The furore over the photography ban issue at Southbank even made boing boing.



So Saturday evening, I reached 100k views.


Protestor's Southbank Photos

The Age have published some photographs from Southbank following this weekend's successful rally regarding the no photography policy

And they have published an article about the issues of photography in public places


Southgate Photographers gathering

South-Gate are busily trying to defuse the situation now, where earlier in the week they banned photography in the building, pffft. Also there are planned meet-ups of large groups of photographers happening today [Saturday the 29th] in the city at various start times, I'm sure flickr will be flooded with imagery over the coming days from the whole event! Even the ACMP has gotten involved

It seems like whoever made the initial statement may regret ever having made it, mwahahahaha!


Learning Photography Online?

The teacher in me often wonders about online learning here's an example that comes close, it's an introduction to the Canon 300/350d and a general introduction to digital photography, on the surface a little simplistic, but probably more engaging than actually reading a manual.

The image on page 8 section 10 which is the section that looks at factors affecting sharpness has some flare in in the top right corner, probably because the photographer didn't buy the most important and cheapest of accessories, a lens hood. I also disagree with the low contrast versus high contrast lighting situations argument. A good lens produces a sharp image regardless of lighting [assuming you expose correctly and have the camera on a high enough shutter speed to avoid camera shake].

To quote on of my mentors and friends,

The photographic process looks after itself when its natural inheritance is honoured. It can not understand any other way of working. But when what is passed on represents a loss, the process collapses.
Les Walkling

In essence every part of the process has the capability to multiply errors made to the point where the image loses all meaning and coherence. So buy a lens hood, use a tripod if you expect to work in light conditions and small apertures that require a shutter speed lower than the focal length of your lens. For example, my Hasselblad has an 80mm lens, I never handhold under 1/125, [the next shutter speed is 1/60 lower then 80] of a second, when using a 35mm camera if I had a zoom on it, that went from 80-200, the lowest handheld shutter speed I could use would be 1/250th.

Ultimately though it comes down to your own expectations and appreciation of what constitutes a sharp photo and what is more important to you. Look at the masters, look long hard and often, however, never forget to let go in a Zen kind of way, and free you mind up while working.


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Corporate Terrorism II

The furore over photographing in Southbank continues!

And so it should!

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Urban Landscape II

urban landscape

Today's image a pair with yesterdays is getting as much attention as the one I uploaded yesterday? Maybe it has to do with the geo-tagging that I'm now applying to my images?


Urban Landscape

giant shoe porn, guardian of the city [warning]

Normally I would expect an image on flickr to get 100 views after at least 3 or 4 weeks, this image purely based on its title [I am surmising] has received over 100 in less than 12 hours. Sigh, it's kinda sad really.



I have discovered a great tool that allows you to precisely pinpoint the location of any shot taken and add the geographical co-ordinates to it. This shot is of the up-ramp to the rooftop car-park of Footscray shopping centre, a 2005 image that resurfaced thanks to iView Media Pro3. I've also used iView Media Pro3 to confirm the date I made an image as recently as two weeks ago. It's funny how our memories are never that as sharp as we'd like to think they are.

Meanwhile over at the Melbourne Flickr group, outrage at Southbank's recent decision to ban photography inside the complex has prompted some action by some of the group.

While I wholeheartedly agree amateurs and artists alike you should have free reign to photograph whatever and whenever they like, however, it still boils down to the place being private property and the owners have the right to ask that no photography occurs there. I mean really, there are some interesting architectural details there and there is always lots of life and colour, but is it really going to dampen Melbourne's cultural life or creative energy, I think not. Personally, Southbank is rarely a place I would go out of my way to visit, just to photograph, I'm more inclined usually to pull out my camera because I'm there and "happen" to see something I like, and these days that's pretty rare.

This issue even made the mainstream news, and little Johnny even had two words to say about it. From where I sit it's really all about shopkeepers thinking that their displays are somehow worthy of protection, or if you photograph them you are stealing ideas or using the photographs to somehow undermine their sales, meh whatevah!


Now the Age has weighed into the argument


Corporate Terrorism?


More tom foolery from corporations over photography in public places! Taken from the Herald Sun. Reproduced here for educational purposes.

TERRORISM fears have seen happy snaps banned at a site popular with tourists. Southgate management has posted "no camera" signs.

The signs are around the Yarra River retail and dining centre.

The edict follows an incident in which tourists were seen photographing "obscure" parts of buildings and were asked to delete the photos from their cameras.

They refused, and security called police to insist.

"We've had a couple of incidents of tourists taking photos of obscure things, and they were approached by security and asked to stop taking photos," Southgate property manager Kathy Barrance said.

"It was just the facades of buildings, things that would be of no interest to put in a photo album."

The new signs banning cameras state that "Southgate thanks you for not taking photos within the complex unless approved by management".

Ms Barrance said anyone found taking unauthorised photographs would be told to stop by roaming security guards.

"It's policy around Southgate for security to ask people not to photograph," she said.

Exceptions will be made for photos of such things as the Ophelia sculpture at the main entrance. "On the (Yarra) promenade, it's fine, or if it's of Ophelia," Ms Barrance said.

