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August 2007 Archives

August 1, 2007

Camera Raw in CS3

Poking around the interwebs this morning I found a small gem by none other than… Adobe Photoshop

A short video that shows, how to make a minor post exposure correction using the Raw Processor in CS3, which now allows you to open ANY file and process it. Being able to open ANY file in the raw processor is at last starting move phtoshop to become a real photographer's tool. A good thing in my opinion. I also like that you can work in full screen mode with the processor and everything you need is there.

However, I actually disagree with the way that the narrator makes the white balance adjustment, but that's a whole other story in itself.

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August 3, 2007

One Year Ago Today

S|w 1.2oo

Looking down, part of a larger project.

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August 4, 2007

Two Years Ago today

Anyone would think I had nothing to say at the minute.

204-126

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August 5, 2007

In The Beginning

This is where it all began, flickr even has, or is that had its own group

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August 7, 2007

Techniques

This article by Alec Soth got me wondering about techniques like using infrared with a red gel over the flash.

Are there any digital equivalents available to the average photographer?

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August 8, 2007

Some Exciting News

My e-book has been archived by the National Library of Australia, in their PANDORA project.

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August 10, 2007

Time Wasting 101

Googlefight

Feel the need to waste some time? Try this URL, type in two names and see who comes out the better.

For those who care Santa beats Jesus hands down! Jesus, 131,000,000 results - Santa, 301,000,000 results

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August 11, 2007

The List grows

In my search for a stable set of image uri's brenda has put me onto this site, theblackstripe.com, and this image is being hosted there.

Again the features are there like flickr, but as of this writing no signs of a "community" ie groups. The interface I would rate better than ipernity, and less funky than Multiply, but slightly more elegant.

I am disappointed that I can only seem to link back to one size photo as well? More to come over the coming days.

This is an interesting feature, a link to albums. And while ipernity and multiply might have this feature, I've yet to see/find them.

So I can for example link straight to the albums I create, but unlike flickr not to any slideshow feature? Hmmm?

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August 13, 2007

What is a 'Good' Photograph?

Recently on Alec Soth's blog, a famous photographer was quoted as saying

"where are all the good photographs...on flickr?"

This of course caused an uproar on flickr, with the usual glib one-liners and endless rants, that so characterise the web and online forums in general. Alec's blog had its fair share of comments too.[Along with a follow up] The most comments/replies I'd seen in a long time, on ANY blog and they pretty much followed the same patterns as the flickr discussion, except perhaps that, the voice of reason was more noticeable.

I've been mulling over this for a day or two, and have been wondering how to respond. The problem is firstly, you can't fight fire with fire, and secondly, a million monkeys with a million typewriters a good novel does not make, thirdly, who are the arbiters of 'taste' in the world of contemporary photography anyway?

These kinds of questions are difficult to answer at the best of times, a single blog entry is no place. Nor are forums like flickr central the place either. Factor in that digital photography by it's very spontaneous nature rarely encourage introspection of image or the image making process, or research into who, what, why or how an image is made or an image is even important, and you have a quagmire of outspoken views that may or may not enlighten the discussion. My experience is that people's bullshit meters require many years of fine tuning, and the bullshit in places like flickr central is so deep even chest high waders would not have most people.

My advice, is, if you are interested, ask yourself, who inspires you, then find out who inspired them, then ask yourself some questions, such as, what were their motivations, for doing what it is they did, and ask yourself, why you do what it is you do?

The Masters of Photography Website would be a good starting point, any text by John Szarkowski, is a definite plus, or maybe just peruse my book-list written some time ago.

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August 14, 2007

Funny

Some light hearted fun, today, thanks to barb over on flickr for the heads up.

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August 16, 2007

Testing

It has been brought to my attention recently by one of my peers here at PIC photographic imaging college, that, one of the digital cameras we have 'over exposes'. Which of course set of a train of thought in my head, and a discussion amongst the staff, about how to test the accuracy and consistency of digital CCD's.

Well I don't have an immediate response, however I will at some point map out the process we use to do this, as unlike analog, the process is a straight line one and may not be as straight forward as would appear on the surface.

*Sigh* yet another test to undertake and evaluate, why can't it just be all about making images.

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August 17, 2007

Testing Continued

Today, I setup a grey card on a wall and took a series of shots, using a tripod, and a Canon 5d, gradually over exposing and under exposing the greycard.

Here is the file that is exposed according to the meter. I will call this MIE, [Meter Indicated Exposure].

greycard meter indicated exposure

Here is the 2nd shot which is one stop over exposed. I will call this MIE +1.

grey card mie +1

Here is the 3rd shot two stops over-exposed, I will call this MIE +2

greycard mie +2

Clearly, given that MIE has the histogram to the left of centre and no RGB values anywhere near 127, I'm guessing that this CCD is NOT recording things correctly. Given that MIE+2 gives me a histogram that appears correct and a set of values closer to 127, I'm going to assume that, this camera, a brand new Canon 5d is under exposing by 1/2 to 1/3 a stop, the next file is far to bright and the histogram is way to far over to the right for it to even come close in this test.

There are several other issues that are bothering me about the results of this test, the vignetting, mainly, so much so I am going to attempt this again under more controlled conditions.

At one level this test is inconclusive, why is the CCD not recording an even set of values for example? So, I'm asking both my readers to stay tuned.

