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Author Topic: Prince of Wales Pier  (Read 2161 times)
John R Smith
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« on: March 03, 2011, 12:20:49 PM »
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This is a picture which is rather different to my normal subject matter, so I'm a bit uncertain about it. Taken on a bitterly cold day in January, this is Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth. I had a nice chat with the young fellow in the picture after I had taken the shot, and it turned out that he was a student at the local college and very keen on photography too.

As always, let me know what you think of it.

John

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sdwilsonsct
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 04:19:55 PM »
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Hi John,
Nice. I like how the dark edges at the top and bottom bracket this bright scene. Did you achieve this through placement and timing, or another method? Just curious.
Scott
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John R Smith
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 02:22:29 AM »
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Hi John,
Nice. I like how the dark edges at the top and bottom bracket this bright scene. Did you achieve this through placement and timing, or another method? Just curious.
Scott

Scott

Glad someone liked the picture, anyway. I would love to say that my incredible photographic skills in the field achieved the perfect distribution of tones, but alas this would be untrue. Actually the RAW file needed a lot of work in Lightroom, with a grad filter in the sky, a quite subtle vignette around the edges, and then some local brightening in the lower third of the picture. What caught my attention when I framed the shot was the slightly surreal mood created by the row of lights.

John
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Bruce Cox
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2011, 10:16:07 AM »
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. What caught my attention when I framed the shot was the slightly surreal mood created by the row of lights.

John
[/quote]

I find your photo more than slightly surreal and for reasons in addition to the row of lights.  I have been thinking about it since yesterday.  I value it in spite of a strong prejudice against the darkening or lightening of the perimeter of photos.  I don't think it helps this one either.

Bruce
« Last Edit: March 04, 2011, 11:04:37 AM by Bruce Cox » Logged
Riaan van Wyk
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2011, 12:50:22 AM »
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John, I don't get the feeling of the mood that the lights created to be honest, maybe it's too subtle.   
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John R Smith
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2011, 02:10:09 AM »
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John, I don't get the feeling of the mood that the lights created to be honest, maybe it's too subtle.   

Riaan

I don't think anybody else much did, either. Perhaps we should replace "subtle" with "crap"  Wink Never mind . . .

John
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2011, 03:52:00 AM »
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Riaan

I don't think anybody else much did, either. Perhaps we should replace "subtle" with "crap"  Wink Never mind . . .

John


John, that kind of substitution's a mental exercise that consumes my head every time I have to edit anything I do. Which, fortunately, is quite infrequently these days.

;-)

Rob C
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Bruce Cox
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2011, 10:06:59 AM »
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Riaan

I don't think anybody else much did, either. Perhaps we should replace "subtle" with "crap"  Wink Never mind . . .

John

People around here are pretty sharp and usually at least part right, but they miss a lot too.  You shouldn't necessarily listen to me, when I say your picture is meaningful, but please remember your saw something there. 

Bruce.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2011, 11:16:06 AM »
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Bruce

Thanks for that. This picture is part of an on-going series which occurs at intervals and which I too value, but which I seem to have little control over. But when I look back over time (many years, in fact) they are often the frames I would hate to loose. My intention for them is that they should be like stills from a movie, or maybe a scene from a dream, and there should be a feeling that something is about to happen. I have always been a huge admirer of Bill Brandt’s work, and as I expect you know, a great deal of his stuff is exactly like that. However, photography is of course one of the visual arts, and it should not need a ream of textual explanation for the viewer to appreciate it. So in that sense I certainly failed with this one!

John
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Patricia Sheley
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2011, 11:34:12 AM »
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Bruce

Thanks for that. This picture is part of an on-going series which occurs at intervals and which I too value, but which I seem to have little control over. But when I look back over time (many years, in fact) they are often the frames I would hate to loose. My intention for them is that they should be like stills from a movie, or maybe a scene from a dream, and there should be a feeling that something is about to happen. I have always been a huge admirer of Bill Brandt’s work, and as I expect you know, a great deal of his stuff is exactly like that. However, photography is of course one of the visual arts, and it should not need a ream of textual explanation for the viewer to appreciate it. So in that sense I certainly failed with this one!

John
OK, Now we're getting somewhere John...because that backstory supports what I initially saw in the preview size, but admittedly I kept struggling to find out what was keeping it from resonating for me, as opposed to not caring about the image...I must have cared because kept trying to find how to take it down to the emotive quality that kept trying to come to play...OK, I thought, how could this be dodged, burned to isolate it...couldn't get there... but then last night knocked out two thirds of the bottom "change in pavement area" including your vignette there, and shaved just enough off the top to balance... then the soft memoir/dream quality began to sparkle...it would be easy for you to go from there with some dodge and burn to emphasize those qualities...don't understand why it took me so long to identify the walls that were in the way of seeing why I liked it....sometimes quiet is not indifference...just slow cooking...   p
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2011, 11:54:43 AM »
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... My intention for them is that they should be like stills from a movie, or maybe a scene from a dream, and there should be a feeling that something is about to happen... photography... should not need a ream of textual explanation for the viewer to appreciate it...

