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August 16, 2006

Pull up a chair

red leather

Pull up a chair sit back and relax as I waffle on some more on this new blog.

August 17, 2006

Lazarus Returns

My Nikon is back from the shop. Whilst it was there they found a secondary problem that I thought was due to 3rd party hardware.
The original USB cable that came with the camera lasted all of 12 months and 1 day. The cheap 3rd party one I bought to replace it didn't last long either. Well now it seems it wasn't the cable after all so maybe i'll download camera to computer more often now? We'll see?

Off We Go

I'm back here's the test shot that Camera Clinic took to check my camera after repairing it.
lazarus
Look closely at the large file on flickr.
You will see the chromatic abberations, particularly on the top left side of the shot.
Even when shot as a raw I would expet not much more than a 12 x 16 print from this camera.

August 18, 2006

More Questions?

So a while back on my old blog, I asked a question. I received several reponses, and thank you.

The question itself was actually taken from an essay by Henry Holmes Smith, who was an advocate of photographic education, with an emphasis on teaching people to read photographs.

Anyway, I think in all fairness I will expand on the question, and also ask another.

First the new question.

If there are two types of photographers in the world, one whose work could be described as a mirror, the other a window, which are you?

Secondly the original question was taken from an idea in the original essay, titled "The photograph and it's readers, 1953." In it He lists 4 constants that could be used as guides for reading a photograph. Number 3 of these constants reads and I quote,

"The immense respect with which the great photographers regard the natural, the real, and the exact."

So has your answer changed?

And if so why?

Henry Holmes Smith Collected Writings 1935 - 1985. Pub Center for Creative Photography University of Arizona 1986 ISBN 0938262084

August 19, 2006

Back in Action


August 23, 2006

Social Glue

A new set has emerged from the depths of my archives, again thanks to the application, iView Media Pro.

Several are sitting on the back burner awaiting processing, and at this stage I would argue that I haven't dug that deep really. I have 4 or so years of archives from one camera, plus the ever expanding current catalogues for my recently resurrected Nikon Coolpix 5400.

You know in some ways flickr is to blame, I trawl though the photos of the people I have listed as contacts, I trawl through several of the groups I submit to and they all jog my memory of places and times where I have photographed in the past of similar ideas, memories and experiences, and it's now slowly starting to dawn on me how and why photography has become such a powerful social glue, such a powerful social and cultural activity.

Stay tuned, it's hump day here and time to sit reflect and write may yet be a day or two away.

August 24, 2006

Worlds Apart

tale of 2 cities kinda?
Here's the rough scan from the roll of colour neg 120 sent to me by Jakes World, from the USA.

Still processing the final scans, 4 in total, will upload in the next few days. This is part of the Tale of 2 Cities pool/project. A great idea where chance meets intention, one photographer somewhere in the world shoots a roll of film, it is then sent on to another photographer somewhere else in the world, who rewinds the film, if it is 120, and runs it through a camera in their own city. Resulting in a roll of film that has been double exposed, with 2 sets of images worlds apart. Creating some surreal and wierd results. I am suitbaly impressed by the registration of the two shoots. The alignment of the shots is impressive given that we both used holga cameras. The randomness is intriguing it would be interesting to try and print a couple of them up to see the results.

Famous Photographer Dies

SAN FRANCISCO - Photographer Joe Rosenthal, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his immortal image of six World War II servicemen raising an American flag over battle-scarred Iwo Jima, died Sunday. He was 94.

Rosenthal died of natural causes at an assisted living facility in the San Francisco suburb of Novato, said his daughter, Anne Rosenthal.

More

August 25, 2006

Melbourne/Lititz

t2c-001

August 27, 2006

North Carlton's Lanes

pockets hole or zip?
Returned to the lanes in the North Carlton area recently, a gold mine of material, texture shapes and forms.

Met a chap who was adamant that the problem with image size and CCD's was the software not the the acutal CCD's themselves. He claimed it was possible to make a program convert a square to anything you wanted, ergo, square pixels become round. I think he didn't understand how CCD's work.

August 29, 2006

Light 'n Texture

More from a recent wander down the lanes of north Carlton

August 30, 2006

Gateway

ZZ

More shots from the North Carlton Laneway over the weekend

September 1, 2006

The Polaroid Project

The first day of spring sees, me about to start another project. Probably not a good idea given the light a the moment, and the increased likelyhood of the weather getting even better, oh and not to mention the slowly lengthening days.

the polaroid project

September 3, 2006

Flickr Meet for September '06

Scootie & Joe & Kerryn

At the September Flickr meet, I whipped out my 5 x 4 camera and some old Polaroid film I'd had lying around since 1996. Quite pleased with the results, bit disappointed that I managed to somehow break the Polaroid back. Still I think this is my favourite as it has the surfaces and edges of a true Polaroid. And the looks and interactions of the folks involved is priceless.

For the record, we have from left to right, Melbourne's 3 most notorious flickrnauts:- Scootie, Los Cardinarlos, and Kerryn. Thanks to you guys and thanks to the other flickrnauts who volunteered to have their portraits taken by me, it was a truly special moment, look at my sets in my flickr stream and see how many are 'portraits, you'll see why. [fwiw, 100 portraits oout of nearly 3000 photos?]

Despite all this I wanna do it again. Any more volunteers?

Roid Rage Begins

The first of many.

September 4, 2006

New Set

surface

A new set, from the Hasselblad, and North Carlton's lanes.

September 5, 2006

21st Century Publishing

So Schmaps an online travel directory service has used some of my images for their travel guide of Melbourne.

I have mixed feelings about this, but I put my images online with a licence that permitted it, so I guess I'll have to wear it?

What kind of badge is this?

For either of you who care, I've linked to the the images they used on their download-able guide below, I'm on a Mac as you both know and the download-able guide won't be ready for some time so I can't link to them in any way on the Schmap site, or even see how they look embedded in the publication.

Interior of the Hotel Lindrum, Williamstown overlooking the CBD, Museum of Victoria, Williamstown football oval, from the air, My front porch of all places!

September 6, 2006

Roid Rage.....

A continuing series, of glimpses of my Polaroid project as it gets uploaded.

I am over halfway now in the scanning and processing, thankfully Photoshop™ has a nice set of features allowing a level of automation that alleviates the drudgery of resizing and converting file formats.

red

September 7, 2006

More Roids...

I've not a lot to say at the moment, here's another Polaroid image from the roid rage project

biennale

September 8, 2006

Musical Ponderings?

"All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music".
Walter Pater

This quote has long fascinated me, don't get me wrong though, I am no musician by any stretch of the imagination, one day I'll learn a musical instrument I guess? But it, the quote, often makes me wonder about my own photography and music, not to mention photography generally.

Everyone can 'listen' to a song, but how many really 'hear' it. Many people can play musical instruments, sing, but how many can write a song, a good one I mean. One that captures people's imaginations, the public consciousness, sticks in history as a memorable moment time or place?

The same applies I feel to photography, even more so now that digital has become so pervasive.

What makes a song or piece of music special?

What makes a photograph special then? How does one create an image that resonates at as many levels as possible, is there even a formula? Does it all matter in the end? Is there a connection between the two music and photography?

Does this image make any sound/s?

green

MGA photography Exhibition

Currently showing at the MGA, is The Inaugural William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize. I recently visited with this show with a group of photography students from work, a fine cross section of the current state of photographic art in Australia at the moment.

For once I was caught out and didn't have either a pen OR a notebook with me, thankfully I managed to scrounge up a piece of paper and a pen from a student, thanks Kirstie. I scratched a few thoughts down on the piece of paper, and if you were thinking of visiting this photography exhibition perhaps my observations maybe of some interest to both of you?

Firstly the notes or more to the point the 'words' I scribbled down in no particular order.

  • Unanswered Questions
  • Size
  • Type C [no non silver, bar one]
  • Metallic Paper
  • POMO death of magic
  • CRAFT
  • Art History References

Unanswered questions:-
all the images had a plaque, describing the artist's intentions, some using as much as two A4 sheets other using barely a line. Many though pose questions that they either refused to answer or were unable to answer leaving me wondering if the work was an investigation or a rhetorical question.

Size:-
85% of the work was huge, the rest large, bar one piece, a beautiful set of polaroids taken using a special macro/medical camera. Why does contemporary art need to be so fucking large?

Metallic paper:-
There several images that were printed on this paper, most of which worked well, again though I don't understand this choice, after all it is hard and smooth and cold, not attributes I would want accredited to my work.

POMO death of magic:-
Postmodernism has to my mind been a too intellectual for it's own good, much of today's art has all sorts of ideas attached to it, once you get the idea what is left?

Craft:-
call me old fashioned but whilst craft should be invisible, bad craft should be as invisible.

Art History:-
Several pieces had art history references, so if you had no knowledge of art history then, you would not understand the pieces at all see my last point about POMO and magic.

'The Passions of Light' by Emmanuel Santos

Also on at the MGA, generated a whole list of names of Angels, which piqued my interest, the images themselves however were by and large somewhat twee, which surprised me because Mr Santos has a long history in the Melbourne Photography scene, as a Photo-Journalist documentary photographer.

Still a great survey of contemporary photographic art in Australia at the moment and real swimming pool of ideas and approaches.

Buddy gimme five bucks!

Recently a fellow Melbourne Flickrnaut regaled a story about a person they had photographed on the street outside Flinders St station, it wasn't a pleasant situation, and she handled it well I feel. Now the incident has made the mainstream press, in article by Terry Lane which then got picked up by the SMH.

All up; a heap of buzz has been generated by it, so to quote Oscar Wilde,

"...there's only one thing worse than being talked about
and that's not being talked about"

September 10, 2006

The Gems You Find On Flickr

Flickr never ceases to amaze me in it's depth and surprising spontaneity of imagery.

Florencita, posted this image recently of what I can only assume is a fair ground in Paris, from her Paris series.

The simplicity of this image, as well as the poignancy of it has me searching for adjectives. To see this and make an image of something that seems relatively innocuous is a gift that is to be nurtured and cherished. The photograph reeks of poetry; life; death; and has several classical connotations as well as being firmly planted in it's own contemporary place and time.

Initially we see a white statue of what appears to be a male holding their face in some sort of remorseful pose, white clouds frame the sculpture, a blue sky helps emphasise the framing, in the lower half of the image, there is some buildings or functional architecture, the use and function of which is unclear, within this small building is a window, the window appears to open into another space within the environment itself a somewhat anonymous and empty one, but one that would it seems have some use for human activity. There appears to be kitchen like utensils in there, yet again no human presence other than the utensils exist.

The symbolism of this image and the underlying apparent tensions are what make this image for me, the huge white sculpture turning away from a harsh lonely and empty world, even if it is turning into the light, somehow suggest to me a poignant reflection of the current human condition.


-- from florencita - (?)

September 11, 2006

Pro Photographers No More?

I have a LONG association with Kodak. I have been using Kodak Films for nearly 20 years, in particular their black and white emulsions. This morning I was chasing some information about exposure. What a surprise I got when I hit the site, kodak.com, no immediately apparent link for professional photographers, what the hell is going on?

Kodak US website

So here's the link for the pro-photographers buried under a menu at the top of the screen.

Kodak US website flyout

Compare this to the Australian site below.

Kodak Oz website

Does this mean that Kodak U.S. no longer has an interest in Professional photographers, or have they simply lowered their level of marketing at them? I have to confess I haven't hit the U.S. Website for some time, so maybe this is not a new thing? Given that most pro's would perhaps semi-regularly check the site maybe it's something they are more than aware of already. But as far as I'm concerned, the Australian site still seems to be intent on making pro-photographers more welcome or at least give them an easy entry point to the site in general.

September 12, 2006

Desert Polaroid

More from the roid rage project.

September 16, 2006

Roid Rage Ends

Tis Fin.

Now enjoy it in all it's surround sound splendour

where dreams are shattered.....

I Dare You!

Recently was asked to shoot a commercial job for a friend for the poster he is designing for the BDYFF [Blue Dandenongs Film Youth Film Festival]. It was fun and lightning paced.

This is a rarity for me, as my output is generally more contemplative and ambiguous.

IMG_3038.jpg

The above shot, one of my favourites, worked out perfectly, a little puff of breeze blew the stuntman's cape just the right amount to make the composition perfect.

Knowing Trav, the finished poster and al round advertising for the Film Festival will no doubt be funny interesting and engaging.

I learnt a little about working in these situations and may even take on more work in the future with this kind of stuff. One of the distinct advantages to digital no doubt.

September 17, 2006

Blogged....

...again over on the urban-nature blog

September 19, 2006

Photo Overload!

Barb from flickr invited me over to jpgmag.com, a site about getting published and making money. Well as far as I can tell form the brief time spent there this morning. Sadly though I have no images to upload as they ask for high rez versions, so maybe in a day or two I'll upload a couple. The site doesn't seem to encourage social interaction, so I'm asking if either of my readers are in there? Given that the Web 2.0 is all about the user/s?

September 20, 2006

Hard To Get Film Stock

Chris, another, friend from flickr, who has the somewhat unusual distinction of knowing me before flickr, before the world wide web in fact, sends me this uri for hard to get Polaroid films.

Use if for shots like this:-

x 4

September 23, 2006

First 4 Days

I am officially on holidays, we have just returned from Apollo Bay for 4 days, we had both been looking forward to this for some time as it's "feels" like it's been 'one of those terms'—for me anyways. Our stay was at Beacon Point, in the Mariners Cottage. Beacon Point is set on a hill overlooking the Southern Ocean with views of Apollo Bay, nestled in native bush-land.

I wondered if there would be any web access, thus proving that I am once and for all truly addicted to flickr - oh dear!

There was none.

Day One 20.09.06

Spent the morning cleaning the house and packing ready to go, I tried to squeeze in some last minute flickr action, all I managed to do was upload a handful of images, recent images. The drive up was pleasant, we did however need to stop and buy a set of leads with a 3 1/2 inch jack on one end, so we could run the iPod through the DVD player whilst at the house, glad we did, but mad I managed to forget.

Upon arrival the accommodation is as exactly I had expected, and I was very pleased by that. When we were researching our options on the internet it is easy to get sucked in by the eye candy used to sell these resorts. Even with both our experienced photographer's eyes in looking at images in any medium there is always a niggling doubt in my mind as to what we are seeing. All unfounded as it turned out that the unit on the inside is as spectacular as it looks on the web, and the views are to die for.

light

With the unit inspected and the tunes drifting out of the stereo attached to the DVD player we relaxed and flipped though our magazines, I also found what I think will be a suitable location for a series of images to be taken over the 4 days and set up a tripod ready to shoot. Over the next two days every two hours or so I jump up and make an image. Day turned to night and we watched Bleak House on DVD, a recent gift for Nik, before an early night.

Day Two 21.09.06

Breakfast is included in our deal, haven't had croissants since our 2004 trip to Paris. So breakfast was a no-brainer. Some tough decisions though were needed to be made today. Do we stay put and relax read and eat, or do we head out and wander along a local beach or have a coffee in Apollo Bay proper?

Staying put won out, the weather isn't quite warm enough to sit outside, but it is by no means terrible either and with the awesome views out the huge double sliding glass doors it feels like we are outside anyways.

An uneventful day really, reading napping, a bbq lunch, and a short stroll around the resort, all mount up to more relaxing. One or two mobile phones calls were the highlights of the morning, [hi Mitch] after which both phones were both promptly turned off.

I brought a pile of books and magazines to read, so far the magazines were the only ones to see the light of day. We had a splurge at Magnation before we left, I spent $65.00 on magazines! This got me four in total, although one did have an extra magazine inside it.

A literary reviewer I am not, but I will say I am enjoying my copy Frankie, issue #13, the best article I felt was the one that dealt with Australian Television. Is the mainstream realising that today's 20 somethings [and many others] are bored with the one-way diatribe that is TV? Websites like Youtube and Google video are far more engaging and once you work out how to find the content great fun. It also has a small photo essay, “ Saturdays Around The World” that is not bad but, I reckon they could do better especially if they used flickr as a resource for finding images. The idea itself worked, it's just that the images seemed a little insipid.

The next magazine to be devoured was iCreate, a very expensive magazine from the UK. It describes itself as the creative magazine for Mac users. It has news tutorials and a bonus CD attached. As with all these kinds of magazines, the tutorials can be a little hit and miss, but the mag is well laid out and and the tips were enough to get me thinking about some ideas I'd been tinkering with in Indesign, they actually had a tutorial on pages, the drag and drop template driven equivalent page layout tool by Apple, which I might add is quite powerful. The magazine also openly promotes it's forums, something I will investigate myself no doubt—soon.

'T' The Journal of T-Shirt Culture Issue #1 is magazine number 3 I perused, so far looking like thinly veiled advertising but the eye candy is great and I'm always on the lookout for good T-Shirts. The last Magazine remains unopened by today. But when I get around to it I'm sure Pol-Oxygen won't be a let down, this had a bonus little magazine, O2+, describes itself as 208 Pages of Inspiring Designs, which I read as blatant advertising—in hindsight.

The day ended with a quaint Disney movie, on Austar, an hour or two of solitaire and finally a session of more Bleak House

Day Three 22.09.06

Nothing beats a home cooked hot breakfast, eggs on toast, hash-browns, sausages, bacon tomato and baby spinach, fruit-juice, tea or coffee.

Again time for that tough decision, oh wait is that rain…?

Most days we had some nice visitors too. A family of Magpies, some Parrots or Lorikeets, and some large difficult to identify black birds, ornithologist I ain't either.

After the rain stopped, we decided to head into town itself, for lunch, fish and chips of course. Not much loitering there though as neither of us are into chintzy tacky souvenirs, and while the beach itself is nice I find the rockier parts of the coast more interesting to wander along. On the return home being the sticky beaks we are we made a neat discovery of a partially demolished house site. This meant that I actually pulled out the Hasselblad, and shot 2 and a half rolls of film on the one spot.

stripes

The constantly changing light otherwise only served to slow me down, till eventually the clouds came over. The remainder of the day was spent in front of the box watching the rest of Bleak House and some other bits 'n bobs on Austar.

The unfolding spectacular weather pattern ocurring outside, was almost better than TV itself.

someone will get wet chasing that pot of gold

Day Four 23.09.06

Checkout day.

Slept-in had a lazy breakfast and packed up and headed home. I also re-jigged the playlist for the drive home.

September 24, 2006

In Retrospect...

…some ideas just aren't as good as they first seemed?

Was it my small camera's inability to really capture all the detail I wanted? Was it the moved tripod? I will sit on this one for a few days, we'll see…

The Idea that didn't work

Edit, here's all 34 shots

Online Publishing

I have had an image used over on abbotsfordblog.com, one buried deep in my stream and like so many in 2005 hardly viewed or posted to many groups, thanks to trapped in a suit it gets to see the light of day.

breakfast

September 25, 2006

This Is Not A Pipe

Looking over my left shoulder as I sit in my study at home, this is the image I see…

duchamp got it wrong....

I remember when I was at Uni, one of my peers claimed he could never make an image unless in a foreign or exotic place, bah humbug I say. I can't walk 10 metres some days without being bowled over by the visual cacophony that is around me. This image proves my point.

I hope.

September 26, 2006

Photoshop Prac Days

I have had some interest in a open prac day using the labs at PIC to allow former attendees of my workshops. So now that the year is winding down I guess I better get off my backside and do something about it.

The idea:-
Open access to a Lab of Macs with Photoshop CS on them, access to a scanner, and a printer. I then drift around the room and help people when available.

Times/Costs:-
10:00am to 4:00pm, $50.00 per head, minimum of 6 attendees. Colour film processing [35mm and 120] $3 plus the Prac fee. Cash on the day.

Date
Saturday October 21 or Saturday October 28 2006.

E-mail me with your interest, I am prepared to accept Flickr contacts as well in this endeavour.

I will probably squeeze in one or two more workshops between now and December as well more info on my website.

September 28, 2006

One Year Ago today

melbourne, victoria australia

As I approach my second anniversary of flickr addiction I am now in a position to revisit my flickr archives and post some images here. Surprisingly image making around these parts has ground to a halt, not counting the 4 rolls of unprocessed film sitting here on my desk, and several other projects tucked away on my hard drive [that I feel have question able merit]. I also still have 2 other online projects on the back burner and a 3rd slowly bubbling away, and I haven't organised my solo show for 2007 yet.

This image made on a photo stroll with ziz and AhlzMeh, was one of my such experiences, which ended up with us drinking free beer at an opening we stumbled upon down at the VCA. This image alone has had the power to evoke so many more thoughts and memories than I'm prepared to share, but it is for me a powerful reminder why photography is such an evocative and suggestive tool.

This is one of the projects I want to contribute to.

Discarded Object Poster Project

Have you ever seen a single shoe in the gutter, a beanie on the road,or a glove on the tram, and thought about whom the object may have belonged to, and how it got lost?

Embedded within the creases and stains of these objects is a human history that speaks of usage and ownership.

Discarded Object Poster Project involves photographing lost objects and making the images into posters that will be posted around the CBD. The shift in context of the object, especially in contrast to the expected advertising image, will reflect it as a trace of a person the remnant of an action or routine.

A map outlining the posters locations will be produced and launched at Bus Passenger Studio Space in early November. The map will help access the work and create a permanent record of the posters.

Discarded Object Poster Project invites you to submit an image of a discarded object, which will then be made into a poster. Next time you see a shoe/glove/sock (anything!) simply photograph it and send it to discardedobject at hotmail dot com (as a jpeg image, 300dpi or higher if possible) including the location of where it was found.

Thankyou for considering being part of this project!

This project is supported by CLUBSproject and Bus Gallery.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australian Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

September 29, 2006

Discarded Object Project Submission

Here is the first image I submitted.

<!-- insert poetic title about fallen women here -->

September 30, 2006

Hooray

Peter Marshall over on about.com, had this to say about Robert Adams, one of my heroes and recent award winner, of the prestigious, Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

Adams pictures in some ways buck recent trends both in art and photography. They are relatively small and finely made prints, and in black and white. Shot of course on film. Of the four sets of work, his was the most traditionally photographic, and the kind of work that any new photographer would find most difficult to get accepted by the galleries today, neither commercial nor fashionable. It's good to see it recognised.

Now how to use this to get my solo show exhibited, in 2007?

poor 1989

The article also introduced me to this body of work, taken over a time frame of 5 years by Alec Soth. An eclectic and interesting series of images, with heavy religious undertones, a subtle reference to sleeping and some connections to some of the areas in and around the Mississippi river.

October 2, 2006

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.

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*

October 4, 2006

Summmmer!

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

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.

October 6, 2006

busy busy busy....

October 7, 2006

A Year Ago...

...today.

East

October 8, 2006

Trawling...

..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].

43

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

October 9, 2006

Fresh

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.

October 10, 2006

A Quote

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

October 11, 2006

History of Photography

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

October 13, 2006

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?

October 15, 2006

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.

covet

*http://photography.about.com/b/a/257686.htm

October 16, 2006

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.

*_*

October 18, 2006

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?

October 21, 2006

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

October 22, 2006

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?


October 23, 2006

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.

October 24, 2006

Where We Live: Photographs of America from the Berman Collection. [Getty Museum Exhibition]

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.

October 25, 2006

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.

October 26, 2006

Digiboy

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.

Warship.

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.

October 27, 2006

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.

October 28, 2006

Lonely Radio

IMG_5656

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…

October 30, 2006

Annene

“ 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

November 1, 2006

Currently Reading...

... my most recent purchase, by Robert Adams.

Once again a soft and reflective book, containing some quiet gems that have the potential to smooth anyone's photographic journey.

The inspiration behind photographing in these kinds of places, the way I do.

November 2, 2006

Photographers & Flash Player!

Rant warning here!

Been looking at a couple of sites that Joerg Colberg over on Conscientious has been pointing out, recently.

Flash player seems mandatory, why?

Apart from the usual usability issues, about flash, what do these photographers do when they want to make a small change to their sites, what of the people in the world not running high speed internet connections and high powered computers?

What if I want to dwell on an image for longer than the flash programmer has deemed suitable, what if I want to choose my own path through the images in their portfolio rather than one deemed a by the photographer, an advantage I guess

I gave up on the 3 sites that I clicked on from the Conscientious blog, and I'm on ADSL here at the moment, even though Spencer Murphy's seemed promising.

