[PCMag.com: Tech Commentary] Apple Watch Flirts With Fashion, Needs to Focus on Substance: The Apple Watch has a 12-page spread in the March issue of Vogue. But it begs the question: why try so hard? [Reuters: World News] Germany prepared to sell tank howitzers to Lithuania: Der Spiegel: BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is prepared to sell tank howitzers to Lithuania, German magazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday. [Reuters: World News] Egyptian court lists Hamas as terrorist organization: CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court listed the Palestinian group Hamas as a terrorist organization, judicial and security sources said on Saturday, one month after a judge listed the group's armed wing as a terrorist group. [Reuters: Industrials] Germany prepared to sell tank howitzers to Lithuania -Der Spiegel: BERLIN, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Germany is prepared to sell tank howitzers to Lithuania, German magazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday. [Reuters: World News] Syrian army takes villages in south: BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian government forces have taken control of villages in southern Syria, state media said on Saturday, part of a campaign they started this month against insurgents posing one of the biggest remaining threats to Damascus. [Reuters: Regulatory News] BP ex-chief Browne to run Russian oligarchs' oil venture - FT: LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - John Browne, the former chief executive of BP, will take charge of a $10 billion oil and gas venture backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman to help it expand... [Reuters: World News] Egypt court sentences top Brotherhood leader to life: CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood's top leader Mohamed Badie to life in prison on Saturday while other members received the death penalty, as part of a sustained crackdown by authorities on Islamists. [Food: Food & Dining News, Guides, Recipes & More - The Washington Post] Five wines to try this week: Here?s a Siduri pinot noir from California?s Monterey County, plus a few other wines to warm you during this late-winter chill.Siduri Garys? Vineyard Pinot Noir 2012? ? Santa Lucia Highlands, Calif., $44Read full article >> [Reuters: Business News] HSBC not the troublemaker made out to be, rival Swiss banker says: ZURICH (Reuters) - HSBC , in the spotlight after details emerged about how its Swiss unit allegedly helped clients dodge taxes, isn't the troublemaker it is currently depicted as, the head of a rival private bank was quoted saying on Saturday. [Reuters: Regulatory News] India's regulatory shakeup could revive commodities markets: MUMBAI, Feb 28 (Reuters) - India on Saturday proposed to merge its commodity market regulator with the capital market watchdog, aiming to strengthen regulation in a move which could help open the... [Reuters: World News] Kurd rebel leader in Turkey calls on militants to attend disarmament talks: ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Jailed militant leader Abdullah Ocalan called on his followers to attend a conference on disarmament, according to a statement on Saturday, a crucial step in Turkey's drive to end a 30-year insurgency with Kurdish militants [Reuters: Business News] Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment: ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece called into question on Saturday a major debt repayment it must make to the European Central Bank this summer, after acknowledging it faces problems in meeting its obligations to international creditors. [Reuters: World News] Police in Germany's Bremen heighten security citing possible Islamist threat: BERLIN (Reuters) - Police in the northern German city of Bremen warned on Saturday of an unspecified potential danger from Islamist extremists in the city and said they were increasing security measures. [Reuters: World News] Dozens of Syrian and Iraqi migrants rescued off Romanian coast: BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's coast guard rescued 70 migrants - mostly Syrians and Iraqis - packed on to a small fishing boat that was in danger of sinking as they attempted to make the crossing to Europe in stormy seas on Saturday. [HotLinks] User Onboarding: Andy Baio : User Onboarding - breaking down the UX of first-time users, and archiving site/app history in the process [Reuters: Industrials] Dozens of Syrian and Iraqi migrants rescued off Romanian coast: BUCHAREST, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Romania's coast guard rescued 70 migrants - mostly Syrians and Iraqis - packed on to a small fishing boat that was in danger of sinking as they attempted to make the crossing to Europe in stormy seas on Saturday. [Reuters: World News] Lesotho goes to polls in bid for stability six months after coup attempt: MASERU (Reuters) - The people of Lesotho voted on Saturday in a tense election they hope will restore stability six months after an attempted coup in the southern African nation. [Reuters: Company News] Lithuania signs non-binding deal for U.S. LNG: OSLO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Lithuanian liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer Litgas has signed a non-binding agreement to purchase LNG from the United States' first export terminal, the company said on Saturday. [Reuters: Market News] Lithuania signs non-binding deal for U.S. LNG: OSLO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Lithuanian liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer Litgas has signed a non-binding agreement to purchase LNG from the United States' first export terminal, the company said on... [Reuters: Market News] UPDATE 4-No big bang, but Indian budget goes for growth, investment: * Next year's fiscal deficit set at 3.9 pct of GDP, not 3.6 pct
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Eating yogurt all by myself!
