Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: Digital photographers

Thursday November 23 2017

Indeed.  And, I got him to hold the pose while I photoed it:

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Okay, mine’s a rubbish picture, but: you get the picture, and in any case the fact that you can’t read the numbers is a feature rather than a bug.  I’m sure he got his picture.  He has already typed into his other little machine a note of my address and electricity score.  So it will be entirely clear to him which number he is confirming, or conceivably correcting, with his photo.

Just another example of what mobiles contribute to the economy, not just by doing newsworthy stuff like transmit big gobs of money or send portentous messages to and from people on the move, but simply by helping workers to do little bits of work.  Often, mobiles and their cameras are used to record the progress of work.  This is using mobiles and their cameras actually to do the work, because this particular work is recording.

I know: smart meter.  Well, someone recently tried to install one, but for some reason it couldn’t be done, or not yet.

To really appreciate this, you have to have experienced what happens to your electricity bill when your electricity consumption is recorded wrongly.

Tuesday November 14 2017

A lot of the stuff at Digital Photography Review these days is about money-no-object high-end DSLR cameras, and about the many different money-no-object lenses you can shove on the front of DSLRs.  When DPRev descends from this Olympus (or this Canon or this Nikon) they usually then prattle on about the cameras on smartphones.

But this report, even though it says it’s about DSLRs, I did find interesting.  Canon have filed a patent for a new sort of bigger flip out screen, in other words a bigger version of the sort of screen that I for one could not now do without:

While a hinged DSLR rear display is nothing new, Canon’s patent shows a design that would allow for a large and reversible display unlike anything we’ve seen before. In fact, the LCD shown in the patent’s illustrations covers the entire back of the camera, making it necessary to tuck the rear dial and several buttons behind it, though several others are exposed on either side of the viewfinder.

I can remember when flip out screens were held in contempt by the DSLR fraternity.  But many of us digital snappers took to them with eagerness, having worked out that there are many photos that are pretty much unphotoable without such screens.  The one where you hold your camera as high as you can above your head, for instance, yet still manage to compose your photo accurately as you point your camera slightly downwards to capture a scene that you can’t yourself see directly because you are stuck in a crowd, but which you can see on your twiddly screen.

To be fair to Canon, after an initial period of head-in-the-sand stupidity, they have for quite a while now lead the way with adding flip out screens to DSLRs, and all the other big manufacturers have followed along.  There are still plenty of cameras available without flip out screens, for idiot Not-As-Real-As-They-Thing Photographers who take positive pride in not liking these screens, and maybe for some truly Real Photographers who truly do not need them.

As the report goes on to acknowledge, filing a patent and actually making and selling the thing patented are two different things.  But Canon’s new and much bigger variation on the flip out screen theme suggests that the huge added value of these screens is now widely understood by camera makers.

Tuesday November 07 2017

The usually ignorable but occasionally very interesting Dezeen has one of its very interesting posting up now, about a driverless bus/train, in China, which looks like this:

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That reminds me a bit of those road-trains that they have in Australia.

The system works by scanning the painted road markings, using sensors on the underside of the vehicle. These sensors are able to detect pavement and road dimensions by the millimetre, and send travel information to the train whilst in transit.

Clever.  And a lot simpler than a lot of stuff involving seeing and avoiding people, and seeing and avoiding other vehicles, with multiple sensors and artificial intelligence and whatnot.  The people have to avoid this bus, just like they have to avoid trams now.  This is not a self-driving vehicle.  It is merely a development of the driverless train, like the DLR, but with computers and road markings to keep the thing on the straight and narrow rather than rails.

Driverless cars on regular roads, roads with no special markings, are still a few years off, I believe.  Too complicated.  Too many unknown unknowns.  But driverless buses like these, driving along predictable routes, will be no harder to manage than trams or trolley buses are now.

Nobody knows what the long-term impact of driverless vehicles is going to be, other than that it will be very big.  But one possible future is that lots of railways might soon be flattened into virtual railways not unlike this one, which will be a whole lot easier to travel along than a regular road.

Meanwhile, I love how, in the picture above, in the bottom right corner, there’s a guy who looks like he’s taking a picture of the cab of this bus, a can with nobody in it.

Monday November 06 2017

This blog regularly suffers from this condition:

The maxim “Nothing avails but perfection” may be spelt shorter: “ Paralysis”.

