The Second Law of Thermodynamics

The second law of Thermodynamics has to do with entropy, or how systems will go from a higher-ordered state to a state of lower order (more disorganized). Think teenager’s bedroom as the perfect example.

I like the TV show “Life After People” which chronicles just how ephemeral the infrastructure of our civilization would be, without constant upkeep. The image below was taken in Montreal in September, 2009, of peeling graffiti paint. A year and a bit later, I wonder what that section of wall looks like now; continued decay, or a fresh coat of paint trying to forestall the inevitable?

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Vibration Reduction to the Rescue Again!

I took this image of the harbour in St. John’s, Newfoundland on Wednesday night. Even with the ISO cranked up, the exposure was half a second, and hand-held; I did not have a monopod, let alone a tripod with me, so I was stuck.

The Vibration Reduction on the D90 got me out of the jam, to an extent; it’s not tack sharp, but close enough that it captured what I was looking for.

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Time-Warp Tuesday: Jock Shot

This week I go further back, to first year university in 1980; I was in residence at the University of Waterloo, and with a lot of jocks around, there was no shortage of photo opportunities, such as the night shot below of one of the skiers who will built a jump beside the residence. This image was shot on Ektachrome, with a small flash unit.

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I have never been good at sports, and I’m OK with that: the things I love to do (i.e. Photography, music etc) are things I’ll be able to do into my 80’s (assuming I make it out that far, and I certainly hope to be!). I’m not sure ski-jumping would be the best thing to do in one’s 80’s!

Jumping (Or Becoming) the Shark

Today’s picture is not great art;  it is just a snapshot. However, it is the best image for the point I want to make today.

The image is of three attendees from the recent Kodachrome photo-walk I’ve mentioned a few times, and the key point is that all three people in the image have cameras, and were actively shooting, creating images at the event. At every other photo walk I’ve been to, it’s been the same; the emphasis has been on creating images, and sharing the joy of doing so in a social setting.

Friends at the Kodachrome Film Walk

When I compare the photo-shoot vibe and attitude to what I’ve experienced at recent podcamps, the podcamps do not come out on top. Podcamps used to be about creativity (heck, they used to be about podcasting!), but to me it doesn’t seem to be that way any more. The best way for me to describe how I see podcamps now is to describe how a photo-walk would be if it followed the spirit of current podcamps:

  1. Only a distinct minority would actually carry cameras.
  2. There would be very little discussion of actual photographic techniques.
  3. Amateurs would definitely be in the minority.
  4. We would have sessions and/or discussions like “How to pick the best camera gear to impress an creative director”, “Making money from iStock and Getty” and “Tagging strategies for Flickr”.
  5. For the most part, the only pictures we would see would be images of people’s photographic equipment.

I could go on, but I think the point is clear; Photo-walks are about creating, and podcamps, despite the best efforts of a determined minority, are about marketing.

Podcamp, you’ve jumped the shark. So long, we barely knew ya.

Life Imitating App?

These days there are a number of  popular iPhone Apps (and Photoshop plug-ins) which render an image as monochrome, except for one spot of colour. Yesterday, while on a solitary photo-walk along the banks of the Don river in Toronto, I captured an image which seems to duplicate this effect; the red leaves and stems jump out from the muted shades of the background, and no post-processing was required to get this effect.

Reality is the best app there is 🙂

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