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Author Topic: The Convergence of Still Photography and Video  (Read 15990 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2008, 05:19:07 AM »
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Not sure where you are coming from on this one Bernard. I have a tilt pan video tripod with viscous resistance to give smooth movements as you describe. It is marginally heavier than my photo tripods and a bit bulkier (principly because it is designed to carry a much heavier load) but not so heavy/bulky that it isn't transportable (with camera) by one person.
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Glad to hear that, I must have overlooked some options then.

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Bernard
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2008, 01:24:15 PM »
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Interesting article.

Ok so it might appeal to action shooters, but then who needs 100fps anyway?

Bit OTT really. Nothing wrong with new technology, but its a lot less important than many think. We all love gadgets, but again, it is what you do with it that counts.

A pal recently said to me

"digital has ruined photography", ala everyone is at it..working and amateur. Cameras are overloaded with features and gimmicks.  I dont agree with that really, its just made it easier for people to get into. Same with software..its helped us all do things, that only few did in years past. If and how you use these tools is what really matters. And we dont all have to do the same thing, or work the same way.

Still not sure I see a huge place for video and stills to share the same platform, I would not want to dig through high quality video to use a still shot, that would indicate to me, that I was lacking in ability. The quest for more features goes on, but for most of us, its not really something to pay that much attention too.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2008, 02:36:13 PM »
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Filing just one or two short videos with a stills collection can be very illuminating, since the videos contain information not in the stills, particularly sound. Seeing Ansel Adams' work is one thing, but seeing the interview video makes all the difference in understanding the real person. This isn't just an art thing - a couple of videos from a wedding or modeling shoot can be useful - note the 'extra features' included on so many multimedia products. Were it not for the LLVJ series, the still photos by Michael & friends would not have reached nearly the audience they have, and without those videos as study aids, the photos would not be nearly as interesting (excepting those folks who go to a gallery in person featuring those particular prints).
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jjj
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« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2008, 05:49:06 AM »
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People still keep overlooking the fact that when using moving images as opposed to still images, you use a much lower shutter speed. So if you want nice sharp pictures, you cannot simply frame grab. [high shutter speeds are not usually practical as they give a strobing effect]. The film industry has for decades used a capture medium that is almost the same as the still photographers they employ, i.e.  35mm film, the difference being it's horizontal, not vertical. So why then do they also have stills photographers that they have to run the scene again for, using up very expensive and usually limited time? Simple, a still image can be much better quality even when using the same capture medium. Not only do you have the benefits of sharper images, you can also do vertical shots. Landscape 16x9 movies aren't so good for magazine covers.
The other issue is that the shots one captures for editing together later add a dimension not present in still images, so if you want to tell the story of a scene in a single image, then you may have to conflate the shots that make up a scene. So if you are going to the effort of having to rejig, why not use a more specialised camera to do a better job? This applies to advertising/videos/features/tv, where you use professionals.

As for the amateur and certain professionals [papparazzi for example] who simply wants to shoot video and simply grab a frame as he/she machine guns away, they'll be very happy with a convergence camera. Until it come to the cost of media storage.   And these cameras will sell, but if you want to get the best tool for any job, hybrids are not the way to go.
And before James innacurately has a go at me again for 'traditional' thinking. that's not my stance. At times, it annoys me that I cannot do video with my DSLR, like I can with my pocket camera. But even if you have cameras that can shoot high quality 20MP images at 100fps, that doesn't mean, that you will get better shots than by using a DSLR more sparingly. Thinking is the major part of getting the shot, which is often overlooked.
If you want the best quality/usuability, then you will always use specialist equipment. Though by deliberating and intelligently using a lesser quality can be good, if it serves the story being told with movies or creates the right mood for stills.  Besides creating moving and still images requires a lot of very different skills, even if the technical stuff may be very similar. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to do both, but most of us cannot.


I just remembered trying to do both video and stills simultaneously back in the mid 90s [gosh I'm so very traditional!  ] when documenting an event. I decided it was in fact a damn nuisance as I needed to be in different places to capture the best angle for each media. A convergence camera wouldn't have made any difference to the real problems of  trying to do a good job of both video and stills.
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KliftonJK
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« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2008, 07:34:54 AM »
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People still keep overlooking the fact that when using moving images as opposed to still images, you use a much lower shutter speed. So if you want nice sharp pictures, you cannot simply frame grab.

I understand your points and what you say is true... but that doesn't mean these cameras do not and will not have their place. They may not have their place for you and that is understandable.

I think some overlook that the combination of stills and motion has more uses than a print or narrative cinema.

Obviously this combination will not be for everyone, it may be for a very few, it may be for more down the road, who knows... But because it's a still, certainly doesn't mean it has to be printed at 16x20", just because it's motion doesn't mean it has to be cinema quality.

