digital

NWD

NWD, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

Layers of Abstraction to make a single image: It is not really layers at all. A riddle or reality?

ONE Glass – Sarong Material-Blues, Edit C

ONE Glass – Sarong Material-Blues, Edit C, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

Series: “ONE Glass”.
Title: “ONE Glass – Sarong Material-Blues”.

This is the third work in my “ONE Glass” Series. This is another ‘high-key’ sample from the collection.

Again, the glass blends into the bright, seamless background; but in this case, the sarong material kind of looks like it has transformed into a solid, thus, making up the rest of the container (as if there is no glass). Only when you see the rim of the wine glass, do you really notice the glass again.

The 50th Merdeka, Vespa Scooter Convoy from Terengganu: A Photo-Essay of their Stop in Penang.

“The 50th Merdeka, Vespa Scooter Convoy from Terengganu: A Photo-Essay of their Stop in Penang.”

 

Story & Photos by Nawfal Nur

Copyright 2007

All Rights Reserved

 

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KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 94-BTL

Photo One: Yellow Scooter – Close-up of “vespa”, chrome trim and red light. The yellow paint was fairly dirty, so I took a tissue and wiped it down, and no one seemed to mind.  After all, the group had already traveled several hundred kilometers and a little dirt on the scooters would be natural.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 79-BTL

Photo Two: Orange Vespa with stormy sky in the background, Malaysian flag hanging down into the frame of this shot.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 83-BTL

Photo Three: KSK Member sitting on his Vespa and an array of other scooters around him.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 87-BTL

Photo Four: An elaborate eagle decoration on the front bumper of a Vespa scooter.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 112-BTL

Photo Five: A decorative hand-stamped chrome visor: The design is of a Vespa scooter.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 97-BTL

Photo Six: An Abstract shot of a pink Vespa’s front bumper and chrome horn covering.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 109-BTL

Photo Seven: An intimidating fixture of a Viking Warrior – Maybe it’s Thor!

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 96-BTL

Photo Eight: This is the oldest Vespa in the group: It is a circa., 1964 Vespa scooter, in almost perfect condition.

KSK, Vespa Club, Frame 101-BTL

Photo Nine: Just me adding a little “bling” to the shot, by using a ‘lens’ effect to highlight the Malaysian flag. The light falloff was expected; and this shot I took from standing in the first lane of traffic between short pauses in the zooming by of vehicles.

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© 2007 Nawfal Nur, All Rights Reserved

————————————

Little did I know that my wife would be coming home with an interesting photography challenge for me. However, proved to be a much needed break from the monotony of the day, and an educational-cultural experience that I had not expected.

KSK (Kelab Skuter Klasik), from Kuala Terengganu, is a branch of the Classic Vespa Scooter Club, here in Malaysia. This group was on a Vespa Scooter Convoy, in honor of the 50th year of Malaysian Independence (Merdeka).

Their ride started on the 22nd of August and would finish up on the 31st of August. They traveled from Kuala Terengganu to various stops, and ended up in Penang on the 27th of August, I had the opportunity to take some photographs of their classic, Italian Vespas. Their next destination was somewhere in Kedah.

Now, take into consideration that my Penang dialect of the Malay language is kind of atrocious, so I was trying to communicate badly with my Penang dialect, with dudes who were speaking perfectly great Terengganu-Malay dialect – what a fantastic interaction we had!

Here’s how this whole photo-shoot came about: My wife was coming home from work and noticed a group of about 20 guys, milling around a colorful array of vintage Vespa motor scooters. She naturally knew that I would want to photograph their bikes, and get a story out of it – that’s just the way I am!

The group of riders were resting near our home, about a 10-minute walk away. They had all gathered in an empty parking lot, out front of an unscrupulous night club: It gets shut down about every year for violations of various laws – that scummy place is a true ‘Menace To Society!’ However, where there’s scum, there is filth, and the two seem to exist in a symbiosis that benefits both sides, and leaves the neighborhood in disgust, but that’s another story.

