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Author Topic: Images that make you think  (Read 1309 times)
Dave (Isle of Skye)
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Don't mistake lack of talent for genius.


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« on: August 22, 2011, 07:27:37 AM »
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I know Russ has recently posted an image "The Circle" that definitely made me think and want to look deeper into it, so here is one from me that hopefully also makes you wonder why?

It was taken many years ago in Brighton (UK) of the old pier that had burnt down. It was early evening and just as a thick sea mist started to roll in. It was taken with one of the first digital rebel's, sporting the kit lens and with everything set to auto.

I am not in any way religious, yet it is still one of those images that I seem to keep coming back to and looking at, that seems to have more to say than the components within it. Technically it isn't very good at all, it's a bit grainy and the composition is all over the place.

I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to tell me what you think.

I call it "A Crown of Barbed Wire"

Dave (UK)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 08:59:08 AM by Dave (UK) » Logged

Fine Art Photography on the Misty Isle of Skye
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RSL
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 10:43:35 AM »
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Dave, It's fascinating. First, it looks like a "natural" duotone in red and blue. Is that even possible? Then, there's the mystery of what the face could be: A painting? But to get paint to adhere to the side of that piling seems a difficult task at best. A supernatural vision? Then how could you photograph it? The ruins -- if that's what they are -- on out in the water add to the mystery.

Great shot -- because it grows on you as you look at it. Did it strike you at once? Or, like my girl in the circle, did the significance sink in over time? I find that happens fairly often: I make a quick shot, not really thinking when I trip the shutter, seeing something that seems incidental, sort of in my peripheral vision, but image-worthy, and then, find myself coming back to it again and again. Here's an example from 2001, which I think everybody on LuLa has seen before, shot with a 3 MP Olympus point-and-shoot. I was walking down the street at night and saw something that made me turn on the camera I always carry, and shoot. I walked on and didn't think much more about it, but later I found myself coming back to the image again and again.

By the way, this kind of thing proves once more that unless you're shooting something like landscape (in which case you should be using at least an 8 x 10 view camera) equipment doesn't matter.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 07:22:53 PM »
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Nicely done, Dave.  I think Russ covered it well.

Mike.
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If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
~ Jean Cooke ~


My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
elliot_n
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 07:59:48 PM »
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Is this a Banksy?
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 07:25:37 AM »
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Did it strike you at once? Or, like my girl in the circle, did the significance sink in over time?

Hi Russ, I will be totally honest, I was just shooting in auto (brain and camera) with a cheap lens as I meandered down the sea front, pretty much on my own and just before dusk, I was just popping shots at anything that took my fancy. It wasn't until I got back to hotel later and reviewed my images that I thought, hmm that looks nice. So the next night I went back better prepared and photographed the hell out of it and not one of the deliberate images looked any way near as good. So I suppose it was an accident really, but then again is it an accident when I must have seen something worth pressing the shutter release for (subconsciously perhaps) to shoot the image, I don't really know.

I like your image by the way, it looks like you caught father Christmas having a day off...!

Dave (UK)
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Fine Art Photography on the Misty Isle of Skye
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 07:33:28 AM »
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Is this a Banksy?

Do you know I have no idea, but now you mention it, Brighton is very near London and so he could have been working there, so I suppose it could be, but it was taken before Banksy became famous, so perhaps it was one of his early images and if so, then this might be the only recorded shot of it, that I just happened to have taken by chance.

I did wonder why someone would have made all that effort to create something like this, that was obviously going to rust away or wash off very quickly. I did go back since and it has all but faded away.

Ooh, that puts a twist on it doesn't it?

Dave (UK)
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Justan
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2011, 09:08:28 AM »
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Its hard to pull off a photo of an artwork but this does it wonderfully. A beautiful and haunting image.
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RSL
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2011, 10:03:17 AM »
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...but then again is it an accident when I must have seen something worth pressing the shutter release for (subconsciously perhaps) to shoot the image, I don't really know.

Dave, This gets back to something I've said before in various ways on LuLa: It seems to me that the best way to shoot meaningless pictures is to engage your brain in the process. When I look at the work of HCB, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Frank (especially), and others like them, what always jumps out at me is the fact that their best pictures are snapshots -- shots made in response to something in front of them that they couldn't possibly have examined in detail in the time they had available to make the shot. This fact is emphasized if you look at the "expanded" version of Frank's book Looking In, which includes the contact sheet for each of the pictures in The Americans. It's fascinating and it gives you a great deal of information about how he worked.

But the picture I keep coming back to when I think about this is Cartier-Bresson's "Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, 1932." There was no way he could possibly have thought about that shot before he made it. The guy's jumped off the end of the ladder, is in mid-air, and is about to end up in the water. The splay of his legs is repeated in the splay of the dancers' legs in the advertisement on the wall behind him. It's simply too much detail to recognize consciously before you trip the shutter. But it's not too much detail for your subconscious to recognize. That it's a snapshot is made clearer by the fact that it's one of two pictures in his repertoire that's cropped. There was a fence on the left. He hadn't time to move to the right, so he shot, and cropped.

In the end it seems, most of the good stuff we get with a camera involves, if not pure luck, at least a lot of luck. But maybe a lot of that luck comes from being willing to fall back on your unconscious and just shoot when it feels right. I think so.
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elliot_n
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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2011, 10:19:40 AM »
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'Is this a Banksy?' is scratched on the pillar, below the stencil.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2011, 04:21:17 AM »
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'Is this a Banksy?' is scratched on the pillar, below the stencil.

Yes you are right, it does say that - you know I must be thick, but I have been trying to read that message for years and never really got it and now you tell me what it is saying and it's obvious isn't it?

Also I have done a bit of reseach online and Banksy did quite a few images/drawings in Brighton of kissing policemen etc. There are also some newer shots of this haunting face to be found on the net, but obviously I got in there early and before it had started to fade too much and luckily just happened to have captured it in the way that I did.

You live and you learn...

Dave (UK)
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 07:31:31 AM by Dave (UK) » Logged

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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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Don't mistake lack of talent for genius.


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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2011, 07:19:11 AM »
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In the end it seems, most of the good stuff we get with a camera involves, if not pure luck, at least a lot of luck. But maybe a lot of that luck comes from being willing to fall back on your unconscious and just shoot when it feels right. I think so.

I read somehwere and even maybe here on this forum, that luck plays a large part in any good photography, but the better I get then the luckier I seem to become...

Here is a link to a site discussing an amazing "lucky" image that is worth a read on this subject of luck and skill http://thephotoletariat.com/is-photography-about-pure-skill-or-a-little-bit-of-luck/

...and a brilliantly concise quote from one the site's bloggers - "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity".

Dave (UK)
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 07:26:42 AM by Dave (UK) » Logged

Fine Art Photography on the Misty Isle of Skye
http://www.photography.info
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