Found Photography

Image courtesy Ron Slattery/ (Creative Commons)

In July of last year, the Internet briefly flared up over what, for a photographer at least, was the ne plus ultra of garage sale finds: a set of photographic plates purchased by some guy at a garage sale in California for 45 bucks turned out to be long-lost negatives taken by none other than Ansel Adams. Having long ago resigned myself to the fact that I’m not likely to have that kind of luck, I content myself with browsing ephemera at antique shops and auctions, looking at other people’s photos from days, and years, gone by.

There are several reasons I do this, not least of which is the simple fact that I’m drawn to old stuff. It’s also quite literally a snapshot of another time; you can learn quite a bit about history, modes of dress, and mores, all from a simple 4×6 (or smaller). There can be an unexpected power to these faded and yellowed images.

As with pretty much anything else you can think of, there’s a home — several of them, actually — for this stuff online. I’ve culled a few of my favorites for anyone else who might be interested.

  • AtypicalArt’s Flickr photostream combines Ambrotypes, tintypes, photobooth finds, and the photographer’s own work, which manages not to seem out of place next to the older items he collects.
  • Ron Slattery’s Bighappyfunhouse is a dizzying ride through some gently warped vernacular photography.
  • Found Photographs is a self-described “a gallery of inadvertent art,” and lives up to its billing. The photos on exhibit range across time, geography, and subject, at some points whimsical, at others poignant.
  • Foundphotos is an open LiveJournal account. Many of the images are from the UK (with plenty of exceptions), and date to the late 19th-early 20th century.
  • Is This You combines found photos with other found ephemera (notes, et cetera).
  • The About page of  Look at Me comments that the photos they’ve showcased, some 600+ of them, are “stories with only an introduction.” That nicely sums up this collection, which features images spanning several decades.
  • The Museum of Vernacular Photography has one of the most headache-inducing layouts I’ve seen since about 1998. If you can get past that, you’ll be rewarded with what’s probably the most eclectic collection on this list, with everything from military and news photography to movie stills, erotica and photography books amply represented.
  • Rollfilm is only tangentially about found photography. The now apparently defunct (but still live) site is actually a celebration of photography in all its forms.
  • The Thanatos Archive presents an extensive collection of postmortem and mourning photography — a genre which, I have to admit, I hadn’t known existed ’til I came across this site. Many of the images are (and I say this with no trace of a pun intended) haunting, some remaining in your memory long after the monitor’s turned off.
  • Vintange Pixels is a mixed bag of images, some found, others appearing to be the uploaders’ family snapshots.

The photos contained on these sites, besides being a reminder of forgotten times, places, and people, serve as a reminder to us, as well. Presumably these images, and the people in them, were once cherished; now, they, and the photographers who took them, are unknown… not a bad thing to remember the next time you think you’ve got your photography all figured out.

Review: Tom Ang: Fundamentals of Photography

Tom Ang: Fundamentals of Photography

Tom Ang has made something of a cottage industry of writing books for novice and amateur photographers. The challenge isn’t the books’ content; Ang’s style is concise, thoughtful and user-friendly. Rather, the challenge lies in choosing among the close to two dozen titles he’s authored, since many have overlapping themes, structure, and content. While a few genuinely break the mold (Tao of Photography: Unlock your Creativity Using the Wisdom of the East comes to mind), many of the others (Digital Photography Step By Step, How to Photograph Absolutely Everything, Digital Photography Masterclass) repeat themselves like a forgetful uncle.

Given the above paragraph, you could be forgiven for wondering why I bought Fundamentals of Photography: The Essential Handbook for Both Digital and Film Cameras. Well, a couple of years back, when I wanted a primer in photography that’d give me a little of everything, I browsed several books to see what would give me a fair overview of photography — the technology, the technique, postproduction, et cetera. This book does an admirable job of covering exactly what its title suggests. Light, composition, shutter speed, aperture, image manipulation, lens types and different kinds of photography (in other words, the stuff you’d need to get started regardless of what kind of camera you own) are all touched on here.