My wife arrived home and told me the story of the scooter riders from Terengganu. After hearing her ‘CLIFFS NOTES’ version, I knew I needed to drop what I was doing, grab a camera and race over to the gathering.

It was 7:00PM when I left the house and the light outside was transforming into a light tobacco color. I knew I had little time to take some shots with available light, which is naturally my preference for this type of work. Artificial light coming from the camera, when shooting objects that range in distance from near to far, it tends to wash out the nearby objects and leaves the distant subjects in a fog of darkness. With limited time and no way to gather additional lighting equipment, I had to make due with my camera with a built in flash.

When I approached the riders, they seemed a bit perplexed: I can imagine some were thinking, “Why is this Mat Salleh (White Guy), coming up to us and checking out our rides?

I noticed that there were more scooters than riders, so some people were missing from their group of some 20 bikes. Maybe some had already gone for a bite to eat. Nevertheless, about 12 members had stayed behind with their rides.

I started by giving the group, the traditional Muslim “Salaam”, and no matter where you go, no matter what your ethnicity, or color of skin, a Muslim can break the ice with another Muslim by giving a heart-felt “Assalaam’mualaikum!” (Meaning: “Peace Be Upon You!”)

After that, I began the conversation with “Apa Khabar?” (How are you?), and then things went from there. I ran into some bumps and hills along the conversational journey, but I was generally making “heads & tails” of what was being said.

I asked them if I could take some photographs, and they were obliging. It didn’t appear that they had made any announcements to the Press, or had any Public Relations Plan for their trip. I assumed their long trip from Kuala Terengganu to Penang, and then Kedah, was simply out of patriotism for Malaysia’s special 50th birthday celebration, and for comradery with other Vespa club members.

The club members comprised of a mixture of seasoned, older riders, and very enthusiastic younger men; I would estimate their ages from 25 to 60 years old. Not that “fine lines” or “deep crevices” in the facial skin is a major concern of most men, you can still get a general estimate of a man’s age by their degree of “face linage.”

The younger club members were riding their father’s motor scooters. And, I imagine, the fathers had made similar trips for previous Merdeka Day celebrations. The scooters they were riding, were from the years 1964 to 1979. I’m sure that some of the club members were considerably younger than the older Vespas in their convoy.

Each bike had some elaborate decoration on it, along with one or more Malaysian flags (Jalur Gemilang), and were fastened somewhere on the handlebars or the back ends of the scooters. Each scooter, I noticed, was equipped with a spare tire, a few tools, bottles of water and odds & ends that may be necessary for a long trip.

By the time the chit-chat was over, and I had received their permission to take the shots, the sun was dropping behind the hills and it was already 7:10PM. I knew I was dangerously close to running out of usable ambient light, and I had to quickly pick a theme for this photo-essay, and then shoot as many shots as possible to cover the theme. If that wasn’t enough, to do it all in less than 30-minutes was a chore, but a pleasant one.

I chose to concentrate on the details of the antique Vespa scooters. And, coming from a Fine Art background and preferring that style, I decided to shoot this story in that way. Daylight was burning away fast and I didn’t want to depend too much on the flash in my camera, a very trusty and dependable Canon A620, that works fantastically in the studio for my Fine Art work, but not ideal for photojournalism. Nevertheless, it was the camera I had in my hands, and I was adjusting and adapting as I lost light.

The bikes were parked haphazardly in the parking lot, so I weaved in and out of the bikes looking for outstanding examples of Vespa craftsmanship, and handmade scooter accessories. There was a decorative eagle gracing the front bumper of one bike. A metal viking decoration on the front plate of another, and a hand stamped chrome visor with an outline of a scooter gracing the headlamp of another bike. It was a treasure trove of photographic goodies.

It wasn’t the most organized photo shoot I’ve been involved in, I have to admit that. All that I knew was that I had about 20 minutes to photograph. Plus, these guys weren’t paid models, so I didn’t want to take too much of their time; they were tired after a long, hot day’s ride and were still looking for a hotel where they could rest for the night.

