If It Ain’t Broke, Maybe It Shouldn’t Be

photo of fireworks
Photo by Anna-Louise on Pexels.com

Happy, happy New Year.  I sincerely hope that wherever you are, you will have a safe, happy, glorious New Year.  I think we all deserve it.  My part of the world went into lockdown again a few weeks ago, and I’ve taken it perhaps more seriously this time, by not venturing out at all since its declaration, except to pick up something curbside that was ordered well before lockdown.

So that means a lot of time on my hands, right?  Would that it were so.  I’ve set myself a number of goals, and am moving forward on each one, perhaps more slowly than expected but moving.  One of those goals was to make some artistic direction decisions about my photography.  More on that in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, I’ve also immersed myself in ideas that might set me in a new direction.  This post is about one of those – rules in photography. Continue reading “If It Ain’t Broke, Maybe It Shouldn’t Be”

The Full Gamut of Emotion

shutterstock_121309360Mid-December.  Last blog of the year.  Early darkness and grey, usually rainy days.  Nothing to be glad about.  Except that this year is coming to a close and Covid-19 vaccines have just been approved for both Canada and the US.  This crap will soon be behind us.  The only reason to rejoice.  But you know what would be worse?  Not adhering to public health measures, getting sick and dying a few weeks before you are scheduled to get a vaccine.  That prospect should really make you determined to stick it out.  And it would really really make your family angry if it happened.  So don’t drop your guard now.  Just a few more months.  Hang in there.

And while you hang in, a little treatise on photography.  There are many confusing concepts in photography. When I find one, I research it, then share it with you, hopefully making your photography life easier in the process.  Today’s choice: colour, specifically colour profiles, colour gamut, the choices available and why one choice is better than another (or is it?). Read on to find out. Continue reading “The Full Gamut of Emotion”

AI AI, Oh

I suspect we will see a release shortly of Luminar AI, one of the most revolutionary photo editors to emerge in recent years.  There is a special event scheduled for December 10.  So I thought it appropriate to offer a commentary on the controversy surrounding AI in this week’s post.  Controversy, you say?  Read on. 

It seems that everyone is weighing in on the move toward more and more machine-powered editing choices, also known as artificial intelligence or AI-based editing.  What surprises me most is the number of commentaries where the writer admits to never having seen the capabilities being criticized, but the mere thought of machine-powered functionality must invariably mean both loss of control for the artist and cookie-cutter results. 

I am not in that category.  I have watched with glee and eager anticipation as companies such as Adobe and Skylum and ON1 embed more and more intelligence in their products.  I have concluded early that there is no loss of control at all:  nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading “AI AI, Oh”

What You See is Not What You Get

I seem to be on a weird and wacky schedule these days – I routinely forget what day of the week or what month it is.  But I am also getting busier, with online clubs and activities now going strong, in-person family visits a regular thing (which means driving) and solo outings wrapping up for the fall (somewhat desperately before the next lockdown comes).  I don’t really feel like I am in control, although in reality, control is exactly what I do have.

Seamless pattern with film and digital photographic or photo cameras on light backgroundBut I digress, so back to photography.  Have you ever stopped to consider the magical process that allows us to go from camera to screen to print?  With all of us staring at screens so much more these days, I started to wonder about the specifics.  I guess I have time on my hands and I am a nerd.  So here’s what I found out…

Continue reading “What You See is Not What You Get”

Crossroads

Well ain’t this grand.  I logged into my WordPress account today to begin to write my next post and found a completely new editor.  I was warned that it was coming, but I ignored it.  Far from being “easy” and “versatile” and “quick”, it requires that I select “blocks” of content types, arrange them on a page, fill in the content of each block and test the layout for views on computers, tablets and phones.  I’ve never been good with puzzle pieces, and I won’t use more than half of the block types available, so the change was a less than stellar one for me.

I didn’t intend this to be the topic of my post, but somehow it is fitting.  Being forced to change my paradigm is a good thing right now.  Everybody needs a restart or a refresh from time to time.  But my first reaction was admittedly “WTF”.  I’ve had more of those moments this week too.

Ok, so the initial shock has worn off and I’m now getting used to selecting and dropping in content blocks.  Even images drop in seamlessly.  But I have to change the way I think about my post.  I typically write the text, then drop in content.  Not any more.  Content placement first, then writing the text.  Getting there.  But on to something more important.

Continue reading “Crossroads”

Too Much Insta in my Gram

Apart from my YouTube cruising, looking for interesting photography experiences and inspiration, I indulge in several subscription services that touch on everything from photographic history to how today’s technical developments influence photographic arts.

The_Instagram_LogoRecently, one of these subscription channels included a short discussion on how Instagram has influenced the way photographers approach their art.  The premise was that Instagram has completely changed photography.  Their argument:  its technical requirements and this generation’s social norm of wanting instant gratification and continuous stimulation of the senses has resulted in a new standard for photography.  What is that new standard? Continue reading “Too Much Insta in my Gram”

On the Hunt for Fine Art

We tried a new concept in our local camera club this year:  small special interest groups that would do a deep dive into one subject.  The group would decide how, what, where, when and why, and also for how long.  One of the groups I joined is looking at Fine Art, in all its forms, as a key to improving our own photography.

shutterstock_105461507But first we had to decide what the heck is “fine art”?  We’ve had several animated discussions in the past few months, even a field trip to our local art gallery.  In the past, I’ve written about photography as art and thought that experience would help, but no.  For all the “deep diving” on this subject, I’m not really much further ahead.  Why is this so hard? Continue reading “On the Hunt for Fine Art”

Photography is a State of Mind

Lake Traverse

I went on a photography retreat a week ago, in a location I had never been to before, with amazing natural features and unique architectural/cultural features as well.  It should have been heaven for me.  In many ways it was, with the most mind blowing feature being the ability to see the night sky without interference from city light pollution.

But I discovered that when some things are not what you expect, or not particularly pleasant, they can affect your entire outlook on an otherwise “stellar” experience.  I didn’t appreciate just how much emotion factors into my photography. Continue reading “Photography is a State of Mind”

Critiquing Photo Critiques

One of the best ways to improve your photography (other than by shooting lots) is to objectively examine your work and let others do so too.

audienceIt seems there are as many ways as there are people to deliver a critique for an image.  Some concentrate on the technical, supposedly objective, aspects that anyone can see; some on the storyline; some on the overall presentation.  Feedback can range from how the image makes the viewer feel, right through to steps to “fix” it.

This post gives you my take on critiques.  It’s my opinion.  My critique of critiques. Continue reading “Critiquing Photo Critiques”

The Changing Face of Photo Editing

A bit late with this post.  It is summer, after all, here in Canada.

A couple of new announcements in July caught my attention because I use both products but also because they are clear examples of the changing face of photo editing.

Attention - Hot NewsSkylum announced the upcoming release of Luminar 4, scheduled for sometime in the fall.  Originally released in 2017, the company and the product have gone through some interesting evolutions.

Topaz Labs released the next version of its Studio software, completely redesigning the interface, and redefining its associated pricing model.

Both products are standalone photo editors.  Both products also provide plugin options for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.  But that’s not what makes them interesting. Continue reading “The Changing Face of Photo Editing”