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Here’s a long exposure of a freeway at night. (It’s the, I say the, 405 taken from the Yale overpass.) This picture is practically a cliche, and for various reasons I couldn’t even produce a very good one. But I was eager to try it anyway just because I’m so thrilled to once again have a camera that provides enough manual control to do something like this. Technically, my old Canon had most of the manual controls I needed—though not all—but in practice they were all but impossible to use.

One feature the Lumix has is built-in neutral density filters. I had never heard of such a thing before, but it’s surprisingly handy. This picture, for example, was taken with the lowest ISO setting and a 64x neutral density setting. It was the only way to get the long shutter time that I needed.

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In "It's Not a Crisis. This Is the New Normal," we explain, as matter-of-factly as we can, what exactly our finances look like, how brutal it is to sustain quality journalism right now, what makes Mother Jones different than most of the news out there, and why support from readers is the only thing that keeps us going. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic we can increase the share of online readers who decide to donate—starting with hitting an ambitious $300,000 goal in just three weeks to make sure we can finish our fiscal year break-even in the coming months.

Please learn more about how Mother Jones works and our 47-year history of doing nonprofit journalism that you don't find elsewhere—and help us do it with a donation if you can. We've already cut expenses and hitting our online goal is critical right now.

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