ku # 1423 / civilized ku # 5270-72 ~ a pox on both of their houses

fog, mist , rain ~ Lake Champlain, NY -(embiggenable) • µ4/3

light thru window + lamp ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

light thru window + lamp ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

light thru window + lamp ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

I am in my 52nd year of making pictures. During that time I have read at least a big-city library's worth of words on the subject of the medium and and its apparatus (conventions / practices, not gear) - not to mention the 10s of thousands of words I have written on my blogs over the past 15 years. I have visited / viewed mid-triple digit museum and gallery photo exhibitions. I have judged 100s of photo competitions, large (Kodak International Snapshot Competition) and small (camera clubs and the like). And, 100s of my pictures have been accepted and/or exhibited in competitions / galleries, large (Carnegie Museum International Nature Competition) and small (local / regional photo galleries and institutions).

All of that written, as I sit here writing this blog entry, I have come to one simple (to paraphrase a politician) conclusion ... it's [all about] the picture, stupid.

Amongst other things, to my eye and sensibilities, it's not about how a pictures was made ... not about the equipment used to make it... not about dynamic range, resolution or other technical considerations. And, because I could not care less about what a photographer (or other artist) is trying to "say", it's not about "meaning".

Rather, for me, it's all about how a picture looks and feels. That is, re: "looks" - it's effect on my visual apparatus (I like my eyes to dance across the 2D plane) and, re: "feels" - it's affect on my emotions (what Susan Sontag labels as the erotics of art).

In other words, I like photography (or any art) as a sensuous experience.

All of that written, I have also come to the conclusion that both photographers and academics are the worst audiences for photography. The former most often tend to react to pictures from a technique / techincal POV. The latter seem to only care about "meaning". And, when first encountering a picture, both groups tend to start yapping about technique or meaning rather than letting the experience of viewing the thing itself wash over them.

ku # 1422 / civilized ku # 5267-69 ~ joy of photography

all pictures ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

marsh / Lake Champlain, NY • Adirondack PARK

Place des Arts (just one part thereof) / Montreal, CA.

hotel bar / Montreal, CA.

During my commercial photography days, one of my bigger clients was the Eastman Kodak Co. I did many projects, large and small, for Kodak over the years. One such recurring project was making pictures for Kodak's Joy of Photography series and other how to pocket guides.

FYI, I reference the title Joy of Photography as a metaphoric descriptor of my current picture making state-of-mind. Or, in other words, I am having more fun than a barrel full of monkeys making and processing pictures with the iPhone and the iPad.

To be clear, it should not be inferred from my current picture making state-of-mind that I have ever not enjoyed my picture making - commercial and personal - activities. Rather, it should be understood that I am experiencing a sense of "liberation" attributable to the fact that I am not tethered to "serious" cameras and a "sophisticated" desktop workflow ...

... which means that the visual results of my picture making are - in a Polaroid-like sense - nearly instantaneous. And, I can write with conviction, based my on my experience of making 1000s of Polaroid pictures, there is real joy - which can be shared with others - in seeing a picture come to life so soon after its making.

ku # 1421 / civilized ku # 5266 / picture windows # 73 / the new snapshot # 249-50 (diptych) ~ small is beautiful

Indian corn ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

hotel window ~ Montreal, CA. - (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

mechanical hardware ~ Montreal, CA. - (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

hotel elevators ~ Montreal, CA. - (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

I am finally at home with no near-future travel commitments and, even better, our home renovations are just a few small details and a few days away from completion. All of which means that I can once again finally start to concentrate on my picture making and blog posts. So, maybe it will be the same as it ever was.

In any event, as I continue down the iPhone picture making path, I have arrived at the realization that, with the new Xs Max sensors, I can quite happily use the iPhone for 90% (+/-) of my picture making. I can do so for primarily 2 reasons:

1. the image file quality is very very good. In most picture making situations it is way more than good enough.

2. 90% of my past picture making has been accomplished with a single prime lens. So, for me, being "limited" to the 2 lenses on the iPhone is no limitation at all. The "normal" (not the Portrait or slight tele) of the 2 lenses suits my vision just dandy. And, to be honest, with the variable DOF capability of the Portait lens, I don't think I will ever again make a portrait with a "real" camera.

That written, I have just come to yet another realization - in all likelyhood, 80-90% of my image processing can be accomplished on my iPad Pro. And, most of that processing can be handled with the Snapseed app. For more involved processing, the Affinity Photo app - which also has the advantage of RAW processing and saving/exporting .PSD files - has capabilities that rival those of Photoshop.

What all of that means is that I can reduce my picture making and workflow to the use of 2 handheld devices - the iPhone and the iPad. True be told, I find that concept rather mind-blowing.

various • testing, testing (ku/civilized ku/people) ~ taking the plunge

portrait lens / viariable DOF applied ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

smart HDR ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

fine detail ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

fine detail ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

low light ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

shadow detail ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone Xs Max

For the first time ever I have upgraded my iPhone to the latest and greatest variant - the Xs Max. Up until this time, I have always upgraded to a model which was 1 generation behind the latest and greatest. However, this time around, I upgraded to the latest and greatness for 1 reason and 1 reason only - the new camera modules' sensors.

