#1000. Gol Mil. Our hopes for the next 1000.

By pascaljappy | News

May 08

Thank you! Thank you for your support. Without it, it is absolutely certain we wouldn’t have made it to this landmark post. Your comments have made us think. Your jokes have made us laugh. Your posts have made us learn and enjoy. To celebrate, here is a list of wishes for the futures. Things we, grey-haired founding fathers (*) are looking forward to seeing blossom by the time the next millenium post comes about. No rules apply, not even reality checks. It’s a post of dreaming aloud. Please chime in and share your own dreams πŸ™‚ (* for the two of us that still have hair πŸ˜€ )

 
Mindlessness
 

I’m going first. Now because all dreams are equally important … particularly mine, but because this is in alphabetical order πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

 
La, la, la
 

Pascal

 

My personal dreams

My uni training set me up, for a life that didn’t care, with a PhD in Machine Learning. Life, as it does, just took me elsewhere. But a project with Philippe is now boomeranging me back to my old passion and I fully intend to apply my AI to my photography before #2000. How much of it and how usefully is a whole other debate πŸ˜‰

 
Moving on
 

But ideas abound, I would love for some of them to come to fruition ere Gol Dos Mil. I am buying heavy-lifting hardware, learning 6 hours a day and (new) beginner’s hopes are high. Stay tuned.

 

My gear dreams

I’m acting casual, because that’s what sensible adults do, but this is the part I wrote first πŸ˜‰

My dream is simple : large-format digital. Or, rather, more specialised digital cameras. And, in my case, specialisation would be expressed through a larger sensor that starts at ISO 12 and lenses that go down to f/64.

The large-format aesthetic (think Sally Mann) is what has always drawn me to photography. That combination of low-ish resolution and inimitable tonal smoothness puts me in a state of dreamy bliss. And no amount of stitching can replicate the look without the proper lenses and a sensor that has a taste for the good life.

 
Rule CCD, still the painterly king
 

So, my dream is that some fab looses its marbles and starts producing huge, low tech 4×5 CCD sensors with 16 micron pixels (that’s 6350 x 7938, i.e. 50Mpx) and sells them to Hassy who will then put them into a large version of their 907 body tethered to a phone for user interface, and with some digital tech wizardry to allow for some occasional hand-holdability.

Lenses, you ask? Well, I’d probably stick to old large format glass from the past century. All would be gorgeous and sharp enough (remember when Rolls Royces were “powerful enough” πŸ˜‰ ), with such large pixels. And images would get that fabulous look from them. But any modern take on the concept, to avoid manually dealing with the shutter would be acceptable as well.

“Progress” over the past decade has largely robbed us of any artistic look from photography and replaced it with a brittle, harsh, absence of style. My dream would be to get some of that emotional mojo back into our gear.

 
Oldy favourites
 

For travel, I would petition Light to reinstate the L16 principle, again tethered to a phone. Dont’t know what the L16 is? Hold on for a couple of posts … πŸ™‚

That would be me covered for my fantasy life. More realistically? I’d love someone like Light to shake up the industry and, for instance, let you scan a scene with something like an L16 device that would reconstruct the image, letting you enhance elements, eliminate others, choose a style … Something that would bridge the gap between painting and photography.

 
Light is all
 

Something that would take a cue from phones, not today’s batch of mainstream cameras; i.e. instead of complexifying the mechanics and dumming the digital (to the point of merely digitizing files … in 2020, I mean …), something that would make make full use of digital computing and simplify ergonomics.

Strangely enough, that, to me, seems far more realistic.

 

My dreams for DS

DearSusan has changed formats a couple of times since its inception. And it will change again. The reality of it is that the website inevitably mirrors my worldview.

In a way, that’s good. It makes it human and authentic. In others, it isn’t. You shouldn’t have to share my worldview to enjoy a photo blog. That’s DS issue number one.

DS issue number two was mentioned in the introduction. Old farts is what it is πŸ˜‰ We need fresh blood. Young photographers are doing super high quality stuff we don’t always hear of or understand. And I’m not talking about the visual equivalent of rap, but about fresh, deep, ideas. I’d love to see more of those youngsters hang around here.

