Kathy & I attended a fantastic concert last evening by guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. For those who aren’t familiar, look him up and check out some of his recordings or videos. Regarded by many as the greatest living guitarist on the planet, his resume includes over 20 record albums and two Grammys. The dude can play!
Today, I got an e-mail from the concert promoters thanking us for attending and wanting to make sure we were aware of another acoustic guitar player that would be performing there soon and hoping we would attend. I’m sure he’s an excellent guitar player and I am fully aware that everyone needs to start somewhere. But this guy’s claim to fame, at least according to the promoters, is that he has received “over 20 million views collectively for his Youtube videos.”
That’s a lot of views, certainly. But I’d love to ask, “so what else has he done?” I suppose I’m missing the point, but it’s pretty amazing to me that someone’s Youtube videos qualifies him as a successful musician and one worth paying money to hear. I suppose we might decide to go, but at least I know I can see his videos to help me make the decision.
Samantha Chrysanthou and Darwin Wiggett recently posted on their blog that they had decided and agreed (it was Samantha’s idea and Darwin decided to go along) to a June 30 deadline to either process their unprocessed files or delete them. Delete as in gone. Forever. Their reasoning is that having so many unprocessed images was limiting their creativity by creating “clutter” and that Samantha “CAN’T STAND the idea of going out to shoot with hundreds of images just waiting for me back home.” Samantha had 89+ folders and Darwin nearly 200 folders dating back to 2005. Rather than me copy and paste their comments, you need to read the several (so far) posts on the subject to get the whole idea.
In their posts they refer to the concept of Minimalism, which is one that Kathy & I have been exploring lately. Part of the goal of downsizing to our new home was to rid ourselves of physical “clutter” that we had been making space to store and making time to think about. There’s nothing like facing the prospect of moving all that “stuff” to make one wonder how much of it is really necessary. And parsing all of it down to just the essentials for living in an apartment for 6 months really made us think about how much of that stuff would ultimately survive the move. Suffice it to say that we’re glad to have a Goodwill store close by.
I’ve never given all that much thought to my digital backlog. I have a very well thought out method for sorting, categorizing and rating my photos so I always know the status of a given image based on the Pick status, color label and star rating. Having unprocessed files doesn’t bother me. In fact, I will sometimes go back into the archives and see an image that, for one reason or another, I missed or passed over the first time or two through the folder. I’ve reasoned that as long as I have captioned and keyworded my photos, if I ever needed to process one I would, and if I never did? No big deal.
For a while I felt like I needed to have a goal of processing every single one of my “Picks.” And I actually have processed many of my files from the early digital days, starting around 2004. What I have done, though, is when I’ve gone through and made my Picks I remove the non-Picks from the Lightroom catalog while leaving them on my hard drive. I have nearly 32,000 images in my Lightroom catalog, but many multiples of that number reside on my hard drive. It’s not that I think all of those “rejects” might be valuable as much as I figure with as cheap as hard drives are there isn’t a lot of point in deleting them.
So I’m not judging anyone else’s decisions or their workflow, but I’m pretty comfortable with my “system” and it doesn’t bother me to have unprocessed photos. But it was obviously something they considered to be important, and more power to them. Not all “clutter” is visible, and if something is hampering their creativity, addressing it in the way that works for them is the right approach. I’ll be interested to see how they did come June 30.
Kathy & I spent the week leading up to Memorial Day at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. HHI is our “go-to” beach for a nice, relaxing vacation.
As I had hoped to do, I bribed Kathy with good food and some wine from home to convince her to eat in a couple of evenings so we could enjoy – and I could photograph – the beach at sunset. She’s such a good sport! 😉
Capturing the water in the evening light often results in images like these that just ooze peace and quiet. I had a little extra incentive to come up with some good images this time, as we have a few walls in our new place that need some art. I even made a few verticals with that specifically in mind, but those will need to wait for a blog post since not too many people I know use their monitors in the vertical position. Although it might make a nice phone or tablet wallpaper. Hmmmm…. 🙂
I was a little slack with my posting and processing the last few weeks, but I have a lot of new photos to process and a number of them that I am looking forward to sharing!