Bizangles posted a photo:
NH is so beautiful! #603 #skiing #mountains #lakes #sunapeenh #ignh
NH is so beautiful! #603 #skiing #mountains #lakes #sunapeenh #ignh
Keep it coming, I wanna see the whole mailbox covered! Background: Paul revere's house has snow up to the 2nd story. ??? #igboston #winter2015 #paulrevere #snowmaggedon #northend #northsquare #usmail
Keep it coming, I wanna see the whole mailbox covered! Background: Paul revere's house has snow up to the 2nd story. ??? #igboston #winter2015 #paulrevere #snowmaggedon #northend #northsquare #usmail
Happy love day! ?? #allyouneedislove #love #snowy #mainehuttrail #woods #snowshoeing
Good ole boston with her frozen ocean ??#fortpoint #igboston #frozenocean #snowmaggedon
Good ole boston with her frozen ocean ??#fortpoint #igboston #frozenocean #snowmaggedon
Downtown Seattle and SoDo
Prolixium posted a photo:
Apparently the cool LEDs on Columbia Tower are all the rage.
jessicaweinbergmcclosky posted a photo:
Spiny chameleon (Furcifer verrucosus)
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Walmart vs. Netflix DVD battle snags $12 each for 1.2 million people (2105 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:07:00 -0500Walmart vs. Netflix DVD battle snags $12 each for 1.2 million peopleEngadget RSS Feed
Ready for a blast from the past? Ten years ago, Walmart's plan to undercut Netflix on DVD-by-mail rental pricing failed, and the retail giant turned that part of its business over to the movie service in exchange for a cut of the revenue, referral bonuses and Netflix promoting Walmart's DVD sales to rental customers. A class action lawsuit against the two followed in 2009, with customers alleging they illegally restrained trade and kept prices high. Walmart settled the case for $27 million in 2011, which will turn into about $12 (paid out in gift cards or cash) for the 1.2 million people who filed claims. While the deadline to file has long passed, the payout has been held up due to appeals in the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco against Walmart and Netflix -- until now.
This week judges ruled on a few items (PDF, via Courthouse News Service), including that the settlement was fair -- that the nine named plaintiffs get $5,000 each and a large portion went to lawyer's fees upset a few class action members. At the time even Netflix had objections, worrying that Walmart was simply buying access to its customer list. Another factor in the ruling is that Netflix never considered Walmart a true competitor (it actually raised prices at the time, and didn't lower them for competition, even from the much larger Blockbuster) the original ruling was correct, and subscribers could not prove they were injured by the tie-up.
It's not all good news for Netflix though, as the appeals court trimmed the $710k it was awarded for attorney fees, and turned down its request for $21,000 to cover B&W Powerpoint documents. Of course, soon a million or so people will probably be making it drizzle with their $12 payouts, Netflix is now primarily a streaming company with over 57 million customers that just delivered season three of House of Cards, and Walmart, well Walmart has the Vudu Spark dongle. All's well that ends well.
[Image credit: Associated Press]
When chefs want squab or yak or even guinea pig, this is the man they call (487 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:00:00 -0500When chefs want squab or yak or even guinea pig, this is the man they callFood: Food & Dining News, Guides, Recipes & More - The Washington Post
The texts and calls don?t stop coming as Javier Arze tries to give a tour of his giant Lorton warehouse, the home of Huntsman Game, his wholesale specialty food and game business. ?The quail come from Richmond, Virginia,? he answers one caller. ?We raise those birds, so we control the whole breeding process. We don?t give them protein pellets. These birds actually fly. They are $4.75 apiece. I can send you a sample if you?d like to see it.?Read full article >>
Mugabe holds lavish 91st birthday bash by Victoria Falls (275 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 07:49:00 -0500Mugabe holds lavish 91st birthday bash by Victoria FallsReuters: World News
VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe celebrated his 91st birthday with a lavish party by the spectacular Victoria Falls on Saturday, prompting many Zimbabweans to question once again when he would leave office and who would succeed him.
