Your home for everything artistic

Archive for July, 2013

Camera phones will never replace real cameras

With the ever growing prevalence of camera phones

and the constant technical advancements that have come along with these devices, just about anyone and everyone has the means to take photographs on a regular basis. However, just because you have the ability to do something, doesn’t mean you have the skill or creative vision for it. Nor does it mean that your equipment can handle what actually has to be done in order to create true art.

This brings me to one of my major pet peeves as a landscape and portrait photographer – attempting to substitute a a camera phone for the real thing.

For example, one of the newest things out there is a Nokia Lumia 1020 which claims to have a 41 megapixel digital camera. While I have my doubts about the reality of this claim, even if it is true, that’s only a small part of the equation of what makes a quality camera.

A REAL decent camera must have all of these qualities if not more:

Ability to adjust aperture manually

Ability to adjust shutter speed manually

Ability to adjust ISO manually

Ability to adjust white balance manually

Ability to house an external flash

Ability to work with strobe lighting units

Ability to use and exchange multiple lenses 

Don’t get me wrong, camera phones are OK for just playing around or using in a pinch. But none of them can compare to the real thing.

Practical examples of light temperature for photographers

Even the complete novice in the world of photography

will quickly come to learn that lighting is crucial to the art. And the fact is, there are many, many types of light out there.

In our everyday lives, we see lights of all different shapes and sizes. Some give off a large quantity of light, others are rather dim. Some use traditional round bulbs, others take on a spiral shape. Then there’s the whole thing about the type of light, some of which include the old-school incandescent bulb, florescent tubes often seen in office buildings or highly efficient LED lights just to name a few.

But one of the key factors in lighting for photography is that of light temperature. And no, I don’t mean how much heat the bulb gives off.

While there are any number of charts out there that take a scientific approach to explaining the concept of light temperature, sometimes there’s nothing like real world, practical examples. With that in mind here are a few photos that you might find helpful.

Street lights:

The first example shows a warmer light temperature (orange tint) while the second shows a cooler light temperature closer to that of natural light.

yellow street lights

white street lights

Headlights:

The first car’s lights are a close to the temperature that simulates daylight while the second features warmer light again with that orangeish, yellowish look.

white headlights

orange headlights

Florescent tubes:

This image shows a variety of light temperatures side by side. On the left the temperatures are cooler (blue) while the middle image is white and closer to that of natural daylight. The two lights on the right are warmer in terms of color.

Fluorescent Light

Hopefully this might help you to understand light temperatures a bit better rather than just relying on some rigid chart.

Beautiful architecture built around the national pastime

It’s the heart of summer

at least in the United States. And in the good old USA, while it may no longer be the top spectator sport, baseball still holds the nickname of the “national pastime.” And if you stop to think about it, why wouldn’t it be? Sunny playing fields, hot dogs, the crack of the bat hitting a ball, ballpark souvenirs…the list goes on.

One of the most artistic elements of the game is actually not something you might see on the field but rather the field (or more accurately the structure that holds it) in an of itself. Over the course of the more than 100 years the games has been played on a professional level, cities across the country have seen the rise and fall of numerous ballparks and many of them have been true gems of the craft of architecture.

In the early years of professional baseball, the venues often features open and simple steel structures. The next generation of ballparks included the often “multi-purpose” site which tended to be much bigger but less conducive to baseball than some other sports. Around the same time, enclosed domes with little character began to pop up in cities with notoriously bad weather. In the last two decades or so, the trend has seemed to come full circle going back to the smaller, open structures of old.

Here are a few of my favorites that are currently in use today:

As a Pittsburgh artist, and a life-long Pirate fan, my bias has to lead me to love the beautiful PNC Park.

PNC Park

Progressive Field in Cleveland was one of the first to revive the traditional ball field look.

Progressive Field

Camden Yards in Baltimore is not new by any means but a stunning site to see.

Camden Yards

The sheer history of Fenway Park makes it another wonder on the baseball universe.

Fenway Park

One more oldie but goodie, Wrigley Field in Chicago, has a very specific feel and charm.

Wrigley Field

Fun factoid about rap music

Rap music is often known

for it’s hard edge and abrasive content. The themes routinely reflect the struggles of youth living in impoverished communities and the challenges of urban life.  You might very well have any number of words or terms you may use to describe this style of music but “poetry” probably isn’t even close to the first thing to come to mind.

But, if we trace back the history of this genre, which is commonly said to have officially begun with the song “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugarhill Gang back in 1979, the acronym that is RAP might surprise you.

RAP stands for Rhythm And Poetry!

The Sugarhill Gang

The Sugarhill Gang

Quality graphics (and other work) on the cheap

Sometimes you might just have a reason…

to need some sort of graphic design work but either don’t have the knowledge or time to complete the project yourself. And if you’re anything like this blog owner, you may not have the funds either.

One option is to hire someone who engages in what is known as “micro-jobbing.”

So what is micro-jobbing?

Actually it’s a very simple concept. People provide a service, such as graphic design, for a very small fee in order to complete a relatively quick or minimally time consuming job. Sometimes you can get things done for as little as $5!

Some other types of services include:

Search engine optimization

Photo editing

Writing

Video

Audio

One of the top sites for this type of business exchange is Fiverr.com.

Check out a few examples of some work I offer below:

graffitti message spot color in photo facebook cover photo animation

If you need something quickly and at an affordable price, this may just be your answer. Or, if you’ve got some extra time on your hands, you can possibly make a few extra bucks here and there by offering your skills in this capacity.

Online photo storage options – for free!

Where can a store my photos?

As an artistic photographer , I can assure you that it is vital to have options and resources for online storage of your work. Of course you want to have your work stored in places like external/portable hard drives and possibly on digital media like CDs (for the old-school among us) or flash drives. But it’s also quite beneficial to have your images in an online storage utility for a number of reasons.

Some such reason include:

1. Easy of ability to transfer and share files with others.

2. No need to buy excessive physical storage devices.

3. This makes for a great backup in case of the failure of your hard drives or portable media.

And while there are many options out there, a lot of them can be rather pricey. But here are a few that will serve the purpose and cost you nothing at all.

Flickr:

This Yahoo! owned site is easy to use, visually professional and now allows for 1 Terabyte of free storage!

flickr

Shutterfly:

While essentially a photo printing company, Shutterfly let’s you store images and even create sites and communities of sorts.

Shutterfly

Fotki:

While limited in the amount of storage available, it’s not a bad option either.

Fotki

Google Drive:

Started as a storage/sharing utility associated with Gmail, this tool allows for 15GB of free storage.

Google Drive

Picasa Web Albums:

Also a Google owned tool, it’s easy to use and makes downloads simple.

Picasa web albums

Hopefully one or more of these sites will help you in your search for a quality storage option on the Internet.

Taylor Swift live at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh

As many of the readers of this blog probably already know, I am a huge fan of country-pop artist Taylor Swift. And with that being the case, it should be no surprise that I took in her concert at the amazing Heinz Field in my hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

While watching the show I decided to create a few clips to share at least a bit of the experience with others as well as to relive the memories myself for years to come.

I hope you enjoy these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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