Category Archives: Photography

Introducing hmmworldview

hmmworldview

So.

I’ve been watching a ton of photography videos.

One that I saw the other day was a two hour forum on contemporary photography at the MoMA from February 2016.

It was just ok. I don’t recommend watching it. It’s long and I’m not sure if there are any takeaways for you. But it’s here if you must.

One of the things that was brought up was the role of photography in the current day.

What is photography.

How should photography be shown in museums.

Etc.

There was some mention of how technology is ruining or changing photography.

How photography is ephemeral.

How do you display images that might only physically exist in the world for a few seconds, like Snapchat.

How do you make sense of billions and billions of images that get glanced over within seconds and are forgotten about.

I guess I was thinking about the role of photography in the current day.

I’m not really sure what photography will look like.

Or what art will be.

But I do know that at the forefront of all art is technology.

The great artists have always used the best technologies available to them.

I’ve been messing around with my new camera.

And yet, sometimes the best images that you can make are not the ones that you take, but ones that others have taken.

There are a lot of photos out there.

And some really good ones.

By some really good photographers.

Who use really good gear.

After thinking about all of this I think there is a huge role for technology in photography and art.

Specifically I think software and the internet will continue to redefine all aspects of the world.

So what does all of this mean?

It just means my mind was wondering and I decided to take my ideas and bring them to life in the form of a quick project.

I wanted to do something related to images that are available.

I wanted to do something to show the rapid pace of photograph production and viewing.

How photographs are absorbed in gross amounts.

And maybe tie it all together in something relevant.

And possible provide an example of what photography or art can be in the future.

The internet in many ways is the new museum.

You must bring the internet to the museum.

But regardless, the internet provides tons of options for photographs.

I decided to write some software to go through the most popular news articles and parse out their photographs.

From there I overlaid the most popular news images from the most popular news sources on top of each other to create some pretty cool images.

I also parsed out the most popular words from these news articles and associated them with the image.

I created both a website to view the image and words, as well as a twitter bot that automatically creates and posts an image every hour.

So I’m the artist, even though I’m not the photographer. I’m the curator. And I’m also not any of those things. I’m not the artist. I’m not the curator.

And the craziest part is I’m the viewer. I have no idea what these images will look like since I have no idea what the news will be.

I’m excited to see what this thing produces.

And should I comment on these works then I think I will have been involved in all aspects of the art cycle. From creation, to viewing, to critiquing.

So here are some pics.

Introducing hmmworldview
Introducing hmmworldview

They are terrifying.

A dreamlike (or I guess nightmarish) creation.

All of the most popular news that gets shoved down your throat nonstop through the day.

Diversity of these is great
Diversity of these is great

It’s all here in one image.

Like a game of where’s Waldo.

Look deep into the images.

There’s a lot going on.

Sheesh
Sheesh

You’ll see the famous characters and topics of the moment.

I’m actually really happy with the execution of this.

The images came out as gross and disturbing as I was hoping for.

Anotha one
Anotha one

I’m excited to see what these look like going forward.

If you want to check out the website you can do that at the hmmworldview website.

If you want to see a list of previous images check out the twitter with the hmmworldview twitterbot.

And if you want to mess around with the code feel free to grab it from me at the hmmworldview github. It’s free to use for any purpose.

So I definitely don’t know what photography is.

And I never will know what art is.

But maybe this can provide some insight into what those two things can or can’t be going forward.

At the core of everything will always be technology and innovation. And most likely software.

It’s been fun but I need to sleep now.

Hopefully everyone else’s New Year has been as interesting as mine. We’re now a week into it.

Just wish this was a pinch clearer

Old and New

I guess this is an appropriate post for the day.

New Year’s is a time to both reflect on the past and look forward to the future.

Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about photography.

Initially it started with a desire to pick up some new gear.

After looking around I decided I wanted a mirrorless camera. The size and weight savings is important to me compared to the older DSLR technologies. The picture quality is just as good in most situations.

Surprisingly the leader in the mirrorless space is not Cannon or Nikon. It’s Sony. Cannon and Nikon fell asleep (they were arrogant and clueless) and Sony took over the market. I have no doubt that Cannon and Nikon will eventually make good mirrorless cameras, and people will stick around to support them because of the brand names and the amount of lenses available, but at the moment I am not buying any mirrorless bodies from them.

I initially thought I would want a full frame sensor. Bigger sensors generally lead to better pictures. But I decided to go with an APS-C sensor as in my opinion the difference between full frame and APS-C is negligible and the cost is significant.

If I want a bigger sensor I think the right move would be to go up to the medium format, but that’s not something I’m interested in at the moment from a creative perspective.

In the end you can talk about gear and specs forever, but it’s a lot more important to make a decision and get out to shooting.

I went back and forth and eventually picked up a Sony a6300 simply because I think it is going to allow me to take better pictures than any other camera (for myself personally). The lower cost of APS-C lenses and the money saved on the body allow me to pick up a couple lenses like the Sigma 30mm 1.4. I also have the Sony 16-50 kit lens and picked up the 55-210.

Almost everyone hates cheap kit lenses, but they are pretty versatile and useful. I shot many of the pictures on this site with my Pentax kit lens. That lens and the K-30 camera (which people also make fun of) taught me the basics of photography and allowed me to learn and grab some good shots.

Blah blah blah.