Keeping with the theme of abstracts, here is another take on one of my favorite “beach blur” photographs. Captured by panning the camera at a slow shutter speed, I’ve always loved how the motion tends to simplify a scene. It’s tough to get right, and a lot of experimentation is required. One of the benefits of digital cameras is the ability to try stuff like this until we (hopefully) figure it out!
Whew! I have to say that 2013 was a wild one for the Dills family! We sold two houses, observed the construction of a new house, moved twice, took a couple of great vacations and just generally had a lot of fun. But I’m just about worn out! Kathy & I are really looking forward to a little quieter year in 2014, with some time to recharge our batteries, catch our breath and enjoy life with just a little less “excitement.”
In keeping with the “quiet” theme I decided to go with a beach scene for this month. This is another from the archives – all the way back to 2007. Taken on the beach in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, this photo reflects the peace and calm I feel at the beach, especially in the early morning or late afternoon. One of our very favorite getaway locations, the beach is high on our list of places to return to in 2014.
We have a little more settling in to do in our new place, but we’ve got things just about to the point where I can start thinking about photography again. I sort of hit the big “Pause Button” this past year, since I just wasn’t able to give it the time and attention I like to devote to my photography. I’m looking forward to settling in and really wrapping my brain around it again. Stay tuned!
It’s hard to believe it was just a month ago that we spent the Labor Day weekend at the beach in Hilton Head. I wish I was still there.
Kathy spent a nice quiet weekend at home this weekend, so I had a chance to process a few more of my selects from our weekend.
I upgraded part of my computer setup this past week. My aging iMac was starting to show it’s impending obsolescence, and I had a newer MacBook Pro sitting here being used for little more than running our banking program and the occasional web surfing session. So I picked up a new monitor, keyboard and mouse and decided to give the laptop a try. I’m not seeing quite the performance improvement I was hoping for, but it is noticeably faster in most things.
The biggest improvement is with the monitor! While the screen on the iMac was quite nice when it was new, there has been a pretty big leap in monitor quality over the past few years, as evidenced by the improvement in the new one, a 24″ ASUS ProArt PA249. Pretty nice stuff, no yellow bars like I was seeing on the old monitor. And no more high-gloss mirror-like Apple screen. Yay! 🙂
As soon as I save a few more pennies I’m planning to build a new machine, so the purchase of a few peripherals gets me an interim performance bump until I can go the rest of the way. I was just about there until a fire at one of the factories that makes memory added about $300 to the price of the items on my NewEgg wish list. Hopefully in another month or two those prices will recover and I’ll be ready to forge ahead, just in time to outfit the office in our new place. We hope to be in by the end of November. Hopefully November 2013. It’s been a long process!
I’m still working on Nova Scotia photos too, so there will be more of those coming as well.
When Kathy & I want to really get away and relax, our favorite destination is the beach. And when we want to go to the beach, our favorite beach is Hilton Head Island, SC. We spent Labor Day Weekend there. With our house project rapidly nearing completion, and all the stuff that goes along with that, we knew that this would probably be the Last Hurrah for us for this year. I’ve used up just about all of my vacation time, and we’ve used up just about all of our vacation money, and what little we have left will probably be earmarked for furniture and stuff. It’s amazing how a new house tends to make all of your furniture obsolete!
I’ve taken some of my favorite photographs at Hilton Head, but after a while it gets a little tough to do something new. So I mostly stick to the tried and true and hope for some inspiration along the way. I typically like to shoot when the tide is out, as I can frequently find some sand textures and pools that add some interest. This time, it seemed that sunrise and sunset generally coincided with high tide, so I was left with fewer options. That, combined with an overriding need for sleep kept me in the bed for all mornings but one. And I did manage to get out one evening, which was a nice departure, as we usually head out for dinner just about the time the light is getting nice. So, with one sunrise and one sunset to work with, I don’t think I got anything I’ll be hanging on the wall, but it felt good to get out when I did.
