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When Is A Photo Complete?

My background is geophysics. I have built two homes. My wood-shop has produced desks, coffee tables, and picture frames. In most labor and undertakings, there is a point when the product is clearly complete. I knew the desk finished when my wife sat down to it. Geophysical data does have a long life, but return-on-investment means working very hard for a short period to get it into the “finished” state. Homes do have a troubling end game, and often need redoing, but they are kind of done when you move in.

Photography in the digital age leaves me quite often not sure when a scene has matured to completion. Of course, the print is complete in the frame and even more so when it hangs on a wall. It should be obvious we are talking of photos targeted for walls and art books here; not birthday parties and vacation photos of the Four Corners ground cap.

Photographic computer files can remain a bit slippery in their teleos. Why?

One reason to keep on pounding on a good photograph derives from learning the art. The tools of

digital photography are in one-way simply data processing, like their geophysical counterparts. But tools are continuously improving in photography. That phenomena sometimes happens when such a large sector of humanity participates, as in digital photography. At the start of this third decade of 21st century, virtually everyone has a digital camera; plenty of those folks are interested in delivering high quality photographs. (Alas, some do not care. I know.)

A second reason arrived when I figured out what was wrong with my scanner last summer. As you might recall, I was laid up with a broken leg and my dear wife hauled the computer and scanner to the dining room table for my mental workouts. Epson did a credible job over a few days of debugging my problem with the scanner.

However, in the months prior I had bashed through quite a few photographs. Now Epson had solved the problem. Do I rescan all the photos I had worked on during those dark days of me, the computer, the scanner, and the software grappling for resolution?

To untangle the issue of rescanning, of necessity, I did not attack it until this week—eight months later. Too much had been going on until now, so I had some time. In those eight months there was one photo on my mind to get really right: the percussion rig. If I concentrate I can recall one or two others that suffered the malady of my scanning and there are surely others. But if I have to think that hard, it probably is best to let them lie.

Today you will find the rescan of the rig on I had to take the time and rescan as it is such a unique photo.

Hmm... Well, I shot it in a snow storm. I wonder if I should return and try to seize some interesting clouds in the sky over the rig?

I posted two other new 4X5 photos today also.

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