Index of entries
11/08/2021 - Interview with Alister Benn [Next>
Soul in Landscape Photography - stream with Alister Benn - YouTube The Photographic Eye interviewed a fellow photographer and youtuber and I picked up on these bits of knowledge.
The topic of seeing the world from a childs point of view came up but while we can't really go back or unlearn what we know there are attributes that we can use like judgements, acceptance, enthuisasm, and curiosity. Also as a landscape photographer he mentioned 5 triggers that get our attention in a scene: luminosity, contrast, geometry, color, and atmosphere. These stood out to me.
In the comments I found the word misomatic, mISOmatic, and the more proper term is “modal” auto-iso but put simply you are on full manual mode but with the ISO set to auto you really can only change the shutter speed and f/stop and the ISO is adjusted as needed. It does have a use in photography so look this up and try it out. I tried it out for myself and might have a way to use it some day.
Unrelated I watch a youtube channel Corridor Crew - YouTube that breakdowns CGI and one of guest said something that made a lot of sense. In regards to creating a blurry background he created a fully rendered background even if it was mostly lost when blurred out because we can still detect “detail” that is there. You can't create something from nothing.
Listening to the Text: The Medieval Speech Bubble is an interesting concept I came across by accident while viewing an art history documentary on Gothic art. The correct search term after some fumbling around was banderole ("little banner") and these scrolls within the images acted as the thought bubbles of comics today. Other names for these are speech scrolls or Angel banners. The rules for using these would be worth exploring in my art I create. The example I first come across was Hell by Hans Memling from 1485.
Architecture W/ Stewart is a youtube channel worth noting and one I subscribed to focusing on architecture. Since I investigate painting, comics, and video games for a wider appreciation of the arts why not explore this too.
One of the aspects of photography I have not actually experienced hands on is film, I have had the honor of watching another photographer demonstrate and talk me through one of his tries at wet plate photography so the original process is much clearer to me now. Finding the one presenter that can break down a process and make it more understandable is rare, I present to you Technology Connections and a three part video series that does just this. The Birth of Photography: Drawing With Light (and silver iodide), Making Film Reveal its Image: the B&W Development Process (Photography Part 2), and A Backwards Camera in a Dark Room - Photographic Printing. Search around the videos he has and see what else he has covered.
Related to the above links I have these channels to help demystify film you might be interested in as well.
YouTube Channel - attic darkroom - Website - attic darkroom His approach is very unique to exploring film photography. Best I can tell is his idea is to do it the wrong way to see if it possible to get some results but I like the idea taking the unusual approach. Some interesting terms and film techniques have been introduced to me from here.
With film photography the negative stores the original images to be used to make prints, in digital the common format of the image produced is usually in JPEG or some kind of RAW form. The difference between JPEG and RAW is the level of detail preserved and where the processing is done at the time of capture. The smallest amount of space is taken up by the JPEG format so is more desireable but it freezes the decisions made by the camera like white balance and processes to clean up the results; therefore, you as the photographer augment and work with what the camera has encoded into that file but it isn't that limiting. Comparing this to RAW has some big difference, namely the file size, this is uncompressed and as is before the camera processes it to the JPEG stage. The photographer can edit this file in post and alter it with more options in mind so the JPEG you export is produced how you want it to look. The downside to RAW is the time it takes to save the image data versus a less manipulable result with less processing time between images. The compression achieved with the algorithm used to produce a JPEG is complex and beyond my understanding but follow the link below to see a good overview I found today.
How Does your Smartphone Compress and Save Pictures? A Very Detailed Dive into JPEG Compression The channel Branch Education produced it.
Having started this website in October of 2021 I think it has progressed quite well and has given me a place to express myself in a way social media couldn't. The next stage for me is to try and embrace social media more than I do now and see how that works out, since I'm not seeking others to view my material and images it works out either way. Having last updated the site on 01/02/2022 I aim to to do something new weekly.
The picture of the chalk on the front page (featured 01/09/2022) I think acts as a reminder that photography captures and records the light from a scene but what it captures is not so critical. I will be out on my first photography trips soon and begin taking pictures like I always do but that simply constructed scene done at random has value as well. It expresses an idea from a random observation that inspired it as much as my musing about post-processing and techniques can achieve. Han Nguyen is a photographer I heard talk in a lecture on you tube HereIn Journal in conversation with Han Nguyen at the 2021 Medium Festival of Photography his photographs are taken close to home and prove one doesn't haven't to travel far to find something to photograph.
