This is Jim Bullard's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Jim Bullard's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Jim Bullard
Recent Activity
I first got into photography in 1958 and it was all B&W for me for many years because that was what I could develop and print. The equipment and materials for color were too expensive, too difficult to work with and usually fugitive (faded rapidly if exposed to light). Some serious work was being done in color when I was still young, notably, Elliot Porter who remains an important influence on my photography. But Ansel Adams once remarked to Elliot "you don't get good whites". I have seen some of Porter's original prints and I have to confess that Ansel was right although I suspect that the limitations of the materials in the '60s had something to do with it. Most serious photographers worked in B&W except for commercial work of the types you mention. One thing I have noted as a result of the time span of my avocation is that a lot of what becomes fashionable is simply a revisiting of things done in the past. HDR, for example, is a digital variation on Adam's stretching or compressing the tonal range via the Zone System. A more extreme early HDR technique was underwater development. I am amused these days when someone comes up with a new technique and I think to myself "yeah, (insert famous film photographer's name here) did that sort of thing when it was a lot tougher to do. It seems to me that much (most?) of what is popular now has become theatrical. Images aren't observed and recorded so much as they are constructed based on something the photographer dreamed up before ever picking up the camera. It is as if photography has all gone the commercial studio route, art directed, posed, fantasies rather than reality. There is an interesting book about that shift https://www.amazon.com/Disappearing-Witness-Twentieth-Century-American-Photography/dp/0801871670/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508292237&sr=8-1&keywords=disappearing+witness I recommend it.
"I'm too old—I no longer have the energy and vitality needed to engage in the kind of travel and hard work needed to keep such a support system busy." Really? Buck up Mike. I'm about to turn 73 and I'm still climbing mountains in the Adirondacks. Okay, I concede that I have a harder time winding up my enthusiasm than I used to but hey. Doing what I love (once I get over the "stay at rest" inertia) is what keeps life enjoyable in this crazy and disheartening world. Take some vitamins, pop one of those energy drinks, get out there and do it. BTW I still have all my darkroom gear, a Besler 4x5, and all the accouterments to make up to 16x20 prints. No darkroom to put them in though. I'm content scanning and printing digitally.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2017 on Darkroom DAYdream at The Online Photographer
My primary experience with portraiture was as an Army photographer in the 1960s. Being the military it was by formula and thus avoided all the sort of problems you encountered. OTOH It didn't pay nearly as well. ;-) We did shoot occasional portraits as "personal work" though and one of those has remained a favorite among all the portraits I have made over the years. It is a casual portrait of the sergeant in charge of the lab I worked from the summer I got married. I only shot a handful of exposures (we were shooting with 4x5 Press cameras) but I kept a print of my favorite. I don't know what became of the negative. I suspect that Sgt. Grabs kept it. You can see the photo here https://tinyurl.com/y847b53p
I parted with my Pentaxes when I upgraded to the Canon Elan 7 (NFS) but I still have a Yashica FX-3 super 2000 with a Yashica 28-85mm zoom that I would part with if any retro photographer is interested. It is truly mint having had only 2-3 rolls of film through it. The batteries were taken out to prevent corrosion and it has been languishing in my equipment drawer since my daughter abandoned it.
I hate to break this to you Mike but Mercedes has been making trucks for a long time. I see their vans on the road all the time and many high-end campers are based on their van chassis. They even make semis. Check this out: https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/vehicles/trucks/ So, a pickup truck isn't surprising at all.
