Banished

We stand upon the precipice
A thousand story edifice
The constant threat
All comes to this

What shall I do with my day?

I have heard it said many times that photography is dead. Too many cameras. Too many photographers. Now, with AI, the human element of photography is superfluous. Humans are simply not needed any more for this endevor.
Perhaps.
This brings fear to the surface and it is only at the surface.
A photographer performs this for themselves first. It is cathartic. It is the challenge that brings us back. It is discovery that makes our pulse race. It is the satisfaction of story and message, nuance, detail and blur, color and tone, and the mastering of the sun’s energy that drives us.
Too many cameras? Too many photographers? Ok. Each have their own journey.
AI? Ok. Without photographers, AI would have no reference to make its art. Machine art. Souless, lifeless machine art. If that is what the masses want. So be it.
Photographers know each other and the shared struggle to create.
Machines, not so much.

A simple walk:

Birds on the trail

Mist in the Towers

Oak Among the Boulders

Wide is the Trail

Western Blues

Stay frosty, keep shooting

Oakey Dokey

A walk in the natural world
Does wonders for the soul
It is not magic
Nor does it make all problems go away
It just sets persepctive in its proper place
Hmmm
Maybe it is magic, a little

Life comes at us so fast and sometimes we just get caught up in the swirl of it all.
Our “new” digs came with a couple of years of required maintenence fixes and upgrades in our future.
Floors, paint, appliance/fixture fixes/upgrades, leak reapirs. You know, the stuff that even black holes avoid.

In the meantime I allowed my WP payment to lapse and I was punished with having to “recover” my account.
“If you’ve lost access to your WordPress.com account, our Accounts Recovery team will get back to you as soon as possible to help you gain access to your account again. Please use this form…”

After 10 or 11 password attempts/changes I think I’m back.

Cover image is a 10-stack/stitch effort of an oak made on the Ramona Grasslands Preserve. (Trail is too close to it and I was using the 200-600)
I cannot image oaks without thinking of Alexander Kunz, who is a master at imaging these stately trees.Thanks for the inspiration Alex. you can find him here: https://www.alex-kunz.com/
I also have to say that I am thinking of you Alessandra and I my hope for you is to eventually see beyond the abyss.
My heart goes out to you.

The same tree, different perspective. Photographers seek different perspectives

Oak on Ramona Grasslands Preserve

Sky Trippin’

Searching for Andromeda
Finding Cassiopeia
Tripped over Jupiter
Looking for Saturn

These first renderings are so amateurish and yet so satisfyingly fun.
What a ride this is becoming.

Spent some time processing the Andromeda Galaxy. It took some searching, but I found it after multiple tries.

Andromeda

While searching for Jupiter I found Saturn! Very tiny. Barely 40 pixels wide on the originals!

Saturn

Jupiter was a horrible mess to process…too much atmospheric interference. These are all good lessons for future imaging. Looks like there are a couple of rogue pixels in there still. And the moons are a little hot as well.

Cover photo is of the Cassiopeia constellation…though I’m not sure it really looks like that!
Here are the separated channels it took to get to the final output:

Astronomical Failure

Conditioned to believe
The finality of any experiment
Before its due time
IS the failure

A couple of months ago I started down a path of photographic exploration.
Noticing some issues with image quality (under extreme conditions), I began experimenting with different approaches to reveal what the problem is/was. I’ve been watching/reading MANY advisory tutorials, some good, some not.
As of today, I am still not much better off or confident that I have fixed the issues. After two months of capture-edit-output, capture-edit-output I have folders full of sub standard results. Good results, but still, sub-standard.
But, I have not failed. I have learned. And tomorrow I will stay at it, and the the next day, and the next.
I will tweak my approach each time and test it until I have abolished the issue or concede that it is unfixable.
The latter is likely. Some things just take more time and effort than what was first believed. Learning and exploration has great value. The effort to expose that value is predetermined and I must stay the course if I am to overcome my “failure.”

TImelapse

Cameras Are Dumb

Looking to the sky
And seeing what I see
My heart wells up
The muses to please

I go grab my camera
And frame what I see
Release the shutter
And become so displeased

Finally! I made some time to get some moon frames and stuff.
I met a young fellow who was trying to make an image of the moon, handheld.
He was with his son and he was struggling. Eventually I offered some help, but by that time it was just too dark to make the piece without a tripod.
I did however introduce him to manual mode and graduated filters (for handheld work).
All of this reminds me of what I have believed since day one of “serious” photography making for me. Cameras are dumb, and the effort to make them right seems to be at the bottom of the list. They are nowhere near the amazingness of the human eye and we are strapped with fixing and manipulating the shortcomings of the ineptness of it all.
According to some reporting, the human eye can see some 21 stops of dynamic range. That is one of the reasons why we can look at the brightness value of a cloud, then look into shadow and see details in both. (The eye is also very fast in adjusting)
So in my mind, we can stop considering “more pixels” and start thinking about creating software/sensor systems that can SEE WHAT WE SEE.
Any camera company that could do that, would dominate for a few years…until the others catch up.

source: https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/news/if-your-eyes-were-cameras-what-would-the-specs-be

Case in point: The cover photo was exposed for the moon. The photo below was exposed for the stars (barley). Why don’t camera companies make the sensor/software systems see what we see? (Please no excuses, I know them already). Excuses do not solve problems.

That’s the moon.

Here is the fellow I met with his son. For handheld work, grad filters are a lot of fun.

Barnett Ranch Preserve, Ramona, CA

Sorry for the rant. I still love photography and all of its challenges.