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David Dyer-Bennet
Programmer, SF fan, photographer
Recent Activity
I do read old posts on TOP; sometimes. When you link one that sounds interesting and I don't remember in detail, I usually click, sometimes read the whole thing. I also occasionally find them cropping up in web searches, and am likely to at least look at them there (and, again, sometimes read the whole thing). I'm generally into naturalism in my photography. I do find myself liking some works that aren't basically naturalistic—for example, many of the Hubble shots that are processed for artistic effect are false color, not anything like what one could see even with a super-sensitive human eye, but I love them. And some of the new astro-landscape photos (where they combine a night landscape with the sky over it, at an entirely unrelated exposure, orders of magnitude more) (but some of them feel fake; they're all if not fake at least very un-natural, but some feel fake to me, and I can't yet tell why). It's weird with abstract photos; for those I tend to reject them if they "seem" manipulated to me. Somehow, finding and capturing the abstract is very different (in my head) from imagining and painting / drawing it. I'm not that susceptible to abstract art, but there are enough hits that I can't just dismiss it (and there are things that don't hit for me but I can still see they're not just random mess).
Toggle Commented 3 days ago on Followup at The Online Photographer
I almost never think this. I don't really like the "printing" (editing? except that also means selection, and I mean the modern equivalent of darkroom work) of the Wisconsin set. I don't mean to suggest the photographer doesn't know what they're doing; I'm assuming they look just like they want them to, and we simply disagree. But for my tastes they look like straight prints, without the work that makes a portfolio print work. Wouldn't want to make a final judgment without seeing actual prints, of course (though, looking at images from the photographer's site on my calibrated screen should give me a pretty good idea of the work).
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Two Bodies of Work at The Online Photographer
I can only imagine the complexities of international drone photography. I'm starting to be glad I never got started into it just there in the US, and even if most countries are less weird about it than we are (no idea) having to deal with that many different jurisdictions is a nightmare. I do like the photos. I've been trying to pay attention to (and work on) composition, and these are interesting for that, in addition to just being interesting.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Two Bodies of Work at The Online Photographer
You do you. If avoiding alcohol entirely is what you have decided you need to do, I support your decision. But I know many people for whom that was not the right approach, as demonstrated by decades of happy productive life with modest use of alcohol or other drugs. The narrative that "cold turkey" and never touch it again is the only way to deal with excessive use is dangerous nonsense.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Open Mike: Rebellion at The Online Photographer
Well, for old quotations Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is still out there. In fact, they've just released an updated 18th edition, so some of the new quotes will be there as well. Of course, with vastly more people having access to the old texts than used to, a lot of gems are being ferreted out that weren't previously "familiar"; not finding a quote in Bartlett's doesn't make it false, but finding it there does strongly suggest it's right.
Aaron has a useful suggestion there! And, I would suggest, has identified an important aspect of this naming game.
"Full frame" happened because nearly all photographers were 35mm photographers when digital started being significant in the market (early 2000s). Even the people who used medium-format film or sheet film nearly always also used 35mm; it was the core thing every photographer knew. And making things smaller is what chip manufacturing is good at. Plus, it became apparent quite quickly that a 24x36mm sensor would surpass all film formats for most purposes; sheet-film / "large format" photographers got a distinction more from the capability of shifts and tilts than from size, at least for most print sizes any photographer ever makes (I know people who make 4x6 foot prints, but I don't know very many; and those are commercial work, for trade shows, not for art collectors). There have always been exceptional film formats or sensor sizes that nobody thinks of or talks about (as part of the ordinary spectrum of photography) -- aerial reconnaissance used 9x9 and 9x18 films, and wasn't there 11 inch roll film? I never heard anybody mention that as a "photographic format" :-). Or those immense Polaroid sheets! Dunno what sort of sensor sizes Earth-based astronomical observatories use; they (and Hubble) have been doing stitching of multiple captures pretty much from the beginning (having already got nice stable supports!). So the objection to "Max" that it's not in fact the biggest doesn't bug me much.
When I leave comments in public on the internet, my hope is that the discussion, including my comment, will last forever. And I don't think it's likely. I'm in favor of pretty much anything that makes it more likely to stick around (the whole discussion, not just my comment). So--I'd be actively happy if discussions I was part of here were also preserved elsewhere.
Being remembered not just fondly but kindly is about the best anybody can have, when they go, so your brother is lucky in that regard. I hope doing so has been some small measure of solace to you!
Toggle Commented May 29, 2021 on Sands of Time at The Online Photographer
No doubt the guitarist who sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads is very good; but what I want to listen to is the one who went to the guitar showdown with the devil and won!
Toggle Commented May 17, 2021 on Lists Are Impossible at The Online Photographer
Because of my strenuous avoidance of video for most things I look for on the web, I've missed him so far. His video on "natural portraiture" is quite good. That final audio is quite affecting. Perhaps it's possible for things to go better than he expects; I hope so.
One thing I like about embracing multiple of the flavors of photography is that I can, for example, add some record shots of random houses in the neighborhood to the WWW, even if I didn't get any actual art on the walk. Tagged with the address of course, so people can find it on in 50 years :-) .
I mark chargers with them, mostly. I've got one over 10 years old still going strong (always stored point down, not point up or lying flat). I have to say these are two broad at the tip for marking memory cards, and I don't need to mark lens caps since they're already marked generally. I have written on the pentaprism of a silver SLR with a regular Sharpie, too (to make my two identical bodies distinguishable; paid off big-time, since I also recorded which body reach roll came from, and got slides developed while still in England, and detected that one body had a 2/3 stop meter error! Saved half the rest of the trip.)
