drwex: (WWFD)

Though I was pretty happy with the people pics from EoS the spinning photos didn't come out as well. I've done a lot of fire shooting and I keep trying new things. Like all experimentation, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
drwex: (WWFD)
I'm a photographer, of sorts. I love/hate Photoshop disasters as much as anyone. And there are reams to be written and said about how Photoshop body morphing has been used to distort and hypersexualize the female figure.

But there's also a lot to be said for the use of the tool to deal with things that should have been dealt with before the shot was taken. For example, the recent release of unretouched photos of Lady Gaga's Versace ads have gotten a great deal of noise. But what is the retouching doing?

It's making the wig look more like hair and less like a wig. Great. Should've been done by make-up before the shoot, but apparently that's Gaga's personal wig and they decided not to replace it. Photoshop covered up a bruise on her leg. Again, makeup should've handled that, but didn't. They've fixed the contrast and brightness. Guilty as charged - I do that with just about every picture of my own that I pass through Lightroom. A photographer more talented than I am might be able to get their light levels and contrasts just right and looking good on a glossy printed page, but not in a hurry or on a budget and deadline.

Yes, they also made Gaga's arms appear slimmer, but is that necessarily more of a lie? In a very cogent analysis for Vice.com, artist and former model Molly Crabapple points out that all photography is a form of lie:
Framing is a lie. Lighting is a lie. Cropping is a lie. When you suck in your stomach, or turn your head so the light washes out your laugh lines, you're lying as much as any liquefy tool. Untruth is baked into the process...

Crabapple also goes after Dove, which carefully restricts it notions of 'real' womens' bodies to "...smooth-skinned, able-bodied, fleshy but not fat." She is unsparing in reminding us that Photoshop's digital tools are modeled on the physical tools used for decades on film photographs - tools that shaped how we viewed Hollywood stars throughout the last century.

Crabapple's column, as a rant, is necessarily somewhat extreme. But I found her point of view refreshing.
drwex: (VNV)
I'm making a diligent effort (I promise) dig through the backlog. Herewith the End of Summer 2013 set. I'm actually quite happy with these shots - it contains possibly the best photo I've ever taken of [livejournal.com profile] gosling and the pair shots of her and [livejournal.com profile] weegoddess are good, too.

Plus the usual assortment of folk sitting around, kids in the pool, and people I see all too infrequently. It's been helpful this past few days to look at pictures of folk I know (even when they scowl at me).


As always, if you see a picture of you that you do not want online please let me know and I'll take it down. The URL should be public and can be shared.
drwex: (pogo)
While we were on Cape Cod we also spent a day in Provincetown.

As I think I mentioned at the time, P'town is definitely an upscale tourist town. That's OK; it's a fun one.
drwex: (pogo)
(you thought I was kidding?)

Last summer there was of course a Fourth of July. We went to a friend's house for a picnic and to watch the fireworks more or less from their front lawn. Unfortunately the fireworks weren't very good so I expect this year we'll go back to one of the better local town shows. We still have this theory of taking the kids to see the Esplanade show but it'll have to wait until 4oJ falls on a weekend or something where we all don't have to get up the next morning. It's on a Friday this year, so we'll see.

We went touristing in Vermont while the kids were at sleep-away camp. That included dinner at a nice restaurant that has its own glass-blowing facility in its basement, and lots of scenic gorges. (Yes, the scenery was gorges.)

We also did a nature walk that included a lot of mushrooms. The woods were quite wet and shady, which I'm sure the fungi enjoyed but made photography a little trickier. I think I did OK, and Pygment spotted a tiny red lizard that held still long enough for us to get a couple pictures.

We also visited a graveyard - the Taftsville burying grounds. It was kind of different from what I'm used to - the graves were mostly along winding paths, with only the newer ones in open-field areas. It was also surprisingly devoid of religious iconography. Dates seemed to be recorded meticulously, but births not so much. And of course it was all very male-centric hierarchical.

Photographing in graveyards is one of those things everyone does, including me. I don't think I got it right this time, and the hazy cloudy light didn't help. I'll probably try again.

Later in the summer we took a family vacation to Cape Cod. We stayed in Sesuit, at a place that was essentially an upscaled motel.

The whole family went to the nature museum, which included a tidal pool, several aquaria, a fledging perch for salt march birds of prey (though by August only the last one was still in the nest), and a walkway that you could follow across the marsh and out onto the beach. Someone had made a recreation of a Native solar calendar out of local stones but I couldn't figure out how it was supposed to work.

