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Author Topic: Testing the waters  (Read 10050 times)
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2007, 10:02:57 AM »
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Eric,
I got that backhanded compliment. Much comment in the form of digression. Little of the photo itself   .
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Ray,

I guess it's all my fault, since I brought Howie's name into the exchange. But I do like the picture (the B&W version).

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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howiesmith
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2007, 12:01:48 PM »
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EricM, thank you for taking the time to research and comment on disposing of darkromm chemistry.  As Ray pointed out, conventional wisdom, usually based on ignorance, is not always correct or ueful (see waste water recycling).

I did find a blurb on disposing of spent selenium toner.  I don't recall when or where at this time.  It suggested filtering the selenium before diluting and pouring into sewer syetem.

I spent much of my professional engineering career dealing with risks.  Risk is frequently evaluated as the product of probability of some event and the consequence of that event.  I am stumped as to how someone can recommend as a worthwhile risk a proposal for which never the probablity is known (or not even estimated) and the consequences are unknown.  (Unknown) x (Unknown) = OK.  Amazing.  A sample of flawed conventional "wisdom."

I was an engineer for a company that provided sterilizing services by radiation.  We experimented with cleaning up (killing most of the naturally present salmonella) on raw chicken.  The efforts were not received by the public, who wondered what was wrong with that chicken that required it to be irradiated.  They perferred "ordinary" chicken with salmonella.  I supposed the public understood food poisoning but not radiation.  (About 1 in 200 people in the US get salmonella food poisoning every year.)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 12:10:55 PM by howiesmith » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2007, 03:02:41 PM »
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EricM, thank you for taking the time to research and comment on disposing of darkromm chemistry.  As Ray pointed out, conventional wisdom, usually based on ignorance, is not always correct or ueful (see waste water recycling).

I did find a blurb on disposing of spent selenium toner.  I don't recall when or where at this time.  It suggested filtering the selenium before diluting and pouring into sewer syetem.

I spent much of my professional engineering career dealing with risks.  Risk is frequently evaluated as the product of probability of some event and the consequence of that event.  I am stumped as to how someone can recommend as a worthwhile risk a proposal for which never the probablity is known (or not even estimated) and the consequences are unknown.  (Unknown) x (Unknown) = OK.  Amazing.  A sample of flawed conventional "wisdom."

I was an engineer for a company that provided sterilizing services by radiation.  We experimented with cleaning up (killing most of the naturally present salmonella) on raw chicken.  The efforts were not received by the public, who wondered what was wrong with that chicken that required it to be irradiated.  They perferred "ordinary" chicken with salmonella.  I supposed the public understood food poisoning but not radiation.  (About 1 in 200 people in the US get salmonella food poisoning every year.)
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Howie,

It was your continued insistence on proper disposal that got me to do my minimal "research," so thank you for your persistence.

It is my impression that many avoidable disasters in human history have occurred because people seem generally much more willing to take significant risks about matters that they do not understand than about the ones they do know something about. For most of my darkroom days my own safety rules amounted to:
1.  Don't drink any of the chemicals,
2.  Try not to breathe too much of the fumes (my darkroom has an exhaust fan),
3.  Dilute them heavily when dumping used chemicals into the sewer system, and
4.  Wash your hands pretty well with soap and water after every darkroom session.

At least I never had to worry about a septic system.

Maybe you'll want to bring your own food and wear rubber gloves when we come to dinner at Ray's.    

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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howiesmith
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2007, 04:11:15 PM »
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Eric, that is pretty much what I did in my darkroom, adding that I never ate or drank anything in the darkroom, and I mixed developer, stop and fixer together to neutralize them before dumping down the drain (connected to city sewer) with plenty of water (as the experts directed).  Selemium toner I put into bottles amd took them to a house hold collection center, told them what it was, and let them dispose of it.  I had a big yard but I didn't water the roses with the stuff.

When people in the past have taken significant risks without knowing the consequences, they usually took steps to limit the scope of the consequences, usually to themselves and those willing to assume those those risks.  I think those are sometimes called "calculated risks."  They took prufent risks, not unknown.  If I don't know or can't estimate the probability of an an outcome, and/or I am not sure of the consequences, I try to limit those if I am assuming the risk.  I ate the tomato myself and didn't share it with the unknowing public.

