How Apple has completely disrupted my blog workflow.

Dear Apple,
You’ve effed up. This week you pushed iOS 8 at us, and just like I’ve always done, I updated my devices to the new OS. What a bad idea that was. How could I have known what horrible things you’d implemented this time around? I could rhyme off a long list of things that broke on my devices since updating, but I won’t bore you with that. What does trouble me immensely is this: you’ve gutted iPhoto – removing all of its best features and tools, and given us the grossly dumbed-down “Photos” app, which places all its emphasis on “sharing” and omitted any genuinely useful editing features. Shame on you, Apple.

The point is: I used my iPhone almost exclusively to generate and edit photo content for this blog. iPhoto was the only utility I needed for color-balancing my photos, repairing minor blemishes, sharpening the output, and adding some vignetting or a gradient/blur effect. Every one of those tools has been removed from the new Photos editor. The editing tools the new app does offer are significantly more limited and far less useful. Suddenly, “the best camera you have is the one that’s always in your pocket” is no longer very useful to me. Apple, you’ve completely disrupted my workflow and I am going to have to return to using my DSLR and Lightroom for producing content for this blog.

Or wait it out and hope someone else comes along with an app that includes similar tools. Yeah – not gonna hold my breath. And no – there will not be a new iPhone in my future. I think Apple and I are in the fast track to divorce if they are going to continue pandering to lowest common denominator needs. Feh.

Off Topic (but hopefully interesting!)

This past weekend marks a significant rediscovery for me; a revisiting of traditional film photography. If you know me “in real life”, you’d realize what a sudden and unexpected departure this is for me, since it has been over 15 years since I put away my darkroom equipment and “retired” from working with film technologies. Well, a few weeks ago I read an article that showed up in my feed, talking about the upcoming Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, an event I previously knew nothing about. I did some more research, and as web browsing episodes tend to do, it turned into a series of articles that talked extensively about the current state of pinhole photography and a resurgence in interest in this primitive image-making. Suddenly, I was smitten with the notion of revisiting this old friend from Art School days and I became immediately determined to explore some of the innovations in the technology. This led me – perhaps inevitably – to the modern Zero Image camera, which I sought to acquire.

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to visit Blue Moon Camera and Machine in PDX and spent a very enjoyable hour talking with Zeb Andrews, one of the folks who works at Blue Moon, and who is an avid pinhole photographer himself. I was able to acquire the Zero Image 6CX9 Multi-format medium format camera, plus the requisite darkroom supplies to enable me to process B&W film. (You don’t need a lot of stuff to process B&W film at home) By 10PM Saturday night I had a processed roll of exposed film hanging in the kitchen, drying, to be scanned in the morning. What fun! And so, after scanning the negatives, importing into Lightroom, and with the help of the Silver Efex Pro plugin, I arrived at the following image of the small yurt, garlanded with ‘Cecile Brunner’ roses:

Yurt

Yurt

A friendly reminder

I’d like to think that a post like this isn’t necessary, but in truth, it becomes more and more relevant with each passing year. I’m talking about copyright and intellectual property rights as they apply to the creative craft of photography. I know that there is a wide range of opinions on the topic (including the outrageous notion that if you publish anything online, then its free for anyone to use as they wish. Not true!), and it is inevitable that there are going to be clashes between the polar opposites in opinions, but I would like to issue an unambiguous statement as it pertains to my own work:

My photos are (generally) posted with an embedded copyright watermark for a reason; I publish these photographs online for the purpose of sharing my experience and craft, but not sharing my intellectual property. In other words, you are encouraged to view the work I publish, and share links to the posts here, but copying my photos (saving to your hard drive or uploading to any other sharing/storage service) is strictly not permitted without my express permission.

The golden rule of intellectual property on the Web reads something like this: if you didn’t create it, then its not yours to do with as you please. If you want to use it for something, then ask permission.

Please, respect the protection and control of usage that copyright provides for all artists, whether they be writers, illustrators, photographers, painters, or whatever. Thank you for respecting my work.

Paul Barden

The Geinhouse, last day of the year.

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And here we are, the last day of 2012. We are expecting to see a bit of sun today, which I’m sure none of us PNWers will object to 😉
Best wishes to all, for a healthy, enjoyable, sensible, balanced 2013.

N. (spathulata X aristolochioides) X (lowii X ventricosa):

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N. eymae X ephippiata:

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The strange and beautiful N. Briggsiana:

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And one of my favorite “no name” N. maxima hybrids:

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Experiments in macro

I’ve been experimenting with some new photography tools: the iPhone 5 camera equipped with an Olloclip add-on lens, which allows me to do some intense macro pics with the phone. (Ten years ago, we would have thought this technology to be wishful thinking!) Although I don’t consider any of these first photos to be of particular merit (the light conditions could have been better), they do at least hint at the potential for some nice photos once I get more familiar with the tools. Whaddaya think?

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