#1198. Week Links of Photography (07 May 2022)

By pascaljappy | News

May 07

Mastering composition, conquering the blackest black, capturing ghosts with a DIY camera, launching your career with a grant, understanting the ups and downs of the industry, unsharpening film, unresing digital, drooling at medium format rumours, destroying sensor dust, nailing colour, cringing at 8K, freeing yourself of social media, and more πŸ™‚


Before we start, a heartfelt Thank You to all who answered my question about the colour and b&w photographs in the past two weekly roundups. Your feedback is appreciated. And it has prompted me to start wrting a post about how to choose between the two.

That is a tall order and an ambitious subject, possibly arrogantly so πŸ˜‰ But the extraordinary work of photographers such as Ernst Haas or Saul Leiter in colour, and of Pentti Sammallahti, Peter Turnley, Andre Kertesz, Josef Sudek, Sally Mann, or Ansel Adams in b&w, does beg the question of what makes each style important and which bests suits our needs. Even more important is how to use either successfully, a topic about which not a lot has be written convincingly.

So that’s for next week, if I find the right words for the proper ideas πŸ˜‰

Rapeseed fields forever


Wings of steel


Flower Power


  • Mastering The Art Of Photographic Composition – Part One (PhotoPXL)

    Being a stick in the mud, I don’t agree with the teachings in this post. The questions are interesting, though, and I suggest you find the answers to them that suit your style and context.
  • Color Grading 101 – Everything You Need to Know (Film Riot on Youtube)

    Not a lot can teach you more than looking at a familiar problem tackled by different people. Filmmakers take a very different approach to colour management than most photographers. And theis video feels like an interesting investment of your time if those topics matter to you.
  • The best and worst ways to clean your camera’s sensor (DPreview on Youtube)

    One of those is … a flame thrower πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ My only regret with this video is that Chris doesn’t mention you shouldn’t clean your film like you clean a digital sensor!
Who watches the watchmen? (Art by Ai Wei Wei)


  • How to Delete Your Instagram Account (PetaPixel)

    According to the post, “Instagram use (has been linked) to things like depression, body image concerns, low self-esteem, anxiety, and other mental health issues.” And there’s far worse to add. So, if you ever needed a how-to to set you free, this is for you.
  • DJI pauses sales in both Russia and Ukraine (PopPhoto)

    When creative tools are used to kill civilians …
Noble pursuit

In other news, I will soon be launching Trust Issues #1, a newsletter about … trust πŸ™‚ Issues, here, refers to the episodes, not problems.

I strongly believe – and all of my adult and professional life confirms it – that trust is one of the most underrated assets in our lives. So Trust Issues will be all about understanding, nurturing and benefiting from higher levels of trust.

I’ll start with two issues a month and see where that takes us. DS subscribers will be my test audience πŸ™‚ I hope that’s OK with you!

Ever watchful

There are two reasons for starting this way.

(1) You know me and have been warned, so you will know it is not spam.

(2) Over the years, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a readership largely composed of really great people. So I’m hoping for interesting feedback.

However, these emails will be sent using a separate list, so feel free to unsubscribe at any point, it will not impact DS emails. I do hope you enjoy the new newsletter. Issue #1 will be about The Beatles.


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Hmm. Trust is a complex question. Takes years to establish it, nano-seconds to damage or destroy it – and thee’s no genuine possibility of a complete 100% recovery, if anyone does that. Very philosophical issue, one I’ve been concerned about since my early childhood, and I look forward to seeing how you link it to photography.

    Love your [shady] photo of Winston Churchill. A very complex man. Not without his faults, any more than the rest of us are – but he could definitely paint better than I’ve ever been able to.

    Working my way backwards, what on earth is a “Noble”? I’ve never heard of that brand of ICE – or EV – or whatever it is! Are all streets in London as deserted as that, these days? COVID perhaps, striking terror into their hearts? Officials staring at them, making sure they keep social distancing?

