Are we having company?
Standard joke to this day is when we go into frantic cleaning mode it's because guests are coming. This picture was taken over 25 years ago. I have just finished scanning the majority of pictures from six albums I kept up when the kids were small, preparing over three hundred 800 pixel x 480 pixel files (many of which have two pictures on them) to view on a digital photo frame. It has been a real treat putting Photoshop skills to work to resurrect severely overexposed (from internal flash) and faded images (from non-archival albums). I would like to encourage you to scan your old photos NOW and archive them in several places. The originals have probably lost quality and will continue to do so.
Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye
Beegie kept me company as I watched this inspiring documentary. I jotted reminders for Google search after the program which I rented it from Netflix. Watching a DVD like this is very curative for what ails you about the populace of dpreview forums.
Cheap Camera, Cheap Printer
Were you all hot and bothered about the Canon 40D and then had your bubble burst by the Nikon D300? I know I was...but I decided to put new camera purchases on hold and rediscover my Canon A610, a digicam gem that was sulking in the drawer. Took this with Auto White Balance, low sharpening, ISO 200, a few minutes ago, with window light. Slightly cropped, resized and sharpened only the in-focus areas and printed it with my Canon i860 printer on Red River Ultra Pro Satin paper. No fancy settings or profiles, just let the printer have control of the color. Shooting with digicams and cheap idiot-proof printers can be so satisfying. (Fuzzy area at lower left is light reflecting off the print.)
Ohmygod...I'm in a rut!
Just tonight I noticed that a large section of my closet rod had denim hanging from it. I've been addicted to denim for a long time, but I didn't realize my habit had gotten this bad!
Why do we obsess?
This is a scan of a portrait of Pablo Picasso which was published in Henry Cartier-Bresson's "Tête à Tête". You will please note that the composition does not follow the "Rule of Thirds". The glints in the eyes are blurred, indicating camera shake. Were it not a photo of a famous person, would it be a "great" photo?
Why do we obsess about technical perfection?
The more I look through Cartier-Bresson's work, the more I appreciate MY OWN images. I have been underappreciating them...and I'll bet you have underappreciated yours too!
Rather than concentrating on pixel peeping, burnt out highlights, and visual noise, shouldn't we try to be a little more concerned about our content and whether we get that "Ahah" feeling when we click on an image and it impacts us to the point of taking an extra breath?
When I prepare images for uploading to my galleries I put them in a folder and run a slideshow. If an image says "Blah" to me it goes into the recycle bin. If it sparks that extra breath feeling, it gets uploaded.
No doubt I have too many images in my galleries, but I hope that through them people will be educated (or at least amused) and encouraged to think differently about the way they shoot.
If you haven't visited the myriad galleries on pBase with great creative works by non-famous-photographers, mostly non-professionals, you are missing many great experiences.
The Decisive Moment
In "Cartier-Bresson's France", the author François Nourissier states, "The unmistakable trademark of a photograph of Cartier-Bresson combines purity of subject, the instant caught in flight, ephemeral truth made lasting."
Last week I had the pleasure of viewing "Henri Cartier-Bresson - The Impassioned Eye" on the Ovation Network. I found the presentation so inspiring that I looked for a DVD online and found I could download it from EZTakes.com.
It was raining when I arrived to take pictures of the officers of the local kennel club. The gentleman at the door was telling us that dogs were not allowed in the building. Monte, the golden, was there to have some obedience shots taken.
I hope this represents the kind of decisive moment that Cartier-Bresson tried to capture.
(Afterthought: He worked mostly in black and white with a 50mm lens on a Leica. He did not do his own processing. About those purists who think digital isn't real photography, I wonder what they would have to say about the lady I saw in the presentation using a paintbrush to retouch a print of Cartier-Bresson's.)
Camera Lust Abated
After my second Sony H camera return (the H9) I have become convinced that until camera manufacturers get over this megapixel megazoom race without improving the sensors, there simply aren't going to be any cameras out there with the same beautiful detail that my older cameras produce(d).
Fancy features like huge zoom, super high ISOs, image stabilization, and large lcds do not make up for sensor deficiencies covered up by intolerable detail bashing noise reduction.
This morning as I watched my two cats chowing down I thought about capturing their sizes, since Beegie is packing on the weight again. My Canon A610 was in grabbing distance, so I changed the ISO to 400 (its highest) and got this shot in my dimly lit laundry room. I so very much cherish its wonderful auto white balance - the BEST of any digicam I've owned - even better than that from my dslrs. (This isn't a particularly spectacular image, but it did inspire me to pontificate here.)
I treasure my A610 and the hundreds of beautiful images it has produced, as I cherished the A80 which came before it.
For extreme low light photography I chose to get a Fuji F30, which has not disappointed me in low light, but I think the A610 has the edge on bright light dynamic range.
For "serious" work at high ISOs I still use my dslrs, but they're not nearly as much fun as my little digicams. Carrying several pounds around can get mighty tiring.
The point of this post? Appreciate what you have while you're waiting for the announcement that the megapixel, megazoom, high ISO race is over and they've come out with a super sensor that has increased dynamic range a hundredfold, along with solving the high ISO quality issue.
It seems that rather than getting better, the newer crop of digicams is more disappointing than anything else. I think I'm on "hold" now in the camera acquisition department - but I never can tell when I'm going to get caught up again in the race for the latest and greatest.
How far they've come!
This is the 10th Anniversary of my entry into the digital photography world. Amazing how much progress can be made in 10 years. I paid $864 for my one megapixel Kodak DC 120 and $220 for my 10 mb San Disk Compact Flash card. Here's some info from Kodak's digital camera history site:
"In April, the company unveiled the KODAK DIGITAL SCIENCE DC120 Zoom Digital Camera, the first point-and-shoot megapixel quality digital camera under $1,000."
Just think about all the quality digital cameras there are out there today for under $1000...and how the price of digital storage has plummeted. It boggles my mind.
DSC02068 Queen of the Mountain
As you can see, the fur is growing back nicely on Beegie's recovering leg. She has been deeply into eating and lounging, two of her favorite activities, and I have delighted in watching her enjoy her life once more.
Sony DSCF 717 Sensor Won't Die!
I have until October 2007 to return the 717 with a failed sensor, and Sony will repair it free. 717 sensors around the world have been dropping like flies. Mine continues to thrive, and it was one of the first sold. Yesterday, in desperation, having been told it was humidity that made the sensor fail, I turned the shower on full blast, closed the bathroom door, and left the 717 in there for a couple of hours. No luck. It's still going strong. I really love this camera.
First sunbath in a long time
Doesn't her expression say, "Please don't move me?" It warms my heart to see her free again to enjoy what she enjoys ALMOST more than eating!