PICTURE ONLY GALLERY LINKS
The life without the APA pictures are here
The The Forks ~ there's no place like home gallery is here
The ART ~ conveys / transports / reflects gallery is here
The Decay & Disgust work/book is here
The single women selects/book gallery is here
The picture windows selects/book gallery is here
The kitchen life selects gallery is here
A 10 picture look at Tangles, Thickets, and Twigs ~ fields of visual energy is here
The Landscapist / Cinemascapist families went on an island camping trip this weekend. The island location was on Lower Saranac Lake, home to 50 islands and 80 campsites. Weather was great and the bugs almost non-existent.
The wife, as pictured above, was able to indulge her ongoing fascination - unnatural? - with locks. Both the lock master's dog and I were/are very curious about her behavior when encountering a lock.
It is both amazing and, at times, very surprising what you learn after living with a woman for 20 years.
Last evening I attended the Beer, Bourbon, Barbeque and Stogies event at Freestyle Cuisine in Lake Placid. The gathering featured an 8 course meal (small plate) with a bourbon and beer pairing for each course followed by a good cigar. The food was excellent, the bourbons and beers were much above average and 80% of the attendees were women - a good time was had by all.
I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times...I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. - Elliott Erwitt
Yesterday, I played a late day round of golf. I had the course all to myself and +/- 10,000 black flies. When the breeze picked up, the black flies disappeared, when the breeze died they were back in full force. It was also very humid which in combination with the 1/8 inch of black fly repellent made my skin quite slimy. Nevertheless, I survived without a single bite and I managed to card a very good score.
The light and cloud cover were constantly changing, which made for some good pictures. All in all, it was a nice 4.5 mile walk. - which stand in contrast to the adage (attributed to Samuel Langhorne Clemens / aka Mark Twain) that golf is good walk spoiled.
Another part of my current journey into the future has been the acquisition of 2 new Olympus E-P5 bodies. I had been delaying the purchase until; 1) the price was right, and, 2) I was upgrading the computer.
Re: the right price - early last week I came across 2 factory refurbs with factory warranties for about 1/2 the regular price of a body. So, always wanting a backup, I grabbed 2 for the price of 1. Re: computer upgrade - needed to upgrade to a machine with the OS which could run the current RAW software - Iridient Developer (formerly RAW Developer) - for the new cameras.
The new computer switch over has yet to happen, so I am making some 'test' jpeg pictures with the E-P5 even though I am not a fan (understatement) of making in-camera jpeg pictures. Accordingly, the reasons are many - 8bit color (not 16bit), in camera sharpening (ok but not the best), no highlight recovery, to name just a few. That written, the jpegs are quite decent and they give a pretty good indication of what's to come, RAW wise.
WARNING: gear talk alert: In fact, this is more of a the-current-state-of-the camera-making-art critique than it is gear speak. To wit ...
I have using Olympus Pen cameras since nearly day one of their introduction (E-P1) and I must write that I really like the form factor, design wise, of these cameras - small, light, unobtrusive, robust construction, and, in the manual mode, easy to use and operate. All in all, a very nice package, and a true revolutionary trend setter in the now robust ICL mirror-less camera segment.
Admittedly, the µ43 sensor, in its first incarnation, was 'good enough' but not stellar. However, I was able, with good sharpening technique and highlight blending techniques, to produce very high IQ results. Results which allow for very nice - much much better than 'good enough' - 24×32 inch prints (or in my case, 24×24inch). I am certain I could go even bigger but I haven't given that possibility a try.
Over the years, I have added a couple back up bodies (E-P2/E-P3) to the ensemble while I waited for what I was certain would be a significant sensor upgrade. That upgrade finally arrived in the O- MD E-M5 camera. Tempting as it was to acquire that camera (or, even more so, the same-sensored but less espensive E-M10), I was also fairly certain the upgrade would arrive in a new E-P series camera. And even though it took a while, it did, in fact, happen.
