December 2006 Archives

Colour & Flock

Well a simple test seems to indicate that Flock like Firefox doesn't use colorsync like Safari, ah well.

Safari & Flock Compared

Flock The Browser For Web 2.0


Been Using Flock a fair bit of late, hats off to Lord Of The Flies over on flickr for prompting me to give it another go.

Flock's flickr stream bar

This browser is very much geared towards to Web 2.0 and the social aspect of the internet.

Flickr forms a major part in it's design and use, along with delicious, blogging and of course news feeds. Clicking on a small icon that appears in the bottom right corner of any photo on flickr allows you to launch that person's stream at the top of the browser window and then very quickly scroll across it to see what's new in thumbnail form. If something grabs you you can click on it to view the larger picture and entire page below.

Flock Uploader

It has a built in photo-uploader, that allows quick and easy uploading directly from it's interface. Tagging is real easy and adding to your own sets is an easy next step after adding a title description and tags.

Flock Snippets Bar

Another great feature is the snippets bar at the bottom of the screen, here you can store text and images for later use.

Flock & Bookmarking

Bookmarking has built right in, this took me a little while to realise but was most likely due to my own ignorance more than poor design on flock's part. You can choose to share or not to share your bookmark/s as you work.

All in all this browser is shaping up to be a good all-rounder. I wish however that the curser when clicked around on the screen didn't keep disappearing, and I have yet to test flock for colour fidelity.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

.  .  o  .  .

A Sad Week

Bruce Fraser and Ruth Bernhard both died before Christmas.

Farewells; like eulogies, are difficult at the best of times for me anyway.

Bruce was responsible for creating the colour profile "bruceRGB", a profile we use at my work, my condolences to his family.

Ruth was a little known woman artist renowned for her study of the female form, who was mentored by several of the greats in the history of photography, I hope I get to live as long as you did Ruth.

The Last Post

Here's the final word on the issue of Photoshop and their money grubbing attitude, at least they responded very quickly, pity about the grammar and spelling.

Dear Sir,
Thankyou for your email.

Above is a link that has information about Photoshop CS3 Beta Version.

I certainly understand your frustration about not being able to fully use the Trial.

Though it is a trial version and only last for 2 days, it might be possible to download the trial onto another computer, I hope this may be helpful?

Adobe Customer pride themselves on being good at what they do, and giving 100% commitment in all they do.

We of course are binded by rules , that for example apply to trial versions being available for a certain period of time.

I hope this is of some assistance.

Warmest Regards and Season's greetings are sent to you!



Well I guess for a change*, I have egg on my face, I can't find the read-me file that I could have sworn allowed you to use an older Photoshop Licence to extend the beta of the Photoshop CS3. It seems I was wrong. I cannot find the file in question and the only read-me that comes close only talks about upgrading to CS2, ah well. Looks like Photoshop might be going to take a step back in our program at PIC? There are alternatives.

I've also e-mailed the support team at Photoshop to express my concerns over this issue. Part of me wants to think that they will take notice, but another is more realistic.

Here is a copy of the e-mail I sent:-

Hi I am an educator/artist/photographer, I teach photography and photoshop, to post secondary students, over 100 students a year in fact. Photoshop has been the main photo editing tool taught in our college for many years.

Needless to say I was excited to be given an opportunity to trial the beta version of CS3.

However, my disappointment sank to great depths, after speaking to Technical help today and was told that older Photoshop licence numbers can NOT be used to extend the 2 day trial period of CS3.

Given that I am unable to reasonably evaluate the software, I will no longer be in a position to advise as to it's suitability for my students. The outlay for my college is very high and I am not prepared to pay for a product that MAY not suit our needs.

I will be advising ALL my future students to seek out and find alternatives to Photoshop, and personally will investigate options open to myself and my students for cheaper smaller and faster applications to use to edit their photographs.

Yours Sincerely

Stuart Murdoch

*For those of you who know me this is a joke.

Update on Extending The Beta License On CS3

So now I ring the help line and get put through to tech help. Tech help claim that it is not possible to extend the life of the licence beta with an older license number, and could I send them the file in question where I read that this could be done.

This is spiralling out of control

I have to find the file and send it back to them!

What ever happened to customer service? The shear fact I was told NO you must have a CS2 licence to do this blew me away! Keep going Adobe, you app is looking less and less likely to be the application of choice taught in MY college

Extending the life of Photoshop CS3's Beta

Wating Wating Waiting

There is apparently a legal workaround with older versions of Photoshop to extend the beta's life, I am still waiting however to hear back from Adobe for the answer. I guess it's to be expected given the Christmas period and all?

