Brian Micklethwait's Blog
In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.Home
Friday Night Smoke on A Sunday ramble
Julie near Chicago on Cat news
Rob Fisher on Round headlights equals an old car
Rob Fisher on ASI Boat Trip 7: Other photographers
6000 on Nine reflections
Simon Gibbs on The River Thames carpet
Brian Micklethwait on The River Thames carpet
Simon Gibbs on The River Thames carpet
Alan Little on The localness of London's weather
Michael Jennings on Sacred architecture and profane roof clutter - a speculation
Most recent entries
- Out from under the weather
- Smaller Old Thing in front of Big New Things
- A Sunday ramble
- ASI Boat Trip 8: Bridges
- Cat news
- Quota selfie from 2006
- ASI Boat Trip 7: Other photographers
- Nine reflections
- The localness of London’s weather
- Round headlights equals an old car
- The River Thames carpet
- Cats … on scaffolding … with shadows …
- Sacred architecture and profane roof clutter - a speculation
- ASI Boat Trip 6: Crowd scenes
Other Blogs I write for
6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adventures in Capitalism
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Another Food Blog
Antoine Clarke's Election Watch
Armed and Dangerous
Art Of The State Blog
Boatang & Demetriou
Burning Our Money
Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
China Law Blog
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Coffee & Complexity
Communities Dominate Brands
Confused of Calcutta
Conservative Party Reptile
Counting Cats in Zanzibar
Deleted by tomorrow
Don't Hold Your Breath
Douglas Carswell Blog
Dr Robert Lefever
Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights
Everything I Say is Right
Fat Man on a Keyboard
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Freedom and Whisky
From The Barrel of a Gun
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Here Comes Everybody
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Category archive: Digital photographers
Bizarre day today, and am only now shoving whatever I can think of to shove up.
I went trawling through the photo-archives, and came up with this weird selfie shot from 2006:
Two cameras I no longer use. My previous pregnant-out-the-back telly. Some book about Something For Dummies.
I haven’t yet finished showing you photos from that Adam Smith Institute Boat Trip, that I got in on and took lots of photos of, at the beginning of this month, and which I have been showing here, now and again, ever since then. I’m hardly even close.
For instance, it’s taken me three quarters of a month to get around to it, but, of course, there were other photographers present besides me:
I chose these pictures simply because they fitted the bill subject matter wise, and because they look nice. I did not choose them to illustrate any particular point about digital photography.
The result being that they do illustrate a particular point about digital photography. Consider the stats.
There are two regular old school digital cameras to be seen snapping (1.1 and 1.3), three if you count mine. There is also just the one big tablet being used (3.3).
All the other photographers are using mobile phones.
Usually, when I photograph photographers, there are more regular old school dedicated digital cameras to be seen. But this is because I am photographing lots of “photographers”, i.e. people like me, who see themselves as more photography-minded than regular people.
What this boat trip illustrates is how much regular people now use their mobiles to take photos, in among all that networking and connecting and chatting and socialising. It isn’t so much that mobiles have replaced those tiny, cheap digital cameras, although yes it is that, a bit. But it is more that mobiles can now take photos, so now they do. A lot of photos are now being taken that would not have been taken at all, before mobile phones learned how to take photos, by people for whom mobile phones are essential, and photography with mobile phones began only as an extra.
And you can bet that many of the photos that the above people were taking were already flying off into the big www beyond, to work their propaganda magic, promoting the ASI, its Boat Trip, and the people who went on it, before the trip was even over.
Young people these days are quicker off the mark than I am. That’s their job. And being slower off the mark is mine.
It was posted in August 2012. Better, far better, late than never. I found this in their list of top twenty postings, top in popularity, presumably.
Another of those Things That Have Been Encouraged By Digital Photography. The Art is temporary, but the pictures of the Art will last far, far longer, on many, many hard discs.
Was in the Westminster Bridge Parliament Square area this afternoon. Photoed many photoers photoing. Few of the pictures are of much current interest. Although, give it a decade and there will surely be a dozen absolute crackers. I mean, will a mobile then be a thing you carry? Surely they’ll just be in your earings, or something. With the screen on contact lenses. Again: or something.
But I did like this one:
It’s the square gap in the lid that makes it.
Better blogging tomorrow, I hope, even though I actually promise nothing.
And me photoing the two of them, of course, last night on Westminster Bridge. Time and again, I only really see what I have photoed when I get home and really look at them all.
So, example, when I photoed this spikey-haired guy, I thought that all I was doing was photoing a photographer who was photoing Big Ben. I was doing that, but it turns out I was doing even more than that:
See the bottom left of his screen.
