the new snapshot # 38-40 ~ cheaters never win

kitchen sink with dinner remains

lawn chairs with sunset

red truck in the rain

Knowing that I will never stop making pictures with my "real" cameras, I am working on a desktop processing workflow which in the end creates a pretty reasonable simulation of the new snapshot pictures made and processed on my iPhone.

I think I'm coming close inasmuch as the three pictuures in today's entry are; 1 made with my iPhone camera module and processed on that device, 1 made with my iPad camera module and sent to my desktop for PhotoShop simulation processing, and, 1 made with a "real" camera and sent to my desktop for processed PhotoShop simulation processing.

When it's all said and done, I believe that it's difficult to discern which is which. Anyone wish to venture a quess?

While I have no desire or intention of "cheating" in the making of my the new snapshot pictures, there will be times when the iPhone camera module will not be suitable for capturing a referent in the manner in which wish to present it.

FYI, when using my iPad, with its 10 inch screen, to make the picture in this entry, I felt like I was using a view camera relative to the iPhone screen. However, each device makes the same 12mp file. Interesting perception nevertheless.

civilized ku # 5074 / the new snapshot # 34-37 / verso•recto # 3-6 ~ sneaky intentions

tuna can + tomato top ~ Au Sable Forks, NY in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

Confession: the more I make pictures with the iPhone, the more I like it. The more I like it, the more I use it and the more I use it, the more I think I could do without my "real" cameras (if I had to, but I don't, so it's not gonna happen).

However, I have discovered that I really like the "snapshot" look of my made-and-processed-on-the-iPhone pictures. This should not have come as a surprise inasmuch as I have always followed a somewhat hybrid snapshot aesthetic motif in my "serious" picture making - that is, in true snapshot fashion anything and everything are referent fodder for my picture making and, on the face of it (the print), to many viewers' eyes, my pictures appear to display a disregard for conventional composition nicety.

That written, my pictures, especially when presented in print form, have rather "formal" quality due, in no small part, to their "perfect" color balance and dynamic range. And, to the visually perceptive eye, they do display, independent of the depicted referent a not unsophisticated arrangement of colors, shapes and tones across the 2D surface of a print.

Consequently, when my prints are hung on a wall, viewers tend to approach them in a formal / thoughtful / "serious" manner. While the depicted referent might appeal to them, viewers are also looking for those qualities which declare the prints as "art". A "serious" matter, that."

All of the above written, I am seriously enamored by the fact that my the new snapshot pictures give the appearance of informal / not "serious" picture making. Pictures dominated by the depicted referent and seemingly without regard for picture making perfection. Pictures which invite an informal and non-serious viewing approach on the part of viewers of the pictures because they are "just snapshots" and snapshots are made without any artistic intent or pretentions, right?

Wrong, at least in the case of my the new snapshot pictures. A lot of work (and thought) goes into making them look like "just snapshots"; the seemingly haphazard manner in which the pictures are made, processing which includes effects to introduce "imperfections", the addition of an amateurish polaroid-like print border and, of course, the snapshoter's apparent impulsive and indiscriminate choice of subject matter.

All done with intent of making art.

civilized ku # 5071 / the new snapshot # 32-33 ~ free your mind instead

sidewalk artist / Byward Market ~ Ottawa, ONT. CA (embiggenable)

colored objects - Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

feets - Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

In my last entry wherein I presented a quote from the Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian which read in part:

... ask yourself if what you are presenting will be of interest to someone else in a new and imaginative way?

Another part of the quote which I did not include asked:

... Similarly, are your pictures unique, or are you taking another famous artist’s ideas or style and adapting them with little change? Artistic appropriation, unless it’s extremely sophisticated and “additive” to the original idea, isn’t fair to the person whose work you admire—or, to be honest, yourself.

Regarding those questions / sentiments, I have always been suspicous of such counsel or advice which purports to encourage the pursuit of making pictures which display "originality" / "newness" free from the influence of what has come before.

My primary suspicion rests on the idea that there is nothing in the history of picture making, Photography Division, that has not been done before (excluding scientific picture making). Over the approximately century-and-a-half since the dawn of making pictures with a mechanical device, picture makers have explored a wide range of picturing making techniques and motifs. Similarly (again with the exception of scientific picture making), just about every referent of which a picture can be made has been made.

So, where does that leave us, the picture makers? iMo, it leaves us free to make pictures of anything and everthing in any manner we choose to do so.

iMo, it leaves us free to make pictures of anything and everthing in any manner we choose to do so. No apologies to those (and their pictures) who came before needed.

