Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Dawn Like Thunder

This morning, the dawn really did come up like thunder, outta Bitterne 'crost the Bay (to misquote Rudyard Kipling)... Astonishing.

I know, I know -- sunrises, sunsets, meh... What next, kittens in a basket? But a man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a camera for? (to misquote Robert Browning).

N.B. if it's good taste you're after, I can recommend checking out a blog called Ordinary Finds, and going back through the archived pages -- it's a gold mine of art and musical gems (a gem mine of art and musical gold?).


Kent Wiley said...

Kittens in a basket? How about this?

But I do like the 2nd pic.

Mike C. said...

Strange... Cats are weird. But not as weird as "cat people". I'm reliably told by a bookseller that any book with "cats" in the title will outsell anything else by a factor of ten.

Yes, that second one is on my magnet board, and keeps growing on me, especially printed a bit darker.


Kent Wiley said...

"...especially printed a bit darker."

Which brings up an interesting question that you've not really talked about, that I know of, since you're not really a tech blogist (which is one reason why I come by so often.) What size prints are you making for yourself these days? I'd love to see your images here LARGER, but understand (maybe, but then I've not heard an explanation about that either) your reluctance.

Mike C. said...

Hmm, interesting question, Kent, with a not terribly interesting answer.

I work exclusively with RAW files, which I examine in BreezeBrowser. I proof all the images I like the look of on 18cm x 13cm paper (image 14cm x 10.5cm), using Photoshop Elements 6. The ones that hold up, get printed on A4 (image size usually 24cm x 18cm). The ones that really make the grade get printed A3, at whatever convenient size an un-ressed 300 dpi gives (generally 32cm x 24cm for the GF1).

That's it. I have never printed larger than that, and most never get past the 18x13 stage. I currently have a stack of those which is literally a foot high on my worktable.

I can't remember why I settled on "18cm wide @ 96 dpi" for my blog versions, but it's become an ingrained habit now.


Kent Wiley said...

You haven't tried larger prints, ala some variant of Lightjet or large format ink jet from a service bureau?

Mike C. said...


No, never have. I don't like exceeding the "native" resolution of my files, which means A3 is about my limit, anyway.

I also don't much like large photographs -- I guess if you've got to fill a gallery designed for 10 foot paintings it's a necessity, but I prefer to think of photographs as a "hand held" medium, best seen at arm's length or closer. When they're over-enlarged (even from film) the visual surface begins to break down at close range, and it becomes an unattractive medium (for me).

What I really like is a relatively small image on relatively large paper -- nothing looks quite as elegant as an A4 (or smaller)image with a narrow border printed on an A3 sheet, to my eye.


Kent Wiley said...

I understand not wanting to exceed your resolution. To be able to go nearly any size print I potentially wanted has been part of the rationale for the large format acquisition. Not that I have. 30 inches x 40 inches is the biggest I've had printed so far. I don't have enough wall space anywhere other than behind doors to show anything larger.

The two 30 x 40's are printed without a border and mounted on gator foam backed by plywood and hung directly on the wall. A neat slightly floating effect that dispenses with the whole framing/matting issue, and is a very comfortable size for me.

Maybe I simply need to wear glasses more often so that I don't need the large prints to see everything. But I agree that smaller images w/ a wide white boarder are "classy." I'm thinking of some early Kertesz prints I've seen which are I think 2-1/4 contact prints in a mat that is probably 16 x 20. But this has gone the other direction to too small.

Here's another question. You read more widely around the interweb than I do. Has the topic of printing (on paper) ceased to be one of interest to photoraphers? Maybe it's that I've lost interest in it, so don't bother to read what those who are interested have to say.

today's word verification: "broplect"

Mike C. said...

"Has the topic of printing (on paper) ceased to be one of interest to photographers?"

Blimey, Kent, you're insatiable this week!

I think this is an age thing, really. Those "born digital" rarely think of photos as primarily an image on paper. Just the other day, someone was showing me his snaps on an iPhone -- I don't think it would have occurred to him to print them. It is, after all, quite difficult to make a print that looks as good as the image on a decent screen.

However, any serious photographer with the ambition to exhibit will have to print, until digital "frames" come of age. I have to say, those will be very cool when they happen.

I also have a horror story about file storage in "the cloud" that will constitute a future post. Stay tuned!


Kent Wiley said...

"Blimey, Kent, you're insatiable this week!"

Who? Me? I'm just curious as a cat. (And about as intelligent.) Hmmm, isn't that where we came in? With cats?