    I am at a complete loss to understand the watchman photo, so I’ll jump higher. Flower power brings to mind the ladies fashion shops in this street – we have three of them, plus one selling ladies swimming costumes. One shrivels me up – expensive, but the kind of stuff my great grandmother might have worn to a ball in the 1890s, and I’ve warned my wife I’ll burn anything she buys there. The other two fashion shops ofter have me gawking in the window – one of them sells the most beautiful – the most elegant! – ladies sandals I’ve ever seen in my entire life!

    Steel is great and I love the composition – both in shapes, and in tonality range. Something B&W can teach to young ‘uns who’ve learned their photography in an age filled with colour, without feeling dependant on tonal range. Well they are, really, if they want to do “better” – but a lot of them haven”t yet worked that out. (Your recent article on “9 – 3 – 1” underscores that one!)

    Rapeseed = canola = Roundup, with the ability to leave people suffering from cancer. Too controversial, but a complete “NO!” in my house.

    Which leaves “wilt”. But at this juncture I have to leave too. BBL – TBC – LOL

    • pascaljappy says:

      Trust is indeed complex and I won’t try to explain things in an academic manner. The newsletter will be more like this one, with links to articles, though fewer, and some form of commentary. As usual, I’m hoping for feedback to build something useful together. It won’t be linked to photography and won’t even be on DS πŸ™‚

      Watchman photo. It is a photo of my daughter’s phone taking a photo of the surveillance camera statue in the background.

      Burning your wife’s clothers? How dare you, sir πŸ˜‰ My wife would chop my head off. Or, worse, inject something in my blood (she can do both being a medical doctor and a martial arts badass).


  • Jeffrey D. Mathias says:

    A nice thing of Wings of Steel is that one can actually perceive movement. Yep, movement in a still image. I am sure the structure moves about with the wind. But it is a true photographer’s eye that gets the view to divulge what the sculpture is about.

    You asked about the 8K HDR: over-sharpened; compressed & over-saturated colors; NOT a good example of HDR (values are just brightened and misplaced.) (Also not a good example of color photography.) (And, doubtful if this is watched on 8K monitor, and, YouTube is not a place to evaluate image quality anyways, and, YouTube can hardly stream HD at 1K resolution without issues.)

    As to color grading 101: well… Cullen Kelly (also has YouTube videos) presents color grading much better (101 and beyond.) First thing before grading is good color management which he teaches excellently as well.
    (link if you wish – https://www.youtube.com/c/CullenKelly/videos )

  • Dallas says:

    Thanks Pascal see great links and images of course. Look forward to Issue #1 will be about The Beatles.

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Thanks for the weekly roundup, Pascal! As usual it was full of interesting tidbits and rabbit holes to explore at leisure. I truly appreciate all the work that goes into producing these posts! Also, I’m in love with two of your images in particular: Wilt & Flower Power…..wow, just wow!
    Looking forward to Trust!

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Nancee. I’m glad you picked up on flower power as I feared no one would, given that it’s not a spectacular subject. It’s one of my fave recent photographs. Cheers πŸ™‚

  • Mer says:

    Ahhh, sweet confirmation bias. Since late last year, I’ve been using a 24-Megapixel camera(up from 12). Easy choice of first link to follow.

    It’s a nice piece from someone who seems very aware of what it is they want to get out of their images and isn’t afraid to swim against the more-detail tide. I do wonder if he’d have gotten results by sticking with the M 10-R and adapting to it. The urge to act quickly and get the M 10 back must have been strong.

    I get what he’s saying and the images he’s chosen are about shape and colour rather than detail. They don’t need extra crunch to work and could even be harmed by it. The sea cliffs image is very nice indeed and would probably go south if dialed up to extra-crispy.

    To a large extent, I also agree. The vast majority of the images I enjoy drive straight to my subconscious through composition andor colour. Detail is a side trip that may or may not get added in later. However, I think you can make a lot of shots work regardless of resolution – the Ever Watchful image(above) is a good example of one that would work at all sorts of resolutions. It also has the knack of letting large areas go dark as part of the composition, something that mono-happy photographers are good at considering before they press the shutter.

    I should add the disclaimer that I’ve never used a camera above 24-Megapixels and would love to get my hands on 50+ for some shots that require a lot of detail and the pixels to print them large. Hypocrite, moi?


