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Author Topic: Turnabout is Fair Play  (Read 2938 times)
RSL
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« on: September 28, 2009, 01:27:35 PM »
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I've been doing a lot of critiquing without showing much of my own work. Of course, anyone can go to my web and see a bunch of stuff I've evaluated over the years and finally decided it's good enough to show, but that's not the same thing as seeing my current work. Saturday before last I spent about two hours on the streets and in and out of various establishments in Manitou Springs, Colorado, where an "art walk" was going on. I kept several pictures from that shoot that I'll put away for a while and look at from time to time before I decide whether or not to print them and hang them and see whether or not they compete successfully with what I already have hung.

Here's one of them. I have to admit I cropped it. I was shooting with a 35mm prime lens on my D3 and there was no way to get into a position where I wasn't reflected on the very left side of the mirror. Since this wasn't intended to be a self-portrait, I cropped myself out.

I'll put up some of the other pictures I shot that day, but in one or two other posts. This one is different enough from the others that it has to be considered by itself.

[attachment=16854:Wine_Bar.jpg]
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walter.sk
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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 06:14:54 PM »
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Very nice!  It reminds me of Manet's Bar at the Folies Bergeres because of the way the reflection comes across, and it also has some of the loneliness as well as visual perspective of some of Hopper's paintings.  Also brought to my mind was Degas' In A Cafe (Absynthe), which depicted a couple that your couple reminded me of.

The lighting somehow adds to the atmosphere in the picture.  I don't think a photo necessarily has to evoke a painting in style or content, but I think your image taps into some of the same ethos.
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dchew
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« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2009, 08:32:07 PM »
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Russ,

What I really like about this is the color tones.  The fact that the patrons' clothes match really make this for me.  Even the guy's hat looks great.  I get the sense they are part of the decor.

Nice.

Dave
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button
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« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2009, 10:44:39 PM »
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I consider myself a better critic of objects than people (even though 95% or more of what I shoot is people- my kids/family).  After viewing a fair bit of street photography lately, though, I think I'm starting to get a feel for what works and what doesn't.  One theme in particular resonates in the street work I find appealing: something is always happening!

From simply a compositional standpoint, this image stands tall- the lines and forms work in a pleasing manner, and might more so if the door were perfectly vertical (since you're already cropping Russ, I don't think a slight rotation would be out of bounds- slippery slope, that photoshop is ).

However, that there is in fact something happening makes this image sing - the subjects are interacting and their reflection creates a counterpoint of activity, further enhanced through its introduction of perspective shift.  On top of that, the subjects convey a sense of "slickness" or attitude that polishes the shot.

Coooool breeze... two thumbs up.

John
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byork
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 05:17:49 AM »
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Russ,

I love these shots incorporating mirrors that give an almost 360 view of the subject and their surroundings, and that certainly makes this work. Lots of interest for one to consider...and I left it hoping they found a nice bevvy on that menu. Nice shot.

Cheers
Brian

P.S. I take it you found time for a tipple yourself?
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walter.sk
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 10:02:50 AM »
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Quote from: button
the lines and forms work in a pleasing manner, and might more so if the door were perfectly vertical (since you're already cropping Russ, I don't think a slight rotation would be out of bounds- slippery slope, that photoshop is ).

However, that there is in fact something happening makes this image sing - the subjects are interacting and their reflection creates a counterpoint of activity, further enhanced through its introduction of perspective shift.  On top of that, the subjects convey a sense of "slickness" or attitude that polishes the shot.

Coooool breeze... two thumbs up.

John
I think the slight off-vertical tilt of the image adds to the mood by introducing a small amount of visual tension.  As to the interaction of the couple, neither the reflection nor the direct image of them shows any direct interaction.  Their eyes are not in contact, and the "slickness" that you sense speaks perhaps to a superficiality in the relationship that is why I was reminded of Degas' In a Cafe (Absynthe), as well as the relative non-involvement of the people in Hopper's Nighthawk Diner.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 10:27:55 AM »
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I am shocked, SHOCKED, to learn that Russ has -- (I hesitate even to utter the word) -- cropped!

