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Author Topic: Art Wolfe's article  (Read 9821 times)
stamper
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« Reply #40 on: April 09, 2010, 03:29:59 AM »
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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.

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It is a pity - or maybe not - that Art hasn't posted something in reply to what has been said. The last sentence stated above is - imo - the only way to view the image for what it was? If I was a well known highly rated photographer then I wouldn't send one of my best images to a public forum. Any reasonable one would do to illustrate the thrust of an article. It is a pity that this thread got started on such a negative footing which meant the merits of the article didn't get discussed properly?
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fredjeang
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« Reply #41 on: April 09, 2010, 04:07:28 AM »
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Quote from: stamper
Quote

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.

Unquote

It is a pity - or maybe not - that Art hasn't posted something in reply to what has been said. The last sentence stated above is - imo - the only way to view the image for what it was? If I was a well known highly rated photographer then I wouldn't send one of my best images to a public forum. Any reasonable one would do to illustrate the thrust of an article. It is a pity that this thread got started on such a negative footing which meant the merits of the article didn't get discussed properly?
Stamper,
Have you ever seen a terrific picture of this place? I've never seen one. This place is boring like hell.
Can someone post here a great pic of Angkor?
As I pointed before, it is one of the worst place for photography, and one of the most boring area if to be unique is your goal. (like the Eiffel tower for example).
All the pic I saw so far from here are just boring, but of course I do not pretend to have seen everything.

The Art article is EDUCATIVE, and the pics are there to show a process or illustrate idea, THERE ARE NOT THERE TO INFLATES ART'S EGO.

I thing Art is perfectly aware that these are not his very best pics, come one guys! It is obvious.
So I'm not surprised he has not reply so far because there is no reason to reply.

The article is here, if some of us find interest in it, it has acheive its goal.

Fred.


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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #42 on: April 09, 2010, 04:09:35 AM »
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My thoughts are that the 'wow'-ness of the photo is irellevant. The point is that you don't teach composition based on an image that many would consider a composition fail. I'm all for breaking the rules when it works. This just doesn't (IMO) and assuming that people will disagree with me, why teach composition at a basic level based on something which not only breaks the rules but arguably unsucessfully?
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jenbenn
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« Reply #43 on: April 09, 2010, 04:48:41 AM »
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Quote from: Ben Rubinstein
My thoughts are that the 'wow'-ness of the photo is irellevant. The point is that you don't teach composition based on an image that many would consider a composition fail. I'm all for breaking the rules when it works. This just doesn't (IMO) and assuming that people will disagree with me, why teach composition at a basic level based on something which not only breaks the rules but arguably unsucessfully?
OK I am being untrue to myself, by skipping in again, although I wanted to leave for good.

 Point is that there are many very good photography from Angkor Wat, with fascinating composition. For example: www.stevemccurry.com. There was also a National Geographic article about 2 years back from another photographer which featured a breathtaking image of a monk in the temples of angkor. Therefore it is simply untrue when somebody above said that one couldnt take great photographs at Angkor.

Anyways, in my humble opinion this photograph is  failure compostion wise, as it falls in two equal sides, making the eye jump left and right without any clear focus point.  Therefore I was not drawn into the image but bored by it. This made me conclude that it wasnt the right example for an article on composition, given that ARt does indeed take stunning photographs. This one just wasnt one of them.

I wonder if people thought the same if the image didnt have the sticker Art Wolfe attached to it....... Propably it is the same as in sports. If Michael Jordan delivered one of his very rare bad performances his fans still fiercly argued that he was the best player on court that particular night.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #44 on: April 09, 2010, 07:03:56 AM »
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Quote from: jenbenn
OK I am being untrue to myself, by skipping in again, although I wanted to leave for good.

 Point is that there are many very good photography from Angkor Wat, with fascinating composition. For example: www.stevemccurry.com. There was also a National Geographic article about 2 years back from another photographer which featured a breathtaking image of a monk in the temples of angkor. Therefore it is simply untrue when somebody above said that one couldnt take great photographs at Angkor.

Anyways, in my humble opinion this photograph is  failure compostion wise, as it falls in two equal sides, making the eye jump left and right without any clear focus point.  Therefore I was not drawn into the image but bored by it. This made me conclude that it wasnt the right example for an article on composition, given that ARt does indeed take stunning photographs. This one just wasnt one of them.

