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Author Topic: Art Wolfe's article  (Read 8961 times)
Ray
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« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2010, 03:27:43 AM »
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There is something to learn here. I tend to agree with Ben Rubinstein. The white vertical splits the image in two, and the reason principally is that the dividing vertical is so bright it distracts the attention. There's therefore a lack of communication between the left and right sides of the image.

I prefer the following rendition.

[attachment=21364:Art_Wolf...bodia7_1.jpg]

I've visited Angkor a few times in my life, the first time about 46 years ago. It's a marvellous place of photographic opportunities; well worth a visit.

On second thoughts, there is a psychological element here which perhaps transcends rules of composition. The distracting white vertical which splits the image in two in almost a dissociative way (or perhaps in a distinctly dissociative way) could have an intended moral meaning; ie. monks should not associate with dancing girls.  

[attachment=21365:Art_Wolf...ambodia7.jpg]
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 04:03:38 AM by Ray » Logged
stamper
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2010, 05:01:52 AM »
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I think that some of you don't get it? IMO he has chosen a less than "perfect" image in order to portray the thrust of what he means in regards to making a good composition. With regards to the white line down the middle then he did state it wasn't a good idea so posting an edited version wasn't necessary? A member decides if the article has some merit with regards to learning  - including myself - or they think that they don't need to be educated about composition - such as Rob C - and see the article for what it was, an attempt to be educational.
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jenbenn
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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2010, 06:32:18 AM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
Some of you totally missed the point of Art's article. It wasn't about the final image (or any of the others), it was about his PROCESS of thought. Get over yourselves, folks. Art didn't write his article hoping for critiques, he wrote it to help us become better photographers by opening our eyes to, perhaps, other possibilities we may not have considered.
If it was just for the process and not for the final result, I wonder why Art bothered to write this article. After all, he has descirbed the very same process two or three months back  with the example of another image (the cormoran fisher). His approach was entirely the same last time. Actually, it was much more all-encompassing, because not only did he describe the process of arriving at the final composition, but he also talked about using light.
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stamper
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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2010, 06:55:09 AM »
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Quote from: jenbenn
If it was just for the process and not for the final result, I wonder why Art bothered to write this article. After all, he has descirbed the very same process two or three months back  with the example of another image (the cormoran fisher). His approach was entirely the same last time. Actually, it was much more all-encompassing, because not only did he describe the process of arriving at the final composition, but he also talked about using light.

Was the article posted here?
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jenbenn
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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2010, 07:44:01 AM »
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Quote from: stamper
Was the article posted here?

Yep. Look here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/...fisherman.shtml
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tokengirl
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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2010, 08:01:26 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
There is something to learn here. I tend to agree with Ben Rubinstein. The white vertical splits the image in two, and the reason principally is that the dividing vertical is so bright it distracts the attention. There's therefore a lack of communication between the left and right sides of the image.

I prefer the following rendition.

[attachment=21364:Art_Wolf...bodia7_1.jpg]

I've visited Angkor a few times in my life, the first time about 46 years ago. It's a marvellous place of photographic opportunities; well worth a visit.

On second thoughts, there is a psychological element here which perhaps transcends rules of composition. The distracting white vertical which splits the image in two in almost a dissociative way (or perhaps in a distinctly dissociative way) could have an intended moral meaning; ie. monks should not associate with dancing girls.  

[attachment=21365:Art_Wolf...ambodia7.jpg]

Did Art Wolfe give you permission to edit his work?
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stamper
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« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2010, 08:06:53 AM »
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Quote from: jenbenn

Did you find that boring, or was it more to your taste?
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2010, 08:20:38 AM »
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Gotta say, I just don't know how Art Wolfe made it so far without all of us to help him along. Now that we're giving him advice on photography and photographic education, I'm sure his career will flourish. He'll be here any minute to thank us all.
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jenbenn
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« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2010, 08:24:44 AM »
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Quote from: stamper
Did you find that boring, or was it more to your taste?
This was an excellent article and an excellent image. The new article was, in my view at least,  the same thing but less comprehensive and with a very boring image. So I wondered why he wrote it. Art has shot so many great images  that offer new aspects for discussion and teaching. Read my very first post, I made that very clear.
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jenbenn
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« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2010, 08:39:17 AM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
Gotta say, I just don't know how Art Wolfe made it so far without all of us to help him along. Now that we're giving him advice on photography and photographic education, I'm sure his career will flourish. He'll be here any minute to thank us all.

