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Here's a thought . . . (July 2020 Calendar View)

Short videos with snippets, fragments, morsels, and tidbits from Brooks' fertile (and sometimes swiss-cheesy) brain.

Usually just a minute or so.

Pretty much daily.

Always about photography and the art life.

 
June 2020

July 2020

August 2020

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 1

HT0484 - Artmaking is Not a Competitive Sport

From time to time in photography, the concept of competition in art making re-surfaces. There are entire photographic organizations dedicated to the idea of competitive awards. The problem with this is that every competitive sport has to have a very rigid set of rules so the competition is fair. But art making must be without any rules, or it simply isn't art making.

 2

HT0485 - Perfection or Precision

Perfection is an unattainable goal in art making, but precision is not only attainable, but a more reasonable objective. Perfection lies in the eye of the beholder, but precision is totally within our control as art makers.

 3

HT0486 - Panoramas In Practice

I've recently become quite interested in panorama images. The ability to stitch images together and then print on roll paper has opened the door. The key to this process is to have a perfectly level tripod head - - and the key to that, I've learned, is what's called a "leveling base." It's an adjunct to your tripod that sits between the tripod and your tripod head. Great device if you are interested in panoramas.

 4

HT0487 - My Perspective on Olympus

Fine art photographers have never been the driving force behind manufacturers' decisions. We have always been a tiny subset of the market. We adapt ourselves to what's available. It will always be that way.

 5

HT0488 - Wynn Bullock's "A Way of Life"

Photography is a discipline that can be used to explore our world, our reactions to the world, indeed to explore ourselves. The exploring is more important than the photography. Means always serve a supporting role to the heart of the matter.

 6

HT0489 - Electronic Shutters

We are advised about the problems of electronic shutters and the so-called "Jello Effect" — more technically known as rolling shutter — that can be introduced due to line-by-line readout of today's sensors. But how serious of a problem is this, really? And what about the trade-off advantages?

 7

HT0490 - Print Scale

A small print can be taken in with a single gulp. Large prints must be nibbled in bite- size bits and then reassembled in our mind's eye. These are two entirely different viewing experiences. Few images work equally well in both types of viewing.

 8

HT0491 - Learning from Our Failures

Keeping a notebook of comments about failures is turning out to be far more instructive than I had anticipated. The process of writing seems to intensify the process of analysis, discovery, and learning.

 9

HT0492 - Another Thought on Learning from Our Failures

Photography can be a series of cumulative disappointments. But what if we change the premises of our creative process?

 10

HT0493 - Close, But No Cigar

Better to be very different than to be almost a match, but not quite. An example is the white of the print paper and the white of the mat board.

 11

HT0494 - Instant Sharing

Yes, it's all the rage these days. But, doesn't this frenetic sharing compromise the opportunity to live with an image for a while, and deny the possibility that our vision might mature with a little time and thought? Are we really that confident of our first impulses?

 12

HT0495 - In Defense of Volume

Photography is a cumulative process. The more work you do, the more your audience can find something they like, the more you learn, the more your artistic maturity can evolve. If your "Magnum Opus" will be your 10th project, isn't it obvious you won't produce it until you complete the first nine?

 13

HT0496 - Seeds or Starts

Beginning with a start is easier than starting with a seed. The virtue of reading, thinking, and asking questions before you head out with your camera. It's so much better to hit the ground running, with a bit of momentum, than it is to go out photographing cold turkey and have to start from scratch.

 14

HT0497 - Blended Images

In the future histories of photography that are written 100 years from now, I think perhaps the most important revolution in photography will be the blended image — not the composite aesthetic, but the way we can take multiple exposures to improve our images from a technological point of view.

 15

HT0498 - Removing Is Easy

We can so easily remove detail, soften the focus, crop in from the edges, clone out unwanted elements. Conversely, adding detail that isn't there, sharpening items that are out of focus, expanding from the edges are difficult if not impossible. This might imply a strategy.

 16

HT0499 - Not Quite Black

From time to time we want to make an image, often a still life, with a black background. For these occasions, a calibrated monitor and careful attention to the histogram are critically important.

 17

HT0500 - The Shoulders of Giants

A few thoughts about the community of photographers from whom we are learning, and who provide us inspiration and motivation for our creative path. Thank you everyone for being a part of this wonderful community of creative people.

18

HT0501 - Money, Cameras, and Status Symbols

A number of years ago, I became consciously aware what a status symbol photography has become. I'm not sure can understand $3500 camera bodies aimed at amateurs end enthusiasts in any other terms.

 19

HT0502 - EVF

I use the electronic view finder in my camera only on rare occasion because I know that its use tends to seduce me into photographing from the same height, eye level — in my case about 5 and a 1/2 feet from ground level.

 20

HT0503 - Where to Crop

One of the arguments in favor of high megapixel cameras is the ability to crop and still have enough resolution. But in my experience, cropping always yields higher quality images when it's done optically, with zoom lenses or the so-called "foot zoom," rather than via cropping in post-processing.

 21

HT0504 - Moving Things Before Photographing Them

Some photographers are insistent about not moving things before they photograph them. They feel this is somehow violating the integrity of what is found. Personally, I don't hesitate at all to move something if it makes a better composition.

 22

HT0505 - A Turning Point in My Photography

No single event in my photographic life has had more impact than when I began analog chimping in the field using Polaroid film with my view camera. The value of interaction via immediate feedback — when adjustments are still possible.

 23

HT0506 - Missed Focus

Missed focus is an unrecoverable error. To help prevent that loss, I've started using focus bracketing with some regularity. On several occasions now, it's saved a shot I would otherwise have lost.

24

HT0507 - Donating Your Archives to a University

A couple of things you might need to know before you approach a university about accepting your photographic archives. It's great if they will accept your work and preserve it, but there are some pitfalls that can complicate things.

25

HT0508 - The Reasons You Like a Photograph

In my observations, there are four reasons people tend to like a photograph: it looks like a photograph is supposed to look, it looks like one of mine, I am passionate about the subject, it's pleasing and makes me feel good. But, are these the best reasons to like a work of art?

26

HT0509 - Ergonomics

Because I used the same view camera for 35 years, I never gave ergonomics any thought. But here in the digital age I've purchased and used 14 different cameras in the last 17 years. Ergonomics is absolutely important — and this becomes more true as we approach the asymptotic ideal and camera-to-camera parity.

27

HT0510 - So-called Landscape Cameras

More and more I hear the term "landscape camera" used to describe cameras with high megapixels counts. Why? Is a landscape photograph better because it reveals more fine details? Is a landscape photograph better because it's printed larger?

28

HT0511 - The Power of Undo

The essence of the creative process is experimental. I typically use a strategy of "test, then see." Rarely do I find myself using the opposite approach of knowing precisely what I want and then simply doing it. I think this is why I find non-destructive editing such a great software paradigm.

29

HT0512 - The Power of Smart Objects

Photoshop's equivalent to non-destructive editing is found in Smart Objects. Although I use them, I find them less intuitive than I should. There are things that Photoshop does that are simply not possible in Lightroom, so I have it and use it. But for me, less than 10% of my images end up needing Photoshop. I suspect this is driven by the nature of the work I want to produce than it is the inherent capabilities of the software.

30

HT0513 - The Magnificent 8x10

The longer I'm involved in photography, the more I've come to realize that an 8x10 is just about the ideal print size, almost without exception.

31

HT0514 - Little Pokies

Twigs , grass, or other odd bits can poke into or out of the frame causing a distraction. Pay attention to the edges and don't let these distractions diminish your composition.