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"The local summer grocery store near where my new house is ... is open from May 1 to October 31st" That's not raising any red flags ? I suppose coming from Wisconsin, you'll be ready for anything. Maybe your Museum of Photographic Curiosities would, in turn, be featured in a future book of roadside attractions. Which, of course, you could feature in the museum.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Photo Geekery at The Online Photographer
I remember someone telling me "two moves equals a fire". That seems like a gross exaggeration, as our only real move (20 years ago) resulted in virtually no damage. I wish you good luck with it all. So making Eastlake a photographers destination would make the area even more compelling. I'm about 5 hours away and have been thinking about visiting Letchworth State Park. (We have vacationed in the nearby Adirondacks a few times recently, though). Like a few others, I'm not too surprised at this turn of events :)
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on Blog Note at The Online Photographer
John (Slaytor), That was a great blog post on the christening w/very nice photos - the family must be happy. You wrote above that pixels are irrelevant since the Nikon D70, yet on your blog, in your D810 review, you wrote: "The depth of detail in images is bewildering and I realise this is a medium format camera. In 2005 I started off with the Nikon D70 and over time upgraded. This is the first camera that startles me with its ability to capture detail." All around the web, wisdom that "3MP is all anyone needs" and the like is countered by rave reviews of high res cameras and sharp lenses. The truth is all of it all rolled together, somehow. And our society isn't one that was built on an embracing of sufficiency. When I watch a DVD, it looks great. When I watch Blu Ray, it looks better. (I've only seen 4k once a couple years ago, and found the compression too distracting, but in time, I'm sure it will be better still). I guess the big question is: does sufficiency have any relevance ?
I don't remember ever having been an idiot, by I checked with my wife, and she says I have.
I've probably always owned a 50 (when shooting film) but never really embraced it. Until around 2004 when I was anxiously awaiting the recently announced Konica Minolta 7D and decided to pick up a 50mm lens to use as a portrait prime. Turns out I never got along with 50mm on APS-C (too short or too long for just about everything) but had a blast with it shooting 35mm until the DSLR finally arrived. I recently upgraded my NEX-5 to an A6000 and plan to get a 'normal' for it very soon. The 35/1.8 is sensible for its image stabilization; the Sigma 30/2.8 for its price (and performance) and the Touit 32/1.8 an outlier (at current prices, not so much an outlier). In preparation for this decision, I scoured through my Lightroom catalog (very easy to sort by lens, BTW). I used a Minolta 28/2 on my Sony A700 (and KM 7D before that). And I use a Nikkor 35/1.8 on my D7000 now. The difference (to my eyes, at least) is profound. The 28 clearly works for me; the 35 not so much. The 35 seems constrained, much more on the "very slightly tele" side of normal than having any chameleon properties (though with a 1.54X crop, it is more like a 55 than a 50). The photos taken with the 28 "breathe". I love the natural look that FOV offers. More importantly, I'm far more successful with it at taking "great" (relative to my own collection !) photos with it. I have more favorite photos taken with that lens than any other. I also own a HiMatic with a 40/1.7 and loved that lens (now we're getting into another of your classic posts - "Why 40mm". In any event, the new Sony FE 28/2 looks like the slam dunk choice for my A6000. And in reply to the inevitable "just zoom with your feet", that's just not a viable option. Perspective is everything. - Dennis
The universe is said to be unfathomly big. So big that it would take light 13 billion years to get across it (and by the time light made it across, the universe would be bigger still). 13 billion is 13 x 10^9. A light year is approximately 6 x 10^12 miles. So that makes the universe around 8*10^22 miles across. 4.2 x 10^26 feet. 5 x 10^27 inches. A measly 1024x768 web image at 8 bits RGB allows for 2^18874368 or around 8×10^5681750 possible image variations. If you were to print them and stack them, the stack would stretch from one end of the universe to the other 2x10^5,681,721 times (figuring 100 sheets to the inch). Even in the likely event that I've messed up the math, I think there's plenty left to photograph. Even if only 1 out of every 10^5,681,721 possible photos is a potential keeper, that still leaves you a stack that traverses the universe. Twice.
I've yet to read any of John's novels - I saw a bunch of them at a used bookstore and decided I wanted to research them to find out where to start (since they seem to use common characters). But now I know where I'll start ! (I don't read much fiction these days, but was always a fantasy & sci-fi fan). So I headed over to Amazon to read the synopsis ... space ship, alien contact, suspense, ok, seen this in movies before, but no, wait, governments are racing to get to it and bring home the technology first - brilliant ! Of course they are ! Aliens might be scary, but not as scary as letting the Chinese get hold of their technology ! Too bad it won't be out in time for summer vacations. (OK, maybe it won't be my first John Sandford novel after all).
