, FRONT PAGE on the 24th...

 

The O2 is a large entertainment district including an indoor arena, a music club, a cinema, an exhibition space, piazzas and bars and restaurants, built within a large dome-shaped building (formerly the Millennium Dome), on the Greenwich peninsula in south-east London, UK. It is often incorrectly referred to as The O2 dome, the O2 Centre (which is actually a shopping centre in Finchley Road) or The O2 arena which is actually the name of the arena in The O2 and an arena in Dublin, Ireland. The name of the Entertainment District officially became The O2, when O2 plc (now Telefónica O2 Europe plc) purchased the naming rights from the developers, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), during the development of the entertainment district.

 

The dome-shaped building, also referred to as the Dome's canopy, was originally constructed as the Millennium Dome, often simply known as the Dome, and housed the Millennium Experience, a major exhibition celebrating the third Millennium. After the closure of the exhibition on December 31, 2000, the interior of the building was demolished leaving only the shell of the Dome. Although AEG has transformed the interior of the Dome's shell and have renamed it The O2, many still refer to it as the Dome.

 

Since the closure of the original exhibition celebrating the millennium, several possible ways of reusing the Dome's shell were proposed and then rejected. The official renaming of the Dome on May 31, 2005 gave publicity to its transition into an Entertainment District including an indoor arena, a music club, a cinema, an exhibition space, and bars and restaurants. The interior of the Dome's shell was completely cleared prior to the development and construction of the new facilities. The Dome's shell itself remained in situ but its interior and the area around North Greenwich Station, the QE2 pier and the main entrance area was completely redeveloped. In this role the plan is to host the 2009 World Gymnastics Championships and the artistic gymnastics and basketball events of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games,[1] as well as two National Hockey League games and a National Basketball Association game in 2007. The Tennis Masters Cup, which will be renamed to ATP World Tour Finals, is intended to be held in The O2 arena from 2009 to 2012. In 2008, Red Bull Air Race World Series came to the Greenwich Peninsula, although the actual event was over the River Thames, and stands were made on the bank, you had to book via the 02. The area is served by North Greenwich tube station, which was opened just before the millennium exhibition, on the Jubilee Line, and by bus routes.

 

Thames Clipper operate a river boat service for London River Services; the present dome tenants, AEG, purchased Thames Clipper in order to provide river links between Central London and The O2. As well as a commuter service, Thames Clipper also operate a new O2 Express service.

 

London Night ; O2 Dome

 

Color of The O2 Dome , London

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_O2

The 16. century Santa Maria de' Ricci church hosts all day concerts on its modern, magnificent organ as a way to raise funds for the restoration of the facade.

I was wandering about Via del Corso before going to the railway station, when suddenly the music of an organ caressed my ears. I went into the church. The interior is a bit too (late) Baroque for my taste, but the organ was so beautiful... I tried to capture its beauty for the eyes, leaving to your imagination the beauty of the music. This is by no means a perfect shot (in many churches it is not allowed the use of a tripod), but I have tried hard to convey a bit of the atmosphere I perceived in that moment.

 

Didacus67 (mostly off)'s photos on Flickriver

Vines outreach to grapple upon anything that they can adhere themselves to for the sole purpose of upward climb, fighting gravity at every corner, to the sun they say, and here they come.

 

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(hat by azhippiechick, dress by moma10 (Everything for the Girl))

16 Things About Moi:

1. I LOVE the color orange!

2. I'm from Wisconsin, USA, but I moved to Scotland in 2003 when I got married.

3. I love Midwestern winters (tho not driving in them)--the weather here is a bit (well, way too) mild for me!

4. I love to watch WWE wrestling...

5. My fave authors are Jack Kerouac and Neil Gaiman.

6. Jim & I met online, at a Led Zeppelin message board...

7. ...but "classic rock "isn't really my thing...my fave groups are REM and The Clash!

8. I was the music director at my tiny college's radio station my senior year (go, WCCX!).

9. When I was in college, I shaved the hair off half my head and left the other side long. :)

10. I spent 6 weeks travelling around the (then) Soviet Union (inc. Siberia!) in January, 1989.

11. The Chicago Bulls are my fave NBA team (I love basketball).

12. Not counting any of Jim's CDs, I personally must have about 500, I think...!!!

13. My dream destination is Borneo.

14. I believe in fairies!

15. I'm glad that our neighbour's cat likes us and comes to visit--it's like having a vicarious pet! :)

16. I'm a passionate, sometimes hot-tempered, fiery redhead!

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

 

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

  

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

 

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

 

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

 

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

 

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

 

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

 

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

 

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

 

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

 

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

 

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

 

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

 

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

 

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

 

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

 

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

 

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

 

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

 

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

 

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

 

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

 

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

 

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

 

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

 

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

 

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

 

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

 

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

 

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

 

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Seasonal change in magical colors.

 

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Recently, we've been almost forced to read so many death of Nikon camera business or Nikon itself(fake) news online(almost every week), and I am usually critical about whatever Nikon does or has done recently, but I have to wonder why so many of Sony taking over the industry at the big cost of Nikon articles floating around online when Sony's balance sheet is still a lot weaker than that of Nikon?

Why is every anti-DSLR article targeting at Nikon not at Canon or Pentax?

Isn't it a bit too odd recently?

  

The coming death of Nikon 8(updated 5)

  

I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them.

  

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

    

Nikon should have learned something from the big fail of the D800. Just a few years back the Nikon D800 and E were the greatest cameras among those self-proclaimed experts online and those avid Nikon lovers(Canon/Sony haters) all predicted the death of Canon and trashed all Canon cameras for Canon's infamous "2 stops less DR at base ISO" issue ..........but did the D800E actually become a big hit for Nikon ? at least commercially a successful model?

All those Nikon lovers made the sensor DR at very base ISO a huge deal and trashed all those cameras having lesser DR at base ISO than their beloved Nikon as though they were all useless junks for any application without realizing their beloved Nikons all had lesser DR and resolution than the rival Canon and Sony before the advent of the D800E.

Many Nikon avid fans make the D800 series a huge deal, but besides the sensor what has been so appealing to non-Nikon users or even Nikon users who are not interested in landscape or budget studio work?

Many avid Nikon fans still saying something like below.

"Nikon 85, 105, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 800 primes all superior to Canon. Vast superior to Sony, except new 85 only exception for Sony, and by little bit.

Nikon D5, D500, D810 all superior to Canon. Sony a7r2 does a little bit better than D810, only after iso 800. But the Sony is still not as good all around.......

As for zoom, Nikon 200-400 VR II is as good as Canon, just no extendor but 1/2 the price. Sony has nothing to compare to it. Old Nikon 14-24 still edges out the Canon 11-24/4. Canon has a few good zooms, but most else behind. Most Sony lenses old Minolta, way behind. No sense argue further, you Sony fanboys have to agree."

But if Nikon is still that great, why Nikon is the only one company really doomed and expected to go bankrupt by 2020 Tokyo Olympics by many many industry journalists here?

And even Leica's Andreas Kaufmann already thinks Nikon has one foot in the grave, but in Nikon avid fans minds, Nikon still has better products than Canon and Sony at least in APS-C and FF DSLRs category.......They claim the D810 is still the reference model and the camera to beat.....If Nikon is so great then why has it been in the constant finanical crisis since about 2012?

A long time Nikon shooter at our shop said below.

"Most of Nikon's recent lenses are superior, Nikon has better high end bodies in APS and action class, the D810 remains the best all round body 2 years after its release,...

Yet, few people seem to consider that Canon is in trouble. If Nikon is in difficulty, Canon is IMHO in even more difficulty. The truth being that they both are but not quite as much as those "rumors" are telling us. So go figure!"

Well, the real problem of Nikon is its avid fans all think like what those small number of online forum denizens and those crazy base ISO DR freaks represent the main stream of camera buyers or the industry trend, and they tend to confuse their wishful thinking, or view of the current camera world really with the representation of what is actually selling. In fact, if Nikon is listening to those or even to Tony Northrup, actually Nikon will suffer even more.

All what Tony and his internet followers saying sounds to me like the head-in-the-sand thinking of a small business owner who sees only one solution to a problem (in their case build better cameras) because he only knows how to do one thing (build cameras), rather than the dispassionate thinking of an investor or corporate strategist with a clear goal (maximizing company profit).

Their(Canon hating Nikon fans) argument essentially consists of, 'They make good gear for some specific type of internet photographers(DR freaks), so they'll be fine', without any rational justification as to why this would be the case, or whether the company would be more profitable taking a different direction altogether.

And I think Tony Northrup and the guy writing so-called reviews at " photographylife" the biggest fans of Nikon that consistantly trash Sony, Canon, Fuji, Olympus,etc, albeit in a very very discreet mannar, actually disguisingly so. And listening to them really hurts Nikon. I even think Nikon should shun all DR fanatics since they have no clue why Nikon is suffering this much and why the better DR alone does not sell the system better.

Also, we should realize actually many successful companies change direction all the time. IBM used to make commercial scales and consumer class PCs. Sony's biggest money-spinners are films/music and financial products. Ten years ago, Sony barely made a serious camera system. And companies divest themselves of unprofitable divisions all the time, or even profitable arms which aren't as profitable as they could be - it frees up capital which can then be invested elsewhere with greater return.

Don't believe me? Look at the share price history of Nikon vs Canon and Sony over the last five years. It's not a pretty picture - evidently, other investors are thinking along the same lines. I see Nikon is clearly going on the way of bankrupt, I bet Nikon won't be around in this business by 2020-if not completely go bankrupt by then.

Seriously look at Nikon financials and its in-house capabilities. Product lineup doesn't matter - look at Sony's lineup just five years ago.

Canon produces a lot more than just cameras. Canon can also design and manufacture its own electronics, including sensors. So can Sony - and they also happen to uplead the field in sensor technology.

Nikon is largely reliant on camera sales for its income. Not only that, but it can't even manfacture its own sensors. It can design some of them, but its best ones are all designed and made by either Sony or Toshiba or Aptina, which is now a part of Onsemi. Yes, Nikon makes good products. But it has no other significant source of revenue, and its ability to continue developing and making good products is largely at the mercy of other companies.

What would happen if Nikon suddenly lost supply of Exmor and Toshiba sensors? Nikon-designed sensors (produced by someone else) might hold up at the high-ISO, low-resolution end, but they'd lose the D7200 and D810 sensors that have worked so well for them, with no indication that anything Nikon can design can match their performance.

Their product line might be getting better with the new D5600 and the D500, but their very narrow focus and reliance on direct competitors for supply of critical parts puts them in a very weak position competition-wise. Basically, they live or die at Sony or Canon's behest. And most of online camera experts do not realize this but Nikon buys the glass off from OHARA corporation, which is the biggest high-end glass manufacture and subsidiary of Canon. So basically Nikon has ben buying most of major sensors from Sony and lens glass from Canon subsidiary. So how can they win over Canon and Sony?

Cutting off supply of Exmor sensors might hurt Sony a bit (although most of their income isn't from camera sensors anyway) but it would deal a major, possibly lethal blow to Nikon - perhaps making their lens and non-sensor electronics manufacturing capabilities, and its library of patents, onto the market, for acquisition by Fuji or Sony. There has been a long lasting rumor here in Japan that Fuji is interested and negotiating the price of Nikon with Mitsubishi UFJ, which is the bank controls and actually owns Nikon ownership.

So it's the slowly boiling frog analogy. It's not there yet. But you can see it coming. The dedicated stills camera market isn't getting any bigger - it's shrinking every year and the market is becoming more high-end, as those who may previously have bought low-end cameras gravitate towards phone cameras, One compacts and the older slighly lesser but still very capable used ILC cameras. Nikon is bottom of the pack in mirrorless, bottom of the pack in video - both vital technologies for future, increasingly multipurpose and interconnected devices - and can't actually make a sensor in-house.. If Nikon wants the best sensor on the market for their camera, Nikon 'll have to pay whatever the seller wants, or go with a lesser option, to the detriment of their product. Nikon's also too small to easily catch up to Sony, Canon and Fuji in either manufacturing capability or technology - Nikon just doesn't have the capital or the cashflow of the larger corporations. If Canon lacks something in house, Canon just simply buys it just like Canon did buy the sweedish internet seculty company or Toshiba medical in 2015. Nikon has no option of doing this.......

Sure, Nikon could pour all its money into trying to turn the ship around. But the market is shrinking and Nikon is outgunned both financially - it would be able to keep it up for a while (an Exmor equivalent made by a non-Sony-owned company would help Nikon a lot, until the next big leap came along and that is why Nikon must have bought Aptina when it was for sale), but, eventually, must fall behind technologically, because Nikon simply can't spend as much on R&D as the big companies. Nikon has been barely making a profit as it is - pretty soon,Nikon'd start posting losses and have to find more and more sources of capital to make up for it. Nikon fanboys usually mock Olympus for losing money on its camera business, but even Olympus and its partner Panasonic are not as vulnerable as Nikon is, because Olympus is a far bigger company than Nikon is, and you do not compare Panasonic to Nikon to know its size.......relative to Nikon.

Nikon actually could sell out of the camera business (its plants, infrastructure and human capital would be worth a huge amount to anyone able to make its own sensors), take the billions of dollars from the asset sale and invest it in something much more likely to generate profit and growth in the medium to long term. Maybe optics, maybe something else entirely (e.g. property, finance, or realestate).

Certainly, as a photographer, it would be nice for Nikon to stay in the game and continue to come up with good products. But, as an investor interested in profit, there are far better things Nikon could do with its very limited resources than continue to compete in the camera game. And, ultimately, Nikon's purpose as a company is to make money, not cameras - making cameras is just one of the many ways to make money, and, given their current strategic position, not a very good one in the long term.

Nikon should try to be a new Asian Zeiss or a Sigma.....make the best possible lenses for electronics giants or medical industry, or maybe for industrial use.

Their expertise is optics. Not digital imaging or the electronics that go with it.

But most of internet camera loving experts cannot get this point and they all just think making innovative(to them) cameras solve all Nikon issues, and even suggest go modular, go programmable camera, or better workflow is the key to re-ignite the rapidly dying stills camera market, oh well, it is not that easy.

If Nikon sold its camera (not optics) division now, Nikon would gain a large chunk of cash. Probably considerably smaller if Nikon sold it in 10 years' time instead. But, either way, still a chunk of cash. Nikon could dispose of that cash in several ways. Firstly, Nikon could wind up most of the company and return a huge chunk of cash to their shareholders. That's actually not a bad option - instead of Nikon investing the money as a company, individual shareholders would take their one-off dividend and invest it themselves. Secondly, Nikon could take the money and invest it in other assets - bonds, shares, property and the like - in a similar manner to a trust fund, with shareholders as beneficiaries. No, Nikon's not expert in it now, but Nikon can easily afford to hire the actual experts needed for the genre Nikon wants to enter into.. A company, even a bank, has no inherent expertise in investments - it's the people they hire who have the expertise. On average, a large company doing that as an institutional investor on behalf of shareholders is going to get a better return than people investing as individuals, due to the centralization and greater availability of resources, reduced transaction costs, better access to international exchanges and better access to loans. Thirdly, Nikon could focus on the optics side of its business, which is potentially far more profitable than its dying camera business, given Nikon's ability to do things in-house and the expanding nature of that sector. Finally,Nikon may do a bit of each - return some cash to shareholders, invest some and expand its optics business.

Optics go in everything, not just interchangeable-lens cameras. Look at what Zeiss, Olympus, Fuji, etc do with it. Their lenses go in everything from Bluray, TV broadcasting business, to microscopes, to satellites. That's what Nikon needs to concentrate on if Nikon is to survive as a company that actually makes something. Forget about proprietary ancient F mount and its own camera system and start making optics for everyone and anyone out there, compatible with all sorts of different imaging systems. That's a far larger market than Nikon-branded stills cameras, is an expanding rather than a shrinking market, and utilises what Nikon is best at (optics) and much less of what it's not so good at (electronics).

All that said though, I actually doubt Nikons ability to compete in broad casting lens market, or interchangeable lens market as a thirdparty lens maker. Nikon has tried this in the 90s and Nikon has miserably rejected and failed at it. TV industry has chosen Canon and Fuji and cinema industry has chosen Canon and Zeiss...........so I am not very sure if Nikon has the ability to make a great lens for TV industry........also, Nikon has competed in medical lens market and failed at it miserably. In 2014 Nikon sued Sigma for unfounded patent infringement and Nikon has lost the patent war in the end. I think if Nikon was still a great optical manufacture as it once was, able to compete with Sigma, then Nikon would not have sued Sigma since after that Sigma decided not design some specific lenses for Nikon mount or deliberately delaying actual release of some very popular lenses for the Nikon fit, and this is affecting a lot on Nikon system sales negatively.

Nikon has lost much more than it could gain anything from the lawsuit.

So I think Nikon has no way to survive, let alone thrive after its camera division fails in very near future.

  

UPDATE: Now Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

UPDATE2:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

 

UPDATE3: it is now really too late for them unless they now can bring it out with at least 7(24-70/2.8, 16-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 24/1.4,35/1.4,85/1.4, and some sort of macro at least) lenses at the very start of it.