Another aspect that I try to do is document how I produce the images I do, often called "HDR", that manually produced via layers and blend modes are unique for each image. On this day I'm logging the scrap paper with the filenames and formulas and notes to my actual "HDR" log book that I started in 11/11/2018. As I recall the original intent was to note how my black and white photography was being processed and how the understanding of the bracketed sets was progressing. Somehow the noting process has become a habit even if the system isn't completely updated regularly.
Context is limited to the comment I can include so assuming the time is taken to read it completely, I can set part of the viewers initial understanding in this way at least. How could better insight be shared along with that image? I don't think it is possible since the image is the final product of a more complex process so those I know will have more clues but others I know in passing only will know even less of the behind the scenes aspects; however, the image is seen on its own merit and maybe as part of a "body of work" if the photographer post somewhat regularly in the same place. The miracle is that any image is seen at all in the endless feed amongst the many shared and picked from on social media platforms but it will be seen by someone.
"I think therefore I am" might be modified to say "I take photographs therefore I am a photographer" so just like I share my thoughts images also need to be shared. It is easier now to share that creative output and be seen but is there a downside. The key to this question maybe how I the creator of that image respond to the feed back I receive once the image is placed in the public eye and subject to others opinions. The image I shared was likely something I felt was a good example of my work or maybe just because it was unique or new to me. No response is a response just like mostly positive ones but altering how I take pictures I share to seek better reception is also human nature. I shoot photographs for myself but appreciate the feed back sought out by posting it, the ones that do and don't get as much response isn't predictable but I like that I'm not synced up the greater common mindset.
I am an individual and just being myself and in this I'm use a tool to express myself as an art form. Most of the thought processes and pondering I occupy myself with will result in a photograph, should I choose to show it to others I can. As to why do I share images online maybe the answer is simpler than I think and it is an open ended goal lacking a proper form to capture the output for a specific purpose. The unfocused drive to keep taking pictures is an undefined and unrefined project so sharing some images give me a "purpose" as I continue on for whatever reason I do.
One can search out and find all kinds of advice on any subject, mine is photography but anything visual arts oriented I like to explore as well. The problem seems to arise when you consume all the information and counter point of views without somehow putting it to use or allowing time for your brain to create that useful result because of it. When looking at what I actually do to the source of inspiration or perhap blending of many sources I couldn't even begin to connect the two; however, the process itself may not matter as much as the results that do happen.
One of these photography resources I found on Youtube was by searching for "photography lectures" and the resulting search showed hidden gems with few views but these lectures are not the typical video on the subject so worth noting a select few. Often on a channel where others gems can be found if you go to it directly.
One random find while seeking inspiration I found today relates to computational photography, Sam Hasinoff is a software engineer and shares many of his papers as PDFs that while very technical and above my head. I appreciate the detail and if I really read them through would get a better understanding perhaps but still just as lost. link to his web site
Photography = writing with light
* Is the photographer therefore a writer?
* If the photographer composed the image but played no role how the image was created beyond pressing the shutter button would the camera not be to true author? At the very least considered a ghost writer.
* If a hardware device can be a “better” photographer than most of its users and the results of using it not be considered does this make the work put in by photographers doing the work less valuable?
* Does the viewer even care how the image was created in the first place?
* Does the viewer question the reality contained within the image presented or just accept it and move on?
The goal is to improve our skills and learn as we become better at taking photographs, just like any endeavor it is the practice and time put in overall. It is as a "writer" working on communicating an ever more complex message with a clarity only practice can achieve making a photograph containing that story for the viewer to read and understand. Be it poetic, nonsensical, or meaningful the ability to pass on the story lies within the photographers skills both present and learned as they grow in the art form.
Does an "easy button" option play a role in photography and how people get into the art form? If one never has the desire to go beyond that path of least resistance so be it, the images shared still have value in the end. I suppose I'm wondering by what definition one calls themselves a photographer and is there a purity test to confirm it. Should there be some percentage of effort on the photographers part to create the image, as much is possible anyway. The composition and point of the view of each person maybe what truly matters as it is the unique aspect nothing else can replicate but the gear used can influence that internal vision as well.
Given the increasingly virtual world we live in and ability to build a bubble around ourselves photography at least is a connection to the real world that must be visited in person to capture those images shared in the virtual one. Beyond this maybe all the previous pondering doesn't matter in the end as well but it is about preserving yet one more archaic tool used in photography given the emergence of the latest one, being partial to the former might be my overall issue here instead. The greatest take away is to be connected to the real world and share with others how we see that world.
