Thursday, April 1, 2010

I am a Mottle.

40mm f3.7 1/110s ISO100
I got to play with one of the new "weatherproof/ waterproof" digital cameras recently.  This was a Fujifilm model, a small compact form factor with sealed controls and lens.  It's submersible to 10ft or so.  It has a very slow focus mechanism.  It is slow recycling between shots.  It is a short 3X optical zoom which is kinda old school these days.  But- what fun it can be floating in a pool, paddling down a river or snorkeling a shallow reef.  This wouldn't be a first camera for a serious photographer nor would it be a suitable backup.  But as a special use piece you can capture wet snapshots all day long.  What is the alternative?  Wrapping a bread bag around your DSLR and using two twisty ties?  Sony, Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus all have multiple entries in this fairly new market.  If you spend lots of time around the water- this could make for a fun and creative summer.  Oh yeah- this shot has the camera about 10 inches under the surface in the Patapsco River shooting back at my mug.  Mottled Me.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Arena #2 (sides)

40mm f3.7 1/20s ISO800
This is a covered arena used for horse training.  The metal halide lighting drops an eerie cold blanket over the earthen floor.  The warm reflections makes for a contradiction in lighting and altered the color base.  I shot this series in color, but all along had the b&w conversion in mind.  This allowed me to focus on contrast, shadows and grain instead.  The linear divide of the large plywood boards was so different than the organic composite of the floor.  Although well lit for our eyes, it was not for the little pocket camera I had with me.  I had to force the ISO up to 800 to capture these.  I even braced against the swing gate.  The small CCD sensor is not preferred and is less than ideal in most all cases for quality art photography.  But if you know how to use your equipment, know your tools, you can still pull off a good one here and there.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Edit Art

I recently saw a post on a fellow photographer's blog that said "don't tell me that this photograph isn't heavily edited."  Let me say this about that.

That's the craft.  I applaud the capture of "unedited" images and appreciate the skill in that, but dialing in the setting on your equipment (camera) takes time and is a type of edit, "pre-edit" if you will.  It does with digital systems AND it does with analog systems.  All art photographers, like Ansel Adams, do this...  add a second here, take a second there.  He "edited" every one of his images with chemical mixes, silver chrome papers, different film stocks, cropping, exposure times, filters, dodging & burning.  "Half dome" and "Moonrise" are creative masterpieces because he made precision edits.

"Editing" is not a cheat or trickery to make photographs look good- it's a way for the artist to get his product together.  It is no different than a painter mixing paints until they get the perfect color blue.
"Editing" is simply using tools in your toolbox.  As an artist, the photographer can manipulate the images until they are happy with the result.  It is then up to the viewer to digest and absorb the result upon which they can make their opinions of it.  Additionally, editing alone cannot create the core image.  The original capture is important also.  For that it takes they eye and creativity of an artist, the photographer.
So when viewing photographs from now on- don't make a judgement one way or the other based on editing.  Respect the image and the artist, they stand alone.
If you don't know how to do some basic editing... you should learn.  Your may turn your snapshots into art after all.

Monday, March 29, 2010

upward is best

28mm f3.3 1/640s ISO100
Just around the corner is a day spa painted this spring green.  It's interesting to know that there are buildings all around us painted in distinct and vibrant colors.  We overlook them as we get accustomed to them. They don't stand out like the occasional teal or purple house, but they are there.  The rooted ivy has found home here for years.  This run is forging new hold, budding in the warm weather, and setting up for a fine year of growth. What do you see around the corner?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

lion's teeth

Dandelions are thought to have evolved about thirty million years ago in Eurasia; they have been used by humans for food and as a herb for much of recorded history. They were introduced to North America by early European immigrants.  The English name dandelion is a corruption of the French dent de lion meaning "lion's tooth", referring to the coarsely toothed leaves.