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Tom Cooper (Austin)
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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I took this at the St Paul Winter Carnival at the snow carving display at the State Fairgrounds on Saturday.  It is not an impressive photo, but I had to post it for my former coworker, +Anthony Marcinek, who recently had some skin damaged by a shark while surfing in Hawaii.  "Exciting when it happened, but I wouldn't recommend it" is I think what he said.

Now let's see if he flames me...
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Yah, not exactly my best work.  Snow on snow with very flat light leaves very little contrast.
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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Can your #BigRedBarn  do this?

Temperature was -5°F (-21°C, and yes that is below zero).  Despite the cold, the track that is plowed out on the lake had a motorcycle race in progress.  I got too cold to take the time to shoot them too.

+Kevin Childress +David Brown +JP Murphy +Kenneth Kruse +Ken Fowkes 
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What a great shot Tom! I'd nominate this one King of BRBs. If that is really what it is. Looks like they could have a few missiles stashed around there. :-)
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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A cat knows it's place.  It is between two pyramids.
The cat believes that without a cat, a pyramid is just a pile of rocks.
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I learned a number of things by doing the +Weekly Photo Project 2015, but perhaps the most unexpected was that there is a huge difference between being clever and being creative.

I'm not sure I can define the difference.  Both have their place, but between the two, I would much rather be creative.

Both imply something new, and perhaps unexpected.  But within the confines of photography, and I suspect art in general, cleverness seems to lack any lasting value, and seems to be an expression of the photographer's mind to the exclusion of all else.  Creativity, while it may not be as inventive or unique, requires an investment of one's soul or of one's emotions.

It is, I think, this lack of emotional investment, this lack of a piece of oneself, that turns me off to cleverness.

Cleverness can be destructive.  I am a computer programmer in my other life, and I have seen more than one (ok, more than a hundred) pieces of code where the programmer clearly thought he was being clever.  All of them were junk.  Not because they did not work, but because they required a considerable amount of deconstruction to make the slightest change.

Creativity, on the other hand (both in programming and in art), causes me to think, "Wow!  That is beautiful!" (In art, it can be beautiful or ugly or raw or frightening or a bunch of other things.)
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I’ve had this one stuck in my head since reading the original post. I’ve been rolling it over and over in my mind trying to get my head around the comparisons being made but I just can’t seem to get there entirely. I think part of my hang-up is the link that’s been made between cleverness and destructiveness. I get the example you gave about clever computer coding being potentially destructive. Not that I have experience in that area, but I suppose that’s always possible without appropriate oversight and vetting. But for the life of me I can’t make a connection with how cleverness can be ‘destructive’ in art (including photography of course). Perhaps I’m reading this too literally.

My initial reaction was that surely there must be room for both cleverness and creativity in art – with most examples I think of, one is almost entirely reliant upon the other – and I suppose that’s where I still am. The point has been made a couple times that cleverness may not hold any lasting value. Ok, maybe. But I think that depends on the quality and presentation of the end result and to which audience it was pitched. Where non-lasting value is concerned, I believe the same can be said for creativity. One may conceive the most creative expression of all time, but the results could have zero lasting value if the artist isn’t clever enough to pull it off, or if the expression is poorly executed and/or not pitched to an appropriate audience. Furthermore, I think it has a lot to do with whether or not the artistic expression is an original idea. I don’t like being closed minded here, but where photography is concerned, I really don’t think there are any original ideas left to be had. That means as photographers (artists) we have to be creative enough in producing images that don’t come off as a cliquish “I have one, too” sort of image, and in doing so we must be awfully clever in figuring out how to make it our own.

You gave an example of the image you created to express ‘time’. Yes, I think the idea to create that image was very clever, but you also had to be creative to get it done. You said the image spans ~2-hours of time. Since it isn’t likely one would capture a single exposure for that duration in the middle of the day, one would have to be creative for figuring a work-around. You said the final image was a blend of ~10 exposures which of course required some degree of post processing to create the composite. All in all, I think that’s a good example of where creativity and cleverness and cleverness and creativity were reliant upon one another. Was any of that an original idea? Maybe, or maybe not. Does it have any lasting value? Well, that really depends on the audience that received the presentation. Was the effort and the result destructive? Certainly not. One thing is for sure: I will always remember that Tom Cooper has experience in creating a ‘time-lapse’ image that was blended from multiple long exposure frames and that I could lean on that experience if I ever need to. So yeah, there’s some lasting value in there.

I was prepared to give several more examples like this – many of which have come to mind as I’ve written this little piece – but all the examples just end with the same sort of summary so I won’t go on and on. For me, I really think it’s up to the viewer to determine what lasting value there is for the images we present. As photographers, I believe our responsibility is to utilize whatever cleverness and creativity is necessary to create beautiful, and as unique as possible images. If we make a true effort to do that, we will have invested the necessary emotion that expresses ourselves individually.
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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Amazing! Is that snow on a window or skylight?
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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+Pam Cooper, my wife, sometimes makes wine disappear, but she is many times better at making coffee disappear.
 
