Soft Focus Spring Closeups

This an extract from a five year old post. It follows the macro theme of yesterday’s post. It was done in the spring while, here & now, our first major snow of the winter is two days away – and the real-feel is near zero. Enjoy the faux-spring blossoms.

I love doing macros – especially flowers. Spring has sprung around here & I was out & about for several hours today with my camera checking out the flora.

My most used lens for this type of shooting is a Nikkor 105mm 2.8 macro although I occasionally use a Canon 500D closeup lens or a 1.4X teleconverter on one of my other lenses.

  • I recently bought a set of extension tubes and last year bought a Tokina 50-135 2.8 lens.
  • I decided to stick a 36mm extension tube on this lens and see what I could see.
  • The lesson? Images like this don’t absolutely need a macro lens.

Here’s a Japanese Cherry Blossoms image (why drive an hour to DC – with no parking – when I can shoot this in my neighbor’s yard?).

  • DOF of field was almost non-existent which is fine since that’s the way I prefer shots like this (of course keeping the wind-blown blossoms anywhere near in focus was tricky).
  • Gitzo tripod, Nikon D300, Tokina 50-135 lens at 135mm, Kenko 36mm extension tube, and
  • 1/40 sec at f/2.8, ISO200, EV0.0, Center weighted metering, Aperture priority exposure mode, Cloudy warm white balance.
  • Blossoms about 18″ from camera sensor plane.
  • RAW image converted in Nikon Capture NX2.

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Everything is a Remix (Even Photo Creativity)

Everything is a Remix

Is the subject of a wonderful 10 minute TED talk

General Theme – everything is built on what went on before

This is a follow on to my post on Derivative Art

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The above TED talk is part 1 of what evolved to a four-part series.

The Complete series is here

Here is some general info on the “Remix Culture” – Wiki

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“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

From the letters of Isaac Newton

This is a familiar form of the “shoulders” quote, but

It goes back to the 12th century

A Western metaphor with a contemporary interpretation meaning

“One who develops future intellectual pursuits by understanding and building on the research and works created by notable thinkers of the past”.

It’s a good thing F=ma wasn’t patentable 😉

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The goal of US patent law is

“promote the progress of useful arts” (emphasis mine)

BUT – in many ways it does anything but that

What if Apple filed a 20 page patent for

Unlocking a tablet device with a finger swipe?

or another for

Putting beveled edges on computer tablets?

or?? the list goes on….

Oh, I forgot. Apple did do that! 😦

In a similar vein –

What if Henry Ford had patented human transport via gasoline powered wheeled vehicles?

“I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work … progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready and then it is inevitable.” — Henry Ford

Or the Wright brothers – human transport via powered flying machines?

AND – speaking of wheels…. 😉

Music –

“The words are the important thing. Don’t worry about tunes. Take a tune, sing high when they sing low, sing fast when they sing slow, and you’ve got a new tune.”  Woody Guthry

Art –

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” — Attributed to Pablo Picasso

General –

“Originality is the art of concealing your sources.” — Attributed to various sources including Ben Franklin & Thomas Edison

“Substantially all ideas are second-hand, consciously and unconsciously drawn from a million outside sources   Mark Twain

On a personal note –

What if I had patented “Adaptive shortest path routing” (look it up in one of the Bell Lab Tech Journals circa 1973)?

It’s at the heart of all modern digital communications – internet, phone, ….

I’d be a very rich man. In the day AT&T offered me a senior Bell Labs position (I declined) and they totally revised their long distance phone system (the only one there was in the US then – pre-divestiture) based on their estimate of capital expenditure savings to the tune of billions per year from my invention

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Name Change that tune – (Steve Jobs quotes)

1st came –

“We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

When asked in an interview the 80’s, at the Mac introduction, about using Xerox Palo Alto Research Labs user interface designs (including the mouse) for the Mac

Later came –

“They are shamelessly copying us.”

About Microsoft and the operating system which would be released as Vista

and more recently –

“I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

On Android, a mobile OS that he felt was copied from Apple

It must depend on whose foot the shoe is on….

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10,000 Hours, OR – Practice, Practice, Practice….