Asked if the restrictions were designed to deter terrorists from conducting reconnaissance, Ms Barrance said, "Yes, that type of thing."

Victoria Police told the Herald Sun it was unlikely any police officers would order the removal of images from a camera under such circumstances.

"I've checked with our privacy people and they said there's no law against taking photos," a spokeswoman said.

Southgate workers were stunned at the restrictions.

"I think it's stupid," Oras Charcoal Souvlaki Bar employee John Tsarpalas said.

"There's got to be better ways than that."

One shop owner who did not wish to be named, questioned whether there were any vital targets in the complex.

''It's a bit much. I know they are trying to protect us, but it's just a food court," she said

The shot above I took down there, so does this make me a terrorist?


Tourist photo ban over the top: PM
From: AAP
July 25, 2006

PRIME Minister John Howard has described a move to ban cameras from a popular Melbourne tourist precinct amid terrorism fears as "over the top".

Southgate management has erected "no camera" signs around the Yarra River retail and dining centre after security guards tried to force tourists to delete photos taken of "obscure" parts of buildings. The police were called when they refused.

Mr Howard said he did not think the terrorist threat in Australia warranted such a move.

"I think that is over the top," Mr Howard told ABC Radio.

"Everybody's got a camera now. Does that mean a mobile phone camera?

"I don't think the terrorist threat in this country warrants that. I really don't. "I don't know who did this and I don't wish to offend them, and I'm sure they mean well, but I do think that is going too far."

Southgate management said exceptions would only be made for photographs of things such as the Ophelia sculpture on the Yarra promenade.

"We've had a couple of incidents of tourists taking photos of obscure things and they were approached by security and asked to stop taking photos," the Herald Sun quoted Southgate property manager Kathy Barrance as saying.

"It was just the facades of buildings, things that would be of no interest to put in a photo album



Digital Assest Management

iView Media Pro3

So I recently lashed out and bought this software to get on top of my burgeoning collection of digital camera files.

There several on the market some of which are free, I chose this one because of it's speed and agility, as Lightroom is far too slow on my humble machine and the 'word' out there in cyberspace is that Aperture is a hefty beast also.

Another reason I bought iView Media Pro 3 is because unlike it's free counterpart it reads Raw files as well. Which was perfect because I found a 'missing file' after wondering about it and looking on what seemed very disk it turned up as a raw file on a disk from early 2005

aluminium V2.0

Here is the shot re-edited and re-loaded into my flickr stream.

When I first signed up way back in late 2004, I was using the then free account, which had limitations in terms of bandwidth usage. In an effort to maximise my throughput I kept images to a fairly small size. Nearly two years later I wanted to find it and re-load it at a higher size, as well as consider it for an exhibition piece, one day, and it took a cataloguing session spanning several days and god knows how many CD roms to find it.

So far iView Media Pro is looking real sharp for me!

All thanks to flickr

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Digital Fine Art Portfolio Workshop

I am very fortunate to work with a talented artist and musician, by the name of Andrew. He also works at the VCA, Victorian College of the Arts, in St.Kilda Rd. VCA have just begun running short courses in digital and photography. Given his knowledge and passion these short course/s will be value for money.

The course that Andrew will be running is called, 'Digital Fine Art Portfolio Workshop', costs $550.00 and runs for 2 days, Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd of September 2006 from 10:00 to 4:00 both days.

This two-day workshop is devoted to the production of a fine art portfolio that expresses your personal photographic and/or artistic vision. With the advice of experts you will learn how aesthetic concept, image selection and even choice of paper, can define the narrative of the portfolio. Film scanning and image editing in Photoshop will revolve around implementation of a sound color-managed workflow. Printmaking options, including the use of monochromatic or color ink sets, RIPs, printer linearization and profiling tools will be explored. Documentation of editions, preparation of an artist statement and effective use of promotional materials to reinforce the portfolio will be discussed.

Contact the VCA for more info


You Call That A Knife?

Excuse me while I get all philosophical.

Poetic logic is the sensuous apprehension of what we
do not yet understand in the presence of reality.

Poetic logic had to invent art to understand nature
as the positional growth of structure
within the matrix that is life.

We are the ones who put life into stones and pebbles.
When feeling is lucid, structure is art.*

* Frederick Sommer
THE POETIC LOGIC OF ART AND AESTHETICS in collaboration with Stephen Aldrich 1972

Ok absorbed that, now watch this slide show


Photoshop Curves

After my weekend photoshop workshop last weekend I remembered this Photoshop curves trick.

It is a great trick I learned a long time ago, but, I can't remember where or how I learnt it?

This is the usual curves dialog box, after I have reversed the values by clicking the small black and white triangles at the bottom of the graph.

4 quad tones

If you hold down the option key on the Mac or the alt key on Windoze, hey presto you get 10 squares vertically and 10 square horizontally.

ten zones

Divide 255 by 10 gives you 25, this then enables you to loosely apply zone System ideas to your images in Photoshop.

You can even make a tool, that can help you visualise this all by making a strip that has 11 shades of grey from 0 to 255 in it.