I debated selling my old gear but I might keep it around. The body won’t sell for much. And I don’t mind having my old zoom lens and macro lens. Both can be used on my current camera with a cheap adapter that I picked up.

I’ll post some pictures from the new gear later on.

But first, I decided to go through all of the older pictures that I took with my old gear.

I wanted to see what I was doing wrong. What I was doing right. What I overlooked. What I could have done better or worse.

I decided to grab some of these older pictures and edit them and present them here.

In my last post I said I took 10,000 pictures. But I was wrong. That number was somewhere over 20,000. Still not a lot, but closer to the amount that it felt like I took.

These pictures have not been included on this site yet. The intention is not to go through and make small changes or edits. But rather to look through all of the old pictures I had with a new mind and see if there was any interesting stuff that I did not previously post.

There were some pretty cool shots that I saw. Most of the more recent stuff is not included because I naturally feel those shots are shot and edited in a satisfactory way.

The first shot is one of the first that I ever took. It needs more room to breathe but I like the mood that the image portrays.

Mood lighting
Mood lighting

The next is shot from a plane as I was flying into Alaska. It was shot through a window that was overly blue saturated. I dialed that back a bit. I’m not happy with the colors here (it reminds me of the terrible coloring you see on a lot of instagram pictures), but it’s about as good as I can do.

You shouldn't like this coloring
You shouldn’t like this coloring

This next picture is one that I messed around with a while ago but was unable to make it work. It’s not as focused as I wanted it to be, but framing it this way allows it to be successful. I’m often torn with whether to make real life scenes that appear in black and white, to make them actually black and white. Usually it leads to a better image, but I think there is a beauty in keeping the natural colors. This image is a color image, although it portrays itself as a black and white.

Just wish this was a pinch clearer
Just wish this was a pinch clearer

Here is an interesting shot of some mountains and a glacier.

Glacier and mountains
Glacier and mountains

This next shot has amazing lighting. It was shot out in Colorado.

Lighting is great
Lighting is great

This next shot isn’t all that great. It’s of some steps shot out in Rome. It’s just ok.

Steps
Steps

These next two images are actually really cool looking. I was messing around with ISOs shooting a couple longer exposures one night out amongst the vineyards in Italy. The sun set late so you have this effect of a sunset and a starry night sky. The dandelions in the first picture give the grass a yellow color.

Really cool shot
Really cool shot

Surprised I missed these, but maybe I thought they were too similar to other pictures I posted.

Also cool
Also cool

This next picture is one from Casa Batllo out in Barcelona. I could see myself shooting something like this again current day.

Way too contrasted but I like it
Way too contrasted but I like it

This next shot is a mistake. But I really like it a lot. It looks pretty cool visually. But the cool part is that it’s a picture of the Eiffel Tower. It is common to see the typical pictures of the Eiffel Tower. But if someone showed me this picture I would like it. It’s not a common view of the Eiffel Tower. And I think maybe it’s more interesting than most pictures of it.

Better than most Eiffel Tower shots
Better than most Eiffel Tower shots

Here’s a picture of the Alps out in Switzerland. These things really just shoot themselves.

Nice rocks
Nice rocks

Redwoods out in Redwood National and State Parks.

Big trees
Big trees

A couple pictures from out in Chicago.

Alright
Alright

Should have posted at least one of these but never did for some reason.

Yea
Yea

And one from Milwaukee.

Yup
Yup

I took this out in Cambodia at Angkor Wat waiting for a lady to take a picture. She was taking forever to take her picture. I snapped an image of her out of frustration. To be honest it looked a lot better with her in the picture than with her out of it.

Better than the shot I was waiting for
Better than the shot I was waiting for

A shot out in Halong Bay in Vietnam of a cruise ship at night. I like to sometimes mess around with moving the camera during longer exposures although sometimes it’s looks cheesy or terrible.

Boat
Boat

Pancake Rocks out in New Zealand. It’s maybe my best picture of them although at first look through these pictures I didn’t think I really captured it.

Pancake Rocks
Pancake Rocks

And that’s about it. Those are a bunch of pictures from the past that I had initially overlooked. I think some of them came out rather well.

I noticed some patterns with some of the pictures that I had taken. I overexpose in bright light. I take a lot of pictures of oysters.

Overall it’s been a fun ride with my first DSLR. I’m excited for my time with the mirrorless to start. I’ve been messing around taking some pictures. The small size and weight means it’s been on me pretty much every day since I bought it.

Here’s some duck breast I cooked up. Was my first time cooking it and it was amazing. Also duck fat fried potatoes are a delicious side.

Kid knows how to cook
Kid knows how to cook

Here’s a box of white sage.

Kit lens yay
Kit lens yay

This next pic is a shot I shot messing around with connecting the camera to my phone. You can control the camera via your phone with an app. So for this picture I placed the camera down and activated the shutter with my phone. From there the photo is sent via Wi-Fi to my phone. I then edited my image on my phone with Adobe Lightroom. It’s not the best picture (it was probably 4 in the morning when I took this), but that is a very powerful workflow for someone if they have a need to quickly take, edit, and post their pictures to the internet.

Up super late
Up super late

And this final picture is a reason why I’m keeping my Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens.

Creamy bokeh
Creamy bokeh

So that’s it. Hopefully everyone is spending a bit of time reflecting on their pasts and looking forward to the future.

I hope every has had a great year and has an even better one coming up.