Why How & What?

I've had a couple of busy days lately. I caught up with an old friend of mine from Uni recently, we had a long chat about many many things, amongst them, the future of photoshop, supperanuation, the amount of fossil fuels left in the world and the way this will impact on people's lives, the explosive growth of digital cameras/photography, alternatives to Photoshop's crappy RAW plug-in, just to name a few.

As a consequence of this discussion, plus a recent visit to an exhibition at ACMI, along with my own frenetic involvement with Flickr, I've decide to jot down my thoughts about what it is that I ∗do∗

The best way to clarify issues for my own benefit I've found, is to use the Why, How and What mantra. Again, thanks to my old friend from Uni who showed me this several years ago.

So here goes, the Why, How and What of Stuart Murdoch and his “ART”

In the late eighties I found myself in a situation that was untenable as far as gainful employment was concerned. I for many years previous had had a fascination with Photography, I can still remember looking at everyday objects and scenes and recognising within myself a connection or familiarity with these objects and scenes. It seemed a natural progression for me to follow this instinct and pursue a career or at least a direction in photography. A recent overseas trip with a duty free camera purchase combined with disappointment at the resulting holiday snaps drove this realisation even deeper. I returned to school at 25, no mean feat in itself. I spent the next 5 years studying, getting my feet wet, getting my bearings and generally working out where I fitted into the grand photography scheme of things.

After my 3 years of under-grad I realised the direction most suited to me was as an artist, the reason being, I was interested in strange and subtle visual connections, not making money, I was also interested in the craft of photography in particular the photographic print as an ‘object’. Upon graduation I was determined to get some sort of work that involved photography but not in a commercial sense. During my last summer of undergrad, I had been involved in my old TOP school in their photography department, by generally helping out, and the head offered me a job. At last a job doing what I loved, and access to ALL the equipment I needed to do it. For the next few years I simply photographed in my spare time, made prints for any or all exhibitions I could get my work into, in between teaching at night and being a part time photography technician during the day.

The images and prints I made were of the subject matter closest to my heart, made the way I like making them. After all, Frederick Sommer, Robert Adams, Ralph Eugene-Meatyard had all made beautiful images this way and were some of the many photographers whose work I respected and enjoyed. This alone seemed reason enough, besides, in a world that seemed to be getting progressively madder, finding solace and enjoyment in a pursuit such as photography seemed one of my more sane decisions of the past 12 years (since leaving home and graduating) and a relatively harmless one at that.

I have continued to work the way I was taught in my 5 years of schooling, schooling that preceded any form of digital or computer manipulation at all. I used the best camera I could aford, I spent many hours labouring in a Black and white darkroom making the best possible prints I could. I even realised several years ago that it was possible to make heartfelt and interesting images using the most basic of technologies, cheap, plastic and toy cameras (I had been using a large format camera for most of my work from about 1992 to 2000). In the late nineties I procured a digital camera, now retired, it seemed not much better than a toy, as the file size and the quality of the CCD were nowhere near film. I made over 13000 images with it, which I'm still unsure as to what to do with, I did learn however, that it is often possible to produce surreal and intruiging images with it. Which when sequenced in the ‘right way’ could make for some interesting art. I also learned to use it it an intuitive way, to not be afraid to allow it to make some technical decisions. From this point on around 2002 I was actively carrying the camera everywhere, and using it in anyway I could to subvert what it was I saw beyond the photographic. Currently I am using a Nikon Coolpix 5400 to carry out this task.

Beautiful silver Gelatin Prints is what I have been making for most of my time since graduating. This was in a time where digital and computer still generally were having minimal impact on my output. But in the last few years since about 2002 I have been very prolific with my digital output, I now have enough small digital files to publish 5 books a year with 200 images in each for the next 13 years! Self publishing seems an option, and of course since I started on this path the web has exploded and along with it an explosion in online self publishing.

Susan Sontag dies!

From the BBC

Author Susan Sontag, widely regarded as one of America's leading intellectuals, has died aged 71. The writer, who had suffered from leukaemia, died at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Calling herself an "obsessed moralist", Sontag was the author of 17 books and a lifelong human rights activist. She wrote best-selling historical novel The Volcano Lover and in 2000 won the National Book Award for another historical novel, In America.

Popular essayist
Her greatest literary impact was as an essayist, however, with her 1964 study of homosexual aesthetics Notes on Camp establishing her as a major new writer. The essay introduced the "so bad it's good" attitude toward popular culture, applying it to everything from Swan Lake to feather boas.

Some Key Works

  • 1964: Notes on Camp
  • 1977: On Photography
  • 1978: Illness as Metaphor
  • 1992: The Volcano Lover
  • 2000: In America
  • 2003: Regarding the Pain of Others

In Against Interpretation, Sontag worried that critical analysis interfered with the "incantatory, magical" power of art. "I know of no other intellectual who is so clear-minded with a capacity to link, to connect, to relate,"

Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes once said. "She is unique."

'Zealot of seriousness'
Sontag, who described herself as a "zealot of seriousness", was also a human rights activist and an outspoken opponent of US foreign policy.She prompted controversy when she wrote that the September 2001 attacks on the US were not a "cowardly attack" on civilisation, but "an act undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions".She also criticised US President George W Bush over the US-led war in Iraq.

In the 1990s Sontag travelled to the then Yugoslavia, calling for international action against the growing civil war. She visited the besieged Bosnian capital Sarajevo in 1993, where she staged a production of the play Waiting for Godot.

Sontag had been treated for breast cancer in the 1970s.


CMOS camera phones!

When will it end? This article hinting at CMOS chips in camera phones! from The Asia Times

"The company said it also plans to invest some 50 billion yen to build a new facility and introduce new machinery at the Kumamoto Technology Center for production of CMOS image sensors for camera phones"

As Sony appears to be upping the ante with camera phones by adding CMOS chips, the 'digital camera revolution' just keeps escalating. I personally don't want to see the complete removal of the crappy quality these cameras are capable of, but by the same token I can appreciate the way they the camera phones, impact on people's lives. Galleries of images made from this kind of phone have sprung up on the web and places like Flicker and I of course have one myself, will this sort of device contribute to the greater good in understanding who we are, or just add to the visual pollution we are bombarded with daily? FWIW I am not seeing a rise in enquires about my photoshop classes, our short course in photography at PIC, or our two year diploma course at the Photographic Imaging College.

Some links?


Flickr how I love thee?

My new obsession explained.

Boxing Day 2004

Christmas day went really well in this household yeseterday. I managed to snap off over 40 photographs. I particularly was trying to show a sequence of the table being set up and decorated, I'm still debating as to whether or not I am going to put them online? Feeling a little sunburnt though, otherwise I feel suprisingly well considering the amount of alchohol consumed. Seafood all round it was, yummo.


X-mas Eve 2004

It's X-mas Eve and the weathers cooled just nicely, if it stays this way it'll be nice tommorrow. Last night we foolishly ventured out to the shops, Oh my Fucking God! Highpoint a local complex was open 24 hours and by crickey folks were taking advantage of it! I took my camera along as usual. Damn battery ran out got a couple of good shots though, too lazy to post 'em here, so i'll just link to 'em over at flicker.

  • Our steps under mixed lighting handeld so well by digital
  • Hangin' out the car window, minimal indeed.
  • Blur galore dunno where from though?

Yes indeed the light was awesome, and when I get around to it I will add them to their own Nikon Gallery over in my site.

But back to the crowds! I don't ever remember shooping this close to X-mas being that bad! It was six deep in both directions and sometimes the same in some of the shops, maybe this arvo I'll pop out to the local shops (on foot) and see wazzup?

As we now currently have broadband at home I'm listening to SomaFM and boy do they play some irreverant stuff, it's actually their special holiday mix. I just wish they'd up their rotation a little I have been listening nonstop during waking hours since Monday, and I've had to switch off once coz it got to repetitive.