November 3, 2006

Meanwhile...

…elsewhere on the web, barb and myself have contributed to an online project called discarded object project

November 4, 2006

iView Media Pro

Archiving 101.001

As part of my submission to the discarded object poster project, I went trawling through my archives for about a dozen or so images that it had been suggested would work.

A task, that ordinarily would have sunken to the bottom of the pool if it weren't for flickr and iView Media Pro.

After setting up a special set of the suggested images using tags, I then tracked down the dates that I had shot them, by year. Then I loaded up that year's catalogue in iView Media Pro, and based on the dates taken from my flickr stream, I quickly, easily and accurately found each image. Then after locating the physical disk, I archive my work to CD roms, it was a simple matter or control clicking and transferring the file to the appropriate location on my hard drive.iView Media Pro is even polite enough to ask me, how I want to handle this process.

Archiving 101.02

All up a 45 minute job to track down about 13 images spanning 3 years of photography, not sure I can even do it that quick with proof sheets, as it is often a case of relying solely on memory of when an image was taken to find an image, my proofs are filed chronologically.

Currently my workflow involves, creating a catalogue of images every-time I download from the camera, then assigning keywords and any other meta-data that I see fit. Once that folder contains roughly 500 to 700 meg of data, I burn it to a CD, after creating a catalogue of the contents of the entire folder. Then each time a new catalogue is created I import the entire catalogue into an existing catalogue file organised by year. The advantage of importing catalogue files is that all keywords and meta-data is imported as well, so so long as I add the meta-data at the initial download that follows through to the final catalogue each year. Date of course are handled automatically and I assume are based on Camera meta-data and exif files.

All in all an elegant piece of software, which I am still learning the intricacies of, that is making my life and workflow much easier

November 5, 2006

I Don't Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry... Or...

...or, “ There's only one thing worse than being talked about and that's NOT being talked about.”

According to the Age, the public are getting on on the act of the Paparazzi by using their mobile phones to snap Celebrities in action on the streets.

"The paparazzi are now everywhere," declares The Sunday Times, reporting on a new British photo agency called Scoopt.com that deals in camera-phone snaps of celebrities picking their noses and otherwise trying to get on with their lives.

I have mixed feelings about this. Do celebrities have the right to privacy or would they rather be ignored?

If they have hit the big time and are milking the gravy train then why shouldn't some humble Jane or Joe, cash in on it as well?

Fame, or is that infamy, in the 21st century is a complicated thing, something sought by many, look at Big Brother for example and Australian Idol, yet lasting fame is not easy to achieve, who were the others who didn't win the first BB in 2000 for example?

shy

Personally I enjoy my mobile phone's camera for the creative potential it offers me, if I try and make a portrait with it for example, I'm usually upfront and people I point it at are aware of it's limitations and act accordingly. The whole reason I use it for portraiture. The ability to quickly and easily record fleeting moments is also a bonus for me, coupled with it's limitations in exposure and focus and D.O.F, I'm more than happy to admit that rarely a masterpiece will come from it. But there is still something intriguing about an image made this way.

Creative ideas aside, it has the potential to become a real cultural issue.

November 6, 2006

Donina

what she wants, she will have

Donina is one of the few flickrnauts I know who had prior to signing up to flickr an existing online presence.

Her stream therefore serves a different function to mine and several other flickrnauts I've mentioned. She uses it as a testing ground for new projects and ideas, the final images then making it to her photo-blog.

What an intriguing, emotional and contemplative body of work it is that forms her experiments. Donina is a flickrnaut who has a true understanding of the emotional power of an image, who pours her heart and soul into each and every image she produces.

Her titles like, “ the hollowness of brevity” and, “ fury and tears for the philistines”, are poetic and poignant, and offer some clue as to her motivations, yet offer no real answer to the question or questions posed.

Donina's approach to her image making is rare for places like flickr and the internet, her output while not prolific as is often the case with digital photography, is deliberate, thoughtful and dramatic.

I'm proud to list her as a contact and to have socialised with her in person, gladly I've yet to play her at pool.

November 8, 2006

Disaster As Art?

Joerg Colberg over at conscientious, is pondering the issue of imagery made of disasters which is then paraded as Art in Galleries.

Robert Adams has an answer or two here, in an essay about Frank Gohlke's photographs of the storm that swept Wichita Falls, on April 10 1979, that ranked 4 on the Fujita Scale, he talks about form and meaning, and of metaphor.

“ His composition implies a belief in the endurance of meaning within an apocalyspe.”1

In the same book he also writes a lengthy article on “ Photographing Evil”, which I'll quote here, in an effort to offer some explanation as to why Photographers need to do this kind of work.

“ The point of art has never been to make something synonymous with life, however, but to make something of reduced complexity that is nonetheless analogous to life and thereby clarify it.”2

Not being the articulate writer that Mr Adams is I am unable to argue at length about the ideas being discussed in his books or offer much but to offer these couple of small snippets of hope for Joerg. Not to mention that I am not one to have the balls or temerity to go to the kinds of places such as war zones or sites of disaster and make images.

1 pg 100 Beauty in Photography, Essays in Defence of Traditional Values,
pub. Aperture 1981
ISBN 0893810800

2ibid page 68

November 18, 2006

Writers Block

Not that I really call myself a writer, so here, enjoy this new set, all thanks to analogue.

Be sure to check the slideshow out, the work itself is nearly resolved, [sequencing is an ongoing and never ending process really] unless I find more walls and concrete.

November 20, 2006

The Hidden Joys of Photography

lartigue thumbnail

On a recent trip in a car as a passenger, over an extended period of time, I had another go at making images using my Sony Ericsson K610i 2 mega-pixel camera. The results reminded me of the now famous image by Lartigue, and I decided to try and produce a body of work while in the car.

I was happy with about 12 or so of the shots. They now form my first series based around the idea first popularised by Lartigue with his image entitled, ‘Car Trip, Papa at 80 kilometers an hour 1913’.


Lartigue's Lament

This of course gives rise to the idea that photography can still surprise and delight with the way it freezes and captures time.

Technically I think that the reason the poles and verticals look slanted in the images captured by a mobile phone camera pointed at 90 degrees to the direction that the vehicle is travelling is because it is a leaf shutter. The objects that are closest to the camera show the effect the most, with the speed of the vehicle is a determining factor also.

The real magic here is that the images themselves were a real surprise, and a little difficult to predict bringing back that real magical feeling that goes with the act of using a simple machine to freeze/capture/distort the world as it passes.

November 21, 2006

Ziz

illuminated but blank

A week or so a ago I started writing about some of my fellow photographers on flickr, here again is another of Flickr's under-appreciated gems. Ziz's sharp eye is matched by his sharp wit. His imagery delights in the details and the mundane. His work suggests that Melbourne is either a cafe soaked metropolis or an apocalyptic desert, a relationship I'm sure many could relate to in this fair city of Melbourne Australia.

He also is not afraid to push the boundaries of how and why an image is made. Using Toy cameras to make charming yet edgy observations about his place and his time.

Ziz, not his real name, appreciates form line and light in a way that often only many seasoned professionals can, and this was all before he even acquired a DSLR, [considered wrongly by many serious amateurs to be the pinnacle of camera gear], now with his DSLR in hand, his witty and poetic body of works just goes from strength to strength.

Woot

I have been accepted in to a small artist run space for a solo show in 2007. The space is called Trocadero Artspace, and the show dates are, 21 March to 1 April 2007.

The question now remains, use which 12 images from 'Across the River Styx'.

November 22, 2006

Kent Johnson

Megan Megastar

Kent's photography is one of those rare, photographers who can firmly plant a foot in each camp. No genre or subject matter escapes his clever eye. His appreciation for and understanding of light is up with the best of them.

Of course I might need to make a small disclaimer here in that, I too have met this fellow flickrnaut, and we hit it off like a house on fire.

Despite this, his imagery reflects his enthusiasm for photography as a whole and his pedigree in the fashion world of the 80's has stood him well with his current work using digital cameras and flickr.

Kent's fashion work has a kind of honesty that seems rare in some ways these days, the models and their poses are somehow timeless, and his attention to detail just right, not to much not too little.

Fashion though isn't only where he excels, his appreciation of, and for light itself, as well as architecture, and the more cerebral aspects of art photography are truly humbling, a rarity in commercial photographers, or the ones I've met anyways.

November 23, 2006

Stompin'

Just bought Tom Waits' new album.

Not much else needs to be said really.

Except go buy it!

Oh and the photography artwork on the last few albums has been awesome. Self-portaits anyone?


November 24, 2006

Trends

With the social season beginning to amp up, and with a State Election looming, the sad yet inevitable pending departure of this years crop of students, at PIC is somewhat pushed out of my mind. A welcome relief really. Despite the pressures of teaching in a creative field that I also practice, it's always a sad time to see students move on. What perhaps is the most burdensome though is the workload of administrative tasks that predominate my day of late. In fact really it is a constant juggling act that is shared by many in the arts.

Take Tod Papageorge for example an Artist I'd been exposed to in Art School, but had forgotten about. It turns out that he has been teaching for some time at the Yale School of Art.

I am pleasantly surprised by his re-emergence.

One of the reasons his re-surfacing is surprising is that he was a 35mm street photographer in the 70's and the current mood these days is far removed from the idea, that you can follow intuition and wander around and stumble upon photographic gems and 'moments' and then produce a meaningful body of work.

To quote Tod Papageorge:-

...there's a failure to understand how much richer in surprise and creative possibility the world is for photographers in comparison to their imagination.

This idea has turned into a quest for me, using film and the meditative process of reflection after wandering around camera in hand simply 'looking', then allowing a certain amount of time to pass before really examining my proofs and 'thinking' about what is going on.

After all who was it that said… “ seeing comes before thinking”

November 25, 2006

Double edged Sword

I really appreciate and am conscious of the sense of community provided by sites like flickr, and jpgmag, but in a noise to signal ratio world [where the signal is low] it's often difficult to get noticed, and noticed for the right reasons.

Sites like jpgmag, seem to have come from that need of recognition that so many folks hanker for. I wish I could say that I don't really suffer this, but hey I'm human and being ignored is something many humans don't shine to very well. So in the spirit of the online community that has developed over the last couple of years around photography, I ask both my readers to vote for my images on jpg mag.

While we're at it, please vote for barb, charlie, donina, gil hamish, mike.

November 26, 2006

Readin' Writin' No 'Rithmetic Though

Thanks to Alec Soth and Joerg Colberg, I've spent some quality time with some interesting links today, A.D. Coleman a photography writer who I respect, has an old school site that is homely yet a bit out of touch with contemporary web design and content delivery. It could be a blog, but I'm not sure it is? Worth revisiting though.

Another gem, by Bill Jay, is a site that allows you to download his writings as .pdf files, again kinda quaint and worthy of further exploration.

November 27, 2006

Tongue Tied

pay dirt [the effects of the drought are far reaching II]

November 28, 2006

Still Tongue Tied

28th November 2005

||||||

A small note however.

Last night saw Yann Tiersen at the Corner Hotel in Richmond. A music writer and critic I ain't, but it was an interesting gig, the mixture of tunes I can only describe as eclectic.

But what really piqued my interest was the number of mobile phones held up at several times during the night, at one stage I could see 5, and wondered what the hell do they hope to record?

I mean, video of the act? Stills, of the band? Sound? How can a mobile phone do any of these mediums justice?

I enjoyed myself though and what a relief the bandroom is smoke free and well ventilated, it was a real treat NOT having to shower off the smell of cigarettes, or put my clothes straight into the washing machine after a gig.

November 30, 2006

Urban Landscapes

Born in 1969, Isabelle Hayeur lives and works in Montreal. She completed a BFA in 1996 and a MFA in 2002 at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Since the late 1990s, she has been known for her large-format digital montages and her site-specific installations while she also produced public art works, videos and net art projects

Also, here is a bad interview by some one who doesn't REALLY appreciate Tom Wait's music. Either that or they just edited it poorly. I have to confess, I've talked about music and art in the past, if I WAS to align myself with a musician Tom Waits would probably come in first, followed by TISM.

Not sure if listing TISM is a good thing though?

Speaking of contemporary edgy punch in the face imagery.

December 1, 2006

Narrative - Story Telling

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

December 3, 2006

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”

December 7, 2006

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.

December 8, 2006

How Flickr Got Started

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

December 9, 2006

Memory

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.

December 10, 2006

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.

December 11, 2006

Upcoming Photo Exhibition

roqueted

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

December 12, 2006

Citizen Photojournalism?

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

December 14, 2006

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

December 15, 2006

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?

December 16, 2006

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!

December 17, 2006

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?

December 18, 2006

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?

December 19, 2006

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!

December 20, 2006

Petition

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

December 21, 2006

Lost for words

December 27, 2006

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.

December 28, 2006

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?

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

Retraction?

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.

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.

http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/pdfs/200612/121406Photoshop.pdf

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!

Paul.

December 29, 2006

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.

December 30, 2006

Sydney Harbour Bridge

.  .  o  .  .

December 31, 2006

Colour & Flock

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

Safari & Flock Compared

January 1, 2007

Camera Icons

Holiday Fun

Many people like to personalise their computers in many ways, using different icon sets to the ones that come with the computer is one of them. I am no exception, of course though I like to try and find photography related ones. Rarely is there much out there. As a consequence,I make my own using my small collection of cameras, I photograph them and make icons using the neat little free-ware app called cocothumbX.If you have a mac and would like some let me know I'd be happy to share them.

January 2, 2007

Exhibition Preparations I

While I am sitting here writing this on my g4 iBook laptop, my G3 desktop machine running OS 8.6 and Photoshop 5 has the ubiquitous clock icon spinning away madly. I have a 70 meg file open and am simply copying and pasting to clean up an the image I am working on. I have been 'cleaning up' this image for over 3 hours. Not unusual in this day and age of high rez scanners capable of capturing everything as well as the grain of the film.

photoshop 5.02

Earlier this morning I wanted a rough proof of the final 15 or so images I had scanned ready to edit down to the final 10 that will fit in the space.[yesterday I spent a few hours mocking up a 3d version of the space to visualise how the prints will look in there]. Given I had no way of connecting my older computer to my modern printer, or even connecting it to my new laptop, just getting a printed proof of the images proved a task in itself.

All up I'd say over 2 days of work have been spent on this show so far, and for which I have little to show. I remember thinking along these lines whilst doing my masters project in the late 90's. I seemed to spend equal amounts of time wrestling with my computer as I did actually making things. At one point I lost an entire week over an extension for my graphics tablet. This sort of stuff never happens in a darkroom, well rarely. You go in, set up your chemistry, get it to temperature and start printing. After an hour or two a decent but wet print should be in your hands and after a week of leisurely 6 hour days 12 - 24 prints should be ready to mount.

OS 8.6

With computers forming such a large part of my creative output these days, it feels like things move at a far less productive pace. Even working between an Os 3 generations apart has it's moments.

Why am I using what is effectively a 10 year old OS and software? Both my astute readers may well be asking. There are several parts to this answer, some of which I have elaborated on in the past, others I may elaborate on in the future.

January 3, 2007

Day 3

Before I waffle on about day 3 of the process of getting organised for my 2007 solo-show, please take a moment to check out this body of work on flickr, beautifully abstract and formal very painterly, yet at the same time completely photographic, my kind of stuff.

rough proof

Day 3 of working with my scanned negs for my solo show and nothing much has changed. One thing I've noticed is the amount of limitations that apply to Photoshop 5 in terms of 16 bit editing though.

In an effort to maintain maximum print quality when I finally print out these shots, I scanned the negs at a bit depth of 16 bits. I used a Nikon 9000 scanner to scan the negs, [thanks again to Ricky for getting me access to it] this scanner is very sharp. On the day I scanned, I forgot my one most essential accessories, an anti-static camel hair brush I use to dust off negs before I print/scan. Gah, now I'm sentenced to days and days of spotting. This normally wouldn't be an issue except a lot of the shots have things like power-lines in the background. If the dust sits on the edge of something like a power-line [anything with a distinct edge] it can be tricky to clone out, especially if the line is curved for example. So my favourite way around this is to make a small soft edged selection close-by and copy and paste over it. Photoshop 5.02 doesn't allow copy and paste in 16 bits. This then harks back to my comments yesterday about time and productivity. I could switch to a different version of Photoshop on either Machine to do the work, but again more time taken up with fiddling around with files rather than actually creating.

gallery 2

In an effort to choose the final 10 I printed out a "rough" proof of all my scans [see above], that as I said yesterday, was a feat unto itself. Eventually I will work out how to get small versions of my images onto these scale models of the gallery space,above and below. [Currently the black squares represent my images, based on them being 1 meter square]

gallery 1

January 4, 2007

Colour!

While I take a break from the tedium of spotting prints, check this photographer's work.

January 5, 2007

Light

tension

A bit over 12 months ago I afforded myself the luxury of wandering around my local suburb, camera in hand open to anything that caught my eye, those were the days.

Light like this is rare, this time of year.

January 8, 2007

Excuses?

Quiet here this weekend, Saturday, busy, Sunday, almost as busy

Also picked up a book on one of my favourite photographers, Ralph Eugene Meatyard. Interesting read it mainly concentrates on the series,"The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater". I particularly like Meatyard's idea of the billboard nature of photographs. And of course the idea of masks being used to discuss identity is not new in Photography, nor is the idea of repetition but nonetheless a body of work that is as charming and engaging now as it was in the 70's when first published, this version I'm reading claims to be the first one to honour the original idea by Meatyard.

January 9, 2007

Exhibition Preps Week 2

LP screengrab

So begins the creative process of print manipulation. This in some ways is the hardest aspect of all. Where to start? When to stop, are all compounded by digital technologies. At least in an analogue environment you had to make a small test to determine a start time around which all other moves were based. With digital, well there it is on the screen, what more needs or can be done is the question you must ask, and hopefully if you have access to a good printer profile you can "preview" your image and make some decisions in the right direction.

Printing, on the other hand isn't going to be so straightforward? First question, how big? Well I know the answer to that up to 1 metre square. Next question. Inkjet print or Type C print?

Each have their relative merits, Type C prints, are tested for their durability, and being a chemical process are known to last for a certain amount of time, Inkjets are claimed to last as long, but of course this is based on accelerated testing methods, not real life, I have some inkjet prints made in 2000, they are ok but not perfect, unlike all my silver gelatin prints which ARE perfect still some dating back 20 years. The advantage of the inkjet printing is the vast amount of surfaces and materials one can have work printed upon. There are also some very nicely created printing profiles out there, that when used with a particular paper give almost silver gelatin photographic results.

Of course if I was simply, printing largish silver gelatin prints between 8 inches square and up to about 24 inches square, I would use silver gelatin paper. Which brings me back to where I started, and instead of spending my holidays on a computer, I would have been locked away in a darkroom making prints.

Indeed, "Everything in Photography is a trade off".

January 10, 2007

How Fortuitous

Yesterday I talked about where to start with creative manipulations on a print. Last night I found this article on the online photographer's blog, dealing with interpreting print making in a digital era.

January 11, 2007

Inkjet Prints

Well Inkjet printing now becomes more of an option, I had heard about a profile or rip that allowed very good control over b&w prints from Epson Printers, a quick e-mail and I found the profile/rip in question. Now I can run my own small tests at least before I make any final decisions one way or the other.

January 12, 2007

Applying Analogue Approaches in a Digital Era

st.albans

Well the initial worries about finishing my images in time for the show in have subsided; for the moment.

I am trying currently to spend quality time with the images I have and just make minor tweaks here and there. Not unlike a conventional darkroom where you make a test strip then a work print then several versions of that work-print until you are happy with the result.

This process in a darkroom environment, for me anyway, has always been one where decisions are easy to make, and sometimes the neg just prints beautifully, other times it has you scratching your head for hours, or even days, at worst months.

The speed of digital is of course somewhat of antithesis to this approach and somewhere in my Masters project back in 2000 I noted this. [One day I'll upload part of the written component, the actual body of photographic prints produced lives online in 2 places, flickr, of course and stunik.com*] So to tweak put away then come back a day or two later seems to be working for me at the moment.

sunshine

The converse of this is true also. When do you stop? When is an image finished?

I guess time is a deciding factor here. The best way to avoid this maybe to prepare images at the same time as writing gallery proposals and when a show gets accepted, cull down from a body of work already made?

Hopefully both my readers can see the differences between these "work prints" and the original scans that I uploaded as part of my 'Across the River Styx' 2007 proposed set on flickr. These are work-prints in their 2nd draft.

*this is a page buried deep in my old site in a dusty and cobweb ridden-corner that is unlikely to get a facelift, unlike my photoshop workshop page.

January 13, 2007

Side By Side Comparison

In response to a reader request*, I am posting two images in a side by side comparison, both are work prints.

I am going to leave any discussion about them till after the weekend, as I am running a weekend workshop in Photoshop this weekend, to pay for the mounting costs of the show of course. I will say this much, the change in orientation on this first one is an aesthetic choice and may yet change back depending on final planned hanging.

Original scan from proof.

curve/s

First Work Print

st.albans

This one has a long way to go? Original Scan

Deer Park Two [For Ian]

First Work Print

sunshine
*This is a digital way of doing what I would normally do in the darkroom, extra special thanks to Addie for nudging me in this direction, the barcode reader will be in the mail soon.

January 14, 2007

Speechless

park

Not too much to say really, hardly surprising after 2 days of talking about photoshop.

This scene at the end of our street is one I've had my eye on for a while, very happy with this shot, the sense of pace and light combined with the weird combination of the play equipment and industry speak volumes to me about modern suburban living, in Australia anyway.

I'm also really enjoying ShoZu at the moment an application that allows direct uploads to flickr straight from my mobile phone, best of all it's free.

January 16, 2007

Live Picture Workflow*

LP Workflow 1

Insert the image.

LP Workflow 2

Duplicate the image layer.

LP Workflow 3

Adjust top image layer, using appropriate tools.

LP Workflow 5

Curves have been applied.

LP Workflow  6

The result.

LP Workflow  7

Add another layer to start making some local adjustments.

LP Workflow 8

Start tweaking numbers

LP Workflow 9

In this instance I've increased the value by about 10 units, almost a zone.

LP Workflow 10

Brush all layers in and out in varying opacities as needed, be careful about when to stop. The conversion to jpeg seems to have buggered up the subtlety of the brushing in, trust it is smooth and subtle.

The power of this Application is that you are concentrating on the image, surrounded by minimal palettes, no other clutter on the desktop, and the application is only working and using the pixels you need to see and work on.

*or, how to procrastinate more than needed!

January 17, 2007

Save The Australian Photographic Portrait Prize II

Lousie Swan

Kent, a friend, [and damn good photographer to boot] from Sydney was interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald recently. He is also being interviewed by Radio 702 at 8:45 am tomorrow, 18.01.2007.

Go Kent, let's hope that the Citibank Australian Photographic Portrait Prize either gets re-instated or picked up by another gallery.

January 18, 2007

Radio Interview

Kent's radio interview on saving the Australian Photographic Portrait prize, should be able to be downloaded from the ABC 702's pod-casting page. The morning show, where Kent was interviewed, may also eventually upload the interview.

If somebody finds a down-loadable pod-cast first please let me know, so I can link to it.

January 20, 2007

The Australian Portrait Photography Prize, Saved

Well Done to Kent, all his hard work paid off and now according to the Financial review, the show will move to Canberra in 2008

Here's the news lifted directly from the petition site, which by the way you can still sign to show your support for the show.

Katrina Strickland reports that the Australian Photographic Portrait Prize will be reinstated in Canberra at the National Portrait Gallery in 2008. This is great news for all our supporters who have helped bring this competition back. We will be leaving the petition open for anyone who wants to show there support for the new show and Portrait Photography.

January 21, 2007

Rain

rain

I've been busy in the darkroom of late, but I am starting to think about a new workshop looking at Phone cameras and online publishing, as the new school year looms.

Without my camera phone I could have not made this image, would I have even contemplated making it without my little Sony Ericsson k610i?

