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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Distractions

When I walk into one of my children's' rooms during the school year, it is usually just out of the corner of my eye that I am able to see their web browsers being minimized.  If you have a child in high school, you know what that means.  Without question they are "Facebooking".  Mine aren't particularly into Twitter (as far as I know!), but many are.  My estimate is that out of every hour spent studying, at least 30 minutes is spent on Facebook......or checking to see if they have received a Facebook message. Then I started a rather large and, to me, exciting photographic project which is going to be taking up a good deal of time.  I will likely be posting more about this in the future.  But it occurred to me that these same things that distract my kids might also be distracting me.  Photographer Cole Thompson recently blogged about this as well and wrote a post about his possibly giving up Facebook.

The other thing to consider is if Facebook today is really what it once was or what it was initially envisioned to be when every large multi-million dollar corporation has a Facebook fan page.  I mean there are people who make a living giving seminars on how to use Facebook, Twitter, and social media in general for purely marketing purposes.

I have to say that I have never been willing to be anything other than myself on my Facebook fan page and enjoy using that forum to share my work.  But it takes time to post on Facebook, it takes time to produce a Twitter feed, and it even takes a good amount of time to write and upkeep this blog.

Now, this blog is truly a labor of love, as it will be 4 years old in January with this being the 468th post!  And I feel that writing about photography gives me ideas and helps me think 'photographically'.  As I mentioned, I do also enjoy maintaining my Facebook fan page, but I have already considerably weaned down my "Twittering" to almost nothing.  I long ago gave up posting images to Flickr because I found the whole award and invitation process silly (which is not to say you can't dig and find superb work there).  But I find myself wondering if doing some of these things is indeed a distraction from getting my photographic work done when one has a 'day job' and  limitations to the amount of time available for photography.  After all, in the end, it is the work we produce that defines us photographically.

So what does it all mean?  I am not at all sure.  I really don't want to give any of it up.  But I know that I have definitely cut back on posting to my Facebook fan page simply because of time constraints.  And my blog posts here have decreased to about once every five days.  But I would rather write fewer, well thought out posts than more frequent ones that say less.  Perhaps by giving up just a little I can end up producing more photographic work.

I would love to hear other people's thoughts about this issue.

Anti-Aliasing And Its Effect On HD Video

I have not personally been particularly interested in video production and thus have not even used the video capability of my Canon 5D MKII as of yet. However, I read a very interesting article that was referenced on the Outback Photo website about the effect of anti-aliasing filters on HD video obtained via the current generation of dSLRs.

The article, entitled "Aliasing" is by Barry Green and can be found here. I found two aspects of the article quite interesting. The first was the detailed general discussion about aliasing and the artifacts it can introduce and the second was the discussion related to the fact that the type of anti-aliasing filters appropriate for high resolution digital still images and video are quite different. When both types of imaging are combined in a single camera body a compromise must be made with regards to the anti-aliasing filter (and the compromise has rightly been made to sacrifice the optimum video anti-aliasing filter in order to have the appropriate anti-aliasing for still images).

Besides being a well-written and extremely interesting article, it is also chock-full of real life video examples. It makes for some fascinating and enlightening reading.

Swamp Oil

It doesn't occur all that frequently that I run across something involving nature photography that I have absolutely never heard of before in any way whatsoever. Recently, on several other blogs that I read, I was drawn to some gorgeous abstract images that, as it turned out, were photographs of swamp oil. Now here was something totally new to me, so I had to read on. I also thought it would be great information to share with others who might not be familiar with it.

First, though, take a look at these marvelous images by Mike Moats and Mark Graf, here and here . Reading their blog entries, one learns that the colors in the photographs are not able to be seen by the unaided eye, and that the light must be polarized in order to make the colors visible.

The shapes and colors in the images are caused by swamp oil, which apparently is an oil that seeps into water from decaying plant matter.

Never having heard of it, I certainly have never seen or photographed it, but it is something that I am definitely going to be keeping an eye open for in the future. It certainly makes for some intriguing photographs. Thanks to Mike and Mark for posting the information about this phenomenon. Check out their blogs called Mike Moats and Notes From The Woods.