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Author Topic: San Cristobal de las Casas  (Read 4050 times)
Andres Bonilla
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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2010, 01:22:51 PM »
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Quote from: tom  b
Sorry, I find this type of photography to be offensive. Making peoples skin look worse that it actually is for some type of pseudo artistic affect is not on. This type of photography was popular in the 70s and it should stay there. Let people age with dignity. I bet you if you showed him this image he wouldn't be too impressed. If it were me, I wouldn't.

Cheers,
Tom, I do not think Señor Claudio Guadalupe would mind much about my photograph or your attitude towards it. This is a very quiet town with wonderful peaceful people that live simple but fulfilling lives, our prejudices and outlook on life and art has not much meaning down there.
Do not be sorry it is your personal feeling towards my work and that is valid also. In the 70's I was in primary school but I will research this type of style and attempt to see your point.

Andres
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Andres Bonilla
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2010, 01:27:01 PM »
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Quote from: EduPerez
I liked it very much! If I could change something, I would try to "clean" some zones where the texture looks to be "covering" the subject (right hand, left shoulder, top of hat, ...).
Yes! And that is the struggle when this type of approach, how much to take it in one direction or how much to leave the piece alone. In another forum I was advised to take it all the way to a complete painting, others like the combination of the two mediums; some would prefer the photo as is, not even a B/W  version.
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Andres Bonilla
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2010, 01:43:11 PM »
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Quote from: tom  b
I'd like to see an untouched original to see how much damage you've done to this guys image. Honestly, you wouldn't be giving the same treatment to some white guy from Boston. In my opinion this image shows a total lack of respect for this individual.

Cheers,
Well Tom I guess this work of mine has aroused some distorted perspective of respect, ethnicity and artistry. The reason why I photograph latinos is because I am hispanic and my work as a videographer takes to these places; if I were australian I would use the same style on some guy in Melbourne or Boston if I was in Massachusetts.  If you don't like the style it is perfectly fine but to pretend to understand the intent and character of the photographer only shows your mindset.
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Andres Bonilla
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2010, 01:44:54 PM »
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Quote from: psheleyimages
Sir..As to your remarks/opinion, here and in your previous remark I simply can not believe we are looking at the same portrait...and yes, I have moved it over onto a large calibrated moniter...

As an example of an environmental portrait (see the portrait work of Arnold Newman for an understanding of environmental portrait as intended here) I find, and believe many could not help but to find this outstanding...

as for my opinion...and this coming from a common woman whose heavy outdoor use and advanced age has her own superfluous shell headed in the same direction... this portrait goes for me beyond a technically and aesthetically and emotionally fine environmental portrait...it comes across powerfully as reverent....and I believe this man and his reverence for life and his life work would softly smile and look at the photographer through clear eyes, and say to himself...this man "gets it"  this man" knows and feels who I am...."   reverent...

...just an old woman's opinion though...

Pat
Thank you very much Pat, I wish I could express myself as clearly as you have! Thanks
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Andres Bonilla
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2010, 01:53:46 PM »
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Quote from: tokengirl
I think the image is great.  But a simple B&W would have seemed more natural to me?

I love Photoshop as much as anyone, but I think the treatment here is just too much.  There is so much "effect" going on that it almost looks like Scott Kelby threw up on your photo.  Don't misunderstand me, I don't see any problem with your techniques, they are well executed.  But I think this is a case where less would have been more.

Again, I really do think the image itself is great.
Ok this is the first time my work has inspired the viewer with images of vomit  But a reaction whatever it is ,is better than disregard...I guess.
Listen it is all a matter of personal taste, I was in Yosemite a few years back and as I was reading I found out that a few vocal photogs and art critics absolutely hated the B/W work of Ansel Adams, they thought his use of shadows and light was manipulative and unreal. The zone system was a gimmick and so on. More is less and less is more, I still know friends that would not shoot digital.

I'll try not to upset your stomach or Kelby's next ime
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tokengirl
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« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2010, 04:31:10 PM »
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Quote from: Andres Bonilla
Ok this is the first time my work has inspired the viewer with images of vomit  But a reaction whatever it is ,is better than disregard...I guess.
Listen it is all a matter of personal taste, I was in Yosemite a few years back and as I was reading I found out that a few vocal photogs and art critics absolutely hated the B/W work of Ansel Adams, they thought his use of shadows and light was manipulative and unreal. The zone system was a gimmick and so on. More is less and less is more, I still know friends that would not shoot digital.