Preparations for tomorrow begin in earnest now, I'm boiling the spuds for the potato salad, making the sangria mix and generally tidying up.


Hot weather & flickr

Today is our first 100 degree day in the old money so to speak, 38 degrees Celcius, was the forecast and I suspect it's hotter than that right now. Gets a bit hot in the small room out the back I call home this time of year, but as we are in a weatherboard house and there are lots of doors and windows that face all 4 points of the compass we are lucky when the change finally does come through.

So here we are 3 days into it and what have I spent 60% of my time doing? hangin' out at flickr. Have joined several groups. The squared circle (two entries already, A day in the life of, missed the lastet deadline, so we'll see how I go with the next one. Machinery - 4 entries two from my exisiting account and 2 from a shoot in the shed using a portable flash. Trippy Pix and Minimalism. getting real busy in there now, what the hell am I too do when I start back at work? Stil want to add some updates to my own site, particularly the Nikon Gallery. Ah time! When is there ever enough?

On a slightly different note, I got my first 4 books back from the binders on Monday, and to say I'm stoked is putting it mildly. Four A5 sized 16 page boooks with 12 images and text a delight o hold and to handle, can't wait to give 'em out one Christmas Eve. Itchin' now to start and make some more!

4 self published books


Santa IS Evil!

The links just keep on comin'

Don't be scared of Santa?

Pre-Christmas Musings?

As Christmas draws nearer someone over on the Creepy Christmas group at Flickr found an article about the increased likelihood of death around the "silly season" Well I'm gunna trump that with a table that *almost* proves the increased chance of an assault around Christmas. It's taken from a report I downloaded written for a Sydney Hospital. it's entitled -
'Investigation of the Incidence and Analysis of Cases of Alleged Violence Reporting to St Vincent's Hospital', by Marjorie Cuthbert, Frances Lovejoy, Gordian Fulde. See table below, from page 5 of the document.

Presentations of alleged assaults (Admissions in brackets)
25 December - January176(55)
Surveyed512(60%)Completed forms

Don't get me wrong. I love a good feast with family on X-mas day. However my definition of what constitutes a family has changed over the years. Let's assume that a family by definition is a good family, a good family implies that it functions as a unit. Well I argue that there are no functional families at all, only degrees of dysfunctional families. As was driven home to me YET AGAIN at a recent birthday party for my wife's niece, I recently posted a comment on it allbeit a short one, and of course now I can't find it.


Pause and Effect

Currently reading a book that examines interactivity and narrative, "Pause and Effect". Having only read couple of sections at this stage I'm more than impressed with the ideas that are coming across - so far stay tuned for more about this book.


Photography Articles from about.com

I love my little news reader aplication. NetNewsWire. I can gather so much information so quickly using it, here's a couple of articles on about.com that I think are interesting.

Workflow: Filing and Finding.
The third of a short series on how to manage working with digital images, Workflow: Filing and Finding takes a look at issues such as storing of digital images, choice of storage media, finding your digital files, using suitable file...

Andreas Gursky: Does Size Matter?
Currently one of the biggest names in art photography, Andreas Gursky is also making some of the largest prints, and fetching the largest prices in the auction rooms.

At least I'm being seen!

Want to see my most viewed images at Flickr, go ahead?


As the year draws to an end.

Well this is it. Work has finished for the year, I now have to start knuckling down and getting ready for 2005, which I think is going to be even bigger than 2004 in many ways. I've started shooting images for my interactive idea/piece and am getting ready to write out lessons and notes for my students too. Several deliveries from Amazon are here too ready to be read, 'Pause & Effect, the art of interactive narrative', by Mark Meadows, and 'Experience Design' by Nathan Shedroff, are just two of the many books I hope to read over the next 6 weeks. Of course I am also pretty obsessive about flickr too. Having made a conscious decision to shoot at a lower than 8 x 10 print size this means I can upload straight form the camera with no manipulation photoshop if I so choose. The flip side being that I won't be able to ever print anything larger than about 4 x 6 inches. Which I happen to think is a perfect size for the books I have always wanted to make and will produce my first prototypes this year.


From Alternet.org

"In1996, journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of articles that forced a long-overdue investigation of a very dark chapter of recent U.S. foreign policy the Reagan-Bush administration's protection of cocaine traffickers who operated under the cover of the Nicaraguan contra war in the 1980s," Robert Parry of Consortium News writes. Webb paid a high price for his "Dark Alliance" stories written for the San Jose Mercury News. He was attacked by journalistic colleagues and demoted by his paper, causing him to quit. Despite CIA internal investigations that later validated much of Webb's reporting, his career never recovered, and on Friday, Dec. 10, Gary Webb, 49, died of an apparent suicide. "Unintentionally,Webb also exposed the cowardice and unprofessional behavior that had become the new trademarks of the major U.S. news media by the mid-1990s," Parry writes. "Foreshadowing the media incompetence that would fail to challenge George W. Bush’s case for war with Iraq five years later, the major news organizations effectively hid the CIA's confession from the American people."

SOURCE: Alternet, December 14, 2004


Popular Culture?

Well, phone camera postings on Flickr are up even further, 28,600 as of this writing!

Speaks volumes I think?

Ghandi quote

"You may never know what results come
from your actions
but if you do nothing
there will be no result "

Voodoo Art?

X-mas function produces Art?

Normally chicken entrails are used here but I thought these arrangements of bones may send out some messages or clues to the eaters personalities?

bonesbones 3


Flickr Groups

Flickr has groups.

Groups are thematic collections of photos by often disparate people.

My favourite is Creepy Christmas where I have made two contributions.

Viewed 42 times so far!

My most popular digital photograph so far on flickr? No photoshop manipulations at all, it's all in camera


So you think HR departments are run by humans? Check this out. It's from an e-mail I received from a freind who got it from a HR firm for a job app recently.

"Thank you for your application for the above position. This letter is to inform you that you have successfully progressed to the Second Stage in the recruitment process for Careers At XXXX. You have been placed in an actively managed database that is reviewed on an ongoing basis and as roles become available. The Program is structured so that there is no "Official Intake", rather it is a continuous, ongoing employment process. "

So sweat away to your hearts content on that next job application. Just don't lose any sleep on it's appearance, as I doubt anyone looks at it anyway till it's down to the last 10 or 20 perhaps? I always been furious, that these things demand word documents, and could never really understand why? Now I know. It seems that the file is sucked in by a computer and the data in it is extracted and added/compiled into a database. This database then cross references you and and the job at hand. If all is honky dory you move along in the process.

So I guess that the answer to getting an interview is, to put the right kind of words into the CV application. Forget about how it looks. Of course this means nowt if your going for a job at a small business. Generally the boss there hires and fires in person.


Documentary on Islamic Terrorism

Want another perspective on Islamic terrorism, sick of Fox Media's stranglehold on the information coming out of this whole conflict? Try the Australian Broadcasting Commision's site 4 Corners then.

Sadly even our cable connection chokes on this, so if you can put up with it do so.

4WD death machines?

It's the nut behind the steering wheel really. For all those 4WD drivers out there in Suburbia, a message.


Drop shadow text effects using CSS

For the handful of you who use a real browser like Safari, you might notice that I have added a little drop shadow effect to the text in the header of each page of my website, this effect is only viewable in Safari as it's a CSS 3 spec. Thanks to the new forum from WestCiv for this heads up. WestCiv make a neat liitle app that writes CSS in a WYSIWYG environment, it sped up my learning of CSS dramatically.

Brunch in the Western suburbs of Melbourne

Internet Publishing reaches new high?

Or should that be a new low?

We hit our favourite coffee shop this morning for brunch, then had a bit of a browse around the shops, join us on that brief tour. Now here I sit at home an hour so later, and the images are online and organised.