If your goal is high quality gallery prints, use the right tool. If your goal is a blockbuster, use the right tool. However, I see a whole 'nother use (uses) for these "hybrid" cameras, that goes beyond gallery prints and blockbusters. While retaining good quality (probably better quality than what was accepted as high quality from a DSLR, less than a decade ago).

Just my opinion.
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nigeldh
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« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2008, 04:40:20 PM »
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I was talking with one of the Syracuse, NY Post Standard photographers about exactly this issue in August '07 at the NY State Fair.

1. For news photographers it really is going to video for the web then being able to grab some high res. stills from that video.

2. I see this as just an other tool that photographers can use.
a. Sure some folks will "spray and pray." Like when I am trying to capture a bird in flight.
b. But there are other times when I pull out the tripod and take my time composing the shot, playing with fill light and reflectors.
c. And there are other times when I like to do a series of time lapse photographs like a moon rise or sun rise.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2008, 08:36:47 PM »
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a. Sure some folks will "spray and pray." Like when I am trying to capture a bird in flight.
"Hose it down with Eastmancolour", I heard one big-time Hollywood cameraman say one day.
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« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2008, 08:44:43 PM »
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I understand your points and what you say is true... but that doesn't mean these cameras do not and will not have their place. They may not have their place for you and that is understandable.
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I said they'll have their place, but the point I made will limit their use
quite considerably and is always overlooked, when people get excited about convergence.
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Rob C
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« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2008, 03:44:19 PM »
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Sort of reminds me of a T-shirt I saw the other day: DUREX Connecting People. How much more convergence do you want? Or need?

Rob C
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dalethorn
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« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2008, 11:33:03 PM »
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As technology grows and the mfr's finally provide two shutter buttons instead of a "mode" switch, the next hurdle will be control over separate perspectives and settings for the stills shutter button and the video shutter button - i.e. stills orientation may be governed by how you hold the camera, and video employ its own logic.
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James R Russell
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« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2008, 12:10:49 AM »
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I understand your points and what you say is true... but that doesn't mean these cameras do not and will not have their place. They may not have their place for you and that is understandable.

I think some overlook that the combination of stills and motion has more uses than a print or narrative cinema.

Obviously this combination will not be for everyone, it may be for a very few, it may be for more down the road, who knows... But because it's a still, certainly doesn't mean it has to be printed at 16x20", just because it's motion doesn't mean it has to be cinema quality.

If your goal is high quality gallery prints, use the right tool. If your goal is a blockbuster, use the right tool. However, I see a whole 'nother use (uses) for these "hybrid" cameras, that goes beyond gallery prints and blockbusters. While retaining good quality (probably better quality than what was accepted as high quality from a DSLR, less than a decade ago).

Just my opinion.
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If you walk south down broadway, from Union Sqaure to City Hall you will see more ink on paper advertising than anyplace in the planet.   Bus Shelters, Cabs, Store Fronts, outdoor, handouts, newstands, newspaper machines and so many flyers that is looks like a ticker tape parade.

Then if you just squint a little you can easily see how the majority of this can be replaced by some  kind of thin film digital screen, lcd or hand held device.

Look, I'm not saying still photography is dead, at least I hope it's not because it's how I make 95% of my income, but it just stands to reason that when the first Gap, Lucky Jeans or Walmart buys into electronic point of sale vs. standard ink on paper then the dominos are going to fall and once the requirement is a digital still, it stands to reason why not multiple digital stills, heck why not just multiple images period?

Today over lunch I noticed 5 people at the counter reading.  Three were interacting with a pda or Iphone.  The other two was a mother reading a childrens book to her daughter.

For the next two weeks we're in production for a lifestyle campaign where people are running, jumping and flying through the air.  It's a still campaign, no moving digital imagery is requested, but don't think I wouldn't love a 5k Red that autofocused shot at 100fps, at 1000th of a second, if only for the stills.

I'm not a run and gun guy, though I do shoot a lot of data and I'm as comfortable shooting this with a Phase [a href=\"http://russellrutherford.com/sports/pictures/rr_sports_0066.jpg]http://russellrutherford.com/sports/pictur...sports_0066.jpg[/url] as I am shooting this  http://russellrutherford.com/fashion/pictu...ashion_0073.jpg  with a Canon.  

I am  aware of how moving footage looks at high shutter speeds, but don't think some software engineer can take frenetic 1000th of a second 100 fps footage and smooth it down to look like standard 30 fps video, because if there is a call for it, the software will come.

I also know that the disciplines and technique from still to moving can be quite different depending on the intended use and medium.

That doesn't mean that all productions are that disimilar and it also doesn't mean those areas of cross over don't get closer every day.