 
Storms welcome
 

DS issue number three is silicon valley. My distaste for that bunch of money-hungry twats who self-promoted to masters of the universe when they are in fact the last remaining dinosaurs, is a problem to DS’s survival. As to so many other websites who focus on content, not adherence to purely arbitrary technical rules, and to human progress in general.

There’s hope on all 3 fronts. First, I’m fully aware of my biases and prejudices and I’m toning it down from this day on. Extraordinary talent and innovation is blossoming everywhere around the world with more fun goals than a big paycheck, that will soon laugh the silicon raptors out of the room.

 
Dreamin’
 

And I’m hoping for new management, new blood. There are too few women at DS (and yet, they wow us every time with their talent) and there are two few tweenies with provocative ideas. I’ve set out to change that.

I’d love for DS to become one of those islands of open culture and colorful variety in that uniformly grey ocean of greed-driven drivel that is today’s Internet. A resource for tomorrow πŸ™‚

 

My dream for you

Because this is the most important wish, I’ll keep it the shortest and clearest.

 

May you find a fulfilling path and the means to explore it.

Paul

I can’t dance, don’t ask me

Who or whatever makes us humans – I don’t have any religious beliefs – seems to allocate pretty much everything in such a random way. I watch pianists and guitarists creating music and lament my inability to get my brain and fingers into sync to play a tune, no matter how simple.

I can’t freehand draw. At all. As an engineer, I learned the value of paper and a talking stick (pencil) and occasionally managed to produce a map, or sketch a design, but at the same time, was forced to warn anyone using that information to do so with deep scepticism of its value.

I needed the discipline of a drawing board, parallel movement and instruments to draw with. I’m really good at that.

Analogue photography? Not even close. I bought my first film camera in my late teens and had progressed to a Nikon F before I tossed the entire project in a cupboard, there to languish until quite far into the digital era.

Unlike many photographers of the time, the darkroom was a cave of mystery and by driving out the demons, digital helped me to slowly discover that I quite enjoyed photography and for the first time, produced a few pleasing images.

My hope for the next 1000 posts?

Well firstly, to be around to contribute to no. 2000. That’ll be a real treat.

Being out of an increasingly interminable lockdown by then will be quite nice, too.

Photographically, I’d like the industry to drop anchor for a while, stop introducing new cameras and lenses and give me time to learn how to use the many and wonderful features of my existing camera kit properly. Then I could shoot some really satisfying photographs.

The constant chase for new technology and the GAS that it causes make our current interrelationship very one-sided.

DearSusan?

I’d like it to grow a bit – I often feel that many of our readers forget/omit to pass on the news; β€œI’ve found this great photography site. It’s run by amateurs, there’s no subs, money or donations required and they talk a lot of good sense.” Or something like that.

Spread the word. Please.

 

Wobbly Senior (Philippe)

Breaking confinement

Why am I Wobbly Senior? Well, if he [Pascal J] can be Wrinkly Senior, then I can be Wobbly Senior. That way, we can be Wrinkly and Wobbly. And I am certainly a lot wobblier than I was when DS was borne from Pascal’s fertile mind! Ah, but enough of a old man’s ramblings. The next 1000 posts. The first thought that came to mind were the opening lines of a great gospel song, [more than] slightly edited for my purposes:

A time for sun, and a time for rain
 

The sun comes up, it is a new day dawning, Time to use my camera again,
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, Let me be shooting when evening comes
Shoot like never before, oh my soul…

 
Hungry!

Now it is the consultant talking: asking a consumer focus group about the next innovations is a recipe for failure. They don’t know anything about disruptive change, so they’ll just say: I want this, only cheaper-better-smaller-more-pratical-larger-more-automated-fewer-buttons…

Care to give me my first dance?

But I have a clear vision of my dream. Remember those American TV shows, like CSI. They have large, clear screens where they can call up all manners of data, graphic or not, and manipulate them in multiple ways including at their fingertips.