Some look like they may need a little tweaking in photoshop but otherwise I'm happy

Learn how to be a Virtual Tour Photographer

Just found this on Virtual Tour photography, and have of course downloaded the pdf file. Seems pretty funny.Chris Bachelder's Lessons In Virtual Tour Photography, is the name of the book, the site seems to be a book review kind of thing.

The opening paragraph of the sales blurb reads...

The wealthy photographer Ansel Adams once wrote, "A good photograph is knowing where to stand." How simple, how true—and how difficult! Even though Adams's heart failed him well before the whirling magic of virtual-tour technology was introduced to our world, his mysterious words ring true. In the high-tech, "fast-paced," paperless freelance international real-estate-photography industry of today, those eight words still cut. Because a good virtual tour—just like a good photograph of a boulder, or a pinecone—is knowing where to stand. And in Lessons in Virtual Tour Photography, available now, for the first time, as an e-book, you will learn where to stand, and how to know where. But that's not all you will learn! Picture this: You, conversant in the three types of display apartments........


Huh........what IS the date?

In typical "I have no idea what the date is state", I wrote this entry? It seems I'm out by a week nothing unusual there!


Storms in Melbourne

Melbourne had a typical summer storm this afternoon, the sun came out as it often does in these situations after it had all blown over. This is one big bonus for me, the light in these situations simply is awesome. Between the station that I caught my train from, to home I took nearly 100 digital photos. Admittedly almost half were of the flowers on our front porch. But that was when the light was just getting freaking awesome! So looks like I'll post not only to flickr but also add a new page to my Nikon gallery. Still thinking about tweaking them in Photoshop though, especially after reading about the Infrared effect earlier today.

Infrared Photography Links

Some interesting Infrared photography links.

Some interesting tips on using photoshop and the LAB colour space to change the appearance of images amongst other things. Might give it a try myself

Wishlist for christmas.

I want one!

Holiday period at flickr?

I feel that I have detected a pattern over at flickr. Last weekend there seemed to be a flurry of images uploaded, by my contacts at least. So we'll see what happens this weekend, the following weekend of course is Christmas, so, will there be even more images like this one or this one or will the site go quiet for a while? One things for sure, us folks down here in the southern hemisphere will be posting madly BEFORE our northern cousins. If folks do post on the day, does this make them loners or the sad types? Given the immediacy of this medium I don't think so, there is of course the global nature of it (the medium) as well.

Well bugger it I'm gunna post on the day, both on flickr and here.

Peace AND Respect.


Robots Making Art?

Robots making Art? What tha?

Just started using a cool new app for organising snippets of info called voodoopad give it a whirl you'll like it.


The democratisation of Photography part one?

For anyone who cares, there are over 25,000 camera-phone photos on flickr at the moment. Things are now starting to make sense from a democratic* point of view, but what about the important messages, how do they get through? Not that I am denying anyone else's right to snap with one of these cameras but what if you are trying to get an idea or message across? Maybe it's time to re-read Marshall Mcluhan's 'Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man' ?

*When I say democratic point of view I actually mean the 'consumption' of photography and it's perceived uses in relation to the WWW.

More thoughts another day?

Camels at Rockefeller Center

Well, Jason, and you don't know me by the way, it could only happen in New York eh!

Camels at Rockefeller Center,originally uploaded by jkottke.

Camels at Rockefeller Center

Maps, Journeys, Location, Self

Ideas come at the funniest of times?

I'm up early, 5:30 am to be exact. Laying in bed this morning, I had an idea in that half awake half asleep state of mind. It's scribbled down in my journal... now... of course.

It will be interesting to see how it, the idea, develops when I refer back to this and the ensuing entries involving it's development and constructiuon.

The first questions now are:-

  • Navigation/Interface
  • Sound?
  • Interactivity?
  • Should I use text?

Some other initial thoughts, how does one "draw a visitor/user in"? Will the journey itself be enough of an experience? Do I attempt to make a single finished piece?

So many questions, just like at the beginning!

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

For the benefit of both my readers, this idea/project will take the form of an interactive screen based art piece. Which is a whole new direction for me.


A rethink on digital and analogue workflows?

In my earlier post on comparisons between work flows in analogue and digital I realise now I made one HUGE assumption. That people work in a similar way I do. This is a gross miscalculation on my part. Often folks have ideas and then execute them or some people work totally on intuition. So my observations about the impact of digital on photography is not as broad and as sweeping as I would have first hoped? Just writing this stuff down helps clarify it in my head for me, though.

Even great painters like photography!

Albert Tucker, ART and Photography.

The companion exhibition of photographs.

More on what is ART?

Got this from the ABC news site. So I pinched it from them, they got it from the AFP

Urinal pips Picassos in art poll

In a result that probably confirms many sceptics' prejudices about modern art, a 1917 men's urinal has been voted the most influential artwork of the 20th Century in a poll of the great and good of Britain's art world. The white porcelain urinal was mounted upside-down in a New York Gallery by French artist Marcel Duchamp. In one of the very earliest examples of conceptualism, Duchamp declared it was art simply because he stated this was so.

According to the survey of 500 movers and shakers in British art, the work Fountain, is more important that anything produced by the likes of Picasso and Matisse. Duchamp's work was the overwhelming winner of the poll, which has been undertaken ahead of next week's annual Turner Prize, Britain's leading modern art award. In second place came Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon of 1907, regarded by many as the origin point of modern art.

Andy Warhol's iconic pop art screenprints of Marilyn Monroe from1962 have come third.

"The choice of Duchamp's Fountain as the most influential work of modern art ahead of works by Picasso and Matisse comes as a bit of a shock," admitted Simon Wilson, a British art expert hired by the poll organisers to explain the results. "But it reflects the dynamic nature of art today and the idea that the creative process that goes into a work of art is the most important thing - the work itself can be made of anything and can take any form." Even without such polls, the often unorthodox works honoured by the Turner Prize tend to launch an annual debate in British newspapers as to what is, or is not, art.

Among the nominees this year are a pair of artists who digitally recreated Al Qaeda head Osama bin Laden's former home in Afghanistan. Last year's winner, Grayson Perry, was typically attention-grabbing: A burly man with a fondness for oversized party dresses and pigtails, his delicate ceramic vases are decorated with often disturbing scenes. The Daily Telegraph, often a despairing conservative voice on arts matters, is unsurprised by Duchamp's victory in the poll. "In this strange world where babies are made in test tubes and people pay to drink water in restaurants, the result is perhaps not all that astonishing," its arts correspondent sighed wearily.

In the poll, Guernica, Picasso's Spanish Civil War masterpiece of 1937, was voted fourth, followed by The Red Studio by Henri Matisse, from 1911.



Brazil the movie

Tonight one of my favourite movies is on TV, oh to be able to stay awake!

Meanwhile I process the thought... and I quote, "there are no functional families only degrees of dysfunctionality!" Is it possible to have a family go OFF the dysfunction scale?

This is one of the reasons I so enjoy flickr, in a funny way it helps me clarify my own work.

First edit for challenge #31

Here's my shortlist after my earlier post in regards to editing and shooting to a brief, I've still got a few days left to shoot, so the choices may grow.

New Directions in Photography?

Currenlty am working on an online competition submission (against my better judgement), I have already submitted two images to since acquiring my Nikon Coolpix 5400 Digital camera, and of course have failed dismally. So even though I can better expend my energies elsewhere with things like Lightwave, I am having another go, partially because this time it's a 'topic' that I can really really relate to. The topic is, 'Buildings in Decay Decline and Abandonment'.

Who would have thought though that it would be this difficult. Two shoots in as many days, 70 -100 images a lot of which I find interesting, and more than adequate for my own work yet strangely difficult to feel really happy with. Is it the immediacy of the process, the ease at which I can capture and quickly review results that causes this consternation? This is essentially a huge shift in my usual workflow developed over nearly 20 years of making fine prints.