Before it was time to “call the game due to darkness,” (See Note 1, below), I thought it may be nice to get a group shot of a few of the members with their scooters. The only suitable spot to line them up was on the sidewalk. That also meant that the only suitable spot to take photographs was from the middle of a very busy metropolitan roadway! It wasn’t the safest spot to plant myself for taking photographs, but I’m a bit crazy, and thought…”Why Not!

By this time, my wife had come back to observe the shoot: So, I put her to work!

She became the translator for me, to explain what I wanted from the members, and where to place the bikes. She also helped with the art direction: She’s multi-talented!

Yeah, OK! Technically, at this point, I should have been setting up some extra lighting: I’m a disgrace to “Strobists” everywhere! (See Note 2, below).

I knew that I should have a couple remote speedlights to get a decent group shot. But Hey! I was just trying to time traffic properly, to “safely” jump into the middle of the speedway for a few seconds; grab a shot, and then leap out of the way before getting run over by lunatic drivers. Attempting to set up strobes in the middle of the road seemed like lunacy to me, so I ditched that idea and just took a few shots with the tiny internal flash, and hoping for the best.

By 7:40PM, the sun had dropped out of sight behind the hills and the shooting was over.

We said our goodbyes to the members and wished them luck and safe journey for the rest of their convoy around North Malaysia. At that point, my wife and I were about to head home. It was sort of funny, as we were about to leave, one of the guys asked my wife, who I am in relationship to her. She explained that I was her husband. I guess, I just assumed they knew she was married to the crazy white-dude!

I spent the remainder of the evening getting the shots reviewed, edited, and then re-edited. I drafted a letter to a local newspaper, believing that this story would be a good Merdeka, local interest item. Links to the images were provided in the email to the Editor, so it would be easy for them to view the shots online, and at their leisure. I made it clear that if they did not reply to my correspondence, then I would be publishing the story and photographs to my Photography Journals (“Behind the Lens“). Sad to say….I didn’t hear anything from the Newspaper.

Well, their loss, I guess. I suppose if another newspaper or magazine wants to pick up this story, then that would be great – just contact me with details.

Otherwise, I’m just happy to know that I fulfilled what I felt was a “mission” to get this dedicated group of Vespa Club Members, some exposure about their historic, 50th Merdeka celebration, scooter convoy.

Note 1: An old Baseball ruling [started around 1930’s], where during doubleheaders, a daylight game could be stopped by the Umpire due to darkness, because the stadium lights weren’t allowed to be turned on during the daylight game. In the 1950’s, this ruling was relaxed.

Note 2: “Strobist” is a photography blog on professional lighting with Speedlites and other small flash units.

Photography Details:
Camera
: Canon A620
Place: Penang
Time: I only had about an half hour with them, from 7:10PM to 7:40PM. It started getting quite dark, so shooting conditions were NOT ideal. I had to use higher ISO settings and weak flash caused some problems (ARGH! ) However, under the circumstances, I did my best!
Software: Some retouching (reduce digital noise ) with Noiseware, and Lighting/Contrast adjustments with PhotoImpact 10.

New High-Key Floral

Honolulu Creeper, v9July07-wp

“Honolulu Creeper, 9 July 07”

Actually, I don’t have much to say today; however, I thought I should put up a new work so that you know that I have not fallen off the face of the planet – still here!

Live long and prosper!”

 

Gloriosa – My Favorite Flower (At this Time…)

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig01-Edit B-WPz

I don’t actually have much to say regarding this photo-journal entry, but I wanted to show you some of my studio flower work.

This is definitely one of those times where I’ll just let my pictures say a few words.

I do, however, want to tell you how lucky I feel that this beautiful species grows wild on the other side of my fence, among weeds, and piles of bricks long forgotten by some building contractor, some time, long ago.

The Gloriosa Lily is a remarkable flower that is very well suited to tropical life, in the wild, and it doesn’t need anyone to take care of it. The “technical books” say it likes rich soil and the roots need shade. But I’ll tell ya, it grows just wonderfully without help, and where it’s growing must be its perfect spot.

