A Matter of Proportion

Printing to the edge of the paper from a 35mm full frame, you lose either paper or picture

How has Kodak managed to sell 8x10” paper, 5x7” paper, and 11x14” paper, for year upon year upon year, and none of them have the same aspect ratio? 8x10 at least matches the aspect ratio of a 4x5 camera, but none of them match the aspect ratio of 35mm, 6x7, 6x6, 6x9…. then digicams come along and almost all of them are the aspect ratio of a video camera, 4::3, and digital printers come along and expect everyone to switch from 8x10” to 8.5x11”, or 13x17”, with each printer having a slightly-different printable area within those fields. Only the humble 4x6” quickie print actually gets the aspect-ratio game under control.

It ticks me off.

Pretty much, you’re guaranteed not to be able to use some significant portion of the expensive paper you’ve purchased, or some significant portion of your (probably more-important) photograph is going to get cropped. Paper waste: borders to adjust, or chunks trimmed-off, or both.

2 min read

Signs of the Times

John Bolgiano, aka “coldmarble,” runs ColdMarble Musings,the only alternative-process (Cyanotype, Van Dyke process, etc) blog I’ve seen — so far. Looks like Courtney might give him some competition soon.

She checked-out Reed & Webb’s Alternative Photographic Processes from the library yesterday, prepping for an alt-process class, and noticed that it was completely untouched — never checked-out before, the book’s binding crackling as she turned each page.

We’ve noticed similar behavior on some other library photo books recently — she acquired a stack of beautiful Martin Parr books via loan from a library in San Diego, and their stamps showed they’d not been checked out for years. Tsk!

More Linkages

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere on this site, I keep a little robot that tracks down links, picture theft, usage of pictures, pages, and also the search terms that people use on search engines like Google and Kartoo to find pages here on Botzilla.

In the past few days I’ve seen a sudden surge in one search term, that had never been present before: “Saddam Art.” This one, along with variations like “Saddam Art Collection” and “Hussein Artworks” and “painting of Saddam Hussein.” have shot to the #1 spot in the past week.

I actually don’t have much in the way of Saddam art, though I’ve wanted some since well before Iraq invaded Kuwait. In the late 80’s there was to have been a show of, as I recall, impressionist masterworks to be held at a new state-run museum in Baghdad — the first show of its kind anywhere in the arab region. Scholars were greatly excited and paintings were being loaned from numerous high-profile institutions. Then, near the last minute, the show was canned, and replaced with a show of paintings by sundry Iraqis of the Beloved Leader, Saddam Hussein. Almost immediately the show was declared to be permanent, and the museum to be dedicated to this one exhibition. I really wanted that exhibition catalog!

Guess Saddam couldn’t stand being one-upped by L. Ron Hubbard.

In the last few days, as the Washington Post reports, Iraqi artists are starting to deal with an Iraq free from government minders. No telling what has happened to Salaam Abid, one of Hussein’s favorite full-time portraitists.

MF’ing Wine and Cheese

Okay, so Saturday night.

We were at a little end-of-an-era party for Gretchen Pirillo and (less-directly) Chris Pirillo, and run into Robert Scoble who is headed off to work for the Octopus that is called Microsoft. Convinced me more than ever that I really ought to have a good Tablet PC. With lots of, err, stuff. He does Tablet stuff right now, just around the corner from NVIDIA at NEC for a few more days. But fat chance getting a Real Deal! :)

I also fiddled around a bit (towards the end of things) with Chris’s Canon G3 in a much handier way than you can at Best Buy or Gasser’s. Yeah, the G3’s way faster than my G1, but I already knew that. Courtney’s Digital Ixus is faster than my G1. What I really liked was that the focus lock button was in a reasonable place, right under your thumb like it is on the Contax G2 or an EOS camera. It has a light, natural feel.

But then… aggggh! Canon’s designers turned off the MF lock if the LCD panel is closed. This is just like the G1 and it ticks me off so much! It means you can’t use the optical finder and focus lock together, unless you have the LCD spun-round and turned on. And if the LCD is turned on, then the shutter gets an additional lag for screen updating. Plus you get nose oil all over your LCD. Grrrr.

Please someone, tell me there’s a custom function to turn that behavior off…

The G3 is definitely better than the G1, and its movie mode, size, and weight still make it an attractive alternative to a heavier SLR digicam like the 10D. I might trade up to one yet. But Canon still knows how to get me riled-up.

Link Chain

Las Vegas (C) 2003 Kevin Bjorke Thought I’d paste-together a list of URLs that have had important influences on my thinking over the past few months. YMMV.

Current backlog: one roll of TMax. Very little shooting this weekend, except for the garden shots that followed after the story below.