This thread is not about giving Art advice on Photography. He certainly doesnt need that. As for me, I am giving MY PEROSONAL feedback  as a student. Werent you asked  by your teacher in school how you found their way of teaching? Didnt they ask whether their way of explaining things to you, helped you understand?  All i am saying here is that if Art had used a different image to make his point, I personally and not anybody else, would have profited from his efforts to a greater extend. This is meant as constructive feedback not as criticism. I dont get why some people think that it is inappropriate to tell somebody that their effort was not helpful to you. I  am always looking for feedback, even when I am doing things for free.
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stamper
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« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2010, 08:42:15 AM »
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Quote from: jenbenn
This was an excellent article and an excellent image. The new article was, in my view at least,  the same thing but less comprehensive and with a very boring image. So I wondered why he wrote it. Art has shot so many great images  that offer new aspects for discussion and teaching. Read my very first post, I made that very clear.

Have you tried contacting him with your points?
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jenbenn
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« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2010, 09:10:57 AM »
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Quote from: stamper
Have you tried contacting him with your points?
Not yet, I wanted to see whether I was the only one with different expectations or not.  Maybe this was a tactical mistake, since we  have been mostly discussing why some of us feel the way they feel about Art`s article, which is rather pointless. Opinions are opinions and saying they are bad opinions will not change them.  Anyway, right now I can only conclude that people bothering to post here are divided on the question while many others didnt bother to give an opinion at all.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2010, 10:28:41 AM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
Gotta say, I just don't know how Art Wolfe made it so far without all of us to help him along. Now that we're giving him advice on photography and photographic education, I'm sure his career will flourish. He'll be here any minute to thank us all.

  +1!


I'm especially impressed by the detailed essays on how to compose an image that have been presented here by all of the critics. Their step-by-step illustrations with detailed explanations positively take my breath away. Perhaps we should have a poll to decide which of the comments provide the greatest help to someone struggling with composition.  

Eric

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Rob C
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« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2010, 10:50:17 AM »
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I suppose that age doesn't come alone: it hefts a helluva lot of scepticism which sees what some think of as help as little more than personal image building, the creation of an ever greater (or at least more recognized) self.

Cool; let them all fight wars over you... you can't lose!

Rob C
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 10:51:09 AM by Rob C » Logged

jenbenn
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« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2010, 11:27:37 AM »
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Quote from: Eric Myrvaagnes
+1!


I'm especially impressed by the detailed essays on how to compose an image that have been presented here by all of the critics. Their step-by-step illustrations with detailed explanations positively take my breath away. Perhaps we should have a poll to decide which of the comments provide the greatest help to someone struggling with composition.  

Eric
IF your reasoning was correct, no criticism would ever be allowed. Would you agree that one must not criticise a politician unless one is an active politician? Likewise should one not be allowed to say that one didnt like a particluar article on photography unless one has written articles oneself? Criticism must of course be resonable, but if more people were of your opinion, we would live in a dictatorship because only the dictator may criticise the dictator. Anyway, this is my last post here. Internet forums are apprently not the place for sensible discussions.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2010, 01:40:05 PM »
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Quote from: jenbenn
IF your reasoning was correct, no criticism would ever be allowed. Would you agree that one must not criticise a politician unless one is an active politician? Likewise should one not be allowed to say that one didnt like a particluar article on photography unless one has written articles oneself? Criticism must of course be resonable, but if more people were of your opinion, we would live in a dictatorship because only the dictator may criticise the dictator. Anyway, this is my last post here. Internet forums are apprently not the place for sensible discussions.

Jens,


I'm sorry my facetious post upset you. Your response suggests to me that you totally misunderstood my post, and your response is completely irrelevant. In case you didn't realize it, my post was not particularly aimed at you.