Another bonus: Unlike many of the other books on photography published in the last few years (and indeed, a large number of the author’s own books), this one doesn’t neglect film photography. This is a minor point (much of what applies to one also applies to the other, after all), but a welcome one nonetheless. There are also ample illustrations and diagrams, which are useful if, like me, you’re the type that likes a bit of visual reinforcement. If you’re new to photography and want something that’ll help you make sense of the jargon and also the technique, this is an excellent starting point, and probably one book that I’d recommend as a great first photography book. While it’s not “the only photography book you’ll ever need,” there’s no shortage of options available as you start to grow and branch out.

To clarify the opening paragraph: I’m not complaining. I found, and still find, Fundamentals a useful and informative read. It’s simply that unlike, say, Michael Freeman, whose books each cover a very different facet of photography, Tom Ang’s photography titles*  amount to taking the same Photography 101 course with the same professor for several straight semesters. The prof’s a knowledgeable and affable guy, but after a while, you’ll have heard these same things, in only slightly different words. For that reason, I would strongly suggest going to a bookstore that has multiple Ang books in stock, read them over, and figure out which one explains the information in the way that’s clearest and most useful to you, since you might come to the same conclusion that I did: you really only need one Tom Ang book. For me, Fundamentals of Photography: The Essential Handbook for Both Digital and Film Cameras was that book, but you may find one of the author’s other titles more to your liking.

*At least the ones not geared exclusively toward postproduction, which I haven’t checked out so I’m exempting them from what’s admittedly a blanket criticism.

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Beyond Photography: Andy Warhol, Meet Edward Weston

Can you see beauty in ugliness
Or is it playing in the dirt?
— Lou Reed, “Starlight”

Andy Warhol, "Campbell's Soup Cans," courtesy

Campbell’s Soup cans, Brillo boxes, luridly colored silk screens of Marylin Monroe… while Andy Warhol was a provocateur and self-promoter beyond comparison, it’s hard on one hand to argue that his best-known pieces broke any new ground. There was a clear debt, both conceptually and stylistically, to Marcel Duchamp’s “readymades,” like the infamous “Fountain,” and even to Schwitters’ use of ticket stubs and adverts in his Merz pieces.

On the other hand, Warhol’s gift (along with such other like-minded souls as Claes Oldenburg and Duane Hanson) was to take Duchamp’s readymades and put them on steriods. It was no longer just a matter of being bombarded by these images in magazines, television ads and supermarkets; now someone was putting them on canvas, forcing you not just to look, but to really see them, and to consider them as art to boot. This was realism taken to a nearly perverse extreme, but it was also a means of questioning and pushing the boundaries of what art was, or could be, in a far more accessible way than Jackson Pollack or Arshile Gorky.

Edward Weston, "Pepper No. 30," courtesy of WikiMedia

Edward Weston probably isn’t someone you’d habitually lump in with Andy Warhol, but let’s give it a try, shall we? Some of his best known work is of common green peppers. In black and white. Lovingly composed and lit in a way that’d make your average Rembrandt seem shabby by comparison. Like Warhol, he wasn’t necessarily treading new ground; others had captured similarly common stuff, as if in amber, but what Weston did with those peppers* could probably have cemented his place in the photographic pantheon even if he hadn’t done all those landscapes, or the portraits of his wife and muse, Charis Wilson.

Are peppers common? Have you been to a grocery store any time recently? But Weston’s peppers also have a certain force and beauty that you don’t generally expect from vegetables. While Warhol made the ordinary and banal a stock in trade, in Weston’s case, the nudes and peppers are two sides of the same coin, with each informing the other. Put differently, those shots of Charis Wilson look the way they do because the peppers look like they do, and vice versa.

Some kinds of photography — sunsets, dogs, kids — are standbys because they’re like shooting fish in a barrel.** They’re reliable shots. Really, when’s the last time you saw an ugly sunset? I think the challenge inherent in Warhol, and in some of the best of Weston’s work, is that they take what’s so common that it might as well be invisible, and pretty much force us to see it. To my mind, that’s great practice; after all, if you can find beauty in the commonplace, or even in the downright ugly, you just might be able to see the more obviously beautiful in ways that aren’t so obvious.

A couple of weeks back, I suggested that from time to time we look beyond photography for inspiration. This is the first in an intermittent series of considerations of artists, and what I’ve learned from them as a photographer. You may draw the same lessons from different artists, or look at the same artist and draw a different lesson altogether. What’s important is that we keep looking, learning, and finding that inspiration. Each time, it’s a great way to recharge the batteries; it’s also a great reminder that no matter where you are in your art and/or craft, someone’s been there before you, and their work can light our path, even when we’re ready to blaze a trail of our own.

