Archive for November 2013

Early Thursday Morning Rant!   3 comments

DSCN2882-adjusted-4x6I recently read a blog post on How to Photograph a Sunrise by Christina N Dickson in which she offers several tips such as:

1-Arive Early
2-Shoot in (TV) setting for 20 seconds
3-Set the White balance to Shade to warm up the cool tones
4-Shoot in RAW

All good ideas. However one reader took exception the the post pointing out that by doing that there were two steps – photography, and post production work.. He then went on to say that if a photograph is taken with the idea there will be post production work, then the art of photography is cheapened!

Someone save us from this kind of want-a-be photographer.

As I have written before, there is no such thing as a “pure” photograph. No camera can capture an image that is totally the way it was seen at one particular moment in time. Let me list just a few reasons why that is true.

1-The vantage point from where the photograph is taken.
2-What lens are you using.
3-What is the shutter speed and lens opening.
4-What is your white balance set at.

These are just a few of the subjective decisions that photographers have to make. Even if the camera is set on Automatic, then a computer chip that was designed by some human makes those decisions for you.

Also, the idea that no true photographer/artist would ever stoop to post production work cheapens the art of such masters as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and others who spent as much time if not more in a wet darkroom (post production). How many prints did these true artists of photography make before letting anyone see the image? And somewhere I read that in later years Adams changed the way he printed one of his iconic images! Just because today a computer and software is used in post production doesn’t make it any different, just a whole lot easier.

In the wet darkroom days we had to decide what grade of paper to print the image on, what f-stop to set the enlarge to, Condenser or Diffusion enlarger or maybe a Cold Tube one, how long an exposure time, what developer to use for the film and paper and where to burn and dodge and for how long. And those are just a few of the decision that were made to produce an “in camera” image!

“Pure” in-camera photograph? No Way!!

Thanks for letting me rant…the attached photo has nothing to do with this post. Just early morning shot of Little Acker Lake with a swimming turtle to the right of the submerged part of the dock.

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Posted November 21, 2013 by hwilliam in Photography

Seasons, Photography and Memories   2 comments

IMG_0388=test-upload2 Seasons come and seasons go.
First there’s rain and then there’s snow.
With Summer and Fall in between
Which one is my favorite scene?

As I’ve written before, with Shirlee being bedridden with the last stages of her lung cancer, there isn’t much time for photography and that is okay with me. She comes first in all my day-to-day activities and that is the way I want it. I have learned so much from her, she taught without teaching. She has been so supportive of my photography, my music and my writing. She has given constructive criticism when it was called for and praise when she felt I deserved it. Did I always like the criticism? Of course not! There were times we had long, sometimes loud discussions on the subject. But in the end, after I became objective, she was almost usually correct. And knowing she was only trying to make whatever I was doing better, the times of praise were even more special.

So what does all of that have to do with changing seasons, you ask. Just this, like the changing of the West Michigan seasons, so too is the changing of life. The Spring, The Summer, The Fall and finally The Winter. All different, all bringing disappointment and hope mingled together. Like the old question, “Is the glass half empty or half full?” so is our view of these changing seasons. How we look at them will determine how we feel about them. It will not change the actual happenings, but it will change our perspective. And our perspective is what determines our reaction.

And so it is with what’s going in in our lives at the moment. Each day that Shirlee is physically in my life is a day to cherish in so many respects. But the days she suffers with her pain and breathing problems cause me to ask myself, “Am I being selfish?”. I don’t want to see her suffer, but on the other hand it is hard to let go. But letting go is what I need to do. She is at peace with the future. She and I both know we’ll be together in Heaven someday. She’s probably just going to get there first. And when I accept that and she knows it’s okay to go, then our lives are in harmony. Our feelings and perceptions are aligned. Our love is forever true.

So, whether I take photographs now is not important. By spending my days and nights with her I am making memories of our time together that will last forever. And aren’t they the best photographs of all?

Posted November 12, 2013 by hwilliam in Uncategorized