Stay on target…..stay on target…

I really cannot figure out if this is a step forward or backward….or neutral. I purchased a dSLR because I was unsatisfied with my digital point-n-shoots capabilities (especially its slowness at snapping the shot). And I took my dSLR and snapped and snapped and snapped and uploaded to Flickr and uploaded to Flickr and uploaded to Flickr.

And then came the drought.

Not feeling inspired. Not feeling creative. Not feeling much of anything (and I’m not just talking photography here). And so the dSLR sat. Being used sometimes, but never getting round to going through my images, editing, deleting, posting, etc.

Weird.

But then comes along my iPhone and suddenly I’m snapping pics every day. Of anything. Of everything. And I’m loving it. “It” being photography. But this is really over the top:

I didn’t actually snap this picture. Yes; the iPhone did, but I didn’t.

See…. a number of weeks back my daughter (who also has an iPhone) and I purchased an app titled Gunman which uses augmented reality (the iPhone’s camera) to turn your iPhone into a first-person shooting game. But what I didn’t know was that in certain modes of play the game will temporarily record the shots that are “hits” and at the end of the game allow you the option to save them to your iPhone’s Camera Roll.

And this I did of one of the shots.

So now not only can I actually shoot pictures, but I can snap pictures while shooting. I think I’m in over my head…

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Some Days It Simply Doesn’t Pay To Get Out Of Bed

I have the most lovely neighbors directly across the street. Here’s Goldye:

Isn’t she just adorable?

Her husband Jerry is a nice guy as well and the two of them took off for a two week cruise and just returned a few days ago. Jerry, who recently purchased a Pentax dSLR to replace his dead film camera, didn’t know how he was supposed to get the images off the SD memory card and onto his computer.

Jerry, being Jerry, didn’t ask if I could show him, but instead went straight for the gold, “Mark…..would you mind moving the pictures off my memory card onto…say…four CDs for me?”

“Sure Jerry. No problem.”

And so it was I found myself upstairs and in front of my monster 24-inch iMac with Jerry’s 4GB SD memory card. Fortunately for me I have a SD card reader even though my Canon dSLRs use Compact Flash. My baby Canon A630 and Panasonic SD video camera both make use of SD cards so I need to have one….see? But where was my SD card reader? Hum….

Check around the keyboard for the iMac, which is where I keep the Compact Flash card reader (I know…I don’t have one of those all in one’s).

Nothing.

Hummm….check the box in the closet where I still have located a bunch of computer related stuff from the move up from the basement computer cabinet.

Nada.

Damn.

Okay….so maybe I left it down in the basement computer cabinet? Yeah, that must be it. I haven’t yet had a need for it so why would I have brought it upstairs. Silly me.

Nope.

Shit.

Return to the upstairs computer room and stand with hands on hips while I scan the room trying to imagine where the little bastard device is hiding. And while standing there I notice a lonely little card reader sitting all by its lonesome on one of the upper shelves of the new computer cabinet.

Mother fuc….

Case solved I sit back down at my computer and swap the Compact Flash reader for the SD reader (the cable works for both), insert the SD card and nothing. No blinking lights. No icon on the desktop. Nothing.

[Sigh]

I remove the SD card and unplug the cable from the keyboard USB input, wait a couple of seconds, re-insert the USB plug into the keyboard and re-insert the SD card. Nothing. No blinking lights. Nada.

Oh Jesus fucking bullshit hell.

I yet again unplug the cable from the keyboard when it suddenly hits me like a cricket bat aiming for a 6: I just unplugged my trackball.

The card reader plugs in on the OTHER FUCKING SIDE YOU FUCKING BRAINLESS SOD!!

[sigh]

Oh…but wait…for it continues to get better my dearest readers.

SD card reader problem solved I drag out my handy stash of blank DVDs recognizing that Jerry has more images (in file size) than will fit onto a blank 0.7GB CD. I insert a blank DVD into the computer’s drive, clicking and whirling commence, and a small window opens asking what I want to do and then it hits me: I’ve never done this before with my iMac.

Hard to believe, but in the 10-months I’ve owned this machine I haven’t yet burned a CD or DVD. Haven’t needed to. But still….that just seems odd. Not knowing what to do I elected to Quit or Cancel out of the windows altogether, but afterwards found no icon upon the desktop representing the blank DVD. “No problem,” I think to myself, “as it must be in the Finder or something like that.”

