#1203. Week Links of Photography (21 May 2022)

By pascaljappy | News

May 21

A Master of B&W, in-flight landscape photography, pyramids without buses or tourist scams, rainbow moons, better skin tones, 8 films to try out, predicting the future of photography, macro without dedicated lenses, Pulitzer winners, the UK’s hidden multi-billion photo stash, Meta NFTs, irrefutable proof of life on Mars (finally answering David Bowie), an 8-figure Man Ray and my pathetic attempt at ripping off William Eggleston. Plus more 🙂

Masters and servants
 

Double apologies are in order. Not only was last week’s episode skipped entirely, but this one over compensates with too much content. Oh well, just browse and pick, I guess 😉

Unrelated to any of this week’s news, let’s quickly discuss the value of revisiting old photo collections. Old, in this instance, is barely one month old. But my lenses have seen a lot since then and said collections (from the UK, except for one) had simply been pushed down the priority rankings. Until I needed pics for this news roundup and had used up all the others in other posts or drafts.

Rediscovering older photographs is particularly an opportunity to take a closer look at unprocessed ones, which obviously went unappreciated during the PP phase, but now stand out clearly. Often, those are lovely in their own right. It may be that they are less obvious, or that I’d forgotten the intention when sorting through the PP candidates. But they tend to be more pensive and interesting than some of the more spectacular ones picked at first sight. I mean, how often do you see butterflies covered in equations?

Data gives me butterflies
 

Creative

 
Facing East
 

Gear

 
Don’t leave me (even giants have feelings)
 

Training

  • Use Extension Tubes To Turn Any Lens Into Macro Lens (Robin Wong)

    I do this all the time. Not only does it work, but it brings out and accentuates the natural look of the lens, which is not designed for this and is used out of its optimized perimeter. It can lead to brilliant results with the right lens. Not one for the sharpness/neutrality camp, though 🙂
 
52 Continental (I bet that hurts Brexiters)
 

Society

 
My rural homage to William Eggleston. Collectable? 😉
 

Closing thoughts. Do other people’s photographs ever influence yours?

The second I saw this toy tractor in a hotel/farmyard, Eggleston’s tricycle image sprang to mind. It’s funny how some pictures leave a trace in your memory and others don’t. Eggleston’s Memphis (tricycle) falls in the first category for me.

The problem is my photograph has all the components, composition, local light, local background, but none of the pertinence. It’s merely a fun shot. During the trip, I tried to recreate another photograph. One of mine. And this time, not by accident, deliberately. With even worse results. This has prompted a post about the futility of recreation, soon to be posted.

 
Pixel binned
 

Lastly, I think I finally understand my newfound obsession with film. Everytime you load new filmstock, it’s like having a new camera system altogether. Completely different look. Sure, we can emulate that digitally in post with presets, and with the extra convenience of shot by shot decision-making. But (1) it really doesn’t quite look the same and (2) with a film roll, you’re all in. For the duration of your roll (10 pics if you own the best camera in history, the Mamiya 7) you’re locked in and have to think for a specific look. Then you get to start all over again with another roll. So. Much. Fun.

Dang, I’m dangerously close to that analog cliff …

Have a great week-end 🙂

 

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  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    My opening NFT bid on your Eggelston homage is Zim$ 500 Trillion

  • Dave says:

    Hi Pascal
    Thank you for all the great links and for research and time getting everything together.
    They are very enjoyable with my expresso and biscotti.
    Best Dave

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    The temptation of analogue is purely “difference”. After DSLRs, you went to the Hassy. Now the temptation is either cine or film or both. You mention them in all your posts, lately.

    Fair enough. Each to their own. Mine is at least in part simply improving my output. Since perfection is about as attainable as perpetual motion, the bait always dangles tantalisingly beyond reach. In between, I do a lot of stuff which is documentary, a lot of travel, and a lot of pet photography. It’s all good – because it’s all “practice”. Even if it does lead to the conclusion that “practice does NOT make perfect”.