Toggle Commented Jun 5, 2015 on INCREDIBLURB (OT) at The Online Photographer
I have two ways of looking this potentially discouraging thought. One is that I photograph stuff that's specific, and from that point of view, hasn't been photographed before. Much as you argued above. It's today and tomorrow, here and now, my family, my town. Generally similar to stuff that's been done, but specifically unique. The other is that even if it has been done before (like Kodak picture spots in Yellowstone), it's never been done by me. And even if it's been done better by 1,000 other people before me and 1,000 more after me, their photos still aren't mine. Mine will remind me of my trip better than theirs will. If I ever get around to going on a safari, I guarantee you my photo of a lion will be far better than anything Andy Biggs has ever taken - not to your eyes, but to mine, because every time I look at it, I'd think "holy cr*p ... I actually SAW that lion !" I guess those are two types of photos - photos that I take as personal memories (the latter) versus photos that I take because I love photography (the former).
Following on from my suggested follow up question, another fun thread (or subject for a book) could be "best of the worst" ... show us your best shots of these worst cliches. (But then does best mean shots that best exemplify the cliche or those that succeed despite the cliche ? I think I'd rather see the latter).
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2015 on The Worst Clichés at The Online Photographer
Close ups of elderly Indian mens faces processed with the clarity slider pushed to 100. Peggy's Cove. Ultra wide angle shots taken in a field of wildflowers. Broken/dirty dolls on the ground. Abandoned buildings. Follow up question: once you have a 'final' list ... ask readers how many of those cliches they have "keepers" of. (Only edit it so that it doesn't end with "of" !)
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2015 on The Worst Clichés at The Online Photographer
I'm inclined to say that expensive bags are overrated, but having never used one (I'm frugal !) I guess I can't. But I will say that cheap bags are underrated. I'm torn about whether to get rid of a bag right now. I bought it in the summer of 1984, after graduating high school, when I flew out to California (my first commercial flight) to visit a friend who moved there. He'd been there a month or two and had a part time job at a strip mall camera store, and I used his employee discount to get a camera bag for around $15. Your basic no-name padded nylon bag with a shoulder strap and a zip top, big enough for an SLR and a zoom lens. If it ever had dividers, they've been lost (the bag wasn't big enough to divide back in those days and that's one of the reasons I bought a new Kata bag - I was using it for my camcorder and needed to keep it and spare batteries and the aux mic from banging into each other). The zipper tab broke off, so I use a paper clip. There's a gold toned plastic logo that used to say "Mustang" but it broke in half. Otherwise, the bag is the same bag it was 30 years ago. I think these cheap "ballistic nylon" bags walk all over high end and well pedigreed waxed canvas bags when it comes to durability; certainly for value. Though I freely admit, they've got all the appeal of a Pontiak Aztek. But that's me all over. A teacher at my daughter's school asked me to come in and talk to a class about what I do for a living. My daughter said that would be okay, so long as she could pick out my clothes.
By the way, on those 60+K files, one thing I've started to do is export some out into separate catalogs, so they don't clutter up my views. Over the years, I've shot many school concerts, softball games, dance recitals and other events that I like to hang onto, but really don't need to be looking at regularly. (The better shots of friends & family, yes, but the majority of shots from those events, no).
Toggle Commented May 13, 2015 on Tiered Archiving at The Online Photographer
Tiers make sense, though I think I'd to go tier 2 for cloud backup. I have 60,000+ raw files and take up over 1TB of space in my "base tier". A lot of it wouldn't be missed terribly if it were lost; some of it needs to go now, but I haven't gotten around to it. Cloud storage for that much data isn't all that cheap. (I could back up jpegs). And on DSL, backing up is a time consuming proposition. I'm not sure I'd want to bother downloading it all from cloud storage in the event I lose local copies. Meanwhile, local storage is dirt cheap, so I'll keep physical copies of all of it and contemplate a cloud backup of more important stuff. I had that same KM 28-75/2.8 for my 7D. It was my go to "people lens" for a couple years before I bought a pair of primes (Minolta 28/2 and an old 85/1.4). It was a nice lens on APS-C.
Toggle Commented May 13, 2015 on Tiered Archiving at The Online Photographer
"The fact is, your best work could get lost right there at home...nestled in amongst the thousands of other shots you're carefully archiving and backing up every four years." Yes ! That's exactly my fear; that if something should happen to me (something will, sooner or later, but if it's later, I'm sure I'll thoroughly enjoy pruning my photo collection in retirement) a potentially nice collection of my photos will never be gathered from my entire Lightroom catalog. On the flipside, one of the fears that comes out of the idea of actually doing that exercise, though, is that it will beg the question: why keep any of the remining 64,000 photos ?
I like this. I recently bought a backup drive and reconfigured my computer's hard drives to organize things better. I've also toyed with the idea of using my smugmug account as an additional backup, figuring that in the event of a disaster, I'll take jpegs, even downsampled to something good enough for 8x10s, over nothing. But I think it's also important to consider who's going to bother looking at my photos should anything happen to me, and so I like the idea of flagging a subset of photos that get backed up separately or additionally. My Lightroom catalog is nothing that someone who isn't into photography wants to muddle through. I'm not sure where I'll go with this idea, exactly, but I expect to incorporate it somehow.
Top. I like that I can see more detail in the front on the bottom, but prefer the dial on top without so much reflection.