 

And considering their current financial state, it is near impossible.

 

Even if they can some how manage to do it , it will not give us any rational reason to choose their system over the A9 series or even over the cheap A7M3, which will be announced in October or November this year(100 percent sure about it).

 

And Nikon just clearly stated they think they can launch it in the end of 2018 or more realistically in early 2019 in their recent interview with Asahi Shimbun news.

 

This means that it will not be announced in this year or early next year, the best case in third Q of the next year.

 

If they wand me to buy into their new mirrorless system, they must have a 12-24mm f4 G kind of lens and a 50mm f1.4 prime as good or better than the FE50mm f1.4Z without oversizing it to the Sigma Art or Zeiss Otus size...

The Art and Otus may be a great lens, but many of us hate them for the awkward ergonomics and size alone.

 

Also for those who own some of their lenses, Nikon should provide (better included in the package) a smart adapter for their F mount E and G type lenses.

 

But then, the mirrorless is already outdated before it gets even fully matured. The future is definitely the computational camera like the Light L16 but more sophisticated one that would be released some one like Google, MS or Apple or any real American tech giant, not from a tiny company like Light or Red or any of these old-fashioned camera companies.

  

In the best case scenario(according to the above news paper analyst) for Nikon and other traditional camera companies, maybe the more traditional and niche they are the more likely to survive even after the death of consumer grade ILC.

 

If he is right, then Nikon most likely survive and likes of Sony, Fuji, Olympus,etc will die before Nikon......and I feel they (mirrorless guys) spending too disproportionately huge(to their camera market share) amount of R and D money for the so-called mirrorless system. And the smartest one is obviously Canon as all analysts and economists agreed on this one. They are spending the least amount of R&D money and getting the best ROI ratio. So Canon and Sony are about the same size of companies in terms of total revenue, but Canon is about 30 percent more profitable......and Sony is actually barely profitable although its fanboys always think they are huge enough to devour Canon Nikon, but actually they are just as big or small as Canon and much less profitable...

       

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,

Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,

O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;

O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

 

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,

Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,

What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,

As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,

In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:

’Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

 

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,

A home and a country, should leave us no more?

Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

 

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.

Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: “In God is our trust;”

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

 

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Venice is built on an archipelago of 117 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges.

 

Venice (Italian: Venezia [veˈnɛttsja] ( listen), Venetian: Venexia [veˈnɛsja]) is a city in northeast Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region. In 2009, there were 270,098 people residing in Venice's comune (the population estimate of 272,000 inhabitants includes the population of the whole Comune of Venezia; around 60,000 in the historic city of Venice (Centro storico); 176,000 in Terraferma (the Mainland), mostly in the large frazioni of Mestre and Marghera; 31,000 live on other islands in the lagoon). Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE) (population 1,600,000).

 

The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century B.C. The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", and "City of Canals". Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man". Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe's most romantic cities.

 

The city stretches across 117 small islands in the marshy Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea in northeast Italy. The saltwater lagoon stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po (south) and the Piave (north) Rivers.

 

The Republic of Venice was a major maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as a very important center of commerce (especially silk, grain, and spice) and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. It is also known for its several important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance period. Venice has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, and it is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.

 

Please visit en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice for further information...

  

© Stephen B Whatley

 

A screen shot from the just-published December 2009 exhibit, "Images in Faith" - A Christmas Presentation of the Christian work of Stephen B Whatley online in Downtown LA Life Magazine International.

 

To view this new presentation of Stephen B Whatley's Christain paintings, please click the link below - enter via the first image - and click 'Images in Faith' on the left hand menu.

downtownlalife.com

 

" I was deeply touched and honoured when recently contacted by Don Noyes-More, Editor-in Chief of this popular online 'green' arts magazine, informing me that the magazine planned this presentation- now showing. A number of my Christian paintings have been beautifully presented on scarlet and set to beautiful holy music.

 

Aside from my online exhibition, Downtown LA Life - which to date has had over 27 million visitors - contains a wealth of eclectic features about the arts; together with the beautiful spiritual writings of the Editor; under Keeper of The Story.

 

It is a very enriching, thought-provoking and colourful magazine - which through my link should be viewed by many others beyond Southern California." ~ Stephen B Whatley

  

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Recently, we've been almost forced to read so many death of Nikon camera business or Nikon itself(fake) news online(almost every week), and I am usually critical about whatever Nikon does or has done recently, but I have to wonder why so many of Sony taking over the industry at the big cost of Nikon articles floating around online when Sony's balance sheet is still a lot weaker than that of Nikon?

Why is every anti-DSLR article targeting at Nikon not at Canon or Pentax?

Isn't it a bit too odd recently?

  

The coming death of Nikon 8(updated 5)

  

I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them.

  

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

    

Nikon should have learned something from the big fail of the D800. Just a few years back the Nikon D800 and E were the greatest cameras among those self-proclaimed experts online and those avid Nikon lovers(Canon/Sony haters) all predicted the death of Canon and trashed all Canon cameras for Canon's infamous "2 stops less DR at base ISO" issue ..........but did the D800E actually become a big hit for Nikon ? at least commercially a successful model?

All those Nikon lovers made the sensor DR at very base ISO a huge deal and trashed all those cameras having lesser DR at base ISO than their beloved Nikon as though they were all useless junks for any application without realizing their beloved Nikons all had lesser DR and resolution than the rival Canon and Sony before the advent of the D800E.

Many Nikon avid fans make the D800 series a huge deal, but besides the sensor what has been so appealing to non-Nikon users or even Nikon users who are not interested in landscape or budget studio work?

Many avid Nikon fans still saying something like below.

"Nikon 85, 105, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 800 primes all superior to Canon. Vast superior to Sony, except new 85 only exception for Sony, and by little bit.

Nikon D5, D500, D810 all superior to Canon. Sony a7r2 does a little bit better than D810, only after iso 800. But the Sony is still not as good all around.......

As for zoom, Nikon 200-400 VR II is as good as Canon, just no extendor but 1/2 the price. Sony has nothing to compare to it. Old Nikon 14-24 still edges out the Canon 11-24/4. Canon has a few good zooms, but most else behind. Most Sony lenses old Minolta, way behind. No sense argue further, you Sony fanboys have to agree."

But if Nikon is still that great, why Nikon is the only one company really doomed and expected to go bankrupt by 2020 Tokyo Olympics by many many industry journalists here?

And even Leica's Andreas Kaufmann already thinks Nikon has one foot in the grave, but in Nikon avid fans minds, Nikon still has better products than Canon and Sony at least in APS-C and FF DSLRs category.......They claim the D810 is still the reference model and the camera to beat.....If Nikon is so great then why has it been in the constant finanical crisis since about 2012?

A long time Nikon shooter at our shop said below.

"Most of Nikon's recent lenses are superior, Nikon has better high end bodies in APS and action class, the D810 remains the best all round body 2 years after its release,...

Yet, few people seem to consider that Canon is in trouble. If Nikon is in difficulty, Canon is IMHO in even more difficulty. The truth being that they both are but not quite as much as those "rumors" are telling us. So go figure!"

Well, the real problem of Nikon is its avid fans all think like what those small number of online forum denizens and those crazy base ISO DR freaks represent the main stream of camera buyers or the industry trend, and they tend to confuse their wishful thinking, or view of the current camera world really with the representation of what is actually selling. In fact, if Nikon is listening to those or even to Tony Northrup, actually Nikon will suffer even more.

All what Tony and his internet followers saying sounds to me like the head-in-the-sand thinking of a small business owner who sees only one solution to a problem (in their case build better cameras) because he only knows how to do one thing (build cameras), rather than the dispassionate thinking of an investor or corporate strategist with a clear goal (maximizing company profit).

Their(Canon hating Nikon fans) argument essentially consists of, 'They make good gear for some specific type of internet photographers(DR freaks), so they'll be fine', without any rational justification as to why this would be the case, or whether the company would be more profitable taking a different direction altogether.

And I think Tony Northrup and the guy writing so-called reviews at " photographylife" the biggest fans of Nikon that consistantly trash Sony, Canon, Fuji, Olympus,etc, albeit in a very very discreet mannar, actually disguisingly so. And listening to them really hurts Nikon. I even think Nikon should shun all DR fanatics since they have no clue why Nikon is suffering this much and why the better DR alone does not sell the system better.

Also, we should realize actually many successful companies change direction all the time. IBM used to make commercial scales and consumer class PCs. Sony's biggest money-spinners are films/music and financial products. Ten years ago, Sony barely made a serious camera system. And companies divest themselves of unprofitable divisions all the time, or even profitable arms which aren't as profitable as they could be - it frees up capital which can then be invested elsewhere with greater return.

Don't believe me? Look at the share price history of Nikon vs Canon and Sony over the last five years. It's not a pretty picture - evidently, other investors are thinking along the same lines. I see Nikon is clearly going on the way of bankrupt, I bet Nikon won't be around in this business by 2020-if not completely go bankrupt by then.

Seriously look at Nikon financials and its in-house capabilities. Product lineup doesn't matter - look at Sony's lineup just five years ago.

Canon produces a lot more than just cameras. Canon can also design and manufacture its own electronics, including sensors. So can Sony - and they also happen to uplead the field in sensor technology.

Nikon is largely reliant on camera sales for its income. Not only that, but it can't even manfacture its own sensors. It can design some of them, but its best ones are all designed and made by either Sony or Toshiba or Aptina, which is now a part of Onsemi. Yes, Nikon makes good products. But it has no other significant source of revenue, and its ability to continue developing and making good products is largely at the mercy of other companies.

What would happen if Nikon suddenly lost supply of Exmor and Toshiba sensors? Nikon-designed sensors (produced by someone else) might hold up at the high-ISO, low-resolution end, but they'd lose the D7200 and D810 sensors that have worked so well for them, with no indication that anything Nikon can design can match their performance.

Their product line might be getting better with the new D5600 and the D500, but their very narrow focus and reliance on direct competitors for supply of critical parts puts them in a very weak position competition-wise. Basically, they live or die at Sony or Canon's behest. And most of online camera experts do not realize this but Nikon buys the glass off from OHARA corporation, which is the biggest high-end glass manufacture and subsidiary of Canon. So basically Nikon has ben buying most of major sensors from Sony and lens glass from Canon subsidiary. So how can they win over Canon and Sony?

Cutting off supply of Exmor sensors might hurt Sony a bit (although most of their income isn't from camera sensors anyway) but it would deal a major, possibly lethal blow to Nikon - perhaps making their lens and non-sensor electronics manufacturing capabilities, and its library of patents, onto the market, for acquisition by Fuji or Sony. There has been a long lasting rumor here in Japan that Fuji is interested and negotiating the price of Nikon with Mitsubishi UFJ, which is the bank controls and actually owns Nikon ownership.

So it's the slowly boiling frog analogy. It's not there yet. But you can see it coming. The dedicated stills camera market isn't getting any bigger - it's shrinking every year and the market is becoming more high-end, as those who may previously have bought low-end cameras gravitate towards phone cameras, One compacts and the older slighly lesser but still very capable used ILC cameras. Nikon is bottom of the pack in mirrorless, bottom of the pack in video - both vital technologies for future, increasingly multipurpose and interconnected devices - and can't actually make a sensor in-house.. If Nikon wants the best sensor on the market for their camera, Nikon 'll have to pay whatever the seller wants, or go with a lesser option, to the detriment of their product. Nikon's also too small to easily catch up to Sony, Canon and Fuji in either manufacturing capability or technology - Nikon just doesn't have the capital or the cashflow of the larger corporations. If Canon lacks something in house, Canon just simply buys it just like Canon did buy the sweedish internet seculty company or Toshiba medical in 2015. Nikon has no option of doing this.......

Sure, Nikon could pour all its money into trying to turn the ship around. But the market is shrinking and Nikon is outgunned both financially - it would be able to keep it up for a while (an Exmor equivalent made by a non-Sony-owned company would help Nikon a lot, until the next big leap came along and that is why Nikon must have bought Aptina when it was for sale), but, eventually, must fall behind technologically, because Nikon simply can't spend as much on R&D as the big companies. Nikon has been barely making a profit as it is - pretty soon,Nikon'd start posting losses and have to find more and more sources of capital to make up for it. Nikon fanboys usually mock Olympus for losing money on its camera business, but even Olympus and its partner Panasonic are not as vulnerable as Nikon is, because Olympus is a far bigger company than Nikon is, and you do not compare Panasonic to Nikon to know its size.......relative to Nikon.

Nikon actually could sell out of the camera business (its plants, infrastructure and human capital would be worth a huge amount to anyone able to make its own sensors), take the billions of dollars from the asset sale and invest it in something much more likely to generate profit and growth in the medium to long term. Maybe optics, maybe something else entirely (e.g. property, finance, or realestate).

Certainly, as a photographer, it would be nice for Nikon to stay in the game and continue to come up with good products. But, as an investor interested in profit, there are far better things Nikon could do with its very limited resources than continue to compete in the camera game. And, ultimately, Nikon's purpose as a company is to make money, not cameras - making cameras is just one of the many ways to make money, and, given their current strategic position, not a very good one in the long term.

Nikon should try to be a new Asian Zeiss or a Sigma.....make the best possible lenses for electronics giants or medical industry, or maybe for industrial use.

Their expertise is optics. Not digital imaging or the electronics that go with it.

But most of internet camera loving experts cannot get this point and they all just think making innovative(to them) cameras solve all Nikon issues, and even suggest go modular, go programmable camera, or better workflow is the key to re-ignite the rapidly dying stills camera market, oh well, it is not that easy.

If Nikon sold its camera (not optics) division now, Nikon would gain a large chunk of cash. Probably considerably smaller if Nikon sold it in 10 years' time instead. But, either way, still a chunk of cash. Nikon could dispose of that cash in several ways. Firstly, Nikon could wind up most of the company and return a huge chunk of cash to their shareholders. That's actually not a bad option - instead of Nikon investing the money as a company, individual shareholders would take their one-off dividend and invest it themselves. Secondly, Nikon could take the money and invest it in other assets - bonds, shares, property and the like - in a similar manner to a trust fund, with shareholders as beneficiaries. No, Nikon's not expert in it now, but Nikon can easily afford to hire the actual experts needed for the genre Nikon wants to enter into.. A company, even a bank, has no inherent expertise in investments - it's the people they hire who have the expertise. On average, a large company doing that as an institutional investor on behalf of shareholders is going to get a better return than people investing as individuals, due to the centralization and greater availability of resources, reduced transaction costs, better access to international exchanges and better access to loans. Thirdly, Nikon could focus on the optics side of its business, which is potentially far more profitable than its dying camera business, given Nikon's ability to do things in-house and the expanding nature of that sector. Finally,Nikon may do a bit of each - return some cash to shareholders, invest some and expand its optics business.

Optics go in everything, not just interchangeable-lens cameras. Look at what Zeiss, Olympus, Fuji, etc do with it. Their lenses go in everything from Bluray, TV broadcasting business, to microscopes, to satellites. That's what Nikon needs to concentrate on if Nikon is to survive as a company that actually makes something. Forget about proprietary ancient F mount and its own camera system and start making optics for everyone and anyone out there, compatible with all sorts of different imaging systems. That's a far larger market than Nikon-branded stills cameras, is an expanding rather than a shrinking market, and utilises what Nikon is best at (optics) and much less of what it's not so good at (electronics).

All that said though, I actually doubt Nikons ability to compete in broad casting lens market, or interchangeable lens market as a thirdparty lens maker. Nikon has tried this in the 90s and Nikon has miserably rejected and failed at it. TV industry has chosen Canon and Fuji and cinema industry has chosen Canon and Zeiss...........so I am not very sure if Nikon has the ability to make a great lens for TV industry........also, Nikon has competed in medical lens market and failed at it miserably. In 2014 Nikon sued Sigma for unfounded patent infringement and Nikon has lost the patent war in the end. I think if Nikon was still a great optical manufacture as it once was, able to compete with Sigma, then Nikon would not have sued Sigma since after that Sigma decided not design some specific lenses for Nikon mount or deliberately delaying actual release of some very popular lenses for the Nikon fit, and this is affecting a lot on Nikon system sales negatively.

Nikon has lost much more than it could gain anything from the lawsuit.

So I think Nikon has no way to survive, let alone thrive after its camera division fails in very near future.

  

UPDATE: Now Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

UPDATE2:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

 

UPDATE3: it is now really too late for them unless they now can bring it out with at least 7(24-70/2.8, 16-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 24/1.4,35/1.4,85/1.4, and some sort of macro at least) lenses at the very start of it.

 

And considering their current financial state, it is near impossible.

 

Even if they can some how manage to do it , it will not give us any rational reason to choose their system over the A9 series or even over the cheap A7M3, which will be announced in October or November this year(100 percent sure about it).

 

And Nikon just clearly stated they think they can launch it in the end of 2018 or more realistically in early 2019 in their recent interview with Asahi Shimbun news.

 

This means that it will not be announced in this year or early next year, the best case in third Q of the next year.