I'll try not to upset your stomach or Kelby's next ime

I didn't literally mean vomit.      Like I said in my previous post, I really like the image.  There's just too many "effects" going on for my taste.

[/I need to stop assuming people will get my sense of humor.]
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fredjeang
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« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2010, 04:51:20 PM »
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Quote from: Andres Bonilla
Thanks Eric! I am still working this particular style, some are more photographic than others. Here is one that is less painterly but around the same intent.

This one is really right on the money.
This is what I call a perfectly balanced retouching, but you still keep the same strong style.
You got it there. IMO.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 04:53:15 PM by fredjeang » Logged
John R
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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2010, 06:54:12 PM »
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Quote from: Andres Bonilla
Yes! And that is the struggle when this type of approach, how much to take it in one direction or how much to leave the piece alone. In another forum I was advised to take it all the way to a complete painting, others like the combination of the two mediums; some would prefer the photo as is, not even a B/W  version.
Well, this looks to me to be a matter of personal taste. Once we accept photoshop, anything goes. I don't think one can compare the manipulations of the darkroom to digital manipulations. The former was greatly limited to mostly dodging and burning. Photoshop is almost unlimited except for one's ability. There are plugins galore. Your original is far removed in style from the original and could not possibly have been done by old darkroom methods. I remember the two old women well, and the image strikes me as almost a painting, an impression. I do like them as a kind of art, but for me they border on photo illustration rather photography as we have known it. This kind of discussion and debate will never go away as long as the two methods of film and digital shooting coexist. The work is well done.

JMR
« Last Edit: June 16, 2010, 07:33:02 PM by John R » Logged
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« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2010, 08:55:11 PM »
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John, As you probably can guess, I prefer the straight version too, though I'd use Photoshop to soften the background and emphasize the subject since the shot wasn't made with an aperture that would reduce depth of field enough.

I don't particularly like texturing of photographs in Photoshop or in the darkroom. But your idea that all you can do in a darkroom is dodge and burn tells me you've never done much darkroom work. The idea of the kind of sharpening we do with Photoshop, for instance, came from the darkroom procedure called "unsharp mask (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsharp_masking)." Photoshop even calls it that. I'd go so far as to say that anything you can do in Photoshop with a monochrome image you can do in a well set-up darkroom, though doing those things in a darkroom requires a lot more time and a lot more hassle. If that statement breaks down it breaks down in color, where you need an incredibly expensive color darkroom setup to do even the simplest color manipulations. But they can be done. You just need a lot of money and a lot of time, which, by they way, the movie industry always has had in spades -- the money at least.

But you, of all people -- the soft-focus master -- would be the last person I'd expect to hear object to Photoshop manipulation. As a prime example I refer to your "remembering," which you put on User Critiques today -- the same day you wrote this critique.

In the end, though, you're right: It's a matter of personal opinion.
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John R
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« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2010, 11:02:19 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
John, As you probably can guess, I prefer the straight version too, though I'd use Photoshop to soften the background and emphasize the subject since the shot wasn't made with an aperture that would reduce depth of field enough.

I don't particularly like texturing of photographs in Photoshop or in the darkroom. But your idea that all you can do in a darkroom is dodge and burn tells me you've never done much darkroom work. The idea of the kind of sharpening we do with Photoshop, for instance, came from the darkroom procedure called "unsharp mask (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsharp_masking)." Photoshop even calls it that. I'd go so far as to say that anything you can do in Photoshop with a monochrome image you can do in a well set-up darkroom, though doing those things in a darkroom requires a lot more time and a lot more hassle. If that statement breaks down it breaks down in color, where you need an incredibly expensive color darkroom setup to do even the simplest color manipulations. But they can be done. You just need a lot of money and a lot of time, which, by they way, the movie industry always has had in spades -- the money at least.

But you, of all people -- the soft-focus master -- would be the last person I'd expect to hear object to Photoshop manipulation. As a prime example I refer to your "remembering," which you put on User Critiques today -- the same day you wrote this critique.

In the end, though, you're right: It's a matter of personal opinion.
Russ, I am sorry if I sounded hypocritical and like I was opposed to photoshop manipulation in absolute terms. I obviously am not, for as you have noted, it is in my posted work. But I do have preferences and harbour mixed emotions about digital processing. I like Andre's posted images, but they do strike me as if done by a photoshop plugin, or by strong manipulation, almost HDR. Is this bad? No. It is another mode of presenting images, another form of art combined with photography. But surely when photographic images, especially of people and nature, are strongly manipulated in post processing, we should be allowed to know and to call that product something different than simple photography, my work included.

