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.

civilized ku # 5256-58 ~ back in the saddle again

giant lobster ~ Wildwood, NJ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Chick fil-A lunch / car hop ~ Cherry Hill, NJ / Wildwood, NJ (embiggenable) • iPhone

For those of you who might wondering, I have broken up my picture making into to genres - my "serious" work and my the new snapshot work.

Over the last week or so, I have been on vacation. In that circumstance I tend to make snapshots. On occasion, upon viewing snapshot work at a later time (most often when I am back at my computing machine), I realize I made a picture as a snapshot, aka: using the iPhone, but it is "serious" picture worthy.

In that case, I have no worry inasmuch as I regularly print iPhone pictures as large as 19"x19" on 22"x22" (trimmed down from 24"x24" paper) substrate. From a "normal" non--pixel peeping viewing distance, those prints are for all intents and purposes, indistingishable from prints made with a "real" camera 12mp sensor printed at the same size.

I am able to achieve that result even with picture making and processing (Snapseed is an amazing processing app) all performed with and on the iPhone. If I want to be extra persnickety, I download the file-after careful/light Snapseed highlight/shadow adjustments-from iCloud to my computing machine and perform my file processing with Photoshop.

That written, I will continue to use my "real" cameras for my serious work. On occasion I do make 30"x30" prints of that work.

FYI, for some reason beyond my comprehension, really thought that the car hop / Chick-fil-A pictures worked really well together.

civilized ku # 5250 ~

Easter kids ~ Bergen County, NJ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Off to the Jersey Shore, my least favorite place on the planet. Will be posting Jersey Shore pictures with commentary everyday for the next week.

civilized ku # 5244-45 / diptych # 226-29 ~ road tripping

road trip ~ (embiggenable) • µ4/3

pool from hotel room window ~ Rochester, NY - (embiggenable) • µ4/3

Kearney girls / diner ~ Rochester, NY - (embiggenable) • iPhone

PM / AM ~ Rochester, NY - (embiggenable) • iPhone

Annie's art / Annie + family - photo by me c.1978 ~ Elmira, NY - (embiggenable) • iPhone

griddle for world record pancake ~ Penn Yan, NY - (embiggenable) • iPhone

My 3 day road trip - >Rochester>Elmira>Penn Yan - was a fantastic success. Lunch in Rochester with the Kearney H.S. girls, in Elmira (NY Southern Tier) a day with a dinner with Annie (who unexpectedly and suddenly lost her husband 1 year ago) and a 4.5 hr lunch in Penn Yan (NY Finger Lakes Region) with Mike Johnston (of TOP fame fame). Each encounter was very enjoyable and interesting.

FYI, the hammer-blow-upside-my-head of the trip was the impact of standing in front of a toilet (in Annie's home) and being stunned by the picture on the wall in front of me. A picture I made over 40 years ago. Annie's husband, Murray, loved the picture so much, he placed it on the wall behind the toilet so he could view it every time he peed - a somewhat weird honor but an honor nevertheless.

Not nearly as stunning, but impressive nevertheless, was discovering the gigantic griddle used to make the then (1987) World Record Pancake - 28'1". The pancake was cooked before an estimated 5,000 people, and many of them helped eat the 28-foot buckwheat hotcake slathered in butter and maple syrup. Sorry I missed the event.

Re: my stated intention on this road trip to make pictures with my "real" cameras didn't pan out. I made a few such pictures but the iPhone sucked me in again.