October 2006 Archives

The King Of Photo Editing Apps

I have just finished Gallery submission number 2 for 2007 [fingers crossed on this one]. Anyway for some reason I decided to really tweak my images for the gallery application, in a way that I hadn't for some time. Live Picture, a now dead piece of software, was my app of choice back in the day when I began digital photographic print making. It runs OK in Classic on my laptop, but screams in OS 8.1. After a bit of a fiddle on my laptop, I felt my time would be more productive if I used my old beige G3 running OS 8.1.

Ooooooo drool. I had forgotten about the speed and ease of use on this gorgeous app which coincidentally originally retailed for $3,000 Canadian upon it's release. When it came out it in the mid 90's, it could open 200 meg files as if they were txt files and on a power Mac with the then whopping great pile of 128 meg of ram. A brush stroke happened in real time, there was no destruction of pixels in the editing process, as it was NOT a pixel editing app magnification was limitless, and it just does things the way Photoshop will never be able to do.

So with 8 images to tweak and edit for the then due proposal over the weekend, away I went, feeling guilty for spending such little time trying to achieve an end result, all up I think I spent 3 hours with 8 images. Some minor masking and curve adjustments, working swiftly with my pen and tablet as if I was really drawing. Oh the joy of it all. It will be a sad day when my beige G3 finally dies, this application really made the process of image editing a real joy, encouraged time spent with images, allowed infinite undoes all retrievable at any stage of the process. The editing is done in 16 bits internally and no pixels are harmed in the process. The edited files fit on a floppy disk, can be built out to suit the web or a billboard, and at at no point is the app getting in your face, it just edits.

Graceful, elegant, simple.


“ I think that fidelity and originality are actually inseparable for an artist, because he or she must be faithful not only to the unchanging qualities in life but also the the inexhaustible newness in life, and to convey that newness requires originality”
Robert Adams 1

Let me begin this entry on another outstanding flickrnaut with a disclaimer. Annene's work often draws copious quantities of superlatives from me. So forgive me if I ramble on in some sort of incoherent way with a mass of adjectives.

If you were to plan a trip to L.A. Annene's home town, where she makes most of her images, you could be forgiven that the city she lives and works in is devoid of people. Despite the lack of humans in the majority of her work, her images are bursting with life. Life that 'has just happened', scenes that are full of tension, like a crime scene without any obvious visual evidence. Her images are bursting at the seams with formality, yet they often seem at first glance casual and off the cuff, this is one of her many strengths.

Not only is she a strong photographer of her own urban environment, but she is a committed experimenter of all forms of cultural image creation, polaroids, and TV and screen images for example all speak volumes about her vision of her own culture.

Annene's influences shine strongly through all her work, David Lynch, Gary Winnongrand, just to name a few. Ultimately though what makes Annene such a worthy contact is her ability to sequence a body of work that expresses and idea, even if on the surface that idea seems bleak, it's the kind of truth that Robert Adams mentions that we need more of in our lives these days.

1page 20 Along Some Rivers Photographs and Conversations Pub Aperture 2006 ISBN 1-59711-004-3

Lonely Radio


Flickr is full of ego, and to quote TISM "stinking bravado", myself included, but when it comes to unassuming visions of the world around them, Lonely Radio takes the cake, he is the quiet achiever of Flickr.

What I like about Andrew's work is the detail, he sees so much in the minutiae of our suburban lives that when isolated from it's surroundings it becomes interesting.

Signs and graffiti on their own are good fodder for the photographer, but after a while it becomes less than interesting. However Andrew's work has a quirkiness about it that makes you do a double take, the strong use of wide angle lenses and tight cropping make his images really stand out.

For example he has a shot of Banksy graf somewhere in Prahran in his stream, the use of framing just proves my point, this image is a poignant moment in 21st century living, 21st century suburban living. Made as much so by Banksy's graf as Andrew's composition.

Not to mention his insights into the contemporary Rock/Music scene in Melbourne

Again a wonderful photographer and must have in your contacts, if you have a Flickr account.

You do have a flickr account don't you…

Bill Owens

A 70's photographer whose work I've always admired

My little project on blogging fellow flickrnauts has ground to a halt; sadly. I wanted to use images from their streams, but it seems a lot of folks want to protect their images and copyright. Fair enough; so I guess I'll just link to their streams, and just talk about their images without actually displaying them.


In my, 23 months or so on flickr I have been fortunate to encounter several photographers, whose style and approach I admire, digiboy is one of those people, who I happen to have known before.


One of the aspects of digiboy's work is the way he uses the simplest of cameras to produce remarkably evocative images that are inherently dark and moody. If I was to ever wander the streets of Japan where a lot of of digiboy's work has been shot, I would be constantly looking over my shoulder.

