Photo assignment:

36. People At Work

People do fascinating things and sometimes the things we do for a living are among the most intriguing. For your August meeting assignment, it's "People At Work". If you're retired, go find some folks who aren't. If you work, you have a ready-made pool of potential subjects. Don't forget to get permissions where appropriate!

Twelve hardcore members of the DigiCam SIG gathered on the usual third Tuesday of the month to view each others monthly assignment photo marvels. The assignment was PEOPLE AT WORK. Nice overall meeting.

Bill Draper started off with pictures of beach sand removal via heavy equipments. He then caught photos of cement bulkhead repairs including the arrival of the big, big cement truck. Finally, there were photos of a stone mason's work.

John Hoffmann showed some worker "bees" from a recent cruise. There were porters, chefs, waiters, servers, and even casino dealers. John also showed several photos of local construction workers - carpenters way high up, sewer installers, and plasters doing building external surfaces.

Judy Henderson should a series of photos depicting about 10 young debs attending a training course. There were examples of food and table decorations. Finally there was a session of ceramics making as each girl made a hand held mirror with beautifully engravings/decorations. (Note: due to the nature of the photos and for reasons of privacy, these will not be displayed on the web site).

Patty Beasley started out showing a bright red Coast Guard helicopter with rotor blades almost stop-action. She had photos of beach sea grass (mostly beautiful, young gals mixed with the sea grass settings, with a tv news reporter mixed here and there in the scenery). She covered the working aspects of TV 3 news room with Joe Gazin and many of the technicians working to put the show on. Finally, Patty showed the Port Aransas laboratory students and professors working with sea urchins.

For the finale, Ken Parsons made a DVD presentation of a house being built across the canal from his house. It starts with a 1993 picture of the lot and then with a September 2004 to May2005 construction period. The secret was to keep the camera in the exact same place at the same time each day so that the pictures build a step by step story of the construction and construction workers. Each following picture just adds one feature to the overall picture - really neat and well done. What patience!!, Ken. (Note: due to the nature of the video piece, this will also not be shown on the web site.)

Having viewed all the assignment photos, we turned to our teaching segment of the evening. The next assignment is BLACK & WHITE. To get a jump start and have a few tips to get us started, Bruce Switalla made a very practical presentation gleaned from many Internet articles and authors.

BLACK & WHITE photos continue to exist as they have artistic and sometimes practical value as well as their ability to evoke nostalgic emotions. However, from a technical digital camera perspective, there is little difference. Think of a B&W photo as a colored photo robbed of its color saturation. Most digital cameras have a B&W option but be reminded that if you make a B&W digital photo you can not create a color photo from the image.

It is best to photograph in color as you can convert to B&W later via computer software graphics programs and still have a color image of the scene for future use. This B&W software conversion "magic" is called desaturation. If done, rename the photo file or you will permanently lose the original image. During the conversion, you can include other software effects such as graininess, or a flatter look or posterizing (some call it solarization). The type of photos gets involved with whether to convert to B&W or not - some very colorful images are not good subjects for conversion.

Bruce talked about B&W zones which are various f-stops leading to the degree of darkness or brightness. Some useful addresses to visit are as follows: 

B&W photography is a real, apparently permanent, outlet. Even special printers (Epson) exist using three different black shades.

As usual, these instructions as well as all the photos shown can be viewed at the follow site: 

Soooooo, get your camera going for the next month making BLACK & WHITE photos. No restrictions on subject matter so let it range from scenery/outdoor shots to people shots. Good opportunity to learn something new for most of us. This way we get to share our mistakes also.

For the scribe . . .
John Hoffmann



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