Once upon a time I used trial and error to learn 3D photography but it was time well spent as assumptions and by extension avenues to explore never got in the way of taking a picture. I filled my memory cards with images and learned what I could do in post processing. My mind took me down obscure and often incorrect paths to fine tune and tweak the results but if photography is a way of refocusing and relaxing maybe these inward quest were just as valid as the ones taken in the real world. One aspect of composition I learned to look for was depth, so as an exercise these types of images served a purpose and created a skill set I needed.
That was in 2011 I began my 3D photography obsession that still has mysteries I need to explore today; however, the front page image for 02/26/2022 has an interesting story behind it and perhaps a new reason why trial and error may be part of my learning process again. Seeing depth was a good mile marker in my composition skills but what you see in the image being talked about here is a way of seeing into the imagination and making it a reality. That gap between the world optically captured and what visions I may have to enhance that which is captured is a steep learning curve but can be done. Maybe the first step is to capture an image that is isn't ideal but challenges me to make it work on the post processing side so adding back some surprises is welcomed.
The chance to add the imperfection in those images taken is covered in the written works section of the web site as #21 - Technique 01/01/2022 and #24 - A matter of time that attempt to describe a system I call Adjacent Bracketed Equivalent. Luminosity masking is a concept akin to this and is also something to look into. I can sum up the overall goal as taking a calculated set of exposures via a bracketed set and photo stacking the results for a desired overall luminosity, perhaps this is my new version of 3D photography.
Some random thoughts and starts to text that just worth noting down.
(1) Photography is like exploring a cave, each new path has side passages or more interesting crawl throughs. Where and when these diversions meet up is unknown, yet the deeper and more lost you get the bigger the thrills. I think the same premise applies to the more technical aspects of photography and how deep you want to explore into what is possible. One term leads to another or new concepts are discovered to get lost in but somewhere along the way these potentially unrelated elements converge and a bigger picture is revealed. In a new a context the complex is made simple and possibilities open up. It isn't easy to explain your new insight just learned because we progress and explore photography through filters unique to each photographer. Will it make sense or not to someone else? Your insights may go by another name that another photographer shares with you or maybe it just won't translate, but in at least trying to share these things discovered I have found I can work out details in a more organized way.
(2) Quality vs quantity in the context of art seems dependent on the medium and art form in question. As a photographer I can produce more or less images but quality isn't always the outcome, just an image as projected into the camera. The process to render that image is more automatic than not even though I can control much of the process applied to produce that image; however, it isn't dependent on my knowledge of how to break down that scene beyond recognizing something special. I can choose quality or quantity because the camera does much of the work for me but drawing and painting as an distant art form is far more complex so one image is often the result. It comes down to practice and developing skills that produces the quality in that image. Practice and knowing your tools is the common asset to both these art forms.
Where do those lead I can't tell but everything is randomly began somewhere.
I came across this interesting video The Test Card Girl: The Lasting Legacy of Test Card F - An AMTV Documentary that I initially saw as a photo composition idea but reveals a history of television itself. Once upon a time television was over the air only, had only a select few channels, and went off air overnight unlike the digitally streamed content I have come to expect now. I think I can remember that message and similar image as a station went off air but as content filled in those voids the schedule became full so no longer used. The pattern served a purpose to help fine tune the picture but I never realized this. The BBC test card is something I have never seen before but I find it surprising that an image could live on so long after its intended purpose. Maybe the imagery will inspire something I try to do as well.
The photograph as a print to hold or frame is something I have always associated with photography at the early stages of its development but the book as a medium to share a photograph really had not crossed my mind until a found this lecture Photography and the Book, a talk by Richard Ovenden online. Just as the technology for photography evolved so did the technology involved for books to be created, the photograph was the next step from the illustrations used so the two grew together. The photographic art book had its niche market then as it does now and those readers who could get those books did so, the process to create one transitioned from pasted in plates to being printed along with the text. The lecture will cover this topic far better than I could so follow the link to learn more.
The Pencil of Nature by William Henry Fox Talbot This was the first book mentioned in the lecture and can be found here.
Collection of early examples with photographs in the books The excerpt will give you some idea of what this link contains. "... Together, the pioneers of photography and the publishers of these innovative books used the new medium to experiment aesthetically, to showcase photography’s various capabilities such as accuracy of detail, and to disseminate the ever-expanding frontiers of knowledge—both geographically and scientifically." From the page showing books from 1840 - 1870. Incunabula refers to early books printed especially before 1500, according to my dictionary, so a doubt "photography incunabula" would be very useful but in this context it does show us some of the historic aspects of photography.
"The things you own end up owning you" is a saying that is more true than not but how about the things that have long since served a purpose yet lingering on and in the way. Be it the floor, table top, storage space or even a hard drive; this clutter takes time to create for a vast collection of fragments of started projects and assorted junk to take over the the mental and physical creative space. Work space be it virtual or real is a key part of the creative process.
