Eric G. Rose – Where It's At

Archive for May, 2013

This little Piggy went to Market

by on May.17, 2013, under Location

This little Piggy went to Market - copyright Eric G. Rose 2013

This little Piggy went to Market

During my illustrious career I worked in retail for a short time. The first time was when I was newly married and found I needed to work three jobs to get where we wanted to financially. The second time was when I thought, as a semi-retirement gig, it would be fun to work at Home Depot.  One of those bucket list things.

The first gig was in the menswear department at a national department chain store. With the exception of perverts spying on other men trying on clothes in the next cubicle and the odd couple thinking it would be fun to have sex in a change room people were pretty well behaved.  You never found garbage stuffed into merchandising racks or left in the change rooms.  People would actually come and ask you where the garbage can was.

Then jump forward 40 years to my gig at Home Depot. I was shocked to find that customers felt the displays were just very fancy garbage receptacles. We would find half eaten hamburgers, scrunched up snotty Kleenex’s and to top it off dirty diapers stuffed into merchandise.  I even caught one father letting his kid urinate into a display toilet.  As the kids say, WTF!  Please note that there are garbage cans all over the store and a public washroom.

Will that be Pretzels with your double double? - copyright Eric G. Rose 2013

Will that be Pretzels with your double double?

The biggest offenders are Tim Horton’s customers. By far! Unfortunately we had a Tim’s very close by. From what I heard it is one of the busiest Timmie’s in all of Canada. Good for them. I wish they would send their staff through the store several times a day to clean up all the coffee cups left all over the place. Well actually it’s not their fault, it’s their slovenly customers.

You might think that this problem might be typical in a hardware store. What with all these thwarthy constructions types and all. Not so.

It seems litter bugs have infested our usual grocery shopping destination, the The Great Canadian Superstore, owned by Loblaws. Country Hills location to be specific.  I generally find at least six to ten Tim Horton’s cups every shopping trip.

Didn't even try and hide this Tim Horton's cup! copyright Eric G. Rose 2013

Didn’t even try and hide this Tim Horton’s cup!

Driving around Calgary you can see hundreds of Tim Horton’s cups littering the roads every day.  What is it with Tim Horton’s customers?  Why are they so disrespectful?  I feel Tim Hortons should do more to educate these louts that it’s evil to litter.  It’s an affront to all of us that have to endure their piggish behaviour.  Just who do they think they are?  Do they feel they are entitled to have some poor minimum wage person clean up after them?

At Home Depot our staff was trained to keep their areas clean.  Generally our customers were not subjected to Tim Horton’s trash.  Unfortunately The Great Canadian Superstore either does not have enough staff to keep the place clean or it’s not a priority for them.  But then again why should we the consumer have to pay higher prices so retail establishments can keep their shelves clean of trash dropped by ignorant people?

Gee thanks for turning my stomach! Tim Horton's piggies - copyright Eric G. Rose 2013

Gee thanks for turning my stomach!

Do you have the same problem in your area?  While my American readers probably don’t have Tim Hortons in their area I am sure they have other popular coffee establishments.  In Canada Tim Hortons is a religion.  I’ve heard they have a 70% market share for coffee here.  With success comes responsibility.

On the official Tim Horton’s website they express their desire to reduce litter.  Here is what they say:

At Tim Horton’s, we are aware of the environmental impacts of our packaging and waste materials. We are attempting to deal with the litter issue in a variety of ways:

  • We have anti-litter messages on all of our packaging items, including a “Do Not Litter” message on all of our take-out cups. Sadly, many people do not pay attention to these messages but we continue to work with other members of our industry to tackle the litter problem in a meaningful and effective way.
  • To ensure a clean community many Tim Hortons restaurants sponsor local clean up events and activities in their communities.
  • We have waste reduction strategies to try and combat litter from its source. Tim Hortons is one of the few quick service restaurants to offer china mugs, plates and bowls to guests eating in our restaurants. This helps to reduce paper waste being created in the first place.
  • All Tim Hortons restaurants sell reusable Tim Mugs. And while a Tim Mug may not be a practical solution for all guests it does provide a good alternative. The incentive for purchasing a Tim Mug is that the first coffee is free (coupon included inside the Tim Travel Mug) and each refill gets a 10 cent discount (hot beverage discount applies to any travel mug fill).

Clearly these initiatives are not working.  Looks good and sounds good, but the effectiveness is woefully lacking.

It’s time for Tim Hortons to step up and become part of the solution, not just enablers of the problem.  Until I see Tim Hortons doing something substantial to re-educate their customers I will not be supporting the Tim Horton’s machine any longer.  No more Timmie’s for me.

