Sunday, July 29, 2007

Reify and Redact: More Selections

The paper and interleave tissue has arrived but the portfolio box was backordered. Those first selections have been printed and a few more selected to be printed.

In 1997, beginning a return to photography, I picked up my old Yashica 12 for a walk around the beach near sunset. The Yashica 12 is a twin lens reflex camera using 120 film (2-1/4 x 2-1/4 inches) – a medium format camera from the 1960s. This child’s bicycle caught my eye and I took a few shots of it against the sunset sky. The prints were terrible but I always thought that there was a good photo in them. A few years later I was able to scan the negative myself, process it in Photoshop and finally got the picture I wanted.

In 1999, while on a Popular Photography Mentor Series workshop on the Mississippi Queen paddlewheeler, I woke early as we approached Natchez. With my 1972 Konica T2, I was able to get this shot. Later that day, I dropped the T2 and it jammed. Fortunately, I was able to borrow a more modern Canon SLR and complete the workshop. I had the T2 repaired but also bought a Canon SLR.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Reify and Redact: The First Selections

Having made the decision that my Reify and Redact portfolio would contain only twelve prints, I've begun the selection process. Actually, the first few selections were easy and, in fact, have already been shown and described in this blog.

Hands of the Violin Maker is my first choice and not just a sentimental one.

Wallace is also an easy choice as is George and Greg.

Lake McDonald Sunrise is my first choice for a landscape photograph.

Although Chair, Boots and Pitcher are presented and discussed together, by my rules I must count them separately. In that case, I've decided to include only Chair in the portfolio.

Now the really difficult selection job begins.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Reify and Redact Project

“… do you have a portfolio that you could present without a single excuse or elaboration as being representative of what you've done as a photographer?”

Mike Johnston
The Online Photographer, July 19, 2007

Something was obviously missing in my assortment of prints, slides and digital files. After reading Mike’s article, “Reify and Redact”, I’ve decided to accept his challenge and produce a real and tightly edited portfolio of prints.

As an aid to selection and editing, I’ve made up the following rules:
1. Cutoff date 2006
2. Suitable quality for an 8x10 or better print
3. Only a dozen prints!

My portfolio will be a set of these prints, separated by interleave tissue and placed in a portfolio box. My first thought was to use 11x17 inch paper but it was easier to find the tissue and box for 13x19 inch size. The boxes are a bit deep (1-3/8 inch) for only a dozen prints but that leaves room at the top for a set of linen gloves (well, maybe cotton).

My printer is an Epson 2200 and I like the results using Moab Entrada Natural paper. This is a archival matte paper that is slightly warm. Because the prints will not be mounted, the thicker 300 gsm paper should have a nice touch.

The cutoff date is set at year end 2006 partly to include some of my favorite photographs and partly as an incentive to make a better portfolio in the future.

The prints will be somewhat larger than 8x10 but small enough to leave a wide border on the 13x19 paper.

The paper, interleave tissue and portfolio box are ordered for the Great Reify and Redact Project and the selection process has begun.

Monday, July 9, 2007

My Canon G3

My Canon G3 has been a wonderful tool for learning digital photography. I bought my G3 in December of 2002, shortly after it was introduced, and continue to be very pleased with it.

I've written a short article about the G3 that is posted on another website featuring the Canon G7 -- the latest of the Canon G series. I've also added a page of pictures taken with my G3 to our HornerBuck website.

In 2002, except for the lack of interchangeable lenses, the Canon G3 seemed similar to a DSLR. It had external flash, could use filters and had a wireless remote. The G3 even had the ability to make “RAW” files – whatever that was. It also had the cute flip-out and rotatable LCD screen which I certainly did not need (but have used extensively ever since I first tried it!).

The G3 has helped me to learn digital photography: exposures, exposure combinations, histograms, external flash, multiple flash, flash syncronization, stitching, RAW mode, exposure blending, and High Dynamic Range processing. Could I have learned these techniques without the G3? Sure, but the G3 really helped the process.

In my opinion, the Canon “G” series is an introductory camera to the full featured digital single lens reflex (DSLR). That’s certainly the way I’ve used my G3. There is a saying that “The best camera is the one you have with you.” and the Canon G3 is almost always with me.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Rockets' Red Glare

As we celebrate the "rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air", the flash from fully automatic cameras in the crowd can rival the glow of the fireworks. This is the time to turn off the flash and put the camera in some sort of manual mode -- preferably full manual mode: shutter speed, aperture and focus. This particular shot was taken at 1.3 seconds exposure, f5.6 and infinity focus. The camera was on a tripod.

The general idea is that the streaks of light from the fireworks are so quick and so bright that proper exposure is essentially set by only the ISO sensitivity and the aperture. The long exposure (usually about 1/2 to 2 seconds) is necessary to catch the streak of the rocket as well as the burst.

I've put a few more fireworks photos on my website at