*By the way, the best known of Weston’s pepper photos is number 30. He shot 29 other peppers before settling on one that he liked. Think about that next time you’re frustrated ’cause you’re shooting the same subject again, trying for just the right angle and lighting.

**Incidentally, I’ve never actually tried shooting fish in a barrel… I’ll let you supply your own lens joke here.

Shoot with “Film”


"Beach Stump"

I shoot far more in digital than I ever shot in film. Some of this had to do with impatience. I wanted to know when I’d gotten it right, whether in terms of composition or exposure, and what I’d need to do to fix it. It never helped matters much that the time between shooting a roll of film and then actually remembering to get it developed, then actually having it developed, could end up being long enough that I’d forget what I’d done to get those shots; worse still, shooting film on an automatic compact left you with no clue at all how you’d gotten the exposure, for better or worse.

The thing is, regardless of the type of kit you’re using, you don’t have ongoing processing costs to see your results, nor do you have the wait time that’s associated with film processing. It’s no longer a matter of buying film (sometimes a few different types, of different ISO ratings, or even with different white balances), shooting, waiting for the film to be processed, and only then realizing which shots are your keepers. Now, all you really need to do is check your shots as you’re taking them, and make adjustments to your settings on the fly. It’s easy to take a hundred or more shots in the course of a day without giving it so much as a second thought.

Give it that second thought.

Next time you’re shooting, assign yourself a number of “rolls” you’re carrying with you (and no fair saying you’ve got fifty of them, either; choose a low number like three or four), with a set number of shots per roll (multiples of 24 or 36, unless you can’t be bothered to do the math, in which case limit yourself to two rolls with 25 shots apiece, or 50 photos). You can even take it a step further, and make yourself stop every 25 frames or so. Pause, reflect, recharge, and then start again with a clear head, and eyes open. Find a happy medium, of course. I’m not about to ask you to act as though you’re shooting in the days of box cameras and glass plates, and limiting you to one shot (though the results of that could be interesting; let’s try it sometime, shall we?).

It can be challenging, as is anything that requires us to try on a new way of thinking about something we may have done up to now mostly out of habit. You may find yourself questioning shots where you wouldn’t have before (do I take this shot, or do I wait, lest I “run out” of shots before I’ve run out of time?). But it just might be a good poke with a sharp stick in case you needed something to shake up the how and why of your photography.

This should be something you try more than once, and if you’re going to do it on a fairly regular basis, challenge yourself by limiting the number of “rolls”  or exposures you’ve got just a little further each time. This isn’t something you need to do every time you shoot, but it’s a useful exercise from time to time to help you be a bit more mindful not only of what you’re shooting, but why you’re shooting it. If you’re only “allowed” 100, or 50, or 25 shots, you’re going to be a lot more careful than you might’ve been otherwise. Once the habit’s built up, it’s a lot easier to carry over into your approach to everyday shooting, keeping you on your toes, and making you shoot more thoughtfully.

I know a lot of the arguments for shooting with film rather than digital, and the more time passes, most of the arguments against digital have fallen by the wayside. Cost has come down to the point where an average consumer can afford the average DSLR, sensor resolution and color depth has improved to a point where the image quality is practically indistinguishable, and even the control given over the final result in the darkroom has been preserved, if not surpassed, with digital workflow. The one argument that digital hasn’t rebutted (and might never manage to) is patience. It’s useful to remember that the mindset where we want it all from our gear, immediately or sooner, didn’t come in the box with the camera. It comes from us; it’s something to which we’ve been conditioned both by culture and by technology. But it’s a choice, and a learned behavior, something that we can unlearn and replace with other choices, and other conditioning, if we choose to do so.

Rule 11: The Social Photographer

Every picture tells a story, don't it...

The photo that accompanies this post isn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but I love the story that goes with it, because I think it underscores a point that’s easy for us to forget when we’re out there clicking away. Photography can sometimes seem — and in fact be — a bit of a solitary activity. In a sense, you’re alone with whatever’s on the other side of the viewfinder. I’ve previously mentioned that it’s good to engage with your subject, whether or not it’s animate; at the same time, it’s also a good idea to engage with those around you, whether or not you ever intend to take their picture.

