Archive for the 'process' Category

Nov 02 2011

Heart valve improves quality of life while looking good

Published by under healthcare,news,process,technique

Update: The FDA approved the Edwards valve – it is the first replacement for the aortic valve.

Patients that received a new heart valve and the manufacturer Edwards LifeSciences are both very happy today. New research announced at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting reported that many patients who received this transcatheter Sapien heart valve felt “like they were ten years younger.”

20080307 CS 9816 Heart valve improves quality of life while looking good

The valve was ready for its close-up

I was able to see the new valve up close while I was taking photos for the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Fall 2008 research magazine Discoveries. There was a cover story about one of the clinical trials at the hospital that involved this experimental artificial heart valve. Instead of requiring open-heart surgery this valve is designed to be inserted up through the groin into the heart. It’s then expanded into place at the site of the current damaged heart valve by a balloon.

20080222 cs 93291 Heart valve improves quality of life while looking good

The angiogram art approach to the valve

Editor Laura Grunberger, designer Diane Kuntz and I pondered the best way to create a cover photo for the valve story. There was the possibility of shooting a rare live surgery of a trial patient, or a still life of the valve itself. We decided to explore both options. Live surgery presents its own shooting challenges, but I had recently been shooting in an angiogram suite and was impressed by the video images that are captured during the procedure.

I thought the balloon and wire mesh had great design possibilities and there could be an angiogram art approach to the story. But I didn’t count on the heart monitor (dark instrument on the right) getting in the way. It was still a contender though and there was room for type and copy that would fit a cover design.

20091029 cs 3163 Heart valve improves quality of life while looking good

Showing a similar procedure in the angiogram suite

The second version involved going down to Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine to pick up an experimental valve. There I received my training on inflating the balloon and how not to destroy the sample. Back in my studio I had to operate the controls like the real surgeon above while putting it into place and keeping it damp without looking wet.

I had seen the more scientific depiction of the valve on the Edwards site and wanted to take a more dramatic approach. This involved setting up my own still-life surgery where the macro lens was inches away from the valve that was surrounded by lights, stands and reflectors.

Cedars W08 Heart valve improves quality of life while looking good

The studio shot was selected over the OR version

I loved the balloon and mesh and created this detailed shot that had an abstract feel. I gave Diane some room to move in a little tighter, she inserted the masthead and some copy blocks you have a cover shot.

Older patients that couldn’t survive open-heart surgery can now live longer, happier lives and the technique could move to wider use as the clinical trials progress.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

On Twitter:

@HarmelPhoto

@MarkHarmel

Now on Facebook

2 responses so far

Jul 24 2011

An American with a camera in Paris

Watching the Tour de France 7 years ago inspired me to move to France – at least for a month. I highly recommend making your own move – temporary or not as well. While I was there I found the secret to family vacations. Leave a week early!

20050903 FR 0916 An American with a camera in Paris

There is only so long you can sit on the ground waiting for a waiter to pass by before you embarrass the family

A big challenge for any photographer on a family vacation is carving out enough time to do some serious photography. Capturing a compelling image often involves doing activities that are either boring, dangerous, or embarrassing to anyone else not taking the photo. On most family trips I either put the camera away or lug it around hoping for an above average snapshot.

The schedule for a family vacation is just different than doing serious shooting. Sunset, a prime-time to shoot is most often taken up by checking into the hotel or eating dinner. Breaking out for a sunrise excursion is a must for places like Monument Valley, but these opportunities are few and far in-between.

For this year’s trip to Paris I came up with a different solution. I left a week early.

I highly recommend this choice. While my family is tolerant of me carrying a camera and three lenses through the streets, they don’t always appreciate me stalking an interesting person in a Metro station or searching for the perfect café chair.

20050810 FR 8021 An American with a camera in Paris

In the Metro, I was spying on this group of rowdy, drunken guys acting out when this charming young girl sat down and mesmerized the group with her charms

On a recent weekend excursion closer to home, I attempted to share my passion with Max, my 14 year-old stepson. I invited him on a sunrise journey into Joshua Tree National Park. After my tenth stop to find the perfect light on the perfect Joshua Tree, Max screamed with hungry exhaustion: “It’s a cactus! They all look alike. Just shoot it and let’s go eat breakfast!”

I appreciated the wisdom of my early departure on my second day in Paris. I walked into the Musée d’Orsay and was mesmerized by its Great Clock, the centerpiece of the railroad station that was converted into a modern art museum.