I hate to say this but if we do get more "convergence", if we do begin reading the NY times on thin film recyclycable screens, if the windows of Victoria Secrets becomes a 12'  lcd screen and the next Rocky 12 is shown on a digital projector it won't be art that drives the medium, it will be commerce.

It will be the cost of printing, paper, ink, distribution and delivery, vs the cost of downloading.

Now to also set the record straight, I've shot a lot of "parallel" productions and sometimes it's as easy as running a second camera over my shoulder and somtimes it's virtually impossible to do both well.

For still advertising, what I can do with a still camera and three profoto heads takes a 500 lb dolly, tracks, 200 amps and a crew of six to professionally produce a moving sequence. . . . sometimes.

When I started my career I was fortunate to be offered the position of a (then) large budget movie production shooting the stills for advertising.  It was a wonderful 5 month gig in Montreal, Paris and London.   One of my "requests" was to not shoot with a blimp and on most scenes to have the ability to redirect the talent into what would tell the proper story in a still vs. what was framed and shot for the screen.

The director was kind of enough to allow this and it had it's benifits, not in costs, but in the final product.

So I guess what I'm saying is I know the difference between the two disiplines and respect what it takes to make each work.

Regardless, if there is actually more convergence, especially in advertising the final deciding factor will be the return on investment.

If you have the abiltiy to shoot and direct both moving and still imagery and combine the process, you'll probably be more in demand.

It's really that simple.

JR
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James R Russell
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2008, 11:51:26 PM »
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The video portion of this, though very limited, added only about 15 minutes total to the two sessions.

Total time in cutting, quick color grading, titling and output was probably 4 hours max.


http://russellrutherford.com/greendayfinal.mov

JR
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KliftonJK
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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2008, 11:20:12 AM »
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I said they'll have their place, but the point I made will limit their use
quite considerably and is always overlooked, when people get excited about convergence.
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It would limit their use in the way you see them being used, by today's standards.

Grabbing frames from the motion and making it a still, yes it may (or would/does) cause issues.

However, using the same interface to shoot a still with its demands and shooting motion with its demands with a level of quality that the job demands, if offered from one device--would have potential to be useful, at least the way I see it.
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mikeowen
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« Reply #33 on: May 13, 2008, 03:04:41 AM »
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"So if 5 seconds are recorded, 150 frames are as well. The still photographer or editor can then later choose the frame that is best."

Would one really be able to consider themselves a "still photographer" at that point?  I think not.  I hope these new cameras come with a noose attached because the last thing I want to experience is more editing time. Photography is easier than ever, but people still need more automation in their cameras and less involvement with the picture taking process?  Good God, no wonder the younger generation is going back to Holgas and snapping up used Hasselblads.
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jjj
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« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2008, 07:30:16 AM »
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It would limit their use in the way you see them being used, by today's standards.
 
 Grabbing frames from the motion and making it a still, yes it may (or would/does) cause issues.
 
 However, using the same interface to shoot a still with its demands and shooting motion with its demands with a level of quality that the job demands, if offered from one device--would have potential to be useful, at least the way I see it.
 [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=195214\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Misreading/missing the point, true convergence is film once, extract high quality stills later. Which is what some UK newpapers are already wanting to do. And frame grabs of 1/5oth sec images are not good. Movies don't do sharp and moving that well, which is acceptable in moving pictures though panning usually shows the medium's limitation in this area.
 A device that can do both has been here for many years already. They are normally dismissively referred to as P+S cameras. But are more than good enough for most people. I carry one all the time and as for quality, some of the most popular shots in my A3 portfolio were taken on an ancient Ixus II [2.1M!] Not in movie mode though!  
 




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I am  aware of how moving footage looks at high shutter speeds, but don't think some software engineer can take frenetic 1000th of a second 100 fps footage and smooth it down to look like standard 30 fps video, because if there is a call for it, the software will come.
A higher frame rate will ease the problem, but that exacerbates the already challeging storage issue and then you have problems mixing with/playing at 30fps. Another way to do it is to make each frame look more blurred/less sharp.

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I hate to say this but if we do get more "convergence", if we do begin reading the NY times on thin film recyclycable screens, if the windows of Victoria Secrets becomes a 12'  lcd screen and the next Rocky 12 is shown on a digital projector it won't be art that drives the medium, it will be commerce.
In one sense, we already reached that stage, as the web has allowed moving images for advertising on web pages for a long time and once it was realised how annoying/counterproductive it can be it was scaled back. Sometimes just because technology allow one to do something, it doesn't mean that it will take place as expected.