BP ex-chief Browne to run Russian oligarchs' oil venture: FT (280 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 07:43:00 -0500BP ex-chief Browne to run Russian oligarchs' oil venture: FTReuters: Business News
LONDON (Reuters) - John Browne, the former chief executive of BP , will take charge of a $10 billion oil and gas venture backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman to help it expand internationally through partnerships and acquisitions, the Financial Times reported.
BP ex-chief Browne to run Russian oligarchs' oil venture - FT (280 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 07:26:00 -0500BP ex-chief Browne to run Russian oligarchs' oil venture - FTReuters: Energy
LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) - John Browne, the former chief executive of BP, will take charge of a $10 billion oil and gas venture backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman to help it expand internationally through partnerships and acquisitions, the Financial Times reported.
What?s wrong with a family selling its winery to a corporation? (340 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 07:00:00 -0500What?s wrong with a family selling its winery to a corporation?Food: Food & Dining News, Guides, Recipes & More - The Washington Post
Last week I discussed one popular vision of terroir, in which a lonely artisan winemaker toils in the vineyard to produce singular, expressive wines that could be made nowhere else. Another facet of that romantic image sees quality coming from small estates, with corporate ownership the enemy of individuality. Read full article >>
Sri Lanka concerned by China loans, rules out submarine visits (274 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 06:59:00 -0500Sri Lanka concerned by China loans, rules out submarine visitsReuters: World News
BEIJING (Reuters) - Sri Lanka is concerned with the roughly $5 billion in Chinese loans it has and will send its finance minister to Beijing to discuss the issue, the foreign minister said on Saturday, as he also ruled out future Chinese submarine visits to the country.
Sri Lanka concerned by China loans, rules out submarine visits (282 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 06:56:00 -0500Sri Lanka concerned by China loans, rules out submarine visitsReuters: Industrials
BEIJING, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka is concerned with the roughly $5 billion in Chinese loans it has and will send its finance minister to Beijing to discuss the issue, the foreign minister said on Saturday, as he also ruled out future Chinese submarine visits to the country.
Thousands protest Boko Haram, support army in Cameroon (260 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 06:35:00 -0500Thousands protest Boko Haram, support army in CameroonReuters: World News
YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Thousands of people marched in Cameroon's capital on Saturday to protest against Nigeria's Boko Haram insurgency and support the Central African nation's army, which is fighting alongside regional neighbors to defeat the Islamist group.
Iraq says to track down antiquities after Islamic State museum rampage (275 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 06:31:00 -0500Iraq says to track down antiquities after Islamic State museum rampageReuters: World News
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State militants who destroyed priceless antiquities from the northern Iraqi city of Mosul have kept some artifacts to sell, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Saturday, vowing to prevent the radical Islamists from smuggling them to market.
Disney wants to help developers make games more interactive (2028 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 06:14:00 -0500Disney wants to help developers make games more interactiveEngadget RSS Feed
Many RPGs have more than one ending, but even then you still have limited ways to control the story or to interact with the characters. Disney Research, however, wants to make real interactive games -- ones where your actions can affect how it progresses and ends -- so it has created a platform that can help developers do so more easily than if they use traditional tools. This platform makes it simpler for creators to spin as many story arcs as they want that can be triggered any time by your actions. It also automatically detects and fixes conflicts in the storyline that you'll inevitably cause as you interact with the characters. Take the bears in the video below the fold, for example.
Say, the story arc calls for a beach ball to be in the scene, but there is no beach ball anywhere, because you were playing God earlier and taking all the props away. If that's the case, one of the bears will ask you for a beach ball, so the story can run its course. Alternatively, the game can trigger the appearance of a ball vendor and a treasure chest, so the bears can buy a beach ball for themselves.
Ex-Disney researcher and Rutgers University assistant professor Mubbasir Kapadia explained:
We want interactive narratives to be an immersive experience in which users can influence the action or even create a storyline, but the complexity of the authoring task has worked against our ambitions. Our method of modeling multiple story arcs and resolving conflicts in the storylines makes it feasible to author interactive experiences that are free form, rather than constricted.
In short, this method could be used to create some truly open-world choose-your-own-adventure games if developed even further -- games you can play again and again and get a different experience each time. The team has uploaded a scientific paper you can sink your teeth into for the technical details, but you can watch the video below for a demo of how it works.
Filed under: Gaming
Robert O'Callahan: Great Barrier Island (1835 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 06:08:00 -0500Robert O'Callahan: Great Barrier IslandPlanet Mozilla
Last weekend a couple of Mozillians --- David Baron and Jean-Yves Avenard --- plus myself and my children flew to Great Barrier Island for the weekend. Great Barrier is in the outer Hauraki Gulf, not far from Auckland; it takes about 30 minutes to fly there from Auckland Airport in a very small plane. The kids and I camped on Friday night at "The Green" campsite at Whangaparapara, while David and Jean-Yves stayed at Great Barrier Lodge nearby. On Saturday we did the Aotea Track in clockwise direction, heading up the west side of the hills past Maungapiko, then turning east along the South Fork Track to Mt Heale Hut for the night. (The usual continuation past Kaiaraara Hut along the Kaiaraara track had been washed out by storms last year, and we saw evidence of storm damage in the form of slips almost everywhere we went.) Even the South Fork Track had been partially rerouted along the bed of the Kaiaraara Stream. We were the only people at Mt Heale Hut and had a good rest after a reasonably taxing walk. But inspired by Jean-Yves, we found the energy to do a side trip to Mt Hobson --- the highest point on the island --- before sunset.
On Sunday we walked south out of the hills to the Kaitoke hot strings and had a dip in the hot, sulphurous water --- very soothing. Then along the road to Claris and a well-earned lunch at the "Claris, Texas" cafe. We still had lots of time to kill before our flight so we dropped our bags at the airport (I use the term loosely) and walked out to Kaitoke Beach. A few of us swam there, carefully, since the surf felt very treacherous.
I'd never been tramping overnight at the Barrier before and really enjoyed this trip. There aren't many weekend-sized hut tramps near Auckland, so this is a great option if you don't mind paying to fly out there. The flight itself is a lot of fun.
CP+ 2015: Fujifilm interview - 'our lenses are waiting for higher-resolution sensors' (455 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 05:58:00 -0500CP+ 2015: Fujifilm interview - 'our lenses are waiting for higher-resolution sensors'News: Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)
We recently returned from the CP+ show in Yokohama, Japan. When we were there we sat down with executives from most of the major camera and lens manufacturers to get their insights and opinions on the challenges facing their companies and the market as a whole. One of them was Toshihisa Iida, Senior Manager Sales & Marketing at Fujifilm's Optical Device & Electronic Imaging products division. Click through for the full interview
The Nature Of Creativity (19898 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 05:41:00 -0500The Nature Of CreativityThe Luminous Landscape - What's New
What is creativity? It’s a term widely used in the photographic world but one that is open to a variety of interpretations & definitions. So before I can write an article on the topic I ought to clarify what I mean when I use the word.
A simple dictionary definition gives us “characterised by originality of thought; having or showing imagination” (taken from the Collins Concise English Dictionary). When I talk of creativity in the context of photography I have in mind the production of a photograph that moves beyond a pictorial record of a subject. In other words a photograph that is more than a simple representation of what the eye has seen and, most importantly, one that reflects the photographers unique vision of the world.
And I believe the essential element that lifts a photograph beyond the simplistic level of a snapshot to something more creative, artistic & personal is when it is founded upon a thought, idea, concept or emotion. Without this foundation an image is superficial, even meaningless.
Through the process of considering what underpins the creation of an image it is more likely that the photographer will show that ‘originality of thought’ referred to in the dictionary definition of ‘creativity’. The act of clarifying what we want to communicate via a photograph will draw upon our views, prejudices, life experiences, feelings etc – in other words the things that make us unique.
When photographers on my workshops tell me they aren’t creative people it’s not techniques that I need to show them, for the use of a technique without a purpose is like putting the proverbial cart before the horse. Rather my task is to help them find their voice; to assist them in teasing out what they want to say about the world around them.
