Written by Eric W on November 6th, 2011

I think I’m about done with this experiment and I’m shutting down this site. For those who read & gave feedback, thank you. For those who read and didn’t give feedback, also thank you. For the rest… hell, you didn’t read before and now it’s too late.

You didn’t miss anything, though. Entries here were a random collection of things, really without purpose. That will likely continue, but on another site.

Future writings focusing on photography will be found on – check me out there, if you’d like.

Epilogue: I feel a little like Bilbo in Fellowship of the rings, finally unburdened from the weight of the Ring.

I feel as if a great weight has been lifted.

Oktoberfest 2011 is officially over (for me)

Written by Eric W on October 24th, 2011

Off-topic, of course. Just stating the facts. Humpy’s had the last of their Oktoberfest feasts, and we survived it. Stuffed ourselves silly, we did:

Oktoberfest Menu, 2011

Oktoberfest Menu, 2011

I’m still not hungry, and it’s been nearly 24 hrs…

Guilty Pleasures

Written by Eric W on October 19th, 2011

I type out this and think of a Venture Brothers’ line: “a microwave and a tubesock.”

Kinda sick, right? Maybe a bit skeezy? Photographically speaking, that’s a lot like one of my guilty pleasures lately: Terry Richardson’s Tumblr.

Richardson's Diary

Richardson's Diary

I mean, we’re talking about a guy who doesn’t really have a great repertoire in technique. This is a guy with a ton of tattoos, who looks like a Kentucky hick, is known to have downed drugs in quantities that would kill me, and has published a book that reportedly involved the photographer himself getting a beej.

I can’t tear my eyes away.

Police clashing with photographers, not protesters

Written by Eric W on October 9th, 2011

Below you’ll see a screen-capture of one of the photos in BBC’s “Week in pictures” for last week. The main thing I want to bring to your attention is the caption:

Police clashed with protesters in Athens as Greek unions held demonstrations over austerity measures being applied as the government struggles to avoid a catastrophic default. Across Greece public transport was paralysed, flights cancelled, schools and courts closed, and hospitals operated only an emergency service.

Emphasis mine – click the image to see the text in full detail.

I have a few issues with this description.  First of all, this doesn’t look like a protester to me.  All that camera gear hanging off of her waist?  That’s quite a commitment, lugging it around.  Normal people don’t do that.  Amateur photographers don’t even do that.

But the professionals do that.

Seeing a police-type decking a photographer smacks of censorship.  What’s he hiding?  What is really going on? I won’t know from over here, but it sure makes it look like the government/police types aren’t the good guys.

Does anyone out there know the background behind this pic? I’m curious: who is the photographer, why is she being attacked, and what was the outcome?

This doesn't look like a protester to me

This doesn't look like a protester to me

Flickr is falling by the wayside

Written by Eric W on September 23rd, 2011

The more I’ve used G+, the less I’ve been interested in Flickr. Some of it is the interaction – it’s so much smoother in G+, it’s almost painful to use Flickr. A lot of it is just their lack of attention to detail.

Interaction is probably the largest bit. It’s easy to follow other photo producers. But leave a comment, and it’s nearly impossible to track replies to your comments. It’s fine for building a following, or a list of followers. It’s a failure for building interpersonal ties. That’s unforgiveable in the age of social media, I think.

But it’s solveable. I suppose there are third-party apps that could help, or other workarounds. Flickr could (god forbid) do some actual development of their own site. Shoot, even Facebook rolled out a bunch of features recently. If they could shift quickly, surely Flickr could?

But if Flickr were to try to adapt, I fear their lack of attention to detail would kill them. It’s a hard thing to define – why are Google’s, 500px, and others’ sites so much easier to use? Why do bugs still exist in Flickr’s interface?

The experience on other sites isn’t perfect. But Flickr – shoot, I can’t click on images in the web app. My Android phone won’t position the lightbox-enabled photo properly. That’s a pretty important piece, don’t you think?

Thoughts On Shooting (photos) in the Streets

Written by Eric W on September 18th, 2011

Trond Lindhom (profile) posted a question on G+ the other day: “what do other street shooter out there … use when shooting on the streets?” Plenty of responses, but not a lot that were all that useful.

My own comment, citing 35mm was just an off-the-cuff response. Thinking about it now, I realize I’m wrong. You know what I use when I’m doing “street” photography?

Whatever I have in my hands.

Really, that’s it. If I have my G11, then I shoot with that – and make medium-wide to medium telephoto shots. If it’s my LX3, then I know I’m doing wide (20mm) to standard (50mm) shots. My cellphone: wide, and probably through a filter of some sort. The SLR? Whichever lens is attached (usually the 18-200).

There are no rules, just limitations based on the gear.

However, my own initial response interests me a little bit. I was really thinking about the simplicity and ease-of-use that comes with using a rangefinder.  In the old days, street photogs would set their f/stop to where they needed it, find an appropriate shutter speed, and pre-focus for optimal resolution – essentially anything that would get their hyperfocal distance set & give optimal sharpness.

When I’m going out deliberately to shoot on the streets, this is my favorite technique.  Not the most optimal, not the one with the best results or best creativity.  It’s just the most fun. Shoot, I still do it with film on fully-manual cameras! In fact, I’m still using the Graflex 35 and the Nikonos 2 – how’s that for old school?

So as a slightly different twist on Trond’s question: what is your favorite approach, or perhaps technique in the sense written here?

City Hall

City Hall

Lady Liberty

Written by Eric W on September 10th, 2011

The first time I saw the lady liberty, it struck me how small she is. It sort of amazes me, in a way: at one time, this was an awe-inspiring, huge structure that stood out from everything around it. Now, it’s just a dot in the water, obscured by buildings and construction. Even in the aftermath of 9/11 and the gaping hole in Manhattan, it’s size is diminished by the huge everything in NYC.

Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty

Pardon the poor quality.  It’s a snapshot from a cruise ship that was in motion.  This just seemed somewhat fitting for the 10th anniversary weekend of the disaster in NYC.

Series of Images

Written by Eric W on September 4th, 2011

Remember that link to the side, to the Downhill Stream of Consciousness? If you like underwater pics or general snapshots (not edited, not processed, just left as-is), take a gander there.

In fact, start here, then click through the “next day” links. Might be worth it, if you’re into that kind of stuff. An example:

Tree at Night, handheld

Tree at night, handheld

Google+ limits

Written by Eric W on September 4th, 2011

I just read last week (sorry, lost the post) that there is a maximum of 250 remember posts on G+. Rather, there are 250 maximum browseable posts. You can search all you want.

I’m not sure what to make of this. It certainly changes much of the perception of its value, at least to me. From what I understand, direct links work . But if you try to browse through someone’s posts, it stops after 23 pages or so.

This is rational to me from a programming standpoint. But from a user standpoint, this is pretty bad. Not a deal-breaker, but certainly means that I can’t give up on the blog just yet…

Ominous Skies

Written by Eric W on August 29th, 2011

This was seen on the way back from California, about a month ago. We were returning from Disneyland, and were landing in Seattle – the last stop before going home. Out the window, I saw Tink. And the sky.

An omen if I ever saw one.

Not sure what it’s an omen of, though. Perhaps of returning home. Perhaps the death march that is chasing a child through Disneyland proper. Perhaps my mood, when reality sinks back in.

An Omen

An Omen