Sunday, April 28, 2013
This is a set from one of the more expensive pictures I've made recently.
I needed to buy the stand that is holding that bag up. That isn't too big of a deal, though. It has been on our "get someday" list. This one has a pull up bar on it, which is something I will use.
But, that isn't what made it expensive. My backup camera took in some of that powder flying around, and a one disastrous cleaning error later... I had an expensive day on my hands! Its okay, I am getting it repaired. But its a very serious chunk of change I could have used somewhere else.
But, its worth it. I like how these look, and without that powder flying around it would not look as cool. I also really enjoyed the time spent making these. It was a lot of fun, a few laughs, and the idea was working so I was pretty comfortable from the start. I also learned a little bit about my processing workflow, and how I can refine an idea down what I have in my head.
In the end I have this picture. The only thing I would have done differently is exercised a bit more thought and caution while cleaning out the camera.
Every picture costs something, time, tears, lost sleep, or money-- this one cost me a camera repair!
Posted by Ken at 2:47 PM
Thursday, March 28, 2013
This will serve as my Easter post this year. In the past, I have posted pictures of chocolate bunnies and eggs and written something snarky about how we've lost sight of what Easter is. I still think those things, but I'll keep my mouth shut this year.
This was a picture I made for our Church. This was one of the outtakes, and my favorite from the night. Looks like fun right?
I made this on what, up until that point, had been a disaster of a day. I came away from it thinking that any day that I spend real time with a camera in my hand couldn't be that bad.
So, from now on more pictures, less whining, and more food throwing.
Posted by Ken at 6:23 PM
Sunday, March 10, 2013
I thought a while about how to title this. You can tell right? No? Well, I did. I thought through all kinds of clever ways to use the titles of his albums: Location, Location and We Can Get Out of Here. Nothing really worked for me. Then I walked through song titles-- still, no dice. In the end I opted for something simple, something informative.
For those who don't know of Jake he is a "local" musician, singer, and song writer. I had to use quotes on local because he's been all over the place lately. I will leave the review of his music to those who write about that better than I do. Like most reviews I've read on any subject, I disagree with part of this one... Waves is among my favorite songs on the album. [ For anyone who HAS to know what my favorite is ... Clara ]. The local paper also added some writeup about Jake in their Year End Review last year. This also the age of the internets. To find out more take a look at his website, or look him up on Facebook.
I was excited to have a chance to make these pictures. It was fun. I got to learn a lot and ask a lot of questions. I also got to see a pretty sweet guitar with a family history. I am really happy with the black and white one I posted here.
Posted by Ken at 6:49 PM
Sunday, January 27, 2013
I don't think it is much of a stretch to say that most people use their cameras to document things that happen to them, or the people in their lives. It could be a birthday party, T-ball games, the evidence of pet destruction, or even just their lunch. Sometimes, it seems, the pictures don't even matter-- people just feel they need to document the moment! For example-- next time you are at a wedding put down your camera/camera phone and look at what everyone else is doing.
I never really got into doing too much of this. On one hand, I find it a little frustrating now that I don't have pictures from certain things. But, for the most part this doesn't bother me too much. I have pretty vivid recollections of the things I really really care about-- even if I don't have a picture. I don't like making these pictures, but I do like looking through other people's snapshots. I don't know why I never really made them.
I've even tried making snapshots more recently -- I hated doing it. When I looked at the pictures later I felt somewhat "meh" about them. I think the reason is when I am really making pictures, when its either my sole responsibility, or the whole purpose for me at that moment is to make a picture-- that is all I concentrate on, its where my awareness is. It is all I can recall from the moment. In other words, I miss what is going on! If I don't have that level of focus for picture making, and am paying more attention to the event itself, the pictures I may make don't add anymore to it for me. They take away, because I don't like them later.
Tobias recently lost a tooth. This was one of the front ones. I think this ranks up there in terms of child-hood milestones. I think most of us would reach for a camera to document that. Since I knew a simple cell-phone snap, or a quick grab with something else would just irritate me when I looked at them -- we made these instead.
The black eye is from our resident fifth-grade make-up artist ( see the sparkles! ), and a little help from Photoshop ( little burn, little color ).
Anyway, I'll enjoy seeing these later-- and it serves the purpose of documenting the gap tooth too.
Posted by Ken at 4:29 PM
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Its been a while since a put up a doggy picture. So, here are a few. There isn't too much to say about these. But, I guess there are a few completely random things to say. Dogs are uncooperative. This makes them similar to toddlers.
Jazzy has been relatively good lately. For example, I can't recall the last time she decided to eat something expensive. She did recently try to eat something important though. The paper I have my passwords listed on is missing a corner or two, and has teeth marks on it.. I really should keep them somewhere better.
The hurricane scared her. Now whenever there is any big wind she stands around with her head and tail down and shakes. I can't say I blame her that much. It probably makes her think of the Dust in the Wind video-- And have you seen that!!?
Recently she has learned to ask for food. She will bark, and nudge, and try to lead to her food bag. The funny thing about this is she assumes neither Carly or I knows when the other has fed her. But we know. I don't think she's gotten any extra bowls food.