The solitude that often comes with photography can be a wonderful, and peaceful, thing. I think it’s one of my favorite things about the craft, because you can have as much or as little solitude as you’re inclined to have at any given time.

Of course, if you’re in the habit of always having a camera with you — especially when the camera that’s with you is a clunky-looking and conspicuous SLR — you’re bound to get some strange looks from people. Get used to that. But also get used to talking to people. You might be a bit uncomfortable at first, but if you look at it from their point of view, it’s probably a bit awkward having someone in their midst with a huge-ass camera.

Also keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a full-fledged conversation. Sometimes just a nod, a hello, or a simple smile can be enough to put everyone at ease. Other times, you have to be as willing to listen as to say anything. While shooting some of the photos that accompanied last week’s post on Hurricane Irene, I came across a gentleman who asked if I was with the press. I answered that I wasn’t, and asked how he’d made out during the storm. He talked a bit about the hard time he was having convincing his father, a World War II veteran, to move to an area where the threat of serious flooding wasn’t always hanging over his head. Before we parted ways, he thanked me for hearing him out (which, under the circumstances, seemed like the least I could do). Were there photo opportunities going on around me? Maybe. At the time, though, my presence as a “photographer” was about the least important thing I could’ve done. I’ve talked before about being present in the moment to be present in your photography, but sometimes, we need to put the camera to one side — whether figuratively or literally — and be present to what, and who, is around us.

Oh, and the photo at the top of the post? One evening, I’m wandering through town, taking shots in the fading light, and I come across this sign outside a real estate office. As I’m snapping away, I see someone beckon to me from the office window. This person, I think, may not be all that happy that I’m shooting outside his building. We meet at the entrance.

“What’cha doing?”

“Getting shots of your sign.”

He, predictably, looks at me funny. “Why?”

“C’mere. Look at this.” I beckon him to where I was standing, and point to the sign. “Look at that light! It’s perfect!”

We both laugh. He’s probably  laughing partly at me as well as with me at that point, but that’s alright, ’cause by then I can’t help but laugh at myself. I’m sure that the longer I shoot, the more stories like these I’ll likely have; every photographer has them. Keep in mind, though, that we’re not the only ones with memories and stories of times like these; you probably don’t want someone else’s stories and memories of you to be what a jerk you were. Don’t be afraid to be social!

Photo News Roundup, 9/3/11

Keep your eyes peeled…

Yup. It’s Saturday. Time for your weekly photo fishwrap. Links go to full articles at sources’ websites.

Something interesting: a low-definition wearable video recorder that transmits to your smartphone or tablet via BlueTooth. So if you felt you didn’t look sufficiently silly walking around all day with a phone earpiece dangling off your ear, you can now proudly sport a miniaturized video camera instead. (Adorama)

Rumors abound — and please, let’s underscore rumors — that Panasonic is interested in Olympus’s imaging division. On one hand, it doesn’t seem far-fetched (the two companies are already part of the Four Thirds consortium); on the other, it also doesn’t seem like a good thing, necessarily, as there’s at least some semblance of competition between the companies now, which tends to spur innovation and keep everybody on their toes. (4/3 Rumors)

Possible new Canon products in the offing; press events are scheduled for the 16th, 27th, and 28th. These may be announcements for more printers and compacts, so if you’re salivating over the prospects of a new Canon SLR, you may not want to hold your breath. Also, the folks at Canon Rumors have a giveaway for one of the Canon fans among you: a Canon lens mug. Click through for details. (Canon Rumors)

Fuji announces the X10, which has similar styling to the popular, retrofied, X-100. Reportedly, it will sell for half the price, have a 28-112 f/2-f2.8 fixed zoom, and have a larger sensor than other cameras (like Canon’s G12 and Nikon’s P7100) in its class. No image samples posted yet, but if quality’s on par with the X100, this camera will be worth a second look. Specs, product photos, and more are available on the Fuji X10 microsite.

Well, now we know why all those Leicas are having problems all of a sudden: Leica’s supposed to announce an M10 at the 2012 Photokina. And that expensive Leica gear is about to get still more expensive. (Leica Rumors)

Panasonic announces power zoom lenses, releases firmware update for some of its cameras. (Micro 4/3 Users’ Group)

Samsung announces NX-200; a pile of press releases in several languages is available on Mirrorless Rumors.

