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Author Topic: The Making of Belmonte Castle - A Tutorial  (Read 7982 times)
EduPerez
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« on: November 21, 2011, 05:53:26 AM »
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Many thanks for this tutorial; that kind of information is hard to find.
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jsch
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2011, 11:20:03 AM »
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Wow. This tutorial really shows how to transform a wonderful castle into a piece of chrismas decoration. What about some illuminated pink flamingos in front of the castle?

I prefer the result after "step 1". Perhaps that needs a small curve adjustment.

Best,
Johannes
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kikashi
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 12:06:25 PM »
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Wow. This tutorial really shows how to transform a wonderful castle into a piece of chrismas decoration.
Don't knock Christmas decorations: they sell well, particularly at this time of year.

Jeremy
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Josh-H
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 05:04:43 PM »
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I think this photo represents the old adage, "just because you can doesn't mean you should".

We all have different visual tastes, but this is too Shutterbug magazine for me.

Personally, I find the photograph extremely overworked; no less than an effort to turn a sows ear into a silk purse. One could of course argue he succeeded - he won a Gold at APPA with it after all. Peter's work polarises me and this photograph is no different. As an Australian photographer I get to see quite a lot of his photography and its always a hit out of the park for me or a complete train wreck. In this instance the later.
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michael
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 05:08:00 PM »
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It's not my cup of tea, but there are things to be learned from the tutorial that some people may find of interest and worth knowing.

Michael
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cmi
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2011, 05:33:42 PM »
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http://www.luminous-landscape.com/1photo-pages/castille_belmonte___spanish_castle.shtml

http://www.petereastway.com/showpics.taf?portno=36&PortName=SPAIN

Interestingly this is a case where the presentation makes or breaks the image. It doesnt work on the dark Lula-Background with many elements around it, border, and the menu bar on the left. But on Mr. Eastways site wich is basically white, and one signal color for each image, this is a whole different story. There it becomes apparent that this style works because of division of the image into color parts.

Initially I throught this has to be one of the worst ever images ever presented here, but not so after visiting the original site. At least for me it is now a new and very interesting style.

The tutorial was old news for me, but thanks for that lesson.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 05:36:38 PM by cmi » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2011, 06:54:20 PM »
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Not necessarily an easy subject.

Beyond the fairly basic tutorial, I find the article thought provoking in that it makes me think about how I would have addressed this subject.

Considering the challening/boring light condition, I would probably not even have taken the camera out of the bag, or at least would not have gone past the selection step in Capture One. Not only did the photographer work on this material, but he spent a lot of time on it to achieve a result he could sell. This is a fascinating thing to me, it makes me feel like I should really go back to these 100.000s of image I shot and never really gave much thought to after the initial 1 sec keep/no keep review.

Now, on the technical side. The usage of stitching is obviously a good idea to start with, many photographers would probably have shot with a wider lens and cropped after the fact. But the problem is the shape of the path in the foreground that I personally feel is not very pleasing to the eye. I would guess that a cylindrical projection was used. I could be wrong, but the image doesn't feel wide enough that a more photographic planar projection could not have been used so I assume that this is an artistic decision by the photographer (and not the limitations of PS CS's stitching function I  hope), but I just cannot relate to the way the path circles back in close to the lower right end of the frame. I would have moved back 15m and used a planar projection, or would have done for a different crop.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: November 21, 2011, 07:06:50 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
Isaac
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2011, 07:31:32 PM »
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Initially I throught this has to be one of the worst ever images ever presented here, but not so after visiting the original site. At least for me it is now a new and very interesting style.

Did it become more interesting to you when presented as one among a sequence of images rather than as an isolated image?
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cmi
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2011, 08:17:01 PM »
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Did it become more interesting to you when presented as one among a sequence of images rather than as an isolated image?

Isolated image. Of course the number of images make the style more evident.
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ashaughnessy
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2011, 03:48:15 AM »
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I'm also not keen on the final version of the picture (like another responder, I prefer the earlier versions) but as a how-to article I thought it was very interesting and useful, which I guess is the whole point.
Anthony Shaughnessy
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Kerry L
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2011, 08:39:12 AM »
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I find it ironic that this thread "The Making of Belmonte Castle" immediately follows the thread "When is a Photograph a Cheat? " A rather curious hapenstance.
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"Try and let your mind see further than your eyes.”
walterk
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2011, 12:02:02 PM »
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The author mentions that the disrepair of this castle is a refreshing change from other clinically restored sites in Europe, but there is nothing refreshing, let alone authentic coming from the results of this ham-handed treatment of a historic site. The cloning of trees is bad enough, but the severe distortion of the castle is an inexcusable offense from someone who calls himself a travel or landscape photographer. Any value gleaned from the basic lesson in how to stitch, clone, mask, discolor, and distort in photoshop, is undermined by the implicit endorsement of what NOT to do when processing landscape and travel photography, that is, if a location doesn't match your preconceived aesthetic ideal you can always change it later. My complaint is not about the lie vs truth discussed elsewhere on this site. Call it photography, call it illustration, call it whatever you want. It's that the author wants us to believe he's showing us what he's experienced as opposed to what is actually there. But what we're really seeing is a paste-up of elements reconfigured into a tired, formalistic composition, with false, localized colorization. Like similarly treated photographs found in post card racks all over Europe, the artifice is immediately apparent. What sort of experience is that?
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Isaac
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2011, 01:02:30 PM »
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Edit: I so misread what walterk wrote that I'll just scrub my comment and start again :-(

Like similarly treated photographs found in post card racks all over Europe, the artifice is immediately apparent.
When seen in the sequence of photos on the author's website "the artifice is immediately apparent" - and perhaps strangely that's why I find the artifice less objectionable than glancing at just the photo of Belmonte Castle and wondering about floodlighting.

