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Photography Workshop at OOPSLA 2008

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  • Richard P. Gabriel
    Photographing a technical conference well is not a matter of point and shoot, nor is it about taking pictures to share with friends and family. The time is
    Message 1 of 7 , May 27 9:33 AM
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      Photographing a technical conference well is not a matter of point
      and shoot, nor is it about taking pictures to share with friends and
      family. The time is ripe for more serious photojournalism to capture
      our community's leaders, its activities, and its human face, and for
      the use of artistry to tell stories and get people thinking.

      In this workshop you will learn basic technical and aesthetic
      techniques for good photography and good conference photography in
      particular, and you will practice these techniques during OOPSLA.
      Work will be critiqued using an artists' workshop process to enable
      you to continue learning and improving after the workshop.
      Participants will attend a full-day of lectures and interactive
      learning activities as well as photograph Monday, Tuesday, and
      Wednesday with short, early morning artists' workshops on Tuesday,
      Wednesday, and Thursday.

      *****

      Kevin Sullivan and I are teaching this workshop, and I invite you to
      consider joining. It will be a way for all of us to get better at
      photography. You can find out more information here:

      http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html

      -rpg-
    • Peter van Emde Boas
      ... Dear Richard An interesting initiative. You migh have observed me in action during previous OOPSLA s but I presume that you don t know that taking pictures
      Message 2 of 7 , May 27 11:00 AM
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        On Tue, May 27, 2008 18:33, Richard P. Gabriel wrote:
        > Photographing a technical conference well is not a matter of point
        > and shoot, nor is it about taking pictures to share with friends and
        > family. The time is ripe for more serious photojournalism to capture
        > our community's leaders, its activities, and its human face, and for
        > the use of artistry to tell stories and get people thinking.
        >
        > In this workshop you will learn basic technical and aesthetic
        > techniques for good photography and good conference photography in
        > particular, and you will practice these techniques during OOPSLA.
        > Work will be critiqued using an artists' workshop process to enable
        > you to continue learning and improving after the workshop.
        > Participants will attend a full-day of lectures and interactive
        > learning activities as well as photograph Monday, Tuesday, and
        > Wednesday with short, early morning artists' workshops on Tuesday,
        > Wednesday, and Thursday.
        >
        > *****

        Dear Richard

        An interesting initiative. You migh have observed me in action during
        previous OOPSLA's but I presume that you don't know that taking pictures
        at scientific meetings is something I have been doing on a systematic
        basis for over 30 years. But as observed for another occasion: the mean
        weaknesses of my archive are the lack of an index and a backlog of over 10
        years to have it organized.

        I append a short text which I prepared for a small exhibition from my
        archives to be held at the 5th European mathematical Conference in
        Amsterdam this July.

        Peter van Emde Boas

        >
        > Kevin Sullivan and I are teaching this workshop, and I invite you to
        > consider joining. It will be a way for all of us to get better at
        > photography. You can find out more information here:
        >
        > http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html
        >
        > -rpg-
        >
      • Richard P. Gabriel
        Yes, I have seen you in action at all the venues we ve been at together. I know there are lots of people who do take pictures. This is an attempt to try to get
        Message 3 of 7 , May 27 12:26 PM
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          Yes, I have seen you in action at all the venues
          we've been at together. I know there are lots of
          people who do take pictures. This is an attempt
          to try to get a bunch of folks really good at it
          and to spread the practice. We hope to establish
          a working online archive somewhere, like ACM.