This changed workflow is, I think, one of the greatest hurdles to my practice of Art based photography using digital. In the past there was the initial euphoria over pressing the shutter then a short time later more excitement as you pulled the still wet film from the tank, then, a day or two would pass and maybe just maybe the proof would look good. Back out I would go with my camera, when I next had a chance, and more of the above, either as re-shoots to correct errors in the original proofs, or to take the idea in new directions, or just to follow and chase light or locations. At some point during the year perhaps when the light was bad or when I didn't have time I would sit down with the proofs made *over a period of time* and evaluate the results. These proofs would find themselves in a box that was carried everywhere and looked at in quiet moments. Eventually connections could be made between the physical objects, between the proofs themselves. They were then often sequenced and organised and re-sequenced until enough images were made for an exhibition of some sort. Some times the exhibition came before the conclusion of the collection and collation of the work, but still the *process* of collection comparison and collation was intuitive, tactile and able to mimic real space and time, by the sheer physicality of the objects themselves.

This is all changed now with digital.

Now the images are collected and viewed on the spot. Proofing happens on a screen. Images organisation is hampered and limited by the size of the screen and the space it occupies. Now images are more limited in their sequencing. no longer can I look at images in a micro way whilst simultaneously maintaining an overview of the *whole* body of work, I can only fit so many on-screen and only in a hierarchical way, either by file name, of physical space occupied on the screen.

Have I just talked myself into a screen based method of communication?

You will notice here that I haven't even mentioned Photoshop at all. Photoshop is just another tool another way of bending and shaping and manipulating my images, it has little or no impact on my work, other than perhaps allowing me to consider the shift towards colour.


Copyrights or wrongs?

An issue close to my heart, well several issues actually, freedom of information, copyright, and intellectual property, being squabbled about in the courts in America.

History of Colour Photography

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) was a photographer in pre-revolutionary Russia, photographer to its ruler, the Tsar, and commisioned by him to document the land and its people. He developed a method of taking colour photographs by taking 3 separate exposures... [About Photography]

Voyeurs of the world Unite!

Want to become a voyeur?

Think that looking into other people's inner most secrets is somewhat erotic?

Got something you want to confess to?

Visit www.grouphug.us for your answers then!

s2art's flickr contacts

My small homage to flickr and some of the talented folks hangin' out on that site. I just can't get enough of the place, the way folks are willing to experiment with composition, light and subject matter. The way you can make your own little mini-galleries and sequences, it's truly awesome.

Of course this is one of many such sites out there. I have looked at several and this is the only one that really has appealed to me. So much so I upgraded to a pro account after my free trial ran out. Anyway here's my blogroll if you like of noteworthy contacts from flickr, in no particular order.


Yet another self portrait?

Why is it that so many people turn their cameras on themselves? Is a good portrait one that has a happy face or a serious one? Anyway, here's me sitting at my desk at one of the jobs I have, at a place called pic photographic imaging college, I teach photography and photoshop there, I also teach computer mediated art at VU where any day now this portrait or perhaps the next one I shoot will appear.

a self pportrait


Art? A definition?

Still harping on about the reactionary Art site I found yesterday! This person's definition of Art is so narrow. There is no mention of Dance, Film/Video, Performance, Theatre, and a minor reference to Music, but certainly NOT popular music, only the classical variety.

In a way though I kind of applaud them, they seem to have a very well defined notion of what Art is. My ideas vague as they are, are partially based on John Berger's ideas. He has in his book, "The Sense of Sight" a chapter with a rather succinct definition of Art that I use in my lectures at VU (page 6 of my copy ISBN 0-679-73722-7) . Roughly speaking he suggests 5 clues to an objects' classification as a work of art.

  1. Figurative Representation
  2. Subject Matter/Context
  3. Respect/Understanding of the Materials used
  4. Formal unity and Economy
  5. Awe, fascination or reverence for the object

So I quite like this list and it helps me classify things occaisonally. Still a lot of PoMo (Post Modern) Art is all just too cerebral for me, leaving out the "wonder" "awe" and imagination aspects of art that make it so enjoyable for the viewer.

MarsEdit almost at version one.

From Ranchero's own blog

MarsEdit 1.0fc3 is a final candidate release. We’re looking for deal-stopper bugs—bugs so bad that they have to be fixed before shipping this as 1.0. If no deal-stopper bugs are found, we’ll change the version number and make this release 1.0. There are a few bug fixes since 1.0b12—having to do with drafts, most notably. See the change notes for details. [Ranchero]


MarsEdit, Jumbo jets and Art?

Now using MarsEdit to write these entries, neato little app for all you non-programmer types like me.Made by Ranchero software who also make NetNewsWire, the news reader for the Mac used by many mnay folksout there.

This morning due to the Northerly, two huge 747's flew over real LOW, yowza, gotta love that, one was a Cathay Pacific 747-400, serial number B-HUA, at 07:14.

Two quotes from last night's TV show, still ticking over in my mind.

"Optics don't make marks"
"...the tyranny of the lens"

Hopefully will have some time to formulate some thoughts on Art , after my earlier post today, stay tuned, in the meantime check "my art".

Has Art become reactionary?

Who would have thought that the Art world would be subject to reactionary views? After watching an excellent program on TV, by Hockney that explored the notion that the renaissance was actually helped along by lenses and camera obscuras, and doing a "google" on him and the idea, I turned up this reactionary site,.

Sadly as people seem to have become less adventurous in their political views so to the idea of what art is and can be, (the site is claiming 40,000 visits per month). They have even produced a "manifesto! Taken from another site

Linda Dulaney, executive director of the Art Renewal Center, located in Port Reading, New Jersey, recently wrote Navigator to announce the arrival of ARC's first newsletter. ARC's mission statement cites thirteen goals for the center:
(1) To create the largest on-line museum on the internet, with hundreds of thousands of oversized high-quality images of all the known works of the greatests painters and sculptors in human history, cross-referenced to the largest encyclopedic online art reference liberary of historical texts, essays, biographies, and articles;
(2) To promote a return of training, standards, and excellence in the visual arts;
(3) To provide responsible views opposing those of the current art establishment when warranted, especially as expressed in critiques of current art exhibits, and in aesthetic philosophy;
(4) To make available to all interested, the best of the rich Good Art archives of debates, controversy, and dialogue that has spanned the last three years on the Internet;
(5) To disseminate the rich artistic heritage of 2500 years of accumulated knowledge in creating traditional, realistic images touching upon universal and timeless themes;
(6) To advance the undersanding that Great Art begins with great themes and expresses them poetically through mastery of all aspects of technique;
(7) To repudiate the idea that development in art requires destruction of boundaries and standards, pointless emphasis on "newness," or pursusit of the bizarre and ugly as ends in themselves, and to expose as artistic fraud those works conceived only to elicit outrage;
(8) To provide a technical resource for artistic information, including referrals to experts;
(9) To provide a forum for dialogue and exchange among educators, scholars, curators, collectors, and artists;
(10) To promost scholarship and research on the artists of the past and the rediscovery and preservation of their techniques and methods;
(11)To establish basic visual literacy standards across the world. Drawing must be introduced as part of the core curricula in K-12 and developed progressively until high school and beyond;
(12) To provide impetus for the reestablishment of high standards of performance in the visual arts of painting, drawing, and sculpture, and to promote the concept of recognizable quality as a primary criterion for the judgment of fine art;
(13)To offer a platform for discussion—both scholarly and informal—on art history, aesthetics, technical considerations, art education, and other related issues, and to maintain honesty and frankness in our interaction with everyone, regardless of predisposition.
Those interested in learning more about the Art Renewal Center may check out its Web site: www.artrenewal.org. According to ARC's newsletter the site garners 40,000 visits a month, with an average visit lasting twenty-two minutes. Certainly, it offers a feast for the eyes.