Does anyone have any thoughts about their phone cameras [or phone cameras in general], has either of my readers changed their approach to their image making because of them, or are they just a chintzy little tool to be used selectively for a lo-fi grab when a bigger camera is not available?

January 22, 2007

Phone Cameras?

first publication

So yesterday I posed a question about Phone Cameras and thanks to all who responded. I've got to confess it's was a slightly loaded question, as I said I am thinking about putting together a short course/workshop in Phone Camera use and this is all heading somewhere.

Personally when I am trying to share some knowledge about anything I often try and list a series of pros and cons about what it is I'm try trying to share. And sure enough there has been some additions to the list by my readers.

While Phone Camera's up until recently had such poor levels of resolution, and small storage capacities, the whole idea of doing anything other than sending the photo to another phone user or posting on the web or e-mailing these images, were incomprehensible to phone users. Now with increased resolutions and phone storage capacities their uses are able to be extended, with some provisos.[Avant-garde image makers think differently I believe.]

Remember these are the modern equivalent of the 126 and 110 cameras of the 70's the latest incarnation in the idea that George Eastman brought to the Western world way back in the 1900's. Many many family histories have been recorded using these small cameras, not so many serious bodies of work though?. I am at a loss at the moment to remember anyone who has used a 126 or equivalent to produce a serious body of work however, and I don't consider Lartigue a candidate here as cameras were still in the realm of the wealthy middle and upper classes of the time.

Has anything changed since then that would allow people to make and record their lives differently? Well computers and the internet have impacted dramatically, the way folks capture and share images, these cameras are more than perfect for recording family histories, and small and easy enough to share almost immediately. With most people's expectations of these images are along the lines of, can I see what is important, faces scenery etc, these cameras then serve this function well under the right conditions, outdoors in bright sun for example. They are then able to say to themselves, "I'll send it or have it printed for my Mum/Aunty/Friend".

Such is the proliferation of these small cameras, that no longer do you even need a computer for this, most photo labs, in Melbourne anyway, have the ability to accept all sizes and shapes of memory cards to enable printing from any cameras including phone cameras or accept bluetooth transfers. So already we have the ability to not only electronically share our phone camera images but now print them out using traditional min-lab i.e. small prints.

I believe that electronic sharing of these images is more than enough to justify their use, the proliferation of photo sharing sites out there along with websites interested in the idea of alternative image making means a body of work can be produced and shared easily and quickly with as many like-minded people as you can find. Provided you accept the limitations of these cameras, and plenty of limitations they have.

So what other things can we do with these cameras? Well unless you are prepared to accept great seas of digital artefacts and horrendous lens aberrations, it's highly unlikely that you will be making 1 meter wide prints and exhibiting them, if on the other hand you are happy with a small print there are some other options outside of online publishing. With access to any desktop publishing software and a decent quality printer, you can print your own cards and books thus adding some meaning to the work you are making using these discrete little cameras. Possibly even creating a level of revenue that could justify the time and effort spent on printing them. There are even several online services that allow you to upload and publish, books cards and calendars, to an online store. This is based on the premise of a small book as file sizes are still on the low side to make anything bigger than 6 inches by 4 inches. I guess though, a 4 or 5 mega-pixel phone camera is only months away?

Hmm waffled on a bit today sorry?

Anyway here's my table of pros and cons.

 
Mobile Phone Camera Pros and Cons.
Pro Con
Small, goes everywhere. Small file size/s may inhibit output options, too many choices for the inexperienced.
Discrete, able to be used anywhere the user feels morally comfortable. Certain social situations may not be the right place to make an image.

Able to be sent anywhere anytime.

Costs could become prohibitive, if not used wisely, not supported by all telephony providers.
Instant feedback. Critical self-evaluation of images not encouraged.*
Almost infinite Depth of Field. Poor Lens quality.
Wide Angle lens, wider angle of view than the human eye. Wide Angle lens, wider angle of view than the human eye, requires skillful use and operation in terms of composition.
Zoom is digital. Limited Zoom is digital resulting in high levels of noise.
Unpredictable results, giving weird colours strange movement and noise and blur. Unpredictable results, may not be desirable depending on users aesthetic.
Unpredictable results. No technical controls, f stops shutter speeds etc.
Limited choices means image maker must think hard about how to make a good image, without relying on zooming etc. Limited accessory range.
Can be used anywhere where there is light. Requires ample light, unless user can accept high levels of digital noise.
*This actually applies to all digital camera users and is some ways the most difficult of skills to acquire.

January 23, 2007

Impromptu Spontaneous Photographers?

I guess if I really thought about it, photographers like Garry Winogrand [his wikipedia entry] and Robert Frank, have helped the cause of the snapshot Aesthetic, I wonder though what Mr Winogrand would have thought of mobile phone cameras, as for Robert Frank, I'd like to ask him personally about his thoughts on the matter?

More Thoughts On Phone Cameras?

It seems I'm not the only one musing on the implications of phone cameras.

January 24, 2007

The Antithesis Of Phone Cameras

Thanks to Joerg over at Conscientious here's a little movie on the very influential photographer Stephen Shore, and one of my favourite photographers.

His large format colour work of the 70's helped make colour an accepted art form. The type of camera he uses, and 8 x 10 inch, using colour neg/C41, and the approach is at the other end of the scale to the way a phone camera user would work.

January 25, 2007

First Print

So yesterday I finally got to print a print on our Epson 2100 printer at PIC. Close very close, some work required, and the profile from, Roy Harrington, is very good straight out of the box.

Pictures to come, seeing as a certain someone has misplaced a certain cable!

January 26, 2007

As Promised

first prints

January 27, 2007

Serendipity

--- _ _-_ ___ -

Or is it?

This set came from nowhere as I stared at my flickr page this morning.

January 30, 2007

morning light...

... can it make everything beautiful.

this not toast

January 31, 2007

A Year Ago...

Back at work and too busy to talk

| OO | OO | OO

February 2, 2007

Realisations

Yesterday at work, we were discussing an exercise the students undertake to understand Depth Of Field.

Historically, we get them to take 1 shot at 3 different apertures in one location on a tripod then shift focus and repeat, finally focusing on infinty and repeating again, as well as a portrait at 3 different apertures, on a tripod.

A year or so ago I did this exercise using a Canon 350d, and the differences were NOT as apparent, as a traditional 35mm camera, I left it at that and haven't given it much thought since.

When I mentioned this in the meeting a passionate discussion then ensued as to why this was the case as we are contemplating getting the students to do this assignment using digital cameras. Beginning students need to see big differences quickly and the 350d wasn't giving the results I'd expected.

As a result, we found the answer. It has to do with surface area of the light capturing surface and size of circle of confusion. The smaller the film/sensor area the more D.O.F you have.

Let's let Bob Atkins explain it.

"So the bottom line - and all you really need to know - is that DOF is inversely proportional to format size. Note that format size is inversely proportional to the "digital multiplier". The higher the "digital multiplier", the smaller the format and thus the greater the depth of field. Note also that now you can see one of the reasons large format camera users need tilts and swings to get adequate depth of field. With an 8x10 camera you have about 8.5 times LESS depth of field than you do with 35mm for the same image. This also explains why consumer digicams, some of which have sensors 1/6 the size of 35mm film, have such a large depth of field and one of the reasons why it's almost impossible to get blurred backgrounds when using them."

The difficulty for us to teach the principles of D.O.F is that all cameras have different sized sensors and only cameras like the $4,000.00 Canon have 35 x 26 mm sensors. A camera few students can afford and the type that is not held in stock by us because of their delicateness.

Today I am going to shoot the exercise on the Pentax k100d, which has a larger CCD than the Canon 350d. I may post the results over at flickr, we'll see?

Some more links:-

February 3, 2007

1/2 Done

IMGP1471.JPG

I shot the first half of the DOF exercise on Friday. I used a zoom and a fixed lens. Just looking at the lens markings on the zoom confirm yesterday's post.

The second half requires either a portrait or a still life.

The reason we use either a portrait or still life is, because when the subject is closer than 8 times the focal length of the lens the relationship of f/g and b/g DOF changes.

The top image was made using the fixed 50 mm lens, which actually has an equivalent 35mm focal length of about 80mm

Here are the two lenses used, it's interesting to notice that, the Zoom lens made for the Digital camera, has a smaller spread of distances under 1 metre than the fixed lens.

2 Lenses

February 4, 2007

Nine is too many

trocadero bottom right.jpg

trocadero bottom left.jpg

Based on this mock-up, I feel 9 prints will be too many.

February 5, 2007

Landscape art

Fantastic work

February 6, 2007

Photo Sales

serendipity?

Trying a new photo site, aimed at selling mainly, so not that much use to me, we'll see, already a few flickrnauts moving in.

February 8, 2007

Ramped Up

Pressure is mounting for the upcoming solo-show, have collected 2 images from a Pro-Lab, not happy with the 'look' of the prints at all. However, I have been fortunate to have been put in touch with an Art School that prints large format. Had a quick chat last week with the guy in charge of the printing and am now proceeding with 7 inkjet pints 1 metre square.

Now I've just got to find 7 times $140.00!

Outside said art school I found this piece of graffiti, and of course the only capture device I had was a mobile phone, I made 2 images with it and chose this as the best one that expressed the idea.I felt the context from the surrounding Architecture was needed.

at last...

February 9, 2007

Street Photography

'E'

Yesterday I started to ramble on a little about the image I made using all I had at the time, I think I wanted to philosophise a little about that, but neglected to do so, and today I'm focused on re-scanning 7 images for the Solo show which opens on the 21st of March at Trocadero*. Today I've uploaded another image, taken this way, and again this image is made for similar reasons, it was the only device I had at the time and the characteristics of it suited the image. I wanted to exploit the features of the device and have an incredible amount of DOF. Capturing the objects themselves and the reflection across the street was the catalyst for this. Which I hope in turn says something about shopping, consumerism, light, photography, and representations of the human form... as well as ideas of beauty.

*Across the River Styx, opens at Trocadero Art Space, Level 1 119 Hopkins St Footscray on the 21st of March 2007 and runs until, the 30th of March.

February 10, 2007

Lo-Fi Moments cont'd

white

February 12, 2007

A Metaphor?

tape

February 14, 2007

Busy but not Swamped

Must see exhibition.

Fashion Face: Fashion photography by Robyn Beeche 1979-1989
2 March - 21 April 2007.

Based in London throughout the 80's, Australian photographer Robyn Beeche's photographic style moved from the realm of straight fashion photography into that of high art, melding make-up and costuming to create fantastical tableaux and exotic narratives. [Image above left: Robyn Beeche, Arrows, 1979] from the R.M.I.T website.

The sentence that really caught my eye however only appears in the printed material that hit my desk yesterday.

Long before the era of Photoshop, Beeche was pioneering a technique of photography that used extensive make-up, body-paint, props, and costume to create elaborate tableaux

I wonder what Adobe thinks about the idea of pre-photoshop? I'm lead to believe that that they discourage the use of the term "photoshop" as an adjective. How has photography's perception changed since the introduction of Photoshop? I still have an article at home somewhere from 'The Age' many years ago that looked at what photoshop was capable of.

Photography @ Wikipedia, they now have a photography portal [not sure how long though?], a long time ago I wrote something about photography in there, can't remember what though? One day I'll write something about modernism and fine art photography.

Interesting camera, for those wanting to see beyond the visible spectrum.

February 15, 2007

Untitled

untitled

February 16, 2007

Panoramic...

...Photography

February 18, 2007

A series, 1 of 6

.

One of six

Exhibition Dates

A correction.

Sitting here at home today, designing my catalogue for my solo show, 'Across the River Styx' I realised I originally posted the wrong dates.

The correct dates are:-
21st of March, to the 7th of April 2007.
Trocadero Art Space, Level 1, 119 Hopkins St,
Footscray,
9687 6110

Opening night is the 24th of March.

Once I have completely finished the catalogue, I will upload a pdf file for either of my readers, who might like to see it.

More Great Photography

File, has some great stuff and a couple of big names too. Checkit

February 19, 2007

Strangeness?

desktop-20070219-055327.jpg

While researching some idea for titles for my solo show in March, I noticed that my own set for the show, ranks number 10 in the google listings, yesterday anyways.

What a pleasant surprise. Hope it helps with the publicity?


February 22, 2007

oh yeah?

red

I nearly forgot...

February 24, 2007

Exhibitions?

Maybe I should have named my upcoming show at Trocadero Artspace, 'The Wasteland'?

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Maps

Maps, have long held a fascination for me in my imagination. This morning while adding some details to some images on flickr, using a geographical mapping tool, I kept switching between map view and satellite view, just to get a better idea of where I was and the location I was trying to pinpoint. The two views, offered a richness of information I'm having trouble articulating? Both identical views, yet both so different to each other, the sense of scale for one thing that was imparted was hugely different, perhaps this is based on my own knowledge and realtionship to the location?

When flickr is back up and running I will post the two maps side by side here.

It's back

2maps.jpg

Also I'm honoured to have another image blogged on the urban nature blog

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February 26, 2007

Lo-Fi Driveby

stalled

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February 28, 2007

Well Well Well

Tomorrow I get my first gander at the solo show images, on the monitors at the printers. This can mean one of three things. They will need tons of work or, they will need some work, or they will be ready to go. Fingers crossed folks.

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Online Exhibition

Submit a piece to this gallery and have your work exhibited in Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, in the show entitled, "The rapid mutation of amateur photography in the digital age"

They are asking some pertinent and burning questions, among them:-

Does the digital shift constitute a revolution, or merely an evolution?
Does the shift represent a real democratization of photography?
Is citizen photojournalism worthy of its name?
Does the shift threaten the livelihood of professional photographers in fundamental ways?
Does the shift represent a shift towards more authenticity or truthfulness — or less?

Looks like others are thinking along the same lines, which is good I enjoy a good quest.

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March 1, 2007

Beginning of the End?

down the tubes!

So I decided to try and publicise my upcoming Solo Show on the flickr blog. In the past, if you had an upcoming event, adding it to upcoming dot org and notifying the flickr team via e-mail was all that was required to get it added to the front page of the blog. Sometimes you even got sent schwag. Well now it ain't so simple. Inevitable really I guess, flickr has turned into a monster and now that Yahoo owns it, the inevitable corporate language will creep in, along with lengthy delays in getting help. And it's that subtle language that is sending me the signal that things are not what they seemed, well I guess another year and then who knows. It has been a fun 2 1/2 years so far.

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March 2, 2007

On Track

So yesterday I spent some time in VCA's Lab looking at my work on their monitors, with Andrew. Very very happy. Things are moving along nicely. The monitor differences were noticeable enough to come back and do some more tweaking at home, but not so much that I'm feeling swamped by it all.

The monitors they use are quite expensive and very finely calibrated, mine is a good monitor and is probably due for a calibration, I however prefer my monitor, a CRT, over theirs, LCDs. I am now actually getting excited about the show. For a while there in January it was all a bit nerve wracking, particularly in terms of timeframes and workloads, but thanks to Live Picture, things are on track. One day I'll write extensively about the experience of using Live Picture over Photoshop — if both my readers haven't already deduced from my ramblings how easy it is to use, how elegant fast and graceful. Some days however you feel a little guilty spending so little time hammering away at an image, these past few weeks has been just like that.

On an unrelated note, I will be without interwebs for a couple of days this weekend. I may however still be able to post to my Mophone Blog, so if you're interested pop on over there and have a peek, who knows what might turn up?

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March 5, 2007

Inspiration?

Inspiration is a funny thing you know, last weekend I was in the Otways, on our Annual PIC student camp. [I have been visiting that region in Victoria now for nearly 20 years.] In that time my ideas and motivations for making images has shifted dramatically.

This weekend just gone I simply shot a series of portraits of the students in one plain simple location. It was a combination of ideas that have been brewing in my head since art school. No attempts at grand landscapes, no studies of light or macros of nature.

It's kinda interesting to think back over those years of lugging around cameras and tripods, of developing film and studying proof-sheets. My output has dropped dramatically, but my signal to noise ratio is higher than it has ever been.

Maybe I'll think out load a little more about this. I'm aiming to have my prints for my 2007 Solo show at the printers, at the VCA, later this week.

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March 6, 2007

Lo-Fi Moments

Am really enjoying the challenges of my mobilephone these days.

//////  \\\\\\

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March 7, 2007

Overseas Exhibition

Elysee - All Photographers Now! (2007-03-01, 2.12PM)

Some interesting news, I submitted some work to an online exhibition, it was exhibited in the space recently, in Switzerland, and I didn't even leave Melbourne.

This is the e-mail I received from the gallery yesterday.

Dear Photographer,
Your image was shown in the Musee de l'Elysee's exhibitWe are all photographers now!’ in the last few days. Enclosed you will find an installation view of your image that shows it in the wall.
The visitors to the exhibit are fascinated by all the different photographs that are being shown from participants like you from all over the world. Thank you again for participating and please feel free to upload more images to the site allphotographersnow.ch.
We also sincerely hope you will visit the museum. The dates of the exhibition ‘All photographers now!’ are from February 8th, 2007 to May 20th, 2007.
From the team at the Musee de l'Elysee<
/blockquote>

So there ya go eh? My first overseas showing.

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Nice Quote

Great quote, by Richard Avedon on portraiture, with reference to Kissinger in particular, thanks to David for the heads up from Kottke's site.

Kind of interesting really as photography has become a powerful medium, that can be exploited by the photographer and the photographed. Many many more people are being smart about it and turning the tables in their favour these days.

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March 9, 2007

Counting Down the Days

Paid the final deposit yesterday, my solo show is signed sealed and delivered. Sadly though the invites have been delayed, but soon, very soon.

More information has come to hand on the opening night, it is on from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, at Trocadero Level 1 119 Hopkins St. Footscray, not unusual I guess in some respects, perhaps a little early, but hey more time to party afterwards.

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March 10, 2007

Exhibition Invites

Don't know why but I was a little surprised to receive a text message yesterday announcing the arrival of the printed invites for my show at Trocadero. Surprised by the text message NOT the announcement.

Anyways, if you want hard copy invitations, I can arrange it to be delivered, I suspect however that a quick visit to the gallery, at Level 1 119 Hopkins St. Footscray, you'll be able to pick up some invites there. In case you have trouble finding the place, you actually enter from Barkly St., not Hopkins.

Contact me if you want a real invite, and I'll do my best to mail them out ASAP. [A word of warning, I'm a terrible at using snail mail, a real snail myself]

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Here They Are

invites

Contact me if you want one.

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March 11, 2007

Linkage

Just an interesting link today, thanks to 1000 words of flickr fame.

I am dropping the files off at the printers tomorrow, fingers crossed! Tomorrow week I start hanging the work.

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Mophone Musings?

Oops here's one I nearly forgot to publish.

//////  \\\\\\

So how much impact does the camera of choice have on the way an image is interpreted? Historically one "read" an image made with a 35 mm differently to one made with a 8x10.

Take this image for example.

The lighting is non-descript, there is lot's of digital artefacts and noise and if you view it large on a screen at flickr, you will see all the lens aberrations that are par for the course on these kinds of cameras. How do you read this image then?

Gary Winnogrand was a well know photographer in the 60's and 70's. He is famously quoted for saying, “I photograph things to see what they look like photographed”. This approach forms part of my attitude to using these kinds of cameras to make images.

Of course sometimes I like the documentary approach of folks like, Bernd & Hiller Becher, or Robert Adams, or Joe Deal. Other times I am fascinated by the way the camera can be used to distort the world, into strange and unusual ways, this tool is perfect for that approach.

But the trade-off is limited photographic controls such as aperture and shutter, and selective focus.

More to come… I hope.

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March 12, 2007

Phreaky Flickr?

Check this flickr set out, I challenge you to get beyond the 2nd page.

Puts my time is a construct series i ii iii iv & v to shame.

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March 13, 2007

Lo-Fi cont'd

fidama 24.02.07

So again here's a low-rez, lo-fi image, of indeterminate subject matter, other than that one may have a vague idea that it is probably a photograph, there are no real indicators of what it is either way.

Does this a) make it a worthwhile object of contemplation, or b) yet another piece of detritus in the ever growing heap that is digital image making?

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March 14, 2007

Absence of Light?

Nice work all shot at night

Even darker

My kind of article

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March 15, 2007

Onslaught?

DSC01844

DSC01842

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March 16, 2007

fork

fork

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March 17, 2007

Rising Stars

According to PDN these are 30 upcoming and photographers, to keep an eye on.

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Twice

I managed to get a second image in the, Musee de l'Elysee's exhibition in Switzerland, "We are all Photographers Now".

Elysee - All Photographers Now! (2007-03-10, 2.36PM).jpg

See the image I submitted,on Flickr, better still see the real thing on the Wall at Trocadero Artspace, Level 1, 119 Hopkins St. Footscray, from the 22nd of March to the 7th of April, 11:00 am to 5:00 pm Wednesday to Saturday.

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March 20, 2007

Exhibition Catalogue

Here is my exhibition catalogue for "...across the river styx", if either of my readers wish to download it. A pdf file, 1.2 meg.

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March 21, 2007

Over...

DSCN4789

...bar the shouting.

It took a mere 3½ hours, but would have been impossible without Marcus & Nikki. [Thanks guys, once again I'm indebted to you.]

The first one is always the longest and the hardest, the rest took, a fraction of the time. The hardest decision all night was which print goes where?

Compare it to the empty space.


DSCN4777

Those are prints on the floor weighted down to flatten them after 4 days in a tube.

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March 25, 2007

Thanks to all

eliza chris & crowd

Well what a great night, thanks to all who popped in and said hello, my head's a little sore this morning, but it was worth it, afterwards several of us went to eat a meal and then on to FAD gallery in town.

Apologies if I didn't get to speak to you, even I was overwhelmed at times!

Now that it is all over and done with, and as I sit here in Melbourne's glorious winter light, I'm contemplating my next move.

One move is this body of work, tentatively entitled "maps" which, is still growing and being expanded upon, whether it will be ready for my next show remains to be seen, do I even want to exhibit it traditionally? A book of work has long held an appeal for me and in this day and age of dtp and online publishing tools , it seems more than realistic, to make a book, or publish it as a website.

Another option is an upcoming staff show, historically, the staff at pic have occasional group shows of their work, I'm hoping this year will be one of them.

Before I get to carried away, I guess I'd best catchup on my film processing, now sitting at 6 rolls of 120.

∗ For either of my readers who may care, I've been archiving my exhibitions on my static website since the late 90's

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March 27, 2007

Grey

I'm going to go grey for a few days, with the lead up to the end of term I still seem to be busier than I'd like.

texture

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March 28, 2007

Kind of silvery Grey

silver-grey

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March 29, 2007

Textured Grey

greystone

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March 30, 2007

Done

\\\

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March 31, 2007

Deluge?

Basalt Plains, west of Melbourne Australia

As I am on term break from one of the schools I work at, things may hot up here for a while. My solo show, at Trocadero comes down on the 7th, so if you haven't had a chance to see it, check it out, the prints are something to be seen, even I was impressed when they finally hit the wall. The next body of work is forming well, and I've a couple of small projects in mind in the interim. But other than catching up on some shooting and film processing things are otherwise quiet. Also I recently found an awesome location and plan on shooting out there over the next week or two.

Meanwhile here's an interesting article written by, Wayne J. Cosshall, it rather succinctly sums up an aspect of what photography both digital and analogue is really about, for me anyways. Lets' see what the crew in the Melbourne Flickr pool have to say about it?

My online experiment in photo publishing is trundling along well, after a couple of hiccups a week or so ago. Occasionally, I have a little trouble choosing images, which is part of the experiment, and usually more driven by me simply commuting to and from work and not really being attuned to my surrounds and the light notice anything worth capturing, and therefore not having enough images to choose from despite me upgrading to a 512 mg card for the phone camera.

While we are on photo-blogging. I am trying to locate a photographer, who, used to post to Usenet, low rez b&w on a regular basis. I've had a bit of a dig around using 'Unison' [a neato little app if I may say so] and have had no luck in there, [given the wild west nature of Usenet, I need to be careful where I look], so if either of my readers remembers this person can they send me the name of the group they posted too?

