Thursday, January 31, 2013

Comfort Photos

I assume everyone knows what “comfort food” is. Well, now and then you run across a photograph that does the same thing for your eyes that a good meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy does for your mouth.

I think I first noticed this and started developing the concept of “comfort photos” with the photo I posted in my January 17th blog post showing the view out my office window after the rain finally stopped.  (It had been raining almost non stop for over 2 weeks) This is not a new idea however. Last year I participated in Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day and one of the other photographer’s submissions really caught my eye. You can see it on my June 4th, 2012, blog post. I asked for permission and shared his photo on my blog because I liked it so much. I realize now it was because it is what I now consider to be a “comfort photo.”That's a photo that not only catches your eye but also gives you that warm & fuzzy kind of feeling.

The shot above was taken with the Pentax ZX-30 using the Kodak Gold 200 I’ve been playing with. I don’t really know what I like about it so much. Maybe it’s the fountain or the way the gently rippling water reflects the trees. Maybe it’s a combination and arrangement of things in a photo that would also make for a good painting. All I know is I like it. I hope you do too. I’ll bet now that you have the concept of “comfort photos” in your vocabulary you will find some more (maybe some of your own) that fit into that category.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Christmas Photos Developed

Yes, I finally got the film I shot at Christmas-time developed. Here’s a shot of the Grand kids getting ready for bed so Santa could come. The photo above was actually taken with the Nikon P-300 digital camera but I put it up first so I could show you the difference between this and the one below taken with the Pentax ZX-30 shooting Kodak Gold 200 film.

Here’s Granny with the Grand kids (she was ready for bed too) in “eye popping” Kodacolor. I am putting together a more in depth analysis of the virtues of Kodak Gold 200 but for now just compare the colors in these two photos. Both are really great but there’s no doubt why Kodak films “owned” the family snapshot market for most of the last century.

I have other Christmas photos to share with you in later posts (you know how I love to string these things out with my editorial comments along the way) but here’s a couple to whet your appetite.  By the way, for the photo-techno types, both of these were taken with the cameras set on auto using the on board flashes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

One of the challenges of photography is to re-create the image the photographer sees with the camera so others can see it too. In the days of film this took artistry and technical competence of a very high order. With the advent of digital photography and especially today’s high powered post processing tools it is perhaps a little easier but even with all that sometimes it just is not possible.

The photo above shows one of my favorite trees in the neighborhood. When I go out in the evening and the sun is setting behind it the golden glow of the moss literally lights up that area of my view creating an image of sheer beauty. It wasn’t until I tried to photograph it that I realized how selective our vision really is. There are literally hundreds of things I subconsciously ignore to create "my vision" of beauty. Unfortunately the camera cannot ignore all those things.

For instance, to get the best angle and “frame” the place to stand is right behind several other trees. Apparently I can see around the trees but the camera can’t.  There are also power lines, mailboxes, cars and houses cluttering up the photo that I just don’t “see” when I am admiring the view.

Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder – literally. Although it doesn’t capture the real beauty of the image I offer the photo above for your viewing pleasure. Taken with the K-01 at f11, 1/125, and ISO @ 200 through a Tamron 18 – 200 zoom at 90mm (135mm eq).  Maybe if you let your imagination “go” just a little when you look at the photo you will be able to see what I see when I look at it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

More Instant Fun!

I have decided I really like my Polaroid 300 camera. I finally bought some more film and used it to get some great shots of the kids and grand kids. When I bring out my 35mm or any of the digital cameras everyone either gets real serious or they start fidgeting, especially the kids but when I bring out the Polaroid they start dancing, singing and just generally “posing” for the camera.

I know the picture quality isn’t the greatest but I think that’s part of the unique attraction of these cameras. Maybe it’s just another part of the whole “Toy Camera” phenomenon.

I also recently discovered that the business card sized photos fit perfectly into a business card holder so after picking one up for $10 at the local office supply place I now have a truly unique & compact photo album that holds 96 photos and almost fits in my pocket – way cool!