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Messages - distant.star

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1126
Site Information / Re: How about a Weather section?
« on: February 05, 2012, 05:21:09 PM »

I second this.

The forecasting/reporting site Weatherunderground has 1.4 million images now. Many are good.

1127
Landscape / Re: Post your best HDR Photographs
« on: February 05, 2012, 03:17:21 PM »
Quote from: briansquibb
Leeds Castle, UK

I like that, Brian. Nice work!!

1128
EOS Bodies / Re: A guy used 1DX yesterday in Germany!!
« on: February 04, 2012, 10:09:55 PM »

No offense to those seriously yearning for a 1dx, but this is providing me with endless laughter.

Just the title of this post elevates this whole mythical camera to the level of the abominable snowman.

I hope the people in the world of photography, especially the business end, aren't seeing Canon as a laughingstock over all this.

With nothing invested myself, I will say I'm enjoying the whole comical show very much.

I predict the next sighting will be somewhere in the Azores.


1129
Canon General / Re: Truth in photography
« on: February 02, 2012, 08:49:01 PM »



Like good and evil, like light and dark, truth and non-truth coexist. Without one, there is no other.

This is just as true in photography as it is in Literature and journalism and philosophy and physics.

All photographs have truths, all have lies. How we interpret what we see determines where we draw the line.

All reality is simply what we percieve it to be. The purest image of what I see as reality is the light reflected off an object going directly into my eyes and interpreted by the brain. Even what our eyes see is not what the brain reports, even at the most fundamental level -- the eye sees everything upside down. I guess you'd call that the first RAW image. It's fundamentally unreadable without conversion.

For me, the truth of a photograph is the frozen moment. None of us sees everything that happens before our eyes in any given second (or portion of one). The photograph stops everything in that moment so my mind has a chance to catch up. I can look at a photograph for 10 full seconds if I like -- I can look at it for 10 minutes if I like. I can explore everything that was happening at that instant within range of the photograph's report.

The lie of the photograph is perhaps what happened the second before or the second after or what's hidden in the out of focus area or shadows. The lie can be what's not inside the frame. A picture of a man swinging a baseball bat may have outside the frame a baseball or another person. Who or what will take the hit?

Having worked in journalism, the first thing that occurs to me in this discussion is what you don't see. A photographer may make 500 images of a certain event. A photo editor determines what you, the reader, will see. So, perhaps 99% of the photo reporting is not seen. Does that make it a lie?

Like it or not, print publications alter images. They always have, and the Internet simply compounds the practice. I can't tell you how many times I bent over a light table looking at a color reversal image through a 10x loupe to make sure what was being published was what we wanted published.

Reality is only what we perceive it to be (and it's almost certainly not even that). Photography has a place in helping us determine our reality, but it has its limitations, as do all our discernment tools.

For me, I enjoy creating images and I enjoy viewing images. I give them the place I think they deserve on the truth/non-truth continuum -- and then I go on to the next image.

Maybe the next picture will be the one with real truth in it! The search goes on.

1130
Canon General / Re: Is it just me, or....
« on: February 01, 2012, 12:44:13 PM »
You didn't really think the photo contest/lens giveaway was just for fun, did you?

Traffic is the heartbeat of this site. Fortunately, knowledgeable, intelligent and pleasant social intercourse are the spirit.

1131

I think we already have enough cops who like waving their badges around here. What I don't need is another one telling people they need to "calm down."

As my dear old mother would say, "Who died and made you boss?"

1132
EOS Bodies / Re: Can someone debunk this Peter Lik picture... PLEASE!!!
« on: January 31, 2012, 01:15:53 PM »

Anyone know where I can get a deal on some good body armor?



I think a young person who sees his photograph could be inspired. Unlike the technically astute here, that young person will have no knowledge of what it takes to create such an image -- but they may be inspired to try. Hence, they may buy a good camera and get busy trying to emulate what he's done. As such, they'll learn a lot about photography; they may even create some images that other people find pleasing. I don't think there's a downside to that.

