I’m often asked by friends and relatives, not to mention other members of the photography club I belong to, “Is that the way it looked?” My answer has been, “not exactly” because the camera never captures a scene that is exactly what I was seeing at the time. Cameras are not eyes and no matter how far the technology advances, it’s not as good as a human. But there’s something else that doesn’t come from the camera.

A column, Interpretation And Refinement, by Bill Neill(BTW, be sure to look at the picture Neill has of the adjustments he has made in Photoshop) in Outdoor Photography says this a lot better than I do, however. Neill says “Whether using film or digital, the untouched result[from the camera] aren’t ‘reality’ or what the eye sees. In addition,the unadjusted capture probably has little emotional connection to, as Ansel[Adams] put it, what the photographer saw and felt about the scene. (emphasis added)

And that’s what I’ve been doing. I try to refine a picture until it looks like what I was feeling when I took the picture. Do I over do it sometimes? Probably. But those guys who say they “never touch a picture” must not have any feelings. It’s not all about technical stuff, it’s about what I want to do with it.

Merit Award, Marin County Fair I just learned this picture received a “Merit award” in projected images at the Marin County Fair. It’s not a win but it’s great – I actually get some $$ out of this. There are “Best in Show,” First and Second Places that I didn’t get but, hey, you gotta start some place.

I entered five images and all five made it to the finals. I’m pumped!

Bruce Schneier, who specializes in security issues, has an interesting article on photographers and security in his most recent newsletter. You should read the entire article but here’s a quote:

“Fear aside, there aren’t many legal restrictions on what you can photograph from a public place that’s already in public view. If you’re harassed, it’s almost certainly a law enforcement official, public or private, acting way beyond his authority. There’s nothing in any post-9/11 law that restricts your right to photograph.

This is worth fighting. Search “photographer rights” on Google and download one of the several wallet documents that can help you if you get harassed; I found one for the UK, US, and Australia. Don’t cede your right to photograph in public. Don’t propagate the terrorist photographer story. Remind them that prohibiting photography was something we used to ridicule about the USSR. Eventually sanity will be restored, but it may take a while. ”

Here’s a link to a summary article with more links.

So check this out: I have been geotagging my pictures for a while, for the most part. Smugmug reads the GPS data and uses Google to show a map of where I was when I took the picture. Only one of my galleries has the GPS data — I’ve been uploading pictures stripped of exif data — but take a look at this gallery. When it loads, click on the “Map This” button in the upper right. When you get the map, click on a green ‘dot.’

Now is that cool or what? BTW, one location is a little off. Can you guess which one? Think about it.

Birds at Palo Alto BaylandsThere’s an article in this morning’s Chronicle about Michael Bernard Loggins. He’s created his own words to mean things he needs to say. For example, there’s Unclude, v. Keeping things you don’t appreciate out of your life. The one that is particularly apropos to me is “Blank-Trip” – a trip that doesn’t result in what you wanted. My trip to the Palo Alto Baylands this morning was a working definition of “Blank-Trip.”