Sunday, January 18, 2015

Musical Interlude

Thought for the day
   by Tim Churcher on Facebook Photoshop and Lightroom Group, with permission
"Art is self-expression through making your own artistic decisions, as soon as you hand those decisions over to someone else, it ceases to be art and becomes painting by numbers. Making your own artistic choices is essential to developing as an artist, it is infinitely better to make your own mistakes than follow the 'correct' choices of other people. So if you have an artistic decision to make, you are the only one who can decide, if someone else does, it is no longer your art."
Tim was responding to an ongoing (to me, annoying) trend on the above-mentioned group, where people ask, "is this better in black and white or colour..." (dozens of times every day). I was trying to find a way of saying, "Dude, what does your vision tell you? What you think, is more important than what someone else thinks". I think he hit the nail on the head.

The other annoying thing to me on that group is the frequent plea, "what's the difference between Lightroom and Photoshop", or "I don't want to rent the software, where's the best place to buy Photoshop?", or "can someone tell me how Lightroom works". I've learned to simply scroll past those threads. They've now banned basic photography questions ("which camera should I buy...") but with close to 100,000 members there's a lot of traffic on the group. Check it out, though, if you're on FaceBook. It's a good resource, for Photoshop users of any level.


File storage
I just read a thread on Facebook where someone complained that there was no CD/DVD drive on their new computer. I'm pretty sure there's no floppy disk drive either... and I got to thinking about my archives of images going back 10 years or more, on CD and later, DVD. Even worse, my old company stuff (when I was in the desktop publishing business) is on 100Mb Zip drives. Haven't seen one of those in years!
Where's file storage going to be 5 or 10 years from now? Unless you diligently update your file storage to current technology, then do it again every few years, nobody is going to be able to ever retrieve or see your images. And yet, you can still see Leonardo da Vinci's pencil sketches from the 15th century and prehistoric cave paintings... what does that say about the disposable society in which we live today?
PS: I have copied images from 2006 onwards (and a few earlier ones) into my hard drive and imported them to Lightroom. But there's a ton more, including boxes and boxes of 35mm slides...
More Musings...

I'm not an elitist, OK? However I have not been inside a McDonalds in 40 years. Or in the drive-through. I take that back: I did eat there one time on a motorcycle trip when there wasn't anywhere else to eat, and when my kids were little they had a great play area for someone's birthday party...
Anyway, I would never eat their fast food, 'way too many calories and grams of fat. Someone gave me some French Fries that tasted like pressure-treated sawdust. If I do eat at a fast-food place it's Wendy's (good salads) or occasionally Harvey's (flame-broiled burgers). But people have been talking about their coffee, so I tried some. Note: I did NOT go into a McDonalds, I bought a package of the Tassimo McCafé disks. I'm hooked.
Don't get me wrong: Tim Horton's is my staple (although I don't like their dark roast, I prefer the Nabob versions) and a pot of coffee dripped through a conical filter from freshly ground Kirkland House Blend beans is an almost daily occurrence, but I have to admit that the McCafé stuff is pretty good!

Free Wallpaper

Here's a background picture for your computer monitor. Enjoy. I'd love to know how many people have downloaded and used it, so if you have, please drop me a note. If you want a different one, something you've seen on my blog, again shoot me an email request.

There's a widescreen version here (1920x1080), and
there's a standard version (1600x1200) here.
Simply open the page, right-click and "save as..." to save the image on your computer.

I don't just shoot landscapes...

Wendy invited camera club members to come out and shoot at the Celtic Music Jam group on the weekend. Turns out I was the only taker... which was good in a way because it was about a dozen people squished into a living room! She said afterwards she was amazed at how I made myself invisible, to which I responded, "yeah, like the elephant in the room"!

There were at least 4 more people who didn't make it into this wideangle shot! For the tekkies, I used a Gary-Fong-Diffused-speedlight off-camera, pointed at the ceiling with the top open. Treatment was with Topaz Adjust and then Impression/Chiaoscuro preset. I warmed up the white balance on purpose.

I switched to the 70-200mm for this shot, zooming in as tight as I could. Finished with Topaz Glow/Fur & Feathers and Chiaoscuro again. I never appreciated the latter filter until now, it really focuses attention on the selected area (the hand and violin fretboard). 

I guess you don't call it a "fretboard" on a violin since there are no frets. This isn't my kind of music but it was fun! I'm pretty sure these people don't know who Stevie Ray was...

Speaking of music, my new favourite guitarist is Tommy Emmanuel. Don't know who he is? YouTube him or just click here or here (with Bob Littel) for a sample. (OK, if you liked those, try this one).

This musician was a study in concentration. I don't think he's as severe as his expression indicates but I think the high contrast black-and-white conversion suits this image. There are some painting effects, but minimal, just for texture. And I used a lot of my black-and-white flower techniques on this image. 

I haven't been out shooting much. It's winter and although I talk a good show, well... and my ATV is in the shop (apparently going to cost me a ton of money to fix. I should have bought a newer one... oh well, it is what it is). I've been busy with other stuff – related, because a lot of it has to do with the camera club, etc. Have to get back to it. 

OH: and if you're in the area, remember to visit the Agnes Jamieson Gallery in Minden for the Juried Photo Exhibition. It's on until February 7th. Bring your wallet! (just kidding. Sort of...)

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