Archive for August, 2009

Yesterday’s Sunset

Posted in FLICKR, photographers with tags , on August 23, 2009 by cliffmichaels
Loudon Lake, November 07

Loudon Lake, November '07

Yesterday evening I finally went back to Loudon Lake.  I was last there in November of 2007. That night the sky was clear and the trees were bare. The sun set more to the south than it did yesterday.  That night was windless, but bracingly chill. A mere handful of pickups waited for the return of their owners’ boats.

For some reason none of those images have any EXIF data listed. I know I shot mostly with the 18-55mm but I cannot remember anything about the exposure settings.

Yesterday the trees still wore coats of leaves and the sky was crowded with white, pink and gold clouds. The lake wind was warm. The ample parking lot was crowded with Ford F150’s and lesser pickups, each with a boat trailer in tow; the lake was dotted with pleasure boats of all kinds.

I had a wonderful time yesterday as I did 21 months ago. I only hope yesterday’s photos prove as popular as the ones I took nearly two years ago.

The November ’07 set is here. This is yesterday’s set. Below are some other shots from the ’07 shoot.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 23, 2009 by cliffmichaels

When Flickr started collections I thought it was a great idea. It seemed so neat, a way to group sets together. All those scattered sets of spotted dogs could now be grouped in one Spotted Dog Collection. Wow! I have over 350 sets (I know, I know) grouped in twelve collections.

At least for me, collections have been a bust. I have over 50,000 set views. I average somewhere around forty set hits a day. Collections? A whopping 401 total views. Daily I average one or two.

The only real use I find in collections is it makes it easier to find a set (with so many sets that is important). That’s about it.  Here’s my most popular set. This is my favorite collection.

Flickr Mystery

Posted in FLICKR with tags on August 23, 2009 by cliffmichaels

One Flickr mystery is why some photos get so many hits. I understand why truly great photos get a lot of hits. They deserve to. Here’s an example. And I also understand why photos of “nekkid women” get lots of hits. It’s nekkid women!! Here’s an example of that with over 17,000 hits.

But some photos’ hit counts are inexplicable. They aren’t good. The subject isn’t naked, nor a gorgeous model shot in a studio. Many of  these high count photographs are actually bad. Bad with blown out highlights; bad with far away subjects; bad with shadows where shadows shouldn’t be. In other words: bad!

Take this shot, for example. The subject is female and in a bikini. But she’s distant, and, uh, only pleasant looking. Her face and body are in shadow. The surf behind her is blown out. The shot was taken in harsh, early afternoon light.  The POV is from above making the woman look squat. All in all it is a not very good. And it has 3,165 hits and 23 faves!!

Here’s another example with over 4,000 hits.  At least these two shots are of girls in bikinis. This one lacks that attraction and is just plain bad. It’s not even a decent snap shot. How it has 4,371 hits is beyond explanation! And this shot takes the cake.  An awful photo of a wreck of a merry-go-round with a blown out sky, dull composition and washed out color. It boasts 3,169 hits.

One thing the  first three images do have in common, however, is they were all posted to a zillion groups; the first two were also posted to a ton of award groups (and got one or two awards from each). The real mystery is the last shot. It’s only in a relatively small number of groups. There must be a lot more fans if merry-go-rounds on Flickr than I ever imagined.

So its a mystery. I can’t explain it. If you have the answer drop me a line…

Here’s an image of mine with over three thousand hits:

Blame Bill Clinton…

Posted in FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , on August 22, 2009 by cliffmichaels

I confess. I cheat. All the time. Virtually all of my photos on Flickr are frauds. It’s not my fault. No. It’s Bill Clinton’s fault. Him and Hillary. They taught me to lie. Or maybe it was the vast right wing conspiracy…

Here’s the incriminating passage from my profile:

While I love photography, I am more interested in using a photo as a starting point to create, via photoshop, something… different. In this digital age no photograph can be trusted. Mine are no exception. Every image in my stream has been modified to some extent. Some beyond recognition. Some in very subtle, hidden ways.

See, its true; we criminals always confess.

I use a photographic image as a starting point. Sometimes I change it a little; sometimes I change it a lot. But I (just about) always change it.  I make it into a lie…

Why? Why not!? Why should I be stuck with what the camera delivers? Or God delivers? Why when I can change the light, change the color, remove an offending post, cloud, or wire? Why when I can alter the image in a hundred different ways. Even change it so much it isn’t even a photo any more?

At a nephew’s wedding years ago I ran into a cousin and his son. They were into photography. They were fundamentalists. What came out of the camera was “the truth”. Oh, they’d crop and dodge or burn – the kind of things you can do it an old fashioned dark room – but they regarded photoshop (and maybe me!) as totally verboten.

I don’t want to be limited by my camera. I’m out to make art. Now, I will admit a lot of what I create may be bad art. For all I know it may all be bad art! I hope that’s not true. But it doesn’t really matter. As anyone who has visited my photostream realizes, I couldn’t stop doing this even if I wanted to.

Before and after images:



Dog Days of August

Posted in FLICKR, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , on August 16, 2009 by cliffmichaels

August. Torpor. Oppressive heat. Too damn hot…

What little shooting I’ve done has been inside. Personal matters have also limited my ability to do much photography.

In any event, here’s one of the few shots I’ve taken over the past two plus weeks: