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Charles Haacker
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Camera Club Exercise, The Camera You Have With You

Post by Charles Haacker » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:33 pm

The other evening I went to my camera club meeting having missed the notice that we were supposed to bring a camera (to a camera club meeting? Who knew?). They meet in a church and wanted to visit the church garden for some pitchers. I didn't have not no camera, so they asked if I had my phone-that-is-smarter-than-me and told me to go concentrate on composition or something. "The Best Camera is the One Ye Have With You" they scolded, so I skulked away, chastened.

The garden turned out to be a postage stamp with a very narrow path and a tiny bridge. There were 20-odd of us there and it was obvious to me that no more than two at a time could even fit, plus I've taken a bazillion garden pictures. I decided to wander away down the driveway along an old brick wall. I looked for patterns or anything that sparked my interest. Below are the three pictures I made, only three, jpegs of course but processed through Lightroom and in one case Photoshop as well. Being the newest newbie member I am having trouble uploading these to the site so I thought I'd ask you folks what you think of them.
Are they any good? Are they terrible? I personally like them so please try not to be harsh. :|
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IMG_20180717_202630.LCC.jpg
This was the first picture I made. I called it Stair-Step Crack. This is pretty straight from the camera as I aligned it well in the camera. For adjustment all I did was jigger the saturation a little trying to emphasize the Stair-Step Crack that attracted me in the first place.
00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20180717202946636-Edit-Edit.LCC.jpg
Not Palm Fronds (extreme close-up of pine needles with "portrait mode bokeh")
Next I looked around for something not typical of the stuff I shoot and wondered how it would be if I got very tight on some pine needles and put the camera in "portrait mode" to try to get some semblance of bokeh. The initial experiment worked fairly well SOOC but I also "printed down" some of the other greens to emphasize the sharp ones and then took it into Photoshop, masked the sharp stuff and further blurred the rest to keep the attention where wanted (I hope).
00000PORTRAIT_00000_BURST20180717203517139.LCC.jpg
The Quick and the Dead (Pine Needles in Close-up)
This one I also put the camera in portrait mode to try to simulate bokeh. It didn't work as well as the all-green one but it was better than a straight shot with a 4.4 mm lens that has DOF to infinity. I jiggered the saturation on the Dead stuff in HSL and now wonder if I overdid it a little. The original is maybe more dead looking.
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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Post by Psjunkie » Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:38 pm

I like stair step crack but can't really say why Chuck....

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Post by PietFrancke » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:00 pm

good shots - I like the brick best also. The plants look too waxy (at least the dead one does - maybe the live one IS waxy). I love your story that went with the shots. I can just see you skulking around on the outskirts while the rest of them lined up for their turn at the bridge.

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Post by Matt Quinn » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:41 am

Bricks for me. I agree with Frank on the crack. Didn't notice it at first; wonder whether there is a way to call attention to it very subtly. I suspect that is what caught your eye and prompted the photo. Very well spotted and framed. Matt
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"...approach the light as opposed to the subject." Stan Godwin

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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:27 pm

Psjunkie wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:38 pm
I like stair step crack but can't really say why Chuck....
Thanks Frank. I think it's my favorite as well. I did try to somehow emphasize the crack without doing something really overt like turning it red or something ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but nothing seemed to work other than titling it so you'd know what it was.
PietFrancke wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:00 pm
good shots - I like the brick best also. The plants look too waxy (at least the dead one does - maybe the live one IS waxy). I love your story that went with the shots. I can just see you skulking around on the outskirts while the rest of them lined up for their turn at the bridge.
Thanks Piet. Turns out all evergreens have a waxy cuticle to help prevent the needles from drying out, especially when it's cold. I think I may have oversaturated the dead branch. Once the crowd saw the size of the garden there were very few shots made at all. It ended with us standing around talking about pretty much anything, not necessarily even photography. :|
Matt Quinn wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:41 am
Bricks for me. I agree with Frank on the crack. Didn't notice it at first; wonder whether there is a way to call attention to it very subtly. I suspect that is what caught your eye and prompted the photo. Very well spotted and framed. Matt
Thanks Matt. I told Frank above that I had that challenge and failed to meet it. I made sure that the blackest black in the picture was in the crack but that didn't help. I played with the saturation and luminance of the bricks. Nuthin'. I now wonder if making the mortar whiter would help set off the crack? My workaround was to just title the thing so you'd know it was supposed to be about the crack. :D
Friends call me Chuck. :photo: This link takes you to my Flickr albums. Please click on any album to scroll through it.
(I prefer to present pictures in albums because I can put them in specific order.)

