Beijing Silvermine is an archive of 850 000 negatives salvaged over the last ten years from a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing. Assembled by the French collector and artist Thomas Sauvin, Beijing Silvermine offers a unique photographic portrait of the Chinese capital and the life of its inhabitants in the decade following the Cultural Revolution.
This view did not exist in 2019. I can’t remember the last time I drove along Dohertys road.
I am standing on a bridge built for cyclists that forms part of the federation trail. I’m not quite certain when it was completed. Google maps most recent picture of this part of Dohertys road is from 2019. The new bridge forms part of the larger infrastructure works going on around the Westgate. The works are affecting the peripheral and arterial roads that run off it. This trail will allow cyclists to ride from Werribee to the city. It crosses Dohertys’ road a dual carriageway arterial road.
As I had not had a chance to really explore this part of Melbourne since we had spent so much time in lockdown last year. I decided to investigate several areas nearby that I know would have altered radically.
Dohertys road used to be a single lane arterial road. Given the real estate in this part of Laverton there would have been many many large trucks using this road. It is now a dual lane road which no doubt means the numbers will increase. Melbourne’s cyclists can now cross this road safely using this bridge.
The weather on the day I was there proved to be almost perfect for photography. Unusual for Melbourne in January. I suspect this will be a regular location now.
This approach to finding locations underpins my work. Not being able to wander and just follow my nose while we were in lockdown was stifling to say the least. At least it means there will be plenty more surprises waiting for me; all within a 10 minute drive from my house.
A raft of new features were added in the recent iOs 14.3 update.
Two stand out for me.
Firstly the new Apple Raw file format. Since about 2017 or 2018 I used a 3rd party app that captured DNG files as I went. Called ProCamera. Now Apple natively supports DNG in camera.
Scroll down to formats.
Toggle Apple ProRaw on
The second is a setting about app tracking and privacy. You need to activate this setting to enable sites like Facebook to track your movements online. It is off by default. Personally I would leave it that way. More on the Mac Rumours website
Scroll and tap Tracking.
Make sure the toggle is grey. No sites or apps can track your movements.
Artificial Intelligence & Software?
The most recent version of photoshop was released on the 20th of October, for both the iPad and the Desktop. Adobe’s promotional material on their blog is promotoing the Artificial Intelligence side of the new update. Adobe, rightly or wrongly is seen as the leader in the field of Digital Photography. I want to vent about them here in my own little photography diary. Adobe justifies their use of AI to ‘save time’, and boost creativity, from the blog.
With the addition of these five major new breakthroughs, you can free yourself from the mundane, non-creative tasks and focus on what matters most – your creativity.
I would argue that for me the most creativity comes when I’m walking alone in one of my favourite locations. Contemplating either a finished print or a ‘networked image’, camera in hand. Any post production is just about fitting the values of the scene. Onto my chosen medium. In a manner I see fit based on my own aesthetic. This aesthetic is of course rooted in the long tradition of straight photography. Not to mention an appreciation of materials and processes I have strived to master. Having good teachers helped me start my own journey on this path in the early 1990s.
This time poor approach to craft has been a growing trend, and one that I feel runs counter to good photography. Good in the sense that the picture is worth making and says something about meaningful, if this is the authors intention.
Change the perspective of your landscapes. Focus on the story you want to tell. Get rid of unnecessary details and create an impactful photo in one smart click
Recently I returned to Aperture to experiment and explore further, Apple’s professional digital asset management and editing tool. The differences between Luminar 4, and it are huge. To the point where I have to round trip my work to see what I can achieve. I’m still unclear as to how to proceed. I like the AI features in Luminar, but feel at the mercy of the software. The AI tools in Luminar 4 are good, but what do they really mean? I can find no comparable tools in Aperture. So I have to wonder am I doing these files the justice they deserve in Aperture?
When artificial intelligence is able to create art works and portraits where does the human operator sit? I make images because it satisfies an urge. Indescribable; yet one that lies beneath the surface. That needs scratching at least several times a year. None of which involves much input. other than my own desires and understandings of the materials and processes I’m working with. Skills learned from many hours of making mistakes and asking the right questions.
I continue this idea here on this blog, when it suits me.
This picture I made 10 years ago today on the 22-11-2020. It was part of a series I was exploring at the time, that looked at light and time. The project shifted focus when we renovated our home, and I picked it up from a different angle with a different set of parameters.
In its own right, photography, and in particularly those genres of photography primarily focused on events in the world, is underpinned its own set of apparently self-evident truths. Many of these concern ideas about the correct way to use photography, in other words what it should be able to do that the other representational tools we have available to us cannot. This is significantly a little different from the often-discussed medium specificity of photography, in that these beliefs do not necessarily need to have a direct relationship to the actual technical qualities of photography (indeed sometimes they ignore these qualities altogether), but in many cases originate elsewhere in society and culture, often in ideas which significantly predate photography’s invention. The problem with these beliefs, and the value in exploring them, is that they shape and direct the ways we use cameras and photographs in ways which sometimes prevent us using photography as dynamically as we might, and as a result undermine rather than strengthen the goals we seek. For this reason, if no other, we should try to draw them out and assess quite how useful they are.