News From Nowhere

In the Northern Hemisphere...

In the Northern Hemisphere, today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It’s officially the first day of winter and one of the oldest-known holidays in human history. Anthropologists believe that solstice celebrations go back at least 30,000 years, before humans even began farming on a large scale. Many of the most ancient stone structures made by human beings were designed to pinpoint the precise date of the solstice. The stone circles of Stonehenge were arranged to receive the first rays of midwinter sun.

Some ancient peoples believed that because daylight was waning, it might go away forever, so they lit huge bonfires to tempt the sun to come back. The tradition of decorating our houses and our trees with lights at this time of year is passed down from those ancient bonfires. In ancient Egypt and Syria, people celebrated the winter solstice as the sun’s birthday. In ancient Rome, the winter solstice was celebrated with the festival of Saturnalia, during which all business transactions and even wars were suspended, and slaves were waited upon by their masters.

Mark IV!!!??

So Canon announced the 5DMk4 today.  Every time this happens, I get the feels. I bought the 5D (mk1) when it was the "Big Thing" way back ~12 years ago.  The only way I could afford such a piece of cutting edge machinery was because my recently-deceased mother's life insurance policy paid me a small gift set up by her in her final days.  The policy's pay-off was not a life-changing amount of money, but it was respectable.  My mother (and her mother) loved photography, and she always supported my chosen artistic path, and I reasoned that it was appropriate to use this money to supply myself with the tools I felt I would need to make a career out of the craft.

I bought the newly released 5D, my first DSLR. I'd been shooting chrome and Kodak Tri-X on my trust old Canon eos3 up to that point, and reasoned that with the full-frame sensor, and a whopping 13megapixels, it would serve me well for years to come, which I was right on.

I've dragged the 5D around for the last 12 years now, it's physically abused and awfully slow and mediocre compared to the new guys. 

Every time a new 'Mark' is released, it hurts a little however, and makes me wonder how much longer my old Mk1 is going to hold up for me.  I am in no position to shell out the dough for a new body, and whenever I have trouble focusing in low light, or a rapid burst causes the camera to lag up, or an otherwise gorgeous photo is ruined by noise when it was only shot at 400iso, it makes me sad.  

When I read the tech reviews on the new guys, half the info goes right over my head, but they sure are pretty, and I can't help but be reminded of how fast my camera is falling behind in the pack of performing bodies.

The Wreck of the Paloma. (the not-so-cunning escape of the fugitive Capt. Lybrand.)

photo ©2014wshowell

photo ©2014wshowell

photo ©2014wshowell

photo ©2014wshowell

Cheers and GodSpeed Capt.Tim.

Cheers and GodSpeed Capt.Tim.

(08-05) 10:53 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A man who went missing Monday after his boat took on water off San Francisco's Ocean Beach is wanted in Santa Clara County on a $75,000 arrest warrant that was issued in 2012 after he failed to comply with his drug-related probation, records show.

The warrant deepens the mystery surrounding Timothy Lybrand, 51, who hasn't been heard from since 3:30 a.m. Monday, when his 38-foot fishing boat, the Paloma, was reported abandoned and sinking half a mile south of the Cliff House at Ocean Beach.

Lybrand radioed the Sunrise, a nearby fishing vessel, and indicated he would try to swim about 25 feet to shore.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for Lybrand at noon Monday - eight hours into the multiagency effort - after covering an 18-square-mile area from Ocean Beach to the Golden Gate Bridge.

"The possibility that he could have swam in is relatively high," said Coast Guard Lt. Sean Kelly.

According to Santa Clara County Superior Court records, Lybrand was arrested in 2010 and later convicted of possessing drugs and drug paraphernalia. On May 17, 2012, Judge Joanne McCracken issued a bench warrant for Lybrand, who had allegedly violated his probation by failing to appear in court.

On Monday, he reportedly left San Francisco Bay around 2:30 a.m. to fish for salmon, a Port of San Francisco spokeswoman told The Chronicle. Lybrand, whose boat is registered in Santa Cruz, is known to fish up and down the California coastline.

Crews from the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Parks Service were working Tuesday to remove debris and the sunken remains of the Paloma.

"We'll try to locate the operator and he will be issued a citation for abandoning the vessel," said Lt. Theo Vaughan, a Coast Guard spokesman. "He will also be responsible for the costs associated with the clean-up operation."

The parks service will dispose of the wreckage once Coast Guard officials remove oil and fuel from the boat and drag it to shore.

Evan Sernoffsky is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Twitter: @EvanSernoffsky