Under market pressure from Korean and Chinese manufacturers, Japanese companies Toshiba, Sony, and Hitachi are spinning off, then merging, their LCD units in a move they hope will make them more competitive, especially in the smartphone and camera manufacture segments. (New York Times)

Press events in Germany and Austria coming September 21-23. It’s entirely possible that the upcoming mirrorless camera from Nikon will be announced in Vienna on the 21st. The camera is also rumored to have a new processor that’s supposed to dramatically improve video performance. (Nikon Rumors)

JVC introduces its second hybrid camera, the GC-PX10, while Pentax France coyly announces that there’s… well, something new coming from Pentax, to be announced in October. And the RED EPIC, a video camera whose hype has heretofore only been surpassed by its delays, is finally going into production. (Photo Rumors)

PopPhoto has a list of 9/11 exhibits — some temporary, others permanent — just days ahead of the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

Sony Alpha Rumors has links by the ton this week, both to sample images from the new round of Sony products, and also to product documentation.

Primes vs. Zooms

In this case, zoom (70-300mm at 300mm, 1/800, ISO 400, f/13)

If you decide to move beyond the kit lens that came with your camera, the inevitable question then becomes which lens to get. There’s an insane number of options out there, since your camera’s manufacturer is likely to have a substantial stable of lenses, and there are also aftermarket alternatives (of varying degrees of cost and quality) available to you. From time to time, I’ll be explaining some of these options, starting today with a question that’s as old as the zoom lens itself: are you better off with another zoom, or with a prime?

Let’s address primes first. A prime lens is a lens that has only one focal length. Most manufacturers make primes at several different focal lengths, from the very wide (like an 8mm fisheye) to a traditional wide-angle lens (a 24 or 35mm, for instance), “normal” lenses (40-50mm, so called because they approximate the average human field of vision), and telephoto lenses, which start around 85mm and can go to 500mm or more. On the positive side, the relative simplicity of their optics, coupled with the fact that they have fewer moving parts, makes these lenses cheaper, lighter, and sharper than their zoom counterparts. They’re also faster and brighter (the common maximum aperture is f/1.4 or f/1.8, though lenses with f/1.0 and even f/.95 have been manufactured). On the negative side, you can’t zoom with a prime. You want a shot that’s either tighter, or wider? Take two steps (or more) forward or back. Also, where a single zoom might cover 18-55mm, it can take two or more primes to cover the same range (20mm, 35mm, and 50mm, for instance), meaning more space taken up in your camera bag, and more weight to lug around.

What about zoom lenses? When they were first mass-marketed, in the late 1950’s, the initial enthusiasm for their versatility and convenience was tempered by the realization that there were significant tradeoffs in optical quality. It’s a perception that’s stuck with zooms to this day, even though a modern zoom provides much higher image quality than would have been possible fifty years ago. The biggest advantage of a zoom lens is convenience; one zoom, as mentioned above, can replace two or more primes, and some zooms – like the 18-200 and 28-300 variants that are currently available – can substitute for far more than that.** There’s also a cost factor involved once you start comparing the cost of one zoom versus its equivalent set of primes. And there are times when taking steps forward or back just isn’t practical or safe, so it’s better to have a zoom at your disposal. On the negative side, faster, brighter zooms typically max out at a 2.8 aperture (and the consumer zooms typically start at an f/3.5 or f/4 maximum aperture), won’t have the same lovely bokeh*** as a prime, and can be very large and heavy. Also, because of their optical formulae, they can tend to have a variety of distortion issues; where a prime will typically show some barrel distortion, a zoom can show barrel distortion, pincushion distortion, and complex distortion, all in the same lens, at varying focal lengths and apertures, which can give you conniptions if you’re trying to keep straight what parts of the range are doing what.

So, zoom or prime? The short answer, I think, would be that there’s room in your kit for both. Some photographers will shoot only with one or the other type of lens; a more rational approach is to find which generally works for you, but keep one or two of the other type in your kit as well. If you shoot mostly with primes, this might mean having a long (say, 70-200 or 70-300) lens in your arsenal. If you are shooting with zooms (and especially if you’ve only ever shot with zoom lenses), having even one fast prime in your kit opens up opportunities you didn’t even realize you were missing.