          -rpg-

          At 20:00 +0200 5/27/08, Peter van Emde Boas wrote:
          >On Tue, May 27, 2008 18:33, Richard P. Gabriel wrote:
          >> Photographing a technical conference well is not a matter of point
          >> and shoot, nor is it about taking pictures to share with friends and
          >> family. The time is ripe for more serious photojournalism to capture
          >> our community's leaders, its activities, and its human face, and for
          >> the use of artistry to tell stories and get people thinking.
          >>
          >> In this workshop you will learn basic technical and aesthetic
          >> techniques for good photography and good conference photography in
          >> particular, and you will practice these techniques during OOPSLA.
          >> Work will be critiqued using an artists' workshop process to enable
          >> you to continue learning and improving after the workshop.
          >> Participants will attend a full-day of lectures and interactive
          >> learning activities as well as photograph Monday, Tuesday, and
          >> Wednesday with short, early morning artists' workshops on Tuesday,
          >> Wednesday, and Thursday.
          >>
          >> *****
          >
          >Dear Richard
          >
          >An interesting initiative. You migh have observed me in action during
          >previous OOPSLA's but I presume that you don't know that taking pictures
          >at scientific meetings is something I have been doing on a systematic
          >basis for over 30 years. But as observed for another occasion: the mean
          >weaknesses of my archive are the lack of an index and a backlog of over 10
          >years to have it organized.
          >
          >I append a short text which I prepared for a small exhibition from my
          >archives to be held at the 5th European mathematical Conference in
          >Amsterdam this July.
          >
          >Peter van Emde Boas
          >
          >>
          >> Kevin Sullivan and I are teaching this workshop, and I invite you to
          >> consider joining. It will be a way for all of us to get better at
          >> photography. You can find out more information here:
          >>
          >>
          >><http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html>http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html
          >>
          >> -rpg-
          >>
          >
          >
          >
          >Attachment converted:
          >SnowPart:Photocollintro20080505.doc (WDBN/«IC»)
          >(005D34D0)
        • Peter van Emde Boas
          ... Dear Richard. Looking at the texts on the website I obtain the impression that for you the prime directive is art. For me it is History: indeed answering
          Message 4 of 7 , May 27 2:35 PM
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            On Tue, May 27, 2008 21:26, Richard P. Gabriel wrote:
            > Yes, I have seen you in action at all the venues
            > we've been at together. I know there are lots of
            > people who do take pictures. This is an attempt
            > to try to get a bunch of folks really good at it
            > and to spread the practice. We hope to establish
            > a working online archive somewhere, like ACM.
            >
            > -rpg-
            >

            Dear Richard.

            Looking at the texts on the website I obtain the impression that for you
            the prime directive is art. For me it is History: indeed answering the
            needs of people in the situation you describe concerning the HOPL
            conference. I have had many requests for such purposes in the past,
            and the status is that I can assist people provided the request concerns
            events from before 1995 and moreover I need the precise date sice that is
            the unique entry based on which I can search my collection.

            If you are interested in what the results are like: from my home page
            staff.science.uva.nl/~peter there are several links to collections of
            pictures; moreover most of the pictures which you can find in the various
            lectures and course material sections linked to my website belong to my
            collection.

            Are you familiar with the picture archive of the Mathematical Institute in
            Oberwolfach ?

            Peter van Emde Boas

            > At 20:00 +0200 5/27/08, Peter van Emde Boas wrote:
            >>On Tue, May 27, 2008 18:33, Richard P. Gabriel wrote:
            >>> Photographing a technical conference well is not a matter of point
            >>> and shoot, nor is it about taking pictures to share with friends and
            >>> family. The time is ripe for more serious photojournalism to capture
            >>> our community's leaders, its activities, and its human face, and for
            >>> the use of artistry to tell stories and get people thinking.
            >>>
            >>> In this workshop you will learn basic technical and aesthetic
            >>> techniques for good photography and good conference photography in
            >>> particular, and you will practice these techniques during OOPSLA.
            >>> Work will be critiqued using an artists' workshop process to enable
            >>> you to continue learning and improving after the workshop.
            >>> Participants will attend a full-day of lectures and interactive
            >>> learning activities as well as photograph Monday, Tuesday, and
            >>> Wednesday with short, early morning artists' workshops on Tuesday,
            >>> Wednesday, and Thursday.
            >>>
            >>> *****
            >>
            >>Dear Richard
            >>
            >>An interesting initiative. You migh have observed me in action during
            >>previous OOPSLA's but I presume that you don't know that taking pictures
            >>at scientific meetings is something I have been doing on a systematic
            >>basis for over 30 years. But as observed for another occasion: the mean
            >>weaknesses of my archive are the lack of an index and a backlog of over
            >> 10
            >>years to have it organized.
            >>
            >>I append a short text which I prepared for a small exhibition from my
            >>archives to be held at the 5th European mathematical Conference in
            >>Amsterdam this July.
            >>
            >>Peter van Emde Boas
            >>
            >>>
            >>> Kevin Sullivan and I are teaching this workshop, and I invite you to
            >>> consider joining. It will be a way for all of us to get better at
            >>> photography. You can find out more information here:
            >>>
            >>>
            >>><http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html>http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html
            >>>
            >>> -rpg-
            >>>
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >>Attachment converted:
            >>SnowPart:Photocollintro20080505.doc (WDBN/«IC»)
            >>(005D34D0)
            >
            >
          • Richard P. Gabriel
            ... No, it s photojournalism, which is historical photos done well + getting photos of people in their natural settings being themselves. Not to put too fine a
            Message 5 of 7 , May 27 3:05 PM
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              At 23:35 +0200 5/27/08, Peter van Emde Boas wrote:
              >
              >Dear Richard.
              >
              >Looking at the texts on the website I obtain the impression that for you
              >the prime directive is art. For me it is History: indeed answering the
              >needs of people in the situation you describe concerning the HOPL
              >conference. I have had many requests for such purposes in the past,
              >and the status is that I can assist people provided the request concerns
              >events from before 1995 and moreover I need the precise date sice that is
              >the unique entry based on which I can search my collection.