That written, I am not recommending or endorsing the idea (as an example) that the making of the ten thousandth camera-club imitation of a picture by Ansel Adams is a creative or imaginative pursuit. However, if it floats one's boat, sail away at it. Rather, what I am recommending or endorsing is the making of pictures of Ansel Adams' referents in one's own unique way of seeing them. That is, "forgetting" how Adams or his ten thousand camera-cluber have seen it, and seeing it for yourself.

iMo, the only pictures that can be considered to be "new", "imaginative" or "creative" are pictures which are made, not under the influence of what has come before, put which are made under the influence, not only of what you see, but of how you see it.

It is also my opinion that going about with a camera with the conscious intent to make "new", "imaginative" or "creative" pictures is the surest way to not be successful in doing so. It's all about freeing up your mind instead."

civilized ku # 5070 / the new snapshot # 30-31 ~ verso/recto and finally some pushback

a man walks into a bar .... ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

verso/rectomy pet rooster ~ ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

verso/rectowhirligig ~ ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

Finally, at long last a ray of hope, pushback wise, has been written by an preeminate gallery director. Words written ,not just by any director or gallery but by Kim Sajet, Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. As part of her Juror's Statement for a juried competition, she wrote:

... if you want your viewers to identify with you, don’t use long, overwrought, and verbose language to talk about it! So many of the explanations just seemed incomprehensible and/or pretentious. Curators love artists who have a simple and elegant turn of phrase—trust me on this. At my museum we call it “art-speak flapdoodle”!

And finally, ask yourself if what you are presenting will be of interest to someone else in a new and imaginative way? Many of the submissions talk of personal experience, documenting autobiographical people and places that no doubt resonate with family and friends. But do they have a transcendent quality that could appeal to complete strangers sometimes living on the other side of the world?

Finally. Finally. Finally. Although, that "suggestion" will most likely have little chance of penetrating the skulls of the Academic Lunatic Fringe crowd. That is, if they even hear/read it.

FYI, regarding recto / verso. Those 2 words were adopted by the art world a long time ago, primarily to indicate on which side of a piece of artwork - recto; the front or verso; the back - the artist signed or annotated the work.

I have been tinkering with ideas of how to annotate my the new snapshot pictures. That is, to apply, to the print itself, a typical album snapshot discriptor which indicates the person(s), place(s), event(s) or things that appear in the snapshot. In the past, most annotations - a caption, if you will - have been written on the back side of a print inasmuch as there was not enough space on the front side on which to write. So, that is why I have come to think that I should follow the same M.O.

In the past, most annotations have been written on the back side of a print inasmuch as there was not enough space on the front side on which to write. So, that is why I have come to think that I should follow the same M.O.

However, in place of writing a discriptor I have decided to type - the old fashion way with a typewriter - my captions on sticky pad paper, rip it to fit and stick it to the back of my prints. Or, so it would appear.

civilized ku # 5076 / the new snapshot # 29 / ~ and a picture processed on my iPhone

picture made with 1 of my µ4/3 cameras, processed as perm y norm

made with iPhone, processed with Snapseed app

Made with iPhone, processed with Wood Camera app

A few days ago John Linn had a comment and a question:

I have not always had good luck developing the photos on the iPhone or my iPad Air 2 regardless of app that I use and the tools available (which are many). It seems the Apple iPhone/iPad screens make everything look nice. When I import and check the photos on my iMac with its calibrated screen they always need some tweaking. What is your experience?

my response: When I upload a picture made with my normal procedures - µ4/3 camera / RAW Converter / Photoshop - I save that file using the Photoshop Save for Web (convert to sRGB/ Standard Internet RGB preview) feature which, theoretically, produces a file that looks good across a wide array of internet viewing devices. My files, when saved in such a manner, look different on my iPhone, iPad than they do on my calibrated monitor.

That written, since my monitor is calibrated for my printing workflow, it should come as no surprise that saved-for-internet files and files processed and saved for my printing workflow would be different in appearance. So, to my knowledge, I would expect that a picture made and processed on a iPhone or any other portable device would, when exported to a calibrated desktop monitor, look different from what it does on a iPhone screen.

When I export a iPhone made and processed picture to my desktop computer / monitor for the intent of printing that picture, I do indeed fine tune it for that purpose. Case in point, I just made a book of my trip to Chaffey's Lock / Ottawa for which all the pictue files were fine tuned for that purpose. The book looks great.