Tim Horton's stands on guard for thee. - copyright Eric G. Rose 2013

Tim Horton’s stands on guard for thee.

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Lens Quality, what does it mean?

by on May.06, 2013, under Cameras, Digital, Film, Photographers, Vision

 

 

fly_wheel1_TVGP_eric_g_rose

(c) Eric G. Rose

Rodenstock Sironar 150mm – this lens is so sharp and contrasty you could smell the grease when looking at the print.

Mike Johnston has an excellent blog called The Online Photographer.  I usually start my day by checking to see what’s new on TOP as the regulars call it.  Recently he asked the question: “I’m asking how important the quality of your lenses is to you. That is, when you’re choosing which one(s) to buy.

My idea of  “quality” might be different than the usual consumer definition.  This is what I responded to Mike’s question:

The signature of a lens is of utmost importance to my photography. I utilize it as a painter uses different brush strokes to mold the look he/she wants. I have differing photographic styles (portraiture, landscape and still life) that require different lens signatures to fulfill my vision.

A lens I love for landscape probably will not be my first choice for portraiture. All my personal black and white photography is done with film as I find the type of film used and how it is developed just as integral to my vision as the lens signature. Please note I am not saying film is superior, it just works better for what I want to accomplish.

I strive to create photographs that are true to my vision, not technically perfect photographs. MTF charts, pixel counts, resolution etc. mean nothing to me. Like Frank DiPerna said, ‘show me the print on the wall.’ That’s all that matters to me when I choose the tools I need to create the image I have in my mind. Today it might be a lens with smooth bokeh, tomorrow a lens that is razor-sharp and contrasty.

While putting my kit together I spent a lot of time viewing as many photographs as possible. If a photograph had a ‘look’ that I resonated with, I would find out what was used to create it if at all possible. My intent was not to copy but to learn which lens and what capture media produced what results. For 35mm I ended up with two systems, Leica and Nikon. Each system had lenses that ‘worked’ for me. Please note they were not always the latest version of a lens but sometimes a golden oldie. I am not saying Leica and Nikon are better lenses than Canon or Olympus etc., just that they gave me a look I wanted. So for me what worked was first determining the lenses I wanted to use, then the capture media.

Not surprisingly I also have a preference for enlarging lenses but that is a whole different story 🙂

In addition to this I would like to add.  I recognize that many of the qualities of old lenses and film can be replicated using a digital workflow.  Bokeh is one such lens signature that is extremely hard to handle in a digital environment if your lens does not have good bokeh to begin with.  I used a high end digital camera for a number of years and got quite adept at getting what I wanted from Photoshop.  In the end digital is not my first choice for my personal black and white work.  For commissioned work digital is the only way to go because these days customers are more interested in getting the finished product quickly than they are in quality.  For me it’s not an “us or them” mentality when it comes to choosing film over digital for my own creative personal work, it just works better for me.

So some would say I put the cart a head of the horse.  Lens selection drives my choice of camera body.  I haven’t found a camera body yet that added to the creative artistic impact of an image.  Lenses however contribute the most.  Don’t just look for the sharpest, contrasty lens with beautiful MTF curves.  Lens choice is part of your artistic tool belt.  Not just focal length, but signature as well.

All this is an important part of taking your photography from great snapshots to images that have emotional impact.

DAVIDHAMILTON

(c) David Hamilton

Photo by David Hamilton – he used Minolta lenses exclusively due their lower contrast.  I started off with Minolta cameras and lenses but got tired of the lower contrast images.  I found I could use Nikkor lenses which had better contrast and simulate the Minolta signature with filters.  The Minolta lenses were not as sharp as the Nikkors either.  You can always reduce the sharpness in the print but if it’s not there to begin with you are out of luck if you are looking for a sharp contrasty image.

coba_boy_with_pet_eric_g_rose

(c) Eric G. Rose

Boy holding pet – Coba Mexico.  I used a Rolleiflex TLR with Tessar 3.5 lens.  I love Tessar’s for their great bokeh.

bannack_merry_go_round_eric_g_rose

(c) Eric G. Rose

Schneider 210mm lens wide open and front standard rotation.  This lens is not only tack sharp stopped down, it has nice out of focus qualities when shot wide open.

san_sebastian_cem_eric_g_rose

(c) Eric G. Rose

Mexican cemetary – Leica 50mm Summicron shot at f2.  Another lens that has great bokeh and is tack sharp and contrasty when stopped down.  I have used other 50mm lenses that would render the background in an ugly blotchy manner.  Not what I was looking for in this image.  Although that might be a quality I want in an image that is meant to cause tension in the viewer.

 

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