The Reunion

•September 10, 2019 • Leave a Comment

This one is a bit more personal. I’ll only post one photograph. I thought this photo represents the idea of a family reunion. Even though the family site is public, in order to provide some privacy, I won’t post everything, especially of the children. We have to protect them. There is truly evil in the world.

The following story is sad.

Our family is close and extended. We have a large family reunion every year. There is a lot of very good food that most cardiologists will advise you not to eat. There is a lot of good conversation and fellowship, surprising in today’s culture. Get in touch with your roots if you can. Graft yourself into some roots if you don’t know where you came from.

Reunion food! I can stand anything except temptation, and I got trapped by banana pudding. It was not the boxed pudding mix plus bananas, only fit for emergency consumption, but the real egg custard, vanilla wafer, and ripe banana variety that will fulfill your wildest dreams. Ah! Still thinking of it, but I surely did feel it when I hit the gym yesterday.

Sidetracked as usual, so back to the story. We have a reading of the minutes and during the reading, we announce the ones who have died in the past year. We’re all generally pretty healthy, so the list usually is not long (thank you Lord). This year, one name hit me. I’ll just call her Cousin J.

Cousin J. died in January this year. She had a list of people to contact. My older brother was on the list, but for some reason the person responsible did not call him, so the first we heard of her passing was when her name was read aloud.

It is always a shock. It does not matter if it is expected. I heard this one time regarding a conversation, talking of someone who had died, “Was his death untimely?” “Aren’t they all,” was the response. Every death is untimely. Solomon said we have eternity written in our hearts. There is a sense we have of something more beyond this life. Death comes to us all, but it is always a scandal.

In my twenties, I was part of a quartet, The City Folk, which was sort of a Peter, Paul, and Mary – esque singing group. Cousin J. sang with us in the group. She had a beautiful voice, an alto. She was an Elvis fan. Elvis was her Number 1 Number 1, and she left behind a lot of Elvis memorabilia. She was a member of a women’s singing group, The Sweet Adelines.

I think you may be able to open this. It may be set to private. I can’t recall. Around the 2:30 minute mark on the vid, you’ll be able to hear Cousin J. in the chorus. We recorded it in the basement of my best friend’s then future wife. It’s not a great recording, not our best sound, a private tape to be shared strictly among friends. However, it presents about two minutes of a life, now gone. I have hope of seeing her again one day.

I played this recording for my cousin, who is handling Cousin J.’s estate. We talked at the reunion about Cousin J. She said to me, “I didn’t even know she could sing.”

The point of all this is the obvious: Life is short. There is not enough time in the world. There is not enough time to love. Not enough time to learn about someone. Not enough time to share stories. Yet we all want to be known intimately.

We have stories hidden by years, covered over and buried deeply by life, hidden even from the people closest to us. The person from way back when is so different from the person now. None of us are given the opportunity to tell the story of who we are and how we became that person.

Like I said, this is a sad story. If you have a real “hope” then at least your story will be known one day.

Selah

I Went for a Walk: Derelict Amusement Park

•September 4, 2019 • Leave a Comment

They say you won’t die until your work on earth is finished. I am so behind now, I may live forever.

I have so many projects going on. The time consuming one is finding negatives and slides to “scan” to convert them from analog to digital. I have several hundred, maybe a thousand slides, mostly Kodachrome with just a few Ektachrome.

If you are not familiar with either, Kodachrome was THE standard in color film for decades. Believe it or not, the Kodachrome you have in Technicolor movies and photographs was invented in the early 1930’s by two professional musicians,  Leopold Godowsky Jr. and Leopold Mannes. Imagine that and think about trying to do something similar today. You’d have teams of people, millions of dollars in R&D and marketing. Yet these two guys did it just sort of fiddling around. (Pun. There was a pun.)

Anyway, so I have a ton of slides and I am copying them. I ran across photos I took of a derelict amusement park, located somewhere on the Carolina Beach Road between Wilmington and Kure Beach, NC. The property and the abandoned rides are long gone. I said derelict and not abandoned at first because there was water being pumped from somewhere into one of the kiddie pools.

The place fascinated me, and I took several shots just to record it. To me, it symbolized the kind of decay our amusements enjoy over time. They become old, battered, and worn out. We hold onto them too long when it would be better to abandon them. Ooh. Deep thoughts.

I thought I might return to explore it more, but for whatever reason, I did not.