So, with that little bit said, here is my Studio Collection of the Gloriosa Lily, my favorite flower…at this time. Hope you enjoy seeing my interpretations of this wonderful flower.

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig15, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig17, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig19, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig25, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig213, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig285, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig271, Edit C-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig249, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig237, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig233, Edit D-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig229, Edit B-wpz

GLORIOSA LILY-Orig221, Edit B-wpz

*** Thanks for taking a look! ***

 

Double Decker Bike Rider in Penang

 

Double Decker Bike Rider in Penang, by Nawfal Nur

Today proved that the “best camera” you have is the one that you remembered to bring with you!

I had just picked up my kids from school and was on my way back to Tg. Tokong, looking for Nasi Kandar – not the best thing to do around 3pm (the food is not as hot or fresh at that time – IMHO), but we looked around anyway. Then, out of nowhere came two people riding these double decker bikes with all sorts of odds-and-ends strapped in the front, the rear and the sides.

They passed me by once and I thought, “Man, I got my camera…I need to get a shot of one of them,” but traffic was bad and they were headed in the opposite direction.

We didn’t find any nasi kandar open near Hillside at that time of day, but we did see a Malay food stall in operation near the reclamation project. So, we turned the car around and headed back.

Low and behold, there were the two bikers and they were headed in the same direction I was going. I sped up a little observing all traffic safety rules and regulations, of course, and overtook the two bikers, and pulled off to the side of the road about 50 meters ahead of them.

As I was getting my camera out of my Crumpler, one of the bikers blew right by me, but the girl biker was a little behind, so I had one chance, at least, to get a photo.

I quickly set my camera on Aperture Priority (I wanted good depth-of-field) and checked the shutter speed. It was a nice bright, yet overcast afternoon; nevertheless, I was able to manage a 1/250 second shutter speed – enough for this situation.

BLAMO!” Well, my camera doesn’t actually speak, but I pushed the shutter button and got one shot.

I think she was totally oblivious to me taking her picture as she rode by: She was listening to music as she peddled head & shoulders above everyone on that very high bike.

What this pair appeared to have done was to weld another bike frame to one with wheels. They peddle using the peddle from the top bike so the chain goes vertical down to the bottom frame. The steering mechanism is attached from the top frame to the bottom frame.

I’m just wondering how they started out their ride. I would suspect, they have to use a chair or ladder to get on and then never stop until they get to where they want to go and make sure they time the traffic lights; or that is, blaze on right through the red lights like so many of the Penang motorbike riders do, ignoring most traffic laws…but that’s another issue.

Yes, indeed, the best camera in your stable of cameras is the one that you have with you!

MENARA MAXIS – Kuala Lumpur’s Built Environment

Menara MAXIS, by Nawfal Nur, 2003, All Rights Reserved

 

MENARA1
MAXIS, v.2
© 2003 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Photo Taken from Nikko Hotel

Chances are that if you travel to Kuala Lumpur, one of the first things that stands out are the Petronas Towers. You start seeing the towers from many miles away from the city (with clear skies). These towers are difficult to miss: They stand 452 meters (1,483 feet), with 88 floors, and a skybridge holds the two towers together at the 41st and 42nd floors.

When you stand outdoors in downtown Kuala Lumpur, many people, especially tourists will automatically be drawn to the Petronas Towers, ignoring, possibly, every other piece of architecture in the surrounding built environs.

If looking for a landmark to keep your bearings in Kuala Lumpur, the Towers make for a good indicator of where you are, and if you want to go to Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), just head in the direction of the tallest towers in the city.

Now with that all said, you may be thinking that this is yet another photograph of the “Towers”, and some other building just stepped in the way as I triggered the shutter button…Wrong! This is actually a photograph of the Menara Maxis (the cool looking building in the foreground).

I purposely took the photograph to position the Towers in the background. This perspective is unusual as the Petronas Towers are typically the center of attention in Kuala Lumpur architecture photography. This composition may seem blasphemous to some; but
sometimes, rules of composition are meant to be broken, or at least, experimented with.