Can Everyone Be Creative?
I frequently hear claims from photographers that they are not artistic or they are not creative. This implies that creativity is a gift that some people are blessed with and others are not.
The natural, logical extension of this is that creativity cannot be taught. If that?s true then why do I run workshops on creativity and why do people come on them?! In part of course the participants hope that by learning creative techniques their photography will then become more creative. But without the right mental approach as well this leads to what I call ?creativity by numbers?.
For example, learning how to use a toy camera, a pinhole adaptor or soft focus filter doesn?t, on its own, make us into a creative photographer. I think that we can all achieve much more than that. In my view everyone one of us is capable of being creative.
And I?m not alone in that belief. William Neil, the American landscape photographer wrote in an article in Outdoor Photographer magazine: –
?Each one of us is unique and has a distinctive view of the world around us and, therefore has creative potential and often the need to define those differences artistically. Believing in one?s own creative potential is vital to making fresh images?.
We are born as creative beings. In my experience all children are creative – they see the world without constraint, without the glasses of familiarity and generally aren’t afraid to express their uniqueness.
Jeff Curto (Professor Emeritus of Photography at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois) produces podcasts, ‘The Camera Position‘ that I can highly recommend. In one of them he quotes the example of showing a black circle drawn on a white sheet of paper to two groups – one a group of young school children; the other a mature group of photographers – and asking ‘what is this?’. The photographers came up with accurate but not very imaginative answers – ‘a black circle’, ‘a black hole’ – whereas the children said things like ‘it’s a telegraph pole as seen by a bird’ and my favourite, ‘it’s the suns evil twin sister’!
There’s a dissertation to be written on why this might be the case but my view is that formal education, professional training and years of socialisation drain the creativity out of us – unless we make the conscious effort to resist. Ask yourself why some of the most creative people in the world are often branded as ‘eccentric’ or even ‘mad’ – maybe they are just different in that they don’t conform to what is expected of them.
For more on this watch the videos of Professor Ken Robinson where he accuses education systems of undermining rather than nurturing creativity.
So can we regain that creative spark we had as children or does it go forever? I believe that creativity is a habit ? it?s a way of working, a way of thinking and a way of seeing the world. But developing our creativity does require us to take action – we can?t wake up one day, decide to be creative and for that to magically happen in an instant.
It requires hard work, practice and dedication. Great musicians, artists, writers, dancers & other creative people don?t succeed without constant practice of their art.
And photography is no different.
How can we develop our creativity?
So I’d like to propose ten inter-related activities or strategies that I believe can help us in this process.
1 Cultivate Curiosity, An Interest & A Willingness To Experiment
This requires us to revisit the child within us and try to see the world anew; to attempt to regain our sense of awe of the world around us so that we overcome the staleness of familiarity.
So we must re-examine objects we take for granted and try to see them through new eyes ? looking for an approach that is fresh and different. The Austrian photographer Ernst Haas once said ?I am not interested in shooting new things ? I am interested to see things new?.
Finding photographs in the everyday, even mundane objects helps us discover the photographic potential all around us. It encourages us to look beyond the obvious – to photograph what things could be (to unlock their visual potential) not what they actually are. Our subject could be tools in the garden shed or utensils in the kitchen – the content is almost irrelevant as long as we’re interested & inspired enough to make photographs that appeal to us.
To help us in seeing the world anew it?s a useful discipline to set some targets or goals. For example to:
– take one photograph a week for 3/6/12 months of an object or subject in our house or garden; or
– spend a day producing a set of artistic interpretations of a vase or ornament; or
– allocate a month or a year to explore & photograph the locality where we live and attempt to produce an interesting image of the things we see on a daily basis.
Experimentation and adaptation are essential elements in creative photography. I’m constantly asking myself the ‘what if …. ?’ question e.g. ‘what would happen if I took long exposures handheld?’, ‘what would this subject look like if I photographed it at night or in the rain?’
In our experiments we shouldn’t become too pre-occupied with perfection or technical considerations. Play, have fun, be free – these are more important if we are to find our lost child.
2 Stay Loose; Keep An Open Mind
The second strategy for developing creativity I want to refer to is staying loose, keeping an open mind and not always trying to control the subject. Now I have to admit that this advice comes from a self confessed photographic control freak!!
