How Far Would You Go?

A recent news report told the story of 3 young Vloggers (I guess that means video bloggers) who decided that climbing to the top of a waterfall in British Columbia and recording from the edge would be a good thing.  In a tragic accident, all three died.

Vloggers

It seems you can develop a huge following and make a lot of money by throwing risk to the wind, going where or doing what you shouldn’t and recording your exploits.  Post the experience and you are almost guaranteed a following.  And in this modern world, the interest is instant, with the post potentially spreading worldwide in minutes.  Instant stats on views and likes encourage the next big trick, the next even more daring stunt. Continue reading

Computational Photography – The Next Big Thing?

Ok, don’t panic.  I can hear all of my photographer friends out there slamming their computers, tablets and phones shut.  It can’t be happening:  photography evolving into something that uses math, algorithms and logic to deliver the “decisive moment”?  Say it ain’t so!  Oh, but it is, and I think we will be better off for it.  At least I hope we will.

neural-net copyI’ve been hearing and reading quite a bit about this thing called computational photography.  It is such a new field that what’s in and what’s out, or even the language with which it is communicated, is not yet well defined.  But it can be applied to any form of optical capture, whether in the science lab or in the artist’s studio.

Just as digital photography revolutionized the medium by converting light into numbers through sensors and processors, computational photography manipulates those numbers “in camera” through layers of new software, providing the photographer with new options, like correcting capture problems after the fact or applying a wide variety of creative effects.

It’s actually been around in the engineering and computer science universe for more than a decade, but practically speaking, is now having a huge impact in pro and consumer photography, particularly in the latest smartphones. Continue reading

Photographers I Admire

To be a good photographer is to be a lifelong student of the craft.  There is no such thing as a photographer that knows it all.  Even if you are the most technically proficient expert around, the art of photography is something that needs attention for as long as you shoot.

I’ve noticed an evolution of my abilities and interests over the 4 years since I took to this seriously.  I’m not bragging.  Far from it.  Some things have become second nature while others send me down a rabbit hole of discovery, wrong turns and sometimes an “ah-ha” moment.  But the most mind-intensive introspection, for me, occurs when I’m examining the work of other photographers.  I’ve come to realize that this is a good thing, even if it leaves me with more questions than answers. Continue reading

Being Sociable

Radio copyI come from a generation born before televisions were common in middle class homes.  We relied on a radio for news and our only “social network” was the people we knew in the neighbourhood, at school, through our parents or through our church.  Getting your name out there was done by word of mouth and by advertising on the radio and in the “yellow pages” or other print publications.

Yet just a couple years ago, I was told that repuations were made in photography by having a presence on as many online sources as possible, particularly social media and sharing networks.  Word of mouth is still very big in photography, but increasingly, I was told, new business comes from being discovered on these sites.  Word of mouth, while still important, was also now equally “word of post” or “word of tweet”. Continue reading

An Up-Close Look at Macro Photography

One of my favourite genres of photography is macro.  The most common definition of macro photography is photographing small subjects up-close, but technically, that definition is wrong.

To find out what it really is, check out the talk I gave recently at my local camera club.  Also some tips on how to get started.

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Breakin’ Up is Hard to Do

When I first took up photography full-time in 2014, I became completely joined at the hip to Adobe’s photography-related products:  Lightroom and Photoshop.  For many years before then, we had just been casual acquaintances.  Over the years, we’ve settled into a very comfortable and predictable relationship.  We’ve grown older together, seen changes around us and tried to adapt as best we could.

But sometimes you grow apart as a result.  When Adobe first moved completely into a subscription model and last year announced its intention to move more into cloud and web-based image editing, I knew that we were on the skids and destined, someday, for a breakup.

Well, that day has come, sort of.  As of today, I’ve moved out of Lightroom, trading in its familiar interface for the new face of ON1 Photo Raw. Continue reading