May 31, 2005

Fall of an Empire

Rob Galbraith DPI: Kodak ceases manufacturing of DCS Pro SLR/n, SLR/c
Kodak at one time was king of all that was photography. The lions market share that they dominated in the age of film would have never thought to have crumbled. But as the European Ilford came on to the scene in the 70's and Fuji later, along with horrible judgement of dropping very popular film lines, cracks in the exterior formed. I know I went the way of Fuji for colour and Ilford for Black and White films.

With the huge jump they had in the digital arena with their DCS series as early as the mid 90's, I would have thought they would again dominate this new medium. For a period of time, Kodak in fact did dominate, as they were the only manufacturer putting out professional grade 35mm digital cameras. But with $20 to $40k cameras, no one could afford them. 1999 became a pivitol year with Nikon introducing the D1. And at $5500, if was much more affordable than any of what Kodak was offering. Then Canon came out with the D30 and the 1D. The race was on, but Kodak had nothing to offer. Both Canon and Nikon came out with next generation cameras, only leaving Kodak further behind.

Finally, Kodak announced a 14 megapixel camera, much more affordable than the new Canon 1Ds by $3000. Lots of talk, lots of hype, but Kodak again failed with a camera with horrible performance and too many bugs and other issues. No one took Kodak too seriously at the point where they came out with the camera they are now discontinuing. Canon rocketed ahead, leaving Nikon behind as well.

With obvious management plunders over the last few decades, one has to wonder where do they go from here?

May 30, 2005


To further discuss my last sentence in my last post, about photographing "typically"... I have always thought I've had something to offer as a Photographer. And recently, I can also claim my work as an Artists. A Photographer who is also an Artists. I had difficulty with that title, for years. Maybe because now, I am much more comfortable in expressing and showing work that is more from what I want to say to the world, as opposed to what the world expects of me.

I am amazed at what some people call art or how some people can lay claim to being an Artist. I guess like for myself, it is just a matter of my own mind. Who cares what anyone else thinks... But, what is important to me is being able to go my own direction, regardless of the titles. I guess I should be more respectful to those who actually do define themselves. It takes courage.

I think I have continuity over the years I have shot portraits. I'd like to think there is a fine thread running thru each of them. I have history and skills I've developed over lots of years. I have the right to express what I want. There is My validity...

France, or something like it...

I've lived here for close to 6 years and never made it out to Edgefield. The morning was cool and overcast, but the air filled with dew smelled so fresh. Having gotten to the location early, I was able to pre scout before my subjects arrived. I discovered a little piece of France... Gardens with flowers and herbs at every turn... The buildings, old brick with large windows peering over trees along walking paths. One of the buildings had ivy over grown with white flowers covering the windows. In front were old weathered wooden seats, so inviting for one to lie down and take a nap.

My couple that was meeting me today is my first hired commision from back in January. We hadn't seen each other since then, but we managed to pick up where we left off when we met last. To always have clients like these would be a dream. They hired me based on my work and have total confidence to leave me to my own devices.

The portrait I think says a lot about the gentleman, quiet, somewhat reserved and very loving of his life long partner. The woman however is not quite the person depicted here. I know I've captured her immense beauty and allureness, but she is not quite so serious. I wasn't able to find the balance of her sweetness of personality.

I do feel like I've depicted a strong likeness to who these people are. Maybe not in the sense of everyday life, but a part of them that has reached out to a few they really know. I really like this portrait. It is not a typical "engagment" photo.

May 29, 2005

A New Camera...

With new challenges forthcoming, I decided to upgrade my camera of choice to the Canon 20D. I've extensively tested the new body with growing confident results. I'd rather not try and keep up with technology, but I found on many occasions I hit the ceiling with the Canon 10D, which at this point will retire to backup status. Though the 10d worked great for lots of situations, it did lack focus performance when action became a factor. The 2oD has performed better, both for focus and buffer speed. My expectations are high and I am sure the new camera will perform as expected.

May 28, 2005

dogs and people

I guess dogs really are no more different than people when it comes to wanting to relate to like mindedness. I am still here at the café watching the same mellow dog I referred to earlier. Another dog comes in and immedietely, she gets excited. I guess if I were around a bunch of dogs all day, I would get excited at the thought of being able to hang out with a human.