At one end of the arched enclosure is a huge beautiful clock backed by frosted glass. Behind the glass are multiple stories of walkways traversed by patrons going from one gallery to the next. I was fascinated by the silhouettes created behind the clock as people walked by. I decided that I wanted to capture someone in the compositionally correct location walking close enough to the glass to cast a distinct silhouette.

20050812 FR 8507 An American with a camera in Paris

The Great Clock in the Musée d'Orsay. If you hold your breath until you turn blue in a modern art museum does that make you a Picasso?

As I was holding my breath trying to balance a telephoto lens on the railing of the Orsay I could imagine Max complaining, “It’s a clock. Let’s go.” Since this was my first week, I was on my own and could indulge my multiple photographer paranoia’s. Did I have the clock in focus? Can I hold the camera steady enough to get a sharp exposure, and can I get my silhouetted person close enough to the glass? Other tourists walking by either made a quick frame of the clock or had someone stand at the railing for a snapshot. The flash went off and they moved on – or perhaps thought – “It’s a clock, let’s go see the Monet’s”.

20050812 FR 8603 An American with a camera in Paris

After over 100 exposures I finally captured one frame with a clean, in-focus profile of a waitress walking by the “backwards” clock in the Orsay museum cafe

What surprised me most on the trip was how capricious it was to get a great shot of famous landmarks. My guidebooks never reported any seasonal or construction warnings.

My first view of Notre-Dame Cathedral revealed scaffolding around one of the towers. This ruled out the main facade of the church.  And at the Louvre, the length of the summer day eliminated my dream of a nighttime shot of the I. M. Pei designed pyramid. I had the opportunity to meet and photograph the architect and admired him both as a person and an artist. My heart was set on going to the Louvre in the evening to see the glowing pyramid inside the triangle shaped reflecting pools.

To my great disappointment, I discovered that the pools had been drained for some maintenance issue. I never did understand why. Although I found it possible to navigate the city and feed myself with a limited English/French pidgin language skills  - a greater understand wes required to discover  when the pools would once again reflect the pyramid.

20050809 FR 7794 An American with a camera in Paris

The joy of the Louvre pyramid before discovering that it would not be lit at night

My other lighting mystery happened with another visual treat of Paris – the Art Nouveau styled Metropolitan (subway) stations. I had my eye on the vine shaped entry at the Blanche station that almost perfectly framed the Moulin Rouge. When I scouted the shot at 4 p.m., the two flower-shaped lights were glowing like an alien’s eyes. But when I returned at dusk with my tripod, the lights were off. This time though I found a way to make the lights work. More about this later…

Embracing change and being flexible, is all part of traveling to a new land. But a little planning also comes in handy. I start with travel guidebooks.

For visual scouting I used the DK Eyewitness Paris Guide. The book is full of photos that help me plot the highlights and serve as a competitive challenge. My favorite planning book and constant traveling companion was the Rick Steves’ Paris travel guide. The DK book has small bits of information about every highlight in the city, while Steves tells you in detail the best places to visit and how to get the most out of your vacation. Steves also has some wonderful, free audio guides for your trip as well.

My first trip to Paris had a dual agenda. Be a tourist, and take great photos that would pay for the trip. Soon it became apparent that these goals were synergistic. What I wanted to see as a tourist were the same places that most people wanted to see as well. I could be my own one-man market research survey.

The game is to go the same spots that everyone else has covered and find a fresh – and ideally better way to shoot the location. This sounds easier in theory than practice. My first response is usually ”this looks like a postcard.” That’s a bad thing since most postcards are uninspiring. The trick is to go the spot and hope that your eye naturally does a better job of arranging the pieces than those that came before. And if inspiration doesn’t show up right away, you push yourself to find a new viewpoint. Fortunately, I’m quite good at discovering new views of “the most photographed places“.

20050811 FR 8340 An American with a camera in Paris

Placing the Invalides dome in just the right location required balancing on the 16-inch ledge of the Pont Alexandre III and waiting for a tour boat spotlights to illuminate the bridge details

In Paris this could mean finding the best lampposts on the best bridge over the Seine and for once getting the lucky break of finding a construction zone that allows you to safely stand in the middle of the street. Or discovering that the best view of the Invalides Dome involves standing on a 16 inch ledge of that same bridge to get the view that you think hasn’t been shot before. The four-story fall down to the river made me question the sanity of this pursuit. But I balanced there for 45 minutes anyway.

Other shots require standing in the middle of the street without the safety of construction barriers. I had seen a photo of a line of waiting taxis on the Champs Elysées near the Arc dé Triumph. I was tired after my ledge-balancing act, but it was in the neighborhood so I wanted to take a look.

