Happy New Year from Raymond Parker Photo

Winter Sun (Beacon Hill Park)

Winter Sun (Beacon Hill Park)

First, all the best for 2015!

As far as resolutions go, in reference to this project, I’m looking forward to expanding this nascent site, beginning with some more galleries.

But I’ve also been mulling over the actual direction of this blog section and other content.

Like my relationship to cycling (another lifelong obsession) I’m not a techno geek. I like, as much as my bank account will allow, to own quality hardware and, in the digital world we now labour in, software that gets the job done.

Aside from referring to the gear I use and some superficial reviews, it’s unlikely that I’ll get into long, exhaustive (exhausting?) treatises on the resolving power of lenses or pixel-peeping comparisons of the latest camera sensors.

I will be happy to discuss my workflow, outside and inside the studio, as well as answer questions about the stuff I choose and how it works for me. I’m also planning to offer a more in-depth look, both visual and technical, into black & white film photography. What I want to avoid is brand wars and undue focus (excuse the pun) on tools over the work, on process over product. By work, I mean the effect or meaning an image might carry into the world.

A recent experience on social media reminded me how important it is to take or to maintain this path.

A Facebook friend and I were corresponding about the “Five-day B&W Challenge” — where people nominate one another to post a black-and-white photograph each day for, you guessed it, five days.

Shortly we were joined by a very self-assured chap determined to right all our misconceptions about photography in general and particularly our outrageous idea that “real” photos could be made with a smart phone!

Before I had chance to post a link to something like Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly’s year using only an iPhone, Mr. Know-it-all left, taking all his haughty comments with him, including the final exasperated declaration “I’m wasting my time here!” directed at his inferiors, including a printing industry technician with 25-years experience.

A little sleuthing on the interwebs revealed our expert to be someone who’d just got hold of a 25 megapixel camera (a Nikon D600) and attended some workshops.

While I’m not considering putting my D600 or D800 (36 megapixel, nya, nya!) in the closet for a year, I’ll certainly continue to use my iPhone 4s as the occasion arises, until I can rationalize the 6 or 6+ featuring 8-megapixel iSight camera with 1.5µ pixels and “Focus Pixels” — whatever they may be.

Excuse the deviation into tech-talk.

My point is that, as I’ve intimated before, discussing my first camera — the Kodak Brownie — the camera is secondary to the image it produces.

No one, including me, would suggest that some jobs require or at least benefit from specialized tools, but we should never forget that the tradesman’s skill and creativity is the most important asset.

Finally, this is another technical experiment … photographed and edited entirely on the iPhone, using Photoshop Express and WordPress plugins.

I probably won’t attempt to write a blog post as long as this on the phone again! 🙂 But certainly it goes to show that simple and portable is an attractive alternative to big and tethered technology.

How much do such features affect your choices?

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Raymond Parker Photo
230 Menzies Street,
PO Box 39029,
Victoria, BC,
Canada V8V 2G7

PH: (250) 896-7623

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