Photographically this was a fun challenge. Going from the macro up-close images of things in the pool to the distant bird perch (I wanted a bigger lens) and then trying to do some landscapes... it was tough. I'm still never sure what I'm supposed to be framing when I set up a landscape shot.
drwex: (pogo)

In other news, what are people using for image sharing these days? The plusterfuck has invaded Picasa and rendered it nearly unusable (I can't just share a photo, I have to "post" and manage sharing on my posts and blah blah whocares and make sure you remember to turn off whatever Google thinks is its clever photo-processing hoo-hah). Imageshack wants paid signs-ups, pfui. Flickr? Pinterest? What's the most usable for quick photo shares?
drwex: (pogo)

Soon you will all be subjected to "this is what I did on my summer vacation" pictures.

I rather like this one. Composition, lighting, depth of focus are all what I wanted. Had to tweak just a tiny bit in Lightroom.
drwex: (pogo)
I have a pre-Arisia shoot now coming up. And of course, Arisia. So back into the Lightroom I go after months of not feeling it.
I cut to save your scrollbars )
drwex: (pogo)

I've added a couple dozen (yes, really) more photos to the album. What can I say, they got "lost" in my wrangling and attempting to get stuff posted out of order.
drwex: (pogo)

That URL should get you to the album. Let me know if it doesn't work. Also let me know if there's a picture of you up there that you'd rather wasn't on the Web.

I'm a little frustrated by the changes Google has made to how photos are handled - essentially all the useful functionality that was in Picasa/Picasaweb is gone now. I'm sure its auto-correct functionality is great for hobbyists who just want to blast whatever comes out of their camera onto the Web but it's a gigantic pain if you are an actual photographer.
nattering about the process )
drwex: (pogo)
Despite an early start and best intentions, getting the Arisia shots processed has taken longer than expected. I could blame the fact that this is my first time working in Lightroom, but really it's just me being my usual lame self.

Here you go:

As always if you see a photo of you or your family that you wish wasn't on the Web please let me know and I'll take it down.
drwex: (pogo)

Massive. 77 images, culled down from many many more. The project took me a couple months of very off-again/on-again work. I'm conflicted about this. I should be shooting more, not less, but the work of processing when I've produced hundreds of candidate images is daunting. I should be able to plow through things faster, but I don't.

The final impetus is impending Arisia and planning to shoot a lot there. I still have a lot of backlog to clear.
drwex: (pogo)
Been a while since I did this, but part of realizing that Arisia is coming is realizing that I've fallen (farther) behind on processing images, so I'm processing. This is still part of the July 4 fireworks shoot - and no, I still haven't figured out where to submit that other photo.

Your thoughts and responses requested:
cut to spare your friends page )
drwex: (Default)
This past July 4 I ended up last-minute shooting a fireworks show as a thunderstorm approached.
picture here; cut in case it blows out someone's friends page )
The RAW info claims f/4.5 ISO 800 with a 5-second exposure. I suppose that's possible.
drwex: (VNV)

I finally found a couple hours to finish the edits from the Beginning of Summer fire performance photos. Started with about 160 images, kept 62.

There's a mix of styles and timings in here. Some shots went as little as 1/1000th of a second. Others are 1-2 second exposures. I was trying hard not to pay attention to the camera settings and just shoot. I've also turned off the picture preview by default (finally) though I still find myself compulsively glancing at the back of the camera.

I want to be shooting more, but life is so overcommitted I don't know when that will happen.
drwex: (WWFD)
Last night taura_g accompanied me on a little in-town adventure to hear a pair of talks.
one was good, one was not )
drwex: (Default)

Last April through a hasty mis-planning I ended up down around MIT with nothing to do. Since I had my camera with me and it was a gorgeous day I decided that rather than sulking and going home I'd see what appealed. Turns out there were some boats out on the water, some blossoms on the trees, and some pictures came out of that.

I really like shooting outdoors in natural sunlight. It was also kind of interesting to look at these pictures of things, where I usually shoot pictures of people. The decisions about framing and adjusting were different, and fun.
drwex: (Default)

The Arisia 2012 bellydance show album is finally done. I started with over 250 shots; there are 114 posted photos. That's a lot of picture processing.

As always if you see a picture of you that you'd rather wasn't on the Web let me know and I'll take it down.
drwex: (Default)
This time I think it's more "arty" vs "aesthetic".

Option 1:

Option 2:

In this case I think I have a personal preference, but I'm interested in others' opinions.


drwex: (Default)

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