<<< o >>>mind the gap 72 comments + add yours

I did intend to pick up a couple of points from the discussion over the last couple of days, but Rhowan and Finley haven't been particularly well over the last couple of days so we've now had three nights in a row where we didn't get enough sleep: one consequence of which is that I'm not feeling particularly erudite this evening.

So, without further ado, here's this evening's shot. This was taken on the planet Venus earlier this week with Canon's new 128 gigapixel 'Truthomatic' camera. As you'll all be aware, the 'Truthomatic' has no user-configurable setting, produces files in a proprietary format that prohibits even the most gentle post-processing; yet nonetheless produces images that are, to all intents and purpose, 99.5% true. The Truthomatic mark II, expected later this year, will raise the truth/reality threshold to 99.999% which, claim Canon engineers, will result in images that are entirely indestinguishable from reality. So, that's it, no more digital art for me ;-)

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
10.35am on 26/3/06
Canon 20D Canon Truthomatic
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
minor rotation
3x2 + piers [North pier] + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by mark at 07:44 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

It's lucky you can still use your own lenses though! ;-)

Very nice this...very 'you' if I may say so :-)

comment by Roger at 07:47 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Great shot David !

I never heard about that Canon camera.
Do you have some links about it ?


comment by Silver Sova at 07:48 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

both this shot and the shot before the last one, were with a slight green tone. how did you manage that? filters? ps?

comment by Alec Long at 07:49 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Long time listener, infrequent commenter. That said, and tongue-in-cheek-ness aside, this is one of my favorite images you've posted in quite some time.

I don't know what it is about much of your recent work, Dave, but it hasn't been resonating with me. I understand--not every shot one takes is done with complete forethought (and frankly, my own photography has been absent for the most part, primarily because I'm not sure where to go with it next)--but still, there seems to be a sort of random wandering to your work lately that, for me, lacks vision.

This one, however, feels well thought out and carefully composed with a strong vision.

comment by Kenny at 07:54 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Ha ha, nice humor, David ;)

And very nice and cool shot today. I like it! Very strange.

comment by djn1 at 08:11 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Roger: no, I'm afraid I don't have any links ;-)

Silver Sova: the short answer is Curves, the slightly longer answer is to do with using a reverse 'S' curve on the blue channel.

Alec: yep, there have been some random wanderings – mostly to do with not having enough time, the weather, the kids being ill, and so on. I'm hoping to get a bit more focussed over the next couple of weeks.

comment by fabrizio at 08:14 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

very very nice shot David.
This has been one of the long-time efforts I have ever tried to catch.
You did.

all the best to the children

comment by Monika at 08:14 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

beautiful as always David

comment by Rob at 08:15 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Venus is a bit greenish-blue this time of year. Also, I am sure the "real" scene was a bit more in focus - your Truthomatic MkI needs adjustment sir.

Seriously, other than the slightly overdone tone, I personally like narrow DOF shots, including this one. ;-) Wondering if you had to enhance the OOF/DOF since this was shot with an f4 lens at 17mm, or if the 17-40 has that narrow a DOF at f4 for "real". Thinking of buying one-thats why I ask.

comment by Alec Long at 08:19 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Yep, Dave. I know the drill. Same constraints over here as well. I just take the easy way out and not shoot until I'm fully inspired. :)

comment by David Levine at 08:37 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

It's like I am looking through the eyes of an ant at the beginning of a long journey. Which makes the title particularly poignant!

comment by Bob at 08:49 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Wow! Reality has never looked so good. And thanks, David, for letting me know the Truthomatic is finally in stock. I've had one on back-order for months. Getting one in hand will make my life much easier, because I'm getting SO tired of c**pping myself every time I load my Leica M6 with a roll of B/W. Sure makes for a messy workflow.

Also it looks like I can finally forget about all that cheesy photoshop post-processing, as it appears that "true" reality (as meticulously evidenced by the Truthomatic) already seems to be cheesy enough on its own.

