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Author Topic: Waterford Crane  (Read 1879 times)
Justinr
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« on: September 19, 2010, 05:51:29 PM »
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I don't think I've put this one up here, I certainly showed it elsewhere and got some abuse for Photoshopping in the sky, the infants on that particular forum couldn't grasp the idea of actually determining exposure manually.
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AndrewKulin
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2010, 10:22:55 PM »
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Well on looking at the photo before reading your post it was not apparent to me that you (apparently) added in the sky after the fact.

As to the photograph itself, it does not do much for me except make me wonder (as an engineer-but not structural) what this crane looks like in full given there is a central support and then two "appendages" coming out towards the viewer with additional ones apparently supported by those two.    Without seeing more, that structure is seriously unbalanced.

 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2010, 10:25:15 PM by AndrewKulin » Logged

Justinr
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 02:49:15 AM »
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The title is misleading I guess, the photo is not a really just a picture of a crane, the machine suggests mechanical rigidity in contrast with mother natures much less organised but far more powerful structure of the sky. The other half of the picture is concerned with the girls face* peering round the base seemingly at the the bike, is it wistful admiration, curiosity or what? And why is the bike in the shadows? Does it portray danger, a hidden menace, a darker side that appeals to the girl? Will it be a violation of some innocence or an escape from her decrepit industrial surroundings?

*The face was on a super large advertising banner draped down the side of an old grain silo, the shot was taken on the ancient Agfa and took a while to compose. I like to think of it as one of my more successful arty shots.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2010, 02:52:03 AM by Justinr » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2010, 12:27:21 PM »
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"I like to think of it as one of my more successful arty shots."

Which, Justin, is exactly the way I see it too - as an art shot. I have no idea about the rest of your art shots, but taken at its own face value (and I see that you too are plagued with this 'modern' picture adding system on the new software) I would like to see it somewhat larger. Obviously, I understand the risks and never go over 500 pix on the longest side for my own stuff, but nevertheles, some things do need scale to come into their own, a visual/risk problem with which we just have to live.

Cheers

Rob C
« Last Edit: September 30, 2010, 04:55:16 PM by Rob C » Logged

Justinr
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2010, 11:14:35 AM »
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My apologies for the delay in replying, I was distracted elsewhere.

To be honest I've no idea what my other art shots are like either if only because it is not up to me to decide although whenever I have used the old Agfa I try to capture a scene than communicates more than just the immediate moment. And yes you are right, this is just the sort of image that benefits from enlargement although I have not gone larger than A4 at present, your prompting may well herald the production of an A3.

Justin.
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pegelli
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2010, 04:14:15 AM »
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I'm with AndrewKulin on this one and it's too much of a hodge-podge for me. The bright area in the middle (face, lower part of crane, silos) attracts too much attention from the strong geometric crane above, and the motorcycle/fence in front doesn't fit and distracts from what you were trying to do (as I understand your description).
Fortunately it's art, so it's OK for you to like it while it doesn't work for me.
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pieter, aka pegelli
Justinr
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2010, 05:25:34 AM »
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True, there is no one particular theme to the picture, it is not pop art after all, (well, I like to think not) but it is one of those images that to my mind suggest a variety of interpretations and I certainly see more in it the more I look. By distracted do you mean 'not bothered to look any further'?

One of my biggest worries about photography over the last few years is that it has lost the ability to look deeply into anything, it has become superficial with only the immediate being considered of any consequence. This runs counter to the whole essence of art as I understand it where contemplation and consideration are important parts of appreciation and understanding. Now I'll be the first to admit that there is an awful load of waffle surrounding much of art but then again there is a great deal of intelligent thinking and analysis that has been applied to what we now consider great art. At the end of the day most large and popular orchestral pieces are no more than a  hodge podge although themes are often recurring within an overall context and as for opera......... I rest my case.



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pegelli
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2010, 05:47:31 AM »
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You make a good case and I also see a tendency for people to like strict rule of thirds, oversaturated and oversharpened pictures more than ones in which you have to explore more to see it all. These seem to be easier to be liked, but are superficial with not too much else to see as "a pretty picture". Nothing wrong with that but it isn't art like we're talking about here in this thread. So if I say "Hodge Podge" or "distracted" I mean that the picture at first sight for me doesn't invite me to really want to explore it in such depth to see it all. However I did an effort and based on your description. I think I got most of it but in addition tried to analyse for myself why I didn't take the time to find it myself in the first place. The reasons for that are quite technical and are a combination of the motorcycle and fence which for me don't fit with the rest of the picture and that the bright area in the middle was overpowering the other aspects to see it as a unity. Feel free to disagree with any of these observations, as you're the artist and who am I to know what other things you saw in here that went over my head, but hopefully I've explained a bit more what I mean and what process I followed to write the comment as I did.
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pieter, aka pegelli
Rob C
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2010, 10:32:06 AM »
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ĒOne of my biggest worries about photography over the last few years is that it has lost the ability to look deeply into anything, it has become superficial with only the immediate being considered of any consequence. This runs counter to the whole essence of art as I understand it where contemplation and consideration are important parts of appreciation and understanding. Now I'll be the first to admit that there is an awful load of waffle surrounding much of art but then again there is a great deal of intelligent thinking and analysis that has been applied to what we now consider great art.Ē




I agree with your thought there, Justin, but I wonder if itís a recent failure in people or more a corruption via instrument.

Itís my considered opinion, based entirely on my own experience, that digital capture is the villain in the piece. Itís all too cheap to shoot now and pay Ė sorry Ė think later. I see it every time I put a card through the reader. I didnít get that feeling with film at all. Because it costs, you take it seriously.

I once read that thatís the thinking behind gallery pricing, based on the experience of dealing with psychoanalysts (note how neatly and logically anal fits right in there) who charge highly so that you instantly understand the benefit of dealing with them. This may not have been a true tale that I read, but I think I give it the benefit of the doubt. But shrinks and galleristas aside, it does count when it hits you in the pocket Ė you (or at least I) do tend to think a little bit before going click if it costs.

Allied to this, of course, is the Internet and its instant scream of lookitme! There is no filter of validation via commerce and/or commission; everything goes.
 
I believe itís as simple as that; too much photo democracy.

Rob C
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Justinr
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2010, 03:10:53 PM »
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Pegelli

Are you by any chance viewing the photo via a flat screen monitor? I have just checked it out on our lap top and it is a completely different picture. On the CRT the bike is much more in the shadows and the fence is hardly visible. The flat screen has robbed the picture of any mystery and this is not the first time I find myself frustrated by the clever dicks who build these devices. It is my belief that generally speaking digital cameras tend to under expose and/or have a dynamic range that reduces shadowed areas to blackness. Our friends making computers realise this and compensate by setting the machines to bring out shadow detail thus fooling people into thinking that they are attaining a standard of result that flatters rather than relays the true circumstance. This of course is all fine and dandy until you wish to retain the shadow as an element of the work! I have been saying for a long time that the web is the worst possible place to display photography because you have no control over how it is viewed.

Which very neatly brings me to Robs point.

Rob, digitalisation is indeed the culprit although I think it unfair to single out the camera as the major miscreant for it is just a part of the whole enslavement to the binary code that human kind is undergoing at present. The digital camera is still only a device to capture images in much the same way as has been done for decades but what has changed tremendously is the way in which those images may be used. No longer the sticky corner triangles holding prints in a little used album but more the plastering of all and any picture over a virtual wall that may be viewed, but more likely not viewed, by all and sundry. Quality is suffocating under quantity as the memory banks of the world are suffused with the dirty linen of everyday life in the vain hope that somebody somewhere will applaud the dripping socks and sheets as worthy of commemoration and record. How should the informed criticise the work of the unknowing when such critique cannot, by definition, be understood or appreciated? And should the uninformed remark upon the work of a fellow then that is to invite a reply in the same vein, therefore it's best to be nice to others in the belief that they will return the compliment however undeserved.

