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My name is Robert Haspel. Thirty plus years ago, I turned my photography hobby into a business. That business evolved into a pretty much full service studio. I took in most any work that showed up, but preferred commercial photography. Then about 15 years ago I shut down my photography business, and sold off everything, which included darkroom, retouching, airbrush, framing, and camera room equipment. I held on to my 35mm equipment, but lacking a darkroom, my enthusiasm quickly wained.

Closing my studio coincided with the impending completion of a 34 foot cruising sailboat my wife and I were building. A couple short years later we departed Houston, crossed the Gulf of Mexico offshore to the Florida Keys. Heading up the East coast, about 75 miles offshore of South Carolina, it dawned on me that I was not cut out to go places on a small boat. Plodding along at perhaps 5 miles per hour, or about 100 miles a day. I had too much time to think. and I was realizing there were things I'd rather be doing. Building the boat was fantastic, seeing new places was great, but traveling at 5 mph was far less fun than I had imagined.

So, we sold the boat, and my wife went back to work. Her company had not allowed her to quit, but had instead given her a multi year leave. My services have certainly never been in such demand.

Almost 2 years ago, we shoved everything we had left after "the big sell off" and headed towards Port Townsend. We moved our house hunt west, ending up at Diamond Point.

Back on subject . . .

About twelve years ago I began to dabble with digital photography, as well as digital editing. I found it less than fulfilling, the resolution, among other characteristics sucked, so I did not get onboard digital.

Then a couple years ago I sprang for a decent SLR. Finally, I could view the scene through the lens rather than on a tiny screen. The resolution was far better, and the shutter worked instantaneously, without appreciable delay. I never knew exactly when my earlier digital cameras would decide to trip the shutter. Also, my early digital cameras took sooooooo long to boot up.

Without doubt, digital editing has rekindled my enthusiasm. But at this point in my life (old dog trying to learn new tricks) it has been challenging to learn digital. I find some solace in the flip side, "It is hard to teach a young dog old tricks!" Thankfully, a great deal of experience gained in film photography is applicable to digital photography.

For me, Photoshop more than replaces a darkroom, and I am finding current digital photography a superior experience to film.



A few of my thoughts, which may be clarified in some of my articles. I high lighted number 2 and 13 as two things I feel strongly about.

1. I don't particularly like numbers and formulas, and I think digital accuracy is overkill.

2. The success of an image depends on its appearance, not on numerically correct color and exposure.

3. A successful image might not conform to accepted rules of composition.

4. Blocked up shadow details can be acceptable.

5. Blown out highlights are generally not acceptable.

6. Generally full scale tonal values, black to white are desirable, but not required for all images.

7. Filling the frame with the subject is not always the way to go.

8. Backing off from the subject is not always the way to go.

9. Just because I create an image does not make it successful.

10. Just because you create an image does not make it successful.

11. Just because extreme adjustments are available in editing, does not make extreme adjustments viable.

12. Sharpening should avoid excess.

13. Images presented as photography without a readily apparent visual connection to photography offend me. Such images I consider illustrations, not photographs.

14. Anyone can apply a filter or drag adjustment sliders. Keep in mind, bizar is not always successful.

15. Rules can be a crutch. Think for yourself . . . but be honest, see #9 & #10 above


That seems like way more than enough . . . .Robert

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