The best Leica camera yet, flow advice from one of the greats, a Saint Laurent collab with Magnum, hundreds of megapixels for cheap, cameras that look like C3P0 and Darth Maul, Intimacy lessons, the (last?) cheap medium format camera, cures for blurry corners, thrilling news from Instagram (apparently), the untimely demise of the metaverse, making a diffusion filters with stones, and more 🙂
You can tell you’re getting old when everything was better before 😉
We bought a 2 grand anti-mozzie device that works well, but needs recharging on a very regular basis. Which the company (Qista, might as well give them publicity, boooooh) hasn’t met so far. So I’m trying to type this while swatting like a frenzied dolphin. The pool guys didn’t spot a major issue that my wife did, on first inspection. My solar panels stopped working during a power cut. We’re getting more and more of those, and things ain’t going to get any better with the current greenwash craze of simultaneously shutting down nuclear plants and buying EVs. This, when we had strictly specified, and paid for, a redundancy system. None of those 3 companies give a …
Tell you, everything was better before. TBC down the bottom.
Following from the top …
The thing is, the world isn’t going to $HIT, my stem cells are 😉 And with them, my patience for little irritations such as those mentioned in the intro.
The world isn’t going to $HIT, it is merely shifting to other priorities, other people, other models. In France, you need two young doctors to replace one that retires, because they just don’t want to spend their life working day and night. Can we blame them for choosing comfort over work? The great resignation/reconsideration is taking the world by storm. It is said that viruses are the main agents of evolution. Well, covid sure is making our societies change. Friction always causes thunder, but the feeling after the storm is always wonderful.
We need to embrace change.
In photography, for me at least, this means giving up on the romantic idea of a third Mamiya 7 or a second Linhof view camera, living – as I do – far from reliable labs, repair shops and film stock. Digital it is. I’ve given it much thought, and there are ways to make it work.
First of all, the tactile joy offered by analog cameras (and so irksomely violated by so many digital ones) can still be found with some gorgeous offerings from Hassy, Leica or Pixii (more on which very soon!) Secondly, film users tend to digitise their negatives or slides with … digital cameras. Why couldn’t I meet them halfway, coming from the other side of the road? No film preset matches the look of the original film. So what? An analog look is what I’m after, not a specific reference.
So this is my current fun experiment. I’m playing with highlight shoulders, clarity, colour casts and shifts, contrast, lens correction, grain … trying to find some interesting looks (hence the oddities inflicted on you on this page 😉 ) Most fail, but I’ll get there, eventually. It won’t fix my pool, power cuts or my mozzie infestation, but it’ll sure fix my temper 😉
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Things were better when very few people had cars. Most families had a radio – not everyone had a refrigerator – microwaves were unheard of – jet aircraft hadn’t been invented – tooth brushes weren’t the only “manual” device, lawnmowers, saws, drills and practically everything else had no motor in them. The “better cameras” shot 6×9 (centimetres) roll film, that you had to develop in the dark – or take to a chemist who had an agency for a lab that would print your shots and return them a week or two later.
Wouldn’t have made much difference if we DID have today’s “toys” – incomes were so skinny nobody much would ever have been able to afford them all.
But yes – we were happy. WW2 ended, and some of us were still alive. The post-war boom started getting underway, there were more jobs and better pay. The improvements were gradual, but hey, I love this computer!
“The past is a place that you can never return to”. I’m afraid I’ve left analogue behind for a reason – yours is different, , you say “tomayter”, I say “tomarto”. And !
Your quest for the “past look” might be given a nudge by some of the software out there now. I am wallowing in digi instead, because of that half century I spent with analogue – almost entirely in B&W – because it wasn’t practical to develop or print your own colour photos. No I can leave almost all of that behind me, and wallow in colour, instead.
Did we always have a reliable source of electricity – or gas – or petrol – or anything else? Not always. I’ve no idea what it was like in Europe at the time, but I have vivid memories of virtually NO gas to cook with and NO electricity – at times in short bursts, at others in longer ones.
I digress. Down to business, and week links.