After a few days of use, I can write, unequivocally, that the new 30% larger sensors-there 2, one for each lens-are a very significant improvement over the previous sensors (to include last years iPhone X). By keeping the number of pixels to 12mp, Apple was able to place larger pixels across the larger sensors. That resulted in a 50% increase in light receptivity-resulting in much improved low-light capability-as well as much improved small-detail resolution. There are also 2 other features which are very useful.

First, there is the always on Smart HDR. It is "smart" inasmuch as it applies the right amount of HDR (to include none if none is needed) to every picture according to what a given picture making scene needs. In my limited practice to date, it seems very smart indeed.

The second feature I really like is the variable amount-more or less-of DOF which can be applied-after the picture is made-to pictures made with the Portrait lens/setting. Very nice.

One other thing I have noticed is that the processor is very fast. When processing pictures on the Xs MAX with Snapseed, every operation is noticeably faster than they were with the 7s Plus. Not that I was pining for speed but I guess when one pays $1,099US for a thing (phone?camera?computer?) one should expect some significant improvements.

ku # 1420 / rist camp diaries # 22 / picture windows # 72 ~ a little bit extra

fall color ~ Au Sable Forks / Adirondack PARK - (embiggenable) • iPhone

door window ~ Rist Camp / Adirondack PARK - (embiggenable) • iPhone

picture window ~ Rist Camp / Adirondack PARK - (embiggenable) • µ4/3

My stay at Rist Camp has been extended for a few days due to the fact that our house interior renovations have not been completed as expected by the end of our Rist Camp stay. Hopefully we will have our kitchen back within 5 days.

extended caption: fall color - I have been driving by this seemingly dead tree for 20 years. It just won't give up the ghost. And this year, when fall color is both subdued and spotty (note trees in bkgrnd), it seems to be defiantly screaming, color-wise, "I'm still here!"

ku # 1416-19 ~ a beautiful gloomy rainy day

(embiggenable) • µ4/3

(embiggenable) • µ4/3

(embiggenable) • µ4/3

(embiggenable) • µ4/3

A few days ago I got to thinking that for quite a while, measured in years, I have not devoted much picture making effort to making pictures (ku) of the natural world. This stands in direct contrast to the time, 20 years ago, of my moving to the largest park/forest preserve (larger than the state of Vermont) east of the Mississippi River when I thought I had landed in a natural world picture making paradise.

It should be noted that, for most picture makers who visit or live in the Adirondack PARK, it is a natural world picture making paradise. And, they explore that paradise making landscape pictures which can only be described as of the ain't nature grand and glorious variety. Or, to put another way, romanticized sweeping vistas awash in "glorious" light (sunset / sunrise), atmospheric conditions (fog, mist, etc.) or blazing autumn color. Although, to be fair, some picture makers have diverged from the grand and glorious manner of seeing, but they are part of a tiny minority.

I consider myself to be numbered amongst the divergent picture making contingent inasmuch as, after my arrival in the Adirondacks, I had less than zero desire to be one of grand and glorious picture making masses. However, it should be noted that I was not attempting to be a picture making contrarian. Rather, and in fact, I couldn't be one of the grand and glorious masses (even if I wanted to) simply because I don't see the Adirondacks in that manner.

To wit, my eye and sensibilities are pricked by the more intimate and quiet natural world ... a part which lends itself to intimate and quiet inspection and introspection (go to my WORK page and check out my Thicket, Scrub and Tree Tangles or my Urban Autumn Color work as good examples of what I mean). Consequently ....

As I sat on the Rist Camp porch this Thurday past contemplating both my picture making and a gentle falling rain, I decided to pick up one of my "real" cameras and make a few intimate and quiet pictures. I can report that I found the experience of making the pictures and the results I achieved to be most enjoyable and satisfying.

Which leads me to believe that I will most likely ride that train again.

rist camp diaries # 19-21 (civilized ku / the new snapshot) ~ if a chimney falls in the forest...

mining ghost town chimney/fireplace ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

(embiggenable) • iPhone

(embiggenable) • iPhone

An expanded caption:

mining ghost town fireplace/chimney - adjoining the McIntyre Iron Works there was a 15-20 buildings village. Those buildings, left in place after mine closed c. 1856, had deteriorated and partially collapsed. A few years ago, the building ruins were cleared away leaving 12 (or more - I didn't count them) standing fireplaces+chimneys.

When driving around rural New York State, it is not unusual to see chimneys standing alone where a house used to be. However, walking down the road in the mining ghost town and seeing the standing chimneys surrounded by dense forest and looming hills/mountains creates a somewhat surreal landscape.

rist camp diaries # 15-18 (ku/civilized ku/the new snapshot) ~ blasting way with the iPhone

Erica on the Hudson RIver ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

trout/Wild Center ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

blast furnace ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Expanded captions:

Erica on the Hudson River - this location is adjacent to the remains of the McIntrye Iron Works (built 1849). At this location, the Hudson is approximately 1/8 mile from the river's source.

trout/ Wild Center - the rainbow trout is in a giant life-like river exhibit at the Wild Center, a center devoted to the natural world of the Adirondack PARK.

blast furnace - the McIntrye Iron Works' blast furnace (built 1849) and iron works was in operation for only 2 years. In addition to the problem of getting the processed iron ore out of the remote location, there was an "impurity" in the ore which made it very difficult to process. The "impurity" was discovered, in the 1930s, to be titanium whereupon a giant mine works was built (in use until 1962) near the original site. The government built a railroad into the site in order to obtain the titanium for use in WWII.