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Author Topic: The Painted Ladies  (Read 5182 times)
seamus finn
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2010, 02:26:18 PM »
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Nothing dead about THAT.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2010, 02:30:05 PM »
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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=San+Fr...s&FORM=BIFD
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2010, 02:40:08 PM »
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Quote from: kaelaria

Only 7980 photos. And a few of them aren't even of the houses.
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popnfresh
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« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2010, 06:35:56 PM »
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I don't think it's useful to criticize this on the basis of how many times the same scene has been captured by others. Obviously, it's one of the most iconic scenes in San Francisco.

I'd rather discuss the photo purely from a compositional and technical perspective. There's no question that it's a competently framed and exposed photo. Presuming you can go back there, I would suggest shooting the same scene later in the day when the sun lower in the sky and behind you. It looks like this was taken in early afternoon when the light is closer to vertical and not particularly flattering to the row of houses.

And there are things you could do to add some originality to this famous scene. Maybe there could be people doing something interesting or unusual in the foreground. You could try different angles/perspectives. Get a Lensbaby and play around with selective focus. Think of this picture as a generic starting point and show us something new from the neighborhood.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2010, 07:41:08 PM »
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It's an easy, predictable photo that obviously almost anyone can and does take.

Might as well put up another wide angle Horseshoe Bend shot for critique.
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alangubbay
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« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2010, 07:11:40 AM »
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Yes Popnfresh, these are good ideas but I do not think that I will be making the 11,000 miles round trip to have another go.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2010, 07:14:03 AM by alangubbay » Logged
Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2010, 10:05:34 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
The question everybody is missing is this: why do these shots in the first place?
Rob C
¿might be a good subject for a side-by side camera test?

...the ability of a camera system to penetrate haze is not usually part of camera test is it, and is very relevant for eh landscape photographer.

I have contemplated acquiring a graduated pink filter for this type of shot, where if the sky is totally blown in the raw file, you cannot get it back post-exposure.

You can take one picture, raw-process it twice for the blue back ground and the foreground, and then use a graduated layer mask?
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Rob C
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« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2010, 04:20:05 PM »
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Quote from: Dick Roadnight
¿might be a good subject for a side-by side camera test?

...the ability of a camera system to penetrate haze is not usually part of camera test is it, and is very relevant for eh landscape photographer.

I have contemplated acquiring a graduated pink filter for this type of shot, where if the sky is totally blown in the raw file, you cannot get it back post-exposure.

You can take one picture, raw-process it twice for the blue back ground and the foreground, and then use a graduated layer mask?




Or avoid all that challenging work and keep the camera in its box?

No, seriously, I think the original (here) was pretty well shot; my problem was with the why not the how well. This isn't limited to houses, but applies to almost everything that isn't created by the photographer. It's why I was questioning the reason for shooting anything where you are only a spectator (unless it's what you are being paid to do), a thing I raised some long time ago somewhere around these parts.

While thinking about this, I ask myself about steet shooting, too. I can see that a quick/good street guy has a talent which possibly consists more of nerve than anything else, and I do wish I had some of that courage today. But, the next problem it creates is the one of what can you do with it once you have it nailed? I can see outlets for many sorts of image, but I can't imagine framing and hanging a street one at home, not even an H C-B. In an office waiting room or some such place yes, but never at home. Maybe the natural home for these things is the web? I do have several books on those kinds of photographers and look at them quite a lot, but would never hang such images, even though, as I say, I like them enough to buy the books. But, if I were to make an exception, I would certainly choose some W Eugene Smith stuff from the Pittsburgh epic. (I accept it's a bit of a stretch to street!) On the Genius of Photography documentary that was shown some time ago on the BBC, it was stated that that P. epic was never published: in full, no, but I do remember that a good few pages of one of the (Popular) Photography Annuals I used to be able to buy had images from that shoot. I think it was my introduction to the man's work and I was surprised to see that the strong ferri work he employed was just the same as was done on some fashion magazines too - worlds apart but yet so common a technique.

Don't you just love this business, even as it kills you?

Rob C
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 04:22:03 PM by Rob C » Logged

Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2010, 05:07:46 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
... applies to almost everything that isn't created by the photographer. It's why I was questioning the reason for shooting anything where you are only a spectator (unless it's what you are being paid to do)...
Rob, you got me totally confused with this one!? "Not created by the photographer"... "only a spectator"... what exactly would be left for photographing then? Aren't we always "only spectators"? Even in fashion, aren't you just recording other people's creations (make up, dress, pose, art director's ideas)? Landscapes would be totally excluded, I guess, and practically everything else.
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Slobodan

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pegelli
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« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2010, 05:38:47 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
....This isn't limited to houses, but applies to almost everything that isn't created by the photographer. It's why I was questioning the reason for shooting anything where you are only a spectator .....