Digiboy's understanding of light is superlative, his appreciation of the most mundane details outstanding.

Some people find this kind of bleak vision difficult, but I prefer images that I consume, to ask more questions than provide answers.

Even though I knew digiboy, before signing up to flickr, he is also one of my contacts who delights and surprises me on a regular basis.

Barb from Flickr

One contract has ended for the year, so time is now starting to free up a little, as a consequence I am going to attempt a series of articles on photographers I've encountered online at flickr, in the last couple of years.


In my, 23 months or so on flickr I have been fortunate to encounter several photographers, whose style and approach I admire, Barb is one of those people.

This image is one of hers and is one of those classic, formal street shots that speaks as much about the street it was taken in as it does about the photographer itself.

I particularly like the way the eye wanders around the image in a loose yet cohesive way. The sparseness of the image is actually a furphy, the image is rich in minor details that all add up to a wholeness that is rewarding in one sense and simply matter of fact without really being a documentary photograph in another sense. Not a single element of the picture plane has been wasted. Barb's stream is littered with these images, her sense of composition incredibly strong, and her colour sense is understated.

I'm glad to have met her in person and am happy to have her in my growing list of contacts on flickr.

Is TV Dead?

Jeff over at, Buzzmachine argues eloquently about the demise of TV, the head honcho of the BBC even attempts to refute Jeff's claims. I've long been a fan of the idea grass roots TV that is driven by viewers choice not some programmer's idea of what we want to see, with a sponsor leaning over their shoulder telling them what they are prepared to sponsor. Is this the beginning of the end of lowest common denominator Media?

We can only hope.

A couple of days ago, I commented on the fad that is HDR sweeping flickr, I have found another article on the matter

Oh to be financially capable of travel at a whim, or at least short notice, another exhibition in the States that I would love to see, talk about a who's who of photographers.

Where We Live: Photographs of America from the Berman Collection

  • Robert Adams
  • William Christenberry
  • William Eggleston
  • Joel Meyerowitz
  • Stepehen Shore
  • Joel Sternfield
  • George Tice

Just to mention a few.

About the show, from the Getty site itself:-
Bruce Berman, a film producer and head of Village Roadshow Pictures, hunts for photographic evidence of 20th-century American lifestyles—the homes, cars, churches, bars, and theaters that once comprised our national landscape. He channeled his respect for midwestern painters such as Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton and his love of the bold colors of Navajo weaving and quilts—not to mention his love of Technicolor movies—into a search for color photographs of the American landscape and built environment

Ah the dream of a bottomless pit of resources with plenty of flexible time to use it.

At Last a Voice of Dissent

Joerg over at Conscientious, has finally told it like it is regarding the HDR fad that is/was sweeping flickr these days, I vaguely remember reading about in the New York Times too. Mostly it is obviously poorly done and simply reeks of poor technical skills and a poor understanding of what a real HDR photograph should look like. Some discussion of these issues has occurred on flickr as well

This is an example of what an HDR photo should look like

Apologies to Joerg, as I got his name wrong, since edited to reflect this, again my apologies.

Narcissistically Distorted

Sundays - fuck!

No doubt about these cameras and their ability to distort and misrepresent eh? I mean a mobile phone will record what is presented to it, but it has no option to selectively focus, a fixed lens that is usually wide angle in nature, removing the need for focus and foreshortening everything in it's path, I mean really?

Surely I don't look like this?

Sony Ericsson k610i Phone

beer gadgets 'n flickr

New phone with increased resolution, the ability to blog to blogger from the phone, more features yet to be explored I'm sure. One thing though and I'm not sure if it's me or not, but the interface on this phone seems marginally more elegant than my k700i, wish I could make the text smaller though.

So I guess there's going to be a flurry of cheesy mobile phone shots in these parts over the coming days, unless the novelty wears off quicker than that?

There is talk afoot of a Darkroom session amongst some of the Melbourne Flickrnauts, in the Melbourne Silver Mine Pool. Interesting idea, might be fun?

Simon Roberts a European Photojournalist, has some powerful imagery on his site I particularly like the Polar Nights series. Sadly It's a flash driven site so you will have to go poke around in there yourself to find the series I'm talking about, yet another reason not to use flash [imho].

The weather patterns here in Melbourne at the moment are perfect for photography, a brief shower followed by, sunshine provides glorious colour as all the dust is washed off things and the moisture glows beautifully in the sunshine.

Small update here as I sip my first coffee for the day in readiness to head out and snap of off the odd shot or two, this little people project is intriguing and insightful, thanks to felix42 over at delicious

Geek-dom Overload

My good friend Bart, a fellow flickrnaut and top notch graphic designer, pointed me to this this morning.

pic-lens icon

The interwebs being the interwebs I dutifully went for a look. Downloaded and installed it. What's the big deal here, I thought? I can't see any immediate changes to my browser, Safari, and there is only an option to turn it off in the Menu-bar, but once I found the sweet spot I was sorely impressed!

