Hydrangea

Added on by Bill.

The hydrangea are in bloom.  

Tachihara Field Camera 4x5, Nikkor-W 150mm 1:5.6, Kodak TMAX, f/64, 5 sec, ISO 100, D76

Hydrangea are an interesting subject; globes of small-petalled flowers on a background of large-leafed stems.   Compositionally this offers a natural contrast.  However, now my attention is directed towards the Zone System to ensure proper capture and development.

In the digital world results are immediate and each shot can be used to iteratively hone in on the right exposure and composition. There is really no cost to taking another shot.  In the film world results come only later after development and processing and each shot costs about $2.00.  It takes me between 5 and 10 minutes to set up and complete a shot. Mistakes are costly in terms of time and money. Attention to detail and a consistent process is important.  Therefore, planning the shot and ensuring proper exposure are important. As I get better at this, I expect this to increase; and then may be at some point it will decrease.  

My attention right now is on getting the tones right and understanding what constitutes right.

Darkroom

Added on by Bill.

I've been upgrading my darkroom.  My entry into large format photography has placed demands which Darkroom 1.0 was unable to support. I've separated the wet and dry areas according to traditional darkroom design practices.  The wet side is where one does the development. As I follow a hybrid analogue-digital model, the dry side hosts my computer, scanner, printer and work area for framing pictures. Same capabilities as a traditional darkroom, just different technologies.  The dry area is set up, the wet side remains in progress. 

To complete the wet side will require plumbing and a darkroom sink. This being more complicated extended timelines result.  Finding a sink being on the critical path.  So until this is complete I will use the framing area as the wet zone. Yet even with this interim state, Darkroom 1.5 improves the level of maturity of the core capabilities.  

View of the darkroom in action. 

Keeping in Touch

Added on by Bill.

Over the last few weeks I've received many requests for me to opt-in to continue receiving e-mails. This is a result of the Canadian Anti Spam Legislation scheduled to come into effect July 1st.

For the most part I have declined the offer. I expect e-mail volumes to reduce upto 50%. I sincerely look forward to this outcome.  

Maybe I'm a dreamer but I don't think I'm the only one.  

Social Media Statistics

Added on by Bill.

Is Social Media a Fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the industrial revolution?

This is the question posed by the video:

As I watched the video I struggled with understanding the relationship between the content and the industrial revolution.   So what if Facebook would be the 3rd largest county; so what if some twitter user has more followers than the population of Sweden; so what if it took 39 years for TV to reach 50 million viewers and Facebook reached 200 million in less than a year. A stream of numbers, possibly interesting, inferred to be meaningful.

So what is that meaning?  It seems to be about markets.  It's about forming markets to bring together people. When you have a number of people common interests can be identified and then come products and then advertising.  This looks like an advertisement for advertising on social media. 

So when Facebook or Google create some place for people to congregate, they do so by attracting people by giving them something, usually for free.

As David Carr put it: "when what you are getting is for free, you're the product."

To generate revenue, the providers need sponsors--usually advertisers--to pay for access to the people in the market.  If you're a service like Facebook you have a lot of personal information that can be used by marketers to slice and dice down to very focused groups.  This focus translates into higher hit rates and thus more sales per advertising dollar.  So goes the theory.    

So when I visit one of these places, I am presented with ads that correspond to some marketer's idea of my product interests.  On Facebook these manifest as the ads presented on the home page.  On my home page these are often for dating services featuring pretty girls. God forbid I click on one of these ads. First the event will be on the record in perpetuity as an interest.  Next, this interest will no doubt toggle some marketing flag which will only encourage more of these ads.  Finally, unless I'm careful, this click will be broadcast to all my friends. How embarrassing would that be.  

The flash and tempo of the video seem to be directed to attract the advertiser and to get them to look at social media or continue to support it.  Certainly when comparing these virtual markets over the traditional media outlets there is a lot of opportunity. I presume the relationship to the industrial revolution is in those days markets where physical things coupled with physical limitations.  Social Media have few of those.