I love the final word, "...it offers a feast for the eyes". What about the mind and the soul? What about telling old stories in new ways - that have MORE relevance - to fresh eyes and minds? Pffft more on this later methinks! Don't get me wrong, I love a well executed drawing or painting, it is indeed a beautiful thing, but that's all it becomes, and I doubt very few people would be moved in a way that a good movie could move them, or a great song, or a stunningly printed photograph. Yes indeed Mr. Fred Ross, we are now living in the 21st century and life is NOT as simple and elegant as you would like to think it is so why should contemporary art reflect this?


Beta Search engine for academics

Just discovered this new beta search engine for "academics" from "google" http://scholar.google.com/, it's great have and I found links to several articles on topics that I find interesting, quickly AND easily.

Well it looks like I'll be online even more now!

Finished my final weekend Photoshop workshop for 2004. I had two cancellations out of an original four, leaving two policemen, not only were they policemen, they were from the "State Surveillance Unit". Are you asking yourself the same questions I am at this point? You bet! Why are these two state officials in charge of gathering information, consisting of Audio, video and photography doing a workshop in image manipulation? Glad you asked coz I did too! It seems that they often need to "enhance" poorly captured images given to them by other members of the force. And as long as they have the original files and can prove "how" they enhanced the images the images can be used for the purposes of a criminal investigation.


Mobile Phones, Art, or Photography?

Loooking back over my archives I talked about extending my my collection of Nokia Mobile phone images. I had it seemed, just purchased the USB cable to do this. Sadly I haven't followed through. The gallery is still fairly static, I've been using the camera, just not uploading. The reason of course is Nokia's lack of support for the Mac, which means I e-mail the images to my self at aboutfity or so cents each, then upload somewhere from there. I even went as far as to install Virtual PC on my machine, in an effort to cut costs and make the proces easier. This I have booted into once since installing so there goes that idea. However my contract on this particular phone runs out early next year. When it does I can then get a new phone, one with bluetooth perhaps, or one that supports the Mac, or even a different model Nokia (my model is the problem, a 7400, I think?). For those couple of folks who read what I write here I have long thought about doing something artistic with a Mobile Phone Camera. Places like Flickr are being used by people in ways that I thought would make for an interesting use of the medium. This was going to be my sticking point with my original idea, as far as mine went, "How to publish in a manner commensurate with the medium and idea?" No more worries about that then, plenty of folks are up and running with the idea. So early next year with a new camera in hand, I'm going to start the project in earnest. Hopefully; not famous last words?

Have my last Photoshop workshop for the year this weekend, a smaller than usual group, so far, as two folks have pulled out, this leaves two chaps who work for the Melbourne Police force! I am very very curious why members of the Police force are doing a workshop in Photoshop? Stay tuned on that one


Strangers in the night?

This Asian site sent me to a few hits last week, of course it's in an Asian language that I cannot read? Still weird though what could folks want I wonder from some part of Asia?

Sneak peek at Mac Os X.4

Wanna see some snaps of the upcoming version 10.4 of the mac os?

UK Kodak plant closures?

News just in from Digital photography review.

Kodak is to close five labs in the UK over the next 12 months resulting in a loss of 500 jobs. The news of the closures in Northampton, Glasgow, Walsall, Wimbledon and Portishead follows the announcement of 600 job losses last month after Kodak closed a factory in Nottinghamshire and 250 people lost their jobs at a site in Harrow, North London. A call center is also due to close, The cuts are a result of Kodak's shift towards the digital market and its plans to cut up to 15,000 jobs worldwide in three... [Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)]

Our overseas trip 2004

Currently working on the section of our site that deals with our recent overseas trip. It will be a long term work in progress I suspect. The image editing is a time consuming process in itself. Serves us right for taking over a gigabytes worth of images I guess?


I love my computer/s

Just get a Mac and be done with it.

This article while not originally *by* J Kottke, makes me laugh all the same!

Thong season arrives!

Given the weather today, I think I can safely say.............it's thong season!

That's the shoe variety - chinese work boots, you know!

Still life, with minor edits in photoshop

a still life in our own house


Why make images?

As the year draws to a close here, I have been reflecting a bit on my own creative practices ( I don't need the end of a year for this, at the best of times, but hey let's use it as an excuse anyway). I am a bit embarassed to admit that I have spent less time in the darkroom at home this year than any other year in the last 15 or so. However I still am making images as prolifically as ever, it's just that the change in approach brought about by digital cameras means a different end result or use for these images is required. Shock horror perhaps even a different intention or maybe more focused attention is what is required?

When we were on our honeymoon in New Zealand a couple of years ago, why I made images with a camera was really driven home. A question that I still am struggling with. Why do I take/make images? What do I do with them all, who really benefits from these thousands of images? I realised at the time that particularly in an unfamiliar environment with little time to spare it was almost pointless trying to make god or meaningful images with any kind of idea behind them. I gave up pretty quickly trying to make anything that resembled art to me and just snapped away making what I hoped would be good/memorable pictures of the trip as a whole, and if I fluked a good one then so be it.

Well here I am 2 or 3 years later and things haven't changed that much, I am still making images albeit more digital than any other kind and I just wonder what am I supposed to do with. As an aside when I retired my Kodak DC 260 halfway through our recent world trip I had reached the 13,000 mark they are all carefully filed away on CD awaiting a reason to be pulled out and used.

The reason I'm thinking this way is that making images with a digital camera IS different to using an analog camera. Technical issues aside there is an underlying attitude that kind of devalues the image. The instant feedback provided by digital photography has taken away a lot of the mystery of the process. This loss of mystery equates perhaps to a loss of innocence or maybe a lowering of expectations of what we can achieve with our images. For example, I always set my camera to its highest possible resolution with the least amount of compression available to me - "just in case, I want to make a nice large print from the file". In 5 or so years of using a digital camera I have never once seriously bothered to make a print from them. So why do I maintain this just in case mentality? Why can't l let it all go and simply get used to the idea of making images for a computer screen?

Applications such as Director which are powerful story telling tools require you to have a firm understanding of the story you want to tell? (Director can turn still images into interactive images that move, based on a story of some sort.) Do I have story to tell? Particularly given the way I make digital images in a kind of Gary Winnogrand style- what would "that" look like photographed - kind of way? A self published book is one option, still awaiting exploration, and I am truly enjoying the galleries over at Flickr.com too. Ultimately I guess that so long as I continue to make images that are important to me then maybe someone will get some value from them?

Two photographs - minimal photoshop editing

A weird sky over Melbourne on Thursday nightA tree near our house that I find intersting


Victoria street Blues?

Picture this, it's a mild sunny morning, you're sitting in a cafe having a coffee, reading a book, in particular a book of Jack Kerouac Poems. You realise that you have actually got a recording of Alan Ginsberg reading one these poems. You can "hear" the poem and you slip off into the street in front of you. The traffic moves and hums, a woman's heels click click past you on the pavement, the sun shines. You finish your coffee and read some more:-

"...In the feel of their stride
Touching to hide the sidewalk,
Blackshiny lastnight parlor
Shoes hitting the slippery
With hard slicky heels
To slide and fall:
Breboac! Karrak!"

You return your cup to the counter inside walk across the street, after braving the peak hour traffic, hop in your car and look back at the red building bathed in morning light that houses the coffee shop, and read the sign on top.

It reads - Wayne Wong and Associates.

As an aside the excerpt from the Jack Kerouac poem, "SanFrancisco Blues", is reproduced here without permission.


Simple icon software for the Mac

More nifty software! Now I can make really cool icons for my Mac. All it takes is a simple bit of photoshop editing and then dropping the image on the software, hey presto a nice custom made icon.


Is Google the only answer?

