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Jim Bullard
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What has happened is that we have gone from photography as observation and discovery of what is 'out there' to photography to photography as creations to convey what is in the photographer's head. The subject is no longer the 'subject'. It is a component of a visual construction that the photographer dreams up to communicate a concept. There is a book about the shift "Disappearing Witness: Change in Twentieth-Century American Photography" by Gretchen Garner.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2018 on Two Last Pickins at The Online Photographer
"You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant" :-) Seriously though, try this: Would you rather have #1 or #2? Put a mark next to your choice. Would you rather have #2 or #3? Put a mark next to your choice. Continue with 1 or 4 and 1 or 5. Then start over with $2 or #3 followed by 2 or 4 and 2 or 5. Do the same choices between 3 and the remaining ones then finish by asking whether you'd rather have 4 or 5. Whichever one has the most marks is your choice. What we think is irrelevant.
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2018 on Weigh In at The Online Photographer
Historically, my problem with camera fever has always been one of timing, printers too for that matter. I agonize whether to acquire the object of my lust until I can't stand it anymore, then within a few weeks (sometimes days) of purchasing it, the manufacturer announces an upgraded version of the one I just bought. Grrrr!
The difference between text and video is like looking at a score (if you read music) or listening to a performance. The former exists in its entirety continually and can be studied, reviewing passages as desired or skipping over other passages. The performance exists only in time and the sequence of it is entirely under the control of the performer, not the audience. There are some things I like in a video, such as how-to do XYZ, but for equipment reviews I prefer text. I especially loathe the "unboxing" videos.
My current top priority project is to lose weight and get in shape. I am a hiker/mountain climber in the Adirondacks and I completed climbing the 46 High Peaks 25 years ago this coming July. I want to be in shape to repeat my last climb (Whiteface Mt) on the 25th anniversary of finishing. I want to lose at least 20-25# by then. I'm down some but it is slow, slower than I planned so I need to work harder at it. I am improving my cardiovascular fitness in the process. I just today got my BP down to the border between normal and high BP. :-) I am very pleased and encouraged by that. RE: Your book project. Never give up. The old saw "if at first, you don't succeed... does not end with "quit". My late eldest brother taught me his life motto when I was young which was "there is no such thing as can't." If you really want to do something, you can find a way. You might try mindfulness. I find it is a great discipline for identifying what is truly important to you and directing your efforts toward that while clearing away diversions and distractions. You obviously can write, and you write well. You need to identify what are the roadblocks to your project and clear them away but don't surrender to them if the book is really important to you. You can write it.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2018 on Sunday Support Group (OT) at The Online Photographer
Gee, it's not just me? Of course, I knew it wasn't but your description is dead on. I can't tell you how many articles I would have read except for the barrage of advertising that irritated me to the point that I closed the page instead. Annnd then there is email. Twice in the last couple of years, I have made a point to total up the money that I was requested to donate to politicians, organizations, and charities in the course of the day. Both times the total exceeded $1200 and that was if I gave only the *MINIMUM* that was requested. Would that I was so rich.
Only counting my newest camera, an EOS M3, I have 4 lenses that cover 1:1.2 macro to 200mm. I will not attempt to count my entire inventory that covers 4x5, 645, 35mm film cameras as well as a few digital cameras.
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2018 on How Many Is Just Right? at The Online Photographer
Okay, I will confess to never having seen a Rothco in the "flesh" but... I have seen a fair amount of his work as reproductions in art history textbooks and elsewhere. I remember reading Molly Barnes' book "How to Get Hung". It was/is advice to artists on how to get representation in galleries. Molly was a former art dealer/ gallerist herself as of the writing of the book and was acquainted with Mark Rothko. In the book, she told of an exchange between Rothko and someone who asked him what he was trying to communicate with his work and he replied (I'm paraphrasing here because I don't have the book at hand) "Yellow looks different next to blue than it does next to red." That was pretty much the point of the art student design exercises I mentioned in my earlier response. I was once at MOMA and saw one of Monet's Water Lilies paintings. There were not a lot of people there and I examined it from different viewpoints. Suddenly I found myself at what must have been the point from which Monet decided what stroke to put where and the painting came alive. The canvas disappeared and I was looking at his pond of water lilies. I was seeing through his eyes and it was exhilarating. Perhaps if I stood at the perfect spot in relation to a Rothko I would see that yellow looks different next to blue than it does next to red but then, I already knew that.
Toggle Commented Jan 25, 2018 on Yellow Over Dark Blue at The Online Photographer
I am not a fan of either Rothko or Kelly. When I was in art school (BFA 1971) we were required to make paintings to two colors juxtaposed to demonstrate how opposite colors on the color wheel affected our impressions of both colors, especially if they were the same tonality (color vibration). We did them as two halves of a painting or one on the other as stripes, zigzags or dots. We called them design exercises, not art. They were visual skill builders like the pianist practicing scales but they don't play them in concert. Pianists play actual music in concerts. Despite years of art school including many art history courses, I have never been able to understand how such exercises have become accepted as "Art". One, in particular, stands out in my mind. I went to the Ottawa National Art Gallery with some friends who pointed out a very large canvas (eight feet square?) that was painted solid red. I was told that they had paid over a million dollars for it. I could easily reproduce it with a Wagner Power Painter. If that painting was "creative" and original I have a lot of walls (both interior and exterior) that I have painted over the years that I wish someone had paid me a lot more to paint. I would have happily taken $100K per wall. I'm not greeedy. ;-)
Toggle Commented Jan 23, 2018 on Yellow Over Dark Blue at The Online Photographer
I have been using my EOS M3 almost exclusively for about a year and a half and I am mostly happy with it. Its major drawback, as far as I am concerned, is its lack of a fully articulated LCD. Shooting down low in portrait format requires me to get down on the ground to see either the screen or the EVF which also only tilts. Arthritic knees don't like that. When I bought the M3 I also considered the Panasonic GX8 because it had the fully articulated LCD. The final choice came down to the M3 because it could use lenses I already owned. If my budget were larger I probably would have gone with the GX8. Like you and the GX8, I keep hoping that Canon will do an EOS M update that includes an articulated LCD. I'd settle for a Bluetooth or Wifi connection to my phone that would give me all the controls that are currently on the screen. I can trip the camera from my phone on the current iteration but I want to be able to frame the image and work the other controls without getting down on the ground.
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2018 on Itch at The Online Photographer
Mine is new. I've done it before and it is rather mundane. I am going to lose weight and get back in shape, again. I have managed it twice before so I know I can. It is just a matter of practicing mindfulness in relation to my diet and exercise. The thing is that in the past each time I succeeded I thought "I've got this now. I don't need to be so diligent in tracking things." But I've learned that mindfulness never becomes habit, it never becomes automatic. It only happens when you are deliberate about whatever you are applying it to. So, this is not something I will do and be done. It will continue for as long as I continue.
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2018 on New Year's Resolution at The Online Photographer
I very happy with my 20117 Subaru Crosstrek even though it doesn't have a stick shift. It looks sharp, handles well and gets good mileage. The truth is, I used to love manual transmissions but as I have aged they lost their attraction along with heating my house with wood. Several winters ago (when I was only 70) my wife and I were splitting wood with a rented log splitter and at one point we looked at each other and say "Why are we doing this?". We bought a pellet stove. It's still work, but less work. I now view stick shifts the same way. It is an unnecessary complication to driving.
Merry Christmas Mike to you and your dog.
Toggle Commented Dec 23, 2017 on Merry Christmas! &c. at The Online Photographer
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 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
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: 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. 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. :-)