 

If they wand me to buy into their new mirrorless system, they must have a 12-24mm f4 G kind of lens and a 50mm f1.4 prime as good or better than the FE50mm f1.4Z without oversizing it to the Sigma Art or Zeiss Otus size...

The Art and Otus may be a great lens, but many of us hate them for the awkward ergonomics and size alone.

 

Also for those who own some of their lenses, Nikon should provide (better included in the package) a smart adapter for their F mount E and G type lenses.

 

But then, the mirrorless is already outdated before it gets even fully matured. The future is definitely the computational camera like the Light L16 but more sophisticated one that would be released some one like Google, MS or Apple or any real American tech giant, not from a tiny company like Light or Red or any of these old-fashioned camera companies.

  

In the best case scenario(according to the above news paper analyst) for Nikon and other traditional camera companies, maybe the more traditional and niche they are the more likely to survive even after the death of consumer grade ILC.

 

If he is right, then Nikon most likely survive and likes of Sony, Fuji, Olympus,etc will die before Nikon......and I feel they (mirrorless guys) spending too disproportionately huge(to their camera market share) amount of R and D money for the so-called mirrorless system. And the smartest one is obviously Canon as all analysts and economists agreed on this one. They are spending the least amount of R&D money and getting the best ROI ratio. So Canon and Sony are about the same size of companies in terms of total revenue, but Canon is about 30 percent more profitable......and Sony is actually barely profitable although its fanboys always think they are huge enough to devour Canon Nikon, but actually they are just as big or small as Canon and much less profitable...

       

Recently, we've been almost forced to read so many death of Nikon camera business or Nikon itself(fake) news online(almost every week), and I am usually critical about whatever Nikon does or has done recently, but I have to wonder why so many of Sony taking over the industry at the big cost of Nikon articles floating around online when Sony's balance sheet is still a lot weaker than that of Nikon?

Why is every anti-DSLR article targeting at Nikon not at Canon or Pentax?

Isn't it a bit too odd recently?

  

The coming death of Nikon 8(updated 5)

  

I attended a few academic conferences in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto. And I visited many many very crowded tourists venues there and I have come to realize the death of real camera thing is nothing but extremely exaggerated by those silly clickbait sites. There were many many people still using a REAL ILC camera along with their smartphones.

Then what is the problem I've found there?

Well there were a very few people using so-called mirrorless there , especially the high-end mirrorless cameras like theA7R/A7R2,theA7M2, the X-T2, the X-P2, etc. I saw many m43 cameras even the EM1MK2 and GH5, I also spotted many people with XT20, A6300, etc, but I never spotted any A7R2, A7M2, XT2,etc......even at the most crowded tourist places like Kinkaku-ji temple, Kobe Great earthquake museum, Kiyomizudera temple, etc.

And that makes me worry about the long term future of so-called Mirrorless, if Sony and Fuji actually going under before Nikon?

 

To be honest, there are many many Nikon shooters and of course Canon guys and girls, but no A7 or XT2 guys at all.

 

In my last academic conferences in Tokyo area, I found it the same, and in Bangkok and Korea I did not see any Fuji or Sony high-end mirrorless bodies at all.

And more worrying fact was that there were so many Chinese tourists there with big cameras, but none of them shooting a Sony or a Fuji, that makes me really nervous about the future of Sony.

 

Sony is investing a lot of money very quick into the FE system but the ship seems to be sinking. I think the stupid shill marketing and silly "mirrorless taking over the entire industry "hype generated by Fuji and Sony paid internet sites is not at all working for them , but maybe working against them.

  

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid!

    

Nikon should have learned something from the big fail of the D800. Just a few years back the Nikon D800 and E were the greatest cameras among those self-proclaimed experts online and those avid Nikon lovers(Canon/Sony haters) all predicted the death of Canon and trashed all Canon cameras for Canon's infamous "2 stops less DR at base ISO" issue ..........but did the D800E actually become a big hit for Nikon ? at least commercially a successful model?

All those Nikon lovers made the sensor DR at very base ISO a huge deal and trashed all those cameras having lesser DR at base ISO than their beloved Nikon as though they were all useless junks for any application without realizing their beloved Nikons all had lesser DR and resolution than the rival Canon and Sony before the advent of the D800E.

Many Nikon avid fans make the D800 series a huge deal, but besides the sensor what has been so appealing to non-Nikon users or even Nikon users who are not interested in landscape or budget studio work?

Many avid Nikon fans still saying something like below.

"Nikon 85, 105, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 800 primes all superior to Canon. Vast superior to Sony, except new 85 only exception for Sony, and by little bit.

Nikon D5, D500, D810 all superior to Canon. Sony a7r2 does a little bit better than D810, only after iso 800. But the Sony is still not as good all around.......

As for zoom, Nikon 200-400 VR II is as good as Canon, just no extendor but 1/2 the price. Sony has nothing to compare to it. Old Nikon 14-24 still edges out the Canon 11-24/4. Canon has a few good zooms, but most else behind. Most Sony lenses old Minolta, way behind. No sense argue further, you Sony fanboys have to agree."

But if Nikon is still that great, why Nikon is the only one company really doomed and expected to go bankrupt by 2020 Tokyo Olympics by many many industry journalists here?

And even Leica's Andreas Kaufmann already thinks Nikon has one foot in the grave, but in Nikon avid fans minds, Nikon still has better products than Canon and Sony at least in APS-C and FF DSLRs category.......They claim the D810 is still the reference model and the camera to beat.....If Nikon is so great then why has it been in the constant finanical crisis since about 2012?

A long time Nikon shooter at our shop said below.

"Most of Nikon's recent lenses are superior, Nikon has better high end bodies in APS and action class, the D810 remains the best all round body 2 years after its release,...

Yet, few people seem to consider that Canon is in trouble. If Nikon is in difficulty, Canon is IMHO in even more difficulty. The truth being that they both are but not quite as much as those "rumors" are telling us. So go figure!"

Well, the real problem of Nikon is its avid fans all think like what those small number of online forum denizens and those crazy base ISO DR freaks represent the main stream of camera buyers or the industry trend, and they tend to confuse their wishful thinking, or view of the current camera world really with the representation of what is actually selling. In fact, if Nikon is listening to those or even to Tony Northrup, actually Nikon will suffer even more.

All what Tony and his internet followers saying sounds to me like the head-in-the-sand thinking of a small business owner who sees only one solution to a problem (in their case build better cameras) because he only knows how to do one thing (build cameras), rather than the dispassionate thinking of an investor or corporate strategist with a clear goal (maximizing company profit).

Their(Canon hating Nikon fans) argument essentially consists of, 'They make good gear for some specific type of internet photographers(DR freaks), so they'll be fine', without any rational justification as to why this would be the case, or whether the company would be more profitable taking a different direction altogether.

And I think Tony Northrup and the guy writing so-called reviews at " photographylife" the biggest fans of Nikon that consistantly trash Sony, Canon, Fuji, Olympus,etc, albeit in a very very discreet mannar, actually disguisingly so. And listening to them really hurts Nikon. I even think Nikon should shun all DR fanatics since they have no clue why Nikon is suffering this much and why the better DR alone does not sell the system better.

Also, we should realize actually many successful companies change direction all the time. IBM used to make commercial scales and consumer class PCs. Sony's biggest money-spinners are films/music and financial products. Ten years ago, Sony barely made a serious camera system. And companies divest themselves of unprofitable divisions all the time, or even profitable arms which aren't as profitable as they could be - it frees up capital which can then be invested elsewhere with greater return.

Don't believe me? Look at the share price history of Nikon vs Canon and Sony over the last five years. It's not a pretty picture - evidently, other investors are thinking along the same lines. I see Nikon is clearly going on the way of bankrupt, I bet Nikon won't be around in this business by 2020-if not completely go bankrupt by then.

Seriously look at Nikon financials and its in-house capabilities. Product lineup doesn't matter - look at Sony's lineup just five years ago.

Canon produces a lot more than just cameras. Canon can also design and manufacture its own electronics, including sensors. So can Sony - and they also happen to uplead the field in sensor technology.

Nikon is largely reliant on camera sales for its income. Not only that, but it can't even manfacture its own sensors. It can design some of them, but its best ones are all designed and made by either Sony or Toshiba or Aptina, which is now a part of Onsemi. Yes, Nikon makes good products. But it has no other significant source of revenue, and its ability to continue developing and making good products is largely at the mercy of other companies.

What would happen if Nikon suddenly lost supply of Exmor and Toshiba sensors? Nikon-designed sensors (produced by someone else) might hold up at the high-ISO, low-resolution end, but they'd lose the D7200 and D810 sensors that have worked so well for them, with no indication that anything Nikon can design can match their performance.

Their product line might be getting better with the new D5600 and the D500, but their very narrow focus and reliance on direct competitors for supply of critical parts puts them in a very weak position competition-wise. Basically, they live or die at Sony or Canon's behest. And most of online camera experts do not realize this but Nikon buys the glass off from OHARA corporation, which is the biggest high-end glass manufacture and subsidiary of Canon. So basically Nikon has ben buying most of major sensors from Sony and lens glass from Canon subsidiary. So how can they win over Canon and Sony?

Cutting off supply of Exmor sensors might hurt Sony a bit (although most of their income isn't from camera sensors anyway) but it would deal a major, possibly lethal blow to Nikon - perhaps making their lens and non-sensor electronics manufacturing capabilities, and its library of patents, onto the market, for acquisition by Fuji or Sony. There has been a long lasting rumor here in Japan that Fuji is interested and negotiating the price of Nikon with Mitsubishi UFJ, which is the bank controls and actually owns Nikon ownership.

So it's the slowly boiling frog analogy. It's not there yet. But you can see it coming. The dedicated stills camera market isn't getting any bigger - it's shrinking every year and the market is becoming more high-end, as those who may previously have bought low-end cameras gravitate towards phone cameras, One compacts and the older slighly lesser but still very capable used ILC cameras. Nikon is bottom of the pack in mirrorless, bottom of the pack in video - both vital technologies for future, increasingly multipurpose and interconnected devices - and can't actually make a sensor in-house.. If Nikon wants the best sensor on the market for their camera, Nikon 'll have to pay whatever the seller wants, or go with a lesser option, to the detriment of their product. Nikon's also too small to easily catch up to Sony, Canon and Fuji in either manufacturing capability or technology - Nikon just doesn't have the capital or the cashflow of the larger corporations. If Canon lacks something in house, Canon just simply buys it just like Canon did buy the sweedish internet seculty company or Toshiba medical in 2015. Nikon has no option of doing this.......

Sure, Nikon could pour all its money into trying to turn the ship around. But the market is shrinking and Nikon is outgunned both financially - it would be able to keep it up for a while (an Exmor equivalent made by a non-Sony-owned company would help Nikon a lot, until the next big leap came along and that is why Nikon must have bought Aptina when it was for sale), but, eventually, must fall behind technologically, because Nikon simply can't spend as much on R&D as the big companies. Nikon has been barely making a profit as it is - pretty soon,Nikon'd start posting losses and have to find more and more sources of capital to make up for it. Nikon fanboys usually mock Olympus for losing money on its camera business, but even Olympus and its partner Panasonic are not as vulnerable as Nikon is, because Olympus is a far bigger company than Nikon is, and you do not compare Panasonic to Nikon to know its size.......relative to Nikon.

Nikon actually could sell out of the camera business (its plants, infrastructure and human capital would be worth a huge amount to anyone able to make its own sensors), take the billions of dollars from the asset sale and invest it in something much more likely to generate profit and growth in the medium to long term. Maybe optics, maybe something else entirely (e.g. property, finance, or realestate).

Certainly, as a photographer, it would be nice for Nikon to stay in the game and continue to come up with good products. But, as an investor interested in profit, there are far better things Nikon could do with its very limited resources than continue to compete in the camera game. And, ultimately, Nikon's purpose as a company is to make money, not cameras - making cameras is just one of the many ways to make money, and, given their current strategic position, not a very good one in the long term.

Nikon should try to be a new Asian Zeiss or a Sigma.....make the best possible lenses for electronics giants or medical industry, or maybe for industrial use.

Their expertise is optics. Not digital imaging or the electronics that go with it.

But most of internet camera loving experts cannot get this point and they all just think making innovative(to them) cameras solve all Nikon issues, and even suggest go modular, go programmable camera, or better workflow is the key to re-ignite the rapidly dying stills camera market, oh well, it is not that easy.

If Nikon sold its camera (not optics) division now, Nikon would gain a large chunk of cash. Probably considerably smaller if Nikon sold it in 10 years' time instead. But, either way, still a chunk of cash. Nikon could dispose of that cash in several ways. Firstly, Nikon could wind up most of the company and return a huge chunk of cash to their shareholders. That's actually not a bad option - instead of Nikon investing the money as a company, individual shareholders would take their one-off dividend and invest it themselves. Secondly, Nikon could take the money and invest it in other assets - bonds, shares, property and the like - in a similar manner to a trust fund, with shareholders as beneficiaries. No, Nikon's not expert in it now, but Nikon can easily afford to hire the actual experts needed for the genre Nikon wants to enter into.. A company, even a bank, has no inherent expertise in investments - it's the people they hire who have the expertise. On average, a large company doing that as an institutional investor on behalf of shareholders is going to get a better return than people investing as individuals, due to the centralization and greater availability of resources, reduced transaction costs, better access to international exchanges and better access to loans. Thirdly, Nikon could focus on the optics side of its business, which is potentially far more profitable than its dying camera business, given Nikon's ability to do things in-house and the expanding nature of that sector. Finally,Nikon may do a bit of each - return some cash to shareholders, invest some and expand its optics business.

Optics go in everything, not just interchangeable-lens cameras. Look at what Zeiss, Olympus, Fuji, etc do with it. Their lenses go in everything from Bluray, TV broadcasting business, to microscopes, to satellites. That's what Nikon needs to concentrate on if Nikon is to survive as a company that actually makes something. Forget about proprietary ancient F mount and its own camera system and start making optics for everyone and anyone out there, compatible with all sorts of different imaging systems. That's a far larger market than Nikon-branded stills cameras, is an expanding rather than a shrinking market, and utilises what Nikon is best at (optics) and much less of what it's not so good at (electronics).

All that said though, I actually doubt Nikons ability to compete in broad casting lens market, or interchangeable lens market as a thirdparty lens maker. Nikon has tried this in the 90s and Nikon has miserably rejected and failed at it. TV industry has chosen Canon and Fuji and cinema industry has chosen Canon and Zeiss...........so I am not very sure if Nikon has the ability to make a great lens for TV industry........also, Nikon has competed in medical lens market and failed at it miserably. In 2014 Nikon sued Sigma for unfounded patent infringement and Nikon has lost the patent war in the end. I think if Nikon was still a great optical manufacture as it once was, able to compete with Sigma, then Nikon would not have sued Sigma since after that Sigma decided not design some specific lenses for Nikon mount or deliberately delaying actual release of some very popular lenses for the Nikon fit, and this is affecting a lot on Nikon system sales negatively.

Nikon has lost much more than it could gain anything from the lawsuit.

So I think Nikon has no way to survive, let alone thrive after its camera division fails in very near future.

  

UPDATE: Now Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

UPDATE2:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

 

UPDATE3: it is now really too late for them unless they now can bring it out with at least 7(24-70/2.8, 16-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 24/1.4,35/1.4,85/1.4, and some sort of macro at least) lenses at the very start of it.

 

And considering their current financial state, it is near impossible.

 

Even if they can some how manage to do it , it will not give us any rational reason to choose their system over the A9 series or even over the cheap A7M3, which will be announced in October or November this year(100 percent sure about it).

 

And Nikon just clearly stated they think they can launch it in the end of 2018 or more realistically in early 2019 in their recent interview with Asahi Shimbun news.

 

This means that it will not be announced in this year or early next year, the best case in third Q of the next year.

 

If they wand me to buy into their new mirrorless system, they must have a 12-24mm f4 G kind of lens and a 50mm f1.4 prime as good or better than the FE50mm f1.4Z without oversizing it to the Sigma Art or Zeiss Otus size...

The Art and Otus may be a great lens, but many of us hate them for the awkward ergonomics and size alone.

 

Also for those who own some of their lenses, Nikon should provide (better included in the package) a smart adapter for their F mount E and G type lenses.

 

But then, the mirrorless is already outdated before it gets even fully matured. The future is definitely the computational camera like the Light L16 but more sophisticated one that would be released some one like Google, MS or Apple or any real American tech giant, not from a tiny company like Light or Red or any of these old-fashioned camera companies.

  

In the best case scenario(according to the above news paper analyst) for Nikon and other traditional camera companies, maybe the more traditional and niche they are the more likely to survive even after the death of consumer grade ILC.

 

If he is right, then Nikon most likely survive and likes of Sony, Fuji, Olympus,etc will die before Nikon......and I feel they (mirrorless guys) spending too disproportionately huge(to their camera market share) amount of R and D money for the so-called mirrorless system. And the smartest one is obviously Canon as all analysts and economists agreed on this one. They are spending the least amount of R&D money and getting the best ROI ratio. So Canon and Sony are about the same size of companies in terms of total revenue, but Canon is about 30 percent more profitable......and Sony is actually barely profitable although its fanboys always think they are huge enough to devour Canon Nikon, but actually they are just as big or small as Canon and much less profitable...

