Tuesday, November 30, 2010

reminders of what's important.

A friend blogged yesterday about a financial setback he'd received followed by a reminder of what's important.

At the time he was feeling that life had dealt him a body blow my family was going through a financial body blow as well.  Ruthless and reckless lawyers financially attacked my youngest daughter completely stripping her of assets.  This was a major setback to her, and to the entire family for several reasons and will take some time to get everything put back on an even keel.

As this was unfolding my oldest daughter who has suffered from a very very aggressive case of MS for 5 years announced that the experimental drug she takes has begun to give her back her sense of balance.  THIS IS HUGE!!  For this advancement we would have paid many times the $ thousands that were taken.

I've been hacked

An old friend contacted me out of the blue the other day asking why I was suggesting SHE buy Viagra.  Aside from all of he usual jokes and good natured ribbing it was obvious something had happened to my Google account.

When I tried to access this blog I was told first that it had been removed and then that I wasn't allowed access.

Contacting Google brought the following response:


So.  If anyone gets a Viagra ad from me I apologize...unless of course it works for you and then you're welcome.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lenses 2

OK something happened.  I took some images with Lenses App yesterday and then again today.  The App has changed somehow.  This App had been pretty much ignored by the developers but I noticed today that there are additional lenses and also the resolution of saved images has improved...and one other thing:

The App splits the viewfinder into 4 parts and 3 of them have a user selectable lens, the fourth (1st) is original.  An image is taken with whatever quadrant you select.  Today when I tapped one of the quadrants I found 4 images in camera roll, one from each of the quadrants.  This happened twice but then suddenly stopped.  If this is one of the new features the developer promises it's incredibly cool.  I hope so.

Kaleidoscope, Polar, Quad Mirror, Original of my keyboard


Lenses App,  Polar filter

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

tertiary markets & contrarians

I have always been an early adopter.  I am just fascinated with technology.  The iPhone is one such fascinating device.  My youngest daughter may have caught the bug from me and although I resisted at first she convinced me of the iPhone's merits about version 2.  Even so, photography with the device while convenient just didn't quite get it somehow.

Then came some kick ass creativity in the Apps.  The first eye opener for me was Camera Bag.  Previous Apps dealt with making images sharper or with kids games...putting your face on a monkey's body or some such.  When I first tried CameraBag my mind said "OH!!"  Later came a whole host of wonderful efforts such as textures, grunge, manipulation and the marvelous Hipstamatic.

The iPhoneography "movement" has progressed through the early adopter stage into the professional stage, probably the tertiary market I don't know.  The professional embrace of the medium is producing imagery which is exciting, invigorating and downright humbling.  That this is only the beginning is overwhelming.

My personal growth with digital, once I got over the urge to take hundreds of similar images, moved quickly towards smaller and smaller imagers.  The DP1 with a large sensor in a shirt pocket camera, Canon's S90 with it's wonderful low light capabilities in an even smaller body.  These were fun and also fed my contrarian nature.  The iPhone continues that tradition.  If I am truthful with myself (I don't really like to be) then I understand that I'm a contrarian because I don't have world class skills. I supplant that by producing images with unusual devices.  Now that the iPhone is being embraced by many others I am just thrilled by the creativity boosts I get from them and their wonderful work.  That I am participating in groups such as the FaceBook iphoneography group is just great for me...and once again humbling.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Art ??

There is a respected center for photographic art in Seattle.  They offer classes, workshops, seminars and exhibitions in their facilities.  I have seen some "Game changing" exhibitions there.  Last night 4 faculty members lectured and displayed selected images (projected).  In a nutshell I shoulda stayed home.

It's probably just me.  I figure a person is a curmudgeon about the time they enjoy being called one...couple years ago for me....but.  I gotta ask:  Does art have a definition?  Does this definition have anything at all to do with real people and real situations?  Is art about pretentious nonsense about sleeping on materials to get a feel for them and give them a feel for you?  Are these people really drawing a salary for this?  Huh?

It started off well.  The first speaker works with pinhole cameras.  His few displayed images gave me an idea or two for iPhoneography.  Then he spent way too long displaying dark brooding pencil drawings an architect made in the 1920's accompanied by his reading of the architects brooding and meaningless journal.  That the architect was influenced by Kafka was obvious but so the hell what?