              No, it's photojournalism, which is historical photos done well +
              getting photos of people in their natural settings being themselves.
              Not to put too fine a point on it, but compare your picture here:

              http://staff.science.uva.nl/~peter/MDAworkshop/imagepages/DSCF2785.html

              with either of the top 2 on the web page for the workshop:

              http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html

              (yes, mine have been reduced for the web page - the originals are
              either 5 or 14 mb - I can't remember if they are originally JPEGs or
              raw).

              You have captured the gentleman (I'm not remembering his name right
              away), but he is alone, small, and the white balance needs to be
              corrected. He is hard to see. He looks like he might be insane.

              The two on my page: the first is Parnas and Brooks on a panel. They
              are lost in thought. You can see the audience. The color is mostly
              correct. They fill the shot. It tells a story about them as thinkers
              in their community.

              The second one below Parnas and Brooks is Pascal Costanza, who one
              day might be famous. It shows him apparently in motion, looking the
              way he always looks. The cropping indicates his motion. He is not
              posing for the shot. The conference chairs are a blur behind him.
              Seeing this shot 50 years from now, you might wonder what he's
              thinking.

              Now compare another of yours:

              http://staff.science.uva.nl/~peter/oopsla99/edu07.jpg

              with the bottom one on my page.

              These are of the same person. Yours is a little out of focus, is
              taken from an odd and unflattering angle, and makes him look insane
              (which he perhaps is (he's a friend and we frequently go on
              photography expeditions together)). Mine is also of Joe Bergin. It
              shows him fairly clearly, but the long exposure (.5 sec) has him a
              little blurred and his Italian salute tells you about him and his
              relation to the photographer (me). Torsten Layda looks on puzzled.
              This is a cropping of a larger photo. It shows Bergin animated, but
              not insane.

              Some of the differences are technological - your photos are older.
              The main difference is that I've applied some aesthetic thinking
              while trying to capture the people as they really are. You seem to
              have tried to capture the person simply and roughly in the center of
              the picture. Yours are historically valuable, but I think they could
              be more valuable were some artistic thinking applied to them when you
              took them and in post production.

              (We're old friends, so don't take this quick writers' workshop of
              your work as an insult - you've done important work capturing these
              images.)

