More to come, I have just been busy with life.

More to come, I have just been busy with life.

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So what color is the dress? How color is not always rendeder accurately

So what color was that dress?

In the grand scheme of things- not newsworthy, yet it made international news. As for why it looked different? Several factors come together- and it has nothing to do with the psychobable that the US underwater basket weavers want you to believe.

There are a few factors influencing how something looks on an LCD screen. Color saturation, Hue, contrast, tint and more importantly the viewing angle. The lighting conditions of where that first image was taken is also a factor. If you do not think viewing angle is important- turn on your TV set or place your computer monitor in a spot on the desk where you can view it while laying on the floor.

Then ask yourself this- did you ever adjust any of those settings on your computer, your TV set or your smart phone? Chances are the answer is no. But even if you had, the way you have yours set it may not render everything accurately. So an image taken under mixed lighting, and while digital cameras usually auto adjust the white and black balance to the exisitng conditions, if you have the camera positioned in a way that it renders color hues as if it is under flourescent or incandescant lighting but you get an influx of daylight into the area being imaged, the sunlight may render the subject a little towards the blue end of the spectrum- and while black is not always going to show other hues of light falling upon it, plus your eyes compensate quite well (which allows digital abberations to occur without notice), keep in mind it is being translated to binary coding. So how it is viewed on the second LCD screen (the first recipient of that image), depending how it is set up, and if someone else was looking over that person’s phone from an odd angle, it is very likely what started that whole chain of events.

So the psychologists and psychiatrists got it wrong. But then the underwater basket weavers do not know enough about technology to understand this post even, it logically explains why they would rely on the psychobable answers.

Now- Why do you lay down on the floor and look at your TV set, or computer monitor? Or your tablet, laptop or smartphone upside down? Simple- it reveals how light is bent by the difracting material that is part of the backlighting of the LCD screen. If you take apart a typical LCD display, you have the LCD panel and beneath that a sheet of translucent clear material, with prismatic sheets beneath that with ultimately an acrylic sheet beneath that. The prismatic sheets are not exactly polarizing the light, but it is bending the backlighting and helping to difuse it otherwise you would see the areas in front of the CFL tubes or the LED strip as brighter than the rest of the screen.

So what happens is the LCD screen is transmitting light that is almost polarized on the back side of the panel, (and some LCD panels have a layer of polarization to help elminate those “hot spots” as well), so the light becomes almost fully polarized that you are seeing and as a result, the acceptable viewing angle of the LCD Panel itself narrows. So as a result when you view it outside of the normal viewing angle, black can become white or some shade of blue, etc- the image “almost” becomes a negative of the actual image.

So whatever color you see of that dress- it is not in your head- it is in the display device. Add to that the usual bias towards a white with a very slight bluish tint is often considered “more white” than “true white”.

This is but one of several reasons “Pantone” is the source for accurate color swatches and why they are expensive. This is ultimately what your calibrations of digital camera, monitor, or other display device is calibrated to.

But don’t expect any reporter/underwater basketweaver to get it right- it is too far over their head. What get’s me is that it became an international “news” story.

Posted in Color rendering, Media commentary, Photography, presstitutes, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

A Discussion of Photographic Composition

Something that always amazed me was the unaware nature of the Not So Able Woodsman when it came to composition, this is just a simple observation. At one point years ago while storing some of his videos and photos, I did go through many of his images, and as touristy type snapshots, they were passable, though some were just horrible. Any honest photographer will tell you that they may shoot 100 images to find that “one”. Which is largely true, not all images are “keepers”. However Ansel Adams knew his equipment and his materials very well so even some of his “near misses” are actually quite good. Ansel was known to wait days for the conditions to be perfect for his images. W. Eugene Smith is also an iconic photographer, but many of his images were taken in a way they could not be staged, and while sometimes they were- his composition was at the level of instinct when it was a matter of shooting images under fire, which he did do as well. If you have some situational awareness about your surroundings, and your gear, your chances of having a higher percentage of good or great shots goes up exponentially.

Few ever achieve that level of mastery of Adams or Smith. Can people achieve good compositional skill with less than top-end gear? Yes, but top end gear does not compensate for poor compositional skills either. The Not So Able Woodsman for example shot a series of images at the Exide Battery plant in Minneapolis before it was closed, and k nowing him and his love of Canon, I suspect it was an OM series; and the only reason I recognized what the subject matter was due to the fact that I know how lead acid batteries are made, and his photos were anything but descriptive of what I think he was trying to show because he shot most from the wrong angle. The images amounted to “throw aways” because they failed to show anything useful, nor “tell a story” which is essential for good composition.

If you are wanting to be a paprazo and sell celebrity snap shots after chasing celebrities out on the town, you get the furthest with a camera that fits in your pocket. Today we have cellphones with cameras, and they will dookay for that sort of thing but people still do not know how to handle them for the best looking shots, which I will mention a few things on that below.

Something that is often taken for granted about decent composition is the history of photography, and perhaps the widest use of the camera for business to business advertising prior to 1950 were the railroads and the locomotive factories. Therefore it should be no shock that most steam locomotive factories had a staff photographer to shoot “Builder Shots” of all the locomotives when they came out of the assembly house. Yes, it is very “cookie cutter” and simple in methodology for composition, but in one image you had the essence of that locomotive. It was the basis for many advertising photos that appeared in magazines for cars, appliances, radios, various home products etc at the time and is still in use today. It essentially breaks down this way- If the locomotive is the reference and I will use clock notation to give some idea of where things were done. The thumbnail sketch below is not really to any scale, but it is more to illustrate the relationship of the angles involved. If the locomotive is parked so the tender is at “12 Oclock”, The builder shots would have the camera location between roughly 4 and 5 Oclock or 7 and 8 Oclock. Those were the classic orientations and are roughly the blue triangles.



Side shots would also be taken and sometimes the front, and those pretty much self explanatory. That was how those were staged. This is also how many architectural renderings are done as well. However this was something that was forgottten when Computer Aided Drafting hit the scene in the 1980’s, this is perhaps one reason among several that those larger building built in the 1980’s and 90s look so flat- they were concieved on a computer screen.

There are several important elements to having good composition-
*Avoid strong angular items in the frame unless they are in harmony with the subject- Using the locomotive analogy, there were always rails. If you are at say a reception desk, the line it cuts across the image should be parallel to the bottom of the screen, othewise the viewer will be expecting the “Batman” phrases at any time because that was used in the fight scenes of the original “Batman” TV series (You remember “BIF!, Pow!, etc…).
* The image should be descriptive- don’t title somethig pretentiously unless it is the only thing in the image and generally pleasing to the eye. If it helps- find a statue and or a fountain and do a photo study of just that- from all angles.
* Use depth of field to your advantage when it helps to sharpen the focus on what you are trying to show.
The image below is an example. You have some branches in front to give the image some depth, but they are not in focus, and neither is the background- but this helpw guide your eyes to the small branch with ice crystals formed on it. It is “Hoar Frost” Not quite as delicate as the Rhime Frost or “Eisblume” you would see if the amount of humidity were greater.
DSC07190a DSC07201a
* Using depth of field without an out of focus object in front also works well,
* The image should convey an emotion, or a story. This is why a picture is worth a thousand words. The two images below are roughly 2 different images of the same thing- one is more distracting due to the snow in the foreground, but the other evokes an emotion much better because it is composed better. It creates an invitation to the viewer.
*Avoid overuse of color filters. Polarizers are a different matter, but Galen Rowell had numerous prints published by Portal Publishing that were quite scenic, but many were not natural looking to me as he used colored filters to achieve a color that nature would not give him. Does this make him bad? No- Not hardly; the prints made him money, but they, like many Maxfield Parish lithographs, had a soft and warm color pallete, but the light levels that you would have to achieve those colors naturally is not adequate for a good photo, or in the case of a Maxfield Parish lithograph, the main scene was painted as brighter than it would naturally would be lit, but many of his paintings you know him for were largely fantasy images, but inspired by the grandeur he saw while he was painting western landscapes along with Remington and others.
* Avoid Vignetting, unless it helps establish a story. This can happen when a zoom lens with filter is “taken wide”, or if a light hood is a little too long.
* Take the picture a little bit wider than you want it- this allows for cropping later. Some digital cameras are more forgiving in this than their film counterparts, but some images are very striking and you do not want to find out after you have developed the film that it was slightly cropped in the worng area. If shooting a large format field camera, you have the choice of shooting a little wide or trying to have it exactly right so your contact print comes out as you want it.
* Learn and Use the “Zone System” or as written in a series of articles in the magazine “Darkroom and Creative Camera Techniques” titled “Beyond the Zone System”. The gist of both of those is to set the camera up (if digital) to expose the shadows. However with digital, you do lose highlight information though, so you have to know where your tradeoff point is (unless you want to attempt to add fill flash, which defeats the purpose of the Zone System). -With film, if you expose for the shadows with “Negative” film, you have image density you can adjust for in the darkroom when you develop the film and print them. If shooting positive film, you want to decide your midpoint highlight and shadow then expose for that compromise so you have some density in the highlights without losing shadow detail. However when shooting night views, you need to deicde if the highlights are really what you might think they are, and not something else. One of the images I used in my portfolio in the 1990’s was a vintage diesel locomotive (a BN FP9 converted to power unit for snow melting) in brown primer under night lighting with essentially a black background. So the only real highlight was the darker brown, though some lit windows in a building behind it did show up in the image. Unfortunately I do not have a scanner that can render it decently to put a view of this one up.
*When printing (darkroom), you need to develop the paper for the highlights. As good as photo manipulation software is, it has limitations. I can do more in a darkroom with an enlarger than I can do with even the high end photo software when dealing with lenticular film and paper.
* When shooting with a field camera, make sure your ground glass is placed correctly into the camera so the etched surface is in the same plane as the film will be, otherwise you lose a bit of sharpness. This why there are “120 backs” and “220 backs” for medium format cameras of decent pedigree- it keeps the emulsion in the same plane as even just that backing paper of 120 if used in a 220 film back is enough to destroy sharp focus, or not having that paper thickness behind if using 220 in a 120 back.
* If shooting wildflowers, especially “specimen” shots, if you go to the trouble of adding dramatic lighting or waiting for just the right light conditions, do it tastefully. The flower petals of a Pasque flower develop a luminescent quality when the light level (if bouncing sunlight light off a reflector), or the sun’s angle is “just right”. Letting the natural light flow through the petal instead of bouncing off the surface of the petal gives a nice dramatic appearance that you cannot replicate with photoshop or other manipulation software.
* when shooting landscapes, if the image entails a space rather than a sweeping view- set up the frame to be one that is inviting, something that draws you in and gives you a “sense of entry” into that other place. Well planned conservatories and greenhouses that have the public in mind are great examples to utilize.
* When Shooting landscapes or scenics- be aware of your surroundings and those who may be around you because you would be amazed at how many unaware people there are around you- and some make an indellible negative impression when their tripod leg ends up in your photo. Because when this happens- it happens only once, and I personally from that time forward will always be in front of you when I am taking my pictures.
*If shooting with a cellphone camera, hold it close to your body and if you are shooting video, rotate at the hips rather than trying to hold the camera at arm’s length- this holds the camera steady. It also produces a more professional appearing image or video sequence.

