As an artist who attempts to educate, I'm faced with many technological conundrums. This esaay, beautifully broken down for reading, on the web, very eloquently articulates many of these conundrums.
[From the art garret]
And to think it was all written in the late 1990's!
A good read about the cultural shift in attitudes towards photography.
What I wonder, though sometimes, is, how much of it is amplified by our memories and stories of others being questioned. After-all, a recent thread in the Melbourne pool on the matter, didn't have me shouting abuse, when I learned the protagonist had called the 'authority figure' a "wanker"
This image was made from inside a stationary car.
The light AND dark were what drew me in.
The 'colour' of the light, a contributing factor as well. Pre-digital, I would probably NOT have contemplated making this image. The technical considerations, costs, and the effort involved to produce a quality result, may have outweighed the actual result.
The question remains though, would I have even "seen" this image pre-digital? Has digital allowed me to see more or better?
Also given the recent bruhaha over Henon's work, how many people can appreciate the power that Digital has unleashed on the world of photography? How many will understand, the dichotomy of photography, that is; the 'representation' of an object and that of an 'expression of an idea'?
This article on Luminous landscape, is, I guess typical. In that lot's of quasi-scientific posturing is made about testing. Perhaps the target audience appreciates this. I personally think it is over complicated.
[From Some Noise About Noise]
The final paragraph says it all though for me, and given my understanding about noise in a digital file and how it is created, actually defeats the intention of the article.
My advice on avoiding noise, in digital files? Expose correctly and never ramp up your ISO settings, unless you are absolutely stuck. This necessitates the carrying of a tripod, something I've done for 20+ years, and unless I'm prepared to shoot wide open, unavoidable. Don't want to carry a tripod, shoot wide open or settle for other technical trade-offs like noise.
Throughout the whole article the tester neglects to mention one key and pivotal piece of information. How many stops exposure difference between the brightest area in the scene and the darkest. Expoxures choices are driven by this more than any other, for example how little detail can I accept in the shadows, hw will that impact on the highlights. Can I keep detail in the highlights, without having empty black shadows? As an aestheitc choice, do I want either? Adding insult to injury, to the best of my knowledge CCD's can only record 3 1/2 stops. In Australia this potentially makes photography impossible, on sunny days, the time when most amateurs go out to take photographs.
I've created a new site. This site is a photographic art site, and will showcase the best photographic art work being produced on the net. It will have a peer based review process and publish twice a year.
The premise behind altfotonet is this; historically, fine art photography has been, and continues to be exhibited in galleries, some state run, some commercially run, with several hardcopy publications to support 'the system'. These organisations simply use the web to advertise what they are doing.
The state run galleries justify their budgets, by putting a process of selection in place. This process requires LENGTHY written applications. As far as I can tell, these applications, need to fit into the current school of art thought. This then meets the needs and demands of the publicly funded art scene, resulting exhibitions that fit some notion about relevancy, for the galleries.
Commercial galleries are only interested in work that sells, or is easily sellable.
Fast forward to 2004, flickr comes into existence, photography has become even more democratised than George Eastman could have ever hoped, through the cheapness, availability and quality of digital devices. Sites like flickr.com and deviantart.com flourish. These sites prove that academia has become its own worst enemy, people, are making images using unique ideas and approaches, without the need to be "published/exhibited".
This new site aims to address this. It aims to filter the noise of sites like flickr and deviantart, which have plenty of talent out there, and allow the best to be given a venue to be recognised by people who know good images and ideas when they see them, but not have the academic hurdles in place of the state owned and run galleries.
Will it succeed, I don't know? I do plan however on giving it a go for a few years to see what happens, hence the bi-annual aspect. The reviewers are people I've met in real life and on the net, we all have similar approaches and outlooks to image making.
One thing I am not sure of, I probably am alone on altfotonet, in being the only one who feels that there is some level of subversiveness left in the web that justifies the existence of such a site.
So if yo have an idea you want published online in an online gallery such as this, pop over the submit page and find out how to submit a proposal.
Was recently reminded of this site by a fellow flickrnaut.
Phonesnap:- Is a collection of anonymous camera phone pictures. It is an exploration of the contemporary uses of mobile phone photography and an investigation into whether the camera phone is creating a new aesthetic within the field of personal photography.
[edit, here's the link phonesnap.co.uk/] thanks for the reminder brendadada.
All digital files, jpeg, or raw require some level of post processing, to achieve film like appearance. this technique is a combination of Smart Objects and the High Pass Filter*. A word of advice, I have NOT used this technique on a print, only screen images, which require different approaches I'm told.
First process your image in your favourite raw processor. Next, duplicate the background layer twice. Now, convert each layer to a smart object. On the top layer, apply the high pass filter at a setting of about 30-50. On the next layer, convert the image to b&w, using black and white converter in image>adjustments. Apply the high pass filter again, this time however, at a much lower setting, say around 1.5 to 3. Now change the layer blending mode to soft light on all layers above the original background layer. hey presto a crisp image with the kind of acutance we've become accustomed to from our years of film use.
The original image
The finished image.
*This technique requires Photoshop CS3, Kent Johnson first showed me this idea, I've tweaked it slightly, as I'm sure others will have.Less is more, as always, be careful, not to go too far overboard with the sliders, but if you do if you've used smart objects you can edit the setting at a later date, on the un-flattened file. So even without CS3, you can simply apply the high pass filter to the image directly, and the results will be the same, but you won't have the infinite undo-ablitiy that the smart objects allow.
Yesterday I talked about this new app I downloaded [fluid.app], since I downloading and running it I've had some problems, serious ones. Of course this particular laptop is very long in the tooth, and at the wrong end of the power scale. I also set-up at 5 apps to run using it, so maybe that was too much a drain on my humble system. The problems I had were, applications hanging to the point where apple+option+esc, was no good and I had to apple+control+restart. The 1st time I did this, I then got the flashing question mark on my start up disk! After a bit of prodding and poking I managed to get things back up and running. Then today the same thing happened, with all 5 apps running again, so I have now stopped using the app, and the apps it creates until I can investigate further.
Pity it is a great idea.
Edit, it seems that it is an OS issue, and may even work well on Intel machines
When I started working with cameras and light sensitive materials I wanted to emulate what I considered a great photograph, in the beginning it was Ansel Adams, Minor White, Walker Evans, Edward Weston, et al. The idea that a photograph was just that, a fine sharp and precise rendition of the object/s placed in front of it, the print being an interpretation of negative. This usually entailed lugging a great big tripod around, cause you only shot large or medium format anyway, because you were using fine grained slow speed film, at really small apertures to get the finest sharpest age you could.
Fast forward a few years, to the beginning of flickr, and you see groups worshipping the idea of shallow DOF. Why, I wonder? The technical limitations of Digital cameras and the size of CCds and lenses makes it easier to get great depth of field at 'relatively' wide apertures, compared to film.
Digital Photography has made shallow DOF something to aspire to, for the sake of the technique alone.
Shallow DOF is just like any other photographic technique, to be used and exploited by the creator to get the idea across or tell the story they need to tell.
One of MY favourite photographic techniques to use is time, hence the exif data in many of my titles. The mophone's ability to fleetingly interrupt time in a discrete yet challenging way is what draws me to it. After all to paraphrase one my of my students, photography doesn't freeze time, it simply allows you to see the moments you missed. Camera Phone's just add to that challenge.
In the end a good image is a good image, despite the technique/s used to create it.