My first shots were bad copies of a postcard photo, but as I continued to try different angles, the line of cabs became longer. They were now forced to double-park into the second lane of traffic. This was the break I needed. I was able to move out from the curb and stand in front of the second lane of taxis. This allowed me to get a Taxi Parisien sign right besides the Arc dé Triumph.

20050810 FR 8102 An American with a camera in Paris

Double-parked taxis on the Champs Elysées were the ticket

What allowed me to see what others have not? Was the line of taxis not as long for other photographers, or was I just crazy enough to stand in front of the taxis? It’s hard to tell. What’s clear is even when you think it has all been shot before, it is possible to fight through the fatigue to make a classic shot of a familiar landmark.

I’m constantly amazed at the successful export of what I call the “Japanese Tourist Photo” (JTP). The classic version is the husband taking a snapshot of his wife or family in front of anything that resembles a landmark. Point and shoot cameras are perfectly designed (and in my opinion – only good) for this “I was here” memento. Now that most travelers have digital and cell phones cameras the JTP is even more popular. Often people seem to be more interested in seeing photo of themselves in front Eiffel Tower than they are in viewing the tower itself.

20050812 FR 8644 An American with a camera in Paris

Look at me. I saw these Monets

The most bizarre variation of this can be found at art museums. Monet’s water lilies and a self-portrait of Van Gough were not works of art to be admired and contemplated. They are now just one more background location for the mug-shot book.

I’m personally appalled by the affront to the dignity of the museum and artist, and at the same time utterly fascinated by the act. The documentary photographer in me doesn’t judge the morals he just yearns to record the act.  I understand that this only doubles the insult, but it can make an interesting picture.

The challenge to my values came when a family friend asked me to do a JTP of her with her son in front of the Mona Lisa. Should I break out my lecture that I just don’t do that kind of photo, or snap and move on? I decided I was on vacation and snapped.

20050820 FR 9490 An American with a camera in Paris

Family friends in front of the Mona Lisa after I took their JTP

A bigger question that a travel photography in the digital age has to ask is – how much manipulation can I do, and how much am I willing to do? The street artists selling their wares along the Seine all move the Parisian landmarks around to fit their composition needs. Standing on what would be the spot that Maurice Utrillo painted his famous view of the Sacré-Cœur through Montmartre area shops reveiled that he moved the church’s dome over to the right. If painters can move landmarks around to meet his compositional needs, is it fair for me to do the same?

Removing a street-sign or a stray lamppost is now just part of my workflow. It allows me to have some more flexibility in my compositions. I can now move a little more to the right and have less distortion on the Eiffel Tower less if I clean up the tree branch later. With two photos in Paris I did a little more retouching than usual.

The moon below, next to the Pont Alexandre III streetlamp has been added to the photo. I have never done a similar moonrise trick before. I have seen and laughed at fake, overly large moon insertions before, and never imagined myself doing such manipulation. Yet, just ten minutes before, the moon was in that location. Should I be penalized because it took so long for the street lights to come on? I decided that it was fair to shoot the moon and insert it later.

20050809 FR 78871 An American with a camera in Paris

Pont Alexandre III lamppost view that was available from my favorite construction zone

How far photographers go with this trend is a matter of taste, morals and skill. My retouching skills are limited, but I knew enough to shoot all of the pieces that were needed to blend together an idealized illustration of how the Moulin Rouge could look through the Metropolitain arch.

After returning, I teamed up with my Photoshop artist friend Dennis Dunbar. He works in the fantasy world of creating movie posters and had the talent to blend multiple images together for a photo-realistic-impression of the landmark. I suspect that most people will just assume that I just used a special lens, until another serious photographer attempts to find the spot and discovers that I have moved the Metro sign. (A more detailed story of the composition is available in a previous post.)

MoulinRouge An American with a camera in Paris

The Art Nouveau Metro entrance was in the wrong place - so I moved it

Coming to Paris for the first time allows me to see the iconic details of the city that become familiar to the locals. Two elements that fascinated me were the sidewalk cafes and the cobblestone streets. Since most of my images only require a little digital darkroom work, I’m normally most excited at the time of capture. It’s rare when an image grows on me later. But I had two exceptions to the rule.

