Happy New Year 2023

All the very best to my friends in the new year!

Happy New Year 2023!

Fireworks PCTownCenter

.:. © 2023 Ludwig Keck

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Nostalgia Time

This is the time of year when many look back over the past year. Time to reminisce over the happenings, the activities, the friendships. It is not my habit to join in, but this year I will. I came across some old photos, a chance to go back, way back, nearly seventy years.

A photo showing part of my desk from my college days in the mid-1950s. Notice at the right top the typewriter. Totally manual, of course. Next there is my old ink pen. That was the way to write! In front of the pen my slide rule. This is the pocket version of the Pickett “LOG LOG SPEED RULE” that helped me through the electrical engineering curriculum. One of my textbooks. Can’t tell what course. Note that it is in a protective cover. It was important to keep books pristine to get a good price for them at the end of the semester.

On the left is my Sherwood amplifier with my Sherwood FM tuner on top. Vacuum tubes inside! Look closely and you see it set to 102 – That was WDOK in Cleveland, the city’s classical music station. I spent many hours in their studios.

Most prominently the cup of coffee. To this day the mainstay of students everywhere.

My hobby, then and now, is photography. Performers, actors, musicians, always have been favorite subjects. This photo is from the practice stage at a nearby college. I have forgotten the name of the dancer.

Dancer (1955)

Like the photo above, this still life shows my interest in the abstract form and the stark use of light.

Plant (1955)

Not all mu photography was in black-and-white. I used Kodachrome and Ektachrome when I could afford it. This photo of the Republic Steel plant shows steel ingots being brought over from the blast furnaces to the rolling mill buildings. Yes, steam locomotives were still in use. I worked for a time on the strip mill making sheet steel. The photo was digitized years ago. I don’t recall if the slide had deteriorated that much or if it is just poorly scanned and processed. I need to see if this, and other slides, can still result in good conversions.

Thank you for joining me in my trip back into history.

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

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256 Shades

Light, shadow, and 256 shades of white?

There is a door in my house that at certain times is partially bathed in sunlight streaming through a window. The door is painted in a uniform, warm, near-white shade. At all times it looks like the same color to me. As you look at this photo, you too will likely see it as a light-toned color.

When you look at the histogram of the image there is a full range of tones, every shade is there from solid black to full white.

Surely the camera records clearly what is there. Yet in real life, as well as in photos, we see things entirely differently. The human cognition system adds past experience as an interpretive tool. We perceive a newspaper as white with black print under any light. Even when only part of it is fully illuminated. Even in photos, if there is enough context, will we “see” the correct colors and shades, regardless of light and shadows.

Notice that I said, “if there is enough context”. We need to recognize the circumstances before we can fully interpret what we see. In the above photo we see an off-white door with splashes of full sunlight and shadows bringing out the details of the construction. We also see the underlying texture of wood, brought out by the light.

In photography and art we take advantage of how we see to create visions in the viewer’s mind. Sometimes we don’t even realize what is happening. Artists will intentionally use the quirks of the way we see to present images with depth and space on a flat surface. Sometimes technology gets the better of us and we come up with unintended results.

I will have more to say on this topic in future posts.

Your thoughts and comments are invited. Let me know what you think.

.:. © 2022 Ludwig Keck

Posted in art, camera, Photography | Tagged , , | 5 Comments