Until after years of trying and not even getting close to replicating this image, they give up on photography in utter frustration.  Shortly thereafter, they find this thread, realized they've been duped and wasted the best years of their life pursuing the impossible and in their rage and depression shoot the nearest photographer they can find.   :-\

1133
EOS Bodies / Re: Can someone debunk this Peter Lik picture... PLEASE!!!
« on: January 31, 2012, 12:02:47 PM »


Thanks for the comments, Orang -- I always enjoy what you have to say.

In this case, I honestly don't know enough about art (outside of Literature where I do have some education and credentials) to really add anything except opinion.

One thing I'm fairly certain about is that "reality" isn't very real. From a visual art perspective, I think it really depends on where you plant the reality milepost. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think all visual images are in the eye of the beholder. While it may be fascinating to hear what a visual art creator says about the image and how he did it and what he believes it means, the context of his life is not in my mind. My mind can only see it through the context of what I believe to be my life and education and experience.

I took a picture of a couple sitting on a bench once. He was stretched out on the bench with his head resting in her lap, a very contented smile on his face, his eyes closed and apparently his mind in a dreamy state. She is looking down at him with a loving expression, and the fingers of their hands are sweetly entwined. If you look a little more thoroughly, they are pretty rough looking people -- he looks 50, is carrying a lot of faded and bad tattoo work, could use a haircut and shave -- and the clothes aren't necessarily "business casual."

A friend of mine looked at this image and saw nothing but a beautiful couple in love. In this case I had stolen the context, as you would suggest. They had just come out of a soup kitchen and were surrounded by their possession in plastic trash bags -- and their parked vehicle was a shopping cart. All that was cropped out in the camera viewfinder. They were homeless. For me, it was an image of a homeless couple in an all-too-brief moment of respite from their tribulations. For her, it was the cover of a Harlequin romance novel.

Neither of us have any idea about the "reality" of those people or their lives, and we're not going to get it from that image.

The famous promoter P.T. Barnum is said to have believed "There's a sucker born every minute." He based his commercial life on that belief and apparently did well. I'd suggest the guy who created this image we're discussing ad infinitum here is simply a Barnum of photography. Those who would "debunk" him are no more than Don Quixotes tilting at windmills.

I bear the guy no ill will. Actually, he may be providing some good promotion for photography. I think a young person who sees his photograph could be inspired. Unlike the technically astute here, that young person will have no knowledge of what it takes to create such an image -- but they may be inspired to try. Hence, they may buy a good camera and get busy trying to emulate what he's done. As such, they'll learn a lot about photography; they may even create some images that other people find pleasing. I don't think there's a downside to that.




Why the need to "debunk" whatever story he has to tell.

He produced a good image, and he has prints for sale.

I can tell you that if I were to produce an image that good, I wouldn't tell anyone how I did it. I'd have you running all over creation chasing the tales I told about it. But I sure wouldn't give you the truth.

The guy gave us a wonderful visual image -- more than we deserve. He owes me nothing.

There's nothing else to it for me.

First, I want to say that I'm not talking about photojournalism which, I believe, we pretty much all agree should not be "faked."  Nor am I talking about purely commercial photography intended purely for marketing.
 
There seems to be a divide between people who ask nothing more of a photo than that it be appealing, and those who find part of the appeal in its context.  To me, art always includes context.  For example, consider modern artists who do abstract, almost random works.  Without knowing that these folks used to do perfect portraits in art school, you might think it was random crap made by just throwing paint on a canvas.  The context tells you there is, or might be, a deeper meaning in the work.


Photographic context begins with the characteristic that is unique to photography among the visual arts: the fact that the "palette" comes from reality.  A painter's palette is just paint waiting for the brush; a sculptor's palette is the marble from which some Michelangelo will remove all the parts which are not the statue.  How much of a photograph is "real" is important because it tells me something about a photographer's intent.  Consider a close-up photograph of a tiger staring straight into the camera.  Does it have a different meaning if the photographer said it was "in the wild" with a 200mm lens vs. in a zoo or game park with a 600mm lens?  It does to me.  "How" a work was produced is important to its value as art.

While I agree that it's acceptable to manipulate images, it's not acceptable to lie about it.  It's OK to remain silent as to the origin also.  Lying about the origin of a photo is cheating the viewer out of the context of the photo. 