I have 2 friends who are who will be in a position to use the interwebs for news from distant places, looking forward to what Thomask sends back from his trip OS, and what Gayle and I manages to upload, Thomask will be in a highly technologically advanced culture,[so I'm lead to believe] and Gayle and I will be in a place where the internet is scarce and expensive [I think?].

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April 2, 2007

Well?

So much for the deluge?

For either of my readers should they care, a new set on flickr, again made using a mobile phone camera, and attempting to 'abstract' the everyday.

While I'm at it, check out Brendadda's blog, some great work and ideas as well as links to other great flickr photographers, now if I can just get some links happening here I'd be really happy.

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April 3, 2007

Maps

yahoo-map

Some indication of where some of my images have been made over the last 3 or so years.

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April 4, 2007

Swiss Exhibition

Now after 3 pieces in the Show in Switzerland, here's a youTube piece on the opening night.

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April 5, 2007

Current CCP Show

Went to the CCP yesterday, to see the Anne Zahalka Show, while I contemplate my response, consider this.

"The photographic process looks after itself when its natural inheritance is honoured. It can not understand any other way of working. But when what is passed on represents a loss, the process collapses."
Les Walkling

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April 6, 2007

Anne Zahalka at the CCP April 2007

When I recently heard about the current show at the CCP of Anne Zahalka's work, I was quite excited.

I spent some time at the show on Wednesday just gone, and well, to be frank, I was disappointed.

The show is really well hung, the staff at the CCP have done a great job. The large light box, in gallery 3 is mind blowing. The rest of the work itself however has a level of inconsistency about it's printing that makes me wonder if it is even by the same artist? I was really looking forward to seeing the work in gallery 2, her best known I suppose, but was sadly disappointed by the prints, they seemed to lack any richness, and I was not even sure they had been shot on medium format, due to poor sharpness and what appeared to be chromatic abberations. The body of work in gallery 1, the Artist series, really has me perplexed because it is so obviously digital, but the material it is printed on takes it almost to a sculptural level. The ideas themselves are of course engaging and humorous, but I'm kind of left gasping when there seems to be so little to tie them together.

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Speaking of Portraiture

Here's a body of work, that examines how people like to "represent" themselves

Also, and extended portrait of 2 girls over 10 years

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April 7, 2007

The Trials & Tribulations..

hercules

... of a mobile phone camera user.

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April 9, 2007

Travel Dreams

One of my main influences in photography, Robert Adams, is having a show in San Francisco, at Fraenkel Gallery at the moment, anyone spare me a couple of thou for a quick visit? Maybe one of my international readers could pop in and check the show out?

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April 10, 2007

Old School

I haven't seen this kind of high contrast work since, Ralph Gibson in the 70's.

Anders Petersen, is said to be the European equivalent of Robert Frank?

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April 12, 2007

Federation Trail

federation trail

Explored a new location today. I shot 4 rolls, nearly 5 in one small section alone, I suspect a few more visits will be on the cards over the coming months. Today the light was to die for, it will only get better over the coming weeks.

Originally had planned to shoot further West, but when I poked my nose in first, and saw the potential, I knew this was going to be the place to hang around as the sun set in the west.

Getting home and checking the location out on Google Maps just made it even more exciting.

This location is going to see a lot more of me. It gives me easy access to the exterior of all sorts of factories, and damaged urban environments.

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April 15, 2007

Exhibition at Heide Museum of Modern Art

Friday just gone saw me at Heide Museum of Modern Art. The show I saw was, entitled, “Perfect for every occasion: photography today.”

Without getting into specifics, I am more than stoked to have seen such a lively and healthy showing of the state of current contemporary photographic art practice here in Australia.

My main favourites were:-

  • Patrick Pound's prints from mobile phone images.
  • Debra Phillip's beautiful and considered photographic installation
  • Paul Knight's large and very European feeling colour images.

At first when I saw the beautiful giclée prints by Patrick Pound, I didn't believe that they were images that hadn't gone though some post processing, until I got home. I was able to mimic the Henson-esque like softness of the images by simply focussing up close on an image, as he had indeed done, and with some simple moves in photoshop hey presto, all I would need is the cash to print them as giclée prints.

Debra Phillip's were seemed to me to really honour the traditions I've come to love in Photography, but not in a fawning or servile way. Everything from the framing down to the sequencing really worked well, it was a cohesive and resolved body of work.

Paul Knight's work which are large scale prints of slightly ambiguous subject matter reminded me of an amalgam 2 European Photographer's work, Boris Mikhailov, and Thomas Struth.

There was a noticeable number of New Zealanders represented, and of course some work that for me just clutched at straws or were simply post-modernist ideas, the usual one trick pony type stuff.

Overall, I really enjoyed the way several people were approaching the use of image capturing devices and how they responded to the idea of output, I would have liked to have seen some mention however of images being used in an online context. Overall the show was witty endearing challenging beautiful and engaging.

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Stephen Shore

An interview, via BRS

An interview with Wolfgang Tillmans

Magnum Photos turns 60 this year

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April 17, 2007

Lost for Words

After a glimpse of a household object caught my eye this morning, I wanted to write something about humour and modern art, but the pull of the glorious sunshine and the list of more important things to do tugs desperately for my attention.

Here's something worth a look, if you're in Melbourne this month. Zephyr Gallery in the Docklands, has a show of photographs Elvis Impersonators. The book and sales of the prints will raise funds for the Mirabel Foundation, the work is by Saville Coble, the show runs from the 1st to the 30th of May. at Zephyr Gallery 60 River Esplanade Docklands Melbourne.

On a personal note I may not get a chance to see the show, as sadly the web site for Zephyr gallery is actual an Ad Agency website, and am unable to garner much more information. The 'Docklands' website has some more information, scroll down to read it.

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April 18, 2007

"untitled"

pink

[posted with ecto]

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April 19, 2007

"untitled"

hands

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April 20, 2007

Quoting 3RRR

I want one!

Five Phreakin' Mega-pixels

[posted with ecto]

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April 21, 2007

...

...

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April 22, 2007

New Location

DSC02210

This location, [a recently opened bicycle track called Federation Trail] yielded one of my biggest creative outburst in many years, I proofed 12 rolls of 120 film yesterday in the darkroom, time now to mull over the results now and see if more visits are on the cards?

In the interim it's back into the darkroom for a couple of other ideas I'm working on.

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April 25, 2007

New Software

Soft Laboratory have produced a Raw Processing tool that I am about to download and trial, stay tuned for the results.

This paragraph in this Month's Mac world was what caught my eye.

“The range of control is phenomenal. A piece of software with this level of command is welcome and will suit the ultra-fastidious image worker The GUI is attractively and professionally executed.”

I am constantly on the look out for ways to subvert the use of Photoshop, this looks like it maybe another tool in the arsenal of image processing work-flows that hopefully will give Photoshop a run for it's money.

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April 27, 2007

Way out in the West

DSC02349

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April 28, 2007

World Pinhole Day

World Pinhole Day tomorrow.

"What is Pinhole Day? Anyone, anywhere in the world, who makes a pinhole photograph on the last Sunday in April, can scan it and upload it to this website where it will become part of the annual Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day celebration's online gallery." Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

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April 30, 2007

A Quote

Many pictures turn out to be limp translations of the known world instead of vital objects which create an intrinsic world of their own.
There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.
-Robert Heinecken

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John Divola

Interesting body of work

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May 4, 2007

Shooting @ Night

ptx k100 07.05 [maps]

Went shooting last night, decided to go the blurry & atmospheric option.

Will return with tripod and black & white film as the concrete in there is a sight to behold.

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May 5, 2007

24 Hours of flickr

I've signed up to this new pool on flickr called 24 hours of flickr.

Today, now not only am I committed to take pictures as much as possible, I am, with lot's of help from Andrew, finishing off moving my website. This means setting up/changing mail, both mine [no biggy] and Nik's [hmm, in the past I've only used/setup pop mail]. And hanging out with my old friend Dan Bacon and his financé, who I am taking to the airport this evening.

nik 'n missi

On the mail front IMAP is a little new to me, but I'm told it's a little more spam resistant. I'm the tech person in this house, so I "just make it work". Nik [seen here on the left] doesn't share my interest or patience with technology.

[posted with ecto]

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May 6, 2007

Contemplating...

...my next move. After yesterday's post regarding what to do, the ONLY digital shots I took were on my mophone, the rest on film. But now after looking through the pool, which I might add is a fair microcosm of what flickr has become, I'm thinking I may not add an image, we'll see what the film turns up?

on the way

time warp

[posted with ecto]

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May 8, 2007

After Parr & Eggleston

After, Parr & Eggleston

This local service station is drawing in me in further and further

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May 9, 2007

Politics & Photography

Browsing my news reader app this morning, I found this blog that I'm behind on reading. It is a left leaning discussion of photography. Read it if your sick of kittens sunsets and flower macros.

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The Death of High St. Portrait Photography?

Terry Lane, over at the Age, is claiming that Photographers better watch out, as Mums armed with DSLRs are taking work away from them. He has a point, but I can think of plenty of Melbourne based photographers who were simply smart business operators with a camera, this is nothing new in the arena of professional portrait photography. In the ever spirally contest to produce the next big look, Pro's have been squabbling for years. The chase for the dollar is getting a little tougher, in the end only the fit survive.

Personally I could care less. For me, photography gets less and less about a good photograph, but more and more about what defines a photograph.

Thank God for my teaching gig eh.

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May 10, 2007

What a good photograph means to me?

As I sit here putting off last minute preparations for Australia's if not the world's first workshop dedicated to mobile phone photography, I want to refer back to yesterday's post. Yesterday, I said:-

"Personally I could care less. For me, photography gets less and less about a good photograph, but more and more about what defines a photograph."

Well thanks to brendadada, one of my flickr friends who pops in here occasionally, I have been thinking a little more about this.

I don't want to waffle on to much about this, but, this idea of what constitutes a good photograph occupies my mind more and more these days. By good I mean an image that conveys something, successfully, anything, but without resorting to anything more than the use of a lens and a light capturing and storing medium. Over my 20 years of using light capturing devices to make images, I've learnt plenty about these device's inability's to capture the world as WE see it. Ansel Adams in part with Zakia, developed the zone system to deal with film and paper's lack of ability to capture ALL light as we see it. I know and appreciate the differences between some lenses and some film/developer combinations amongst other "photographic" issues. Even so when it boils down to it, an mage is an image, and to quote, Steve Edwards

The image supplies little in itself. What counts is its use and the power to fix a particular interpretation of the events, objects or people depicted.*

Image making has now become even more ubiquitous than even George Eastman could have ever imagined when when he coined the phrase, "You press the button we do the rest". Millions and millions of images are made every minute worldwide. These images are adding to a growing stockpile of work. This stock pile means that there is nothing left un-photographed, if there was even anything left to photograph in the 80's when post-modernism pronounced the death of the "Artist."

This then leads me to wonder, can a image made using a lens and a light sensitive material become and anti-photograph, but still retain SOME reference back to a photograph, after all some people are still entranced by the look of photograph and their ability to translate what is placed in front of them, I guess this what I meant by:-
"Personally I could care less. For me, photography gets less and less about a good photograph, but more and more about what defines a photograph."

More to come perhaps after this workshop in Mobile Phone Image making.

*from the blog:-politicstheoryphotography.blogspot.com

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May 12, 2007

Just because...

the joys of...

...I haven't posted a picture in a while.

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May 13, 2007

New Photography & Art Publication

Only 13 days late! A new online magazine worth a look. Art Signal from Spain.

Thanks to Jim Johnson, over at (Notes on) Politics, Theory & Photography

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Sebastião Salgado

The Kamchatka peninsula is one of the most remote and barren places on earth. In the latest stage of his mammoth Genesis project, photographer Sebastião Salgado finds an eerie beauty in a land of volcanos and bears.1

Nice images indeed, however why is it that some photographers pay so little attention to the details of their images? Looking at the sky in the background there seems to me to be evidence of poor manipulation, is this by Salgado himself or by a sub-editor or editor of "The Guardian"

To do this correctly would be so simple in photoshop even? The rest of the images are magnificent and worth a look; even "on screen"

Read the interview while you are there too

1From The Guardian

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May 14, 2007

Geek Overload

Not sure what this is really worth, but well maps and photography what more can you ask for?

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May 17, 2007

A Cliche?

Melbourne 16.05.07

Just couldn't resist this last night.

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May 20, 2007

Jpgmag

There's been some stirrings at JPGMAG.com. Derek and Heather have moved on from the magazine.

It is strange yet heartening to see such a public display of quasi-corporate machinations and politics. I did have an account there but it was never a major focus of my creative energies so I've deleted it, in true flickr fashion there is even a pool of images of screen-grabs that people have taken as they delete theirs.

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May 21, 2007

Upcoming Library Addition

I buy a lot of books on photography, thanks to Jim Johnson, this new Duane Michals book looks like one worth getting.

Not only is Mr Michals a witty and intelligent photographer but the book seems to take the piss as well.

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May 23, 2007

Mobile Phone Exhibition

Stumbled upon this website of an exhibition of mobile photography, entitled 'Visual Urban Abstracts', on show in L.A.. Sadly, I won't be popping in to see the collection of small, prints mounted on aluminum.

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Tate & Flickr

Flickr has collaborated with The Tate in London to put on a exhibition about the history of Photography.

According to, the flickr blog, there is even a pool, with categories, for continuing online submission.

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May 24, 2007

Daylesford Foto-Biennale 2007

The Daylesford Foto-Biennale 2007, is upon us for the second time. I attended the inaugural event in 2005,[and undertook a workshop there] there was plenty of great work and the fantastic workshop I attended was run by Les Walkling.

This year it seems even the ABC are getting involved.

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May 25, 2007

Neo-Documentary?

The distinction between photo-journalism, documentary photography and art photography, has been blurred significantly over the last 10 years or so, I've created a new set, that I will use to attempt to explore this idea further.

This was the image that got me thinking.

The blurred bird, was the catalyst for that thought.

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Radio Interview

Today I was interviewed on the telephone by Jarrod from the ABC, about flickr and my interest and involvement with it, as well as how it's impacted and affected my photography. Here's the list of questions I was e-mailed the night before. The interview itself didn't quite go exactly this way, but the gist was similar.

Jarrod, was waiting to hear back from Catrina one of the founders of flickr before he decided whether or not he would broadcast the interview, or transcribe it to the website the ABC has set up for the Daylesford Foto-Biennale, in Daylesford.

  • what did you do before Flickr?
  • how has it affected your photography
  • for the uninitiated - what do they mean by 'communities' on flickr
  • is there a difference between the 'private' (weddings, births, etc) and the 'public' (buildings, landscapes)
  • what are some of the groups you moderate?
  • has it pushed you in new directions?

I might post some thoughts on these questions later or over the coming days.

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May 26, 2007

Melbourne Victoria Australia 2007:05:26 13:00:01

Melbourne Victoria Australia 2007:05:26 13:00:01

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Melbourne Victoria Australia 2007:05:26 11:30:57

Melbourne Victoria Australia 2007:05:26 11:30:57

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May 27, 2007

Sublime

pigeon poems

Again, one of the beauties of flickr is finding work by people like casualities.

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May 28, 2007

Canon Lens Prodcution

Here's a link sent to me, that describes itself as the Canon Virtual Lens Production plant.

Thanks Anton for the heads up.

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May 29, 2007

Digital Photography's Benefits

shepherd's warning

Putting out the bins this morning, the sunrise was astonishing. So here's the sunrise a mere hour or so after it was shot, THE main benefit of digital photography.

However, the batteries in this camera were doing strange things the morning, and the horizontal I shot was corrupted in the process somehow. Ah well the vagaries of photographic life.

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May 30, 2007

Job?

Fancy writing for about.com?

There's a vacancy there for a photography writer, I gave it a go but didn't get far?

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June 1, 2007

Mobile Camera Phones & Graphics

Here's an interesting article on the BBC's site about how Mobile Phone Cameras are denting sales of wallpapers, and graphics for phones.

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June 3, 2007

Joel Peter-Witkin, goes Political

Thanks to Jim Johnson, I discovered that some artists, are still astute enough to put forward political views, that run contrary to popular trends. Joel Peter Witkin's 2006 piece, entitled, The Raft of George W. Bush (2006), is simple clever and controversial, things that will guarantee it's place in history. It may not change any views or policy, but it might form a cultural indicator particularly in The United States of America, of a turning point in many people's minds about the USA's foreign policy.

I don't want to ramble on here about politics, there are others more articulate capable of discussing this, than myself, but I guess I just wanted to comment that Art and Photography is capable of causing a controversy, or at least pricking people's consciences and while the painting that Mr Witkins' has used may not be as well known as some it certainly is not an unknown in the public's consciousness. It also operates on several levels, which anyone can operate on, so the point will not be lost on as many people as some more clever and self-referential contemporary art that so common today in many art galleries.

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June 4, 2007

D.I.Y

Here's an example of the D.I.Y ethic I've talked about in previous posts.

The return of frankenkamera

June 19, 2007

Why Does the Question Need to be so Digital?

Joerg* over at Conscientious, has an interesting interview with, a photographer called,Todd Hido.

I particularly like this quote:-

The digital process just cannot seem to represent the subtly of some of my prints. In fact I have noticed a real “relaxing of quality” out in the world due to people accepting and adapting to lesser results**. Digital is multi-faceted for sure —it works for lots of things—but it not necessarily always better.

I agree wholeheartedly, of course don't get me wrong, the immediacy of digital is great particularly if you are publishing to the screen, but I often talked about the contemplative nature of wet analogue processes, and the ability of analogue to capture, the smoothness and continuity of the world as it is presented to us through our lenses.

*My Apologies there Joerg

** My emphasis.

[posted with ecto]

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iView Media Pro/Microsoft Expression

So, I am now officially using a Microsoft product.


iView Media Pro

Above my old beloved iView Media Pro, which was technically owned by Microsoft, but still looked and felt like the original app.


Microsoft Expression

Perhaps a review over the coming days? One thing I can say at this point is, that I cannot run the apps together side by side to see how they fare, and some menus and commands have moved, more to come.

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June 20, 2007

Only with a mobile-phone camera

dawn

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June 21, 2007

Urban Landscapes

Patti Hallock's images of suburbia at night are quite beautiful, her work has a strong focus on architecture

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June 23, 2007

Lunchtime on a Workday

Hawthorn Melbourne Victoria Australia 2007:06:22 13:22:44

2007:06:22 13:22:44

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Sunshine, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Sunshine, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2007:06:23 10:55:47

Waiting for my haircut, 2007:06:23 10:55:47

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June 27, 2007

Sunshine Melbourne Victoria Australia 2007:06:23 10:25:23

Sunshine Melbourne Victoria Australia 2007:06:23 10:25:23

Inspired by some of Ralph Eugene Meatyard's images.

Speaking of which, the George Eastman House has a stunning collection of Phortgraphy from the 20th Century, many of my heroes are in this collection. Also the CCP in Arizona, probably has the world's most extensive collection of 20th Century Fine Art Photography

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June 28, 2007

Exhibition National Gallery of Australia

This looks like a good show to see, at the NGA

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Interesting Photo Project

check out this photo project, great idea, thanks to Donina.

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Famous German Photographer Dies

Bernd Becher, 75, Photographer of German Industrial Landscape, Dies, he was a major influence on my work, according to the NY Times, he died Friday just gone.

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June 30, 2007

Light

As Saturday arrives and I watch the light creep over the tops of the roofs in our neighbourhood, I am excited at the prospect of time to make images, follow my nose and generally bask in the time available to me.

My output tends to ramp up this time of year, even though the days are short, the light is gorgeous and many places are wet. Moisture combined, with sunlight turns the most mundane of places and objects into wonderful wonderful glowing subject matter. Of course only film and higher rez digital cameras are really capable of capturing those subtleties, so output will as always be delayed. So I guess that kind of maps out my 2 week break here in Winter, shooting shooting and more shooting, mostly on film.

Maybe I'll start printing

Someting that doesn't require high level optics other technical minutiae.

mirrors

Photography doing what it does best, abstracting the world around us.

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July 2, 2007

What I've learnt about Photography...

...and online sharing sites and communities.*

For either of my readers who MIGHT have been living under a rock, there's been controversy a plenty of late on flickr. This has given reason to ponder my flickr future.

Recently, flickr internationalised it's site. Bringing more language options into place. This turned out to be a double edged sword. It appears that flickr.de** imposed a level of censorship that put quite a few noses out of joint. As a consequence some of flickr's best European photographers have moved to ipermity.com. Censorship is not the only issue that has been bugging a few people, I know of one former flickrnaut, who was starting to get broken links elsewhere on the web because flickr was changing uri's. I personally recently suffered a minor irritation of the censorship variety. I also feel the 'sense' of community has been slowly declining over the past 15 or so months.

So while I ponder the future of my flickr account, I checked out ipernity.com, found some contacts in there and have been poking around blogging and generally getting a feel for the place.

In one of my blog posts over at ipernity, I mentioned how I'd learnt a few things about photography and online sharing community sites. So I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts about my time, nearly 3 years, of hanging around in the flickrverse. [Please bear in mind flickr is the first community that I've gotten involved in and felt I understood it machinations.]

  • Less is more. Only upload what you consider your absolute best. If you are chasing some kind of notoriety, the quality of your images needs to impeccable. However, if you have an idea or pre-conception about your own work in a cyberspace context you may never be 'found' . If your ideas are not about what the hoi poloi consider to be a 'good' photographs, read sunsets, babies, macros etc here, attention will be scant. If you are not interested in some level of notoriety then upload at will, eventually all the right people will find you.
  • Sex sells. Some of the most popular images on flickr are by women of themselves in flirtatious poses, often scantily clad. Erotic photography of women by men rates well too. By rates well I mean 1000's of views per image within a week or so of them being put online.
  • Put Out. You only get out what you put in, unless you are gifted photographer with an eye that appeals to the hoi poloi. Again if you want interaction and dialog, then you've got to put out so to speak. This can ultimately be a double edged sword. There are only so many hours in a day you can view and comment on photos and get involved in group discussions. Unless you work in IT and are expected to sit at a screen all day everyday.
  • Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. People may or may not have thick skins. As with any text based online community subtle nuances of language are often lost, be prepared to put noses out of joint if sarcasm or irony are your main tools of choice in an online community. On the flip-side don't be afraid to jump in and get your feet wet, it's all just letters on a screen anyways.
  • Never ever take yourself seriously. Bit like life really, and only help when you are asked for it, help that is.
  • Play have Fun. These places are one big game, a game for adults, play have fun, maybe learn some stuff on the way, but don't expect to become rich or famous. Flickr particularly will never lead to much in the way of opportunities, getting published etc, other than the odd image here and there. The sheer volume of images makes it almost impossible to offer anything unique and universally appealing.
  • Geeks first Photographers 2nd***. These kinds of places are invariably inhabited by Geeks. Said Geeks may or may not have an appreciation for the finer points of photography and it's nuances, of technique, history methodology or rules and rule breaking, don't expect any form of appreciation if your motivation for making images goes beyond the best lens and having the right amount of your image in focus
  • Be open and receptive. You will make contact with fantastic people.

*Based on my limited experience with flickr.

**Of course Germany isn't the only place to impose this kind of censorship, but for some reason this time around the ripples ran a little deeper. There was a similar furore over the UAE's censorship of flickr back in around 2005, I think?

***I'm speaking here in broad generalisations.

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July 3, 2007

Free e-book

lofi photography book

For both my readers a free book to download and do as you please with, I recommend reading/viewing it on screen but if you can justify the cost for printing and binding them go ahead print it out and bind it, all I ask is that you send a postcard from where ever you are, or better still somewhere exotic.

l will acknowledge ALL postcards somewhere in cyberspace.

There WILL be others, how often I'm not sure.

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July 7, 2007

Mobile Phone Camera Accessories

Just bought some el-cheapo lenses that attach to my mobile phone camera.

A Macro Lens and a Vignetting/Starbust.

Who would've thought that these things would even be made, as if most mobile phones don't already have bad enough lenses.

Photos to come as I experiment.