Today, for instance, I journeyed forth, north, and got some great photos.  But I want to get my report of today’s photo-triumphs exactly right, which means that, quite possibly, I won’t ever report them at all.  How paralytic is that?  Very.

However, this evening, I met some people who every now and again take a look at this blog.  Not a read of it, you understand.  They look.  At the photos.  So here is a photo for such “readers”, taken just over a decade ago, of a lady with a nice headscarf taking a photo with her then state-of-the-art but now hopelessly out-of-date mobile phone:

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It was not long before then that I started seriously trying to take photos of photoers that excluded their faces.

Wednesday November 01 2017

Yes, favorite blogger-of-mine Mick Hartley has been checking out, and photoing, the now finished Havenhuis, and has this to say about it:

I noted earlier - before I’d seen it in situ - that “it looks like it’s just plonked imperiously on top of the original building, with no attempt at a sympathetic conversation between the two”. Having now had the chance to look around and check it out for myself, I think that’s still a fair summary.

There follow several excellent photos of the building, of the sort that amateurs like Mick Hartley (and I) have a habit of doing better than the hired gun Real Photographers, because we tell the truth about how the new Thing in question looks, and in particular about how it looks alongside the surroundings it has inserted itself into.  Real Photographers know that their job is to lie about such things, to glamorise rather than to describe accurately.  Their job is to force you to like the Thing.  Amateurs like me and like Mick Hartley take photos that enable you to hate the new Thing even more eloquently, if that’s already your inclination.

And of all the photos Hartley shows, this one most perfectly illustrates that “disrespect” that he writes of.  “Conversation”?  Fornication, more like, inflicted by one of those annoyingly oversexed dogs:

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I still like this Thing, though.  I mean, time was when any disrespect felt by the architect towards that older building would have resulted in the old building being demolished.  Which is worse?  Disrespect?  Or oblivion?  Perhaps the latter would have been more dignified.  Execution has a certain grandeur, when compared to a further lifetime of potential ridicule.  But I still prefer what happened.

Sunday October 22 2017

Last Sunday, in among photoing leaning tower cranes and Twentytwo.

I also photoed photoers.  I could probably do blog postings for the next fortnight based on nothing but the photos I took that day.  Don’t worry, I won’t.  But I probably could.

Maybe I am not as keen on photoing photoers as I was a decade ago.  Or maybe it is just that there are now lots of other things that I am also keen on photoing, and so my fellow photoers loom smaller in my thoughts when I am now out and about.  But they still loom.  I still like to photo photoers, whenever the opportunity presents itself:

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It was such a lovely day (3.3), and all the better for being a bit misty (3.1 (a lot of zoom in that one, I think)).  There was lots of interesting hair (1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 3.1, and best of all 3.2).  There was even a very old-school small dedicated digital camera (1.2), of the kind that has been totally replaced by the mobile phone (unless, like this old guy, you have your old-school digital camera and you like to keep using it – this makes a lot of sense to old guy me.)

My keenness to photo architecture just grows and grows.  I notice, and like, a new building, and from then on want to photo it from all angles and distances, basically from wherever I can see it, and aligned with whatever else I can find that is aligned with it.

I also delight in photoing architecture which is on the screens of my fellow photoers.  The guy in 1.2, in addition to having interesting hair, is photoing the Boomerang.

Sunday October 15 2017

For me, it’s the most expensive penny I ever spend.  I’m referring to the toilet in Gramex, the services of which I often avail myself, in between hunting for keenly priced second-hand or ex-review-copy classical CDs.

This shop has kept moving over the years and is now seeking yet another new location, because its current location is about to be turned into a hotel.  But for now, until the 17th of this month, when you pee there, you beyold, in a very bedraggled state, a reproduction of a famous photograph, of New York’s Grand Central Terminal:

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There seem to be several versions of this photo, because more than one photoer noticed this remarkable phenomenon.  The phenomenon being how the presence of smoke or steam in the atmosphere turns any light that journeys through the smoke or the steam into a solid block of light.

This being well known to showbiz of course.  Here is a recent 6k photo, of a pop combo in action, being lit with smoke and searchlights.

