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The opposite of novelty is boredom 
Greetings from a hotel in Wales...
I’m Christian Payne, generalist, photographer and writer. In this weekly dispatch I seek out novelty, explore how we share, what we share and consume, plus where we might be going. Thanks for joining in.
I never made it into London this week. I decided to catch up on writing. I have now typed up around 64,000 words. From just my Southeast Asian journals. The photo at the top of the page is from my time in the mountains. Those journals are already typed up. There is tobacco is on the table so I think it was snapped by Stefano, the Pastore who trained me before he left.
Lots more journals to go. It’s like digging a field of potatoes looking for roman coins. I have a lot of potatoes. Very little treasure. But there are many more fields to dig, so hopes are still high.
Outside of that, it's been a pretty normal week. Dogwalking (with a radio), cycling (with coffee making gear), shed building (slowly), baking (with varied results), meditating (every day), and a quick trip to an amateur radio rally. I thought it best to make the most of what summer we have left.
For me, photo documentaries are the best audio, visual fusion. The considered composition of an image you’ve time to consider. The emotion embedded in the audio. All brought together in video.
I watched Asteroid City this week. A strange and intriguing string of vignettes. Visually stunning, quality acting from an amazing cast, yet I felt like I'd been shortchanged a little on the narrative. The trailer is spoiler rich.
I’m also watching the Star Wars Ahsoka series which so far feels like a slower more stunted Clone Wars. But then the cartoon series is a hard act to follow. The visuals are keeping me in there though, and i’m hoping it picks up once it’s brought everyone up to speed.
A lovely insight to marble quarrying in Italy.
Reading the book ‘Freelance’ by Raymond Irons. A book I forgot I had.
Here is some back story.
Psychedelic rock has featured heavily in my ears this week. Mostly away from the family as they are not that keen on it. Despite some of the bands having cool names like Ultimate Spinach. They recorded one of my favourite psych tracks ever.
Staying stateside I’ve also been dipping into the work of Country Joe & The Fish. The tracks I really get into are things like Section 43. Sadly, exactly the kind of thing that annoys the family. Long meandering tracks that sound made up on the spot. It’s perceived as a bit ‘too weird’. But that’s psychedelic rock for you. And it’s my genre. I was brought up on it. Plus it’s the root of the music (psych indie) my band used to play. If I Gould only take one genre to a distant island, it’s what would be in my ears as I foraged for food, for strange, enlightening mushrooms. And it would play as I sat by the fire scanning the horizon.
Right now I’m listening to ‘Love’. Again from Country Joe & The Fish.
And here is one of their most iconic songs made famous when Country Joe Macdonald was asked to fill in for a late band at Woodstock and played a solo version of what is now one of the most famous anti-war songs of that era.
AI generated mushroom foraging books are popping up on Amazon and risking people’s life.
The new immersion tank has a flat-ish top.
That means I can use it for coercing my sourdough to rise. I’ve made three loaves this week. Two of which didn’t need toasting to be edible. You’ll find the recipes in the archives.
The Nikon FM2. I was convinced I had sold this camera. I knew the lenses were somewhere as the 135mmf2 prime (the big one above) is something I have treasured for a long time. So what a lovely surprise to open an old camera bag and find one of my this iconic manual film camera sitting inside. I've just finished a role in my M6 and will certainly now put this Nikon FM2 to task.
After my failed attempt in the last hotel at creating a coffee filter with an emptied teabag, this time I came prepared.
I have a few super compact camping coffee filters, but this will filter coffee and steep tea plus fits on every cup I’ve tried. It folds flat and combined with a small pot of grounds I no longer need to suffer the instant ‘coffee’ that often comes free in the room. I know — first world problems. But these small pleasures make me feel like i’m winning life. I know you are waiting for a link to the evil Amazon. So here it is. Use the link and if I get a kickback I may buy something else that will change your life.
When the Kindle Scribe came out I really wanted one. But I thought i’d wait to see if there was a jailbreak or some way to use it so that Amazon wasn’t reading everything you might write. I’m still waiting.
120 year old glass plate negatives found in a time capsule.
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Usenet is still out there.
Sword swallowing, the side effects. In case you wondered.
Twitter plan to scrape your biometric data.
There is still a Documentally community map.
If you want to win the lottery, buy every possible number combination. Like this guy did.
This ‘2D’ restaurant would make a great canvas for a food fight.
Where artificial intelligence will and won’t replace photography.
Some of my other places include GoodReads, FarceBook, Flickr, Strava, Untappd, Diaspora, Vivino, LinkedIn, YouTube, Mastodon, a ham radio newsletter or search ‘Documentally’ on Wire, Birdsite, T2 or Bluesky.
Thanks for reading. Spelling errors as you know are intentional. After a day documenting things for Baavet I’m now off out for a curry with family.
Have a great weekend!
“Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted. Industrial societies turn their citizens into image-junkies; it is the most irresistible form of mental pollution.”
~ Susan Sontag
See you out there.