In this photograph, the Towers are put to work as a backdrop for the building in front, the Menara Maxis. The over all architectural designs, the lighting styles, the size differentials, and the flow of lines are different enough between the two structures (the Petronas Towers being two structures, but spoke of as one whole building here), and these design characteristics keep them visually separated without needing to blur (by camera or software) the Towers in the background.

The composition is made whole with foreground and background. The cropping is kept close and vertically panoramic, thus forcing the viewer’s attention on these structures only. This compo-cropping strategy may also create an illusion, making the buildings appear impressively tall – even though they are impressive and tall anyway.

Though dwarfed by the Petronas Towers, the Menara Maxis is quite an imposing building on its own, standing at 212 meters (696 feet) tall, and with 49 floors. The architect of the building was Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates, and construction finished in 1998. The Menara Maxis is a stunning building in daylight, but even more interesting flooded by a sea of illumination at nighttime.

I think the Menara Maxis is a really super design and great addition to the Kuala Lumpur skyline.


1Menara means Tower.

 

EXPLORER – Another Platinum-Digital Image of a Modern Ship

 

“EXPLORER” Cruise Ship, taken by Nawfal Nur.

“EXPLORER”
Copyright 2007 by Nawfal Nur
All Right Reserved

This is another of my Platinum-digital images of a modern ship. This is the “Explorer” – a modern cruise ship.

I took this image while crossing from Butterworth to Penang, on the ferry.
Keep in mind that taking pictures from a rough rolling platform, like a ferry, is not an easy task.

There are three things to keep in mind and watch out for if photographing
from a sea-going vessel:

1) If it is a double-decker ferry, move yourself to the top deck to avoid ocean spray. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time wiping sea water from your lens.

2) Support yourself! Forget about camera shake – worry about photographer shakes! If you can support your elbows on the side of the boat as you take photographs, then do it. You may not have brought a tripod with you, and it may just get in your way in this case. Your elbows become your makeshift tripod.

3) Because the ferry moves up and down with the waves, so do you and your camera. If you have a grid (split into thirds) in your viewfinder, or on your LCD screen, then use it! With my camera, there is an off/on option for the grid screen, and it became very useful in this instance. Use it if you have it! Attempt to keep the horizon along one of the horizontal lines as you take photographs.

Bonus Tip)  Keep the sun to your back!  Glare at sea is a photo-killer.

Good Luck!

Ocean Osprey – Old Looking Print – New Ship

Ocean Osprey, v.6 A digital image of the Oil Product Tanker by Nawfal Nur

This shot was taken a few days ago while crossing the ferry on the Butterworth side of Penang, and attempting crossing over to the island of Penang.

This was the same day when there was such a ruckus on the Penang Bridge. Apparently, a 10-wheeled trucked broke down near mid-bridge, and then, there was a bomb scare also – this all happened on 4 April 2007.

The Penang bridge is one long bridge: 13.5KM (8.4 Miles) long, and it is the only drivable way to reach the island from the mainland. With all the fuss on the 4th, thousands of motorists were stuck in jams going to or from the island.

At one point, it was reported that the jam getting onto the bridge stretched back some 15KM on the highway. I wouldn’t doubt it. I was stuck in the jam getting onto the ferry to cross over to the island.

We crawled along at a snails pace: Only after 3 and a half hours were we able to fight our way the 500-meters it took to get from where we were originally stuck, to where drivers pay the toll to WAIT IN LINE (some more), to board the ferry.

Damn-the-Frustration of Penang Traffic!

There are works going on now to widen the bridge, but that may be too little too late. A second and perhaps third bridge is needed to give Penang traffic some relief, but these things don’t happen quickly. Maybe a Light Rail Transit System would be good too, and that is something that is also being discussed by the relevant departments.

Anyway, I was glad that I had my camera with me on that day. I was able to get some shots of ships as we crossed over on the ferry. This image is a digital-Platinum-stylized photo of some activity at the Penang Port.

The ship at mid-right is the Ocean Osprey:

Country: Singapore.
Ship Type: Oil Products Tanker.
Deadweight Tonnage: 7,624.
DOB: 1996 06

I decided to make this image look a little antique: Thus, I incorporated this image into a Platinum-style layout and look. However, if looking closer at the ship, you know it is not antique, but modern with “SAFETY FIRST” and “NO SMOKING” signs painted in huge print. Also, the modern communication towers and equipment on the ship shows us a modern ship. If that isn’t enough to put a general date to the scene, add to that the modern lifting machines loading containers onto the ship on the left hand side of the photograph.

Well, maybe using digital software to come up with Platinum images is not very “pure” – but at least for photographers who never had the opportunity to work with this printing process, we can see our work similarly, or differently, using digital processes. It’s kind of fun to experiment with many kinds of looks for photographs, and this is just another technology that allows us modern day photographers to do such experimentation – digitally.

Here’s a little history on the Platinum Process by the very interesting and enlightening expert of photography at about.com, Peter Marshall:

“Platinum prints are one of the family of processes based on the light sensitivity of iron(III) (ferric) salts. In the presence of organic material such as oxalate ions, these are reduced using energy from light to give iron(II) compounds. These then react with platinum salts to produce platinum metal. The iron salts are then removed leaving a stable platinum image. Like the other iron processes, platinum printing is slow and requires a UV light source (you can use the sun, but UV flourescent tubes or mercury vapour lamps etc are more repeatable) and large negatives as all exposure is contact printing.

Platinum printing was patented by W. Willis in 1873 (with later improvements) and materials were available commercially for many years. Increases in the price of platinum around 1910-20 led to a rapid reduction in their availability and use, although production did not finally cease in the UK until 1941. A few photographers continued to print in platinum, making their own papers, but most used other materials. A revival of interest, using hand coated papers began in the 1970s, and at least one platinum paper was commercially produced from 1998 until around 2000.” [SOURCE: http://photography.about.com/library/glossary/bldef_platinum.htm ]

Film or Digital?

Burnt out Car, v.5
Title: “Burnt-out Car, v.5”
Creation Date: 3 Mar 07
(c) 2007 Nawfal Nur

See Other Images from this Outing!

 

Film or Digital?” At this point, some people might say: “Who Cares!” And at that point, I guess I would have to say: “Well, it’s not so much that I care about it or want to argue either side; nevertheless, I may want to say something about what I have learned.”

If you want to read the “argument” (mainly pro-film) side of this well-tenderized debate, there’s a good thread at Lightstalkers.

Why not use both? I like that idea.

Often, I think a client may have something to say about whether a job is to be shot with film or digital. In this instant gratification world we live in, digital appears to be the winner. That’s not to say that you can’t jump back into the film-saddle again for personal work…if you want.

The other night, March 3rd to be exact, I decided to shoot some 35mm film.

The digital side of my brain was telling me: “Nawfal – you must be MAD…WHAT! Are you CRAZY…LOCO…GILA! Why do you want to be so ‘wild’? You know digital now…no need to risk so much by reverting back to film…NOoooooooooooo!” Well, it didn’t go exactly like that, but sort of.

Of course, the analog side of my brain was telling me, “Good Nawfal…you can do it, you shot film for years before you became so dependent on LCD screens to edit each shot and to do that nasty ‘chimping’ thing!

So, what did I decide to do?

I took my NIKON F out of my dehumidifier box, switched out the Nikkor 35-70mm zoom for my SIGMA 24mm f/2.8, and loaded up the camera with some Fuji Superia 200 ASA film.

To add to the difficulty factor, the power cell in my “F” was dead, so no metering…every exposure would be a guess . To top it off, I decided to go out for some nighttime shooting, just after 10PM.

OK!

Here are the circumstances of this shoot, summed up so far: I was shooting film with a 35+ year old camera with no active metering system, using a newer lens not specifically made for the Nikon F, and trying to rekindle my respect for film by shooting at night.