At present there are two particular sites over which I find myself despairing, one is a Facebook page and the other at Flickr. I shall mention no names and to be fair Facebook is no more than a disposal point for the millions of snaps that are taken but never considered whilst Flickr has at least some aspirations. However, on both there are pictures by people with whom I engage that really should be kept hidden away and I have no idea how to tell them this without causing offence. So they they remain, glorious monuments to the empowerment of the people that digital has brought.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2010, 03:12:42 PM by Justinr » Logged

pegelli
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2010, 03:25:16 PM »
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Are you by any chance viewing the photo via a flat screen monitor?

Yup, but a properly profiled and calibrated one and secondly using a colour managed browser, so the effect maybe less as you're describing. However we'll never know  Sad
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pieter, aka pegelli
Justinr
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2010, 03:55:07 PM »
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Quote
Yup, but a properly profiled and calibrated one and secondly using a colour managed browser, so the effect maybe less as you're describing. However we'll never know  Sad

Which pretty well proves my point.

The photo was taken on film and 'developed' in PS to appear on my screen as I would wish a wet print to look. A wet print in daylight would look pretty much the same wherever viewed, not so a virtual print that relies heavily on how each individual viewing device is set up, however 'correct' that set up may be The web really should be the last place to display photos!
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pegelli
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2010, 04:21:41 PM »
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Justin, Do you calibrate your CRT screen with any spider or i1 type device?
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pieter, aka pegelli
Justinr
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2010, 04:44:03 PM »
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Yes indeed, I have a Spyder here and a lot of good it was not to! I run an Epson R2880 printer usually with Permajet gloss and find that setting the screen via Adobe Gamma pretty well prints what I see on the screen. When using the Spyder I get a magenta cast and as for the profiles I downloaded for the Permajet they were a complete joke, or, and more likely, it may just have been my incompetence. Either way I'm happy with what works and  haven't the inclination to change it since all my important output is via the printer.
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pegelli
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2010, 12:52:16 AM »
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Maybe I'l get my old CRT from the attic and watch your picture on that and see how different it looks.
On the other hand I can't see how much different it would render the bike and fence (I mean the poles with the chains between them) as I downloaded your picture in Photoshop and and then used several means of pushing the shadows into darkness (levels/curves). The fence actually stands out more vs. the tarmac that way and also the higlights in the bike lamps and windshield glare also become more apparent. So I think it's more a matter of you not being bothered by something I see.
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pieter, aka pegelli
Justinr
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« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2010, 02:09:52 AM »
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The fence you mention, as opposed to the more distant railings barely registers on my screen (by that I mean it's certainly not prominent) but I cannot say that it should be ignored for we all interpret images in different ways and no one can dictate how a picture should be viewed. I appreciate fully that you see it in a different light, literally as well as figuratively, than I do and that's fair enough. It is an interesting comment and one that hadn't occurred to me, indeed it begs further questions of the whole so I am grateful for this discussion as it has opened further possibilities.

To my mind this is one of those rare pictures that holds more than it first reveals. I cannot claim full credit for that although I did take a little trouble in composing it and I certainly do not pretend that is is a regular result. However, part of it's appeal to me is the way it is presented and I did take some care in preparing it in PS to give it the look I wanted, effort virtually wasted when broadcasting it on the net for even if you and I had monitors calibrated to the exact same standard the rest of the world would likely not.

Just as an aside I should mention that I knock up the occasional basic HTML sites for people and one of the major concerns is how they will look over the full spectrum of monitors, operating systems and browsers. Unfortunately ensuring that they appear acceptable over such a wide range of variables means being very conservative in the design and it is small wonder that so many sites look alike for they have to be designed down to the lowest common denominator. So far from expanding artistic creation the net actually constrains it because viewing is beyond the control of the author.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2010, 02:12:41 AM by Justinr » Logged

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