Jeremy H. Greenberg: Blog http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Jeremy H. Greenberg jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:06:00 GMT Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:06:00 GMT http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v154/u292078769-o383284609-50.jpg Jeremy H. Greenberg: Blog http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog 120 98 Blog #60 Atmosphere http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/blog-60-atmosphere Blog #60 Atmosphere

Have you ever looked out a window that has direct sun light pouring through and notice the specks of dust that dance around in a random fashion? Have you ever noticed and appreciated the grain associated with the film photographs and thought about the grain as though they were individual photons [particles of light]? There's an aesthetic there that is unique and special.  I’m talking about the quality of a two-dimensional image that presents as a three-dimensional image. In other words, depth.  When you can see and feel the air in a photography, it’s got atmosphere.

If you look at the Editor’s Favorite’s on the National Geographic website, you’ll know what I mean.  There, you will find many excellent examples.  Atmosphere is a special quality of an image that really makes it *POP* Sometimes this is due to the light. Sometimes this is due to the tones, or texture in the image. Atmosphere may be achieved through the gentle focus fall off that isolates the subject within the frame and allows everything else in the image to melt away.  Grain or digital noise usually ads atmosphere to an image without degrading the quality or otherwise distracting from the subject. 

Atmosphere is the proverbial cherry on top of the image that is already good, already works, and achieves greatness.  It’s the holy grail of photography.  This is equally as difficult to achieve conscientiously as it is rare.  Look for fog, lighting, or some tangible aspect in the air quality to capture.  One of the ways that you can put the viewer into your image is through the addition or inclusion of atmosphere. It’s a real challenge to achieve this but the results are well worth the effort.

 

The light is always right.

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 35mm atmosphere film image photograph photography quality texture three-dimensional http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/blog-60-atmosphere Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:05:44 GMT
Blog #59 Hanging [with] Art http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/blog-59-hanging-with-art Blog #59 Hanging [with] Art

Spring is the season of art in Hong Kong.  In March there is Art Basel  which is followed shortly by the Affordable Art Fair in the month of May. These are wonderful shows that feature many types of  art from artists all over the world.  There are sculptures, paintings, drawings, and of course framed photographs of all sizes.  The pieces are affordably priced hence the name.  It’s wonderful thing to be surrounded by art, especially at home.  A recent article in the South China Morning Post described this and offered some suggestions (SCMP).

Some insightful person once said:

 

A room without books is like a body without a soul.

I think that the same could be said about art in the home.  After all of the talk and arguments about gear, pixel-peeping, paper weights, and printer profiles, just print and frame the damn photo! It’s an amazing thing to view a properly framed photograph on your wall.  To walk by it each morning on your way to having your coffee and on your way home from a long day of work. 

Print and frame your images for friends and family.  Give it away or sell it if you must.  All amateurs, hobbyists, and professionals should aspire to do this. 

A photograph doesn’t exist until it is printed, said, Constantine Manos 

The light is always right.

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) art film frame photographer photography print printing professional http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/blog-59-hanging-with-art Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:35:05 GMT
Blog #58 Micro & Macro Education in Photography http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/blog-58-micro-macro-education-in-photography Blog #58 Micro & Macro Education in Photography

In this week’s blog, I would like to offer some food for thought on the concept of education in photography.  As an artistic medium and endeavour, like most things, formal or informal instruction as well as practice is required for improvement.  I offer that there are two distinct types of learning that lead to improvement of the photographer.  Let’s call them Macro and Micro Education and discuss how they relate to personal improvement.

Very simply, Micro education involves: education of the use of lenses for specific applications, composition, aperture and shutter speed, ISO, post processing techniques akin to the darkroom such as burning, dodging, vignetting, black and white, high contrast, selective coloration, toning (cyanotype, printing images in blue tones or another colour such as sepia), depth of field manipulation and other related technical aspects of making an image or printing an image.  

We all must learn the technical side of making images to enhance our creative process.  Modern cameras, have many controls that afford the photographer multiple tools at his or her disposal to make the connection from the image in their head (vision) and the final product.  The more we learn how to operate these controls, the closer we bring our vision into the real world.  Take back-button focus, for example. Do you need this? How do you know if you need this feature? 

In contrast, Macro education includes learning and professional development on the topics of: defining style, finding your artistic voice, developing your inner artist statement and having something to say. This is harder to teach, and therefore harder to learn.  This comes in time and although many introduction to photography courses might make mention of or try to address this topic, I expect that this aspect of the process might get lost along the way in many cases.  Most of the articles online these days surely fail to address this all-important and arguably essential aspect of photography. 

Both Micro & Macro are required for an intersection with the artist that will work well and communicate something uniquely specific from you and your photographic vision.

I’m reminded by the old saying:

“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” 

“Practice, Practice, Practice!” 

 

Watch John Free's advice to street photographers to practice and view some previous Blogs on the subject of self improvement (See Blog #7 & Blog #52).

Now get out there and make some art! 

 

The light is always right.

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 35mm 365 film photographer photography professional http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/6/blog-58-micro-macro-education-in-photography Sun, 18 Jun 2017 09:34:18 GMT
Blog #57 Under the Influence http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-57-under-the-influence Blog #57 Under the Influence

I have a lot to be thankful for.  My mother went to RISD was and still is a fine artist. She’s an abstract painter.  My father, when he was alive, went to Parsons School of Design for mechanical drawing, then worked mostly in advertising and publishing, and could draw and illustrate with great craft and skill.  In our home, there was art all around and the daily cartoons on my brown bag lunches through primary school gave me great joy and provides fond memories.  

In high school, I took drawing and a black and white film photography course with my father’s Nikon F that started me on the path that I now continue to travel.  A few years ago, after completing the Professional Course in Photography with the New York Institute of Photography, I continued my education through multiple means.  

I have been to countless art and photography shows.  In fact, the first thing I look for in any city that I visit is usually an art or photography show at the local museum.  For some reason, I have developed an unquenchable thirst for viewing art and photographs.  

Although I do enjoy a modest collection of film cameras, for the most part, I have switched from buying gear to buying photography books at every chance that I get.  Here’s a partial list of the photographers whose books I own: Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Klein, Robert Frank, Saul Leiter, Daido Moriyama, Josef Koudelka, William Eggleston, Gary Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, Alex Webb, Irving Penn, Bill Brandt, Takayuki Ogawa, Ralph Ellison, Alexey Titarenko, Nan Goldin, and Sam Abell.  I read, and re-read these from time to time and cherish them like a hunter who mounts great busts upon the wall.

It’s a great time to be alive and to be a photographer.  Online sources abound.  From Ted Forbes’ The Art of Photography channel on YouTube to  Digital Photography School , there are so many excellent sources of information that provide inspiration, technical knowledge, and amazing stories all about this medium that I love so much.  Kai W keeps me equally as informed as much as entertained, while Eric Kim shares his invaluable philosophy, image making techniques, and fresh views on using social media rather than allowing social media use you. 

