Category Archives: Technical

Campaign Signs and an Imagined Talk with Daido Moriyama

I recently rewatched Near Equal, the documentary on Daido Moriyama—one of my all time favorite photographers. In this, he mentions the concept of are, bure, boke, which roughly translates to rough, blurred, out of focus. This was a photographic style he and other photographers embraced, shown in the Japanese art magazine Provoke.

So, I went for a walk the other night and noticed the election-year infection of campaign signs littering the streets. And, since I wanted to play around a bit with my Fuji Xpro-3’s Acros film simulation, I thought they would be a good subject. I wasn’t interested in capturing what the signs read, but more what their shape/form and lighting/shadows would look like.

I had recently read the post She Breathed Quietly, In Rich Black Ink by the Canadian photographer Patrick LaRoque about his Acros-based simulation preset Moriyama—which with a new Xpro-3, he renamed DAIDO. I had a brief email with Patrick and thought I should try it out.

The Fuji Acros film simulation (back in my film days, Fuji Neopan 1600 exposed at 3200 ISO and developed in Ilford DD-X was my favorite combo) is unique in the camera as the Grain Effect function increases as the camera’s ISO is increased. Just like what would happen to film that was underexposed and push processed in developing. The other film simulations don’t behave that way and rely on independent settings of Roughness: Strong/Weak and Size: Large/Small.

This is a fascinating development by Fuji, they are really catering to people that used to shoot black and white film, and I’m very impressed with their ability to pull this off. I’ve been waiting for a long time for a digital camera that can give me similar results to shooting the Neopan 1600/Ilford DD-X combo. I think I might have found it.

Also posted in Black and White Photographers, Black and White Photography Tagged , , |

MacBoot: A Great Little Tool That Does Just What It Should

I’ve finally taken time-lapse photography a little more seriously and recently had a good time shooting this in Bangkok. I got inspired by the design and people behind The Chronos Project. At one point I realized that the slower 32GB CF cards I’m using in my 5D MkII were a bottleneck (the Bangkok time-lapse is 600 raw photographs) that was causing the camera’s buffer not to empty as fast as necessary. So, I bought a much faster 64GB card, dragged my Magic Lantern files (including my ML preference file that is on each of my CF cards) to it, and poof, nothing.


Then I recalled something about formatting 64GB or larger cards in this manner. That’s when I recalled a little Java app called MacBoot. I love software like this. It’s small, fast, and does one thing exactly right. I’ve always been drawn to small, specialized pieces of software. And, over the last few years I’ve been making a concerted effort to donate to the people writing these types of apps. So, if you are using MacBoot or Magic Lantern, send the creators some cash. Small independent software creators need support to continue doing such great work.


Also posted in Timelapse Tagged , |

Plywerk Update: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #6

I’ve written my Plywerk update post for the supporting info for the last installment of my, um, longish how-to video. Take a look at the vid here: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #6. I’ve listed links for the materials that I use for hanging my Plywerk-mounted prints in galleries and for clients’ homes. The tools are discussed in the video, but I thought I’d also put the list here.

photo of plywerk update

Careful With That Drill!

These are the basic tools you might have around the house already:

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Also posted in Print Mounting

How To: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #6

Here is the last installment of my video series on working with Plywerk Bamboo panels:

Supplies used in the video:

Surflon Starter Kit, Size 2, maximum hanging weight 30lb. (14kg), color Bright, Surflon Starter Kit (Enough hardware to hang 100 frames)

100 1-1/16″ Triangle Picture Hangers with Screws (Enough hardware to hang 50 frames)*

Sakura 30061 3-Piece Pigma Micron Blister Card Ink Pen Set, Black*

Waxman 4215495N 1/2-Inch Heavy Duty Bumper, Clear, Square*

If you have any questions regarding these materials or the tools, please post in the comments below.

Again, thanks for looking!

*I’m an Amazon Affiliate. Click through to Amazon (you don’t have to buy the items above, simply use the links to get to and I get a percentage of anything you buy for the next 24 hours (30 days if you add an item to your cart). Your price does not change. Help me support this site.

How To: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #6.

Also posted in Print Mounting Tagged |

How To: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #5

In the fifth segment of Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels I cover the simple, but important step of putting even pressure on the entire print surface and allowing time for the adhesive to set. Then I show the type of hardware I use to hang the panels on a gallery wall.

Photo Plywerk Bamboo

Clean Gallery Wall Installation

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Also posted in Print Mounting Tagged |

How To: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #4

In the fourth part of Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels I get show you how to trim and finish the edges of the print to be flush with edge of the panel. The edge finishing step is also a fall back if you should somehow slightly damage the cut edge of the print; it is an aesthetic choice… and a way to correct small mistakes. Bonus!

Photo Of Plywerk Bamboo

Click To Enlarge: Botanica Obscura Print On Plywerk Panel In A Client’s House

This is a very delicate step, so slow and steady is the mantra. Check it out:

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Also posted in Print Mounting Tagged |

How To: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #3

In this installment of Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels I center on a really touchy part of the process: the mounting of the print on the panel. Yes, this is the step where you have to be extra careful… in fact, if you aren’t focused, you may find yourself with a, uh, “poorly mated” print/panel that won’t be leaving your studio. Don’t ask me how I came about this knowledge… easy on the coffee, turn off the phone, and breath deeply.

Photo of Plywerk Bamboo

Free Botanica Obscura PDF, See The Bottom Of The Post!

Ok! Put down that coffee, take a couple of deep breaths, and onward to the mating process:

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Also posted in Print Mounting Tagged |

How To: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #2

In this installment of my How To: videos, I cover working with the photographic print before mounting it to a Plywerk bamboo panel. I’ll talk about a tip I learned from Brooks Jensen of LensWork Magazine, I’ll cover getting the print cut accurately at 90 degrees even if your printer doesn’t print the image parallel to the edge of the paper, and I’ll show you how to lay out marks on the back of the print that will help in the mounting of the print to the panel.

Photo Of Plywerk Bamboo Mounting

~ Click To Enlarge ~

Check out How To: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #2:

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Also posted in Print Mounting Tagged |

How To: Working With Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels Part #1

I really like the aesthetic of my Botanica Obscura prints when they are mounted on Plywerk Bamboo Art Panels. However, while the mounting process isn’t exactly difficult, I have some very important pointers that will make working with the panels go much more easily.

photo plywerk bamboo part #1

Working With Plywerk #1: A Botanica Obscura Print Mounted On A Plywerk Bamboo Panel

So, I decided to do a short (!) video on my process, which ended up being so long that I broke it up into six parts. I will be posting these how-to videos over the next week. I’ll also list tools and materials that I mention in the videos in the corresponding blogs posts. Here is the first installment:

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Also posted in Print Mounting Tagged |

Magic Lantern Timelapse: Lumpini Park, Bangkok, Thailand

Magic Lantern Timelapse

Video Frame Grab, Magic Lantern Timelapse, Alex4D 2.40:1 Mask

I’ve always been tempted to seriously delve into timelapse photography (Here is a wonderful example: Timelapse: Bevan Percival’s Stunning Lenticular Cloud Capture), but it has always been put on the back burner for one reason or another. Well, that’s changing. Part of that came about because I installed one of the greatest hacks and best pieces of software (firmware?) engineering into my Canon 5D MkII: the Magic Lantern Canon EOS Camera Tool. The people that did that hack (and I use that term with the most respect) made the camera, in my mind, about 100x more useful. Just a few of the tweaks I use:

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Also posted in Timelapse, Travel Tagged , |