I wonder if people thought the same if the image didnt have the sticker Art Wolfe attached to it....... Propably it is the same as in sports. If Michael Jordan delivered one of his very rare bad performances his fans still fiercly argued that he was the best player on court that particular night.
I'm the one who pointed that I have not seen so far outstanding pictures of Angkor, but I did not write that one could not take great pics of this place.
There is a BIG difference and as often, comments onces written, pass through the filter of interpretations and become distorted. So you won't get angry if I rectify here this little difference that I did not write.

My previous written:
Have you ever seen a terrific picture of this place? I've never seen one.
and concluded: All the pic I saw so far from here are just boring, but of course I do not pretend to have seen everything.

So, you see that it is not what you understood (or wanted to understood)    of my post.

A part from that, I agree with what you say.

Cheers,

Fred.
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jenbenn
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« Reply #45 on: April 09, 2010, 07:13:52 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
I'm the one who pointed that I have not seen so far outstanding pictures of Angkor, but I did not write that one could not take great pics of this place.
There is a BIG difference and as often, comments onces written, pass through the filter of interpretations and become distorted. So you won't get angry if I rectify here this little difference that I did not write.

My previous written:
Have you ever seen a terrific picture of this place? I've never seen one.
and concluded: All the pic I saw so far from here are just boring, but of course I do not pretend to have seen everything.

So, you see that it is not what you understood (or wanted to understood)    of my post.

A part from that, I agree with what you say.

Cheers,

Fred.
Fair enough. I indeed distorted your statement a bit. Sorry, wasnt intentional.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #46 on: April 09, 2010, 07:48:20 AM »
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Jens, the problem is that you're so obsessed with the final image that you're totally missing the point of the article. It's about the journey, not the destination.

It matters not WHO, or WHAT, or WHERE. The article is about the WHY!
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« Reply #47 on: April 09, 2010, 08:00:49 AM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
Jens, the problem is that you're so obsessed with the final image that you're totally missing the point of the article. It's about the journey, not the destination.

It matters not WHO, or WHAT, or WHERE. The article is about the WHY!
Very true. Obsessed is just a harsh word, but yes, I strongly believe photography is about the final result. I think the teacher should make his point on his best images, so that the student has something to live up to. I am just not motivated if someone shows me how to create a so-so photo. This is not what I am after.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #48 on: April 09, 2010, 08:14:29 AM »
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Quote from: jenbenn
Very true. Obsessed is just a harsh word, but yes, I strongly believe photography is about the final result. I think the teacher should make his point on his best images, so that the student has something to live up to. I am just not motivated if someone shows me how to create a so-so photo. This is not what I am after.

You're right. Photography IS about the final result. Photographic education and teaching, however, is about the process.

If you were taught otherwise, you were taught wrong.
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« Reply #49 on: April 09, 2010, 08:34:45 AM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
You're right. Photography IS about the final result. Photographic education and teaching, however, is about the process.

If you were taught otherwise, you were taught wrong.
Fair enough, our opinions differ here. You say a so-so photos is sufficient for teaching; I say its not. Your statement that I was taught "wrong" seems to be ladden with prejudice however.  I just prefer to study high quality images not low quality ones.  
In the end, a teacher has to show his students why the student should take the effort to study. If he tells the student to study for the sake of learning the process, thats kind of demotivating. In my opinion, a teacher must show a student what he will be able to do with what he studied. Showing world class images is important in that regard. Compare it to you school days. Did you learn to analyze a novel or a poem on the example of something your teacher quickly scribbled on a piece of paper during the break or did your teacher made you read and analyzie fine writings by good authors?

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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2010, 09:22:30 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
Stamper,
Have you ever seen a terrific picture of this place? I've never seen one. This place is boring like hell.
Can someone post here a great pic of Angkor?
As I pointed before, it is one of the worst place for photography, and one of the most boring area if to be unique is your goal. (like the Eiffel tower for example).
All the pic I saw so far from here are just boring, but of course I do not pretend to have seen everything.
Fred.
Wow.. to paint with such a broad brush..

Yes, I've seen 'terrific' images taken inside the Angkor complex.  I've also walked the side streets and observed some outstanding oils produced by local artists.  In Siem Reap proper you'll find several art studios featuring wonderful photography and of course with prints for sale.  One studio stands out in my mind.  They sold exclusively infrared captures which lend themselves very well to the venue.  Fantastic work.  Of course it involved spending some time on a site, learning some of the culture, observing the weather, perhaps even finding a knowledgeable guide.  The locals who live there can be a great help.