Save The Australian Photographic Portrait Prize

The campaign to try and re-instate the Citi-bank Australian Photographic Portrait Prize, is well under way. We are starting to receive responses from galleries and curators, and we've had some input from political campaign manager types as well. Kent is constantly tweaking the site [if you haven't yet signed the petition please do so now!]. You can even check out previous winners of the prize to let the gallery know people are interested.

Silent Night

I may not be in a position to post over the next 4 days or so. I promise to return with a vengeance AFTER Christmas.

Lost for words


Save the Australian Photographic Portrait Prize now has it's own site please sign the petition and help re-instate this important cultural event.

Less is More..

...and popular isn't always the best, I'm told that this photo-blog is popular, I can see why it's popular but that doesn't make it good work. It is all obviously processed in a post production tool like photoshop. Over processed at that!

A Bit Over 24 Hours Later

Photoshop Splash Screen Day 2

As I ran a workshop in Photoshop over the weekend I didn't get much of a chance to have a play with Photoshop CS3. One thing though I learnt was that my ability to convert my raw files using Photoshop 7 has been removed! When I delete the beta version hopefully this will correct itself? Another thing I learnt is that you can only use a CS2 license not a CS license number to activate the full functionality of the beta software.

Why am I NOT surprised? Of course Photoshop are determined to sell you the latest, fair enough too I guess, they are a company they need to continue to make money. What worries me though is the must have the latest and greatest mentality that exists in these kinds of things.

Everything I do in photoshop revolves around curves, levels, adjustment layers and layer masks, all features that have been available since version 5. Sure 16 bit editing* has come in since then, sure, the History Palette has also been implemented since then, and sure the Lens Correction filter has been an added bonus as well, do I NEED any of these features, no. Well the 16 bit editing is a bit of a must but as for the rest, whatever. But hey I open an image I crop, I adjust levels, I burn and dodge a little I emphasise colour slightly, I sharpen, all of this is gone globally and or locally on an image, do I need any of the other guff no, but more importantly do my students?

What my students need is to be able understand what constitutes good exposure either digital or analogue, what constitutes good lighting, and good composition, the rest is simply workflow and can almost be automated, on a global image level anyway.

So, do I need photoshop CS2 or 3? No! Would I appreciate it if as an educator I was given a real opportunity to find the strengths and weaknesses of an application by trying it out properly, so I can then share this knowledge with my students. Abso-fucking-lutely. Is this ever going to happen, I severely doubt it.

I want my students to understand first principles, I want my students to understand the idea of finding a workaround, I want my students to be creative and critical thinkers, so sorry Adobe, I'm off to find a creative solution to the problem of modern day digital photography editing and I beginning to doubt that Photoshop CS3 is part of that solution.

*I am however still waiting for TRUE 16 bit editing and while we are at it, non-destructive pixel editing and correct colour handling, I can only hope and dream I guess?

Call me a whore, but....

JPG mag has a voting system in place where you can upload and vote on image, if successful you might get your image in the hard copy of the magazine.

I've submitted one image to this months theme, I'd appreciate it both my readers voted.

Why do I feel so dirty?

Photoshop CS3!

Photoshop CS3's default interface

Photoshop CS 3 is now available in beta!

More learning is just around the corner, so I can keep my photoshop workshops current.

Edit. So I tried my CS Licence number and hey presto that doesn't work so it looks like I get a peek at it for a grand total of two days!

Australian Bushfires

Bushfire tag screengrab for my blog

The Australian Bush-fires have had an impact on flickr.

That speaks volumes in my opinion!

Will this bring an onslaught of "Art" images revolving around the devastation as has been mentioned in other blogs out there? Personally I am interested in the scarification of the landscape, and will venture out there, camera or two in hand, when it all dies down, might even pull out the 5 x 4?

NSW Portrait Exhibition?

Outside the NGV

A Grass roots campaign, has begun to attempt to re-instate the Citi-bank Portrait Photography prize and exhibition at the AGNSW*.

There is a flickr group that allows you to showcase your best portrait in an effort to show the folks at AGNSW* what they are missing out on, as well.

*Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia

Citizen Photojournalism?

Barb has had her image of the sunset over the beach published online by the age

Upcoming Photo Exhibition


Thanks to the interwebs and word of mouth by one of my students, I have some work showing in Melbourne.

The Discarded Object Poster Project, which both myself and barb have submitted work to, will be opening Tuesday 12th, at Bus Gallery Passenger Studio Space, 117 Lt Lonsdale St, 6 - 8 pm.The show runs, until Sunday 17th December. Tours to view the posters around the city will take place on Wednesday 13th and Sat 16th at 12pm, leaving from Bus Gallery.

