July 2013: Hamatoura

Okay. So, made it back from Lebanon. And, now I'm on the road to Arkansas for the SCCA Summer Nationals. But, of course, I've pulled together a wallpaper for July.

After three trips to Lebanon and driving past this monastery we made it up. I've got pictures from our hike up to the monastery proper—just haven't done my edits yet. But in the meantime, here's a wallpaper with the view from the road.

Usual routine, click the link below and grab a wallpaper size.

View of Hamatoura Monastery is July's wallpaper shot.

Goodbye St. John and iPhonetography

Goodbye IslandCruz BayWe left St. John yesterday. Back to the grind of the real world. The good news is that I've got a 147 frames to edit through, so I can sort of relive things for a little while. I snapped these two shots with the iPhone on the ferry and had posted them to my Flickr account, Twitter and Facebook before we set foot on St. Thomas. (There's still some issues with the Wordpress iPhone app that need to be worked out a bit.)

I've gotten some questions about how I've processed some of these. So here's the scoop:

A few weeks ago, I apparently drank some of the Chase Jarvis Kool-Aid. The flavor being the Best Camera concept. The Reader's Digest version of that concept is that the best camera is the one that you have with you. For Jarvis that came to be the iPhone's built-in camera.

If I don't have my Canon 5DMk2 with me, I have the G9. In fact, around town it's almost always in my bag. It's easily the best point and shoot I've had. Don't get me wrong, it still has some weak points. Chiefly the shutter lag. If it had a shutter response that was more akin to the 5D or any of my old film cameras I'd have no complaints with the camera.

Still, there's a few times, when the G9 is just out of reach or it's still in the bag in the office. But, I'm never without my iPhone. And the camera is decent if not spectacular. I think it has the same issues that most small sensor digital cameras have and that's chiefly contrast. But for a 2MB camera phone it works. (Especially if you remember that "shutter" doesn't release until you remove your finger from the "button.") Being part of my "always with me" iPhone certainly has it qualify as the Best Camera on more than one occasion.

This is where software enters the picture. Like I said, the iPhone camera has it's issues and can use a little help. I think software like Best Camera and Adobe's is much like the Lomography folks shooting with Lomos, Dianas and  Holgas. For the record: There's a taped up Holga gathering dusk in the equipment locker behind me.

Where was I? Right. The same way those analog equivalents embraced the inexpensively, plastic-lensed cameras and the random color shifts, light leaks and whatever else happened through processing, I see the tweaking of the soft, flat images off the iPhone as a related idea. And there's a certain irony to using all this technology to render images that remind me of family pictures taken with a 110mm camera.

The difference being that it's much quicker to get these images out—to share them. Before, with film, you had to make an effort. You had to really work to get an image out. Film or slides needed to be processed, then printed—or scanned. Then you could get to sharing them. The process itself encouraged editing. Required it.

With digital? It's on the photographer to really think about the editing process. Instead of simply uploading the contents of a card.

Wyoming: Part 3

15 Hours

That's about how long it takes, including photo stops and lunch, to work your way through Grand Teton and then loop around Yellowstone, clockwise. We were up at 4:30. No coffee until we hit Signal Mountain around 7:00. Actually, make that exactly 7:00. We arrived as the store clerk did. But the morning hours are worth it, being out before the day's gotten too old, you get better light (unless you're lucky and storm rolls in) and a better shot at seeing critters.

And the early legwork did pay off for those shots at Jenny Lake. They're included in the gallery below which is what the 15 hours on the road netted. It was a good trip. Saw a lot, but it still felt a bit like a rushed greatest hits tour.

Maybe go back one day and spend a bit more time in Yellowstone.

09 March 2013 Edit: With the site move, all of the shots from this trip are right here.