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May 2008 Archives

May 1, 2008

So much for history eh?

Looking at my stats this morning, I see that an image shot late 2005 and uploaded to flickr, then blogged has had its uri changed and now no longer shows the image on the page, how many other pages on my blog have had this occurred?

This then begs the question, should I fix it?

s2art_s phone-cam photography blog._ Search results for homepage-2
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

May 3, 2008

Picture Australia | Re-Picture Australia

Want to contribute to Australian Picture History? Got something to SAY about Australian history? Got some good photoshop skills? Great! Picture Australia, has opened it's archives and started a group on Flickr. The idea is to download an image or two and mash them up, with your own.

[More Instructions.]

Go for it.

May 7, 2008

lens culture: Beth Lilly

This woman, a fortune teller uses her mophone to help with her readings. But interestingly she claims,

...that being forced to stop at anytime anywhere to make three photos on the spot seems to have sharpened her eye as a photographer.

[From lens culture: Beth Lilly]

Well duh!

Now don't get me wrong I can be as sceptical as the next person, and I put very little faith in "fortune tellers" and the like. Lilly's results presented as triptychs, with some text elevate the images to another level of appreciation; however. They also piggyback onto the idea that, serendipity stills plays a major part in image making using lens. This is an underlying premise behind my series, "Neo-Documentary... aka...this is a photo of something, and it proves nothing".

Of course time and a level of alertness are required to produce major bodies of work this way, but hey most of us have 60+ years to explore prod and "see", don't we?

* Thanks to the ever lovely D for the heads up on the link.

May 9, 2008

Turn Your Point-and-Shoot into a Super-Camera | Lifehacker Australia

I've not yet tested this, but... woah!

[From Turn Your Point-and-Shoot into a Super-Camera | Lifehacker Australia]

What an awesome idea!

May 10, 2008

Nokia N82 Test Drive/Review

Form

It's a wrap!

Well, I was very impressed with this camera. Camera? But isn't Nokia a phone company, I hear you say? Yes that's right I said, camera. This device is obviously weighing in to compete with the Blueberries and iPhones of the world, oh; and by the way, you can also use it to make phone calls. During the time I had the Nokia N82, I highly doubt that I ever got beyond scratching the surface of this device's capabilities. As I only had the device for 2 weeks and Australian telco charges are prohibitive for me personally, I kept my use of the phone's web capabilities to a minimum. These being twitter and flickr, both via the web interface. [I've never been able to get my phone account to utilise any overseas services a fault of Optus or me, not the Nokia, I feel.]

Having said that, I set up the phone to access my flickr account directly, and was able to choose what I do with each image, once captured. A double edged sword, as there was, then, another layer of decision making added to the process, with it's resulting costs, if I wasn't careful! So I had to think long and hard about each image after I captured it.

A phone or Camera?

The camera functions on the phone are extensive and given it's whopping 5 megapixel chip, it actually compares to my Nikon Coolpix 5400, bought in 2004. The only thing that my Nikon Coolpix 5400 does that the Nokia, didn't was capture in raw. The cost of adding storage, was too prohibitive for a 2 week loan camera and as a consequence, I twice emptied the camera to keep space available. [The phone hols 116 photos in the highest settings]. The card seems to be of a type not made by 3rd parties, thereby adding to the cost so if a cheaper one came on the market I would definitely buy one. Of course, like most camera phones, these days, it has all the usual functions, white balance, shooting modes, and choices for colour and special effects, and then some. What many don't have is, ISO settings. Where ever possible I try to keep my noise in my images to a minimum and one way to achieve this is using low ISO settings, the trade off being blur. The different flash modes were a bonus as well. And of course what is nearly the killer feature, on the Nokia N82, for me was the zoom lens.

Output?

Something strange happened to my photography though while I was testing the camera. I seemed to have cut back or dropped off in my output. Was this because now I had so many features to choose from? Or was it because the newness of the camera slowed me down? I'm not sure and it will take some time for me to work that one out, I suspect.

Bring Bring.... Hello?

As for the phone itself, well it was very good, the quality of sound and reception was impeccable, far superior to my Sony Ericcson K610i. The first few days things were a little slow and awkward for me, as I re-learnt a new interface, but after a few days of phone calls txt messages and photography, I felt pretty comfortable about it all.

The phone aspect of the Nokia N82, as I said was exceptional, my only beef about it was the size of the keys. I found them a little difficult to operate especially, while using the phone to send SMS messages. Perhaps a 40 something, 190cm, 90kg+ bloke should get used to this idea, who knows.

I'm going to assume I'm like most people, reading the manual supplied was a bit of a hindrance, and it wasn't until I downloaded another pdf of the instruction manual that I managed to nut out a few issues, such as predictive text, and adding symbols. Some of the features of the phone that I thought were interesting were, the office suite, and pdf reader. Useful but for a desk-bound person like myself probably overkill. The barcode scanner seemed useful too, but, time just ran out when it came to working out how to use it and sent it up.

In Hindsight

So this phone or camera or whatever you want to call it, is a powerful tool in this day and age of portable digital devices. If I was less desk-bound and in need of a powerful phone/camera/productivity tool, I would consider purchasing the Nokia N82, just for the camera alone. Of course I've never owned a palm or blueberry or any organiser type device, so I guess I'm not that qualified to pass much in the way of judgement. As a photographer though, experimenting with the idea of using a phone daily, almost hourly, this is one killer camera. Personally, and this won't apply to many people, I do however, have reservations about it as a photographic tool as the choices are endless, and these choices move the phone right into the realm of fairly serious amateur photography. However from my perspective I am more interested in what I call gestural photography, something that is about time and space, and operating in a totally intuitive response mode. "Don't Think Just Shoot", in a totally stripped back tool kind of way; where all you are working with is the light and and your own ability to compose an image.

