A quick note before I start on the post proper. A few days ago I reduced the price of the my ebook that covers photography basics with an emphasis on the photographer as opposed to specific and expensive equipment, Low Cost High Impact Photography ebook, to $4.95. I wrote about in in the newsletter that just went out and informed the affiliates but I forgot to mention it here. The rationale for the decision can be found here, (on the off chance that anyone is remotely interested). Saying that it contains a few useful thoughts about the ebook market and perceptions. I realize that, if you are an affiliate, this may possibly be the third notice that you’ve had about this in which case please accept my apologies.
Anyway, on with the subject at hand. For the first time this summer I managed to get out of the house early for an hour with nothing on my mind other than light, form, composition and all that good stuff. It is a Sunday which meant an almost silent and deserted town center. This wasn’t about snapshots or spotting someone doing something and trying to capture it but about really seeing what was in front of me and trying to frame it to the best of my ability. I get so used to using my point and shoot that on the odd occasion the DSLR gets taken out for a walk the whole process does seem very different. The DSLR demands a more deliberate approach.
These images are very much about me getting back to my photographic and artistic roots. While I really enjoy working with the latest technology and editing for a 21st century eye it really does the spirit good to slow down for an hour or so and to get back to the fundamentals. I doubt if I’ll ever lose my modernist photographic foundation.
I used my Nikon D40X with the medium zoom kit lens from an old Nikon N55 film camera – still my favorite combination and better than any kit lens I’ve used since. Unusually, for me at any rate, I shot these in RAW and edited them on the Ubuntu setup. As much as I can be critical of Windows, give me Lightroom on a Windows 7 machine any day of the week. Ubuntu is good, especially for free, but its overall window handling lets it down badly. I don’t know if this is an issue with specific software or with the operating system itself. Saying that, I did these using Shotwell and it performed better than I expected considering its very limited toolbox – no sharpening or noise control but pretty decent color management and a not too horrible work flow. It handled the large file sizes without any problem at all; It imported the NEF RAW file and produced the required optimized jpeg without a hint of a complaint. The same cannot be said for some much more costly software. The images are a little on the dark side – this was due to me not checking the monitor that I was working on and not the software.