The nearest I have ever got to anything like this myself is a set of photos I took one rather misty day in September 2015, when I was officially checking out the first of London Gateway’s cranes.  I have already shown this photo here, but here it is again because I like it so much:

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Here is another photo that I took moments earlier, which I have not shown here before:

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What I especially like about that one is that is shows how solidified light of this sort blocks out what is behind it.  You can’t see past such light.  But when there is no light crashing through and lighting up the mist, you can see through the mist.  Look how, when there isn’t lit up mist, you can see, past all the closer-up drama, another world of clouds, in the darker distance.

The above photo reminds me of another favourite photo of mine, this time where my reflection in a shop window, dark because back lit, makes it possible to see through the shop window into the shop, which otherwise you can’t because of brightly lit reflections from behind me.  In this case it is those bright reflections that are the solid light:

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That was photoed in the south of France, in Ceret, a town famous for its light and much loved by artists, in particular by Picasso.

I love that what we actually see through the shop window is someone else taking a photo.

Photography is light.

Thursday October 12 2017

I had a nice surprise today.  As time passes, the number of places I can buy the Gramophone and the BBC Music Mag keeps on diminishing, one of the few that remains being W.H.Smith in Victoria Station.  It was once again a beautifully lit late afternoon, and when I stepped outside the station concourse, I encountered this beautiful sight:

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Yes, the wraps have come off Pavlova.  And far sooner than I had been expecting.

Several of the above photos feature the new Nova building.  This fine edifice was awarded this year’s Carbuncle Cup.  The dreary grumblers who award this award think that it’s a badge of shame, but I generally find it, and its accompanying runner-up collections, to be a great source of information about interesting and often excellent new buildings.  Nova is wonderful, I think.  I intend (although I promise nothing), to say more about this enjoyably showy yet elegant addition to Victoria’s mostly rather lumpish architecture.

In 3.2, I got lucky with an airplane.

