Well ain’t this grand. I logged into my WordPress account today to begin to write my next post and found a completely new editor. I was warned that it was coming, but I ignored it. Far from being “easy” and “versatile” and “quick”, it requires that I select “blocks” of content types, arrange them on a page, fill in the content of each block and test the layout for views on computers, tablets and phones. I’ve never been good with puzzle pieces, and I won’t use more than half of the block types available, so the change was a less than stellar one for me.
I didn’t intend this to be the topic of my post, but somehow it is fitting. Being forced to change my paradigm is a good thing right now. Everybody needs a restart or a refresh from time to time. But my first reaction was admittedly “WTF”. I’ve had more of those moments this week too.
Ok, so the initial shock has worn off and I’m now getting used to selecting and dropping in content blocks. Even images drop in seamlessly. But I have to change the way I think about my post. I typically write the text, then drop in content. Not any more. Content placement first, then writing the text. Getting there. But on to something more important.
Continue reading “Crossroads”
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.
Recently, 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”
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.
But 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”
I went on a photography retreat a week ago, in a location I had never been to before, with amazing natural features and unique architectural/cultural features as well. It should have been heaven for me. In many ways it was, with the most mind blowing feature being the ability to see the night sky without interference from city light pollution.
But I discovered that when some things are not what you expect, or not particularly pleasant, they can affect your entire outlook on an otherwise “stellar” experience. I didn’t appreciate just how much emotion factors into my photography. Continue reading “Photography is a State of Mind”
One of the best ways to improve your photography (other than by shooting lots) is to objectively examine your work and let others do so too.
It seems there are as many ways as there are people to deliver a critique for an image. Some concentrate on the technical, supposedly objective, aspects that anyone can see; some on the storyline; some on the overall presentation. Feedback can range from how the image makes the viewer feel, right through to steps to “fix” it.
This post gives you my take on critiques. It’s my opinion. My critique of critiques. Continue reading “Critiquing Photo Critiques”
A bit late with this post. It is summer, after all, here in Canada.
A couple of new announcements in July caught my attention because I use both products but also because they are clear examples of the changing face of photo editing.
Skylum announced the upcoming release of Luminar 4, scheduled for sometime in the fall. Originally released in 2017, the company and the product have gone through some interesting evolutions.
Topaz Labs released the next version of its Studio software, completely redesigning the interface, and redefining its associated pricing model.
Both products are standalone photo editors. Both products also provide plugin options for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. But that’s not what makes them interesting. Continue reading “The Changing Face of Photo Editing”
Lots of articles are written about gear, editing software, and training for both. Lots more are written about composition – rules and tips. Lighting, time of day, angle, selecting the subject – all of these receive wide commentary from writers, vloggers and trainers alike.
I can shoot an image, I can even stage a scene. But more often than I would like, I completely blank out when I bring the raw image onto the computer. I ask myself – now what? What’s the final look I want to achieve with this image? How should I present it?
To those photographers who always know what the result will be, even before they shoot, I applaud you. I’ve listened to photographers speak of their work in exquisite detail, outlining every capture and adjustment decision and why they made it. I envy them.
I have friends who deliberately do minimal edits. I have others who retouch to the point of the original piece serving only as a framework for a piece of art. Frankly, I rarely like either extreme. So I guess I’ve made my first decision – establishing a boundary around my edits.
Why is it so hard to know what to do next? A few random thoughts come to mind. Continue reading “Knowing What To Do (with an Image)”
Twice a month, we have the pleasure of listening to amateur and professional photographers talk about their work at our local camera club. It’s typically entertaining, sometimes thought provoking, but truthfully, only rarely compelling.
What do I mean by compelling? For me, that means photography with a clear message, obvious story and emotional reaction. Compelling may show human beings, other lifeforms, places on earth (or not on earth), human activities, the impact of human activities and on and on. But in all cases, there’s has to be something about the work, the way it is presented that is different from what I’ve seen before.
While the familiar can also be compelling – for me, any shots of mountain ranges or oceans, for example – the unfamiliar is another way to get my attention.
In a recent visit, a pro photographer by the name of Dave Sandford definitely got my attention. Along with stunning photographs, Dave told story after story after story and backed it up with undeniable proof. That proof was video. Continue reading “How to Produce Compelling Photography – Shoot Video Too”
I recently became aware of an effort in Ontario to establish a museum of photography. It’s intended to house artifacts and images relating to the history of photography in my home province.
In this day and age of instant history, with uploads to Facebook and a multitude of other social media platforms, with cloud storage options and sharing galore, I wondered what place there might be for a physical museum of photography. So I set out to find out. Continue reading “Recording History”
A while ago, I began hearing a term that I wasn’t familar with: lookup tables (LUTs). Curious, I “looked up” the definition, and was mildly puzzled to see it defined as a series of values in table format that helps you interpret or translate another set of values.
What does that have to do with photography? As it turns out, every part of a digital image is a set of values – for size, dimensions, camera settings, colour space, etc. We’ve long had the ability to manipulate any one value to our liking through the sliders we see in modern editing software. Now it seems we also have the ability to redefine broad swaths of data at once. Find out how. Continue reading “Looking at Lookup Tables (LUTs)”