For me this is something I am working on and trying to organize so I can refocus and get my creativity to flow better, to move beyond just taking a photograph and processing it to create the next and carry on in an endless cycle. What is the end goal and why am I doing this is the question that has slowly been creeping up on me as my quantity of raw photos to final photos has been getting more refined in time; rather than being a negative it is a good sign of progress, yet, it still seems that having a longer term goal would be the next step forward. Beyond the photographic process I have interest in at least resuming framing and matting and incorporating other art forms in my intricate thought process of creating the imagery in my head. This is why I really need to get organized and stay that way!
The website has many odd bits and pieces already about what I do but not the details of the clutter in my head, so I would like to recall some of these to help complete the picture. Mainly by putting it in writing like this I remind myself of what is possible and where I have been, since this website almost functions as a journal as well.
To see the world in a grain of sand - I went from documenting a place to simply share what I saw to a quest to capture the world of insects and into the realm of the macro. The study of entomology is what I got deep enough into to at least try to begin identifying some of the pictures I was taking along the way; while the pull was not strong enough to dedicate more time than I did to it I learned something. The insects out number us and are everywhere but hide in plain sight until one begins to look for that particular pattern, a rule emerged for me that becoming aware of something tends to make me see it in more places as I tune into that pattern. The life cycles of insects is complex and having documented the aspects I did was worth it, the gear I had at the time allowed me to focus to almost zero inches so it was a task I could do at my skill level of the time.
A video feedback loop - Not sure where in the time line this would occur but when the video feed being captured by a camera is feed into the output an active feedback loop occurs where the screen or projection is in the visible image. I played around with this using an old analog camcorder and a projector attached to the camcorders output, the possibilities are endless. Like any other scene a camera can capture this from any angle and adds to playful nature of the concept. This requires some space and planning but one day I will revisit this.
The value of depth - The world at large came back into focus and the subject of the pictures I took but it was a chance acquisition of a cheap 3D camcorder that opened up the next aspect of photography in 2011 and lasted until around 2017 or 2018. 3D photography focuses on depth as a very important aspect of composition because unlike a flat image the photographer must provide more details of the scene to be effective, especially the proper cues to enhance the depth perceived. My energies went completely into this new type of photography, making DIY gear and figuring out the rules made for a very happy photographer. In a form of cross purposing those macro shots I never deleted actually worked to produce some unexpected 3D images because in combination of being so close to the subject and handshake between the multiple images being taken proper 3D pairs was possible. How we see plays a big part in photography but the nature of a flat image doesn't require the same degree of emulation but stereoscopic vision has definite cues that must be followed for an apparently flat image to have depth. I still have an experimental 3D technique to work out involving using unlike focal lengths in a 3D pair so I will working it in the future.
The magic of bracketing an exposure - The concept of bracketing was new to me and I had to manually dial each shot in at first so my sets wasn't always perfect but it got me into the world of black and white photography and the HDR process; however, one can do so much more than High Dynamic Range given all the extra data and so my idea of “HDR” is a bit more generic now. Black and white photography was a key part of this journey into photography at this stage because learning to see a world without color isn't second nature but can be done. Photographers have had to learn to predict how a final image would “look” by pre-visualizing the process since the beginning and learning what works by experience, so seeing in black and white was an interesting challenge. What I have come to realize is that bracketing is simply a drive mode the camera has to assist in gathering images in a far more timely manner than by hand like I use to do, the results is more information I can play with to combine in post processing as I like.
All avenues eventually cross - The skills from one type of photography can apply to another more easily than not, if there is even a “type” of photography as breaking the rules to capture the vision in your head should be just as valid as a category. New knowledge discovered will open up old ideas that hit a roadblock earlier on and that unresolved 3D process is a perfect example fort that. The art form was drawing and with no idea how to actually draw exploring the concept of the horizon line, it is the basic element of how we see because it a common dividing line to begin the process of breaking down a scene. Why this association entered my head I couldn't tell you but both eyes act independently of each other and while not exactly a camera the model turned out to be useful, the brain processes this input to always give us a steady image. Tilt your head and you notice the room will stay level, this is what I observed while pondering the horizon line. While my post processing isn't as advanced I tilted the camera between shots to a common line while using unlike focal lengths in each image that I could align by and rescale by an object along that line in common.
