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Photog - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
The Nikon makes me happy. My lack of ability with it for the moment is frustrating. Between the 5th and the 8th I took 216 pictures. It seems that many of them did not work out. Blurry, poorly framed or just balls out uninteresting. What's really funny is that of the 100 or so I looked at the best shot, the one with the best color, the most intersecting depth and the best sharpness was a picture of the chandelier at the Cheesecake Factory from the 8th. Odd in that I just snapped two pictures of it. I don't even remember adjusting the settings but it looks good. I'll post that one tonight-ish.

What's sad is that I didn't get much from sculplady's art show. So far one picture of the Rasputin lookin' guy and one shot of graydancer were pretty good. I'll look through the rest later and we'll see. But damn it that I didn't practice more before shooting it. I should have been able to get it working... or get my f numbers straight. I think that's why most of the are under exposed and looking dark and orange. Bah. I want to say the lighting sucked but it didn't. I just was using crappy settings.

You know, I don't think I should be telling you this. :) See, all the other photographers don't tell you that 3% of their pictures DON'T suck. They just sweep in, post something amazing and go on about their business. I'm too open, too honest... not to say that they lying. They are just better at fostering the image I wish to foster. Maybe when I can get a decent exposure more than half the time. Until then I'll just have to ignore the photographers on my flist, the bastards. :)

Also, I'm not quite getting the craft of an image just right. It feels mechanical when I do it less about look and feel. With cropping I usually find the right able and right look but I'd like to be able to get that from the start. I suppose that just comes with time. I suppose even Ansel Adams cropped his pictures to enhance them. Though I think he understood the technical aspects of light, exposure and film better than I do. Eh, I'm getting it.

Speaking of cropping. Holy crap. A RAW image right out of my camera is 6x10 at 300 ppi. That means I can get 12x20 prints with adequate quality in a print. Pretty spiffy but I doubt I'll be printing below 250 ppi.

Other stuff:
  • I weighed myself at the gym. I'm up 4 pounds in two-ish weeks. I'm worried I'm gaining bad weight.
  • Got back on the treadmill yesterday. Jogged a mile at 5mph and 3.5% grade. Barely breathing hard at the end but my legs were hurting.
  • Spent too much damn time cleaning up after people yesterday.
  • Teriyaki + Soy = good salad dressing.
  • I rode to work in the rain today.
  • Moo?

    Wednesday: Any artistic types free? I want to go picture shooting if the weather is nice. Fox is out and I don't know if Aetrix wants to go and I can't tie down another artist I know that would enjoy it.

    Tags: ,
    Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
    Current Music: Delerium - Serenity

  • 21 comments or Leave a comment
    zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: July 11th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Maybe it's a sign that your camera likes complex lighted areas.

    Also, I can't see you getting bad weight.
    abmann From: abmann Date: July 11th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Complex lighted areas? What do yuo mean?
    I find it amusing that the better shots lighting-wise were in the bed room with a single overhead light. I don't recall if I used the flash.

    I eat way too much and too much crap. I dunno. I hate that I just can't tell.
    zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: July 11th, 2006 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Well I'd assume that the candalabra would be offering all sorts of different light sources at once, so I figured that it would have made some stark remarks in the texture of the photo.

    As for the eating crap issue, considering how little I see of it mentioned in your LJ, I find it hard to believe. Unless, that is, you are hiding something from your viewing public! Don't make me get delennamachoo in a Kenneth Starr costume on you.
    abmann From: abmann Date: July 11th, 2006 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
    The lighting in the Cheesecake Factory wasn't all that intersting, I think. You'll have to judge for yourself when I post it.

    And I don't exactly publish my diet. :) That would be weird. But I did have a cookie yesterday.

    I eat WAAAAYY too much ice cream.
    zesty_pinto From: zesty_pinto Date: July 11th, 2006 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Yeah, but come on; you often show off the lists of your culinary achievements too! Kind of making me think otherwise here.

    I guess it's a good thing I'm more of a slurpie guy. Er, a slurpie guy in a place that is devoid of 7-Eleven.
    alyska From: alyska Date: July 11th, 2006 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
    3% suck? i think you have that backwards, ABM. one of the some-time pitfalls of digital is that it allows you to take a lot more pictures without being concerned about economy, and the limits and cost of actual film and developing. most people start out taking a hell of a lot of images (i did a lot of bracketed exposures when i first got my 10D) and only a few turn out.

    the first year i had my 10D, i took something like 14,000 pictures, in the last three (i bought it in 2002) i think i'm only up to 20K total. you get more comfortable as time passes.

    tangentally, i haaaaateses the on-camera flash something fierce. it's pretty much useless, so if you can NOT use it, please don't -- it colors your subjects all funny and washed out.

    and auch-tangentally, i have the next two saturdays off, so aside from vending at the farmer's market until 2pm (weather permitting), mayhap a photo outing is in order.
    aetrix9 From: aetrix9 Date: July 11th, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I totally agree that expecting only a 3% failure rate is setting a WILDLY unreasonable standard for yourself. I think if you can get 3% decent pictures and 0.01% success then you're doing really well.

    Keep in mind that you're changing your standard for photography. You used to take "snapshots" which was a way of capturing the basics of a moment for a reminder later. Now you're taking "photographs" to capture subtilties of a moment that are timeless. It's a totally different standard.

    I'm eager to see your pics. Congrats on getting them out of your camera.

