The Big Picture:
As the creator or street organs and automata I strive to create machines that trigger some sort of happiness. As a photographer I desire to gift the future with a catalog of long images. I want the gift to be useful, user friendly, artful, and of long term value.
Street Organs and Automata:
At the beginning of 2018 as I was assessing my life I decided to commit the remainder of my creative life to street organs and automata. This means that my priorities until my death are my wife and street organs and automata. I’m writing this in May of 2018 (I’ve just turned 73). I suspect I’ll have another 20 years or so on this fine little planet…I want to make the most of those final years.
Regarding Photography…Subject Matter:
It’s all fair game with me. I prefer to photograph ordinary things (hopefully artfully). Documentation of our present time is important. My street organs will always be small so that I can share them.
Your Right to Use My images:
You have no right to use any of my images in any form without my written permission. If you have purchased a print you have no right to reproduce the print without my written permission. If you are the San Dieguito River Park or the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy I grant rights to my images for purposes of promotion and documentation of the river park.
If you are included in an image I capture you are welcome to utilize the image for personal use. I’m not hard to get along with. Communicate with me. If you are a commercial enterprise expect me to reasonably charge you for image use.
My Thoughts About Photography:
Most often when I photograph I am thinking of the future. Will this image have value in the future? By value I don’t mean monetary value. By value I mean “will this image help the past to be understood? Will this image help humanity move into the future”?
My normal (non-panoramic images) are posted into the image galleries at a maximum dimension of 3,000 pixels. While 3,000 pixels is enough for most anything please contact me if you are in need of images larger than 3,000 pixels. I restrict my panoramas to a 1:3.2 ratio (10″ X 32″). I print at 300 ppi. The printed images are almost a 30 megapixel image…lots of pixels…lots of detail. By limiting myself to this one ratio (1:3.2) I am able to more finely tune my vision both horizontally and vertically.
Non-panoramic images are typically available from my Image Delivery System (my term for my Photo Galleries) sized to 6 megapixels. While my current DSLR captures 10 megapixels I still post only 6 megapixels. The 10 mp gives me the opportunity to further enlarge, and/or to crop. 6 megapixels is enough pixels for even a billboard.
Paper and Ink:
The Fine Art panoramas that I print personally are printed onto matte archival paper with archival inks. I am led to believe by the paper and ink manufacturers that these prints should easily last 75+ years when displayed properly. I’ll never know. I do my best to offer permanence. By restricting myself to one paper size the photo section of my studio is not bristling with hundreds of sizes of hundreds of papers, mats, backings, sleeves, and frames. By restricting myself to one paper size I have significantly reduced the clutter and can pay more attention to the images themselves.
When I do need something special printed I usually have it done by Bay Photo in Santa Cruz.
Geotagging is emerging as a technique that should, in my opinion, be applied to all images. The concepts are important…and complicated. For example; Do you record the position of the camera or of the scene? In the past when manually geotagging images I would record the position of the ‘scene’. Now, however, I work with a GPS on my person so am usually recording the position of the camera. Should altitude be recorded? I’ve done some photography from a helicopter. The altitude that my GPS records is of course the altitude of the helicopter, not of what is being photographed.
Should the compass rose (the direction that the camera is pointing) be recorded? From a GIS perspective this could be important. At the present time (12/2013) I do geotag many of the images that I capture. I use a DeLorme GPS. When I return to my studio I “merge” the GPS information into the EXIF image record.
Why is this important? Imagine how different World War II would look to us if all images had been geotagged (time, date, exact location)? Imagine how 1 BC would be so much better understood if we possessed geotagged images of that time. One of these days geotagging will not be a process that needs to be considered. It will be automatic. It will happen no matter what.
Workflow and Archives:
I am a Nikon guy shooting at this time primarily with a Nikon D200. I’m fortunate that my camera can utilize my old ‘film’ lenses. The ‘glass’ is very important. While I do utilize my Nikon 18-200VR the majority of the time, my favorite lens to shoot with is an old 50-300mm Nikon press lens. This is the lens that was up in the press box at the games decades ago, reaching down into the action on the field. This big guy requires a tripod and patience. I also have other ‘prime’ lenses…but let’s face it…a photographer can never have enough good glass.
Adobe Lightroom Classic CC is my primary image editor, with trips to Photoshop CC when needed. I print from either Photoshop or Lightroom.
I archive my images by year, and then by shoot date. Example, in a folder labeled 2013 I have a set of images that are in a folder labeled 20130212_LagoonWaterQuality. I’ve over 300,000 images stored this way.
My images are all stored between two primary hard drives, and then are backed up onto two more hard drives. At the beginning of 2013 I began shooting exclusively in RAW format.
I choose to print titling onto all of my panoramas (location, image title, date). When I sign a panorama I also date/time stamp my signature (20110218-0859 for example). Over the years I have looked at too many photographs that do not contain this simple yet important information (location, title, date). I realize that in wet darkroom days it was more difficult to title an image. In this day and age it is incredibly simple and should always be done (in my opinion).
When I handle image files I also place information into the image EXIF. When I print smaller images I use a couple of Photoshop actions that allow me to frame and title and date these smaller images. And in the EXIF file I place details. We are no longer in the wet darkroom days where it was very difficult to add this information. We are here now when it is easy. I think we owe it to the future to properly label our images. Examples of this image titling can be seen in my Image A Day galleries.