photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Lightroom Podcasts

in General Rants , Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I've been an avid listener to George Jardine's Lightroom podcasts, and whilst I'm still not really convinced by Lightroom, I have to say I really enjoy the podcasts. Jardine come across as a really excellent product manager, keeping the conceptualistation, expectation management and focus of the project under tight control, whilst sounding relaxed and enthusiastic. I'm sure it is an exciting job, and one that I'd grab in a millisecond given half the chance, but it must also be extremely arduous and stressful. The downside of growing up in public like Lightroom is is that the whole world can see every mis-step, and also expectations start to go out of control. Every potential customer expects the product to be tailored exactly how they want it, and will scream loudly when it doesn't. And of course, in the unlikely event of Lightroom failing, the product manager will be the first in front of the wall. Unlike some, George Jardine doesn't try to oversell Lightroom. In fact, he hardly tries to sell it all. He puts it on display, provides a lot of background, builds up a nice ambience, and lets it speak for itself. Certainly, after every podcast, I'm keen to start it up again and have another look – although since I'm usually listening during my commuting on train, tram & foot, I can't, really. When I do, I'm still not convinced that the overall concept (shared by Apple Aperture) works for me, and I still find the user interface overwhelming and often obscure. But the interesting thing is, after each podcast, I want to love it. I guess I'll get hooked sooner or later.
Posted in General Rants on Wednesday, August 16, 2006 at 09:57 AM • PermalinkComments (0)

Vanity Publishing (Part 2)

in General Rants , Wednesday, July 05, 2006
As I mentioned two posts back, I recently started tracking view of my photo galleries, or more specifically, of full page photos (not thumbnails, but views which can only be specifically requested by visitors). After about 1.5 weeks, I was gratified and somewhat surprised to have ranked up over 1500 views. Even more interesting is the fact that less than 10% of the 533 photos online have not been viewed over this period. Inevitably, the most viewed are the easiest to reach, so those on the "latest updates" page, and I guess those delivered by the random photo feature on the galleries home page. Ok, it isn't exactly earth shaking, but even so, I'm left feeling slightly smug :-)
Posted in General Rants on Wednesday, July 05, 2006 at 03:16 PM • PermalinkComments (0)

Vanity Publishing (Part 1)

in General Rants , Monday, July 03, 2006
I've finally started to consider the statistics I get from my web hosting provider, just to see if anybody ever clicks on all this stuff. Well, it seems they do. Not so many, but whoever you are, thanks for stopping by. Statistics, as is well known, are used by web site publishers much lamposts are used by drunks - for leaning on, not for illumination. So, leaning on a few here, I find that over the period Dec 2004 (the oldest data my ISP stores) and Jun 2006, the number per month of succesful requests for pages has gone from 10,677 to 22,6111. Better than a kick in the teeth with a sharp trowel, if not exactly T.O.P territory. The other stats more or less follow the same trend. For some reason, I hit some sort of spike in March 2006. No idea why. junestats.gif Of course, another statistic is error logs. Looking at error logs is a bit like looking at bank statements. You know you have to, but you get a sickening feeling in your stomach as you look at the numbers. Well, whoever the 113 people are who tried to access the broken link /pblog/archives/archives.html, sorry. I'll try to fix it. As for the 2071 web crawlers who tried to access robots.txt, tough. I've also wondered if it is worth actually putting all these photos on line. Is anybody looking at them ? Well I've started counting. For the last two weeks, every time a full size photo is accessed from the database, I've been updating a counter, so I can see which photos people are looking at, and how often. The exciting results of this survey are coming soon. Stay tuned!!
Posted in General Rants on Monday, July 03, 2006 at 03:19 PM • PermalinkComments (0)

Cutural Issues

in General Rants , Monday, June 26, 2006
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.
Posted in General Rants on Monday, June 26, 2006 at 03:10 PM • PermalinkComments (1)

New use for film

in General Rants , 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!!
Posted in General Rants on Friday, June 23, 2006 at 02:47 PM • PermalinkComments (0)
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