Photographic un-distancing

Let’s imagine a clear, see-through iPad-or-larger-sized screen as my viewfinder. With lines of course, to get composition indications. And I can then use my fingers to specify all the parameters of my image (funny, L16 also comes to mind, as does Lytro). Basically no camera comes between my scene and my eye any longer, except as a preview of my image.

Can’t bear to be blue…

The next-generation gear does the same trick, but mounted on spectacles, like VR goggles, controlled by the eye (that technology, too, has already been around for some years).

Boxing, anyone?

But that is only a small part of the fun. The more important one is viewing the resulting images. What I would love is a projector that could create a high-quality image on a wall, including the frame, irrespective of the background. That, too, is technologically feasible. Then I can just choose which pics I want to see at any given moment, and it changes my interior decoration. And I can also send such images to others, because solitary pleasures aren’t as much fun as shared.

Man, those plants are mean!

Now to images. Let’s not forget, this P1K is drafted in conclave conditions. It seems that one of the biggest losers from the pandemic will be mass travel. Mass cruises, mass tourism, etc. This means two things. The first is: rediscovering what is other-than-mass-travel. For many of us, it has already meant our own gardens, back yards, neighborhoods. And eventually, un-destinations. Not too far, not too large, not overrun with hordes of day-tourists. Because it is an anniversary post, it is OK to brag a bit, and, yes, DS said it first. All this is good for un-photography. There is more to France than just Paris, and more to Paris than just the Eiffel Tower, and more to the Eiffel Tower than just a postcard.

Emerging…

The other factor which is reason to rejoice is this sea of devatastion is that, if people travel less, images will be more precious. If we can’t/won’t go there physically, we can go there vicariously. This is what travel photography is all about. Onwards and upwards, DS!

It will blow over…
 

​Never miss a post

​Like what you are reading? Subscribe below and receive all posts in your inbox as they are published. Join the conversation with thousands of other creative photographers.

  • Frank Field says:

    Congratulations to the DearSusan team. It takes remarkable perseverance to produce a thousand of anything, let alone one thousand fine photography posts that encourage all of us to take a more thoughtful approach to our own photography. I can’t remember now just how I happened on your site a couple years ago but I surely am glad that I did. I especially look forward to your Monday posts, they arrive here first thing Monday morning in California and are a terrific start to the week. Thanks for all you have done and best wishes for continued success of DearSusan.

  • Lad Sessions says:

    My kudos for the DS millennium! Like others, I can’t remember how I happened on the site, but I have found it wonderfully interesting and instructive in so many ways. Thank you Pascal, Paul and Philippe! I like taking photos, especially of the beautiful natural world around where I live (mostly flora, as it mostly stays put), and I always welcome advice as to how to improve, to do things differently, and to see the world differently. As to gear, I’m retired and a bit fiscally constrained, especially during these coronal times, but I would like: a smallish camera that sacrifices the highest possible quality (such as Pascal dreams of) for senior-portability and versatility (i.e., not specialized for, e.g. macro or birding). I know there are such cameras out there now, could I but afford them. But there are no obstacles to improving what I see through the lens I’ve got, and for that I thank DS!

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you very much, Lad. Your photos of the local nature and beautiful and your calendar is our official calendar and we are very proud to use it on a daily basis πŸ™‚

      Smaller cameras suffer from Smartphone sales but it seems difficult to imagine that there isn’t a market for something like what you describe. Post #1002 (mid week) could give you some ideas πŸ˜‰

      All the best !!

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Congratulations, Pascal, Paul & Philippe! DS has certainly been a wonderful addition to my life, as well as an encouragement to keep on shooting. It’s always a thrill to see that another DS post has arrived in my mailbox, and I so look forward to the next, and the next, and…….
    Here’s to the next 1000!

  • Jean-Claude Louis says:

    Congratulations to the founders and contributors, who created the best photography forum on the web! Thank you Pascal, Paul and Philippe

    I discovered DS two years ago, at a time when I almost gave up on the chance of finding any site of interest. It was refreshing. I started recently to contribute to various challenges and plan on getting more involved, to help Pascal and the team achieve their vision for DS.