Hey, gotta go get mine. Keep it real, man.

comment by Brett Admire at 08:51 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

haha I get it nice entry...Nice image as always the blue-green feel works very well in this.

comment by sarah race at 08:55 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

It should really be at least 99% true, otherwise i hate to tell you, it is still digital art. lol

comment by Albedo at 08:56 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

I actually wondered exaclty the same as Rob about the DOF after taking a look at the Exif...

I'm really fond of narrow DOF shots, and this one is no exception. There is also something more than solely the DOF which 'pushes' one's look to the bottom center of the image... now that I'm thinking about it, perhaps it comes from this vignetting, which I guess is intended.

What kind of post processing do you perform to get these kind of tones ? I particularly like this very chromasian colors.

comment by Kelly at 08:57 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

I just don't know about this one. I really like what is in focus, but there's so much out of focus that it's bothering me with this particular shot.

comment by RustyJ at 08:59 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

I love the grain of the wood. Truthfully.



comment by miklos at 09:13 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

I picked up a Truthomatic after seeing this post for the first time about an hour ago.. (Luckily there were a few left on the shelf at the camera store)

I've been playing with it for about 20 minutes now.. One thing I found is that it takes the "TRUE" image, and it actually does take an "Enhanced" image for a comparison, for a good laugh, or for whatever purpose... Anyway the Enhanced image seems to take everything into consideration.. HDR mode, fake tilt/shift lens mode, DoF enhancements, color/saturation enhancements.. it even has a "mood selector" ...

But on the other hand it does take shots that are "pure" ... However it has some weird algorithm built into it that if you preview the photo on the camera's LCD and then shut the camera off without manually turning off the preview, the enhanced image overwrites the pure image.. I think that's what happened here.. Not sure.

I think I just found another thing.. I have had a bit of a cold over the past few days and I didnt' feel much like doing anything really.. I almost didn't even make this comment but the Truthomatic came to the rescue. It releases some sort of soothing aromatic herbal medicine into the air that cleared my sinuses, made me instantly feel better and gave me enough energy to finish up this mini-review. In the midst of your illness Dave, is it the same force that drove you to make this entry? It's great isn't it.. I'm telling you.. this thing is magical. Thanks man!

comment by djn1 at 09:23 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

miklos: given your distaste for digital art, your dedication in coming back day after day to witness the 'travesty-that-is-chromasia' is admirable, even though I have absolutely no idea why you bother. Tomorrow, I think I might have a 'miklos' day: eat food that I hate, look at art that I don't like, and take up knitting, or maybe self-flagellation. I'm sure I'll feel better for it. After all, it's obviously done you the world of good ;-)

comment by Mikelangelo at 09:31 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Nice image dave. The eye is pulled straight in. I also like the composition with the gap in the center leading the eye straight to the center of the image..it works well here.

I do like this image and many of your others...but there are days when I think I just come for the conversation! ;-p

comment by troll-los at 09:45 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

For the record, I was told to check out your site today (many thanks to the anonymous tipster) because you seemingly 'threw a bomb' my way. I was sure it wasn't about me.. Not so sure anymore.. Also I never said I didn't like digital art, I just don't think it has a place along side of traditional photography. Swirly lines and odd meaningless shapes are considered as art for sure, I don't mind that.. but it is not photography: just art. Whether it started off as a digital file taken by a digital camera, or a blank drawingboard in photoshop or illustrator. Art.
The end.

A miklos day! YAY! Be sure to set some time aside inbetween knitting and self-flagellation to troll random sites and cause a ruckus.. or perhaps spend some time in Manual mode as opposed to Aperture Priority... either one.. but be sure to do at least one of the two otherwise you can't really call it a miklos day..