Currently trying this search engine. It's called cluster and turns up some interesting results - quickly.

See my links to the right, for the reason why I am thinking of switching?


Let X-mas Begin!

In town today, and of course the silly season has officially begun! The crowds were surprisingly quiet for the first day of the "Myer Windows". Snapped up a few CD's today as well. Some might say an eclectic list, other folks, just know me and my tastes.

  • "Closing Time", Tom Waits
  • "Used Songs 1973-1980", Tom Waits
  • The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • "Amelie" Film soundtrack
  • "If I should Fall from Grace with God", The Pogues
  • "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death", The Dead Kennedys
  • "Unknown Pleasures", Joy Division
  • "Apollo Atmospheres and Soundtracks", Brian Eno
  • "You Don't Know Me", Dannielle Gaha
  • "Scar", Missy Higgins
The small crowds outside Myer Windows

More images of Melbourne over at Flickr


Art banned in Darwin

Coffs Harbour hosts banned photo exhibition. A photo art show that was banned in Darwin is opening tonight at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery on the NSW mid-north coast. The Northern Territory Parliament banned a scheduled exhibition in March of Belinda Mason-Lovering's collection called Intimate Encounters, Disability and Sexuality. The ban sparked an outcry from one of the models with disabilities, former ABC reporter Cath Duncan, who says she thought it was a joke at first. Tonight's opening also has a local contribution from sculptor John Van der Kolk, a collection inspired by the visual memories of blind people. Ms Duncan says it is a poignant and moving exhibition. "I'm quite hardened. I've seen a lot of disabled art and photography, but I walked out of there in tears," she said. "It moves you to really get an insight into how somebody else with a different sort of body and different senses views themselves. It's all about identity, sexuality and all that personal stuff. It's very beautiful."

Taken from the ABC arts site

Pictures on Waferbaby

Just had an image loaded on Waferbaby.


CMA graduate show 2004

Opening tonight, the graduating student's show 28 k, from CMA at Victoria Universtiy, here are the sites they built as part of the unit of study they undertook with me.


Colour tools?

Nice little colour generating tool, lot's of them out there, this ones very elegant

Thanks to Ed for the heads up

Pet peeves whinge number #041111

One of my main peeves in life is the way we are pigeon holed by advertisers and marketers, this article on wired throws some light on the the issue and also gives some hope.

[Wired News]A PBS documentary makes the case that Americans have tuned out marketers pitching everything from cars to candidates. The result: even more crass attempts to get through, and a fragmentation of American society. By Jason Silverman.


Bush salutes us - NOT!

Finally G. W. Bush reveals his true feelings about the rest of the world.

George gives the 1 finger salute

Berencie Abbot and Eugene Atget

The article below, on Berenice Abbot from about.com, mentions one of my early favourites Eugene Atget. A street photographer who never saw himself as an artist, but has been elevated to that status for many years. The trouble is, his work to my mind, takes a lot - and I mean, a lot, of close inspection and reflection to see that. The problems begin I guess, if you use the yard stick of "what is the function of this work" as a means to measure the work. Even though the work indeed was used by Atget to sell to Museums and other artists as either reference pieces or documents if you like, it somehow moves beyond mere documentation. One extra factor in Atget's favour is of course the fact that the majority of the imagery is of a place that no longer exists, pre-war Paris of the early 1900's.

Personally I like his work, I can connect to it on many levels and it's always a pleasure to look at. I have of course read several tomes about him and his work, so my understanding of where he's coming from maybe different to someone discovering him for the first time. This is what I like about this article, it gives a teaser and links and allows the reader to explore more in their own fashion based on their needs and desires, a very handy function of the web.

Enjoy the article and the links.

Berenice Abbott's own place in the history of photography is sometimes overshadowed by the work she did in bringing the work of one of the greatest of all photographers, Eugene Atget, to the public eye. After his death in Paris, she bought much of the work from his studio, and brought it back with her to New York where she exhibited and published it. In his lifetime, Atget had sold large numbers of prints of aspects of Paris to various museums as well as to individuals, including artists such as Man Ray, but had not generally been recognised as a significant artist. Although his work was written about in Europe, it was the collection in New York (later at MoMA) that made him a well-known name in photography. Abbott took many fine portraits, but her work on the city of New York is her finest monument You can see a good selection from this at the Hacklebury Gallery in London until January 29, 2005. Also on the gallery site are some other interesting images of New York, including work by Ted Croner, Elliott Erwitt and Arthur Leipzig

I am so inspired by some of the work I am seeing on Flikr that I am planning on spending the day out and about with my camera, seeing what I can, so stay tuned for a big update either here or at flickr, or my own site - oh and there is the travelogue as well.

For both my readers I wish to share the latest gem of software I have picked up from the internet, it's called Quicksilver and it is a useful and free utility for speeding up access to the contents of your Macintosh computer, bypassing the need for the dock, which for me had become painfully slow and time consuming. I am still learning it's intricacies but within minutes of downloading and installing last night, I am already opening and closing documents and files quickly with nothing more than a couple of keyboard strokes. A very useful tool indeed. The application's website will of course migrate over to the right with all the other interesting stuff I've found. One thing I neglected to mention was the quality and standard of work over at flickr, unlike other sites i've seen out there in cyber space this one is populated by people who are not onlt talented but also able to "see" wit their cameras in away that makes the world an interesting place again, go check it out.


my desktop 08/11/04

Changes are some what infrequent on my laptop, but as I'm sick of fiddling with the dock I've gone back to the old system of the alias on the desktop

my desktop 08/11/04
my desktop 08/11/04,
originally uploaded by s2art.


Flikr and photo-sharing

I have been hanging around flickr now for almost 3 days! Unheard of in this era of nano-second attention spans. Admittedly I have been adding tons of my own images, from my own site, but also busy adding tags (to my shots) and making contacts, and commenting on these contacts' work as well.

This site really interests me. It allows the user to upload and store their own photos these can then be organised into galleries, and set for public or private viewing, tags allowing sharing of common galleries. You can also set up galleries of images with images that are cross related, this is a fab idea and allows any user to organise threads and connections within their own bodies of work. So when another user browses a gallery they can then see the other connections made by the original maker of the images.


Macs are a tool afterall?

Here's one for the all macophobes out there, if they can stop playing their 3rd person shoot 'em ups long enough to read it -and - think about it


blue sky. look!

Have spent many many hours on flickr today, thank god things are settling down at work! This woman's imagery is just stunning

blue sky. look!
blue sky. look!,
originally uploaded by swissmiss.

Have signed up with Flickr, I am here if you want to find *me*One of the neat features is it posts straight to this blog if I so choose, as can be seen by the sculpture of Jesus below.

Uncomfortably Close Jesus

Hee Hee gotta love this one, says it all really, in one!

Uncomfortably Close Jesus
Uncomfortably Close Jesus,
originally uploaded by fboosman.


Canon images from my work

Some images made at work today the vibe is good and the work is getting done! The end of year show is only days away now and the students can smell it I'm sure!

student loungespotting an analog chorelillie belleBig Kev!

Stupid online quizzes?

Well apparently according to this test I am an exe file, what tha!

You are .exe When given proper orders, you execute them flawlessly.  You're familiar to most, and useful to all.
Which File Extension are You?

Of course I'm only useful to PC users and who would want to be that!

Democracy revived?

Cruising through my e-mail this morning when I read my weekly newsletter from prwatch.org. Picked up this little gem.

Newspaper readers have always had their little "letters to the editor" section, if they can get in. But cheap online tools have given anyone with a Net connection the chance to start a publication, a Weblog, a chat room, a bulletin board. Citizen media sites focused on tiny communities give journalists a role as content shepherds, whipping the chaos of reader-generated content into a manageable morass.

