civilized # 3661-63 / the new snapshot ~ the proof is in the pictures

all pictures (embiggenable)

Back from the Jersey Shore. Spent most of Sunday and all of Monday processing Shore pictures and prepping many of them for a photo book, 5x5inch prints and 2 groupings for framed 20x20inch prints. The total "finals" (processed) picture count is 71.

In prepping pictures for the photo book, there was an interesting finding ...

... over my 25 years-50 years for the wife-of visiting the Jersey Shore, I have been an advocate for a change of venue for the annual gathering of the wife's family-40-50 people-inasmuch as I really dislike the heat, humidity and crowds of the Jersey Shore. "Never gonna happen" is the wife's retort, family tradition and all that. And, dispite that tradition, she insists that it's not about the Jersey Shore per se, it's all about the family.

OK. I get it. But, picture wise, here's the interesting "finding" that comes as result of this year's Shore picture-mine and other's-making...

...there are 56 pictures in my Shore photo book. Only 15 of those pictures are pictures of people. The rest of the pictures are pictures of place. Compare that to the pictures (100s), most made by other family members, in the online shared Jersey Shore photo album. In that album, 99% of those pictures are of people. And, I would estimate that 50% of those pictures are multi-people selfies which, other than a lot of people in bathing suits, could have been made anywhere.

To wit, the wife's point made manifest. Pictures never lie, right?

Civilized ku # 3650 ~ COOL SCOOPS

Cool Scoops ~ Wildwood, NY (embiggenable) • iPhone

Sarah in the morning ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Thank goodness for picture making cuz, if I didn't have that to do here at the Jersey Shore, a long walk off a very short pier might be the thing to do.

civilized ku # 3612 / made vs found ~ no direction home at this point

windows and a door ~ New Orleans, LA. (embiggenable) • iPhone

found / made ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

In my 40 years career as a pro photog, 99.99% of the pictures I made were "made" pictures. That is, pictures which were made-to-order to meet client needs / demands. Every element of those pictures was controlled by me .... placement / arrangement of product, people (models), props within the frame plus complete control of the lighting thereof and scene selection (when on location).

In my personal "serious" picture making, 99.99% of my pictures are so-called straight, aka: "found", pictures. That is, while I do control the selection of my referent(s) and the manner in which I arrange it/them within my frame, I picture the world around me-places, things, people-as I see and "find" them.

Both my "made" and "found" picturing activities have provided, amongst other things, a great deal of art(istic) satisfaction/ pleasure. Over the past 15 years, virtually all of picturing has been of the "found" variety. However, of late, I am starting to feel the itch (need?) to pursue creating pictures of the "made" variety. That is, non-commercial (client-driven) "made" pictures which, in their making, I control what-things / people-is in the picture.

The issue that I am dealing with in order to scratch that itch is that the possibilities for creating "made" pictures seems endless. Still life pictures of things-in studio or on location leads to the question of what things? And, to what end / intent? People pictures present the same issues ... studio / location and which people and to what end / intent?

iMo, it seems that the real issue is not still life / people pictures on location or in the studio. Rather, it is the to what end or intent that matters most inasmuch as, if one is going to create "made" pictures, it is the to what end / intent where the starting point lies.

While pondering that issue, I just keep on creating "found" pictures.

civilized ku # 5349 / triptych redux ~ meaningful grouping

coma girl mini ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

coma girl real~ (embiggenable) • µ4/3

In my last entry I wrote, re: my groupings, that some objects have special meaning and others do not. One grouping which has special meaning is the so-called coma girl grouping.

During her first week at college, our daughter Maggie was found unconscious on her dorm room floor. She was transported to a hospital where she became very agitated and somewhat combative. Consequently, she was placed in a medically-induced coma where she remained for 4 days while a team of medical specialists tested her for the cause of her condition (alchohol and drugs were immediately ruled out).