Bellamy Hunt temps with his gorgeous vintage selection of the very best cameras and lenses on his Japan Camera Hunter site while Vishal Sonji provides a never ending cornucopia of film along side magical fountains of developer on Camera Film Photo.  Accessible sites like Casual Photophile  provide a steady stream of gear reviews, along with tips and techniques for beginners, hobbyist, and pros alike.  

When I’m ready to print and frame, Jack and Jun at Photato are the guys to see. I just love their company name and they do some the best quality framing in town.  

Anything and everything that I have accomplished or will accomplish as a photographer I owe to all of my influences past, present, and future.  Indeed, I am reminded of the humble modesty of Sir Isaac Newton who stood on the shoulders of giants.

The trick is to never stop learning, never give up, and keep working to improve the craft.  

One of my favourite quotes is:

“Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just show up and get to work” - Chuck Close

The light is always right. 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) film improvement influences learn photographer photography professional self study http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-57-under-the-influence Mon, 22 May 2017 15:33:30 GMT
Blog #56 Zeitgeist: The Sign of the Times http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-56-zeitgeist-the-sign-of-the-times Blog #56 Zeitgeist: The Sign of the Times

One of my most favorite words is zeitgeist. It means spirit of the times from the German “zeit” meaning time and “geist” meaning spirit.  It’s used to describe a feeling or mood in a given time period such as the rebellious and revolutionary times of the 1960’s in the US, Europe, and Japan.  

This decade of 2010-2020 has its own zeitgeist and it is not premature to mention that here and how that relates to photography.  Here, I will describe three books that can be tied to the zeitgeist of this decade and I will attempt to describe what I think that is.

Around a week ago at the time of this writing (24 April 2017), Robert M. Pirsig passed away.  He was the author of the famous Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, An inquiry into values.  Published originally in 1974, this was a significant book about a road trip that he took with his eleven year old son across the mid-west of the United States that also discussed philosophy, the definition of quality, values, and the pure joy and satisfaction that can be felt when working with your hands (particularly on one’s motorcycle). Mr. Pirsig’s passing was a great loss.  

A second book that came out more recently in 2010 by Matthew B. Crawford titled Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work was an interesting read about a corporate think-tank executive who walked away from it all in favour of starting a motorcycle repair shop all by himself.  Crawford argues for the value of fixing things, and rebels against the disposable lifestyle that has perpetuated the popular culture since around the 1980’s.  Everybody on this planet, our only planet, needs to get back to appreciating physical things like machines, and working with our hands.  One might expect that Crawford was influenced, as many have been, by Pirsig’s seminal book.  Indeed, there are many others like Crawford who are jumping off of their corporate band wagons in favour of pursuing their dreams in creative fields or adventurous endeavours. More power to them! I am reminded by one of my favourite fantasy novelist’s words…

“The creative adult is the child who has survived”

Ursula K. Le Guin

Last year in 2016, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter continued on this trajectory of finding value in the things of old.  All this flies in the face of the digital revolution where snapgramtwitface is the common denominator throughout the cultures of the world.  These days, digital natives clash with digital immigrants in the work place as it gets reshaped by the new guard.  The millennials are taking over, and it’s our purpose to make sure that they don’t wreck the place.  

In this book, David Sax summarises the trends where paper, film, board games, and analog ideas as well have seen a massive resurgence in the last decade. He tells the stories from the mouths of those involved at the factory and retail levels.  FILM Ferrania, for example, has dusted off and cranked up their coating machines and will produce this glorious film in Italy once again (I ordered some P30 already).  Sax walks us through the revival of these things and also the revival of analog ideas. It’s a terrific read and I think that it illustrates the zeitgeist of this decade.  

Sustainability is a hot topic these days across the globe as well as STEM (Science Technology Engineering, and Mathematics) in schools.  So too are MakerSpaces popping up at the primary school level and shop classes that seemed to all but disappear lately, have come charging back.  Once again, adults are showing boys and girls that math, wood working, electrical engineering, and hands-on activities are valuable, worthwhile, and necessary to learn before leaving school.  This is a wonderful thing to watch and an even more rewarding experience to be a part of. 

My contribution to the war effort, so to speak, is through the THS Photo Club.  So I guess that the zeitgeist of this decade is one of back to basics, rediscovery, appreciation for real things, analog things, and working with one’s hands.  Of course digital is here to stay, and coding is right up there with the three Rs in grade school by now.  All in all it is reassuring to this Generation Xer that analog (film especially) will keep it’s place alongside, but not behind the digital revolution, at least for the next 100 years so long as FILM Ferrania has something to say about it. 

 

The light is always right.

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 35mm film photographer photography professional study http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-56-zeitgeist-the-sign-of-the-times Mon, 15 May 2017 11:53:51 GMT
Blog #55 Back to Basics: Extreme [Extremity] Photography Part 3 http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-55-back-to-basics-extreme-extremity-photography-part-3 Blog #55 Back to Basics: Extreme [Extremity] Photography Part 3

The last two blog entries are titled, Extreme [Extremity] Photography Part 1 & Part 2.  The intention there was to illustrate how to make portraits of people or otherwise interesting images that included only their hands or feet [shoes].  As a photographer you are involved in an active process or decision to include or omit part of your subject.  Your decision to omit most of the subject will result in an incomplete story that leaves the viewer with the task of filling in the gaps.  

Making images involves many decisions.  There are decisions about cameras, film, lenses, exposure, aperture, where to put your feet, when to press the shutter release button, and what to include as well as exclude in the frame.

Without realising it when I set out to write Part 1 and Part 2 blog entries, I has already gathered quite a few images of people showing only their backs.  These are also challenging images and they don’t always work.  In this last of a three-part series, I offer some examples of portraits and some candid street images that include only the back of a person with little else.

Do you think that they work? Feel free to leave comments above. 

Thanks for reading and remember, the light is always right.

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 35mm film photographer photography professional study http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-55-back-to-basics-extreme-extremity-photography-part-3 Sat, 13 May 2017 11:07:46 GMT
Blog #54 Extreme [Extremity] Photography Part 2 http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-54-extreme-extremity-photography-part-2 Blog #54 Extreme [Extremity] Photography Part 2

In last's week's blog, I wrote about a simple idea.  Namely, the process of making images using only a part of someone and why on earth that might be a desirable thing to do. 

Hands were the subject of that blog post.  You might want to try and make hands the subject of your image.  This week, as promised, I offer the second part of this mini two-part series.  

This time, I suggest that you consider using another extremity, namely, feet (or shoes), as the subject of your images. 

You can tell a lot about a person by there feet and shoes.  Shoes connect with the ground and provide clues to the individual's personal aesthetic. Shoes, along with other items of fashion, define occasions. While they do not define a person, per se, they certainly can make lasting [or fleeting] impressions of someone.

By viewing and inspecting the feet, shoes, and "lower portion" of a person such as their legs, you can give clues about them without providing the viewer of the image with all of the information, visually, about your subject.  Subsequently, the viewer is tasked with filling in the blanks so to speak with the rest of the story.  Sometimes you can get away with making your viewer work a little harder than usual to figure out what you are presenting, or better yet, trying to say through your images.