All of that written, I acquired the new bodies for one single reason - the new and improved sensor. That's it, period - the sum total of my new-camera lust (such as it is). I could care not a bit for all the other 'improvements' and 'upgrades' and, consequently, I was a bit concerned about coming to grips with all of the added-on features of the new camera. That concern was the result of a number of reviews which complained about the new and complex menu system.
I now know, as the result of being a dedicated and unrepentant manual camera operator, that the 'complex' menu on the E-P5 is, for me, the same as it ever was. Within 5 minutes of removing the body from the box, I was up and running in exactly the same manner as with my other E-P series cameras. It helps that the menu system, expanded options excepted, is exactly the same as it is/was on previous E-P series variants.
Sure, there are menu items and options / settings galore. In fact, dizzyingly so. A fact which must make dealing with it incredibly complex and confusing for average amateur. It's no wonder that so many amateur picture makers find the digital picture making realm so intimidating. And that confusion / intimidation is, IMO, extremely exacerbated by the fact that the printed manual which comes in the box is a very distilled version of the complete telephone-book-sized manual which is only available online.
So, if one is out in the field making pictures and questions / problems arise which can only be addressed by accessing the full manual, one is screwed, so to write. That is, unless one has a smart phone and internet access with which to view the online manual. Of course, one could download the pdf version of the complete manual and take the time, effort and paper to print it out and take that cumbersome paper wad with you whenever one is out and about.
In any event, and in the interest of complete and accurate disclosure, I have used and appreciated one other upgraded feature on the E-P5 - the articulated LCD. In fact, I used it to make the birch fragment on colorful rock and forest floor with raindrops pictures in this entry. Other than that (and the new sensor), it's pretty much picture making business as usual for me - 5 minutes of camera set-it-and-forget-it setup and I'm on the road again.
Which causes me to wonder, will I ever see an Olympus µ43 camera set up for a dedicated manual camera user? That is, a camera with just the bare bones needed for still picture making?
I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for. ~ Georgia O'Keeffe
Design is the method of putting form and content together. Design, just as art, has multiple definitions; there is no single definition. Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that's why it is so complicated. ~ Paul Rand
While in Canada, the wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Raymond, Eleanor Pinsonneault and their dog, Foxy. They were our hosts in Chaffey's Lock where we stayed in the cottage behind their house. Eleanor and Raymond, advanced septuagenarians if not octogenarians, were very friendly, warm-hearted, and gracious. We felt quite comfortable and at home from the first to the last moments of our stay.
Eleanor is a rather accomplished artist who now works primarily on commission. And, if her website bio is current (I believe it is), she is also currently finishing a Fine Arts program at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario.
While we were her guests, I was amazed by her seemingly boundless energy - despite her age and physical limitations - as is evidenced in the picture of her garden tending (take note of the walker she uses to get about). Her work pace in her gardens is very slow but methodical. She does not appear to be able to bend down or squat but she just keeps plugging away.
All of that written, and more to the point of this entry, I showed Eleanor - on my iPad - a few of the pictures I had been making around the grounds of her house to include the breakfast remains picture in this entry. Her response to that picture (and others) was spot on the money, my picturing intent wise.
To wit: her first response was a delightful smile and a chuckle. The smile and chuckle were instigated by the depicted referents but that reaction was immediately followed by a statement to the effect of how the color and the arrangement of shapes and lines all came together to create rather "delightful" impression of such mundane subject matter. To write that I immeasurably pleased by that response from another artist is a vast understatement.
She gets it. She understands. And I can't explain the joy I felt to connect with another artist on that level.
All of that written, I must also write that I fell in love with Eleanor (to the wife, platonic wise). Her dignity, grace, artistic acumen, energy, and all around joie de vivre are an absolute inspiration and an outstanding example of a full life well lived. She will be forever in my memory. Although ....