    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Mer, there are probably circumstances where 50+ Mp help a lot. Say, wildlife shooting, if you need to crop. But, given the choise of more resolution or a larger sensor, I’d go for the latter every time. Small and big sensors have different looks, and I’m partial to the larger, but others prefer the former. But I’m hard pressed to see one good use of extra resolution today. Larger pixels are better pixels. And, even today, the tonality on my old Nikon D80 photographs blows me away. It was a CCD, so that may factor in, but the large pixels were just sweet. So I agree with you entirely. Particularly as post processing is a large part of the pleasure for me, and small pixel images tend to break up much more rapidly under stress πŸ˜‰

      Cheers πŸ™‚

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Your “normal'” posts are something I look forward to, and wallow in.

    “Week Links” are instalments that I savour – still working through the articles that grabbed my attention.

    Glad to know someone is still producing high quality 100 ISO – in my youth of course it was called 100 ASA, and it was my preferred medium.

    Although shooting with Zeiss magnificent Contarex, I had two other magazine backs – one always loaded with 400 ASA and the other whatever grabbed me – sometimes 1000 ASA (VERY fast – LOL – digi makes that look like slow motion!), sometimes colour negative.

    Movie never really grabbed me – I prefer watching OP’s film, rather than creating any of my own – I did try for some years, but never made it to “sound” and it was a bit dull without. Never had the software in those days that there is today, to deal with editing film.

    I leave Instagram & Twitter etc to people who enjoy passing their waking hours on that kind of thing. N’est pas pour moi!

  • philberphoto says:

    Interesting subjects, gorgeous images (flower power is my fave, but others are close behind, such as watching who watches the watchmen). Kudos!

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Creating The Darkest Photo Backdrop in The World (99,9%)

    I messed up privately with this one, but to make amends I’m going to post this comment anyway.

    There are two glaringly obvious demands for a “true black” background in photography.

    One is in darkrooms – the theory is, that to avoid pollution from other light sources while we’re doing post processing, we have to pull out all stops, by having a uniform, neutral colour throughout the room. Bog standard “neutral grey” which I think from memory is around 22% grey, and commonly used on cards for testing the light colour where you’re shooting, is generally regarded as suitable. So is pure black – except that as Pascal has already pointed out, that only exists in theory.

    Personally I can’t even consider entering a completely black room – I’ve had a few ups & downs during my life (80 years is a fairly long time span, so that’s not really surprising), and like soldiers returning from the battlefield, I’ve been left with “depression” – I have to live with it, and I have to stay away from “triggers” – and being surrounded by black would freak me out completely. So I’ll leave that suggestion to readers who’ve led more gentle lives.

    The black paint’s now there, for anyone who wants it.

    The other one is of interest – to me, for my MACRO work – and perhaps to anyone interested in portrait. It consists of an even blacker black, if that makes any sense – the paint is 99.500% pure black, but this cloth is 99.905% pure – which let’s face it, is so close to 100% that the gap couldn’t possibly matter.

    I have a need for a completely neutral background for some of my work, and portrait photographers (or wedding photographers) might rejoice in the idea of a backdrop which immediately produces the perfect frontal “layer” for their work, without any further need for masking – just slip your background in behind it, you’ll catch EVER single strand of hair on the model’s/bride’s head, without any further fiddling around. Brilliant! Stand aside, Lightroom – we’re charging straight through!

    I’ve no idea what size paint pot – I didn’t even look, for obvious reasons! – but the cloth is available in lengths of up to 10 metres maximum, and one metre wide – in one metre multiples. Delivery is likely to bump the price, it gets delivered wrapped around a cardboard cylinder.

    Further details on these three web sites:
    * Creating the darkest photo backdrop in the world – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66s-tsUjstQ
    * Musou black paint – https://www.ko-pro.black/product/musou-black-paint/
    * Musou black fabric – https://www.ko-pro.black/product/musou-black-fabric-kiwami/

    • pascaljappy says:

      Imagine entering an anechoic chamber where everything is covered in darkest black πŸ˜‰

      More seriously, I wonder whether they could incorporate some of that stuff in printer inks. My b&w prints are piezo, which has pretty good black and tonality, but this could be even more interesting.

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