Indeed, I tend to agree with Andy Warhol's statement,  

"Art is what you can get away with". 

If you're tuning in for the first time, check out the Part 1 here

Otherwise, look on and remember...

 

The light is always right.

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) feet people photographer photography portrait professional shoes study http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-54-extreme-extremity-photography-part-2 Mon, 08 May 2017 12:46:16 GMT
Blog #35 Extreme [Extremity] Photography Part 1 http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-35-extreme-extremity-photography-part-1 Blog #53 Extreme [Extremity] Photography Part 1

According to Cig Harvey, pictures can work well when they are about things rather than of things.  Everyone can easily relate to photos of people that include all of most of the subject. However, images can be composed such that the subject is a body part such as hands or feet [shoes].  When the photographer intentionally omits information from an image, the result can be interesting or conceptual, in other words something if left to the imagination.  

Photos of hands or feet allow the viewer to place themselves in the image, so to speak, and to generalise the scene to their own experience. In this blog post, Part 1 will be all about hands. The next blog post, Part 2 will be all about shoes and I will share my attempt to tell a story only through shoes. 

Photographer Jason Eskenazi said it well.

“As a photographer if your photos are too obvious then you’re missing the point. Photos are about mystery, about not knowing, about dreams, and the more you know about that—then you can recognize them on the street.” 

My aim here is to inspire you to get off your beaten path, so to speak.  If you are not used to making images of this type, go make 36 to experience a fresh perspective or specific type of image.  Why 36? Because that’s how many frames you get in a 35mm roll of film! Try to make the viewer pause and have to work for the meaning in the image. 

Try this approach to add a fresh perspective to your work. One caveat. Be patient. Sometimes you need to let these types of images come to you and reveal themselves. Just hands hands are notoriously one of the most difficult things to draw or paint, these are difficult images to fish for as well, but are well worth the effort in the long run.  The point here is to be open to all perspectives, angles, and possibilities. Incorporate hands into your project, or the story that are are working on. 

Happy hunting. 

Remember, the light is always right. 

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/5/blog-35-extreme-extremity-photography-part-1 Tue, 02 May 2017 04:39:36 GMT
Blog #52 Marc Levoy’s 18 Lectures on Digital Photography http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/blog-52-marc-levoy-s-18-lectures-on-digital-photography Photography is fun! Learning about how to make pictures and the underlying principles about how it all works can be equally fun.  Whether you are an amateur, hobbyist, or aspiring professional, the field is vast and the breath of knowledge is deep.  Past blogs have discussed and encouraged formal instruction in photography as a form of self-improvement (see also Part 2). Becoming better at making pictures and putting in a little effort and practice can yield lifetime of enjoyment in the medium for you and others. 

iPhone 7+

iPhone 7+

Marc Levoy has offered 18 lectures on the topic of Digital Photography online through You Tube.  Click here to begin watching Video & Lecture 1. Dr. Levoy is a very knowledgable professor emeritus.  His background is in architecture, and computer science.  His lectures are all available online and for free.  Click here.

Topics include: a history of photography, color theory and related information, cameras, lenses, lighting techniques, and other related subjects within photography.  Caveat! There is a heavy emphasis on the math and science behind the principles and techniques.  Discussions about sensor architecture are somewhat interesting but you might not find them so.  He uses algebra, geometry, and calculus along with some advances operations and visual graphic displays to illustrate the points.  All this gets a bit tiresome for the non-electrical engineers in the audience [such as myself].  Students in his lecture are typically engineers from Pixar, Google, and other silicone valley agencies.  However, just as you’re about to fall asleep he changes topics into areas that are more interesting albeit relevant to the typical photographer.  

The lectures wavered between irrelevant and review for me, personally. However, they were entertaining and interesting on some level.  

iPhone 7+ iPhone 7+ iPhone 7+

On another topic, in my recent Blog #48  titled Five Reasons Why it’s Better to Shoot with a Real Camera Over a Smartphone I wrote about shooting with a camera versus a smartphone.  There are obvious advantages to using a real cameras such as having a larger sensor, higher resolution images that is required for printing larger than A4 size, and who doesn’t love interchangeable lenses? That’s all fine and good, however, the purpose of that article was not to hate on smartphones. I shoot with my iPhone 7+ although I prefer my other cameras.  To illustrate this point I have included a few recent images made on the iPhone within this blog post just to shake things up a bit.  Am I a hypocrite? I don’t think so I just have my preferences and through sharing my viewpoints, I find that it helps me to shape my own attitudes and approach to my photography.  

 

The light is always right. 

 

jhg

iPhone 7+ iPhone 7+ iPhone 7+

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/blog-52-marc-levoy-s-18-lectures-on-digital-photography Fri, 28 Apr 2017 15:10:30 GMT
Blog #51 Shooting People, Especially Children http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/blog-51-shooting-people-especially-children Blog #51 Shooting People, Especially Children.

In this week’s post, I will describe the practice of shooting people, especially children. The title is supposed to be a catchy to get your attention. Did it work? At any rate,  basically there are three types of settings that I will describe here: candid, environmental portraits, and or the studio portrait.  I will also share some of my experiences in shooting children.  I have four of my own children, two boys and two girls so I get a lot of practice making images of my own ankle biters.  Also, as I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I work in an international school.  I shoot children quite often in many different activities throughout their school experiences.  Photographing children has unique challenges. 

People are everywhere unless you live at the South Pole,  in which case I suppose one is shooting a lot of, penguins? One of the most (if not the most) common subject of the printed image is people.  We have all seen thousands of images of people although some work better than others for various reasons.  This is quite a broad topic indeed.  However, I will focus on just three types of images of people. 

The candid photograph can be anytime, anywhere and normally the subject is not aware or knowingly participating in the process.  Candid photos do not need to be in the street, per se. Also, the candid photograph may or may not have the subject making eye contact with the viewer (camera).  Candid photos can be planned or spontaneous and tend to reveal some natural quality unique to the individual in the photograph. Look for gesture, pose, and include other elements that are generally important such as background and composition that should be considered in pretty much all images that contain candid or street portraits. 

Environmental portraits are generally images of a person in their element.  For example, environmental portraits include: a football player on a field, a student in a classroom, a chef in the kitchen.  The background is part of the story and is related to what the person does or who the person is.  

Studio portraits are unique due to the unnatural nature of the studio environment. The person is generally isolated and not only the subject of the image, but the entirety of the image.  Lighting is crucial.  There are many lighting options. One light, two light, three light, or more are typical. The number (and position) of lights is an important element that functions to communicate the mood of the photo.  Everyone needs to be lit differently.  There are a plethora of techniques that can be employed to highlight or hide features.  One effective technique that can be accomplished in the studio is to light the person based on their mood and or the personality or attitude that they radiate.  A dark mysterious teenager can be lit in low light using one light from a 45 or even 90 degree angle, while a playful child can be brightly lit to portray their bright spirit.  It is to the advantage of every photographer to have experience lighting different people and practicing this as an important skill even for the amateur or hobbyist.  

