Sunday, October 23, 2011

Greedy Orange Balls

One of my wife and I's guilty pleasures during the winter months, besides being highly amused by our dog "Snowball" living up to his name, is watching the NBA games on the boob. We highly enjoy rooting for "The Celts" (Boston Celtics) and jeering and rooting for any team to beat "The Fakers" (LA Lakers).
For the past several months while anticipating the coming season, I have been following the NBA Lockout negotiations . Now, when it seems we may not have ANY season at all, here's my two Cents:.
One of the things I've noticed all along, is an item called "the 50-50 split". That is what the owners want to help spread the wealth and help struggling teams and perhaps even out the "playing field". However, this is a sticking point with the Players Union and they absolutely refuse to budge. Let me point out that the Players Union is headed by none other then Derek Fisher of the LA Fakers. A guy who is known for being a "dirty player" and is well documented as clothes-lining a player or two when he is frustrated and can't defend said player. This is a guy who now makes $3.7 million a year and in his NBA career has earned close to $57 million. Not bad for playing the game you love I'd say. Further, the MINIMUM starting salary for an NBA player now with no previous years in the NBA is $473,604. I would like every team in the NBA to know I will come play for them for less then half that amount and I have a killer corner 3 point shot. Plus I look good in shorts and my wife does too in a short skirt with pom poms in her hands. She and our dog, which can be your new mascot, will join me gratis for said above half salary. So... let's see if we also throw in a few of those endorsements that any decent player gets running a gamut from Verizon to Nike to Burger King. That could easily run into the Zillions if your someone like LeBron or even our favorite, Paul Pierce (one guy who I so far applaud as trying to be a voice of reason throughout these "negotiations"). I remember last season hearing some sports commentator (a former NBA player) saying a certain model Bentley was the car of choice for NBA players. A frickin BENTLEY!! More power to ya, CAN I HAVE ONE?!? I also remember back in the mid 80s when I knew a Hawks cheerleader and was lucky enough to attend some Atlanta games at the Omni what the cars were in the players 
 private lot. I've seen less Ferraris at the Ferrari reunion at Lime Rock Racetrack.

So what's the problem here? GREED. The same crap that has driven our country into recessions, crap economy, corporate monopolies, and environment slaying. Fisher loves to point out that he cares about the fans and that he thinks it's the "other side and Commisioner Stern" who are robbing the fans of watching the games. (Lest we forget all the vendors and arenas who will suffer greatly).
I got news for you Mr. Fisher, YOU are everything that's wrong with the NBA right now, and I feel real sorry for you not being able to buy that 3rd new Ferrari this year. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Faux-tography"

One of the LinkedIn pals of mine recently posted a link pointing to a site about "Faux-tography" and the gad awful images people display as "photographs". This brought great joy to my ever loving analog heart. Finally, the proper word for what mess photography has become these days.
I've gone back and forth over the past ten years with digital gurus and advertising pals on the merits of digital photography and the pitfalls. The arguments spewed across the web are still never ending as is the proverbial "death of film" rants. Needless to say, if you work in publication or advertising in any form these days your are forced into the digital acquisition "need" one way or the other whether you like it or not.
I could get very long winded with this, but I'll try and keep it simple:

  • An iPhone is NOT a camera. It's a digital video recorder that freezes frames. Just because you have an "App" that makes "EFX" doesn't mean you should. try printing it over 10 inches wide and then show it to me...
  • No amount of software or post processing is going to save an image if it simply stinks in the first place. Hugh Hefner was the first to figure this out.
  • Just because you can turn your file into a B&W image doesn't mean you should. Remember when they tried to colorize classic Motion Pictures and they looked like crayon drawings? Same thing in reverse. Only taking the color out does not make the photo of your poorly lit ugly body appendage look any better.
  • Loading yourself up with logo straps and ten tons of gear you bought at the electronics store does not make you look like a "pro photographer". It makes you look like a label sherpa martyr.
  • If you do not know the difference between different DPI outputs and you've sold a few "photos" at the local "gallery" for $20 you are a fauxtographer. You take snapshots of purty things, nothing more.
  • If you don't own at least one lens that is a "prime" and actually has a DOF scale and F stops on it your are not a photographer. If you think "DOF" stands for "Death to Fags" please stand in the middle of the L.A. freeway right now.

I could go on for days, but to sum it up I relate my favorite tale of a "Fauxtographer". I was working one of the vintage car shows I like so much when I noticed a middle aged guy sort of following me around as I shot various autos or parts thereof. He had on the iconic "photographers vest" and was loaded down with camera bodies and lens and every new gadget in the book. He sidled over to me at one point and said, "Boy, I bet you have alot of trouble keeping yourself out of the reflections and chrome don't ya?" (I was carrying one camera and one lens BTW but I digress) I said, yeah, I have to do some pretty contorted positions sometimes to keep myself out of the shot or blend into the shadows." "You don't just take yourself out in Photoshop?!?" he asked. I replied, "No...to me that is cheating." "Wow", he said and promptly whipped out this big polarizing filter and proceeded to screw it onto the front of some lens. "Polarizer, huh?" I said. "Yeah", he replied. "It should take the reflections out of the chrome including me." Instead of passing out laughing at that point I replied, "Not unless there is a tiny elf inside it with a paintbrush"...and walked away.

BTW-before you digital freaks start hammering me with the "you hate digital" crap, let me point out this is NOT about digital cameras. It's about the fools who claim they are photographers WITHOUT understanding the tools or the media. I, in fact own several digital cameras and use one quite frequently, so stop your whining.