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  1.  (10439.81)
    #LosingTheTalent

    A stroke could do that, but the left-side paralysis would probably get your attention first. :)

    If your painting is broken, try some other medium for a while.... charcoal or clay or digital or another kind of paint. If it's one you don't often work in it'll look like shit too, but you'll have an excuse for that, while you exercise those different muscles. After you've gotten into the groove with this medium – or gotten sick of it – you can get back to the paint.
  2.  (10439.82)
    #LosingTheTalent

    I've had the same problem. I use to do pencil drawings for a few years, then they started getting bad. It wasn't that I was getting pickier, I just couldn't seem to do it anymore. Then I started painting, same thing happened, writing stories... Perhaps with the drawing and painting I just got bored of it without really realizing it, and I figure for the writing I had just kind of ran out of things to say.
  3.  (10439.83)
    #LosingTheTalent

    Well, I'm not bored and I haven't had a stroke, so maybe the new medium is the way to go. These days I work almost exclusively in acrylics and digital, with the occasional foray into oils for the insanely detailed pieces. Maybe it's time to do some collage or sculpture.
  4.  (10439.84)
    #losingTheTalent
    I've never seen anyone lose their talent (though obviously injury/illness can rob ability)
    Is it a challenge issue? Might be you've simply pushed yourself as far as you can go in this one area and it's not a challenge anymore. (which is pretty much what Warped and Jason just said above)

    Sounds like a pretty good topic to discuss next weekend at our Toronto meet up (side note, I am 90% sure I am going, so if you don't bring it up, I will!)
    •  
      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2012 edited
     (10439.85)
    #losingTheTalent

    Is it a challenge issue? Might be you've simply pushed yourself as far as you can go in this one area and it's not a challenge anymore. (which is pretty much what Warped and Jason just said above)

    No, it's that I can't paint anything that doesn't look like shit, where it used to be easy to turn out saleable work. Maybe I just need a rest.
  5.  (10439.86)
    #losingTheTalent

    This happens to me episodically. It's often linked to depressive episodes although which is cause and which is effect I don't know. I tend to get around it by spending a little while not working, but checking out inspirational things, and then kick off again by trying a new medium or instrument.
  6.  (10439.87)
    #psychogeographybasics

    Can anyone recommend a good overview of psychogeography? Merlin Coverley's book is marketed as such but gets slammed as fatuous in reviews... any other ideas? I'm really just looking for a jumping-off point.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2012
     (10439.88)
    #losingTheTalent

    This may just be a matter of perspective: do you have a friend whose judgment and honesty you rely on who's familiar with your older work?

    Show them your new work, explain the situation and ask if THEY think you've gotten worse.
    •  
      CommentAuthorGreasemonkey
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2012 edited
     (10439.89)
    #losingTheTalent

    This happens to me episodically. It's often linked to depressive episodes although which is cause and which is effect I don't know. I tend to get around it by spending a little while not working, but checking out inspirational things, and then kick off again by trying a new medium or instrument.

    It's midwinter in Toronto right now, so there may be something to the depressive thing.

    This may just be a matter of perspective

    Possibly. Although I've usually been able to tell when my stuff is substandard.

    Show them your new work, explain the situation and ask if THEY think you've gotten worse.

    I have a few artist friends I can sound out. Will give it a try.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcurb
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2012
     (10439.90)
    #RegionfreeDVD

    VLC Player has come up with the goods! Cheers @Greasemonkey, and thanks also to Kay and Oddbill!
  7.  (10439.91)
    #CanonMacroAF

    Does anyone here have experience with doing close-up work on the Canon EOS series? I've got a 30D and I've been using an adapter ring for my old Pentacon lenses and extenders but I'm finding focusing a terrible challenge. I'd love to be able to shoot little things (bugs, electronic components, small flowers) but use autofocus. Has anyone here achieved this, how well did it go, and what lens/filter/adapter combo did you use?
    •  
      CommentAuthorSlick
    • CommentTimeJan 23rd 2012
     (10439.92)
    CanonMacroAF

    Auto Focus doesn't really work on macro subjects because of the limited depth of field. For best results you need to use manual focus or to increase DOF use focus stacking software.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeJan 23rd 2012
     (10439.93)
    #CanonMacroAF

    Auto focus can be a bit limited in macro although I've found that mine works okay so long as I tell it where I want it to focus (I have a 500D, kenko extension tubes and a 60mm macro lens). I only ever use it in a studio setting though, and I can see that you would be better off using manual focus if you're photographing bugs and don't have the time to really set up your shot.

    You're going to have a very, very limited depth of field with extenders and unfortunately there's bugger all you can do about it. Much better to use a proper macro lens (which is still limited but less so) if you can but even then, half the time it is better to manually focus the camera and even physically move it backwards and forwards to get the focus you need. I thought I was being mental doing this but have subsequently read the same advice from professional sources so I don't feel so bad about it now.

