DIMi Is Now A Magazine

Yes, it is here. digital imageMaker international is now out as a magazine featuring profiles and interviews with leading photographers and digital artists of our time.

digital imageMaker international 01 brings you some of the world’s best photography and digital art in book form. This volume in an ongoing series brings you portrait photography by Nadia Salameh, art by Bonny Lhotka and David J. Bookbinder, insect photography by Jane Davenport, generative art by Don Relyea and a profile of the Digital Art Guild. Stunning images will stimulate and delight you while insightful interviews will educate and inform.

DIMi is available in three forms at the moment: print, PDF and eBook.

Print and PDF distribution is being handled by MagCloud

It is available for the Kindle from Amazon

It is available in all eBook formats from Smashwords

It is in the Apple ebook store

digital imageMaker international

By Wayne Cosshall in digital imageMaker international

60 pages, published 12 DEC 2011

DIMi brings you profiles of leading photographers and digital artists from around the world, with insightful interviews. Discover how the top photographers and artists work, their thought processes, favourite techniques and much more.

Android Looking More Like a Good Platform to Develop For (or Has Apple Crossed to the Darkside)

An article from today on Fast Company presents some really interesting information about smart phone takeup rates and market penetration, so I recommend you go to the article and look it over. It has me thinking about many things to do with the iPhone and iPad.

What it shows is that while smart phones are still a small 19% of the total phone market, Android-based smart phones are doing very well in the market. Specifically, since third quarter 2009 the % of smartphones that use the Android platform has been rising smartly at exactly the same time that the % of smart phones from RIM (Blackberry) and Apple have dropped. Of course that does not mean that their overall numbers have dropped, or even stopped growing, but rather that as a % of all smart phones they have dropped slightly.

What this means for developers of applications is that they should not simply focus on Blackberry and iPhone development, but need to get behind Android too.

It would be speculation to discuss why the rapid rise of Android, and that is exactly what we will do. While I love my iPhone 3Gs, what I really love is the ability to easily use my phone to hold my music collection, apps that let me do productive work on the phone and the nice way it plays with my Apple computers and their software. There are things I do not like about my iPhone, such as only being able to put Apps on it that Apple has censored and approved, unless I am willing to jail break it. This seems too much like Stalinist Russia for my tastes.

Up until now Android phones have not been something I have paid much attention to, rather I’ve been concentrating on the iPhone and iPad and getting my head around app development for those and website compatibility with the iPad browser. That changes as of today.

While like everyone else in Australia I am awaiting my iPad arrival, I am considering my future relationship with Apple. I’ve been an Apple user since the Apple II, indeed I made some money writing games for it, and I love the present generation of Apple laptops and desktops. Mac OS is a joy to use. But I am worried about the direction Apple is taking with the iPad. Whilst I can understand major restrictions on apps on a phone, since in the end it is primarily a phone and so I really don’t want any apps to screw things up when I need to make a call, the iPad is more like a laptop, only better. Apple seem to be shaping up to treat the iPad the same way as the iPhone, and I do not believe this is appropriate. I don’t believe it is appropriate because I can see the iPad in future iterations taking over from the laptop. My wife, for example, could do all she needs to do on a computer on an iPad-like device. No problems.

Why, for God’s sake, should:

  • I only be able to add applications to it from the Apple store?
  • Apple get to be the sole arbiter of what applications I can run?
  • I not be able to use my iPhone to provide Internet access to my iPad when away from a Wi-Fi hotspot?
  • I not be able to view Flash websites if I choose to? SUre if it is so bad given me a way to turn Flash off but leave the decision up to me if I am willing to suffer shorter battery life, etc.
  • I have to break the license agreement and jailbreak the iPad to do some or all of the above?

If the iPad were given away and Apple made its money solely off the services I would have no issue with the above constraints. But when I am paying an amount of money that would buy me a full fledged and open laptop, then it is different matter.

