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Author Topic: Mont-St-Michel Shadow  (Read 13506 times)
sojournerphoto
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« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2007, 02:41:00 PM »
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In order to escape punishment for temporary off-roading, let me get back to photographic observation. Looking again at the MK site (which is downloading VERY slowly today), I realise more than ever that he has absolutely no fear of dark, empty shadows. In some funny way, that might well be because (I believe!) he is still using film and has not had his head filled with the new-speak of photography.

Since dipping my reluctant toes into the new iteration of the medium, though only in very shallow waters, I admit, I have discovered a fear of the dark. This is not something that hits me in the eye through my prints off the HP B9180, it is something that has crept into my subconscious from reading/trying to learn from internet sites such as this one - well, perhaps only this one; further advice comes from private interchanges with others who have more experience in the medium than I.  But however it has come, the damn thing is in my head to the extent that I  now worry about making any dark shadowy areas dark shadowy prints!

Perhaps this is an example of the dangers of not working alone - totally alone, in the sense of not listening to any gurus!

Ciao - Rob C
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Oh yes, the danger of the herd:) I looked through Bare Witness, a retrospective of the work of Gordon Park today. Nothing is sharp and there is little 'detail' but the photos are powerful, telling their own stories. The received wisdom will make everything the same if we can't hold on to our own vision of what we love.

Actually, another thought springs to mind that whilst there is an argument that if you capture everything you have the choice to lose the detail and let the shadows sink into blackness, for example, I wonder if it's so much harder to do when the information is there?

Mike
« Last Edit: December 14, 2007, 02:48:32 PM by sojournerphoto » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2007, 10:01:39 AM »
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Oh yes, the danger of the herd:) I looked through Bare Witness, a retrospective of the work of Gordon Park today. Nothing is sharp and there is little 'detail' but the photos are powerful, telling their own stories. The received wisdom will make everything the same if we can't hold on to our own vision of what we love.

Actually, another thought springs to mind that whilst there is an argument that if you capture everything you have the choice to lose the detail and let the shadows sink into blackness, for example, I wonder if it's so much harder to do when the information is there?

Mike
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Mike

I don´t think that it is hard to lose detail in shadow if you want to - digitally printing, of course - because there is so much control, so many steps available... I think the problems are more in the mind and the uncertainly felt about capturing digitally with the intention of losing shadow detail.

Partly, I supose, it´s the thought that a viewer might feel you´d made an error somewhere along the line if you have strong shadows. But then, as I mentioned before, perhaps that idea, if you share it, might come from too many forums laying down too many rules! For my part, I´ve given up on most of the others - can´t think of a single open, alternative photographic (or other) chat place to which I turn - my inspiration now comes from professional photographers´ agents sites, where they show the best of their best, and some is pretty good too!

Keep on clickin´- Rob C
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2007, 01:19:29 PM »
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Mike

I don´t think that it is hard to lose detail in shadow if you want to - digitally printing, of course - because there is so much control, so many steps available... I think the problems are more in the mind and the uncertainly felt about capturing digitally with the intention of losing shadow detail.

Partly, I supose, it´s the thought that a viewer might feel you´d made an error somewhere along the line if you have strong shadows. But then, as I mentioned before, perhaps that idea, if you share it, might come from too many forums laying down too many rules! For my part, I´ve given up on most of the others - can´t think of a single open, alternative photographic (or other) chat place to which I turn - my inspiration now comes from professional photographers´ agents sites, where they show the best of their best, and some is pretty good too!

Keep on clickin´- Rob C
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Rob,

My thought exactly - the hard part is in the mind. Probably fortunately, I don't frequent any other photographic forums. Similarly, I gave up on my local photographich club as after sitting through the end of year competition results (after only a few weeks attendance) I found that I couldn't bear to submit myself to the shallow views of the 'expert' judges.

For inspiration I love to see good work that shows me a different way of seeing, but at the end of the day I can only photograph the things I love, and if other people don't like what I do I can't really change it. I don't need it to eat, so I'm pretty free to make a  few mistakes:)

Mike
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Rob C
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« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2007, 02:49:14 PM »
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Rob,

My thought exactly - the hard part is in the mind. Probably fortunately, I don't frequent any other photographic forums. Similarly, I gave up on my local photographich club as after sitting through the end of year competition results (after only a few weeks attendance) I found that I couldn't bear to submit myself to the shallow views of the 'expert' judges.