Pavlova is back
Photos from friends
Thumbnails
Taxi with tree
Video cameras from yesteryear
Photoer photos at the top of the Walkie Talkie
New London Bridge station roofs – and photos of them from the top of the Shard
August 2017 Old School Blogging (3): Birth of the Camera Phone
Tattooed photoer
Photoers at the top of the Shard
Digital photography has made trophy views more valuable and New York skyscrapers taller and thinner
Transparent cube containing three spirit levels that goes where a flash would normally go
Dots and photoers at the top of the Tate Extension
Two selfies
Quota photo of GD2’s Dad photoing The Laughing Halibut
A photo-session in Tate Modern
Twiddly cameras – 2005-2007
Crouching photoer at the top of the Tate Modern Extension
Michal Huniewicz drone-photos London Gateway and its cranes
Leake Street photoers
Westminster Bridge photoer 2014
Barcelona photoers 2005
Around Tower Bridge – July 2014
Stabat Mater at St Stephen’s Gloucester Road
A selfie being taken a decade ago
The past and the future
Anti-BREXIT demo signs
Leake Street photo session
Photoing the faces of strangers (or in my case: not)
Some temporariness being immortalised
To Tottenham (7): Building the new Spurs stadium
You wait for years and then two come along at once
6k has a drone
Skull Shaver
Home alone
Me shadowing another photoer
When photoing with mobile phones began (and when I began photoing it)
I am knackered
One mobile phone photoer now
A rollerblader in 2006
Remembering ten years ago
An amateur photo of a pro
Snake on a car
I never thought that we could win
When the people are the Art
1666 remembered - with another fire
A day in BMdotcom heaven (5): My belated photo-tribute to Kumar Sangakkara
Asian wedding photoshoot
Some more anonymous photographers from May of this year
Photoers photoing the views from the Tate Modern Extension
Photoers and railings
The right moment and the right alignment
Lioness eats camera
Lions - Bears - Blackhawks
A good morning
A better little drone
The Sugar Land selfie statue
A windy day
A decade of unrecognisable photographers
Deirdre McCloskey - The Great Enrichment – Using a smartphone as a mirror
Another walk along the river
Rentamob
What I hope will be a better way to post clutches of photos here
Taking photo-notes and an app for improving photo-notes
Photoers on Westminster Bridge
148 to Burgess Park
Some reindeer-based Christmas cheer from last year
Out and about with GD1 (7): Instead of using her Real Camera GD1 mostly iPhotoed
Anonymous guys taking (and making) pictures in Trafalgar Square
Food memories from the outer suburbs
Out and about with GD1 (6): The journey gets properly started
Screens at dusk
Cameras seeing red
Cats on an iPhone and Anton Howes on video
Quota Bald Blokes and Big Ben
Couple photoing their own shadows
Standing on boxes to interview Irfan
What is this iceStone device?
18/07/2007 - 18:01-19:33
Blokes photoing
I was photoing white vans in February 2007
Green Park wedding photos
Photoing down by the river
iPhone with added fish eye lens
Londres
Photoing and communicating the devastation of Tianjin
Digital photography ballet
Two photographers photoing me
May 2005 was my first big month for photoing photoers
Photographers by the river
A smartphone wearing sunglasses
Out and about with GD1 (4): On the survival of professional photography
A man taking a Selfie before it was A Thing (and me taking a picture of him)
Lots of photos of the camera man
The weather is too good
Smart face on smartphone
Real Photographer - shame about the adverts
Shard - Guys - Tate Modern - Blackfriars Bridge - photoed during Magic Hour
Hungerford Footbridges photographers
A photographer and an advert
What are those things on her hands?
Snohetta does zig zag roofs for competitive cities
Photoing the old London model
Bad taste
Yet more photographers
Bean drops snow on tourist
Photoing the photoers on Westminster Bridge
At the top of the Monument - in 2012 and in 2007
Is 2007 old enough?
Shadow photography (again)
Anish Kapoor photoed next to his big shiny balls
Dancing
Photographers - photographers with hats (one of the hats being rather scary)
Smartphones and tablets at the Charlie Hebdo demo
Hand done photos
A photographer from the I Just Like It directory
Some photographers last November
Cameras photoing the Wheel (in 2007)
A link and a photo of a photographer
Photoing at the ASI party
The Poppies (4): Bald Blokes photoing them
Looking down through the see-through Tower Bridge walkway – but what about looking up through it?
The Poppies (3): People taking selfies
The Poppies (2): The crowds
Shard shots
Why I am a point-and-shoot photographer rather than a Real Photographer
My chance to ride a bus almost as old as me
In which I quotulate from a photo of a Canadian train
Godot nearly ready
Bald bloke taking a photo
Two guys on Westminster Bridge photoing ice creams in front of the Houses of Parliament
Big cat advertises guide dogs
Bag ladies
The man who photoed the CDs in Gramex this afternoon
Photographers in Tate Ancient
Out and about in the sunshine
Xxxx-ie outside Xxxx-ridges
Cat photo and cat news
Quota selfie from 2006
ASI Boat Trip 7: Other photographers
Umbrellas!
Photoing with a mobile with a gap in the lid
Photographer photoing photographer photoing Big Ben
Hartley waterlily
A Real Photographer does a shadow selfie
Moving picture
Looking good for the telephone box smartphone
Photographing while on a skateboard
Ten years ago today
Another photographer photo from the archives
Sam Bowman on Bleeding Heart Libertarianism
Photographers in the spring
Remembering another Christian name (and flagging up another talk)
Colour photography
ME Hotel Radio Rooftop Bar
Popography
The text of my talk for Christian Michel last night on the impact of digital photography
Digital photography as telepathy
Taking photos with Big Flat Things
Confirmation that map use has seriously declined
Digital photographers holding maps
Polish girls in Moscow doing a selfie
Sidwell (and me) on selfies
Wedding photography - old and new
Here are two photos I took earlier
Photoing each other - and photoing stuff in the canal
Google Nexus 4 wedding photography!
Cassette iPhone photographer
Phablet news
Google Nexus 4 photos
Pictures of LLFF2013
More March 5th photographers (and more spaces between pictures)
Wandering about afterwards
Digital photographers outside Westminster Abbey
An earlier tablet photographer
More photographers photographed
Halloween flash!
Piccadilly Halloween
Patrick Crozier has just arranged for accessing ancient comments here to be much easier
More digital photographers
Celebrity photoshoot?
Usain Bolt takes photos of photographers!
The top of the Shard
Bomber Command Memorial pictures
A camera in each hand
Snaps (in Paris and London - and of the Millennium Footbridge)
Photographers at Eros and Art in the tube