       

Ronnie James Dio - "The Sign Of The Southern Cross" - Play this track here.

 

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Ronald James Padavona (July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010), better known as Ronnie James Dio, was an American heavy metal vocalist and songwriter.

 

He performed with, amongst others, Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and his own band Dio. Other musical projects include the collective fundraiser Hear 'n Aid. He was widely hailed as one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice.

 

I only ever saw him on stage once, with Rainbow at Stafford's New Bingley Hall in about 1980.

 

He often ranks as one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time in various online polls and lists. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture in metal culture.

 

Prior to his death, he was collaborating on a project with former Black Sabbath bandmates Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice, under the moniker Heaven & Hell, whose only studio album, The Devil You Know, was released on April 28, 2009.

 

Dio sadly died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010. One of the last songs he recorded was titled "Metal Will Never Die".

 

The Sandbach Crosses are two 9th-century stone Anglo-Saxon crosses now erected in the market place in the town of Sandbach, Cheshire, England. They are unusually large and elaborate examples of the type and have been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, and are a scheduled monument.

 

The most recent and authoritative dating places the larger cross from the early part of the 9th century, and the smaller from about the middle of that century. Older theories, now outdated, included the view that they were erected to commemorate the conversion to Christianity of Peada of Mercia about 653.

 

Other sources date them to the 9th century. The original site of the crosses is unknown and it is believed that they were brought to Sandbach in the Middle Ages. The earliest documentary evidence is by William Smith, the Rouge-Dragon Pursuivant at Arms of Elizabeth I, who was from Nantwich.

 

In 1585 he wrote 'two square crosses of stone, on steps, with certain images and writings thereon graven [standing] hard together. Either after the Reformation or during the Civil War they were thrown down and their parts were scattered over a wide area.

 

Larger pieces of the crosses were found as far away as Oulton and Tarporley while smaller pieces were found on various sites in Sandbach. In the early 19th century they were collected together and in 1816 were reassembled and erected under the direction of George Ormerod, the Cheshire historian.

 

The crosses now consist of two upright columns set in sockets on a base of three stepped stones. The northern cross is the taller and has a mutilated head. The southern cross is truncated and has a mutilated head from a different cross.

 

The crosses have always been a pair and were carved by the same hand. They depict religious scenes, doll-like heads and beasts in panels, together with vine-scrolls, course interlace patterns and some dragons. Yep, here be dragons!

 

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Tannic acids galore represent that vast majority of the prime movers responsible for the colorful autumnal displays across the wooded lands of the world courtesy of the omnipresent quercus rubra species and its next of kin.

 

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Belem, Berardo Collection, Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

 

Materials : Oil on canvas

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

FROM WIKIPEDIA, THE FREE ENCYCLOPAEDIA

 

Gerhard Richter (German: [ˈʀɪçtɐ]; born 9 February 1932) is a German visual artist and one of the pioneers of the New European Painting that emerged in the second half of the twentieth century. Richter has produced abstract as well as photorealistic paintings, and also photographs and glass pieces. His art follows the examples of Picasso and Jean Arp in undermining the concept of the artist's obligation to maintain a single cohesive style.

 

In October 2012, Richter's Abstraktes Bild set an auction record price for a painting by a living artist at $34 million (£21 million).This was exceeded in May 2013 when his 1968 piece Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral square, Milan) was sold for $37.1 million (£24.4 million) in New York.

 

This was further exceeded in February 2015 when his painting Abstraktes Bild sold for $44.52 million (£30.4 million) in London at Sotheby's Contemporary Evening Sale.

 

CHILDHOOD AND EDUCATION

 

Richter was born in Hospital Dresden-Neustadt in Dresden, Saxony, and grew up in Reichenau, Lower Silesia (now Bogatynia, Poland), and in Waltersdorf (Zittauer Gebirge), in the Upper Lusatian countryside, where his father worked as a village teacher.

 

Gerhard's mother, Hildegard Schönfelder, at the age of 25 gave birth to Gerhard. Hildegard's father, Ernst Alfred Schönfelder, at one time was considered a gifted pianist. Ernst moved the family to Dresden after taking up the family enterprise of brewing and eventually went bankrupt. Once in Dresden, Hildegard trained as a bookseller, and in doing so realized a passion for literature and music. Gerhard's father, Horst Richter, was a mathematics and physics student at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden. The two were married in 1931.

 

After struggling to maintain a position in the new Nationalist Socialist education system, Horst found a position in Reichenau. In Reichenau, Gerhard's younger sister, Gisela was born in November 1936.

 

Horst and Hildegard were able to remain primarily apolitical due to Reichenau's location in the countryside.

 

Horst, being a teacher, was eventually forced to join the National Socialist Party. He never became an avid supporter of Nazism, and was not required to attend party rallies. In 1942, Gerhard was conscripted into the Deutsches Jungvolk, but by the end of the war he was still too young to be an official member of the Hitler Youth.

 

In 1943 Hildegard moved the family to Waltersdorf, and was later forced to sell her piano. He left school after 10th grade and apprenticed as an advertising and stage-set painter, before studying at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. In 1948, he finished higher professional school in Zittau, and, between 1949 and 1951, successively worked as an apprentice with a sign painter and as a painter.

In 1950, his application for study at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts was rejected as "too bourgeois". He finally began his studies at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts in 1951. His teachers were Karl von Appen, Heinz Lohmar (de) and Will Grohmann.

 

RELATIONSHIPS

 

In 1983, Richter resettled from Düsseldorf to Cologne, where he still lives and works today. In 1996, he moved into a studio designed by architect Thiess Marwede.

 

Richter married Marianne Eufinger in 1957; she gave birth to his first daughter.

 

He married his second wife, the sculptor Isa Genzken, in 1982. Richter had a son and daughter with his third wife, Sabine Moritz after they were married in 1995.

 

EARLY CAREER

 

In the early days of his career, he prepared a wall painting (Communion with Picasso, 1955) for the refectory of his Academy of Arts as part of his B.A. Another mural entitled Lebensfreude (Joy of life) followed at the German Hygiene Museum for his diploma. It was intended to produce an effect "similar to that of wallpaper or tapestry".

Both paintings were painted over for ideological reasons after Richter escaped from East to West Germany two months before the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. After German reunification two "windows" of the wall painting Joy of life (1956) were uncovered in the stairway of the German Hygiene Museum, but these were later covered over when it was decided to restore the Museum to its original 1930 state.

 

From 1957 to 1961 Richter worked as a master trainee in the academy and took commissions for the then state of East Germany. During this time, he worked intensively on murals like Arbeiterkampf (Workers' struggle), on oil paintings (e.g. portraits of the East German actress Angelica Domröse and of Richter's first wife Ema), on various self-portraits and on a panorama of Dresden with the neutral name Stadtbild (Townscape, 1956).

 

When he escaped to West Germany, Richter began to study at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf under Karl Otto Götz. With Sigmar Polke and Konrad Fischer (de) (pseudonym Lueg) he introduced the term Kapitalistischer Realismus (Capitalistic Realism) as an anti-style of art, appropriating the pictorial shorthand of advertising. This title also referred to the realist style of art known as Socialist Realism, then the official art doctrine of the Soviet Union, but it also commented upon the consumer-driven art doctrine of western capitalism.

 

Richter taught at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as a visiting professor; he returned to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1971, where he was a professor for over 15 years.

 

ART

 

Nearly all of Richter's work demonstrates both illusionistic space that seems natural and the physical activity and material of painting—as mutual interferences. For Richter, reality is the combination of new attempts to understand—to represent; in his case, to paint—the world surrounding us. Richter's opinions and perspectives on his own art, and that of the larger art market and various artistic movements, are compiled in a chronological record of "Writings" and interviews. The following quotes are excerpts from the compilation:

 

"I am a Surrealist."[16]

"My sole concern is the object. Otherwise I would not take so much trouble over my choice of subjects; otherwise I would not paint at all."[17]

"My concern is never art, but always what art can be used for."[18]

Photo-paintings and the "blur"[edit]

 

Richter's 1988 painting Betty (depicting his daughter) at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin in 2012

Richter created various painting pictures from black-and-white photographs during the 1960s and early 1970s, basing them on a variety of sources: newspapers and books, sometimes incorporating their captions, (as in Helga Matura (1966)); private snapshots; aerial views of towns and mountains, (Cityscape Madrid (1968) and Alps (1968)); seascapes (1969–70); and a large multi-partite work made for the German Pavilion in the 1972 Venice Biennale. For Forty-eight Portraits (1971–2), he chose mainly the faces of composers such as Gustav Mahler and Jean Sibelius, and of writers such as H. G. Wells and Franz Kafka.[19]

 

From his "Writings", the following refer to quotations regarding photography, its relationship with painting, and the "blur":

 

"The photograph is the most perfect picture. It does not change; it is absolute, and therefore autonomous, unconditional, devoid of style. Both in its ways of informing, and in what it informs of, it is my source."[20]

"I don't create blurs. Blurring is not the most important thing; nor is it an identity tag for my pictures. When I dissolve demarcations and create transition, this is not in order to destroy the representation, or to make it more artistic or less precise. The flowing transitions, the smooth equalizing surface, clarify the content and make the representation credible (an "alla prima" impasto would be too reminiscent of painting, and would destroy the illusion)."[21]

"I blur things to make everything equally important and equally unimportant. I blur things so that they do not look artistic or craftsmanlike but technological, smooth and perfect. I blur things to make all the parts a closer fit. Perhaps I also blur out the excess of unimportant information."[22]

Many of these paintings are made in a multi-step process of representations. He starts with a photograph, which he has found or taken himself, and projects it onto his canvas, where he traces it for exact form. Taking his color palette from the photograph, he paints to replicate the look of the original picture. His hallmark "blur" is achieved sometimes with a light touch of a soft brush, sometimes a hard smear by an aggressive pull with a squeegee.

 

From around 1964, Richter made a number of portraits of dealers, collectors, artists and others connected with his immediate professional circle. Richter's two portraits of Betty, his daughter, were made in 1977 and 1988 respectively; the three portraits titled IG were made in 1993 and depict the artist's second wife, Isa Genzken. Lesende (1994) portrays Sabine Moritz, whom Richter married in 1995, shown absorbed in the pages of a magazine.[23] Many of his realist paintings reflect on the history of National Socialism, creating paintings of family members who had been members, as well as victims of, the Nazi party.[24] From 1966, as well as those given to him by others, Richter began using photographs he had taken as the basis for portraits.[23] In 1975, on the occasion of a show in Düsseldorf, Gilbert & George commissioned Richter to make a portrait of them.[25]

 

Richter began making prints in 1965. He was most active before 1974, only completing sporadic projects since that time. In the period 1965–74, Richter made most of his prints (more than 100), of the same or similar subjects in his paintings.[26] He has explored a variety of photographic printmaking processes – screenprint, photolithography, and collotype – in search of inexpensive mediums that would lend a "non-art" appearance to his work.[27] He stopped working in print media in 1974, and began painting from photographs he took himself.[26]

 

While elements of landscape painting appeared initially in Richter's work early on in his career in 1963, the artist began his independent series of landscapes in 1968 after his first vacation, an excursion that landed him besotted with the terrain of Corsica.[28] Landscapes have since emerged as an independent work group in his oeuvre.[29] According to Dietmar Elger, Richter's landscapes are understood within the context of traditional of German Romantic Painting. They are compared to the work of Caspar David Friedrich (1774–1840). Friedrich is foundational to German landscape painting. Each artist spent formative years of their lives in Dresden.[30] Große Teyde-Landschaft (1971) takes its imagery from similar holiday snapshots of the volcanic regions of Tenerife.[31]

 

Atlas was first exhibited in 1972 at the Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst in Utrecht under the title Atlas der Fotos und Skizzen, it included 315 parts. The work has continued to expand, and was exhibited later in full form at the Lenbachhaus in Munich in 1989, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 1990, and at Dia Art Foundation in New York in 1995. Atlas continues as an ongoing, encyclopedic work composed of approximately 4,000 photographs, reproductions or cut-out details of photographs and illustrations, grouped together on approximately 600 separate panels.[32]

 

In 1972 Richter embarked on a ten-day trip to Greenland, his friend Hanne Darboven was meant to accompany him, but instead he traveled alone. His intention was to experience and record the desolate arctic landscape. In 1976, four large paintings, each titled Seascape emerged from the Greenland photographs.[33]

  

Two of Richter's 1983 memento mori paintings – Kerze and Schädel – on display at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin in 2012

In 1982 and 1983, Richter made a series of paintings of Candles and Skulls that relate to a longstanding tradition of still life memento mori painting. Each composition is most commonly based on a photograph taken by Richter in his own studio. Influenced by old master vanitas painters such as Georges de La Tour and Francisco de Zurbarán, the artist began to experiment with arrangements of candles and skulls placed in varying degrees of natural light, sitting atop otherwise barren tables. The Candle paintings coincided with his first large-scale abstract paintings, and represent the complete antithesis to those vast, colorful and playfully meaningless works. Richter has made only 27 of these still lifes.[34] In 1995, the artist marked the 50th anniversary of the allied bombings of his hometown Dresden during the Second World War. His solitary candle was reproduced on a monumental scale and placed overlooking the River Elbe as a symbol of rejuvenation.[35]

 

In a 1988 series of 15 ambiguous photo paintings entitled 18 October 1977, he depicted four members of the Red Army Faction (RAF), a German left-wing terrorist organization. These paintings were created from black-and-white newspaper and police photos. Three RAF members were found dead in their prison cells on 18 October 1977 and the cause of their deaths was the focus of widespread controversy.[36] In the late 1980s, Richter had begun to collect images of the group which he used as the basis for the 15 paintings exhibited for the first time in Krefeld in 1989. The paintings were based on an official portrait of Ulrike Meinhof during her years as a radical journalist; on photographs of the arrest of Holger Meins; on police shots of Gudrun Ensslin in prison; on Andreas Baader's bookshelves and the record player to conceal his gun; on the dead figures of Meinhof, Ensslin, and Baader; and on the funeral of Ensslin, Baader, and Jan-Carl Raspe.

 

Since 1989, Richter has worked on creating new images by dragging wet paint over photographs. The photographs, not all taken by Richter himself, are mostly snapshots of daily life: family vacations, pictures of friends, mountains, buildings and streetscapes.

 

Richter was flying to New York on September 11, 2001, but due to the 9/11 attacks, including on the World Trade Center, his plane was diverted to Halifax, Nova Scotia. A few years later, he made one small painting specifically about the planes crashing into the World Trade Center.[37] In September: A History Painting by Gerhard Richter, Robert Storr situates Richter's 2005 painting September within a brand of anti-ideological thought that he finds throughout Richter's work, he considers how the ubiquitous photographic documentation of the 11 September attacks affects the uniqueness of one's distinct remembrance of the events, and he offers a valuable comparison to Richter's 18 October 1977 cycle.[38]

 

In the 2000s, Richter made a number of works that dealt with scientific phenomena. In 2003, he produced several paintings with the same title: Silicate. Large oil-on-canvas pieces, these show latticed rows of light- and dark-grey blobs whose shapes quasi-repeat as they race across the frame, their angle modulating from painting to painting. They depict a photo, published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, of a computer-generated simulacrum of reflections from the silicon dioxide found in insects' shells.

 

ABSTRACT WORK

 

Coming full-circle from his early Table (1962) in which he cancelled his photorealist image with haptic swirls of grey paint,[ in 1969, Richter produced the first of a group of grey monochromes that consist exclusively of the textures resulting from different methods of paint application.

 

In 1976, Richter first gave the title Abstract Painting to one of his works. By presenting a painting without even a few words to name and explain it, he felt he was "letting a thing come, rather than creating it." In his abstract pictures, Richter builds up cumulative layers of non-representational painting, beginning with brushing big swaths of primary color onto canvas. The paintings evolve in stages, based on his responses to the picture's progress: the incidental details and patterns that emerge. Throughout his process, Richter uses the same techniques he uses in his representational paintings, blurring and scraping to veil and expose prior layers.

 

From the mid-1980s, Richter began to use a homemade squeegee to rub and scrape the paint that he had applied in large bands across his canvases.

 

In an interview with Benjamin H.D. Buchloch in 1986, Richter was asked about his "Monochrome Grey Pictures and Abstract Pictures" and their connection with the artists Yves Klein and Ellsworth Kelly. The following are Richter's answers:

 

The Grey Pictures were done at a time when there were monochrome paintings everywhere. I painted them nonetheless. ... Not Kelly, but Bob Ryman, Brice Marden, Alan Charlton, Yves Klein and many others.

 

In the 1990s the artist began to run his squeegee up and down the canvas in an ordered fashion to produce vertical columns that take on the look of a wall of planks.