.... I will be adding to that memory during our return trip to her Chaffey's Lock cottage next month (for my birthday). The retinue for that trip will be the wife, my son (the Cinemascapist), his the wife, Hugo, and hopefully my good friend from NYC. Should be fun and I hope to spend some time with Eleanor in her studio sharing art stuff.
To us, the difference between the photographer as an individual eye and the photographer as an objective recorder seems fundamental, the difference often regarded, mistakenly, as separating photography as art from photography as document. But both are logical extensions of what photography means: note-taking on, potentially, everything in the world, from every possible angle.
I am about to embark on a course of action which, potentially, could very difficult and fraught with danger - changing my computer and updating every thing that needs to be updated. It's kind of scary inasmuch as every thing needs to be updated - software and especially print drivers / color profiles.
The first order of business is to join the iCloud via the Adobe Creative Suite. While that should be a fairly easy undertaking, I am not happy with the fact that I am tethered to the iCloud - financially until the end of (my) time and at those times when I am not tethered to the iCloud via the internet, I am out of business, so to speak, since the software does not reside on my computer. Welcome to the future (I have been very happy and content to live in the past, computer wise, but time waits for no man).
Until I have worked out the print driver / color profiles issues, whatever they might be, on the new computer, I am keeping the old computer in service as my printing station. This is my most worrisome undertaking. My current printing workflow is spot on the money and replicating that performance on the new machine and its updates may be a frustrating pain in the ass. Hope not but I'll be taking daytime naps to compensate for my restless / sleepless nights until that mission is accomplished.
FYI, once the change over is made I do not anticipate any problems / issues with posting to the blog but ....... Wish me luck.
Featured Comment: Paul Bradforth (no link provided) wrote:
"Mark, a couple of things:
1) I think it's quite important to get nomenclature right so you don't add any confusion of your own. "iCloud" is an Apple product, and is entirely separate to Adobe's "Cloud" offerings. "iCloud" has nothing to do with Photoshop.
2) When you subscribe to Adobe's cloud apps, the software does reside on your computer. You may need to access the cloud from time to time simply to 'prove' your subscription, but I think that's a rare occurrence. You can use the software at any time, without being connected to the Internet. At least, that's my understanding of it."
my response: Thanks for the clarification on things. I was hoping this entry would incite such a response. And indeed, iCloud should read as Creative Cloud.
The photographer was thought to be an acute but non-interfering observer – a scribe, not a poet. But as people quickly discovered that nobody takes the same picture of the same thing, the supposition that cameras furnish an impersonal, objective image yielded to the fact that photographs are evidence not only of what’s there but of what an individual sees, not just a record but an evaluation of the world. It became clear that there was not just a simple activity called seeing (recorded by, aided by cameras) but ‘photographic seeing’, which was both a new way for people to see and a new activity for them to perform. ~ Susan Sontag
IMO, if one does not have an acute visual awareness, aka: seeing, of what's going on around him/her - in its absence I believe it could be fostered and acquired - the chances of developing 'photographic seeing' are pretty slim. And while the physical act of acute seeing is a critcal component of 'photographic seeing', the pyschological ability to think and feel during the act of seeing is equally important.
IMO, sight + thought / feeling = 'photographic seeing' is a slightly more encompassing notion of Sontag's idea.
In either event / idea, I believe that once one has developed 'photographic seeing', aka: the notion of 'vision', the results of viewing one's pictures in a critical manner (as if someone else had made them) will aid immeasurably in refining one's physical act of seeing. An enhancement which, in turn, will aid immeasurably in enhancing and refining one's 'photographic seeing. The refining / enhancing works in both directions.
Which is why, assuming there is thought and feeling in the equation, the old adage of "the more you make pictures, the better you get" is, in so many words, spot on the money.
A question: have you developed the ability to view the pictures made by yourself as if they were made by someone else other than yourself? In other words, separating the thoughts and feelings experienced and invested in the act of making a picture from the experience of viewing the resultant work.