Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Patch :: Street Art

This weeks The Patch theme is about Graffiti/Street Art/Architecture, this really only leaves me one place to take a picture, the areas around Hosier Lane, which has become famous for its street art. It seems it is the go to place to have your wedding photos taken and on most tourist guides. But all is not well there, much of the decent art is over painted, often with tags and pointless profanities. Ok its a colourful enough scene but perhaps the art is suffering. So a loose coalition of street artist, with council backing, are painting the walls black again to let a new generation of street art develop. Not everyone is happy, you can see a paste up in support has been ripped off and tagged over already (image on the left). I think the image on the right is the better ambassador for street art in Melbourne.
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quote from the torn paste-up above left
“it's not about respecting nor disrespecting anyone
its about equality everybody having a turn
all art means something to some one”

The Patch :: the search for Dilapidated

Autostitch panorama of South Walkerville
I had been searching for something different for this week’s The Patch theme, Architecture - Dilapidated Structures. Something industrial maybe but all the factory lots I checked out where looking well used, in spite of the current gloomy news for manufacturing in the state! Then I though of mining structures and there are a lot of abandon mine working dating back to the goldrush, but most are now tourist resorts and thus cared for and maintained. I remembered the old Limestone Kilns at Walkerville, so I made a special effort to get there are dawn on Tuesday (Last day for posting this theme). the sunrise was very brief but worth a photo, however I had forgotten to check the tides and there was no beach access and it was overcast to boot, not very favourable for capturing the images I’d planned so I walk around the bay a bit looking for a good vantage point. I figuring I’d need to wait a few hours (which I couldn’t) for the tide to recede enough, either that or enter the surf with my camera!
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2014-03-25I was up on the edge of the kilns trying out a HDR with my android phone when the sun came out for a briefest instant and lit just the areas of the kiln below me. It was one of those fleeting moments, I only just managed the lift my Pentax get a bit closer to the edge of the cliff, compose the picture and click, then the sun disappeared.

The Limestone Kilns where in service from the late 1870s to early 1920. Most of the lime for mortar to build the new Victorian Colony come from here. A small township of miners and workers from Cornwall lived here and much loved the place by all accounts. The style of the kilns is very functional and made good use of the cliff face and gravity (typical of Cornish Mining Buildings back in the UK.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

RAW Sunrise post processed three ways

towards Wilson's Prom, enhanced with Lightroomprocessed with Prefect Effects 8  with Dynamic Contrast &  Colour Enhancer Filtersprocessed with AfterShot Pro and Perfectly Clear Adjustment
These are all processed from the same RAW file. The Sunrise only glimpsed between the clouds this morning and I did manage one shoot, but it is overblown on the horizon and a bit glum elsewhere else, A typical flat RAW file from a high contrast scene. so I decided to see what my software could independently do with the same basic task of balancing the image tonality. Hover you mouse over the pictures to see details.
I think this just goes to show that while I may prefer to do the tonal tweaking myself but by using AfterShot Pro’s perfectly clear single click adjustment will give me a very good idea of what is possible. The rest is personal preference and judgement.

Monday, March 24, 2014

An Interesting Action Enhancement

An ongoing photo/art project of mine is Des Vagues, the waves, and I had taken a series of stop-motion like photos. On checking on what google+ had done in its auto awesomeness I found this kind of cute rendition of a breaking wave. I realise the photo junctions are a bit patchy but it does have life and a definite Japanese wood print feel.

Google+ action enhancements typically use a strobe like capture the movement of a person, placing them in progressive positions that map out the movement between photos. Here the wash and ripples of the breaking wave can be seen developing as the wave approaches the shore.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

More Secret Lives of Trees

IMGP6565After a very overcast day, the sun came out for a very shot period before sunset. This blue gum look like a perfect glamour shot for my secret life of trees project.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Moorhen Blues

There are a couple of species of Australian moorhens [genus Gallinula] and I’m not sure which one this is, but he/she has a wonderful blue waistcoat.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Joinery in Hosier Lane

Some simple Hockney style joiner collages of the Hosier Lane street art.

