1. At first when I saw the BOOKS added to Adobe Lightroom, along with some other top level menu stuff like MAPS I was like – man – they are just filling this thing up with bloatware.

    Okay, you don’t fill up a software product with bloatware, technically you take a good simple idea and turn it into bloatware.

    I’ve been using Lightroom for a very long time and what I liked was that it followed the path of the photographer (at the time). You cataloged, and developed, and printed. Sort of. Actually I think you developed and then printed. But whatever – a long time ago and a lot of Dektol under the bridge.

    And the web stuff was added. You had to do that didn’t you since the web was where pictures went to die.

    And I suppose that some of the other stuff in the DEVELOP module was good. I confess that I stopped using the develop module when NIK came out and got integrated with Photoshop and Lightroom. I only used the WEB module when I needed to make a quick and dirty gallery for a client. (Can we see all the shots you have of the Empire State Building, Dave?)

    When I was doing my own printing on the Epsons (big and little ones) I used the PRINT MODULE. Right now printing is done by DSI so I don’t use that module.

    And so – to get to the point – if there is one – this morning I was looking through Lightroom 5 (I get the newest versions from Adobe Cloud) – there were all these new MODULE HEADINGS. And I just said, bloatware. The thing has everything but the proverbial kitchen sink.

    But for fun, I clicked on BOOK and there was a book. Sort of. There was a default book with 72 pages, ready to be printed by Blurb (sort of), opened to a COVER PAGE, waiting for pictures and text. Fully integrated into LIGHTROOM was the sort of book publishing software that I had once used with Blurb and MyPublisher. No need to futz with different software for different companies, or with InDesign which I never did get the hang of.

    And I have been meaning to do a book anyway – because – well frankly, I need the money (bad reason, huh?) and books are just about the only way to sell street photography (unless you are famous, and even then not so much). So like most of my ideas – this one came out of the blue and I’m going to spend the next few weeks putting together my book in Lightroom – and hey – it’ll give me something to write about.

    Here are some pretty dumb things I just did as I was starting to play with the PRINT MOD. It was by chance that it came up with these pictures of a rainy day – and I thought – that would be funny. A whole hardcover book about a rainy day in Central Park. (Don’t worry. Not going to do that.)

    Lightroom Books (Huh) At first when I saw the BOOKS added to Adobe Lightroom, along with some other top level menu stuff like MAPS I was like - man - they are just filling this thing up with bloatware.
     

  2. More Than the Rainbow

    More Than the Rainbow

    Will be available from Amazon around August 4, 2014.

    Lots of goodies in the bonus section. Interviews with me & Matt (if you consider that a goodie). I haven’t seen the bonus stuff, but I can only say that I’m dressed better than in the film. There are a few stories that I told that I probably shouldn’t have.

    Hmmm. What else? Well of course if a lot of people buy the DVD than it sends a signal…

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  3. I was puzzled to find myself watching Mets games again.  Forcing myself to become a Mets fan no matter how annoying they were.  I wondered for months why I would make such an attempt.  The players were different than the players when I was last a fan.  The management was different.  The announcers were different. The stadium was different.  There might be a player or two that grew up in New York, but that would be an accident rather than a plan.

    Other than the name of the team, what was the same?

    Off and on since the beginning of the baseball season, I wondered about what made a fan.  At first it made sense to be a fan of a particular player.  You liked so-and-so and you were interested in knowing about their career.  Being a fan of individuals made sense.  Though the active life of an athlete is fairly short so there were problems with the idea of “following” individuals.  Plus many of them died, which made following them more problematic.

    One day, as I was listening to Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling (now Mets announcers) talking about a past game, it struck me.  It’s not about the present Mets, it’s about the history of the team.  And more importantly, it’s about the associated memories that the team can evoke.

    The memories of good and bad times, that are associated with the team are what keeps you a fan even when the team you remember no longer exists.

    It’s like that old saying: You can’t step in the same river twice.

    Which is to say that the water and substance of the river is constantly changing.  And yet, you can still sit by the bank of the river, and watch the river flow.  You can still remember when it was possible to swim in that river.  And by extension, you can still watch the Mets play, although it’s not always a beautiful thing to watch.

    Fans and Nostalgia I was puzzled to find myself watching Mets games again.  Forcing myself to become a Mets fan no matter how annoying they were.  
     

  4. Scanning Medium Format Day

    Scanning Medium Format Day

    These are some very big juicy scans.  I’m scanning Pentax 67 negatives now.  Grayscale / 16-bit @ 4800 ppi.  Look at the size of these monsters.  One thing I can say for sure is that they are from the Pentax 67 because that was the only 67 film camera I used.  I did have the Mamiya 6 for a long time and liked it a lot – though not the long lens.  Was it the 150mm?  But the 50mm was a good walking…

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  5. Time Was When Negatives Ruled

    Time Was When Negatives Ruled

    My world works in a circuitous way.  There never is a direct path from A to B.  So I sold a few prints about a week ago and got an inquiry about whether I had any World Trade Center shots from when they were standing.

    I promptly forgot about the request.  This morning I woke up and decided that one of my closets needed cleaning out.  I opened the door and there was an old black file cabinet.  In…

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  8. Getting NIK Back after Upgrading Photoshop

    Getting NIK Back after Upgrading Photoshop

    Just a quick note.  I’m on the Adobe cloud.  Upgraded to Photoshop 2014.  Opened an image from Lightroom 5 and my NIK menu was gone.  Normally it pops up as a floating box.

    Went to Adobe, realized they didn’t have anything to do with it and went to Google.  Sure enough, if your NIK software filters have disappeared, either go back to your original email with the link to re-install it; or install…

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  9. Empire casino (Yonkers).   This morning.  I won $8 after two hours of video poker.  Then walked around with the Ricoh GR2.

    Casino! Empire casino (Yonkers).   This morning.  I won $8 after two hours of video poker.  Then walked around with the Ricoh GR2.
     
  10. 2nd Avenue Construction with GigaPano Head

    Of course nobody says that you need to stay naturalistic when you’re using the Pano head and Kolar stitching software.  

     

  11. I had been thinking of doing a street photography book and was starting to look at different options and Michael Penn popped into mind as he’s been selling street photo books for a while and seemed to have the production of them down to a science.  By that I mean – I spent years selling prints from my apartment (before eventually outsourcing them to DSI) and know how much thought goes into the banal stuff like:

    How do I get them to the customer without having them snapped in two?

    How can I sell them at a reasonable cost and still make a living?

    How much grunt work is involved?  (For me that was a big question as I got older).

    How do I make them valuable to the customer?

    Should I wrap them in plastic?  Where should I get it from?

    Things along those lines that have absolutely nothing to do with the artistic nature of the product were what took up most of my time.  I live in a typical New York studio apartment, and had a loft built so that I had a place to store the mats, the acetate, the cardboard…  the list goes on and on.

    So I ordered one book from Michael, and he was nice enough to send me three different ones.  The first thing I did when I got the envelopes was to try and bend them.  This was some curiosity left over from my shipping days.

    I was selling large prints – and how to package them without spending tons of money was an issue.  Especially in the beginning.  And one day I had the bright idea to cut up the Fedex packaging to secure the prints… and so I was laughing when I opened the first book from Michael and found that it was sandwiched between two cut boards of USPS packaging.  When you use shipping services these things are free.

    And then I opened the sandwich and sure enough, there were the plastic bags – probably clear bags.

    On to the books.  I was very familiar with the process.  They’re done with a Xerox printer (which one is the current one I have no idea) but with all grey (or is it black) ink.  And a decent weighted paper.  If you do it with color xerox process you get shifting colors with b&w — i.e. magenta cast is usual.  And the thing was – this seemed to be a perfect solution for what I’d call gritty street shooting.

    The photography – that is a subjective thing – which is why I tend to not write photography reviews.  Suffice to say that it is right up my alley – and you can get a real feel for the thought process of the photographer.  I say it’s subjective because I not only like it – but I’ve done similar shots.  Some as good, some not as good.  The hanging phone on the cover of the Philadelphia Project 19 book.  I must’ve spent a half hour one night in front of these three hanging phones in midtown.  So who am I to make a judgement on another guy that has been drawn to the same thing?  The very fact that I liked the images means I can’t be objective about them.  So I won’t try.

    I thought instead of words – I’d just do some snaps of the books and the envelopes (don’t forget the envelopes) and have my CD of John Prine in the frame to give some sense of scale.  I really liked the two larger books the best.  The layouts were great and all in all — my feeling was – this guy has figured out a lot of things.  But he’s also putting a heck of a lot of energy into not only shooting – but getting the products out.  And as I say – when I was in my 40s and 50s I could still work like a nut.

    Now – not so much.

    Thanks Michael for the books – and you’ve given me a lot to mull over.

    Oh – and you might want to know where to order them at a very reasonable rate. Here ya go: Michael Penn Books and Zines for Sale

    Michael Penn Books I had been thinking of doing a street photography book and was starting to look at different options and Michael Penn popped into mind as he’s been selling street photo books for a while and seemed to have the production of them down to a science.  
     
  12. Silvercup Studios

    One of the images for the last installation. It was actually shot through a sort of dirty subway window, then flipped around so the word wasn’t reversed, and a few things like lamps and signs that were in the way were cloned out.