Thursday, May 28, 2009

So I bought a new toy

So I've been thinking about getting more serious about film photography for a while. So after some deliberation and a slight impulse - I'm the now over-excited owner of a 1954 Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta IV. It's gorgeous! I have absolutely no idea of how to use it yet but I do have the manual. So yes... I'll try shooting a roll of film this weekend and see how I go.

My new baby :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Spud Hut Mystery

This weekend just gone was the Trentham Spud Fest. Trentham is pretty much potato country and it has a history steeped in growing spuds. The soil around Trentham is just fantastic (as I think can be witnessed by the beautiful garden we have at Meran Vale). As part of the spud fest - there's a tour of what are called Spud Huts. I think at the height there was 84 or so Spud Huts around Trentham and surrounds. Potatoes were big once! So Larry & I were at the Mechanics Institute checking out the spud displays and there was a display on the Spud Huts and we went looking to see if our Spud Hut was indicated.


So we informed the local historian that we did in fact have a Spud Hut on our property. She didn't quite believe us to start with. So we all trotted over to the house to let the local historians have a quick look at the hut. We do indeed have a Spud Hut on our property.

Brief Explanation Time:
A Spud Hut is a dwelling (normally about 2.5 metres by 3 metres) were potato pickers would stay during potato picking season. The majority were built in the mid to late 1800s. Unfortunately most have fallen into various states of disrepair :(

So back to the mystery... they're not sure where our Spud Hut is from. There's a suspicion that it may have been moved in from an out-lying property. It's been on the property before the people before us. So it's been there at least 6 years if not more. I'm actually now quite curious to find out what the story is! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CS3 HDR vs Photomatix HDR

Or is it a case of HDR vs Tone Mapping?

So I finally got around to processing some images in Photomatix that I had already used photoshop for. So basically a HDR that I had done in CS3 - I've also now done in Photomatix. So here's image 1:

I liked this when I first did it - it was one of my favourite images from the motorshow that wasn't of the M1 Homage.

So last night I did the photomatix magic on the same 3 photos (all were bracketed -2, 0, +2)

I like the photomatix version over the photoshop version. I wasn't expecting to as I've struggled a bit with photomatix and tone mapping. I won't call it HDR as the HDR image in Photomatix would be pretty much the same as the HDR image in photoshop.

So my conclusions on all this:
Generally not a fan of tone-mapping you can use it to create interesting looking images but photomatix is too fiddly to get something that looks "realistic". The eye-bleeding tone-mapping is easy enough (but why would you want to?). I'm not going to get into a discussion of the nature of tone-mapped HDRs - I understand what art is about and I firmly believe each to their own.

CS3 when creating HDRs is very resource heavy & slow, photomatix is much faster. I will probably use photomatix over CS3 to be honest - namely for the speed. I will just have to continue struggling with trying to create realistic looking HDR images. Or I could just stop playing with HDR.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Craftsman or Artist?

This is something I've been thinking about and talking to Larry about a bit as well.

I like to think of myself as an artist. I don't know necessarily if I am though. The main point seems to be that I take photos of how I see the world. I don't create images as such (at times I do but its still how I see the world).

So I am trying to think if I should... should I start creating images, should I turn one of the sheds or part of the shed into a studio. Which then means I have to learn about lighting...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So I jumped back on the HDR treadmill...

Why I don't know...

But I was looking at some of the HDR stuff that photoshop was producing and it just didn't look "right". Now I have always been a little bit scared off by photomatix (namely for the eye-bleeding HDRs that people tend to produce - yes I know it's tone-mapping that causes the eye-bleeding look not the actual HDR).

Although as a little aside - some of the HDR discussion forums on flickr are a scream. It's like the old days of internet bullying. There's so much hate for the eye-bleeding HDRs (which I can understand) but there's a valid arguement for them being artistic endeavours...

So I gave my copy of Photomatix a spin and I have to say I don't hate the results. It does make camera shake a lot more obvious though, which there is probably a way to reduce that too (a tripod probably)

So there you go :)
I might re-process some of my earlier photoshop HDRs in Photomatix to see what happens with the tone-mapping.

I'll do a compare & contrast next week :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

loss of mojo

Hi :)

Seems funny doesn't it - I'm having major mojo issues all round. No photography mojo... no blogging mojo. No real mojo...

I think I've been that stressed out about my mother visiting that mojo just vanished completely. Mother visiting was fine. There's a whole series of blog posts in that but I won't go into that much detail. It was what it was. An awkward and strange reunion. She's happy though - so I guess that's one of the main things.

Now the photo mojo. I haven't taken any digital pics apart from my phone cam. This is in part based on something Larry said, I try to be an artist and I want to be an artist but for me to be an artist, I need to create images and not just shoot the world as I see it. I guess this is what threw a spanner in my mojo works. I actually had to stop and think about this... it's strange really. Now I look at my 40D and not sure where to go with it or what to do with it.

It's not like I'm not taking any photos. I got my lomo fisheye a couple of weeks ago and I've been going mental with that. Who knew that a toy camera could be so much fun! I'm loving it!!! I guess toy cameras do encourage you to shoot the world as you see it. Although with the wide-angle lens you get some wacky and rather odd results. At least I've learnt to keep my fingers out of the focal range now ;)