I’m still putting the old 5D through its paces, and am convinced that it is working just fine. I just wanted to be as sure as I could be before I put it back in the pack in a backup role. The biggest surprise for me was how quickly I got dust on the sensor! With the automagical dust removal system of the newer Mark III I never have to worry about dust. But the combination of small apertures and no sensor cleaning means I’ll need to pay a little more attention.
I’m still working on Nova Scotia photos, too. So I’ll have a few things to post about coming up, even though my adventures may be on hiatus for a little while!
This photo is one of my all-time favorites, and one of my best-selling prints. I don’t think I’ve used it before as a wallpaper, and if I have used it before I will cheerfully refund your money!
Whether you call it living in the past or sticking to a theme, this is another one from the archives. I shot this back in 2006. I have no idea where this tree came from, but it was laying on the beach for the whole week we were there. I photographed it a few times, but on this morning the combination of timing and conditions came together for the scene I had been looking for. Unlike some of the over-cliched “tree in the water” photos we see, this was a fleeting moment in the passage of time by the sea. A slice of time to be captured and enjoyed while we were able to see it.
Kathy & I got moved over the last week and are just about settled in our new place. I’ve got some pent-up words that I may need to throw on the blog over the next few days and weeks as we get things sorted out and get back to a life without moving preparations and boxes!
It’s been sort of an unofficial and undeclared project of mine to take photographs of people taking photographs, aka Pictures Of People Taking Pictures. ‘Unofficial’ because I don’t “set out” looking for such photos, I just happen upon them. ‘Undeclared’ because I haven’t published or printed any groups of them. I just have a growing number of “P.O.P.T.P.s” in my collection and sort of figured that one day there would be enough decent ones to make up a series.
I was on the beach at Hilton Head a few weeks ago taking photos at sunrise. Most people see the tripod and walk behind me. A few of them are so oblivious to my presence that they walk right in front of the camera. Occasionally they stop.
This woman was with a group of 4 people walking by. I was set up for my shot and had Live View activated, so I was able to watch the scene in case they “posed” for me. One of the hidden advantages of Live View is perhaps the ability to take pictures when it doesn’t look like you are taking pictures? I was able to watch as they walked into my scene. I thought they were going to keep walking, but at the very last moment this woman stopped and took several shots. While she was standing still I was able to click off a few frames of my own.
This is a way off-topic blog post but I thought some of my readers would find it interesting:
The work I do for money sometimes involves tracking down customers who, other than the fact that we receive their payments every month, we never hear from them. It’s pretty rare, but we can go for years without needing to know their current phone number or address. I came across such a customer this morning. This guy, an intellectual property attorney from another state, owns an investment property in North Carolina that he bought 7 years ago. His loan is coming due, so I needed to contact him about renewing it. The only phone number I had took me to what I expected was his office, but when I called I was told that “he was no longer with the firm.” Oops.
Now I realize that in this day and age there are lots of tools available to assist in the search for missing attorneys. But of course I turned to Google in hopes that I could turn up something that would lead me to his current position. I came across dozens of dead ends, articles that referenced his name and some kind of presentation or case, but they all referred to his former employer.
Somewhere in all my searching I came across this guy’s LinkedIn page. And it showed who he worked for but no contact information. I thought about sending him a note through LinkedIn, but figured that wouldn’t be terribly professional and saved it for a last resort. I Googled the company, but their headquarters is in another state. No good. But then, I went back to LinkedIn and noticed that a lot of his contacts were co-workers at his current firm. I looked through his contacts, Googled them and finally found a phone number. Not for my guy, but for his boss. Ah-ha!
Figuring that there is no way a direct call for an attorney is going to go through to him, and if it did I could easily explain myself, I called the number. Got a voicemail system, and after a few “Press #,” “Press 1,” etc. I got to where I could search a department directory using the first 3 letters of my customer’s last name. Call goes straight through and he answers it. Yep, he’s my guy!
I know what I did wasn’t anything really special, but I was amazed at how I was able to solve the puzzle. It was fun, he was very helpful and we’re going to do his deal. Not a bad way to start a Monday!