Burtynsky Photographer

And now for something completely different, Edward Burtynsky's web-site is as beautiful as it is thought provoking, photographer or not you will be moved by the images and text here.

Thanks to barb for the heads up.

Christmas Has Come Early This Year

Tom Waits is about to release a new album in November, according to Anti-Records, WOOT!


Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards is a wide-ranging collection of 54 songs - including 30 new recordings – equaling over three hours of rare and never-before heard music. The set comes complete with a 94-page booklet.

Each of the three CDs is separately grouped and sub-titled – ‘Brawlers’, ‘Bawlers’ and ‘Bastards’ – to capture the full spectrum of Waits’ ranging and roving musical styles. ‘Brawlers’ is chock full of raucous blues and full-throated juke joint stomp; ‘Bawlers’ comprises Celtic and country ballads, waltzes, lullabies, piano and classic lyrical Waits’ songs while ‘Bastards’ is filled with experimental music and strange tales.

In addition to the new work, Orphans features a number of songs originally recorded for the cinema, the theatre and other projects but which now find a home on a Waits’ album for the first time. They include his unique interpretations of songs by such extraordinarily diverse talents as The Ramones, Daniel Johnston, Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht, Leadbelly, Sparklehorse, Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac.

"Orphans are rough and tender tunes. Rhumbas about mermaids, shuffles about trainwrecks, tarantellas about insects, madrigrals about drowning,” says Waits. “Scared, mean orphan songs of rapture and melancholy. Songs that grew up hard. Songs of dubious origin rescued from cruel fate".

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards (Anti Records) is Waits’ first release since 2004’s much-lauded Real Gone. The album was written and produced by Waits with his wife and long-time collaborator Kathleen Brennan and is released on Tuesday 21th November 2006.

Next week is the beginning of Folio assessment at work, this is how I stay sane, by leaning on the fence and just staring out into the distance.

melbourne panorama [the calm before the storm]

Surrealism Personified

Just when you think you've seen it all on flickr up pops another great image maker.

This set by akiruna, reminds me of the power to transform the world into something that simply re-affirms our existence, dare I say it it fills me with—hope?

Blogged Elsewhere on the Web

On the Digital Photography School Blog in fact, in an article about using light to add impact to your photography.


Must See Exhibition

Sadly I have not the cash to visit this show currently showing at SFMOMA, in San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, but err if you know anyone who wants to throw some cash around, I'll gladly go there and give a full report on it. I guess though the best way to see a show like this is Google the names of the exhibitors and put together your own exhibition of work.

The body of work I'd most like to see is that by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel who are best known for their book 'Evidence' (1977) which used images found from a 3 year search of files and archives of over one hundred American government agencies, educational institutions, and corporations, and published 59 of them re-contextualised as a work of photographic art.*

A view I've long held and felt fairly passionate about but never can quite articulate it as well as I'd like to.

I guess the closest I will come to seeing this body of work is owning the book now reprinted and available of course on Amazon.



Our Fridge

A work in progress.

Thanks to Leunig for the extra socio-political punch this month.


Time Capsule

Yahoo are asking for contributions to a time capsule they are putting together.

…the Yahoo! Time Capsule sets out to collect a portrait of the world – a single global image composed of millions of individual contributions. This time capsule is defined not by the few items a curator decides to include, but by the items submitted by every human on earth who wishes to participate. We hope to reach a truly global expression of life on earth – nuanced, diverse, beautiful and ugly, thrilling and terrifying, touching and rude, serious and absurd, frank, honest, human.

They are asking for submissions in several themes themes, Love, Anger, Fun, Sorrow, Faith, Beauty, Past, Now, Hope, You. They are also asking for media in a variety of formats, text audio video and of course photography which according to the flickr blog entry where I found this, is leading the pack in terms of numbers.

I had two goes at uploading something, didn't work so at least I can say I gave it a try.

This is the image I tried to up load.

I chose Faith as the category that I wanted to contribute to. [I originally wanted to choose hope but the artist's idea or maybe Yahoo's idea of what that meant isn't quite how I define hope, perhaps more on that later.]

My description.
A tree against a wall, co-existing, struggling; yet surviving. I believe in humanity's ability to adapt and to survive to co-exist, I believe that what we make is beautiful—most of the time—and how that, what we make, interacts with it's environment defines us.

Let me ask both of my readers this question then –
How do you define the word hope?

History of Photography

Curious about the beginnings of photography? Start with this history of photography site by Dr. Robert Leggat.

