Storytelling

March 27, 2020

BW photograph of a light standard in an empty parking lot.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Storytelling is essential to any culture.  This is one way to convey the history and traditions of a group from one generation to the next.  The questions become, which stories to tell?  From which perspective? What is embellished, and what is removed? What is the point?

There are many stories from which to spin from the photograph above.  What do you see?  Does the day, date, and time make a difference?  It is certainly does capture a reality, but is it also a metaphor?  If so, of what?

From a purely photographic standpoint, why this particular composition?  Why B&W?

Take care and be well.

Staying Indoors?

March 24, 2020

BW photograph of a single white daisy against a black background.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

One of the true advantages of photography is the extremely wide variety of subject matter.  That is complemented by a similar wide variety in the manner by which to present those subjects.  The above could be considered a “studio portrait”.  A single flower was placed in a small vase, which was wrapped in black fabric, and then set against a black background (a fleece jacket).  That the flower is white provided the desired contrast.  The equivalent of a 75mm focal length lens was used.  A small LED light was held to the upper left (from the photographer’s perspective) and slightly above and in front of the flower.  The shadow would have fallen to the right and behind the flower were it visible.  Setting the black point in Photoshop smoothed-out the background.

BW photograph of a back-lit single daisy.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is the same flower.  However, I added a close-up diopter to the same lens to allow for a closer point of focus.  The other major change, obviously, is the lighting.  This time, I held the same small LED behind the flower (“backlighting”), which is quite nice for the production of a dramatic effect.

A bunch of years ago, I used to teach a number of photography courses-one of which dealt with macro photography.  The capstone assignment for that class was to make a photograph of something found in the refrigerator; however, any object from any room could be used.

This is a nice, contemplative, way to spend some time.

Take care.

Broken

March 23, 2020

BW photograph of a broken tree.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

COVID-19 has continued its rapid spread worldwide while appearing to recede in China.  This is a new coronavirus, hence the term “novel”; however, the world has been here before with other outbreaks.  One might expect that history would provide a roadmap and impetus with regard to research and preparation.  Indeed, watch this from the 7:10 mark until the end-the closing message is one of great importance:  “Science, Communication, Education” are important tools to be used in this arena.

However, one must now interject the reality.  Please also read this.  History shows that once epidemics and pandemics dissipate, so does the political interest in long-term planning and preparation.  This, then sets the stage for the U.S. to not have enough PPE (personal protective equipment) for its healthcare workers, for example.  Misinformation continues to spread, which is simply not helpful.

Please be sure to pay attention to credible sources of information as “Science, Communication, and Education” are indeed critical.  As such, The New York Times published this useful primer.  The CDC and WHO provide updated information on their respective sites.

Please do take the requisite precautions-states have varying degrees of restrictions.  If everyone takes care of themselves and follows the proper protocols, then we will be taking care of each other as well.

Be well.

Walking

March 20, 2020

BW photograph of a snowy road in the woods leading into the distance.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Governor Gavin Newsom placed restrictions on the state of California as a means of reducing the spread of COVID-19.  Walking, though, is still permissible, and is a worthwhile antidote to cabin fever for those able to do so.

(PLEASE NOTE:  It is important to carefully review the info at the CDC to determine the need for self-quarantine and the importance of social distancing.)

BW photograph of a wooded area looking toward a mountain after a light snow.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a branch partially buried in snow.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The photographs herein are not from CA, but are representative of a nice walk.

Given the expanse of the world and all there is to see, it is both astonishing and frightening that something invisible to most is capable of bringing human activity to such a place.  That is, however, the history of viruses and pandemics-we have been in similar situations before.  It is useful to remember what the character Dr. Malcolm had to say in the first Jurassic Park movie:

“Life finds a way.”

It was an admonishment to those in the room who scoffed at the possibility of loosing control.

Be safe and be healthy.

Disinfecting Gear

March 20, 2020

Roger Cicala has a useful post at Lens Rentals-here is the link:

How to Disinfect Camera Equipment and Spaces

Mr. Cicala also links to the CDC as well.

Please be well and take care.

Science or Fiction?

March 8, 2020

BW photograph of a Toyota grill.

Copyright 2020 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

I watched Blade Runner for the umpteenth time the other day.  What Ridley Scott and his crew did with weather, light, and smoke (cigarette-watch the interview with Rachel-and industrial) creates one of the truly great atmospheric movies of all-time.  (As an aside, the original Alien, another film by Mr. Scott, would certainly be on that list.)

The movie also produces an interesting cultural reaction given that we are now in 2020, and Blade Runner was set in the then future of 2019-it was released in 1982.  (A similar experience occurs when reading Orwell’s 1984.)  How do the times compare?  Police cars still do not fly, and there are no “off-world colonies”.  There are desires/plans to return humans to the Moon, with Mars being a perpetual fantasy, if not scientific, destination.  All of that, though, is quite a bit distant from having habitable locations elsewhere in space.  We are also a long way from the Nexus 6 “Replicants”.  Interestingly, given their degree of sophistication, how ethical is it to build-in a limited life span?

That last point is a central theme of the movie.  Time, as always, is a force with which to be reckoned.  Given that off-world colonies still remain the providence of fictional popular culture, how do we address the rapidly compressing time available to effectively mitigate and adapt to climate change?

What if it were possible to “gift” (a term and process from Blade Runner) an iteration of the Nexus with a real person’s memories?  A physical structure capable of “living” in a warmer/colder/wetter/drier environment with the requisite programming and modifications to subsist consistent with the local conditions?

Who or what, then, is the entity created?  If your memories are downloaded into a synthetic body, would that be “you”?  Most likely, the time to develop such a being is not available.

Time, as always, will tell.

Take care.