12 March 2008

A bit sheepish about SoFoBoMo

Got some logs you need the bark stripped from? Nobody's better at it than sheep! These guys were busy at their task at Hunterston Farm the last time I was out there. Even the new lambs were joining in, and climbing the heap of logs was no impediment for one of the older ones.

Others have been commenting on how quickly the start of SoFoBoMo is approaching (I'm starting April 1) and how daunting the task seems for one reason or another. My problem is that I'm scattered all over the map in the themes that I like to photograph. I thrive on variety. I get bored working on one project for any length of time. So I will find it hard to photograph for a straight month on one subject. Maybe I don't have to. But doesn't a book of photographs need to have some sort of unifying concept that ties it together? I was thinking of doing the funky colored houses in Vancouver, but even that could get tiresome after several days of shooting. Basically just driving up and down all the streets where I suspect these cool houses are (though I could do the site scoping ahead of time and write down addresses to save time during SoFoBoMo month).

And then there's the same issue Paul Butzi is worried about -- won't the resulting book be kind of boring? Just pictures of a bunch of houses, funky-colored though they might be.

And do I really have the right to publish photographs of people's private homes without their permission? Probably, because they are all viewable from public streets. But it still would feel kind of voyeurish driving around taking pictures of people's houses. I might be suspected of being a criminal preparing for a break-in or something, especially if I linger around each house long enough to get an interesting composition.

Argggh! I think maybe I need to go back to the drawing board for an idea for a theme.

11 March 2008

Piano (four) hands

This photo, titled "Piano Hands" is currently one of two photos that I have in the (almost) Annual Regent Community Exhibit at the Lookout Gallery at Regent College in Vancouver, BC. When I title a photograph, if I think it's likely to be a one-off, I just give it an obvious title like this. But if I think I'm likely to do others which would naturally have the same title, I will title the first something like "Orchids I" (in anticipation that there will be an "Orchids II" someday).

However, what to do when I've already titled one "Piano Hands" and then along comes another nice photo of someone's hands at the piano? Do I rename the first one "Piano Hands I" and call the new one "Piano Hands II"? Or once I've titled a photo, should the title remain forever? Should I call the second one "Piano Hands II" without having to have a "Piano Hands I" (the "I" is implied)? Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, I know, but it has me wondering.

Actually, fortunately (or not), it's a moot point for now. The resolution of the latest one is so bad that it will only ever see the light of day on this blog (I took it from a distance with my Canon G9, handheld, at 24x zoom (6x optical + 4x digital), at ISO 800. So it had all things going against it. The only way I can get away with it not looking like crap is to show a very tiny version of it here.

Update: It just dawned on me that if this latest photo were exhibit quality, of course I'd title it "Piano Four Hands" (for obvious reasons). In case you're not a music afficionado, "piano four hands" refers to works written for two pianists to play on the same keyboard (as opposed to a piano duet with two players at separate pianos).

10 March 2008

Red-breasted sapsucker; SoFoBoMo update

I saw this red-breasted sapsucker (a kind of woodpecker), doing what its name implies, on Friday on Galiano Island. I hadn't been looking for birds, so I wasn't really prepared. But I did what I always do in such situations: start shooting with the longest lens I have available, no matter how far away I am, and then gradually move closer, continuing to shoot as I go. I figure any photo at all is better than none (if the bird should fly away as soon as I start approaching). But this time I got pretty lucky and was able to pull off some pretty nice shots from about 15-20 feet away, using a 200mm lens. I was delighted to catch him with his beak in the hole.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm teaching myself Adobe InDesign in preparation for Solo Photography Book Month (SoFoBoMo), which for me will run form April 1 to May 1. I've been working through the tutorials on a CD-ROM called Mastering InDesign CS, by BDG Publishing (appears to be available for free + shipping here). It's a bit outdated (I have CS2, so some of the menu commands aren't in the same places) and not as scintillating as the training DVDs from Software Cinema that I've used to learn Photoshop, but at least it's helping me to dive in. I am using a photo directory for my church as my learning project. Another photographer who is participating in SoFoBoMo pointed out that InDesign is pretty daunting, which it is. But I figure it's worth learning, as it will come in handy for other things in the future.

09 March 2008

Just to show that I'm multifaceted

I went to a Barenaked Ladies concert tonight, as the guest of a friend of mine who knows the wife of the owner of the casino-theatre where the concert was held. If that doesn't make you chuckle, I've already chuckled enough for both of us. First, the idea me of going to a concert in a casino is pretty incongruous. And that I'd be listening to a band with a name like that is amusing. But don't worry; the name is just silly. They are all men, in fact, and they wear clothes. It's a popular Canadian alternative rock band. They have a wacky sense of humor and they support the World Wildlife Fund, just to give you a bit of an idea of what they're like. Anyway, I brought my little Canon G9 along, as it goes everywhere with me in my purse. I took pictures throughout the whole concert, and got some pretty nice shots. That made me enjoy the concert even more, though I think I would have liked it even just for the music. The words were funny (when I could make them out). Thankfully, it wasn't ear-splittingly loud, as the two other rock concerts I've been to in my life were. But to be honest, I'm still more of a classical music lover.

The first photo above is of an enormous disco ball that was hanging from the ceiling in the theatre. The photo below is of singer-guitarist Steven Page. Not a bad zoom shot on that G9 (compare with the middle photo which was taken with no zoom). 6x optical zoom compounded with 4x digital gets me up to 24x.

08 March 2008

Something lovely this way comes

Out of the death and decay of last fall springs beauty. A metaphor for the spiritual life perhaps?


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