Looking and listening this week

Looking and listening this week

Working through the holidays was a good and bad idea. I got some things done that otherwise would have taken much longer but my body decided to remind me to slow down and it was a painful lesson that threw a lot of plans out the window.

These folios to share. William Coulson  and Amanda Demme

Listening to the Wagakki Band, a fusing of traditional Japanese instruments and music with some epically ferocious rock lead guitar and heavy metal drums. I really would like to know how they got from here…

to this…

to wind up here…

Evolution in creativity is fascinating

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Project update for October

Project update for October

Revisiting previous posts earlier today, it was interesting to see recurring themes and how the places I frequently visit deliver such a variety of opportunities. Of concern though was the decreasing number of theme related images being produced. They do trigger a lot of ideas but these often go unrealised because I can’t put together the necessary elements within the timeframe.

I also appear to have stopped putting things up on 500px, mostly due to lack of time but also because I never really  felt compelled to do that. Sure, getting a like is good but I do this because I enjoy the process of making. The monthly project themes were established as a tool to place some discipline around that.

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In a sense, the project has succeeded in building some good habits, restoring my skills and confidence in the process. That suggests I may have arrived at a crossroad and need to think about the direction I want to take. One possibility is changing the timeframes so I can take time putting things together. Another is to reduce the themes or change how they are generated.

For the moment I will leave things as is and focus on what could be as a side project to kick of after graduation next year. I also need to do some cleaning up and consolidation of images. I have decided to keep using Phase One Capture and drop Lightroom4 instead of upgrading it, so I have two libraries to merge and the opportunity to do some better organising and tagging.

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Now for November we have;

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Upgrading lessons

Upgrading lessons


If you grew up hearing a song about a poor old woman who swallowed a fly, read on. If not take a look here for some additional context.

I recently had an opportunity to update my camera body at an amazing price. This is a good thing  but it also came with a reminder of a life lesson I want to share.

You are never updating one thing. Always look for the connections to avoid surprises.

Every time I have updated something, it set off a chain of other updates. When I switched to a digital SLR I had to work through and replace lenses to get the full benefits. I had to buy a new flash to take advantage of features like TTL. My darkroom had to be replaced with Adobe Lightroom. (Honestly, I miss the experience of printing but not the fumes, chemicals or the long nights and failures)

This lesson applies to seemingly small changes too. I was not expecting any compatibility issues with the new camera body and this has been the case with the lenses and flash. What I did not consider was software. I’m still on Lightroom 4 which apparently does not recognise the RAW files from the new camera. This is more of an annoyance as I was able to workaround the limitation but I will need to update to Lightroom 5. That also means buying some new books to learn all the new tweaks and tricks.

Another change I had planned for was storage. Doubling the megapixels on a sensor comes at a price of larger files.  I cleaned up my internal drive to make room for images but in the longer term, that drive will need to be replaced with a larger one. The computer itself will eventually need to be replaced too and no doubt that will trigger other changes.

This lesson applies to other aspects of life too. New educational qualifications open up new opportunities. So does moving to a new town.

It can apply to your creativity as well.  I want to take that same piece of advice above and reframe it.

In photography, you are never learning one thing. Always look for the connections and enjoy the surprises.

Think about that for a minute.

When I photograph someone, I’m not just refining or applying technique, hopefully, I’m engaging with that sitter and learning about them or perhaps I may learn something new about myself and how I relate to people. When I go somewhere and make images I learn about the area, it’s history, flora, fauna and where to get a good coffee afterwards.

Accept change, understand and manage risks and keep moving forward toward the next challenge.