Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Navy, yellow and dark dark green.

I had been fantasising about taking some really autumnal pictures all week. Glorious sunshine  coming through the golden avenues on the way to work had been inspiring me.

But then the weekend came and the weather was far from delightful. 

The new 50mm lens came to the rescue.

And proved that the woods in Piemonte are beautiful however dark the sky may be.

I think I want a printed dress in these colours. Who will make me one?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

I am one of them

It's November. The month when it starts to feel really dark. When I work on a Saturday morning I have very limited day light hours left with which to go outside and get my weekly green. For this reason, I did not take my camera to Monza this weekend, as I knew the light quality would be poor by the time I got there.

The sunset was stunning anyway, and the park was wonderfully hazy and muted. What really struck me though was the amount of people walking around with big digital cameras. Wow talk about the way photography is changing - whatever happened to the old disposables? Now all the teens have a serious digital one, and if they don't have one yet, they are getting one for Christmas. Recession. What recession?

As much as I'd like to be snobbish about all this in my heart of hearts I know I am ONE OF THEM. I have a beautiful camera which I take everywhere but still do not know how to use properly.

Yes, I have experimented a bit. I can take foamy waterfall shots, and just about use manual focus with hap-hazard results, but normally the camera's sophisticated auto function can beat anything I can do. These days your digital camera is a serious piece of technology. Your differing results seem to mainly boil down to five factors:

a) your choice of subject
b) your framing
c) your choice of lens
d) your ability to work with the lighting conditions
e) your knowledge of digital manipulation.

That last one there is a bit controversial with A and many other people. He believes that, with the exception of cropping, you shouldn't doctor an image because it is cheating and not real photography.

We've had this discussion before but yesterday I finally found a way to bring him round to my way of thinking, through the language of music.

Digital editing is just like recording music. You might record it exactly as the band played it, but often that doesn't achieve the effect you had in mind. Some things are too quiet, others to loud. You want to add this, bring out that etc... The exact same is true in photography. You can create an photo using only your computer if you want, perhaps the equivalent of what David Guetta does.

It might not be your taste but it doesn't mean it isn't valid.

Still when all's said and done, I do prefer an image that maintains the original acoustic integrity. Here are my favourite pictures from November. And all I did was crop (and add the water mark).

Those colours!

Definitive misty woods shot.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Now what?

Berlusconi has resigned. A. says he never thought he'd live to see the day, which is quite frankly ridiculous given that the man is 50 years older than him.

Now what?

I reckon he'll be back.... in some form or another!

What I really hope is that it's not too late for public television. It would be nice to watch some actual news for a change.  Normally obsessed with reporting on Berlusconi's movements, he's been keeping a low profile the last few months and has left them with pretty much nothing to report on apart from the Sollecito-Knox trial. You would have thought they would have shown a shot of Berlusconi consoling the inhabitants of the flooded out towns in Liguria, but maybe even that was too risky after he told the victims of the last disaster to pretend they were on a nice camping holiday.

Hence this once in a lifetime scoop from Rai 1: In Autumn it gets cold.

I particularly like the bit when the Moldovan lady tells them "it's not actually that cold." Also check out the shot of the trams in Milan. Nice.