Toggle Commented May 8, 2015 on Need Your Opinion at The Online Photographer
The problem, in a nutshell: "I could just take the pictures myself. I'm only asking you because you have a better camera than me."
I work in the software industry. I'm not sure how we ever got to the point where people think that software should be free, but here we are.
Jim Henry wrote: <"five lenses that all fit on the same camera, all at once." Ok, I waited all day for someone else to comment on this. I spent part of the time trying to imagine what a sketch of this would look like, but I decided to leave it to your imagination. :-)> Maybe a big version of this ? - Dennis
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2015 on Crack for Lens Addicts at The Online Photographer
From what I've seen of your photography (too little, hint, hint !) it's hard to imagine you using 4-5 lenses. Fuji does seem like a great system for lens-oriented folk. The A7II in a different way, of course, but I suspect that if I ever wanted to build a nice lens kit for use on an FE body, I'd want them to be all from the same system for consistency, usability, and a degree of anal-retentiveness that I'm not normally prone to :) I don't think I'd be satisfied with a Nikon and a couple of Canons and a Contax and a Zeiss. (On the other hand, I don't think my wife would be happy if I bought 4-5 ZF lenses). The nice thing about the FE bodies is that you're not committed to Sony lenses. The downside is that if you buy a set of lenses to use on FE bodies, you're kind of committed to Sony bodies (presumably, you bought them for use on a FF sensor; not APS-C). And "Sony" and "commitment" just don't go together.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2015 on Crack for Lens Addicts at The Online Photographer
Oddly, I find I love to look at a number of types of photographs that I have little to no interest in shooting, and, maybe more oddly, don't have all that much interest in looking at photographs by other people of the types of things I do like to shoot. There is some overlap, just not a lot.
It's sort of like cameras, minus the all-from-one-company ecosystem thing. Some people have a DSLR for "serious" work; an APS-C or m43 mirrorless, then maybe an RX100 pocketable (maybe an RX10 in between) and maybe the smart phone for "better than nothing" times. I'm slowing moving to the dark side. My wife has had an iPhone 5 for 2 years+. I just got my first smart phone (iPhone 6) in January. And I'm seriously contemplating a MacBook when it comes time to replace my desktop computer (which, I think, is now 4 years old). I'm leaning towards a laptop because I find I just don't like sitting up in my office. Anyway, convergence is already on its way; I have relatives who use keyboards that double as cases for their iPads; someone else mentioned the MS Surface, and Lenovo has had convertible laptop/tablets for a while. Chromebooks have started to become popular as cloud computing reduces the need for installed software and fewer and fewer laptops these days even bother with DVD readers. On the other hand, convergence will always be thwarted by consumers who just want different things :)
Years ago, I bought a Rolleiflex 3.5f from someone whose father had bought it new and handed it down, but the guy I bought it from never used it. I offered a moderate price, because I planned to immediately send it out to Marflex in NJ for service. That pretty much doubled the price. A few years later, I added a new focus screen from Bill Maxwell. It's a beautiful/usable camera and I loved using it. Always wanted to get a prism finder for it, but good ones continue to be expensive. I'd enjoy using it today, if only it didn't involve film.
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2015 on Too Long; Read at The Online Photographer
It kills me that Fuji can make a lens lineup that's so appealing, while Sony has great bodies, sensors, affordable full frame, but a lens lineup that's so ... not. Anyway, you asked: "did you like the crowdsourced lens review?" If it were a lens I was considering, I'd find some value in it; user opinions complement objective tests. I don't know that there's anything here that's not available elsewhere, but it's a little more 'concentrated'. I know that Sony users can see similar reviews crowdsourced over a period of years for dozens of lenses (from obsolete to current) on the website and I have to believe there are similar sources for other mounts. Dyxum has a pretty interesting setup - you can search its database for lenses via mount (A or E), brand, fixed or zoom, etc. For each lens, you can see the reviews (numeric ratings, which I ignore, plus a subjective writeup), you can see links to external reviews, and then a link to a forum thread dedicated to sample images taken with the lens. The benefit of such a review here is that it's my impression that your readership represents a more skilled/informed group of photographers, on the whole, than those who contribute to other sources. The negative aspect is that it reads like the comments section of any of your blog posts, with "chaff" thrown in (posts having nothing to do with the lens). And the quality sample photos are a nice benefit (especially when inlined with the subjective opinion of the photographer). The problem is that unless you do this for dozens or hundreds of lenses across multiple brands, it's a resource that's of interest to only a very narrow slice of your readers. Sites that do this via a database or a forum have a huge advantage over a moderated blog is that they can collect data over a long period of time without much/any intervention. In summary, I don't think this is a good use of your time if it really takes that long to do. Other sites are setup to do it more efficiently.
He's very good. I think he should do a kickstarter campaign to get support for publishing a book in quantity. I'd sign up. I can't justify buying books from blurb knowing that most of the cost is due to the print on demand model. I do think he ought to find a new title. The whole "beauty in sadness" thing doesn't seem original and doesn't work for me, and anyway, the photos do just fine on their own without having to try to support a theme. I love the photo shot from behind of the person carrying the two plastic (Walgreens, I think) bags.