Sorry Andre, if am diverting from your work.

JMR
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Justan
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« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2010, 11:02:21 PM »
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Andres,

Brilliant work! You have a gift for character portrayal and excellent use of the tools

Where can one start to learn the processing techniques you use???
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tom b
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« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2010, 02:29:19 AM »
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Andres,

I just noticed your Quelite and singer images: http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=43807 whilst looking around the site. I have to say that I find these images far more successful than the two images in this thread.

My two previous posts were meant to make you aware that when you post on a forum like this that you are communicating with a diverse audience from all over the world. Just because you get a number of positive responses to an image doesn't mean that there aren't others who will have a negative attitude. In the case of the first image you were altering the image of a mature man of a given race. Age and race are difficult areas to deal with and the usually invoke stronger reactions than like and dislike. My advice is that you take into consideration more than technique when you alter another person's image.

I still remember the Adobe Roadshow when they introduced the healing brush and showed how you can get rid of wrinkles with it. The applause from the assembled photographers was spontaneous and very loud.

Take care.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2010, 03:00:06 AM »
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[attachment=22646:Baringo_...010_2787.jpg]

Baringo Fisherman by Ed Blagden

I hope Ed won't mind if I use his picture to make a point here. This to my mind is a wonderful example of great portrait photography. It is composed and presented in a timeless and classic fashion, and is clearly a photograph, not a painting or a drawing. It may well have undergone a good deal of editing in Photoshop or whatever, but we are not aware of that, any more than we would be aware of the skill which goes into a fine silver-gelatine print from the darkroom. I don't know whether it was taken on a film camera or on digital, and it does not matter.

Whereas the portrait which we are discussing here, and which has aroused so much debate, is a photograph pretending to be a painting. And I don't much care for that, cleverly done though it might be. If you wish to paint, then learn to paint and draw. Good photography does not need gimmicks, and it does not need to borrow styles and effects from the other visual arts.

John
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« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2010, 04:20:45 AM »
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Quote from: John R Smith
Baringo Fisherman by Ed Blagden

I hope Ed won't mind if I use his picture to make a point here. This to my mind is a wonderful example of great portrait photography. It is composed and presented in a timeless and classic fashion, and is clearly a photograph, not a painting or a drawing. It may well have undergone a good deal of editing in Photoshop or whatever, but we are not aware of that, any more than we would be aware of the skill which goes into a fine silver-gelatine print from the darkroom. I don't know whether it was taken on a film camera or on digital, and it does not matter.

Whereas the portrait which we are discussing here, and which has aroused so much debate, is a photograph pretending to be a painting. And I don't much care for that, cleverly done though it might be. If you wish to paint, then learn to paint and draw. Good photography does not need gimmicks, and it does not need to borrow styles and effects from the other visual arts.

John

John,
I don't mind a bit.  The shot was an unplanned grab while I was out birdwatching, taken with a 420mm lens in digital.  Post processing all happened in Lightroom (I don't even own Photoshop), and comprised a conversion to B&W, greyscale tweaking, usual fiddling around with curves + sharpening etc.  The only "creative" post was cropping to square, a small vignette, plus a little split toning.  So not much really.

But to turn back to Andres' original post, I still think it is a great shot and just represents a different approach.  The lighting effect is wonderful Dutch-Masterly, and to me as a viewer it doesn't really matter whether the lighting is "real" or was manufactured in post.  The point is that the final result works... what led up to that is of no real concern to the viewer.  

OK, some of us have a different approach, namely take the shot and do as little as possible to it in post processing, but I still can respect and admire a heavily post processed shot, provided the end result is good, as it is in this case.

Ed
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« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2010, 06:50:09 AM »
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Quote from: John R
Russ, I am sorry if I sounded hypocritical and like I was opposed to photoshop manipulation in absolute terms. I obviously am not, for as you have noted, it is in my posted work. But I do have preferences and harbour mixed emotions about digital processing. I like Andre's posted images, but they do strike me as if done by a photoshop plugin, or by strong manipulation, almost HDR. Is this bad? No. It is another mode of presenting images, another form of art combined with photography. But surely when photographic images, especially of people and nature, are strongly manipulated in post processing, we should be allowed to know and to call that product something different than simple photography, my work included.

