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INTRODUCTION TO OPF

© Phil Holland

Your trunk is packed with tripods, lights and a generator?  You’re about to kill someone who buries a camera function 3 sub-menus deep?  Well, you’ve arrived at the right pub!  Get recharged here and put your feet up!

You prowl for news, take a rest in this new home! You photograph brand new yacht from a chase boat in rough exotic seas, tie up here!

You make matrons or mansions sparkle in elite magazines? Spread out here.

You seduce magic from beauties for Vogue, we need you, for sure!

You, you photograph insects and spiders? Just leave the critters outside!

Photography is not equipment. It’s the image. Still we need “stuff”. Here’s a space to discuss all of that and more: a place, professional and serious, yet where you can have a good argument too or just enjoy the humor that happens when you have friends around.

So welcome all!

Asher Kelman

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Think of this as a well-stocked ocean going yacht that can take you anywhere! We have room for you and you’ll find a corner to get comfortable.

It's for accomplished photographers with big egos and the guys who just want to figure things out or just stop by. Ultimately what’s here will be driven by what you want and need. We merely offer the framework. You must make this structure a real home. It’s all about people. Only people, with opinions, wants, stuff to brag about or wounds to heal, that make a house a home. Anything is relevant if it is part of the photographer’s world. What doe we do? We share, argue explain or just vent steam, but it is all therapeutic after a hard days work. That’s all fine!

Interestingly, certain styles in photography share similar needs and challenges. The opportunism of those who stalk: news, a gymnast’s jump, or troops in battle demands similar machines. Sturdy, fast and easy to transmit are standard expectations.

By contrast, taking pictures inside an RV, mansion or an Airbus factory or capturing the magic of a forest of Redwood trees push us to another set of wants and needs. Here, we are pushing against realities of tumbling camera houses we relied on and expensive backs that compete for us in a small elite, film that is no longer locally processed and of course, challenges to nail that special view.

The WWW allows the photographer in Capetown to know that a guy in Prague and two more in New York are having the same issue that the local representatives say they’ve never heard of. An important example by Michael Reichman of Luminous Landscape brought this to my attention. His insight, reported here, could not have been recognized and revealed in other times! We hope to serve in this way too and much more than that. A natural set of doors will open between different photographers.

What should occur here is meeting of those different guys who have worked things out in surprisingly simple ways. A bungee cord to hold that light, a plugin to keep the bride’s veil and face, the best way to process jpg files from a Leica/Panasonic digital Rangefinder, how to use a 21mm Distagon on your DSLR, what to think about the latest machined solid block MF film cameras from China or how serious is HP about their new Pigment inks?

The induction of so many to the new technologies occur principally through an open market of freely shared ideas. The help we give and receive and the trivial humor are actually important brick and mortar that keep us safe and snug in our world of harsh but wonderfully empowering technology that constantly taxes our brains and wallets.

Our repository of shared information has been challenged by the sudden eclipse of one of the most important free websites for the working photographer. We have seen a great web site for photographers change in character overnight. Such premium websites helped us deal with a lot of decisions in transition from film to a color calibrated digital workflow. Recently, however, the mood changed. That was the catalyst for this effort. It is now payback time!

It is not price of entry that is an issue; it is someone telling a Pro Photographer he can’t discuss this or that! Well, to me, if this discussion would occur over a beer or at the counter of Samy’s or B&H with a guy you know, then why not in a forum? I believe that we have to look after our own interests in outwitting censorship of information on issues: problems, choices and even “outing” upcoming products. If I know “so and so” tested a 24 MP CCD DSLR in March so it should appear Photokina and be out next February, then that is intelligence, not a silly rumor.

I don’t like rumors. However, more than once I have benefited from timely inside information and so have we all…but not on stocks, so put away the handcuffs!

This site will be comprehensive workspace with expert and considerate moderators and editors at large from all areas of interest. If demanding and creative photography is part of your life, you will breathe better here. More than that, your shared ideas will be protected for others to freely learn from.

I am the publisher and owner of the site. I am so grateful for the numerous and generous contributions in time, work, cautions and ideas that has made this new effort possible. Literally, some of us have worked day and night to make this idea a reality.

Here personal creativity will be respected and we’ll help each other deliver the best images we could dream of. Oh yes; perhaps, even get rich or well fed in the process!

We will make this a welcome place. Feel free to start a new thread or post according to you interests.

Asher Kelman

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