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Windypundit
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Street photographers have been snapping pictures of strangers in public since the invention of the first modern film cameras (the old wet plate cameras were huge and required a tripod and subjects that held perfectly still), and they generally settle into one of two tactical approaches: Completely stealthy, or bold as brass. I think completely stealthy looks very suspicious if you get caught, and I'm not exactly an unobtrusive guy, to I prefer the latter. If I just go around photographing everything and everybody, people get used to me being there. I have professional-looking gear, so I think some of them assume I'm doing something official or that I'm a journalist getting pictures for a story (which is arguably true when I'm shooting for the blog). I think women photographers can get away with this a whole lot easier than men, and I've also learned that it pays to bring along a woman so you're not the creepy guy with the camera. I don't generally take pictures of people's children, but when I'm out taking pictures with my wife, people will offer to have their children pose for me. Her presence makes it seem more legitimate.
The rule I follow when prepping photos for journalistic use (and that I hope other media sources follow) is that the resulting image must accurately depict the physical objects present at the time the photo was taken. Generally this means I can do all sorts of global manipulations that are artifacts of the image capture process: exposure, color temperature, contrast curves, sharpness, cropping, rotations, and various lens corrections. In addition, I think it's okay to do local correction to remove dust specs and lens flare. The goal must always be to better depict what was there, not to make the picture look bleak or warm or grungy. There are gray areas. I shoot fireworks with a long exposure to capture the paths of all the bursts. That's not how it ever actually looks, but the long exposures seem closer to how humans perceive fireworks than a snapshot freezing the burst in midair. Some areas are really gray. If I can shoot a scene to throw a distracting background out of focus, I will, as will most photographers. Yet I don't think I'd ever photoshop a background out of focus. I can't really explain why. On the flipside, your camera always crops reality to the frame, yet it's wrong to leave out important context whether you do it live or in photoshop. So the rules of photo preparation are not quite black and white. Still, I think most of us can agree that using the clone tool to add objects that weren't there is just wrong. I read most of Martins' essay, and I have two other notes for him: (1) If you want to call yourself a photojournalist, learn to do it right. The photojournalist tradition contains many striking photos that obey the rules. Start by tossing out your Nietzsche, Bachelard, and Denes. Check out Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Robert Doisneau, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, and Weegee. (2) Don't use "whilst" in a sentence when you mean "while." It marks you as a poseur.
Fuckers.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2009 on Judge Norm Pattis? at Crime & Federalism
Robots that can feed off of humans? That never ends well.
Not for nothing did some Berliners call the Soviet war memorial "The Tomb of the Unknown Rapist."
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2009 on Russia's Rape of Germany at Crime & Federalism
You gotta come back at them with your best I'm-a-pro-and-my-camera-is-just-a-tool attitude. Sure, it happens to be a Nikon D5X with a 12-400/F2.8 VR lens, but that's really just what any photographer needs to stay competitive...
Toggle Commented May 28, 2009 on Grown Men and Their Diminutives at Nobody's Business
I'm inclined to forgive an awful lot due to combat stress, including this. The damage stress does to his mental state is as real as a bullet might do to his body. We can't ask our soldiers to endure combat and then complain when something inside them breaks. That said, we don't want to encourage this sort of thing, so it might have been a good idea to make him spend some time in prison as a lesson to others.