 

Richter's abstract work and its illusion of space developed out of his incidental process: an accumulation of spontaneous, reactive gestures of adding, moving, and subtracting paint. Despite unnatural palettes, spaceless sheets of color, and obvious trails of the artist's tools, the abstract pictures often act like windows through which we see the landscape outside. As in his representational paintings, there is an equalization of illusion and paint. In those paintings, he reduces worldly images to mere incidents of Art. Similarly, in his abstract pictures, Richter exalts spontaneous, intuitive mark-making to a level of spatial logic and believability.

 

Firenze continues a cycle of 99 works conceived in the autumn of 1999 and executed in the same year and thereafter. The series of overpainted photographs, or übermalte Photographien, consists of small paintings bearing images of the city of Florence, created by the artist as a tribute to the music of Steve Reich and the work of Contempoartensemble, a Florence-based group of musicians.

 

After 2000, Richter made a number of works that dealt with scientific phenomena, in particular, with aspects of reality that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

 

In 2006, Richter conceived six paintings as a coherent group under the title Cage, named after the American avant-garde composer John Cage.In May 2002, Richter photographed 216 details of his abstract painting no. 648-2, from 1987. Working on a long table over a period of several weeks, Richter combined these 10 x 15 cm details with 165 texts on the Iraq war, published in the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on 20 and 21 March. This work was published in 2004 as a book entitled War Cut.

 

In November 2008, Richter began a series in which he applied ink droplets to wet paper, using alcohol and lacquer to extend and retard the ink's natural tendency to bloom and creep. The resulting November sheets are regarded as a significant departure from his previous watercolours in that the pervasive soaking of ink into wet paper produced double-sided works. Sometimes the uppermost sheets bled into others, generating a sequentially developing series of images. In a few cases Richter applied lacquer to one side of the sheet, or drew pencil lines across the patches of colour.

 

COLOR CHART PAINTINGS

 

As early as 1966, Richter had made paintings based on colour charts, using the rectangles of colour as found objects in an apparently limitless variety of hue; these culminated in 1973–4 in a series of large-format pictures such as 256 Colours.

 

Richter painted three series of Color Chart paintings between 1966 and 1974, each series growing more ambitious in their attempt to create through their purely arbitrary arrangement of colors.

 

The artist began his investigations into the complex permutations of color charts in 1966, with a small painting entitled 10 Colors. The charts provided anonymous and impersonal source material, a way for Richter to disassociate color from any traditional, descriptive, symbolic or expressive end. When he began to make these paintings, Richter had his friend Blinky Palermo randomly call out colors, which Richter then adopted for his work. Chance thus plays its role in the creation of his first series.

 

Returning to color charts in the 1970s, Richter changed his focus from the readymade to the conceptual system, developing mathematical procedures for mixing colours and chance operations for their placement.[53] The range of the colors he employed was determined by a mathematical system for mixing the primary colors in graduated amounts. Each color was then randomly ordered to create the resultant composition and form of the painting. Richter's second series of Color Charts was begun in 1971 and consisted of only five paintings. In the final series of Color Charts which preoccupied Richter throughout 1973 and 1974, additional elements to this permutational system of color production were added in the form of mixes of a light grey, a dark gray and later, a green.

 

Richter's 4900 Colours from 2007 consisted of bright monochrome squares that have been randomly arranged in a grid pattern to create stunning fields of kaleidoscopic color. It was produced at the same time he developed his design for the south transept window of Cologne Cathedral. 4900 Colours consists of 196 panels in 25 colors that can be reassembled in 11 variations – from a single expansive surface to multiple small-format fields. Richter developed Version II – 49 paintings, each of which measures 97 by 97 centimeters – especially for the Serpentine Gallery.

 

SCULPTURE

 

Richter began to use glass in his work in 1967, when he made Four Panes of Glass. These plain sheets of glass could tilt away from the poles on whicht they were mounted at an angle that changed from one installation to the next. In 1970, he and Blinky Palermo jointly submitted designs for the sports facilities for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. For the front of the arena, they proposed an array of glass windows in twenty-seven different colors; each color would appear fifty times, with the distribution determined randomly. In 1981, for a two-person show with Georg Baselitz in Düsseldorf, Richter produced the first of the monumental transparent mirrors that appear intermittently thereafter in his oeuvre; the mirrors are significantly larger than Richter's paintings and feature adjustable steel mounts. For pieces such as Mirror Painting (Grey, 735-2) (1991), the mirrors were coloured grey by the pigment attached to the back of the glass. Arranged in two rooms, Richter presented an ensemble of paintings and colored mirrors in a special pavilion designed in collaboration with architect Paul Robbrecht at Documenta 9 in Kassel in 1992.

 

In 2002, for the Dia Art Foundation, Richter created a glass sculpture in which seven parallel panes of glass refract light and the world beyond, offering altered visions of the exhibition space; Spiegel I (Mirror I) and Spiegel II (Mirror II), a two-part mirror piece from 1989 that measures 7' tall and 18' feet long, which alters the boundaries of the environment and again changes one's visual experience of the gallery; and Kugel (Sphere), 1992, a stainless steel sphere that acts as a mirror, reflecting the space. Since 2002, the artist has created a series of three dimensional glass constructions, such as 6 Standing Glass Panels (2002/2011).[59]

 

DRAWINGS

 

In 2010, the Drawing Center showed Lines which do not exist, a survey of Richter's drawings from 1966 to 2005, including works made using mechanical intervention such as attaching a pencil to an electric hand drill. It was the first career overview of Richter in the United States since 40 Years of Painting at the Museum of Modern Art in 2002.

 

In a review of Lines which do not exist, R. H. Lossin writes in The Brooklyn Rail: "Viewed as a personal (and possibly professional) deficiency, Richter's drawing practice consisted of diligently documenting something that didn't work—namely a hand that couldn't draw properly. ...Richter displaces the concept of the artist's hand with hard evidence of his own, wobbly, failed, and very material appendage."

 

COMMISSIONS

 

Throughout his career, Richter has mostly declined lucrative licensing deals and private commissions.Measuring 9 by 9 ½ feet and depicting both the Milan Duomo and the square's 19th-century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Domplatz, Mailand [Cathedral Square, Milan] (1968) was a commission from Siemens, and it hung in that company's offices in Milan from 1968 to 1998. (In 1998, Sotheby's sold it in London, where it fetched what was then a record price for Richter, $3.6 million).

 

In 1980, Richter and Isa Genzken were commissioned to design the König-Heinrich-Platz underground station in Duisburg; it was only completed in 1992. In 1986, Richter received a commission for two large-scale paintings – Victoria I and Victoria II – from the Victoria insurance company in Düsseldorf.[64] In 1990, along with Sol LeWitt and Oswald Mathias Ungers, he created works for the Bayerische Hypotheken- und Wechselbank in Düsseldorf. In 1998, he installed a wall piece based on the colours of Germany's flag in the rebuilt Reichstag in Berlin.

 

COLOGNE CATHEDRAL

 

In 2002, the same year as his MoMA retrospective, Richter was asked to design a stained glass window in the Cologne Cathedral In August 2007, his window was unveiled. It is an 113 square metres (1,220 sq ft) abstract collage of 11,500 pixel-like squares in 72 colors, randomly arranged by computer (with some symmetry), reminiscent of his 1974 painting "4096 colours". Although the artist waived any fee, the costs of materials and mounting the window came to around €370,000 ($506,000). However the costs were covered by donations from more than 1,000 people.

 

Cardinal Joachim Meisner did not attend the window's unveiling; he had preferred a figurative representation of 20th century Christian martyrs and said that Richter's window would fit better in a mosque or other prayer house.

 

A professed atheist with "a strong leaning towards Catholicism", Richter's three children with his third wife were baptized in the Cologne Cathedral.

 

EXHIBITIONS

 

Richter first began exhibiting in Düsseldorf in 1963. Richter had his first gallery solo show in 1964 at Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf. Soon after, he had exhibitions in Munich and Berlin and by the early 1970s exhibited frequently throughout Europe and the United States. In 1966, Bruno Bischofberger was the first to show Richter's works outside Germany. Richter's first retrospective took place at the Kunsthalle Bremen in 1976 and covered works from 1962 to 1974. A traveling retrospective at Düsseldorf's Kunsthalle in 1986 was followed in 1991 by a retrospective at the Tate Gallery, London. In 1993 he received a major touring retrospective "Gerhard Richter: Malerei 1962–1993" curated by Kasper König, with a three volume catalogue edited by Benjamin Buchloch. This exhibition containing 130 works carried out over the course of thirty years, was to entirely reinvent Richter's career.

 

Richter became known to a U.S. audience in 1990, when the Saint Louis Art Museum circulated Baader-Meinhof (October 18, 1977), a show that that was later seen at the Lannan Foundation in Marina del Rey, California.

 

Richter's first North American retrospective was in 1998 at the Art Gallery of Ontario and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. In 2002, a 40-year retrospective of Richter's work was held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. He has participated in several international art shows, including the Venice Biennale (1972, 1980, 1984, 1997 and 2007), as well as Documenta V (1972), VII (1982), VIII (1987), IX (1992), and X (1997). In 2006, an exhibition at the Getty Center connected the landscapes of Richter to the Romantic pictures of Caspar David Friedrich, showing that both artists "used abstraction, expansiveness, and emptiness to express transcendent emotion through painting."

 

The Gerhard Richter Archive was established in cooperation with the artist in 2005 as an institute of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS (SELECTION)

 

Gerhard Richter 4900 Colours: Version II at the Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom. 2008[73]

Gerhard Richter Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, London, United Kingdom. 2009[23]

Gerhard Richter: Panorama at the Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom. 2011[74]

Gerhard Richter at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, France. 2012[75]

Gerhard Richter: Panorama at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany. 2012[76]

 

RECOGNITION

 

Although Richter gained popularity and critical praise throughout his career, his fame burgeoned during his 2005 retrospective exhibition, which declared his place among the most important artists of the 20th century.

 

Today, many call Gerhard Richter the best living painter. In part, this comes from his ability to explore the medium at a time when many were heralding its death. Richter has been the recipient of numerous distinguished awards, including the State Prize of the state North Rhine-Westphalia in 2000; the Wexner Prize, 1998; the Praemium Imperiale, Japan, 1997; the Golden Lion of the 47th Biennale, Venice, 1997; the Wolf Prize in Israel in 1994/5; the Kaiserring Prize der Stadt Goslar, Mönchehaus-Museum für Moderne Kunst, Goslar, Germany, 1988; the Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Vienna, 1985; the Arnold Bode Prize, Kassel, 1981; and the Junger Western Art Prize, Germany, 1961. He was made an honorary citizen of Cologne in April 2007.

 

Among the students who studied with Richter at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf between 1971 and 1994 were Ludger Gerdes, Hans-Jörg Holubitschka, Bernard Lokai, Thomas Schütte, Thomas Struth, Katrin Kneffel, Michael van Ofen, and Richter's second wife, Isa Genzken. He is known to have influenced Ellsworth Kelly, Christopher Wool, Allan Banford and Johan Andersson (artist).

 

He also served as source of inspiration for writers and musicians. Sonic Youth used a painting of his for the cover art for their album Daydream Nation in 1988. He was a fan of the band and did not charge for the use of his image.

 

The original, over 7 metres (23 ft) square, is now showcased in Sonic Youth's studio in NYC.

 

Don DeLillo's short story "Baader-Meinhof" describes an encounter between two strangers at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The meeting takes place in the room displaying 18 October 1977 (1988).

 

Photographer Cotton Coulson described Richter as "one of [his] favourite artists".

 

POSITION ON THE ART MARKET

 

Following an exhibition with Blinky Palermo at Galerie Heiner Friedrich in 1971, Richter's formal arrangement with the dealer came to an end in 1972. Thereafter Friedrich was only entitled to sell the paintings that he had already obtained contractually from Richter.

 

In the following years, Richter showed with Galerie Konrad Fischer, Düsseldorf, and Sperone Westwater, New York. Today Richter is represented by Marian Goodman, his primary dealer since 1985.

 

Today, museums own roughly 38% of Richter's works, including half of his large abstract paintings.By 2004, Richter's annual turnover was $120m (£65m). At the same time, his works often appear at auction. According to artnet, an online firm that tracks the art market, $76.9m worth of Richter's work was sold at auction in 2010.

 

Richter's high turnover volume reflects his prolificacy as well as his popularity. As of 2012, no fewer than 545 distinct Richter's works had sold at auctions for more than $100,000. 15 of them had sold for more than $10,000,000 between 2007 and 2012.

 

Richter's paintings have been flowing steadily out of Germany since the mid-1990s even as certain important German collectors – Frieder Burda, Josef Fröhlich, Georg Böckmann, and Ulrich Ströher – have held on to theirs.

 

Richter's candle paintings were the first to command high auction prices. Three months after his MoMA exhibition opened in 2001, Sotheby's sold his Three Candles (1982) for $5.3 million. In February 2008, the artist's eldest daughter, Betty, sold her Kerze (1983) for £7,972,500 ($15 million), triple the high estimate, at Sotheby's in London.

 

His 1982 Kerze (Candle) sold for £10.5 million ($16.5 million) at Christie's London in October 2011.[83]

 

In February 2008, Christie's London set a first record for Richter's "capitalist realism" pictures from the 1960s by selling the painting Zwei Liebespaare (1966) for £7,300,500 ($14.3 million)[84] to Stephan Schmidheiny. In 2010, the Weserburg modern art museum in Bremen, Germany, decided to sell Richter's 1966 painting Matrosen (Sailors) in a November auction held by Sotheby's, where John D. Arnold bought it for $13 million. Vierwaldstätter See, the largest of a distinct series of four views of Lake Lucerne painted by Richter in 1969, sold for £15.8 million ($24 million) at Christie's London in 2015.

 

Another coveted group of works is the ABSTRAKTE BILDER SERIES, particularly those made after 1988, which are finished with a large squeegee rather than a brush or roller. At Pierre Bergé & Associés in July 2009, Richter's 1979 oil painting Abstraktes Bild exceeded its estimate, selling for €95,000 ($136,000). Richter's Abstraktes Bild, of 1990 was made the top price of 7.2 million pounds, or about $11.6 million, at a Sotheby's sale in February 2011 to a bidder who was said by dealers to be an agent for the New York dealer Larry Gagosian. In November 2011, Sotheby's sold a group of colorful abstract canvases by Richter, including Abstraktes Bild 849-3, which made a record price for the artist at auction when Lily Safra paid $20.8 million only to donate it to the Israel Museum afterwards. Months later, a record $21.8 million was paid at Christie's for the 1993 painting Abstraktes Bild 798-3.

 

Abstraktes Bild (809-4), one of the artist's abstract canvases from 1994, was sold by Eric Clapton at Sotheby's to a telephone bidder for $34.2 million in late 2012. (It had been estimated to bring $14.1 million to $18.8 million.)

 

When asked about amounts like that Richter said "IT'S JUST AS ABSURD AS THE BANKING CRISIS. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO UNDERSTAND AND IT'S DAFT!"

  

Gerhard Richter's Betty, 4:58 on YouTube, Smarthistory

In 2007, Corinna Belz made a short film called Gerhard Richter's Window where the media-shy artist appeared on camera for the first time in 15 years. In 2011, Corinna Belz's feature-length documentary entitled Gerhard Richter Painting was released. The film focused almost entirely on the world's highest paid living artist producing his large-scale abstract squeegee works in his studio.

 

QUOTES

 

"One has to believe in what one is doing, one has to commit oneself inwardly, in order to do painting. Once obsessed, one ultimately carries it to the point of believing that one might change human beings through painting. But if one lacks this passionate commitment, there is nothing left to do. Then it is best to leave it alone. For basically painting is idiocy."

 

"Perhaps because I'm sorry for the photograph, because it has such a miserable existence even though it is such a perfect picture, I would like to make it valid, make it visible – just make it (even if what I make is worse than the photograph). And this making is something that I can't grasp, or figure out and plan. That is why I keep on and on painting from photographs, because I can't make it out, because the only thing to do with photographs is paint from them. Because it attracts me to be so much at the mercy of a thing, to be so far from mastering it."

 

"No one painting is meant to be more beautiful than, or even different from any other. Nor is it meant to be like any other, but the same: the same, though each was painted individually and by itself, not all together and all of a piece, like Multiples. I intended them to look the same but not be the same, and I intended this to be visible."

 

"Painting has nothing to do with thinking, because in painting thinking is painting. Thinking is language – record-keeping – and has to take place before and after. Einstein did not think when he was calculating: he calculated – producing the next equation in reaction to the one that went before – just as in painting one form is a response to another, and so on."

 

"It makes no sense to expect or claim to 'make the invisible visible', or the unknown known, or the unthinkable thinkable. We can draw conclusions about the invisible; we can postulate its existence with relative certainty. But we all can represent is an analogy, which stands for the invisible but is not it."

 

"The best thing that could have happened to art was its divorce from government."[99]

 

"Everything made since Duchamp has been a readymade, even when hand-painted."[100]

 

At a Q&A ahead of his retrospective at the Tate Modern on 4 October 2011, he was asked: "Has the role of artist changed over the years?" Richter replied: "It's more entertainment now. We entertain people."

