Victor Filepp Photography: Blog https://www.vivafigi.com/blog en-us (C) Victor Filepp (Victor Filepp Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:30:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:30:00 GMT https://www.vivafigi.com/img/s/v-12/u389365436-o637868388-50.jpg Victor Filepp Photography: Blog https://www.vivafigi.com/blog 120 118 The f-Stops Here https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2019/11/the-f-stops-here Some of you already know that I was asked to judge/jury the 2019 version of The f-Stops Here photography exhibit at the Hygienic Art Center in New London, Connecticut. It was flattering to be asked to do something that I never thought would be part of my journey into photography. Of course, my first thought was that I would not be able to submit work to the show. My second thought was more like, “Me! Really?!” I suppose it's all part of the impostor syndrome that many of us endure. When I sang in several bands, and played a bit of guitar, I would never say that I was a musician. When I worked at a service station, not a gas station, as the owner always insisted, I never said I was a mechanic. I did the work, but always felt at odds with the 'title'. All these years later I will still not claim either appellation. But after reading some, and talking with some friends, I felt I could do the job, and so I did. It was not quite as difficult as I thought it would be. It was a little surprising that there were not more entries, about 130. The gallery thought they would be able to exhibit around 70. I needed to eliminate about half the work. More could have stayed, but I felt it was better to stay close to the number the gallery felt could be shown well. I have had work in some shows that were overpopulated, and so some work was shown in locations that did not really work well.

I was not asked to provide a juror's statement, but the next day I felt that there were a few things I wanted to say. And so I sent them the following:

 

2019 The f-Stops Here Juror’s Statement

First, I'd like to thank Hygienic and Cherie Powell for the opportunity to participate in the role of judging this exhibition, and everyone who entered for putting yourselves out there.

Second, nearly all of the f-Stops Here shows have been judged by white men. I would like to see future shows include other perspectives, as Hygienic has done in other areas. There is so much excellent work being done by non-white, and/or non-male artists and I would like to see how this show might be rendered by someone else. In the end, the art is the art, but it might invite participation from those who might otherwise be reticent.

Regarding the choices for this show, I have, as much as possible, tried to stay away from the personal. A suggestion would be to avoid having signed work, or cover the signatures before judging; this is done in shows at other venues. The work of judging is, as you might expect, a process of elimination. The work that remains is the work that has not fallen below some highly subjective standard that can vary even in selecting one show. A piece that stays might not have if it were larger or smaller, or were framed or matted differently. Is the glass clean, are there unintentional marks on the photo, or matte, under the glass? Everything in the presentation figures into the judgment. What I have tried to avoid, most of all, is hewing to a particular style, genre, or aesthetic.

Photographers need to stop arguing among ourselves about what qualifies as "Photography". To me, none of this matters more than the work itself. Does the work speak to me, regardless of the process the artist used to make it? Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to talk process; it's fun, and you can always learn from someone else's process, but it’s not the most important thing.

In closing, I would like to encourage everyone who entered, whether your work was selected or not, to keep making images and keep entering shows. The photo that didn't get into one show may be the winner of another. MAKE MORE ART.

 

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(Victor Filepp Photography) art juror's statement new london photography https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2019/11/the-f-stops-here Sat, 09 Nov 2019 00:15:29 GMT
10 month interval https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2019/4/10-month-interval They say its best to blog consistently, if you blog at all. Never one for rules here is my latest, after a 10 month delay:

The work is getting more abstract, as you can see here. I have not given up representational photography, but the current trajectory will include a series of abstractions in glass block, the first of which can be seen in the Gallery ONE exhibition in the Mill Gallery at the Guilford Arts Center, in Guilford CT. The show opens this Thursday April 18. Opening Reception on April 26, 5-7pm. We will have a closing reception on Saturday May 11, 3-5pm. This begins my second year showing with Gallery ONE.

Seems like it will be fun to see what appears in these distortions.

 

I'm teaching a 5 week Lightroom class at Spark Makerspace in New London, CT. It begins tomorrow, so there's probably not time to sign up, by the time you read this. There will be more opportunities later. Stay tuned at https://www.sparkmakerspace.org/.