Instead, you get to view these digital copies of the Kodachrome slides, and I want to show you some digital artifacts that occurred when I photographed the slides with my trusty Nikon D7500, with an advanced APS-C sensor, yielding about a 20 mb file full of information, and then processed the files in Photoshop Elements RAW processor.

Here is the gallery. Click on the images to enlarge them.

First take a look at the first image of the water slide. My comment. Eastman Kodak had a monopoly on processing Kodachrome film until about 1954, I believe. Before then, you purchased the film and processing together. So after you shot a roll, you mailed it off to Kodak, and a week later or so, you got your processed slides returned. That is correct, it took a week or longer by mail. I happen to live on the East Coast, so my film went to New York. Those closer to the West Coast had their film processed in Los Angeles. Go ahead and laugh.

Well Kodak lost a court case, and competition to process the film came about. Kodak was hurting. Then there were the E6 labs all over the place (think Ektachrome). Agfa, Ilford, Fuji, and others were eating Kodak’s lunch. Eventually this great film was discontinued after 74 years in production. Imagine any technology today lasting more than a couple years. It is still considered an archival standard for color photographs. Of course jpeg and tiff have a handle on digital images.

With the downturn of the product and the changes in photography, processing just was not up to the old Kodak standard. Slides were many times covered in trash from the chemistry. I guess it was cost cutting. Here is an example from the first photograph, a section of the sky in the upper left of the image. Notice the black blotches. Those are on the slide, folks. It came from processor like that. Yuk. Try to sell that to a customer.

In Photoshop you have two handy tools to clean up this junk. One is the Clone Stamp tool, and the other is the Healing Brush tool. They do similar things.

You set the Clone Stamp tool over an area of the image to copy. You select the area by doing an alt+left click. Then you place the tool over the trashy spot and click again, and the spot disappears. You can adjust the pixel dimensions of the tool with a slider to cover larger or smaller areas.

The Healing Brush is similar. Instead you just select the pixel size of the tool, maybe a little wider than the Clone Stamp. You then place it over the area to fix, and click. Photoshop interpolates what you want to happen and does it. It is very handy for sky, clouds, and water. You can fix blemishes in portraits too. If you are not satisfied, then try the Clone Stamp.

Here is about the same area of sky and clouds after I applied the clone and healing brush. It’s not perfect, and I may return to smooth it all out.

I thought I might sell some of my slides as stock images, but sadly, there is just too much trash like the specks and grunge.

If you are going to sell stock photos you better have technically superb photographs. This is my rookie season. Never sold stock before. Right now I am batting about 750. I think that may be pretty good. I am learning what they want. I am learning what sells. At least, I sure hope I am learning what sells.

Micro-stock agencies like Shutterstock do not want to see an image in a 1 mb file. Neither do their customers. They do not want to see digital artifacts like color compression, posterization, and grain. Posterization is common especially with jpegs, in oversaturated areas of color. It helps to shoot your original image in RAW and adjust your exposures, contrast, saturation, etc. before converting the image to its final jpeg format. Make sure your flower petal has detail and is more than just a big blob of color.

Even if my original photos of the park were near perfect, even if the grunge was not present, and the skies were clear blue and smooth, there is something else that disqualifies the images above. Take a look at the elephant holding the golf ball with its trunk. Click to enlarge it. What do you see?

Below is an enlarged section of the image showing the elephant trunk. What do you notice outlining the trunk, top and bottom? See that reddish outline on top and the blue outline on the bottom? It is called fringing. You may not even notice it in a casual view, but I guarantee the eagle eyes at the stock agencies will. It is not good enough to sell.

It was most likely introduced by my zoom lens that I use in macro mode to make the copies. Or it could be the processor in the D7500 itself. Don’t get all touchy. I am not saying bad things about Nikon. I love Nikon. But digital is digital. You ought to have seen this kind of thing when digital was a brand new technology.

Anyway, I have not figured out a way to easily remove it. For grins I converted the image to monochrome. Take a look below. There is still a fringe, less noticeable, but still present in the gray tones. These photographs were all about color. I do not think I want black and white here. I’ll have to consider it.

My best advice is make sure this kind of garbage is not in the original. Maybe I ought to spend more on the lens. Yeah. All I need is a new lens. Or maybe Adobe Lightroom has tools specifically created to de-fringe. I have seen a couple YouTube videos I may try. If they work, I will let you know.

Correcting these kinds of digital problems are tediously time consuming, and they drive me crazy. The return on my time invested is too small, and I need to move past this to other images.

