Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Attention



A late afternoon walk along the Itchen Navigation canal.  A reminder that photography -- or, at least, a certain kind of photography -- is all about the quality of the light (and, of course, "f/8 and be there").  I confess that I'm starting to wonder whether I'm gradually turning into a "landscape porn" practitioner, if one working at the softer end of the spectrum.  Worse, I'm not sure I really care too much about that accusation any more.


Still, on the other side of the motorway, at the Hockley Viaduct, I did find this sinister little puppet theatre of shadow play going down...


I like to think that far fewer people would have noticed that, much less given it the same quality of attention that the first two scenarios obviously command.  In between "quality of light" and "f/8 and be there" falls the more difficult and idiosyncratic matter of "seeing".

12 comments:

Martin Hodges said...

Shared to FB.

Mike C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martyn Cornell said...

Love the shot from down in the tracks. How far down did you have to get?

Mike C. said...

Martyn,

Tracks? If you mean the second one, it's a canal-side path, and I'm standing up (but then I am quite short!).

Mike

Kent Wiley said...

Interesting that you've got three "portraits" of the "landscape" Mike. As long as you don't turn the Sat up to 11, or start doing bad HDR sunsets, I don't think you need worry about succumbing to the "landscape porn" label.

Mike C. said...

Kent,

Yes, well noticed -- I've had a liking for that orientation ever since using a Fuji GS645 for many years, where "portrait" is the default orientation. I still miss using that camera, but film is too expensive and slow for me now...

Mike

Kent Wiley said...

Our differences are what make a market, aren't they? I didn't take to the 645 format, but loved the 6x7 when I got a Mamiya 7II. Still on the shelf, but even I have stopped using film. Wait a minute, I've stopped taking stills it would appear. And I blame it on the Canon 7D.

Mike C. said...

Kent,

True, and yet somehow the Japanese contrive to be in semi-permanent recession. Never have understood that.

I keep wondering about that red "video" button on my cameras, but somehow never get around to pressing it... Maybe one day, but I lack the elements of character needed to plan and edit even a short. We used to use a Sony camcorder on family holidays, but the results (all on super 8 tape) were unimpressive -- too much ambient sound, too wobbly, etc., etc.

Mike

Kent Wiley said...

"Semi permanent recession" Ha Ha! What is up with that?

What to say about video? I wasn't interested until I took a swing at it using the P&S Canon that I was using at the time, iMovie, and some encouragement from my daughter. I'll admit not much comes out of the "editing suite" these days. Throw away the on camera sound, use some music to cut to, and practice going hand held. In case you haven't noticed (probably only by those who don't watch the cinema at all), the Shakeycam is all the rage, stylisticly. How can you go wrong with that? Since I know how much you love to carry a tripod, it shouldn't be a problem.

Planning ahead is another matter. Think of it like a book. Collect pieces, add some sound, et voila, you too are a videographer! Abandon the Babycam aesthetic. Hell, abandon storytelling! This link is pretty goofy (those kids today!), but they've had some interesting ideas to work from in the past.

Mike C. said...

Kent,

Wobbly can be good. However, I saw an interesting video review by those smug Canadian camera store guys of an "affordable" steadycam thingie that looked interesting to a serious but budget-conscious videographer.

It's here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7xN9J_jAgI&list=UUqpOf_Nl5F4tjwlxOVS6h8A

Mike

Kent Wiley said...

Ah yes, the dreaded Ronin. It's got a lot of Steadicam guys terrified. But many have embraced it as yet another tool. A very cool way to move the camera, but not something you're going to want to hold onto for very long: unloaded it weighs something like 9 pounds. While relatively inexpensive, I wonder about supporting more Chinese rip-off tech. Here's the original which was introduced at NAB 2013, and by Vincent Laforet's video. In the following year there have been countless copies. But what is certainly true about all of them, and probably all gear in general, but especially for video, the basic configuration is only the tip of the iceberg. However cool it may be, we have 100+ years of cinema to show us that we don't need gimbals to make movies.

Kent Wiley said...

Re: your "wobbly is good" comment. Substitute "organic" in this annoying video. Pretty funny even without knowing all the lingo. Or do you have to have spent some time on set to get a laugh?