Monday, March 22, 2010

Molography – A parody and commentary

Stole this from a fellow photographer on Suicide Girls named baudot.  If you’ve ever read the 10 rules of lomography, you’ll get the parody.  If not… well Google it or follow the pink link in the quote.

“So I've been around Eastern Europe recently, and you'd be amazed at all the old things you can pick up on the cheap. Even old camera and film companies! I've been thinking about buying this one called 'Molo', but I'm worried that it's on the ropes for good reason. I think with a slick enough marketing campaign, I could make it profitable, though.

Here's what we've come up with. We're going to make using our cameras a "movement" called "Molography" so that kids will buy into it. Tell me what you think of our "10 Commandments".

1. Take your camera everywhere you go. You should always be ready to use up our product, and ready to buy more.
2. Use it any time – day and night. Use, use, use! Every negative is like a lottery ticket, and if you just buy enough film, you're sure to hit gold eventually!
3. Molography is not an interference in your life, but part of it. Don't even think otherwise.
4. Try the shot from the hip. Don't worry about the negatives you're wasting. Consideration is the enemy of art. Be spontaneous. And keep shooting.
5. Approach the objects of your Molographic desire as close as possible. Big images swallow small defects in the lens.
6. Don’t think. Just shoot. Remember, the more you shoot, the better.
7. Be fast. Can we emphasize this enough? Keep shooting, hipster!
8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film. Remember, art is spontaneous and unplanned and raw and anyone who tells you otherwise is part of the Establishment.
9. Afterwards either. Just keep shooting. Keep getting more film. Remember, each negative is a lottery ticket!
10. Don’t worry about any commandments. Because you are such a rebel. Do you feel good about that? Because you should.You rebel you. Damn it's good you joined this movement. Rebel.

So what do you guys think? I think it can be tightened up a little, but it gets the message across, right? I'm a little worried I should put something in there about digital never being "molo" but maybe I can just make that its own point, bigger than the commandments. Just so long as people keep buying film from me, I'm cool.
Oh, and we're thinking about this for a banner:”


Highlight of the whole thing: Consideration is the enemy of art

Monday, March 15, 2010

High Dynamic Range

So, this is a little different than the normal stuff I write about, but I still consider it part of alternative photographic processes, even though it’s something you do in post-processing.  High Dynamic Range, or HDR, describes merging photos using Photoshop or a similar program to achieve photos with a higher range of luminance.

In standard photos, you can usually expose to highlights or shadows or midtones, but our eyes have the ability to see all those ranges is a more dynamic way than our camera can capture.

This is a really great thing to do for all those pictures of white Mt. Shasta and it’s dark tree line.  If you want to give it a try, the first thing is to look into your camera’s settings and figure out how to take multiple exposures (2 or 3) at different exposures using the same aperture.  For my Canon 50D, I set the mode to Aperture priority and go into the exposure settings in the menu and tell it to bracket to 1 stop above and below, so the camera will take a series of 3 photos.

Example of photos:

Standard exposure – this is a decent photo of the mountain and fairly typical for what is seen, but the mountain is actually blown out a little because of the difference in tones.


Over exposed by 1 stop


Under exposed 1 stop


Then, these are merged using different programs.  In Photoshop, you use the File>Animate>Merge to HDR function (Google for more comprehensive tutorials).

The result:


You can see how the trees are properly exposed and the mountain is a rich white with dynamic shadows and dark ridges.

Anyway, sometime to play with if you feel like it.  In the meantime, I’m working on a couple different film processes and use of different cameras, but film takes time to process and the COS darkroom is closed this week, so I promise an update soon-ish…