With the second year of Covid lockdowns and restrictions upon us, many photography professionals have turned to online delivery of presentations and workshops. Whole multi-day online conferences have emerged, bringing together talent from across the world. These professionals have innovated and adjusted, bringing what would normally involve hands-on guidance to the small screen.
As the Program Director for our local camera club, I have had two “challenges” arising from the lockdown. The first is providing meaningful events and entertainment to our club membership online. The second is finding ways to transfer knowledge when hands-on in-person options don’t exist. These new photography conferences would seem to serve both purposes amazingly well. Or do they?
Continue reading “Attending Online Photography Conferences”
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”
Twice a month, we have the pleasure of listening to amateur and professional photographers talk about their work at our local camera club. It’s typically entertaining, sometimes thought provoking, but truthfully, only rarely compelling.
What do I mean by compelling? For me, that means photography with a clear message, obvious story and emotional reaction. Compelling may show human beings, other lifeforms, places on earth (or not on earth), human activities, the impact of human activities and on and on. But in all cases, there’s has to be something about the work, the way it is presented that is different from what I’ve seen before.
While the familiar can also be compelling – for me, any shots of mountain ranges or oceans, for example – the unfamiliar is another way to get my attention.
In a recent visit, a pro photographer by the name of Dave Sandford definitely got my attention. Along with stunning photographs, Dave told story after story after story and backed it up with undeniable proof. That proof was video. Continue reading “How to Produce Compelling Photography – Shoot Video Too”
I recently became aware of an effort in Ontario to establish a museum of photography. It’s intended to house artifacts and images relating to the history of photography in my home province.
In this day and age of instant history, with uploads to Facebook and a multitude of other social media platforms, with cloud storage options and sharing galore, I wondered what place there might be for a physical museum of photography. So I set out to find out. Continue reading “Recording History”
Ok, don’t panic. I can hear all of my photographer friends out there slamming their computers, tablets and phones shut. It can’t be happening: photography evolving into something that uses math, algorithms and logic to deliver the “decisive moment”? Say it ain’t so! Oh, but it is, and I think we will be better off for it. At least I hope we will.
I’ve been hearing and reading quite a bit about this thing called computational photography. It is such a new field that what’s in and what’s out, or even the language with which it is communicated, is not yet well defined. But it can be applied to any form of optical capture, whether in the science lab or in the artist’s studio.
Just as digital photography revolutionized the medium by converting light into numbers through sensors and processors, computational photography manipulates those numbers “in camera” through layers of new software, providing the photographer with new options, like correcting capture problems after the fact or applying a wide variety of creative effects.
It’s actually been around in the engineering and computer science universe for more than a decade, but practically speaking, is now having a huge impact in pro and consumer photography, particularly in the latest smartphones. Continue reading “Computational Photography – The Next Big Thing?”
One of the joys of photography is simply the chance to talk to other photographers. So many topics to indulge, so many experiences to compare. And of course, best of all, the chance to admire good work.
I had the pleasure yesterday of attending a talk at our local camera club by Kas Stone, a Canadian photographer based in Nova Scotia. In addition to her work as a landscape and nature photographer, she regularly teaches, holds workshops and speaks to groups like ours about the art of photography. Continue reading “Some Inspiration…”
It’s the dog days of summer here in Canada. Photographers everywhere are getting out to capture the hum of life. Vacation photographs, outdoor events, family events, outdoor location shoots or special projects that have been waiting for the perfect day are all being recorded now. Even indoor work is at its height, with many hours of natural light available to help get the best shots.
In a month, we return to routine, which for some might include membership in the local camera club or association. I personally belong to three. Typically on hiatus in the summer, they launch with a bang in September. And we’ll all have lots of new material to share. But will we? Continue reading “Competition is Good for the Soul”
We didn’t learn about printing photographs during my training in digital photography. Some of you might say “What did you expect, it was a DIGITAL photography course?”
Good point. But I always felt there was something missing in my training and I recently attended a two day course on printing photographs. It opened my eyes to the value of a hardcopy print. Here’s why. Continue reading “To Print or Not to Print, That is the Question”
I had the pleasure yesterday of attending a presentation by Patrick Rochon, also known as Patrick the Light Painter.
There are many ways to express one’s creativity in photography and Patrick has chosen light as the medium for his expression. You might wonder what’s unique about that, since every photographer uses light. It’s how he uses it that sets him apart. Continue reading “Light Painting with Patrick Rochon”
The most important tool in my kit is Adobe’s Lightroom CC. It is the lifeline to my photographs, providing import, organization, editing and delivery for the thousands of images I’ve captured.
Lightroom is billed as a companion product to Adobe Photoshop. It’s packaged with Photoshop in the Adobe Photography subscription plan. Lightroom was designed from the ground up to be a standalone workhorse and many people use it as such. But it is equally a great companion to Photoshop, allowing for many basic workflow tasks to be performed quickly in Lightroom before launching Photoshop for more complex edits.
Despite these positive features, I’ve spoken to people who describe Lightroom as frustrating and overly complex. It seems this is because of 3 design decisions that Adobe made in terms of how Lightroom operates. Continue reading “Shedding Light on Adobe Lightroom”