Regarding shooting children, often the best images will occur under conditions when the child, regardless of age, is calm and relaxed and familiar with the photographer.  This can be accomplished in many ways, however, flexibility and patience are essential to a successful photo shoot with a child. Be prepared to make a lot of pictures of a child to get a few keepers due to the unpredictable nature of most children, especially young children under 10 years old. Toys, prompts, and a playful approach will all go a long way under these conditions.  

On the topic of shooting people in general, a word on lens selection, namely focal length.  Although shooting portraits with wider than 35mm lens is certainly possible, the distortion will make the person’s nose look bigger than it really is unless you have an expensive lens that corrects for this effect that is characteristic of wide angle lenses. This is generally not flattering.  Use a nifty fifty or better yet, an 85mm lens to compress and flatten the subject’s face, slightly.  An 80mm-200mm lens can work well but you may need a lot of space to shoot with longer focal lengths or else you will fill the entire frame with the subjects face.  This might be the look that you are going for but I suggest starting with 50 and going up in 25mm increments to achieve the look that you want. 

Lastly by all means, avoid poles sticking out of people’s heads and keep the composition clean and tidy.  Look at the images in this post. It should be fairly obvious which of the three types of portraits each image falls into.  Most of all, practice, and enjoy the process. 

Remember, the light is always right. 

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 35mm people photographer photography portait professional study http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/blog-51-shooting-people-especially-children Mon, 24 Apr 2017 12:59:54 GMT
Blog #50 *Special Feature* Process Over Product http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/blog-50-special-feature-process-over-product Blog #50 *Special Feature* Process Over Product

Wow! Fifty blog entries to date.  Thank you to all of my readers for sticking with me through the thick and the thin.  For this week’s milestone blog entry, I want to share my experience with color film developing at home.  One of my 2017 photography goals that I set for myself was to learn to develop colour film at home.  I’ve been developing black and white 35mm and medium format film at home for some time now like for a couple of years and I wanted to try to challenge myself further since color is supposedly more difficult.  I really enjoy the process of developing film.  The product is better in my opinion as I do love the look and feel of film as compared to digital, but it’s really the process that keeps me hooked on film. 

There are basically three types of film processes: black and white, color negative [C-41], and slide film or color reversal process [E-6].  I wanted to knock another one off of my photography bucket list.   So I drove over to Camera Film Photo’s shop and picked up a box of DIGIBASE C-41 Process.  The box contains three aluminium packs that resemble juice boxes that we would drink as kids.  Each is 500ml.  There is a developer, bleach, and fix.  The chemicals are re-useable and can be used to develop about 14 rolls of film.  The kit costs $256 HK or about $18.29 HK per roll [$2.35 US].  

The process is pretty straight forward and an easy adjustment [small step] for anyone already familiar with the black and white film developing process.  For black and white, there is developer, stop bath, fix, and rinse.  The for color negatives the process is develop, bleach, then fix.  It is recommended that stabiliser follow the fix stage but I simply rinsed the film with water then hung it up to dry in my shower like I usually do with black and white film.  The film responded well to this finishing and drying process. 

The difference between B&W and color film processing is the chemistry, as mentioned above, and the temperature.  A more careful control of temperature needs to be adhered to.  A large tray used to bring the bottles of chemistry up to temperature and a thermometer [or two] is a must.  The good news here is that 20 or 25 degrees celsius are basically your options, both of which can be considered around room temperature.  

The results are decent and I’m generally happy with my first attempt.  I think that a more precise treatment of the temperature in the development stage would yield even better results.  I used Kodak Portra 400 35mm film and a Nikon L35 AF point and shoot for this experiment.  The reels and tank and changing bag can be used from your black and white kit, if you already have one.

If you would like to get into DIY photography and are interested in playing with film, I suggest starting with black and white which is more forgiving and easier to start with, arguably.  

I’m looking forward to shooting more colour and to perfecting the color C-41 process in the coming months. 

 

You can too!

 

The light is always right. 

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 35mm developing diy film photography professional http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/blog-50-special-feature-process-over-product Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:09:39 GMT
Blog #49 Experiment During Travel http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/blog-49-experiment-during-travel Blog # 49 Experiment During Travel

Travel photography is practically it’s own genre with countless tomes of information written about the subject.  The goals of this genre may be to capture the essence of a place and its people, or to reveal the undying feel of a place by photographing as a local would.  It has been suggested that rather than making the same image of the Eiffel Tower that others have made, turn your camera around, or get in very close [or far] to capture a fresh perspective.  

In this week’s blog entry, I offer an alternative perspective for the photographer when travelling. In one word, experiment!  Try a new genre and get out of your comfort zone.  The best place to do this is away from home and your normal routines.  I suggest that there is value in the new place, new approach to making pictures concept. When we are at home, we fall into routines and photograph similar or even the same places [streets] week after week.  While great images may result from this practice, shaking things up a bit can also result in some novel and wonderful results. For more on the subject of experimentation in photography click here and using film click here.

On a recent family holiday to Cebu in the Philippines, I made lots of images of my family, and our beautiful surroundings as one does on a family holiday.  However, I also planned to take the opportunity to experiment with some underwater photography.  

A few metres off of the beach from our resort, under the otherwise pristine aquamarine peaceful waters of the Philippines Sea , there was a whole universe of life to explore.  

While planning for my dive into underwater photography [pun intended], I brought along a small point a shoot camera that has waterproof capabilities to about 12 metres or 40 feet.  There are a few manufacturers that produce these models that can be had for under $400 USD.  For more thoughts on gear for travelling click here. I covered myself in sun block, strapped on my mask and snorkel, and dove into the cool and refreshing waters.  

Trying to remember the cornerstones of good photography, away I went, out into the big blue.  Light, subject, colour, and compositional rules [guidelines] ran through my head as I floated along with my face in the water looking for subjects to shoot.  The ocean revealed an underworld teaming with life, colour, and beauty.  I snapped away.  I took big deep breaths of air and dove down under the water until my the pressure made my ears ring and my head pound.  I wanted to get closer to get up front and personal with my subjects as we try to do when shooting street photography.  

It was a learning process, and thankfully one that I had a few days to work on.  There were many [mostly] mistakes and blurry shots.  This is an absolutely brutal [albeit beautiful] environment to make images.  Each day we would wake up, grab some breakfast, cover ourselves with sun screen which barely did any good since the sun seemed to go right through it; we were all pink and burned but happy as clams.  I was back into the waters each day like it was my job to catch a few “keepers”.  

I saw a sea urchin, some sort of scary looking eel, clown fish, and other amazing species such as these skinny fish that seemed to be up and down like pencils floating in the water.  With a depth of just a few metres, and the bright sun beaming down and reflecting off of the ocean floor, there was enough light to keep my tiny point and shoot’s sensor happily functioning at about 100 ISO. 

You can see some of my results from above and below water in colour [JPEG] and black and white [just because] in this blog entry.  