These are just small details. They will help pull images out of the run of the mill “snapshots”- which are fine for when you do a photo inventory for insurance purposes, into something you would be proud to have on your wall. Some images are just going to be soft no matter what you do, such as the image below- the pine tree is over 400 yards away, and visibility due to fog was perhaps just under a mile- but it is still a nice shot.

Lastly a gripe, because what passes as “high art” these days is just bad camera work- on purpose. I find it amazing that poor camera techniques are “trendy’- It was bad enough with the ads that used the wandering camera that left you wondering what product they were actually selling. However these days, the shows that rely on too much “stedi-cam” footage are actually just slow motion train wrecks. While it sort of worked with “Firefly”, the concept of the shows like “The Office”, “30 Rock’, “the Middle”, etc, where they use quick rack focus, and other poor techniques to give the show a “rustic” or “home video” feel, or to make it seem like you are insider there- I don’t get the attraction, I am not entertained at all by bad camera work, I am just distracted by the bad camera work. Call it “cheesy” if you will, I just call it bad.

It will not be long before the lightning pans you often see on Youtube when a kid is showing the layout of something, something that should be a slow circular pan of the work space which would present well as a 5+ second pan is just done in one second, will become the standard fare of the mainstream media. When that day comes, it will be more than the single face palm mainstream media gets it will be far greater.
double-facepalmtactical face palm
I also disagree with the obligatory “dog ass shots” when a news story about dogs is shown on TV, if it isn’t that, it is either a small child with a microphone stuck in their face trying to explain as only a small child can describe (overuse of that human interest angle or “AWW” factor.) or the barely intelligable words of a distraught individual (sheesh, give them their space and have some respect for their distress rather than try to exploit them in the name of “Human Interest” as they are there to just report the news- not make it a spectacle). The other “obligatory” footage is the camera on a stick held out the car window down close to the road for virtually any discussions about roads during an infotainment program. You can hardly call them “news” these days, as far as “journalism” is concerned, you do not see it demonstrated in the US by the mainstream media, which is the single biggest reason people get more of their news from the web- because the “stupid” filter is removed.

