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black_bird_blue last won the day on 5 March 2014

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About black_bird_blue

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    White Bear Lake, MN, USA
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  1. Whose life in the mid 1800s? Just curious. I had a very unsettling experience last weekend, visiting Fort Snelling in Minneapolis. There were similar recreations but a large part of the story was left untold. Yesterday I went and visited the Amish community here in Minnesota. Strangely disturbing, and thought-provoking.
  2. Quite a lot, actually. 1) Live near where you work. 2) Put on warm clothes instead of turning up the heating. 3) Repair and re-use stuff, make purchases based on what is repairable and re-usable. We need a circular economy, not a consumer economy. 4) Educate yourself. We have all the world's knowledge available to us; we look at kittens and bicker in an uninformed way with people we've never met. 5) Don't buy food you don't eat. 6) Don't be bullied by the media into what to think. This particularly includes toxic "othering" of anyone, on any grounds. 7) Don't be bullied by the media into whom to vote for. 8) Humankind's greatest achievements are feats of co-operation. So co-operate. 9) Teach your children the same.
  3. I like it. I remember it well. The cablecar to Ehrenbreitstein is new to me, though...
  4. "Only show people your good photographs". I worked this out pretty early on, but it amazes me that facebook is clogged with the need for people to show every picture, however bad. When working with film, this idea produces a clear financial incentive to improve your hit rate. There is a tension between getting this particular photograph right and the fear of coming away with nothing. On a commercial basis, it prompts getting the "bankers" first and then working more experimentally, hoping for the "money shot". This way, if things are cut short, you aren't left empty handed. Once you see it as a statistical thing, you become less obsessed with individual exposures and at that point, the learning becomes "exponential". I wonder if the ease of digital photography doesn't hinder the learning of this lesson?
  5. Thanks for sharing. I wish the word awesome hadn't been so over-used of late for things like ordering chicken at a restaurant and remembering my own name; it would have been useful to apply to this piece!
  6. You'll find if you photograph modern headlight covers with a polarizer, they produce a rainbow hue of stress marks from the plastic setting process - the covers haven't been glass for sometime. They also have next to no refractive properties any more, unlike traditional glass covers which did actually shape the beam; Now it's all done in the reflector behind the bulb.
  7. I suspect one possible reason is that some of the activities may now be classed as an arrestable offence...?
  8. I love the processing of this - it has that high contrast sharpness that I think is the main reason I like B&W. I'm not so convinced the shots of the car (which is unashamedly beautiful, of course) do the form of it justice, and I think maybe it's that the camera is a little high, which distorts the perspective in a way that I find slightly disturbing. Of the two, I prefer the second as showing the graceful and athletic form of rolling sculpture that is the E-Type Jaguar (as it was known here). Yum!
  9. I suspect this is a topic that can run and run. With modern cameras the technical quality is easier to achieve than it has ever been before, but that doesn't make all pictures great. So I get what Mike is saying in that there is often (but not always) not much to say about technicalities. I am firmly with Ron - for me the purpose of any photo is to produce some kind of emotional impact. Now that is endless, nuanced, and deeply enjoyable to converse over. Game on!
  10. "When I use a word", said Humpty Dumpty, "it means exactly what I want it to mean - neither more nor less." (Lewis Carroll - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland) I have to confess I have heard the term "dragging the shutter" before but haven't seen it associated with flash photography particularly - just a slow shutter speed for the purpose of capturing motion. Drummers talk about dragging the beat, by which they mean a delayed strike. Mothers talk about their children "dragging their heels". To be clear, this doesn't mean I'm unfamiliar with either front- or rear-curtain synchronised flash with long shutter speeds as a technique, it means I haven't associated this pattern of words with it. It seems I share this with Bjørn. As Alice teaches us, it pays not to be too hung up on patterns of words. The existence of languages other than our own is prima facie proof that our words are not The One True Definition, but merely something to which we are habituated. As such it is rarely worth debating them, but it can be inclusive to note them: "Some people refer to this technique as <insert expression here>, while others use <insert other expression here>". Only the foolish would be so bold a to declare "most people call it <The One True Definition>" - simply because most of the earth's population speak a different language to any given individual. Perhaps we should have a "photospeak" thread where jargon expressions are collected and equivalenced? Damian
  11. I looked at these; they don't really look like "what somebody carries every day". Quite a few look like "what you might take to a desert island to remind you of who you are". (In the UK we have a radio program that asks people for 10 music tracks on that basis - it's fascinating). A "chick" might carry a Sherlock Holmes pipe for any number of reasons - it was her recently departed father's; she played the character in a production that she was very proud of, etc, etc. One of the machetes was definitely for a surfer dude to cut wood for the fire he will drink his Bombay Sapphire around. And so on. It's slightly contrived but an interesting way of rapidly assimilating whether or not someone is interesting to you; what they choose to put there tells you a lot about who they want to project. I predict a dating site will start using something similar very soon...
  12. It's a cross between chess and war, accompanied by afternoon tea...
  13. I used to live in Lichfield - there is a Roman Originals store there. They aren't that clever. I think there are all sorts of things this brings up - device calibration, auto white balance, auto exposure are the third three that rush, breathless and panting to the fore - but I'm with Dave, there has been something about the threshold of this particular image that has drawn attention to the subjectivity of colour perception. Now, all that's needed is for people to a) stop being so bombastic about subjective matters and expand that thinking beyond just colour. Oh well, here's hoping...
  14. This article and the ensuing melee caught my eye. I can't work out why nobody talked about the auto-white balance software in the camera being the culprit? The Wired article talks about the white balance as fixing the problem but doesn't really mention how it got so far off in the first place. And everyone got bonkers hung up on the polarization of people's views instead of just saying "Colour perception? well, you can't trust that." What was that about?
  15. Are B&W pictures immune from compositional criticism, then? Is this a new rule?
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