After two years I'm still getting used to being in town. The visual stimulation is great, but I do miss listening to the birdsong wash over us each morning.

 

 

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(Victor Filepp Photography) 2019 art galleryonect photography shorelinearts.org spring https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2019/4/10-month-interval Tue, 16 Apr 2019 19:41:26 GMT
Lightroom vs. Adobe Camera Raw https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2018/5/lightroom-vs-adobe-camera-raw ACR-vs-LrACR-vs-Lr

I recently attended a presentation by a photographer on the topic of taking great photos with your smartphone. Most non-photographers likely take more photos with smartphones than with cameras, so helping people do a better job of it is worthwhile. What struck me was his strong preference for editing photos in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw), rather than Lr (Lightroom). The editing capabilities of each are essentially the same. So here I’d like to offer a case for using Lr instead, bearing in mind that if you have invested in an Adobe “Photographers Package”, you already have Lr, Ps (Photoshop), and ACR.

 

Here goes:

 

  1. By avoiding Lr you sacrifice DAM (Digital Asset Management). Your image files are your digital assets. Lr creates a database of your files, remembers where they are, and lets you process them without changing the original file. This is the heart of non-destructive editing. All edits are stored in the Lr database, and in .xmp ‘sidecar’ files. To create image files, with your edits, you export them, this will make a new image file, your original remains untouched. And this barely scratches the surface.
  2. You don’t need to know where the files exist on your drive(s). I don’t recommend this, it’s best to keep everything in one master folder to make backup simpler. But you could have image files on several drives, internal, or external.
  3. Importing files into Lr is not really a difficult concept. Some disagree, but that is most likely because they already have a workflow that suits them and are comfortable setting up a directory structure. With Lr you don’t need to be concerned about doing that, it will set up the structure the way you specify, or it will default to saving things in one master folder organized by date.
  4. Lr lets you organize your files without moving them. You can find your photos based on keywords you assign, by date, camera, f-stop, focal length, pretty much anything. Don’t remember where last June's vacation pictures are? No problem, have Lr search for pictures taken last year in June, they’ll be there.
  5. Need to take an image into Ps for more extensive editing? You can ‘round trip' it from Lr, and make further edits after it’s back in Lr.
  6. To me Lr is easier to use than ACR, and you are not sacrificing quality. Lr uses the same algorithms as ACR. There are few things that can be done in ACR that Lr cannot do, but you'd be hard pressed to find one that matters, in normal operation.
  7. There is so much that Lr can do that ACR cannot, why wouldn’t you want to use it? If you have current versions of ACR and Ps you’re already paying for Lr.
  8. If I sound like a Lr fanboy, I’ll cop to it. Lr has it’s problems, all software does, unless you’re out on the bleeding edge, you probably won’t notice.

As a last thought: The presenter advocated shooting in RAW mode, which, if you are at all serious, you should be doing already. But you’ll probably be using a camera to do so, because unless you are using the very latest model smartphone, shooting RAW will not be an option.

 

Thanks for reading. If you found it interesting, feel free to share.

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(Victor Filepp Photography) adobe adobe camera raw lightroom photography photoshop https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2018/5/lightroom-vs-adobe-camera-raw Sun, 27 May 2018 15:12:50 GMT
Two Current Exhibits https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2018/5/two-current-exhibits

This past weekend was a busy, but happy, one. Friday evening Gallery One and Friends opened a show in the Guilford Art Center. I’m a friend. It was a very nice experience to exhibit outside my usual world. The show is open through Sunday May 20, with a closing reception from 2 to 4pm. It would be a great pleasure to see any of you there. The hours are 10am to 4pm each day, except Sundays are 12pm until 4pm. I will gallery sitting on Friday, the 18th, from 1 to 4pm.

 

Gallery One is an association of mid-career artists working in a wide variety of media and styles from representational to abstract, including painting, sculpture and works on paper. You can see more of their work on their website, and more of mine here.