Wrong. Asshole.

I could not find the blank DVD anywhere on this computer. Damn, damn, damn. So I start to think that maybe the window I closed was more important than the dismissive wave of the hand I gave it might suggest. As such, I elect to eject the disc and re-insert it. This time I more cleverly check the various options from the drop-down box and opt to use the default setting “Open Finder”. Fortunately this seemed to be the correct thing to do as an icon for the blank DVD magically appeared upon the iMac’s desktop.

Saints be praised!!

Now all I had to do was copy the image file folders from the SD card to the blank DVD. You know…..I sat there for a full minute thinking to myself “I bet it’s some sort of convoluted process that I won’t recognize and I’ll wind up formatting my hard drive or some such stupid shit. All for trying to help my neighbor.”

[sigh]

Fortunately the experience wasn’t has horrible as I had anticipated other than that I didn’t see the tiny little “Burn” icon on the window that opened after I copied the files to the blank DVD for writing. I actually had to sit and stare at the screen for a couple of seconds until I realized I could probably select the Actions tab and that Burn would probably be there. Which it was.

It was only then I noticed the actual Burn button in the window itself.

I’m still burning and verifying discs…..I’m on number three, but I haven’t had the courage to actually check on them and make certain the files I think I’m copying and burning are actually there. Because they may not be, you know? I mean, nothing else has gone particularly well thus far, right?

[sigh]

So let’s take a peak at this third disc which just finished verifying…… OH THANK THE MAKER! The files are there. And they’re JPEG files. And everything!!

forkboy1965 out…..

Does JPEG Make More Sense?

Over the past month or so I have been considering my general absence from dSLR photography. And during the course of pondering, considering and talking to myself…outloud…which can be rather disconcerting to those around me….I have further honed a thought that I have had and shared on numerous other occasions:

I really like being behind the camera, but not in front of the computer.

I mean, I don’t particularly care for the process of going through my photos, picking keepers from dumpers, and then editing them to turn them into something better or even tweaking them for upload to Flickr.

I had, for a while, dismissed my lack of interest in such matters as being a reaction to the complexities of Photoshop and Lightroom. To address this particular issue I have undergone a metamorphosis, if you will, by reading, watching and listening to any number of websites, podcasts and online videos related to the proper and creative use of Photoshop and Lightroom.

And while this information collecting has left me feeling more comfortable and confident about the use of these fine pieces of software it has done nothing to dissuade me from the general sense of apathy I have about using them.

So what does one do?

I mean, there’s little reason to continue to hang on to my cameras, lenses, flash and other assorted photography-related items if I have no intention of putting them to use, right?

But that’s absurd as well because I desperately want to put them to work. Because I really enjoy being behind the camera. So you can see the problem.

And then just today, while watching some lovely red cardinals soar from tree to tree in our back garden, I thought to myself “How could I mitigate the amount of time I spend in front of the computer?” in regards to the whole process and what-not as related to this photography caper?

Shoot in JPEG.

Okay….shooting in JPEG doesn’t mean I don’t have to sift through my shoots and sort keepers from flushers, but as the amount of processing that can be reasonably done to a JPEG is monumentally smaller than that which can be done to a RAW file….well….you get the picture. (pun completely and utterly intended)

And by processing I don’t mean the creative sort of stuff one typically does in Photoshop, but the more basic sort of processing at which software like Lightroom excels. The sort of processing I have been doing, but do not particularly enjoy.

As an added bonus I wonder if the switch to shooting in JPEG would force me to become a better photographer? I mean, without the ability to make monumental and wholesale changes to my image file I would have to learn to shoot better pictures to begin with, wouldn’t I?

And certainly there is no correlation between excellent photography and file type, right? A quick look around Flickr convinces me that the skills, knowledge and creativity needed to make exceptional images has little if nothing to do with whether or not one shoots in JPEG or RAW.

But I don’t know….it’s a major paradigm shift, isn’t it? And what about the ability to save a picture shot in RAW that might otherwise be for the trash bin if shoot in JPEG? The way I shoot I need every saving grace I can get both hands upon.