A brightly shining red poppy still life is standing out in contrast to a solarized evening sky filled up with shadowy symbols of the Industrial Revolution: A huge pylon decked with three power lines, a GDR-chimney, a double-barrelled street lamp and the gas main pipeline from Russia.

 

In its small area of DOF the macro landscape contains three hairy poppy stalks. One of these stems has hanging down a green seed capsule whose shape reminds of an unblown WWI hand grenade:

 

----► In Flanders Fields @warmuseum.ca

 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved, and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders Fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders Fields.

 

Author: John McCrae (1872-1918): poet, surgeon, soldier

A native of Guelph, Ontario, and a veteran of the South African War (1899-1902), John McCrae began the First World War as a surgeon attached to the 1st Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery, 1st Canadian Division. After undergoing a baptism by fire at Neuve Chapelle, France, in March 1915, the Canadians moved to Flanders in mid-April, taking up position in the salient around the Belgian town of Ypres.

On April 22-23, in their first major battle, they distinguished themselves by holding out against the first German gas attack of the war while others around them fled. John McCrae was the officer in charge of a medical aid post in a dugout cut into the bank of the Yser canal, a few miles to the northeast of Ypres. Here, on May 2, McCrae's good friend, 22-year old Lieutenant Alexis Helmer of Ottawa, was blown apart by enemy artillery fire. With the parts of Helmer's body collected in a blanket, McCrae himself read the funeral service.

The next day, McCrae, who had been publishing poetry for many years, completed In Flanders Fields. Eyewitness accounts vary in detail, but agree that he worked on the poem while sitting on the back step of an ambulance near his medical aid post. In the field around him crosses marked the graves of dead soldiers, including those of Helmer and other Canadians killed the previous day. Accounts also agree that poppies grew in the area at the time and McCrae's own notes refer to birds singing despite the noise of battle.

John McCrae set the poem aside to concentrate on caring for the wounded at Ypres. He took it up again that fall after leaving the Ypres salient to serve in the relatively quieter circumstances of No. 3 Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne. When at last he had worked it to a satisfactory state he sent it to the British publication the Spectator, only to see his work rejected. He resubmitted it to Punch magazine, which published it anonymously, in its issue of December 8, 1915. [warmuseum.ca]

 

YouTube-Clips

----►In Flanders Fields with images and heroic music (Gods and Generals soundtrack by John Frizzel and Randy Edelman & The Man In The Iron Mask soundtrack by Nick Glennie-Smith)

----►Green Fields of France - antiheroic WW1 Memorial by John Mc.Dermott

 

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WWI - Poetry - Archive Wilfred Owen, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, Edward Thomas, ...... online repository of over 4000 items of text, images, audio, and video for teaching, learning, and research.

----► Friends of the Project Organisations and Societies

------► However, there is a kind of war memorial that is unique to the Germans.

------► This is the Nagelfiguren = Figure of nails.

WWI Red Cross Archive will be digitized Dick Eastman reported about the amazing Geneva WWI Red Cross Archive this morning ... these records have been kept in file drawers in the dusty basement of the Red Cross Museum in Geneva, Switzerland for the last 90 years.

The collection is made up of cards, as well as battlefield reports that were initially compiled by the German Army. These records most likely had a British counterpart that now seems to have been lost. But the original German documents remain in the Red Cross Archives.

About 20 Million WWI casualties are dealt with in the collection - many detailing the dead found on the battlefield, complete with the soldier’s name, number, rank, unit, and exactly where the person was found and buried.

The Red Cross now plans to preserve and then digitize the collection, making the cards accessible to researchers worldwide

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Red poppy, Field Poppy, Flanders Poppy, or Corn Poppy is the wild poppy of agricultural cultivation—Papaver rhoeas. It is a variable annual plant. The four petals are vivid red, most commonly with a black spot at their base. In the northern hemisphere it generally flowers in late spring, but if the weather is warm enough other flowers frequently appear at the beginning of autumn ...

It is known to have been associated with agriculture in the Old World since early times. It has most of the characteristics of a successful weed of agriculture. These include an annual lifecycle that fits into that of most cereals, a tolerance of simple weed control methods, the ability to flower and seed itself before the crop is harvested. Like many such weeds, it also shows the tendency to become a crop in its own right; its seed is a moderately useful commodity, and its flower is edible. ....

It has had an old symbolism and association with agricultural fertility.

It has become associated with wartime remembrance in the 20th century, especially during Remembrance Day in Commonwealth countries. As poppies bloomed in much of the western front in World War I, poppies are a symbol of military veterans, especially of that war.

 

Klatschmohn (Papaver rhoeas), auch Mohnblume oder Klatschrose genannt, eine Pflanzenart aus der Familie der Mohngewächse (Papaveraceae). ... Er ist ein Altbürger (Archäophyt) und seit dem Neolithikum Kulturbegleiter. Durch übermäßigen Herbizideinsatz ist er in Getreidefeldern oft sehr zurückgegangen, tritt aber dafür oft in Mengen z. B. an ungespritzten, offenerdigen Straßenböschungen auf.

 

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NODE - Entries [remembrance]

Remembrance Day ('Gedenktag') ►noun

✪ another term for Remembrance Sunday

✪✪ [historical] another term for Armistice Day

Remembrance Sunday ►noun (in the UK) the Sunday nearest 11 November when those who were killed in the first and second World Wars and later conflicts are commemorated. Also called Poppy Day.

✪✪Armistice Day ►noun the anniversary of the armistice of 11 November 1918, now replaced by Remembrance Sunday in the UK and Veterans Day in the US.

 

NODE - Entries [poppy]

poppy¹ a herbaceous plant with showy flowers, milky sap, and rounded seed capsules. Many poppies contain alcaloids and are a source of drugs such as morphine and codeine.

poppy head ►noun the seed capsule of a poppy

Poppy Day ►noun Brit. another name for Remembrance Sunday

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poppycock ►noun [mass noun] [informal] nonsense (--->: dutch pappekak | german Papperlapapp)

poppy² ►adjective (of popular music) tuneful and immediately appealing:catchy, poppy tunes.

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November 2008@nowpublic

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15th May 2014: 33,991

21st May 2015: 86,201

26th Aug 207: 129,575

The Sea Rabbit (Monafluffchus americanus) of Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York – This unique sea-dwelling rabbit, which is actually a close relative of the sea lion, was officially discovered and investigated by Henry Hudson when he first visited this land to colonize the area by order of the Dutch government. It was named New Amsterdam -- today’s New York City. This island was named after he saw the beach covered with strange swimming wild rabbits. The word “Coney Island” means “wild rabbit island” in Dutch (originally Conyne Eylandt, or Konijneneiland in modern Dutch spelling). Sea rabbits were also referred mermaid rabbit, merrabbit, rabbit fish or seal rabbit in the natural history documents in the 17th century. The current conservation status, or risk of extinction, of the sea rabbit is Extinct in the Wild.

 

This website features two species of sea rabbits, which have been taken care of by Dr. Takeshi Yamada at the Coney Island Sea Rabbit Repopulation Center, which is a part of the Marine biology department of the Coney Island University in Brooklyn, New York. They are – Coney Island Sea Rabbit (Monafluffchus americanus) called “Seara” and Coney Island Tiger-striped Sea Rabbit (Monafluffchus konjinicus) called “Stripes”.

 

The photographs and videos featured in this website chronicle adventures of the Coney Island sea rabbits and the world as seen by them. This article also documented efforts of Dr. Takeshi Yamada for bringing back the nearly extinct sea rabbits to Coney Island in the City of New York and beyond. Dr. Yamada produced a series of public lectures, workshops, original public live interactive fine art performances and fine art exhibitions about sea rabbits at a variety of occasions and institutions in the City of New York and beyond. Dr. Yamada is an internationally active educator, book author, wildlife conservationist and high profile artist, who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

 

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Sea Rabbit

 

Other Common Names: Coney Island Sea Rabbit, Beach Rabbit, Seal Rabbit, mer-rabbit, atlantic Sea Rabbit.

 

Latin Name: Monafluffchus americanus

 

Origin: Atlantic coast of the United States

 

Description of the specimen: In the early 17th century’s European fur craze drove the fleet of Dutch ships to the eastern costal area of America. Then Holland was the center of the world just like the Italy was in the previous century. New York City was once called New Amsterdam when Dutch merchants landed and established colonies. Among them, Henry Hudson is probably the most recognized individual in the history of New York City today. “This small island is inhabited by two major creatures which we do not have in our homeland. The one creature is a large arthropod made of three body segments: the frontal segment resembles a horseshoe, the middle segment resembles a spiny crab and its tail resembles a sharp sword. Although they gather beaches here in great numbers, they are not edible due to their extremely offensive odor. Another creature which is abundant here, has the head of wild rabbit. This animal of great swimming ability has frontal legs resemble the webbed feet of a duck. The bottom half of the body resembles that of a seal. This docile rabbit of the sea is easy to catch as it does not fear people. The larger male sea rabbits control harems of 20 to 25 females. The meat of the sea rabbit is very tender and tasty.” This is what Hadson wrote in his personal journal in 1609 about the horseshoe crab and the sea rabbit in today’s Coney Island area of Brooklyn, New York. Sadly, just like the Dodo bird and the Thylacine, the sea rabbit was driven to extinction by the European settlers’ greed. When Dutch merchants and traders arrived here, sea rabbits were one of the first animals they hunted down to bring their furs to homeland to satisfy the fur craze of the time. To increase the shipment volume of furs of sea rabbit and beavers from New Amsterdam, Dutch merchants also started using wampum (beads made of special clam shells) as the first official currency of this country.

 

At the North Eastern shores of the United States, two species of sea rabbits were commonly found. They are Coney Island Sea Rabbit (Monafluffchus americanus) and Coney Island Tiger-striped Sea Rabbit (Monafluffchus konjinicus). Sadly, due to their over harvesting in the previous centuries, their conservation status became “Extinct in the Wild” (ET) in the Red List Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Currently, these sea rabbits are only found at breeding centers at selected zoos and universities such as Coney Island Aquarium and Coney Island University in Brooklyn, New York. The one shown in this photograph was named "Seara" and has been cared by Dr. Takeshi Yamada at Coney Island University.

 

The sea rabbit is one of the families of the Pinniped order. Pinnipeds (from Latin penna = flat and pes/pedis = foot) are sea-mammals: they are homeothermic (i.e having high and regulated inner temperature), lung-breathing (i.e dependant on atmospheric oxygen) animals having come back to semi aquatic life. As soon as they arrive ashore, females are caught by the nearest adult male. Males can maintain harems of about 20 females on average. Several hours to several days after arriving ashore, pregnant females give birth to eight to ten pups with a dark brown fur. As soon as birth occurs, the mother’s special smell and calls help her pups bond specifically to her. The mother stays ashore with her pup for about one week during which the pup gains weight. During the first week spent with her newborn, the mother becomes receptive. She will be impregnated by the bull, which control the harem. Implantation of the embryo will occur 3 months later, in March-April. During the reproductive period, the best males copulate with several tens females. To do so, males have to stay ashore without feeding in order to keep their territory and their harem. In mid-January, when the last females have been fecundated, males leave at sea to feed. Some of them will come back later in March-April for the moult. The other ones will stay at sea and will come back on Coney Island only in next November. After fecundation, the mother goes at sea for her first meal. At sea, mothers feed on clams, crabs, shrimps, fish (herring, anchovy, Pollock, capelin etc.) and squids. When she is back, the mother recovers her pups at the beach she left them. Suckling occurs after auditive and olfactory recognition had occured. In March-April, the dark brown fur is totally replaced by an adult-like light brownish grey fur during the moult that lasts 1-2 months. This new fur is composed by 2 layers. Externally, the guard fur is composed by flat hairs that recover themselves when wet. By doing so, they make a water-proof barrier for the under fur. The underfur retains air when the seal is dry. Because of isolating properties of the air, the underfur is the insulating system of the fur. In March-April, the fur of adults is partially replaced. First reproduction occurs at 1-yr old in females. Males are physiologically matures at 1 year old but socially matures at +2 years old.

 

NOTE: The name of Coney Island is commonly thought to be derived from the Dutch Konijn Eylandt or Rabbit Island as apparently the 17th century European settlers noted many rabbits running amuck on the island.

 

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Reference (videos featuring sea rabbits and Dr. Takeshi Yamada):

www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ek-GsW9ay0

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJK04yQUX2o&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrCCxV5S-EE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0QnW26dQKg&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpVCqEjFXk0

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NlcIZTFIj8&feature=fvw

s87.photobucket.com/albums/k130/katiecavell/NYC%2008/Cone...

 

www.wondersandmarvels.com/2012/06/coney-island-sea-rabbit...

 

Reference (sea rabbit artifacts)

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417188428/in/photostream

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417189548/in/photostream

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5416579163/in/photostream

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417191794/in/photostream

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417192426/in/photostream

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/5417192938/in/photostream

 

Reference (flickr):

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit13

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit12

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit11

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit10

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit9/

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit8/

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit7

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit6

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit5/

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit4/

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit3/

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit2/

www.flickr.com/photos/searabbit1/

www.flickr.com/photos/museumofworldwonders3/

www.flickr.com/photos/museumofworldwonders2

www.flickr.com/photos/museumofworldwonders/

www.flickr.com/photos/takeshiyamadapaintings/

 

flickeflu.com/photos/museumofworldwonders2

flickeflu.com/photos/museumofworldwonders

flickeflu.com/photos/takeshiyamadapaintings

 

Reference (newspaper articles and reviews):

online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704828104576021750...

www.villagevoice.com/2006-11-07/nyc-life/the-stuffing-dre...

karlshuker.blogspot.com/2011/06/giant-sea-serpents-and-ch...

amusingthezillion.com/2011/12/08/takeshi-yamadas-jersey-d...

amusingthezillion.com/2010/12/07/art-of-the-day-freak-tax...

amusingthezillion.com/2010/10/27/oct-29-at-coney-island-l...

amusingthezillion.com/2010/09/18/photo-of-the-day-takeshi...

amusingthezillion.com/2009/11/07/thru-dec-31-at-coney-isl...

4strange.blogspot.com/2009/02/ten-of-takeshi-yamada-colle...

www.flickr.com/photos/museumofworldwonders/5440224421/siz...

 

Reference (fine art websites):

www.roguetaxidermy.com/members_detail.php?id=528

www.brooklynartproject.com/photo/photo/listForContributor...

www.bsagarts.org/member-listing/takeshi-yamada/

www.horseshoecrab.org/poem/feature/takeshi.html

 

Reference (other videos):

www.youtube.com/watch?v=otSh91iC3C4

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhIR-lz1Mrs

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BttREu63Ksg

 

(updated August 2012)

 

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For any questions, please contact Dr. Takeshi Yamada. His email address is posted in the chapter page (the last page or the first page).

Recently, we've been almost forced to read so many death of Nikon camera business or Nikon itself(fake) news online(almost every week), and I am usually critical about whatever Nikon does or has done recently, but I have to wonder why so many of Sony taking over the industry at the big cost of Nikon articles floating around online when Sony's balance sheet is still a lot weaker than that of Nikon?

Why is every anti-DSLR article targeting at Nikon not at Canon or Pentax?

Isn't it a bit too odd recently?

  

The coming death of Nikon 8(updated 6)

  

The temporal D800 success in the camera forums made Nikon this stupid! They got too cocky and did not realize a bit more DR at base ISO over Canon cameras back then was not a big sells generating feature for Nikon. The DR issue was only a big issue in typical silly camera rumor site world and only some of us extremely(maybe excessively) anal about crazy detail at pixel level rather than image level actually care about it.

But Nikon took it too seriously and tried to use it as their new lethal bio weapon against Canon and mirrorless guys.........but has it worked out out side of the forum community?

 

Nikon seems to be the biggest loser in this market-too much pride destroying them completely, they never learn to ignore all the annoying self-proclaimed experts such as Lloyd, Gary Fong and the guy runs Photography Life.

I think Mr.Hogan and Northrup seem to be an exception here because they are more realistic and understanding the industry more broadly and therefore they see it clearly that the so-called Mirrorless won't be the long term future that will ultimately save Nikon.

So-called mirrorless is also important for the short term future......but it is not the long term solution....

I think even Nikon knows it well, that is why they are rumored to come out with a real innovative product that uses Android as its OS and rumored to have a multi-lens and sensor unit just like the Light L16.

 

Nikon should listen to the young smartphone generation photographers instead of the annoyingly condescending self-proclaimed experts online.

 

Anyway, now we have tested a several copies of Nikon D7500 and I have confirmed its LV AF speed is a tiny bit faster than anything before it from Nikon, but still no where near the level of Canon dual Pixel AF or Fuji X-T2 or Panasonic GX8 or G85, let alone the GH5 or the current fastest LV AF champion the Sony A9.

I think this slow LV focus and operation speed issue is the real big reason why Nikon is quickly becoming an irrelevant player to many young people.

 

I think this really slow Live View AF issue is a serious issue and becoming a serious sales hindrance against Nikon.