    Increasingly, I have been finding a leaning towards a greater degree of planning – trying for something new, something I haven’t seen elsewhere. Something others might overlook. At times, this means waiting – not just for “the right light”, but also having to wait till the right season. My equivalent of your quest for “difference”.

    And when I’m not ‘”taking” photos, I spend a lot of time and effort on post processing and printing images. Which can be quite fascinating. Prints, for instance, reveal their image as reflected light – while digi dishes it up as transmitted light. You have to choose – because what’s a suitable “finished image” for one medium will rarely suit the other.

    I might be imagining it – but it seems to me there are a whole heap of new players, dreaming up new post processing programs. Fine – some of the older (and better known!) programs are under-performing, let’s just leave it at that – some of the new ones have features undreamed of 5 or 10 years ago. Then you find yourself enmeshed in it all, and it’s a bit like an attack of GAS. Instead of buying every bit of gear in your camera shop, you push your unsuspecting image through too many programs, and finally realise it would have been a whole heap more productive to have stuck with only one or two.

    I wonder how many wives say something similar, under their breath, when they look at the mountain of gear in their husband’s photography storage

    Your selection of reading material provides light relief from all of this. As refreshing as a walk in the park with my . Speaking of which, she is demanding attention – a final walk, before we turn in for the night.

    One question – is that statue you tag as “giants” in the South Kensington Science Museum? Or is that a railway station that’s housing them? Somehow, the building seems familiar.

    • Pascal Ravach says:

      Jean-Pierre, your mention of “reflected light vs transmitted light” reminds me that it has been a constant reflexion for me, even 40 years ago when I was fluctuating between prints and projected slides (which is sort of in-between, technically reflected light too, but with some “pop” ); having 10 times more art than walls, and a bit tired to rotate pieces all the time, I tested an 8k high-end 65″ display I had to buy for the home cinema room last year just to see and compare with my prints from my good ol’ Epson 7900 24″… fascinating; the usual thing: evanescence vs permanence, tactility vs none, wow factor vs immersive dreaming… I never get tired to watch the sensorial differences, reactions, interactions; my “short-term” conclusion after a life comparing things is that… there will never be a need to select a “winner”… both offer something, and it is mostly a matter of our “present mood” 🙂
      And as I like to joke in my own professional activity, high-end audio, give me a cheap music player on a wonderful location anytime against a high-end system in a boring location 😀

  • Mer says:

    I get why you’re considering analogue. That sense of having a camera upgrade when you tried a new film and decided that this was your new best photography thing. The highlight rolloff – I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but I miss it now. I unpacked my old Contax tvs a few weeks ago and storage has not been kind. The lcd no longer works and I expect it would be expensive plus tricky to get it fixed. I retreated a few meters from the analogue cliff.

    Another good set of links. The time taken to set this up is appreciated.

    A follow up to the link posted a few weeks ago about smartphones are real cameras. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/series/smart-shot. It really is all about vision and timing(luck can be handy as well). I’ve always purchased at the cheaper end of the phone range and hardly ever bothered to use them for photography, but I’m beginning to wonder whether a better phone might be worth the outlay if it injects a bit of fun into my photo taking.

    Speaking of fun, the toy tractor. It may lack the pertinence of the Eggleston, but it’s its own thing and a great image. Love the colours. Quite the contrast after a string of mono shots.

    Cheers

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thank you Mer. Sorry about your Contax, that’s like losing an old friend. If you’re OK, I’ll include the Guardian link in the next post.

      The phone question is interesting and mirrors my own interrogations. I now rely on the phone for so much of my life (navigating, recognising music, identifying birds, astronomy, photography, appointments …) that it’s beginning to make sense to spend more on it than I would traditionally have wanted to.

      Cheers

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Well, since we speak “analog” things, here is a funny link to a small German “network for analog mavericks” that loves to push “all things analog” to the edges (ever saw “large format” and “instant photography” in the same bed? :D): https://the.supersense.com
    It’s an interesting way to draw attention to the human side of things (no surprise, even wine glasses here :D)

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