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 🙂 (* for the two of us that still have hair 😀 )
I’m going first. Now because all dreams are equally important … particularly mine, but because this is in alphabetical order 😉 😉 😉
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 😉
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 😉
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.
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” 😉 ), 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.
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 … 🙂
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.
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 😉 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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
I’d like it to grow a bit – I often feel that many of our readers forget/omit to pass on the news; “I’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.
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:
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…
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…
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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