 

On Sunday the Connecticut Valley Camera Club, where I am a member, opened our show at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, in Chester. The exhibit is open until July 27. The building, itself, is a wonderful space. Sol LeWitt collaborated with architect Stephen Lloyd to design a synagogue for his congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek; he conceptualized the "airy" synagogue building, with its shallow dome supported by "exuberant wooden roof beams", an homage to the wooden synagogues of eastern Europe. I am particularly impressed with the care taken to make the space sound good. The open ceiling and acoustical treatment create traps and absorption that prevents the unwanted reverberation that would make it difficult to converse. This is a sadly overlooked design feature in most modern structures. So, you’ve got plenty of time to get there, and see the exhibit.

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(Victor Filepp Photography) art cbsrz chester connecticut ct exhibit guilford guilford art center painting photography sculpture https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2018/5/two-current-exhibits Tue, 08 May 2018 19:37:03 GMT
The Camera Calibration Section in Lightroom Classic Develop https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2018/2/the-camera-calibration-section-in-lightroom-classic-develop Earlier today I saw this posted question in a group on FB:

"Hey everyone. New member, just getting back into photography after a long several year break. I'm trying to figure out how to select the appropriate camera profile in lightroom classic. Under the camera calibration section I select profile, but I don't have the profile for my camera. I checked in the application support folder and the profile exists, so I don't know what else to do. I'm looking for the nikon D3 profile."

It prompted this response that I thought others might be interested in. (I've edited the response to include further details and explanation.)

Sadly, I cannot answer the specific question regarding this person's specific camera, but it's worth looking at this section of the develop module.

 

Process Version

I've, frankly, not paid much attention to the Camera Calibration section in Lr, except to be sure I'm using the current Process Version. Lr defaults to the current Process Version, at the time of import. If you have images imported during the days of Process Version 3, e.g., your develop tools will be limited to what was available at that time. Change the Version to the latest and you'll be able to use the current set of develop tools. Do keep in mind that if you've already edited an image, and like the result, you may want to make a virtual copy to work on, as changing the Process Version will sometimes change the way the image looks.

 

Profile

Lr seems to default to Adobe Standard Profile, unless you have changed that in your import preset. I only recently became aware of the real differences available in the Profiles, so, I'm interpreting here. There is the default Adobe Standard, and all the profiles available from your camera. Caveat: I've also read that these profiles do not come directly from the camera, or even the manufacturer, but from 3rd party providers to Adobe. I can't confirm which is actually the case. But, in looking at the various profiles provided with the importation of images from different cameras, I do see a marked difference among some of them and the Adobe Standard Profile. It's someone's version of what the image would look like if you shot JPG and set your camera's Picture Style (Canon menu). The RAW image, of course, is just that, and changes are only applied once it enters Lr.

Here is a RAW image rendered in Adobe Standard:

Same RAW image rendered in Camera Landscape:

Camera Portrait:

Camera Standard:

And Camera Vivid:

The differences are subtle for the Canon choices. Other cameras offer other choices. A Fujifilm X-T2 will offer 14 Profile choices, including 8 monochrome versions.

And finally, if the Profile says "Embedded", you can't change it, it's baked in. That happens after the file has been edited outside of Lr and saved with a Profile, such as sRGB, AdobeRGB, etc.

The truth, as I see it, there is no "right" choice. You pick a Profile you like and use it as a starting point for your own editing. There's more than one way to get to where you want to be. This is just part of the journey, if you choose to use it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Victor Filepp Photography) adobe camera calibration classic lightroom process version profile https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2018/2/the-camera-calibration-section-in-lightroom-classic-develop Tue, 06 Feb 2018 21:28:02 GMT
"The f-Stops Here" https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2017/10/-the-f-stops-here The f-Stops Here is Hygienic Art's 6th edition of the annual juried photograph show. The Hygienic is a hub for art in southeastern Connecticut. I'm pleased to have three works included in this show, that will run until November 18, 2017. For the first time the show was themed, it was 'Metamorphosis'. I would like to offer and briefly discuss one of the images:

I named it The Rising. The metamorphic aspect is that of ghosts, or souls, rising from their graves, to rise to heaven, to haunt, to be reborn, or just a Halloween jaunt.

The image itself is a composite showing an old cemetery, and a part of an image from the facade of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York City, there are so many really great things there to see. Of my three images in the show, this consumed the most time in post production, going through several iterations of coloring, and de-coloring, before arriving at a final monochrome.

