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Author Topic: A few from Spain  (Read 3459 times)
RSL
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2010, 10:30:05 AM »
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Eric, No it's not "another face." It's the face of a unique human being -- very different from one rock which is pretty much like another rock, or one tree which is pretty much like another tree, or one sunset which is pretty much like another sunset.

It's a fine shot, Seamus. My only beef, if I have one, is that I wish you'd included more context -- placed the guy in his environment -- the same way you placed the Druid in his woods. Still... that's a wonderful face with a great deal of the poetry of living written in it. Bravo!
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seamus finn
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2010, 01:21:22 PM »
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Thanks, Russ. That's what I felt too - a hard life etched in that face. I tried to place him in his environment but things were complicated by his two playful dogs who romped around the place and occupied his fond attention during my brief stop there. All attempts to get himself, his dogs and his herd into any sort of decent shot failed miserably.  My best effort at an environmental shot was this:


[attachment=21956:goat_herder2.jpg]


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RSL
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2010, 03:37:25 PM »
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Seamus, That's what I suspected happened. Sometimes it's just not possible to include enough environment. It's a wonderful face. Here's another. He's a very successful painter who lives in my town. I've known him since about 1972. When I shot this he was watching a coffin race and I had the same problem you had. Couldn't get him in his environment.

[attachment=21957:Rockey.jpg]
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seamus finn
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2010, 07:27:45 AM »
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Great shot, Russ. More often than not, as you and everybody here well knows, the Gods like to be perverse and sometimes just won't co-operate in aligning the elements of person and location to morph into the perfect environmental shot - or any other kind of shot for that matter - especially when you're on the run and haven't time to be patient. You managed to avoid that dilemma with your 'Starbucks at Night' image which I have returned to many times on your own website. Now, that's a face in the environment.

There are times when you have to throw the environment to the winds and go for the face - well, I do anyway. Some people of this parish may say such shots are cliches - the grizzled face, white hair, impressive beard and so on - but to me, they are a landscape of the human condition.


Regards,

Seamus
« Last Edit: May 14, 2010, 07:37:07 AM by seamus finn » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2010, 10:37:24 AM »
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Quote from: seamus finn
You managed to avoid that dilemma with your 'Starbucks at Night' image which I have returned to many times on your own website. Now, that's a face in the environment.

Seamus, When I shot that picture that poor old hobo was in the Starbucks directly below my office -- where I'm sitting at the moment as I write this. Once, about three years ago he collapsed just outside Starbucks and the emergency medical techs had to hustle him off. Unfortunately I haven't seen him for two years now. I suspect he may no longer be with us.
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seamus finn
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2010, 11:03:26 AM »
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I wonder does that knowledge, or the information about the goat herder or Russ's painter friend or background on any other of the images featured in these posts, add to the pictures?

A few years ago, I went to an exhibition of war photographs taken by the top practitioners of the art. After I viewed each image, I then read an accompanying piece of text written for each picture by the journalist John Pilger.  The text, the context, changed everything. I went back and looked at them again. The second time around, the images were immeasurably more powerful.

Just a thought.....
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RSL
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2010, 01:54:45 PM »
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Seamus, I know that's true because I've had the same kind of experience. But I always kick myself when it happens because deep down I feel visual art should be able to stand on its own, without the need for words. Yet I think about some of the most powerful photography I'm familiar with -- two by Dorothea Lange for starters. I always wonder whether the impact of "White Angel Breadline," or "Migrant Mother" depends on my knowledge -- some of it first-hand -- of the great depression. There's no way for me to know because I can't shed the knowledge. The problem isn't confined to photography. It seems to me that Picasso's "Guernica" would be utterly unintelligible without at least some knowledge of the war with which it's associated.
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