Old Geek news...

... a blog, by Google, aimed at Mac users

A Quote

Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.


So it seems that, in America anyway, some people have the same kinds of concerns now as, "The new Topographers" did in the 70's.

Jeff Brouws, is a photographer who looks like he is grappling with similar ideas and subject matter.

[edit]:- Jeff also has a new book out, check it out on Amazon.com

This then begs the question, "What is new?"

The way I see it these days, nothing, as we are all human and at some level we are still the same we could ever possibly be. Telling our stories in our own unique way is, I guess, what makes art new in some respects, a lesson learnt at Uni, but only now am I REALLY understanding it, exacerbated by the fact that I am about to hit the gallery proposal writing scene again.

Robert Adams in an essay in his book, "Beauty in Photography Essays in Defense of Traditional Values" discusses this issue far more eloquently than I ever could, if you live in Melbourne get in touch I'm happy to lend you the book.

This image belongs to Jeff Bouws and is used here with permission.

Interesting Photo-Blog

Thanks to Streunerin on flickr for this heads up to a blog that is actually worth reading, by JM Colberg, I really like the title too!

Conscientious - a weblog about fine-art photography (and more)


..through my archives is a common pursuit these days, shooting seems to be more of a rarity than I'd care to admit.

By archives I mean both my flickr stream and my iView catalogues.

During a recent trawl, a handful of images caught my eye, that reminded me of Lewis Baltz's body of work from the 1970's called, "The New Industrial Parks Near Irvine, California". Baltz and Robert Adams along with Joe Deal are three of the main influences on me during my early years as an artist.

That recognition lead then to a search for more similar images, which turned out to be a fruitful one. Resulting in a new set. Sadly flickr won't let you create a set without a title so it's called "."

I am really starting to appreciate the benefits of the flickr site these days. It is a playground and place to experiment a place to bounce ideas off other folks. Part of me wants to treat this whole experience as a legitimate exhibition space, but part of me has trouble dealing with that idea too.

An offshoot to this trawling of the archives is that in those early naive days I went nuts uploading far too much, not being tough enough on myself. I was seduced by the speed and ease of digital.

All that has changed now, oh what a difference a year makes, [well nearly two actually].


Geeky Stuff

Technorati need to release the spiders. Do it NOW! Technorati Profile

A Year Ago...



busy busy busy....

Published Online?

An online collaborative magazine has asked me to submit images for it's first publication, Metroblossom is:-

a collaborative space for exploring the interaction between humans and the nonhuman world. In particular, those presenting their work through this project are interested in the informal and undocumented life with which we are in constant interaction. Through these explorations, metroblossom argues that all life is meaningful, important, and more than worthy of our recognition.

They have chosen 4 images from my utterly urbane series.

Sunshine one [for Kent Johnson]

The images have yet to be published and I had to submit an artists statement as well, which in itself was a good process to go through, as I re-discovered some old bits and bobs of ideas quotes text that had been piling up in various places that I put to good use.


yehaaaa it's thong season

On an unrelated note:-
Have a Polaroid?
Want to keep on shooting with it?
Want a Polaroid?
This is the website for you then

Self referential...

...how POMO!

I just realised today that, a while back I grumbled about the physical size of contemporary photographic art, in Melbourne in particular.

And 2 days ago, I was pleased to announce an award given to a photographer who's work I admire whose most recent body of work, is in fact small and finely printed.

*Cue spooky Twilight Zone type music*

Some Photo Tips

Here's a nicley distilled list of tips to help take better photos. I've just used the headings, the whole article is over on MSN. Aimed manily at people who like to wander the world at large camera in hand.

  • Lens hoods, Use them Always!
  • Steady your camera, if you want sharp images do everything in your power to make them so.
  • Get outside more often, seeing what is going on around you is a good thing, learning to read light is a lifelong craft.
  • Get outside when others don't. Capitalise on dramatic lighting situations.
  • Find an unusual viewpoint.
  • Keep the composition and the background simple.
  • Use selective focus carefully.
  • Hurry up and wait."Fortune favours the prepared"
  • Don't get caught with your camera down.
  • Think about different ways of framing your subject, try them out.
  • Texture, kind of self explanatory really.
  • Mood, use it to your advantage.
  • Meaningful juxtaposition, even though I hate that word juxtaposition, it is so true, and in the urban environment everywhere.
  • Always bracket [in the beginning, once you understand the intricacies of exposure, this is a last resort, see hurry up and wait.]
  • Padded camera bag, handy but not essential.
  • Supplementary lenses, handy but learning to see with one lens first only improves your ability to see all the time.

I offer these tips to stem the "oh I'll fix it in photoshop" attitude that is becoming more and more prevalent these days.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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