Some Potpourri

.This post has several purposes –

1. Preach the sermon about practice yet one more time

2. Introduce a great online magazine (location of sermon)

3. Provide some amazing music (part of e-zine sermon)

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The meat of this post is contained in the five links below

If you’re one of the 50% or so who don’t follow links

You can stop right here 😦

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1. You may have heard of  the “10,000-Hour Rule”

Popularized in the book, The Outliers   1-12-2013 9-23-52 AM

The book is a very interesting read

Whether you agree with its premise or not

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2. Here’s an article on the 10,000 Hour Rule and Photography

It appears in “on landscape” 1-12-2013 9-25-23 AM

A United Kingdom based online magazine

This particular article is free

Includes lots of interesting reader comments

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3. Even if you’re not interested in practicing or landscapes

The article includes links for several

Musical performances of various genre

(To illustrate what a little practice – or a lot – can do)

I’ll include one here.

An amazing guitarist

Go to the article if you want more

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Personal note –

I believe there’s an element of truth in the 10,000 Rule

From 2002 to 2007 I amassed over 10,000 hours

of “photography time”

During that time I progressed from

1st time camera owner (2MP P&S) to

Advanced winner of everything in sight

From May 2004 until summer 2009

I shot every day

Averaging 75 shots a day

Just sayin’ – Putting in the time can’t hurt

Now at the start of that time, if someone had said –

Camera or guitar – which will it be?

After listening to Tommy Emmanuel – tough choice

Probably still the camera because I love nature

[Update – for readers from the land of Oz the guitarist, Tommy Emmanuel, is one of your own. Quite a treasure.]

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An Index to the GIF Animation Series Posts

Today’s post buys time while researching

The next topic in my “moving pictures” series

Time-lapse Photography

 

Clouds at Sunrise

View from my desk while I was doing this post

30 minutes of real-time compressed to 30 seconds

Besides clouds, see the sun on window frames starting at right

Lastly, starting at 26 sec., a jet-contrail (low left window pane)

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Done in-camera with D800E (except begin/end text)

Most cameras, at best, can create a sequence of images

The D800E can go a step further and create a .mov file

Who knew? Not me, until yesterday 😉

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The nine GIF Animation posts in the order presented –

1 – Animation – Photos and Otherwise

2 – Animated GIF Images

3 – Animated GIF Software – Rudimentary Features

4 – Adding Falling Snow, Part 1 – Still Images

5 – Adding Falling Snow, Part 2 – Animated Images

6 – Adding Falling Snow, Part 3 – It’s Snowing!

7 – A Plug-in for Making Falling Snow

8 – Animating Sunrise & Sunset

9 – Animated GIF Photos – The End

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Instagram & Cinemagram Apps – Is Anigram next?

GIF animation recreates

Funky old flip page “movies” of yesteryear

In the age of digital photography

Like Instagram and its faux-vintage photos

GIF Animation is giving short “flip-movies”

A rebirth

SO – where are the Instagram-like

Gif Animation mobile apps?

They’re there

One named Gifagram for instance

But – they have a long way to go IMO

 

1357760935819

Animation of an Animation

Made while writing this

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From a BBC Nature Collection video on my monitor

Cell phone camera & a GIF Animation app

As captured and uploaded to my blog

Like any animation or video – a steady camera would help 😉

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I’m not a big fan of most mobile phone apps.

They’re often bug-ridden

A rush to market

I’ve tried five animated GIF android apps.

I wouldn’t recommend any

Try some and if you find one that you like

Let us know

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I mentioned Cinemagram in the title.

Scroll down the above link for examples

More examples

Cinemagrams (or Cine’s) are animated GIFs created by recording a 2-3 second iOS video

Part of the image is still and part, selected by the photographer, moves

This app is iOS only at present

Android competitors are available

A good cine (good subject/story that is) is hard to do

99.9% on the Cinemagram site are 100% junk

Guess it doesn’t take much to amuse some people

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Animated GIF Photos – The End

Nothing much more to say

Moving on to other animation forms in later posts

hoover

President Hoover’s Trout Pond

Camp Hoover, Shenandoah National Park

One of a series done for the park service as a volunteer

Tossed a rock for effect

(2 years before I even thought of animating it)

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A simple two image GIF

Enough to get the idea across

Moving branch upper center & water

water-branch

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Another with just two frames

falls

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A beach scene with 9 frames –

beach

None of these were shot with animation in mind.

I’ll try to think of it in the future.

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That’s all folks….

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What is Derivative Art? Should you care?

I was asked a question (later in this post)

That made me think about derivative art

1 – What qualifies?

2 – What are the legal implications?

(I’m no lawyer; take with a grain of salt)

IMG_20130107_072353-1

A Derivative? Not in the legal sense IMO. Read on….

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MLlayrs v1

Derivatives of a derivative

1st da Vinci, 2nd Duchamp, last GWU

Above is an animated GIF from

Computer Law 484, Professor Richard H. Stern

GWU Law School

Fair Use (If not, I’m sure GWU will let me know)

I learned about derivatives in math, not law school 😉

The above actually has a 3rd derivative

I added the B&W Duchamp to the GWU version

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What is derivative art?

Mona_Lisa,_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_natural_color   250px-Marcel_Duchamp_Mona_Lisa_LHOOQ

An example of derivative art –

In the beginning there was –

da Vinci’s Mona Lisa

Then there was

L.H.O.O.Q. (look it up) by Duchamp – a derivative

From Wiki

The most famous derivative work in the world has been said to be L.H.O.O.Q., also known as the Mona Lisa With a Moustache.

Generations of US copyright law professors have used it as a paradigmatic example.

One of the six exclusive rights given to a copyright owner is the right “to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work.”

So even though your work may be a derivative,

That doesn’t mean you own the copyright or

Or don’t have to get permission

Not answered (at least in this post) is

How different from the original must your work be in order not to be a derivative?

Lawyers, feel free to chime in

Personal note – I’m comfortable my image at the top is problem free

Read on to find out about the original (several times removed)

My image – A heavily manipulated photo of a heavily manipulated photo of a glass sculpture

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What are the legal implications of derivative art?

Be very careful when it comes to copyrights.

Changing medium (photo of a statue)

Isn’t of itself enough

Sculptor still holds the copyright

A photo of the same scene as in a copyrighted photo

May (or may not) get you in trouble

Copyright law is confusing (to say the least)

Whenever a copyright law is to be made or altered, then the idiots assemble.

Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.

Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1902-1903

Two starting points for those who want to dig deeper –

Photography, Copyright, and “Derivative Works”

VISUAL ART CASES – DERIVATIVES

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Why this post? (why indeed!)

Recently a local photo club visited a glass exhibit.

1-7-2013 2-18-58 PM

Being a photo club, they took photos –

(by Alan Skerker – Fair Use by me)

as Symmetry in Glass

as2

There is a local abstract image exhibit coming up soon –

When I saw these images (and similar by others)

I opined that some of them might be suitable entries

This opinion stimulated the following question –

Wouldn’t that be tantamount to photographing some portion of  say, a Jackson Pollock work and claiming it as your own?

Operating in the ignorance is bliss mode I replied that

Probably OK if the resulting image is sufficiently different from the original

I also elaborated & have since decided I was full-of-it

But in my defense I offer Mark Twain’s opinions above 😉

I did offer an example of what I felt was far enough removed from the original to be safe from any legal concerns

My example (shown at the top of the post) was explained in my reply as follows –

“My cell phone camera hand-held 😉 in macro mode, a piece of Alan’s 1st image with funky glass in front of the monitor as the subject, into PS for texture & distortion >>> voila. It’s neither the glass guy’s work nor Alan’s IMO.”

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Before you take another picture around here, Russ, hire a lawyer.

You know that I’ve shot everything, from every angle, in every season.

Whatever you shoot, I’ve already done it & it’s copyrighted.

I’ll sue. 😉

What did I learn today?

Samuel Clemons (AKA Mark Twain) was right. 😦

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A footnote – Google something like “Warhol soup copyright”

Tidbits you’ll find –

He did not ask permission for his Campbells Soup paintings

Campbells chose to “watch & wait” before doing nothing

In 2012, for the 50th anniversary of the paintings,

Campbells paid the Warhol foundation for

Licensing to use the Warhol Campbell cans

Campbell’s special edition cans

Bizarre – paying to use your own copyrighted work

Apparently part of a PR stunt?

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