Ok Ok.. I'll stop. but at least I didn't start it this time.

comment by Jennifer at 09:46 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Wow - sleepless nights sure make you sharp - photographically and on the comments front - way to go!

comment by kim at 09:52 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Ho ho! Dave, you joker, you!
Like the shot, hope you dusted your knees off afterwards.

comment by Nick at 09:59 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

This for me is classic Chromasia - lots of sharp detail from the edge of the image (wood grain, nails, moss, gaps between the planks, all getting a bit battered by all the feet) and as it fades into the distance the knowledge that there's all that detail almost to infinity. But you don't need to see it all - all the information you need is compressed into that tiny space at the bottom of the frame. What a story!

comment by Gonzo at 10:01 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

hehe....miklos and djn.....you guys must love each other ;)

even though i prefer more natural looking shots, it is interesting to see what else can be done to a photograph.

comment by Tom from (Lucerne Times) at 10:07 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Cool shot. We have a similar pier in Sopot (Poland, where I come from). Your photo awakened some childhood memories in me. I used to ve often in Sopot in those times.

comment by Mal at 10:22 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

I've had a Truthomatic for years now, unfortunately it tells me the truth every time I pick it up, confirming that I am a rubbish photographer. Love this shot, please tell me how to use mine correctly - Please!!!

comment by ROB at 10:29 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Ah the Truthomatic still has me giggling like a damn fool. What else can I say, will be smiling all day now.

comment by djn1 at 10:38 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Gonzo: yep, miklos and I go way back. Incidentally,and not totally unrelated, I'd prefer you to go back to using your previous persona: you know, the one where you had a real name, a proper email address and a link to your photoblog. Either that or explain why it is you suddenly feel the need to post anonymously.

miklos/troll-los: my comments were intended as a fairly gentle dig at those folk who insist that they have the right to tell the rest of us exactly what counts as photography, and what doesn't. If I wanted to 'throw a bomb' at you personally I would have done so, by name, ... but this isn't about you. To be honest with you, and this is probably something I should have got over at my age, I always respond badly to dogmatism – people who insist that they're the ones who know best, the ones who insist that their view of the world, or some aspect of it, is the only one worth holding.

I have no problem with people defining their own photography as they see fit, but I do object when they tell me that that's what I should be doing too. History is littered with petty minded people, many of whom have championed their own world views at the expense of other, equally valid points of view. It's not a philosophy that I have much time for.

comment by m at 10:41 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Do those that declare post processing to not be "proper photography" ever consider their own post processing? It is always present even if you choose not to admit to it.

During film development you alter the contrast and tonal quality just by using different chemical brands, ever chose one you like best? Different finishes and effects are created by use of different film, what brand did you choose? At the print stage you select the level of exposure to allow and can alter the hue saturation brightness and contrast, all to have no effect? Different papers are chosen for different image presentation, why choose mat or gloss? Dodge and Burn are film print techniques and are not unique to digital packages.

How about Digital images? Ever consider that the image recorded by your camera is a computer generated representation of what you saw? The layout of every pixel decided by a machine using a mathematical formula, your choice of one over another is due to a personal liking for its processor output at a given budget. The algorithm used to store or compress the file adding its own unique signature, your choice of file format adds to the differences between source image and output image. Jpeg files on many compact digital cameras enhance output levels to ensure good looking prints direct from the camera.

Every one of you that reads this blog and takes pictures using anything from that three quid disposable film camera to that six grand pro setup, post processes in some way in every case. You only get to choose the degree.

comment by Ryan Rahn at 10:45 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Man, I got to get me one of those cameras. Love the parody!

Great shot too...good central composition and lighting.

comment by alan at 11:08 PM (GMT) on 29 March, 2006

Dave - I really love the perspective here. Love the comment about the ant at the beginning of a long journey. Now, off to surf for the best price on that Truthomatic. ;-)

comment by Paul at 12:16 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Wonderful shot David! I got one of those new cameras as well. I usually shoot all on (M) mode. For the noob, thats Mars mode.

If you ever get burned out on photography, do a camera comedy act for all the photographers artists who are too afraid to think out of the box...or break some rules.

Happy shooting...

comment by nuno f at 12:30 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

What? You still have a 128 gigapixel 'Truthomatic' camera? My 250 gigapixel Canon "SweetReality" delivers far better photos wich are 110% beyond truth/reality. It even makes instant coffee.