Another speaker went on and on about incomprehensible dream sequences she had as a child.  The final speaker showed several images of people.  First it was all legs and feet because  "didn't want to get into that whole thing about am I pretty enough or am I too old."  Then when she did show images of peoples faces she admitted she only photographed friends as photographing strangers was too emotionally charged for her.

At that point to quite the philosopher Popeye..."I've had all I can stands.  I can't stands no more!" and I was outa there.

C'mon folks.  Pull up your socks, get an iPhone or something, get out there and take some goddamn pictures!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I knew it felt slicker somehow

Or perhaps I new?

I mentioned the loose button on my shirt to the cleaner.  For a couple bucks I got the shirt laundered, the button re sewn and this wonderful tag.  A bargain!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday Meandering B

Cold and hungry I passed a pizza joint and as I glanced in a very pretty young woman looked up from her book and smiled at me.  At that instant I knew pizza was the answer.  After I ordered and sat I noticed the woman's red boots and "stole" two quick iPhone images.  She was deeply engrossed in a medical text of some sort so I didn't bother her.

As soon as I downloaded the files into Aperture I knew that there was a great print there.  If I can only get it created.

I put these 2 images together with PROHDR and processed that image first in Photofx and then in PhotoStudio.In the first App I added diffusion, blur and very large grain (with a mask over the girl) and the other gave me desaturation, vignetting and a frame.  Now I have this image:

I'm getting closer but still not there.  The first few manipulations I saw going in to the process, now I'm flailing about a bit.  Perhaps a warmer overall tone to give a sunlight feeling.  The grain effect is a bit too large for my tastes so i will need to rethink that.  It's also possible I suppose that I need to make a decision whether the girl or her boots are the main part of the image.

At any rate I believe that if I can figure this out it will be the best image I've ever made.

Sunday Meandering part 1

It's been an interesting handful of years for graffiti and for the graffiti artists.  The vandalism or art questions, probably never resolved but it's certainly old news now.  The Taggers who created new art, or vandalism, over the older efforts...take your pick, art or vandalism.  Along the way the colors and creativity caught the attention of numerous photographers...me too.  Now I'm not sure what it's saying, but I think I have an idea.

Consider this image:

Multi-colored graffiti painted over with large stylized fat tags in white with black outlines telling us something I'm incapable of reading.  Over the top of that we see some person or groups calling cards, 4DC, CRUKK and what appears to be a political statement of sorts...RIP FIST.  Most recently in red we have 2 peoples names???  SOMEONE & CHARLIE DAWG.  Is this the equivalent of the heart with initials carved into a tree?  Cho Lite and Charlie Dawg true love.

What I think I'm seeing here, aside from an obvious community message board, is a reminder that street art is transitory.  If the artists don't understand that then the succeeding waves of artists explain it to them with paint.  Graffiti art in all it's forms is valid for about 15 minutes.  Just about right for photographers.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Maine has approximately 70 lighthouses, the majority are Downeast (North) from Portland.  On a sunny day in the fall I now estimate driving 30 miles a day is pushing it.  It's not that Maine doesn't have highways, it has one, I-95...or perhaps two if you count US Route 1.  It's that the sights are so plentiful is's difficult to not stop every few miles.  At any rate here are a few lighthouse images, 1 film and 4 iPhone.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What it means to be from Maine

A bottled water company, Poland Springs has as it's logo "What it means to be from Maine"
I'm kinda thinking though that Sunday services at a small church in the country comes a lot closer.

Liston Grant, 87

suffers from Alzheimer's.  I'm told he doesn't remember that he plays but whenever he sits in front of a piano he plays what comes to him or what people hum.

Performing a public service

Sunday afternoon, rural Maine, shortly after attending services in a small country church I was attracted to this structure.  I liked the addition made to the original barn and the red roof was great.  I tried to get an award winning image but got these instead.  The story however is that I was driving a rental car with NY plates and a couple a two tree farm vehicles went bye while I was standing there...just starting to drizzle.  It dawned on me that I gave the locals who passed something to share at the grocery store, restaurant, gas station...

"I was drivin' down the Fullah (fuller) road t'other day and there's this fella from New Yawk standin' in a doryud in the rain, mud up to his ankles,  takin' a pictah of HOSS MANUAH."
(doryud is Maine speak for door yard which is Maine speak for driveway)

At any rate I am delighted to give back to the community any way that I can.