The only other pieces of equipment I took out were my tripod, a Bogan Pro 3001 with Manfrotto #352 Ball & Socket Head; and, a Vivitar 2800 Auto Thyristor flash, which is probably as old as my Nikon camera, but it works beautifully!

Finding subject matter was not the issue; once I was out and about, all kinds of ordinary subjects were popping out at me and just waiting for their photo to be taken.

It was that moment when I put my tripod down in front of the Burnt-out Car, that I began looking at the subject and the lighting and the environment, and realized the effect that digital photography has had on my photography: I had become complacent!

I had become nearly reliant on digital technology to instantly show me the results.

With digital photography, of course, I still have to think about the shot, but with analog, I REALLY have to think about the shot before I take it.

For the obvious reasons you have to meticullously consider all aspects of a photo session when shooting film. Film is not so cheap in the long run; and, waiting for the photo lab to process and print your photographs can make for a stressful day, especially after you have become accustomed to seeing your photos instantly on an LCD screen.

Well, the car was not going anywhere so I had the opportunity to carefully consider the exposure combinations. I experimented with aperture settings ranging from f/16 to f/2.8. Shutter Speeds varied as well, from 1 second to 2 minutes. Basically, each shot was an educated guesstimate.

I went through the 24 frames within a couple of hours, but the time seemed to move faster than that – I guess I was enjoying myself, getting familiar with photo equipment I had not used in years.

The next day, the film was dropped off at the photo lab; however, because I wanted the technician to take time inspecting the negatives, and only to make prints from “strong” looking frames, the process took a couple of hours.

21 of the 24 shots were printable. Of the 21 photographs, I really liked the results of six images, and four of these shots can be seen here. In terms of film usage, and considering that all the exposure settings were educated guesses, the percentage of shots that I “liked” is pretty good.

After this little exercise, I’ve realized a few things about myself, and in general, about the use of film for photography.

  1. Film and development can be a bit expensive compared to Flash or SD memory devices, that is, in the long run.
  2. Film cameras can last you decades of use without needing to upgrade; whereas, every two or three years digital technology seems to become quite dated and needing upgrades.
  3. Film cameras, such as my trusty Nikon F, can be used in ANY circumstance and without the need for batteries, wires, computers, or electricity.
  4. I can’t say that digital photography has made me a better photographer. I think that it has made me a more complacent photographer by depending on the technology a little too much. That’s not so good, but it’s not so bad either – it’s just a different way of photographing – perhaps digital has made me a little less instinctive in the ways of photography.
  5. Last, and I’m sure not least, is that no matter how hard I force the negative, slide, or printed photo into the floppy disk slot, there is no way in hell that they are going to show up on my computer screen, or on the WEB, without me first digitizing them. And let me add, there is no way I was going to get rid of those pesky dust marks without using photo editing software.

So, ho-hum! Film images still end up needing to be in digital format for their use in the digital world.

Nevertheless, if you are strictly a digital shooter, give a roll of film a try, that is, if you have a film camera around. The experience can be a real eye opener, and a pleasant one at that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clear the Stone of Leaves…

Dried Leaves on Stone, Edit B

 

Title: “Dried Leaves on Stone, Edit B”

Creation Date: 9 March 2007

Original Color Image Shot in 2006

 

Dried Leaves on Stone, Edit B,” is a very high contrast Black & White digital image, inspired by the opening lyrics of SLIPKNOT’s song, “Wait and Bleed“:

 

I’ve felt the hate rise up in me…
Kneel down and clear the stone of leaves…
I wander out where you can’t see…
Inside my shell, I wait and bleed…

 

The EXtreme contrast of this image and the imagery itself reminded me of the opening of this song by Slipknot: They may not be everyone’s cup-of-tea, but hell, I like’em. They are a bit angry, a bit EXtreme and probably the best band to ever come out of Iowa. I hate disco and electro-noise and this is the antithesis of all of that. EXtreme Black & White for EXtreme words.