Ah yes indeed, the web may yet revitalise democracy in the west. Call me a hoepless romantic but I honestly feel that things like weblogs and the online communities in general that been spawned by the web have an oppurtunity to wrest control of folks information digestion back off the big media oultets.

Just last night I watched a program that argued that the US press in particualr has been undergoing some extreme introspection since 9/11 and they are starting to admit that they may have been wrong to so blindly follow the Whitehouse's lead. The program very eloquently argued why the big media organisations did what they did which was partly driven by commercial interests and a need to be seen as fairly and squarely *patriotic*. And some even admitted that following Fox with it's lowest common denominator approach had been a bad move. The implication being that they wouldn't do it again, but will they? Murdoch - no relation, is being portrayed as the bad guy here! Which reminds me must go see that movie about Murdoch and the press, as well as the one about "Corporations"


Time-lapse photography in Canada

This guy shoots some interesting stuff around his native town in Canada. This particular series looks like it could be interesting.

Click here to see the timelapse video of all 1928 images. (10mb quicktime movie)

A research issue?

A new issue of Boxes and Arrows is out. In this issue is Use of Narrative in Interactive Design by Nancy Broden, Marisa Gallagher, and Jonathan Woyte.

Interseting read yet somehow not really all that practical? the article as often happens whilst surfing turned up a couple of other names, Marshal McLuhan, Brenda Laurel and Mark Meadows. The first name I am well aware of (of course), the other two will require a little more digging. Sadly at the moment Amazon's servers are down, unheard of really? Also some of the other links at the bottom of this article were broken as well?

Post Melbourne Cup reflections

Can *you* remember your first hangover?


Cup day 2004

Today is a public holiday in Melbounre. It has been an excuse to paaartee. As indeed we have here at my house. Here is a self portrait to prove it.

is this a self portrait?


Retro Kitchen Canisters

e-bay is a wonderful thing

The mighty search engine fends off accusations of big business bias.

Is the ground shifting under Google's feet? Will folks abandon the darling of the net? All I can say is I'm happier now that Yahoo puts me above Carl Volks (now deceased) 2 day workshops, Google doesn't? Try doing a search for "photoshop workshops in Google or Yahoo and you'll see what I mean!


What to do on a weekend?

Weather has turned into a real pearler. Daylight saving has started here in Australia - in the states with common sense anyway. So will be able to get more done outside tonight after dinner if I'm so inclined. It's almost beer o'clock now though so I'm not holding my breath. Looking forward to the BBQ on Tuesday, big race for many, just an excuse to fire up the bbq, and down a few brewskis for me!

Been hammering away at the 3d software most of the day, it's getting there very very slowly.


Learn Photography?

Learn more about photography.Or just read a few FAQ"s

The difficulties of learning new software...

Man this software drives me nuts, LightWave that is, I have never seen such an out of touch application in all my life, the interface is hard to read, the tools are difficult to find, there is little logic applied to how the application functions. It has important menus tucked away at the bottom of the screen, it has no Menu bar, no help system on and on the list goes, if this software wants to become the king of 3d apps, boy it's got a lot of improving to do.

Having said all that it's obviously a powerful piece of software to use and is more than capable of fulfilling the pro's needs for this kind of work.


NIkon Coolpix challenge image?

Well unless I manage to make a better image this weekend I will be using this image for the next Coolpix challenge.

street photograph shot with a nikon coolpix camera

Coming soon - 'Street Photographs'

Nice little article over here justifying this blog and many others.

God help me if I ever end up getting the volume of traffic some of the sites that get mentioned here?

On a more photographic note, in town last night I had my sites set on a particular shot on a particular corner of the CBD. Been there twice so far and still not happy wit the results, however the second visit produced another idea and I'm pretty happy with this second idea.I will pop it online later today, as I am going to try and beat the damn traffic this morning and leave real early. I'm also thinking of setting up a page or two that demonstrates the process of getting the shot I felt would suit the brief, as I have been to the location twice and produced about 12 or so images already so far. Each image has it's own relative merits and negative points, again stay tuned.


Coolpix Challenge image?

Hit the CBD tonight on the way home from work, got some good shots in preparation for the Nikon Coolpix challenge, stay tuned for the results.

First Go

Well here's my first go from the shoot for the competition I mentioned earlier this morning, not that happy perhaps too early for the "crowds" and it's surprising how few people wear any colour in their clothing?

State Library of Victoria Melbourne Australia

Where, when or how to make and image

Have some time up my sleeve and have decided to head off to make some images. The question is - where, and, how will I get where ever it is that I decide to go? Possible options, the corner of Swanston and Latrobe, Prahran, or even Fitzroy?

The other issue is, the weather?Will I need a raincoat, not to mention that Nik who is interstate with her work has the iPod? (This limits the number of shots I can take to about 13, (I have a 128 meg card) or I can lug my notebook around or, walk to and from the car if I can find a cheap easy park?)

Stay tuned for the results, some of which I plan on entering in this little online competion.


iPod Photo released!

Well it's no secret, new iPod released hmmm I want one!

Currently I use my 20 gb iPod whilst out and about, as a storage device in conjunction with a belkin card reader, makes those 22 meg raw files insignificant really


Golden Light

Getting up early has it's advantages

golden light sweeps our yard

Daylight Saving is upon us!

As November draws to an end, I am getting excited about the prospect of the arrival of day light saving. This means several things, more opportunity to make images in that awesome light that happens around sunset, more warm days for BBQ's and more of a chance to get my thongs on. These thongs were packed in a box that we sent home ahead of us from our recent trip around the world. I got a real surprise when I opened the box to find them nestled in amongst all the books we had packed. Now if the weather keeps going the way it has been I'll be back in them full-time (outsidework).

It's also graduation season this means, late nights and gab fests, art art and more art. Some years it's fun, others it's a drag - this year, I'm still deciding?


Why not edit in Photoshop?

Given up on the 3d software for today, not an easy package to learn.

Here is what appears to be a fabulous photography link especially if you are Interested in Digital Photography

Had a bit of a rant this morning on dpreview.com about using tools like Photoshop to enhance images.


From the archives

Even though I'm at home crook, I can still post, here are some images from the archives.

a digital photograph of my shadow
orange cafe
graphic elements photographed with a nikon coolpix 5400

Reasons to travel #1

Hard to resist the travel-bug with news like this

Opening shortly at Tate Modern in London (Oct 28 to Jan 23, 2005), is a major show of Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank, who will be 80 on 9 November 2004. It features over 150 of his photographs... [From About Photography]

Is film dead?

Perhaps one of the more surprising recent announcements is a new Zeiss Ikon M-mount rangefinder system, reviving a well-known old name last seen on cameras in the early 1970s. From... [About Photography]

Dangerous driving 2

digital photograph taken with a nikon coolpix 5400 resized in photoshop

Tim Berners-Lee and the web?

Is the web about to get exciting again?



More imagery made with my Nikon and manipulated in Photoshop

Surrealism - Photography - Digital?

Frederick Sommer, an inspiration.

Not sure why but have been poking around on the web with this great artist, who sadly passed away in 1999. Many articles acknowledge his ability but all agree that he did not get the recognition he deserved. Ok I admit it I have been thinking about surrealism and photography a bit lately and Frederick Sommer is one of several photographers associated with the Surrealism movement. The question remains though, what would these folks have done with computers and digital cameras?

Books and Computers!

Have just downloaded this neat little app called "Books". fantastic, as I'm a little bit of a book collector, this allows me to keep a record of what I own along with all it's publishing info (if it has an ISBN). I recommend it to anyone who has lots of books as I do, the auto-completion feature alone is worth it.And while it has nothing to do with Photoshop or Photography really I think it's worth mentioning.

