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Stumbled upon

I was walking around the Durban stadium just wanting to shoot some interesting angles of the architecture and I came across this beauty, just sitting there almost as if she was prepped to have a shoot done. Cleaned and positioned almost perfectly. (I would moved her just a smidgen) The Mercedes Benz SLK BLACK is just beautiful to look at. Just dumbfounded as to why a yellow car is called BLACK..

Mercedes Benz SLK BLACK Mercedes Benz SLK BLACK Mercedes Benz SLK BLACK Mercedes Benz SLK BLACK

Photographs and usage

Is usage something that keeps you up at nights, do you even know what usage is? What do people mean when they speak about using photographs, when I pay photographer for pictures, don’t I own them? In many ways this is a very complicated and difficult subject to handle. Try to imagine the following scenario. Photography is a business, which means that although we love what we do, we also need to make a living and provide enough financial throughput to retire one day, we have no big company supporting most of our expenses.

Black Widow, Romanov, costume, Sashi

 

Getting photos taken is like having a custom made car made just for you, in a way. That’s the standard business model. Make a product that you can sell millions of, that way it’s kinda affordable and you will make money for the business to pay employees and expand etc. We don’t and usually are not able to take the photos from an assignment and sell millions of copies and make money from them, especially for certain specialized jobs. So usage is kinda like renting a DVD, you pay for time that you are able to rent the movie and watch it and enjoy it. Or that is the principle.

But before I get things horribly wrong, please go have a look at this excellent article on the subject written by experts on the matter – A guide to photography usage terms

Helen of RAW

Sometimes you find interesting images in your archive. I’ve been going through my massive archive of images over the past year and now and again you find an image from the past that surprises. Like these pics. I did a test for a friend and it was one of my first shoots with my Nikon D3. Back then I was still shooting straight to JPEG. Strange how that is absolutely not an option anymore for me. These were shot in January of 2009. That’s almost 4 years ago.

The RAW technology was definately there in 2009 but the only thing that was severely lacking was decent RAW processing. Lightroom is so advanced an powerful that you would not dream of shooting in anything other than RAW but back then, man I remember how I used to test program after program and I pixel peeped my eyes out and I just never found anything that was satisfying enough. Lightroom was around back then but it was not nearly as powerful as it is today, when version came out in 2010 they finally cracked the RAW code. I had been using LR since the first pre version 1 beta testers were out, it just never had any RAW power, until 2010 that is.

It’s also definately amazing to be able to go back to old files and just re-edit them. The last couple of months I have been honing my photoshop skills some more. Now I do consider myself to be a master photoshop expert as I have been using it since 1996. That was before photoshop had layer capabilities! Actually while I did my course photoshop released a new version and they just introduced layers so it was very alien and we could not fully comprehend what the hell a layer is!

Creative Industrialization

We as creatives are entering a “Dark Age” of “creative industrialization”. Just as with the previous industrialization, thousands lost hope and jobs so too it will happen in our lifetime. Creativity will certainly not die out, it will thrive but earning a living from being creative will die out. We must find new ways to deal with things. Just as many craftsmen back then lost their livelihood through technology so it is happening right now. We are no longer just photographers, we are also web designers, photo editors, retouch specialists, marketing guru’s, social media experts, writers, income tax consultants, trend consultants, print experts etc. We are no longer just musicians, we are also, record producers, marketers, publishers, sound engineers, designers, composers, publicists, writers etc

We stand at the precipice of a dark new world, the undiscovered country lies at our feet as the profession of being a creative is slowly eroding away into a sludge of digital noise ending up on the shores of proverbial beach made up of billions of gigapixel images. Mediocrity will rule the day and the true craftsmanship of being a master will be replaced with a degree from The University of Youtube.

Watch this movie: (actually best to right click on the vimeo logo and watch in a higher resolution on vimeo) or download from their website here

Remember that thing called Film?

I often wonder how many working photographers shooting today cut their teeth on film? How many went through rolls and rolls of film before what you shot actually looked like it was on the day and before you knew what you were doing. Today it’s too easy, you press a button and immediately you get feedback as to how your end product will look like. With film you had to be a master, you had to know which film stock to use for a certain look and feel, what worked in bright sun, what worked best in shade, what worked best in studio, which film you had to push and which film you had to pull (if you don’t know what that means then you probably never shot film before).

I still have around 500 rolls of film in my library, lying somewhere. The perfect raw original backup, using no power, with an incredible shelf life. Here we have a film scan. ISO200 Fuji film scanned at a hi-resolution. 3772×5654 to be exact.

And here we have a 100% of that scan. The film grain is very visible with a pleasing look and feel.

Now we have a similarly crop, shot on a D3 at ISO 200.

and the 100% from that shot here.

and finally we have an interesting story, coming full circle back to film. This one was shot at ISO500 on a D3, now there isn’t really much noise at that ISO but I wanted it to feel like film so I added noise in the shot.

and the 100% crop of Simone de Kock (who was the winner of the sports illustrated new model search winner this year, entry photos and video shot by me) with the added grain clearly visible, coming full circle to film, how strange this journey has been.

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