I'm sorry, but I totally disagree with this logic. Every photograph created is different and only shows a reflection of what was there. Every spectator bring a different perception that he puts in his photo.

And to the Sacha Baron Cohen (or Borat) impersonator here, If you've got nothing to contribute pls. don't do it here.
And if you have something to add maybe answer the question I put to you first before continuously repeating yourself.
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pieter, aka pegelli
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« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2010, 10:41:16 PM »
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Quote from: pegelli
... And to the Sacha Baron Cohen (or Borat) impersonator here, If you've got nothing to contribute pls. don't do it here...
What's up with this intolerance!? Everything is a contribution, if you can read it intelligently. "Borat" is making a valid point, with which you (and I) might not completely agree, that there are gazillions of similar enough photos to be considered practically identical. And he and Rob are questioning the very reason for making such photos in the first place... and again, you (and I) might not fully agree with it, but it is a valid point of view, worth hearing.

Muzzling dissent usually leads to a debate where everybody happily agrees. And we all know what happens then: when everybody thinks the same, nobody thinks.
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Slobodan

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pegelli
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« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2010, 03:54:05 AM »
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Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
What's up with this intolerance!? Everything is a contribution, if you can read it intelligently. "Borat" is making a valid point, with which you (and I) might not completely agree, that there are gazillions of similar enough photos to be considered practically identical. And he and Rob are questioning the very reason for making such photos in the first place... and again, you (and I) might not fully agree with it, but it is a valid point of view, worth hearing.

Muzzling dissent usually leads to a debate where everybody happily agrees. And we all know what happens then: when everybody thinks the same, nobody thinks.

Sorry, it's not intolerance, it's trying to make him participate. He's put 4 posts making the same point over and never answered the "why" of his argument.
I won't call it trolling, but he's not made one contribution after his first post. Repetition doesn't make anybody think either.
That's in the second sentence I put in my post (the one you didn't quote).
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 03:58:58 AM by pegelli » Logged

pieter, aka pegelli
Rob C
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« Reply #32 on: March 22, 2010, 05:44:41 AM »
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pegelli and Slobodan

The thing is this: it was said that 'even in fashion, aren't you only recording other people's creations...?' Well no, not really. You are starting from a point where there is only a blank roll of paper or some other background meant to accentuate your main subject. Nothing exists other than that - no form, shape, concept or anything. Your job, then, the creative thing, is to create a shape and a mood and say something. Simply having the model stand there with her arms hanging down by her sides, her ankles together, becomes the human equivalent of the tree, the rock or the old adobe hut.

You have to come up with something that does not exist until you and the girl both make it happen. It is way beyond just the parts and becomes the sum of them plus your double inputs of, we hope, talent and inspiration. That's not always available and is why people form mutually pleasing combinations of talent - or they used to in my time - the girls I used were all perfectly capable of doing their own hair, makeup etc. and the shoot was far more intimate and delightful an event. I have done work for hairdressers etc, and am pleased that I seldom found myself in a situation where their services were required. Have you ever looked at Vogue, Elle summer issues etc. and seen those shots of girls lying in the surf, hair wet, and you get a hairdresser credit? Go figure, and don't tell me one was needed to create a wet look! Frankly, I think the fewer people on a shoot the better. (If you go to Horvatland.com and read the interviews you will find all of this covered and expressed far more nicely than I am capable of doing; in particular, read Sarah Moon.)

Something far more accessible to the general photographic public: portraiture or head shots. Whatever you do there takes creativity because again, you start with next to nothing and have to make something happen to get anything worthwhile. It doesn't matter how good you are, how experienced - whatever you find yourself doing you are creating. Isn't that more worthwhile than just hanging around waiting for a cloud to sit just so over Half Dome? Frankly, apart from the very necessary money, the joy in all of that shooting, for me at least, was in the doing. It really didn't much matter emotionally after the shooting - in fact, one of the most lonely, drained moments I got to experience was the empty white roll after the model had gone home. Think about that for a moment - if it doesn't prove that for one peson at least it was the creativity of the shooting that mattered, then nothing will.

That's basically the difference I see between shooting a row of buildings, however well, and creating something before the camera that did not previously exist, beyond whatever Mother Nature might already have provided on her own in the way of physical reality and light.