What else is there? - Beyond the few proof of concepts that never became a regular process I pursued that covers a lot but I referred to physical elements as well. I have an old habit of collecting junk that I never quite out grew but now I call the collected objects “art supplies”. I see some value in them at the time but if left to just build up with “out of sight, out of mind” in play they don't have as much value in the end. Not all photography is taken in the grand expanses of nature or on the streets but also at home in the made up scene built with that various “found art” objects and imagination connecting it all together. Photography is where is the artist / photographer is at and what they see and can access to capture.
In conclusion - The irony is in the time to compile these random thoughts I could have been working on cleaning up the mess I am in the middle of trying organize, a work in progress. Shifting junk around never solves a space issue but rather comes back to haunt you as more junk piles up out of sight and forgotten. While I say it here it may never happen in reality but cleaning up also requires throwing that material away or finding a new home for it.
Photo Mania Collection at Museum of Fine Arts Houston from the Medium Photo channel was a session part of a bigger set of talks. In this case the more ordinary and unusual in one place as an exhibit, so while listening to it the speakers mentioned a couple of items I had to go look up further.
Flash - The Press Photography Game Produced in 1956 is appearently very rare and you can follow this link to see what the board game looked like.
Camera Comics is a total of nine comic books written from 1944 - 1946 designed to help promote photography. The mix of the photographer as a hero fighting crime in comic book format and material about photography itself is what you find in each issue, see them here on the Internet Archive to read them. Plus, on PetaPixel does a good job of covering this if you would like more information.
"The television is the retina of the mind's eye. Therefore, the television screen is part of the physical structure of the brain. Therefore, whatever appears on the television screen emerges as raw experience for those who watch it. Therefore, television is reality and reality is less than television." Brian O'blivion.
The quote is a line taken from a 1983 movie called Videodrone that I had seen sometime ago but at the time was perceived as a strange movie that appealed to me, now after a rewatch in 2022 I caught another aspect of the movie. Movies have a message to go along with the visuals but perception and the viewers mind set may alter which is stronger. This line of dialog predates the cell phone and internet as we have all come to expect it to work but despite this the screen time in front of a immobile device and a stream of select video feed from a few providing that input isn't much different than what we do now. The internet grew from being viewed on a CRT attached to a computer to a computer integrated into a LCD that fits in a pocket (smartphones) but a screen is still a screen that demands our attention as the world goes by unseen.
This is just a movie so how deep can one go with this line of inquiry, search for videodrone and cathode ray mission and you will find as I did some have pondered far more than expected. Television is a static one way influence but even most of the content we view now is a prepared one way conversation that we seek out and train the algorithms to better serve our bubbles of existence we live in. Social media brings like minded individuals together but sometime amplify a mind set to the exclusion of seeing the bigger picture, being connected virtually doesn't mean the isolation in the physical is healthier either. When I hear a one sided cell phone conversation is that individual talking just use to being in front of the world or well practiced at tuning it out and not seeing it. When I see people walking along a trail but never looking around I wonder if it matters where they are at all if they aren't present. The gift of the miniaturized mobile device seems to have enabled the user to have an ear tuned into a virtual existence or eyes focused on a window into it most of the time, is that reality greater than the real one we physically exist in. The "reality" that is preferred isn't raw and experienced in person but the world edited once captured or maybe a fairy tale existence that isn't real at all, yours or someone else's it doesn't matter. The few still control the platforms and tools even if the users seem have a voice independent of them, deviate from the social norm and your voice is unwanted and dangerous.
I recently acquired a smartphone because I needed it for a use in mind but I see it as a new camera to be mastered and maybe to use. I don't see it going into a pocket should I get that comfortable with an electronic leash that is so helpful; rather, I want to secure it around my neck like a camera should be and have it ready for that purpose instead. In this regard nothing changes as I have always used a camera as a way to be “invisible” and be in a crowd while all alone. Will I ever use that smartphone for its multitudes of options, likely no, but I like using my older tech to achieve what I do. I once was on facebook and did a complete restart until I established this website, even though I am back on it the account is unused and I take no friend request. I may find an use for social media but I doubt it, the work I share is public already but one can be just as invisible on social media as a website if the work to promote yourself isn't put forth. I do photography because it makes me get out and explore, the camera has one purpose so I also have to briefly unplug from the internet and a bigger LCD screen as a result of it. The latest camera brings potentially that world I seek to escape briefly with it, where that leads I don't know. I have my bubble I live in and have no problem saying that but it does change how I perceive the world filtered through it; however, it is my bubble so can be changed for the better.
The world moved on to the latest and greatest gear but I will catch up as needed and still see it from the outside looking in most likely. A line from a movie can bring about some interesting thought processes and the messages within can take some new filters being put in place to perceive them later.
