Endowed By Their Creator With Certain Unalienable Rights

Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were bitter enemies for much of their careers, and I generally side with Hamilton.  I could catalog many Jeffersonian faults, but oh, that Declaration.  He earned a lot of good will with that.

Our rights as human beings do not come from the government.  They exist apart from any government, and we are entitled to them because our creator gave them to us.  No government can properly take them away or seek to define or limit them in any way.  All a government can do is either help to protect, or conversely infringe upon, those rights.  The goal in organizing a government is to align our imperfect natures with the structure of governing institutions in such a way that the government protects those rights, or at least stays out of the way.

If you disagree with the above, you disagree with both Jefferson and Hamilton, and most of the people who formed our country between roughly July 4, 1776 and 1820.  In those decades they separated from England, formed a new government, scrapped it, formed another new government unlike any other that ever existed, and began operating under that system in such a way that demonstrated it could work.  With respect to their biggest failing, they at least created a system such that the seeds of its demise were sown from the beginning.  No country built on the foundation of natural law and rights could sustain the institution of slavery indefinitely.  We are in their debt today.

Happy Birthday America.

The Photograph

This is a HDR image from a 7-shot bracket, shot very early Sunday morning on Memorial Day weekend.  It was further processed with Lucis Pro, and the Glamour Glow filter from Nik Color Efx.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Great image, Mark! I’d personally add a touch in the blacks (I think — I’m never sure til I actually try it and get to see it) but I still love it.

  2. hanks Michael. Do you mean raising the black point?

  3. Yes, but not in Photomatix — sorry I wasn’t clear on that. Don’t get me wrong, I still like this one but I’ve found in a lot of mine that raising the black point a bit deepens some of those corner shadows and such. It (often) helps give some nice contrast without losing the important details which you used tonemapping to bring out. Sometimes a simple curve adjustment does this well, sometimes I’ll use the “blacks” slider in Lightroom, etc. I don’t ever mess with the black point in Photomatix — might work but I haven’t done it.

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