Is Google actually taking any notice of itself?

imageThis amuses me, I decided to capture the google error screen message I always get now when I try to use the blog this button in picasa (don’t try I’m pretty sure it won’t work for you either.) While I was looking up google to see if others might have also reported this error, auto-backup swept up the screen capture and sent me a notice that the error message was ready to share. The attempt to share my actual photos was still in libo by the way and I had to resort to Windows Live Writer


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How many is too many?

This post on “Are There too Many Visual Artists Online?” by artpromotivate, touches on a few key issues that has been bugging me.  Flickr, Instagram & google+ are pumping out masses of imagery, …but
  • How much of it is really art?
  • Are there even enough collectors and collections to sustain the apparent explosion in artists and photographers?

The first key issues is that an image on the net is usually not the art work. So many think that once they see a small image on their screen they have seen the art. However this is not true the original art work has a physicality, that relates the scale it is produces and how its surface reacts in different lighting and position. A blown up photo hanging on a gallery wall will look quiet different to its reproduction on the net, no matter how much colour calibration has been done. I expect the true art and photography collectors and curators know this already and they are carefully about purchasing off the net. In other words physical art and brick and mortar galleries still have a place.

The second key issue is the decline of originality, this is really a personal view. The social web and the “look at me” celebrity obsessions are actually producing and facilitating an explosion of imitators, ok copy cats, and a lot of plagiarist (they just steal and  repost your work as their own). What was once original suddenly floods the bandwidth with lesser but superficially much the same works and boredom takes over. The general lack of attributions means that it is pretty much impossible to find the creative individual behind the avalanche of imitators. For a collector this is a real buyer beware situation. If you are a creative and have something really unique, but easily cloned, it might not be a place you want to set your work free within.

The final issue is simple exposure. Yes posting your art on the net can potentially get it seen by a much wider audience, even an international one. So go and join the online throng but remember the real buyers might be wary, and still prefer physical exhibitions and galleries. There is a real potential to have your creations copied into oblivion. Staying original and creative may be easier if you don’t join the crowd and support your local gallery.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sharing and Licensing outside Google+

It can be difficult to share photos outside Google+Google+ promotes how easy it is to share photos in Google+ photos. BUT they are only easy to share within the Google+ environment to others also with Google accounts, FURTHER that doesn’t easily extend to Google’s Blogger (which is the main place I share my photos on-line.) This has me totally puzzled because it was easy to share images outside Picasa Web Album via simple html code (which is still the most common way to link photos into any website or blog.) Fiddling around and looking through the unanswered Google forums I see I’m not the only one to notice this (and be ignored by Google). What I have found is you can share an image inside a Google+ post and then get the link to that post (there is a “link to this post” option on the drop down options on the upper right of the post). Alternatively inside blogger and by using the on-line blog posting tools you can select to insert pictures from your Picasa Web Album (not Google+ Photo!). The down side of both of these approaches is it takes extra steps and results with either or both extra and duplicated posts and/or duplicates of the photos in your Google+ photos albums. I’m not convinced the duplicates are second copies but more probably they are different links from different locations. This may not matter anyway if the photos are small (less than 2014 pixels wide) as small photos don’t count in your limit. However if you monitor number of views and +1, they are now potentially spread across up to 4 versions/album views.  The other feature I have been looking for is photo licensing. In Google+ photo there is no mention of photo ownership, or if an image is licences to be shared, say under a creative commons licence I can not find a way to do that either under the google+ photo view or general settings.

Don’t Panic

Things are not desperate yet. You can still do this things via Picasa Web Albums, which is really just an alternative way to view your on-line albums. Unfortunately you can no longer get to that view via the link in Picasa, on your desktop, it now connects to the Google+ photo view, At the moment the following easy to remember link still works- (bookmark it in your browser)

Sharing outside Google+ is easier via the Picasa Web Album View

Sharing links outside Google+Clicking on the Link to this photo gives more options, both a simple URL links and the html code to embed the image in a blog or website page, and image size. The Photo reuse section expands if you click on the button Allow reuse (Creative Commons). You can get some extra details on creative commons sharing in Steve Gill’s Photography blog.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Patch :: Not Quiet Churches/Houses of Worship & Architecture