Boring?  I suppose we all find different things exciting, other things boring.  Angkor is what I classify as a target rich environment.  There are many opportunities for unique and interesting images.. but perhaps not if you stand in the crowd and point your camera in the same direction as the tourists.  

It's true that it's a major challenge.  The natural light is often difficult to work with and finding color to add to the composition requires a bit of thought.  

Personally.. I think this is a very easy place for a talented photographer to make great photographs, often more unique than you might expect.  And it's easy for the talented photographer, for exactly the reasons you stated which would prove difficult to most.

I highly encourage anyone looking for a life experience to visit Angkor.  I'd recommend they go at the right time of the year, find a good guide (inexpensive) based on recommendations, and not follow the herd.  Spend enough time at each site to really see what's there.
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Ray
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« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2010, 09:53:34 AM »
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Quote from: John R Smith
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

Well, thanks for thanking me.  

I understand what you mean, but I wonder if any photograph (or painting) really does stand on its own visual merits. Surely it always needs an interpretation (by the viewer) to be fully appreciated, and such interpretation always requires some degree of cultural familiarity with the subject matter or content.

Returning to Art Wolfe's article, I see his final comment on the image is as follows:
Quote
Ordinarily, the bright vertical strip of sun lit sandstone would bother me, but in this case it seems like a border between the past and present and accentuates the verticals of the temple's pillars.

Without any cultural interpretation, the vertical sunlit strip of sandstone seems a compositional flaw. I would prefer it to be toned down, but not necessarily as much as I indicated in a previous post. These sorts of things are always very subjective judgements.

For me, the reason that Art gives us, that it seems an appropriate border between the past and present, doesn't work for me because I understand that the present, on the right side of the image, is symbolically even further in the past than the bas-relief dancing ladies on the left. Buddhism is 2,500 years old, as symbolized by the red robe the monk is wearing, whereas the temple he's sitting in is only about 1,000 years old.

One major problem when trying to get good photographs of the temples at Angkor, is that there are so many tourists infuriatingly always in the way. The only people one really wants to see in one's photos are those who fit naturally into the environment, such as Buddhist monks or Apsara dancing ladies.

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fredjeang
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« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2010, 10:14:39 AM »
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Quote from: Steve Weldon
Wow.. to paint with such a broad brush..

Yes, I've seen 'terrific' images taken inside the Angkor complex.  I've also walked the side streets and observed some outstanding oils produced by local artists.  In Siem Reap proper you'll find several art studios featuring wonderful photography and of course with prints for sale.  One studio stands out in my mind.  They sold exclusively infrared captures which lend themselves very well to the venue.  Fantastic work.  Of course it involved spending some time on a site, learning some of the culture, observing the weather, perhaps even finding a knowledgeable guide.  The locals who live there can be a great help.

Boring?  I suppose we all find different things exciting, other things boring.  Angkor is what I classify as a target rich environment.  There are many opportunities for unique and interesting images.. but perhaps not if you stand in the crowd and point your camera in the same direction as the tourists.  

It's true that it's a major challenge.  The natural light is often difficult to work with and finding color to add to the composition requires a bit of thought.  

Personally.. I think this is a very easy place for a talented photographer to make great photographs, often more unique than you might expect.  And it's easy for the talented photographer, for exactly the reasons you stated which would prove difficult to most.

I highly encourage anyone looking for a life experience to visit Angkor.  I'd recommend they go at the right time of the year, find a good guide (inexpensive) based on recommendations, and not follow the herd.  Spend enough time at each site to really see what's there.
I certainly agree with what you say.
I volontary pointed one side of the coin, you made the other one.

But back to the article,
It has been said by many that the pics where not at the normal Art's level. Fair enough. But I also noticed that some people did liked the pics, and not specially beginners. So where is the truth?
And the question stands: for a (in)formative content, does "top class art" has to be involved and if not, then the content will be discreditated? I think that depends on how onces take the content.

Fred.
 
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jenbenn
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« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2010, 10:26:24 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
I certainly agree with what you say.
I volontary pointed one side of the coin, you made the other one.

But back to the article,
It has been said by many that the pics where not at the normal Art's level. Fair enough. But I also noticed that some people did liked the pics, and not specially beginners. So where is the truth?
And the question stands: for a (in)formative content, does "top class art" has to be involved and if not, then the content will be discreditated? I think that depends on how onces take the content.