USB & Battery

One last note. USB connectivity was an issue for me, and battery life may have been an issue for me. Given Nokia's poor support of Mac users in the past, it's unlikely that I would buy this camera/phone. I prefer to use USB based tools like, Image Capture™ to control what, and how, I download from camera to computer, and after plugging the USB cable into my computer and the phone, nothing seemed to happen. Bluetooth was adequate for this task during time I had the camera, but in an extended time frame where I am trying to keep my images organised over several projects, it may not be enough. The battery life on the camera was poor, [I tended to get about 36 hours out of charge] but again I doubt I had set the phone up to get the optimum from it, and I'm sure I was not the 1st to test the phone either, so who knows what state the battery was in when i received it. Despite all this I enjoyed my time with this camera, and was ecstatic, at the quality of sound offered by the phone, all round a great tool. Thanks womworld.com for giving me the opportunity to play AND work with this powerful and flexible tool. One day I'll get a couple of prints made from the images I created using the Nokia N82.

May 11, 2008

reality bytes: stunnning street photography

From South African photographer, Dale Yudelman

[From reality bytes]

Thanks to tk for the heads-up on the link

May 13, 2008

Optus announces it will release iPhone too | NEWS.com.au

GASP!

[From Optus announces it will release iPhone too | NEWS.com.au]

Perfect timing as my current contract ends in a few months.

Three Point Five Years...

...and 4000 images later

IMG 2866_festerville

What a strange sometimes twisted, and funny journey it's been.

May 18, 2008

Flickriver

Another way to look at flickr images

[From Flickriver: s2art's favorite photos]

It's been a while since I wandered off aimlessly from flickr, here's something I found in that process. Not sure about the black though.

Blatant Self-Promotion

Our national broadcaster has blogged about my trolley project.

[From Articulate: Lots and lots of photos of shopping trolleys]

Firstly, I am surprised that the ABC has a blogging system in place, secondly, I'm glad some one else, would appreciate the now finished project.

May 21, 2008

Lens Culture: David Maisel

David's work reminds me of Joe Deal's seminal body of work in the 70's entitles "The Fault Zone", and perhaps not surprisingly, shot in LA as well.

[From lens culture: David Maisel]

Prior to 1995, this kind of work would have taken a few years to filter here to Australia, and maybe longer to make it to the shelves of some of Melbourne's Colleges of Tertiary Education. Now time is an inconsequential aspect of seeing this kind of work. I wonder is this a good thing or a bad thing?

May 24, 2008

Hetty Johnson, serves up stormy tea.

Hetty Johnson, please, I prefer coffee over tea.

Recently, an opening of an art exhibition by artist Bill Henson was cancelled, after Hetty Johnston complained to the authorities. Allegations that both federal and state laws were broken have been laid, at this point no one seems to know for sure who will be charged, with either the federal or the state charges. The Federal charges are apparently different to the sate ones, being that the Roslyn Oxely Gallery's website contained some of Henson's work depicting people of indeterminate ages in a variety of stages of undress. The state charges it seems are being laid because of the invitation that was printed and no doubt widely distributed.

What perplexes me is why now? Also, how does the website figure in all this? Henson has been using these kinds of models for over 20 years now. I attended both the NGV and AGNSW retrospectives of his work in 2005, as did over 115,000 other people, [at the AGNSW alone] not one single complaint then, at all, and to quote Miss Johnston, "period".

Some of Henson's supporters have suggested that the current Senate investigation about the representation of children in the media has been the catalyst for this, I tend to agree. There has been a real shift in the last few years, in public perceptions, about photography and how it is used. Is this a good thing or a bad thing, I'm not sure. One of my hopes about the democratisation of photograph digital promised seems to have blown up in our faces.

Personally, Bill Henson's prints inspire awe in me. The size of the prints alone would humble anyone. His mastery of lighting and technique divides photographers, both for and against. The richness and intensity of the colours he gets from his prints is probably only something I will ever aspire to. Seeing his prints displayed in a gallery moves the work to the experience that I suspect many early Christian's would have experienced seeing art for the first time in their Cathedrals.

None of this translates to the web or the small screen, the place where Mr Rudd made his sweeping judgements, nor to small postcard size reproductions, the image no doubt the Miss Johnson based her opinions on.

Over the years I have felt uncomfortable with some of the images depicted in Bill Henson's prints, but in the end the depth richness and subtlety of the prints wins out. As a bonus, Miss Johnson has done society a favour by generating some debate about what constitutes art in particular lens based art, Bill Henson's prints are indeed Art with a captial 'A'.

Edit, 2008.05.23 11:00
Here's an interesting read, and this, also, if you have a delicious account, check out the links I've dug up so far, you'll need to add me to your network first though.

May 25, 2008

We heart it / Visual bookmark for everyone

Visual Bookmarking, like del.icio.us for pictures

[From We heart it / Visual bookmark for everyone]

Go on you know you want to.

May 26, 2008

The Nature of Distance

About May 2008

This page contains all entries posted to musings from the photographic memepool [the shallow end] in May 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2008 is the previous archive.

June 2008 is the next archive.

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

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