FYI, iMo (and I am not an "expert" on the subject), one of the best photo editing apps for processing straight iPhone pictures - that is, a picture to which no special effects are apllied - is Snapseed (see the Snapseed processed picture above). It has many capabilities, including CURVES, that most would find meet their processing / editing needs. If you want effects, it has a good array of those as well.

the new snapshot # 23-28 /civilized ku # 5075 ~ shafted

Pursuant to yesterday's questions ...

Am I an iPhone convert? Could I downsize my picture making gear to just an iPhone? Should I use just an iPhone?

... the answers are; yes, no, no.

My conversion is complete. Without a doubt I can write that an iPhone 6S Plus is, under many picture making circumstances, a very good picture making device for the types of pictures I tend to make. In fact, in some cases, it is just as good as my "real" m4/3 cameras, although, it yields a slightly smaller file size. And, inasmuch as I intend to now use it on a much more frequent basis, primarily for my the new snapshot work, I am moving up to an iPhone 7 Plus.

Could I use an iPhone for all of my picture making? No. The iPhone creates only JPEG files which are much less malleable than the RAW files I need to realize most of my "regular" picture making vision. That written, it is worth noting that using the HDR setting when using the iPhone does produce JPEG image files which are HDR-look free, yet does yield increased shadow and highlight detail. Nevertheless, I will continue to use my m4/3 cameras for virtually all of my "serious" work.

Regarding my the new snapshot work, the iPhone is the perfect "snapshot" camera. And, in addition, I am very enamored of the ability to process, in a manner of minutes, my snapshots - using the Snapseed and Wood Camera apps - to a finished state, all accomplished on the iPhone. A finished state which yields beautiful printed pictures. Not to mention the fact that, within approximately 5 minutes, a picture can be made, processed and on my Instagram page


FYI ...

iPhone picture processed to my normal presentation

kitchen sink # 41 / the new snapshot # 22 ~ could I? should I?

sink drain strainer ~ Au Sable Forks,NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

it is what it says it is

Over the past week or so, the subject of lighter / smaller / downsizing, re: camera gear, has pop-up on a number of sites. Most entries addressed the switch from bulky / heavy DSLRS + their lenses to compact and light mirrorless cameras + their lenses. However, one particular entry on TOP, iPhone Magazine Cover, was of particular interest to me.

AN ASIDE: all of the entries caused me think of this quote from Bill Jay ...

...photographers who carry 60 pounds of equipment up a hill to photograph a view are not suffering enough, although their whining causes enough suffering among their listeners. No, if they really expect us to respect their search for enlightenment and artistic expression, in [the] future they will drag the equipment up the hill by their genitals and take the view with a tripod leg stuck through their foot.

As should be obvious, I have been making quite a number of my the new snapshot pictures - over 70 and counting - all of which are made using my iPhone 6s. After making pictures with it in a variety of situations / light / of referents, I can write that I am quite pleased, somewhat surprised and rather impressed with the phone's - it is NOT a camera - picture making capabilities. And, just as important, I am having a bushel full of fun doing it.

FYI, the fun part derives from the fact that I have become much "looser", more spontaneous and most certainly have an expanded range of what I consider to be picture-worthy referents.

In any event, I went on an online search for iPhone pictures in order to see what was going on in that photo milieu. In doing so, I came upon the iPhone Photography Awards site. An organization which has been "celebrating the creativity of iPhone userd since 2007" and has the archives to prove it. In those archives are some damn impressive pictures. More than enough to create converts for the iPhone cause.

All of that written, the question(s) of the moment is, "Am I an iPhone convert? Could I downsize my picture making gear to just an iPhone? Should I use just an iPhone?"

There are no definitive answers as of yet. However, the pictures in today's entry, both made from the same iPhone picture file suggest that, in many picture making cases, I would have very little to lose.

civilized ku # 5073-74 ~ fair forms

yard through screen ~ Chaffey's Lock, ONT CA (embiggenable)

back porch mid-AM light ~ Au Sable forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

An interesting quote from Plato which encapsulates my manner of making pictures (think of Plato's "things" as photographic prints):

...when the subject seeks to go beyond itself and form a communion with the objectival other: "the true order of the things of love, is to use the beauties of earth as all fair forms, and from fair forms to fair actions, and from fair actions to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute beauty."

FYI, the screen pattern / detail in the yard through screen picture will most likely be lost on your monitor due to the the moire pattern created on your screen by your monitor's resolution in conflict with the pattern on the pictured screen. On a print it should look something like this: