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Category archive: Digital photographers

Monday August 14 2017
Sunday August 06 2017

Yesterday’s posting featured photoers whom I photoed at the top of the Shard, last Friday.  But I saved the most striking looking photoer whom photoed that day in that place for a separate posting in celebration of him, this being that that posting.  If this guy did not want strangers to photo him and celebrate him on the internet, then he made a big mistake when he made himself look like this:

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Next is a photo which shows the man’s hands and arms in a little more detail:

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And finally, this photo, which I include because it was the least bad photo that I took featuring the tattooed photoer, from the point of view of what we can see out in the big world of London beyond the Shard:

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In the top of these three photos, we can just about make out the Wheel, on the left.  In the second, we can just about discern the NatWest Tower (as was – now “Tower 42"), and also the top of the Walkie Talkie.  But this last photo is a lot easier to scrutinise for recognisable buildings.

Not that it’s a good photo of the scene.  In particular, that smudge of red in the middle would trouble a Real Photographer far more than it troubles me.  That would be the reflection of the tattooed photoer’s own shirt.

Saturday August 05 2017

Yes, there were quite a few photoers up there yesterday.  But not as many as I think I was expecting.  Amazing to relate, most of the people there seemed just to be experiencing the view while they were looking at it.  And talking to one another.  And having drinks.  I know, weird.

But there were a few normal people there, concentrating on taking photos, and here are some of the ones I photoed:

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In last night’s posting about this expedition, I mentioned the reflections I was getting from the windows.  I kind of think that this doesn’t matter with these particular photos, which is why I am showing them here so soon.  In the foreground there are photoers, and in the background there is what there was in the background, including reflections, and sometimes even some rather pretty reflections, and also a lot of architectural detail, top of the Shard style.  These photos therefore require no elaborate thought, or cropping, or preemptive cringe commentary saying: this is interesting because of what you can see out there or down there, despite the damn reflections which I’m really sorry about.

I chose the above photos because I thought they were nice photos.  I wasn’t bothered about what cameras were involved.  So, it is significant that eight out of nine of the photos feature mobile phones rather than old school, dedicated, specialised, digital cameras.  The only exception is 3.2.

I hear it everywhere I go.  The cameras on mobile phones get better and better.

Will my next camera also be a mobile phone?

Saturday July 29 2017

Digital photography has completely transformed graffiti, by making each item of graffiti easily photoable, before the next one comes along and superimposes itself upon this one.  All “artistic” graffiti can survive, in digital form.  It thus make more sense than it did (and it doesn’t matter how much sense that was, merely that it increases) to do arty graffiti.

So now here comes the hypothesis, along approximately similar lines: that digital photography is making New York skyscrapers taller and thinner, by making the views that you see from them more valuable, because digitally photoable.  Well, that isn’t a surprise, because having written that, I summarised it into the title of this posting.

imageI found myself thinking this when I went from a report about how a tall thin New York skyscraper project has stalled (allegedly because one of the parties failed to realise how expensive New York construction cranes are), to a not-so-recent article about tall thin New York skyscrapers in general.

Key quote, from “Skyscraper Museum creator and director” Carol Willis:

“The unprecedented per-square-foot sales price – from $4,000 to as much as $11,000 for these exclusive condos with their trophy views – makes them very profitable for developers, even though they are also enormously expensive to build.”

I am not saying that I know how valuable “trophy views” are or were, nor that I know how much the ease of photoing them has increased that value.  I simply assert that this value, in New York, has increased, because of digital photography.  Do you think it hasn’t?  Do you think that digital photography has decreased that value?  Perhaps the latter, for some.  But for most people, surely not.

That being so, you would expect skyscrapers to get taller and thinner, to provide more views and better views than previously.

It makes sense that the impact of digital photography in the form of taller and thinner skyscrapers would happen in a city that offers great views in all directions, and views (see the graffiti thoughts above) that are constantly changing, like New York.

Nor, by the way, am I saying that this is the only reason why New York skyscrapers are getting taller and thinner.  I am sure there are a lot of other reasons, like: only tiny sites being available these day, zoning laws changing to allow greater tallness and thinness, technology ditto, a general rise in demand caused by New York being a good place to live, billionaires getting richer, and many other such imaginable reasons.  I merely assert that digital photography is one of these reasons.

Photo of 432 Park Avenue (designed by the Walkie Talkie guy) when it was under construction, here.

Saturday July 22 2017

So there I was on Westminster Bridge late yesterday afternoon, and I encountered a pair of Real Photographers, taking Real Photos of The Wheel.  I persuaded them to let me take this shot:

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It was only when I got home that I noticed that strange object on the top of the camera.

Close-up:

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What is that?

On inspection, it look like a multiple set of spirit levels, so I typed something about “camera spirit level” into Google, and immediate got offered things like this for sale.

This being:

FOTYRIG Hot Shoe Level Three Axis Triple Bubble Spirit Level For Any Standard Hot Shoe Including Canon and Nikon Digital and Film Cameras

Although the one I saw may not be the exact same brand of triple spirit level, this is definitely the kind of gadget I was looking at.

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Description:

- Quickly and easily adjust your camera angle so that all your photos come out perfectly leveled.
- The three axis levels provide even greater and precise control. It helps you achieve a finer degree of accuracy in capturing the perfect image.
- Used for panoramic photography, photo stitching, architectural photography, and perspective control.
- A must have when shooting with a tripod! Just slide the bubble level in your cameras hot shoe!
- Works with Most of DSLR cameras with a standard hot shoe mount.
- Made of lightweight, clear acrylic.
- Size: 25mm (1") x 25mm (1") x 25mm (1").

Photo and learn.  Blog and learn.

I sympathise about the need for a spirit level when photoing The Wheel.  Unless you are exactly sideways on or exactly in line (so it looks like a tall and thin tower), knowing exactly which direction exactly upwards and exactly sideways are cab be very difficult.  Whatever decision you make can look wrong, and whatever you do feels wrong at the time.

Monday July 03 2017

More photos of photoers.  I knew you’d be excited.

Ever since the Tate Extension opened about a year ago now, I’ve been popping up to the top of it every so often, to check out the changing scene that is to be seen from there.

But I have also discovered a whole new genre of photo up there, provoked by the big dots on the glass screens that divide the inside of the top from the walkways outside, where you do the viewing from.

Often, these dots give me something to focus on, while still capturing, out of focus, the postures and gestures, rather than the facial likenesses, of the objects of my attention.  Or, the dots, themselves out of focus, provide some visual diversion.

Almost always, the photoers are in silhouette, again good for avoiding facial identifiability.  Also, silhouettes show up pretty well on my current crappy little computer screen, which I think I will soon be replacing.  So now is a good time to be doing this posting:

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Occasionally, the light behind the photoers is enlivened architecturally, which I like.  But as often as not, not.  And as it happens, I think my favourite of these is 2.1, which features no architecture at all.

But I also like 2.3 and 4.1, which do feature architecture, because of the architecture.

Sunday July 02 2017

One of them being taken by the people in my photo, and the other being taken by me, of me:

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Taken on Westminster Bridge, in March of last year.

I’m standing in their screen, behind them, in case you were wondering.  MeaIwhile, I am wondering if they photoed me photoing them.  I don’t know what the V sign gesture is about.

I surmise that one of the many differences between photoers like me and Real Photographers is that Real Photographers abhor any trace of themselves in the photos they photo, whereas photoers like me rather like it when you can see me in the photo,although preferably rather dimly.

I am off socialising now.  I find that having already done my duty here makes socialising a lot more fun.

Monday June 26 2017

Today was the first day ever of day-night county cricket, played with a pink ball instead of a red ball.  By the time it finished it was late, and I had been neglecting this blog all day, having been following the fortunes of Surrey instead, fortunes which turned out to be pretty good.

So, here is a quota photo, instead of a proper blog posting:

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That’s GodDaughter 2’s Dad, who was in London recently, photoing, as you can see quite clearly for yourselves, this.

I find The Laughing Halibut’s chips delicious, but after I have eaten them I tend to get a belly ache.  A sort of gastronomic hangover.  But the Laughing Halibut (I also like that there seems to be only one) is on the way back to my home from a frequently-used-by-me nearby tube station, and every few weeks, especially when ravenous after a long photo-walk in faraway places, I succumb.

Thursday June 22 2017

Well, two really.  Theirs, and mine:

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We are in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, which features a huge west-facing window that sucks the afternoon sun in, creating wonderful effects.  These are sharp and dramatic when you look at the whole picture, more subtle when viewed closer up.

I observe a couple having a photo session.  I do a big picture photo of the big scene (1.1).  Then I zoom in for more detail (1.2) complete with reflections, and to see the light in a different light, so to speak, less sharply drawn, more like a watercolour.  As they look at their photos, I zoom out again (2.1), and then as they walk off, satisfied. I zoom in again (2.2).

Things were made easier for us all by the fact that there was no Art cluttering up the place, or not that I could see.  That the Art in Tate Modern is so easily avoided is one of its best features, I think.  The architectural views, both inside and looking outwards upon London, are magnificent.  The Art, on the whole, less so.

Sunday June 18 2017

Yes, time for another collection of photoer photos, taken by me a decade and more ago.

Usually, if anything on a camera twiddles, it’s just the screen.  But there was a brief moment, just over a decade ago, when a tiny few cameras had lenses that twiddled.  The thinking presumably being that by storing a lens at right angles to its position when in action, a more powerful, because much longer (or maybe that should be deeper), lens could thus be deployed.

Here are eighteen photoers using such cameras.  That sounds like a lot, but it represents pretty much all of the photoers armed with this particular sort of camera that I managed to photo, ever.  Barring a very few that I missed when trawling through my voluminous photo-archives.

The idea never really caught on.

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There seem to be four basic models involved.

These are: the Nikon Coolpix 995, the Nikon Coolpix S4, the Nikon Coolpix SQ, and the Kyocera Finecam SL300R.  Everyone shown above seems to be using a variant of one of those three models.

What the mobile phone (I think) in the penultimate photo is, I do not know.

Perhaps someone can explain to me why such devices never caught on.  I would have thought that, then and now, this design or something like it would enable you to fit a lot more photographic bang into your pocket than would be possible otherwise, in cameras where the lens and the processing are all done in the one untwiddling and hence photographically very thin object.

I suppose another way of phrasing the same question would be: How the hell do the cameras in phones work, and work so well, what with them being so thin?

Wednesday June 07 2017

Last Saturday, I walked from Waterloo to the City, but stopped by at Tate Modern to have another look at the views from the top of the Tate Modern Extension.  But I have learned that the things to be seen within the space at the top there can also be quite striking:

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Click to get the bigger original picture.

That’s all for today.  Tomorrow, I will try (although I promise nothing) to do something rather more substantial.

Tuesday June 06 2017

Incoming from Simon Gibbs, in the form of an email, containing all the necessary links, entitled:

Michal Huniewicz combines drone, very good camera & photography, and a bit of Photoshop

He does indeed.

At the Michal Huniewicz Twitter place, I started scrolling down, and (of course) stopped when I got to this, posted on March 15th of this year:

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Bigger here.

Yes, it’s the London Gateway, on or just before March 15th.  When I visited London Gateway in 2015 there were only five cranes.  Now look at it.  Still not the complete set according to my calculations, but well on the way to that.

Here is another shot, also (I assume) contrived by Michal Huniewicz, of LG in action, from directly above:

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Personally I am not fond of that Photoshop Look, which boosts the contrast of everything to a wildly unrealistic degree, butchering mere landscapes into a state of kitschified unwatchability.  Huniewicz doesn’t unleash this kind of ugliness very much, but, as Simon’s email hints, he does this a bit, and his landscape photos suffer, I think.  But cranes are visually strong enough to survive this kind of falsification with ease.  Their essence, which is structure rather than mere colour and colour contrast, shines through.  And actually, Huniewics doesn’t Photoshop around with his crane pictures, or not so you notice.  They look to me much as they came out of the camera.  Or maybe it’s just that when painted boxes are made to look brighter it looks no more like a crap picture on a Scottish biscuit tin than it did before.

Saturday June 03 2017

Today I journeyed to Waterloo, and then walked from Waterloo to the City, there to inspect the latest batch of City Big Things that they are busy erecting.  My inspecting done, I made my weary way to Monument Tube Station, which I reached just as it was starting to rain.

And Monument Tube Station was shut.  No District Line.  The City is like a morgue at the weekend, that being why I chose the weekend to be there.  I wanted to see buildings, not people.  The City being the City, there were no buses to anywhere, or not that I could detect.  So I trudged, in the rain, as it got heavier, across the river, intending to get to Southwark Tube if all else failed.  I did have my umbrella with me, thank goodness, but rain with an umbrella is still far worse than no rain.  But then a bus showed up on its way to Waterloo, and at Waterloo I quickly found another bus back home, near enough.  So there I was, home, damp, knackered.  It could have been far, far worse, but I was still in no state to be doing anything fancy here.

So, here is just one photo that I took today, in Leake Street, right at the beginning of my wanderings.  Leake Street is the graffiti tunnel under Waterloo:

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Photoers, surprise surprise.  But, I like it.

I took a lot of other photos that I like.  Later, maybe, although I promise nothing.

Tuesday May 30 2017

On of those I Just Like It photos:

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Taken on Westminster Bridge, November 2014.  I went looking among the earliest photos I took with my current camera, and particularly liked this one.  Especially the red boots she’s wearing.  I can tell from the other photos I took of this same scene that the person in the jeans is posing (alongside Big Ben), but the one in blue wearing a poppy (it being November) is just passing by.

That is all.  Busy day, doing life.

Friday May 19 2017

Recently, inspired by those Barcelona Graphics, I had another trawl through all the photos I took in 2005 when I visited Barcelona.

And guess what, here are a few of the photos I took, of photoers:

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Part of why I did this posting is that I just like how a square of squares looks, and I wanted to do another such posting, regardless of what the photos were of.

But now that I’ve done this particular square of squares, I am struck by how interested I was, even then, in taking photos of photoers that hid their faces.  I think this preoccupation was sharpened by me being on the Continent, and fearing that photoing people’s actual faces and putting them on my blog might break some kind of Euro-law.  They make more of a fuss about privacy over there, don’t they?  Such was then, and still is, my impression.  And now, of course, I apply the same attitude over here, because: face recognition software.

Also, note in particular photo 2.3, where you can see further evidence of Barcelona’s eagerness to advertise itself with its Big Things.

The light in Barcelona was great, and lots of my photos there came out really well.  Which is why I had so many photos of photoers, and of everything else I photoed with any enthusiasm.

Most of the cameras to be seen here are now historical relics, replaced by mobile phones.  Phones with cameras arrived (and oh look another square of squares (this time 5x5)) in 2006.  This was 2005.