photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Rats, Ship, Sinking scenario

in Unsolicited, rabid opinions , Tuesday, June 27, 2006

iView Multimedia today announced their acquisition by Microsoft. A very, very carefully worded FAQ includes: "Microsoft will fully support the existing Mac products, will continue to sell Mac versions of the current iView product line and will offer upgrade pricing to all Mac users of future products that may be available based on the iView products." "Microsoft will continue to sell Mac versions of the CURRENT iView product line" - there's certainly room for manoeuvre there. "..will offer upgrade pricing to all Mac users of future products.." - but not necessarily Mac versions thereof. After what Apple did to Logic users, who could complain ? Mind you, since Macs can run WinXP, it isn't so clear what a "Mac version" is anymore. At least Bill Gates will use the money wisely.... Sick as a parrot, John.

So, farewell then RawShooter

in Unsolicited, rabid opinions , Monday, June 26, 2006

PhotoshopNews: Photoshop News and Information » Archive » Adobe Acquires Technology Assets of Pixmantec ApS: " Well well. Maybe Andy Rouse can get back to taking photos now. "Adobe believes this acquisition will not have a material financial impact on the company." no, because it was basically just a hiring issue. Some very angry people over at the Pixmantec forums, where they where sold the line "free forever" about RSE. It seems pretty much in character: who knows what went on behind the scenes, but it always morally if not legally dubious for Pixmantec to be able to market basically a clone of CaptureOne in the first place. So the track record was not good. A pity that decent people like Michael Tapes and yes, probably, Andy Rouse were taken advantage of, as well as the user & customer community. "Loyalty" seems to be a foreign concept to Pixmantec's founders. Setting aside my uninformed foaming at the mouth, the real significance of this lies in the first real world illustration of a point I've made here and other other forums recently (and been told I'm talking rubbish) - some Pixmantec users have suddenly realised they've got upwards of 10,000 RSP/RSE settings files, and that the RAW editor they've nailed their colours to has abruptly, and without warning, had the plug pulled. It is pretty bad of Adobe to act in this way: certainly, they have done no favours to photographers today, whatever their marketing bullshit says. It will be interesting to see what the Adobe cheerleaders over at make of it all...


Cutural Issues

Meanwhile, over at the highly productive and entertaining, Colin wrote an entry in response to a comment I made on a previous entry (still with me here ?), which I turn would like to expand on. Colin wrote:
I recently wrote a short essay called In defence of the non-luminous landscape where I tried to draw a distinction between landscape photography that met cultural ideals and landscape photography that was a much more personal reaction to the land. Both forms can be satisfying to look at, but I find the cultural norm sort very unsatisfying to produce. I'm not in the business of making mass market calendars
This leads me to wonder about these "cultural ideals". Are succesful landscape photographers such as David Noton, Charlie Waite or David Ward, following cultural ideals ? Can we consider that they do not have a personal reaction, because they are popular ? Is there something inherently wrong with emphasising beauty in landscape ? Is it perhaps that "real" photographers only do black & white ? In fact, I'd even say that the sort of B&W stuff which typically decorates "tasteful" Habitat-furnished homes is a far worse offender when it comes to purely decorative unchallenging dreck masquerading as art. We are all part of a culture. We are conditioned by that culture. We see wild landscape as beautiful, or at least interesting, whereas in an earlier culture we'd have seen it as hostile or just a wasteland of non-viable farmland. Cultural conditioning works both ways, it is both shaped by us and shapes us. Maybe there is some confusion between "cultural ideals" and "popular culture", or even "pandering to the lowest denominator". But to be honest, if you line up a series of standard "local views" postcards in any seaside tourist shop, alongside the same scenes shot by, say, Joe Cornish, I bet a pound to a penny that the flat, midday sun, blue sky "Greetings from Sunny Skegness" will outsell the more artistic stuff by 20:1. Just because a photo has a visual attractiveness, or is taken in dawn light, does not make it necessarly unchallenging or even unsettling, and it certainly does not rule out a "personal reaction" on the part of the photographer.

New use for film

{categories limit="1"}in {category_name} {/categories}, Friday, June 23, 2006

Zuerich camera retailer Foto Baern has certainly come up with a very post-modern take on film :-)

If you can't work it out, the photos show shop window layouts, mimicking football fields, where the "spectators" are 35mm film canisters of various types, and the "players" are cameras...all digital apart from the odd Leica.
Some of the films (shock, horror, etc) are even unused!!

Save the whales

{categories limit="1"}in {category_name} {/categories}, Sunday, June 18, 2006

I never really intended to publish anything political here, but sometimes enough is enough. Quoting from a report from today's Independent online edition:
Humpback whales - the best loved and one of the most endangered of all the giant mammals - are to be slaughtered for the first time in more than 30 years, in defiance of an international ban. Japan is to put plans to kill the humpbacks before a meeting of the International Whaling Commission, the body that regulates world whaling, on the West Indian island of St Kitts today. The Japanese claim the whales will be used for "scientific research", a loophole that gives a licence to kill.
There isn't so much that any individual can do about this. The arrogance of the Japanese authorities beggars belief, and some extremely non-politically correct thoughts concerning harpoon targets are crossing my mind. It is extremely difficult to boycott Japanese products if you're into photography, but where ever I have a choice, from now onwards, that's what I'm doing. I always preferred yellow film boxes to green.
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