Creative Freedom and Constraints as Drivers

Pushing boundaries seems to be a common theme in both art and science. The boundaries of what can be said or shown, or known – are generally assumed to be external constraints. However, when artists self-impose limits on the tools and techniques utilized to create, they gain much more than they exclude.

These first few images from a larger set were created on a Winter day in the fading afternoon light. They seem to encompass the mood I wanted to capture in part due to the simple process I forced myself to use.

No cropping, no changing focal lengths, no extensive processing. Just what I put in the frame and the choice of ‘film’.

I’ll try additional uploads to the VSCO GRID as I explore a bit more through their iOS app. So far, I really like the simplicity and quality of it.

Follow this link to see how the Edgewater Beach series is progressing.


Is there a Lightroom in your pocket?

Adobe seems to have managed two major FAILs this year: a massive private data security breach and a surprise switch from boxed software sales to monthly licensing fees. To me, this is serious incentive to explore alternative ways to edit my images.

Although there are various commercial and shareware software packages available, in-camera raw processing has improved to the point that it is now a reasonable option in some scenarios. Sure it whacks your battery like crazy, and there are still huge limitations in performance, but some manufacturers are starting to include competitive options with their latest cameras.

The three I recently compared just happen to be the ones I currently have on hand, but they are also a cross-section of what the more innovative companies are producing these days. The Olympus OM-D E-M5, Fujifilm X20 and Ricoh GR are all very capable of producing usable JPEGs straight out of camera.

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An awesome pair – OMD and iPad Mini


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The following were snapped in between catching waves and snoozing on the beach this weekend. The weather in NorCal is amazing right now. With in camera RAW conversion from the Olympus EM5 plus just a couple apps, I was able … Continue reading

Digital Film Stock Comparison – Part 3 – Superia and Astia


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These galleries are grouped by film type, or as close as the different software products get in naming them. Fujifilm Astia was a great slide film for people pictures, and some of its character shows in each of these digital … Continue reading

Digital Film Stock Comparison – Part 2 – Ilford Delta


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Although I prefer Tri-X 400 on those rare occasions when I shoot with my ancient and battered Nikon F3, when I’m using Alien Skin Exposure 4 to process files from either the OMD or X20, I often start with Ilford … Continue reading

Digital Film Stock Comparison – Part 1 – The Challenge


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Want to get that dramatic action film look? Well, there are ways to do it. The number of high quality choices for easily simulating the look of old film stocks has been growing over the past few years. I’ve been … Continue reading