Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Njeri Rionge
Njeri Rionge
I've been spending more and more of my time over the last few days looking at the world through the viewfinder of my M8. The predominantly interesting thing here to look at are people. The lighting of the conference is the standard tungsten lighting that causes my M8 sensor to turn everything into a horrible magenta hue. I've figured out how to basically correct for this, but the lighting in most of the meeting rooms is so boring anyway, that my focus has started to shift away from trying to do anything fancy in color during the sessions. Ian gave me some advice about increasing the contrast and shadows of my black and white images for that "Leica look" which seems to help pictures that have boring lighting in color.

The result of looking for characteristic expressions and gestures of everyone here and trying to capture them has been a renewed appreciation for the diversity and depth of the people attending this ICANN meeting. The effect of spending time editing and tweaking the images of my favorite people has really been satisfying and enlightening.

I should probably wait until I'm finished with the conference before posting this, but as an anxious blogger, I'm going to post this now. I am uploading additional photos throughout the day so please come back or refresh the sets if you want to see them as they come in.

You can view the Black and White images as a flickr slideshow or in the normal set view. I have uploaded the color shots as well, but put them in another set and put both sets together as a collection. I was going to go back and "do the B&W Leica thing" on the color images, but since I've got a constant flow of new images, I'm going to focus my post-processing on the new stuff for now.

The photos are licensed under a CC Attribution license of course.


Hey Joi -
Just looked at your B&W stuff and it looks great. It really does have a bit of that "Classic Leica" look that everyone loves. I started doing B&W because processing was something I could do myself, cheaply and easily and added an activity that did not completely involve sitting on my ass in front of a computer.

After a while, you really do start to "see in B&W" and think about lights and darks and composition and geometry, plus you never have to worry about skin tones and weird conference lighting. ("How do I compensate for a mix of halogen, fluorescent and mercury vapor?") Shooting B&W will make all of your photography better, even when you shoot color.

One pet peeve I'll beg you to indulge me in: When you convert from color to b&w, pick the one you like and forget the other. When people show both versions, especially on Flickr, it makes the photographer look indecisive and the photos look weaker.

Good point about picking B&W or color on Flickr.


are you going to let us in on this secret for making pictures look more leica-y, or is that a members-only feature for the leica club?

And the pictures look great! I didn't expect everyone involved with ICANN to be almost as good-lookin' as you.

Antoin : Basically, I'm converting to B&W by pulling saturation down to zero. Then I'm bumping up the contrast and the equivalent of "shadows". Then I mess with the levels to increase the washed out and contrasty effect. I'm doing all of this in Capture One Pro on the RAW files. You can do something similar in Aperture, Photoshop or any other photo tweaking system.

Nice set, Joi. Some great sketches of the people there.

Some are a bit TOO blown out for my liking... For whatever reason, I don't mind it if it is sunlight. Under artificial lighting, the blown out effect detracts quite a bit from the image methinks.

Btw, spending the big bucks seems to be paying off. You can definitely see the quality of the Leica optics in your work as well.

Thanks for sharing.


I love blowing out the highlights on my photos too. I think the "properly exposed" histogramy photographs are just too clinical and boring :)

Just uploaded a bunch more from tonight.

now if we just would know who it is that you photograph to put a face on those those unknown icanns. really do some minimal amount of tagging to the photos please. otherwise this is just more random pixel art that the world has so much already.

I have everyone's full name on the photos... You can Google them or look many of them up on ICANNWiki.