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2017 on Laughing and Crying at The Online Photographer
Sorry, but I have to rant: "Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Do you recognize that? It is a quote from the Declaration of Independence, one of our founding documents. Did you notice the lack of any mention of monkeys? The laws governing copyright are part of the government of humans, created by humans for the regulation of human interaction. Monkeys are not bound (or granted intellectual property rights) by human law. The premise that a monkey could own the copyright is absurd to the point that I am amazed that our courts would even consider the case. I can only conclude that the court must be bored with the same old, same old and wanted something amusing as a diversion. It should have been dismissed in a pre-trial hearing. I won't even get into the question of whether PETA has standing to file the suit on behalf of a monkey in another country. Are they claiming to be related? Aside from that, there is the matter of simple logic. Pressing the shutter release is only one aspect of creating a photograph. David Slater bought the camera, learned to use it, flew to where the monkeys were and prompted them to press the button while looking into the lens. The photo is the result of all *his* actions. The chances that the photo would exist at all without his actions are zero, zip, zilch, nada. The monkey is in no way the creator/author any more than a typist is the author of a novel that was dictated to him/her. To assign authorship based on what finger(s) touched the button (keys) is totally illogical. Again, I am astounded that a court would even agree to hear the case.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2017 on SNAFU at The Online Photographer
Control over the emotion of the image is why I always shoot in RAW mode. The JPG default curve isn't necessarily what I want the image to look like. What I want is an exposure that results in the most information to work with after exposure. I have always cringed at the "get it right in the camera" philosophy because while that worked for transparency film (you really didn't have a choice) it left out a whole range of control over the image with B&W film and the same is true with digital. It is also true however that there is a problem of tonal consistency between systems and monitors when viewing images online. My monitor is calibrated but most aren't so there is no way I can assure that everyone is seeing the same tones that I intended.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2017 on Look at Tone as Light at The Online Photographer
I would love to link all my online accounts as David Raboin recommened but IMO Flickr is a disaster. I wish I had never gotten into it. After I joined they linked it to Yahoo so that (theoretically) I could sign in via Yahoo. I was never able to sign in consistently after that because of "conflicts" between the accounts. I spent many hours and pulled out much hair trying to fix the problem through their merry-go-round of help and FAQs to no avail. I decided to simply delete the account. A year of so ago I managed, via what could only have been a minor miracle, to reach an actual human at Yahoo who promised to delete the account for me but he/she said that by company policy it would take 90 days. I just checked, it is still there, I still can't get in, the "help" merry-go-round still goes round without ever getting anywhere. I hear that AT&T bought Yahoo/Flickr. Maybe I should contact them. Arrrgh!
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2017 on Paul Grubb? at The Online Photographer
I ran for 7 years in my 40s. I never felt better in my life and wish I could do it today but at 72 with arthritic knees, running is a no-no. Once when I was running 4.25 miles every day a nephew who was running HS track was visiting and announced he wanted to run with me. I think he planned on showing me up but he was trained for the 100-yard dash and the quarter mile. He took off like a shot and was soon far ahead. At around the end of the first mile, I caught up with him and we ran together for about a mile until we came to a narrow bridge with traffic coming so I told him I was going to pull ahead so we would be single file. I did and that was the end of his run. He walked the rest of the way demoralized. He had burnt himself out on the first mile instead of pacing himself for the distance. When I started running I did what you mentioned, walking first, then I interspersed walking and running but my aim was always to be a distance runner so I never sprinted, I always paced myself until I could easily run 4-5 miles/day. I even ran a marathon once in just under 5 hours. It may not sound like much but try running 26.219 miles. I'm proud of my "finishers medal". Now I walk, hike and (occasionally) climb mountains in the Adirondacks, carefully and always pacing myself. My knees hurt but there is something magic in both the exercise and being outside, especially a hike in the woods. Like the line in Psalm 23 says, it restoreth my soul. Keep it up. It is worth whatever discomfort you experience in the process. The rewards are greater than the cost.
That question assumes that I'm only going to have one camera. As a person who has multiple hammers, saws and other tools I see cameras the same way. The tool of choice should fit the task at hand and there is no one tool that does every task equally well. Consequently, I will always want at least two cameras.
Toggle Commented Jun 8, 2017 on Why Buy a DSLR? at The Online Photographer
Landscapes are generally serene subjects. For them to have visual impact it is often necessary to do a bit of Photoshop work on them. Yeah, I know. "Get it right in the camera". The problem with that is that a camera doesn't see like humans do. Look at Ansel Adams work. He pushed and pulled contrast in the development, used filters to chance tonal relationships, dodged and burned. Converting to B&W can help a dull landscape that was otherwise well seen and composed because with color removed from the equation, tones can be pushed further and still be believable. That's a big reason why Ansel preferred B&W. Here's a similar scene to yours. I converted to B&W and pushed the roof tone to near white while keeping the darkest tone at black. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155221963694544&set=rpd.826164543&type=3&theater Another trick is to increase the saturation. That is trickier because it can easily become postcardie and fake looking but look at what Guy Tal does with color, sumptuous hues that are entirely believable but I'm sure the file coming out of the camera didn't look exactly like that any more than a straight print from one of Ansel's negatives looked like what is on all those calendars. We *create* our images, we don't just *take* them. If you only take photos, you aren't going to get many really good ones.