Long story short, no definitive cause was ever determined. She was eased out of the coma and placed under the immediate and long term care of a neurologist who eventually proscribed a med (she was on the med for 3 years) and she was released from the hospital. So, for her, it was back to college and life returned to normal.

Just before her release from the hospital, I dubbed Maggie as the coma girl. The name stuck for a while. The following Xmas, Maggie gifted me with a the above pictured minature hospital set.

civilized ku # 5304-06 ~ wacky weather

(embiggenable) • iPhone

(embiggenable) • iPhone

my hometown ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable) • iPhone

2 days before Xmas day the land was shrouded in for and rain. Visually interesting but not what most were dreaming of for Xmas, weather wise. The day before Xmas day, it snowed all day creating a white winter landscape which was perfect for the season.

Today is New Year's Eve day and, after a few days of very mild temps, the landscape is back to shades of green and brown and little piles of snow here and there. No snow in the forecast for the next 6 days. Winter just ain't what it used to be.

civlized ku # 5302-03 ~ right place right time

window blinds shadows ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

figures ~ Old Forge Hardware / Old Forge,NY (embiggenable) • µ4/3

When it comes to making a good picture of the everyday real world, being in the right place at the right time is usually part of the picture making equation. A picture maker can be in the right place simply by happenstance / luck or as the result of careful planning and preparation.

FYI, the time honored expression for being in the right place at the right time, picture making wise, is the adage, f/8 and be there. However, iMo, there is a very important additional ingredient to the "being there" part ... that is, seeing. If you ain't looking at the real world with eyes and mind wide open, you'll never know when you're there.

In my experience and way of thinking, there (picture making wise) is a visual state of mind. That is to suggest that one must see, not just look, and grasp the picture making possibilities.

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.

civilized ku # 5262 / diptych # 234 (the new snapshot) ~ no apologies needed

Hugo posing ~ Ottawa, CA. (embiggenable)• iPhone

motors ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

As my picture making slowly slides into the iPhone realm-I am desperately trying to avoid going all the way-I must admit that the idea of "ultimate image quality" has faded even further in to the background of my picture making mind set than it already was.

Specifically, since I acquired a digital camera capable of making RAW files-c.2003-I have been a full-on maker of RAW files. Nary a camera-made JPEG file has ever darkened content of my hard drives. While the fact remains that, whenever I use a "real" camera, I still shoot only RAW, my iPhone camera module picture making is full on JPEG format.

ASIDE I do have a iPhone camera app which allows me to make pictures in the RAW format, I have yet to spend any significant amount of time trying to grasp the techniques (shooting+processing) to do so, or, if it is even advantageous to do so. And, the fact remains that I most likely never will ... if I want RAW, I'll use a "real" camera. END ASIDE

The reason for that belief is simple ... I want to keep my iPhone picture making as simple as possible in order to adapt my iPhone picture making mentally into a "snapshot" frame of mind. That is, as close as possible to the original KODAK advertising slogan of You push the button. We do the rest. While I do the rest, it is done on my iPhone with, again, the idea of keeping it as simple as possible.

In shooting JEPG format with the iPhone and processing it on the iPhone, I have been pleasantly surprised at the image quality that it is possible to obtain with careful shooting and processing techniques. As mentioned previously, the image quality is such that I can make a print of one of my "serious" photograph-made with the iPhone-for which no apology is needed, quality-wise.

FYI, for newcomers to this blog, the genesis of my recent the new snapshot awakening can be found in the book, The Art of the American Snapshot ~ 1888-1978. Specifically in the following excerpt regarding the 1944 MOMA exhibition, The American Snapshot:

.... the pictures "constitute[d] the most vital, most dynamic, most interesting and worthwhile photographic exhibition ever assembled by the Museum of Modern Art" .... [P]raised as being "without artistc pretensions" and coming "nearer to achieving the stature of true art than any of the inbred preciosities in the museum's permanent collection of in any of its previous shows," the photographs were applauded as "honest, realistic, human and articulate."

I really like making pictures which are honest, realistic, human and articulate.