There is something to it.

My initial reaction to the image was: nice processing and toning, beautiful warm blacks, vignettes that work well... but... whats the point?... where is the content, the story? I then resigned to the possibility that the venue/atmosphere must have a different, more personal meaning to the photographer than to me.

But on second thought, even before you posted your own thoughts, I was thinking that there are photographs that do not stand well on their own, but are perfectly o.k. as a part of a story, either as an illustration to the text, or as a part of a visual essay. I can also perfectly envisage it on a book cover... a story about longing and waiting... for a loved one, a better life, a chance. And in that sense, certain photographs can benefit from a context, be it textual or visual.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2011, 11:59:45 AM »
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Thank you, Patricia, I will have a think about your suggestions. Here's another one in the same sort of vein. I have loads of churchyard shots, but for some reason I keep coming back to this one. There is just a slight edge of menace to it (I feel) which probably centres around the trefoil window in the background gateway door. This is St Enoder, just north of here, an isolated church in the middle of farmland.

John
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John R Smith
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Still crazy, after all these years


« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2011, 12:05:50 PM »
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But on second thought, even before you posted your own thoughts, I was thinking that there are photographs that do not stand well on their own, but are perfectly o.k. as a part of a story, either as an illustration to the text, or as a part of a visual essay. I can also perfectly envisage it on a book cover... a story about longing and waiting... for a loved one, a better life, a chance. And in that sense, certain photographs can benefit from a context, be it textual or visual.

Slobodan

A lot of the problem we have with our critiques is that the photographs are lacking a context for their intended end-use. Very little that I shoot is intended to be a work of art, to be framed and hung in a gallery. Mostly it has a much more mundane intention. This one, as you say, would make a good book cover, or a full page A4 inside a magazine as the opening for an article with text on the upper left. I shoot a lot of pictures with space for text on the shot very much in mind. I write a lot more text than I shoot photographs  Wink

John
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2011, 01:28:51 PM »
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Thank you, Patricia, I will have a think about your suggestions. Here's another one in the same sort of vein. I have loads of churchyard shots, but for some reason I keep coming back to this one. There is just a slight edge of menace to it (I feel) which probably centres around the trefoil window in the background gateway door. This is St Enoder, just north of here, an isolated church in the middle of farmland.

John

John, Now you're talking. Yes, the window in the church is what makes this picture. You don't need text for it to make its point. In other words, it's what a good photograph should be: a picture with its own legs. The first one strikes me as the kind of tourist snapshot various relatives used to bore me with after they'd come home from some thrilling place like Prince of Wales pier. If the picture didn't put you to sleep the narrative of the visit surely would.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2011, 01:48:23 PM »
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The first one strikes me as the kind of tourist snapshot various relatives used to bore me with after they'd come home from some thrilling place like Prince of Wales pier. If the picture didn't put you to sleep the narrative of the visit surely would.

I love it, Russ. You certainly know how to put pretension in its place Wink  It's a good job I'm not too precious about my stuff . . .

John
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 01:51:18 PM by John R Smith » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2011, 02:54:54 PM »
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 If the picture didn't put you to sleep the narrative of the visit surely would.
[/quote]

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  However, Pier-2.jpg reminds me of being asleep.  My ignorance of the real place may aid me in this.  My dreams are frequently dull.  I look in vein.  The photo makes me aware of my desire to see more, whatever those low hills are.

Bruce
« Last Edit: March 05, 2011, 03:10:20 PM by Bruce Cox » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2011, 03:30:02 PM »
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I agree with Russ (but I would have been a bit gentler about the pier).

St. Enoder is absolutely first-rate.

Eric
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John R Smith
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2011, 01:38:09 AM »
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Thanks, Eric, glad you liked St Enoder, it is one of my favourites. It was one of those times when light and mood all came together. I was not at all offended by Russ' comment, in fact I nearly spat coffee over my keyboard laughing, it was so brilliantly put. I took the fact that he felt able to say that and know that I would be alright about it, to be quite a compliment, actually. The original post was for me one of those "maybe" shots, which was why I posted it, to get some feedback. Now I have decided that it is a "maybe not". That is really useful.

John
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2011, 07:34:07 AM »
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Russ does have a way of zeroing in on the essentials. Sharp eye, sharp tongue.  Wink

St. Enoder hits me in the solar plexus at first glance, and then stays with me. Great shot.

Eric
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2011, 09:18:05 AM »
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John, Thanks for the testimonial, and I'm glad to hear you didn't short out your keyboard. I really like a lot of your stuff, which was what kind of set me back on my heels when I saw that one.
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