A very random reference on a video covering Marvel meme origins mentioned a book called The Super Dictionary published in 1978, very random but what a quirky book to look at. It was not published by DC but another company using the characters. The site https://superdictionary.tumblr.com/ provides some excellent examples of the entries found in this educational dictionary. For example consider the following entry.
Batman: Get up off the floor. Get up from the floor, Robin. Soon the light will go off. Soon there will be no light.
Robin: I must get these ropes off. I must get these ropes from my hands. Help me, Batman!
I found a PDF online to get a copy of this here.
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I seek out photography lectures and talks on Youtube and it was on 06-12-2022 I copied this lectures information to be used later. It was a father (Paul) and son (John Paul) Caponigro talking about photography that I found interesting. You can find it here Caponigro: Two Generations (Maine Media Alumni Lecture Series). I also noted two other links of interest.
Photophile defined as a person who loves photography. They carry a camera on their shoulder wherever they go, and post to photo sharing websites all day. Named after the biological term for an organism that loves light, or functions best in it. Also photophilic, photophilous. As lifted from a website to find out the definition when I came across a new term, it fits well.
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On a stranger note I was listen to the Lucy Lumen's Analog Adventures channel on one of her videos talking to another photographer casually a chance reference to PinguPenguinPingu came up. The specific episode mentioned is still on YouTube after all these year, the new photograhy is taking all these shots (film) and nothing develops because the lens cap was still on. 037 Pingu and the Camera.avi is the link to follow to see this.
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Half frame club is an interesting site to study composition from as it focuses on a type of camera called a half frame camera where only half of a frame is exposed. In essence you get double the amount exposures on the film roll, each image developed therefore contains two on it. Seeing this double image on one lends itself to making a diptych as a composition idea.
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Finally a shift to CGI and an aspect of light I wasn't aware of called caustics, dealing with complex light patterns you might get from light shining through a glass object. Corridor Crew's channel on YouTube usually has some of interest even if I don't create that type of art. In this episode VFX Artist Explains the HARDEST Visual Effect to Make it is a deep dive but covered well enough I could see why it took some advancement over the years to begin emulating this at all.
Why should a daily photo challenge be so hard to keep up with and accomplish, it isn't but requires a different mindset to accomplish it. At this time I'm 10 consecutive days into a daily photo challenge and here are some thoughts on what I have learned so far.
Some of my best photographs are taken in the moment where time is paused and no schedule is pressing into that moment either. The elements of timing, being in the right place, and seeing the world around me simply is part of the mindset I have. The irony is it is usually a scheduled break where I have planned to be somewhere to hike and take my camera for a walk as well, it is this uninterrupted break that allows for these moments of discovering each photo and completing it before the next one is found. Ideally I seek natural places within traveling distances to see and capture that a city and man made mechas can't even begin to rival. Even the places I go may not rival the grandest of vistas or a paradise out of reach but beauty is found easier in a natural place. It is with a different mindset I began to appreciate the potential within the man made as well but given the chance I seek nature and along the way can encounter both.
A planned moment is at the heart of the daily photo challenge but the range of free time is reduced to between task life requires of us; however, the slow downs between is where I have found time to accomplish my photography. Knowing where in Odessa I can potentially find a place to hunt for that new picture or two is actually an interesting part of an awareness and mapping a place long lived in but not cared about. The next day harkens so this mental map helps but it is also part of being a photographer it seems to take pictures with a camera in hand or inconveniently not on us. The moment not recorded is the one lost forever but it can be worth noting for future use in another modified way. The question is even if this random discovery and a camera is present does time allow for its capture before life demands our full attention again.
For me it is after work and going home I find the opportunity in the afternoon light mostly to get the goal accomplished before I become one with the computer and have a harder time to move more purposefully and get that photo. The subject matter is random and the light not ideal but as an exercise it is quite helpful to becoming far less specialized in what I take normally. No matter when the time frame is these micro sessions accomplish the goal, yet having taken a few pictures daily seems to have created a freer frame of mind in the more prolonged ones of having to take more pictures to feel I had a good session. I had transitioned from quantity over quality a while back but perhaps another level is a satisfaction of capturing a few more pictures to learn from knowing there is another day to continue the journey and pick up in another random time and place.
Originally this was part of the website as a place holder for projects that "fit" outside my normal process; however, I don't have a normal process and everything links in there own ways. what was written as a prelude to future content is archived here.
A change of gear, scenery, or type of photography is easy enough to do but a change of photographer behind the camera itself is the challenge. How not to be ourselves when taking a photograph or even selecting a scene to compose is what "persona not me" has the potential to unlock.
