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Archive for February, 2013

Sentimental, Solitary, and Sunrise Galleries

February 8th, 2013 No Comments
Sunrise over Stonehenge on the summer solstice...

Sunrise over Stonehenge on the summer solstice, 21 June 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s take in three very different kinds of galleries all beginning with ‘S’: a Sentimental fad that’s catching on; next, a Solitary road trip; and third, a Sunrise ‘Best Of’.

Sentimental: “Dear Photograph”

If you haven’t heard about Dear Photograph yet, you would soon have. This (sickly?) sentimental site is becoming a popular fad to the extent that prestige publishers Taschen have published a book about it!

Dear Photograph quotes TIME as saying, “that idea is taking a snapshot . . . and holding it up against the original setting so that past and present blend into a new work of art.”  That description is mostly correct except for the last three words as ‘art’ is nowhere to be found though navel-gazing and self-indulgence are found in abundance.

Wait for the owners of the site to whip it up a la Instagram and then cash out with a multimillion-dollar sale to Google or the like!

Solitary: Slicing across America

Unlike Dear Photograph which boasts about art, The Great and Ghostly American Road Trip, shot by Walker Pickering, does not.  Yet it’s infinitely more artistic than Dear Photograph.  Consider this moody image of this bit of America frozen in time.  

If that’s not to your taste, how about a barren, lonely store coloured powder-puff pink against a backdrop of a dark night?  If you’re looking for people, you won’t find any in Pickering’s photographs of a deserted American countryside where you will find a caged, captive vending machine.

Dear Photograph also quotes TIME as using the word “evocative” for itself.  Look at ‘American Road Trip’ and see whether that word is better applied to the photos in this gallery.

Sunrise: Fine Photography

 Those words, “. . . work of art” – though one cannot find that in Dear Photograph you can find a few in ePHOTOzine’s Ten Top Shots taken at Dawn.  Here are three favourites.  First, this one of waters that seem to be both soft yet raging depending on where you look, in an image has leading lines, contrast, textures, and foreground and background interest.

This gallery is mostly about light, of course, considering that the subject is dawn.  Here, though, is a colour photograph with a very narrow set of tints or a limited palette that entices the viewer into the scene.  Again, leading lines have something to do with beckoning us into this misty dream.

Dawn (and twilight) is about the ‘Blue Hour’ and the hour after that is the ‘Golden Hour’.  Here’s a photograph that captures the transition from one to other.  While the sky and the light is clearly a cool blue, the horizontal rays of the rising sun impart a golden radiance to the earth and rocks to create a photograph of delightful ‘cleanness’ and clarity.

 

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Some Nice Things we Missed

February 5th, 2013 No Comments
logo of cokin

logo of cokin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes the news flies so thick and fast that items deserving of a look get over-looked.  Let’s take in a few such interesting items from the past week or two.

Dissing Digital

Norman Jean Roy is a fashion photographer ‘on the make’.  He has shot both George Bush and Kate Beckinsale and his images have graced both Vogue and Vanity Fair.  Two weeks back FStoppers published an interview with Jean Roy in which he talks about his philosophy of photography and his take on the camera as a neutral instrument.

Though he shoots digital too, Jean Roy claims to favour film: because it does not have the same instant gratification as digital, it alters for the better the way one approaches a shoot.

Jean Roy says that perfection in photography is destroying it as an art, and he blames digital for introducing the capability of perfecting photographs, ergo digital is killing photography as an art in general and fashion photography in particular.

Rich, Thin Filters

New York socialites say, “You can’t be too rich or too thin.”  Cokin has adopted that battle cry for its Pure Harmonie series of filters: Cokin says they’re the thinnest filters in the world!  Filters available currently are a UV, a Polarizer, and a Variable Density Neutral Gray.

These filters begin at $50 and go up from there.  Just like those New York socialites, these lenses favour those who are . . . ‘rich’! 

Another Type of Filter

We’ll close with the sort of filter that is integrated into most modern cameras; anti-aliasing filters that suppress moire.  Digital imaging has sharply-defined limits of resolution by frequency (as opposed to film) – because, after all, unlike film, the image is resolved on a grid of pixels – therefore, it interprets certain patterns, such as fine checks on clothing, incorrectly and introduces banding effects.

Anti-aliasing filters eliminate moire patterns at some cost to image quality and they’re a standard part and parcel of digital cameras and other digital imaging equipment.

Fujifilm, like Leica, decided that there was a way to eliminate moire without anti-aliasing filters.  This technological step, however, prompted a photographer to compare Fujifilm’s decision to building a sports car without brakes!  Is that a valid comparison or a total exaggeration?

 

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