Open Letter To American Leaders and Citizens From A Community Of Holocaust Survivors — United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

We cannot remain silent in the wake of the recent antisemitic attacks in cities and towns across the country. We know firsthand the danger of unchecked antisemitism. This targeted violence is happening as we also watch with great dismay a persistent and increasing tendency in American public life to invoke the Holocaust for the purpose of promoting another agenda. 
— Read on


Testing Canon’s RF 50mm f1.2

I am testing Canon’s RF 50mm f.1.2 lens. Both photos below were shot at f / 1.2. The image above was shot at f / 4.5. I am impressed with the color, contrast and sharpness. Comments are welcome.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC – 1/2500 sec @ f / 1.2
Bronze statue of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk by the US artist Jeffrey L. Hall. Atatürk (1881-1938) was a Turkish field marshal, revolutionary statesman, author, and the founding father of the Republic of Turkey, serving as its first president from 1923 until his death in 1938.

Amazon Customer Service Has Spoiled Me

I recently ordered a backpack from Wandrd, an independent company that makes bags for travel and photography. Wandrd does not offer free shipping. I ended up paying $10 for shipping. The backpack arrived in about a week. Although it was a nice backpack, when I saw it in person I realized it wasn’t for me.

I checked the Wandrd return policy page, where I was prompted to fill out a form. Wandrd responded the next day asking me to fill out another form with substantially the same information I had already supplied. They said they would respond within 48 hours. The next day they sent me a shipping address in Utah and asked me to me email them the tracking information.

I put the backpack back in the box with the return authorization email and took it to the Post Office. The postage cost $43.30. I debated just keeping the backpack because of the high shipping cost but I decided to send it back because I didn’t like it. When I got home I emailed Wandrd the tracking information. This is a lot of steps and friction for a simple return.

© David H. Enzel, 2019

Had I purchased a backpack from Amazon, as a Prime member the backpack would probably have reached me in one or two days. To return the backpack, I could have immediately printed out a return label and taken the box to a UPS store or an Amazon locker at Whole Foods. I probably would not have paid return shipping and if I did have to pay return shipping it would not have cost more than $40.

Amazon’s obsession with customer service is hard to compete with. I think I had started taking Amazon’s customer service for granted.

No more.

History Video

2021 Days of Remembrance Commemoration


Portraiture Is Different Than Other Photography

Austin photographer Kirk Tuck explains the difference between portraiture and other forms of photography:

[O]nly (good and great) portraiture requires the photographer to enter into a relationship, a rapport and a collaboration with the subject. No one walks in cold and, on meeting a portrait subject for the first time, fires off five or six frames, deludes themself that they have a perfect shot, and terminates the session. Unless your only goal it a clinical documentation of the person in front of the camera. 

In other words, you have to develop a connection and get to know another human being. That isn’t easy.

History Travel

Pan Am “First Moon Flights” Club

Between 1968 and 1971, Pan American World Airways issued over 93,000 “First Moon Flights” Club cards to those eager to make a reservation for the first commercial flight to the Moon. The cards were free. I was a proud member.

The Club originated from a waiting list that is said to have started in 1964, when Gerhard Pistor, an Austrian journalist, went to a Viennese travel agency requesting a flight to the Moon. The agency forwarded his request to Pan Am, which accepted the reservation two weeks later and replied that the first flight was expected to depart in 2000.

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step foot on the moon.

On September 9, 1969, the United States Postal Service issued a 10 cent postage stamp showing an astronaut walking on the surface of the moon. It was called the “First Man on the Moon” postage stamp. According to the National Postal Museum, the stamp was made from the same master die that the astronauts took with them to the moon. Additionally, it was the largest stamp the United States had issued up to that point.

Pan Am sent members of the “First Moon Flights” Club “First Day of Issue” envelopes. I was excited to get mine and have kept it all this time. I now doubt I will make it to the moon. But it was an exciting thought.

Letter from Pan Am to First Moon Flights Members about the “First Man on the Moon” first day cover.

Unfortunately, Pan Am did not survive. It went bankrupt in 1991.