The first atomic bomb explosion at Alamagordo was interesting.  The probablity of blowing up the world wasn't known, but the "calculated" concequences were pretty well known.  Einstein and other were pretty sure the consequences were less than mc^2 and were knowledgible enough to know the air would not join in.  A pool was made that ranged from a yield equal to the TNT detonator (total failure) to the end of the world.  The brighter folks thought, based on their kwowledge, not a guess that it closer to the former.  They didn't just guess (or hope).  They were also aware of the probability and consequences of not proceding (prolonged war and millions more dead).
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Ray
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2007, 10:33:31 PM »
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I spent much of my professional engineering career dealing with risks. Risk is frequently evaluated as the product of probability of some event and the consequence of that event. I am stumped as to how someone can recommend as a worthwhile risk a proposal for which never the probablity is known (or not even estimated) and the consequences are unknown. (Unknown) x (Unknown) = OK. Amazing. A sample of flawed conventional "wisdom."
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Dear me, Howard. You are a fearful fellow!. Life is a venture into the unkown. If we waited until all the facts were in before taking any action, we'd never do anything.

But I am prepared to compromise here. I think my advice could be construed as irresponsible to a certain degree. I am making perhaps a cavalier assumption that everyone reading my advice is as sensible as I am. This is clearly not the case. There are a lot of foolish people in the world and I would not like to think that anyone might attempt to grow their entire food supply in soil that had been used extensively for the disposal of waste selenium toner, for example.

However, if we cross-reference to the other thread about disposal of darkroom chemicals into a sceptic tank (which I was clearly against) it seems that your only specific and practical objection to my eminently practical and sensible suggestion, involved the presence of the heavy metal selenium in the waste, which you thought could present a hazard.

Now it so happens, the original poster to that thread is from the U.K where selenium deficiency in the soil is a major problem to the extent that some bakers are considering adding it to their bread.

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Selenium to stiffen staff of life

A consortium of researchers, farmers and a major baker plan to fill the shelves with loaves of selenium-enriched bread that boost mens health.
Selenium is important to male fertility and to prevent prostate cancer. It also helps prevent cardiovascular disease, stimulates immune function, suppresses inflammatory conditions, and even aids brain function and development.
Selenium levels in the UK diet have plummeted in recent years. People normally derive their selenium from bread made from wheat, which takes up the mineral from the soil. But UK soils have little selenium. As the proportion of homegrown grain used in British bread has increased, so the average selenium intake in the UK has dropped. Currently the average intake of selenium in Britain stands at just 39 microgrammes a day per person, but the UKs Food Standards Agency recommends an intake of 60 to 75 microgrammes.
Researchers at University of Warwicks horticultural research arm have found that selenium-enriched fertiliser can quadruple the minerals uptake in grains. The consortium of researchers, farmers, a fertiliser manufacturer and a major UK baker is now preparing a commercial launch of selenium-enriched breads.
The researchers have also tested enhanced selenium uptake in soya, onions, cabbage and potatoes, and may form parallel consortia with growers of these products if there is interest.

Would anyone like to buy some selenium enriched tomatoes?  

Phew! Talk about digression!

Would anyone like to redress the balance and comment on my photo?  
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 07:03:43 PM by Ray » Logged
jani
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« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2007, 06:01:00 PM »
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Would anyone like to redress the balance and comment on my photo? 
Yes.

I'm not particularly taken with the photo, but I also know how hard it was to overcome a flow of "wow" effects in Nepal and Tibet. There's just too much, and managing to find a subject and frame it, too, is really well done, IMO.

But that doesn't really explain anything.

I think I see five things that don't work for me;

1) The banners, which become an annoyance in the BW conversion.
2) The sky, which is dull in both the colour and BW versions.
3) There is too much detail in the mountains for a small web version, at the very least.
4) The complexity is too great; the foreground simplicity works well, but the background lessens the effect.
5) I don't think there's enough contrast for the BW conversion.

On the positive side, I like the following:

1) The geometry of the silhouette.
2) The geometry of the mountain edges, both repeating and breaking the pattern from the ridge.

So what would I try to do?

I've cropped to a square format, and I've applied a BW gradient map and a curves adjustment. (The effect is perhaps a bit exaggerated, the monitor I'm sitting at currently may be a bit too bright, but I don't have anything to verify that with at the moment.)