Thank God for rejection notices. They really do help you improve. Seriously. No, I mean they really do. Really.

Selah

UPDATE: Yay! Found that there is a lens aberration tool both in Photoshop and Lightroom. Sadly, not out of the box in Photoshop Elements. BUT, there is and independent plugin. Here is video #1. And here is video #2. They show how to get rid of the fringe using the lens aberration tool. As I said, Elements does not have the tool available. This is where Elements + comes in. I am reviewing it now.

Good luck.

Ducks and Tree Scarves

•August 21, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I went for a walk.

I have a wedding to photograph coming up soon. This is the first one since restarting my photography business. So I have been retesting equipment.

When I photograph a wedding I carry backups for the backups. For the one coming up, I will have 3 Nikon cameras, four lenses, 3 flash units. I checked out the Nikon stuff yesterday, especially my old reliable SB-800 and the much less expensive but equally impressive Yongnuo YN685.

I used to shoot with the Vivitar 283. I miss them. They were simple, light, consistent and reliable. Seems in many reviews, the Yongnuo 685 has replaced them. My opinion of them so far is they are good to excellent. I have trouble with their menu screen and selections. They are not intuitive in my opinon, but they are very inexpensive and they work on manual settings with an umbrella very well for casual portraits. Disclaimer so you won’t consider me some gear curmudgeon: I am still learning about the flash.

My backup backup that I will take, and the one for the party shots will be a Sony A6000 with the 16-50 f3.5, kit lens, and the 19mm f2.8 Sigma DN “Art” lens. The Art lens is Sigma’s best glass. Sigma competes with Canon L and other quality lenses, but for a whole lot less money, especially if you buy used from the good folks at KEH Camera Brokers right here in my hometown. I have not been paid by KEH for the plug (maybe they will). It’s that I have been dealing with them since they opened their first location on Spring Street, in Atlanta 40 something years ago. I have never had a problem with them. I understand business is business, things happen, and your opinion may be different.

There are much better, more complete reviews on dpreview.com. All I am showing here are some images I got in testing/retesting equipment. I will say the camera is a joy to use. Eventually, I will tire of even the weight of the Nikon. Travel light and fast. The Sony A6000 (and others in their line) might be a good switch.

I love my town, Smyrna, Georgia. It is known as one of the top 50 cities in the country, according to Money Magazine. It is a suburb of Atlanta, provides excellent services for the taxes they collect from us, it has good schools, and it is “incoveniently” located close to top destinations in metro Atlanta. It is home of the Smyrna Braves, also known as the Atlanta Braves too. Traffic is horrific in Atlanta. We’re full now, so don’t move here until someone dies or otherwise moves out.

I tested equipment in the park around the Smyrna Community Center. I saw these scarves on the trees… I am not sure why you put scarves on trees, but the sign says it was a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of trees. Cool. I love trees. Here we have a Firey Skipper butterfly, a grand duck with flaming red face, the tree scarves, and an old piano that they keep on the front porch of the community center for folks to play. There is another one inside a gazebo around the corner as well. Tell me, where else can you find a town with even one piano available for folks to bang on. We have two! Love this place.

Selah.

The Need for Less

•August 12, 2019 • Leave a Comment

When I started photographing, it was all about friends and fun. My gear was a Kodak Instamatic 126. Photography was all about friends and fun. It was about the moment, what we were doing. It was about girls I liked, too.

I remember a cold wet November Saturday. We were all students. Us guys were all Georgia Tech students, except my younger brother who I invited along, and girls were from Georgia Baptist School of Nursing (now part of Mercer University), and from Georgia State. We all hung out together almost every weekend.

So Tech was playing football out of town, getting slaughtered by Southern Cal, or UCLA, I cannot recall. It was a dismal day, so someone had an epiphany: ROAD TRIP! We grabbed some food and drinks, and my younger brother, we all piled into someone’s car, and off to north Georgia we drove.

We stopped along the side of the road several times. I took pictures. We ate under the cover of a an abandoned drive through. The food was cold, everyone was cold, but it was great. I took pictures. Then we explored other abandoned buildings nearby. I took pictures.

I don’t recall what town it was or used to be, but the buildings were old, abandoned, wooden, weathered from elemental decay, and almost fully consumed by kudzu.

Kudzu originated in Japan as arrowroot. It was brought to the States during the Depression to stop erosion. No one knows if that worked or not, because no one has seen the ground since, says Lewis Grizzard. I cannot find the citation for this quote. I just know he said it.