Toggle Commented May 4, 2021 on For Your Toolkit at The Online Photographer
This is why I tried to find photo books by locals when I was traveling somewhere interesting. Sure, I would take pictures, sometimes some decent ones, but I didn't have the months or years in the location to know things like that, know when to be in what place to get which particular fleeting moment down on film.
The Mozilla VPN is legit enough, but probably not particularly useful to you. The major use-cases are protecting your connection when you're operating away from home (public WIFI points in airports, cafes, etc.), and accessing geographically-locked media services (some VPN providers advertise having servers in lots of countries and letting you choose where to be for each connection). Oh, plus hiding what you're doing from your ISP, either to protect yourself from their selling your behavioral info, or if you're into illegal downloads. Firefox is still one of the reasonable choices IMHO; it's the one I'm still using, even.
Toggle Commented Apr 26, 2021 on Wonders Awaiting at The Online Photographer
The first one I remember people mocking was the "war on poverty". And that's something that can, in principle, perhaps even be defeated. Then there was the "war on drugs", which I called the "war on some drugs" (since alcohol and tobacco seemed not to be on their list). Drugs kicked our ass, as a friend who participated in some of the Central American aspects of that war said; but then, repression is never the answer. Here's the Google Ngrams chart for those two plus the one you mentioned:
Oh, and...did you get $100 worth of pleasure out of this impulse purchase? Possibly you did! Did your budget have $100 available for doing something simply because you wanted to? I know I regret not having a display case full of my old cameras—but I also think it was wise of me to pass them on to where they could still be used, even if my economic recovery was fairly small, sometimes nothing.
Removable battery holders in expensive gear are so wonderful. For reasons like being able to take them out and soak them in vinegar, if necessary! (And even, possibly, to replace them entirely. I think if one cared enough, a 3d scanner and 3d printer plus some sheet metal and a bit of minor soldering would let one fabricate a new one from an old one.)
I find myself wondering about the mechanism by which such markings are applied (or were then), if it's an honest mistake rather than a prank or whatever (could extend to actual fraud). Are those usually embossed with some sort of metal stamp, then filled with pigment and squeegeed off level? Or just sprayed or stenciled on the surface? The embossing might miss a letter, I guess, maybe? And, if they're embossed, just cleaning off the paint from the surface won't do it, whereas if they're stenciled it would. A person good with finishes could probably put a layer over one letter that looked right, at least in a photo, and maybe even take it off afterwards without damage. Or of course it could be only the image that has been altered, that's easy enough.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2021 on Even Leica Makes istakes at The Online Photographer
If I click through to the Silver Lining photo from the photographer's photostream I get a much less hashed version than I do following the link from the article here. Most of my negative comments do not apply to that version.
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2021 on Photographic Value System at The Online Photographer
It's not doing the photo any favors that Flickr is displaying "Silver Lining" enlarged from 319px × 213px to 744px × 496px. ("Michelle [Happiness}" is less damaged by 499px × 336px scaled to 500px × 336px, perhaps surprisingly.) But my first reaction to my on-screen view of "Silver Lining" is simply "that's not sharp enough". It's that modestly-unsharp level that I used to try to save sometimes (and to my eye shows signs of attempts to sharpen unwisely to fix that). I suspect her outfit presents an interesting range of textures, if the photo weren't so hashed as to make looking at it closely enough to see texture unpleasant. Whereas the photo of Michelle can quite reasonably be invoked as a poster for happiness. It has the common not-really-open eyes, but it's photographed from a low enough position that you can still tell there are eyes under the lids, which is pretty much necessary for this photo.
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2021 on Photographic Value System at The Online Photographer
Yep. Used that a lot myself (especially in the college photo coop darkroom, where we didn't use any developers that got reused since we felt that might be a bit risky with that many users).
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2021 on Darkroom Rat Riddle at The Online Photographer
The people in this collective (not just the ones you mention) do seem to like reflections more than I do. Even so, I found the occasional reflection photo that was really effective; notably Andrew Kochanowski's photo of the bus with reflections (of the building behind the photographer I presume, which may be a parking ramp) giving the windows a highly unexpected appearance. Andrew's first photo would have been enough to make me stop looking, if I weren't stubborn; it has flaws I'm intolerant of, and didn't get me to notice anything beyond them. But photographers, like all artists, need to be judged by their best work, not their worst (and that photo probably is well-loved by lots of other people, anyway, not just Andrew). Heaven help me if people judge me by the photo of mine they like least!!!!
Easter has been important in my life as the weekend my favorite science fiction convention, Minicon, is held on. I haven't missed one since the first I attended, in 1973. (Below-average numbers of SF fans are Christian, above-average numbers of SF fans have issues with family of origin, and we can get great hotel rates on Easter weekend. Back in the day there was also an Easter convention on the East coast, and one on the West coast.) But, there is no Minicon this year (and was none last year), due to our global pandemic, and our incompetent handling of it (it need not have disrupted life for nearly this long, if only we'd taken it seriously early). As my bubble sometimes says, "I has a sad."
The unexpected possibilities of cashier's checks really socked me when I first heard about them (decades ago). I can see why some people have not been able to resist!