Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Disposable

Here is a quick comparison to get things started. I went to the Eastern Sierras as soon as I picked up my first dslr. I had a lot to learn. Here is how an out-the-window shot of Mount Whitney, July 23, 2010:
On the road to Mount Whitney, Andrew D. Barron©7/23/10
It was the 557th photo I’d taken with the Nikon. I had owned it a week. Amazing to look back now for it was only my second new camera in four years. I processed the shot from scratch this morning, choosing a 16x9 aspect ration instead of 1:2.35:
On the road to Mount Whitney, Andrew D. Barron©7/23/10
It is a long road to anywhere. That’s life I suppose.

It looks better now because I brought down the exposure some (the clouds), and did some light sharpening in the foreground. However, the photo isn’t that strong. I wish I had shot in RAW, but back then I was really torn carrying around that many megabytes for mediocre photographs. Nor had I found a workflow to create JPG from RAW that looked as pleasing as the Nikon’s in-camera JPG.

There are other differences between then and now, too. I used to serve photos with a service called Photobucket. Indeed, many of my photos are still sitting there. The problem I have with their service (and Facebook and Picasa) is from a systematic recompression of the files. Another interesting problem I found was based on my own HTML. I used to resize the images with commands. It was a bad habit, but I did it for a very long time. I coded a 1024 pixel image as 800 pixels with a link to view the full size photograph. The full size picture was definitely not comparable to the file sitting on my hard drive. Somewhere between the image server and my browser, the photograph would be degraded from it’s source size. Between having my own webserver and embedding the photographs at full size, I got that control back.

In the original post where this photo appears, there are 33 photos in one blog entry. I love to share photographs, but gradually I reduced the number of photos per entry to about 12. I have many more viewers now than two years ago, but this most likely has to do with the accumulation of content, not from these changes. So my blogging style ebbs and flows with my photography style. Streamlining, revising, trying to get the that ‘it’ that leads me to photograph things in the first place.

I now take much more time editing fewer photographs as well as much more time while photographing. The other night I went out for about two hours and opened the shutter three times. It is a natural progression.

I once thought that by writing informative articles, unforeseen connections would loop through. I was a little off. The internet seems to be a one-direction feed, where folks just take what is out there and sort it out. I don’t go out with a camera for a reason. It may be an artistic impulse, the love of a place, or even of being alive that drives me. Though not to overstate it, since it can be from boredom, too. In real life I joke about my internet/photography activities as ‘stuff that nobody cares about.’ I’ll say that nobody cares, and statistically it is probably true. But in the end, it’s me that cares, or else, why bother? The sustained push for photographic pursuits has been going on for years now and shows no sign of stopping.

Okay, I painted myself into a corner with all of that. How about some film photographs from a disposable camera?! Introducing the Kodak Ultra Compact with an Ektanar lens and GT800 film, expired April 2011, photos from March:
Rock fall above Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron©March 2012
I shot a lot of documentary photos of the flooding. I will take more care using these cameras, seeing the unexpected quality. Rogue river:
Bankful on the Rogue, Andrew D. Barron©3/22/2012
Try to spot the group of birds.
Patterson Bridge over on the Rogue, Andrew D. Barron©3/22/2012
Nesika Road, Andrew D. Barron©March 2012
I forgot about this camera for a while; this is some time later in April:
Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron©April 2012

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