I am bucking the trend, I now that Fallon agency thinks it is “THE” expert on media and is behind much of the descent to idiocy that has become what used to be called “news”, but they will be the first to tell you that perception is considered to be reality, you see it with the footage of the “Obamacare consultant” from MIT calling the voters “stupid”- and I percieve Fallon as being as intellectually and emotionally stunted (or stupid) based on what a joke they have made of the “News” broadcasts of Minneapolis and St Paul and elsewhere of KARE, WCCO, KSTP, KMSP, Nightly Business Report, NBC Nightly News and ABC Nightly News. They make those broadcasts beyond “Snookie supid”- not merely dumbed down for those who don’t pay attention, but downright “snookie-stupid”! Enough with the pseudo wags or pseudo unfurling, or just downright stupid ads- they certainly prove they are finding a deeper and deeper bottom of the barrel, which I had wrongfully thought they had reached with with the “spinning dog” (for no reason other than to get their trademark into the ad). Such gimicks when employed make any concern about composition of the image unnecessary as people have often switched the channel already.

Posted in Ad Companies, Media commentary, Photography, presstitutes, Uncategorized, video production and life in general. | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

I am not going away.

I do sometimes wonder about the intellect of ad companies. I get the impression that they are indeed the ones operating at a 6 year old mentality. First case in point in most local news casts- cluttered with sound effects and video effects that serve no logical purpose, because that segment of the audience they think they are attracting by attempting to replicate a video game just falls so short- focus groups or not- the fact is the people they really want to attract have tuned them out in favor of the video games- the games are more relevent to what is going on in the world than much of the blather on most local “news” programs, and the network jokes are just as bad- They seem to have forgotten what the news was supposed to be like prior to the promotion of Rune Arledge at ABC that began the decline.

The media moguls are facing a new reality of the web as very real competition, and for actual content for news- it cannot be beat. For those who believe you cannot believe everything you read on the web- True enough, New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC, Fox, CBS all have websites so it is true you really cannot trust what you read on the web when you are relying upon the US national broadcasters and newspapers.

Funny thing is- some of the outlets the networks try to dismiss have better documentation and solid sources than the networks do. So who to believe? Just about anyone that does not listen to ad companies who are the usual “go-to” people for media consultations. What do you expect from a bunch of childlike minds as exemplified by some of the AT&T ads themselves- One adult with a product surrounded by a bunch of 6 year old “thinkers” calling themself an ad company.

The second is the very company that plagerized my characterizations of an inept individual trying to pass himself off as a well seasoned outdoorsman (another intellectually and emotionally stunted individual, as stunted as most ad companies).

I know I have talked about this before, but the funny thing is these blog posts come up quite high in the various search engine rankings, and I am only speaking the truth, which in part is established by the date of this first blog post- which was the transition point where what I had posted in a forum from 2003 onward, predate the “Unprepared Man”.(

Personally I would have thought Gander Mountain would have done a better job of vetting that ad series, and be more responsive to my concerns I shared with them right at the start. Because of that blunder on their part, and it is a blunder- They failed to grasp that the characterizations were an accurate description of someone who wanted to become the “Robin Leach” of the elitist rich outdoor activities, but was as inept in real life as Les Stroud portrayed on OLN “Survivorman”.

You would also think that Richard’s Group- the plagerizing company- would be so embarassed about having this major Faux Pas on their part being openly discussed that they would just buy all the rights to the “Not So Able Woodsman” and be done with it. But that assumes they are capable of some mature reasoning and understanding of “CYA”. But more and more people are finding this blog, which should be of concenr to them, and in the long run it would just be cheaper for them to buy all the rights and buy me out.

You would think the image conscious would be more responsive. Of course, the Not So Able Woodsman” himself, now that he has burned through some of his inheritance, would want to see the blog buried as well; because he knows there is a tremendous amount of material I have not put up on the web that would make for a perfect candidate for a FOX TV series. You would think that even he, with his stunted maturity would understand this, but then that would be giving him the benefit of the doubt.

For those who think I am being petty- not hardly. A whistleblower has to decide at some point to take a stand, and I have. If this makes some uncomfortable- then they have to ask themselves in their heart what they really stand for? Because it is not principle- because that is what I am standing up for, and I have material for scripts to go along with it. The perpetrators have no shame, none have “manned up” and admitted their mistakes and made good on those mistakes, so I see nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. ( which is a playing card suit as well as a garden implement, and the last name of a fictitious Private Investigator.) You would think they would just do what Disney did with the Sqratt debacle and just stick a crowbar in the wallet and buy all the rights and be done with it.

This is essentially a business deal to sell a script or concept, and has been from the beginning.

Posted in Ad Companies, Gander Mountain, Media commentary, Richard's Group, Richards Group, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am still here….

Just busy. I did locate some of my archived forum threads, and have been in contact with a few people who might have saved those threads as well.