    Depth of field is always a massive issue in macro photography so sometimes I have taken several shots with the focus point in different places and pasted them together in photoshop. This is not ideal as it can take a bloody long time to do but sometimes it's a bit unavoidable if you're photographing something teeny weeny. Again, this doesn't seem to be an unusual tactic. Really though, the best thing you can do is play around with the aperture settings and get it as small as possible. This will give you a bigger depth of field but it will also drastically limit the amount of light that is getting into the camera. Which means that really, you need a tripod (essential) and good lighting (if at all possible) and a good slow shutter speed. Play around as much as possible and you'll find what works and what doesn't.

    I also have mirror lock-up enabled on mine (in the camera settings) so that I minimise camera shake buuuut I'm not sure how much it's actually made a difference. Might be worth a go though.

    Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
  8.  (10439.94)
    @badbear & Slick:

    Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice. I've got the camera set up on a copy stand in my studio with a lightbox underneath the objects and two side lamps for modelling. Part of the problem is the incredibly short depth of field but the greater issue is just trying to focus the damn thing at all with the aperture stopped down as far as it needs to be.

    The other issue is that at a really slow shutter speed something weird seems to be happening with the lights - I get a strong yellow cast every third or fourth exposure. I'm guessing it's down to something like the shutter getting out of phase with the refresh rate of the compact fluorescent daylight-balanced lamps.

    So, badbear - the Kenko tubes support AF, yeah? I'm using old Asahi Pentax extensions and a 1970s Pentacon lens with an adapter ring at the moment. Thinking of looking at some extenders for the Canon lenses. How has that worked out for you?

    Again thanks for the input, I'll post some results here when I have some that I'm happy with.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012 edited
     (10439.95)
    #CanonMacroAF

    Your set up sounds almost exactly like mine. Are you using strobe lighting or continuous?

    I'm not sure I'd recommend the Kenko tubes exactly. I bought them because I couldn't afford anything else and as extension tubes go they work pretty well. I used them with the 18-55mm lens that came with the camera. I quickly outgrew them though for the DOF problems and the fact that you get distortion around the outside edge. If that's not a problem for you then I recommend them. Otherwise I would say that getting an actual macro lens turned out to be a good investment for me. I rented a couple for a week so I could play with them and see which one suited me best which resulted in me buying a cheaper lens than I initially thought I needed. They are expensive though.

    Are you getting parts of the picture in focus or is it all out of focus? I feel like I've had this exact problem and it turned out to be exposure related - if the ISO is too high (over 1600 or so depending on your camera) then you get a lot of noise and the image will be really grainy as a result.

    Otherwise, I'm stumped.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.96)
    #CreditReportsInTheUK

    Looking at a credit report I've just had done and while there's nothing dodgy on it, I'm worried about things that aren't on it that I would expect to be. Like my credit card.

    Is it possible for the big three credit agencies to have different records, or is it all a single shared thing? I don't fancy having to apply for multiple forms from different places unless I have to.
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012 edited
     (10439.97)
    #Photo(ab)use
    I stepped out of an organization that's doing a comics event, due to a stupid disagreement which can be found on the Open Mic thread. Today they sent a press release where they use photos I took of the venue. I needed those photos for some sponsorship I was trying to get and sent them to the others members who didn't knew the venue. When I sent them I never said in which circumstances they could be used. I couldn't care less for the photos but I can't get past the fact they're using my work without my knowledge, permission and without giving credit for it. I thought the fact I'm no longer in the organization was enough for them not to use the work I did.
    Unfortunately I didn't upload them on my Flickr account or anything like that. The only way to prove they're mine would be by comparing the photos details with my camera or something like that.
    I don't want to deal with this personally (ie,sending emails demanding they can't use the photos) and I'd rather use some nonpersonal/legal way to spook them. Anything the hive mind can think of?
  9.  (10439.98)
    #CreditReportsInTheUK

    I don't know about the UK, but in the US the credit-report spies each collect their own data, which is why you need to check them all for problems.
  10.  (10439.99)
    #Photo(ab)use

    Let it go. If it were creative work it'd be worth fighting over, but if it's just documentary images of a location... it's not. Move on.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2012
     (10439.100)
    #CreditReportsInTheUK

    Thought as much. Managed to get one of the other two to quickly accept my details and mail me out the activation codes so I can check them too.

    The third though? They don't think my address actually exists, and I have to wait a week while they poke around and try and find out why. Looking at the addresses it was trying to autocomplete to, I think I see the issue. My phone company has never got my address right for here despite me correcting it loads of times. I suspect if I manage to correct *them* it'll magically snap into life. (the comedy being that my address is *correct* in the sodding PHONE BOOK. That THEY MAKE.)