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Author Topic: Midnight Guitarist  (Read 4389 times)
EduPerez
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« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2011, 01:18:08 AM »
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I must say #1 didn't tell me anything when I saw it, but #2 really cached my attention today.

The irony of a man giving away his music, under a "GIFTS & ART" sign.. behind a woman on the phone, probably more annoyed by the "noise" than anything else... splendid. The composition is very strong, and the light is perfect. I like it, a lot.

Just my two cents.
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Rob C
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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2011, 03:27:47 AM »
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I must say #1 didn't tell me anything when I saw it, but #2 really cached my attention today.

The irony of a man giving away his music, under a "GIFTS & ART" sign.. behind a woman on the phone, probably more annoyed by the "noise" than anything else... splendid. The composition is very strong, and the light is perfect. I like it, a lot.

Just my two cents.


Better give the two cents to the muso: the girl's probably his shill. Which makes it all the more sad as she lacks the enthusiasm to do much more but sit on her ass.

Rob C
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fredjeang
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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2011, 05:04:40 AM »
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Just for fun, here's a frontal view of the scene, including a detail that lets you get a look at the guy's expression. This one came first. The other after I'd walked on a bit.
Now you're talking! This is a four stars Russ street. As often in life, the first impression was right, IMO.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2011, 05:26:32 AM »
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Oh, no no no, chaps, surely not.

Number one is the frame - it's far more atmospheric and evocative, like a still from a movie. #2 is OK, and I can see why Russ shot it, but it is not in the same league.

John
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fredjeang
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« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2011, 05:45:07 AM »
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It seems that there are 2 groups. Edu and I are going for the #2 (me,without hesitation).
That's the magic of imagery.

Pic number 1 is great in itself in terms of visual atmosphere but it really didn't tell me any special story. #2 is, IMO, telling a more powerfull story. As it is street, I prefer number 2 for that reason.  
« Last Edit: March 30, 2011, 05:59:05 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2011, 09:57:07 AM »
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I've been away a while or I'd have chimed in sooner.

To me, #1 is just fine. The OOF effect of the woman suggests to me that she is really a figment of the guitarist's imagination.

Lovely image.

The other two are nice, too. And definitely: clone rather than crop, but only if necessary (and if the telephone pole isn't straight).

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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fredjeang
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« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2011, 11:58:09 AM »
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I've been away a while or I'd have chimed in sooner.

To me, #1 is just fine. The OOF effect of the woman suggests to me that she is really a figment of the guitarist's imagination.

Lovely image.

The other two are nice, too. And definitely: clone rather than crop, but only if necessary (and if the telephone pole isn't straight).

Eric
I was teasing Russ on the crop. The #1 image was perfectly fine.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2011, 05:13:14 PM »
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I was teasing Russ on the crop. The #1 image was perfectly fine.
It's always fun to tease Russ about cropping.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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RSL
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« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2011, 06:52:46 PM »
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In the book, The Mind's Eye, Cartier-Bresson said: "To take photographs means to recognize -- simultaneously and within a fraction of a second -- both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning." Anyone who hopes to become a competent photographer needs to internalize that message. But as we internalize, let's remember that HCB was such a fanatic about cropping that he insisted his photographs be printed with the dark edge of the unexposed film showing.

In the sixties I owned three Leicas: a IIIf, an M2 and a M4, so I've shot Leicas enough to know that in addition to being a remarkably good photographer, HCB was a very lucky man. Since my D3 has a 100% viewfinder I can see exactly what the final picture will be before I shoot. But the view in a Leica viewfinder -- M or otherwise -- is a long way from being 100%. For instance, when you look through the viewfinder in a Leica the actual edges of the capture can lie outside the frame or inside the frame depending on the distance of the subject. So, including the dark edges of a frame doesn't really tell the viewer exactly what you saw in the viewfinder.

There's an awful lot of luck in good photography; not so much perhaps in static work like landscape and structural photography, but any time a human is in the frame every time you trip the shutter you're casting the dice. People grimace. People blink. People belch. People turn their backs just as you press the button. Things that are part of the "rigorous organization of visually perceived forms" shift and move and drift away.

But none of that makes it okay to shoot at random and hope to find a picture later on the computer. HCB's right: you still need to recognize both the fact and the rigorous organization all at once and try to make the shot before the elements spin apart. Just the subject isn't enough. Just the rigorous organization isn't enough. Both have to come together to make anything that's above the tourist picture level.

That's where I stand on cropping. Sometimes you can't avoid it, but if you have to crop every time you get ready to print you're doing something very wrong.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2011, 02:24:29 AM »
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Thanks for that, Russ. Really insightful stuff.

In the book, The Mind's Eye, Cartier-Bresson said: "To take photographs means to recognize -- simultaneously and within a fraction of a second -- both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning." Anyone who hopes to become a competent photographer needs to internalize that message.