Rob C
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pegelli
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« Reply #33 on: March 22, 2010, 06:44:26 AM »
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Rob, I agree that for a model or portrait shoot a larger number of creative acts are performed (directing the scene and taking the shot) vs. a photograph of houses, nature or rocks. In those other cases the directing of the scene takes a much lower proportion. However there is still the creative acts of capturing the right light, choosing where to stand, what to include and exclude from the scene, how to accentuate depth (or not) etc. etc. To say no creativity is involved as "it's all allready there" is in my mind an oversimplification of this style of photography. You may not like or enjoy doing it, you may not like the results of others but it still involves a unique creative process.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 06:45:41 AM by pegelli » Logged

pieter, aka pegelli
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« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2010, 07:31:58 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Rob C

Got it ... only what you did is photography, only the cameras that suit you are worth making, etc.

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ckimmerle
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« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2010, 03:34:04 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Isn't that more worthwhile than just hanging around waiting for a cloud to sit just so over Half Dome?

Rob,

For the most part, I agree with your last post. Where I depart is the above statement, as I think you really underestimate both the passion of the photographers as well as the time/energy/creativity/emotions and thought involved in shooting landscapes, at least for those of us who are very serious about it. "Waiting" is the least of what we do. That feeling you get when staring at a white backdrop after the shoot is the same exact feeling I get when the car door opens and I shove my bag in the back seat after a long day of photographing. Exactly the same.

Landscape photography, as an art, gets it's bad rap because it's so easy to do it badly. It's proven millions of times each day on Flickr, Photoshelter, and the like. Of that, there's no denying. However, we can't all be lumped into that same mold, just as studio shooters, like yourself, should not be lumped in with the plethora of photographers shooting high school senior portraits and puppies. Apologies if you really do shoot puppy pictures  

The trouble with the OP was not that the "painted ladies" photo was taken (souvenirs are a perfectly acceptable use of photography) but that it was posted in a CRITIQUE forum of a photo site. Therefore it was treated as if it were supposed to be a piece of fine art. I was as critical as anyone, but perhaps we should have critiqued it as a "souvenir" photo rather than a piece of art, in which case I would have said "nice juxtaposition and good exposure". Not very helpful, but perhaps more fair.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 03:38:26 PM by ckimmerle » Logged

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

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Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2010, 05:25:17 PM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
Rob,

For the most part, I agree with your last post. Where I depart is the above statement, as I think you really underestimate both the passion of the photographers as well as the time/energy/creativity/emotions and thought involved in shooting landscapes, at least for those of us who are very serious about it. "Waiting" is the least of what we do. That feeling you get when staring at a white backdrop after the shoot is the same exact feeling I get when the car door opens and I shove my bag in the back seat after a long day of photographing. Exactly the same.

Landscape photography, as an art, gets it's bad rap because it's so easy to do it badly. It's proven millions of times each day on Flickr, Photoshelter, and the like. Of that, there's no denying. However, we can't all be lumped into that same mold, just as studio shooters, like yourself, should not be lumped in with the plethora of photographers shooting high school senior portraits and puppies. Apologies if you really do shoot puppy pictures  

The trouble with the OP was not that the "painted ladies" photo was taken (souvenirs are a perfectly acceptable use of photography) but that it was posted in a CRITIQUE forum of a photo site. Therefore it was treated as if it were supposed to be a piece of fine art. I was as critical as anyone, but perhaps we should have critiqued it as a "souvenir" photo rather than a piece of art, in which case I would have said "nice juxtaposition and good exposure". Not very helpful, but perhaps more fair.



Chuck, I am not denying that the other types of photography do enthuse other people and that my loves leave them cold, but that still dodges or misses my question which is, basically, why? But perhaps you have really answered it with the reference to my empty Colorama roll of white: these other forms are still emotional tugs of war. Good enough, even if I can't quite understand the why of that!

For my part, I'm happy to leave it on that note - to each his own, and why ever not?

No, I only ever shot one dog shot - I had to get a passport together for our alsabrador when we exported her to Spain - needed for the rabies shot document. I'd have thought that one alsabrador was indistinguishable from any other, just like black cats. As an aside, I realised then that getting a large dog's head into focus from tip of nose to back of ears is not for the faint-hearted. I failed miserably, but the print was small...

Rob C
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pegelli
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« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2010, 05:49:43 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
I am not denying that the other types of photography do enthuse other people and that my loves leave them cold, but that still dodges or misses my question which is, basically, why?

Don't think anybody is dodging your question. To the contrary, I think you're dodging the answers.
The fact these answers are not sufficient for you to take a similar photograph is a different matter, but also realise nobody is forcing you to do that.

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pieter, aka pegelli
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« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2010, 03:12:17 AM »
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Why?

Because it is fun? Just for self-fulfillment? Pretty mundane reasons, I know; but do we really need a reason?

If I extrapolated your line of reasoning, I think I would lose all motivations to wake up each morning; or perhaps I would find the urge to make a radical change to my lifestyle, who knows...
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