Welke superkracht zou jij het liefst willen hebben?
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HAHAHA!!  That's cute.  I can relate to her powers!
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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OK, +Faith Eastling +Sarah Guenther +Ben Cooper +Pam Cooper and anybody else who needs to know...
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Sony NEX-6 with Minolta MD 135mm f/3.5
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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WPP 2015 - Week 52- Broken

At long last, here is my final entry in the 2015 Weekly Photo Challenge.

I took some parts from an old clock my son had dismantled in order to get some gears for a steampunk project, and scattered them on the face of the clock.  The image has had local contrast turned up and a sepia tone applied.

Sony NEX-6, Minolta MD 135mm f/3.5 lens, mix of bounced and fill flash.

+Weekly Photo Project 2015 curated by +Alen Ianni , +Bernhard Rembold , +Cliff Loresco , +Francesco Scaglioni , +Heather D ,  +Ken Fowkes ,  +Navin Upendran  , +Robyn King and +T.E. Smith
#WPP2015
#WPP2015-Wk-52-Broken
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Cool idea!
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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WPP 2015 - Week 50 - Shapes

Reduced to a silhouette, but so easily recognized by the shapes.

+Weekly Photo Project 2015 curated by +Alen Ianni , +Bernhard Rembold , +Cliff Loresco , +Francesco Scaglioni , +Heather D ,  +Ken Fowkes ,  +Navin Upendran  , +Robyn King and +T.E. Smith
#WPP2015
#WPP2015-Wk-50-Shapes
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PS has the kitchen sink of high tech algorithms for special manipulation. PSP has the strong fundamentals - layers, masks and is competent as well as a fixed one time price. PS requires now for me a $10 per month subs in perpetuity which is just sheer money. Like you I am keen on gear.
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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WPP 2015 - Week 49 - Repetitive

In case there may be some who do not know how this was done - you can read how below.  Everyone else can just give me a +1. ;)

Bokeh is a lens attribute used to identify the quality of the len's out-of-focus highlights.  These highlights will take on the shape of the lens's aperture.  By modifying the aperture, the shape of the bokeh can be modified.  There are three keys to getting it to work.  The first is that the modified shape has to fit inside a circle the size of the lens's own aperture, wide open.  The second is that the lens's own aperture must be wide open (smallest f/stop number ).  The third key is to control the effect by how much the lens is out of focus.  The more it is out of focus, the bigger the shapes will be.

I made this aperture modifier almost a year ago out of cardboard (an empty cereal box).

+Weekly Photo Project 2015 curated by +Alen Ianni , +Bernhard Rembold , +Cliff Loresco , +Francesco Scaglioni , +Heather D ,  +Ken Fowkes ,  +Navin Upendran  , +Robyn King and +T.E. Smith
#WPP2015
#WPP2015-Wk-49-Repetitive
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The whole curves thing is still kind of new to me.  One way to think of it as being able to change the response of the color layers of the film independently...after the photo is taken.
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Tom Cooper (Austin)

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WPP 2015 - Week 48 - My Country

I got behind on this one because I just couldn't come up with am image that could possibly capture all that my country is.  But something brought my attention to my collection of souvenir patches.  I have been to all of these places, from Acadia National Park in Maine on the Atlantic coast to San Luis Rey Mission in Oceanside, California on the Pacific cost, to Crater Lake in Oregon and the Everglades in Florida.  The highest point I've been to is in Rocky Mountain National Park, over 12,000 feet (~3,700 meters) above sea level, and the lowest is Soudan Underground Mine, about 2,300 feet (~710 meters) below the surface, which is 741 feet (~230 meters) below sea level.

These represent nature, wildlife, transportation, history, commerce, science, industry, agriculture, religion, and just plain fun.  Yes, this is my country.

+Weekly Photo Project 2015 curated by +Alen Ianni , +Bernhard Rembold , +Cliff Loresco , +Francesco Scaglioni , +Heather D ,  +Ken Fowkes ,  +Navin Upendran  , +Robyn King and +T.E. Smith
#WPP2015
#WPP2015-Wk-48-MyCountry
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Inspired by a puzzle we were working on together.  I think that this came out very well!  I love the image.
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Work
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Computer Programmer
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Nerdy Geek - have camera, will travel, but not for money.
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Amateur photographer trying to illustrate my corner of the world.
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I took over 13,000 photos in 2011
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The room was clean and adequate, but the fire alarm went off at 3:59 AM, and the behavior of the fire department told me *they already knew it was a false alarm* (i.e. it probably happens frequently). There was NO apology, NO explanation, and NO form of compensation for having what had been a good night's sleep disrupted for a failing alarm system. The least they could have done was offered a free breakfast.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago
This relatively new Wildlife Management Area is a mix of restored prairie, oak savanna, pine forest, and river bottom. Parking is on the south side of Cedar Creek. Accessing the larger area on the north side of the creek requires crossing the creek, and there is no bridge. Waders might be in order if you want to cross the creek.
Appeal: GoodFacilities: GoodService: Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
1) There is no such thing as a "Provincial Forest" in the United States. 2) The Rum River is a river about 10 miles west of where this is mapped. 3) This is in the "Rum River State Forest" which is not the "Rum River." This should never have gotten past the MapMaker Reviewers.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
4 reviews
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This is a large park with something for everyone. Hiking/skiing/horseback trails, archery, playgrounds, picnic pavilions, campground, Bunker Beach water park and a short walk to the golf course.
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago