Fotoeins Friday: Berlin panorama from Hauptbahnhof to Fernsehturm

My Berlin: Memories from the Hauptstadt (2)

Fotoeins Friday: Sydney Opera House at 41

Vancouver Gastown Photowalk with 500px’s Evgeny Tchebotarev

500px‘s Evgeny Tchebotarev flew over from Toronto to Vancouver recently, and met local photographers on a photowalk through the city’s historical Gastown district. 70 people signed up for the photowalk, and the crowd assembled at the Gastown Steam Clock.

That’s when the skies unleashed its waterworks, ranging from a light sprinkle to a hard soak. A number of people stuck through to the wet bitter end.

I was not one of them, as I tucked into a nearby coffee shop to dry out, stocked up on caffeine, set upon a butter tart, and reviewed my “photon haul” for the day.

The following photos are evidence the afternoon was not a complete washout.

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Rallying the troops”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“A swarm of togs around the Steam Clock”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Speaking, clicking, sharing”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Water Street wave”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“IN FORM”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Dueling cigarettes”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Step” (Kim Yee)

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Up and over” (Kim Yee)

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Hello, I see you …”

500px photowalk, Vancouver Gastown, fotoeins.com

“Vertical flip”

I made all photos above on 28 June 2014. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

My Three Laws to Making Photographs

There are some certainties to making a photograph:

  • seeing or viewing the scene,
  • framing the scene in the camera,
  • clicking the shutter button to expose and capture the scene, and
  • admiring the image of the scene.

But make enough photographs, and three realities make themselves known. These arrive gradually, surprising you with their frequency and constancy. But you’ll eventually recognize the universal truths behind what it really means to make a photograph.

And this is where physics is a useful analogy, without the math.

Hot and Cold

When I was at university, one mandatory course was thermodynamics, the study of relationships between heat (thermal energy) and other forms of energy including mechanical, electrical, or chemical. It’s a way of understanding how heat transfer is described, and the various ways energy can be transformed or exchanged within a physical system.

What does this have anything to do with you? Thermodynamics is a driving factor behind weather in the atmosphere, water currents in the oceans, how refrigerators, heat exchangers, water kettles work, among other applications. Thermodynamics plays a role in our everyday lives.

In words, the Three Laws of Thermodynamics are:

  1. “Energy can be changed from one form to another, but energy cannot be created or destroyed. The total amount of energy and matter in the Universe remains constant.”
  2. “Entropy, a measure of a system’s energy that is unavailable for work, or of the degree of a system’s disorder, in the universe always increases. Heat does not by itself pass from a cooler to a hotter body.”
  3. “It is not possible to reach a temperature of absolute zero.”

The poet Allen Ginsberg created theorems, restating and applying the three laws of thermodynamics to “the game of life”:

  1. You can’t win.
  2. You can’t break even.
  3. You can’t get out of the game.

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia, fotoeins.com

My Three Laws to Making Photographs

I attempted to photograph large waves pounding the rocks at Sydney’s North Bondi. As I hunted for the “perfect crash,” I began to think a lot about thermodynamics. In a crazy wave of thought, I got down to my “Three Laws to Making Photographs”:

  1. If you want that shot, someone already made it to worldwide acclaim.
  2. That ideal shot is a fraction of a second too early or too late.
  3. You can’t resist the urge to try and try again.

It’s good to know I’ve put some of that physics training to good use, and I’ve been responsible in raising the “total entropy of the photographic universe” by a small amount, after amassing 75000 exposures with a single camera.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time I headed out to continue my futile search and photograph that elusive moment of pure clarity …

I made the photo above from Bondi Icebergs at South Bondi in Sydney, Australia on 3 June 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.


Minding the Physics

Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman provides a beautiful treatment of thermodynamics in his renowned 1963 Physics Lectures, complete with the math.

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