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As a mental exercise trying not to be yourself while taking a picture seems somewhat difficult to do; however, what can that odd pursuit achieve if tried. It is this unknown that helps to break patterns and expand creativity in the process, so I try to figure out ways to implement that idea. No actual projects yet but ideas to consider.
Child's POV - A child's point of view is rather complex and as an adult I have long forgotten how to think that way so beyond moving lower to the ground as your eye level what would be the subject of interest be in the photograph taken. Perhaps the power of observation is better, curiosity is more in play, or that which we "know" is new and worth exploring. Just an example of the mindset that might be useful.
Change a few rules - We work within a set of rules and preferences without realizing it so perhaps making yourself follow a restriction or change how we take or select a picture. I find this approach useful when visiting places I often revisit so going into the known with a plan to photograph it differently does help produce new images.
Try to emulate another photographer - What subjects did they cover? Is there a pattern to work up some rules to achieve the style they have? Any clues as to the gear used? Are the images film based or digital? The trick it seems to me is to understand and study the photographer and get some insight but not just copy the work. As an exercise in itself to inspire your own creativity might be enough and just compare results and tell a story.
This 1960's camera is powered by light and completely automatic created by the Technology Connections channel showed how a solar cell and some simple mechanics can be very effective. The computer age has made this simple solution obsolite yet there is a beauty to the chosen method. Why I would want to emulate this solution on my DSLR I don't know but as you listen to this video it might remind you of shutter speed priority as well. The other odd thought that I might try is bubble wrap as a light meter element, as it looks like that pattern used.
The clever camera code on rolls of film created by the Technology Connections channel presented more information on film and how cameras handle them. DX encoding is a digital code via metal strips read by circuits in the camera, I looked at an old film canister and it had that coding on it. Film DX Coding – A photographer’s life hack covers this in more depth. So many little details about film photography to discover as I explore this art form.
I learned a new term recently, simulacrum, that I had to look up. It is defined as follows (copied as is):
A simulacrum (plural: simulacra or simulacrums, from Latin simulacrum, which means "likeness, semblance") is a representation or imitation of a person or thing. The word was first recorded in the English language in the late 16th century, used to describe a representation, such as a statue or a painting, especially of a god. By the late 19th century, it had gathered a secondary association of inferiority: an image without the substance or qualities of the original. Literary critic Fredric Jameson offers photorealism as an example of artistic simulacrum, in which a painting is created by copying a photograph that is itself a copy of the real thing. Other art forms that play with simulacra include trompe-l'oeil, pop art, Italian neorealism, and French New Wave.
Somehow a photograph does seem to fit in here but perhaps it is the extremely "photoshopped" photos that may be more apt to fit. The disconnect and translation of taking a photo will never be an exact copy but I thought of the recent AI art craze and how those tools borrow from so many images either drawn, photographed, or computer generated that already exist to make an image in the first place. How many fragments of the "real" are cobbled together to match the given request of the user. Does AI generated art that is shared get added into the mix as it is shared?
We define the reality that is presented to use and it learns the patterns we accept as reality. Nothing new as CGI improves its photorealism and is used more often do we see the fake as more real than the actual reaction in the world. Photography has alway had wizzards in the darkroom to fake details and computers and smart software allows more photographers to become wizzards as well, maybe the most honest photographs ever produced was the snapshot sent off to the one-hour photo lab as editing was least likely to occur. The cynical respose to any image encountered maybe should be to not be so accepting of its "truth" but appreciate it as a wonderful fiction with a possible bit of truth to it, until that scene is seen in person one never knows the degree of enhancement.
The world is a drowning in imagery and are our senses overloaded but that is the world we live in, generated by photography, CGI, artist, and AI it will not decrease. It is up the viewer / reader to enjoy what they can and be aware of what it is and hopefully add to the chaos themselves in whatever art forms they pursue as well.
I came across a channel on Youtube that hasn't been updated in a while but he has some interesting ways to look at the creative process, Vinny Le Pes. One of his series of videos Creative Crossovers looks at multiple fields and what they could learn from each other. I watched the five videos in the series and made a few notes and I could see a little of how he connected some of the dots but it would hard to really cover in full. Here is some of what I could begin covering.
"Design thinking" is more about a methodology and way to approach a problem and was worth listening to but in the prior four videos he presented five element for each type of artist. I will list the headers he covered so you get an idea of where the dot do connect.
People who draw
Taking the approach he did does make you think and was a good find.