20050812 FR 8676 An American with a camera in Paris

After five frames I gave up. It was only after seeing others photos of Parisian cafes did I appreciate what I captured

These backlit red wicker chairs and tables was my first surprise. This photo should have been easy to find. There were great cafés on seemingly every corner, and in August when half of the city goes on vacation, restaurants stack their chairs inside their windows in amazing patterns indicating that they were closed. At the time though, I just didn’t feel that I captured the essence of the Parisian way of dining. Only after I looked at what others had done with the subject did I appreciate what was achieved.

This cobblestone street initially disappointed me as well. In my mind I wanted someone carrying a baguette across the street. I waited at my favorite corner as the Montmartre locals walked by and stalked patrons at my corner bakery to no avail. Fortunately the pigeon caught my eye as I was waiting for my bread.

20050812 FR 86561 An American with a camera in Paris

I was thinking cobblestones and baguette before the pigeon took me on a flight of gray

Both of these grew on me during the processing of the files and after comparing them to other currently available images of the subject matter. They are now my quiet favorites from the trip. Letting go of my expectations allowed me to accept these images – and looking back I can see how this is the secret to traveling to a new country.

Giving up expecting that the French should speak English, and accepting that there will be construction are both good starts. And if your plans don’t work out, it’s always possible to shoot somewhere else – or use one of those café chairs to sit down and have a glass of wine.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

11 responses so far

Jan 18 2011

Happy 80th Birthday Jay

In the photography world the name Jay is synonymous the legendary photographer Jay Maisel.

He’s influenced generations of photographers and my turn came in 2003 right at the time that serious digital cameras entered the market. He was in Los Angeles to give one of his inspiring presentations and his photos of course impressed me, yet at the same time I was confused.

20030711 STK 1121 Happy 80th Birthday Jay

Jay Maisel making a gesture about color and light

Many of the shots were taken for clients, but some of the best had no reason to be shot – except for the simple fact that they were great pictures. It was at that moment that I realized that I had witness similar scenes before, but I was self-censoring myself into only taking pictures that I thought could sell.

I lamented all the photos I’d been missing and at the same time recognized the economic equation had just changed.  Instead of buying what is now a relatively cheap camera and spending thousands of dollars a year in film. I had just purchased a $7,000 digital camera where the film was “free”.

I was inspired to catch up for years of lost images and discovered that Jay was teaching a class at the Santa Fe Photo Workshops the following week. I packed my bags and was on my way.

20030709 STK 0637 Happy 80th Birthday Jay

I couldn't make out of the driveway without being stopped in my tracks

The class was inspiring for the extended viewing of Jay’s work and to witness how his critiques of student’s work were all teaching moments instead an opportunity to pass judgment. I began to see differently. There were days that I couldn’t get out of the driveway without being stopped in my tracks by amazing light hitting the purple flowers of a sage plant.

The week went by in a blur. We shot, edited, talked and shot some more – and somehow the universe bent light differently so that interesting photos were all around. Even the weather cooperated to make great photos, as I was lucky enough to get caught in a dust storm on my drive home.

20030711 STK 1132 Happy 80th Birthday Jay

Even the weather changed to inspire me to shoot

You can find evidence of Jay’s influence by exploring my Visual Concepts category. That is really just a fancy way of saying these are photos that are a cheap imitation of anything that Jay Maisel could shoot on his 80th birthday or any day and a tribute to his influence.  May you have another 80 years of producing great work.

I found a wonderful video made by The Big Picture in 2008 on Ed Broberg’s blog tribute. It’s a great introduction or reminder of the genius of the man.

Be sure to visit Jay’s blog to read more tributes to Jay’s birthday.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

On Twitter:

@HarmelPhoto

@MarkHarmel

Now on Facebook

One response so far

Dec 19 2010

There’s Snow in Them Thar Hills

Living in Los Angeles saves me from shoveling snow and scraping ice off my car windshield as was required in my native Detroit, but when it comes to making a Holiday card I embrace the beauty of snow and head for the hills. In Southern California this means keeping an eye out for the magical mix of a rain front with temperature levels that will produce snow at the higher elevations. In flatter regions of the state the forecast may simply be about the chance of rain, but for the mountain areas it also includes a snow level prediction – the elevation where the rain transforms into snow. Getting these photos requires heading to a beautiful location with the right elevation, but success is not assured.

20101120 stk 0839 There’s Snow in Them Thar Hills

Sequoia trees provided a contrast of red bark against white snow

A November weather front created an opportunity to shoot this year’s card at a snow level in the 6,000-foot range. This meant looking on the map and finding the right spot. A contender was Sequoia National Park – it was close, in the target altitude and provided a great opportunity to shoot the red bark of sequoia trees against freshly delivered white snow. The timing required the perfect Goldilocks formula of not too hot and not too cold. A frigid temperature closes the road into the park by generating too much snow and higher mercury levels would only give me wet trees to shoot. An accurate weather forecast and perfect timing this year rewarded me with a fresh blanket of snow and I made it in and out of the park in one try.

