Lunchtime Photo

On Sunday I was up at the LA County Arboretum to see their annual “Moonlight Forest” display. Just as I was about to leave, I wandered down a path into a little area where it turned out they were staging a show of young folks performing traditional Chinese dancing and acrobatics. Naturally I stayed to take a few pictures.

It’s a funny thing. For years I’ve been telling people that the best photography investment they can make is a monopod, but I’ve never had one myself. I always just used my tripod. However, the arboretum doesn’t allow tripods on the premises, so I bought myself a cheap monopod and used it all evening. It was great! I’m glad to learn I’ve been giving people good advice all these years. The best display of its prowess is below, two frames from a series of pictures of a Chinese dancer. After experimenting for a bit, I settled on a shutter speed of a quarter of a second in order to get a blurred sense of movement from the dancer. The results were spectacular, and as you can see, the background is nice and crisp, which means the monopod kept the camera steady even at a very slow shutter speed. Three cheers for monopods!

December 9, 2018 — LA County Arboretum, Arcadia, California


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend