and pictures?


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I drove back down Cottingham Road, through the orange-lit trees under a deep blue storm sky. And the power that music has to change an instant into a moment lasted 3.44 seconds (track 3, "Lived in bars"). Sitting on the comfortable creak of red leather with a soundtrack that makes the mundane memorable is rather grand. I did wonder (briefly) if I could extend that feeling to the rest of my life with the use of leather trousers and an iPod.

Probably not.

I had just been round at Den's and we looked at some of my pictures from our French trip. Then we looked at them again. Then we got into this a bit in a rather nerdy way and looked at the same pictures on his (identical) PowerBook. Then we looked at some of his and then we looked at them again on my (identical) Powerbook and we understood. We understood that even when you have uploaded a clever third-party tone curve using the special Nikon software and then decided on the optimum in-camera sharpening (yes, do read the instruction book...) and then traded up from a rather awful Sigma to a rather good Nikon lens. And after working out that the 99p UV filter is doing far more (nasty dingy, yellow tingy, light sucking) harm than good and going all out (after a nice conversation with a friendly mountain biking camera selling old acquaintance in Cahors) for a B+W replacement, that at the end of the day looking at pictures on any old monitor just will not do.

Den's monitor is carefully calibrated using a fancy bit of hardwareandsoftware technology trickery. Mine is straight from the factory. And whereas I was still - yes, after all of the above - a little dissatisfied with muddy tones and blue casts and lack of detail and definition in really dark colours and saturation on the brighter end of things... was it just down to the manner in which the monitor was showing me everything? Having seen the same pictures on a same but different laptop, I do think so to some extent.

And so it all comes round to not simply the question of what makes an image great rather than good, but whether it is actually possible to make it perfect. And despite technology and trickery and fine technique and wonderful subjects to shoot, I could put a picture up here on my blog and it might look to you, wherever you are, nothing like the image I thought that I created. Goodness, it might look rubbish.

But wouldn't it be sad to let that stop me sharing pictures with you? So just as the camera does lie, so does the monitor... and to end a silly post, a silly photo.

Or is it three?



All just an elaborate excuse for imperfect photography then? Just how does it look to you?


1 Responses to “and pictures?”

  1. Blogger Hiding Pup 

    Even on my Spyder 2 calibrated monitor, the image you've posted looks a tad washed out, Andy. However, if I open the same web page in Safari, the wooden panels develop a pleasing warmth, the faded relief over the entrance takes on a certain three-dimensional intensity and...and...and...

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about me

Weeks and months turn into years and who knows what surprises a new day will bring? As shelves fill with more songs, dust collects, memories accumulate and we pass through the lives of others, sometimes pausing, sometimes pulling up a chair, sometimes moving on. Thinking that tomorrow is going to be like yesterday. What do we know? I just like words and pictures, so why make excuses for collecting those either? But some things will never change, the sad songs will always be the best ones.

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