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For still advertising, what I can do with a still camera and three profoto heads takes a 500 lb dolly, tracks, 200 amps and a crew of six to professionally produce a moving sequence. . . . sometimes.
Isn't that [refering to another similar discusion] exactly why I said moving sequences were usually much more cumbersome/slower to produce compared to stills.  


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One of my "requests" was to not shoot with a blimp and on most scenes to have the ability to redirect the talent into what would tell the proper story in a still vs. what was framed and shot for the screen.
The director was kind of enough to allow this and it had it's benifits, not in costs, but in the final product.
That's exactly how I insist on doing stills being done. The main issue is the 1st AD, who all too often regards the still photographer as a useless nuisance. Usually they are the 1st ADs who ignorantly think 1st ADing is someting to do with directing as opposed to set management. A stills photographer may be completely irrelevent to the making of a film, but absolutely essential when it comes to selling the film and as marketing is more important than content these days....


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If you have the abiltiy to shoot and direct both moving and still imagery and combine the process, you'll probably be more in demand.
It's really that simple.
In some ways, I'm sort of excited by this side of things, as film was my first and longest lasting passion and I just happened to discover by accident, I was quite good at photography. The major benfit of stills is that I don't need a crew to produce good work, not so with film.
I learnt to write scripts for the same reason, I don't need anyone else, it's very cheap and more importantly I learnt the most important aspect about film making as result of writing, how to tell a story.
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jjj
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« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2008, 11:08:46 AM »
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I just remembered trying to feature request [and was loudly shouted down by LR 'purists'/traditionalists] that Lightroom was able to include all file types in it's database/DAM section. The reason - one of the things that made LR very frustrating for me as a photographer was the fact that it wouldn't download all the files from one's memory card as it always left any movies shot on my compact camera. Not to mention I can't add sound files or text notes relating to shoots to the DAM section.
Now with photographers talking about using video as well and possibly instead of still cameras, Adobe needs to realise LR will have to accomodate new ways of working with regard to imagery and how photographers will use/aquire imagery. One thing that is neat in the latest iMovie [2008?] is the abilty to scrub through the thumbnails of the clips, it would be ideal for LR if it acknowledged movie formats.
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James R Russell
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« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2008, 11:50:57 PM »
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I just remembered trying to feature request [and was loudly shouted down by LR 'purists'/traditionalists] that Lightroom was able to include all file types in it's database/DAM section. The reason - one of the things that made LR very frustrating for me as a photographer was the fact that it wouldn't download all the files from one's memory card as it always left any movies shot on my compact camera. Not to mention I can't add sound files or text notes relating to shoots to the DAM section.
Now with photographers talking about using video as well and possibly instead of still cameras, Adobe needs to realise LR will have to accomodate new ways of working with regard to imagery and how photographers will use/aquire imagery. One thing that is neat in the latest iMovie [2008?] is the abilty to scrub through the thumbnails of the clips, it would be ideal for LR if it acknowledged movie formats.
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In CS3 - Extended, you can correct (color time) grade, filter, and do almost anything you can do in standard photoshop on moving imagery, including hdv.

Then output the corrections in the correct codec, size and fps.

JR
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jjj
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« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2008, 08:30:36 AM »
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In CS3 - Extended, you can correct (color time) grade, filter, and do almost anything you can do in standard photoshop on moving imagery, including hdv.

Then output the corrections in the correct codec, size and fps.
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And what has that got to do with Digital Asset Management in LR ? Oh yes, nothing, nada, zilch!
You really, really need to start reading posts before replying to them.

BTW, regarding PS CS3 Extended's video abilities, didn't I inform you about that very thing in the RED thread, so not sure why you need to tell me about that?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 08:37:50 AM by jjj » Logged

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Rob C
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« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2008, 10:27:31 AM »
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Just back from an extended gentleman´s lunch (mine, not another guy´s) down at the beach where I had a philosophical chat with one of the waiters about doctor´s orders: mine (doctor) tells me that I mustn´t go over a single glass of cabernet sauvignon per day if I wish to continue my days on top of the earth rather than admire it from a different perspective. His, the waiter´s, not the doctor´s reply was that he quite understood my problem but that perhaps I should take it to mean a single glass in several bars. I argued that a more honest take would be to opt for a somewhat larger glass in the location in which I found myself and save the expense of moving from bar to bar.

Which, of course, seems to be at about the philosophical level to which this thread has suddenly arrived. Pity we couldn´t have discussed both themes at the same time; would have made for a better understanding all round. I´m sure the waiter would have enjoyed it.

Rob C
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« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2008, 10:52:31 AM »
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I have very little patience with numpties online repeatedly not bothering to read posts correctly before responding. James has lots of interesting things to say, but unfortunately seems to have not quite enough time to read other's posts before replying. Hence the irritated response.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2008, 10:54:34 AM by jjj » Logged

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