Currently Reading?

I just finished  reading a book by Stephen Shore, titled, ‘Stephen Shore Modern instances The Craft of Photography A Memoir

Published by Mack books in 2022.  As soon as I saw the flip though on the Mack Book website I knew I had to have the book. Once it arrived, and very quickly I might add, I barely put it down.

I bought the book because I could tell in the flip through that Shore was going to refer back to all kinds of art from many parts of history. Indeed there are some real gems cited in the book. From Frederick Sommer to Eugene Atget , Bob Dylan to William Blake, Lorraine to Turner. The list is as deep as it is wide, he refers to poetry, music, theatre, film, architecture. Reading it has been a humbling experience, his advice is thoughtful, thought provoking and practical.

This is my favourite excerpt from page 176:-

“During dinner I saw Ansel drink six tall glasses of straight vodka. Toward the end of the evening, he said to me, “I had a creative hot streak in the ‘40s and since then I’ve been potboiling” I don’t remember the context of this, but I do remember that he said it drily, like a photographer observing something.”

If you are a beginning student or an accomplished photographer this book will be a useful and welcoming addition to your library.

I particularly like the production values of the book. I feel it is entirely within keeping of Shore’s temperament. The book has weight and presence that is enjoyable, the pages easy to turn and the reproductions surprisingly good on the paper stock used.

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AI & Photography?

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.


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