Strife at smugmug, a journal post

September 1:

I’ve used smugmug for years to host my photos and photo business. Last night they basically raised their pro hosting prices by 66% (100% for new customers.) They raised my price basically to where my annual cost is more than the small amount of prints I sell make, so I’m looking for alternatives. This post will be a work in progress as I make that journey. I may or may not move my site, but there’s no time like the present to check out the competition.

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The one lens every DSLR owner needs

One of the first itches a new SLR owner gets is the one for “another lens!” You know it. You’ve felt it. You may have even scratched that itch once or twice!

I’m going to toss my two cents on the table here – given the relative good quality of the lenses that come with cameras these days (commonly called “kit” lenses) I would first suggest that anyone who gets a new or new to them DSLR go out and shoot a few hundred photos and become familiar with all of the modes on their camera, or at least the M, A (or Av, for Canon users), S (Tv), and P modes. If you only ever use your camera on the full program mode, you’re selling your creativity short. You’ll almost always get generally acceptable pictures, but will miss out on an entire universe of creative possibilities.

Once you know the camera, or before that, there’s that hankering for a “new” lens. Some people like the gear, or the collecting, or even think they’ll take better photos with a different lens… Continue reading

iPhone 4 and 4S: More than capable photographic tools!

The only image in this post that wasn’t created with an iPhone!

There are plenty of folks who write off the iThing photographic revolution, and plenty more who embrace it. The iPhone 4 has a five megapixel camera on board. The 4S has an eight megapixel camera. Both are worthy digital cameras in their own right.

No, really. Consider this: a photoenthusiast friend of mine owns and uses a Nikon D1 DSLR. He bought it new and likely paid near $5,000 for the body alone when it came out. The second generation D1’s came out around y2k, and the originals were a whopping 2.7 megapixels. There was an upgraded version then, as well, the D1X, that boasted 5.3 megapixels and a 3 frame per second recording rate. Heck, the Pentax Optio that I have taken literally around the world is “only” a five megapixel camera. Continue reading

Gjon Mili’s Portrait of Picasso

On his way to the Riviera to photograph the painter Pablo Picasso, Gjon Mili talked in Paris with Picasso’s nephew, the young painter Javier Vilato, who quoted his uncle: “If you want to draw, you must shut your eyes and sing.”

“I deliberated,” Mili has written. “Why not have him draw in the dark, with a light instead of a pencil?” Later Mili met Picasso on the beach.

“I am a photographer, and I would like to do your portrait.”

“Oh? Go ahead,” Picasso answered, making a face. Continue reading

Painting with light


[Photogram: Hands and Paintbrush], 1926
Laslo Moholy-Nagy

“All a photograph does is describe light on surface. That’s all there is.” – Gary Winogrand

If you see photography as a means for recording only the real world that you see then this will be difficult – that’s the point, really. Photography is a visual art. Your film or sensor is a canvas, or airbrush – your choice. It records light. Nothing more. If I limit the records my sensors make to trying to depict reality, I am selling my creative soul short. Continue reading

Intro to depth of field

Okay, first, I’m not going to write a lot of technical stuff about it when there is Wikipedia.  If you want to know more than the average bear about the science of depth of field, read the linked article. It brought back some photo class flashbacks for me. Too long ago, I left studying Aeronautical Engineering for Fine Art to get away from formulas… But there is good info in the top pieces of the webpage:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field

Wait. Writing about it is what this is here for. Depth of Field (heretofore referenced as “DoF”…) is a basic photography fundamental, right? Continue reading

Making Art

The images in this post were made with my (really) old Nokia RAZR phone. How often do you hear people talk about their brand spanking new Canon X15 or their Nikon N10K and how they’ll be able to take so much netter photos because of the latest gear? Gear doesn’t make someone an artist. The latest 40 gigapixel body won’t make anyone a photographer, but will empty many people’s wallets. Continue reading

First post

I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time.

After having pieces and parts of it on my personal blog and then my 50mm Normal project and such for, well, years, I have finally created a dedicated place to discuss photography – as an art, as a vocation, and as a passion. Art is fun. Art is fulfilling. Art is life is art.

So if you’ve somehow found this place, have a seat. Pull up a stool, or “pop a squat” as my crazy lovely daughter says… however you do it, join me on this journey. I love photography and want to share that with anyone that will spend a few minutes here.

Welcome to my little spot in the great big web.I’m glad you’re here and I hope you’ll contribute, and maybe even come back.

-Gus