What sort of experience is that?
Postmodern Romantic :-)

Recently I was looking through a book about photography (which I won't name), and after being delighted at some of the authors photos I was a little surprised at my reaction to their photo-shopped images. The surprise was that what seemed to bother me depended on what I read-between-the-lines into the images as the photographer's intent. As long as I thought the photos had been composited to remove some distraction, I was fine with what had been done. As long as I thought the photos had been composited with the intention of creating some highly stylized picture (like the examples in Photoshop Compositing Secrets), I was fine with what had been done.

But when presented with a "straight" photo, with a large area of blank sky replaced by a more interesting forest background, I read-between-the-lines that the photographer's intention was to fool me - and I didn't like that at all.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2011, 02:07:19 PM by Isaac » Logged
dreed
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« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2011, 11:06:48 AM »
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The author mentions that the disrepair of this castle is a refreshing change from other clinically restored sites in Europe, but there is nothing refreshing, let alone authentic coming from the results of this ham-handed treatment of a historic site. The cloning of trees is bad enough, but the severe distortion of the castle is an inexcusable offense from someone who calls himself a travel or landscape photographer. Any value gleaned from the basic lesson in how to stitch, clone, mask, discolor, and distort in photoshop, is undermined by the implicit endorsement of what NOT to do when processing landscape and travel photography, that is, if a location doesn't match your preconceived aesthetic ideal you can always change it later. My complaint is not about the lie vs truth discussed elsewhere on this site. Call it photography, call it illustration, call it whatever you want. It's that the author wants us to believe he's showing us what he's experienced as opposed to what is actually there. But what we're really seeing is a paste-up of elements reconfigured into a tired, formalistic composition, with false, localized colorization. Like similarly treated photographs found in post card racks all over Europe, the artifice is immediately apparent. What sort of experience is that?

To put a different perspective on this, if that sort of imagery didn't sell then the postcard racks all over Europe wouldn't be full of that kind of image.

So whilst it may upset various folks here, maybe it works for the travelling populace?

Perhaps the value in the image is that it's taken effort to transform the picture into a piece of art that someone can't get out of the car and 5 minutes later have a clone of it on their facebook page?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2011, 12:01:08 PM »
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It appears to me there is a certain pattern emerging in several recent discussions on these forums. Not sooner someone mentions a successful photographer (be it Andreas Gursky, Peter Lik or Peter Eastway), there is a knee-jerk reaction the likes of "kitsch, crass, crap, artifice, hype..." And it doesn't seem to matter if we are talking about modern, sometimes esoteric art (Gursky) or rather mass-popular (Lik) or somewhere in between (Eastway), the reactions seem the same.

And what is more disappointing (for me at least) is that those reactions are coming from fellow photographers that frequent the site called Luminous Landscape, but who would rather claim that "no landscape photograph is art or worth millions" than rejoice in the fact that landscape photography is so highly valued, even if it is only in monetary terms (and it is not). Why are we so trigger-happy to devalue any type of landscape photography that does not confirm to our own style, and especially so when it becomes much more successful than ours? In previous discussions I offered two possible explanations: sour grapes and ignorance, but they are perceived by some as insults, so I am open now for alternative explanations.
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Isaac
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« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2011, 12:30:13 PM »
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Why are we so trigger-happy to devalue any type of landscape photography that does not confirm to our own style, and especially so when it becomes much more successful than ours?
That "trigger-happy to devalue" sometimes seems like a basic response in situations were we stand in comparison to others - we make ourselves bigger in our minds by making others smaller? (And no, that should not be taken as a comment on anything any particular person has said on LuLa!)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2011, 12:49:06 PM by Isaac » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2011, 12:34:44 AM »
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It appears to me there is a certain pattern emerging in several recent discussions on these forums. Not sooner someone mentions a successful photographer (be it Andreas Gursky, Peter Lik or Peter Eastway), there is a knee-jerk reaction the likes of "kitsch, crass, crap, artifice, hype..." And it doesn't seem to matter if we are talking about modern, sometimes esoteric art (Gursky) or rather mass-popular (Lik) or somewhere in between (Eastway), the reactions seem the same.

And what is more disappointing (for me at least) is that those reactions are coming from fellow photographers that frequent the site called Luminous Landscape, but who would rather claim that "no landscape photograph is art or worth millions" than rejoice in the fact that landscape photography is so highly valued, even if it is only in monetary terms (and it is not). Why are we so trigger-happy to devalue any type of landscape photography that does not confirm to our own style, and especially so when it becomes much more successful than ours? In previous discussions I offered two possible explanations: sour grapes and ignorance, but they are perceived by some as insults, so I am open now for alternative explanations.