20081218 stk 2972 There’s Snow in Them Thar Hills

The sun retuned to Joshua Tree on the second day

I was less fortunate with my Joshua Tree photo from last year which required two attempts to reach the park. I was 20 cars away from getting into the 4,000-foot high desert last year before the Highway Patrol closed the road. These excursions require preparing for an overnight stay in the area, and after a good night’s sleep I was rewarded with open roads and bright sunshine the next day. (You can read more on this story and see a video version of the “Living Joshua Tree” in last year’s blog post.) Besides having the opportunity to take great photos, the other advantage of visiting parks on the edge of snowstorms is experiencing the sites without a crowd. The solitude of the normally packed Grants Grove in Sequoia was broken only by a herd of deer and I had Joshua Tree to myself untill the snow plow came through to let out trapped campers. During this slow Holiday season I’ll continue to look to the sky – not for Santa and his reindeer – but for a weather report that has the right mix of rain and temperature that would provide an opportunity to head for the hills to create next year’s card. For snow photos in the lower elevations of New York’s Central Park, view the saffron Gates series by Christo and Jeanne-Claude against fresh snow.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

On Twitter:

@HarmelPhoto

@MarkHarmel

Now on Facebook

No responses yet

Oct 08 2010

The New Look of FedEx Office

Update: FedEx Office continue to evolve and is adding free Wi-Fi to many of their locations. This gives road warriors another location option to Starbucks to conduct business. Even before the free Wi-Fi I would use the FedEx locations on my portfolio trips as places to charge up and and park before my next appointment.

I made a trip to my local FedEx/Kinko’s shop back in the summer and found a new sign on the door. Shortly after I received a call from a client asking for an estimate to do a series of photos at that same shop! It turned out that this was one of the first FedEx/Kinko’s outlets that would be transformed into a FedEx Office location.

20090721 hwfe 3959 The New Look of FedEx Office

Delivery driver at one of the first FedEx Office locations

After landing the job it was so convenient to have one of the first locations converted down the street from me in Manhattan Beach. This made it easy to check the construction progress and to send back update snapshots to the art director back in Minnesota. I could also combine early morning airport runs to LAX with my morning coffee to precisely plot the timing and effect of the sunrise.

The client remembered me from a shoot I did for her way back in the film days, but we had never met. One month earlier, I did get to meet with the producer, who ventured out early to check out the progress of the transition. This helped to build rapport when I met the rest of the production team the day before the shoot.

20090721 hwfe 47841 The New Look of FedEx Office

Scouting confirmed that there would be great Northern light mid-day

I knew that we had a busy shoot day planned and proposed doing a quick walk-though of the long shot list. This was designed to get a feel for the style of photo that the art director wanted and to get the simple blocking down. This way we could have a starting point that I could refine and light the next day. We used the basic back of the camera digital preview method. I would do option A, B and C and the art director would pick one, or suggest something else. I saved the favorites and printed out a reference contact sheet for the team.

I originally thought of these as simple starting sketches that would be improved the next day, but they created more of an expectation then I planned. Many times I ended up copying the scouting shot from the previous day. Perhaps it’s a sign to trust my first instincts more when I’m free from the technical constraints of lighting and worrying about the background.

20090721 hwfe 57422 The New Look of FedEx Office

The store was open for business the day of the shoot

We had cast models and had our crew of stylists, make-up artists and photo assistants moving around lights – but we were shooting this big production in a working store. If a customer had a lifetime of photos to copy (which happened) at the duplicating machine we changed our shot or location instead of asking her to move. Some of the employees were also available to serve as models and we often used them as they served their customers.

20090721 hwfe 55024 The New Look of FedEx Office

Our footprint needed to be small

With the shop open for business we needed to have a light footprint. Instead of overpowering the store with strobes, I opted for using continuous light sources that I blended with the existing lights. We even had one of our packs on battery power to remove the risk of tripping on a power cord.

The clients were very happy with the results and the photos seeded a new photo library. Keep an eye out for these shots. They will be making their way into the FedEx Office print and web marketing materials. I know that I will never see my local FedEx Office shop in the same way ever again.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

3 responses so far

Oct 04 2010

i once again have an iPad – do i need it now?


Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 7: parser error : Specification mandate value for attribute async in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: <script src="//stats.wp.com/w.js" type="text/javascript" async defer></script> in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 7: parser error : attributes construct error in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: <script src="//stats.wp.com/w.js" type="text/javascript" async defer></script> in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 7: parser error : Couldn't find end of Start Tag script line 7 in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: <script src="//stats.wp.com/w.js" type="text/javascript" async defer></script> in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 7: parser error : Opening and ending tag mismatch: head line 3 and script in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: <script src="//stats.wp.com/w.js" type="text/javascript" async defer></script> in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 48: parser error : Specification mandate value for attribute async in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: <script type="text/javascript" src="https://stats.wp.com/w.js" async defer></scr in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 48: parser error : attributes construct error in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: <script type="text/javascript" src="https://stats.wp.com/w.js" async defer></scr in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 48: parser error : Couldn't find end of Start Tag script line 48 in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: <script type="text/javascript" src="https://stats.wp.com/w.js" async defer></scr in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 48: parser error : Opening and ending tag mismatch: html line 2 and script in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ript type="text/javascript" src="https://stats.wp.com/w.js" async defer></script in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: Entity: line 50: parser error : Extra content at the end of the document in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: <script type="text/javascript"> in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: simplexml_load_string() [function.simplexml-load-string]: ^ in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 381

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 385

Warning: Division by zero in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 512

You may recall that I had a first day iPad and then gave it up because I really needed a new laptop. Now through the kindness of friends we are now a two-iPad family and I have a new iPad to use once more.

The question is do I really need it now?

My biggest activity has been using it as an e-reader. I use both the iBooks and the Kindle apps for reading and I like them both. My reading is done at home so I could very well read the paper versions, but I’m happy with the experiment.

I reported a downside of the original model that it only accessed the internet through a wifi connection. I thought that the added 3G capability would add greater roving functionality. I have 3G on the new model, but to-date I haven’t activated the service. Much of this has to do with traveling less now.

hero2 20100225 i once again have an iPad – do i need it now?

iPad highlighting the Mail app that needs a junk mail filter - Apple photo

The big advantage of the device is the long battery life. I’ve recently used it at the USC Body Computing Conference and alternated between using it as a live tweeting platform with my laptop. The iPad frees me from being so concerned about my battery charge, but I have many fewer typos with the laptop and I can more easily find websites and shorten the URL’s with my TBUZZ Safari plug in.

The other browser plug in I often use is Evernote. When I find a great website or blog post I now catalog and archive it in my Evernote application. The iPad has the Evernote app, but it does a better job of retrieving the notes than creating them.

In general the iPad is a media-consuming machine and the laptop is a better creating machine.

There are many great features of the iPad and I recommended it to a friend today who doesn’t own a laptop. I love my Pinball HD game, watching videos in bed and I even used it to make a phone call with Truphone. But it still lacks the junk mail filter to keep Spam out of my Mail program that I hoped would be added in the software update.

I’m happy to have an iPad back in my life, but it remains a luxury more than a needed tool. I may be missing the killer app or need to travel more to appreciate the wonders. It might also replace my handmade printed portfolio one day as well.

Let me know what is working – or not working for you.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

4 responses so far

May 09 2010

Why I dumped my iPad and bought a new MacBook Pro instead

Published by under process,technique,Tools


Warning: Division by zero in /nfs/c09/h06/mnt/132769/domains/harmelphoto.com/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/polldaddy/polldaddy-org.php on line 512

First off I have to admit that my iPad was the wonderful shiny new toy that others are raving about. As an iPhone owner the new device was intuitive to operate and a delight to behold.

I was even an early adopter. I made a cross-country reservation to pick my 1st-day release iPad up in Arlington, VA after taking a red-eye from LAX to Dulles.

ipad hero 201004031 Why I dumped my iPad and bought a new MacBook Pro instead

The one that got away

The first issue was that I was taking on a new work assignment where I didn’t have a wifi network set-up in either my place of work or living arrangement. It was like being all dressed-up with nowhere to go.

I managed to impress some customers at my local Starbucks and the iPad was great for taking notes at a new media conference.

I loved playing games on Labyrinth HD Lite, The Pinball HD and the 10-hour battery life was impressive. I downloaded the Kindle app and Chris Brogan’s “Social Media 101” and enjoyed the true interactive reading experience between reading words like they were on a page and jumping to the web references.

I enjoyed the New York Times app and applaud Time Magazine’s reinvention of the news-magazine.