For my landscape photography I normally work in a very disciplined, precise and methodical fashion. So I?ll normally shoot in a planned way visiting pre-chosen locations with careful consideration given to the season of the year, weather forecasts, light direction and so on.
But I?ve taught myself to value spontaneity and unpredictability because
what I?ve discovered through experience is that sometimes the conscious search for a photograph can actually hinder it being found. By just going out, looking at the opportunities that present themselves and making the most of those in a reactive way I?ll find different types of images to those that I would take with a pre-planned approach.
There is a different mindset involved working like this. As photographer Ruth Bernhard once said ? ?I never look for a photograph. The photograph finds me and says ?I am here??. The great Henri Cartier Bresson echoed Bernhard?s sentiments when he said: ?
?Photography is ???. intuition, a poetic experience. You can?t go looking for it; you can?t want it or you won?t get it. First you must lose yourself. Then it happens.
When Cartier Bresson refers to ?losing yourself? I interpret that as meaning ?being in the moment? or ?in the zone? as sports people tend to call it. That time when you are not overly thinking the subject or the situation but are in tune with it, reacting instinctively to it like a professional dancer to the music. To use another quote from an unknown source – you?re aiming to create a situation where ?you respond to your subject like a shadow to a shape or an echo to a sound?.
3 Work On The Edge
My third strategy for developing creativity is to constantly challenge myself ? particularly to force myself to work out of my comfort zone.
For instance I don?t enjoy photographing people so awhile back I deliberately spent a whole day capturing images of strangers on the street.
But you’ll need to find your own challenges:
– If you normally work in a spontaneous, unplanned way it might be beneficial to experiment with a more methodical approach occasionally;
– If you usually take landscapes that are sharp from front to back then play with limiting depth of field;
– If your preference is for colour photography try working in B&W (or vice versa).
Just working & thinking in a different way can give a boost to our creative juices.
4 Experiment & Play With Different Equipment
Trying out new pieces of equipment can also be a stimulus to our creativity. I?m not advocating that our photography should be equipment led because cameras and lenses are simply tools to record our vision. But working with a new or different piece of gear can stimulate us to see & think in a fresh way about a familiar subject.
I love to play with a variety of lenses and adaptors that can be bought at a very reasonable price e.g. Holga & CCTV lenses adapted for my Olympus OMDs; pinhole & zone plate adaptors. These are all relatively cheap so playing with new ?toys? needn?t cost the earth.
If your natural preference is for shooting wide vistas fit a longer lens and look for small ‘vignettes’ in the landscape – sometimes these can say as much about a location as the wider view.
Just using a different camera or format for a while can be a positive experience. If you normally produce photographs in a rectangular format then try shooting panoramic or square images.
If you normally work with sophisticated DLRS or CSCs with interchangeable lenses try shooting film with a toy camera like the Holga or using a small digital compact with a fixed lens and minimal controls (the proverbial ?point and shoot?).
The variety helps to maintain the momentum of our creative journey.
5 Break The Rules
Photography is full of so called rules and these can be the biggest barrier to the development of our creativity.
Take composition for example. There are so many rules that in theory should influence the design of our images – we are told that we should always compose using the rule of thirds, horizons should never be in the centre of the frame or we should never include even numbers of subjects in our compositions.
But if we blindly follow the rules we?ll get boring, formulaic photographs. My advice is treat rules as guidelines – but no more than that. We should abandon our (and other peoples pre-conceptions) of how things should be. For there are no ?shoulds? for the creative photographer.
If we learn to accept that there is no right way then it?ll become fun to explore as many different ways as we can to take photographs of any given subject. If we accept that there is no one way to do something we can remove the shackles & set our creativity free.
6 Don?t Concern Yourself With Popularity
Which brings me to my sixth strategy ? we shouldn’t worry about how others will react to our photographs. Photography is not objective ? a photograph says as much about the photographer as about the subject. Any image will always be a personal statement about the world and reflect a viewpoint that may or may not be shared by others.
In any event the viewer will make their own interpretation of our photographs and their judgement is something we have little if any control over. So why let it bother us?
