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Monday, 08 February 2021


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"Caste" is sitting on my coffee table, the last of a pile of books I've been working my way through along with "Too Much and Never Enough", "Blow Out", "It Was All A Lie" and others. Not exactly "entertainment", but a necessary exercise if you want to gain any understanding of how and why we got to the mess we are in.

Mike when I click on the banner "Purchases through T.O.P." it takes me to a page that does not have an Amazon link. Just a statement about Amazon Canada. I do lots of purchasing through Amazon and would usually use your link but I have not seen it for several months. I think I remember you said at one time that you are no longer an Amazon affiliate. Please set me straight. If you have a link please let us know where it is so we can click it.

[I just added a note to the page and a link to Amazon Canada to the latest post footer. Thanks for the reminder Frank. --Mike]

It's elegant in its simplicity and tone as well. It works beautifully as a small print. The more I look at it the more appreciation I have for its execution. K.C. - that's just lovely!

Interesting use of the Instax, which is commonly thought of as creating unique prints, to make (innumerable) copies of a digital image.

That's a really nice photograph!!

What a wonderful print and presentation!

It works better in the first illustration. Removing the greater expanse of white kills it.

[Well, the JPEGs are just describing it, like a written description describes a dinner. You're not actually seeing it at all, remember. All you're seeing are JPEGs online, photographs of a photograph, which is not the same thing as seeing the print. --Mike]

I agree with Rob Campbell for exactly the reasons you give — the first illustration emphasises the point you make. However, no harm in having both.

On print size and "bigger is better": Michael Kenna.
8" prints.

So curious, where does one learn how to professionally mount prints? I feel like I have many sources of knowledge for photography itself (books, courses, internet), yet am a bit stumped on the final steps after the print.

The most memorable and engaging photographs, for my eye, are those that offer at least as much mystery as disclosure. This little image by K.C. hits that target for me. Eliminating the ground and sky planes immediately makes us vulnerable to suggestion. The lettering on the wall is ever-so-slightly off the (suggested) perspective plane of the wall, leaving me with a slightly “Huh?” queasiness. And the shadow, presumably of a street sign?, suggests what’s behind us....but only suggests it. And the diminutive size of the print only strengthens the Venturi effect of this image. (If framed and displayed in a public location the glass would have plenty of nose prints.)

BTW, this iPhone-to-Instax circuit is wonderful. The Fuji Instax film has lovely rich color. I’ve wanted to get one of these little printers for a while.

Nice photo. The matte really underscores its object-ness.

Very nice. I like the color palette as well, the angles, and the way the composition is both simple and complex. Everyone has a place in their home for small works of art. Wherever you are required to lean in close to accomplish a routine task you can create a micro art venue. You can wedge a small print into the frame of a mirror, place one in a book case, or even affix one to your turntable lid. This idea of small works of art reminded me of the bookshelf dioramas by Japanese designer, Monde.

Mike why do I think this is important. I can't say it will start a trend but I do believe that this gentleman is on to something. We have a modern device, the phone and a printer all will fit in a pocket and can be carried anywhere. Think of the possibilities, one can take it on a trip while writing in a journal and put a picture right next to the discussion of the journey? I could go on but I may have to buy one of these and try it myself. Good Post Eric

Too bad that there is NO printer for Instax Square or Instax Wide. I've already checked.

I learned print mounting in the mid-1970s. Back then we used dry mounting tissue, a tacking iron, and a dry-mounting press.

There may be something more modern today—although is it ain't broke why fix it?

Is an average camera in good hands better than a good camera in average hands?

As per norm Mike, the following might well be contrary, the compositions are really nice, but the iPhone (any since the sixth) are hardly simple.
Notwithstanding Android devices that I have never used, iPhones have to be amongst the most sophisticated computational devices known to inhabit the photosphere, (along with many other spheres), nowhere near a Leica iii or any other cheap pre-M Leica camera specified in your original challenge.
Anyway, I hope it has further enhanced K.C.’s skills as it did mine, I will always remember the compositional lessons that I learned, even if that is not always apparent in my results. Thanks Mike.

Oh and one more thing, I visited Philly around thirty years ago, when I worked for a UK based subsidiary of Lenox, that a subset of Brown Forman the pre-eminent Bourbon distillers (among much else), my main contact by phone was an Italian-American and when he asked me if I wanted to see anything during the weekend, I opted for a trip to the local ‘Little Italy’, which turned out to be ‘fun day’ as we sauntered past aman who had been shot dead in a grocers’ doorway.
My colleague later came to see me in London, and I took him to see where the Mayflower started out before Plymouth ( Devon), and Plymouth Rock, in what became the ‘colonies’.
Toodle pip!

>> Too bad that there is NO printer for Instax Square <<

The Instax Share SP-3 uses Instax square film. In addition, with some fiddling, it's possible to import files into the SQ-10 and SQ-20 hybrid cameras and use the cameras' built-in printers. I've done it with my SQ-10.

Yes, for nearly all purposes an average camera in good hands is better than a good camera in average hands. (My opinion, obviously; possibly not an actual fact.)

Some excellent photos need a lot of capability in the cameras (ultra-long lenses, stability for those lenses, handling low light well, focusing fast and perfectly, or focusing very close, or ultra-wide lenses, or...all sorts of specialized things for a very few photos. However, "average hands" generally won't produce those top photos even with a camera that makes them possible (I'm interpreting "average hands" to mean "in the hands of an average photographer", i.e. including the brain / eyes / whatever, not just the physical hands.)

Quite a few photos do not need anything extraordinary from the camera. Above-average hands (see note above) can take those photos with an average camera.

I believe small prints are great. Photoshop does a great job with 2.5 x 3.5 prints. Look good in frames with mat and can go just about anyplace.

Re Jakob's comment, since attending an in-person workshop is not a possibility at this time in most parts of the world, I can recommend Way Beyond Monochrome (I have the 2nd edition), the section called "Presentation is Everything". It's included in Part One of the book ("The Basics") which goes to show just how important the authors think it is. There are chapters on "Mounting and Matting Prints" and "Framing and Displaying Prints" (among others). Incidentally, I've read quite a few books on darkroom technique, but for me, Way Beyond Monochrome stands out as one of the very best.

Thanks Oren Grad. The Instax Share SP3 wasn't listed on either Fujifilm Global or Amazon.

I've never bought from a New York superstore because I live close to Samys' Camera, which also dose camera, grip and lighting rentals. Also close to Freestyle Photo for al my film needs.

Nice picture. ‘Modest means’? Do remember that XS was the most expensive iPhone ever when it was released.

[Be that as it may, it's not the most expensive camera, and anyway taking pictures is only a tiny fraction of what it can do. --Mike]

I have all sorts of feels about the tech behind the project, especially using an instant-print film to produce prints of a semi-real picture for serious purposes. But what matters is the resulting object (since the project is to produce physical prints), and this is a glowing little jewel!

OC/OL/OY is new to me.

I'm jumping straight in with GM5 + 20/1.7! I'm already having fun!

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