She hates football. Well, that probably isn't true. She hates it when people watch football. Its not so much the watching that bothers her, but the yelling and screaming does. But that is the commercials, its worse when the game is actually being played. She was particularly upset about Tom Brady's final interception of the season. There was noise all around. She can't tell the difference between happy yells and sad yells it seems.
Somehow or another she has decided she is second in charge of our pack. At least she understands I am first. We are working on fixing that entire delusion.
Along those lines she also knows when I am home she isn't suppose to bark. Have you ever heard a dog barked with her mouth closed? Its hysterical. The best part is she doesn't think we notice what she is doing.
Posted by Ken at 5:27 PM
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Don't center your subjects! Get Closer! Use the rule of thirds! Don't put the horizon in the middle of the frame! Don't have people looking "out" of the frame! Don't cram things on the edges!
If you have ever taken an introductory photography course, or read an introductory photography book you have heard these rules. They start as soon as start the discussion on composition. This is usually after they spend 3/4ths of the time/space allotted on how to use a camera, which may become a writeup for another day.
The "rules" can help. But, doggedly following them can also lead to boring and predictable pictures.
Even though some books and classes tell you the "rules" are only guidelines, they don't do a very good job of helping you us why they exist in the first place. If they did, we would gain the confidence to break them in useful ways earlier.
If you've read many internet forums, you have probably heard other rules. Except they aren't really presented as rules or guidelines. They are generally presented in the context of putting down other peoples' work. One of my favorites is "no selective coloring!" -- it creates no end of cliché insults being shared. What is selective coloring? It is having one piece of an otherwise black and white image left in color. People put it down as being somewhat kitsch, or "old fashioned"-- it was used early on in the film to digital transition. People felt it was "neat" and it became very easy to do. I tend to agree with the criticisms, but mostly because color immediately draws your eye. Most of the time I see selective-color used it doesn't seem to be to add "meaning" to the subject on the image. It may even detract from it. For example: if it is done to color the bouquet of flowers in bride's hands it takes away from her face, or to color a ribbon on a dress it drags attention away from faces, etc.
I have never really done one of these before. But, I tried it to make new profile picture. It fit my idea. I tend to obscure my face in those through shadow and light on purpose -- and I had another, specific, message in mind.
Posted by Ken at 10:15 AM
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
I don't make new year's resolutions. I am not sure why. I suspect it is because people tend to express wishes with no real plan to attain them with resolutions. I do tend to make goals. They tend to be small, sometimes silly, sometimes they are steps towards larger plans.
I thought I would write a few of them down here so I can peek at them, and see how I am doing.
They aren't in any particular order, I'd be writing this for weeks if I had to determine which items are the most important.
- Make better pictures than last year. This is a subjective goal, but there are objective and measurable ways to achieve it. First I will revisit the fundamentals ( as always, they are key ). I will then try to add a technique those I know so well I can do it without thinking about it.
- Play more Go. Go is part game, part martial art, part visual art, part mental workout, and despite all that it is fun. I didn't study it at all in 2012 -- and played very very little. A couple years ago I could probably hold my own against AGA shodan players. Steps towards this... start adding games on either Dragon Go Server, Online Go Server, and potentially resurrecting my account at KGS. I also need to study-- I will probably be trounced by people my "own" level if I don't.
- Play better Guitar. This one is easy, I'm such a beginner all I have to do here is continue to practice.
Attend a live musical performance.Attended "Enter the Haggis" at the Mount. I am still keeping an eye out for other chances to do this.
- Buy food from a farmers market or roadside stand.
- Learn a new recipe.
- Continue reading. This year was an outlier year in terms of how much I have read. I kept track, for the most part, on Goodreads. According to that record I have read 22 to books this year totaling almost 9000 pages. I have read more than, because I didn't start good reads until later in the year, and I doubt my back logging was perfect. I think this entails keeping the current status quo-- and trying to add more novels read outloud to the kids. We are currently going through the Hobbit.
- Read and think about at least one Bible verse a morning. I know I've missed mornings this year. Timing matters.
- Make a little video. Um, so, yeah, one of the reasons I bought my D800 instead of a second D700 was to make videos. So, did I do one yet? No. Do I have excuses? Of course. Are they valid? Excuses never are.
- Manage money better. There was once a time when my records were always perfectly reconciled versus bank statements. This is no longer the case. I feel like I may miss chances with this. Of course, I have a general idea what is where and how much, and so on-- I haven't been negligent. But, I haven't been perfect. However, it is quite a stress free doing it this way -- I haven't had to chase 36 cents around paperwork for hours just to find out it was a data entry error on my part! This one is easy too, just start keeping track of stuff closely again.
- This is closely related with the previous one, make a long term investment.
- Update this post as things get accomplished? Not sure if I'll do this or not. But, maybe.
- Complete at least one miniature or model. I have quite a few unfinished miniatures and models. I can't remember the last time I finished one, but I know it wasn't in 2012.
I will also grow a little garden plot this year. I did not list this here earlier because I wasn't sure I would have the time. I have determined that I do not have the time, but I am doing it anyway.
I should also note these are personal goals that only deal with me. I have others that deal with my approach to the people and world around me-- I just haven't listed them here.
Posted by Ken at 8:50 PM