    How'd you like the rain?
    abmann From: abmann Date: July 11th, 2006 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I had that backwards. I don't expect a 3% failure rate. I wanted to say that all photographers get a 3% success rate. I just admit to it.

    I wasn't taking snapshots before. I find that mildly insulting. Take at look at some of my pictures and tell me they're snapshots. I was just working with a mediocre camera. Or do you believe that none of my pictures before were artistic because of the camera I was using or because they're mostly of the cats?

    It don't hink I could call what I rode n as rain. It was barely a drizzle. :) I had like three drops on my glasses after my ride.
    aetrix9 From: aetrix9 Date: July 11th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Lucky duckie with the rain... I'm jealous.

    Actually - since you were previously doing point-and-shoot and then photoshopping the pictures, I consider the stuff you post to be photoshopping and digital art, not photography. I"m not trying to be insulting but having the insane control of your camera now gives you the ability to focus on the camera and not do most of the work in photoshop.

    I think this is mostly because I"m old-school and unless you did it in a dark room, I consider it digital art.
    abmann From: abmann Date: July 11th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
    So then I'm not taking pictures still because it's a digital camera. It's digital art because I have to open, crop and save the files in Photoshop.

    Why isn't it Photography? Photoshop is built to mimic what you can do in a darkroom, mostly.

    And why am I so offended? That's a better question. I'm really angry over this. Probably because you don't describe it as photography only "digital art" makes it less good, like anyone can do it. It denigrades me because I want to be a photographer, not a digital artist. Anyone can be a digital artist.

    Query: the photos in National Geographic, would you think less if they were taken with digital cameras?
    aetrix9 From: aetrix9 Date: July 11th, 2006 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I think the big point here is that _you_ are making a judgement for digital art versus photography. You think photography is "better" than digital art. So when I suggest that you're making digital art, _I'm_ not making the same judgement of your work.
    abmann From: abmann Date: July 11th, 2006 03:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
    I realize this. It is why I asked these questions. I'm trying to understand how you define these things.
    aetrix9 From: aetrix9 Date: July 11th, 2006 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Well the line is pretty arbitrary but about the time you go beyond cropping in Photoshop, I think you're getting into Digital Art.
    alyska From: alyska Date: July 11th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
    it's likely that a lot of the NG photos these days ARE digital.

    also, in the photo vs. digital art debate --

    i look at it like this: photo art vs. photography.

    in photography, you compose an image, and in the darkroom (or digital darkroom, as it were) adjust color balances, contrast, etc. and crop the image, if necessary. the editing ends there.

    in photo art, or photo manipulation, you involve a lot more of the photoshop filters that aren't available in a traditional darkroom. i even saw a panel this weekend at CONvergence called A Digital Camera Doesn’t Make You An Artist - And neither does Photoshop.
    How can we use technical tools to enhance creativity instead of replacing it.

    and i think that's what it comes down to -- what do you favor more, an image that you can greatly alter in photoshop post-production for a final modified product, or minimizing your post-production time in favor of creating a better original image?

    they're really just two schools of art, each of which has the potential to be done very well or very poorly. i think that in your quest to become a better photographer, you're taking the right major steps -- as your camera improves, you're forced to think more about the images you're creating, which as time passes yields a better result, and you're identifying as a photographer, not intersted in day-to-day snapshots.

    it all has its place in the world of photography, you're just settling into your niche.

    (ironically, i've been trying to challenge myself recently with a lomo lc-a and phonecam pictures, as i often worry that the quality and ease of my digital has made me lazy.)
    ralinad From: ralinad Date: July 11th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
    This is well put.

    I'll just add that the vast majority of "filters" most people know in photoshop are really never used in professional photo-editing. Personally, I end up sticking to adjustment layers and masks. Sure, you have more control and more options than you would in a darkroom (with the added bonus of instant gratification), but you can still certainly stay shy of of the multitude of filters that novice users tend to overuse.

    To me, the differene lays when you start changing backgrounds, removing people, the kind of thing that isn't possible to do with a lens. Then, it becomes "digital art", and I assure you not everyone can do it. The true sign of a good job is when you don't know that anything has been altered...

    fiendishx From: fiendishx Date: July 11th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
    This was originall going to be very long. But I've since deleted all of it and will leave you with just this...

    Anyone can be a digital artist.
    Anyone can be a photographer.
    ralinad From: ralinad Date: July 11th, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Ah, so now its your turn to insult others, with your "anyone can be a digital artist". Anyone can be a poor "digital artist". Just like anyone can be a poor photographer.

    abmann From: abmann Date: July 11th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Yeah, had that backwards. fixed.

    Your days off still include you working? Lame. :)

    Saturdays work if we end earlyish, like 5 or 6. Saturdays are the only gauaranteed time I have with aetrix9.

    I'm looking at the Nikon SB-600 right now. It may help but doesn't seem to come with an onboard diffuser. Also, I need to get some roscoe gel samples and fashion some no color flash filters.
    lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: July 11th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Um. This Saturday my mom is here... but actually, if you wanted to go out, that would be fine, because she said she wanted some alone time with me. So if that works, that works. :)
    alyska From: alyska Date: July 11th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
    i'm always happy to pick another time.

    will you two (three?) lovelies be at kinked this friday?
    lady_fox From: lady_fox Date: July 11th, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
    Hahahaha! My mom's here. I will be home watching Gilmore Girls with her. No mention of Kinked will occur.
    21 comments or Leave a comment