I’ve found that photography is an endeavor that is aided by taking lots of pictures. Though it seems that your favorite photographer produces nothing but beautiful artistic shots, you don’t get to see the hundreds of shots that are left on the cutting room floor (or the virtual trash can on your computer’s desktop) for every finished image. It used to be that the cost of film and developing was preventative to this idea for the average person, but we are beyond that now. If you want to try a lot of stuff, there’s no real cost barrier. It’s all about time now.

If you put in the time, you are bound to find a few winners. The key is to stop long enough to think about what worked and what didn’t.

The Book Business


I was recently talking with a friend about the evolution of books as he is still an avid Library user and I almost exlusively read on a Kindle.

Of course, I spoke of the future - how the actual content, which I think of as Books with a capital "B" doesn't need a container like the paper books of the past.

We got into the nostalgia of the paper books we both own. There are still a few I hang onto...and a few I can't get on Kindle.

I read this great article today, by Sid O'Neill on his site, Crate of Penguins. His post was prompted by the debate about Amazon's dispute with Hachette Books. This first one about the future of Books -

It helps if you look at the likely future of the author/reader relationship, and the machinations between those two entities. The thrust towards efficiency and speed is leading us away from the traditional publishing model of distribution.

and this one on the economics of publishing and the eventual demise of the traditional publisher -

We’re in this dissonant, dysfunctional relationship with the system that powers everything we do. We love Capitalism, but we hate its effects at the same time. It’s a grandiose case of the human proclivity for having ones cake whilst eating it.

As I read his words, I was immediately struck by the similarity to the evolution of the music business away from record companies and record stores as the sole distributors. I don't think anyone would argue that the old system of distributing music was better, more morale or more ethical.

We've just moved on.

It's better for both the artist and the listener. Easier to make an album and easier to buy it. The middle man has been made largely irrelevant.

I recorded an album back in 2001 and there was no decent way to sell it outside of printing up 1000 CDs and selling them directly or by mail. There were so many advantages to having a record company on board to foot the bill for producing and marketing a physical product. I had none of that. If I were doing it again today, it's likely I wouldn't ever press a CD. After all, even my old CD is on iTunes now.

Oh heck...shameless self promotion right? Here is the Rdio link and here is the Spotify link

It seems like we aren't far from it being as easy to publish your own book without a publisher. How a retailer like Amazon will be involved in this new system is still yet to be seen. I don't have any idea what it's like to sell your book through Amazon as an independent, self-publishing Author. I do know that having the ability to sell your music directly is pretty awesome and has been a game changer for music. I wonder if publishing will benefit in a similar way.

We'll find out soon enough. Progress does that.


Making A Waterfall Image



One thing that most people never consider is that the final image photographers post, print, or otherwise show to the public is usually not the only version that was made.

Sometimes, everything lines up for the first press of the shutter, but most often (for me at least) I try a few out to test the light, composition, shutter speed or any number of other parameters. Man, I can't even imagine how long it would take to see improvement in my technique back in the film days. Thank you, digital photography.

Speaking of which...A couple days ago, I picked up some film images that I had developed at Blue Moon Camera and machine and one of the frames was from a trip to Silver Creek Falls back in February. I posted a digital image from this session a couple days after shooting it, but the film version prompted me to revisit the pile of images from that day.

I haven't included them all, but I did think it would be interesting to post a few to show the progression and give you a little insight into how I arrived at my final image.



Image A, is the final one I put out there a few months ago, but it wasn't the first photo I made that day. In fact, you can see that I tried slightly different composition first.

B, is a portrait oriented version, with very similar development work done in Lightroom 5. It's a 5 second exposure, with the aperture right in the middle at F/10/. I used a neutral density filter to smooth out the motion of the water.

You can see that I tried a shorter exposure in example C, but it just didn't have the right feel.


You may notice that both C and D have a similar field of vision. I used the Sony 24mm Zeiss F/1.8 which is a beautifully sharp and colorful lens even at the corners of the frame. I really wanted to use this lens as it's easily the best one I own.

I couldn't quite get the compostion that I was looking for so I tried switching to a portrait orientation, but it just didn't feel quite right. After messing around for a few minutes with an image that felt somehow incomplete I finally decided that the image I was looking for would need a wider angle to capture more of the foreground detail from the tree in the water. Unfortunately, I was standing on a bridge which prevented the obvious move of stepping back a few paces.

I switched to the Sony 18-55mm Kit zoom to get a little more action and foreground elements into the frame. Though it isn't as sharp, this wider angle field was what I needed to capture the feel of being there. (Side note- maybe there's the excuse to start looking at nicer wide angle lens).

After a few months, I have to say that there is a really great quality and a pop in the details and the foreground of the portrait/vertical oriented version. I didn't see it at first, but it has really grown on me. Maybe I should try a print.





Finally, after I was pretty sure I had the shot I'd come looking for, I switched camera bodies to record the scene on film. Image E below- was made with my Olympus OM1, with a 28mm, f/3.5 lens at 1 second exposure, f/16 and Kodak Ektar 100 film. It was processed and scanned by Blue Moon camera.

The color is far more subdued than even the RAW files from the Sony, but there is a different sort of beauty that I really love.

I would've tried for a longer exposure, but forgot my cable release at home.