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I get the colors I do by spending a lot of time looking for colorful things to photograph! That's the hard part: the magic light may only last for 10 seconds in a day. One has to be sufficiently observant to catch the right subject in right light at the right time. Equipment or Photoshop has nothing to do with it. Power of observation and sensitivity to beauty has everything to do with it.
Photography is the art of interpretation. Knowing my choice of filters, lenses, film and exposure will not help you make a similar photograph unless you were with me at the scene to learn the far more important issues of why I chose what I did to represent the scene in the way I did.
Most were photographed with crummy old equipment on Fuji Velvia film and no filters and no playing in Photoshop. I get what I get because I point my camera in the right place at the right time. That's the art of photography. The equipment has nothing to do with it.
The California, La Jolla, San Diego and Guatemala galleries were photographed on 4x5" Fuji Velvia film with either a Linhof Super Technika IV camera made in 1958, an old Crown Graphic from the 1940s or 1950s, or cheap new Tachihara camera with 30 year old lenses and scanned on a defective Microtek Artix 1100 scanner. Hopefully you can see that the results are pretty darn good. You ought to come over and see the original chromes!
The black-and-white images in the Death Valley gallery was photographed with a crummy fixed focus, fixed exposure Agfa Syncro-Box camera from 1955 that cost me $3 in 2001. I used it to demonstrate how any awful camera can be used to create great images.
The items at "Signs and Animals" were mostly done with a Nikon F100 and most were scanned on a Nikon Coolscan III.
The idiotic videos are straight from my Sony Mavica FD-88 in .MPG format.
The other images are from all sorts of places.
All of the gallery images were shot on film (not digital) in sizes ranging from 35mm to 4x5," mostly Fuji Velvia transparency (slide) film. The photos in the California, La Jolla, San Diego and Guatemala galleries are from 4x5" Velvia, the France, Zion, New Mexico and Death Valley galleries were shot on 6x7cm Velvia, and the Mexico gallery on 6x6cm Velvia.
The film was scanned with a variety of film scanners. The La Jolla, France, Mexico, Guatemala and San Diego galleries were scanned on a defective Microtek Artix 1100. The New Mexico, Zion and Death Valley galleries were scanned on the Minolta Dimage Scan Multi PRO.
Nothing here is from digital cameras or from print film.
Although I waste a lot of ink talking about Nikon cameras, the great majority of the images in my galleries are from 4x5" transparencies made with 40 year old German or American-made lenses, or from my medium-format Mamiyas.
These scans were formatted in Adobe Photoshop to correct the image sizes and formats and make them look like they were supposed to. Thank goodness the scans from the Minolta Multi PRO just looked they are supposed to with no color tweaking.
The groovy glowing rollovers on the home page were made with Macromedia Fireworks.
Macromedia Dreamweaver was used to assemble all these elements into completed web pages and then assemble these pages into a complete site.
Dreamweaver is also used to load ("FTP") these files to the commercial host at which this site resides.
No one's time was wasted coding any HTML the hard way in the process of creating this website, thank God.
Most of the hard work here, just like for most of the creative work done on computers for photography, art and the Internet in general, is done on an Apple Macintosh computer. If I was still farting around on a Windows PC I'd probably still have a dumpy looking site if any at all.
Here are a couple of fast reasons why you should get a Mac if you are serious about doing photography on your computer.
These, especially the issues of color, are the reasons Macs have been the standard of the professional photography and publishing industries for over a decade:
1.) It just works better for everything and just works. I never have to waste time reinstalling software, updating operating systems or reloading drivers after updating my OS or fixing hardware or any of that. My Mac just works and every time I add a printer or new hard drive or whatever I just plug it right in with no software to install or any of that crap. Problems most people associate with "computers" are really just problems with the bogus Windows operating system. Buy a Mac as I did in September, 2000 and holy cow, you no longer have those problems and just get work done!! Windows is a deliberately defective program designed to make you have to upgrade it every 18 months at great monetary and time expense. Macs just run, and the software updates are free and install instantly.
2.) Apple has had the color thing all figured out for over a decade. I can scan and have my screen match my printer and match my original transparency most of the time without having to screw with it just to get it to look as the original did. I haven't even had to resort to any deliberate color profiling; the ones that just automatically come with the hardware I bought worked fine. This is due to Apple Color Sync and color profiles that, with Photoshop 6 and a Mac, just work right with no manual dicking around or even having to install anything.
3.) The Mac G4 processors run Photoshop in a parallel processing mode, so per my personal tests my dual 450MHz G4 runs THREE times as fast for crunching fat Photoshop files as a 500MHz Pentium III, each presuming you have loads of RAM.
If you don't have 4-5 times as much RAM as your file size, the computer bogs down crunching to and from the hard disc in which case you're back in the dark ages for speed. Also make sure that you allocate memory to Photoshop. You have to do this manually on both Win and Mac. Also make sure you have at least Photoshop 5.5 AND have installed the Altivec plug in. That plug in must be installed manually otherwise you have not turned on the supercharged DSP in the G4.
I suggest strongly if you are serious about your work and are shopping for computers, or even just upgrades, now is a great time to step up to a computer designed for imaging from the ground up: the Apple. I prefer working on an $800 iMac to my $4,000 Windows PC, and of course prefer my G4 Mac and 22" monitor to anything.
Photoshop also is one of the very few programs that really takes advantage of the Mac's G4 chip.
Of course the other advantage is that the Mac just runs and you can get work done on it without having to screw with it every hour.
Ever notice how when Mac users talk about their computers they talk about the cool stuff they just created on it, and PC users are usually busy talking about how much time they had to take to fix or install something just to get it to work properly?
Hey, I've only had a Mac since September 2000 after using PCs daily forever. I use both every day now, so to me the difference is obvious. I'm not your typical Mac cultist!
Look at it this way. I have a lot of stuff up here on this site. I only piddle here in my spare time when the weather in San Diego is yucky. In those few spare hours I've thrown up all you see here. How many of the friends you have using Windows machines can whip up a site like this on their computers in their spare time?
What happened to all the photos of the lenses and why do they look so bad?
You people were consuming 3 gigs a month just downloading all the photos of my lenses, you perverts.
In September 2001 I replaced all the 50 kB 640 x 480 pixel photos with 10kB 320 x 240 pixel images. This allows me to keep this site on the air, since I do this for fun out of my own pocket and the bandwidth was approaching what I felt like affording. I don't ask anyone for money to do this, and it does cost me money to keep giving away all this information to strangers. If you are enjoying the technical content it is now expected that you contribute your fair share towards supporting this site at the link above.
I do this site for fun and can only afford so much bandwidth. Hopefully if the techie users contribute fairly I will be able to put up the boring photos of the lenses.
On the other hand, my tech pages now load 4 times as fast this way for you folks on telephone modems.