On the Road Again

shutterstock_93355207It’s been a trying year to say the least.  Lockdowns, restrictions, cancellations, disappointments, even changes to things as simple as ordering food.  I went to a local take-out place recently, only to be told that no more than 2 could be inside the take-out order area and that once my order was placed, I had to wait in a pre-marked parking area, in my car.  Businesses and people are adapting.  I have to admire how well we are adapting.  But it still sucks.  And on top of it all, my blog host, WordPress.com, decided to completely replace the blog editor I was familar with.  Hence no posts for the last two cycles.  An old dog can learn new tricks, but it sure takes a lot longer.  I decided recently that I needed a break from it all, and with restrictions in place, took a trip north to two parks. Continue reading “On the Road Again”

Crossroads

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”

Competition is Bad?

There was an article this week from a Japanese market analyst who argued that competition in the camera industry is leading to the decline of the camera industry.  He cited the announcement of Olympus recently who have shut down/sold off their consumer camera business.

I have only one reaction to the story.  Duh! Continue reading “Competition is Bad?”

Jumping into the Deep End

I can’t resist commenting on the release this week of Canon’s new mirrorless flagship cameras, the EOS R5 and EOS R6.  There are lots of technical commentaries out there; instead, I want to document how I felt listening to the details of the release. Continue reading “Jumping into the Deep End”

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”

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”

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”