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Monday, 09 February 2009


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I'm not going to reach into the hornet's nest of that particular post, but I strongly encourage you to do more "From the Archives" postings. They're already written so the work is zero while the draw is high, and they (and their comments) are either still highly relevant or mildly out-of-date in an interesting way.

Best of all, they're helpful to the many who haven't been reading TOP all along. I always intend to go back and read everything I didn't see the first time around, but realistically I know I never will. When you unearth some of your early "hits" (in the music sense, not just the web sense, of the word "hit") it helps me delve into the archives without agonizing over where to start.

So true and so funny. Well balanced subtlety is much more difficult to achieve and much more effective than overblown extremes any day.

I donno. I liked it.

Mike, what have you seen to post this again? :-)

Incidentally, I've been playing with filters and colours in Photoshop the other day. Like the wheat and the last one here http://www.clandestineart.com/photo/izb.html or the second one on the next page...

I dunno...the post seemed pretty popular. You, on the other hand, were not.

Well, we know that photoshop overkill will never, ever cease to amaze, so the only question is- has image quality improved in DSLRs (since the initial posting) enough to make B&W more than just acceptable?

I recall that post from the time. Ignoring the other issues, one thing I have found is that I do prefer black and white from film, even mono conversions from scans of colour negative film (I find plain old Kodak Gold 100 works quite well). I'm not sure if that's a true limitation of digital cameras or if I'm just too lazy to figure how to get good black and white results from digital capture.

In the few desultory attempts I have made I've not been able to get anything like the tone curve that comes out almost automagically from film. Why break my head trying to figure it out, when I can get the results I want by shooting film, then scanning? Easier works better for me, almost every time. So I'll just continue shooting both film and digital, with almost all my black and white coming from film.

I have been on the receiving end of a firestorm for posting a like sentiment in a photography thread.

And for coining a word - "softwareography"

Okay, who doesn't like snark? You served up a heaping helping of primo right there. Good laughs, Mike; I didn't see this the first time. Still, one expects a more thoughtful approach from you. Photoshop can be a blunt instrument but I doubt if most people want to do things the wrong way. I use Lightroom myself. It's a little more friendly to the eyeballs, but perfection is hard to pin down.

I have a windows laptop and a Mac desktop. The laptop shows my photos as drab and lifeless, the Mac display tends toward vivid. Sometimes there's a problem reconciling my memory of a place with what I'm looking at on my screen. Color values can seem selective: a perfect green might exist alongside a flat orange. Try to fix the orange and the green goes awry.

As we strive to become masters of subtlety, can we at least hope that our internet gurus help, rather than mock, us? I will echo erlik: Why did you post this again?

If you were here, I'd tell you a great joke that speaks directly to your concern, but I can't tell it in writing, alas. Suffice to say...I'm not making fun of YOU, I'm making fun of "them."

Mike J.

P.S. Besides, aren't I helpful, sometimes?

How about Chris Ramirez' B&W Bone Fishing portfolio (as featured in 'Random Excellence' this month. I'm guessing that they were originally digital photos but the B&W conversion and treatment is superb. And no, they don't look like film but they do have their own character.

However, when it comes to HDR I'm siding with you, Mike. I've yet to see it used in a subtle and realistic way. As I'm still using PS7, this temptation isn't available to me!

Whenever I visit photonet, my reaction to the featured pictures is generally, "I don't know what it is, but it's not photography." They remind me of Kincaid art, feelgood but kind of meaningless. Maybe it's just a stage people are going through because the tools weren't available before.

I'm trying to figure out why color pictures, no matter how good, seem to fade in my memory while I'm able to "remember" black and white photographs much better. Is it a function of growing up during that Tri-x period, or is there something else going on in the way we remember things?

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