To be constantly worrying about pleasing others prevents us from developing our own artistic voice with the danger that our photographs stay ?safe? and ?acceptable?. Our images then end up as clones of photographs that the world has seen before.
Which is boring, boring, boring!!!
As creative photographers we should value our individuality and be true to ourselves and not worry about whether anyone else will like the photographs we are taking. In the world of artistic photography there is no correlation between creativity and popularity.
Sometimes, for our creative vision to flourish, we have to try and learn to love & enjoy uncertainty ? the significance or value of an image may not be immediately apparent to us or anyone else.
We have to learn to trust our instincts. If our intuition is telling us that a particular subject is worth exploring then we should explore it and do so without thought or concern about whether it will be popular or where it might take us artistically.
This requires that we learn to value ambiguity ? become comfortable with the vague, the unknown or the unanswered question.
7 Photograph Your Passions
I believe that it?s essential to concentrate on the subjects we feel passionately about. For if we feel strongly about a subject then we are more likely to devote the time, energy, patience and persistence required to photograph it successfully and creatively.
And in this context passion could mean love or hate ? which one doesn?t matter ? because either way, our photographs are more likely to reflect that emotion and therefore have more impact.
I firmly believe that creative photography comes as much from the heart as from the head. We have to feel intensely about our subject ? we?ve got to react to it at a level beyond ?oh that looks nice?!!
And photographing the things we love is always inspiring and motivating. When we are in the creative doldrums that we all experience from time to time then returning to the subjects, situations and locations that enthuse us is always a great way of getting back onto our creative path.
8 Create Time AND Mental Space For Photography
Any artistic endeavour requires time and dedication as well as a good helping of concerted effort. Photography (and no more so than landscape photography) can be an incredibly unsociable activity. It requires a commitment of time and sometimes a degree of isolation from other people to produce our best work.
And personally I find it almost impossible to produce great photographs when I?m out & about or on holiday with family & friends. I cannot make the creative process work for me when I?m trying to squeeze picture making in between other demands and priorities. Experience has taught me that it’s essential to set aside dedicated & protected time for photography.
Allocating dedicated time will also help to ensure that we are in the right frame of mind to access the sources of our creativity and to fully concentrate on our subject. I know that to be my most productive not only my body but importantly my head needs to be in the right place. My mind needs to be clear of other pressures & worries and fully focused on the task in hand.
Which is why I believe the key issue to be about finding time and mental energy for the creative process. For one without the other leads to frustration and disappointment.
9 Draw Inspiration From A Variety Of Sources
Creativity and inspiration rarely come from within ? unprompted and unprovoked. Inspiration has to be drawn from a variety of sources. I draw on a well of material – sometimes sub-consciously – that have over the years informed, shaped and moulded my approach to photography and my way of responding to my environment.
The work of other photographers is an obvious source of material. I?d recommend looking at the images produced by photographers you admire and:
– analyse what it is about their work that appeals;
– imagine how they took some of their photographs and what thought processes they may have gone through;
– think about how you might tackle the same subject or scene to come up with a different interpretation.
But we shouldn’t restrict ourselves to just photographers – painters and other artists can be a valuable source of inspiration. Although I can?t paint to save my life I?ve drawn inspiration from artists such as Monet, Renoir and Mark Rothko considering how I can apply their approach (e.g. the style of work, the use of colour, shape and tone) to my photography.
Novels can be another source of ideas and reading them exercises the brain, forcing us to imagine worlds and scenes that we?ve never experienced personally.
Listening to music ? particularly music that generates an emotional response from us – can transport us to other places and times. I frequently shut myself away to listen to music, close my eyes, reflect on what it makes me feel like and how I could capture that feeling in a photograph.
10 Work On Projects
And finally one of the best ways of developing our creativity in photography is to set ourselves a project ; a challenge that will help to give our work a focus and a purpose.
It could be to:
– fully explore a particular technique; or to
– photograph one subject in as many different ways as possible; or
– to produce a body of work on a topic or theme for an exhibition.
Working on a project forces us out of our armchair (when sometimes it?d be easier to stay in front of the TV) and it gives us an opportunity or excuse to explore a subject in depth. This can force us to push boundaries, to think tangentially & look harder at a subject.
