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Sea View from Vare Vare

Monday, December 26, 2016

The carvings that can be found in the extreely hard and rough coastal rocks near Hanaga Roa are usually a little tricky to spot. This day we found a few in their full glory. These are pretty much modern carvings, many part of Tapati Rapanui competitions the first week of February every year. Nan really likes this guy and wanted me to work up a print. If this had been a negative or even a non-raw exposute it would have been impossibl. It's a text'book example of being able to shift the exposure down about two stops in RAW before sorking up the image. Below is a screen shot of the original exposure.

     The fix-it was quite simple – I took a minus 100% on the highlights and then added a minus 40% on the overall exposute. Voila – not the same image at all. One could accomplish maybe a quarter of this on a TIF, not nearly enough, and virtually none of it on a JPG. The second image above is the same carving without decoration, at low tide, from a different angle, colorless though it is still in color, etc. You can tell from this that it is meant to be viewed from a certain angle and appropriately painted with earth pigment. Note the smaller fish is much more obvious here than in the shot at the top.

     Showing an original RGB exposure destined for B&W always brings out questions as to the state of B&W photography as an art form. When we shot B&W film, our medium, there was no question as to our art form. Now that RAW digital exposures give us so much more control over our medium, it seems to some to somehow taint the B&W flow. I don'w see how or why. I like to set the camera to frame and focus in B&W. Somethines I even have tge samera save me a quick B&W JPG for review. Sure, when I finally open the file in Photoshop it's in "color", but that's a plus when it comes time to convert to B&W. Instead of the forethought of putting a color filter on the front of the lens with B&W film for the desired effect, I can now select that filter while converting – in fact I can erase the effect where I don't want it.

     So, is the medium still B&W photography or a subset of color photography like some see (and many do) it? Or maybe it's still just photogtraphy with the dividing line between B&W and color slightly relocated. Me, I'm still a B&W photographer who's focus is on producing the fine print.

     MoeVarua, a small little monthly magazine created by Helga Thieme on Easter Island is given out on planes and othe places for tourists. It not only contains the requisite, and welcome, adds for hotels, reataurants, etc. – each issue includes a couple of informative articles. And Helga doesn't always shy away fro hard facts. It now has it's own site where the issues can be viewed and downloaded in PDF:  http://www.moevarua.com/rapa-nui-una-cultura-viva/revista/  

     If the page comes up in "Espanol" simply press that tab in the tip right corner and it will switch to "English".

     Unfortuantely this begins in July 2015 – almost ninety issues, months, into the magazine's run. Another page on ISSUU:   https://issuu.com/moevarua  – a site for sellf publishing, contains a number of earlier issues – numbers 1 through 28. 

     I have copies of most of what's in between (with a couple of gaps). I know this is spotty, but this is what's available. Helga's lucky to get this much done from the Island.

     Read one out of curiosity – you'll want to read them all. There is a lot to learn about Easter Island…