Sorry Andre, if am diverting from your work.

JMR

John, If you read the exchange I had on LuLa last year about Alain Briot's extreme landscape distortions you know I agree with everything you just said. I wouldn't call what Alain was doing "photography," but I'm perfectly comfortable with it as an artform of its own. Same thing applies to your soft-focus productions. I'm a straight photographer, but I appreciate a lot of your manipulations.
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« Reply #35 on: June 17, 2010, 08:45:09 AM »
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Andres,

If I could post an image that would provoke as much comment as you have gotten in this thread, I would be very proud. And I wouldn't be quite as satisfied if every comment were positive. A little controversy is good for the soul, IMHO.

I still like your "painterly" treatment (of both or your images) better than the unprocessed original. I like Ed's portrait also, but it is an entirely different kind of image: apples and oranges.

Eric

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Andres Bonilla
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« Reply #36 on: June 17, 2010, 11:10:08 AM »
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Quote from: John R Smith
[attachment=22646:Baringo_...010_2787.jpg]

Baringo Fisherman by Ed Blagden

I hope Ed won't mind if I use his picture to make a point here. This to my mind is a wonderful example of great portrait photography. It is composed and presented in a timeless and classic fashion, and is clearly a photograph, not a painting or a drawing. It may well have undergone a good deal of editing in Photoshop or whatever, but we are not aware of that, any more than we would be aware of the skill which goes into a fine silver-gelatine print from the darkroom. I don't know whether it was taken on a film camera or on digital, and it does not matter.

Whereas the portrait which we are discussing here, and which has aroused so much debate, is a photograph pretending to be a painting. And I don't much care for that, cleverly done though it might be. If you wish to paint, then learn to paint and draw. Good photography does not need gimmicks, and it does not need to borrow styles and effects from the other visual arts.

John
John I think that as photographers, we have a more of a  keen eye for technique and we tend to view the photograph thru the lens of our own experiences and formation as visual people. I showed a watercolor paper print to some friends a co-workers and they had a visceral reaction to it, they did not care if it was Photoshop, Painter, a third party filter that magically turned the photo into this style etc. Their questions were " Did you get to talk to him" " What is he doing with his hands" Was he by himself ? "  the closer I got to a tech question was " What type of camera do you have that take beautiful portraits like this ? " Now I am not pretending to be an artist but have you heard of mixed media? I t is used all the time in more traditional fine arts, different mediums even combination of painting with projected videos. I have seen photographs done in wood veneer, metal, paper coated with sand and yes, there is always someone saying " Why not a C print "  or funny to me, why not a regular Inkjet print? Funny because a few years back inkjet prints were considered a gimmick. I collect art and have been critized for owning giglees instead of serigraphs, when I got my first serigraph years ago I was critized by not getting an Intaglio from the artist. I am pleasently surprised at the comments on my technique but the reality is that I am a self taught Photoshop user, I only learn techniques and have developped tools to get me where I want to be in terms of the vision of the final piece.

Good photography is whatever moves you and hopefuly the audience. BTW I do know how to paint and draw

Ed photo is fantastic!

Andres
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« Reply #37 on: June 17, 2010, 12:14:05 PM »
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This is probably one of the finest portraits I have seen.  Very Very nice.  Love what you did to it.  Very elegant. Tim
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John R Smith
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« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2010, 02:22:22 AM »
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Quote from: Andres Bonilla
I am pleasently surprised at the comments on my technique but the reality is that I am a self taught Photoshop user, I only learn techniques and have developped tools to get me where I want to be in terms of the vision of the final piece.

Good photography is whatever moves you and hopefuly the audience. BTW I do know how to paint and draw

Andres

Andres

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. You should indeed be very gratified that your picture has generated so much comment, and I am sure that if we counted up the replies the vast majority would be applauding your work. And of course, you are absolutely correct that there should be no boundaries in art. My own comment was really based on a very personal set of preferences and beliefs about the nature of photography, that have regard to the particular strengths of the medium as I see it. Photography can, and does, have its own space within the visual arts where it encompasses an area of expression very distinct from painting and drawing.

However, although I shall not change my opinion regarding this particular picture, (to paraphrase another) I would defend to the death your right to produce it  

John
« Last Edit: June 18, 2010, 06:21:36 AM by John R Smith » Logged

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