Next time you are away from home, do some photography an a genre that you don’t normally work in. You might be pleasantly surprised that you did and you will learn things about yourself and your photography that you might not expect. 

 

The light is always right.

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) experiment photography professional study travel underwater http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/4/blog-49-experiment-during-travel Sun, 16 Apr 2017 09:30:36 GMT
Blog #48 Five Reasons Why it’s Better to Shoot with a Real Camera Over a Smartphone http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/blog-48-five-reasons-why-it-s-better-to-shoot-with-a-real-camera-over-a-smartphone Blog #48 Five Reasons Why it’s Better to Shoot with a Real Camera Over a Smartphone

 

This week I’m tackling another controversial topic within our beloved field of photography. Have you ever noticed that there are so many controversial topics in photography? We have film versus digital, RAW versus JPEG, black and white versus colour, grainy and noisy images versus tack sharp, full frame versus cropped sensors, Nikon versus Canon, and the list goes on. Perhaps the topic of controversial topics in photography can be addressed in another blog sometime down the road. 

For this week’s blog, I would like to share five reasons why it’s better to shoot with a real camera over a smartphone.  To qualify this statement, there is nothing wrong, of course, with making images with a smartphone. Many amazing images are being produced these days with a cameraphone.  Real camera are expensive or out of the reach of some amateurs or hobbyists. I get that.  This essay is not about dissing smartphones, but rather about why it is better to shoot with a real camera.

First I will admit that I am an Apple fan boy and chose the iPhone 7+ due to the improved camera and Portrait mode that can throw the background out of focus through a combination of hardware and software algorithms (yes, I love any excuse to write algorithm)The 12mp helps a little as well along with image stabilisation, and other bells and whistles baked into the software. I do make images with this device but really don’t get the same kick as using a film camera or even one of my beautiful little mirrorless gems from Fujifilm.  Here’s why. 

  1. Smartphones are not really cameras 

 

Although our smartphones have cameras that have come a long way and are currently dangerously close to or can even shoot at or above the quality of most point and shoot cameras, this is not the intended purpose of the device. The smartphone is an evolution from it’s predecessor the Palm Pilot that was essentially a datebook, address book, and data managing device with simple applications like a calculator, or gaming device. Somewhere along the way, a radio transmitter was added and, voila! the first smartphone was invented. The camera function was added later. 

2) Smartphones are for consuming information, not creating it

The second reason why you need a real camera to make images is because it’s a dedicated devise for one purpose only and that basically for consuming information not creating it.  Smartphones are for making calls, checking the weather, reading and tweeting, reading the news over coffee, keeping track of your expenses, making appointments, texting your friends that you are going to late to the party, and looking up your neighbour’s phone number to complain about the noise. The camera function is relatively new and most digital immigrants simply are not accustomed to using a phone as a camera. Have you ever tried to make a photo while your friends are Whatsapping you or your mother calls from Florida? Annoying, I know. 

 

It’s a smart-phone not a smart-camera.

3) Better Images

In spite of the rapid develop and success of the smartphone camera, the image quality is still pretty crappy.  The image sensor in your smartphone is a few millimetres square.  Compare the medium in which the image is made from a smartphone to a 35mm film frame or APS-C sensor and you don’t need a doctorate in electrical engineering to figure out which will produce a superior quality image. Sure, image quality is not everything. The purists out there are beating there fists in the air about the gesture and the composition! Yes, I agree, but have you ever tried to edit a smartphone image or worse, print one? Yuck! 

4) Creative Control

 

Try as they might, the geniuses at Apple or Samsung are try to wring every pixel out of those tiny lenses and sensors but there are some physical properties of image making that cannot seem to improve through software algorithms alone (ummm, algorithms).

Zoom lenses, blurry backgrounds, high ISO, fast shutter speeds, motion blur and other creative effects are pretty wonky when it comes to smartphones. Sure, you can snap on a mini 3” telephoto lens and go shoot that football game. How did that work out for ‘ya? Smartphones can do a good job at macro  photography, portraits, and some landscapes, but it ends there in my book.  You know what my iPhone 7+ is good for? Video! Time lapse and slow motion are pretty good and the iMovie editing app and sharing features are pretty awesome.

5) Making Images

 

It’s been said that the camera doesn’t make the image, the photographer does. It’s also been said that we don’t take photos we make photos. As a form of art, there is a kinaesthetic or visceral experience in carrying a camera, turning dials and the focus ring, and that oh-so-pleasing click! of the shutter. You feel it. This is the experience of making an image. You lift the camera to your eye and for a moment, it’s just you and the frame, the rest of the world disappears and all that is left if what you can see and feel through the viewfinder.  Click! Bang! Nailed it! You push the button and camera pushes back with a physical affirmation.  You are one.

Your feeling, sight, and hearing are all engaged in the process. Develop your own film and you will become intoxicated by the process and weird but wonderful smells of the chemistry. This process is infinitely more gratifying than holding a skinny 5.5” metal and glass slab at arms length and pressing the screen with no feeling.  The camera manufacturers built in a Click! noise to emulate the sound of a shutter slapping around but its not even close.  Use a light meter.  Measure the light.  Dial in the aperture, shutter speed, now focus. Bang! This is what photography is about. This is how images are made. 

I get the whole lure of the digital smartphone thing.  Shoot, post, like, comment, repeat.  This will be emblazoned on the flag of the new millennials if they ever cared enough about anything to demand one. I’m from Generation X and we use REAL cameras to make images.  We use film, real digital cameras,  and Oh, sometimes an iPhone 7+ ;o).

The images in this post are my own and were made with, you know, a camera.

Two middle aged Japanese men catch Pokemon on Kimberly Road in TST, Hong Kong

The light is always right.

jhg

 

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) camera iPhone image photographer photography professional smartphone http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/blog-48-five-reasons-why-it-s-better-to-shoot-with-a-real-camera-over-a-smartphone Wed, 22 Mar 2017 14:16:13 GMT
Bog #47 Composition, Composition, and More Composition http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/bog-47-composition-composition-and-more-composition Blog #47 Composition, Composition, & More Composition 

Composition as it relates to photography is best described as a verb rather than a noun. It is not simply a description of what is in the image but rather how the photographer decided to arrange or place the objects within the frame. This is a deliberate process and one that we should all be paying particularly careful attention to. 

Rhythm NationRhythm Nation Nikon D610

For this week’s blog post, I will not be sharing comments on The Rule of Thirds or The Rule of Odds, or any other dos or do nots related to composition. I will, however, make reference to a far-from-exhaustive short list of purposeful attempts that a photographer may make in an effort to draw the view’s eye towards the subject within a given image. You can view that piece in Casual Photophile’s Tips And Techniques column here

One very pleasing albeit often overlooked compositional technique is the use of visual rhythm.  Rhythm is defined simply as a movement or procedure with uniform or patterned recurrence of a beat, accent, or the like according to dictionary.com. The term is usually applied to music or dance but can also be useful to describe the repetitive compositional elements in a painting or photograph. Visual rhythm is not simply the lining up of all of your ducks in a row.  Creating visual rhythm, much like a drum beat in a song, can be very simple and constant, ascending, descending, interrupted, or even complex.  The subject used can be quite broad and, if executed well, almost any subject can work when visual rhythm is applied.  This concept is executed successfully when the viewer's eye is lead through frame.  If one were to track the viewer's eye it would touch on all of the areas in the frame and perhaps be directed towards the subject or bounce around the subjects or perhaps even visually walk around and around again, always staying within the frame.  The role of the photographer can be said to escort the viewer (through the use of composition) through the frame like a proper gentleman (or lady, of course). 

