Topic: Commentary (199 posts) Page 1 of 40

Today's News

Just quickly, I couldn't help but share this from Petapixel this morning.

Olympus (OM System) with a built-in graduated filter. Newer cameras are going to start including not only this but all sorts of AI. Many of the things that we take for granted our smartphones can do, newer cameras will incorporate. This means a landscape shot of the highlands in Scotland will be enhanced right out of the chute. Will the original un-enhanced image still be there as a reference? Don’t know, maybe not. I for one do not want a camera company interjecting its own controls onto my photograph. Still, I’d be willing to bet that a newer photographer would define the enhanced vs. un-enhanced image as being much better. Slippery slope for sure. Another pin drops in the end of photography as we know it. Ka-ching.

 Clearly a "feature" driven by marketing concerns. Presumably, we'll be able to peel away the AI enhancements as layers to get to the original. I assume some camera manufacturers will promote a more "purist " approach. Leica comes to mind. But in the ever-increasingly tough camera market,  companies will need to add more in-camera options, making the imagery "better" right out of the box.

Topics: Commentary

Permalink | Posted January 30, 2024

I remember the time when part 2

This is the second in a two-post piece on my screwup one day photographing the Black Water Dam in southern NH in the late 80s.

I packed the gear in the back of the car and began to drive out to the highway. I thought I might drive into Manchester, a nearby city, as I knew that there was a camera store there. Maybe they would have the Bogen connector plate I needed. Maybe the day wouldn't be a total wash and I could go back to Black Water Dam to photograph.

I drove into town, parked on a side street, got out of the car, and, as I was crossing the street heading for the camera store, looked over my right shoulder to see an older, somewhat beaten-up pickup truck parking behind my car. I could see it was a woman behind the wheel and she was parking a whole space behind my car on the street, which was on a hill. Both my car and her truck were facing down the hill. No problem, right? Well, she got out of her truck, locked it and started to walk down the sidewalk as I stood there and watched the truck quietly start to move forward on its own, building speed as it rolled, heading for my car. Surprising how much speed a small pickup truck can gain when coasting downhill in just 15 feet or so. Bang! It hit my car, launching it forward into the car I had parked behind, which now had risen up on my hood. After all this, seeming like out of a movie, there was now complete silence. I ran over to find my rear bumper shoved into the rear trunk of the car, the rear tailgate glass shattered and the front bumper barely visible under the rear of the sedan that now resided halfway up on the hood of my car. There was a little steam rising from the area of the engine of my car and a small puddle forming on the pavement smelling like antifreeze.

I am sure I was disintegrating right there on the sidewalk in Manchester, NH that morning, unable to cope or maybe even comprehend what was going on. Those of you that know me know I am something of a car guy. Obsessively washing and waxing,  vacuuming and detailing. That's me. My car, which was a pristine and impeccable Nissan 300 ZX 2 +2 had now been hit from both ends in an accident that I had witnessed from across the street in what looked like a slow-motion sequence from a film.

If my day hadn't been shot before this little scene occurred, certainly it was done now. There ensued local cops, the pickup truck woman returning to find her vehicle had caused all the commotion, a call to my insurance company, a flatbed tow truck from AAA, a friend offering to come pick me up and get me home with the camera and gear, a decision to have the car towed to a close-by body shop to my home in Cambridge, and then months of repair and repainting before anything close to normality ensued. 

It seems the gods were not aligned in my favor that day. In all the years of photographing, on the street, close to home, on location, and traveling far and wide, I've never been so confused, disoriented, and displaced by a series of events as I was that day.

Topics: Commentary

Permalink | Posted December 30, 2023


Occasionally, the blog reprints past posts if they've kept their relevancy. I believe this one is still pertinent:

From 2016, almost eight years ago. 

Let me know if you agree.

Topics: Commentary

Permalink | Posted December 3, 2023

At the MFA

Those of you who are in the New England area might want to avail themselves of an incredible resource. The Museum of Fine Arts Boston has collected photographs for a very long time and prints from the collection are available for viewing by the public. With a little organization on your part, you can request to see some iconic works made throughout the medium's history.

Yesterday, a group of us called the Photo Lunch Bunch did just that. We met in the Morse Study Room at the Museum and looked at about 20 photographs from the collection.

Left to Right: Roger Farrington, Jim Fitts, me, Jason Landry, Lou Jones, Drew Epstein. Missing is Paula Tognarelli who had to cancel at the last moment.

What a treat! We saw original prints by Diane Arbus, Alfred Stieglitz, Gary Winogrand, Robert Mapplethorpe, Harry Callahan, Fred Sommer, Robert Doisneau, and many others.

The process takes a little planning and I suggest bringing no more than six people. 

Here's the process:

When I was teaching at Northeastern and Harvard I would often bring a class to look at work at the MFA.

By the way, many collections are available for viewing. I suggest calling the museum or archive to see if they allow the viewing of works from their collection. 

I can't stress enough seeing original works. Call yourself a student of the medium? In an era where few make prints and photography is seen most often on a screen, many don't know what an original Paul Strand or Alfred Stieglitz photograph of his wife Georgia O'Keeffe's hands looks like. It could just change your life. 

Here's your chance.

Topics: Commentary

Permalink | Posted October 21, 2023

Vivian Maier

Just finished a session on "The Crit House" with Lou Jones discussing the work of Vivian Maier.

It is here:

Topics: Commentary

Permalink | Posted February 10, 2023