There was a time not too long ago when photographers & videographers inhabited different worlds. They used different cameras and spoke a different language. Then the mirrorless revolution started and the boundaries blurred. Today, it would appear that all the talking heads on YouTube and other social media platforms only really want to talk about the video aspect of cameras while almost ignoring the photography aspects of any new camera (The new Canon R5 is a case in point. Almost to a man, there are a lot less women, they say something like ‘…the R5 I guess will be a great camera for a photographer but let me tell you all about its overheating problem whilst shooting 8K…’). Most digital cameras today are, well how can one put it? A bit boring. There really isn’t much more that can be added to help the photographer. Perhaps the biggest modern innovation has been image stabilization. Yes I know that today’s focusing systems are mind blowing; Yes the sensitivity of the average sensor defies the laws of physics and the incredible advancing of computational image making in smartphones is exhausting. But do any of these things really add to the basic idea of photography – to create an image that appeals to some sense of interest and perhaps aesthetic principles. When judged against these criteria I believe the answer is far from clear. It really is but no but yes but but yes but….
I guess the point I am making is that most modern digital cameras are not that much better at helping the photographer than many of the original ‘greats’ of the genre.
It is probably an age thing but I am not convinced by the move to hybridization in the camera world for the one undeniable fact that I am paying a significant chunk of change to use a camera that can export in 4:2:2 at a 10 bit rate. I have a theoretical idea about codec and lutz but that is it. I have two cameras that have little red buttons that I have never pressed and have no interest in pressing and yet I have to pay for the privilege for such features.
I understand that this is the world we live in but I wonder if all these struggling camera companies are missing a trick. Perhaps they might sell just a camera for the photographer by dropping all the video functionality – the menu system would be a whole lot simpler for one thing. I believe the only company that actually does that is Leica but they don’t really count because of the expense, notwithstanding the quality, of the product. I guess there is no one really interested in such an approach, least of all all the talking heads who have a business models built around the constant supply of new and pointless equipment. Maybe the ‘new normal‘ of a post/endemic covid might destroy some of this froth – I doubt it.
So as I start to think about buying a new camera I have to wade through endless reviews of the video functionality of this camera or that. I am not interested. I’m a simple old photographer who just wants something reasonably priced and simple to use. I’ll let you into a little secret. There are only three controls on a camera that I play around with: The aperture, focus point and ISO. When I get a new camera out of the box I set up the custom buttons to meet that simple need and that is it. I shot raw so all the crap about this company’s colour science is better that that companies just passes me by. I really am not that bothered about the ‘feel‘ of the camera in my hand as I rarely hold the camera for more that a few seconds between shots. I am able to make images that I find rewarding and that is all I want from a camera.
Boring isn’t it. Cameras are an important component of what makes me me but only in the same way that a master carpenter has a favourite tool he or she uses. The rest of the world judge the result and they care little for what tool was used. Now lenes are a totally different matter but that is a different rant for another day!
Posted in Photography
Tagged 4:2:2, 8K, Aperture, camera, Canon R5, Codec, Covid, IBIS, Image Stabilization, ISO, Leica, Lutz, New Normal, Overheating, photography, Video
Sometimes even if the light is really not that good you just have to try your best to get something…as well as get a bit sunburnt!
Over the past week or so I’ve been finding the whole Dovid thing a bit too much. Try as I might I just couldn’t find the energy to get out and make some photographs. Well the best remedy I know for such doldrums is to get out and look at some world class art – so that is what I did today at the Hepworth Gallery at Wakefield. Walking around a gallery in a face mask isn’t the most conducive for enjoying the art but this has to be weighed against an exhibition of two of my favourite artists Bill Brandt and Henry Moore*. After a while I found a need to capture images returning so that was a morning well spent.
- I’m not a huge fan of Moore’s sculptures – far too many and so I find myself shrugging my shoulders and saying “Whatever…” . However, is drawings, prints and paintings are another matter,
When you buy the first season the Watchmen TV series you also get a series of 2 minute promo/Featurettes. One of these is of Dave Gibbons drawing Sister Night. Right at the end Gibbons says ‘…this is my Sister Night…’ In that vain this is my Sister Knight – make of it what you will.
