OPS Front Page 4
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand
Phi Phi Island, Thailand
Sri Mariammam Temple, Singapore
Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong
Interior of Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai, China
Christmas 2013, Singapore
Chinese Lanterns, Kuala Lumpur
Pudong from the Bund, Shanhai, China
Modern Shanghai, China
Christmas in Singapore
Bulguska Buddhist Temple, Busan, South Korea
Haedong Yonggungsa Buddhist Temple, Busan, South Korea
Dancers, South Korea
Sumiyoshi Taisha Shinto Shrine, Osaka, Japan
Ema, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shinto Shrine, Osaka, Japan
Sorihashi Bridge, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shinto Shrine, Osaka, Japan
Sake Barrels, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shinto Shrine, Osaka, Japan
Lanterns at Asakusa Buddhist Shrine, Tokyo, Japan
Concert Pianist, Japan
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
The Spa, Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Hot-air balloons are expensive flying machines and require endless maintenance. Those who fly them must be properly qualified as hot-air balloon pilots, not only for the safety of themselves and their passengers but also for the safety of other aircraft and aviators. Balloons are often operated by small teams of people who share costs, flying opportunities, launch and recovery duties and other maintenance work. Others are sponsored by large companies who use balloons as advertising media. A photographer who wishes to work from a hot-air balloon cannot therefore expect to arrive at a launch site and request a flight.
One approach to finding an occasional flight would be to join a club or a balloon team, working initially in a ground support role. After a period in such a role it might be reasonable to request a flight, but remember that each flight costs money and can carry only a certain number of passengers. The presence of a photographer deprives someone else of a flight. Another approach, and perhaps the most practicable one, is to pay someone who operates a balloon for an aerial photography flight over a particular area. Indeed there are numerous companies that operate commercial balloons to satisfy the demand for pleasure flights.
Not sure if you understand the significance of the various colour spaces? Can you honestly say that you are clear about the differences between Adobe RGB (1998), sRGB, Apple RGB and Wide-gamut RGB? Well, colour is a complex matter and you could spend the rest of your life studying the science of the subject. In an effort to help, and with the assistance of Bruce Lindbloom, we have introduced a 3-D gamut viewer which displays a variety of commonly-used colour spaces. The viewer even allows you to compare two three-dimensional RGB working spaces by drawing one inside the other. The whole display can then be rotated in any direction, or zoomed in and out, to help you focus on those crucial areas of difference. At last it is possible to visualize clearly how switching, for example from Adobe RGB (1998) to sRGB, imposes significant changes upon your images.
For photography to progress it is necessary to have an overall vision and reasonable clarity of purpose. Successful photographers understand the impact of an image. They visualize a message as the image is composed, and decide how it should be interpreted and conveyed to the viewer. Simple images suggest the most powerful messages, and are more likely to be understood when viewers re-interpret the visual information in the light of their personal values and beliefs. Only by developing such vision can we hope to produce an image that might, for example, come to represent a particular crisis or war.
A broader type of vision derives from clarity of purpose. Images accumulate as projects come and go, and it can eventually become difficult to see the wood for the trees. Those who view images inevitably detect uncertainty of photographic purpose arising in the mind of a photographer. Indeed, an image or photographic project without an identifiable visual message will probably fail. It will confuse those who view it, just as poorly composed letters leave readers unsure of what the writers intended. Without vision, clarity of purpose and the ability to interpret a subject we are lost.
It is all too easy to get stuck in a rut and follow the same unadventurous path, always framing similar pictures in the same way. At such times it is worth reviewing past work and asking how things might develop. Look for unexplored areas and identify consistent successes and failures. Ask what you saw in failed images, and how the subject might be approached more successfully. Objectivity is fundamental because exercises of this nature can be painful as well as stimulating and refreshing. Reviews may bring a photographer face-to -face with unseen aspects of their work, but consequent recognition of personal strengths and weaknesses may prove to be the catalyst for beneficial change.