You can see this, and my other two images from the f-Stops Here, in the Current & Recent Exhibitions gallery on the web page.

Happy Halloween

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(Victor Filepp Photography) black and white cemetery ghost halloween haunt haunting monochrome https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2017/10/-the-f-stops-here Sun, 29 Oct 2017 21:54:52 GMT
2Days, 2 Posts https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2017/1/2days-2-posts OK, this is not likely to continue, though I really should post more often. I got more good news today.

Some months ago I had sent a PDF to Lenswork Publishing. If you follow photography, and especially black & white photography, you may have some familiarity with Lenswork Magazine. It's one of the premiere photographic publications. On their Lenswork Online service, members have opportunities to access various resources. One of the things they do is publish members' PDFs. If you're not familiar with PDFs, they are like E-Books. The idea is to put out the one's the publishers think are among the best submitted.

All that to let you know how gratified I am that ESP was just added. If you are not a Lenswork member, you can access the PDF at this link.

 

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(Victor Filepp Photography) abandoned easternstate penitentiary photobook https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2017/1/2days-2-posts Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:21:30 GMT
73rd Annual Connecticut Artists Juried Exhibition https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2017/1/73rd-annual-connecticut-artists-juried-exhibition Sunday was receiving for the annual exhibition. Last year I was fortunate to get one image in, and it was purchased, a real shock as these things are not known for generating sales. The gallery manager was excited to tell me who had bought it, Wally Lamb. Mr. Lamb is a well known author in this area, I admit to knowing nothing about his notoriety elsewhere. That Mr. Lamb would choose to have Vertigo in his life was gratifying to me.  For 2017 I again submitted two images (they max you out at two) and was really pleased to find that both were accepted. 

In the Pig Palace is a moody piece. The image of a sink, part of a window and the pipe and faucet. I captured this in Glen Ellen, California at Jack London State Park. It's in a round brick building that London called the pig palace. It was used for the care, feeding and, I assume, ultimate dispatching of his pigs.

 

Room 101, a title derived from George Orwell's 1984 is the image of a cell in the Eastern State Penitentiary. It's located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The prison has been closed and was abandoned. Now it is being preserved as a museum, of sorts. It's not being refurbished, but some areas are being cleaned up, this cell was not. The story of the penitentiary is an interesting one and I would commend to you its history. It was controversial from the start, the idea being isolation in these cells with only the light from heaven, each cell had a skylight, the Bible and work to instill repentance for the crimes committed. It put me in mind of Orwell's use of Room 101 the 'torture chamber' in 1984. "You asked me once, what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. It's the worst thing in the world. Orwell was referring to one's own worst fears.

 

If you should be in the area, you might drop by the museum to see the exhibit, it is on view January 22 through March 17, 2017. The opening is Sunday, January 22nd from 1-3 pm in the Converse Art Gallery, in the Slater Museum in Norwich, CT.

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(Victor Filepp Photography) abandoned eastern state penitentiary easternstate exhibition gallery penitentiary pennsylvania philadelphia prison https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2017/1/73rd-annual-connecticut-artists-juried-exhibition Wed, 11 Jan 2017 16:28:38 GMT
Meet me at no special place, and I'll be there at no particular time. — Terker, Pyle, Robinson https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2016/8/meet-me-at-no-particular-place-and-ill-be-there-at-no-particular-time Which Way Did They GoWhich Way Did They Go Going through FB this morning, as usual [sigh]. A FB friend, photographer, and workshop instructor that I studied with in 2014, Sean Kernan, posted a link to a piece one of his recent students wrote. It was a part of the class I remember well, a writing assignment on the first day of Creativity for the Photographer, at Maine Media Workshops. Scary. Find a person you don't know, observe that person, and using those observations write the beginning of a fictional story about them. Who? Me?

The class was in a building less than a mile down the hill from the campus in Rockport, Maine. Being nervous, I went down early to look around. I'm sorry now that I didn't get a picture of the woman I met that morning. The character is based on her, but the assignment we got later that day was not to get a photograph but to create a literary picture of an imaginary character.

I followed Sean's link to Patricia Christakos' blog and the story she wrote. The memory of doing the same assignment inspired me to emulate her action. And so, this is what I had written:

Her son had been in the Navy, a submariner. She wished he was still at home, that anyone was still at home. But she had her dog Jupiter and that was enough, most of the time. Walking unsteadily down the hill toward the harbor, Jupiter a little in front and then a little behind, she asked a stranger to lead her down so that she would know if Larry started to move the truck that was down the hill offloading a large boat. She wore large sunglasses, the kind old men in Florida wear, you know the type, they wear white cotton belts with nautical themed designs, on white shorts, and black shoes and socks. The glasses protected her remaining vision. Lined leathery skin, like a worn and overused alligator bag, hung loose on her arm as she pointed toward the truck, "I never know when Larry's going to take off in that thing and he has to watch his load, he might not see me here". She wasn't a native Mainer. Dan, her husband was in the Coast Guard and they were moved to Maine years ago. He had died of a sudden heart attack ten years back. She stayed. If wasn't hard. Folks in town were nice enough but it was tough until Jupiter showed up year or so later. Sometimes people thought that she believed the dog was her reincarnated husband, she didn't, and she didn't care if they thought that.
 
 
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(Victor Filepp Photography) creativity maine maine media workshop workshop writing https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2016/8/meet-me-at-no-particular-place-and-ill-be-there-at-no-particular-time Mon, 15 Aug 2016 17:33:22 GMT
ESP - The Dream of Redemption https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2016/5/esp---the-dream-of-redemption

I've decided to make this available on Blurb. There's a good bit of time invested in this small book and I thought it better not to keep it to myself, which is mostly what I do. Have a look. If you like it I would be very happy if you told others via Facebook or other social media. It is on sale at Blurb, and you can purchase a paper copy there.

On June 6th I'll be presenting a program at the Connecticut Valley Camera Club on my journey to creating this book. It was quite a trip as I twisted through Lightroom, Photoshop, Inkscape and others, not to mention the visit to Eastern State on one of the coldest days in 2015.

As always, I consider this a learning experience and hope it will propel me to create new work. Having an appreciative audience helps, too.

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(Victor Filepp Photography) abandoned eastern state penitentiary easternstate penitentiary pennsylvania philadephia prison https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2016/5/esp---the-dream-of-redemption Fri, 20 May 2016 14:54:44 GMT
Photo 11 at the Norwich Arts Center https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2016/5/photo-11-at-the-norwich-arts-center

Today there is good news for me again (I'll go into the earlier news later). This photo was picked, and received Honorable Mention, at the Norwich Art Center's Photo 11 event. The opening is Friday May 6th, from 6 to 8pm, and the show runs until May29th. The gallery is located at 60 Broadway in Norwich, CT.

 I call this image Casement Captives. It is a relatively early attempt, on my part, to do compositing in Photoshop. Three shots from a stationary position of these characters in the windows of the Bread and Puppet Museum's barn in Glover, VT. It required a bit of massaging to get this to come together, but I think it works. Now that I've reacquainted myself with this image from several years ago, maybe its worth looking at a real triptych version?

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(Victor Filepp Photography) Vermont bread and puppet triptych https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2016/5/photo-11-at-the-norwich-arts-center Tue, 03 May 2016 14:46:56 GMT
Eastern State Penitentiary https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2016/4/eastern-state-penitentiary In March 2015 a trip to Philadelphia, PA, USA took us to Eastern State Penitentiary. ESP was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Planning began in 1787 at the home of Benjamin Franklin. I took 30 years to get to construction underway, with the opening in 1829. Inspired by humanistic principles of the Enlightenment period, it was to be a true penitentiary, a prison designed to create genuine regret and penitence in the criminal's heart. In the end this did not work and in 1913 they gave up the notion of rehabilitation by repentance.

Following the link above you can learn the full history and the current state of preservation at ESP.

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(Victor Filepp Photography) abandoned eastern state penitentiary easternstate penitentiary pennsylvania philadephia prison https://www.vivafigi.com/blog/2016/4/eastern-state-penitentiary Wed, 13 Apr 2016 13:30:00 GMT