The first image below is real – I shot it on the Bay Trail, riding through Pt. Isabelle into the fog last weekend. The rest of these are total lies – I made them from the original in about five seconds each. Most images you see in the world are retouched in some way, but the community of Luminar users has rightly erupted into controversy over the “AI Sky Replacement” feature in Luminar 4, which was just released. Already there’s a growing marketplace of “sky packs” you can purchase as plugins. The line between retouching and total fabrication of truth gets more blurry every year. We’ve always had Photoshop, but what changes is the access and the ease of photo and video manipulation tools. It used to take real skill to lie with photos; now it’s effortless.
Just discovered that if you upload a photo to Facebook from your phone, then upload the exact same image to the same post from desktop, the quality difference is huge. FB compresses the crap out of phone uploads.
Here’s proof — I uploaded these images from phone, didn’t give it much thought. Then later that day viewed the post on desktop/web and realized they looked like crap. My normal workflow is to do all posting from desktop, so I don’t typically see this effect, but this time, it was dramatic. I then added the same images to the post from desktop and arranged them side-by-side for easy comparison. FB doesn’t just compress a little from the phone, they compress like crazy.
Enough to get a feller running back to Flickr… but then I thought this must be an option or a setting. Went digging and sure enough… On the phone, go into Settings | Videos and Photos | Upload HD to force the mobile app to upload your actual photos rather than compressed versions.
Hey wow! KQED used two of my photos in their recent story on Sierra snow pack (mine are the top image, and the lower left in the bottom grid).
I’ve spent the past few months going through and organizing my entire iPhoto -> Photos.app collection. It’s been a tedious but wonderful process. I’ve come to a few conclusions:
- Everyone is sitting on tens of thousands of digital images.
- No one can find a damn thing in that giant pile.
- If you can’t find it five or ten years from now you may as well have not taken it in the first place.
- The time to deal with your images is the day you shot them.
- Delete the duds. Bad exposure. Out of focus. Not the best of the set. Delete delete delete. Delete heaps and you’ll still have more keepers than you’ll ever be able to enjoy. Don’t be a hoarder.
- For the keepers, the key is findability.
- Image titles. Album titles. Faces. Keywords. Doesn’t matter. Just make sure one or more keyword exists for search.
- When adding titles, imagine a future version of yourself searching for this image.
- Be disciplined. The longer you wait, the more daunting the task.
- Chip away. Do it now.
At the start of 2014, I made it my New Year’s resolution to take at least one photo per day for the year. I had done the project once before, in 2011, after a suggestion by the amazing Richard Koci-Hernandez. The goal is to keep your photographic “eye” always open. That’s easy when you’re traveling or out having adventures, much more difficult through an ordinary workday, treading the same old offices and streets. But it’s amazing how things just seem to “turn up” when you have an eye out for possibilities.
It’s also a fantastic way to end up with your own “year in review” – really fun to walk back through some of the year’s best memories.
Watch the embedded slideshow here (full-screen please!) or check out the Flickr set
Best father’s day a guy could ask for – kayaking and oysters at Tomales Bay, near Point Reyes, CA. Unfortunately I blew most of the kayaking shots due to not wiping crusted saltwater off the lens regularly (live and learn). Check out the note my wife left for me in the sand.
Hiking in the woods, went to snap a shot of M when he rushed the camera.