Broomfield. Intriguing character. I’m glad to learn he was so successful. I kind of had the opposite trajectory – escaping from a cocoon that – well, yes – was certainly “comfortable”. But for me at least, it wasn’t satisfying. So I fled from my home city, crossed to the other side of the continent, and wallowed in the reality of a totally different lifestyle. When I left that and moved here, I left my past behind me, and ballooned into this city as a man without a past, without a profile. At odd times with people I’m close to, I’ve dredged into my memory book and brought at least some of it out – but mostly I still ignore it. The me I could have been has gone, and been replaced by the real person – hand crafted by the author.
Which is why I like my photos and take them for my own amusement, and frankly don’t much care if others don’t like them. One day perhaps I’ll assemble an eclectic selection of examples – and resurrect some of the comments they were slammed with. And submit it to PJ, to see if he thinks it’s suitable material for the consumption of other members of the DS circle.
Broomfield’s choices resonate with me. Deeply. And I am glad to see he was so successful. As they say in Derby, anyone can build a Rolls-Royce. But only a genius could take those photos! I’m afraid I can’t claim to be a genius – but I can claim to appreciate genius when I stumble across it. So thanks for that reference, Pascal.
Please do submit them to PJ 🙂
PS – I love the cat’s eye! Knowing what pet photography is like, that’s a sensational capture!
The Nadav Kander link: There’s something wonderful about his images – a real sense of otherness, of looking at things differently. The thoughts aren’t bad either and I’m left considering whether I spend too much time with preconceived ideas of the images I’m trying to take, rather than just reacting to what’s around me.
Checking the galleries, his prints are large. Atlantic Ocean III, 96.5 x 122cm, must look grand.
I think Erwin Olaf and Nadav Kander and two of the greatest living photographers. His prints are indeed spectacular. And, for someone of his caliber, remarkable “affordable” (at least compared to some of the absolute tosh being thrown around for more).
Your question is one I keep asking myself. I’ve always been frustrated by the lack of deep meaning in my photographs. At least meaning for the viewer. They are often pretty at best. But, then again, why not. And I think a possible answer to this is more what you do with the photographs, whether you present two together, than the photograph itself. In fact, two videos from The Art of Photography about Ralph Gibson give strong arguments in favour of this (they’re on Ted Forbes’ chanel right now and will be in the next series of links). So, that plus Nadav Kander’s thoughts, is quite interesting.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. The meaning you put into a photo is not necessarily going to be the same as the meaning someone else sees in that same photo.
Is an image “great” because a hundred thousand people view it and admire it? Can an image be “great” if only one person’s gaze was transfixed by it?
You can have colossal debates on some of these issues.
In fact, I think the most interesting aspect of this is the invisible connection between the story in the author’s mind and the story in the viewer’s!
And your second point is excellent too. As a marketer, I would answer that it’s better to have a deep impact on fewer people than a quick WOW rush in many, only to be forgotten later.
Deep meaning, so tricky. I’m not even sure if it’s what I’m after when I photograph. Photos that hold up to many repeat viewings for sure. Images that promote a state of mind? Fictive dreaming perhaps? Whatever it is, it’s more than elusive.
Ralph Gibson’s thoughts(cheers for the heads up) on overtones are interesting and make a lot of sense in the book format. A potential DS challenge? Side by side photos trying to invoke a bit of overtone magic.
Thanks for the enlargement software shootout link. I’ve got a few(very) photos from my 12MP fuji that I’d love to print larger than I should. Topaz Gigapixel might be the answer, I’ll give it a test-drive and see how it goes.
‘Pretty at best’, you undersell yourself. You take enough interesting images to keep DS going week after week. Also, some standout posts such as 1155 with great colour and mood. I’ve got that one bookmarked.
Thank you Mer 🙂
Meaning is probably not the right word, you’re right. The best we can do is to evoke something, I guess. But, yes, the litmus test is wanting to look at the photo over and over again. That’s no easy task.
Good idea about the challenge. I’m a bit lazy, and it’s a lot of work, but let’s give it a go 🙂