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Author Topic: Solana Station  (Read 2268 times)
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2011, 07:51:56 PM »
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... the top lights are overpowering. By cropping out the top lights, almost nothing is lost in the image..

I won't argue about your preferred cropping, as it is almost always rather subjective, but I would like to point out that there would be something lost with the suggested crop: the clock and its symbolic meaning (the passage of time). It is the passage of time that is the primary cause of the urban desolation pictured, whether as the late time of the day or, perhaps, as the change in the importance of trains for that community.

The clock also serves to anchor the symmetry, as well as to create a perfect triangle within the square (with the two lamps at the bottom). How Bauhaus!
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2011, 07:55:25 PM »
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...HP5+ developed in Caffenol.

Ah, the young generation! Even when they resort to film, they can't help it but develop it at Starbucks Grin
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 08:07:40 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2011, 08:52:36 PM »
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This has turned into a very good discussion. And I think it is because the image is pretty good to start with. I agree with Chuck, cropping is a good and valid technique for improving images and for educating people about good composition.

All I can say is that some of the best photographers in history disagree with the idea that you can crop your way to nirvana. But if you believe that, there's nothing I can say that'll dissuade you.

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I will only point out to Russ that cropping is a staple of teaching in almost every photographic course, even if it is only done with brackets or by eye and the mind.

John, I'm quite aware of that, and that's one of the many things wrong with "photographic courses." You can teach the mechanics -- how to develop film, how to print, dodge, burn, use Photoshop, use Lightroom, how to take care of your camera, how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work... But you can't teach anyone how to make a good photograph. A photographer first has to have the God-given ability to make a decent photograph and then has to learn how to put that talent to work by himself -- by trial and error and by learning from the work of the masters.

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This fine image has all the qualities Slobodan has mentioned, but where I disagree is that I think, the top lights are overpowering. By cropping out the top lights, almost nothing is lost in the image and the deep urban empty feeling that Slobadan mentions is reinforced even more

John, Sorry, but again, we disagree. Those intense, impersonal, overpowering lights are essential to the bleakness Slobodan put his finger on. They're an important part of what makes the picture what it is. Any crop -- any crop -- changes the whole character of the picture. Once you crop, the picture becomes a subset of what it was meant to be. With a crop you've taken a part of someone else's picture and called it your own.  In a sense, the result is plagiarism.

Because of our human frailties, there are times when our original ideas were faulty, and we need to crop the image after the fact (one of my best selling images is an example).

Chuck, "Perfect world" or not, how often do you crop? Tell the truth. Yes, evidently one of your pictures was improved with a crop. And you're right, in my own imperfect world I crop more often than I'd like. In my own case, it's usually a street shot that went bad and all I can do is dump it. On the other hand, if it's something static I'll go back and try to re-shoot it unless the lighting or some other atmospheric was close enough to unique that going back is impractical. Then, I might try to save it by cropping, but the odds are always very much against success. I'd be willing to bet that in spite of that best selling image, in your heart you agree. Your work is too good for me to believe you crop as a rule.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2011, 09:49:49 PM »
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Russ, you're right that I don't crop a lot (and thank you for the compliment). However, on the occasions it is necessary, I do not hesitate. For any photographer, it's a necessary tool.
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
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stevegalle
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« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2011, 11:32:21 PM »
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Thanks everyone for the feedback, and sorry I've been absent for an interesting conversation.

Re: cropping in general, my preference is not to crop, but that's mostly because technically I just prefer to keep as much detail as possible. The preservation of the image as I originally saw it is often a secondary motivation, because truthfully although I'm getting better (and am much better when shooting film than digital), at my skill level it is pretty much always possible to find a crop that improves the image.

Re: this particular image, actually, I'm conflicted. I don't prefer the crop below the palm leaves, but a crop just below the flared lights at the top isn't horrible. The image is definitely more comfortable without the lights, but at the end of the day I think I might like the tension they bring. In either case, looking at the image I'm struck by how much less interesting it would be if the light next to the bench had not been burnt out. To me the resulting pool of dark makes what would otherwise just be a lonely, cold concrete bench seem like shelter from the rest of the generously lit environment (not to mention the texture it lends to the ramps). It kind of makes me scared of the light. Cropping the top off I loose that sensation; the station becomes stronger but less imposing at the same time. On the other hand maybe the crop keeps me looking around a bit more. But yeah, it's definitely less imposing. Hmm.

Steve



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stevegalle
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« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2011, 11:38:37 PM »
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Actually having stepped away and back, I dramatically prefer the original.

Steve
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