What always was a little confusing, is how the individual who pitched the idea of “unprepared man” to “Richards Group” could NOT know it was a real person I spoke about? I mentioned several times in the threads that he was indeed a real indivual. of whom- Granted, emotionally stunted who decided to run and hide once his lame attempt to show how he was “living large” these days ( a pathetic display actually). I wonder if he reported his inheritance to the government? Probably not.

While Pagliachi is a tragic operatic figure, Pagliachi is not exactly pitiable. The Not So Able Woodsman on the other hand is very pitiful and deserving of pity because he missed or wasted so much opportunity.

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While going through some old bookmarks the other day…

I obviously got under the skin of the Not So Able Woodsman/Jim Swantsrom of Ossippi Corners/Merrifield. Oh- did I reveal his secret? Seems he likes to claim he is from Pine River or Nisswa when posting on Craig’s List or some forum. Definitely a sign of a personality flaw.

But I would be remiss in mentioning that he took down his photos- that’s okay, I will post them back up. Maybe even a google map inset too just to make him nervous.

I am sure it irks him no end that he cannot hide in plain sight. Richard’s Group did kill the “Unprepared Man” campaign because one of thier people finally figured out- I am not, and was not writing fiction, about his ineptness in the field. But I guess Richards Group demonstrated it’s own bit of ineptness by not pursuing due dilligence and plagerizing. They could have bought usage rights relatively reasonable compared to some usage rights pricing.

But hey, I am merely keeping things current on the matters of the grifter who thought he was going to snooker me out of my insurance money- and in the process racked up a chunk of unpaid wages- he did providee all of the video gear, therefore that changes the working relationship to that of employer/employee. He claimed a “contract”- but he did not have any rights to it- therefore it was as fraudulent as any deed for the Brooklyn bridge that may exist. Not to mention misrepresentation.

If he were even 1 tenth the Christian man he claimed to be, he would seek to make things right- after all it is also a fundamental precept of any 12 step program, but then, the 12 step program also leaves its adherents vulnerable to self delusion and rationalization. Too bad he is too intellectually stunted to realize this.

Never forget that Karma often weighs in in some way. I see it possibly coming with the fallout surrounding the “Fiscal Cliff” the media was complicit with prior to the November selection.

Why are running and hiding Jimmy?

Posted in Ad Companies, Media commentary, presstitutes, Uncategorized, video production and life in general. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am still here,

I have just been busy with other things.

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Still here….

Just busy

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The Not So Able Woodsman surfaces, if for only a brief moment.

Yes, as the title says, he did appear for a brief moment trying to post a new scam on Craigs List. I sent him a note. What I should have alsoAsked was< "…If someone were proficient with Final Cut Pro- Why would they work for nothing when they can hire out at a meaningful hourly rate doing freelance work?". Not to mention his use of "intern" with the job duties expected- goes against numerous labor laws because it would be putting them in the position of actually producing the final product for sale.

As I mentioned numerous times in earlier posts- that boy is clueless. I did try to go back but it was flagged off before I could do anything. My email message at least got through because it did not bounce back. But that ad sure disappeared quick. It lasted about as long as the Not So Able Woodsman really would in a true wilderness situation. Although he would consider it wilderness if he could not get his Latte. The wimp. I highly doubt he could handle “Rebel coffee”.

Yep, that boy in Ossippee Corners, MN has a lot to learn about the real world. There are keyboard commandoes on Craig’s List and I would guess some are union members spiking ads like his worded in a way that indicate violations of labor laws, or people trying to undercut living wages. I do not for a moment dispute their methods.

At first I left the ad alone, and then I went back to save it for posterity, but it was already gone. C’est la Vie!

In other developments, in a way concerning the Not So Able Woodsman; I am working up a stand up comedy act. After all, I do have plenty of material to draw from, and got great reviews on the written posts, not to mention plagerized by Richards Group. Jimmy might complain, but he would be the only one. I would make sure to let people know I speak not of a dentist, nor of a hospital administrator, I am only speaking of the one and only Jimmy Gitngo of Ossipee Corners, MN.

Too bad for him if he really is trying to start over with the videos, he had a chance to do it right originally, and blew it. I think the real reason is he does not know how to do it right in spite of his posturing and bluster.

That boy is fence post stupid! If there is only 1 wrong way to do something and few dozen ways to do it right- he will do it the wrong way.

Shred On dudes!

I found out the poster was not the Not So Able Woodsman, but rather someone who should know better about internships. The Stand up act is taking shape too.

Posted in Ad Companies, Media commentary, Uncategorized, video production and life in general. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I am still here

I have just been busy.

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