Monday, March 17, 2008

Dis, Dat, and T'Other


Ah to be a fly on the wall at Nikon or Canon - what are they going to add to the next cameras. Of course their goal is to add as few features as possible compatible with competing with the opposition. With Nikon moving up fast with the D300 and D3, there's going to be more pressure on Canon to add significant features. Personally I'd like to see a tilting 3.5 inch LCD screen - it would make some of my photography dramatically easier. I do have a right angle finder but...

Looking Back

It's been an interesting year - a year ago if someone had said I'd have a successful book behind me I'd check to see what they were smoking. The book is being reprinted as you read this, the first 5000 copies all gone from the distributor and the book is usually in the top 25 photography books at

Thinking Ahead

I'm getting cold feet on another book - not enough images without duplicating - even though the purposes of the books are quite different - afraid that the content isn't different enough from all those photoshop books out there. I'm open to suggestions for a topic that would be both unique and useful.

Feeling Sorry For Myself

I've had the flu for three weeks - completely exhausted, short of breath much of the time - finally improving but even today I slept through lunch before returning to the patients. On Friday started seeing flashing lights - a sign of a vitreous separation (goo from the retina) and wasn't surprised but somewhat horrified to wake saturday with a huge floater drifting in front of my central vision in the left eye - they say it will settle, but it's my photographing eye! Not a happy camper. I make a terrible patient, moan moan, bloody moan!

Photographic Plans

I do feel that Independent Machinery is winding down after 14 trips but I want to shoot a few more of the regular staff but it's time to start thinking of a different project. The rheumatoid arthritis is sufficiently better that landscape is a possibility but I'm not finished with industrial. Was watching a video of Edward Burtynsky photographing some of his industrial shots, using a large ladder to photograph over chain link fences - good idea - he uses the top of the ladder for his tripod head.

Perhaps I need to be thinking about a completely new subject for my photography - hmmn...


ilachina said...


Sorry to hear about the flu and the floaters. FYI: I have both astigmatism and am very near sighted; I've worn glasses ever since I was born (or it feels like it anyway;-) And as for floaters...don;t even get me started. Left eye, right eye, doesn't matter, I've had gook gloating in front of my frontal vision area as long as I can remember. I know its a cliche, but in my case at least, a time-worn truth: you get used to it, and after a while hardly notice it. There are worse things of course.

As for you getting cold feet (!?!) (1) by the time the next book sees the light of day, you will havemany new images that will find their place in it; and (2) consider this idea: unlike just about *any* other book out there (even the one you were/are contemplating), how about something like a compelling, very personal "diary" style glimpse of the inner artistic world as the photographer goes about his business. By that I mean, not an "after the fact" here is what I thought about, here is how I approached a problem, which is all well and good and has been done countless times before (with varying success). What I mean, as best you can, *take the reader along with you* for each step of the way as you conceive a project, plan, muse, second-guess, scout, take some experiment pictures, go out for the real thing, walk around, explore, search,....all the way up to what you are thinking even as you are working on a photograph in photoshop. Not necessarily the detailed nitty-gritty (though some of that belongs); but your inner state and thoughts/emotions as you are working. Lead us inside. In a sense, do with your book *about* photography what we all aspire to do with our *photography*: namely, to convey a feeling, a sense of doing and experiencing. Now *that* has hardly at all been done (and if so, no where approaching "well"). Yours would be a very special book.

George Barr said...


interesting idea - I'll give it some serious consideration.


My Camera World said...

I also hope you get well soon and that you will be able to pursue your photographic and any other passions with vigour.

For new material: There is a lot already written almost about every subject. Most very technical and while it gets you going, it does not for me convey enough of the inner voice in the writings. I enjoy a person’s reasons and feelings that when into capturing of the images.

I thing that there is too much on the subject of ‘how to quickly become great’ with the standard format to pop culture. Not that I don’t like a lot of it, but it doesn’t last after the first few impressions. Photos I would not hang on my wall as it doesn’t really evoke any emotions except the initial wow.

In my own blog I tend not to focus too much on the technical aspects of photography, but try show examples and ideas that spur creative ideas. I originally came from a painting world and I approach each image as I would a painting. How can I enhance or recede scene elements to convey the vision I had for the scene.

We all can buy paint by numbers and produce a pleasing (?) image. But nor many can from scratch create and image that is in your mind.

Writing form that perspective, how to see more than is really there or how to see a image that is not in front of you, but you know you want and they go about finding the best place to position the camera and any lighting (natural-time, or actual lights) to get what you desire.

That is the reading I enjoy.

Niels Henriksen

Alan Rew said...

George - have you considered submitting another portfolio for LensWork?

Since you first entered some photos, your style or subject matter might have changed significantly (I haven't seen the earlier edition: I've only just started subscribing).

Nowadays, with LensWork Extended, a larger selection of your work could be included.

If you just want exposure for your work, that might be the way to go.

Get well soon,


bob said...

On the topic of subjects for books, I like what ilachina said and here is another.
How to Enjoy Photography. I don't like the title I've used but it is self explanatory.