• Dogs- sniffing each others butts, pissing on trees, playing wildly and aimlessly in the park, sleeping when the above is not being partaken in.

• People- sniffing other parts of the body, wanting to play wildly and aimlessly anywhere, sleeping when the above is not being partaken in... hmmm

Anyway, I remember when I was riding cross country on my motorcycle and always being in a sea of cars. Whenever passing by another biker, we'd gesture and acknowledge each other. Then, going thru South Dakota, coming upon Sturgis, and the following hundreds of miles, there was more bikes on the highway than there were cars. I imagine I felt the way a dog feels when he plays among his kind in the park.

Mellow Morning...

The city this morning seems gloriously mellow. Yesterday, the weather was extremely sunny-hot and any sort of physical activity would take a major toll on body and psyche. Though I had a very nice evening yesterday with the port and delectables party, I had ridden my bike earlier a good 18 to 20 miles. Frankly I am surprised I am up so early. But this morning, this morning is partly cloudy, cool with just the right amount of breeze. The cafe where I am, which by this time is usually pretty obnoxiously loud, is quite quiet, to the point where I can hear the vocals on the background music. Even the dog here sitting besides me is pretty layed back.

It's been a long time where the city speaks so nicely, calmly...

Port and Dessert

Ports and desserts tonite. 4 bottles of great port, with chocolate, chocolate mousse, strawberries and gorganzola cheese. Everything was so tempting, there was no time to really shoot photos...

May 20, 2005

11:45 at a café...

She wears black capri pants with a light black sweater over a turquoise shirt with a matching turquoise necklace. Her hair is black with brown streaks, down to her shoulder. She has that elegant neckline, like Audry Hepburn and sits ever so proper with her legs crossed at the ankles. At a small round table, she reads the paper, sipping her espresso. She doesn't have a perfect face, but in fact a beautiful one. Her eyes are so dark I can't tell the colour. Her skin is a light olive, naturally fresh and I imagine silk to the touch. Her lips are thin, not highlighted by shades to focus attention, and yet very inviting. I am suddenly thrown into a Paris café by the site of her. There is in fact some light jazz playing in the background, lead by a xylophone, followed by Caribbean horns - cha-cha-cha...

My heart dies a little as she gets up to leave. Her black leather shoes leaves the sounds echoing in my head even now that she is on her way... As suddenly as she appears, she is gone.

May 10, 2005

Epson Stylus Photo R2400

EPSON America, Inc. - Product Information - Epson Stylus Photo R2400

Technology moves on... Here again I will be at least a generation behind what is standard now... I just had some beautiful prints made with an Epson 2200, which the R2400 is replacing. I guess I'll soon see how much better this new version will be, with new ink sets and faster printing. Frankly, I don't care too much about speed, as much as quality of the final print. I really didn't think I would ever be able to out do this portrait I had recently printed. Technology is a great thing, but trying to keep up is getting OLD! I guess just like my computers and camera, I'll be a generation or 2 or 3 or 4 behind...

May 07, 2005

reverse lens shot

An old technique of getting a close up shot of a small subject was to take a lense off the camera body, and attach it back on, but in reverse. What normally was pointed to your subject now is pointed into your camera body. I tried this technique first with spiders, but moved on to flowers. They were a bit bigger and easier to focus on. Because there is no focus control with reversing your lense, the distance between the lense and subject matter is your only control. The slightest breathing movements suddenly becomes critical in getting a good photo or an out of focus one. I hand held for this shot, and was happily surprised!

May 04, 2005

what started it all

Way back when, my sister got a camera, which she didn't use much. Kind as she was, I got to borrow it anytime I wanted. I think it was my Junior year in HS where I started to bring along and photograph my peers. I loved finishing a roll of film and heading to the nearby Walgreens to have it processed. Back then, you'd have to wait a week before you saw any photos. As soon as I paid for the processing and prints, I was in the envelope checking out what I had photographed.

The Canon AE-1 was remarkable. That camera was used heavily thru my teenage years and through out college as well. It has gone thru hell and back and looks the part. I don't know how long I used that camera before upgrading, but a decade+ is not out of the question. The nice thing is that after all the years of using that camera, photographing images with it that I still enjoy today, the camera sits back with my sister, probably somewhere in a closet, waiting to be used again.

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