So close, ….

In an earlier post, I shortly touched on the importance of ergonomics in a camera. With the increasing complexity of cameras, the topic has only grown more important. A well designed menu helps the user find that setting, no matter how esoteric it may be. A poor designed menu blocks the user from finding even the most important settings.

A good hand-grip avoid the muscles in your hand to go tired or stressed. A poor one will have your hands trembling after a while. Seriously, there is no underestimating the importance.

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Hybrid Workflow

Hybrid workflow – it sure sounds a lot fancier than it is. What I mean with it is the roundtrip from film to digital to print. And that again sounds a lot less complicated than it is.

There is quite a lot of choices in the process, and multiple ways to skin the cat. In fact, it’s a recurring question on many photography forums. On the better forums you will get multiple answers, all valid. So what is what?

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Artist vs. Art

Some weeks ago, a discussion around a literary price here in the Netherlands reminded me of some photos that I find very fascinating.
The discussion, in short, was whether or not the author deserved to win a (very esteemed) prize, as the author supported or didn’t condemn a former Surinam regime that is seen as a pretty bad dictatorship. The literary work, as far as I understood, isn’t under discussion and is generally praised.

The issue hence is the political opinion of the artist versus the merit of the artist’s works.

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Recipes I like (III)

In previous posts with a very similar title, I described two combinations of film and developer that I like. One my general purpose recipe, one a specialised recipe aiming for specific results.

This post covers another combination I’ve grown to like a lot. Compared to the previous two, I have a bit less experience with this one, so perhaps it’s better to consider it a half-time report. Even so, it’s one I will continue to use as it gets a lot right.

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The romance of retro

When the first Fuji X100 came out, it sparked quite a lot of reaction and discussion. Probably I am biased, but from what I recall, most people liked it. ‘It looks like a proper camera’ – retro design, modern inside. I’m biased, because I liked it a lot. And I still like the X100 series. That said, I never owned one, and actually never used one.

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Post Processing

The mere act of processing images seems to easily cause debate. There are those that feels it’s an “anything goes”-game. Others that feel it’s an unmissable part of photography. And finally those that will call all of it ‘photoshopping’, with a clear negative meaning that any change to a photo after the fact is faking it. Finally, a lot of people somewhere in between these 3 points.

The underlying and more interesting question is when a photo is really done. At what point in the chain of events is it complete?

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Viewer

Most of the recent posts are about making photos. The craft of creating a compelling image is a fascinating subject, as it touches both a technical side,  pure craft, and a creative, imaginative side, which tends more towards the black arts of art.

There is also the side of being a viewer. Watch a photo, look at it carefully. Let your imagination, rational thoughts run with it. Find a superficiality or depth. Try to understand its maker and the message (if any).

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Recipes I like (I)

Do you learn more from experimenting, or from following predefined steps? Yes, a rethorical question indeed. One of the nicest things about developing your own black and white film is that it allows for experiments. It keeps it fun, since there is always some other thing to try.

But sometimes, you do need some predefined steps to get to guaranteed results. Sometimes, you just need to get results, instead of fooling around. Experiments should leave one with a couple of solid recipes to keep around for those times you need predictable outcome.

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