Anything that motivates us to take photographs is valuable because practice is the most essential element in our creative journey. Eliot Porter said that in photography ?you learn to see things by practice. The more you look around at things, the more you see?.
More of Steve Gosling?s images and details about his workshop programme can be found on his website www.stevegoslingphotography.co.uk
Sony will no more make CCD sensors. Future is CMOS only. (607 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 05:38:00 -0500Sony will no more make CCD sensors. Future is CMOS only.sonyalpharumors
Say goodby to the “old” CCD sensor tech. Sony now officially switched all their effort on CMOS sensor development and production only. The news comes via Allied Vision:
“Many in the industry had expected this to happen sooner or later. As you know, CMOS sensors have become more and more popular in the last couple of years. With greatly improved image quality, sensitivity, dynamic range and speeds, they have outpaced CCD technology of late. Sony?s decision is a logical step in that context to provide further capacity for CMOS growth.”
Found via Image Sensor World.
An Open Letter to the Artist Support System (413 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 04:57:00 -0500An Open Letter to the Artist Support SystemDIYPhotography.net -DIY Photography and Studio Lighting
Support is a funny thing. As an artist, 96% of our career is spent dealing with rejection. Rejection from friends, family, other artists and even the art world itself. Making a living from art can be a very long and lonely, misunderstood journey, especially in the beginning, and having a decent support system can help [...]
Ukraine's military reports significant fall in fighting (257 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 04:38:00 -0500Ukraine's military reports significant fall in fightingReuters: World News
KIEV(Reuters) - Ukraine's military said on Saturday there had been a significant decrease in attacks by pro-Russian separatists in the east overnight, but said rebels had fired GRAD missiles at the town of Avdiivka despite a two-week-old ceasefire deal.
OFF CIRCUIT Photography Competition (459 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 04:11:00 -0500OFF CIRCUIT Photography Competition
Copyright 2015 :: Open photo contests and competitions
- 5 projects to be shown during the current year’s edition of Cortona OTM.
You can take part in both competitions, OFF CIRCUIT and HAPPINESS ON THE MOVE, as long as you enter with two entirely different projects.
India extends withholding tax concession on foreign debt purchases by 2 yrs (251 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 04:03:00 -0500India extends withholding tax concession on foreign debt purchases by 2 yrsReuters: Financials
MUMBAI, Feb 28 (Reuters) - India extended the concessional rate of 5 percent for withholding taxes on debt investments by foreign investors by two years until July 1, 2017, according to a budget document within the Finance Bill issued on Saturday.
India raises defence budget modestly as it confronts China challenge (267 characters)
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 03:46:00 -0500India raises defence budget modestly as it confronts China challengeReuters: Industrials
NEW DELHI, Feb 28 (Reuters) - India announced on Saturday a modest 7.9 percent increase in defence spending for the fiscal year starting April 1, suggesting that it will move only gradually with the military's long wish list for fighter jets, ships and artillery.
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Game|Life Podcast: Is It a Good Idea to Bring Guitar Hero Back?
Are Rock Band and Guitar Hero really coming back? And is that a good idea? WIRED editors discuss it on this week's Game|Life podcast.
The post Game|Life Podcast: Is It a Good Idea to Bring Guitar Hero Back? appeared first on WIRED.
TI Structured Light Kit Demo
linkinpark342 created repository linkinpark342/docker-reviewbot
linkinpark342 created branch master at linkinpark342/docker-reviewbot
Dreaming of spring
I took this photo in Florida today, a reminder that spring is only a month away.
Qualcomm Research Demos
Inside the Insomnia-Inducing World of Horror Podcasting
The latest installment of Geek's Guide to the Galaxy goes deep into the world of horror podcasts.
The post Inside the Insomnia-Inducing World of Horror Podcasting appeared first on WIRED.
Game|Life Podcast: Awkward VR Porn Conversation, Then Kirby
On this week's episode of the Game|Life podcast, Bo Moore and Peter Rubin join me for what can only be called a wide-ranging discussion.
The post Game|Life Podcast: Awkward VR Porn Conversation, Then Kirby appeared first on WIRED.
TI ToF Solutions
Ditch the extra layers and go sledding? Upton to see 34 degrees!
by Meteorologist Jeb Postle Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: upton weather
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