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July 8, 2007

DAM

Currently I have several boxes containing a couple of hundred Cd's of images. Finding images at this point is not too difficult a task, but what of in the future say 10 years time, what if CD readers become unusable antiques? What happens if I hit the hundreds of millions mark down the track, currently I have shot 3,000 images on my Sony Ericcson since October already?

I recently had lunch with a friend who is employed by Museum Victoria, and the current project she is working on is, Digital Asset management. Our brief discussion got me thinking about these issues down the track. Currently I use a date system and iView Media Pro, with a small level of manual input on my part. Will this serve me in the future? Currently my negative filing system is similar. A system I've been using for 20 years, which works well, as I find the process of sitting down and flipping through proof sheets, rewarding, therapeutic, and educational. Scrolling through screen after screen of thumbnails is more immediate, yet, less 'contemplative'. The immediacy of the screen seems to affect the way I think about my images. It can get frustrating trying to find and elusive image, but this problem hasn't occurred to me since, I upgraded to the pro version of iViewmedia pro.

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July 9, 2007

Why I love Mobile Phone Photography

ocean beach mermaid

If I was in this situation of stumbling across this doll with ANY kind of serious hardware I would think long and hard about exposing my camera gear to the elements, of salt and wind. However I wouldn't think twice about whipping out my mobile phone.

Now this gem of a small slice of life is captured for prosperity. Eat ya heart out, Lartigue.

Thanks to bk2000 for sharing

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Six Seven Things I Like About Using Flickr

My recent write-up on Photo sharing sites and their communities, seems to have struck quite a chord with several people. One comment suggested the tone was slightly downbeat as far as flickr was concerned, so in the interests of giving a fair and balanced view of life in a Photo-sharing community, here's 6 7 things I like about flickr.

  1. Visitors, I have far more people 'see' my photography in the short time online than I could have ever imagined in a real gallery around Melbourne, unless I made it 'big' and got to show in the NGV.
  2. Community, there is still a real sense of ownership and community amongst many of the users of flickr, something that is in some ways immeasurable and somewhat ephemeral, but definitely value added for sure.
  3. Other Photographers, I'm still astounded by the depth and breadth of talent out there, it always has and will continue to be a real humbling and grounding experience, for me.
  4. Connections, I have connected, albeit in a somewhat cyberspace kind of way, with several people who I would never have encountered. Not to mention, in Melbourne I have actually physically met people who also, I never would have an opportunity to meet. This enabled me to have a group show/exhibition, again not possible without all the other people's support and participation. Some of these people have had skills that were also applicable to the web in general, and services too*.
  5. Skills improvement, my use of and application of the technologies that drive web sites has grown and improved, as well as my confidence to use and apply them. I feel my writing has also improved as well.
  6. Fun, I still manage today to spend many hours having fun with other contacts in and around flickr, on a daily basis. So, as far as value for money is concerned, well it's true value there's no doubt.
  7. The interface, is so simply and yet so well thought out, it may have taken a while to get to know my way around, but in other sites site that I've looked at since this one is just so graceful, simple and elegant.

*A big hat tip to Andrew for all his help, I am indebted in far too many ways to even count, thanks again.

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July 10, 2007

How to Take Better Mobile-phone Photographs*

In an effort to clarify in my own mind what I'm doing with my mobile phone camera, I've decided to add a few pointers here on how I use a mobile phone to capture what I consider interesting images. If you have no aspirations towards image making with a mobile phone, try this article at 43folders, it has some fun ideas and uses for these gadgets.

First a disclaimer. This is not a recipe to making good images, but rather, a set of guiding principles, and like all good guiding principles, these can sometimes be broken. Also, I'm going to assume you are using a camera with at least 1.5 mega-pixels, today's 2 and 3 mega-pixel phones are more than adequate for small prints.

  1. Mobile Phones Cameras Are Not DSLR's:- coming to terms with the limitations of these cameras is part of the learning process. Drop those expectations and you are on your way to becoming a better image maker, using mobile phones.
  2. Camera Phones Are Stupid:- your eyes AND your brain are what enable you to comprehend and appreciate the world. Get close to things that are important, shift and change your viewpoint, examine all aspects of the viewfinder/screen, try and eliminate distracting details. Get Closer, Get Closer, Get Closer.
  3. Camera-phones Are Legally Blind:- so don't go trying to get them a driver's license, but seriously, you would be surprised how much light IS required to take a photo, without artefacts like noise. Bright sunny days to soft overcast ones are the best times to make images, with your mobile phone. This assumes you DON'T want these artefacts.
  4. You Are Better At Vacillating Than Your Camera Phone:- the fully automatic nature of these cameras is good, most of the time, sometimes, however it is better to under or over expose a shot to get the best results. Take a series of over and underexposed images on your camera if it has the facility to do this, [and you have the inclination and time to do it] you do have plenty of room on your phone's memory storage don't you? Failing that, titling the camera to include or exclude bright areas such as sky can trick the meter into giving a different exposure.
  5. Cheap Tricks Are For Nice People Too:- carry your phone everywhere, most people do. Look around you, if something catches your eye, quietly pull out your camera and take a photo, do that EVERYDAY for long enough, and you will start to see what works and what doesn't. Speaking of cheap if your camera-phone supports removable storage, upgrade it to at least 128meg, that way taking 300+ photos on a weekend away is entirely feasible.
  6. In Cyberspace People Can Hear You Scream:- don't simply assume that images you capture with your mobile must end up as prints, or die a quiet death on your hard drive of your computer. Places like flickr, facebook, ipernity, photobucket, myspace, all encourage you to upload and share photos online, the perfect environment for displaying images made using a mobile phone of any size CCD.
  7. This Is Not A Pipe:- ultimately a photograph is an abstraction of reality, these phone's poor optics and electronic design cannot not replicate the real world, understand and apply this, and you will get some surprising results.

*Thanks to Lord of the Flies, for prompting this article, sorry about the poor writing, just keep asking, keep shooting and keep joking.

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Famous Photo Critic Dies

John Szarkowski Dies!another hero dies

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July 11, 2007

PIC Student Exhibition

I am proud to announce, some of the students who put up with me on a daily basis, are having an exhibition. The show is titled, batch 41607 and is at Cusp Gallery starting Friday.

Cusp Gallery is at, 238 High St, Northcote.

The exhibition, runs from the 14th - 27th of July. Opening night, Friday the 13th! of July. [Ominous.] Wind down from the days bad luck and get in early for a few drinks.

Cusp Gallery

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July 14, 2007

Photographic Processing in the 21st Century

I'm about to begin investigating digital processing tools. Photoshop and digital file capture has moved a long way in the short space of 5 years. Photoshop is no longer a necessary tool in any photographer's toolbox. Assuming they work in RAW, as any good pro should, they now have the following to choose from, Lightroom Aperture, Silkypix, DxO Optics Pro 4, Capture One LE and Pro, Expression Media/iView Media Pro, Bibble Lite & Bibble Pro, to name but a few. As an educator, this presents many issues, I have expounded at length about these in the past. Later next week I am attending a PD session that, will hopefully clarify in my mind where I can take this.

In the meantime here's a few screen-grabs, and thoughts on my limited experiences with some of these applications.

This is not meant to be an in-depth review, just a cursory glance with some pros & cons thrown in.

iView Media Pro/Expression Media

Expression Media

Reasonably priced under $300 AU, [cheaper for Education], light, fast, simple, useful global editing tools, seems to recognise pretty much any file format I've used, so far.Runs easily on my humble g4 iBook

Capture One LE

Capture One LE

LE is reasonably priced, light and fast, powerful editing tools, global only runs easily on my humble g4 iBook. I just wish the GUI was a little more polished.

Adobe Lightroom

Lightroom

Expensive, [$500.00 AU], powerful tools, runs sluggishly on my humble g4 iBook.

Adobe Bridge CS3

Bridge CS3

Sluggish on my g4 iBook, [which Adobe Product isn't?] powerful organising tools, that synchronise nicely with Photoshop, difficult to cost as it is bundled with Photoshop, no editing features just organisational ones.

SilkyPix

SILKYPIX Developer Studio 3.0 ( http://www.silkypix.com )   1/1

Reasonably priced, fast and powerful global editing tools. Runs well on my humble g4 iBook

Capture One Pro

Capture One Pro

Expensive, powerful global editing tool. Outstanding exposure control, 0.1 of an EV, my kind of tool for sure. I just wish the GUI was a little more polished.

Aperture

Aperture

Expensive, [Education pricing available] requires g5 or higher and very specific hardware to run, won't run on my g4 iBook. Screen-grab is from a g5 I have access to.

DxO Optics Pro 4

DxO

Reasonably priced, seems to have powerful tools, but I may have installed in incorrectly as it wouldn't recognise the Pentax RAW files on my hard drive? This review gives some insight into how it works and what it does.

Bibble Pro

Bibble Pro

Very Cheap. Powerful tool, a bit sluggish on my g4 iBook, and the interface is very amateurish looking, [I confess I'm a GUI snob, I mean I'm a visual person after all]. But I guess you get what you pay for.

Bibble Lite

Bibblelite

Very cheap. Less powerful than the Pro version, but still sluggish and as for the GUI, well like I said call me a snob! But I guess you get what you pay for?

This then begs the question, what software packages are both my readers using to process archive and catalogue their camera files, and are they both shooting in raw?

More reading?

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July 15, 2007

untitled

DSC03097

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July 16, 2007

Two Years Ago Today

moving

My Nikon was still going strong.

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July 18, 2007

Ramblings?

Well yesterday I rambled on a bit, in the cold light of dawn here, well pre-dawn actually, I've decided that I will heed Ian's advice and compare several of the RAW processing tools I've downloaded and opened, the ones I could get to work at least.

Hopefully I'll have some results by the end of the week.

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Schmaps, CC Licenes, and Ego

Thanks to Brendadada, here's an interesting article regarding CC distribution of photographs, and Flickr

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July 21, 2007

Urban Phalanxes

Thanks to Incognita Nom De Plume, for the heads up on this blog of urban street art. This is what Julie says about her work

"In a globalised world, cities are rapidly becoming homogenised spaces. At first glance difference is disappearing, we see the same cars, same buildings, and same franchises.

This work will explore the idea that the marks on the pavement and the minutiae found in the streets can tell you where you are and provide clues for deciphering the narratives of the cultural terrain."

While we're at it Incognita Nom de Plums' work is in itself beautiful and ephemeral.

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July 22, 2007

Mobile Phone Accessories

Mophone Add-on Lenses

Small cheap attachments that can add an element of fun, to your mobile phone photography. They cost, $4.99 each at The Warehouse a cheap chain store, in Australia we call them $2.00 shops, originally they sold nothing over $2.00, well now with a chain like The Warehouse they can up that price a little. They are quite good and for screen based work more than adequate.

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July 23, 2007

Photography Prize Shortlist Announced

The William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize shortlist has been announced[pdf file]. Needless to say I'm not on it.

However, I'm always pleased to see the diversity of approaches to image making that still exists.

The list itself reads a bit like a who's who of Australian and in particular Melbourne Photo Artists, congrats to Joyce Evans for being shortlisted in particular, one of Melbourne's earliest Photo Art Practitioners, and longest patrons.

What I find the most interesting is the amount of output isn't as biased towards Digital as I would have thought. It seems artists are still enamoured by the richness of the wet process. I'm looking forward to the exhibition in September.

Image by, Damian DILLON Desolation Row #18 2007 Lambda print 76.2 x 127cm, used here without permission.

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July 24, 2007

Speaking of Shortlists

Donina, one of the gifted and creative people I have the good fortune to meet on flickr and in real life was recently highlighted in the Hey Hotshot competition, a hearty congrats to you there Donina, let's see where your next attempt gets gets you.

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July 26, 2007

My Very Own Photo Quote*

"In a still photograph you basically have three variables, the direction of light you use, where you stand and when you press the shutter."

*Thanks to Henry J Wessel. [requires realplayer]

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July 29, 2007

Photo Sharing Sites Compared

I've been roaming the interwebs over the last few weeks, searching out another cyber-gallery/home for my photography.

In my travels I've found the following sites, which is by no means an exhaustive one, but a good starting point for those thinking of using the web this way.

  • ipernity.com#
  • zooomr.com
  • multiply.com##
  • deviantArt.com*

Today I spent some time uploading and tweaking, my mulitply.com site. Which lead to me noticing the pluses of flickr and perhaps why it's become so successful.

Two areas I notice where flickr really is head and shoulders above the others, uploading and groups. One minor negative, is skinning or the appearance of your stream.

Something that flickr doesn't offer is 'skinning' the ability to change, the appearance of your page, multiply does and so does as does ipernity, each to a different degree, but the look of your site/page can be made different to the rest of the site, a feature also by the way of myspace, which in itself has become a cottage industry, but not facebook. Anyway I digress. This skinning feature is obviously a feature not clamored for by many people. [Some basic layout changing can be done on flickr, but I don't get the feeling people don't want to change the appearance of the streams on flickr. Possibly a clever move on flickr's part, certainly from a 'branding' point of view. But flickr has done some other things that make it stand and and more memorable.

Uploading to flickr, is a breeze. People can use the flickr interface itself, and several 3rd party apps that will do it very seamlessly for me as well. Multiply has no 3rd party apps that I can see, just a java, e-mail or html interface for uploading, which isn't bad but those little 3rd party apps I use really tap into the aspects I want fast easy simple and feature packed. Ipernity has one 3rd party app, which is very good, it has been so long since I've used zooomr I can't remember now how to upload, and I think there are account problems as well? DevaintArt's uploading system [html] has always been to prescriptive for my liking, [I'll be the one who decides what sort of categories my photos fit in thanks].

Creating groups and more importantly adding photos to groups. On ipenrity, as I write, no group facility exists, nor on zooomr, on multiply their are groups, albeit a huge variety of them, but adding photos to them is a separate process to adding photos to your own stream/account. When adding photos to groups on multiply, you add separate albums to the group, a bit of a nuisance really.

# I followed a European flickrnaut over to ipernity but can't remember who?
## thanks to brendadada from flickr for the heads up
* I signed up a long time ago never done much in there though.

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July 30, 2007

More Photo Sharing and Now Storing sites?

Thanks to b's comment yesterday, I went in search of more places to store and share images, in the process I found this site, free-webhosts.com, which then sent me in search of even more places to share and store photos. Still nothing shapes up quite like flickr in terms of it's overall, look, feel, ease of use and sense of community. Photobucket for example has a clunky interface and isn't that clear about limits attached to a free account. Shutterfly, despite it's more liberal upload limits, explicitly prohibits hot linking, and seems geared to selling prints anyways, I'm not even going to bother with Kodak's equivalent as they are not renowned for having their fingers on the pulse of things these days.

As for communities in general 'online' I suspect that flickr has built a rod for it''s own back. In the process of setting up such an organic process, there is bound to be certain levels of anarchy. I realise to that getting to 'know' a community takes involvement and time, but the 'structure' of the groups on flickr seems unique. You create a group about anything and list it anywhere yo feel comfortable and invite away. If it well managed it prospers, if not well whatever. All the other sites have very well defined boundaries that you must at add your group to. Making it less anarchistic, but somehow less owned.

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Two Years Ago

*memorial*

Two years ago, my Nikon was still going strong and I was carrying it everywhere.

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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 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 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 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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September 2, 2007

Phone-Cam Prints

Picked up my 1st ever 6"x4" prints from the mini-lab the other day, and let me say I am more than pleased with the results. Some are a little "over sharpened" and one is printed too light, but all in all I'm, more than happy with them, and my advice to anyone considering buying a point 'n press camera, don't. So long has your phone is a least 2 mega-pixels and you are never going to get a print made bigger than 5" x7" no worries go for it.

prints

Sometime in the coming weeks I'm hoping to publish VOl 2 of Lo-Fi

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September 4, 2007

Camera Craft

Yesterday, at work we were fortunate to have a professional development session given to us by Les Walkling. Les is a lecturer in the fine art department at R.M.I.T, a former lecturer of mine and several other staff and a friend and mentor. He covered many issues relative to digital capture, exposure, processing, digital noise, and the idea of camera craft and post production.

My notes are scattered, he talks very quickly, and all I can offer at the moment is that, the two best options available to process raw, are, Capture One, and Raw Developer, sadly Raw Developer is a Mac only app, and Capture One, does not YET handle the open source DNG file format. He did however show us how to create a camera profile using a Photoshop action and Gretag Macbeth target. As Raw developer is only $125 US, I will begin experimenting with that probably over the term break, coincidentally it is made by a software engineer who was formerly an employee of Capture One. Les also recommended software like iView Media Pro as it is a 'Cataloger' over Bridge which is an image 'Browser'.

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September 8, 2007

Raw Processor Tool

Capture One 4 Beta, is now available for download.

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September 9, 2007

Built-In Redundancy?

Look at these 2 cameras.

2cameras

Which one has been made redundant by technological advances?

By way of background, the camera on the left is a film camera, a Kodak Brownie Flash II manufactured 1953-1963. The camera on the right a Kodak DC20, a digital camera from the mid 90's. An honest review here.

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September 10, 2007

Work Flow

Before I answer yesterday's question I want to talk about Digital Work flows, Analog Work flows and the loses and gains between the two.

Analogue Photography

Analogue photography has a long history of literature in terms of process. In fact it is very difficult to learn the process of b&w film processing and printing, without consulting the numerous texts out there that describe the process.

As a process it is well established, as I said, and could be described as something like this.

  1. Shoot, light, composition, timing, technical choices
  2. Process:- Film [Chemicals, Dev, Stop, Fix, wash, dry]
  3. Proof/Contact the film, or if you are brave go straight to the next step. Again technical considerations also come into play here, exposure time, contrast/filtration, choice of paper developer and so on
  4. Choose your 'shot' to Print
  5. Make your Print, again, technical considerations come into play here, exposure time, contrast/filtration, choice of paper developer and so on
  6. Refine your print, based on skill and knowledge of materials, using darkroom techniques and or post darkroom techniques such as Toning, Bleaching etc
  7. Present your Print, in a frame or on a wall in some way.

The entire process allowing plenty of time for immersion in the craft and process of photography and thought of craft, aesthetics and history. Of course only the truly dedicated follow this path to it's logical extension. How to make beautifully crafted photographic prints that celebrate life art and the idea of a photograph, or at least question it.

Digital Photography

Step 1 is identical between the two processes, with some minor differences in approach between analogue emulsions and digital CCDs.

However step 2 is where things go awry with digital. There are so many choices in post exposure software out there, right down to the choice of processing in camera. Where is a beginner to turn now? For example simply hooking your camera up to your computer is likely to simply launch some piece of software that you will need to learn first before you even begin looking at your images, either creatively, critically or technically. And of course what is likely to happen in 18 months to 2 years, the software developer will change their software to the extent where learning it all over again is a distinct possibility. Somewhere, in this process people are meant to some how learn how critically evaluate the images they make and gain an insight inot what images have been made why and how.

Factor in the huge shortage of texts that deal with the digital photograph as a craft and you have a hot bed of misinformation, and a breeding ground for old wive's tales.

Somewhere in amongst all this, photography teachers the world over are expected to pass on all the right knowledge to prepare their students for life in the real world. Believe it or not I find this exciting and challenging and a great way forward, as I consider myself one of the lucky few, a foot in both camps.

I guess I'll leave the gains of digital to another article another day, though.

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September 6, 2007

Local Newspaper Article

Recent article about the current exhibition I'm exhibiting in, scanned from a cutout article from my local newspaper. Need to work on my 'media' skills I think?

News? Old really?

The exhibition is, on at Gallery 124, 124 Hampshire Rd, Sunshine.

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September 14, 2007

Technological Redundancy

A couple of days ago I posed a question about technology, not only here, but to my students as well. It garnered some interesting results. And as a result I discovered I could purchase an adapter/dongle that will solve part of my problems with the digital 1990's camera. Providing that I can find or set up a computer that will run the software itself to download from the camera.

Of course even so the real answer was that the Digital camera is effectively redundant, as I have been able for many years to use contemporary film in the Box Brownie that is probably an easier option for most people just requiring some skill and practice, to master, can the same be said for computer software and hardware? Because that is effectively what would be required to get the 1990's camera up and running again. Both cameras are of course consumer end cameras and as a consequence, but the differences in attitude in manufacture I feel are huge.

In other news, I was recently sent a VistaQuest keychain camera, adding another Lo-Fi device to my list of experiments that I'm dabbling in.

September 15, 2007

Digital Holga?

This new camera is shaping up to be my digital holga.

IMG 0147_chooks_what_chooks

In bright sun the colours have the weird saturated Holga look, along with the classic vingetting as well as the classic over-compressing of jpeg of consumer digital cams. A win win all round thanks again heaps Jakes_World.

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September 17, 2007

Raw Processing

Spent 2 hours today processing a job shot earlier in the week, decided to use the Beta Version of Capture One 4.

This is one elegant and powerful tool. The beta version on my screen cut off the curves section of the exposure tab, but other wise it all worked really well.

The interface seems to have an adobe Edge though, which is okayyy, but certainly a step away from Apple's GUI guidleines.

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September 18, 2007

More On Raw

Why shoot RAW, and what is the big corporations are doing about it?

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September 20, 2007

Serendipity

Randomness and Aesthetics.

serendipity
|ˈsɛr(ə)nˌdɪpɪti| noun:- the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way : a fortunate stroke of serendipity | a series of small serendipities.
DERIVATIVES serendipitous adjective
serendipitously adverb
ORIGIN 1754: coined by Horace Walpole, suggested by The Three Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes “were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.”

There has long been two loose schools of thought about photographic art. Photographic time or moments, and staged photography. The first often requires small cameras*, that are basically an extension of the users hands and arms allowing the photographer to freeze moments in time whether by chance or planning quickly and easily. The second often uses Larger Cameras, carefully controlled lighting and composition.

Both approaches, to art photography share a common concept, intent. Does this then mean a camera such as my new VistaQuest 1005, is excluded from the genre of art making because of it's lack of technical control? If I carry around my small camera with the intent of capturing some moment in time, and only occasionally get some random and serendipitous image as a result, is this less of an art form than much of today's 'street photography'? What part does randomness and chance play in image making using cameras?

Frederick Sommer, perhaps had a real handle on this idea many years ago, when he found an arrangement of illustrations from catalogues and magazines attached to the wall inside an abandoned miner’s shack in 1947, his point that in photographing anything we are always in some way arranging ourselves in relation to what we are serving as subject matter

*By small cameras I mean 35mm and smaller.

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September 24, 2007

Photography Website

"Minimalist photographic images by Ciro Totku"

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Film Processing Video

How to process black and white film, an introductory video.

Thanks to brendadada

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September 25, 2007

Ipernity & Groups

Popped in to my Ipernity.com account last night, and to my delight discovered that they at last have groups. So naturally I started my own. No surprises on the idea behind it, it's a Lo-Fi camera group.

From the team at Ipernity themselves:-

Note: This is a very first release of Groups. We'll enhance of course this feature during the next weeks. We invite you to visit from time to time our Blog, where you'll find all the news about ipernity.

So I also joined a smattering of others as well.

How I will cope between flickr and ipernity is another issue to consider.

This forming of groups got me thinking, as many will be duplicates of existing flickr groups I'm sure, about the social fabric of online communities, and how they appear to mimic real life in terms of dissent and disagreement, except that when folks feel disaffected in online and web 2.0 communities, they simply move on and set up another community.

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Deja-Vu

groups

Here's a list of groups from ipernity, I think it speaks volumes that flowers, macros, sunsets, and black and white are popular.

In case you can't read the text or see the screen-grab hosted back on ipernity, here's a list:-

  • Mono Images ie b&w
  • Sunrise - Sunset
  • Architecture
  • Grafitti
  • Landscape
  • Flowers

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September 26, 2007

VistaQuest Shortcomings

In my quest to exploit explore and understand how my new keychain camera distorts the world I'm beginning to make some interesting discoveries.

IMG 0469_like_a_bazooka

This little camera needs to be held steady even in bright daylight. It distorts movement in interesting ways too.

The view finder is next to useless, adding more to the idea of chance to each image.

Colour and vignetting add to the charm of the images made as well, giving a distinct holga look to the images, which is good.

Despite the uselessness of the viewfinder I made a good one here, the holga-like vignetting and weird colours add to the image I feel.