    Gear dreams? No, but a fantasy. I’d like to forego all the primitive and antiquated capture equipment. After all, don’t we already have access to the best possible capture and processing hardware and software? A sensor with 100 million photoreceptors, automatic depth recording, perspective correction, white balance, color gamut and accuracy, etc…; a fast cable to the visual cortex where an infinitely plastic network of cells and connections processes the files, in tandem with the structures involved in creativity, imagination and emotion; unlimited storage space. The only missing part is a device that can read our perfect images and export them for the desired output. A mind-reading device. What are you gentlemen engineers waiting for ?

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank *you* Jean-Claude. I know your contributions will be precious.

      Elon Musk is your man for cortical derivation. In between twitter storms, he has just announced that sort of technology for next year! He didn’t mention how many megapixels, mind you. This might be an issue, in this market πŸ˜‰

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        The guy who invented our present sensors has already invented the ultimate one – it records every single photon. There IS no “better” or “chance of further improvement”, beyond that.
        The only problem is, the thing is way too expensive, so we’ll never get to see one in our lifetimes – oops, in my lifetime – some of you are way younger than I am! πŸ™‚

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I’m not even going to attempt to comment – it’s altogether too brilliant, and I’d simply end up looking like the fool that I am!

    So instead, I’m going to fly off on a tangent, with these titbits.

    Space is curved. If you travel for an infinite distance, no matter which direction, you eventually come back to where you started.
    So perhaps we can shorten the process of going into the future, by taking a short trip back into the past. Try reading this. (And by the way, I’d love to try some of these!)
    https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/features/10-digital-cameras-that-time-forgot

    And here’s another useful thought:
    “The first step in creating great photos is to get the shot right in-camera. The next step, even though optional but highly recommended, is to post-process your photos to your liking. No amount of post-processing can save a truly bad shot but it can definitely take a good shot to the level of amazing. How much post-processing should go into a shot is subjective and the options available to you can really be endless in the kind of look an image can take. “

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you for the link, Pete πŸ™‚ It’s very interesting, and amusing, to witness the richness of imagination of the minds behind all those cameras. Some, clearly solutions waiting for a problem but brilliant nonetheless, others really innovative in the practical sense. That little Pentax Q is the one I’d take home.

      Capture and PP are the two sides of a single coin. Both reveal different phases of our thinking and very few people excel at both. Most great photographers took their negatives to great printers. Much like everyone remembers the guy who scored the goal and not the other members of the team, everyone remembers the photographer but not the printer. And that is a huge mistake.

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        “very few people excel at both”
        I can’t claim that I excel at either – but they both give me a huge amount of pleasure. Like music – art (in all its forms) – nature. And making love – and a really fine wine.
        Hastily switching back to the subject, and putting my daydreams to one side!
        I’ve used professional printers in the past – and I don’t mean those kiosk jobs, in the corner of the pharmacy for instance – or at those electrical goods stores, that also deal in photography gear. I didn’t find the same satisfaction that Ansel Adams had, when he used them. I believe Ming Thein uses one, but also does some of his own.
        In analogue days, always used to do my own B&W developing, enlarging, printing, retouching etc. It gave me tremendous pleasure and satisfaction. A friend of mine and I even published a book, together, of photos we’d taken during the 1960s.
        It was way too expensive to set up a colour lab at home, as an amateur photographer, so I was never able to process or print my own colour photos. So it was only natural when I switched to digital that I wanted to be able – finalement! – at last! – to do my own post processing. For me, this HAD to be part of the package.
        Do I do I perfect job? – naaah! – but it’s creative, it’s fun, and it’s better than getting them done by the outfits most amateurs use, when they want a digital shot printed.
        Besides, I don’t think “perfect” is attainable, with the range of software out there. And over time, with practice, you keep getting better at it.
        The other reason for doing it, is that it’s another version of storage – against that black day when something goes wrong with digital storage. And a step along the path towards being able to share my photos with other people – either digitally (through emails) or by showing them the prints.
        The printer – the scanner – the extra monitor screen – all that extra software – the extra digital storage space – the inks – the paper – all adds up to the cost of several new lenses I could have bought instead. Too bad – this is more fun! – this is creative! – extra gear is merely a means to an end – THIS is the “end”, the goal, for me! From the very start, what inspired my interest in photography was looking at prints of photos other people had taken – a desire to create my own prints was a built-in side effect of looking at those photos, all those years ago – three-quarters of a century, and counting!
        Anyway – it’s not in my nature to pass the job over – for one thing, I’m ambidextrous, and it’s perfectly normal for me to be a wing, a forward and a goalie all at once -for another, I’m a Leo -:)