Interestingly (to me, anyhow), although we might think that this does not apply to landscape work or other static subjects (where, let's face it, you should not have to crop as we have plenty of time to frame), I find on looking back over the years that most of my landscape work which I really like was in fact taken very quickly. The best ones always seem to be those where I didn't think too much.

Someone once asked the guitarist Joe Pass what he was thinking about as he played an improvised solo. Joe replied, "nothing". When we get into the zone, like Joe, is when we get the good stuff.

John
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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2011, 02:58:45 AM »
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 "Just the subject isn't enough. Just the rigorous organization isn't enough. Both have to come together to make anything that's above the tourist picture level."


And that's the trouble with most of what anyone does.

Catching the climax is so rare in any photographic discipline that it becomes the measure of our personal successes. It's the problem that haunts our websites, our portfolios, any place where we attempt to show what we think we should be made of - and the closest we can come to describing it is 'we know it when we see it.' And what about the many times when it doesn't even happen, never mind allow itself to be captured?

It has often been suggested that just a couple of such lucky moments come to us in a year - maybe that should be written 'in a lifetime' instead.

It's the main reason for artists's block. How many failures can anyone take before losing heart; how many attempts at saying something before the spirit to continue just advises us that we should fold?

My recent experiences with musicians is an example of that, too: the atmosphere is okay in the event, but how much carries over into images? Very little, to be honest. Yes, the actual, physical venue is drab and off-white with little atmosphere; it doesn't come over as bland as it is, but what's happening? Some guys are standing around playing saxes or beating drums. Period.

Did any of you see Bert Stern's Jazz on a Summer's Day, his opus on the '58 Newport Jazz Festival on Rhode Island? I saw that about six times and the repeat attraction for me was the Chuck Berry slot. He shouldn't have been there, but apparently, due to some contractual arrangement they couldn't dump him. And the remarkable thing is this: of all the artists of repute that took the stand, his piece was the one that remains in my mind, other than Jimmy Giuffre and Train and the River. Why? Yep, I like r'n'r, but beyond that, something was happening. Be it Berry or maybe even the audience dancing in between shots, the excited faces spelled out life, marked a moment.

How many times does our photography really do that? I wish.

Rob C



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RSL
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« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2011, 01:38:31 PM »
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It has often been suggested that just a couple of such lucky moments come to us in a year - maybe that should be written 'in a lifetime' instead.

It's the main reason for artists's block. How many failures can anyone take before losing heart; how many attempts at saying something before the spirit to continue just advises us that we should fold?

Rob, I'll go out on a limb and say I think one of the differences between an artist and a wannabe is that the artist learns from his failures and never gives up; never folds. I think that if you ask a real artist to identify his best picture, he'll always tell you: "The next one."

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My recent experiences with musicians is an example of that, too: the atmosphere is okay in the event, but how much carries over into images? Very little, to be honest. Yes, the actual, physical venue is drab and off-white with little atmosphere; it doesn't come over as bland as it is, but what's happening? Some guys are standing around playing saxes or beating drums. Period.

Exactly! The gal who ran the best gallery I ever had in the Colorado Springs area (before it folded) once had a month long show of B&W photographs of performing jazz musicians by somebody who was famous for that kind of photograph -- whose name I've forgotten. I never was able to understand what was interesting in those pictures. It was guys standing around playing saxes or beating drums -- with a lot of cigarette smoke around them. I love a good jazz group playing something like "I Can't Get Started With You," or "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance..," but the music is the thing, not the visuals.
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Rob C
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« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2011, 01:55:15 PM »
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Rob, I'll go out on a limb and say I think one of the differences between an artist and a wannabe is that the artist learns from his failures and never gives up; never folds. I think that if you ask a real artist to identify his best picture, he'll always tell you: "The next one."

Exactly! The gal who ran the best gallery I ever had in the Colorado Springs area (before it folded) once had a month long show of B&W photographs of performing jazz musicians by somebody who was famous for that kind of photograph -- whose name I've forgotten. I never was able to understand what was interesting in those pictures. It was guys standing around playing saxes or beating drums -- with a lot of cigarette smoke around them. I love a good jazz group playing something like "I Can't Get Started With You," or "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance..," but the music is the thing, not the visuals.




"Rob, I'll go out on a limb and say I think one of the differences between an artist and a wannabe is that the artist learns from his failures and never gives up; never folds. I think that if you ask a real artist to identify his best picture, he'll always tell you: "The next one." "

Yeah, and that's the reason one carries on shooting long after the personal public show's over and the clients have long gone off to grow old gracefully on their yachts. For me, artist or not, I just can't let it go. It's in the blood - has been since I was maybe thirteen... how to fill the space if I give it up? Knitting?

Rob C

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