Everyone knows that any photo taken by a digital camera needs post processing. The degree of changing to the image depends of the author vision and creativity. What you, me and most of digital photographers do is to work the photo using a digital dark room, instead of a physical one. Using Photoshop or some other editing software, gives more creative freedom to the "artist" to bring the initial idea to reality.

comment by milou at 12:38 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

This reminds me of childhood holidays and looking at the sea through the gaps in Swanage pier. A nice photo. Cheers.

comment by Mike Dougan at 12:54 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Photography is a form of art. The person operating the camera is an artist. Therefore the artist is free to present his interpretation of the scene in any way he wants. Some painters paint what they see, some paint there interpretation of a scene and some painters are abstract. I see no difference with photography. I don't like every painting I see and I don't like every photograph I see but to exclude all photographs just because they have been manipulated to present somebody else's vision would be to ignore some fantastic art. Consequently I keep coming back here to see David's art even though it's a type of photography that I don't do I do like to look at the work of gifted artist's.

Nice work!

comment by Alec Rogers at 12:54 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006


I could understand some peoples views on this digital art vs photography (if you were like ruining the images) haha, but you are so not. You know exactly what you are doing and you are very good at it. You're not some 5 year old kid having a kick with CS2 and claiming he's a "big shot". Possitives outway negatives as always. You're a humble photographer with a life....skeptics are all legends in their own minds. Keep up the great shots dude.

comment by Ashish Sidapara at 12:54 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Lovely framing, nice dof and a cool tone to this shot , nice one David!

comment by Tom Houtman at 01:42 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Your Canon Truthomatic has nothing on my Nikon Reality Render. Why I can't even touch the white balance. Locked up tight. ;-)

comment by pfong at 02:27 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

David, loved your gentle humour here :-)

comment by Fabio Giolito at 03:26 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Seriously, this "fight" is getting annoying even though i like your sarcastic way...
You ask why they bother if you post-process or not.. but i ask you, why do YOU bother with them?

Nice shot, and i like this sentence "mind the gap". I guess this shot is a nice point of view of that.

comment by Anvi at 04:00 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Beh. Who needs this truthomatic camera, it's all marketing buzz for your own pair of eyes! Canon Truthomatic Mk X.

comment by micki at 04:23 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Dare I say that this might be one of my favorites of yours? It's so simple, and I think that's why!

comment by belle fille de photo at 05:00 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

I love your use of depth of field, It creates an unusual center of interest. The name is quite clever, I can see some woman getting her high heeled shoe stuck in the gap.

I find your work very unique and aesthetically pleasing. I hope you continue to take wonderful pictures.

comment by Sharla at 05:12 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

I think this was taken at one of those spots across the universe that I said yesterday I probably wouldn't visit again. Nice place and all except the light strains my senses in a very negative way.

I think a good marketing name for Canon to consider would be "Touché." Perhaps you could pass that along for me. (I can't because the Nikkor guys would drop my favorite lens during the next cleaning.)

Stay true. (At least 85% or so.)

comment by Lito at 08:00 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

DAVID, please ignore my grammatical skills:

i think there is something wrong with the recent picture-site. When i go with the mouse pointer over the image the title of the picture is not correct shown.

comment by Lito at 08:02 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

....:-) okay, now it is!

comment by AJW at 10:32 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Personally, I feel that the image would have benefited by having matching lamp post tops. However I do appreciate that the size of the double pair is slightly smaller than the single one on the left side. This type of manipulation could well be a step too far for you Dave? Not sure about your point of view though.

I.M.O. The image would potentially look better balanced having double lanterns on each lamp post and they would give the impression of acting as a gateway to the rest of the pier.

In general terms, I really admire the use of D.O.F. and love the texture of the wood grain.

Regarding the colour cast you have applied, as far as I recall, Blackpool always looks like this!

comment by Joseph Yarrow at 11:00 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Its beautiful!
Well done, the DOP is PERFECT and the moss adds some well needed color.

could you explain the reverse s curve on the blue channel? My Pictures go a horrible color when i try this.

another point I'd like to add is that your site has not only given me inspiration, but has also made me aware of how many photoblogs are out there, and thus have also quenched my thirst for fresh images and ideas, I'm sure you'll agree that some of them are incredible.

comment by Roy at 11:45 AM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

I'm really bored of this discussion on the nature of photography. Can we get on with some picture specific commenting in future?