The idea is to simplify the image even more, and focus on the contrasts of geometry, light and tonality:

[attachment=2135:attachment]
[attachment=2136:attachment]

I quite like this, except that I'm not satisfied with the structure in the mountains, and I'd also wish that there was some interesting shadow structure to bring forward. Perhaps there is with the raw file. I'd lose the pole, but by now it's almost invisible.
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Jan
Ray
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« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2007, 10:57:35 PM »
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Yes.

I'm not particularly taken with the photo, but I also know how hard it was to overcome a flow of "wow" effects in Nepal and Tibet. There's just too much, and managing to find a subject and frame it, too, is really well done, IMO.

Jani,
Let me first congratulate you on an excellent critique. You've highlighted some important problems which we all tussle with. Namely, the magnificent scene before us, which promts us to take the shot, frequently looks 'lack-lustre' in the photoshop rendition. It often seems to fail to capture what we actually experienced.

I'll go through your point one by one.

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1) The banners, which become an annoyance in the BW conversion.

Banners? What banners? I'm not aware of any banners. What are you talking about?

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2) The sky, which is dull in both the colour and BW versions.

Fair enought. That can be easily fixed.

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3) There is too much detail in the mountains for a small web version, at the very least.

This is another issue entirely. We all suffer from this problem; ie. how to represent a magnigicent scene in a low resolution jpeg format. In some instances it's probably just not possible.

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4) The complexity is too great; the foreground simplicity works well, but the background lessens the effect.

As mentioned in item 3, this is an unavoidable effect of small jpegs.

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5) I don't think there's enough contrast for the BW conversion.

Valid point. I'm not a B&W expert. I almost never produce B&W images from color data.

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So what would I try to do?

I've cropped to a square format, and I've applied a BW gradient map and a curves adjustment. (The effect is perhaps a bit exaggerated, the monitor I'm sitting at currently may be a bit too bright, but I don't have anything to verify that with at the moment.)

Whatever improvements in contrast and tonality you may have achieved, the loss of the panoramic effect is more signiant.

For those who are interested in detail, and I am for sure, below is a 100% crop of a section of that image, in color. Fairly large file.

[attachment=2137:attachment]

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I quite like this, except that I'm not satisfied with the structure in the mountains, and I'd also wish that there was some interesting shadow structure to bring forward. Perhaps there is with the raw file. I'd lose the pole, but by now it's almost invisible.

I might have bungled here, but I can't remember the circumstances of each of the 12,000 shots I took on this trip.

The fact that there is acreage of redundant sky seems to imply to me that at the time of the shot, I had made a decision that the lower part of the scene was mere clutter.

However, as a matter of interest, here is the shadow detail, in color.

[attachment=2138:attachment]
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 11:03:46 PM by Ray » Logged
jani
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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2007, 04:20:06 AM »
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Jani,
Let me first congratulate you on an excellent critique. You've highlighted some important problems which we all tussle with. Namely, the magnificent scene before us, which promts us to take the shot, frequently looks 'lack-lustre' in the photoshop rendition. It often seems to fail to capture what we actually experienced.
Ray, thanks for that feedback; I try my best.

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I'll go through your point one by one.
Banners? What banners? I'm not aware of any banners. What are you talking about?
I'm talking about the pieces of cloth wound around lines etc., which are so common in both Nepal and Tibet.

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As mentioned in item 3, this is an unavoidable effect of small jpegs.
Yes, it unfortunately is. And if you posted a full-size JPEG, it still wouldn't be fair.  

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Valid point. I'm not a B&W expert. I almost never produce B&W images from color data.
Whatever improvements in contrast and tonality you may have achieved, the loss of the panoramic effect is more signiant.
Yes, that was the sacrifice I felt was necessary in this case. But that was my vision, not yours. And I'm not a B&W expert, either.

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For those who are interested in detail, and I am for sure, below is a 100% crop of a section of that image, in color. Fairly large file.
And I guess that just shows the problem of critiques based on web-sized images. Ack.

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I might have bungled here, but I can't remember the circumstances of each of the 12,000 shots I took on this trip.
You could just clone it out, though.

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The fact that there is acreage of redundant sky seems to imply to me that at the time of the shot, I had made a decision that the lower part of the scene was mere clutter.

However, as a matter of interest, here is the shadow detail, in color.
I agree with your original assessment.
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Jan
Ray
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« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2007, 05:05:30 AM »
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Jani,
So, all in all, we could say you are a bit ambivalent about this image?  
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