This week’s the Patch theme is Churches/Houses of Worship & Architecture , Sounded simple enough and I visited a few churches that had caught my eye, but didn’t manage to capture anything more than the bricks and mortar, architecture right! Still I want to show the worship aspect.An Auto-awesome HDR created by google+ This is a quiet little spot on a very busy street corner. Not knowing enough latin to make sense of the simple inscription I have been puzzled by what a crucifix was doing in front of an anglican church with dates that clearly commemorate the first world war.Whilst I think Invictus Pax is a character in World of Warcraft or a game like it, Isn’t the -us the plural form and -is the singular in latin? I  like the simplicity of this sculpture and serenity of the dying Jesus, the humbleness of the church behind compared with the big very gothic catholic cathedral across the road only adds to the enigma. The church itself, St Peter’s, seems to have two lives, a lot of well dressed music folk (and students) use the front door on Gisborne Street whilst the back gate onto Albert Street seems to be always open and welcoming to the homeless and needy. I have photographed this memorial a number of times now and on a sunny day it has always been in partial but strong shadow and thus difficult to get a decent exposure, so yesterday I instinctively turned to take a bracketed set. I uploaded all my church photos and looked through them without being particularly pleased with any of them. I had completely overlooked my bracketed sets and hadn’t even considered the statue for inclusion in the patch. Then I got the “you have two Auto-Awesomes waiting” alert, Google+ Auto-backup had already hoovered up my photos and done its algorithmic things, I had a look without having high hopes (I actually expected a couple of panoramas of St. Pats). When I saw its HDR processing of the statue I recognised the best image of Worship and Reflection. The image has had a little straightening and cropping but is all the HDR defaults from Google+ (glad it isn’t garish like so many other HDR effects/filters).

Here are some of my other churches below.

 Refurbished Waverly Baptists Church, the second autoawesome HDR St. Pats IMGP6325 St. Pats  St. Pats  St. PatsIMGP6326 St Peter's Back Door (probably was originally the front door) St Peters

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sanity Returns

IMGP6246The main street of Cowes, returns to quieter times. A balmy evening and even the air smells fresher.IMGP6250IMGP6251

PhotoProject :: Take Five

I’m still in a bit of a multi-frame multi-image theme and I haven’t made a take five series in ages. The idea is very simple just capture a panorama or series of a subject in motion, in just five photos and mount them side by side to make a bigger picture. Very simple and can be a fun way of  at telling a simple story. As I panned on the young driver, the pier in the background has naturally moved higher in the image. Aligning the edge of the pier, strengthens the composition of the whole.  (Yes the girls were impressed)

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The Patch :: A Bridge to Far

bridge "joiner" created in Picasa
This weeks theme for the Patch is Bridge/Architecture, and I had planned to take a series of photos of the Old Railway bridge at Kilcunda then make them into a Hockney style joiner. However being a long weekend, I had overlook that the nearby car park would be full of argo city folk bringing driving and parking rage to this popular but normally quiet surf beach. So I had to walk and had left my tripod in the car, because a joiner actually works better without perfect junctions. Also being a bright day the cameras automatic exposure changed a lot between the sky and foreground, again this brings the charm of realization that the the images is made up a series of fragments.
bridge pano 1bridge pano 2bridge pano 3
I ended up with 19 photos across 3 series, so I just had to also try out some autostitched panoramas, Being taken with a slightly wider angle (18mm) I did expect the compelling curved shapes that really describes well how the bridge towers above the little track to the beach. The hand held nature, variations in exposure and fact that the people on the bridge moved have added to the image below, so I have refrained from “retouching” any of the detailed autostitch run below (zoom in and find the mismatches). I still prefer the joiner version (at the top) as a more authentic representation of the wide bridge to the inviting surf beach beyond (albeit without the agro)
Auto Stitch Final bridge pano 1B

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Dawn Patrol

IMGP5801-EditI got up early this morning to take in the sunrise, but with clear skies there was only a little colour in the predawn sky and a lot of strong contrast once the sun rose. Still the reflection of the first light on the slight chop added a little interest and texture.