That is sort of like being retired Mike. :-)
If I were you I'd buy the Panasonic GX8. It has a great selection of lenses and gives you the IBS you want. No camera will be 'perfect', at least I've yet to find one that is. That is especially true when you are ordering online based on the specs and reviews. If at all possible maybe you should go where you can see and handle examples of all the contenders on your list. I find that after satisfying a list of non-negotiable features, the winning camera is the one that'feels right' in my hands as I'm using it.
I would be me but with an agent to handle selling my photos. I love what I do except for marketing. I'm lousy at selling my work.
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2017 on Idle Question at The Online Photographer
I like it but it has one problem. Now you need to define life.
Toggle Commented Mar 31, 2017 on Quote o' the Day: Me at The Online Photographer
Right now I am stuck on the Canon EOS M3. I know they just came out with the M5 But the only real difference (one that would affect my choice) is the inclusion of Bluetooth. That would be nice but it isn't enough to make me upgrade at this point. Pros: The same (physical) size sensor as my 7D but with 24 MP instead o 18. Very good/sharp small lenses plus an adapter that allows the use of any of my other EOS lenses. Good modest sized body with well-placed controls. Cons: The LCD only flips up/down, not fully articulated. Had they made the LCD fully articulated on the M5 along with the addition of Bluetooth, I might have been tempted.
FWIW I always preferred D-76 diluted 1:1 and used as a one-shot developer. I tried lots of different things (including Rodinal) but D-76 1:1 gave me the negatives I wanted. If I were to return to film today, I still use it.
So, have you found someone to loan me one for two years yet? ;-)
Toggle Commented Jan 20, 2017 on GFX-50S Has Everything at The Online Photographer
I would choose the Fuji. Sadly, I have no rich friends, at least none inclined to be that generous toward me.
Switch to Chrome browser Mike. With Chrome all those settings, bookmarks, etc. are stored in Google's cloud and it Chrome gets corrupted, you just uninstall and reinstall. The new install will pick up your settings when you log in.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2017 on Book Report at The Online Photographer
While he isn't "freezing" the bird flight, it isn't one long exposure either. His site doesn't explain but it appears that he is shooting video and then combining the frames into a single image. Cool.
I'm with you on both a native square sensor and a B&W only camera. Personally (and you've heard this from me before) I'd like to see a digital Mamiya 6. I suppose a Hasselblad style body with a flip-up finder for when you wanted to put the camera at eye level would be okay too. And I second Ranjit's comment on batteries. It is truly annoying to have two cameras with batteries that are only fractionally different in size and the same configuration so I have to test which charger to use. Grrrr!
As an EOS M3 owner, I am unimpressed and even disappointed in the M5. I was looking forward to an M4 that I hoped would have a fully articulated screen. Instead. they made the screen flip downward 180°, the most useless feature I can imagine. Okay, so they couldn't do the 180° upward flip because of the now built in EVF (which does not flip up 90° like its detachable predecessor) but what good is the downward flip if it is behind your tripod? And how awkward is it to handhold the camera for selfies with it flipped down? Come on Canon. You can do much better. IMHO the M3 is an underappreciated camera that could have been even better but the M5 isn't it.
I share your aversion to the current trend to make videos of everything or even audio "podcasts" for that matter. Many years ago while working as a bureaucrat I took a course in speed reading from the then Guinness Record Holder for speed reading. The point to speed reading is to get quickly past what you already know to the new information you want. You can't do that effectively with videos or podcasts. Consequently, I'd rather read most things. Videos are fine for things that must be seen to be fully comprehended and audio is a must for performance based things like TED Talks but for camera reviews, let me read.
So... What were they called before they were called commandments? The Hopi precepts or whatever they are called remind me of a SciFi story I once read in which the main character visited a parallel universe and in that universe, the entire code of laws consisted of "Don't annoy others and don't be too easily annoyed".