ON1 360 Released

I don’t usually spend time on product reviews or the hype around new products, but this one caught my eye – the release of ON1’s latest software and a new service called ON1 360.

On1 360 Released

One of the most frustrating aspects of photography for me has been the inability to manage and edit photographs on a variety of platforms, when and where it was convenient for me.

Desktops are becoming more and more powerful, but who wants to sit in front of one for the day.  In this age of needing minor pleasures, it would be awesome to be able to manage and edit my photographs on my patio, with a cold drink beside me.  My iPad has more than enough capability to do that – it just needed the tools. Continue reading “ON1 360 Released”

Putting Your Best Face Forward

As someone who does the odd presentation (and I don’t mean my presentations are odd) to camera clubs and other special events, I’ve become more used to public speaking each time I do it.  It took me a long time to feel comfortable with it, and even still, I usually don’t eat on the day of a major event.  I worry about pulling it off.  I replay the event over and over in my head.  What I worry about most is the audience reaction.

AudienceThere are tips for audience engagement, not the least of which is the notion of turning your delivery into a conversation, away from a monologue.  People respond best when they feel you are speaking directly to them and pausing for them to react.

Whether in small or large groups, the ability to wander, to look people in the eye, to see their facial expressions and to anticipate their reactions is what can make or break an event.  It’s easy to do in small groups, harder in large halls with dim lights.  But how the heck do you replicate that in a video conference?

Continue reading “Putting Your Best Face Forward”

Up and At ‘Em

I took my camera out of its bag a couple days ago.  Lovingly brushed it off and attached a favourite focal length lens – my 24-105 f/4.  I use this lens for much of my walking around shooting.  But as we all know, there hasn’t been much walking around to be had lately.

As I turned knobs and adjusted settings, more and more came back to me about why I love photography.  The choices available and decisions made around capturing a photograph give a sense of control and accomplishment to my day.  While they can also be a source of frustration, for the most part, they are positive.

Proceed with CautionThis week, our provincial authority once again allowed visits to local parks and recreation areas.  Day trips only, no camping, no lounging.  We can walk through, stop for a few minutes to see the sights, and move on, all the way staying wary of the need for social distancing and self-protection.  Retail and many service businesses are also opening with restrictions.

There have been such a wide variety of plans released by all levels of government to give us our lives back.  Frankly, some don’t make sense to me, but I give full credit to politicians for doing their best to navigate the complexity of sanity, economy and safety. Continue reading “Up and At ‘Em”

There But For…

April 16 2020.  No, that’s not the day of this post.  It’s the day I woke up with a sore, scratchy throat.  I was puzzled but unconcerned, since I had been in semi-self-imposed lockdown for more than three weeks.

IMG_0170I had ventured out for groceries, and to the drug store and pet store, and even made a stop or two at the home centre.  All within my municipality – heck, all within 10 km.  At no time did I wander – always in and out knowing exactly what I was there for.  So no chance of being exposed – or so I thought.

But over the two weeks since, I’ve lived a mild version of what many others have experienced.  It’s been the strangest illness ever, with no symptoms of some things and problematic symptoms otherwise.  Continue reading “There But For…”

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Almost everything I read or watch now starts with “because of the situation we are in” and proceeds to explain why things are being handled differently than usual.  In many ways, I admire the creativity of people generally and of our community of photographers especially.

Those who make an income from photography are developing ways to stay connected to their audiences and are still finding ways to earn income.  Others are creating unique experiences, either by showing an aspect of their talents that had not been seen before, or by offering more intimate, less structured connection time with fans and supporters.  I applaud them all.

The Good The Bad The Ugly

But hitting home most for me is what “this situation” is revealing about the society we live in, the life we take for granted, and the problems we have ignored for too long. Continue reading “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly”

Working from Home

1700 square feet. My universe right now. A backyard too, and a weekly trip in the car to the grocery store. In and out in 30 minutes.

Home - Top ViewMost of us have similar stories. In fact, exactly the same stories.

Efforts to stay connected to friends and family, and to be productive at home, have been marginally successful.  At first it was kind of surreal:  figuring out how to do things remotely that normally are done face to face.  Strangely, part of the problem now seems to be that in our increasingly technology-driven world, using technology ALL the time gets monotonous and boring quite quickly.  I’m of a generation that never had technology until we became adults.  We still choose other ways to get things done.  Now we can’t. Continue reading “Working from Home”

We Are All Connected

There is no greater proof that we are all connected on this planet than the spread of and response to COVID-19, the novel corona virus.  It seems somehow petty to consider writing about camera gear, creative struggles, even our successes when the world is dealing with this situation.  So I won’t.  Continue reading “We Are All Connected”

Pure Filtered Photos

Lee Starter KitOver the past year, I decided to include filters in my camera kit.  I took them on several trips and even on local outings, determined to take the time to use them properly.  I started out with the standard collection of screw-on filters – a polarizer, a variable neutral density filter and a graduated neutral density filter.  I quickly discovered the pros and cons of these types of filters and expanded my kit to include a square-format drop-in filter system.  This consisted of a lens adapter, filter holder and a variety of 100mm square filters.

It’s been an interesting experience that I thought was worth sharing.  Here’s what I’ve learned.

Continue reading “Pure Filtered Photos”

Too Much Insta in my Gram

Apart from my YouTube cruising, looking for interesting photography experiences and inspiration, I indulge in several subscription services that touch on everything from photographic history to how today’s technical developments influence photographic arts.

The_Instagram_LogoRecently, one of these subscription channels included a short discussion on how Instagram has influenced the way photographers approach their art.  The premise was that Instagram has completely changed photography.  Their argument:  its technical requirements and this generation’s social norm of wanting instant gratification and continuous stimulation of the senses has resulted in a new standard for photography.  What is that new standard? Continue reading “Too Much Insta in my Gram”

On the Hunt for Fine Art

We tried a new concept in our local camera club this year:  small special interest groups that would do a deep dive into one subject.  The group would decide how, what, where, when and why, and also for how long.  One of the groups I joined is looking at Fine Art, in all its forms, as a key to improving our own photography.

shutterstock_105461507But first we had to decide what the heck is “fine art”?  We’ve had several animated discussions in the past few months, even a field trip to our local art gallery.  In the past, I’ve written about photography as art and thought that experience would help, but no.  For all the “deep diving” on this subject, I’m not really much further ahead.  Why is this so hard? Continue reading “On the Hunt for Fine Art”