I went today to the big computer store near my office to try to get some things to remedy my current computer dilemmas. One of the problems is that the hard drive on my computer and the external drive I’ve been using are pretty much filled up to capacity with data, so with that in mind, I bought a newer and larger external drive. The old one can hold 200 gigabytes. The new one has a capacity of one terabyte – five times more than the old one.

Of course, the problem with the old external drive is that is wasn’t working any more, so I also bought an inexpensive housing, hoping that transferring the disc drive would get it healthy again. I’m glad to report that it did. I wasn’t going to try it tonight, not wanting to hurry, but then I thought “oh heck” and went and did it, after all.

It was a fairly quick process, and after I connected the USB and power cables, I thought a little prayer and flipped the power switch. The blue light came on almost immediately, and shortly thereafter my computer recognized a new drive. Naturally, I was thrilled – even more so when I opened my photo browser and saw for sure that everything looked okay.

Then I connected the new external drive, got it up and running, and began the process of transferring data from the old to the new drive. I began by copying over the photos from my current digital camera – pictures that I had not backed up previously and were therefore the most at risk from the drive failure. Those photos include the ones I made in Italy earlier this year, and here are three images of Venice from among the salvaged items.

Here’s a news story I came across today involving models and photography. It reports that an ad for Olay cosmetics has been banned in the UK. Why? The star model depicted, Twiggy – now 59 years old – looks very good for her age. Too good, in fact. While Twiggy claims that Olay is the reason why her eyes look so good, the company admitted to some “minor retouching.” As the story says, rather than the cream being her secret, “instead it’s a skilled computer technician, which is something you just can’t bottle and sell for $23.89.”

I guess enough people in Britain knew a certain amount of fraud when they saw it. You can read the full story here.

Finally, I saw the Metropolitan’s Opera controversial new production of Tosca on PBS last night. I thought it was pretty good, overall – though it was odd seeing the Nordic blonde soprano Karita Mattila as an Italian brunette. The design of the church in Act I was not nearly as sumptuous as the church that the Met used when I appeared as an extra in that opera – and absolutely nothing at all like the real church in Rome where the action is set. The set for Scarpia’s apartment in Act II was pretty impressive, though the roof of Castel Sant’Angelo in Act III was pretty spare, although there’s no real reason for opulence there. (You can see photos of the actual locations on my earlier blog posting – here.)

The story is set during the time of the Napoleonic wars, an era of European history I really don’t know much about. The hero of the story, the painter Mario Cavarodossi supports one side politically, while the evil police chief Scarpia sides with the other. As we tend to think of Napoleon these days as a dictator, I used to think that Scarpia supported Napoleon, though in fact the opposite was true. Scarpia was a royalist, and Mario saw Napoleon as a liberator.

I guess he wasn’t the only one originally thought that way. One such real life person was Ludwig van Beethoven. He too saw Bonaparte as a liberator, and even dedicated his Third Symphony – the “Eroica” – to him, writing the words “Intitolato Bonaparte” on the manuscript’s title page. However, when Beethoven later found out that Napoleon was throwing people into dungeons, he became so enraged that he crossed out his dedication with such force that he practically tore a hole in the page.

I also read the Beethoven was even thinking of destroying the entire symphony. Thank goodness that he didn’t.

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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1 Response to Relief

  1. About the Twiggy story, I don't quite know what to say. Walking around in the flesh, unphotoshopped as I go about my real life, I always get shocked expressions and disbelief when I tell someone how old I am. MINOR airbrushing is not MAJOR retouch work. I can't testify to the efficacy of that product, but I know it does make a difference which products I use on my skin. Sometimes I think we carry this distrust of retouching too far. My experience tells me a photographer who has mastered lighting technique can make me look so perfect that no retouching could be considered.In case anyone is wondering, I am a 65 year old model and have many unretouched images on my MM port and blog http://drlightness.blogspot.comTake a look and see what you think. Twiggy may actually look that good!

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