There were three things missing for me to be a hit though. Even after I set up my wifi network, I saw the real value of the iPad was as a road-warrior traveling companion. I wanted to use the wonderful Google map application while I was driving and connect to email and Twitter even when I couldn’t get a wifi connection.

I also recently discovered the value of Evernote to organize the new media information I’ve been collecting.  The iPad has a good Evernote app, but I wanted to send new information from Safari to Evernote like I could on my laptop or MacPro.

Clearly the 3G version would be more useful for travel. The other drawback is not having the junk mail filter as part of the built-in Mail program. By having a very public email address for years, I get way too many offers for Viagra, and unclaimed funds from Nigerian princes that I needed to delete before reading the important emails.

The biggest reason that I offered my iPad up to my friend Martin Trailer was not having a compelling need for the device. What I needed was a new laptop.

My old laptop was one of the original Intel chip machines that I used mainly for downloading photos in the field and web browsing and email when I was on the road.

When I started working on my professional communication project for the American Diabetes Association I was using my laptop as my main computer.  The old machine just couldn’t keep up with my increased demands and I saw the opportunity to essentially trade-in my iPad and get one of the new 15” MacBook Pro machines.

overview gallery3 20090828 Why I dumped my iPad and bought a new MacBook Pro instead

What I'm using instead

It too has the advantage of a much longer lasting battery compared to my old laptop, and it’s the tool I need now instead of the experimental toy that the iPad represents.

Six months from now, with new killer apps and junk-mail filtering activated, I may get one of the new 3G machines, but for now I’m happy with my new MacBook Pro.

What has your experience with your iPad been? Are you still a true believer or did you trade-up to a 3G model? How have you used the iPad as a tool? Or is it still a great toy that is well worth the price?

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

3 responses so far

Mar 30 2010

I’ll take an emergency any day

I’ll even stage one if needed.

20091029 cs 27671 Ill take an emergency any day

A racing gurney and looks of concern make me happy

I’ve been fortunate to have done most of my healthcare photography at major medical institutions. Mostly at University of California, Los Angeles and recently at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. These are major trauma and research centers. The places you want to go when you have a major health issue like a heart attack.

20091029 cs 2567 Ill take an emergency any day

An EKG and exam in the emergency room

This series was shot to illustrate an integrated team approach to handling a heart attack from the arrival and evaluation in the ER and the examination and potential intervention in the angiogram suite.

20091029 cs 3163 Ill take an emergency any day

Opening a blocked blood vessel in the angiogram suite

Even though this case was a simulated heart attack I always enjoy the challenge of making the cases look realistic. They need to pass “the hallway test” of colleagues who will see the photos when this “Report to the Community 2010″ is printed.

As fun as it is for me to shoot these emergent situations. An often overlooked part of healthcare is preventing problems in the first place. This could be teaching healthy eating practices in an elementary school.

20091029 cs 3001 Ill take an emergency any day

Eating fruit and yogurt at a nutrition lesson

Or having a trusted relationship with your primary care doctor.

20091104 cs 4255 Ill take an emergency any day

Personal interaction builds a bond of trust between patient and doctor

In real life, patient areas don’t have that refined TV look that you find on “House“, nor are research labs as stylish as they are on “Bones” and the “CSI” shows.

The first challenge is always to understand what’s going on in the lab and determine how to communicate that unique story. In this case the researcher is doing an advanced DNA screening of an individual patient to calculate the respond to an expensive chemotherapy medication. This is an early stage of personalized medicine.

20091030 cs 3229 Ill take an emergency any day

DNA screening to match effective treatment for a chemotherapy drug

Having cancer is about more than how your DNA reacts to treatment, it’s also about how you deal with the emotional aspect of the disease.

20091104 cs 4552 Ill take an emergency any day

A cancer survivor volunteers to hear patient's concerns

Prevention, bonding, research and emotional health are important part of care. I love showing it all.

But that still doesn’t beat sending a trauma team racing down the hall.

20091105 cs 5076 21 Ill take an emergency any day

Trauma team racing down a hallway

All these photos were taken for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and were published in their “Report to the Community 2010“. A great interactive version of the report was created by the Doyle/Logan Company as well.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

Long on Twitter:

@HarmelPhoto

@MarkHarmel

Now on Facebook

2 responses so far

Feb 25 2010

documentary photograph & photoshop

Update: New York Time tech writer David Pogue raised the question of Photoshop and Photography: When is it Real? The subject came up when two winners in Popular Photography’s annual Reader’s Photos Contest had two winners that clearly were Photoshop compositions.

The question is when does manipulation take an image beyond a photograph? Next year the magazine handles the issue by having a separate category for Photoshop creations?

