Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall Foliage Trip

The Fall Foliage Trip of '08 is complete. Travels to New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio yielded some fun photos. Look for them to be on my website soon.

To the left is a little sample from southern Ohio near Marietta on US 26.

The 800+ photos that I took have been boiled down to about 100 and a small portion of those will make the web site as soon as I reduce the size and make thumbnails for the pics.

For anyone using Simple Viewer, you need to create an XML file that references the picture name and caption. I wrote a .NET Windows program that will automatically create this XML listing saving a lot of tedious keying if you have many images. I can make this program available to those interested.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Night Sky

A few of the photos are up, but not all.
Hopefully he is not done and planning to blow off the rest or he will have a concerned citizen on his hands!
One never quite knows with phlegmatics what is inside the box of chocolates.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


My mind is in a fog partially from a cold and partially from focusing on getting photos matted and framed for a show at Night Sky. It is a lot of work cutting the mat board and measuring. Just procuring the frames was a more extended process because no one store had enough and I had to run around all over Dayton getting the ones I wanted. Certainly being out and pressing the shutter is the fun part. Finishing the whole process through to a framed photo causes me to have to stay on task and be disciplined when I would rather "go out and play". It was like being in school and having homework and seeing the other kids out playing ball. I remember a particular Sunday afternoon working on an Ohio History notebook (remember those Nelson Olmstead films in 7th grade?) while there was a baseball game going on in Zimpfer's yard. It was agony to stay inside and work on that silly notebook.
Framing the pictures was not agony by any stretch, but not as fun as hiking out in the woods or riding a bike on the back roads. But Larry and Jordan both rescued me last weekend with a few hours of biking as a great break.

When the photos go up at Night Sky, then that circuit will be complete and I can start on a new cycle of collecting a new set of photos and looking through the lens and pressing that shutter button.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Photography as Art

Now I'm not going to claim that the image that I used for this post is art -it is just a picture from a kitchen. But it is a composition of light and dark shapes with a curved line in it that *could* be somewhat interesting. But I used the image as an into to some quotes from a photographer named Ken Rockwell. Some people hate him and think he is full of, uhm, something... But I really like some quotes from his web site.

Here are some snippets that are especially good, to me, about photography:

"An image is all about the relationships between light and dark, up and down, warm and cool, and big and small. How do the shapes, gradations, scale, angles and everything work together? Are these creating depth, balance and impact, or just a confusing jumble of junk? These dynamics are what give an image its wow factor. A real image catches your attention and draws you in to explore, regardless of size.

This is why the best photographers tend to be those with an art background. Artists understand these basic and critical image elements and know how to use them to create outstanding images. Most photographers have no clue, and instead waste their creativity fretting about lens sharpness, raw vs. JPG or 16- to 14-bit redithering algorithm design instead of the mandatory basics of image design."

"The first thing to create are the fundamentals of values and tones, colors, shapes, balance and dynamics. If you get these right, your image will have impact. Adding the details later is the easy part. As a photographer, you need to be looking for these before you start looking for trivia like focus or depth of field."

Here is another great quote on how to be a better photographyer:

"Attend art school. Read every art book you can. Hang around artists, not photographers. Avoid the Internet, which is overpopulated by websites made by, as if you'd never guess, computer and technical weenies. Take art workshops. Pay attention to what turns you on in images you see and create, and do more of that. Keep an open mind."

And finally one more quote:

"A good photographer makes great images with a disposable camera because she knows its limits and how to use it. On the other hand, plenty of poor photographs are made every day using very expensive cameras by people lacking passion and vision, regardless of how much technical skill they have and how sharp their lenses are.

People write novels, not typewriters. So why do some people think buying a different camera or learning all about shutter speeds will help them make better images? People make photographs, not cameras. Your choice of camera has NOTHING to do with anything. NOTHING."

I am guessing that the people that do not like Ken Rockwell are the ones with expensive camera equipment and are enamored with their knowledge of all the technical details of the hardware.

That's it for today.