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Author Topic: "The Light Fantastic"  (Read 6008 times)
HickersonJasonC
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« on: February 09, 2010, 05:48:41 PM »
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Great article and wonderful, expressive photographs. My hat goes off the Ted Leeming and Morag Paterson and Michael for publishing them.

I did something similar in style last year for my series Autumn on the Southern Continent. I wasn't aware at that time that other photographers were doing this type of imagery.

[attachment=20155:20090517...n_Sunset.jpg]

Anyone else out there have something similar?

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tokengirl
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 08:09:25 PM »
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Yep.  Mine are not nearly as interesting as some of the ones in the article though.


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hcubell
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 08:38:34 PM »
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Images of the type shown in the article have become tiresome and somewhat trite to me. There are, of course, exceptions. Have a look at www.frankgrisdale.com. Exquisite.
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squarehead
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 08:58:34 PM »
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Sorry, but I find them to be very contrived.


PS: The title is nicely borrowed from Terry Pratchett.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 09:15:07 PM »
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Quote from: HickersonJasonC
... Anyone else out there have something similar?
William Neill, a contributor to this site? For example:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/impressions.shtml
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Slobodan

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fredjeang
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2010, 12:17:43 AM »
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Hi,

I tend to like this approach. I found the article well written because didacticly resumed.
If I may add my point of view as I come from painting.

The funny thing is that when I was a student in Fine Arts, I spent a lot of time in the photo darkroom, and my teachers did not like it at all. They were saying to me that if I wanted to work mainly with Photography, I should go to Arles ( a famous photographic school in the south of France ). But if I had been to Arles, teachers would have told me that my work was not photographic enough and my place should be in Fine Arts.
Resumed: Fine Arts were considering photography as a "minor art" and the fact that they had a (very professional) darkroom was only because we were supposed to know "from a safety distance" the basics.
And prestigious photographic shools did not tolerate too much "out of the path" that they considered the terrain of these crazy and useless people from Fine Arts. One was depreciation and the other conservatism.

I think it is definitely time to overcome antagonisms. Photography is a very new art compare to Fine Arts. I can tell you, knowing the two worlds very well, that there is much more conservatism in photography, and it is normal. Breaking the rules is not easy: Using a thousand dollars Phase that has been conceived to give maximum quality in "reality" reproduction, super extra sharp details... for bluring? Are you kiding?
But step by step we are seeing emerging more and more transgressions to the traditional school of photography. (from Fine Arts point of view, the experiments that have been so far made in the 20th century to break the classic rules in photography are all considered still conservatives) That is the beginning of maturity. Digital made a powerful contribution to this, but I personally think that it is more a matter of 1) maturity of the medium, 2) medium more accesible to a larger volume of people.

It is time to become a child again, to have its vision, inocence and freshness.
It is time to forget about pixels, resolutions and "rights" settings.
Lets have fun.

Fred.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2010, 12:21:48 AM »
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FWIW, I like them!

Mike.
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2010, 03:50:00 AM »
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Frankly, I'm suprised these shots/article were considered worthy of publication here, and the naïveté of the copy is mind-blowing.

As others here implied, much to my relief as I felt my initial reaction, the style is as old as the hills. One would have to have been living in a cloud (possible) - or a camper - for a very long period of extended solitude to imagine anything here to be new or ground-breaking. I can recall some shots of Michael's in this style - whirling people - that were so much better. It ain't what you do...

I think we have discussed the problem here several times: every darn thing has been done, better, by somebody already. Be it this cotton wool world (which, incidentally, I like), nudes, countryside, desert, mountain or ocean, another photographer did it years ago.

That's absolutely no reason not to do it yourself; that's absolutely no reason to republish.

In a nutshell, it sort of encapsulates the dilemma facing the amateur: is what I do worth doing, is it any good and why am I really doing it? Within that same nutshell we can find the salvation of the pro: he does what he does because he has generally been asked to do it, thus providing both reason and motivation for the act of photography.

Rob C
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 03:50:26 AM by Rob C » Logged

fredjeang
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2010, 05:17:53 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Frankly, I'm suprised these shots/article were considered worthy of publication here, and the naïveté of the copy is mind-blowing.

As others here implied, much to my relief as I felt my initial reaction, the style is as old as the hills. One would have to have been living in a cloud (possible) - or a camper - for a very long period of extended solitude to imagine anything here to be new or ground-breaking. I can recall some shots of Michael's in this style - whirling people - that were so much better. It ain't what you do...