I am very concerned about the censorship issue inherent in Apple’s sole control over apps. While many Americans seem to have an issue with nipples (which is their right), this is not a mental illness that affects the whole world or even all Americans. If apps contains content you don’t like, don’t load it and use it. Surely it is that simple. And if Apple want to look after the young kid market put in an app rating system and let parents (or schools) set a level lock on content. The problem with censorship is that one person’s send them to hell pornography is another person’s healthy content. Sure, there is consensus among anyone with a brain that child pornography is bad news, but even there as the fairly recent controversy here in Australia over the photographer Bill Henson shows, there is not universal agreement about where the line is to be drawn. Censorship is a dangerous and steep slope, as Australia is finding over the government’s net censorship approach. And so Apple would do well to step away from this dangerous area and treat its customers as grown ups who are capable of making their own decisions.

It was an American, I believe, who said I may hate what you have to say, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it. As long as Apple is the only way to legally put apps on an iPhone or iPad, surely they are violating the 1st Amendment right to free speech? One of the few things I envy the Americans for is their constitution that is also a great aspirational document.

Apologies for the long, wandering post. Perhaps my current reading of Stephen King’s Under the Dome has made me cautious of what too much power in a few hands can do.

Homage: Contemporary Art in Digital Media ̶ a traveling exhibit

Homage:  Contemporary Art in Digital Media ̶ a traveling exhibit

Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery ̶ July 9 to August 21, 2010

Art Institute of California ̶ September 11 to October 15, 2010

The Digital Art Guild’s current exhibition will engage viewers in a variety of conversations.  The artists have cast their images as an homage — to other artists as ordinarily expected or in this more open discussion to ideas and cultural traditions which shape the way we think and experience the world around us.  What is significant about these images and the vision they engage is an important observation about contemporary art in digital media — that it is reinventing the world we visualize once more.

“As with any new vision, medium or style in art, there is an incentive to restart the conversation. Not necessarily that we arrive at a new type of art, but more to deepen our understanding of who we are, what intrigues us and what this particular artist or artists have to say with their imagery.”  From the introduction to the Homage catalog

The exhibit catalog creates a further dialog by the pairing images. An illustrative counterpoint is the pairing of A Woman’ Awakening by Julie M. Rae and Behind the Veil of Alzheimer’s by Terri Pakula.

Both Rae and Pakula address the impact of disease on our awareness — with Rae, it is the woman’s awareness of breast cancer; with Pakula, the slow deterioration of her father with Alzheimer’s.

Read more about the exhibit at the Digital Art Guild ezine:  www.digitalartguild.com

The opening and public reception for Homage, Contemporary Art in Digital Media, will be from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Saturday, July 10th.  Admission is free to the Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery, 262 E. Grand Avenue, Escondido, CA 92025.  Hours are 11:00am – 4:00pm – Tuesday through Saturday. For gallery  information at the Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery, contact Wendy Wilson, Director, 760.480.4101.

The layout for the exhibit spaces is organized by Jim Respess. For more information on the exhibit space, contact Jim at [email protected] or 858-272-1926. The layout for the exhibit catalog is designed by Joe Nalven. For more information on the exhibit catalog, contact Joe at [email protected] or 858-679-1242.

The Homage exhibition catalog can be previewed at Blurb.com at  www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1330985 and can be purchased online.

Artists represented in Homage reside in Arizona, California (San Diego, Los Angeles), Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Australia, China, England and Canada.

The artists participating in Homage are:

Ron Belanger Guy Mayenobe
Charlie Anne Breese Andrew Mercer
Stephen Burns Abigail Migala
Tom Chambers Kerry Mitchell
Sergio Davila Joe Nalven
John Engen James Niles
Max  Eternity Terri Pakula
Joan Everds Julie Rae
Janine Free Harvey Reed
Scott Graham James Respess
Joyce Harris Mayer Jill Rowe
Valerie Henderson Bob Snell
Deborrah Henry Renata Spiazzi
Phil Herwegh Helga E. Stark
JD Jarvis Raymond St Arnaud
Vladimir Konečni Michael Sussna
Marc Krutiak Eric Swenson
Kat Larsen Walt Thomas
Dana Levine Pasha Turley
Liz Lopes John Valois
Ernest Llynn Lotecka Mary Waring
Eileen Mandell Michael Wright
Judy Mandolf Lee Zasloff
Fred Marinello Kim Zuill
Kaz Maslanka

For information about the Homage exhibit, contact:

Joe Nalven            [email protected]

or

Jim Respess            [email protected]

DIMi has taken a break

We’ve taken a bit of a break from DIMi over recent months as we have been working on other projects. The first TechnoMagickal Press book is now out and selling on Amazon, negotiations with other authors and Wayne’s first photography book is nearing publication with two more in the pipeline and coming out later this year.

