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Author Topic: James Russell  (Read 18215 times)
bjnicholls
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2008, 04:49:23 PM »
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Interesting story, you should have included the art director in your credits - if only because I think they failed on concept and direction.

The resulting images, at least as shown inline and in context of the website layout, look rather like a CGI rendering to my eye. Without first reading your article I would have assumed the image was a computer model rendering based on the video-game dramatic style of lighting and contrived poses of the model. I also draw cues from the manipulated look of the mottled background and the graphic quality of the black knockout background. The photography is stellar, but for a product that's marketed to photographers, the resulting CGI look is a miscue in my opinion. As you indicated, Phase 1 is about engineering first and marketing well down the line of priorities. Perhaps I'll see the images differently in context of the website and any related applications. I can't find the web page example on the Phase One website.
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sergio
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« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2008, 04:51:55 PM »
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James:

inspiring.


Makes one want to go out and shoot
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CJL
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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2008, 05:15:43 PM »
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Thank you, James (and Michael)... that was a very enjoyable read!
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2008, 05:56:55 PM »
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Windows or Mac, you just need to update your Quicktime player. It's free and you must make sure your browser recognizes it.

IE is kind of goofy in the way it recognizes plug ins. Try Firefox, it's free also.

Firefox worked fine.  Thanks for the suggestion.

Lisa
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James R Russell
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« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2008, 05:54:57 AM »
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Interesting story, you should have included the art director in your credits -.................
The resulting images, at least as shown inline and in context of the website layout, look rather like a CGI rendering to my eye. Without first reading your article I would have assumed the image was a computer model rendering based on the video-game dramatic style of lighting .

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214505\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


The main intent of this article was to give credit to the still production crew.  It was discussed about putting in Art Direction, Client, Marketing, video credits, but once again, the idea was to credit my still crew.

As far as the look, or direction, regarldess of who conceived the thought, it is the result of budget, time, concept and input.  Always is, always will be.

As I mentioned had the budget been there I would have shot it on location in a foundry with mutliple foggers, talent, wardrobes, but it just wasn't possible,  though the final resulting image looks much different in large reporduction than it does in small web display.

In fact retouching for the web, if we have the option, is usually performed different than for large print.  The two medias often can look that different.

Yes there is retouching, though just about anything shot for commerce has post manipulation and to some extent that is the benifit of a medium format file, to work the file deep and to still hold detail and form.  Some people may agree with that, some won't, but I would imagine 95% of all medium format images shot for commerce have a heavy degree of post manipulation.

It's just the way things are.

Everyone has an opinion and in a way all are valid and in other ways all are not, depending on who buys or is motivated to buy.

Marketing is intersting and in today's 4 second world has changed.  

This year we have won a series of awards and though quite proud, the images that have won have been relatively simple, (all with black backgrounds) where the images submitted that were complicated and organic were passed over, probably just because they took more time for the judges to study them and it seems time is the one element everyone is lacking.

In other words this


gets more attention than this


Today, if an image is graphic or simple it seems to resonate quicker.  Look at 99.9% of all the magazine covers.

JR
« Last Edit: August 12, 2008, 06:19:25 AM by James R Russell » Logged

Pete Ferling
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« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2008, 06:40:05 AM »
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2008, 07:50:14 AM »
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I think to a considerable extent much high quality art is "simple and clean", in the sense that uncluttered graphic language communicates with more impact. I believe this is true whether the purpose of the image is to convey the essence of a landscape or to sell a product. The two images James posted above demonstrate this very clearly. The upper image gets more attention than the lower one because it is uncluttered with emphatic lighting; it is intense and coherent focusing the viewer directly on the subject. The lower one isn't a particularly successful use of graphic language regardless of its purpose. The background is distracting and the lines of vision are contradictory to no particular effect. While one doesn't want to "rigidify" concepts of what makes art that carries impact, there are these "rules of thumb" which generally work.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Pete Ferling
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« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2008, 09:31:49 AM »
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Rob C
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« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2008, 11:44:17 AM »
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Today, if an image is graphic or simple it seems to resonate quicker.  Look at 99.9% of all the magazine covers.

JR
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214575\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]





Simplicity. Yes, thatīs exactly why the work of my old favourite Hans Feurer looks so damn good. He achieves it most of the time, in the images of his with which I am familiar, by virtue of a long lens and simple beach/rocks/desert backgrounds which are mostly suggested forms, the colour and design of the subject saying what has to be said.

Donīt forget, he started as a designer...

To me, there are two types of master photographer: the location man who uses a minimum of lighting; the studio man who can light the subject as distinct from simply illuminating it in order to make enough light for an exposure. Not the same thing at all.

As for the location (outdoors) photographer who uses too many tricks - I wonder why.

Rob C
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sergio
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« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2008, 01:57:07 PM »
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This 4 second world as James puts it what is ultimately doing is pasteurizing things to simple forms anybody can understand. It is a problem of communication. The amount of imagery shot at you everyday is overwhelming, and in the advertising business not getting the message across is death.

The world doesn't have time anymore for anything at all, if barely for eating while watching tv or sleeping plugged to an ipod. We have lost the ability to be amazed.

I have made a good living and had the hell of a good time as a fashion and advertising photographer, but sometimes this makes me sick. I work to live, not live to work.

I started my own personal projects out of a feeling of emptyness and a lack of meaning from my commercial work. I confess that though I make a very good living with photography, I felt that the purpose of my work had to be a little more than merely making someone else richer with it.

I'll stop before I get bluesy.
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #30 on: August 12, 2008, 06:22:44 PM »
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Does anyone know the song playing in the video?
I kinda like it.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Artemis, on the album Gravity. The song is "La Belle" - the lyrics are taken from "La belle et la bęte" (The Beauty and the Beast) by Jean Cocteau

[a href=\"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_and_the_Beast_(1946_film)]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_and_th...ast_(1946_film)[/url]

http://www.last.fm/music/Artemis/Gravity/La+Belle

Pierre
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tho_mas
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« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2008, 06:37:36 PM »
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I work to live, not live to work.
I started my own personal projects out of a feeling of emptyness and a lack of meaning from my commercial work.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214641\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

  :idea:  good!
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James R Russell
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« Reply #32 on: August 12, 2008, 10:56:49 PM »
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:idea:  good!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214687\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well I've heard the live to work, work to live thing and maybe that's the way its for some.

I don't know, because I just live and prefer to work rather than not, but that doesn't make my way right, or wrong, it's just my way.

The thing is commercial work is just that . . . commercial work.  Sometimes it's inspiring, sometimes it's just professional, but if you do it right it's usually a lot of effort and can be challenging.

I learned a long time ago not to worry too much about any of this.  Some photos I love because I know the complications, the effort and the change I and others made to the raw material.

If those are, or are not noticed it's just not a big deal.  

I also know that sometimes a simple well executed image can be striking, once again, it's not a big deal.

The thing I know is that it's not quite as easy for our clients as we tend to think.   They have to work on a brand, a product or for a specific client for years where we usually just come in for the week.  

An AD will usually present 2 dozen ideas just to get one through the committees and probably have to fight tooth and nail to get the photographer they chose hired.

It is a complicated business and if you take it all to heart it can take a lot out of an artist.

Then again, from my personal experience I have learned to step back and try to see it as the complete process rather than just what is handed me.

It normally makes my day or week a lot easier.

Yes it may be in some instance a 4 second world, but if done well, even those 4 seconds can be very appreciated.


JR
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Rob C
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« Reply #33 on: August 13, 2008, 07:08:32 AM »
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I have made a good living and had the hell of a good time as a fashion and advertising photographer, but sometimes this makes me sick. I work to live, not live to work.

I started my own personal projects out of a feeling of emptyness and a lack of meaning from my commercial work. I confess that though I make a very good living with photography, I felt that the purpose of my work had to be a little more than merely making someone else richer with it.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214641\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]






Sergio

I think that if one really loves what one is doing, then the working to live or living to work thing becomes unimportant because one is simply doing that which one loves.

I, too, had a hell of a good time in fashion, not so much so in advertising, but certainly so in calendar design/production and photography where the only bad part was doing the selling, something I never have enjoyed at all. I was doubly lucky in that with the fashion and calendars, I was usually able to travel without clients: they were too busy doing other things to spend time with me on shoots. However, there were also good clients and bad clients, even with the same company, and the bad ones did little for the job, when they trailed along...

I had no problem helping clients make money, just as long as I was making it too. Like you, I have gone onto personal things, but that is far from easy - the main problem is financing the things I really want to do, which always include models. Irony, of course rears its head: when I was working I had no time or interest in girls coming to see me, now that I want them to, there is no work to offer them. Oh for a muse!

Rob C
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Pete Ferling
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« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2008, 08:09:50 AM »
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Richard Boyle
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« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2008, 09:39:02 AM »
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:idea:  good!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214687\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I remember, years ago on the Galbraith forum, James touted the Leaf backs as being "more film like" even though he derided photographers using film by saying that "film was a romantic notion."

I'm curious as to why you switched to Phase and what about the Phase you appreciate more than the Leaf backs.

Thanks!

Richard
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Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2008, 02:50:07 PM »
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I remember, years ago on the Galbraith forum, James touted the Leaf backs as being "more film like" even though he derided photographers using film by saying that "film was a romantic notion."

Richard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214996\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]



James can reply for himself, but I donīt know about film being a romantic notion. Photography might well be a romantic notion, even if its reality mostly is not, but film isnīt much to do with romance, in my book, it is just a medium which is sometimes better than others. Horses for courses, but for me, a well scanned transparency can produce a feeling, a quality, that I canīt see in my own digital captures.

Rob C
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2008, 03:35:56 PM »
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James can reply for himself, but I donīt know about film being a romantic notion. Photography might well be a romantic notion, even if its reality mostly is not, but film isnīt much to do with romance, in my book, it is just a medium which is sometimes better than others. Horses for courses, but for me, a well scanned transparency can produce a feeling, a quality, that I canīt see in my own digital captures.

Rob C
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The end of the Cretaceous must have been a lonely time.  (Just kidding.)

I do miss konica 50.  I don't miss scanning it.
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James R Russell
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« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2008, 11:01:14 PM »
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I remember, years ago on the Galbraith forum, James touted the Leaf backs as being "more film like" even though he derided photographers using film by saying that "film was a romantic notion."

I'm curious as to why you switched to Phase and what about the Phase you appreciate more than the Leaf backs.

Thanks!

Richard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214996\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Actually, I said film was a romantic notion of the past.   To some extent I believe that.

Cameras, that's another thing as with some cameras there are things you can shoot or shoot  in a way that you can't with digital, i.e. the Fuji 680, an 8x10 camera, a 6x7 RZ or Pentax 6x7.  Those cameras had a certain look that can be emulated by digital but not exactly repeated.

It's interesting, last week I spoke to an Art Director for about an hour about a project.

One question he had, or more a statement he made was most photographers he knows shoots film for themselves or for editorial but shoot only digital for commerce.

He asked if I shot digital and I said I actually embrace digital capture.  I think that answer kind of threw him as he was use to the NY mindset where many photographers or a certain level only shoot digital with an outside tech and turn it over for someone else to process, color, retouch  and purpose.

I said I think digital is a much more intimate learning experience than film.  In the film days I could or wouldn't shoot a film and process it in 6 different labs, with 6 different processing routines.

I would never have looked at hundreds even thousands of frames of film at 100% and learned the nuances.  With digital I have done that.

I think there are very few film looks I can't achieve with digital and better yet, dozens of looks I can achieve that I never would have had the opportunity to try with film.

Also digital offers opportunities film never did, especially in commerce or high pressure situations.  

With digital I can get the base idea into the can and then go on and expore newer or maybe even images with more risk, because I know the base image is covered.

With digital I have a "polaroid" that is way more detailed and accurate than any film proof and I have it in about 2 seconds.

I can adapt, correct and see the results now, rather than even wait 60 seconds and kind of translate the polaroid look into what film will do.

Yes, there were/are some interesting films and like digital cameras and backs some were more suited for some styles than others, but not all films were really beautiful and not all films worked for some situations.

To me film is a romantic notion of the past and though digital has a way steep learning curve and takes a huge monitary and time investment, it's well worth it.

As far as switching from Leaf to Phase.  We'll at first I didn't really switch, I just added a Phase back to my contax's.  The main reason was at the time the Leaf software was "challanged" and the Phase was faster and more stable.  I stay quite busy and I needed stability and speed.

I understand LC11 is a much improved tethering software now.

Also I needed even slightly higher iso.  The Leaf was great at 200 but only up to 200 (the A-22) where the P-30 would go to 400, but not much more than 400.

Had the A-22 gone to 400 iso clean I would have kept it and probably still bought a P-30 but waited for lc11 to become mature.  

Both backs are different and offer different looks.  At times I found the Leaf very "film like" whatever that means at times I find the Phase  quite nice.

They are very different backs.

Now, back to this art director's comments.  I asked him to go onto my web site and pick out the two images he thought best represented film.  The two he slected were shot with the A-22.

Whether that means anything or not I'm not sure.

JR
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Ray
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« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2008, 11:12:26 PM »
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I also got to watch the video last night--and it rather boggles my mind that someone  sees a #1 as a phallus symbol.  I can't see the connection other than it is vertical LOL.  Goes to show you can pretty  much read into anything what you want. 

Diane
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=214401\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm also rather amazed that anyone would think my phallic interpretation of that scene is unusal or weird.

Clearly, any shape that is roughly of similar proportions to the erect penis does not have to be considered as a phallic symbol. However, when such shapes are inflated (or deflated) to an unnatural size, and then directly associated with a scantilly clad (or provocatively clad) female, then the sexual symbolism is clear to all, except perhaps those who have never heard of Sigmund Freud, or those who simple don't know what sexual symbolism is.

The symbol for #1 is not usually larger then a female person. The enlargement of the symbol for #1, in relation to the size of the female who is hugging it, is very obviously suggestive of the enlargement that takes place when a penis becomes erect.

The enlargemnt of the #1, in conjunction with its general shape, should make the phallic associations obvious to all except the totally naive.
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