Archive for March, 2007

31
Mar
07

Finally up after a PHP upgrade

A couple of days ago, my web host upgraded me to a php5 server.
This, of cource, sent my page into the abbyss. After a lot of work, I have finally managed to get it back online.

There may be some links that still is wrong (I had to upgrade Drupal in the process, and teh newer Drupal works a tiny bit different).

22
Mar
07

Is Black and White an effect?

After I wrote my last post on black and white, I found this post on The Landscapist. I find it amusing how the author works himself up over the fact that quite many are referring to black and white as an effect. Is it really that important what they call it?

When you work a medium that is naturally limited to monochrome, I agree that B&W should not be considered an effect, but I firmly believe that when you use the digital medium, the choice to restrict the palette to only monochrome is an effect. But again, I don’t really think it is that important what you call it. What I think is important is the fact that a monochrome picture is further away from the reality as we see it than a color picture. I don’t say it is a bad thing, but something to be aware of. All photographic images are abstractions of the reality, and monochrome to a larger degree than color. The viewer must color the image with his own imagination.

Further down the post, I think it goes from being a bit childish and amusing to being just ridiculous. I respect that some photographers prefer a given medium, and think it looks better than others, but to write off others as being less of an art form is just bollocks. Many very gifted and successful people out there proves this wrong.

If you skip to another post, more or less on the same subject, at The Online Photographer, you’ll find an interesting comment by “Player”.

The way I see it, Mike, is that if your main interest is photographic memories (snapshots), or making money (pro photography), shoot digital. If photography is more a means of artistic expression, shoot film, preferably b&w. If you have many interests for your photography, shoot both.

I’m speechless!!
It’s as meaningless as if the sculptors would decide that the only true art is pieces hand-chopped out of Italian marble, everything else being just trivial rock crumbs made of people who doesn’t have the knowledge to admire the true art, and much less create something of their own.

Just to wrap things up, I would direct attention to the most sensible thing I’ve read about creativity and art.

Art is a verb, not a noun!

Go to Paul Butzis web site and read the whole thing.

18
Mar
07

Black and white image is just a color image with no colors

When I started photographing several years ago, I did almost everything in B&W. the main reason for this may be that it was the only medium I could afford to manage. Being on a budget, a color darkroom wasn’t an option. Like so many others, after a while I enjoyed to medium, both because it was fairly easy to manipulate, and because it was a bit more graphical than color.

So, time passes and I didn’t do much photographing until the digital age caught up with me last year. I still firmly believed that B&W was the only thing, but not so anymore. Digital image processing and printing blurs the borders between colors and monochrome. When does a picture stop being in color and start being monochrome when you pull the saturation down, and how does split toning fit into all this. What about a fully saturated color image of a naturally unsaturated environment, like a foggy winter landscape. It is technically a color picture, but there is no color information in it.

Maybe the distinction between color and b&w doesn’t apply as much anymore. After all, we’re using the same tools and materials to produce both. The terms were used to distinguise between two different techniques, much like painters differentiate between aquarel and oil painting. I haven’t heard a painting being classified as B&W, even if it only is limited to one color and the canavas. After all, it is still made using the same medium as a color painting, only with a smaller palette.

Todays digital photography is a medium of itself, separate from the old days b&w silver based, color negative or positive. It has the ability to reproduce most of the visible spectrum, and it is the artist choice to use or limit the palette to any degree.

My conclusion is that I will stop grouping my pictures in color and b&w.

18
Mar
07

Another go at my little project

Had another go at my little project last night. This time, I really had a hard time getting started. The sun was about to set, and it was very dark under the trees. I had my tripod, so it wasn’t a technical problem, but the light was a bit boring. Due to the nature of this project, I reallt tried to overcome that, and started to shoot anyway, and things got somewhat easier. No great pictures though, but I added a couple anyway.

20070317_026

You’ll find another one in the gallery section, along with the other pictures in this project.

13
Mar
07

New project – A small spot in the forest

for the last couple of months, I have thought about finding an interesting area in the forest close to my home and get as many pictures as possible out of it. Last weekend, I went searching, and about 15 minutes walk from home I found a small stream. My plan is to restrict myself to a 20-30 meter long strip along this stream. My rule is to always locate the camera within these limits. There is no other restrictions, but obviously it will be difficult to do anything that doesn’t involve nature.

If this turns out interesting, I hope to visit the place at least a couple of times each month. The end is open.

The reason why I’m doing this is that I tend to rush too much while I’m out shooting. With this project, I hope to get some exercise at looking for details where nothing obvious can be found.

I will try to add pictures to the gallery from each visit, even if they aren’t any good. The first two pictures are already added.

07
Mar
07

Reprocessed the last picture

It’s funny how time makes you change your mind about thıngs. The last week, I’ve had some prints of this picture lying around, but not in the version you see in this post. Have a look at the previous blog post to see the old image.

2006-10-07_0942006-10-07_094

I find that I very seldom manage to produce a picture that I’m happy with the first time around. Usually it takes at least a week, maybe more. Most of this time is spend doing other things, and occationally looking at the print. I ave started to take notes on the prints during this period, and when I have gathered enough notes, I reprocess the image.

I was happy about the motive, but the processing wasn’t that good. It was a bit dull and gray. Didn’t have the right punch, so I decided to get a little bit more serious with it. The solution was to apply different curves on different parts of the image. The arcs over the windows, the columns on the left and the man was individually selected for some curve treatment. Doing this revealed much nose in these areas, but nothing that noise ninja couldn’t handle.

I must say that I personally find the result much more pleasing.




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