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Monthly Archives: February 2009
Over on The Online Photographer, Mike Johnston has a post about the new Olympus E-620 DSLR. Mike has some interesting, and not entirely serious, things to say about some of its more interesting features.
I enjoyed his comments and assessment of the ‘art filters’ and agreed with his opinions; after all we would all like Creativity to be added to our photos.
After thinking about it for a bit, I decided I really would like an ‘art filter’ on my camera. Specifically, I want a Caravaggio filter.
He might not have known anything about white balance, histograms, ISO or pixel pitch but he certainly understood light and how to use it.
If I could light a portrait like this, I’d be a very happy photographer.
This image is one of a number I took around Emu Flat, Victoria. I had been out in that area a few weeks before with Stuart Forsyth and between us we produced an interest range of images. I went back on my own to explore another road in the area.
A local real estate agent pointed me toward this hill with promises of interesting rocks and artistic trees. A number of other shots from this expedition are in this gallery at Ipernity.
I took most of the shots with a 20mm lens on the front of the Canon 5D. I love the effect this gives you when shooting from a low perspective with a good subject and a dramatic sky.
When processing this image, I decided I wanted a ‘ghostly’ look rather than a totally sharp image. I thought this suited the pale, dead trees. I use Adobe Camera RAW 4.6 for processing. To achieve the basic effect, I moved the Clarity slider to the left, instead of the right. The amount of ‘negative’ clarity depends on the image. With some images it works really well, with others, not so much.
In Photoshop, I used a layer to ‘paint’ some light onto the highlights of the rocks and the tree trunks and to darken the shadows on the rocks.
At the moment, it seems inevitable that still photography and video photography will merge, or at least get closer together. In an essay on the Luminous Landscape site, Chris Sanderson talks about his experience using the Canon 5Dii in video mode.
In the article he makes this statement “I am a videographer first and a stills photographer second.” And to me this is a vital point in the discussion about the convergence of still photography and videography.
I am still photographer first and a videographer never.
Still photography and videography require different skills sets and, I think, different ways of viewing the world. I see in still images, I want to interpret the world with still images. I am not interested in moving pictures nor am I interested in learning the skills needed to take and edit watchable video.
Sanderson also says “…the video portion of the 5Dii’s functionality appears to be an afterthought, video handling and implementation are rudimentary.” Well, at least that is a plus. Video hasn’t taken over the camera. I want a still camera to feel, be held and operate like a still camera. I don’t want to have to work around video controls. I can live with a still camera that has a video function as long as I never have to see it.
But I would prefer that Canon spent the extra cost of the video functions on something important, like getting the autofocus to work properly every time or providing weather proofing and a solution to the condensation problem.
At the moment the 5Dii is a viable replacement for my 5D when it eventually needs replacing. But if Canon keeps going down this path, the model after the 5Dii might not be.
The Seddon Deadly Sins cafe in Victoria Street, Seddon (a suburb of Melbourne), Victoria, Australia is hosting a small exhibition of my images.
This is my first exhibition of digital prints, and I am a bit pleased with it all. After a lot of learning and fussing (and ear bashing various friends), I was confident enough to print the images myself on the aging Epson Stylus Photo 2100 using Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk A3+ paper.
The images focus on unintentional art; that is the shapes, patterns and colours that are formed when bits of building, fittings, damage, graffiti and the light combine to create art. The beauty of this art is that it is unexpected and constantly changing as the light, time of day and entropy all work to keep it evolving.
After a small struggle with unknown computer technology, I have the new Interface Publications website up and running. The new site will contain writing and photography and I will be asking questions.
As soon as I work out how to use it properly.