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  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Charles Bragg (not the painter)

Chuck Bragg

New member
Urged by Bob from Glendale (you know who you are) I look forward to learning from and even adding to this new community. I got a mail-order Praktica for $50 in 1956 and have been snapping ever since. I moved on to the Olympus SLR system and only left when they refused to go auto-focus. I went to Minolta and their 500mm AF mirror which remains my favorite tourist/birding lens. Last Christmas my wife gave me a Minolta / Konica / Sony (!) 5D and I am now trying to learn Photoshop and digital printing on consumer-grade inkjets. My 'skills' in Cibachrome at Home are now, sadly, moot.

Wildlife photography, birds especially, is my interest. As a guy I love tech stuff, but I'm also interested in narrowing the gap between the equipment's capabilities and my own. I used to know what my camera was capable of with film, but just what is possible with a 6 megapixel sensor and a digital darkroom? It's a whole new world to learn about.

Perhaps most puzzling to me as an amateur is why I take pictures in the first place. I've taken thousands of pictures and 99% of them are indexed, stored and unused. After a birdwatching trip I usually make a slide show and after one round with my Audubon chapter, those slides are rarely seen again. I guess that, as with most endeavors, the journey is more important than the arrival - if I was *really* concerned with showing what I do then I would have to consider myself a failure. And yet, I always look forward to another trip and more photos ......

Well, lots of people consider hitting a hard white ball in green grass very important, and I used to consider hitting a soft white ball with a stick strung with lambgut very important. To each his own. I don't expect to learn the secret of life here, but who knows? Why, for instance, out of an infinite number of choices do Canon and [did] Minolta both make a model 5D?

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

Well what a welcome surprise!

An Audobon guy! For those of you who may not know, John James Audubon, an 18th Century naturalist http://monet.unk.edu/mona/artexplr/audubon/audubon.html and accomplished artist, laid the foundations for the modern Audobon Society, an organization at the forefront of the cataloging, celebration and protection of our natural and wildlife resources. http://www.audubon.org

His monumental graphic works overshadows that of many other naturalists.

I've taken thousands of pictures and 99% of them are indexed, stored and unused. After a birdwatching trip I usually make a slide show and after one round with my Audubon chapter, those slides are rarely seen again.
Well, join the club! This is one of the downsides of images being "free" once you have purchased the memory card. With film, one has to choose with care each shot so as not to end up with no decent pictures or else having to sell your grandmother to finance your shutter-finger.

However, this is no free path either. All those images have to be viewed, processed, renamed, backed up and archived. This costs in time and in required storage.

I would suggest one book.

The DAM book by Peter Krogh is the start: the one book everyone should read so as to control the sea of images one ends up with. It is a good start to getting control.

Back to the images, sad at being unseen, hidden in the hard drives.

Here, we go back to the DAM book. If one grades the images, those that you wouldn't waste film on, mark red in iView media Pro and then discard. Yes discard. You now have 30% less images to worry about.

Now grade the rest. A grade of a single + means it is worth working on.

A grade of ++ indicates the unusually remarkable image that you should work on. Why? Because it is what you like, fits in with your style and has value to be finished for final output.

A grade of +++ is really exceptional. You might get one a month perhaps.

A grade of ++++ is found after hard work for maybe 6 months or even 2 years. This is an image so important to you, that you fear ever being without it and you are yourself in awe of your own work!

What about +++++ ? Faggedabowdit!

This, summary is no substitute for reading Peter's approach to asset management. Not even! Still, for the uninitiated, it is a good start!

So pleased you are with us.

One of the particular purposes of this website is to promote excellence in photography. It just takes a little learning and a lot of responsibility to oneself and the final image.

This is why you are here. I do hope that you will be able to fully enjoy and share the best of your many pictures and complete them for printing and exhibition.

Now we have to go over all your pictures. There are treasures there, I'm sure! If you have any questions on dealing with all those files, please post in the forum moderated by Peter Krogh or John Beardsworth.

Asher :)

P.S. I think that I should join the Audubon society, if they will accept me.
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Welcome to OPF, Chuck - from a fellow bird photographer! I'm somewhat new to the game - only been at serious bird photography for the past 4 years or so - but I enjoy every moment of it.

I look forward to your posts in the Nature/Wildlife Forum!