26. January 2016 · Comments Off on Too Perfect? · Categories: Philosophy, Photography, Travel · Tags: , ,

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” Salvador Dali

I was sharing with a friend photos from Bali. He surprised me and said the pictures were too perfect ! LoL

Are these photos too perfect?

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali. Too Perfect?

Everyday beauty, Common offering of flowers in Bali

Sunrise and fishing. Too Perfect?

Sunrise and fishing



Water Park / Temple

Rice paddies and mountains

Rice paddies and mountains

I would argue that they are not too perfect, but rather their imperfections are not as glaring as the typical travel point and shoot pics. No, not too perfect.

Let’s look at each of these photos and see what might have been done better.

The bowl of flower petals, gorgeous bowls made every morning. In the photo the upper rim of the bowl is slightly out of focus.  The red was more vivid than the photo. And there is a glare reflection in the center of the bowl.  If I had been using a polarizer, the the colors would be better.  A tripod and greater depth of field would have helped the upper rim. No not too perfect

Looking at the sunrise photo, a nice photo, one of the best from the trip. My timing was slightly off, the boat needs to be slightly more to the left. But worse, is that the horizon is not level.  I should have caught that imperfection in post processing.  Again, if I had had a polarize on the colors would have been more vivid. No, not too perfect.

The sunset photo although eye catching has many goofs that the trained eye will notice. First are the awful spots, worse than zits on a face, on a face you don’t get a lot of choice, in a photo you do. Also the horizon isn’t level. But there is another problem with this photo over on the left edge, notice the softness in the water?  Our rooms were thankfully air conditioned to about 70 with much of the humidity remove.  Outside at 90 to 100 and 75% humidity was a different story.  The issue was, taking the camera from the cold room outside promptly caused LOTS of condensation on the lens.  This needed to be carefully wiped away to take a shot until the camera warmed up and it was good for about 10 seconds.  Again, a polarizer would have made the colors more vivid still. No not too perfect.

The water temple is nice, but notice the lens flare above the fountain?  Taking time, with extra shading from a hat would have prevented the lens flare.

The rice paddy with mountains; see the glare in the water?  That would have disappeared with a polarizer, and the polarizer would have made the sky darker more contrasty.

Conclusion, no not too perfect.  However, there are several vastly more important lessons to be gleamed here. There isn’t really perfection, it is a journey as we become more perceptive to nuances.   There is a prayer that I love that speaks to learning to live with imperfections. “God, I humbly ask you to remove all of my shortcomings that get in the way of me being of service to you”  notice not all the shortcomings, some of the ‘shortcoming’ might just be needed even though we may not like them. Photos like life are not too perfect, they are perfect they way they are.

25. February 2015 · Comments Off on What type of photos? · Categories: Philosophy · Tags: ,

A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries. Will Rogers

Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.  Ansel Adams


Ready to print type of photo

The type of Photo I like – ready to print


I love printed photos !  I have a large format printer  just so that I can print large photos and give them away.  A printed photo is much less forgiving than a computer screen; all photos look good on a computer screen.

However, not everyone is the same.  How do you like your photos?  Do you show them off in Facebook and Instagram, do you make 3″ x 5″ little prints to put in a shoe box?  Each of these has a different requirement; I have a son who uses his phone to take pictures of nice meals and posts those to Instagram or Facebook.   I have another son who converts photos to Black and White, and thinks of photos in Black & White.  I have a friend who is into street photography and he likes 11″ x 14″ size prints, and they publish books with their photos.  I have a cousin Pete who is the outdoor writer /photographer for a news paper.  He only shoots JPG, and almost never on a tripod, he doesn’t have time with deadlines and all.

For some of us, it is the process of creating the photo that is also important. This is what I started out  with for the opening photo.  I enjoy the process of creating the picture.

Raw Photo

Raw photo, not the type of photo that I want

So, what does this have to do with you?   If you are an Instagram type of photo person, then a nice cell phone, or a small point and shoot is what you need.  If you like printing, then you need bigger sensors, which mean bigger glass, more weight, more $$$, more exercise, etc.     If you have deadlines you shoot in jpg,  If you like being creative, then you shoot in raw.  If you just want to shoot and forget about it a point and shoot is for you.  If you want something like the above photo of Yosemite, taken before sunrise, then you are starting to look at a tripod, and a camera that supports timed exposure (13 seconds at f/6.3).   If you want to think about your photos to make sure that you create good pictures rather than snapshots,  then take a workshop or two, signup for Photosig and write critiques.

If you are going to enjoy your photography, then it is important to know yourself and the type of photo you want.