  • Can’t remember or even care how I discovered DS, I’m just glad I did. And I’m looking forward to the next 1000 issues. But you will need to print them quickly. :))
    Really liked your ideas about a 4×5 digital back. I would love to snap one in place on my Linhof Color 4×5. I went through all the 35mm, MF, and 4×5 stuff with film. My philosophy about photography has always been, for the most part, but with some exceptions, bigger is better. Including film format and prints. I know it’s not true, but I like to think it is.
    As for other gear, I would look forward to a really good DSLR that only records stills.
    And, I look at the mirrorless cameras as a marketing ploy (much needed by the industry) that solves a problem that didn’t exist.
    I look forward to the day when photographers realize that razor sharp isn’t always to be desired in PhotoArt. I don’t mean that I’m recommending going back to the “wooly” days of cleaning your lens with steel wool, but some landscape images just don’t need to be run through extra software apps for more sharpening or de-noising. Too crisp is not good.
    And last, I really liked all of the macro images in this post but my favorite image was “Favorite”.
    Thanks for something to look forward to on Monday mornings.

    • pascaljappy says:

      There ain’t no substitute for square inches πŸ˜‰

      “Better” is subjective, but larger format does bring with it a certain look that some of us crave and that’s difficult to recreate in the digital world, that is obsessed with zillions of tiny pixels (and all their assorted miseries such as noise, that has to be rubbed out of the signal, altering its purity)

      So yes, I too wish for a larger format alternative. I think using an old large format lens at f/64 on a small sensor and stitching would do it. So, maybe what we should ask manufacturers to do is provide a super clean low res output from their hi-res sensor cameras ? Bin their pixels 2×2, divide resolution by 4 and give us very high quality 10-16Mpix files we can sticth into a large format recreation ? πŸ™‚

      Cheers

      • Seems right to me. My introduction to digital was with a 6 mpx Olympus E-20. I learned to make 16×20 images with it good enough to hang in the gallery and lots of them sold. I think I was using an old, old copy of PS-3 to process them. :))
        Sometimes I get an strong urge to take the old 4×5 out and use it. But then I go and take a nap until the urge goes away. It would be too much trouble putting the supplies together again. I don’t have the energy for that that I once had.

  • Congratulations, a remarkable achievement! Hope to be alive for #2000 and discussing plans for a million mp grapefruit-sized hemispherical sensor with a fixed fisheye lens and enough power to instantly rectilinearize any portion thereof. True point and shoot. Lens shades and polarizers might be problematical so we’ll need a new plug-in or two. Or maybe not.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Great stuff Alan πŸ˜€ With a sensor the size of a gaprefruit, I’m sure the associated computing power will follow and allow more than a few plugins πŸ˜‰

  • Paul Watson says:

    Congratulations – Really well done..
    My Wishes – I wish and hope that my fellow photographers start to see the world out there, with new and fresh eyes. May those secret shadows fascinate us, and reflective light bends to all our will.

    My Wish for myself – I wish I could see how I am going to survive. Although I still have a job, it’s on the line, big time. My Salary was cut, and hours reduced. I don’t even want to think about selling my Camera. It’s all I have left. I could only laugh today when I noticed my one and the only lens, the Focus ring is stiff and it looks like autofocus isn’t working any more. I am trying not to moan, or panic, but damit man , I know everyone is struggling, I used to be able to look forward to events way ahead in the future. But now, I can’t even plan until the end of the day.

    My wish for the future .. Is to get a cat. And with that comes great responsibilities. A home, so to speak, that I can be secure in, and so be able to look after and love this creature.

    Apologies for oversharing, I just needed to get it out, maybe by putting it into words, those worries become real, and maybe I will see plan ..