IMG 0314_wonka

Movement is weird here, a happy accident indeed.


IMG 0288_flinders_st

This was taken in broad daylight, and 'from the hip' pleasantly surprised by the blur


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September 28, 2007

More on the Web

So yesterday, on flickr I left a comment about Australia's National Telco, Telstra and how I wanted to NOT get on a soapbox about them. One of the respondents asked, "What is Telstra". I responded by googling "We Hate Telstra", I came across this article, from the age, that summed it all up really quite well. Clicking on the author's blog link lead me to this article which incorporates ideas I've long held close to my heart.

What has this to do with photography? Well I'm glad that all three of you asked? Changes are afoot in the nature of the hierarchies of structure of photography, it's histories and acknowledgment of photographers who produce significant work. No longer will curators in dressed black, sporting condescending black rimmed glasses be the arbiters of quality and meaning. At the very least we will see the notion of good photography split into, many many camps and schools of thought, all out of reach and control of galleries both State Sponsored and privately owned, I'm guessing, anyways.

All in all I'm excited, about photography's spread and use that has been accelerated by the internet and the lowering costs of digital cameras.

All this from a casual comment and a quick google search.

Finally an article that extolls the virtues of Web 2.0, in particular flickr in the classroom. Albeit a little old, [written in 2005], some aspects of the article are no longer relevant. certainly worth some thought.

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September 29, 2007

Tips on Photography...

Tips on Photography* you won't find in any book.

  • When outdoors on location, turn around, 180 degrees and take another shot.
  • Shoot one Vertical and one horizontal.
  • ALWAYS use a lens hood.
  • Everything in photography doubles and halves.
  • Old photos look sepia by accident.
  • What you exclude in your shot is as important as what you include.
  • There is little point in shooting after 10.00 am in summer and before 3.00 pm.
  • The light in Australia is 'different' to other parts of the world.
  • Your best images will often be made when you are alone.
  • Photoshop is a powerful tool, be careful with that power.
  • Photoshop DESTROYS pixels.
* hat tip to thomask and gregor_y on flickr for the inspiration, and Kent for letting me steal two of his, the 1st two.

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October 1, 2007

Collection Increase X 2

Overseas Parcel

This morning a parcel arrived, from The United States of America.

Jakes_World, from flickr and now ipernity.com sent me another gift, this time containing, an old 127 film camera and rollof 127 film, a Vivitar Minidigital Camera and a CD.

Thanks again, jakes_world, your kindness knows no bounds.

One day, rest assured, there will be some form of publication from this camera whether it be an exhibition, book or some other form of publishing, well see.

The viewfinder on this and similar cameras has a real other worldly feel to it, and of course these lenses produce images that have a look about them that is just unique and difficult to reproduce.

Given the number of overseas parcels I've received over the last 4 or 5 years, I can't help wondering what impact the internet has had on the postal service.


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October 3, 2007

VistaQuest Research

IMG 0558_blue_sky_mining

Currently I have a ridiculously large card in my VistaQuest camera. One gig to be exact. Why? All 3 of you ask, well it just happened to be the first card I had lying around, when I unpacked it from the parcel and started mucking around with it.

So as an experiment I was hoping to leave ALL the images on the card until it was full, I was copying files across regularly, but left them on the camera, in the beginning.

So, yesterday I was out and about soaking up the glorious spring sunshine with a shoulder bag full of gear and the only camera I couldn't use was the Vistaquest 1005. This had me perplexed for a while. The camera seemed to function, it just wasn't showing any signs of taking a photo, 3 horizontal bars, on the tiny screen at the back.

So I popped back home and deleted all bar the last image, hey presto back in business.

So, I guess for what ever reason, the camera isn't designed for that many images, irrespective of the card size in it.

As for battery consumption, these cameras DO chew through them. However, I've found that a Lithium battery gets about 400 - 500 [almost 2 weeks] shots out of it, and as the novelty slowly wears off the batteries should last longer.

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October 4, 2007

Look Down

DSC04528

Found, on a street corner in Melbourne.

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October 5, 2007

Creative Phonecam Uses

This, Looks like an interesting competition from the BBC.

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October 6, 2007

Work Prints Gallery 124 X-mas Show

all in a dayze werk

Some work prints for an upcoming show at Gallery 124, 124 Hampshire Rd Sunshine. I'm planning on submitting these for the annual X-mas show. As first prints I'm pretty pleased with the results. They are actually from a larger series, one that has been in the pipe-works for 12 months already.

The 2 low key prints are on Ilford Multigrade, the 2 high-key prints are on my last packet of Forté.

All are developed in Ansco 120. A metol only soft and warm paper developer that I've been using for quite a few years now. A job I once did, paid me with Metol, thank god.

Definitely will be toning these, probably using sepia, on the high key shots, and selenium on the low key shots, I'm also planning on using bleach locally on the low key shots, looks like I've a few more Sundays to go before they will be ready.

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October 7, 2007

Why Use a Phonecam?

If, photography is about, light, time & space, then the tool you use to capture these things should be immaterial. To my mind good craft is important but invisible. The tool of choice then would be a craft based decision, based on your final output. If the image never goes beyond the screen or small print or low resolution output like a newspaper then a low resolution device is perfect. What if however you actually want to go the next step and make a print or for that matter a large print, say bigger than A2?

Two megapixels isn't going to cut it, not even 5 megapixels. Big prints then are out of the question. Small prints or screen based work is all that will come out of these cameras, unless your intention is make some sort of statement about the tools themselves. So a phone-cam or small low-rez device is perfect if you don't plan on going beyond the screen or small prints. I feel these cameras are perfect for capturing brief fleeting moments, or for carrying around with you constantly in a ubiquitous manner. Sometimes you can even predict how these cameras are going to behave and produce interesting results

Throughout history, artists are often trying to distill their work down to it's essence. Photography is no exception, one way to do this is to remove all reliance on tools, and using a small CCD with only automatic controls is one step down this path.

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October 9, 2007

The Quest..

... is going well, thanks for asking.

IMG 0655_ribbon

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October 10, 2007

Sunrise

IMG 0726_warning

It's that time of year when I eagerly await the arrival of daylight saving.

Sunrise over my backyard, 2007.10.10 05:45


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October 11, 2007

Must Have Accessories

There are two things I include in every camera purchase, a lens hood and a UV filter. To this day I'm surprised how many people shoot without either. Lens Flare is the biggest factor in degrading image quality, after dust and fingerprints on the lens.

Optional accessories would be a neck-strap, and tripod, followed by a step ladder.

Any of my readers care to share their accessory gadget list?

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Eureka!

IMG 0749_eureka

This shot has been leaping out at me, for several weeks now. Finally got it, as best one can with a camera with no controls.

For either any of my readers who may care, I was standing in my own driveway when I shot this. Who needs exotic locations when the light is as glorious as it is here.

To quote one of my favourite photographers, and authors Robert Adams

"Nothing permanently diminishes the affirmation of the sun".

As an aside, one of the biggest criticisms of these cameras is their battery consumption, the current battery in this camera has been there for just over 2 weeks, and no sign of it losing any power yet.


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October 12, 2007

Picture Australia Website

Picture Australia's website has had a face lift and there are some surprises in there Kent Johnson has 326 images in the collection, barb, has 11 images, I have 96.

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October 17, 2007

Black & White in CS3

cs3 channelmixer 1

Using Photoshop to create greyscale images from full colour ones just got even better using the new channel mixer in CS3.

There are several way to do this, and the channel mixer has always offered the most control. Now in CS3, it offers some very interesting pre-sets as well. All based around traditional b&w film & coloured filters. This image shows the dialog box accessed by the menu-bar, image>adjustments>channel mixer.

The presets drop-down menu at the top allows you to choose between several predetermined spectral responses and creating your own custom set of values.



cs3 channelmixer 3
  • Infrared
  • Blue Filter
  • Red Filter
  • Orange Filter
  • Green Filter
  • Yellow Filter

Use of these kinds of filters have had a long history in b&w, photography. Panchromatic film in itself has only been a reality in photography since the 70's. Prior to this b&w film was more Orthochromatic ie sensitive to the blue and green but not the red end of the spectrum, this is why so many photographs from the early history of photography had washed out skies, and also saw many many smart photographers take 2 exposures, one for the foreground and one for the sky, from the same camera position, then in the darkroom simply sandwiching the 2 negatives together to produce a print. Others simply, kept a collection of skies on hand in the darkroom and used as needed.

Now CS3 enables you to mimic the effects that these filters have in how colours are represented in a black and white print. Yellow for example it is said most closely mimics the world the way we see it and of course Red filters produce dramatic skies, while colours like green and blue can be used quite effectively in the right situation.

When working traditionally the colour of the filter you used with block it's opposites and passed more of it's own colour. So for example when using a Red filter less Green and blue light strikes the film than red. Red objects reflect more red light creating a denser negative, producing a lighter print. Where as less blue and green light strikes the film making for a less dense neg and a darker print.

I can only wonder now at the demise of silver gelatin printing. As anyone, armed today with a modern DSLR, and a good A3 ink-jet printer can easily produce some wonderful prints using these technologies.

the real question is though is there a measurable qualitative difference between the two output methods, personally I still see differences in Silver Gelatin prints over ink-jet ones, but after 20 plus years of working with the medium I've come to appreciate some unique and subtle qualities that I've yet to see in ink-jet prints.

I may, in an upcoming article, show the differences between the pre-sets at least.



Another approach on Luminous Landscape

New Set

Just processed and scanned my first 2 rolls of 127, shot in my Ansco Cadet II. The camera works and gives the soft 1970's look I was hoping to achieve.

I did however have some difficulties with the film, the paper tape that holds the film wound up, is difficult to remove and I wasn't careful enough holding the untaped film resulting the tightly wound backing paper unfurling a little and giving me some fogging.

Still all in all a nice camera, and with a 40mm square neg just that little nicer than 35mm without the huge light leaks from my holga.


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October 18, 2007

Black & White

Here's 2 samples of the presets I was talking about previously, including the original file

First the original.

DSC04726-no-filter

Next, the Yellow Filter pre-set.

DSC04726-y-filter

Finally the blue filter preset.

DSC04726-b-filter

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October 19, 2007

What is a photograph?

It is a complex, ongoing, spontaneous interaction of observation understanding, imagination and intention.

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October 20, 2007

Twelve Months Later

For anyone who cares, I have been posting 1 photo a day to my phone-cam blog, now for 12 months. The premise is I use the phone to not only make the image, but upload directly to the web, no software, other than phone's built-in software for choosing and uploading.

As an experiment in editing a body of work and shooting as often as possible, it has it's moments.

There is some crossover between, this idea and the newer project on flickr, Neo-Documentary. There is even some crossover, between the 2 projects.

Brooklyn Melbourne Victoria Australia 2007:09:26 09:23:00

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October 21, 2007

Dusk...

Dusk...

The sky over Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 2007:10:21 18:07:28

Yesterday I mentioned that I've been photo-blogging for a year, using only my phone camera, I neglected to mention the other project on facebook, where I upload 7 pictures every Sunday. that's only been going for about 3 months or so, I think, but a different challenge each week, compared to the daily upload.


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October 22, 2007

LightZone 3

Just downloaded another photo editing application, called, LightZone. I haven't sussed it completely yet, but because,it edits, non-destructively, and in a way we see collour and light.

This from the website:-

LightZone is the only photo-editor that understands the way the eye sees color and light. Rather than editing pixels, LightZone edits photographic attributes, visually, live and 100% non-destructively.

Significantly reduces the time to perfect digital photographs

Delivers more predictable and precise results with less effort

Easier to learn and use than pixel-painting software

Features include:

  • Integrated RAW processing and Noise reduction Provides a seamless workflow from camera media to LightZone ZoneMapper™ Edits exposure values to improve detail and contrast
  • Re-light™ Improves image contrast with a single click
  • Regions™ Add unlimited selective editing to every tool
  • Complete tool set Sharpen, Blur, Hue/Saturation, Noise Reduction, White Balance, Spotting, Cloning, Red-eye removal and more

Screengrabs from the application.

LightZone Browse


lightzone edit

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October 25, 2007

Better Late Than Never?

A word of Thanks to Elisabeth, Artelisa, on flickr and ipernity for organising an Exhibition called, When your beauty is also my beauty...an international semantic experiment in photography, featuring 12 photographers from around the world.

Here's her Exhibition statement.

When your beauty is also my beauty...
an international semantic experiment in photography.

How do we perceive images – whether made by ourselves or by others – and how do these "others" see our own pictures? Sixteen people – connected by their passion for seeing and photographing – some of whom know each other personally, and others of whom are connected only by online exchanges of photographs over several years, examine that question in this exhibition.

Initiated by and in discussion with Elisabeth Windisch (Germany), thousands of photos were reciprocally reduced to a selection of twelve from each participant: Gabriela Potts (USA), Hartmut Schneider (Germany), Oliver Nitschke (Germany), Stuart Murdoch (Australia), Paul E. Grebanier (USA), Kangan Arora (UK), Nils K. Windisch (Germany), Ned Lyttelton (Canada), Janette Toth (USA), Julia Wagner (Germany), Dario Taraborelli (UK), Marion de Man (Netherlands), Donald McLeman (UK), Scott Bookman (USA), Rainer Perrey (Germany).

This concept is explored in the form of small-format digital prints, from 12 to 14 October.

Location: Historischer Wasserturm (Historic Watertower), Gökerstrasse 3, Wilhelmshaven, GermanyVernissage: Friday, 12 October at 19:00, with opening remarks by Gabriele Iwersen Viewing hours: Saturday and Sunday, 13-14 October from 14:00 to 18:00

Sadly I was unable to attend the opening, there are pictures on flickr of course, in LichtEinfall's stream. thanks also to LichtEinfall [Rainer] for documenting it for those who were unable to attend.

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October 28, 2007

UNSENSORED 07

On Friday night I attended the opening of UNSENSORED 07, a photographic exhibition by a collective of photographers who initially met via flickr. The show is all shot on film. And the prints are on sale both from the gallery, and redbubble.com.

The works on display were all of exceptional quality and the presentation immaculate. The show itself hung very professionally too.

While it is difficult to really see work at an opening, Jaye Loring's work shot on a holga really grabbed my eye as did Hamish Innes-Brown's work.

I highly recommend a visit, to this show.

Details are:- UNSENSORED 07, @ Kerala Galley, 283 High St Northcote, 3070, Melbourne Victoria Australia. Gallery Hours Tuesday to Friday 12-5pm, and Saturdays 10-4pm. The show runs until the 10th of November. 2007

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Blogged Elsewhere

Been blogged elsewhere, with an old shot from my Nikon Coolpix 5400, a shot taken in 2005, no less

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October 30, 2007

Richmond Station

IMG 1563_rust

FWIW, here is the same art work on October the 6th 2006

November 3, 2007

Online Photo editing

Picnik, an online Photo Editor I seem to remember dabbling with in some time back is now offering pro services.

Now Picnik offers 26 effects, 5 frames, a totally new touch-ups section, and nearly 200 fonts and shapes! We've added Facebook, Photobucket and Webshots to the list of sites you can open, save and share to, and our integration with Flickr is about to get a whole lot better (stay tuned!).

The move to online application use marches forever forward, will the state of broadband in Australia, however improve enough to make this idea feasible?

November 4, 2007

Blogorama

Need to get more photo-blog info, start here on Magnum's blog with an article by, Martin Fuchs

The Week in Lo-Fi

Another weekend ends another week in Lo-Fi concludes

This project, has been going now for 25 weeks, the challenge, each week pick only 7 photos from the preceding week and upload them to facebook.

This week in particular proved difficult, as I went out on my day off specifically to make images with a specific location in Melbourne in mind. Not to mention a brief trip out into the Victorian countryside on the weekend just gone. I think I got lucky, the light was good for this time of year in Australia, but the choices were far, far too many.

November 5, 2007

Serendipity

IMG 1537_boomgates

The opportunities keep rolling in with my VistaQuest 1005.

November 6, 2007

Serendipity II

IMG 1543_paddock

The Holga "look" coming from the this camera is amazing.

November 10, 2007

Someone Else Appreciates Toy Cameras

We are not alone, so do the writers at Luminous Landscape dot com.

November 12, 2007

Bureaucratic Overload

It's that time of year where contemplating photography takes a back seat over other issues, like results and forward planning. I have however been thinking about, a matrix of sorts that shows the similarities between Digital photography processing and Analogue Photography processing.

November 20, 2007

Slide Show Feature

Blogger has just added a neat little slide show feature that allows you to run a slide show in the sidebar of your blog, all you need is an account with someone like flickr or paint-bucket or picassa, and away you go.

November 21, 2007

Under Graduate Photography Exhibitions

This is the time of year, where many of the major art schools around Melbourne have there under graduate exhibitions. The RMIT Fine Art Photography Graduate Exhibition is on at Red Gallery Contemporary Art Space, 157 St. Georges Rd. Nth. Fitzroy until the 1st of December, I highly recommend it. Gallery Hours are Tuesday to Saturday 12-6pm. Red Gallery's phone number 9482 3550.

November 22, 2007

A Rare Rare Sight

IMG 1774_refraction

In Melbourne these days anyways.

November 25, 2007

#4 For 2007

Hanging Exhibition #4 2007

Gallery 124 in Sunshine are having a X-mas Show, I have some new work and some old work in the show. The old work is from a couple of shows I had in the early 90's and 2 of the pieces are from the yet to be completed series, Maps. Given the response to the Maps pieces I may well try and finish printing the work and exhibit it in either 2008, or 2009.

The Show runs until 21st of December 2007, the gallery is at 124 Hampshire Rd Sunshine.

Continue reading "#4 For 2007" »

November 26, 2007

Photographic Processing Matrix

Sometime back, I mentioned, I was thinking about a processing matrix of sorts, well here it is, now I need to make a better looking pdf version

Photographic Workflow Matrix

Shoot Process Proof Print/Output  
Task/Digital Exposure, be accurate, avoid under exposing shadows. Download from camera. Process to format suitable for future reference. Colour correct. Add colour Profile. Archive to CD/DVD. Add/Import to catalogue program. Print out hardcopy if needed.‡ Send to Print bureau for output as either Lambda or Pegasus print, or inkjet or print in-house using inkjet printer, or publish to the web. Infinte control available in digital tools such as Photoshop
Task/Analogue Neg film expose for the shadows, usually over. Positive Film expose for the highlights.¶ B&W Neg Film, process for the highlights.†
Colour Neg process. Positive film Process.
B&W make proof sheet colour neg, get machine proofs. Positive, view on light box. File negatives and proofs away for future reference. B&W, make work print. †Colour neg, make print, some local burning and dodging possible. Finished B&W prints can take as long to produce as the skills of the printer allow.
           
Software/Digital Raw Files
jpeg files
5 megapixels plus
Download from camera.
Process to format suitable for future reference. Colour correct. Add colour Profile.
Archive to CD/DVD. Add/Import to catalogue program. Print out hardcopy if needed. Send to Print bureau for output as either Lambda or Pegasus print, or inkjet or print in-house using inkjet printer, or publish to the web.  
Software/Analogue Choose a format and film type to suit the task at hand, eg 35mm for street photography, 5x4 and larger for landscape or product photography and so on. Choice of film developer, determines time temperature and agitation method, which in turn affect reults like contrast and grain. B&W requires minimum time maximum black. Labs produce colour proofs, using machinery with associated costs, and time. Expose for the highlights change filters for the shadows, then make local adjustments in darkroom, B&W only. No global contrast control, local contrast control in Type C is not impossible but technically difficult Finished B&W prints can take as long to produce as the skills of the printer allow.
  ¶ Remember the trade offs.    
    †The choices here, are exhaustive, it is even possible to make your own papers, and chemicals.
      ‡To an extent many packages will do this task sufficiently, such as Adobe Bridge, but iView Media Pro, frees up choices in terms of physical media and it’s location.

Processing Matrix

Here's a Downloadable pdf of the processing matrix, that may be easier to read.

Influences

Gary Winogrand

November 28, 2007

Photoshop Layers 2

Yesterday, I talked about 4 kinds of layers. The first in my list was just a Layer, an empty one. As an artist with a training in wet darkroom processes and the production of photographic prints as objects, I actually have little use for many of photoshop's features, this layer does however have a fantastic use. If I fill it with 50% grey, and change it's blending mode to soft-light, this enables me to burn & dodge an image in a NON-DESTRUCTIVE manner as I would in a wet darkroom.

I've never quite understood HOW¶ this works, but it's power, simplicity elegance, and infinite un-doability makes it a must have trick in my bag of photographic darkroom tricks.

Then using either a) a paintbrush and black or white at low opacities, or the burning & dodging tools again at low opacities, in photoshop you can totally re-map the tonality of your image shifting emphasis on areas in a way that painters have understood for 100's of years.

The real beauty of this is if applied subtly there will be no obvious artefacts creeping into your image and even if they do, they can be wound back by using the opposite colour to change, not to mention that no pixels are edited directly in the image thereby non are destroyed and no issues such as banding creep into you prints†.

colour picker 50%
¶Many of the blending modes remain a mystery to me, and as photographic tools there are only really a couple that I would use regularly, this being one of them.
† All of these articles will be written from a paper output approach, as when producing screen based work I rarely make modifications to my images, due to the great unknown which is monitor calibration, and monitor colour spaces.

Continue reading "Photoshop Layers 2" »

November 30, 2007

Photoshop Layers 4

Layer Masks, one of my favourite tricks is to duplicate a layer, make some changes to it, whether it be colour contrast b&w, or some other effect I want to, apply to the image then add a layer mask and brush in any differences I want to see applied to the image.

Using a black and white image on top of the other is one of the most common, but intensifying colour using curves or levels is one of my favourites. Again this approach in non-destructive, and infinitely un-doable, while the layers are unflattened.

Lastly the Text Layer, which is relatively self explanatory, I hope? Handy for adding a copyright watermark to your image I guess?

December 1, 2007

Photophlow

A new experience in online photography and chat is in beta stages.

It's like flickr on crack!

photophlow anteroom

December 3, 2007

A Breather

IMG 1765_chained

I suspect things will shortly be getting out of hand around here.

Continue reading "A Breather" »

December 5, 2007

Is Photography Dead?

Thanks to TK on flickr, here's a good read on the newsweek site about the state of photography as a cultural tool.

December 10, 2007

New Ipernity Set

We are fortunate to have a northerly aspect in our backyard. This means the light sweeps across the yard transforming the view at certain times of the day and an year into something that is a sight to behold. I often use is as test area for cameras, for kinda obvious reasons I guess. As a result I now have kicked off a new small idea.

IMG 1961

December 13, 2007

Colour to Black & White?

In camera, or post-production?

Recently in a flickr discussion forum, the issues of in-camera processing came up. LotF, the photographer in question, was disappointed at the results his new camera was producing, with in-camera b & w conversions, compared to an older camera. Some argued that it was the camera, or maybe the camera's software. Others also wondered out loud about the pro and cons of in camera conversion and post production conversion.

I am a fan of being aware of and able to control outcomes to meet my expectations, this is something any software that is fully automatic will lock the user out of entirely. Therefore I tend to avoid in-camera processing, besides it's almost impossible to make good judgments on a screen that small.

So, for me the only way to convert is in post-production. I did however conduct a small simple test, one shot as usual and then the same shot with the camera set to b&w*

I used Photoshop's black and white conversion on the default settings. image>mode>black & whiteThe results indicated to me that post was indeed better. Subtle but better. [The in-camera shot for comparison.] The highlights were over-exposed, the shadows and mid-tones were ok though, I guess if you had the software to run a jpeg through a raw conversion tool, you could fix up some of the problem areas and blend them together.

original file converted post exposure

This in camera processed shot, has blown highlights and poor mid tone separation, the contrast seems to high too for my liking.


in camera conversion

Post processed has more values to work with, the shadows reading #3, are little empty for my liking though, easy fixed with some tweaking in Photoshop.


*This has all been done using phone cameras for speed and convenience.

December 14, 2007

There's Only 1 Thing worse than being talked about..

...and that's not being talked about.