Was he doing this on purpose? Does he share my fascination with other photographers? I have another shot that is very similar, and in that one also, there is that same photographer, in the bottom left hand corner? The fact that he held that exact shot, with the other photographer present and photoing, says to me that it might well have been deliberate.
I think that this …:
… is a spectacularly beautiful photograph.
It is the work of Mick Hartley, whose photos I admire more and more.
What I so especially like about this one is how the colour of the waterlily is contrasted with the black and bleak colouring of the big circular leaves. Usually, in photos of this sort, those big leaves would be bright green. But the indoor setting and the industrialised Kew Gardens ceiling turns the water in which the lilies float into something more like crude oil, giving the whole thing a very distinct atmosphere.
It brings to (my) mind those scenes in Schindler’s List where a little girl in bright red appears, in an otherwise black and white movie.
In general, colour is a big deal for Hartley. From time to time, he features photos at his blog (by him or by others) where there is a big expanse of bright colour and a relatively drab small object or objects in the middle. The opposite of the waterlily photo, in other words. But maybe I just notice these particular photos because I particularly like them.
There was a time when self-consciously artistic photographers seemed deliberately to turn their backs on the huge opportunities offered by colour photography. Digital cameras, which could do colour from the get go, and which have enabled regular people to revel in colour photography whatever the Black and White Photosnobs might be saying about colour photography, have put a damper on all that. At first, posh photographers sneered at digital photographers partly because of all the colour. But now, Real Photographers are, more and more, people who got started with photography because of cheap digital photography.
I’m absolutely not saying that I dislike black and white photography, or photography of very drab and monochrome colours (like when it’s nearly dark for instance). I’m merely saying that bright colours are great also. And these two things are especially diverting when combined in the same photo, as above.
I like to browse through Jonathan Gewirtz’s photos from time to time, and on my latest browse I came across this photo, of a brightly lit building in Urban Florida. Miami? Don’t know, and it doesn’t matter.
What particularly got my attention was the fact that Gewirtz included in the picture: his own shadow.
I have taken the liberty of reproducing this detail here. “Copyright ©2011 Jonathan Gewirtz” is what it says just before saying “jonathangewirtz.com”, but I trust my little except does not break any rules. (Rules often being the point of copyright violations, I’m guessing. Maybe this particular copyright violation, on its own, would not be a problem, but once the line is crossed, by anyone ...) If Gewirtz wants this little piece of his work removed, he has only to say and it will be removed forthwith.
Okay, with that out of the way, the point that I want to make here is that I suspect that this thing of including your own shadow in pictures is a practice that has filtered upwards to the Real Photographers like Jonathan Gewirtz, from us digital amateurs.
Your own shadow in the picture often starts as a mistake, but then you think: well, okay, that’s my shadow, but what’s so wrong with that? I was standing there, with the sun behind me. I mean, did you think this wasn’t a photograph, and that someone standing there throwing a shadow into the picture wasn’t even there? Did you think that God took the picture? Cameras gobble up whatever they see in that moment, and in this moment, for instance, my shadow was part of what it saw. Often, the shadow is all there is, and very amusing it is too.
The crux of the matter is, I think, who the picture is for and what the point of it is. Is it for someone else, someone paying? Is perhaps a happy couple being photographed on their wedding day? In which case, they are the point, not the photographer. Likewise if the point is to photo this dish of salad, or that house interior, or this beloved pet or that sports team, well, the Real Photographer is not being paid to insert himself into the scene, and he will be careful not to.
But if, on the other hand, you are a snapper who is just having a bit of fun, then why shouldn’t you, the snapper, also become your own snappee?
But the thing is, when Real Photographers are out having fun, the way Jonathan Gewirtz presumably is when taking photos in Miami or wherever, just because he likes to, they are liable to take their ingrained Real Photographer habits of self-effacement with them. So, interesting that Gewirtz did not do this, at any rate not this time.
I’ll end with a slice out of one of these photos:
The crooked forefinger being mine.
On Saturday, having dropped Goddaughter 2 off at Westminster Tube, I took a stroll over Westminster Bridge and snapped snappers, just like old times. And the rising tide of people photoing with smartphones rather than just with dedicated cameras was unmistakable. With about the next but one iteration of the smartphone, will there be any small digital cameras left? Soon, it will likely be as above. Big old Real Cameras, and lots of smartphones.
Or then again, maybe instead of all phones having cameras in them, some cameras will have phones in them, and small, cheap digital cameras will carry right on as if nothing had happened.
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)
ME Hotel Radio Rooftop Bar
The text of my talk for Christian Michel last night
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
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
Patrick Crozier has just arranged for accessing ancient comments here to be much easier
More digital photographers
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