I never would have thought that word of mouth and the internet would have played a part in my creative output

Weather Conditions, & Photography?

under the dirty skies

Some would argue that summer is the best time to make photographic images. In Australia, it's the worst time, unless you can be at your location as the sun comes up, or be there an hour before it starts to go down. However this week has proved to be an exception. The haze created by the bush-fires in the countryside around Melbourne, is changing contrast in a way that I've never had to even contemplate before? If it wasn't for the preparations I'm getting into for my 2007 show I'd be out there madly testing and shooting to see what I can get, particularly with film.

Fortunately many others have been shooting around Melbourne in these adverse conditions.

Image courtesy of barb.


Photography & Memory?

A recent flickr article, on the flickr blog prompts me to once again ponder, the meaning of memory and photography, after all is not memory one of the major defining factors that makes us human? The article basically suggested surprise at photography's ability to remember to aid it and amplify it.

And amazing how the description on a photo in Flickr can be part of our personal idiolect.
But also amazing is the fact that it was posted 23 months ago now.

Memory or a Gestalt test?

Take this image on the left for example, a series of thumbnails, of my sets, some of which relate to times and places from as long as 2 years ago to more recently. Several memories automatically return as a consequence of looking at the thumbnails alone. I am reminded for example that we travelled extensively in the years 2004 and 2005.

I too am amazed at how much extra information comes back from looking at the thumbnails alone.

What however of a photo that has is not of anything readily identifiable? What kind of memories does it jog, for me or for another viewer? Does it, this other photo, has less value than the one where I can myself in time and space exactly and maybe even remember the other external stimuli that was going on around me? This is a sense that I often get as I flip though 20 years or so of proof sheets too, some recent proofs have even ended up on flickr.

This is a powerful feeling and one that grows in importance constantly, and perhaps is one of the reasons why photography has become such an important cultural tool in the last 150 years.

How Flickr Got Started

Like all good legends this one is scant on details, but a good read nonetheless

Not So Brief After All?

Ok so shoot me. In the last few days I've managed to take a small step back and breathe a little, there is light at the end of the tunnel after-all. So without further ado I am going to ramble on for a few sentences, my apologies to both my readers if you came here for something scintillating?


I mentioned recently that I'd been in the hills for a few days, photos on flickr to come, it was a small school excursion, that had me in the hills. Whilst there, I had a "discussion" with another photographer regarding, craft and image making with a camera, and the resulting images, or rather prints.

Basically the photographer felt that the image was paramount, the act of making the image or capturing the moment, the only motivation needed all else was secondary.

Being a camp and a weekend, I was in no mood to try and get him to think any other way.

This particular photographer is prolific, perhaps too prolific. He carries his 35mm film camera everywhere, a good thing I might add, he makes a lot of images, also a good thing. What he doesn't do is take the time to print his images in a way that makes them exceptional. So today I then wondered why not just use a 2 mega-pixel point and press, or a mobile phone? Why lug around a camera tha requires extensive input, pre-exposure and post exposure to make an image? Lo-fi cameras such as my Sony Ericsson Mobile Phone camera and my wife's Minolta 4 mega-pixel camera, now do an adequate job of representing the world placed in front of them, under the right conditions.

This then got me thinking about cameras and our relationship to them. Understanding how these machines work and appreciating their limitations forms a major part of the process of image making. If someone can let go of the technology and understand what a camera is and isn't capable of this act can potentially lead to images that push the boundaries of what a photograph is and what a photograph says.

After nearly 20 years of image making using a variety of film formats from 126 through to 5 x 4 inches, as well as several pro-sumer digital formats, I've come to appreciate the things I've learnt about light and surfaces and composition. I've come to learn the limitations of film, paper, Charged Coupler Devices, digital files and lenses. I've also come to appreciate the way the camera, hides, lies and distorts. Nothing gives me greater joy than to see a well printed image of something that I think I can recognise, as most definitely a photograph of something, but needs a second look to understand exactly what it is.

Only superb craftsmanship can produce this kind of image, and my understanding of image making is that there is a whole chain of inter-relationships that depend on each other to produce quality images. Once one of these links are broken, the results are cut loose and float uncontrollably.

Time For Reflection?

Just returned from a day or two away, in the hills, with no web access.

I'm thinking of taking a brief hiatus from blogging.

To quote, John Cato, one of the men attributed with setting up photographic studies at a Tertiary level in Melbourne.

“ I use a camera”

Narrative - Story Telling

An interesting approach to story telling, and narrative is used on this Website of Tim Hetherington 's work

About this Archive

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

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