Friday, April 12, 2013

TGIF: Means to an End

Has been a bit since TGIF appeared. Time has been spent attempting to decide what's next. While always "leaving the door open" to whatever might come thru, like to have a end in mind.

Planning includes not only the end game but also the means to achieve it. As the medical issues are being resolved, - and they are - I will certainly continue documenting the the changing Midwestern cityscape. That project is very high on my to-do list of photography tasks. Much of the previous work has been in presenting structures - buildings - and objects - equipment. Time has come to investigate the people that populate these locations. Individuals that remain and sustain the Midwest are very important to understanding this region.

Photograph people. It is one thing to say and another to do. They live and work there. I suddenly appear, and enter their life. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Trust and acceptance take time - often a lot of time. Time, not an easy problem to solve.

After many cups of coffee, looking out the window and talking with Scout - the wonder dog - arrived at a couple of solutions to the time problem.

Reviewing past photographic "people projects" where I spent daily time with folks, trust and acceptance were often gained by showing and giving photographic prints to the subjects. Taking images, processing materials and giving prints took time with and away from the involved people.

Earlier projects were accomplished using photographic film. That meant that after exposure the film had to be developed and the prints made. This implied that a darkroom and necessary equipment were availble. The work flow in this case was: expose film, go to darkroom, develope film, make prints, show and give prints. The darkroom was off site which meant that I leave and later return. Not a problem as the distance between site and darkroom was not too great - usually a few hours, at most day.

That was then, this is now. That was analog, today is digital. Working with people today still requires trust and acceptance. In the past, photographic prints were used. Today, digital images can be used. Digital cameras have viewing screens. Take a photograph, look at the camera back and there is the image - small but there. Showing is immediate. No darkroom needed. No leaving and returning. Giving? Today most have access to a computer - public or private. Sending the image - e-mail, etc. - solves the giving problem

Consider the way to achieve. Success is dependent on gaining trust and acceptance, which is achieved digitally - camera viewing screen. Can this be improved? This question has been my focus for the past week. Answer - camera viewing screen; problem small and hard to see. Answer - needs to be bigger and easier to view; problem - How? Answer - use a laptop computer; problem - along with camera equipment, big and bulky. Answer - viewing ability bigger but not too big.

Enter the IPad. After many, many hours of viewing web pages with news releases -product PR, product reviews - who writes these? and You Tube videos - who makes these?, settled on an IPad. Other tablets were considered, but the Apple appeared to fulfill my needs.

Selection of an IPad was only the start. Several new problems - wanting answers - surfaced. How to enter images that are recorded on a camera card. Short answer use a card reader - of course made by Apple. Another piece of equipment to carry along with camera, lenses, notebook and IPad. Long answer, use something wireless - requires Wi-Fi - new problem that is not completely - at this time - solved.

OK, the images are in the IPad. They can be viewed in the field but at some point will wish to have them on a home computer in order to work on them. Implies the IPad and computer need to "talk" to each other. Turns out there is an app for that. In fact, there are a lot of apps for that. Which one? Again - the usual drill - web pages, reviews and You Tube lead to a solution, problem solved.

As of today, the wireless problem remains. This is a twofold problem. First, while in the field, how to wirelessly transfer images from camera to IPad. Secondly, how, while in the field, to wirelessly obtain "live view". That is, showing the image on a IPad immediately after capture without removing the card from the camera.

The answer to these questions may be at the front door. UPS just dropped off a package. Check back next TGIF.

Will leave with:

                                                           Eaton, Ohio.

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