In Japan it is a fine looking ivy. In Georgia, kudzu has no natural enemies except goats. It is edible and it actually has a sweet smelling flower that blooms in September. Do not bend too closely to smell it. Kudzu will grab you, and you will not be found until many centuries distant, when some archeologist ponders your remains entangled in petrified vines.

Kudzu can be used to treat alcoholism with its accompanying hangovers. This is a great blessing. If you happen to be from places where kudzu grows – hard to imagine a place where it does not, you can distill your moonshine, with your factory all hidden away within the same kudzu patch from which you gather your healing tonic for the next morning, after a bender in the woods. Keep it handy.

Kudzu can relieve the symptoms of menopause. You can make clothing, lotions, and paper from it, and cook it like greens! With cornbread. Slap ya mama! Yum. …They say.

They also say it is disappearing from Georgia. Hard to tell, and sad if it is. I cannot imagine a Georgia landscape or an abandoned lot without it.

Back to the road trip. We made our last stop of the day at Etowah, where the Native American ceremonial mounds are located. A couple of us pulled out our guitars. Being true to the customs of college students in the late 60s and early 70s, and to their social gatherings and rituals, yes, we played and sang folk songs! I took pictures of that, too. Today, take a vid on your smart phone.

Those were simple fun times. What I have determined after years of photography and carrying pounds of camera gear, keep it simple and light. I used to spend all my time photographing what was going on. Oh, I was such a serious artist! That is not the same as making memories. I was an observer and not a participant in the event. That is not to say take lousy photos, but that equipment and technique should not interfere with life. Be aware of what you are there for. Reduce your fiddle time. Set the darn gadget on auto if needed and enjoy the moment.

I’ve gone too far now talking about kudzu and long lost memories. I’ll shorten the technical discussions.

Today, I usually carry no more than one quality point and shoot camera, unless I am trying to earn some money. I aim my creativity, the objects of my love and attention, toward my family and friends. Time is short, and I have realized time has become the only currency I really have left. I think David Crosby said that or something similar. I think it is true regardless who gets credit for the quote.

I spent intentional time with my granddaughter the other day. I took several informal portraits and snapshots, which I then sent to my wife, my daughter her mom, and to my other kids.

She tilts her head when photographed. My daughters did the same thing when they were this age. I do not know where head tilting comes from. It may have been poorly posed on my part. Actually I did not pose her at all. I did not intend to pose her more than she would tolerate.

Of course, I could not resist photographing what was going on, and I managed a decent shot of the musicians, below. I liked the other world looks on their faces as they played. I put some money in his open mandolin case, also. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t grab a photograph without paying due respect.

Musicians in the park

Here are the technical details: I took one small, quality point and shoot camera, a Canon G7x Mark II. I set the camera to aperture priority, ISO to 250, and f-stop to f8. In aperture priority mode, the camera sets the shutter speed for you. In sunlight I usually don’t worry about a slow shutter speed introducing motion blur. I wish I had shot it about f2.8 or f4 to have less depth of focus. I captured the images in RAW (Canon CR), as well as in jpeg for a quick post. I processed several of the RAW images in Photoshop Elements.

Let me discuss a tool in Photoshop RAW processing, both in Elements and in regular Photoshop; the luminance noise reduction tool.

If you sharpen an image at all, you’ll introduce “noise”, or what I like to call “digital grain”. It is not grain like silver based film had, but more like static. As you bump up the ISO, you increase “gain” and your images will appear grainy. Perhaps use this as a cute reminder: The higher the ISO, the higher the Gain, the greater the Grain. “Grain” is another anachronism, a throw back to simpler times and silver based processes.

Use the magnify tool and enlarge the image over an area of skin. Apply sharpening and notice the “grain” appear. Go to the luminance noise reduction tool and slide it from zero toward the right just enough to clear the skin tones of the noise, or digital grain as I call it. No need to apply more than you see in the preview. You will see the skin get more smooth.

Here are examples from the photograph of my granddaughter. Check the difference between skin smoothness in the first and second images.

In the first image, I had set overall sharpness to around 50, and the luminance noise reduction is set at zero. Can you see the skin looks bumpy. That is the noise that sharpening introduces to the image. The area shown is probably no more than a couple percentage points of the entire photograph.

Next take a look at the second image. I took the luminance noise reduction slider, moved it to the right to around 40, and the skin smoothed out.