What do you think about that and the questions raised by my examples below?

One way that I describe the way I work is that I’m a documentary photographer that both knows how to find and see great light, and knows how to make it great when its not.

When I doing a commercial job part of the process is going into a real situation and making it look better. If that involves doing a head transplant from one frame to another or cleaning up a distracting background in Photoshop – that’s just part of the service that’s offered.

But what about when I head back out into the streets? What sort of alteration is fair game? Most serious journalistic publications only allow what could be traditionally done in a darkroom. Perhaps there is a vigorous discussion that is raging in the fine arts world about this issue that I’m not following.

What do you think is fair game from the two examples below and an earlier post about a Moulin Rouge photo?

20040319 STK 7271 documentary photograph & photoshop

An altered documentary photo of an Upper Eastside socialite walking her poodle

20040319 STK 7271details1 documentary photograph & photoshop

The grate was behind her foot and the sprinkler sign was removed

This Upper Eastside photo of a society women taking her poodle out for a walk was only slightly altered. The red sign above the fire-hose plug and the sidewalk grate were removed to cut down on the visual distraction. I personally only have a slight problem with this one. Would it be better if the alterations were indicated similar to what I did with these photos?

20061111 stk 14451 documentary photograph & photoshop

A subway mime preparing for her performance

20061111 stk 1444 81 documentary photograph & photoshop

One frame has the great reflection in the mirror.....and the other has the reaction of the passengers

The subway mime is more of a stretch. Instead of just cleaning up stray distractions this is a blend of two moments where the charm comes from actually being there and capturing the moment. I could say that I indeed captured the moment and the convergence just happened a different times. In my heart I feel its cheating. But is a much better photo as the combination than either one is alone.

What do you think? Where would you draw the line?

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

14 responses so far

Jan 18 2010

“leonard is aware of look. is look aware of leonard?”

George Leonard is better know for coining and popularizing the term “human potential movement”, but if he never wrote the title sentence, much of the movement may not have existed. The story behind the sentence also contains some of the best job seeking advice I’ve ever heard. I asked him to tell the story, but today I read of his death on January 6th and now the honor falls to me.

Back in 1952, Leonard was a flight instructor and editor of an Air Force magazine looking to move into the civilian publishing world when he wrote his first version of the tease – “Leonard is aware of Life. Is Life aware of Leonard?” Not as well remembered as the slightly more popular Life magazine, Look was a similar photo based magazine with a circulation over 3 million. The cadence of the Life line sounded as good with the replacement of Look and he sent that note off as well.

The letter worked, and Leonard went on to cover the Civil Rights movement in the South, and was one of the first journalists to predict the social changes coming from the ’60s student movement in California.

I first met him in 1976 at the University of Redlands in California. I had just finished my undergraduate eduction as an exchange student at the experimental Johnston College that shared the Redlands campus. Leonard was visiting and leading an aikido workshop at a progressive education conference. The experiential session featured the life lessons that could be learned from the practice of that martial art form.

Leonard also covered education at Look, and wrote the classic book Education & Ecstasy in 1968. The book was a call to reform the education system. I was a fan of his book and wanted to meet Leonard and talked my way into the conference by offering up photos of the session.

esalen leonard is aware of look. is look aware of leonard?

Cypress trees shrouded in fog at Esalen Institute while attending a ITP workshop in 1991 led by Leonard

I also knew of his history as a photo editor at Look and asked for his advice on breaking into the magazine business. He agreed to meet, looked at my photos and told me the story of how he created his break.

Like many, when Leonard planned his move he drew up his list of the his top ten publications. But instead of the normal method of starting at the top, he decided that he would begin with a visit to his lowest choice. Reader’s Digest was on the bottom and that’s where he experienced his interview stage-fright and discovered that he was asking for too much money.

After making his rounds to his other choices, he made a point of staying in touch with his prospects. He would send copies of his Air Force publication and some reminder notes. On the day that his “Leonard is aware of Look.” promo arrived, there was a decision to add an additional photo editor. The editor in charge of hiring saw the note and asked his assistant, “what do you know about this Leonard character?” Out of the file drawer came a two inch folder of correspondences and Leonard was offered the job.

Look became aware of Leonard, and we all became aware of the human potential movement because his writing and later immersion in the field.

He went on to, write a dozen books, become an aikido masterPresident Emeritus of Esalen Institute and created the Integral Transformation Practice and Leonard Energy Training.

Mark Harmel

harmelphoto.com

@MarkHarmel

One response so far

Next »