Agreed. This isn't about LL though, overall the last people you would want to invite to your photo exhibition are fellow photographers. :-)

I'll never forget one comment I got from a gentlemen last year in a show where I was displaying large prints of Mt Fuji. He appeared to be a photographer judging from the camera hanging from his neck. He said... "you'd have to be an idiot to take an image like this one and print it so big".  Grin

Now, and this is not about this particular photograph, we all know two important and factual things:
- we'll never know for sure whether our own photographs don't sell for a zillion kopeks because they are not good enough or because they are not marketed well enough, but the former is more likely,
- most of the images that sell for a zillion kopeks are more often than not very well marketed.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 01:53:44 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
fredjeang
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« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2011, 06:01:14 AM »
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About this marketing idea,

I'd like to give a slightly different perspective.

A lot of people, generally who aren't directly involved or concern by the high-end art market, think that this is all about marketing, contacts, and very little about content.
Of course, there is a certain dosis of injured egos (jalousy). "I'm not there because I do not have the contacts but in fact I have the level and above"...bla bla bla...we've read that many times.


In my experience, the situation is not reflecting exactly this idea.

I have personal contacts and relations with some world level galleries owners, and none of those person would ever give me a chance. Why? Because my work to date is simply not good enough.
What does it mean "not good enough"?

People who actually do not know the backstage, tend to think that this is just a corrupted market, and there is of course that, but in fact it is more the exception than the rule.

Many great gallerists have had to work and sacrifice a lot of their life to reach this level. With or without relations. It doesn't come easily. All the people I know at the highest level didn't have any particular advantage over others, some even started with real disadvantages and zero background. It's a combination of their work, dedication, seriousness and keeping the direction while overcoming obstacles.

Rarely, world-wide recognition comes just because of marketing. Before you can reach people who actually know how to market your art, you'd have to go through a long and hard process where luck is generally not involved as many people tend or like to think. Most of the artist give up at one point or another in this adventure and generally feel frustration, misunderstanded etc...

It's easy to attack the high-end market when someone has not managed to be part of it, but in fact it is bloody difficult and chalenging in many aspects to succeed in it and reach the point where people want you, need you.

So, back to the "not good enough". Not good enough doen't mean that the imagery is bad.

Some years ago, a french gallerist who works a lot in Milan too came to visit me. He was very pleased with some of my work. Then he immediatly started to ask me: are you really compromised, constant with this line of work? I said no, knowing perfectly that it would close me the door, but it was the truth and I didn't want this door to be opened telling a lie, because then your reputation colapse. This world is a small one.
Also, I wasn't involved enough in this kind of imagery to really compromised myself with it.

The art scene doesn't look for people who are able to do brilliant imagery. There are zillions in the world. A lot worsed and a lot better than us.

And you do not get to interest the people who are able to make you grow ww just because you are able to do pleasant, esthetic, top images. This, is NOT enough.

That's generally truth in all that has to do with the high-end, whatever the activity is.


« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 06:53:03 AM by fredjeang » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2011, 07:00:36 AM »
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A lot of people, generally who aren't directly involved or concern by the high-end art market, think that this is all about marketing, contacts, and very little about content.
Of course, there is a certain dosis of injured egos (jalousy). "I'm not there because I do not have the contacts but in fact I have the level and above"...bla bla bla...we've read that many times.

...

It's easy to attack the high-end market when someone has not managed to be part of it, but in fact it is bloody difficult and chalenging in many aspects to succeed in it and reach the point where people want you, need you.

...

And you do not get to interest the people who are able to make you grow ww just because you are able to do pleasant, esthetic, top images. This, is NOT enough.

That's generally truth in all that has to do with the high-end, whatever the activity is.

Thanks for the insider view.

I am not surprised by what you write though. Buyers spending big amounts of cash know what they are buying, whatever the domain.

Perhaps I didn't use the right word when I wrote "marketing". I never intended it as meaning attempts to hide poor work or to disguise it into something better than what it actually is. To me marketing is a positive work describing the focus on communicating effectively the value of something. In this context "well marketed" in my mind refers to the provision of the right level of visibility to an artist when he is "good enough".

More often than not, this is the result of past success and existing recognition, mostly well deserved.

I believe that most artists, even if they are good enough, transit through a stage in their career when they are not yet provided with this level of marketing.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
fredjeang
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« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2011, 07:07:19 AM »
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This is true.

But the world is too crowdy.

When I was student, you could go to a cine studio in Paris, they would give you a job: sweep the floor, carry cables etc...a lot of actors, DP, etc.. started like that. If you didn't give-up, you had a feet inside and then step by step could grow within the industry.

Very fast, they closed their doors, they protected themselves, they invented the schools because everyone wanted to work in cine and there where cuying to sweep the plateaux floors.

Too many people wanting all the same thing. The world is saturated.

So there are a lot of talented people that will never had an oportunity, the market is smaller than the offer pressure.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2011, 07:10:23 AM by fredjeang » Logged
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