Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Story of My Life

I did not have a digital camera when I started trying to improve in photography.

It seems like a hundred years since I started focusing
on taking better photos.

Fern Unfurls

It has been a chastening experience,
with many months spent
down on my hunkers
as children used say in the 'fifties.

I started off by having some very good photographers like Blather, Elimare, Commando, Miss W. Tod and Magicbastard help me out. (These are names worth doing a search for, as their work is very lively.)
For a while I thought they were all mathematical geniuses, as I was wandering round with paper and pencil, recording the f stopping and all the rest of the AV and TV details on my Pentax Mz 50, not realising that digital gives all this instantly, along with the histogram reading.
As it turned out, this two year training made digital much easier, as I had learned the language necessary to communicate.

However, being self taught has its amusing aspects. I bought at tripod under my virtual tutors instruction. Not realising that it had extendible legs, I spent a month crawling round on my knees and shooting my subjects from some very odd angles, pointing upwards. Compliments poured in and I was told that my work had improved greatly...


DaviMack said...

I haven't tracked improvement, but you certainly take some lovely pictures. I'm glad that you're finding yourself to have improved.

So much of digital is about being able to take the volume of pictures that only the very wealthy could possibly have afforded to have done in film. So, you can improve without having to go broke!

Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

You're right...

as usual...

I brought a film for processing during the week. As it is a Fuji slide film it is going to take ages to process, but is not going to break the bank.

I'm looing forward to sharing the results. I mostly took slide film when I was a student (a hundred years ago) and some of the results are true classics.

I should get them scanned to post here.

Hope your studies are going well.

DaviMack said...

I take my slide film back to the USA for processing, just 'cause they'll do it quickly & not give me any troubles, unlike Jessops.

I've begun another blog, just to track the study stuff: Erase History (not to be taken as an injunction, but as a descriptor). It's likely to be incredibly boring, but you're welcome there as well!

Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

You must have some really good film processing company to take such time and care.
My people are reliable...
it just takes time.

Thank you for sharing the link to your very interesting new blog.

I spent a lot of time reading about cognition during the 1980's and went to many, many lectures. It's good to keep up to date.

Best of luck with all your endeavours.

DaviMack said...

People in the US just ... still use film. It's not such a specialty thing as it is here, and you can get decent quality developing anywhere. I even get high-quality scans there ("archival quality" at 25mb per frame) for the same price as it would doest me here to get just ordinary scans (meaning, less than 1mb per frame). It's bizarre.

The new blog will be boring, boring. But it'll keep my research organized, and let my supervisors see my work whenever they'd like.

Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

The scanning quality sounds remarkable, considering the average scan on offer here. Some friendly people in my local shop do a "professional" scan, and it is far superior to the one usually on offer in the fast processing places.

I still have to learn the language of scanning. I find it difficult to say exactly what I need when I find a new shop.

I expect your new blog will be less boring than you think. I know from years of writing that looking at work in progress is psychologically demanding for the writer. Readers find other people's ideas fresh, in general. Looking at a piece of copy for days, as I once did was one way of almost collapsing from linguistic exhaustion.

Photography is somehow easier on the mind.

DaviMack said...

The difference between "professional" and "archive" is immense. There's a lab here which does both, and the former will yield a 10mb image or so, and the latter will give you 25mb, at least.

You want an "archival quality scan", which will pull out as much as possible from the image, and is what archivists regard as of sufficient quality to be able to discard the negative (if you have to).