Two more Tribal Suicide

Gold leaf and exacto blade teeth, graphite over silver leaf with suicide letter snippets.

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Ninjas and Sharks and Rockets, Oh My!

Today (Sunday the 22nd of September) is huge for me. I have discovered the world of products I apparently cannot live without, all because of the convenience of Sunday morning television. Who knew? 

The Ninja blender is all-new and will do everything all those thousands of dollars worth of kitchen appliances would do… it makes bread dough, ice cream, juices, dressing, just damn near everything. And all for just 5 easy payments of something… $44.95, I think. I just glanced into my kitchen, and already all my other appliances have big red circles with lines slashed through them, including, for you older SNL folks, my Bill Murray BassMaster. (Roughly $1500 worth, according to the Ninja folks, although I don’t know where they found my receipts because I certainly didn’t keep them). But the Ninja, in only 10 minutes, is already old news, because now I am discovering the Shark Rocket! Revolutionary. Sure we’ve THOUGHT there were vacuum cleaners before now, but how wrong we were! This Rocket thingy is unbelievably beyond amazing. A motorized brush, for one thing. It’s a no-loss-of-suction-upright for 4 payments of 39.95 and you would not believe all the extra stuff you get with it absolutely FREE. But only during the next 14 minutes, I think

There simply isn’t enough room to  tell about all the amazing, I mean AMAZING things just these two appliances will do, and my guess is, if I simply keep watching there will be even more amazing things, all with FREE stuff, that I will discover this morning. And it’s also amazing how much you WON’T pay for any of these items.

Only thing is, when you are telling your friends about any of this, it is necessary to shout as loudly as possible, and use every superlative in the English language you can think of. Get out your dictionaries, you’re gonna need them. Also, if you’re writing, make sure you have an inexhaustible supply of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Iron bench

My friend’s cousin donated a set of iron outdoor furniture that had been sitting in the salt air at Manteo for years. It took 5 of us (mostly them, although I helped some) two weeks of scraping, wire brushing, steel wooling, priming and painting to get them back into good condition. This one is my favorite, the most comfortable, and it’s where I’ve spent an hour or so almost every evening for the last few weeks watching the light turn blue. And occasionally rounding up the dog who tends to wander off despite her best intentions.

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Photography and Art

From a recent post on Exposure Roanoke’s message board:

I noticed several ER members have submitted photos in the Peaks of Otter Lodge photo contest. Congratulations!

I was thinking of entering one of my shots too but I’m wondering how to deal with their rules on ‘digitally enhanced’ photos:
“Photographs that have been digitally or otherwise enhanced or altered will be disqualified. Cropped photographs and photographs with minor adjustments such as sharpening and slight adjustments in contrast and color will be allowed. “

I shoot Raw so I have to at least run my photo thru LR or ACR just to get a jpeg to submit. With a straight raw photo, you have to do quite a bit of adjustment in LR just to get back to match what you would get if you shot jpeg. So how in the world do you draw the line at minor or slight adjustments per their rules? Seems very gray and subjective to me. If I only use “global” adjustments is that OK? Am I allowed to remove or add a bit of vignette? Do minor dodging & burning with an adjustment brush qualify as ‘slight adjustments’?

My thoughts on the subject:

The increasing sophistication of post production in the photography process has brought us into a new set of discussions about the relative merits of same. I am reminded of the very earliest days of photography, when the new medium was dismissed out of hand by traditional artists as simply “not art”.

As a committed Luddite, I still believe that a photograph is something that comes out of the camera. I commend the astute organizers of this photography competition in recognizing the distinction between a true photograph and a highly manipulated “image”. Personally, I don’t find their restrictions confusing in the least.

Having said that, maybe there are alternatives. Maybe it’s time to recognize highly manipulated post-production techniques as an art form in their own right, similar but entirely separate from traditional (even digital) photography. The ability to shoot many different exposures of the same subject, then combine the best of each into a final product is a prime example. Some people are good at it, and create stunning art, and some people are really bad at it, and create boring, flat compositions.

One possible solution is to divide photographic competitions and exhibits into two categories, one dedicated to the art of the photograph, the other to the art of post-production manipulation.