A line from the movie Fletch Lives somehow made a random connection in my head after one of many viewing of it. Paraphrased it went like this “my mamma use to say we are born then die but in between we garden” and while I don't garden I think it could apply to my photography habits of late. It is a task I attend to daily, for now, and even if the frequency does slow down it stays in the back of my mind. Like the plants in a garden the ephemeral nature of a photograph in the digital world maybe not be as permanent as film and the negative lost in a box out of sight but both fade out of memory. If shared the photograph fades out of memory even faster for the viewer than the photographer, especially in the age of social media, but that is the nature of it.
From the time doing the daily photo challenge it went from can I motivate myself to do it every day to if I miss a day somehow it feels wrong. In that time frame I have explored more of the place I live and places I visit as the curiosity to see what exists hidden away wherever I maybe, seeing things my imagination would likely never have created in the first place. The photograph while the objective serves a bigger purpose of observing the world in more detail and how to capture the same said world putting my own unique filter on it.
Gardening and photography relate to each other at least in the mastery of the tools and techniques needed to produce fleeting ephemeral objects to be admired only to fade away so another can shine in its place. It is a cycle that fills the practitioner's head with memories and experiences, the viewer with wonder and hopefully inspiration, and a challenge to keep the “physical” material around past its initial life cycle. All of this effort will be lost to time but the persistence of pursuing a craft and finding a meaningful path is enough of a reason for me to continue on.
Inside the Last Polaroid Factory in the World - Full tour at Polaroid's Netherlands film facility from the In An Instant channel is a very detailed guided tour to a dedicated Polaroid camera user. A physical format like film, or in this case the unique polaroid cartridge, comes from somewhere or is a product of a factory producing new stock to be enjoyed. It is good to appreciate what goes into these things we use. I don't actually shoot film but even if I stick to digital I find this kind of information adds to the enjoyment of photography overall.
Why no one cares about your Photography (feat. @SimonBaxterPhotography ) from the Sean Tucker channel clarified something I have been pondering for a while about posting images online. I recently got off the group page I posted to regularly because I had been considering doing so anyway; however, I got some feedback and occasional comments so it wasn't lack of interaction but why I shared the images in the first place was the question in my mind. The images I posted was a sample of sessions I share on the website and all part of the process of photography teaching me more about what I had encountered and had observed. I know the images that I liked better or pushed my limits and it is part of advancing in the art form going toward the unique approach to photography no one else will, yet posting implies I wanted some kind of specific feedback I didn't get.
That feedback isn't what the group must do but acting as a forum does exactly what it does and therefore my expections are not realistic. Of those actively posting interest may very so inspiration is not a guarantee either. We share and hope for "likes" but social media and groups we chose to participate in have individuals and taste that may not be suited to the photography we as photographers prefer or pursue. One seeks approval and conforms or continues on with what makes them grow and appreciate what they do on a personal level, feedback should never be assumed and there are other avenue to be found to get that feedback should it be desired. I take images for myself in the end.
As I heard once there is a place for everyone and this place might not be for you, maybe this covers the topic just as well. I continue taking pictures, observing, and learning in the process with the goal of creating content at the very least. Somewhere along the way I will collect more images and questions until I find a new place to belong for a while. The insight provided from the video in the link is to consider the context of who you are posting images for and it is explained in better detail by Sean Tucker. Non-photographers will see your work in a different way, beginning photographers may have a way of seeing things you don't, professional photographers may not be as present in the places posted, and the types viewing your images will be judging those images as they see them. This is the bias that is chased or ignored by the photographer but in the end no response isn't a negative.
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5 Japanese Philosophies to Improve Your Photography from the Toshiki Yukawa -Photography- channel looks like a newer channel but I found the five phrases translated to English interesting. There is much to learn in photography and many ways to burn out but I find the challenge is driven in me at least to keep taking pictures and learning from each attempt, done for myself and not others. His message and shared cultural point of view made sense to me. Here is my summary of those five phrases:
Kaizen - "Change for the better" There are points and aspects of images taken that didn't work; however, these things can be used in future attempts as they are chances to improve them later. As he said we grow little by little.
Suki Koso Mono No Zyouzu Nare - Like, Well - "If you like it, you will do it well." We all have a motivation and it will very but the more we enjoy something the more likely we pursue it.
Nana Korobi Ya Oki - "Seven times fallen, eight times standing" "Photography is a journey, not a sprint." as he said adds to this but in essence failure happens and never giving up is important.
Ich Go Iche E - "One time, one meeting" When in regards to photography every moment is fleeting and one of a kind, he had a broader meaning but each moment should be appreciated.
Jun Tin To Iro - "Ten People, Ten Colors" Photography maybe something we do alone but inspiration from other artist happens, the key is stay true to yourself as it influences you. We are all unique and have our own ways to see the world.
View his video for yourself to see how he explains these same ideas.