Another little tip is if you click the small button on the bottom right of the dialog you get a large version of the dialog box.

0-100% in 5% steps [Analog ideas applied digitally]

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Flickr Toys

Busy weekend here this weekend.

\/   /\   /   (

Thanks to barb for sending me to check my unofficial flickr score which I'm pretty pleased about, the score that is. It is a very elegant and beautifully designed site by netomer, who is not only one of my contacts, but a damn good photographer too

According to his neat little tool this image made Explore / Interestingness in the last 7 days, I'm kind of not surprised as there was a lot a banter and discussion under this image, and it was faved pretty heavily too. So thanks to Kent, AvD and all the other folks who made comments and faved this image. Now, I'm back to work!


New York Exhibtion!

Self-Portraitr: An Interactive Exhibition Curating the Flickr Community

Very interesting, wonder how it will work, might even give it a go myself?

The press release in part reads,

Pace/MacGill Gallery and the School of Visual Arts’ graduate photography department are pleased to present an interactive exhibition of self-portraits drawn from Flickr.com, the online digital photo-sharing network. Flickr’s user base consists of over one million members who share images and image-related information. Two leading forces in the New York art world—-a major photography gallery and a top art school—-have joined together to observe this online conversation of image making. The mining and showcasing of this material strives to engage and expand a rapidly growing virtual arts community. The exhibition will be accessible to both viewers and contributors alike via the Pace/MacGill website www.pacemacgill.com. Pace/MacGill’s gallery space will house ten computers on which visitors can peruse the pictures gathered from numerous global photographers as they would online. A few monitors will display slideshows of images specifically collected via the gallery website.

The exhibition will not only rely on the Flickr community for content, but will also depend upon the activity of the site’s users for the organization and editing of what is anticipated to be thousands of images from the age-old genre of self-portraiture. Whether the image is taken by a professional photographer overseas or by an amateur experimenting with a camera phone in New York City, each image posted on Flickr and “tagged” as a self-portrait will automatically be filtered and directed into the exhibition. The Pace/MacGill Flickr interface, created by SVA’s Jeremy Chien and Stephen Jablonsky and programmed by Kelvin Luck, allows users to vote for favorites, track the most viewed image, and create categories. Sorting options or subcategories (self portrait “with mirror” or at “beach,” for example) within the virtual exhibition will enable further definition and refinement.

The work in the exhibition will perpetually expand with the proliferation of users until the popularity of each category aids in its editing. As more images are collected and more users are interacting with the site to make selections, the work will become more discerning and interesting. One can choose the role they wish to assume: curator, artist, etcetera. With every click of the mouse, viewers become participants; the interactive community defines the exhibition. The hope is that the final result will be a 50 print exhibition of images chosen by the community.

Well exciting indeed!

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Public Art

ziz the consumate model; immersed in a soundscape

Some cool sound and multimedia installations going on around town at the moment.

Machines That Read?


Flickr has an algorithm called interesting-ness, today I made pg 37 with this image, but it's almost like a kiss of death really, I mean how can a machine be taught to judge beauty and merit of an image? From what I can tell it requires a certain number of visits and comments as well as favouriting to make this part of the site, with less than 20 views and a mere 2 comments and 1 favourite, what the hell is going on?

[Edit] Well less than 24 hours later and it seems to have disappeared! It's a very fluid thing this algorithm, but meh whatever!


Proofs in the Digital Age

editing 21st century style

Well maybe it is possible to treat one's digital wok in a similar manner to analogue, perhaps I just need to learn some more patience in dealing with my digital files.

Just spent the day flicking through my archives using iView. Found some gems and will over the coming days upload them to flickr.

iView, is a freeware app that used come with Roxio Toast. It helps you keep track of your images, by allowing you store facsimilies of your images on other drives or external storage devices.

I use it in my workflow to create a file of the contents of a CD as I burn it. Then some time down the track when either I'm looking for a specific image or just browsing for images I open the file of a given date and browse the contents of the file, if I find something I think I want to use, I match the CD to the file and load it up and away I go. You can even open it from the iView interface into any app I choose to add to the list of available applications.



Old Skool

There is something special about sitting down with a cup of coffee and flipping through tactile proofs exploring and wondering about opportunities, of images



tennis centre circa 2000?

Digging deep into the archives on flickr now!

This was taken with what, was then, a fairly reasonable camera sometime in the late 90's, hasn't camera technology moved along a long way since then? My wife's current camera about 1/2 the physical size of the one that took this image cost 1/2 the price of the Kodak DC260 and produces twice the file size. Back then I enjoyed using this camera but never was quite sure what I was going to use it for, as the images were quite small, too small for print, anyway, well large prints. And in those days broadband was a dream for most Australians, and flickr was just a pipe dream. Multimedia was one way I was thinking of using these, 13000 plus images, but coding up 13000 plus pages of html didn't really grab me. So Images from my Kodak DC260 sit here on CD roms awaiting some use.

Well here we are more than 5 years later, and I am shooting even more digital images now, big enough for small prints, and broadband enables me to share this work with the world.

Thanks to all those folks on flickr who make it a great place to hang and look and talk photography.