Saturday, September 24, 2011

White House Ruins, Canyon de Chelle

© Jerry Kalman
I am posting this fine photograph for Jerry Kalman. I believe that he took it last week.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Up in the air.

I still need a nice shot for our upcoming show flyer. Taylor Buck sent this cool pic of a juggler at the Oceanside pier over but I would like to see more images from the rest of you. I am going to be leaving for Yellowstone in a few weeks so send me something asap so that we can get it pasted up..

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bronze Pour, Fallbrook Foundry

Call me a wacked out artist but I can even see value in shots like this that I take on the fly with my cheap cell phone. Banding, lacking focus, possessing a multitude of sins, it still conveys something that I found inspiring at a particular moment of time.  Love the one you're with, shoot with whatever is in your hand.

© Robert Sommers

Monday, September 19, 2011

Surprises await

Like most photography aficionados, I try to always grab my camera when going out of the house, regardless of the destination. After all, you never know... Yesterday, my wife and I decided to take stroll through the San Diego Botanical Gardens in Encinitas. The muted sky for me meant some black and white opportunities. I'll also admit I think Nik's Silver Efex is wonderful tool for conjuring up prints we used to make in the darkroom. Texture and tone like this make me smile.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Heavenly Angels in B&W

Berlin Wall Segment at Newseum, Washington, DC

Robert's great blog description of his recent trip to Washington, DC, made me think about this photo I took in June of 2010 of a segment of the Berlin Wall on display in the Newseum there.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Heavenly Angels Found!!

On the Vegas Strip...

For Jon Harwood

Hi Jon,

Can you give us an up date on your back? I hope you are feeling much better!!

Trip questions

My wife and I are going to Yellowstone and the surrounding neighborhood for a few days mid October. Besides taking my digital slr I have been thinking about bringing a film camera, maybe a medium format or larger. Does anybody have a Mamiya or alternative camera that I can borrow or rent from you? Or know of a good rental camera? I would take the large format camera in my shop but there is too steep a learning curve and I need to be doing a lot of shooting. Any suggestions?


Niagara © Robert Sommers

My arrival in Vegas last week

Trumpeters at Caesars World in Vegas heralding my arrival at Photoshop World last week.
It was a great welcome!

Beaches of Biarritz

Beaches of Biarritz, 2003, from a passenger window of Falcon 900 business jet.
Biarritz is a famous resort town on the Atlantic coast of Southwestern France.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The M.I.T. illusion

The photo group was sitting around at coffee this morning and we started talking about perception and tonal values. I thought that I would post this famous illusion. Square A and B are the same value. Sort of hard to believe, isn't it. The following is from the M.I.T. website:

Why does the illusion work?

The visual system needs to determine the color of objects in the world. In this case the problem is to determine the gray shade of the checks on the floor. Just measuring the light coming from a surface (the luminance) is not enough: a cast shadow will dim a surface, so that a white surface in shadow may be reflecting less light than a black surface in full light. The visual system uses several tricks to determine where the shadows are and how to compensate for them, in order to determine the shade of gray "paint" that belongs to the surface.

The first trick is based on local contrast. In shadow or not, a check that is lighter than its neighboring checks is probably lighter than average, and vice versa. In the figure, the light check in shadow is surrounded by darker checks. Thus, even though the check is physically dark, it is light when compared to its neighbors. The dark checks outside the shadow, conversely, are surrounded by lighter checks, so they look dark by comparison.

A second trick is based on the fact that shadows often have soft edges, while paint boundaries (like the checks) often have sharp edges. The visual system tends to ignore gradual changes in light level, so that it can determine the color of the surfaces without being misled by shadows. In this figure, the shadow looks like a shadow, both because it is fuzzy and because the shadow casting object is visible.

The "paintness" of the checks is aided by the form of the "X-junctions" formed by 4 abutting checks. This type of junction is usually a signal that all the edges should be interpreted as changes in surface color rather than in terms of shadows or lighting.

As with many so-called illusions, this effect really demonstrates the success rather than the failure of the visual system. The visual system is not very good at being a physical light meter, but that is not its purpose. The important task is to break the image information down into meaningful components, and thereby perceive the nature of the objects in view.

A different take on the Gehry building

© Robert Sommers

Experience Music Project

This is a Paul Allen sponsored music museum in Seattle. The building is designed by Frank Gehry. Very dramatic.

Upcoming Show at Pinnell Gallery

We have a little more than six weeks to put the next photo show together. The show opening is the evening of October 28th. It runs the month of November. Remember that it is black and white only and that I need to see and vet images in advance. We also need a title for the show so I can work on a flyer. Any suggestions will be appreciated and considered.

Last year was great. If I had any criticism it was about crummy matting. Sides should be roughly the same size as the top and bottom. Weighting the bottom is acceptable and encouraged. White or cream mats are preferred. Black frames. No sawtooth hangers, no strange mechanical devices. Wire is good.

Start gearing up. Strong, emotive images are always good. Let's try to surpass last year's show. I would like to get at least three images from each of you for the exhibition. I would prefer to keep last year's group intact but would be open to the possibility of outside submissions by invitation. All exhibitors from last year and all members of this blog are definitely invited and encouraged to enter. Don't put it off too long!