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August 18, 2007

Another Exhibition

gallery 124

So a week or so ago, I caught up with an old friend, we had lunch at a local pub. I walked there and back, it is a close pub.

Because I was walking I had a few beers and was wandering home in the cold blustery conditions feeling very merry, when I noticed a new gallery had opened near us. So with a little time up my sleeve, I stuck my head in to see what was up.

There was some great work on the walls very colourful and playful, with what seemed a somewhat Eastern influence.

So of course because I had a little dutch courage ion me I got chatting to the person on hand, and as a consequence I'm showing some work in the gallery.

Now before you both of my readers pencil in the dates in their diaries, two things, 1.this is a commercial gallery, 2. as a consequence I'm showing 2 or 3 pieces from my last show at Trocadero.

The way things are going I'm on a bit of high these days with getting my work archived on pandora and now this little local show.

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August 20, 2007

Games

My interest in Phone Cameras, and their uses is well know, thanks to a Oli over at flickr here's another use of phone cameras, for play.

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Do all light meters read for middle grey?

Some reading on exposure and Digital

"It turns out that camera meters are not actually calibrated to make whatever they see medium gray. Instead, they are calibrated, according to ANSI standards, to make whatever they see slightly darker than medium gray by about half a stop. Ansel Adams supposedly argued to have this changed but was unsuccessful."

This actual article, is more about Nikon cameras rather than exposure in particular, but in typical internet fashion this leads me to other worthwhile reading.

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August 22, 2007

Does Craft alone make a good photograph?

Ok so I need to get this off my chest. I've mentioned HDR before, it, as a technique seems to have waned a little, on flickr, but as I've been thinking about what makes a good photo, I'm still astounded by the levels of appreciation, for want of a better word, that it invokes in people.

Firstly let me make a point I'm not against the idea of HDR, in fact, when done well it is an interesting technique. But does technique alone made a good image? In my opinion no!

In fact craft should be secondary to the image or is that transparent?

Good photography should be about light, composition and moments in time, not how well an image can be manipulated in a piece of software.

David Vestal published his influential ‘The Craft of Photography’ in 1978 and twenty years ago‘ The Art of Black and White Enlarging (1984)’ stating that “Craftsmanship is emphasized, along with the perceptive seeing, feeling, and thinking that distinguish good personal printing from impersonal skill.”

As a technique, HDR and tone mapping is about skill, and means to an end not an idea born from seeing or experiencing .

More reading, click on the 'link' words then, download the pdf entitled, pixel perfect.

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August 24, 2007

Summer Art in Europe

documenta 12 is one of the reasons I guess that the tyranny of distance* still forms a part of the Australian Psyche.

"The documenta is regarded as the most important exhibition of contemporary art, drawing attention from all over the world. It was initiated in 1955 by the artist and art educator, Arnold Bode, in Kassel. After the period of Nazi dictatorship, it was intended to reconcile German public life with international modernity and also confront it with its own failed Enlightenment.

Nobody would have thought at that time that the exhibition, often called the One Hundred Day Museum, would become an unparalleled success. Nevertheless, the twelfth documenta will be taking place in summer 2007."

I only found this thanks the social nature of the web, thanks Charlie, if you're out there.

*Strangely wikipedia has no entry for Geoffrey Blainy's seminal work, and yet I am able to find, an article, that appears to refute the notion/s about distance and character. A disclaimer also, I have never actually read Blainey's book.

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August 25, 2007

Politics

Hmmmm?

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August 26, 2007

One Year Ago Today

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August 28, 2007

Measuring & Judging an Image on Screen

Is this image too dark?

I was recently asked by a friend from flickr if I could look at an image of hers and see if it was too dark. A quick visit to photoshop, and using the colour sampler tool proved that it wasn't, for the screen. However if I was to try and print this image yes some areas would fall off to darkness and probably be unacceptable as an image.

Curves Adjustment

Big deal I hear both my readers say, or is that 3 now? Well given that anecdotally, the majority of images are made these days to be seen on screen exposure and contrast are the least of most people's worries. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Personally I'm not sure?

Not wanting to get into a High versus Low Art argument, I like the fact that many many more people are exploring their lives and worlds using cameras of all shapes and forms. How to judge the merits of these images though?

None of course are worthless. everyone presses the button at the moment they do for SOME reason.

Unfortunately, technique forms a part of 'judgement' of an image from many levels. And of course people have their own means of 'measuring' these values, often, based on their own knowledge and experience, and their own willingness to 'ask questions' of themselves and the images they find interesting.

All this will hopefully mean more and more folks WILL ask some questions and seek answers, a positive thing me.

This is the slightly tweaked version.

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August 30, 2007

View Stats from Flickr?

flickr views.cwk (SS)

Something weird has been happening on my flickr stream, there has been 4 large spikes on my views which have prior to this month been creeping up slowly at a fairly even and consistent rate . I have no idea what is gong on, if anything my community participation has slipped markedly this year.

It is however kinda fun to get up each morning and see the views grow in leaps and bounds.

In other unrelated news, I'm popping into gallery 124 this morning for a publicity shot for the local paper, I'm participating in an 'international show', with artelisa and a bunch of other like minded photographers from flickr,

[wilhelmshaven-germany,
wasserturm (watertower),
8. october - 14. october 2007]
and I'm thinking about another show that's been on the back burner for some time now.

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About August 2007

This page contains all entries posted to musings from the photographic memepool [the shallow end] in August 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2007 is the previous archive.

September 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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