Couple of things here. First, the skin is noticeably smoother than at the zero setting. Check the eyelashes in both images. The smoothing also reduced detail in the eyelashes. So we have a trade-off to consider. For me personally, especially in portraits of children and women, I opt for smoother skin over sharpness. For a man, I usually opt for sharpness and maybe a bit more micro-contrast. There are other considerations, but I think our conditioning and visual expectations lead us there. You may disagree. Go for it.

The effects of adjustment are more noticeable, given the same settings, in images with less pixel information than with more pixel information. To say it simply, your sharpness and noise reduction settings for your 20mp camera will be higher than for your 10mp camera, to get the same result. Check the preview closely and you should see the difference.

A digital Leica would be grand for such images as this. I could channel Cartier-Bresson and others. However in my opinion, Leica M ceased to be professional tools of almost decent prices years ago. Photographic wonders, built like an anvil, outlast most of us, but sadly more like a big chunk of bling. You may want that. A digital Leica M-E (entry to the club) with a standard lens, built in Wetzlar, new, will be nine or ten grand.

A Leica M. Ten grand. Really. I need it. No. What I really, really need is contentment. I need less.

The Canon does exceptionally well. I dropped it onto the sidewalk. No damage.

I Went for a Walk in Black and White

•July 31, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Just another summer day on Cheatham Hill. The split-rail fence guides you down a different path. Next time, maybe.

Part of my program to keep myself fit for the next decade, if God is so gracious to give me time, is to enjoy a strenuous walk in the woods up and down hills.

When I go, I take one of my cameras, usually a Canon point and shoot variety, the G11 which has an optical viewfinder or the G7X. The G7X is newer and records a whopping 20mb image. Images from both are excellent. The Canon G11 is a better street camera than the Canon G7X in my opinion because of the optical viewfinder. If the lens is set wide to “normal”, the optical viewfinder allows me to bring it quickly to my eye and shoot without having to pull out the screen.

Back to the walk. I have had black and white on my mind lately, thus these monochrome images. Used to be, in ancient days, monochrome was the only game in town. Color negative film from the 60’s was okay, but the photographs faded pretty quickly and got that yellowish-orange tone. Photoshop can take it out. Kodachrome color slide film was great for retaining color and detail, but the film speed was slow, like 25 and 64. Late in life, Kodak released Kodachrome 200, but I did not like it much. I have a lot of Kodachrome slides that are still near perfect today. Ektachrome dyes were not as stable as Kodachrome, and eventually they would get a bluish color cast. Fuji, Agfa, and others had similar products.

All in all, digital color is superior to color film in fidelity and detail, and it will last as long as you periodically re-save images in the latest digital media standard. Black and white film (silver halide) is still a good archival choice.

There I go; I geeked out again. Returning to the images of the walk. I think I ran into the same doe I photographed a week earlier. She was in about the same location, same trail, same reaction to me. She has not yet learned to be afraid of Man.

I saw more runners this time than last. Mostly teens, both boys and girls. At one time I could have easily kept up with them. Not my job.

Walking dogs, sky, clouds, natural rock gardens, pine needles, and grassy details. Take a simple point and shoot camera to the woods. If it is capable of photographing in black and white in the camera that is preferred for an exercise I’m suggesting for you.

Set your camera to monochrome. Don’t set it to color and then later covert the image to black and white. Setting the camera to photograph the original image in black and white, with no other option, forces you to think differently. You then are concerned with details, contrasts, patterns. You see that blues and greens and grays, even Georgia red clay, all sort of look the same. You figure out how to differentiate them in the image. The mind interprets the “color” because we have experienced the reality. Now color is in abstract, saturation is at zero. But if the shades of gray are not distinct, the the photograph looks unnatural.

Observe. Pay close attention. Practice patience. Work with the breeze or wait until it is still. Either way – the grass’ sharp detail or blurred by the wind; is it a good photograph? Follow the butterfly. (Sounds a little funny… “Follow the butterfly, young apprentice.”) You’ll learn the best time of day to photograph them.

Edward Weston said, “Good composition is merely the strongest way of seeing.” Think about composition. Try to take the photo so you do not have to crop it later while printing. However, cropping an image later seems smart if you get a stronger composition. Why impose an arbitrary constraint upon an image, by keeping it full frame, as some schools of thought espouse, and then lose the point of the photograph? Crop during printing with the cropping tool, or crop it during creation with a lens.

Here’s an exercise. Take a photo. When you process the image, crop it. Save it. Copy it. Re-open the copy. Crop it some more. Save another copy. Repeat. So what if you are only using 5% of your digital file. Get the image to the point where you cannot crop it anymore or you will have nothing. Is it finished? You tell me. Enlarge it and repeat until you only have shades and patterns.