All the great photographers use cameras! No, really. :|

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Post by Matt Quinn » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:54 pm

Chuck, What would this look like in b&w? Matt
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Post by Duck » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:57 am

Sometimes a photo is destined to alter society's mentality. Sometimes a photo is destined to move people for change. Sometimes a photo is destined to move you to tears, or peals of laughter. But sometimes a photo's destiny is much more humble in nature and its purpose is no more than to teach you a little something and nothing more.

We all have these little disposable captures that share a little lesson and quietly, without complaint, fade off into oblivion. They served their purpose yet somehow we want to honor it with a higher reward. Encourage it to elevate to a higher purpose, if only in our minds. Ultimately that quiet teacher will sneak up again to teach us another lesson. To let go, knowing they did their job.

Too saccharine? Well, I hope my meaning comes across. Not every image we make is worthy of higher praise. For me, there is value in an ugly* image that teaches me something than in a beautiful image that teaches me nothing.

*not implying these are ugly images.
"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
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Post by St3v3M » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:32 am

Duck wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:57 am
Sometimes a photo is destined to alter society's mentality. Sometimes a photo is destined to move people for change. Sometimes a photo is destined to move you to tears, or peals of laughter. But sometimes a photo's destiny is much more humble in nature and its purpose is no more than to teach you a little something and nothing more.

We all have these little disposable captures that share a little lesson and quietly, without complaint, fade off into oblivion. They served their purpose yet somehow we want to honor it with a higher reward. Encourage it to elevate to a higher purpose, if only in our minds. Ultimately that quiet teacher will sneak up again to teach us another lesson. To let go, knowing they did their job.

Too saccharine? Well, I hope my meaning comes across. Not every image we make is worthy of higher praise. For me, there is value in an ugly* image that teaches me something than in a beautiful image that teaches me nothing.

*not implying these are ugly images.
I was going to write something like I've taken the same photos before, but realize I didn't explain why so I like this and what it says!

On a similar note, it makes me sad when I see posts asking what the best camera is. If you don't know it's the one you have with you.

Thank you for posting this! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Matt Quinn
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Post by Matt Quinn » Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:28 am

Duck wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:57 am
Sometimes a photo is destined to alter society's mentality. Sometimes a photo is destined to move people for change. Sometimes a photo is destined to move you to tears, or peals of laughter. But sometimes a photo's destiny is much more humble in nature and its purpose is no more than to teach you a little something and nothing more.

We all have these little disposable captures that share a little lesson and quietly, without complaint, fade off into oblivion. They served their purpose yet somehow we want to honor it with a higher reward. Encourage it to elevate to a higher purpose, if only in our minds. Ultimately that quiet teacher will sneak up again to teach us another lesson. To let go, knowing they did their job.

Too saccharine? Well, I hope my meaning comes across. Not every image we make is worthy of higher praise. For me, there is value in an ugly* image that teaches me something than in a beautiful image that teaches me nothing.

*not implying these are ugly images.
Thanks Duck for this. I had missed it on your first posting, I have pondered when to post and when not to; folks on pM are not looking for praise, I suspect, but to seek critique or suggestions on how to improve or simply to share a happy "Kodak" moment. And then, as you note, let it go. I have often NOT taken a photo, even though I have had a camera with me, because I want to take the photo with my mind and keep it there. Some of my "best" are in my memory. When I used to address groups of our young scholars -- top 1% of 1% in our scholarship pool -- I often urged them to pause in their rushed pace and just look and memorize and savor. When we really SEE something, we make it our own, it becomes part of who we are. The deeper we look the deeper we see, outside and in. Matt
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"...approach the light as opposed to the subject." Stan Godwin

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