In my view, using visual rhythm is one of the more obscure and seldom exploited composition techniques within photography.  The images shown here are my own and represent my attempts to illustrate this concept.

On your next photo shoot, aim for visual rhythm and compose your score with intention and gusto.  Follow your own beat and draw your own visual signature. 

The light is always right. 

 

jhg

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) art composition frame photographer photography professional rhythm study visual http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/3/bog-47-composition-composition-and-more-composition Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:52:11 GMT
Blog # 46 What Makes Art Worthy? http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/blog-46-what-makes-art-worthy Blog #46 What Makes Art Worthy?

The topic of what makes art worthy, can be a controversial but relevant topic.  Worthy of what you might ask? What makes art worthy of being art?  This is a philosophical question and one that is as relevant to photography as it is for any other medium in which art can be expressed.  The question of whether or not photography itself can be considered or viewed as art  has been discussed in my previous Blog #11.  

The LookerThe Looker EnvyEnvy Of course photography is art! You don’t have to take my word for it, go look in a museum and if you find photographs there, then photography is art. I rest my case.  Now that that issue is behind us, let’s dive into this week’s blog post. 

In order for a photograph or any other piece of art to be considered worthy it could be said that it should have meaning. For art to have meaning, there are two ways that this may be accomplished. The first way that a photograph or piece of art can be described as having meaning is through its communication of something to the viewer.  The experience or feeling of the photographer should come through in the image.  The photograph should say something.  The second way that a photograph can convey meaning is that it should contain a theme.  Images that contain a theme are generally more universal and can connect to more viewers.  I have expanded on this topic in Blog #33 here.  

“Time eventually positions most photographs, even the most amateurish, at the level of art”, said the late great Susan Sontag.

Really? I agree with 99% of her brilliant commentary from On Photography but regarding this statement, I beg to differ. 

Let’s pause for the cause. How do we describe art that is not worthy? Well, that too becomes a philosophical question.  Art that attempts to be worthy, but falls short we might describe as being mere decoration.  The world most definitely is improved and enhanced through decoration.  This is a description and not intended to be an insult, per se.  Some art is nice but is ineffective at satisfying one of the two conditions mentioned above.  Namely, the photograph or painting, or sculpture communicates no meaning to the viewer nor does it contain a theme in  that it fails to connect with the viewer.  Art that is worthy usually has the qualities of being accepted, successful, and lasting.  Art that is worthy contains value on an individual and cultural level.  This is frequently the goal of the artist either on a conscience or unconscience level.  

Man at WorkMan at Work Wealth ContrastWealth Contrast Wah!Wah! Shady EncounterShady Encounter

In my view, to produce photographs or any art for that matter, at some level, the artist strives to achieve worthiness.  We want to share our art as an expression of our own thoughts and feelings.  We want others to experience the joy or pain within contents of a photograph much as we have experienced that joy or pain.  

The dictionary defines essay as an attempt.  In this blog post, I submit a photo essay where I attempt to illustrate the concept of making photographs that contain meaning and themes. This, of course, is much easier said than done.  Nevertheless, I offer a few examples.  View these with an open mind and feel free to critique them any way that you feel comfortable. Good luck! 

Shadow ContrastShadow Contrast Taxi in the Rain at NightTaxi in the Rain at Night Under CoverUnder Cover Rhythm NationRhythm Nation Man at Bird Market with African GrayMan at Bird Market with African Gray

The light is always right. 

 

jhg

 

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) art meaning photographer photography professional study theme themes http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/2/blog-46-what-makes-art-worthy Mon, 27 Feb 2017 11:07:16 GMT
Blog #45 Getting Intimate with Your Subject http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/blog-45-getting-intimate-with-your-subject Blog #45 Getting Intimate with Your Subject

Now that I have your attention, I would like to encourage you to make images that include gestures and intimacy.  I am not talking about being inappropriate during a portrait shoot here. The photographer is a professional and does not cross that line with their subject.  Nevertheless, rather than launch into an ethics debate here, I prefer to focus on making images that count, images that matter. 

One way to make images that count, or images that matter is to include gesture or intimacy into the frame.  This is much easier said than done.  It is really difficult to make an exciting or memorable image of a person simply walking down the street.  Many of us fall prey to this type of cliché image or proverbial low hanging fruit.  I am guilty of this practice from time to time as well.  It is a false belief to expect that simply because the image meant something to you because of how you felt when you made it, that feeling will automatically translate to the viewer.  This quote from W. Eugene Smith captures the point perfectly, “What use is having a great depth of field, if there is not an adequate depth of feeling?”.   Gesture usually include living organisms such as people (or cats, of course). Gesture may be of an intimate nature such as between two (or more) people who are in love.  While many successful artists have made strong images that included gesture in their work, perhaps one of the leaders in this area is photographer Nan Goldin who is nothing short of a master at capturing gesture and gestures with intimacy.  For example after example of this concept, check out the book titled Nan Goldin here.

Intimacy need not be of a sexual nature. Intimacy can be between a parent and a child, for example.  Forget your gear and settings and look for hands, smiles, winks, scowls, hugs, kisses, and drama! Avoid cliché. Let this new year of possibilities be about making images that matter, images that wow your audience.  Communicate the feeling that you experienced when capturing that moment, through the frame, to your viewer. Is that not the ultimate goal of photography? 

Happy New Year!

The light is always right. 

 

jhg

 

 

 

 

 

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 35mm gesture image intimacy matters photograph photographer photography professional quality study that work http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/blog-45-getting-intimate-with-your-subject Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:35:31 GMT
Blog #44 Juxtaposition & Humour in Photography http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/blog-44-juxtaposition-humour-in-photography Blog #44 Juxtaposition & Humour in photography

Happy New Year! Welcome back to my blog. 

I’m starting off this new year with a blog post to discuss the topic of juxtaposition and humour in photography.  Of course these are mutually exclusive events and are not necessarily related but I tend to consider these elements within an image as going well together like chocolate and peanut butter or as Forrest Gump might suggest, peas and carrots. 

On the topic of making good images that work, the subject is the most important ingredient.  For my piece on subjects that was published on Casual Photophile’s website, click here.  Juxtaposition can be viewed either as the subject itself or as a technique that you can employ to draw attention to the subject. It can be obvious or subtle.  Juxtaposition can be defined as the placement of two objects next to each other for comparison or contrast.  You may include this deliberately or accidentally.  Quite often, the results can be quite humorous as well.

Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt is a master of juxtaposition and humour in his images. Below are a few of his that really stand out and illustrate the concept.  Surely, most if not all of these were not planned. The use of juxtaposition in the image really makes it pop and provides a strong subject that connects with just about any viewer albeit they are made in a serendipitous manner. 

(c) Elliott Erwitt(c) Elliott Erwitt (c) Elliott Erwitt(c) Elliott Erwitt (c) Elliott Erwitt(c) Elliott Erwitt Juxtaposition can be illustrated or accomplished by placing objects or subjects within the frame in an opposite manner that go together or compliment each other.  Examples of this might include old and young, big and little, include a pattern of more than two elements, or create a dialogue between the two in some way.  Subjects within an image might emulate one another as the images below exemplify. This comparison may be obvious and jump out at you or be more subtle and take a while to identify.  In either case, the inclusion of two or more subjects that are obviously related in some way will usually help an image to work and connect with the viewer. The degree to which the subjects are related might be in direct proportion to how well (or unwell) the image works.  

Nikon D610

So to make images of this kinds you need essentially two parts subject and one part luck.  That being said, in the famous words of Edna Mode from Pixar’s The Incredibles, Luck favours the prepared, darling”. So slip on a comfortable pair of kicks, get outside, and make some magic. 

 

The light is always right. 

 

jhg

                                

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) humour juxtaposition photographer photography study http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/1/blog-44-juxtaposition-humour-in-photography Wed, 11 Jan 2017 12:49:59 GMT
Blog #43 That Crazy Monkey http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/blog-43-that-crazy-monkey Blog #43 That Crazy Monkey

 

2016 was the Year of the Monkey according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. 

Monkeys can be quite unpredictable and even aggressive and I would describe the past year as nothing short of either. 

It was a very busy year for me and my photography.  For this week’s blog and the last one of 2016, I will highlight some of my achievements over the year. 

  • Way back in February to conclude the completion of my Project 365, fellow photographer and artist, Kirill and I had our first photography show.  It spanned across two days and I sold one piece.

 

  • I attended many shows over the year including the Gordon Parks Invisible Man show at the Chicago Art Institute. 

 

  • This and other activities led to the expansion of my collection of photography books for research and appreciation.  

 

  • This year marked a number of many contributions to the field and published articles across photography websites.  Most of these can be viewed here.

 

  • The Harbour School’s darkroom is up and running and I’m involved with teaching classes to students on shooting, developing, and printing images using 35mm and medium format film. This involves ongoing developing, printing, framing, and teaching work.  I’m also developing film at home for convenience. It’s really fast and easy.

 

  • Commercially, I have been quite busy as well.  I’ve shot within my parameters doing:  portraits, events such as the 500 Yards record release party with Metro Vocal Group, and food for Fugazi in Kennedy Town.

 

  • I’ve drafted a few photography books that I am in the process of publishing.

 

  • Since I carry a camera almost everyday, I shoot and share whenever possible. 

 

  • Of course I’ve been blogging away to you, my readers, and for that I am most thankful.

Goals for next year include four: 

  1. Learn to develop colour film using C-41 & E-6 processes
  2. Print and frame for home, office, and sales
  3. Continue various projects that I’ve started and keep three at a time active
  4. Publish book projects

Here’s to another year of making images, making friends, and making a difference.

 

The light is always right. 

 

jhg

 

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 35mm 365 film photographer photography professional study http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/blog-43-that-crazy-monkey Mon, 12 Dec 2016 15:09:47 GMT
Blog #42 It's All in the Details http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/blog-42-its-all-in-the-details Blog #42 It’s All in the Details. 

Images can be presented in many ways.  We are all familiar with common ways that images are displayed.  Paper prints such as in books or frames on the wall, projection onto a screen, and LCD screens such as a laptops or smartphones are the most common for viewing images.  Detail in an image is an important and controversial topic. Film and digital photography differ in their approach to detail within the image.  This week’s blog piece will address the concept of detail in the two dimensional image, albeit in a brief manner with an emphasis on the final printed image. The proverbial devil is in the details.

In the last decade or so, and especially the last few years, film photography, digital, and even smartphones have come to produce similarly good quality images.  There are no bad cameras anymore. When viewed on a 13” screen (laptop) or 4.5” screen (smartphone) there is no discernible difference detectable in the image quality of just about any image taken by any camera. Our eyes can only see up to about 300dpi and detect differences in images up to about 600 dpi only so anything more than is sort of overkill. There are serious professional forums and online discussions about this topic for the scientifically inclined reader. 

Let’s start with film.  Film photography under went many changes in it’s humble beginnings.  Paper and chemistry were crude and the task of fixing light onto a surface was a messy process at best.  After some trial and error and many decades, photography made some significant advancements.  Chemistry and paper had come a long way and in the early 20th century, images started to look very good and retain archival quality.  Many printed images have survived 100 years or more without fading much or completely disintegrating. 

There are many different sized negatives: 35mm, medium format, 4x5 (inches), large format which is around 8x10 and others. In general, the common and widely available 35mm size can make acceptable prints in the 8x10 size to the 11x14 size.  It is possible to make acceptable prints from a 35mm negative that are 16x20 in size but there could be some image degradation.  The details and quality of an image is a combination of many variables.  The camera, lens, lighting, film, and developing, are all variables that effect the final quality of the negative.  For images 16x20 and larger, you would be wise to use a medium format negative or larger to be on the safe side.  Of course the final print size is determined by the intended size of the print as determined by the artist, the quality of the image (negative) and the photographer’s tolerance of the grain in the given image. Medium format film is almost three images larger than 35mm. See the illustration for six comparison below. 

Grain or resolution (expressed in units called dots per inch or pixels per inch) as well as the distance at which an image is viewed are significant factors in the overall success of how the image is displayed and presented.  A general rule of thumb is as follows. The viewing distance should be around twice the diagonal of the image. For example let’s say that we have a print that is 8x10.  That’s rectangle vertical or horizontal. There is a diagonal line that can be drawn to make two triangles within the rectangle. This is the measurement that we are interested in. 

This formula will apply to the image rather than the paper size. Many images are printed with a matte around it or a border, ignore that for the purposes of this point. The hypotenuse “c” of this picture is the square root of a squared times b squared since the length of the two sides, a and b, is known.  Sound familiar? That’s because you learned this in primary school and it’s known as the Pythagorean Theorem.  Thanks Pythagorus! Now, just multiply the result by two and you have the proper viewing distance for your image. This formula will work for proportionally larger images. 

If viewed closer than this “Goldie Locks” viewing range for optimal quality, the image may become blurry or deteriorate.  Chuck Close is a brilliant artist and painter who more or less illustrates this concept through painting large portraits using a pixel-style in his work that, when viewed as a far enough distance, you can see the person but up close, his work just looks like a bunch of coloured squares.  

Figure 1.  An 8” x 10” image (without matte or borders) has a diagonal (hypotenuse) of 12.81”.  Multiply 12.81 x 2 to get 25.62” or the proper viewing distance of this photograph.  Viewed closer, and the grain or resolution (quality) of the image may start to deteriorate and degrade.  Quality might be lost with this viewing range. 

With regard to digital files, in general the more megapixels the larger size the image can be printed without loosing image quality.  RAW images contain all of the information captured by the sensor and can are therefore more malleable in post-processing.  JPEG images are compressed and tend to be less forgiving when post-processing adjustments are applied.  TIFF files can be manipulated from RAW files and are uncompressed. Use TIFF files when enlarging prints for maximum detail retention.  

The images shown come from four different sources.  One is from an iPhone 7+, 35mm film, 120 medium format film, and one digital JPEG from a Fujifilm X-T1 16mp mirrorless camera. Without looking at the labels. can you guess which is which? They will be displayed at the end of the blog post with labels for identification purposes.  You can try prints of different sizes to experiment with optimum viewing options for your printed images.  

“A photograph doesn’t exist until it is printed”, according to Constantine Manos. Indeed, a printed image is a real thing whereas an image on a screen will fade as with the day and become lost in the sea as sands on the beach.   

 

The light is always right.

 

jhg

 

 

 

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 120 35mm film format medium photography http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/12/blog-42-its-all-in-the-details Mon, 05 Dec 2016 13:05:33 GMT
Blog #41 The Top 10 Reasons That I Love Hong Kong http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/blog-41-the-top-10-reasons-that-i-love-hong-kong Blog #41 The Top 10 Reasons That I Love Hong Kong

For this week’s Blog, I will share my passion for living in Asia’s World City, Hong Kong.  When an expatriate stays in the region and works, continuously, for seven years, they are entitled to Permanent Resident status.  After the application process, if accepted, you are given a new Identification Card that reads Right to Abode on the back.  Last month marked the seventh year of my residence in this fair city.  I’m a PR (permanent resident).  Hong Kong is my home.  Therefore, I find it fitting to share my top 10 list through images of what makes this city so awesome, in my view.  

10.  Food and Custom Clothes 

The quality and diversity of food here is just amazing.  Even the most experienced foodie will have an endless playground for the pallet.  We have Michelin star rated restaurants galore.  The Cantonese style Dim Sum is delicate and flavourful, fruits like dragon fruit (pictured) are sweet and juicy, and the variety keeps us coming back for more.  Eating out is the norm since flats and kitchens are tiny and not very conducive for cooking meals, especially for single or small households.  Custom clothing can be had at a bargain as well.  At roughly $300 Hong Kong Dollars ($38 US) per custom made oxford shirts, you can feel like a king and be comfortable all day long in the office.  This is another one of Hong Kong’s little treasures that makes it such a unique city.

9.  Service

HongKongers in general are excellent workers. Service is usually fast and efficient.  Delivery drivers will call you religiously an hour before delivery to ensure that someone is home to receive your package.  The mail system is fast as well.  Logistics is a huge industry here and Hong Kong port is one of the biggest in the world.  Being so close to Shenzhen, one of China’s factory cities, it’s no wonder things move here at the speed of business.

8. Shopping

Hong Kong is a mecca for cheap and good products.  Hong Kong has it all from Sneaker Street in Mong Kok to Hardware stores along Canton Road that you would swear have every single nut and bolt every fabricated by man.  You can wheel and deal and bargain your socks off.  Clothing, food, electronics, jewellery, furniture, you name it, it’s here and waiting for you to bargain your way to material bliss. 

7. The Great Outdoors

The weather in Hong Kong is generally warm.  We do get quite a bit of rain and when one of the eight (on average) typhoons come close enough the the city, A “Typhoon 8” signal is hoisted and everything closes and everyone stays home.  There are dozens of hiking trails and about 15 beaches in Hong Kong.  The trails range from easy to super challenging but all are generally safe and have water fountains and toilets along the way for comfort and convenience.  It’s amazing to live in Mid-Levels, for example whereas you can walk down the hill and in 15 minutes be amongst skyscrapers and dense urban chaos, or walk uphill  and be on a country trail in the middle of the forest with no buildings anywhere in site.  It’s really a place of extremes, geographically, with its mountains, islands, and ocean. The beaches are great with surfing at Big Wave Bay, and many other places to push your toes into the sand, and catch up on some rest and relaxation from the busy office and work life.  

Junk boat parties are super fun and when your lucky enough to get invited to go on one, you’re really in for treat.  A day on the water, sun, friends, fun, music, drinks, and a swim are all on the menu.  Oh, and Ocean Park is blast as well! 

6.Transportation and Free Motorbike Parking

Our fair city has arguably the best transportation system in the world.  Busses, ferries, taxies, and the MTR underground train systems move the city’s 7 million inhabitants around every day in a safe, clean, efficient, and inexpensive manner.  You really don’t need a car here, motorbikes are the way to go.  The city boasts tons of free motorcycle street parking everywhere. For bike nuts like me, that’s really something to love! 

5.  Chinese New Year 

The Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations are fun and festive.  Most of the city closes for one week around the end of January.  Traditional foods are eaten, families and friends get together to enjoy each other’s company, and don’t forget the awesome fireworks! The holiday schedule here is quite generous at their are both Western holidays as well as local Chinese holidays that are observed by most businesses.  

4. Macau

Macau is a close one hour fast ferry boat ride away.  Also a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Macau has sporting events, casinos, beaches, shopping, culture, good food, and attractions.  See the House of Dancing Water Show, chill poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel where you can jam on a Fender guitar in your hotel room, or grab an authentic egg tart from the Venetian. Macau is all about fun and convenience and there is tons of both and a whole lot more.  I’ve gone to the Macau Grand Prix every year for the seven that I have lived in Hong Kong and it’s a really fun and fuelled up weekend every November with friends.  

3.  Lan Kwai Fong & Nightclubs

LKF (as we locals call it) has a plethora of bars and nightclubs to shake off that hectic work week.  There are many watering holes within a small area and you can bounce from one to another all night long.  You will always see friends in these places or maybe even bump into your boss! DJs spin tracks from around the world and there is always more ear candy around the corner. 

2.  Everything Photography

Photography in every size, shape, and form is alive and well in Hong Kong. There are the best deals on new digital equipment, film and developing, even university courses, meet ups, galleries, workshops, and everything in between.  The photography community here is international, talented and passionate.  This year marked the fourth international photo festival.  It’s a heaven for anyone with a camera. For food, urban, landscape, environmental portraits, and all types of genres there is an unlimited subject matter to shoot.  There are many camera stores that have good deals on film cameras as well as new ones of the digital variety.  Hong Kong is heaven for photographers. 

1. That Skyline

I’ll just let the picture do the talking.

The light is always right.

 

jhg

 

 

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jeremyhgreenberg@me.com (Jeremy H. Greenberg) 35mm film hong kong photography professional travel http://jeremyhgreenberg.zenfolio.com/blog/2016/11/blog-41-the-top-10-reasons-that-i-love-hong-kong Sun, 27 Nov 2016 09:11:41 GMT