I tend to get in my own head about photography. Maybe because it can be praticed with fairly little physical skill (compared, say, to sketching, which came rather naturally to me), photography seems to put more emphasis on one’s "eye," one’s taste. That can be nerve-wracking, making it seem like a failure to take a good shot* is a comment not only on your technical chops, but on your worth as an aesthetic being. See, I told you I get in my head about it.
Maybe that’s why I found this comment from experienced photographer Mike Johnston refreshing:
To be honest, most of my pictures suck. The saving grace of that admission is that most of your pictures suck, too. How could I possibly know such a thing? Because most of everybody’s pictures suck, that’s how. I’ve seen Cartier-Bresson’s contact sheets, and most of his pictures sucked. One of my teachers said that it was an epiphany for him when he took a class from Garry Winogrand and learned that most of Winogrand’s exposures sucked. It’s the way it is.
Whew. It’s nice to know that bad photos happen to all guys sometimes, so to speak. And as Mike reminds his sometimes gear-obsessed readers, "Cameras don’t take good pictures, photographers do." Just not all the time.
*There’s also the whole angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin question of what good is. In Ireland I’d joke, "Look, honey, I set the camera to ‘Trite‘…"
Popular Photography has given Adobe Photoshop Lightroom the nod as Imaging Software of the Year. Congrats, guys! ‘Nuff said.
Magnum photographer Thomas Dworzak has posted a fascinating 7-minute look at the Taliban & photography. Their religious beliefs led them to deface any human or animal representation (from ancient statues to bottles of shampoo), yet numerous young men posed for images that make them look "like gay icons." Western reactions say something about our times, too.
Elsewhere in photography:
It’s great to see that two very worthy guys–Andrew Rodney & Kevin Connor–have been inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame. Andrew has been helping mere mortals untangle color management issues for years, and Kevin (boss’s boss to yours truly) has been guiding the Photoshop ship since version 4.0.
[Kevin’s headshot on Photoshop News apparently comes from his “Young Seinfeld” period. ;-) He now looks a bit more like this. Oddly enough, Google Images pulls up evidence of a possible horrifying past career (scroll to the bottom of the poster)–maybe something to discuss at our next 1:1.]
In any case, congrats to both Andrew and Kevin. The honor couldn’t be more deserved.
A number of rock stars from the world of image science have recently joined Adobe:
Adobe Senior Principal Scientist David Salesin, who manages this crew, notes that "If you count their SIGGRAPH papers as well, you’ll see that current Adobe employees had 11 of the 108 papers in the conference."
Now, let me inject a disclaimer: Just because a particular researcher has worked on a particular technology in his or her past life, it’s not possible to conclude that a specific feature will show up in a particular Adobe product. How’s that for non-commital? ;-) In any case, it’s just exciting that so many smart folks are joining the team (more brains to hijack!).
[Update: Cambridge, MA-based Xconomy provides additional context for this news.]
Felix Turner, creator of the slick, elegant SimpleViewer Flash Web gallery (example), has provided a SimpleViewer script for Photoshop. The script makes it possible to set parameters and punch out a gallery right from Photoshop, and it’s a free download from the Airtight Interactive site.
If this is up your alley, check out the earlier PostcardViewer script for Photoshop (example), as well as the same templates for Lightroom. Thanks to Felix, and to Jeff Tranberry in Photoshop QE for his help in making these happen.
In related news, the source code for the Flash gallery used by the Adobe Media Gallery extension for Bridge (see earlier announcement) as well as Lightroom has been updated (example). Gallery developers Bluefire have posted details of the enhancements on their blog.
The Adobe Design Center bobs, weaves, and takes new content to the hole:
New Dialog Box:
New Think Tank:
Adobe training content-wranglers Luanne Seymour and Jen deHaan are blogging, so check out their sites for fresh material. And as always , check out some of the ~1000 Adobe links on del.icio.us. Info on how to contribute links is here. [Via]