I concur with AJW that those colours seem pretty accurate for Blackpool. I like the splashes of colour in the very foreground, they really bring the texture to life.

comment by bruno at 12:03 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

hmmm its always nice suprice to visit your site :)

comment by navin harish at 12:35 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Nice colours and good use of DOF

comment by prasoon at 01:12 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

awesome .. simply loved this.. nice DOF too..
btw, whenz ur next trip to a distant planet - i would like to join u on that trip [if i can] :D

comment by Jasmine at 01:45 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

David! I've had much lively fun over the last few days. From strong disagreement - I admit I was yelling at my monitor, dogmatism on any topic being one of those things that gets me going - to laughing and knee slapping. Your humour and perspective are delicious. Oh yeah, and today's photo: I love it. It's both a beautiful photo and a sweet statement on life. Mind the crack. Thanks.

comment by Geoff at 01:54 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Dave, I love the humour and the debate, but personally, the photo does very little for me.

Oh well, you can't get lucky every day ;)

comment by Tongue in Cheek at 01:56 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

the focus, the grain of the wood and the fog sitting there too. the depth, the wooden planks take you up to the sky.
Lovely work!

comment by Tom from (Lucerne Times) at 03:42 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

For me it's all quite simple. I look at some particular photograph for the first time and: a) I like it or b) I dislike it. Actually a better description would be: a) I like it, b) it does not have any influence on me. It happens very, very rarely (if ever) that I dislike a photograph.
What does it mean that I like a photograph? I don't know exactly even myself. I think it is quite simple: I look at it and... it catches my attention, I am enjoying looking at it, it is pleasing my sense of sight. That's already enough for me. It doesn't have to have any deep submeaning or story behind it. If it has and if I understand it, even better. But it doesn't have to. And then, as the second step, I am starting to think about if and how much post-processing did the photographer apply to the image. I am coming back to David's page because I like app. 90% of the images I see here. The post-processing does not disturb me in any way. I think there is a decent balance between heavily and lightly post processed photos on this site.

comment by Adam Lee Dalziel at 05:06 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Love the picture - I'd like to have the vision to take this - would appreciate any critical comments and advice on my photos -



comment by tobias at 05:26 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

No digital art, thank god. I find post processing tedious most of the time. I might invest in one of these. The concept (and the outcome) is amazing. I love it. Great perspective.

comment by lee at 07:41 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

definitely original

comment by tobias at 07:54 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Dave, where do I find this truthomatic?

comment by tobias at 08:00 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006


comment by matt at 09:37 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

^^^^^ LOL : )^^^^^^^^^

nice picture dave!

comment by JD at 09:52 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

I have no idea what discussions have been going on here today!
Maybe its time you started looking at something a little more like a forum to present your work with to allow for more structure tho?

Very funny description/notes tho ;)

The image is great, I'm glad it didn't have full symmetry...
Great colours and use of DOF

comment by djn1 at 10:30 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

Thanks everyone.

As for the Truthomatic: regretfully, Canon discontinued them this morning so I can't really give you much more information ;-)

comment by tobias at 11:03 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006


comment by Phil at 11:31 PM (GMT) on 30 March, 2006

I like the colour tone of the shot. I dont think I would ever have noticed something like this - you have such a great eye.

comment by noushin at 07:06 PM (GMT) on 31 March, 2006

I like the gap taking you into the shot.

comment by tholman at 11:00 AM (GMT) on 1 April, 2006

Really like this one, especially how, when you first look at the shot, you eye is drawnfrom centre to bottom to focus. Great

comment by frisky? at 02:51 AM (GMT) on 2 April, 2006

diggin this a lot.

comment by D at 01:00 AM (GMT) on 3 May, 2006

Looks gorgeous, love the colours. The sort of picture I'd like to try taking some time in the future!

comment by Alma Allende at 08:18 PM (GMT) on 31 March, 2009

this is also a great one. its just insane how such a simple line can be so interesting and eyecatching. ur an amazing photographer. i love it!!!!