Tuesday, August 30, 2005

CSS Zen Garden

My feet are barely wet with web design (my most recent web incarnation here). I know next to nothing but I'm looking at a redesign for my web presence. I had been considering a flash site for a while but I think I've just been converted to css by CSS Zen Garden. This site proves that the possibilities are endless. Now, just to get going on learning and getting that site(s) built.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Out of Season

I know that this is completely out of season. You can tell how cold it was because of how the ocean was freezing over the rocks as the tide had gone out. Being by the ocean when it is that cold is amazing. There is a completely different feel to it. It seems somehow even more powerful and awe-inspiring. I think in the summer the comparable time would be to go on a moonlit night. We went and had a bonfire last weekend when the moon was full (or close to it). Watching the water in the dim light gives the feel of something moving the water rather than the water moving itself (if that makes any sense). The ocean becomes a thing of mystery and dark secret. I guess it always is, but these times push it to the front of my mind.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Today in Orangeville

I realize you aren't supposed to show anything but your best. These, of course, aren't, but I find this little mix interesting anyway. This is a sampling of what I ended up with because of my mistake. Mistakes can be fun.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Allow me to illustrate

what happens when you shoot colour film through an orange filter.

This is a shot of the churn. Apparently they used to take tourists here. I'm not sure why they stopped. Maybe its unpredictability. Maybe it used to be even more majestic, sending spray impossibly high. Yarmouth's own old faithful. Whatever the cause, there is rarely anyone around when I go.

Interesting Mistake

My plan the day I took this was to play by the coast taking some low contrast b&w shots. Kind of in the vein of vir3x.com. So I happily threw my orange filter on and snapped away. I had a fantastic afternoon staring at the sky and the sea, tasting the salt on my lips. The irises were in bloom, holding their own against the wind. Just about a perfect afternoon. I even got back before it started to rain. But, shortly after I dropped off the film for developing I realized that something wasn't quite right. The canister hadn't looked the way it should. Then I realized that rather than b&w I had colour film in my camera all afternoon, shooting through an orange filter. I'm having a really hard time with trying to get a good scan out of these apocalyptic orange prints and convert them to the black and white I want. Another compounding problem is that the lab workers are all trained to try and get pictures to look 'normal'. They've messed a whole lot with the prints to try to do that. Maybe I'll post a couple of the orange prints just so you can see what I mean.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

From the archives

I've been digging through my albums to find some older pictures to share. I find it really interesting to go back over my pictures to see how my way of seeing has changed. I'm always thinking how I could have done something differently. I don't have many shots yet where I'm completely satisfied with the result. I wonder if I ever will. Hopefully some day my proficiency will catch up with my seeing.

I find this shot really interesting in my ever continuing fascination with our interaction with nature. I wonder about the place of the steeple in the contemporary protestant church (which this subject is). It seems to be one of the few things left over from the time when church construction meant something. I think it's skies like this that make the steeple functional. Pull the eye up. Pull the I out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

3D Madness

Instructions: As you look at this picture cross your eyes until the two images overlap into a third image between the first two (I find it easiest if you focus on lining up the bamboo in the middle of the table). Once you get it lined up the picture will become magically three dimensional.

There was an issue of a photography magazine (I don't remember right off which one) that was dedicated to 3D pictures and even included a set of those funky two colour glasses. After I read it I tried my hand at a few. They're much easier to do with proper equipment and technique but this one seems to work reasonably well.

If you're a flickr-fan you can check out the stereophotography group for more 3D fun.

Ah, philosophy jokes

This Dilbert has to be one of the best philosophy jokes ever. The second best one probably shouldn't be repeated here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


This photo an experiment for me. I don't usually overly manipulate my photos after I scan them in. It's usually just a matter of my tweaking colour, density, and sharpness. To be clear, this isn't a moral stand. It comes more from my a) lack of a good digital file to begin to work with and b) lack of skills using the powerful tool that is Photoshop. The debate over the validity of digital photography and photographic manipulation doesn't seem to be as strong as it was. In the very act of making a photograph, digital or film, you are making changes. You make decisions about subject, composition, exposure in order to create an image. I think there are two questions that are at the root of the manipulation debate. What makes a photograph a photograph? And, what is art? Photography has such a wide range of uses that it makes setting rules down about its use problematic. Sometimes the question of photographic manipulation is answered by saying that there is a certain line (wherever that may be) that gets crossed where the manipulation changes it from a photograph into an attempt at art. This answer is generally insulting to photographer and also shows a lack of respect for the reaches of art. It also elevates a lot of bad manipulation into the realm of art simply because of the fact that the photograph is manipulated. I have no real answer to these questions, and I'm not sure that I ever will. It's a hard job to linguistically nail down categories for such a fluid and expansive medium.

All this talk of manipulation and the fluidity of medium gets me thinking about Russell Maier, Fire-painter.

Monday, August 15, 2005

My former cat

This is a diptych of our former cat, Dante. We took over the care of Dante when we moved into our former house and his previous caretaker couldn't take Dante with him. Dante's big double paws were one of his best features but I don't think he scratched me (or the furniture) ever. We have a new cat now, Virgil, and a new house. No pictures of Virgil immediately forthcoming, but if the demand is great enough. Oh wait, does this turn me into one of those bloggers who talks about their pets? I've never wanted to be one of those people. Let me amend what I have just written. This picture is a diptych of a feline with double paws. The diptych as a form is interesting because it allows more of a story to be told. There can be an interplay between the two images, often revealing more about the subject or the photographer than the presentation of a single image. (There, is that detached enough for you?)

The Return

I've heard the outcries (okay, outcry, thanks for the kick in the pants Braleigh) and so I've been shocked out of my apathy into posting more pictures. I'm also trying a different layout to incorporate them.