Fred.
This has nothing to do with discrediting anybody nor anybody's work. It is giving an opinion that a differnt image might have illustarted ARt's point clearer to me and some other people. This is meant as feedback for the author so that he knows from which kind of image his audience would take the greatest profit. After all it doesnt cost Art anything to choose one image over the other. Here we are simply giving opinions, so that he may have a guideline what people like to read and see for his next article. Maybe he understands my position, maybe he likes yours better. I dont know. I just felt that a thread giving feedback is  fairer to the author than leaving him in the dark about his audience's opinion.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #54 on: April 09, 2010, 10:36:52 AM »
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oh my god!    I just realised how many grammatical and spelling mistakes I'm making with my english in my posts...
Sorry for that mess.
I do not use corrector for the speed.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #55 on: April 09, 2010, 11:44:04 AM »
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Quote from: jenbenn
OK I am being untrue to myself, by skipping in again, although I wanted to leave for good.

 Point is that there are many very good photography from Angkor Wat, with fascinating composition. For example: www.stevemccurry.com. There was also a National Geographic article about 2 years back from another photographer which featured a breathtaking image of a monk in the temples of angkor. Therefore it is simply untrue when somebody above said that one couldnt take great photographs at Angkor.

Anyways, in my humble opinion this photograph is  failure compostion wise, as it falls in two equal sides, making the eye jump left and right without any clear focus point.  Therefore I was not drawn into the image but bored by it. This made me conclude that it wasnt the right example for an article on composition, given that ARt does indeed take stunning photographs. This one just wasnt one of them.

I wonder if people thought the same if the image didnt have the sticker Art Wolfe attached to it....... Propably it is the same as in sports. If Michael Jordan delivered one of his very rare bad performances his fans still fiercly argued that he was the best player on court that particular night.
Mc Curry (great photographer) did brillantly the 1, 6, 17 and 19 # according to me. The last 2 ones are really singular and escapes the "one more pic of the stones" that are usually taken.

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jenbenn
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« Reply #56 on: April 09, 2010, 12:08:36 PM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
Mc Curry (great photographer) did brillantly the 1, 6, 17 and 19 # according to me. The last 2 ones are really singular and escapes the "one more pic of the stones" that are usually taken.
Great, hum? I really like McCurry a lot. Sadly he changed the look of his images when he switched to digital. His post 2004 photographs are a little bit brighter and  a lot less contrasty with lower black point, which makes them less athmospheric than the old ones.
Does anybody know whether it is possible to duplicate that old Kodachrome look with digital? Any good Lightroom presets /color profiles? So far I have found only bad ones, that dont even get close to the original look.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #57 on: April 09, 2010, 01:31:35 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
One major problem when trying to get good photographs of the temples at Angkor, is that there are so many tourists infuriatingly always in the way. The only people one really wants to see in one's photos are those who fit naturally into the environment, such as Buddhist monks or Apsara dancing ladies.
Perspective..

The first time I photographed Angkor I spent over 3 weeks patiently waiting for groups of tourists to pass by and capturing the scenes without people.  The only exceptions was the day I started the rent-a-monk program and made a few captures using their services.

In the months of post processing that followed I kept getting the feeling something significant was missing from the images.. turns out it was people.

I've since been back more than a few times and stopped worrying about 'most' of the people.  The huge tour buses of Koreans and Chinese still bother me.. they're loud and very disrespectful of what the locals consider a very sacred site.. so I suppose I still have my limits..
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tokengirl
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« Reply #58 on: April 09, 2010, 02:27:51 PM »
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Quote from: jenbenn
Does anybody know whether it is possible to duplicate that old Kodachrome look with digital? Any good Lightroom presets /color profiles? So far I have found only bad ones, that dont even get close to the original look.

have you tried this:

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=40779

It's not a total solution, but a pretty good starting point.
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« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2010, 10:16:19 PM »
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Quote from: stamper
It is a pity - or maybe not - that Art hasn't posted something in reply to what has been said.

You ARE kidding...right?

Art should not come on to this chicken coop and waste his time talking to you bunch of "clucking hens"...seriously, Art has nothing better to do that get into the mud with you guys? Surely you jest...there is ZERO upside and massive downside for Art to post ANYTHING to ANYBODY in this thread...

Read the article...if the article helps you, cool...if the article doesn't help, move along and find something else to do...

Jeeeshe, talking about looking into the horse's mouth and complaining about cavities...if _YOU_ can do something _BETTER_, then do so and shut the F$%CK UP...ya know?
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