The most prominent dark spot is at the top center and in this case was caused by dirt or dust on the sensor. In some cases the camera’s built-in sensor cleaning tool might not do the trick. You might take your camera to a professional to have the sensor cleaned, or you can buy a kit and try doing it yourself.

Dust, dirt, aspect ratios and your aperture setting might be colluding to confuse you about dark spots on your photos.

When I used my 12–60mm zoom lens I’d get dark spots on my pictures. They always showed up in the same places on the images. I never saw any spots on my images when using either of the other two lenses I have for this mirrorless camera.

The dark spots only seemed to appear in skies, or on light-colored background surfaces with little detail. The images with the spots were always shot in the smaller apertures; f16,f18 and f22.

I cleaned the lens carefully, a lot, on both ends. I even used some alcohol-based lens cleaner, but the spots persisted…

Sometimes you just don’t know where inspiration about life may strike. For Suki it was in the last place she expected.

She was always going to ride that bike. It was just a matter of time. (Copyright: <a href=”">geotrac / 123RF Stock Photo</a>)

Suki stared out the window at a motorcycle parked haphazardly in the potholed dust of a well-worn parking lot. She didn’t know what it was about that chrome, but it looked too much like a day spent doing nothing, wandering the roads, drinking a little, soaking up more sunshine than someone ought to be exposed to in a lifetime, and watching puffy clouds mirrored in her visor.

There was too much pressure in her head and the thought of straddling that thin strip of stuffed vinyl with those two cylinders purring beneath was enough to make her decide to blow…

It’s resolution-time again, but I don’t make resolutions so this will be something new for me. I’m doing it because of how hard it is to know whether information is the truth, or even if it has any element of accuracy to it. There are too many manipulators with megaphones dominating our discourse, and too many people willing to follow any train of thought that happens to line up with their own beliefs.

So I’m resolving to do some things to get better at finding accuracy and truth. I’m also resolving to do some things that will force me to…

Being in a wheelchair may limit your adventures, but with a little help, and a plan, you could find a Lake Powell houseboat journey within your reach.

Five days in a houseboat on Lake Powell could be just what you need to get your spirit soaring.

If you love nature and you love grand vistas, beautiful rocks, stunning sunsets and sunrises then don‘t let a disability keep you from the experience of Lake Powell by houseboat.

However, you should know what to expect and the particular challenges you’ll face if you’re in a wheelchair. Each person’s wheelchair experience and mobility issues are different. So, some people might find the challenges not worth the trip. It’s something you need to decide for yourself once you have the information. …

I gotta say I’m not a Trump fan. But, the guy sometimes really cracks me up. For all his whining about fake news, those outlets that quote him are actually doing him a favor by potentially setting him up for his next gig. Here are some of his funniest quips.

Trump is not a fan of any energy sources except for oil and gas. When speaking about wind power here is what the White House transcript showed he said:

“So they make these things and then they put them up. And if you own a house within vision of some…

When Facism comes to America… (Composite Photo by Duane Craig)

Sometimes the well-chosen words of others help us see what’s really important.

Quotes Especially Relevant Today

Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive. — Henry Steele Commager

Here is my advice as we begin the century that will lead to 2081. First, guard the freedom of ideas at all costs. Be alert that dictators have always played on the natural human tendency to blame others and to oversimplify. And don’t regard yourself as a guardian of freedom unless you respect and preserve the rights of people you disagree with to free, public, unhampered expression. — Gerard K. …

(Composite image by Duane Craig)

For creatures of all kinds, random events often…

A shootout featuring a 1990s Olympus Stylus film camera versus a 2013 Canon SX-280HS and a 2019 Panasonic GX85. What could we possibly learn?

Film versus digital in a rare comparison shootout. (Background and composite image by Duane Craig. Models included under license with the copyright owners.)

There is interesting little trend these days of people going back to photographic film. I honestly don’t know why anyone would prefer film to a digital sensor. Not only do you remain “in the dark” about what you just shot until you finish the roll and process the film, but you also must contend with digitizing the images since we mostly use images in digital venues these days.

But, before I decide that film really is dead for me, I figured I’d do an experiment just to see if there is something I’m missing. I’ll call it a “shootout” pitting…

Couple dances in front of a tornado in an exagerrated example of hope.
The Epitome of Hope: Writers need almost as much. (Composite image by Duane Craig)

The Writers’ Long Game — hoping beyond hope to have hordes of fans hopelessly hooked.

I’ve made a living by writing twenty years of my adult life. When I look back on those years, it was never about having enough ideas, having enough time or having enough skill. It was always about having enough hope.

Hope must accompany the idea behind what you plan to write, otherwise, why even bother? At first, you must hope you can arrange the words in just the right fashion to both attract readers, and get your meaning across exactly and efficiently. …

Man in a bubble with fingers crossed hoping his news sources are accurate while thought bubbles show what he is thinking.
The bubble might feel secure, but it’s really just an illusion. (Composite image by Duane Craig)

Saying no to news bias and conspiracy theories is easier than you think.

It’s been clear for some time that polarization in America is directly caused by the information people feed on. The information we allow into our brains drifts around in there until it sticks to something familiar, like our distrust of government or our dislike of people different from us.

Once stuck, it needs constant reinforcement. That’s where biased information and conspiracy theories find their nests. Biased news sources and conspiracy theorists spin magical stories out of nothing but a few coincidental events. Next, they mix in questionable sources that appear credible on the surface. Go looking into these sources and…

Duane Craig

Writer and explorer of the visual arts.

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