All young boys trying out a camera at our shop use it in LV mode and see how fast it focuses, and they all say why this Nikon thing is so slow, dammit, crap!

And the most serious issue for Nikon is even with the D850 all fundamental problems are not solved yet. The LV is still unusable and there is still quality control issue.

  

Nikon should have learned something from the big fail of the D800. Just a few years back the Nikon D800 and E were the greatest cameras among those self-proclaimed experts online and those avid Nikon lovers(Canon/Sony haters) all predicted the death of Canon and trashed all Canon cameras for Canon's infamous "2 stops less DR at base ISO" issue ..........but did the D800E actually become a big hit for Nikon ? at least commercially a successful model?

All those Nikon lovers made the sensor DR at very base ISO a huge deal and trashed all those cameras having lesser DR at base ISO than their beloved Nikon as though they were all useless junks for any application without realizing their beloved Nikons all had lesser DR and resolution than the rival Canon and Sony before the advent of the D800E.

Many Nikon avid fans make the D800 series a huge deal, but besides the sensor what has been so appealing to non-Nikon users or even Nikon users who are not interested in landscape or budget studio work?

Many avid Nikon fans still saying something like below.

"Nikon 85, 105, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 800 primes all superior to Canon. Vast superior to Sony, except new 85 only exception for Sony, and by little bit.

Nikon D5, D500, D810 all superior to Canon. Sony a7r2 does a little bit better than D810, only after iso 800. But the Sony is still not as good all around.......

As for zoom, Nikon 200-400 VR II is as good as Canon, just no extendor but 1/2 the price. Sony has nothing to compare to it. Old Nikon 14-24 still edges out the Canon 11-24/4. Canon has a few good zooms, but most else behind. Most Sony lenses old Minolta, way behind. No sense argue further, you Sony fanboys have to agree."

But if Nikon is still that great, why Nikon is the only one company really doomed and expected to go bankrupt by 2020 Tokyo Olympics by many many industry journalists here?

And even Leica's Andreas Kaufmann already thinks Nikon has one foot in the grave, but in Nikon avid fans minds, Nikon still has better products than Canon and Sony at least in APS-C and FF DSLRs category.......They claim the D810 is still the reference model and the camera to beat.....If Nikon is so great then why has it been in the constant finanical crisis since about 2012?

A long time Nikon shooter at our shop said below.

"Most of Nikon's recent lenses are superior, Nikon has better high end bodies in APS and action class, the D810 remains the best all round body 2 years after its release,...

Yet, few people seem to consider that Canon is in trouble. If Nikon is in difficulty, Canon is IMHO in even more difficulty. The truth being that they both are but not quite as much as those "rumors" are telling us. So go figure!"

Well, the real problem of Nikon is its avid fans all think like what those small number of online forum denizens and those crazy base ISO DR freaks represent the main stream of camera buyers or the industry trend, and they tend to confuse their wishful thinking, or view of the current camera world really with the representation of what is actually selling. In fact, if Nikon is listening to those or even to Tony Northrup, actually Nikon will suffer even more.

All what Tony and his internet followers saying sounds to me like the head-in-the-sand thinking of a small business owner who sees only one solution to a problem (in their case build better cameras) because he only knows how to do one thing (build cameras), rather than the dispassionate thinking of an investor or corporate strategist with a clear goal (maximizing company profit).

Their(Canon hating Nikon fans) argument essentially consists of, 'They make good gear for some specific type of internet photographers(DR freaks), so they'll be fine', without any rational justification as to why this would be the case, or whether the company would be more profitable taking a different direction altogether.

And I think Tony Northrup and the guy writing so-called reviews at " photographylife" the biggest fans of Nikon that consistantly trash Sony, Canon, Fuji, Olympus,etc, albeit in a very very discreet mannar, actually disguisingly so. And listening to them really hurts Nikon. I even think Nikon should shun all DR fanatics since they have no clue why Nikon is suffering this much and why the better DR alone does not sell the system better.

Also, we should realize actually many successful companies change direction all the time. IBM used to make commercial scales and consumer class PCs. Sony's biggest money-spinners are films/music and financial products. Ten years ago, Sony barely made a serious camera system. And companies divest themselves of unprofitable divisions all the time, or even profitable arms which aren't as profitable as they could be - it frees up capital which can then be invested elsewhere with greater return.

Don't believe me? Look at the share price history of Nikon vs Canon and Sony over the last five years. It's not a pretty picture - evidently, other investors are thinking along the same lines. I see Nikon is clearly going on the way of bankrupt, I bet Nikon won't be around in this business by 2020-if not completely go bankrupt by then.

Seriously look at Nikon financials and its in-house capabilities. Product lineup doesn't matter - look at Sony's lineup just five years ago.

Canon produces a lot more than just cameras. Canon can also design and manufacture its own electronics, including sensors. So can Sony - and they also happen to uplead the field in sensor technology.

Nikon is largely reliant on camera sales for its income. Not only that, but it can't even manfacture its own sensors. It can design some of them, but its best ones are all designed and made by either Sony or Toshiba or Aptina, which is now a part of Onsemi. Yes, Nikon makes good products. But it has no other significant source of revenue, and its ability to continue developing and making good products is largely at the mercy of other companies.

What would happen if Nikon suddenly lost supply of Exmor and Toshiba sensors? Nikon-designed sensors (produced by someone else) might hold up at the high-ISO, low-resolution end, but they'd lose the D7200 and D810 sensors that have worked so well for them, with no indication that anything Nikon can design can match their performance.

Their product line might be getting better with the new D5600 and the D500, but their very narrow focus and reliance on direct competitors for supply of critical parts puts them in a very weak position competition-wise. Basically, they live or die at Sony or Canon's behest. And most of online camera experts do not realize this but Nikon buys the glass off from OHARA corporation, which is the biggest high-end glass manufacture and subsidiary of Canon. So basically Nikon has ben buying most of major sensors from Sony and lens glass from Canon subsidiary. So how can they win over Canon and Sony?

Cutting off supply of Exmor sensors might hurt Sony a bit (although most of their income isn't from camera sensors anyway) but it would deal a major, possibly lethal blow to Nikon - perhaps making their lens and non-sensor electronics manufacturing capabilities, and its library of patents, onto the market, for acquisition by Fuji or Sony. There has been a long lasting rumor here in Japan that Fuji is interested and negotiating the price of Nikon with Mitsubishi UFJ, which is the bank controls and actually owns Nikon ownership.

So it's the slowly boiling frog analogy. It's not there yet. But you can see it coming. The dedicated stills camera market isn't getting any bigger - it's shrinking every year and the market is becoming more high-end, as those who may previously have bought low-end cameras gravitate towards phone cameras, One compacts and the older slighly lesser but still very capable used ILC cameras. Nikon is bottom of the pack in mirrorless, bottom of the pack in video - both vital technologies for future, increasingly multipurpose and interconnected devices - and can't actually make a sensor in-house.. If Nikon wants the best sensor on the market for their camera, Nikon 'll have to pay whatever the seller wants, or go with a lesser option, to the detriment of their product. Nikon's also too small to easily catch up to Sony, Canon and Fuji in either manufacturing capability or technology - Nikon just doesn't have the capital or the cashflow of the larger corporations. If Canon lacks something in house, Canon just simply buys it just like Canon did buy the sweedish internet seculty company or Toshiba medical in 2015. Nikon has no option of doing this.......

Sure, Nikon could pour all its money into trying to turn the ship around. But the market is shrinking and Nikon is outgunned both financially - it would be able to keep it up for a while (an Exmor equivalent made by a non-Sony-owned company would help Nikon a lot, until the next big leap came along and that is why Nikon must have bought Aptina when it was for sale), but, eventually, must fall behind technologically, because Nikon simply can't spend as much on R&D as the big companies. Nikon has been barely making a profit as it is - pretty soon,Nikon'd start posting losses and have to find more and more sources of capital to make up for it. Nikon fanboys usually mock Olympus for losing money on its camera business, but even Olympus and its partner Panasonic are not as vulnerable as Nikon is, because Olympus is a far bigger company than Nikon is, and you do not compare Panasonic to Nikon to know its size.......relative to Nikon.

Nikon actually could sell out of the camera business (its plants, infrastructure and human capital would be worth a huge amount to anyone able to make its own sensors), take the billions of dollars from the asset sale and invest it in something much more likely to generate profit and growth in the medium to long term. Maybe optics, maybe something else entirely (e.g. property, finance, or realestate).

Certainly, as a photographer, it would be nice for Nikon to stay in the game and continue to come up with good products. But, as an investor interested in profit, there are far better things Nikon could do with its very limited resources than continue to compete in the camera game. And, ultimately, Nikon's purpose as a company is to make money, not cameras - making cameras is just one of the many ways to make money, and, given their current strategic position, not a very good one in the long term.

Nikon should try to be a new Asian Zeiss or a Sigma.....make the best possible lenses for electronics giants or medical industry, or maybe for industrial use.

Their expertise is optics. Not digital imaging or the electronics that go with it.

But most of internet camera loving experts cannot get this point and they all just think making innovative(to them) cameras solve all Nikon issues, and even suggest go modular, go programmable camera, or better workflow is the key to re-ignite the rapidly dying stills camera market, oh well, it is not that easy.

If Nikon sold its camera (not optics) division now, Nikon would gain a large chunk of cash. Probably considerably smaller if Nikon sold it in 10 years' time instead. But, either way, still a chunk of cash. Nikon could dispose of that cash in several ways. Firstly, Nikon could wind up most of the company and return a huge chunk of cash to their shareholders. That's actually not a bad option - instead of Nikon investing the money as a company, individual shareholders would take their one-off dividend and invest it themselves. Secondly, Nikon could take the money and invest it in other assets - bonds, shares, property and the like - in a similar manner to a trust fund, with shareholders as beneficiaries. No, Nikon's not expert in it now, but Nikon can easily afford to hire the actual experts needed for the genre Nikon wants to enter into.. A company, even a bank, has no inherent expertise in investments - it's the people they hire who have the expertise. On average, a large company doing that as an institutional investor on behalf of shareholders is going to get a better return than people investing as individuals, due to the centralization and greater availability of resources, reduced transaction costs, better access to international exchanges and better access to loans. Thirdly, Nikon could focus on the optics side of its business, which is potentially far more profitable than its dying camera business, given Nikon's ability to do things in-house and the expanding nature of that sector. Finally,Nikon may do a bit of each - return some cash to shareholders, invest some and expand its optics business.

Optics go in everything, not just interchangeable-lens cameras. Look at what Zeiss, Olympus, Fuji, etc do with it. Their lenses go in everything from Bluray, TV broadcasting business, to microscopes, to satellites. That's what Nikon needs to concentrate on if Nikon is to survive as a company that actually makes something. Forget about proprietary ancient F mount and its own camera system and start making optics for everyone and anyone out there, compatible with all sorts of different imaging systems. That's a far larger market than Nikon-branded stills cameras, is an expanding rather than a shrinking market, and utilises what Nikon is best at (optics) and much less of what it's not so good at (electronics).

All that said though, I actually doubt Nikons ability to compete in broad casting lens market, or interchangeable lens market as a thirdparty lens maker. Nikon has tried this in the 90s and Nikon has miserably rejected and failed at it. TV industry has chosen Canon and Fuji and cinema industry has chosen Canon and Zeiss...........so I am not very sure if Nikon has the ability to make a great lens for TV industry........also, Nikon has competed in medical lens market and failed at it miserably. In 2014 Nikon sued Sigma for unfounded patent infringement and Nikon has lost the patent war in the end. I think if Nikon was still a great optical manufacture as it once was, able to compete with Sigma, then Nikon would not have sued Sigma since after that Sigma decided not design some specific lenses for Nikon mount or deliberately delaying actual release of some very popular lenses for the Nikon fit, and this is affecting a lot on Nikon system sales negatively.

Nikon has lost much more than it could gain anything from the lawsuit.

So I think Nikon has no way to survive, let alone thrive after its camera division fails in very near future.

  

UPDATE: Now Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

UPDATE2:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

 

UPDATE3: it is now really too late for them unless they now can bring it out with at least 7(24-70/2.8, 16-35/2.8, 70-200/2.8, 24/1.4,35/1.4,85/1.4, and some sort of macro at least) lenses at the very start of it.

 

And considering their current financial state, it is near impossible.

 

Even if they can some how manage to do it , it will not give us any rational reason to choose their system over the A9 series or even over the cheap A7M3, which will be announced in October or November this year(100 percent sure about it).

 

And Nikon just clearly stated they think they can launch it in the end of 2018 or more realistically in early 2019 in their recent interview with Asahi Shimbun news.

 

This means that it will not be announced in this year or early next year, the best case in third Q of the next year.

 

If they wand me to buy into their new mirrorless system, they must have a 12-24mm f4 G kind of lens and a 50mm f1.4 prime as good or better than the FE50mm f1.4Z without oversizing it to the Sigma Art or Zeiss Otus size...

The Art and Otus may be a great lens, but many of us hate them for the awkward ergonomics and size alone.

 

Also for those who own some of their lenses, Nikon should provide (better included in the package) a smart adapter for their F mount E and G type lenses.

 

But then, the mirrorless is already outdated before it gets even fully matured. The future is definitely the computational camera like the Light L16 but more sophisticated one that would be released some one like Google, MS or Apple or any real American tech giant, not from a tiny company like Light or Red or any of these old-fashioned camera companies.

  

In the best case scenario(according to the above news paper analyst) for Nikon and other traditional camera companies, maybe the more traditional and niche they are the more likely to survive even after the death of consumer grade ILC.

 

If he is right, then Nikon most likely survive and likes of Sony, Fuji, Olympus,etc will die before Nikon......and I feel they (mirrorless guys) spending too disproportionately huge(to their camera market share) amount of R and D money for the so-called mirrorless system. And the smartest one is obviously Canon as all analysts and economists agreed on this one. They are spending the least amount of R&D money and getting the best ROI ratio. So Canon and Sony are about the same size of companies in terms of total revenue, but Canon is about 30 percent more profitable......and Sony is actually barely profitable although its fanboys always think they are huge enough to devour Canon Nikon, but actually they are just as big or small as Canon and much less profitable...

       

Script below - Read with Images Sequenced in the Script - JS

 

The Song of Mary Entler by Jim Surkamp

civilwarscholars.com/?p=13488 7888 words

 

The Song of Mary Entler Herrington by Jim Surkamp

 

1_The_Song_of_Mary_Entler

The Song of Mary Louise Entler Herrington (1840-1932)

 

Made possible with the generous, community-minded support of American Public University system, offering a quality, affordable, online education. Interpretations in civilwarscholars.com videos and posts do not in any way reflect modern-day policies and positions of American Public University System. More . . .

 

CHAPTERETTES

Prelude

Flag Dangerous:

Carry the Secret Mail:

The Sad Fate of the Great Western:

A Wartime Shepherdstown Each Day:

A Sidetracked Mission:

“Fraternizing” With the Enemy:

Peacetime – Eternal Tide of Memories:

The Eyes of Age:

 

About the end of the heydays of a great inn; about the innkeeper’s feisty, adventurous – amorous – young daughter during the Civil War who lived to tell about it and see her family’s inn perish

 

PRELUDE:

 

2_The 1850s in Shepherdstown

The 1850s in Shepherdstown: Good Times for Joseph and Mary Entler

 

3_The Entlers boarded travelers

The Entlers boarded travelers and stabled their teams by the score in their Great Western Inn on Shepherdstown’s German Street.

 

As Mary Louise Entler Herrington (hereafter “MLH”) told it:

After my father bought it in 1809, he hung a large sign swung across the pavement at the east corner of the house. A heavy post at the curb supported one side and the other side was fastened to the house.

 

4_In the middle of the sign

In the middle of the sign in large letters that were plainly visible for squares up and down the street was the word, “INN”, and just below that, ‘JOS. ENTLER”.

 

For many years it was a welcome abode to the weary traveler, for then all traveling was by wagon and carriage from Ohio and Kentucky to Baltimore and Washington, where their produce was sold and groceries and other commodities were taken back. All these white-covered wagons were placed in the large grounds and the weary horses were comfortably bedded down and fed in the large stone stables by good trusty colored men.

 

The house was a quaint, 52-foot-long weatherboard house with massive stone steps to both front doors and stone trimmings and steps to the front cellars and long massive stone stiles or (carriage stepping stones).

 

The dining room was 34-feet-long. The ice house was under the dining room and was filled every winter with twenty-five, four-horse wagon loads of ice, which lasted until fall. The ice was from the Potomac River.

 

5_The large fireplace was in the kitchen

The large fireplace was in the kitchen that also had the cranes and pothooks and hangers.

 

Seventeen rooms were in the house and many also had large old-fashioned fireplaces and were finished with high-paneled mantelpieces.

 

In the 1850s children remembered the fancy carriages, with many horses pulling, making the smart, sharp turn from the main streeet to the lane leading to the rear stables.

 

6_lane leading to the rear stables

All circuses stopped at this inn and pitched their tents in the large lot arranging the cages of wild animals around the circle inside and all other wagons outside the tent.