In this case, it appears that the photographer may be lying outright about how he made the image.  To you this does not matter; however, apparently it mattered to Mr. Lik enough that he went to the trouble of presenting a full back-story on the creation of the image.  One must assume that's also meaningful to the buyers of his prints as well.  If this is true, he is, metaphorically, marketing a photo of a captive tiger as though it were a wild tiger.  And that ain't cool.

1134
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon EOS-1D X Technical Report
« on: January 30, 2012, 09:56:20 PM »

The cymbal isn't real either!!


Gee, this drum roll has been going on for some time now.  When does the cymbal crash?

1135
Lenses / Re: How do you pay for your lenses?
« on: January 30, 2012, 08:51:56 PM »

My neighbor a couple of doors down works at the U.S. Mint. He's always bringing home used money, and he likes to spread it around.

1136
EOS Bodies / Re: Can someone debunk this Peter Lik picture... PLEASE!!!
« on: January 30, 2012, 07:05:35 PM »
Why the need to "debunk" whatever story he has to tell.

He produced a good image, and he has prints for sale.

I can tell you that if I were to produce an image that good, I wouldn't tell anyone how I did it. I'd have you running all over creation chasing the tales I told about it. But I sure wouldn't give you the truth.

The guy gave us a wonderful visual image -- more than we deserve. He owes me nothing.

There's nothing else to it for me.

1137
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Flip out displays -- why the resentment?
« on: January 29, 2012, 10:52:04 PM »
If your pictures all come out upside down because you got tangled up in that neckstrap...

you might be a real photographer!

1138
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Flip out displays -- why the resentment?
« on: January 29, 2012, 09:55:45 PM »

I think it has a lot of potential use in many situations. My hope is that it's available on my next body -- waiting for release of something in the 5D3 range to decide. I like the "flipper" designation.


1139
EOS Bodies / Re: Lotto Winner Cameras?
« on: January 29, 2012, 10:20:56 AM »

I wonder how the people trying to make a living in professional photography feel about this. Not only are they competing with their professional peers who face the same business challenges they do, but also they have to compete with a highly funded and well equipped dilettante.

The tax and business issues keep me from selling any products or services too; that I understand well. It's mostly more trouble than it's worth, and I enjoy the freedom to take the pictures I want. I spent too much time taking pictures other people wanted. However, I now refer anyone who asks to the local professionals, and the local pros know I will not compete with them. I know too many guys struggling to support their families, and the idea that I'm taking food out of their mouths is not something I want to deal with.

In a lot of ways, I guess "taking pictures" is a lot more than just taking pictures. I don't mean to put anyone on the defensive, but I think this is something worth thinking about.



I am at the totally other extreme - I sell absolutely nothing

I do a lot of pro bono work - probably 3 or 4 days a week.

It would be too complicated and expensive to take on jobs on a semi pro basis - the insurances, marketing, tax issues (VAT) etc.

It is cheaper and a whole lot more fun to do it for nothing - I get some wonderful assignments that would not come my way otherwise.

1140
EOS Bodies / Lotto Winner Cameras?
« on: January 28, 2012, 07:47:39 PM »

I don't know if anyone saw a piece in the LA Times a few days ago -- "Is $6000 Too Much or a Camera?"


http://framework.latimes.com/2012/01/25/nikon-nikon-d4-canon-eos-1d-x/


A few interesting quotes:

"Nikon and Canon recently introduced two new state-of-the-art, high-priced DSLR (digital-single-len-reflex) professional cameras. To be exact, the manufacturers of the Nikon D4 list the suggested retail price as $5999.95, and Canon doesn’t list the price of the EOS-1D X on its site, but chatter on the Web puts it somewhere around $6,800.

"Throw in a few lenses and you’re at the price of a modest new car. Usually the cost of technology goes down with improvements and time, but that doesn’t seem to be happening here.

Who needs a camera this good and this expensive?"

And they answer the question thusly:

1. Professional newspaper or magazine photographers who shoot sports
2. Staff photographers at a National Geographic-type publication
3. Lotto winners

They also make a provocative point that the price of most advanced technology products gets lower as time goes on.

How many Lottery winners among us?

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