Posted in Apple Pencil, Art, Digital Painting, Graphic Art, Procreate
Tagged Apple Pencil, Dave Gibbons, Digital Painting, Graphic Drawing, portrait, Procreate, Sister Knight, Sister NIght, Watchmen, woman
It is always difficult to tell where things will take you halfway through a project…it is rather exciting as well as terrifying. The only consolation, if that is the right word, is that as this is a digital painting I always have the safety net(?) of undo. For once with these things I am taking my time.
Here I Stand and Here I Stay….as someone said
Last night I started to rewatch the first season of the HBO Watchmen series and I found the whole thing really disturbing. Not that I had not found the first episode disturbing in the first place as I, like many people, had never heard of the Tulsa massacre and for a while I thought it was all made up for the series. Oh how wrong I was! However, since the episode was first aired, only a few months ago, so much has happened that honestly if we had been told back then we wouldn’t have believed it. But here we are.
The only reason why I mentioned Tulsa was because it can be seen to symbolise the way that President Trump believes he can be re elected and the consequences of his attempt to regain ground. President Trump decided that Tulsa would be a great place to have his first coronavirus rally in June and given the history of Tulsa you have to say he couldn’t have picked a better place to reinforce the notion that he either doesn’t care about black Americans and/or he is a white supremacists. This was around about a month after the George Floyd killing and parts of America were close to boiling point. Any other President would try and lower the temperature instead Trump did the opposite and went ahead with his rally which, for a number of reasons, turned out to be a disaster in the short and the medium term.
The short term disaster was that so few people attended – certainly not the ‘millions‘ of people who had applied to go. The PR was a disaster and came to symbolise a campaign going round and around in circles but getting nowhere fast. It did not set up a come back for the President but rather only underlined the way he cannot unite a very divided country at the moment.
The medium term problem was that it underlined the idea that President Trump doesn’t care two hoots about the coronavirus crises gripping the United States of America at the moment. When you look at the Oklahoma infection data it is noticeable that just how much the infection rate increased after Trump’s rally. This is not to say that the rally was a major contributor, it certainly didn’t help lower the number of infections. Nor is Oklahoma out of step with the overall national picture. Instead it just shows how important the early summer explosion of infections has been in informing people’s view of just how well the President of the United States has performed in his attempts to try and deal with disaster that has lead to the deaths of 146,754 so far of people in the United States of America.
To show how really important this is to the re election prospects of President Trump look no further than his own ‘home‘ state Florida. Here was see over 423k of infections and 5853 deaths. Florida a is swing state that Trump won in 2016 and needs to retain yet at the moment he is an average of 6% behind Joe Biden. The national position is even worse with Joe Biden holding a healthy 8% lead. It would seem that this is really going to be a Coronavirus election along with the economic disaster that will hit America in August if the relief packages are not voted through Congress in time.
Back in April I wrote ‘…One of the biggest things that the voters will have on their minds come November will be the coronavirus, its handling and how it has affected their lives …‘ I also suggested that all was not lost as he needed to gain around 4% rise in the polls to be competitive and in truth nothing much has changed (especially the poll numbers) apart from President Trump has had 4 months to demonstrate to the American people that he has a handle on the coronavirus disaster which he clearly hasn’t managed to do. Instead he seems to be pursuing a Law and Order policy that appears to be counterproductive in the one thing he needs to do – appeal beyond his base . Will he be reelected? It is looking unlikely however, think what has happened in the last 99 days and you have to say it is far too early to call.
Posted in American Politics, Apple Pencil, Art, Corvid 19, Digital Painting, Donald Trump, Graphic Art, Procreate, USA Presidential Election
Tagged Digital Painting, Donald Trump, drawing, Joe Biden, Oklahoma, photoshop, portrait, Procreate, sketch, Tulsa, Watchmen, woman
And I’m holding on tight to you……
Sometimes things work – sometimes they don’t.
Posted in Apple Pencil, Art, Corvid 19, Digital Painting, drawing, Procreate
Tagged Apple Pencil, Digital Painting, drawing, portrait, Procreate, woman
Boy 2020 is a year to remember.