 

Joseph Entler moved his family to Wingerd Cottage in 1858 and leased out the Great Western. Then that all ended – and, so did the Great Western.

 

FLAG DANGEROUS:

 

7_Twenty-one-year-old Mary Louise Entler – in an act of defiance

Twenty-one-year-old Mary Louise Entler – in an act of defiance – and several friends sat in chairs in the big hall of Wingerd Cottage sewing . . and sewing – ripping stars from an American flag mailed to them from New Orleans, that once waved from a ship of Rezin Davis Shepherd’s, as he perhaps thought such a flag might be more trouble to have in New Orleans, as the new war boiled over and Louisiana seceded from the Union in early 1861.

  

8_Mary Entler Herrington retold her past

Mary Licklider, a niece, recalled how Mary Entler Herrington retold her past before dying in 1932:

  

A U.S. flag, probably made of wool bunting fabric was given to four or five young girls (young girls at the time), by Mr.

  

9_Rezin Shepherd

Rezin Shepherd who lived in New Orleans. In the summer he lived at Wild Goose Farm. The flag was one from one of his vessels. It was sent to us by Mr. James Shepherd and was to be converted into a Confederate flag, a work that was dangerous at the time, being in disputed territory. We could work only when our men were in the lines and had to be very cautious then.

  

10_Joseph Entler owned and lived at Wingerd Cottage

My father Joseph Entler owned and lived at Wingerd Cottage during the war and there the flag was made. The location off from town and the large wide hall were ideal places for the work, which took many anxious weeks to complete.

 

11_It was very tedious to rip every seam

It was very tedious to rip every seam of the stripes in such a way as not to ravel the bunting.

 

12_Every star was ripped from the blue field

Every star was ripped from the blue field, and

 

13_then to sew all the red together

then to sew all the red together

 

14_all the white to form the bars red, white, and red

and all the white to form the bars red, white, and red.

  

15_Of course we had a surplus of stars

Of course we had a surplus of stars as the Confederacy was young.

 

After many weeks of work, the flag was finished and a beautiful Confederate flag was ready to be sent through the line to Company B. It was hidden away awaiting a safe transfer. (Mary’s brother – Cato Moore Entler – was with Company B of the 2nd Virginia Infantry).

 

MLH recalled an investigation in the fall of 1861:

 

16_I heard the tramp of cavalry

I heard the tramp of cavalry and clank of swords and sabers. I looked out the window and saw the cottage was surrounded by “Yankee” cavalry.

  

Oh, the flag, what was to be done with it? I heard the officer read orders to my father to search his premises thoroughly for contraband goods. My father seemed to be protesting against the search. But that gave me a little time to take the flag from its hiding place in a chest. The house was surrounded. I could not get out to hide it.

  

I pulled a dress from the wall and put the flag in it and threw the dress carelessly across the back of a chair. Skirts were very wide with deep facings upon them. I put the little flags that we wore on our dresses and letters under the carpet.

  

17_My door was pushed open

My door was pushed open by Capt. Horner of Col. Coles’ Cavalry and the search began. Every bureau drawer and closet was searched, even the grandfather clock where reposed letters to go through the lines. But they were too deep in the bottom of the old clock to be detected. Everything was handled but the blue-striped dress hovering over its precious treasure. It was too insignificant to attract their notice and they gave up the search, but rather in a bad humor. The flag was safe and sent to Company B. That flag would be readily recognized by its many seams and its homemade marks. Now what became of that flag is a mystery.

 

Due to confusion created by units carrying different flags after 1st Manassas, the 30th of October 1861 saw Governor Letcher present every Virginia regiment with a bunting flag. Another private group in Charles Town had had a regimental flag made for the 2nd Virginia infantry regiment that the unit reportedly carried into battle at First Manassas/Bull Run, but was smuggled back to the Rutherfords in Charles Town.

 

CARRY THE SECRET MAIL:

 

18_Carry_Secret_Mail

March, 1862

 

MLH recalled:

19_We collected all letters and concealed them

We collected all letters and concealed them by carefully sewing them between the ruching and dress. It required neatness and patience to make the work look innocent of anything contraband. We started on our march one bright beautiful morning but the roads being soft and muddy and we being not yet accustomed to marching could not get over much ground as rapidly as Stonewall Jackson’s men. The first night was spent at the home of Mr. Foley where another mail was collected. Another bright morning blessed our errand and when the purple shades of evening were gathering in the west we entered Charles Town as leisurely and passed the Union soldiers as indifferently as though we were out for an evening stroll. What a triumph it would have been for them to have secured that mail; how they would have gloated over every sacred sentence in those letters. My heart thrilled with fear at the thought although apparently so indifferent to their presence.

 

20_THE SAD FATE OF THE GREAT WESTERN HOTEL

THE SAD FATE OF THE GREAT WESTERN HOTEL:

 

December 26, 1862: The 12th Pennsylvania cavalry – The Bull Run Racers – crossed over the river ford into town and the (Federal-sympathcizing) refugees all came back from Maryland with a fire in their eyes and revenge for Mort Cookus’ blood (who was shot and killed by Andrew Leopold near Dam No. 4 on November 19th. (The refugees) declared that every Southern man’s house should be burned down. – Gallaher in “The Shepherdstown Register.”

 

MLH:

The property was a hotel (in market for rent at the time). It was taken possession of and occupied by a Pennsylvania Cavalry Company. The extensive grounds in which were apple trees and vegetables were trampled and all the fencing destroyed.

  

21_WARTIME SHEPHERDSTOWN EACH DAY

WARTIME SHEPHERDSTOWN EACH DAY:

  

MLH recalled:

1863 still finds our town disputed territory and a veritable “deserted village” – old men, women, and children with a very few Union men . . . In time of war when both armies have fallen back, a town presents a most desolate and forlorn appearance-the old people, women and children have no definite plans. They stand about in groups writing and talking of the latest battle or the expected skirmishes. Their homes are places to retire from inclement weather rather than to adorn – the table to satisfy hunger rather than the delightful board where sweet companionship mingled with health-giving food.

 

No systematic housekeeping, no aim, no object in performing any household duties. All energy was concentrated in doing for the soldiers. “When our boys come home we will do thus and so” was the oft repeated phrase. Sometimes at the dead of night the report of a pistol shot would warn us that the rebels were in town. But when daylight came we saw only the blue coats patrolling the streets, and they would leave as mysteriously as the rebels.

  

22_THE SIDETRACKED MISSION

THE SIDETRACKED MISSION:

 

23_Mary Entler’s Dangerous Mission Gets Sidetracked

May – 1863 – Mary Entler’s Dangerous Mission Gets Sidetracked

 

24_Raider Andrew Leopold

NOTE Raider Andrew Leopold, whose sister, Sally Zittle, was a friend of Mary Entler, had been captured in late April, 1863 near Berryville and taken to a jail, awaiting trail for murder and other crimes.- JS

 

MLH:

A beautiful May morning, balmy air waiting the perfume of flowers over the country submerged in war. Sparkling dew drops resting in the bosom of such blossoms like tiny tear drops-weeping for the sad hearts made sad by war. God sends beautiful days in war as well as peace- we must remember that.

 

A young prepossessing girl introduced herself to me on this May morning as a sister of Andrew Leopold. She told me her brother had been captured by the Yankees and was confined in Fort McHenry, MD, and that the entreaties of her widowed mother had induced her to try to get through the Federal lines to have an interview with (Confederate) General J.E.B. Stuart in regard to having her brother exchanged as a prisoner of war. . . She had been sent to me by a southern woman who knew I had carried letters through to Charles Town and thought I would accompany the young lady to that place, and acquaint her with friends who would assist her through the lines. I hesitated a moment and she said with tears that his mother had a message from Baltimore that if some powerful influence was not brought to bear immediately that her brother would be executed as a guerilla. That decided the matter.

 

We started off in a one horse carriage for Charles Town. She as a traveler was attired in a brown suit with a cape to match trimmed with quilling around it and a brown straw hat with a veil. I was to spend the day only and was dressed in a blue “Dolly Varden” pattern dress, blue silk bonnet with wide turn over cuffs and concealed in the lining of these cuffs were slips of paper with names of prominent Southern sympathizers who we were to call upon for any assistance. Before starting we concluded it would be better to go under fictitious names – she as Lucy Hamilton, and I as Louise Hamilton, her cousin. And with hearts filled with hope we started off that bright May morning on our errand of mercy.

 

Charles Town was reached in good time. We stopped where we were directed at Mrs. L’s and urged for safety to stay all night here-Lucy to start next morning southward and I to return home would arouse no suspicion. The next morning was quite as beautiful and arrangements were completed when I found she was getting timid about starting off alone. She entreated me to go just as far as Berryville and then she thought she would feel brave enough to travel alone. It was a big undertaking for two young girls as the country was then all excitement and confusion. I finally agreed to go to Berryville. We knew exactly where to stop and whom to see. All was planned before starting from home. I will never forget how beautiful Berryville looked the morning we drove up to the hotel. It was a village embowered in beautiful green trees, blooming flowers. The bees humming in the nectar-laden flowers produced that lazy, peaceful quiet that is so soothing to tired nerves. We made our arrangements with the proprietor and took a stroll through the pretty, cool looking streets.

 

We met Union soldiers and plenty of them but we did not feel any fear of our plans failing. In the evening we called upon the family next to the hotel and had music until late that night. Next morning while arranging to separate we were visited by a Yankee officer saying he wished to know here were were going, and that we must take the oath. At first we refused to take the oath but when we consented to take it he would not let us, but placed us under arrest. What a frustrating of all our plans. How my heart ached for that poor girl. How she had built her hopes on securing the release of her brother on this venture.

 

Under arrest by the Federals, Gen. Milroy flabbergasted:

 

25_head-quarters of General Milroy

MLH:

Winchester reached, we were taken to the head-quarters of General Milroy where we found women, young and old, proud and defiant, now arguing their claims and proclaiming their grievances. One delicate, forlorn-looking widow relating to the General how his men, the Yankees, had taken her cows, her only means of support for her children. He turned from her quickly to my friend and me – if there had been the least disposition on my part to be humble – his exclamation put that feeling to flight and aroused a very rebellious state of mind. “What in the devil are you doing here? If it were not for the women running around the country we would not have so much trouble.” My companion started up with surprise. “General, we did not want to come here. We did not start for this place. Your officers brought us here.” He ran fingers through his mass of snow white hair already standing straight up like the quills of a porcupine and our of the audience chamber he strode without another word. He presented a fine physique, tall, well-proportioned, erect in carriage, a wealth of snow-white hair which suggested from its stand-up appearance that his fingers had a fashion of roaming there when troubles were to be, and plans and problems of great magnitude to be wrought out.

 

26_FRATERNIZING WITH THE ENEMY

FRATERNIZING WITH THE ENEMY:

 

June – 1863:

 

We were soon before the Provost Marshall at Martinsburg awaiting his orders. Next morning we were taken to General Kelly at Harper’s Ferry to await further orders. We were assigned to the best boarding house in the town adjoining the General’s headquarters where a great many of the officers boarded. We had a guard to watch our movements and prevent our escape if we thought of anything of the kind. We were allowed to walk around the town accompanied by the guard and sometimes were invited by officers, to whom we were introduced, to attend concerts and places of amusements but the guard invariably followed behind to the disgust of our gallants. Lucy and I ignored the guard altogether. We did not care how tired he became running over the old hills of Harper’s Ferry after us and many were the taunts and comments we overheard about “secesh” (Confederate-sympathcizing) prisoners.

 

“Miranda!” and the voice startled us – for it came from under the ground – a cottage, vine-clad and embowered in trees and bushes right under our feet on the slope of a hill. (The voice then said: “Here comes the two ‘secesh’ prisoners again trailing that poor tired guard after them as unusual. He looks like he is ready to drop. Much I would follow behind them over these hills.” She lived there under the hill with her beautiful daughter. She had lots and lots of beautiful flowers but not one would she give us after we humbled ourselves to ask for one because we were rebels.

 

At Harper’s Ferry with your five mountains, your bright Potomac, your smiling languid Shenandoah, your historic Jefferson’s Rock and romantic stone steps leading to the temple of God – St. Peter’s Church. In the yard of this church, high above the streets and houses of Harper’s Ferry, the Fifth New York Regiment Band discoursed sweet music every Sunday evening of the six weeks Lucy and I were prisoners. The sweet strains of the “Mocking Bird” as only Henry Frunkenfield could render them, echoed from Loudoun Heights across the great Shenandoah over the beautiful rock-ribbed Potomac of Maryland Heights, back again the mountain breezes wafted them though the streets and windows as if a hundred mocking birds were trilling their soul-felt song.

 

As a piece of fun, we were dressed in fantastic costumes, slipped down a stairway, of which the General had no knowledge to the kitchen, to dance for the cook and her black “Topsy”. The guard was told that we were about to make our escape. He hunted the house over for his prisoners and when he found us he did not recognize us for some time, our disguise was so complete. Two guards questioned us until they were finally convinced that we were not attempting an escape.

 

Sabbath days and week days were all the same at Harper’s Ferry during the war. The soldiers and citizens would promenade the streets. The crowds would send forth their martial airs, dignified and soul-stirring also their merry dance tunes. But this one Sabbath day seemed so different from all others that we had spent at that place. The day was declining and from the description of an Italian sunset, I think the sunset of this evening far surpassed any such Italian scene. The golden rays touched the tree tops and they looked like burnished gold. The strains of music came from the high rocks where St. Peter’s Church rests peacefully. Darts and streaks of gold tips of trees on the mountain tops – the birds twitter and call to their mates in low tones. There is a hush as if all nature were bowed in silent prayer as the twilight settles over the valley. The beauty of this Sabbath will never fade from my memory. It was my last one there as a prisoner. The stillness was soon changed to wild confusion and excitement.

 

Mary Entler Jumps Sides:

 

MLH:

I took the oath of allegiance to the United States in June, 1863 in Baltimore, Maryland to Col. Fish who was in command there at the time. I have passed from Gen’l Lockwood commander at H. Ferry 1863 also from Gen’l Stevenson.

 

MLH:

late August, 1864 – afterwards Company H., 116 Ohio Infantry, Capt. Peters and Col. Washburns Regiment occupied it, and every partition in the front bedrooms were destroyed. Every mantel piece (they were colonial) all but two were burned. The floor in the garrett of the back building was also destroyed. Enough of new window sash and door frames for a house was stored too. cistern and well floors destroyed and cistern filled with bee hives and rubbish. A fine dressed stable with 25 partitioned off, with board partitions-upper story divided off for grain and sleeping quarters for oster. All was torn out and this weakened the roof so that when a snow came it collapsed. A brick carriage house met the same fate. My father Joseph Entler was an old man at the time, and was never after that financially able to put back what was destroyed by the United States soldiers.

 

27_PEACETIME – ETERNAL TIDE OF MEMORIES

PEACETIME – ETERNAL TIDE OF MEMORIES:

 

MLH married on February 15, 1865 in Frederick, Maryland Walter L. Herrington, a ticket-agent on the B&O Railroad at Harper’s Ferry.

 

1870:

They lived in her parents’ home of Wingerd Cottage, her parents having been forcibly retired from inn-keeping. Mary’s husband worked as a photographer then, that same year, died an untimely death.

 

1910: MLH had a dry goods and milliners shop on the south side of German Street.

 

1914: Mary Herrington paid in trust to George Beltzhoover the remaining western half of the lot of the once Great Western Hotel for $400, a sum to be paid to Nellie M. Entler. – December 5, 1914, Deed Book 111, p. 505. – Jefferson County Clerk.

 

1920:

Mary Herrington was seventy-nine years old, living in Shepherdstown with her seventy-two-year-old-sister, Julia M. Miller, and brother, sixty-nine-year-old Lewis Little.

 

On June 20th MLH sold the dual-lot Great Western Inn to relative Harry T. Licklider on the condition that she could still live in the inn her natural life with her brother, “the said Home to consist of four rooms of the first floor and five rooms, including a summer kitchen and garden.” Two years later Licklider felt in arrears with the Swift Corporation and was sued and forced to sell the Great Western lands to pay off the debts. So the inn was gone from the family but MLH could literally live there, literally, on borrowed time.

 

She recalled:

Only the walls of the stables remain today in ruins, covered with Virginia Creeper to screen the ugly scars of the Civil War.

 

1930:

28_Mary L. Herrington was listed as eighty-nine years old

Mary L. Herrington was listed as eighty-nine years old but with her brother, Lewis Little, now listed as head of their house of the south side of German Street between King and Princess Streets near the center of the block, assessed at about $4,000. Mary A. Licklider & Mary Herrington 1930 Census with her interviewer Mary A. Licklider living next door at the home of Edward Licklider, Mary’s father.

 

1932:

Mary Louise Herrington died March 27, 1932, having given much of these recollections to Mary A. Licklider, a descendant of Mary’s brother, Cato Moore Entler. Her marker is in Elmwood Cemetery. That summer, the new owner of the Great Western began massive alterations and reductions.

    

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