For inspiration I love to see good work that shows me a different way of seeing, but at the end of the day I can only photograph the things I love, and if other people don't like what I do I can't really change it. I don't need it to eat, so I'm pretty free to make a  few mistakes:)

Mike
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Hey - keep making the mistakes! As you say, if you don´t need it to eat, then you have it on the best possible terms.

I wish, sometimes, that it was a realistic hope to get to that happy position having once spent a career doing it for the eating purpose, but it seems that if you have been there, then it can´t ever be the same for you again, which is somewhat sad, I think. Perhaps other photographers have been able to retire from the fight and still retain the original enthusiasm, but I have a sneaky feeling that more often than not we stay tuned because there´s not a lot else left out there that interests us much.

Ciao - Rob C
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2007, 10:12:20 AM »
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This really is a splendid image, Michael.  An excellent solution to the over-photographed scene.  Bravo!

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Nice image Michael, but in reference to the first poster, shooting the shadow is not new. William Clift did one of his classic images of that shadow.
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Indeed he does, Kirk.  In fact, William Clift has been visiting and photographing this site almost annually for (I believe) 20+ years with a variety of camera formats.  Nothing beats the kind of insight that such familiarity can produce, particularly when it's demonstrated in photographs.  

Not long ago I had the good fortune to meet William and spend an evening looking at some of his terrific work.  He's a rather quiet modest fellow with a sharp sense of humor that comes through on some of his work.  If you get a chance, take a look at some of his SX70 work.  (Yes, that cheap little Polaroid instant camera.)  It's jaw-dropping.
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- Ken Tanaka -

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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2007, 11:17:44 AM »
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Ken,

Oddly, even though I live in the same state and have been in a couple of group shows together a while back (I think he still lives in New Mexico?) we have never met. But he is one of my all time favorite photographers. He just had a show I saw in Chicago last summer at the Art Institute, all vintage images. I did not know that he even did Sx-70 work!
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Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2007, 12:04:40 PM »
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Ken,

Oddly, even though I live in the same state and have been in a couple of group shows together a while back (I think he still lives in New Mexico?) we have never met. But he is one of my all time favorite photographers. He just had a show I saw in Chicago last summer at the Art Institute, all vintage images. I did not know that he even did Sx-70 work!
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Kirk,
I think that, rather like most U.S. money managers eventually draining to Florida or the South of France, many photographers eventually drain to New Mexico!      William Clift does, indeed, live in Santa Fe, New Mexico so you should bump into him eventually.  (BTW, here is his Mont Saint Michel shadow image, or at least the one I've seen: [a href=\"http://www.williamclift.com/image3.htm]http://www.williamclift.com/image3.htm[/url] .  It's a large-format negative.)

William was just in the final stages of printing a monograph of his SX-70 work.  He brought some of the proof prints during his visit.  They were printed expertly using an Epson K3 on Hahnemuhle 310 gsm Photo Rag.  These were small, precious images, mostly casual portraits, that just had a look that made you want to just keep looking.  I believe his plan was to only print perhaps 100 copies of the monograph, most of which he said were already spoken for.  But he was holding some in reserve.  If you every meet him it's worth asking about.
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- Ken Tanaka -

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bertiep
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« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2007, 08:14:25 AM »
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I´m sure Alain will know better than I, but I believe that the mount is getting less and less isolated as the years move on - in other words, I´ve heard the area is silting up and starting to defeat the tides. Makes a change - it´s usually the other way around: the sea eats up the land. Perhaps it´s also a show of the devine balance in nature - she gives with the one and takes with the other.

This might make us ponder what she might have in store for us, what with us causing so much wilful damge and all...

Few pics will match the mad Madagascan(?) dancers!

Rob C
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I visited in September of this year and there is a project in process to divert a nearby river in order to scourge the silt away and reinstate the original isolation.  

Bob P
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