December 16, 2007

Facebook Albums

Not sure if I've mentioned this before, but once a week I upload 7 photos from my hard-drive to facebook, seven photos only, some weeks it's hard, this week in particular, others it's even harder, if I didn't shoot much during the week. This; on top of my daily posting direct from my phone which requires a different approach to selecting.

December 19, 2007

Technorati, & Blogging

It's interesting seeing how my images are used around the internet, the consumerist uses this image, in an article about Borders and plastic bags, another article about rock and roll and taxes used a graffiti image of Jim Morrison that I photographed, to decry the lack of 'attitude' to the tax department.

All this thanks to bighugelabs.com's flickr dna page.

December 20, 2007

Driveby serendipity

IMG 2012_power

December 27, 2007

Lists?

Is this not the time of year that folks make lists? Given my list would be something along the lines of process film, make prints create new e-book/s, shoot more film, it'd be pretty boring. So I'm not writing one.

On another side note, the two prints I had in the show recently at Gallery 124 in Sunshine sold, thanks to Chris and Paul and the person who bought them whoever you are? As a consequence I've decided to print the entire body of work, entitled maps, as a series of small silver gelatin prints. So this gives me a year or so to find a space and make the prints.

Point 'n shoot pixel count

A nice little article describing why point and shoots don't really benefit from large chips over 6 mega-pixels.

Thanks to Bart for the headsup

December 29, 2007

Self-Portraits

Self-portraiture is nothing new in Photography. Digital Photography increases the ease and speed of applying such a project. [flickr is rife with narcissistic projects like this, but what photographer isn't interested in a picture of themselves every now and again, although the 365 day project is an interesting one] This guy, has an ongoing project that he says he will do until he dies. Interestingly, he also lists several other projects that are long term documentary in nature, of the most recent internet famous one is by Noah, who interestingly only ran the project for 6 years.

January 2, 2008

Good Advice

This last line in an article in the Age online newspaper about digital photography and memories is a classic, and food for thought!

DON'T DITCH THE OLD-FASHIONED PHOTO ALBUM
Make a habit of regularly printing and saving your favourite pictures in a photo album. Kids will love pulling it out and looking through it.

January 4, 2008

Online Projects

Magenta has published it's latest magazine and offers sections for free download, an interesting if somewhat fence sitting approach to 21st century publishing.

What I find interesting about this issue of the magazine, is the project by Jeff Harris. Jeff Harris documents his own life and uploads a few of the photos to his website, he finds interesting after processing and printing the film. He also allows people to leave journal entries for any given date in the last 5 years. Then he chooses the most interesting journal entires and matches them with the photos he took on those days.

This quote from the magazine article on him, sums up quite neatly what I like about the project:-

Harris may be chronicling his life but, unlike most bloggers, he reveals little about himself. We can’t even pinpoint his age or occupation with any degree of certainty, let alone his tastes and opinions. Often what he is pictured doing—hanging out with friends, napping, bookstore browsing, swimming—makes his life seem unexceptional (even if he was photographed with Kim Cattrall on November 15, 2005, and some photos were snapped by Bruce LaBruce, Martha Wainwright and Don McKellar). So, instead of learning about Jeff Harris, we start reflecting on times when we were happy or sad, and how millions of people feel these same emotions every day. We are reminded that truly memorable, life-altering events don’t happen often, and many people have much more difficult lives than ours.

This project and several others, going on around the internet are the kinds of projects I could have only dreamed of in 1995 and am still excited about. The question remains though, is Western culture spending far too much time navel gazing, or to "borrow" from Roger Waters, "...is this species going to amuse itself to death?"

January 11, 2008

Inspiration?

Mt.Sturgeon at Dusk

I recently spent several days in a location that would make many photographers weep. Mt.Sturgeon at the foot of the Grampians in Western Victoria, is a spectacular Sandstone outcrop, at the Southern End of the range.

When I was first inspired many years ago to take up photography seriously, Photographers like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, were big influences. Grand vistas, fine prints, sharp and in focus images made on big cameras, to me these were all REAL photographs... then.

This location seemed to be a perfect spot for making some good images, like that, of truly a spectacular landscape. In 4 days I shot, 35 frames on a borrowed Pentax K100d, 20 or show shots on both my digital low rez devices, a roll of 127 and 2 rolls of 120 on my Hasellblad. Uninspired doesn't begin to explain how I felt. Why?

The light swept across the peak in an incredibly dramatic way that at the right time was positively breath taking. The peace and tranquility made it a cinch to 'switch' over to 'photography' mode. there was no reason NOT to be inspired. Yet I wasn't. I remember in 2000, when we were on our honeymoon in New Zealand, I started to question my need to make images that were not remarkable, we were on 10 day tour in a rental car, and weren't stopping for any great length of time anywhere so good light was elusive, and time limited my options to explore composition. So why bother making images at all? I guess we all move on?

Ever since my Uni days, I've tended to operate on at least 2 levels of varying approaches and ideas to photography, I guess this place just didn't fit into either notion, currently, I would argue that, low rez digi, is one of those levels I'm exploring and my maps idea is another.

January 12, 2008

Some Clarification...

Yesterday, I talked about inspiration, and after an online encounter with a friend and reader, I realised that inspiration probably wasn't the best choice of words? I think perhaps MOTIVATIONS might be a better choice? These days, I make images to either 1. make prints from, 2. use online , or 3. use as tests, sketches or ideas for further exploration, [usually online].

When I plan on making prints, my approach varies, but often, I either use a kind of harvesting approach or have a very specific idea I'm exploring and shoot that. When I harvest it may take months or years for me to be ready 'see' for the image what it really is, which often then leads on to further image making. In quiet times like the height of summer [when the light is god awful], I often reflect back and look at older images made over the last 20 years and make discoveries which in turn could lead to, more discoveries or another show.

Online uses can be from as simple as a decorative image for a blog entry, or part of some of the ideas I'm dabbling with online, or for the sheer fun factor of it, and then there is a huge overlap with point number 3.

So what I meant was I guess that the location we stayed at for those 4 days, didn't fit into any of these 3 motivations. Of course that's NOT to say something won't come of the images I DID make some time down the track, so who knows....

January 14, 2008

Image Usage

Since flickr enabled their users to turn on stats for their accounts it's been interesting to see where some of the traffic comes from on my photostream

One of those sources is a site called yotophoto.com, they are one of several sites out there, pulling data from flickr and allowing users to search for images based on the creative commons idea of sharing images. While this site accounts for less than 1% of my total views, it's good to see that tagging pays off even if people are looking at my stream for reasons other than artistic merit.

More on Stats

Stats for your account | flickr.com
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Here's some boring stats from my flickr stats page.

I wish there was an easy way to find all these images and add them to groups and add tags etc.

January 18, 2008

Light Floods

glow in the lounge

January 22, 2008

Online Portfolios

Haven't had a close look, could be a good idea for temporary online exhibitions?

carbonmade
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January 23, 2008

CR Blog » Blog Archive » The Bible According To Google Earth

Amazing work, thanks to Marcus for the heads up

[From CR Blog » Blog Archive » The Bible According To Google Earth]

this work has it all simplicity, believability, connection, cerebral and spiritual, amongst many other things.

January 26, 2008

Photoshop!

Is this kind of work more prevalent because people can; easily do it? Or because of photoshop itself? Hand re-touching, a long lost art form, was capable of this kind of work but so time consuming it may not have justified it's cost? I suspect this use of photoshop and it's wide spread dissemination of the tool itself and what the tool is capable of, has changed the public's perception of photographs and photography.

January 27, 2008

New Image Editor

Just discovered this new app, iris.app, which is still very much in beta, once they iron out a few issues, it MAY be worth watching. Personally it's too early to tell as so many of the main features I need in this kind of app just don't exist yet. Curves, working levels, are to name but two. It did do some strange things, when I got some levels to apply to my standard RGB image, though.

Developers please look at this old app and give us another one like it.

iris
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January 28, 2008

Thanks to Polly Jane...

...for this apt description of the 2 approaches to modern image making using a cameras.

"...film photography gives us a different dimension - one is the shot 'of the moment' and the other has more texture and reason for existence."

Kind of ironic too, I used to process film as often and as regularly as I could. Today, I'm catching up, some of the film I'm processing today was exposed in April 2007.

January 29, 2008

Bad Studio Photography

Look and learn folks look and learn

Hat tip to Bedel from del.icio.us, for the link.

The author is by the way asking for submissions of bad studio photography.

Photo Editing Apps cont'd

A couple of days ago I mentioned a new kid on the block in the digital photo-editing arena.

Over the years there has been a shift towards soft being available online, rather than on a desktop machine, giving user un-precedented mobility in their choice of work place and environment.

Now Adobe is thinking of joining the ranks and adding their highly regarded photo editing application Photoshop.

Adobe Systems has announced that it will ship a beta version of its Photoshop Express online editing tool by the end of this year, with the full product to be complete sometime in 2008.

"By late this year, we anticipate having a beta version," said John Loiacono, senior vice president for Adobe Creative Solutions, speaking at the 6sight digital imaging conference. And next year, the online service will be "available to anyone," he said.

I wonder how such an application would perform, particularly given that photoshop loads all image data into RAM, regardless of zoom and screen usage, and over the years has gotten worse in terms of it's processing power and needs?

Thanks to subbzy for the heads up.

A cache of photographic negatives by Robert Capa that was...

Wow!

A cache of photographic negatives taken by Robert Capa that was presumed lost during WWII has been recently located and recovered.

[From A cache of photographic negatives taken by Robert Capa that was... (kottke.org)]

February 1, 2008

Chains

IMG 1765_chained

February 3, 2008

Online software

Just sent off a request to Aviary - Creation on the fly / tools, for access to their software when it's launched.

[From Aviary - Creation on the fly / tools]

Thanks to Subbzy for the heads up

February 6, 2008

The Year Ahead

This year sees me teaching a subject I haven't taught for several years. It is both an easy subject and a hard subject to teach. At my work we call it Folio. It is a subject designed to help students develop conceptual and technical skills in creating a body of work that they may use to either gain employment, or go to further studies. It also exposes them to many more photographers than they would normally see, or look at, and gives them an opportunity to learn to articulate about photographs beyond: "I like this because it worked" or "I took this because it looked beautiful".

At one level this is an incredibly liberating experience it can allow me to free associate and talk at length about what I think photography is and isn't, what is good about it and what I dislike, where I've seen it come from and where I see it going to.

It also relies heavily on the experience, for some of the time anyway, being a 2 way street.

All in all it's going to be a good experience, challenging but good nonetheless. This year I'm expecting folio to impact on what I write and how often I write here, so readers please forgive me if I go off on a tirade or start speaking in jargon. After all what does constitute a good photograph, is there such a thing as a bad photograph, is it important to pay attention to the kinds of details that have long been important in photography like good craft, how important is the substance behind a photograph, should a good photograph hide more than it reveals?

These are some of the questions I hope to encourage my students to contemplate and try and articulate in language and their photographs.

Picture This

Probably old news, but found another social photography site, more about learning and critiquing than much else, naturally I linked my flickr account to it, and added a couple of images to some galleries.

Picture This - A Friendly Place to Improve Your Photography
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February 8, 2008

New Inkjet Paper

Just found out about this new inkjet paper that uses similar technologies as fibre based papers. One of the reasons I still use a darkroom is because of this paper type only being available as a wet process, it is called fibre based paper and uses a material called Bartya.

I've yet to get my hands on some but a reliable source is impressed, anyways from a website that sells the paper.

HARMAN PHOTO Professional Inkjet GLOSS FB Al Paper is a premium quality, nanoporous paper on a true photographic fibre base. It is designed to produce instant dry high quality images on a wide range of photo-dedicated inkjet printers, using dye or pigment inks. Uniquely the paper incorporates a layer below the ink-receiving layer called Baryta. Baryta is a special coating that is traditionally applied to fibre photographic paper base prior to coating with the emulsion layers. The technical benefits of this layer include greater detail and definition, extended tonal range, and excellent archival properties. In addition Baryta coated fibre papers have a unique look and feel which have become the standard for fine art photographers worldwide over the course of more than a century. The paper contains Alumina, which gives a high degree of glossiness, optical image density and vibrancy.

Can't wait to get my hands on some.

February 9, 2008

World Press Photography Awards

This years winners are online.

The winning entry, for spot news, reminds me of Capa's famous shot on the Normandy Beaches at the end of WW2. And will I suspect generate some heated discussions around the world.

Inkjet Paper Write-up

Here is a good article on the new paper I mentioned a day or so ago.

February 10, 2008

Free Image Editing Software

Found this free image editor for the Mac today, photoshop it ain't but a simple quick editor it's worth having.

iScrobbler
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February 11, 2008

Seashore

Oops, yesterday I mentioned an open source light-weight image editor for the Mac, it's called Seahorse and can be downloaded, from their website.

Apologies folks, things are heating up around here, it's going to be a big year all round.

February 13, 2008

Panoramas Galore

Great site if youlike to see panoramas taken all over the world

The World in panoramic - ViewAt.org
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February 14, 2008

Polaroid & Film

Sorry to say folks but Polaroid is continuing to make film, they are however, switching to a different technology in 2009, this will have minimal impact on current stocks of materials as Polaroid have plenty on hand to last until 2009.

Our supplier at my work, from "Schreiber photographics", a reputable man who has been in the business for over 40 years gave me the scoop yesterday. So have no fear Polaroid film is here to stay.

Speaking of, I recently acquired a Polaroid 600 camera and will, when I get the chance begin uploading shots from it to my flickr account.

February 17, 2008

Lobster Version 2

It has been a while since I talked about one of the best digital photographic tools on the market, Lobster, that overcomes one of Photoshop least talked about shortcomings; colour.

Recently, I received an e-mail from the developer, that Version 2 will be released shortly.

The funniest part, for me, however was in his e-mail he stated that he knows no-one who uses a Windows box, and wondered if I could help him find a tester for the Windows version, and of course I, actually, am in the same position, all the Photographic power users of Photoshop I know run Macs.

Here's a screen-grab in my flickr stream.

February 22, 2008

In, my Inbox

We're all used to spam, we have various ways of dealing with it. This morning I received and e-mail that surprisingly got missed by my spam filter. Surprisingly, and thankfully. The e-mail asked me to visit a new site, one it turns out is dedicated to art and photography, but not your usual on the wall stuff. It is an online TV show dedicated to Photography and Art.

I had a quick look and what I really like the most was the segments on off the wall TV ads, I will go back and explore more.

[Edit]

It seems that they are trying to be some sort of high end youtube for photographers and artists. Mainly your usual polished and somewhat titillating commercial work, not too difficult mind you.

February 23, 2008

From the flickr blog

Photography and memory are culturally intertwined in ways that are beyond my abiltiy to write about, but this little find, is; well; worth a thousand words.

[From Message in a bottle « Flickr Blog]

Perhaps you might like to skip the blog entry and head straight over, to photojojo?

Errr this assumes you have a flickr account right?

February 24, 2008

Flare

"...in the verticals of its smoke stacks, in the parallels of its car tracks, the square of its streets, the cubes of its factories, the arc of its bridges, the cylinders of its gas tanks"

This image, was almost ruined by the most basic of technical errors. Flare!

I had to apply some post production to bring the image back to life. In the world of film and larger format cameras a lens hood is a given, for me. The post helped but still didn't bring the image back to life. and a good crafts person, uses tools like photoshop to take the image some where else rather than rescue it.

This little digital camera of course has no built-in ability to add a lens hood. I guess a design issue that the camera manufacturers have to weigh up, after all there would be few amateurs who would consider moving into the position where the sun was so oblique.

I would like to see the facility to add a lens hood to any camera, to minimise these issues.

February 25, 2008

A Picture A Day

Here's an interesting idea "a picture a day". Now why didn't I think of that?

Ummm

Oh wait...

March 2, 2008

Backwards or Forwards?

Folio on my mind.

Recently, I talked about a subject I'm teaching this year; that I hadn't taught for some time. Folio, is what we call it a pic.

Well I'm glad I jotted down those few thoughts here, they will serve as a catalyst and reminder of what I hoped to achieve or at the least explore. You see, due to time-tabling issues and the several other logistical areas impeding the progress of the year, we are running behind, and as a consequence we have yet to run a formal class on the subject. When we finally do, week one will be simply be a, this what we are going to do, this is how we are going to do it and this is why we are going to do it sort of class, i.e. an introductory class.

Even so, as a further reminder, here's a bunch of other ideas I am hoping to explore in the class.

What can photography say? How can it say it? Why does it need to be said? Narrative, story and ideas can photography tell a story, and if so what story should it tell?

Workshop Lecture

Michael Reichmann in AUSTRALIA

Michael Reichmann, runs the well known Lumious Landscape Website. He is giving a workshop demonstration here in Melbourne, sadly I'm not going to be able to make it and probably it is booked out already? Anyway the details are,

Melbourne: Tuesday 4th March 2008
Sponsor: L&P Digital Photographic
Participation fee: $88 or, $66 for AIPP members
For registration and information about venue and time please contact: info@lapfoto.com.au

Something I will be attending is the CCP workshops run by Les Walkling, sometime this year. So much to chose from, though so I'm not sure which one to attend?

On another note, I'm running some workshops in Photoshop again this year, I've changed the format, they now run over 2 Saturdays, if you know someone who would be interested contact me.

March 3, 2008

Photoshop Gripe #1435667

Does anyone else hate this black background in CS 3? Can it be changed?

photoshop black
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March 10, 2008

Mental Note to Self #1

Scale and size, are almost irrelevant on the internet. Real in 'our hands' prints are reliant* on scale, as part of the grammar of photography.

* is reliant even the right word?

March 12, 2008

Upcoming Photo Exhibition

Exhbition: Body Language: Chinese Photography
Friday, March 14, 2008 - Sunday, May 18, 2008

National Gallery of Victoria
180 St Kilda Road
Melbourne

Body Language highlights key photographs that reflect the tensions in Chinese society as the processes of social change meet traditional culture and expectations head-on. In an environment where free expression is prescribed, these artists use the physical form closest to them (their own body) as a means to communicate in a complex, multi-layered and often coded way with the wider world.

Tickets: This is a FREE event

For full details, including attendance, visit:
http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/413467

March 13, 2008

Mophone History

Some old old Nokia Phone shots I've always liked, that have had minimal views, but I still feel are worthy. Especially given then the lack of quality and the fact I had no idea what I was doing?

000046

000002

Not that I have any more of an idea now mind.

March 18, 2008

Microsoft Expression Media 1.0 - Australian Macworld

A good write up for my favourite asset management tool

[From Australian Macworld]

March 19, 2008

Mapping, Photography & The Web

Thanks to my stats on flickr I rediscovered this site this morning. http://www.earthalbum.com. and of course the vain part of myself went looking for my own photos. Very nice tool indeed.

Maps and photography have long been an interest of mine, now with these techonolgies Web is added to the equation quite nicely. In fact this idea will form a large part content of my next e-book.

earth album alpha: location for 210.15.217.186
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flickr

Simply for the history books, flickr has suffered an unannounced and unexpected outage.

March 22, 2008

2point8 » The Future is Alor

Food for thought*.

[From 2point8 » The Future is Alor]

I particularly like these ideas,

…future of photography will not be found in the hushed walls of the gallery, or in the download-disabled watermarked-protected sites of copyright-scared photographers. The future’s already out there, in cheaply printed print-on-demand books, in small collaborative global-web-ventures, in xerox copies taped to lightpoles, affordably editioned prints, and in sites like Mark Alor Powell’s.

* thanks to TK for the heads up.

March 23, 2008

Equipment Arguments

Part of the article I linked to yesterday talked about gear, here's another read that takes the photographic gear argument even further, and in the right direction I might add. Not that gear should be the, "be all and end all" of good photography heaven forbid.

March 25, 2008

Zone Ruler, [5% increments]

As I prepare a file for a competition submission, I decided to make yet another zone rule scale to help me think about the values in the file as I tweak it, using photoshop, [because I'm in a hurry] in preparation for the submission, this time in 5% steps.

Click on the image to see the whole image and download it if you like.

Twenty Five Bucks!

That's the price I have to pay for an electronic submission to an exhibition I may or may not get a chance to show work in. Besides, I have to print it to THEIR specifications IF I get selected? Hmm I've till Friday to make up my mind?

I mean really twenty five dollars to send an e-mail attachment, can some one please explain why to me?

March 26, 2008

Some Serendipity

Shot from the front seat while stuck in traffic.

IMG 2854

IMG 2524

March 27, 2008

National Library of Australia defines Art and Photography

I post as regularly as I can remember in a pool called, Picture Australia People, Places, & Events. I recently had an interesting exchange with a member of that team the admins the pool, which leads me to believe they have defined documentary photography, in contemporary Australian culture. Phew, what a relief, I can now put my cameras down rest easy, and concentrate on the more important aspects of life, such as the weekly AFL scores and who will lose the most weight this week on channel 10. Their definition?

... it documents aspects of change and is in focus.

Umm Robert Capa's famous image of the D-Day landings anyone?

During the exchange I received an almost backhanded compliment:-

"...but Picture Australia is more about documentary photography not art photography"

Well I'm flattered, thanks for compliment I think, but wait... are you saying that if a photo is out of focus it is art? Does that mean that if a photograph is in focus it is not art?

Here's the complete exchange,

NLA employee:-I have removed some of your photos from the people places events pool as they do not fit into the group guidelines Regards
XXX
XXXX | Picture Australia
P XXXXXX | XXXX | XXXX@nla.gov.au |

Me:- Thanks for the heads up XXX, but why do they not fit and which did you remove?

NLA Employee:-The 'Picture Australia: People, Places and Events’ group is seeking images of social, political, contemporary and or historical events of national significance.
It's the photographs that are meant to be viewed as a slide show exploring photography as evidence that don't fit into images of social, political, contemporary and or historical events of national significance.

Me:-So the changes going on in a place like Melbourne are not of any historical significance?

NLA Employee:-Yes they they are but Picture Australia is more about documentary photography not art photography. You have images that are perfectly fine but images in that series such as East Hawthorn Melbourne Victoria Australia 2008:03:07 12:08:13 unfocused with plastic solders covering the globe does not fit into documentary

Me:-Ok so can I re-submit the other stuff that fits?

NLA Employee:-As long as it documents aspects of change and is in focus.

Just for the record, I can guess when a photograph is art, and sure most photos are documents, of something, but my ideas and attitudes about what constitutes art and documentary photography, are not fixed in stone.

Oh and the photograph they refer to was not out of focus it was suffering from camera shake as it was taken in low light conditions, it's actually usually pretty hard to get a phone camera photograph out of focus.

March 28, 2008

Robert Frank

Vanity Fair has an article on their website about Robert Frank, at the end I found this video.

April 1, 2008

Application Time

Yes folks, it's that time of year, where I poke and prod all my proof sheets, put on my thinking cap and start the annual round of gallery applications, [starting with the CCP] . This year, it's the maps series. Having found a commercial scanner that scans the way I want format bit depth and with a good quality scanner, I'll be able to afford a whole series of high end scans, which I'll then then print as I can afford them.

But first, a basic edit of the low rez scans, on my work's Epson 1680, to get an idea of what I want to put in the application/s, so I can then decide what I finally want to exhibit. In this day and age of electronic organisation, why not use the notes feature in mail.app?

*The list below; is first looks, and as a rule these first look lists are always overly ambitious.

Scan List 2008.04.01
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April 2, 2008

Some Clarification

So; yesterday, I mentioned that I was beginning the annual process of applying for exhibitions. Today I feel the need to clarify a little.

The peak exhibiting body in Melbourne Victoria Australia, would be the NGV, either the International or the Ian Potter Centre. To have a solo exhibition in either place means you have been culturally accepted, [by the art system anyway and are usually invited]. To my mind there is a hierarchical system of galleries that operate beneath these 2 state owned enterprises. For art photographers, the next step down is the CCP, in this hierarchy. The CCP has a process in place whereby applications for the next year's shows must arrive by a due date, [this is what I meant by annual round of applications]. Under the CCP, is a myriad of smaller galleries some of which are also considered to be part of the larger hierarchy, there are too many to mention, but last year my solo show was at a well respected and established artist run space called Trocadero. I applied there, in 2006, after an unsuccessful application to the CCP in the same year.

In a nutshell the process is quite simple. Fill in some paperwork, scan/prepare some images and burn them to a CD, mail said paperwork and CD to a gallery and wait.

The image preparation is the easy part, for me anyway, the writing, well that's a whole other kettle of fish. Anyways, I had a successful day scanning yesterday, here's the results, now the editing and processing begins, once processed I will post to flickr.

mapz
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I would like to exhibit 20 prints 1 metre square, but at $150.00 per print, plus GST, I'll be pushing it to make 10, and that's if I get a show at the CCP.The CCP actually pays you to exhibit. The other galleries in the system fall into two loose categories. Artist Run and Commercial. Artist run spaces, usually charge a nominal fee for rental of the space, and require an application process, they may also take either a small commission fee or none at all. I may in all likelihood, also need to bear some of the costs of exhibiting, such as invitations and catering on the opening night. Commercial galleries, need to want to exhibit you, or rather, you need to convince them they want you. They then exhibit you for free, but take very high commissions.

So if I don't get a show at the CCP, it will be one of the galleries further down the scale, which, depending on the gallery will have varying costs that I will need to bear, and will most likely be an artist run space.

Shepherd's Warning

Red Sky in the morning.

This morning's sunrise, make the most of it folks, daylight saving ends next weekend.

DSCN1104_warning

April 9, 2008

A Letter to a Friend

Dear Friend, it was good to catch up the other day. Thank you for sharing those thoughts with me. I've always been interested in others journey's down the photographic creative path, and to all intents and purposes yours is going admirably well. Like all journeys involving exploration and "discovery" there are bound to be days of euphoric highs, and of course deep black lows. This path will be lonely and at times densely populated, sometimes by others on the same journey, other times by folks sitting on the side of the road. Those sitting may offer advice.

"..it's already been done"
"...your old stuff is better than your new stuff"
"...get a life"
"no one will be interested in, or buy that"

Notice I said sitting by the path?

Why are they there? Perhaps they had good intentions to begin with, and just got exhausted. Perhaps the prospect of a never ending journey frightened them, perhaps the chance that they MAY just succeed was to frightening for them to contemplate? I can't speak for these other people, I do know that the journey will never end for many, myself included, and that is what makes it so attractive; to me. Having a purpose to use our eyes and share what we see is one of the best reasons I can think for getting out of bed each day.

Photography is a wonderful craft full of exciting possibilities and potential. It can used to record and document, to interpret, to create. You can choose to explore ideas, or wander the world camera in hand hoping to catch that one that got away. And like all crafts it will takes many many years to 'master'. When I say craft, I don't just mean the technical fiddling, f-stops shutter speeds, choice of lenses, or cameras. I mean truly appreciating the full power and impact of what a photographic image is capable of. Historically, culturally, philosophically. Learning these things won't happen overnight,you can accelerate the learning by enrolling in a college dedicated to photography though, and appreciating them and understanding them will take a lifetime. A lifetime of dedicated study, thought and questioning, above all questioning.

After we spoke recently, I remembered Baz Luhrmann's film Romeo and Juliet. I had just begun full-time teaching when it was released. It was an old story re-told, in a refreshing and interesting way, and I'm sure English teachers the world over breathed a sigh of relief. This is what artists do, retelling an old stories in new and exciting ways. Artists understand their own humanity, well, and they live in and understand their own culture just as well. Sharing and re-telling is how many artists do what they do so successfully, tapping into those ideas that appeal to so many folks in a profound and intriguing way is your biggest challenge, dare I say, a lifelong task, but a worthy one no less.

Put on your hiking boots, pack a bag with some film, some memory cards, a couple of cameras, and a tripod, and get out there; the light is always gorgeous.

April 13, 2008

Photography techniques:

Exposure times, aperture settings and film speed… or; everything in photography is a trade off.

[From Photography techniques: Exposure times, aperture settings and film speed]

April 15, 2008

HeadOn 2008

hood

Recently I submitted some work for consideration for a competition, HeadOn. They charge $25.00 per head to submit an electronic version of your submission. According to my recently received e-mail the competiotn received over 2400 entries, by my calculations that's 60,000 bucks minimum, nice work if you can get it.

Should I have perhaps taken someone's advice and made an image of a person on the fringes of society, would that have upped my chances? I guess we'll never know.

April 17, 2008

Book Review...

...by someone else...

Review of the recently republished Robert Classic, "The Americans"

Two Thousand Odd Words on Robert Frank’s “The Americans”

[From 2point8]

April 18, 2008

Courtesy of Twitter: Kevin J. Miyazaki

This looks like an interesting project, certainly not a side of the corporate chains they want to portray.

[From Kevin J. Miyazaki Blog: four times fast]

Also check out Flack Photo, an interesting photo-blog, also by Kevin.

Last but by no means least, please visit my friend Eva on flickr, she is fairly new to computers and a total novice at social networking. Her work deserves MORE attention, IMHO.

April 19, 2008

I wish I was in Arizona

Right now!

Currently the CCP in Arizona, is having an exhibition that has pertinent points to be made about the current state of photographic art.

A little known fact amongst amateur photographers is that the way photography is perceived is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of the medium, way way back, last century, in 1930, there were 2 types of art photography, Pictorialism, and Straight Photography.

The CCP in Arizona is holding an exhibition that attempts to revive the debate that surrounded the 2 styles.

This is the first exhibition to provide a substantial consideration of the group since 1992, and is unique in its inclusion of pictorialist examples to illustrate the debate.

Some great work on show for sure, but I can only wonder how that kind of debate would be handled in this day and age, of phone-cameras, out selling DSLR's and internet forums bursting with opinions?

April 21, 2008

A correction

A day or so ago, I commented on an interesting project being undertaken in America that looked at desert corporate fast food stores.

Kevin Advises me that he is NOT the author of FlackPhoto, still an interesting blog nonetheless.

My Apologies to Kevin and Andy at FlackPhoto.

April 27, 2008

Final 10

Finally got it down to 10 for my CCP submission this year, now, I've just got to write a whizz bang application and hey presto I'm in.

all maps psds 10 [5]
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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 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 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

June 3, 2008

Some Photos of That Day (beta) PrD, [pre digitial]

A polaroid photo a day!

[From Some Photos of That Day (beta)]

Expensive habit, pre-digital and all.

This blog says more, but seriously, just look at the pictures, several years of a man's life displayed, with nothing more than Polaroids, no text no background nothing.

June 4, 2008

Food for Thought

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!

June 7, 2008

The War on Photography

A good read about the cultural shift in attitudes towards photography.

[From Schneier on Security: The War on 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"

June 8, 2008

A realisation?

Homage....

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'?

June 12, 2008

Phonesnap

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.

PhoneSnap phone photography project
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[edit, here's the link phonesnap.co.uk/] thanks for the reminder brendadada.

June 14, 2008

Photoshop Sharpening

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

Fullscreen

The finished image.

photoshop sharpening
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

*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.

Hardcore Street Photography

June 19, 2008

Google's Picasa

Trying out Google's Picasa for a while, to post here.

June 26, 2008

Bokeh is Bunk

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.

July 12, 2008

altfotonet.org 1st Issue

Thanks to all who applied for the inaugural issue of altfotonet.org. Due to the overwhelming response, the publication date has been pushed back. We are busy working hard in the background here getting all set up and ready. In the meantime, start getting those applications ready for the 2009 Isssue.

July 20, 2008

Clifford Ross

Clifford Ross, an interesting discovery, thanks to reading Conscientious, his silver Gelatine work from the late 90's reminds me of Misrach's early work, using silver gelatine

What's kind of ironic too is that the only reason i launched my news reader, was because I just downloaded a news reader to my new iPod touch.

Technology has been bristling around the house of late, a new iPod and a new Phone all in the same month.

The iPod, went on holidays with us, and when ever I could find wi-fi for free I used the internet. The 2 hotels we stayed in Thailand did in fact have it, so for a few days, I didn't miss too much at all. The new phone, is really a camera with a phone attached, and I kind of feel guilty using it. At 5 mega-pixels the camera may even furnish some real prints?

July 22, 2008

Qute of the Week

Traversing a polarized history, landscape photography shifted from scientific exploration to the idealization of nature and the spectacle of human ‘progress’. Lost along the way was a sense that photographs of the land can speak to an ecstatic experience.

Michael Lundgren

Occasionally life gets a little overwhelming, altfotonet.org is running behind, most other projects are on track. In the interim it seems some time last year Alec Soth stopped blogging, in some ways I don't blame him. This blog seems a worthy filler, even if, the author, comes at things from a slightly different perspective.

July 24, 2008

One Man's Junk is another man's art

Thanks to beek for this heads up.

[From Deleted images are submitted as art and make for interesting looking work.]

Which of corse begs the question, what makes a good photograph these days?

July 25, 2008

Good Advice for 'Creatives'

I would add for those undertaking advanced/tertiary in their field, these shortcut proceedings, but not as much as you would think.

July 26, 2008

Rachel Barrett Photography

Great series of images on News-stands of New York USA.

[From Rachel Barrett Photography]

Thanks to TK for the heads up, via del.icio.us of course.

Again I would have linked straight to the set about news-stands that most appealed to me, except the navigation is flash driven, ah well it's not hard to find that link.

July 27, 2008

Photography in the UK

Thanks to JIM JOHNSON, at (NOTES ON) POLITICS, THEORY & PHOTOGRAPHY

[Leo Benedictus guardian.co.uk]

is apparently

To the best of my knowledge no comparably prominent newspaper in the U.S. devotes this sort of sustained attention to photography.

More links and sites to come I'm sure.

A couple of days ago, I posted a youtube video of a radio announcer talking about creative output and quality. The Radio announcer is Ira Glass, I actually was recommended, the video by a deli.cio.us account contact and fellow flickrnaut, thomask.

July 28, 2008

Moving & Poignant

This site, while, unconventional, to navigate, tells a moving and poignant story, with simple yet strong images.

August 6, 2008

Phone Sex Operators - The Morning News

Now here's an idea

[From Phone Sex Operators - The Morning News]

... and yes; I have a laptop again

August 9, 2008

Photography Competitions

I've been involved in a variety of capacities education and photography since the late 80's from student to educator and back.

Photography competition flyers seem arrive almost on a daily basis, at my work these days. Is this a growing phenomenon? Why do companies chase student images? As an educator I have mixed feelings about these competitions.

Sure the right competition, can have benefits for both *all* concerned, but i still feel that the students are the under dogs in these situations. and winning a new camera is a nice incentive, but surely the company running the competition saves more on chasing down stock images by offering up a prize to struggling and wide eyed students.

This competition, [exposeyourworld.com] for example is run by a company called the roving eye, and strikes me as nothing more than a cheap lazy grab at building a stock library of images?

Here's rule #6.9 from the competitions website.

6.9 A condition of the holiday prizes for the Overall Winner of the Photo Essay, Overall Winner of the Single Shot and Overall Winner of the Young Australian Photographer of the Year, is that all holiday experiences are required to be photographed for RovingEye, and will be made available at no charge for once-only future editorial publication within Australian Traveller magazine, Outer Edge Magazine and A&K Magazine. All photographs will be credited to the photographer. The photographer will receive a 50% royalty payment on any future sales.

Does anyone know of anybody who has used a competition to advance their careers?

August 10, 2008

Mixed Feelings...

... about getting work published this way? I have no recollection of being asked if this image could be used.

It is a book, called 'six Word Memoirs', published by smithmag.net.

Safari
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Thanks to Lauren for the headsup.

Here's the original.

red leather

August 11, 2008

No Need To Worry

Yesterday I blogged about what I thought was an unauthorised use of one of my images.

Needless to say my fears were unfounded. The authors of the video that was used to market the book, was the only place that my image was used, and I've been attributed for my image so it's all fair and square.

This is in my mind the right way to behave in the digital era.

August 12, 2008

Souvenirs

I like this idea

souvenirs - a set on Flickr
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August 13, 2008

Upcoming Exhibition

One of my teachers from my under-grad years is having a show. I found out through facebook of all places. Here's his description of the show.

'Some feeling' explores the act of an emotionally driven exploration of the landscape at night as a documentation of things that can’t be seen, but instead felt. Instead of searching for a location that would evoke a specific feeling, I have allowed the way I feel emotionally to direct me toward a landscape that I recognise as being representative of a certain emotion. Some Feeling is the result of documenting external representations of internal feeling states.

Some Feeling'
"Opening night - Tuesday 30 September, 5.30 - 7.30pm"
Tuesday, September 30 at 5:30pm - Saturday, October 11 at 5:00pm
First Site - RMIT Union Gallery, Storey Hall Basement

August 14, 2008

Polaroid Exhibtion

This just in, my inbox [from Photospace in Collingwood]

The spring exhibition program at PhotoSpace starts with an exhibition in September titled "In a Moment".

This is an open entry exhibition of original work by artists who enjoy the unexpected quality and playfulness of instant film such as Polaroid or Fujifilm. If you would like to be involved in this exhibition please email the gallery asap.

Also during September Lynette Zeeng will be running a workshop at Gold Street studios in Polaroid transfer. For more information please visit www.goldstreetstudios.com.au or ring Ellie Young on (03) 5424-1835

'In a Moment' runs from 3 to 20 September 2008.Viewing hours: Wed to Sat 12 to 5pm, Sun to Tue by appointment

PhotoSpace
34 Dight Street, Collingwood
PO Box 1612, Collingwood VIC 3066

Contact details: Veronica Hodgkinson
T: (03) 9415-6139
E: info@photospace.net.au
W: www.photospace.net.au

untitled

As a consequence, I've revisited roid rage from a couple of years ago, and now am in the process of editing the set down to 4, currently, I'm at 9, pretty surprised I managed to get it to that so quickly really.

August 16, 2008

The Industrial-Strength Art of Hiler & Becher

A review of a show of work by Hiller & Becher at MOMA, this is a rarely seen pictorial landscape that gives some context to the whole body of work, that unexpectedly ceased recently, with the death of Becher

[From Industrial-Strength Art]

These two photographers are secondly only to robert adams in my Photography Book collection.

Old News

Delicious has a new interface, which btw I like. I am also a big fan of bookmark sharing between people using this site, add me as a contact, if you are so inclined, ie have photographic interests?

SystemUIServer
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Coincidences

Been faving and adding to we *heart it* then discovered this coincidence

We heart it / Visual bookmark for everyone
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Complicated Pile « Flickr Blog

I read about this Friday morning, in The Age's odd spot.

[From Complicated Pile « Flickr Blog]

Nice to see flickr acting as a kind of visual reporter.

August 17, 2008

Tools, Equipment & Craft

Nice piece on equipment tools and craft.

August 22, 2008

Perfections Plus

Today's quote comes from the New York Times

“If you can’t have the perfect family,” she added, “at least you can Photoshop it.”

This quote, is almost as good:-

It’s a Western sense of reality that what is in front of the lens has to be true

August 24, 2008

End Uses?

Micheal David Murphy, over at 2point8, recently postulated that, infinitely reproducible prints, ie digital prints have lowered the value of photography and prints in general and completely defeats the purpose of creating limited & numbered 'editions'. He equates ease of use, as a driving force for many photographers who decide to print.

While I agree that, choosing a medium based on it's ease of use is wrong, I disagree that making prints is the 'be all and end' all of photography. I also disagree that making a colour print in a darkroom is somehow inherently better than making a print on a screen.

Before I proceed, let me make myself clear, I have made prints in a wet darkroom context now for more years than I ever dreamed possible, the 'look' of a well made print, is a sight to behold. The number of those prints I've seen is a percentage of a fraction of the total I've looked at. [Ira Glass' vlog that I blogged a few days ago is a perfect explanation as to why.]

Notice I said, making a print on a screen. What this means is that I will give an image as much time and effort on a screen in a post production tool like photoshop, [but usually Live Picture], as I would in a wet darkroom. Using the same ideas on a global but in particular local scale, as I would in ANY darkroom. And given that these digital tools allow me a greater degree of control, than I could ever imagine in a colour wet darkroom context, I prefer that approach now, [mainly for colour or large scale work, mind you].

Let me give you an example. Masks in Photoshop and many editing tools are often easily made, they require you to know where to push a button or two and they add a great deal of flexibility, sophistication and control to the image manipulation process. The analogue equivalent requires that you be able to make a registration mask using either engineering or chemical means. I have not the skills nor the tools to do this, and in fact few do. All this to make a 'beautiful' 8 x 10 print. Forget much bigger; the bigger the print the more amplified your errors become. Good quality large prints are made possible for most people by digital*.

So BIG prints are made possible by digital tools, but I still need a high level of understanding & control over the process, to produce the results I desire, and my own understanding of the shortfalls of digital. Colour management is the big issue for most photographers, even if they deal with labs, or print at home. Matching your vision, to your screen, to the labs screen or your home printer, adds a level of complexity to the process that few people have the inclination and temerity to deal with. Let alone even know exists, or can see, or feel is important to 'the process'.

But really what I think that Michael is missing, is the ways that screen based work can be used to add another layer of complexity and context to the way an image is viewed.

A series of prints on the wall, or in a book, can only be read in a certain order. Text can be added of course to add some meaning or context to the image, or even distort the image, but it's all still pretty linear.

When I first started on flickr all those years ago, the idea of this extension of linearity was a deciding factor in me throwing myself into the process. I could add context to an image by simply putting it in 2, [or more] sets, or multiple groups. What I find the most interesting idea about a photograph when exhibited or in a book, is the connections between each image and the way that can be used to tell a story or evoke a respones. Images used this way become more like a performance than a 'picture'. These days anyone can make a good picture, given time and little and a handful of technical skills, but to apply that over an extended period of time, to produce a body of work that says something, now that's not so easy, but not impossible either. Ultimately though, I have NO CONTROL how the viewer sees or finds the image, but that, to my mind just adds to the charm of it all. It is one of the driving factors behind my mophone blog, and, my neo-documentary set. Digital, also, allows me to 'publish' books of my work. None of this would be feasible without digital, playing some part in the process.

*More people can make 20 inch prints now than ever before, are they good prints though, well that's a whole other kettle of fish.

August 26, 2008

Lo-Rez Diztawshunz

My first reaction after viewing this on screen before uploading to flickr was fix those bent parallels and curved verticals and horizontals. But then hey I thought, is this not part of the phone-cam/mophone aesthetic?

Melbourne Victoria Australia 2008:08:02 12:25:34

August 28, 2008

Spot the bad Photoshop!

The Australian - Photo galleries and slideshows - Myer Collections launch 2008
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Thanks to the Australian Newspaper

August 29, 2008

NOTIFBUTWHEN #2: Tech Time

Interesting to see/hear this guy muse over hardware.

[From NOTIFBUTWHEN #2: Tech Time]

August 30, 2008

Let's Move On

Must get back into the habit of watching rocketboom.

August 31, 2008

American Streets

Never look like Melbourne streets? I wonder why?

From, lutefiskmn's stream on flickr, a recent discovery and someone well worth a look.

September 3, 2008

In answer to my own question...

...after a little research I answered my own question the image that prompted me was indeed taken/made in a regional city of America, which, is not dissimilar in size to the 3 major regional cities here in Victoria. Those cities being, Geelong, Ballarat & Bendigo. Of course one of the American cities that most closely resembles Melbourne in Population and size is Boston. And when I searched flickr, the results did in fact look similar to Melbourne.

On an unrelated note, I have some polaroids in a show at Photospace in Collingwood, that opens today, with the official opening this Saturday, I'm hoping to pop in for the official reception at some point, maybe I'll see you there?

September 4, 2008

Flash Cubes

Flash bulbs, flash cubes, and Magicubes (also called Xcubes) are now available for purchase on-line. These have not been manufactured for many years, and supplies are very limited.

This in my inbox this morning

Dear customer, this is a quick note to let you know that we have just added a limited supply of obsolete flash products to the Frugal Photographer web site.
These will be of particular interest to camera collectors, and to anyone else who enjoys displaying cameras and equipment from the mid-1950's through the 1980's.
And of course, they'll interest anyone who is still using one of the high-quality cameras from that period. From The Frugal Photographer.

September 9, 2008

Sky Photography

My inbox gets all sorts of photography related e-mails, every now and again a standout one showsup.

Photojojo sends such pearlers every now and then, this set Sky Play by, hb19 from flickr, is one such example. A great idea simply executed, hours of entertainment and fun.

September 15, 2008

A Year Ago today

IMG 0091

It seems I've been with my Vistaquest for 12 months now!

September 17, 2008

Glitch Art

Don't you just love it when digital borks.

Picture 1
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September 20, 2008

Trafiic Jams Footy Fever and Weather

Friday, we had some rare rain. It's footy finals here, with all it's related insanity, traffic is usually at its worst on ANY given froidee.

What has this to do with Photography, I hear my dear reader/s ask? The long slow drive home allowed me to shoot over 100 frames on my VQ1005. The drive usually 45-60 minutes on a good day, took nearly 2 hours. [I'd left my mophone at home, so used it instead.]

It handled the colours well given the somewhat lowered contrast. Timing as always is tricky with these cameras, but managed to fluke a couple of good ones.

This shot of the taxi, turning the corner is one, I love trying to add these cars to images made in the CBD. The splash of yellow can lift the rest of the colours really well. Sadly given my new upload system to flickr, it maybe months begore any other see the light of day. Perhaps I'll add a couple to my iperntiy account?

IMG 3533_jam

This map gives a rough indication of the state of affairs, norally 3 to 5 minutes through this area.

Google MapsUploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Term break is here; so far I've a bit of analogue film to process and proof, that is going to be the focus of the break, I really want to be able to exploit the light this time of year, and a 2 week window may just be enough. Not that I'm working on anything new at the moment.

September 21, 2008

JPG Magazine: Photos: "Spill" by Jason Barnhart

David Levinthal, revisited

[From JPG Magazine: Photos: "Spill" by Jason Barnhart]

Old story; new twist.

Or is it?

September 22, 2008

Photography is not Dead.

Way back in the mid 90's when the internet sprang into the public consciousness, many many folks predicted the death of books and magazines and as a consequence photography that drove these industries. Here we are 10 years alter and magazine shelves are brimming with more titles than ever, the computer publishing industry has exploded providing books on all manner of topics that people want to read and learn about. High resolution digital cameras are now only outnumbered by mobile devices that have a camera built-in. Sites like flickr have sprung into existence, along with publishing tools like blogger.

This morning this article turned up in my news-reader. an article interviewing the DOP for one of America's largest magazines, one I've NOT read in many years, Reader Digest.

I took great hope in this quote

There are those who forecast that the web will ultimately replace print. Not having a crystal ball, I think the mediums will both remain valid and offer different experiences for quite some time.

Indeed why does the question need to be so digital.

September 23, 2008

Now THIS I can dig

Aerial Photography using Balloons

[From Process]

Stay tuned

September 24, 2008

Flickr & Usability

Flickr recently changed the way the front page works. Historically I would begin using the site from my own bookmarked page, then, using tabs, work my way around comments I'd made followed by comments left by others, then check the activity in the groups, I'm involved in.

All this is neatly encapsulated in one page now with nice drop down areas, using the ubiquitous triangles people are so used to seeing on computers these days. I can now do much more, using this interface, more easily and more frequently.

Welcome to Flickr!
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Perhaps a BAD thing for me? [I keep promising myself to spend less time in there.]

If I was to level one criticism at this otherwise smart move, it would the inability to change back to the old page, personally no biggy but I know others have been a bit miffed by this issue.

September 27, 2008

Photo Processing, A Cooking Analogy

Anolgies are good

[From Photo Processing, A Cooking Analogy « Nancy Lehrer’s Weblog]

I like metaphors too

September 28, 2008

CS 4

As I'm doing less and less in photoshop these days, I guess I missed the announcement of CS4

Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium
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Just another thing to learn, well my PD file will get a shot in the arm.

October 2, 2008

San Francisco Visual Artist - Photography by John Chiara

Thanks to TK's post to the silver mine forum on flickr, I found this guy who is doing some crazy stuff with a home made camera mounted on a trailer he pulls around behind his car.

[From John Chiara]

I like the idea of addressing the way modern westerners treat mobility and tying it in with memory.