“The inspiration behind a lot of my work comes from wanting to express something within myself and usually associated with the things I love (or dislike) about life or have experienced. Some are metaphor, others more obvious. Music is big influence and of course emotion plays it’s part.” – Leith O’Malley – Artist

 

I have a new calendar for 2007!

Hello Everyone!

I have a new calendar published and it is ready for the Holiday Season. So, if you are looking for a calendar with cool flower photographs, please visit the link http://www.lulu.com/content/551105 , that is where you can take a look at the preview and buy my calendar!

My new blog for this calendar project is here: “Bursting with Color.”

This is the cover design for my new calendar. I think it’s pretty d&%$ hot! If you happen to drop by here, please take an extra couple of minutes to look at my 2007 calendar by clicking on the first link.

Thanks bunches!

Nawfal

IRITIS – Part Un

Iritis Eyeball macro image of iritis infected eyeball - Nawfal’s eyeball to be exact.

Does your eyeball feel painful? Blurry? Can’t stand to look outside in the sunlight? Your eyeball is bloodshot and achy? You could have Iritis!

[The photograph above is my eyeball on 7 April 2007. I have a Part Deux to my Iritis blog, and you can follow that link by clicking on the “Part Deux” or on the image above. In Part Deux, I go into more medical details and the symptoms I get before getting full-scale iritis. It may be helpful to you, although, I’m sure that symptoms may be different on an individual basis, but it never hurts to be informed and be aware of some red-flag symptoms.]

 

{start of original post Part Unbut edited…}

Most of the technical information you may want to know about iritis is in “Part Deux.” This first post was from January 2006, and now, the iritis saga returns for me (April 2007).

So you made it to my blog, and you see my eyeball in the photo above. You think to yourself, “That’s just like my eyeball,” (well, maybe not the same eye color, but perhaps the redness is the same).

You go to your eye doctor and he tells you, you have iritis: Not such good news. I’m not sure what other doctors prescribe for iritis, but I know what my regimen is for treatment.

If I was lucky enough to get into the doctor early, then he will typically prescribe Indocid [Indomethacin belongs to the class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). It works by reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation.] As typical nowadays, NSAIDs come with all kinds of warnings and side-effects for prolonged use – just check it out carefully, ask your doctor about any drug interactions, allergies, side effects, and risks about taking these medications.

In addition to the Indocid, I’m typically put on Prednisolone drops for the affected eye – starting with 3 times a day and then after a few days, 2 times, and then 1 time a day.

Just because you have faithfully followed your doctor’s instructions doesn’t mean all will be healed when the meds finish. Keep in mind the symptoms and pain in the eye. If the eyeball does not feel considerably better after the meds finish, then followup with your doctor.

In my case, if things get really bad, then there are usually steroid pills, dilation drops, and in the worse case (that I can think of), is when I have to get a shot-of-meds right in the eyeball: I’m not quite sure how to describe that experience, but it’s no fun! Thus, get to your doctor early so you don’t have to have that done to your eye.

Nobody wants to be without sight! Seeing is a wonder, it is a miracle, it is something that you never want to be without. Most of us, however, probably don’t think about this gift of sight much. We probably just take it as a natural part of our “being” and expect it to work all the time. You wouldn’t even appreciate it much until you are threatened with losing it.

On average, I get iritis about every one and a half years and it is horrible. It takes AT LEAST 2 to 3 weeks of pure rest:  That should mean no detailed computer work, for which my doctor keeps reminding me.  However, I’m quite a bad patient at times.  I hate not doing anything!  It really makes a mess of my nerves if I’m not being productive.  However, believe me, to get over iritis you need to rest your eye, take your meds on time and follow instructions.

So, if you ever have a serious eye condition, don’t mess around with it, go visit an eye doctor right away.

ps: I shouldn’t even be here at the computer working on my blog because I still have pain in my eye. However, I see that a fair number of folks are looking for information about iritis; therefore, I thought I would sit here a few minutes and update this post. I hope my iritis posts help you if you are suspicious that you have this eye condition.

(c) 2006 Nawfal Nur ~ All Rights Reserved