Obviously, regardless of which category you fall into, there are tradeoffs you need to be aware of. These will impact not only your wallet, but also your photography; it’s helpful, therefore, to do your homework, not only by researching the wealth of reviews and information that’s available on nearly every lens, but also by getting to a camera shop and trying the lens(es) on your camera.

*Before someone takes me to task for my terminology: a telephoto, strictly speaking, is a lens whose length is shorter than its focal length. So a 500mm lens wouldn’t necessarily be a telephoto if it were 500mm long, it would be a “long focus” lens. It would also be quite the pain in the neck to carry. At any rate, since “telephoto” is the going parlance for pretty much anything over 85mm, that’s the sense in which I’m using it here.

**Albeit with significantly compromised quality. An 18-200 has become the only lens for some shooters, and a convenient walkabout lens for many others who don’t always want to schlep their whole kit. Problem is, image quality at the ends – the widest and longest parts of the lens – tends to be a bit on the mushy side, especially in the corners (among other issues). You may decide that’s an acceptable tradeoff, but here again, it’s important that you try before you buy.

***Bokeh is a term referring to the little rounded bits of light that are out of focus in your photos. Some photographers, especially if they specialize in portraiture, pay closer attention to the bokeh than they do to the sharpness of a lens. It’s a purely individual decision and creative choice.

Review: Zen and the Magic of Photography, by Wayne Rowe

Zen and the Magic of Photography, by Wayne Rowe

There’s a concept in Zen called “Monkey Mind.” Simply put, when you’re trying to be mindful — whether you’re sitting zazen or just doing the dishes — your mind’s trying to be anything but. If you’ve read this blog before, you probably know that I try to emphasize mindfulness in photography. It probably also hasn’t escaped your attention that my mind tends to wander a bit much… suffice to say, I know Monkey Mind when I see it. And Wayne Rowe seems to have quite the case of it in Zen and the Magic of Photography: Learning to See and to Be through Photography.

Normally, I’m not one to mind digression. Here, however, it gets difficult to figure out which bits are subject, and which are digression. Ostensibly, this is a book about Zen and photography, but there are stopovers in Roland Barthes, a number of Dean and Brando movies, a splash of haiku, a dash of Walker Evans, and perhaps a layover in Long Beach, during which I lost my bags (but I digress…) The shame of it is that there are some moments of genuine, and useful, insight here, but there are so many interruptions, detours and proclamations of the author’s own satori that the overall effect is somewhat like listening to a friend try to tell a story while their significant other keeps interrupting: “You forgot, he was wearing a blue scarf.”

To be fair, the author does tie each of these things back  to his subject, though some are more tenuous than others. The extended meditations on method acting especially was reminiscent of  a self-help book, in the sense that both lean heavily on a vague idea of authenticity, but neither really caution you that this is one person’s highly individual and idiosyncratic take on authenticity. The pitfall in this is that you can’t even begin to live out someone else’s authenticity; it’s about finding your own voice, and giving yourself permission to use it. In that regard, I found Karr and Wood’s The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes a more useful, and in a sense more inclusive, book.

According to the author’s bio that graces Zen, Mr. Rowe is both a professional photographer and professor of photography, with a stack of publishing credits to his name. I won’t fault his photographic technique; indeed, even independent of the credentials, his work is gorgeous, and at times even inspired. For all I know, he may have similar credentials when it comes to the Zen of which he writes… I’m not in the habit of questioning the depth or validity of someone else’s spiritual practice, and I’m not about to start doing that here. Having said that, however, one thing I’ve taken away from my own (admittedly wobbly) study of Zen is the idea of non-attachment. Perhaps that’s why, of all this book’s minor flaws, the author’s seeming attachment to the idea of satori (to the point that satori seems nearly an end, rather than a transient means to a perhaps equally transient end) feels like the written equivalent of a stone in one’s shoe.

This book may not have been quite what I was looking for; I may go back for a third read just to be sure (it’s very brief, to the point that you might read it in one sitting without quite intending to). As they used to say in commercials, “Your mileage may vary.” As I mentioned above, there is insight to be gleaned from these pages. Getting to that insight, however, may prove to be frustrating. Each time you feel the hint of a breakthrough, the subject changes.

Hmm. Perhaps Mr. Rowe is a bit more sly about his Zen than he lets on…

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