Practice the Zone System – think Ansel Adams. In my opinion getting 10 shades of gray in a print are much easier to accomplish in digital than with film, especially if you shoot in RAW mode; Nikon NEF, Canon CR, etc. Learn to use Photoshop Color Curves. See this brief article from Alan Ross, one of Adams students regarding the Digital Zone System. (I have a print of his. ) I wasn’t trying to demonstrate the Zone System here, but I took off down this path.

On the other hand, DON’T practice the Zone System; that is, don’t try to get smooth gradations from pure black to white, with detail in at least 8 out of 10 zones. Shoot nature in high contrast, as high as you like.

Print big. Print small. What happens to shadow detail and highlights in your clouds from one size to another. Viewing it on your phone is not the same as viewing a 20×24 inch print.

Just play and enjoy. You will hit on something that grabs you.

Dead wood detail
Woman walking her dog
Fuzzy grasses
Black-eyed Susans
Rock Garden

Decisive Moments

•July 25, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Revisiting a photographic concept called “the decisive moment” an idea put forth by Henri Cartier-Bresson.  Take a look and a listen.  

Essentially, all elements of composition and timing come together in one moment. If you miss it, the image is gone.  That is the essential idea I got from him.  

I took the lesson seriously.  It applies to a lot of things in life I think. We live in decisive moments even if our lives seem to us pretty mundane. I think it originates in an idea I have about God, the concept of Imago Dei, and it comes from Jesus, all things I’ve learned in almost 70 years. If “God so loved the world…“, the Bible verse announces, then there are implications.  Life becomes a string of decisive moments for one, strings of decisions that integrate to a life.  I also infer there are moments that are not decisive.  But I digress.

Cartier-Bresson used one small camera and one lens his entire career, famously the Leica 35mm and a 50mm lens. Not a zoom lens. Not a motor drive.  He said the 50mm lens was most like his eye, and the Leica camera and lens were an extension of himself.  Consider for a moment the pounds on pounds of equipment a typical photographer carries about today.  Discipline yourself.  If you have a “standard” single focal length lens, go out for a day and photograph with it alone.

To me the photograph below is an example of how I practice the “decisive moment”.  Coincidentally it was taken with a Leica M4-2 and a 35mm lens.  It could just as easily been taken with my little Canon G11, which is smaller and quieter than the old Leica film cameras.  I still miss the Leica.  Selling it was one of my worst decisions.  I say I could have used a Canon G11.  Maybe not. 

Kids at weddings. They could not care less about the ceremony. They are there for the food. They are lost in a crowd of adults, who are just as unmindful of them. The kid closest to the camera swills down the punch. The second kid behind him is in a predicament. He does not have enough hands. He has not yet learned how to successfully manage a plate with snacks and a drink at the same time. (Has anyone learned how?). I saw them and watched. The image came.

Point being, with “the decisive moment” in mind, if any part of the image changed – the woman’s hands, the man cutting the cheese, the first boy having put down his cup and wandered off… If one tiny element changed, the moment would no longer exist and the photograph would vaporize. If you are like me at all, you probably have a long list of mental images and regret the ones that got away.

C’est la vie. Life and love: The indecisive moments go unnoticed. But the ones where everything perfectly comes together and we just miss it, and worst of all, we realize it. Ah. Regrets of life pile up.

Happy Accidents

•July 21, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Such a simple error to make. There I am concentrating on one thing, and I think my hand is on the correct action, but it is not. I make a quick adjustment and I have something, not at all what I wanted, and I am not sure how I got it. I start to delete it. Then I take a closer look. Maybe this could lead somewhere. Or maybe it is better left a mistake and removed from further consideration.

I don’t know. It’s not really a photograph although Photoshop Elements was involved. It’s graphic. It’s derived from a photograph. I have to think about this some more to see if it leads anywhere else.

I’m old, old school. I prefer photo-realism and more natural renderings. My influences are Adams, the Westons, the Group f.64, the mid-1900s photojournalism of people like Cartier-Bresson, W. Eugene Smith, and Dorothea Lange. Some of these folks were real butts personally, they probably would not be my friends, but when I was studying photographs, I was studying theirs.

The image is not at all like any of theirs. It is not like any of mine. Anyway, stop talking and present it. I know now how I did it. Repeatable.

Negative Blue Butterfly

Selah