    • pascaljappy says:

      Dear Paul,

      that’s not oversharing, it’s being human. I sincerely hope the situation improves rapidly in South African and for you. There is hope on the horizon, as research groups appear to have identifies two very affordable medicines that have a huge effect on survival rates. If that is confirmed in the weeks to come, economies throughout the world should kick back into activity much faster!

      A cat is wonderful company πŸ™‚ They are independ but very friendly and playful. And they bring the sort of simple, deep pleasure that makes you forget about the unnecessary luxuries that so many crave. A good armchair, a good book and a cat, what more do you need ? πŸ™‚

      Thank you for your kind comment. Please keep in touch!
      Pascal

  • Dallas says:

    Well done to the 3P’s or is it 1P & 2 W’s?? Seriously a great post and very fitting for issue K.

  • Steve Mallett says:

    Congratulations to you 3Ps and all you sundry contributors. There is no other site even close to DS that I have found. Pure content is indeed a rare and precious thing. I’ve learnt all manner of stuff from the posts themselves as well as the links that have taken me into unknown waters. I’m looking forward to the next 1000 posts and maybe even contributing with the odd one.

    As for dreams, I want Philippe’s projector! My number one request for cameras is a properly implemented flip screen. One that in landscape orientation flips out behind the body, (like my X100V and my old E-M1 and unlike my E-M1 Mkii which flips out to the side), but ALSO flips out to the side for use in portrait orientation. Is this really so hard? What’s Sir Jony doing these days? And that old chestnut, a dedicated stills camera without all the video nonsense, that I never use. Dream on Steve.

    And can we drop the current obsession with dedicated groovy knurled knobs for changing ev so beloved by Fuji. The front and rear dials for altering aperture/shutter speed and ev number are ergonomically far superior (in my not-so-humble opinion).

    And the post CV world? Mass travel? The demise of the vast corporate HQ? A more responsible approach to agriculture and food production as we wing our way towards 10 billion? Who knows? One thing I have noticed over the course of my life is that we humans are absolutely useless at predicting the future, so I’ll keep shtum.

    Tomorrow’s Monday – excellent.

  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    “Oh… So it can look like that, too…”

    A couple of extracts from Lars Jansson’s very ironic comic strip Artists in Moominvalley (Mumin och konsten):

    After a photo competition that the Moomins win, artists flock to Moominvalley to paint the strange white rocks in the winning photo – which really was an accidental skewed exposure of the Moomins.

    Moominpappa also starts to paint, and a couple of artists, fearing a future naivistic competitor, advise him to see Sir Umbar…

    Moominpappa follows his teaching, and another artist passing by is horrified at the realism and gives new advice…

    – – – – –
    In the end, Moominpappa wins the art exhibition with his discarded apple tree painting that he flattened with his easel. He distributes the prize money as travel grants and Moominvalley is freed from the artists, who had turned normal life in the valley upside down.
    – – * – –

    [ The painter Tove Jansson is rather more wellknown for inventing the Moomins and writing books and comics about them, and for her other novels and short stories.

    When she got tired of drawing comics…

    She said in an interview, that she became curious about how many strips she had made – she then calculated that the originals put one after another would cover 7 or 8 km, and then said to herself that that really was ‘nough.

    … her brother Lars took that over, he kept the style but his stories were rather different.]

  • Sean says:

    Hi Edward Jappy,

    Congrats to you and your DS on a marvellous milestone achieved.

    The next milestone, will be just as rewarding, on its adventurous journey towards its achievement.

    I’m sure Pascal Weston would approve on what the journey throws up along its path.

    I know, I know, other good photographers were named as your aspirational influencers, above; but I tie my reference to your desire for β€œ…large-format digital. Or, rather, more specialised digital cameras … expressed through a larger sensor … ISO 12 and lenses that go down to f/64…”

    Thus my reference to Edward πŸ™‚

  • Mel says:

    “Got mil?” Not many of us can say “Yes!” about anything of that magnitude much less a thousand thought-provoking discussions on capturing space and time. Congrats to P3, the 3 lads who keep all this running and inspire us to think and shoot and see what becomes of it.

  • >