Aug 31 2013

Historical image sharpness in light of today’s expectations.

Digital photography has a subset where some people seem to spend as much or more time worrying about their gear as actually taking pictures. It’s as if the acquisition of some new camera or lens will solve all their problems. Or time is spent arguing over some minor improvement that apparently renders everything previous obsolete, maybe they should delete all the pictures they took with such inferior equipment. A part of this obsession is focused (pun alert) on the resolution and pixel level sharpness of images apparently with no regard to how it would look printed and viewed. I recently spent some time looking at what are considered important photographs in a Sotheby’s auction catalogue and a large amount of them are anything but sharp or blur free. Part of the drive towards image sharpness may be the use of large prints in contemporary art. Photographers such as Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, and Gregory Crewdson create giant prints which are impressive to see in person, why wouldn’t you want to achieve that sort of image. The thing is you aren’t likely to no matter what camera you use. There are reasons images like these are impressive and it isn’t an accident, real work went into creating them including planning and a concept which doesn’t come with the latest model of camera.

I’m not immune from falling into this trap I’ve wasted more than my fair share of time evaluating camera gear instead of creating or enjoying the work of others.  I’m not railing against new cameras, I want the latest greatest too (also the oldest and worst), but having it shouldn’t be necessary to create art. In this photo by Ruth Orkin “American girl in Italy” what’s more important how detailed the image is viewed close up or the content?

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My advice for anyone that finds themselves thinking that maybe they need a new camera or lens is to spend an equal amount of time looking at great photographs from other people and you may soon find out they didn’t even use equipment that matches what you already have.


Aug 28 2013

iPad Painting 13

After a slight hiatus from painting with pixels I’ve done a few more iPad paintings. This is of the old Alexandria bridge over the Fraser River. It’s located in the lower part of the Fraser canyon above Spuzzum. There is a small park with a path that leads down to it so those not afraid of heights can walk across its metal decking seeing the rushing river waters bellow. The bridge itself is not in the park and is the responsibility of the ministry of transportation.

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Aug 24 2013

Chinon CM-4s

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Simple is the word I would use to describe the Chinon CM-4s but in no way do I mean that as a (warning bad photography puns) negative rather it’s quite the positive. The shutter and aperture are completely mechanical and require the photographer to set them. The exposure meter display consists of three LEDs red ones for over and under exposure and one green one for correct exposure. What could be simpler this side of automatic exposure? In operation you can choose a shutter speed or an aperture and vary the other one to get the correct exposure, that’s when the green light comes on, or you can disregard the exposure as you like.
In addition I took many of the pictures on this roll using a simple flash, the Pentax AF160 for fill light. Some results where better than others. With this and other simple auto flashes you set them for a certain auto range and look on the chart to see what aperture you should use for the film speed. If you want to balance the flash to ambient light you can select a shutter speed anywhere from the minimum up to the cameras flash sync speed which is 1/60 sec for the Chinon.

The CM-4s uses the same K-mount as manual focus Pentax SLRs and mine has the Chinon 50mm f1.9 lens on it. The camera operates much like a Pentax K1000 while being smaller and lighter like a Pentax ME.

Here it comes I’m about to tell you how good a performer it is and how much I liked its light weight, …done. Yes I have met a camera I didn’t like its just not this one.

 


Aug 21 2013

Fuji fp100c 2013 (5)

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Aug 17 2013

Ricoh 35EFS

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If it’s that 1980′s vibe your after this camera will match your feathered hair nicely just don’t get it caught between the sides of your water-bed.  The Ricoh 35 EFS is very simple to operate. All exposure is automatic, the flash is turned on by you and you focus be selecting a little icon on the lens barrel.  I mean how well do you want the camera focused on that mix tape in your hand anyway.  So yes it’s built to look like a rangefinder of the 1970′s but it’s all plastic like the 80′s and is on the large side just like your shoulder pads.  The lens is a 40mm f2.8 with 3 groups and 4 elements.  Seriously though this is like totally the camera I would take in a Delorean at 88 miles an hour.

 


Aug 15 2013

Fuji Q1

A small fun colourful camera that shoots 16×9 pictures and verges on being miniature. That pretty much sums it up in one sentence.
The next sentence of course should be it uses APS film which hasn’t been produced for several years.

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More about this camera Fuji Nexia Q1


Aug 12 2013

Pentax Super Program, Oops

The oops comes from the fact that I tried the Pentax DFA100 macro WR lens with the Pentax Super Program, these pictures are not from that lens. smcpentaxdfamacro100mmf28wr

The smc PENTAX D FA 100mm F2.8 WR Macro doesn’t have an aperture ring but relies on the camera body to adjust the aperture. That is not a problem when using it with a DSLR or even a more modern film camera. The Super Program though is not one of these it indicates a particular aperture in the viewfinder but that doesn’t correspond with the lens setting. This fact makes this type of lens/camera combination incompatible. The images I took are terribly due to underexposure, it seems that the lens was completely stopped down as far as possible f32. It does work very well with my Pentax PZ1p though.

 


Aug 9 2013

Fuji fp100c 2013 (4)

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Aug 7 2013

After Dark at the Reach

I created this fun little 12″ x 12″  sketch in oil for the Reach Gallery’s After Dark and 5th anniversary celebration. The painting will be in the silent auction.  And yes that’s intended to be raspberry jam, it is Abbotsford after all.

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Aug 5 2013

Yashica T3 2013

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The Yashica T3 is one of those cameras that you tend to keep coming back to using because of the lens. I haven’t been able to definitely pinpoint what sets the look of the images from this camera apart but I know I like the results. It’s not always easy to convey that through small web images and these look a little soft as I post them but the originals are not.