Live Or Memorex

Posted in Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 3, 2013








It started when PG got an email from a longtime friend. He has recently produced a book of photographs, something in my eye. On the last page is a statement: “All photographs in this photo journal are taken exactly as the Camera and I see them. Life is much more interesting without alteration.” The wheels of thought started to spin. If you saw a mushroom cloud rising over Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, that might have been it.

PG sent a reply, “I disagree with the concept that life is more interesting when it is not altered. The world is big enough to handle both points of view.” The next morning there was a reply. “your alteration is completely different and stands alone on its own excellent merit and as its own artform. I mean reversing pix, airbrushing etc. I would not even use the word altered on your artwork. Maybe surgically enhanced! but you know what I mean. Your stuff by altered becomes something that is creating something completely new and original.”

As the reader(s) of this blog know, PG likes to play with pictures. It is a good hobby. No talent or education is required. The software is a free download. Have fun, and don’t spill your beverage.

When the blogging thing started, PG had a dial up connection. When you upload 4kb a second, you like to keep the file size down. One way is to reduce the image to the size the blog has room for. The typical picture today starts at 2048×1536(pixels), with 666 kb of memory. If you reduce this to 720×540, the file size drops to 198kb.

The image size needs to be adjusted to go anywhere. Negatives have been replaced with code. If you are going to put out a dead tree book, you need to find a size for the image. The same goes for a blog.

You don’t have to use the entire image. Most raw images have parts that are not interesting. PG likes to use the golden rectangle (1612:1000) as a default when he crops images. This is usually more pleasing to the eye than the 4:3 ratio used by most cameras.

Most images can use some work in addition to cropping. Level adjustment and color balancing can add to almost every picture made. What the camera sees is often different from what the eye sees. The mechanical tool can use some help.

The camera has always been an adjustable tool. The settings, whether manual or automatic, play a role in how the device records the image. The way the image is rendered for viewing can change it’s content. Ansel Adams is as famous for his darkroom skills as he is for his photography.

Does anyone remember those memorex commercials? (The person who cleaned up the broken glass does.) The voice over says ” is it live, or is it memorex?.” When the commercial played on tv, it was a reel to reel tape, from an unknown manufacturer. The tape used was usually the one the producer got for the lowest price. The spell check suggestion for memorex is memorize.

The memorex ad is a bit quaint today. Cassettes have been replaced by compact discs, which were replaced by the MP3. A recording studio has all sorts of gizmos to corrupt correct the original. The recording studio has long been a creative instrument, rather than a facility for catching sound waves. The same is true of the camera.

There is nothing wrong with trying to get the reproduced image as close to natural as possible. The world is indeed an interesting place. It is just that the technology which is available to anyone with an internet connection, can change what the camera sees to more like what the human being saw. It can also create beautiful images that found their starting point in the original.

The pictures for this post are by chamblee54, and were taken March 18, 2011. The first four were taken on a walk through Chamblee GA. The second one illustrates where manipulation tools can give the illusion of reality. It is almost impossible to photograph a rectangular object and have all the lines come out evenly. This picture was cropped with the no smoking sign in the middle. GIMP has a tool which allows you to pull out the sides. This enables you to have the borders appear to be portrayed as flat lines with ninety degree angles.

These pictures are presented today in the order in which they are shot. This is another option the presenter has. That evening, PG went to a discussion group. The best comments were by a dog. After that, the group went to a bar. The facility next door had a drag show, with the performers waiting on the sidewalk before they went in. This adds a new dimension to the concept of real versus altered.







3 Responses

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  1. Toddy Out West said, on February 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Most every modern device picks up more than what’s there that a human can perceive in a blink. Take a picture or use a web cam on the front end of a tv/cable remote while you’re pushing the buttons. The little infrared led in it puts out light that is invisible to the human eye. Cameras pick it up, though…

    So there’s more there than what we can see. It’s all like that. Sound, light, sensation, vibration. It’s an ocean, a soup we try to put into some sort of preconceived sense or order…

    I like doggies and your pics of them.

  2. Laura Ross said, on February 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Just by taking the photo in the first place, you’re editing. But then again, I put food on the table because I’m really good at Photoshop and that’s part of what I do for a living.

  3. Live Or Memorex | Chamblee54 said, on February 3, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    […] saw a mushroom cloud rising over Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, that might have been it. This is a repost. PG sent a reply, “I disagree with the concept that life is more interesting when it is not […]

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