I think we have discussed the problem here several times: every darn thing has been done, better, by somebody already. Be it this cotton wool world (which, incidentally, I like), nudes, countryside, desert, mountain or ocean, another photographer did it years ago.

That's absolutely no reason not to do it yourself; that's absolutely no reason to republish.

In a nutshell, it sort of encapsulates the dilemma facing the amateur: is what I do worth doing, is it any good and why am I really doing it? Within that same nutshell we can find the salvation of the pro: he does what he does because he has generally been asked to do it, thus providing both reason and motivation for the act of photography.

Rob C
Yes Rob,
Nothing new at all in these images, neither ground-breaking.
Just according to me, an honest and deep search from these people to express themselves in a way that personally touch me more than another of the million pics of the same spot of the Gran Canyon with the same light or another of the same billions anorexic glamour fashion shot we are inundated each year.

The style is as old as the hill, yet in photography it is quite fresh compare to the 90% of what is produced per day in this media.
I remember seeing this post here: http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=41374. Done a century ago and over and over again since...
but I think the actitude of searching freshness in ones work is always helphy, even if you are inspired by oldies.

Every damn thing has been done, better, by somebody already: yes! by the way, the great Avedon portraits approach has been done hundred of years ago by genious like Velasquez, Goya etc...so we should have banned Avedon to bring to us a very very old dejà vu in a whorst form? His fashion shots are directely inspired from end 18 century painting, nothing new either. Man ray approach? Done before he saw the light in this world while 99% of what we see now from digital cameras is concerned about sharpness, resolution and maximum image quality to reproduce man's testosterones ego's needs.
In that context, these images are like drinking some fresh water after all the repetitive pictures we are building our monologue around. There are not new, revolutionary, just good.

The only terrains were photography has brought really new language or visions, that has never been explored before in other medias is:
-Altitude and space photography
-Microscopic photography
-digital language.

Thanks Michael to put this article here. Is it naive? yes it is, in a very good way.
My post here was naive as well.
Or if we are touched by these pictures, we are naive? Yes, we are.
But I WANT to be naive. It is very healphy.  

Fred.
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2010, 06:45:19 AM »
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Where I live a photographer named Jack Alterman was experimenting with this technique several years ago. At least two others followed in his footsteps, but in my opinion none of them were near as successful as those images shown in this article. Very nice work.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010, 06:45:54 AM by JohnBrew » Logged

HickersonJasonC
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2010, 11:26:42 AM »
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I find it interesting that the dialogue here is centered around the question of whether the photos in the article are contrived or not, worthwhile or not.

Photography as any artform, moves us or doesn't, tells a story that resounds with us or doesn't.

I came upon this style by accident and liked what I saw. Though far from complete, and perhaps far from unique, my vision is at least honest, not an imitation. It's worthwhile to me and those around me. It seems the author feels the same way and even mentions his awareness of others shooting in this style.

In contrast, George Barr's recent article Learning from the Best Images is illustrated with images that remind me of nothing more than my very first, failed (I thought at the time and still think) attempts photographing found scenes and objects. Yet I find the comment thread regarding his work published there to be almost unanimously positive.

To each his own . . .
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fredjeang
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2010, 11:47:53 AM »
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I found these photographies very good actually, from an artistic point of view as technical and would not hesitate having one big print of some presented here in the wall of my bedroom.  

Fred.
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bobtowery
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2010, 12:14:32 PM »
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My two cents...

One of my favorite articles here at LL in a long time.  As a photographer, I believe I'm on a journey. And hopefully it has interesting twists, turns, new directions. That's what the author describes.  He is evolving.  And he's out there working(!). I very much enjoy reading about people's journeys.  Theirs will add to my own.

I think most of the images are great, they are pleasing and interesting to view.

So thank you to the author - excellent work -  and to Michael for publishing.

The OP asked if others were doing this kind of work. I have some recent attempts at this genre, so I'll show them here to make a contribution:

My most successful: Color Wave

Second best: Morning Wave

Fall Color: Shimmy Shake

Keep shooting, writing and posting! Bob Towery.
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squarehead
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2010, 01:12:15 PM »
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Quote from: bobtowery
My two cents...

One of my favorite articles here at LL in a long time.  As a photographer, I believe I'm on a journey. And hopefully it has interesting twists, turns, new directions. That's what the author describes.  He is evolving.  And he's out there working(!). I very much enjoy reading about people's journeys.  Theirs will add to my own.

