Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Can you fit creativity in a formula?

twisted and convoluted musings... if you have no idea what I'm trying to say here, well me too! If you do, please share it with me!
I'm trying to come up with an explanation why I've fallen behind on my blog posts. I know that thousands of people wake up every morning and are disappointed that there's no new article posted here. I can't tell you how many people have written to wonder what's going on! Well I could tell you, but then I'd have to...
Some of you haven't gotten around to clicking that "Newsletter"button at upper right. Please do so I can give you a heads up when a new article is about to appear. Once a week or so. You can unsubscribe with just one click, so don't be scared!
It also helps me get the word out about deals available: for instance the 33% discount on Topaz DeNoise going on until the end of June. Click this link and use the coupon code, "JUNEDENOISE". 

I've developed a theory so here it is in all its glory. Please try to follow my convoluted thinking!  It's about a function called "Ж", pronounced "Zheh".

Someone said, "The Sum of a Man's Sins is a Constant". Unbelievably, Google doesn't know who said it! If I were guessing, I'd say Robert A. Heinlein, who also said one should grok life in fullness.

The implication is that if you decrease one indulgence, the others increase to compensate for it. Smoke less, you drink more. If you don't drink, you enjoy carnal pleasures. Or any of the other sins. You grok?

I eat.

I think it's not really a constant, it bears a topological relationship with age and life experience and one needs to do a differential analysis to define the function.
Let's call the function "Springer's Sigma". "ς"

I think creativity works the same way. The Sum of one's Creative Expressions is a Constant. If you get interested in one creative outlet, the others will decline. Make sense?

For example, a while ago I decided I really want to try putting a paintbrush on canvas. A real paintbrush, not a digital one. The creative spirit that was directed towards creating photographs has been partly redirected. So has my writing drive. Similarly, listening to Tommy Emmanuel's virtuoso guitar has really revived my interest in expressing myself musically. I bought a decent guitar and play it every day. But I haven't turned on my piano keyboard in months, that creative drive has also been redirected.

I'm slowly getting better at both of those things (guitar and painting). Although I've hit a plateau in both, which is really frustrating. And at the same time I'm shooting pictures, and I'm still writing but each day I have to decide on which endeavour I should concentrate that day.

I'm calling that function,  "Glenn's Zheh" or "Ж"

ς is obvious.  It's the lower case Greek letter Sigma (when it's used to end a word). Sigma is usually used to express "sum" and the word Sin begins with 'S'. 

Ж is a Cyrillic letter. It's a voiced palato-alveolar sibilant that has no equivalent in Western alphabets but it has "alvar" in it and I've been shooting bird pictures in the Carden Alvar, so there you go.

The total amount of energy one has to devote to creative pursuits is mitigated by one's perceived age and general state of health and can be expressed as:

Ж = f(λ)/π²•η

where lambda represents laziness, pi is perceived age and eta is health.

So I have a decreasing Zheh which has been spread over several disciplines so that's why I haven't written my blog in a couple of weeks. Make sense?

PanAm Games

And I'm gearing up for the PanAm Games. I did get my press credentials, it's really exciting!

Apparently with this I can go get my actual press pass and the vest they're issuing to photographers and journalists, without which you don't get in to any venues. The bad news is that I have to trek down to the CNE to pick it up next week.

The more I learn about the Whitewater venue, the less happy I am! They've sold 500 spectator tickets (yeah, where are they going to stand?) and they've closed the east side of the river to everyone because it's too dangerous. Press positions will be limited too, and spaces are first-come-first-served but I'll bet CTV and CBC and SportsNET will be hogging all the good spots! I guarantee it's going to be a challenge!

I might also try to go to the Shooting venue in Innisfil one day (I think it's the old "Toronto International Trap and Skeet" club). I just read that Susan Nattrass is leading the Canadian team: she shot in the 1976 Olympics! I worked with her brother Brett at one point. Also Don Kwasnycia is coaching. I knew him back then too.

Speaking of the Carden Alvar...

I don't want to bore you to death with endless pictures of exotic flora and fauna. If you're interested, I put images up on a SmugMug page here: If you click any image and hover your mouse over the lower left corner, you can see a description.

Here's one of my latest shots, it's a barn swallow shot at the blind on Wylie Road. Click here to see more images.

I thought I'd try a couple of the new features in Photoshop CC 2015. All this has is multiple strokes on the text but I thought it would make a good header picture. There's one really hot new feature – dehaze – but I'll show you that next week

I attended the Mud Bog last weekend. Last year I got my camera all muddy and it took me hours with Q-tips and other cleaning tools to get it clean. This year I was more careful!

If you don't know what a "Mud Bog" is, check out this video. Shot with the N70-200/2.8 on my D800.
This guy makes it look easy! It isn't.

A couple of my favourite shots from the event. 

They also had a "show and shine" and I should have stayed around but instead, I went to another event, the Food Fair at Wintergreen's.

Our host, Tom, was smoking a couple of turkeys. If this doesn't get your salivary glands working, you must be a vegetarian or something! 

Here are a few flower pictures for your enjoyment!

I'm waiting for the mailman to deliver the set of extension tubes I ordered. In the meantime, these were shot with my N70-200 f/2.8 and cropped a little bit.

This is a poppy-to-be, at my next-door neighbour's. 

An Iris, same place 

At my house, I have more plants than flowers. This is a Hosta (I think!) 

On the side of Highway 35 there's a Lupin patch. Some Topaz Impression gave it that painterly look.

One for the Road

We did a mini-food photography workshop at the camera club. This was a setup I styled, and I shot it using some continuous lights and a light tent, plus an off-camera strobe to soften the shadows. Again, Topaz Impression for finishing, using one of the Georgia O'Keeffe presets. 

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