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black_bird_blue

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Everything posted by black_bird_blue

  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?
  16. It's a pretty interesting idea to do these in black and white. With the vivid graphics on machines and riders it would have seemed more obvious to me to go down a colour route. The images work fine in B&W but somehow I can't connect either with the sensation of watching such machines go by or of riding them. There's some kind of barrier, an absence of connection for me. I guess if one sees motorcycles/lists as an alien world that separation won't be felt as keenly; but for me it matters.
  17. Welcome back Bjørn, and enjoy your audio. I've recently got my UK audio up and running here in the USA; it is very therapeutic. Enjoyable to see your fascination with a an idiosyncratic brand like Naim. Damian
  18. black_bird_blue

    Rhine ferry

    Loving the contrast between the grainy/noisy sky and the clean metallic details in the foreground.
  19. No, it is flare - both the red and the green. It's clearer in the unadjusted file, it has just become a bit square in the processing. Sigh, I see I failed in my quest. I was aiming for magical, starlit, that sort of thing... Serves me right. ;-)
  20. black_bird_blue

    Moonbeams

    It's a gorgeous clear night here in Minnesota, if a little chilly. My wife is just back from a month in the UK and all is right with the world. I wandered outside with the 17-35 on my D3 and had a play. I've processed in Lightroom to give it an "emotionally correct" colour balance - moonlight is of course sunlight and the moon is a pretty neutral reflector, so it shouldn't look this cold. However, to our eyes at relatively low light levels the red and green primaries are mostly missed and moonlight looks blue to most people. A little bit of noise reduction and pulling down on the exposure (ETTR, DTTL) and there we go. It took me quite a few goes to get the flare just as I wanted it; one of the few times that not seeing the exact frame in the viewfinder is a genuine impediment. It's not about the technicality of the photo, it's about the mood for me. The moon is shining on our garden and everything looks very beautiful. Did I cheat a bit? Well, yes, of course, by adjusting in Lightroom. All photographs are cheats, in the end. But do you see how I'm feeling? If I've done my job, then maybe you do. And that, for me, is the point.
  21. This kind of selective focus is why I like larger sensors in cameras; with the right glass they shine at it. A great picture and I love the composition and execution.
  22. I'll paraphrase the article: "I'm an arteeste, and these, dahling, are simply iconic. Oh, and by the way there is an exhibition on. But anyway, back to meeeeee." Add five pictures and a lengthy explanation of why they are iconic. Which, erm, makes them not iconic to me...
  23. I love that you are so ambivalent, undecided and equivocal. :-)
  24. My five most iconic images? Well, it starts off difficult since I don't really know what "iconic" means. If I google it, I get "of, relating to, or of the nature of an icon". A little self referential, if I may be so bold. So what's an icon? A particular style of religious painting, typically of a certain subject. I'm still not helped. The little 48 x 48 pixel representation of something for a computer? OK, so my pictures have to be small. The word gets bandied about as a pretty poor synonym for "significant" or "meaningful" or "illustrative of something larger". That last one might help as a concept, I guess. To pass that test, they should need no explanation. So are here five images I find iconic - of course that alone seems an oxymoronic statement. Are they the most iconic? Well, that could always be argued; but they could certainly spark a conversation on the 20th century. I of course am not trying to tell the story of photography; that seems a rather small side box in the larger narrative.
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