The reason I am using it this morning is because, our box of books and ephemera from the first half of the trip arrived here yesterday, so I dutifully started adding all the NEW books to this data base app. I then discovered that there is a newer version, (updated just days ago), so I downloaded it installed added my backed-up files and away I go. Now the app has more features, yet to be explored, something that I WILL be doing though, is saving the file and exporting it as html and uploading it to my website. stay tuned both of you for the link - if you really want to see the books I own that is! it's a MAC app so here's a picture of of it for you all to see. I'm sure there is a PC equivalent.


Photoshop Workshops and Nikon Raw Files?

Sitting at home twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the arrival of the parcel/box of books from the first half of the trip around the world. Made an image sitting on the couch. Love the wide angle lens on my Nikon Coolpix 5400. Now I especially love the fact that Adobe have released a raw plug-in for this camera, and I have, thanks to the folks over on the Nikon forum at dpreview.com, go it working in Photoshop. Which allows me supreme control over the resulting Photoshop conversion, something I guess I'll add to future versions of my Photoshop workshop series.


New Nikon Image

New Nikon camera image, manipulated in photoshop, ever so slightly

digital photograph taken with a nikon coolpix 5400

New Nikon Image

New Nikon camera image, manipulated in photoshop, ever so slightly

Australian snapshots?

During August 2004 while the eyes and ears of the nation were firmly fixed on the Olympic Games, 150 ABC Local Radio listeners ventured into their communities armed with disposable cameras. Their brief? To capture the diversity of sporting, leisure and day to day activities in their region. The result? 3000 photographs illustrating an insiders view of Australian life beyond our big cities.

Top 4 Tom Waits Albums?

My 4 all time favourite Tom Waits albums?

Glad you asked.

And in no particular order.

  • Swordfishtombones
  • Bone Machine
  • Mule Variations
  • Real Gone


It's Sunday!

I'm fully recovered!

In the backyard!


Drinkin' beer!

Listenin' to Tom Waits!

It's sunny and warm as only Melbourne can be at this time of year!

Does it get any better?


Ray Man photography show at the NGV

So here I am sitting at home.

Broadband is set up and now is wireless! And both of us are connected.

Despite feeling ill I managed to drag myself into town today to see the Man Ray photography show at the NGV, which is finishing this weekend. Let me begin by saying how impressed I was! The work is surprisingly interesting. Lots of small intriguing prints(perhaps contact prints), often with marks on them that appear to be ideas for cropping etc. The diversity of the work was excellent as well, I expected lots of solarisation but his work extends well beyond that. Some wonderful portraits, great fashion photography, and some really kooky dadaist images/ideas.

The marks he made, Man Ray, really impressed me. They added to the images in a way that I'm having trouble articulating, and it is of course something that could be easily done using a digital app, such as Photoshop or some other image editing program. The size was just perfect too. I'm sure that they were contact prints. Must buy the catalog, one day.

Something that is running through my mind at the moment is surrealism and digital photography, how would have these guys (the surrealists) handled it all, what kind of images would have they made, or would they have thought it all too easy to just cut and paste and juxtapose using a computer? What was their position on technology and culture? Maybe I'll find out one day, maybe I'll get an oppurtunity to work it all out, who knows but in the meantime, I'm gunna have fun thinking about it I'm sure!

Broadband yup!

It's official, broadband at home AND work!


Fuck the Liberals - and Labour too!

Anti Liberal grafitti in Redfern, Sydney, Australia, written after the recent debacle of an elcetion in October 2004, which reads, if you voted liberal I will hunt you down and kill you, I don't know where you live but I am good at research

This one turned up in my inbox tonight. Bit un-needed really given that the Liberals are going to fuck up anyway!

Am absolutely stoked about the new Tom Waits album, pure Tom Waits ALL the way!

Tom Waits' album purchased - at last

At last yipee, yahoo, I've got the new album by Tom Waits - Real Gone. What can I say it's up there with my other favourite Tom Waits Albums.

Also purchased, Nick Cave and the bad seeds new one, Abbatoir Blues / The Lyres of Orpheus, and Sigur Ros' Music Split sides. Got some listening ahead of me!


CD capacity to reach 1 Terabyte!

According to this article e-mailed to me on a reputable list storage mediums equivalent in size to a contemporary CD will eventually hold a Terabytes worth of data, which for me as a digital photographer is important. My current image collection while not huge is large enough to concern me, and of course will continue to grow. Current number of digital camera files in storage, 12,000 + and growing. While 12,000 2 meg files isn't a huge problem I'm currently using RAW format on my Nikon Coolpix 5400 which results in a 22 meg file, and I'm already at about the 700 to 800 image mark! (I've owned the camera since about July 2004.)


Shared Post election reflections

look I'm no writer and I'm still a seething ball of fury after this weeks election results, that appear to be guided by people's hip pockets, no surprises there!

John over at Dog or higher has rather succintly summed up a whole heap of stuff about the current state of play here in Australian Politics, check it out!!He even talks about how the so called free trade agreement impacts on technology here in Oz!


Post Election Depression?

Post Election depression creeps in! However this little snippet helps me keep perspective.

" Number of bald US presidnts since TV age began: Zero
Bald British Prime ministers Zero
Bald Australian Prime Ministers One!"
Source? John S Croucher, Professor of Statistics, Macquarie "University

Does this say something about us as a nation? Are we capable of seeing through the veneer of television, or has our current, and barely hirsuite PM manipulated things the way he really wants through the media? Part of me feels this is the end, other parts realise that life will generally go on for most of us. It's the bottom end fringe dwellers who are going to suffer the most. The marginilised few who slip through the net. these thousands, will feel the pinch the most. I also fear for our Medicare system and wonder about the national Telco, Telstra. Of course again as a big city dweller with a reasonably consistent and reliable income these things are actually choices for me, what about those who have no choice but to use Telstra, or find a bulk billing doctor in their region? And how will they fare in 5 or 10 years time when Little Johnny is long gone from the scene, and some other party hasn't the balls or vision to try and fix things.

Political commentator/writer I'm not. I've been fortunate over the years, I have managed to hang in there, despite a couple of close brushed with homelessnes, and unemployment. I strongly feel that the fabric of this country is slowly unralvelling, no-one in political power makes decisions based on any moral ideals just what they think that most of the populace want. And sadly history judges these people but history may not be enough for those already staring at a range of diminishing choices.


New Nikon Images

Some new images

Added another gallery of images to my Nikon Gallery


Blast destroys camera

Blast destroys camera. Smart media card survives. This one has been around for a while now, so I'd thought I'd share it with you both.


Post Holiday reflections

My two recent loaves weren't too bad(both fruit loaves), I was surprised the first one worked at all as I completely got the measurements wrong!

Yet to purchase Tom Wait's new Album.

Have an upcoming exhibtion, the 20th Anniversary show from where I work. We're also publishing a comemorative book to celebrate this auspicious occasion. I'm hoping a copy of which will end up in the State Library of Victoria.

Some quotes from a book I discovered lying around at home

Good teaching is more of giving the right questions than a giving of the right answers.
Josef Albers


Bread baking

Back into bread baking, one of my ambitions to get a loaf that is fluffy, light, that rises high, and with a nice crust. This is my second attempt since restarting, I used to do it often a year or so ago, now with our new stove I am inspired to get back into it.

This one is good, bit heavy on the crust, but light enough for my liking. Could be a bit sweeter maybe, and not sure how to get a real dark crust yet anyway here's a snap of the bread just before I started eating it.


Google results?

Googled s2arts and came up with this site (allconsuming.net) linking to mine, bizzare really?

Richard Avedon dies at 81

Well known photographer Richard Avedon has died. He died after suffering a brain haemorrhage while on assignment for the New Yorker magazine in San Antonio, Texas.

More on the BBC website

The article mentions his brutally honest black and white portraits. These were a source of inspiration for me for many years, his book the American West was truly fascinating, and I have contemplated for several years now making portraits with a 5 x 4 camera just like his!