Eric

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LKaven
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« Reply #36 on: April 08, 2010, 03:04:23 PM »
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Quote from: Peter Stacey
On a photography forum, proofreaders should be anonymous.

It doesn't change the meaning or understanding of the article, so who cares (other than the not-so-anonymous proofreaders).
It wasn't a forum post, it was a published article.  Obviously my post was lighthearted.  You had to hit me for that?  Anyway, this isn't a site for illiterates like certain others.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #37 on: April 08, 2010, 04:53:53 PM »
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I'm probably coming into this late, but, I've been to locations that "called" to me only to find capturing that  to be difficult or even impossible.  I for one appreciate Art's article.
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Ray
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« Reply #38 on: April 08, 2010, 09:06:21 PM »
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It's difficult to understand why anyone would find this image from Art Wolfe boring. Is it because such people have seen so many very fine images of the temples at Angkor that this particular one seems jaded by comparison? Or is it because some viewers have little knowledge of Angkor and therefore no associations that spring to mind?

For the benefit of those who don't already know, the Khmer civilisation with its centre at Angkor Wat in Cambodia was once the greatest empire in the region during the Middle Ages. It was the largest preindustrial city in the world with an elaborate system of infrastruction connecting an urban sprawl of 1,000 square kilometers.

These ancient people had no trouble subduing the Vietnamese, a task in which the Americans failed misearably a thousand years later.

The Khmers were eventually conquered by the Thais around 1431, so history tells us. But there's new evidence that the Thais had a lot of help from Climate Change.

Those of us who have been following the climate change debate will know that the 'alarmists' (those who think our CO2 emissions are responsible for the current change in climate) produced a graph a few years ago, known as the 'Hockey Stick', which implied that the Medieval Warming Period never existed, a position which is clearly in conflict with other evidence such as the inhabitation of Greenland by the ancient Vikings during this warm period and their eventual abandonment of that island as it became increasingly uninhabitable due to the effects of The Little Ice Age  (from about 1250-1850).

It is now believed, through the study of tree rings, that this transition from the MWP to the LIA, also caused massive climate change in Cambodia, a country that relies upon the melting snows in the Himalayas and the regular appearance of the monsoon rains every year. This weather pattern which kept the reservoirs full and provided sufficient water for a very bountiful rice harvest was a strong component in the success of this empire.

After a few years of unusually cold weather in the Himalayas, causing a disruption to the annual melting of the snow which fed the great Mekong river, plus the frequent non-appearance of the annual monsoon during this transition period from the MWP to the LIA, would have caused havoc and would have severely weakened the Khmer empire, making it vulnerable to attack from the neighbouring Thais.

Now what has this history lesson got to do with Art Wolfe's image, you might ask?

Whenever I see an image of the ruins at Angkor, these are the thoughts that spring to my mind, particularly because this ancient civilization left no books, nor literature nor philosophy as the ancient Greeks and Romans did. Almost the entire creative output of these people was channeled into the construction of magnificent temples adorned with magnificent, bas-relief carvings of bare-breasted women, as well as other bas-reliefs depicting various battles, myths and their general culture and way of life.

If you'd been there a thousand years ago, you would not have seen the current, dull brown temple spires rising above the green foliage of the jungle, but brilliant white spires imitating the shape of lotus flowers. Yes! They painted their temples white, and the carvings of celestial dancing girls and other depictions of members of the royal family would have been painted with red ochre and black, and other parts covered with gold leaf.

The lifestyle was hedonistic and the Khmer women had such a reputation for their beauty and friendliness that many a Chinese sailor would jump ship, whenever a ship was berthed in the vicinity of Angkor, in order to spend the rest of his life amidst such alluring splendour.

Boring indeed!

(Sorry! Art. Not quite a thousand words   ).
« Last Edit: April 08, 2010, 09:24:43 PM by Ray » Logged
John R Smith
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« Reply #39 on: April 09, 2010, 02:58:26 AM »
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All of that was extremely interesting and well-written, Ray, and has made me want to find out more. Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

The problem is that a photograph has to stand on its own (visual) merits. Unless of course it was intended to be an illustration for an article about Angkor Wat.

John
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 02:58:50 AM by John R Smith » Logged

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