I think most of the images are great, they are pleasing and interesting to view.

So thank you to the author - excellent work -  and to Michael for publishing.

The OP asked if others were doing this kind of work. I have some recent attempts at this genre, so I'll show them here to make a contribution:

My most successful: Color Wave

Second best: Morning Wave

Fall Color: Shimmy Shake

Keep shooting, writing and posting! Bob Towery.


The photo called "Color Wave" is stunning!!!!!! This one I really like.
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John R
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2010, 02:37:49 PM »
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I have been doing these kinds of images for a number of years. Not everyone likes them, but slowly many are coming around to give them a chance. Over at "One Exposure", a photo hosting site, they consider such shots as "cliche" unless they are outstanding. Of course, I don't, some are just better than others and some are more expressive than others, and mean something different to different people. I maintain, however, no matter how expressive and creative you get, if people can't relate to a so-called "creative" image in some way, they will consider it junk, just like a lot of abstract art. IMO, the images on LL are very good. As mentioned, Freeman Patterson and others, have been doing this kind of work, including Orton imagery, for well over 30 years with slides! Many were multiple exposures of up 100 images on one frame while trees blew in the wind (see http://www.stephenpatterson.com/ as examples) . No take overs or PP, just expensive film. So you had to be a student of these techniques in order not to waste film! I have some on this site and many others on my personal site. While not new, the article is good and shows how people evolve to expressive themselves in different ways. Viva la difference!

JMR
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Dan Boersma
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2010, 03:18:11 PM »
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In my opinion , some of these images are absolutely wonderful.  Some of the most interesting images I have seen on the site in quite some time.  And of course the style has been done before?  What hasn't?  The key is, does the images move you?  For me, these did.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2010, 04:03:39 PM »
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Quote from: dboersma
In my opinion , some of these images are absolutely wonderful.  Some of the most interesting images I have seen on the site in quite some time.  And of course the style has been done before?  What hasn't?  The key is, does the images move you?  For me, these did.
Indeed that is the key. And what I tried to point in one of my post here is that if we start to denigrate a work just because it is dejà vu, then we would have to denigrate nearly every peace of art from now. I prefer to adopt a naive atitude as it has been mentioned but still be able to feel and amazed me as a child independently of the cliches. If a picture moves me, it just the way it is and it is fine if others stayed indifferent. We are all singular and there is and should be space for everybody.
I still feel that the photographic "milieu" in this sence is still very conservative. If, instead of these images we would have seen a perfectly, technicaly classic landscape or arquitecture shot, this would have had much more posts. It is just the way it is.
Thanks to Michael to have post this beautiful work in the LU-LA.

Fred.
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stevenf
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2010, 04:39:24 PM »
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Here are a few of mine. I agree that these have been done, and done by numerous photographers. For me it is trying to do it a little different and it is a break from my usual work of panorama tree images, which have taken years to get. The tree images take a ton of time to find the scene, wait for the light, and wait for no wind - some of the tree exposures are 30 seconds to 2 minutes.  

Steven

Visit My Website

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kikashi
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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2010, 04:52:38 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Frankly, I'm suprised these shots/article were considered worthy of publication here, and the naïveté of the copy is mind-blowing.
I agree entirely, about both the images and the ridiculous nature of the text.

The images are, in their own limited way, moderately pleasing. However, they could have been taken anywhere. To suggest that they are "Capturing the Inner Sense of the Scottish Landscape" is pretentious nonsense. They remind me of a series of photographs posted here a couple of years ago, proudly proclaimed to have been taken in India. They were shots of doors, doorknobs, railings and so on. They showed an excellent sense of shape, contrast and colour but the fact that they were taken in India was pure happenstance.

Still, as I've commented, unoriginally, here before, de gustibus...

Jeremy
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HickersonJasonC
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2010, 06:01:48 PM »
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Quote from: kikashi
. . . they could have been taken anywhere.

Jeremy, I'm interested to learn why this disqualifies the images? Are you seriously arguing that the only worthwhile way to capture a place is through a strictly literal, realistic approach (which is arguably never possible anyway)?

I have become rather bored by the "cliche" images of Antelope Canyon so many photographers have made (and posted in these forums) in the last few years. They were obviously shot in Antelope Canyon, however, so I suppose you find them worthwhile?
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