But in this case I'd say the cropping is perfect, and I echo the comments of other viewers. As for the slight tilt, although I am somewhat of a Photoshopaholic myself, I see no reason to straighten the slight tilt, which adds to the sense of a "captured moment." If it were an architectural shot, definitely straighten it.


Nice shot, Russ!

Eric

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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
Pete JF
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2009, 10:57:02 AM »
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To be honest, I don't think there is much of merit in this picture. Color, light, subject, please forgive, positively mind numbing...Especially after browsing some of the work on your web collection.

It looks like a low budget commercial setup shot with amateur models and styling.

RSL, What is it that makes you even put this image in the running for hanging on your wall?

I'm curious.






Did someone compare this shot to Bar at the Folies Bergeres, Manet?
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2009, 04:29:47 PM »
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I do like the tones of these image, and the composition is also pretty good. There's plenty for the eye to wonder over, but the subject is still clear. I don't really feel like there's any story here though, or at least not one I find interesting (maybe some one else will?). To me it's a nice "slice of life" stock photograph, but there's no "decisive moment" (unlike your other shot posted today).
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RSL
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2009, 10:36:52 AM »
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This one's been up long enough and gathered enough different critiques that it's time for me to do my own critique of it.

My main concern is that I wish I'd cranked the aperture down far enough to make the mirror images clear. I shot at f/2.0 because I wanted the mirror images to be soft and not the center of attention, but I was wrong. More about that later. But I'm like Brian, I like mirrors and display windows with reflections.

John, You're right. The picture is very slightly rotated, but look at the vertical where the black shirt is hanging. That's pretty much the index you'd straighten by. It's not enough that I'm going to worry about it. Furthermore, as Garry Winogrand said, "What rule says everything has to be level?"

Walter, A note on Degas's "L'absinthe:" An art professor once said that he gave a lecture on the Impressionists to a group of junior high kids in which he showed L'absinthe and asked for comments. The room was quiet for a minute and then one boy said, "She's stoned." The kid was right, but you have to wonder how that kid knew what a stoned woman looks like.

I appreciate the way Pete comes right out and says what he thinks. Pete, I don't entirely disagree with you. The picture does sort of look like one of the setups Robert Doisneau used to do. I assure you it's not, but that doesn't matter; what it looks like is what matters. That's why I wish I hadn't used such a shallow depth of field. This couple was having some kind of a mild argument, and being able to see their expressions -- especially the woman -- in the mirror would have made that clear. As far as hanging the picture, I may or may not. Probably not. But I print and hang a lot of stuff that comes down later. You can make most culls easily, but looking at a picture on a computer monitor isn't the same thing as looking at a matted and framed print. By the way, thanks for the compliment on my web collection.

Walter, Dave, John, Eric, Jeff, Thanks for the positive comments. This certainly isn't a picture upon which to hang one's reputation, but I kind of like it anyway.
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cmi
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2009, 01:23:10 PM »
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Ahh, Im too late  For me, it's not spectacular but what I like about it is the overall mood of the place.
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John R
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2009, 01:53:07 PM »
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Quote from: Christian Miersch
Ahh, Im too late  For me, it's not spectacular but what I like about it is the overall mood of the place.
I'm with Christian. To me it looks like an ad for a yuppie bar. It certainly conveys atmosphere.

JMR
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jasonrandolph
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2009, 02:03:38 PM »
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Russ:

I thought "crop" was a four-letter word to you!  (Actually, it is to all of us...  )  I like the atmosphere you captured.  I'd like to see more space on the right, but it still works well.  Nice.
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button
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2009, 02:38:23 PM »
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Did these folks know you were snapping them?  How did they react after the fact?

John
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RSL
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 03:52:25 PM »
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Quote from: button
Did these folks know you were snapping them?  How did they react after the fact?

John, They never knew I shot a picture. People rarely do. I've found that if you work at it you can learn to do what the Shadow used to do: cloud men's minds. Unfortunately, I never found a way to cloud women's minds, though, when I was younger I spent a fair amount of time trying to do that.
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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2009, 04:29:13 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Unfortunately, I never found a way to cloud women's minds, though, when I was younger I spent a fair amount of time trying to do that.





The reason you failed to cloud them, Russ, was that they had struck first. They always do.

Rob C
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