              -rpg-
            • Peter van Emde Boas
              ... Dear Richard. Thanks for the comments, and feedback. I agree that it is hard to produce good or even nice pictures from people giving presentations;
              Message 6 of 7 , May 28 5:47 AM
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                Richard P. Gabriel wrote:
                > At 23:35 +0200 5/27/08, Peter van Emde Boas wrote:
                >>
                >> Dear Richard.
                >>
                >> Looking at the texts on the website I obtain the impression that for you
                >> the prime directive is art. For me it is History: indeed answering the
                >> needs of people in the situation you describe concerning the HOPL
                >> conference. I have had many requests for such purposes in the past,
                >> and the status is that I can assist people provided the request concerns
                >> events from before 1995 and moreover I need the precise date sice
                >> that is
                >> the unique entry based on which I can search my collection.
                >
                > No, it's photojournalism, which is historical photos done well +
                > getting photos of people in their natural settings being themselves.
                > Not to put too fine a point on it, but compare your picture here:
                >
                > http://staff.science.uva.nl/~peter/MDAworkshop/imagepages/DSCF2785.html
                >
                > with either of the top 2 on the web page for the workshop:
                >
                > http://dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria2008.html
                >
                > (yes, mine have been reduced for the web page - the originals are
                > either 5 or 14 mb - I can't remember if they are originally JPEGs or
                > raw).
                >
                > You have captured the gentleman (I'm not remembering his name right
                > away), but he is alone, small, and the white balance needs to be
                > corrected. He is hard to see. He looks like he might be insane.
                >
                > The two on my page: the first is Parnas and Brooks on a panel. They
                > are lost in thought. You can see the audience. The color is mostly
                > correct. They fill the shot. It tells a story about them as thinkers
                > in their community.
                >
                > The second one below Parnas and Brooks is Pascal Costanza, who one day
                > might be famous. It shows him apparently in motion, looking the way he
                > always looks. The cropping indicates his motion. He is not posing for
                > the shot. The conference chairs are a blur behind him. Seeing this
                > shot 50 years from now, you might wonder what he's thinking.
                >
                > Now compare another of yours:
                >
                > http://staff.science.uva.nl/~peter/oopsla99/edu07.jpg
                >
                > with the bottom one on my page.
                >
                > These are of the same person. Yours is a little out of focus, is taken
                > from an odd and unflattering angle, and makes him look insane (which
                > he perhaps is (he's a friend and we frequently go on photography
                > expeditions together)). Mine is also of Joe Bergin. It shows him
                > fairly clearly, but the long exposure (.5 sec) has him a little
                > blurred and his Italian salute tells you about him and his relation to
                > the photographer (me). Torsten Layda looks on puzzled. This is a
                > cropping of a larger photo. It shows Bergin animated, but not insane.
                >
                > Some of the differences are technological - your photos are older. The
                > main difference is that I've applied some aesthetic thinking while
                > trying to capture the people as they really are. You seem to have
                > tried to capture the person simply and roughly in the center of the
                > picture. Yours are historically valuable, but I think they could be
                > more valuable were some artistic thinking applied to them when you
                > took them and in post production.
                >
                > (We're old friends, so don't take this quick writers' workshop of your
                > work as an insult - you've done important work capturing these images.)
                >
                > -rpg-
                Dear Richard. Thanks for the comments, and feedback. I agree that it is
                hard to produce "good" or even "nice" pictures from people giving
                presentations; the typical mathematician even won't face the audience
                but look consistently at the blackboard and/or screen, or, if he faces
                the audience he will look downwards or have his eyes closed. My main
                form of post processing is to remove the pictures where I capture such
                an impossible pose. So I presume that that also will be one of the
                topics from your workshop - capturing speakers at the right moment.

                As you may have noticed we have not participated in the last two
                OOPLSA's but your workshop evidently is a good reason to reconsider.

                Sincerely

                Peter van Emde Boas
              • Richard P. Gabriel
                ... Also, for the best photos, you need to be able to take them from vantage points that are not in the audience. The photo of Parnas and Brooks is taken from
                Message 7 of 7 , May 28 9:06 AM
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                  At 14:47 +0200 5/28/08, Peter van Emde Boas wrote:
                  >
                  >Dear Richard. Thanks for the comments, and feedback. I agree that it is
                  >hard to produce "good" or even "nice" pictures from people giving
                  >presentations; the typical mathematician even won't face the audience
                  >but look consistently at the blackboard and/or screen, or, if he faces
                  >the audience he will look downwards or have his eyes closed. My main
                  >form of post processing is to remove the pictures where I capture such
                  >an impossible pose. So I presume that that also will be one of the
                  >topics from your workshop - capturing speakers at the right moment.

                  Also, for the best photos, you need to be able to take them from
                  vantage points that are not in the audience. The photo of Parnas and
                  Brooks is taken from behind the panel table. When limited to the
                  audience, you need a long enough lens to capture head and shoulders.
                  Even a mathematician will occasionally (perhaps by accident) glance
                  at the audience. You need to study their behavior (as if they were
                  wildlife) to see what signals they might give before they glance at
                  you. Sometimes if you stand up with your camera, that will attract
                  their attention.

                  >As you may have noticed we have not participated in the last two
                  >OOPLSA's but your workshop evidently is a good reason to reconsider.

                  You would be very welcome.

                  -rpg-
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