DIMi will be back shortly with a review of Alien Skin’s Eye Candy 6 and a series of book reviews.

The State and Future of Photography as a Vocation

What follows started off as my response to a question on a LinkedIn discussion group about the state of profession photography. In what follows I have added to this and expanded sections of my answer.

Photography has always been a technology driven profession (look at all the competition in the early days around process). So nothing changes.

The professional photography business within each specialised area, such as portrait, wedding, commercial,industrial, fine art,  has always had three levels: the top end doing often stunning work, the middle doing pretty average work and the bottom end of often semi-pros sometimes doing great work but always at a low price. The changes in technology have probably hit the middle the most by allowing the bottom end to spread upwards and squeeze them out.

Traditionally there have been two responses to increased competition in any area of business: either raise or lower your prices, in other words get out of the middle where the squeeze is. To raise prices means finding some way to add value, raise quality, etc. This requires dedication, education and some lateral thinking. It also requires that you stop reacting and start driving change by being innovative in what you do, how you do it and how it is presented. To lower prices and survive requires finding economies of scale, time-saving, streamlining, etc. Both are tough solutions. I’ve seen pros do both. Many of those who have moved down in price have done so by tapping into the semi-pro talent pool and basically organising them, hiring them, etc to allow the pro to more widely cover their chosen area, whether it is event photography, weddings, etc. These are the pros who have developed the kid photography stands as a chain in shopping centres, the glamour photography chains with studios in many major cities, etc.

I think the big change in the future for photographers is the need to move away from just thinking about the still, 2D image. The present generation of e-book readers is nothing to what will come. I suspect that within 10 years the call will be for mixes of material in both still and video, including immersive 3D material in both still and moving forms. Presentation technology will drive this. We will have phones with better quality screens and faster processors, tablets of varying sizes and wall and tabletop picture frames, all offering large storage, fast uploads, wireless connectivity and more interesting ways to interact with them.

While the only way to get a large image on the wall or out to the masses was on paper, 2D still images were the best you got. The TV generations started looking for more. The computer gaming generations want interaction and immersion. When people’s lounge rooms are dominated by a large, flat screen and shortly 3D screens, static images on paper seem less attractive.

So perhaps the future is to think of landscapes that change over time, moving portraits, images you can explore, photo essays that mix still and video to create stimulating narratives, and so on. The still image will never go away, it allows you to focus on a particular, hopefully, magic moment in time. But it will be harder to make this the entire focus of your professional life, at least for as many photographers as there are now. At the same time, as moving and 3D media become totally dominant, there will the opportunity for certain people to stack out a high-end, exclusive domain in 2D still images. And there will be periods when nostalgia brings the 2d still image back into fashion as the hot ‘new’ old thing.

I write this on the eve of the expected announcement of the Apple tablet, a device which commentators expect to do for e-book readers and tablet computing what the iPod did for MP3 portable audio and the iPhone is doing to mobile communications.

Mullock Heaps of Creswick Through Infrared Photography

In the area around Creswick in central Victoria there are the often large remains of tailings from the gold mines that dotted the area in the 19th Century. These are called Mullock Heaps and mainly consist of overlying rock and quartz.

While to some these are a blot on the rural landscape, to a photographer they present many opportunities for photography. A recent trip there with my converted for infrared photography Canon 350D and a selection of lenses produced the images below. The camera used a custom white balance and I shot in RAW. These were processed in Adobe Camera RAW and then in Photoshop. Most had levels adjusted individually in each colour channel, a slight contrast improving curve and an increase in colour vibrancy.

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