Through Yellow Sands

The_Untouchable_City copy

Been spending a lot of time working through old pictures for the next I Wrote This For You book. The image above (from the entry ‘The Untouchable City’), taken from top of Roppongi Hills, with 黄砂 (こうさ) on the glass, has really stayed with me!

Now i want to get it printed A2 and on a wall… maybe with the oddness in th bottom left cropped out.

Photo Archiving?

I have a problem… yes, yes, i know. This is different.

One of my photography projects (lets call it IWTFY) is quite popular. This means that periodically there are requests for sets of images. When this happens i end up trolling through Lightroom libraries on several machines looking for images, exporting them at an appropriate size / dpi, gathering them into one place, packaging them for distribution, uploading them to be downloaded. Bleugh!

What i need is a place that i can:

  • archive / upload a full-sized processed image
  • tag / label all images
  • search / select subsets
  • define an export size
  • have everything processed into a download bundle

Does such a thing exist? Is it worth paying for? Should i just get my shit together and import everything into a new Lightroom library on one machine?

Help?

Light Boxes

No idea why these advertising light boxes are the way that they are, but they are each end of the S-Bahn platforms at Hamburg Airport. Having walked past them, and occasionally taken the odd digicrap of them, here they are on film. In this case Kodak Portra 800 in the Natura Black.

It turns out that blue lights in a dimly lit underground station are about at close to a torture test as you can get for fast colour negative film. The obviously different light levels really didn’t help with a point and shoot. All of which made them an adventure to process – the white balance still isn’t consistent, but i give up!

Mystery why there are they and never contain any advertising… all other slots are always occupied, with these left open. Maybe they are a token gesture towards making the airport more relaxing / less commercial… or art? Ha!

Book Covers

Tangentially related to the previous post…

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That’s Iain’s latest book (or maybe it isn’t – a few months have passed…) The cover is a crop of the following photograph of mine, taken with the previously maligned Natura Black 1.9:

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Not sure it’s the crop that i’d have made, but i’m notoriously bad at cropping my shots.

It strikes me as somewhat unusual to have covers that are “full bleed” photographs at the moment. Maybe it was never a thing… but certainly the current trend is to more designed and graphical covers. The IWTFY books have eschewed that direction and, to my eye, look all the more distinctive for it.

Both IWTFY covers have also been fairly abstract portraits of M., taken in the bath with a digital P&S… that is a trend which seems difficult to continue.

Sticky Shutter

The olympus xa2XA2 is pretty much my favourite P&S camera. I’ve travelled with one for years. And i mean years – M. had one when we met…

That particular one died a few years ago. The shutter had started to get unreliable and eventually completely unresponsive.

It was a sad day, but a new one was purchased on Yahoo! Auction, and point and shoot life carried on unabated.

This problem with the shutter is apparently common, and the inevitable is now happening to the replacement. It’s hard to get too upset that a camera that was produced in 1980, and has likely seen hundreds of rolls of film, starts to give up the ghost. However, at this point it’s likely that any replacement that i find is quickly going to suffer the same fate.

Time to start to learn to fix it! According to this “tutorial” it should be simply a matter of opening it up, cleaning, tweaking the contacts, and getting it back together. It’s the last part of that which gives me pause… the alternative is to take it to the grumpy camera repair man and have him do it. Less embarrassing than turning up with a bag of pieces.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of P&S cameras, there is also the Fujifilm Natura S. Another purchase from Yahoo! Auction… and i have to say that i don’t like it. Some people rave about them, but unless you’re *only* shooting 1600 ASA film, it’s a horrible experience. The flash tends to be very eager to fire, even when you’d expect that it wouldn’t, the menu system is junk, settings don’t survive a power cycle, it has no exposure compensation, which leads to “fun” DX coding hacks (scraping paint of film canisters with your keys…), and to top it all off, the focus on mine is really soft in a lot of situations. Despite some reasonable results over the last couple of years, it has never become the replacement that i hoped it would be.