985 – The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye

I’m in Carinthia, it mostly stopped raining sometime in the afternoon, but I still had not the least inclination to leave home.

Instead I have worked on this forest image of Sunday. I have used it to try out another one of those plugins Ted recently mentioned. This time it was the demo version of Topaz Adjust. Basically what this tool adjusts is local contrast, and in that way it is similar to good old HIRALOAM (high radius, low amount unsharp masking), PhotoLift and some other tools. You have a small number of presets to choose from, and from there you can modify all the parameters. One of them is the number of zones in which the program divides the image. The more zones, the more equalization.

Topaz Adjust may be another tool that I’ll add to my chest. It’s useful, because the effect is easy to achieve, and it is hard to get without this specific tool. It also looks different from what PhotoLift produces. I further suppose it may come very handy in B&W images, where tonal redistribution is always an important task.

We didn’t get a full-fledged sundown, mostly because there was no sun to speak of, but there was still some color in the sky, and in the hope to catch something usable, I went down in front of the house and took some images.

All in vain, but when I got in, and because I had the ultra-wide mounted, I began experimenting with the circular window in the corridor of the ground floor. That’s what became the Image of the Day.

… time passes …

And suddenly it’s morning 🙂

I could not finish yesterday’s entry in the middle of the night. Well, I probably could have, but there was a brooding feeling that something was missing. And that’s fine, because I just learned that Janine’s blog had its 365th post! Congratulations to her first year!! Head over to her site for a very original take on portrait photography, and when you’re there, give her the cheers 🙂

The Song of the Day is “The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye” from Morrissey’s 1991 second solo album “Kill Uncle”. There seems to be no video, but Deezer has the album.

Why exactly this song? Oh, for two reasons: the window in my image reminds me of a whale’s eye (or something like that, never had one face to face), and on Mark Hobson’s blog (this post and some around that) I read another series of rants about Selection vs Interpretation in photography. Selection meaning his kind of photography, trying to be true to what he actually sees, interpretation as a target of his scorn seemingly meaning oversaturated landscape clichés.

Oh well. Sometimes it makes me a little tired, because those arguments go literally nowhere. There is no “truth of the camera eye”. Selection is the first and probably most important way to direct the viewer. All the tricks of image processing can’t cover up what selection failed. But that’s something that Mark agrees with anyway. I guess Ted Byrne would agree as well, and what he does is certainly very far away from Mark’s vision of what photography is and should be. In fact we all seem to agree. Can’t we just conclude that there are good, original images that speak to the viewer, and a lot of not so good, not so original images that don’t? Would save us one or the other heated argument, but then, who’s interested in saving arguments?

2 thoughts on “985 – The Harsh Truth Of The Camera Eye”

  1. Well, I'm more in for the second shot (woods are always good!), but it's always amazing what pictures you are able to squeeze from rather mundaine, ordinary settings.

    Hm, maybe I should also start sorting through Teds recommendations. Seems worth the effort…

  2. I read, with great interest, your comment on The Landscapist regarding Mark's assessment of "Interpretive" photography. I agree that such arguments are pointless (meaning unwinnable). That's why I'm trying very hard these days not to respond to some of his positions. It's interesting, though, that during a previous "discussion", I came close to making the same point about Aaron's fine work. If Aaron's images aren't interpretive, I don't know what is.

    To use an analogy from American politics, Mark should allow for a much bigger photographic tent. A tent where all are welcome and all have an equal opportunity to make good images. Individual styles and techniques are not even secondary issues.

    Oh, and thanks for visiting my site and commenting on the image of my mother. Your comment was interesting because my mother was one of those people who would instantly stop smiling if she saw a camera pointed in her direction. I was able to get that image only because I was using a long lens (she didn't know I was photographing her).

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