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Author Topic: Hawthorn Tree..English lake district  (Read 7359 times)
Enda Cavanagh
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« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2012, 01:43:47 PM »
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I have to say I disagree with what you say. Looking at his image it was not just a case of moving a few sliders around.  It is a strong image to start with and he has selectively worked on different areas to create something in my opinion which is quite beautiful. The black and white is Shaun's interpretation of the scene. A black and white photo is treated completely differently to a colour photo. I really like the way he has darkened the bottom area. It focuses the eye very much on the beautiful form of the tree. I also love the way the 2 hills play of each other (One in sunlight and one in shadow) and the way the sunlit tree works in conflict with the diagonal looming storm cloud look (Of course you created that look. It is part blue sky and part cloud). It's the easiest thing in the world to take a photo of something nice and make a nice photo. It's there. It's free of charge. However, there is no imagination. You are just pointing the camera and clicking a button. You say it should be a little bit more like Henry Cartier-Bresson. He was a reportage photographer who's philosophy was about capturing the moment. Ansel Adams who was one of the true greats of landscape photography completely manipulated the image in the darkroom to create his interpretation of the scene. On saying that Shaun. I suggest you copy neither. It's far more important to have your own identity because again it requires no skill or imagination to base your style on another photographer. Also it doesn't degrade an image because you digitally manipulate it to create a look here which could be achieved in the darkroom from a neg/ (at least in the right hands Smiley)

I would say though that the feathering on the right of the dark cloud area which you created looks a bit strange. The feathering isn't quite right I think. The left of it looks more believable. I think the comments about the haloing above the hill are valid but that can easily be rectified. Sometimes you can miss the halos when you view it large on a screen. The small images posted on websites really bring halos out.

Well done overall though

Enda

My humble pov is: it's so easy to get "drama" into everything. Just push those sliders and here we are. I would like to see the drama without pushing, inherent to the content and design of the scene. Iow: a little bit (much) more henry cartier-bresson in landscape photography...
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Isaac
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« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2012, 07:59:02 PM »
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It's the easiest thing in the world to take a photo of something nice and make a nice photo. It's there. It's free of charge. However, there is no imagination. You are just pointing the camera and clicking a button. You say it should be a little bit more like Henry Cartier-Bresson. He was a reportage photographer who's philosophy was about capturing the moment.

This morning I finished reading "Henri Cartier-Bresson and the artless art".

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a photographer (jokingly warned by Robert Doisneau that he was in danger of being pigeon-holed as a surrealist photographer) long before he learned how to be a photo journalist. And he made portraits. And he photographed landscapes.

He drew a veil of aphorism around his philosophy (so I'll say no more about that).

He did claim to lack the imagination for movie story-telling.

As for "You are just pointing the camera and clicking a button." - it seems to me that Henri Cartier-Bresson was alive with the understanding of where to point the camera and when to click the button.
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Isaac
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« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2012, 08:03:34 PM »
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The original B&W is a wonderful interpretation of a dramatic landscape. ... This is a great example of an artist at work, not being satisfied with the machine image, but crafting the raw image to represent his original intent.

Grade inflation.

Should we always try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2012, 08:42:41 PM by Isaac » Logged
Enda Cavanagh
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« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2012, 04:32:08 AM »
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Isaac
You don't need to do another copy paste from someone else's wisdom to show me the merits of Henri Cartier Bresson. I love his photography. I love reportage photography. It's one of my favorite types of photography. I was talking in relation to landscape photography. I was talking about the pluses of someone interpreting a landscape scene to their own vision rather than just making a 100% factual record of it. I think Shaun has delivered a *pretty descent result largely based on how he viewed the final image.

*Sorry about my boo boo above. I typed pretty image effort which means God know what. I have now changed it  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 09:14:23 AM by Enda Cavanagh » Logged

Isaac
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« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2012, 10:52:18 AM »
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I love his photography. I love reportage photography. It's one of my favorite types of photography. I was talking in relation to landscape photography.

Any chance you'll hear if I say once again - surrealist photographer ... And he made portraits. And he photographed landscapes.

You're stuffing Cartier-Bresson into a pigeon-hole that's way way too small.

I was talking about the pluses of someone interpreting a landscape scene to their own vision rather than just making a 100% factual record of it.

Have you really looked at Cartier-Bresson's photographs?


My impression is that you're being defensive because you also like to use dramatic post processing.

The suggestion ixania2 made is straightforward enough - if you want to make a dramatic picture then take a photograph of a dramatic situation, that'll make a much better dramatic picture.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 12:03:44 PM by Isaac » Logged
feethea
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« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2012, 05:26:28 AM »
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Once again I'm in complete agreement with Enda - both re Bresson and Shaun's monochrome attempt, albeit with some (minor) technical flaws, as being a beautiful interpretation of the scene. Shaun you are to be congratulated. Well done.

Barry
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Enda Cavanagh
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« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2012, 08:34:52 AM »
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Issac
The subject here isn't about you getting your knickers in a twist about Henri Cartier-Brsson. The subject is Shaun's photograph. My point was he should follow his own instinct and ideas rather than as was suggested that he be influenced by another photographer good, bad, famous, hairy, skinny or bald Cheesy

And how can I be defensive about a photo that isn't mine. Plus my "dramatic post processing" is completely different to Shaun's technique. Paint everyone with the same brush why don't you that isn't to your taste. The majority of images that I seem to be drawn to are generally very different in style to mine. As I said I love black and white reportage photography for example.

I think your post

"Grade inflation.

Should we always try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?"

shows a lack of respect for the guy's attempt at creating an interesting image. It's not about agreeing with him or disagreeing with him, it's about dismissing his photo and his technique as if your arrogance is supposed to illustrate greater knowledge.

That's just my opinion
Enda
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2012, 09:05:36 AM »
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I admit I was briefly enamoured of Slobodan's variant, before he removed it. But I've been coming back to Shaun's original image several times, and the drama of it has grown on me. The technical "flaws" now seem trivial compared with the imapct of the image, and I very much agree with Enda and others.

It's a powerful keeper, IMHO.

Eric
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Isaac
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« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2012, 11:54:51 AM »
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The subject here isn't about you getting your knickers in a twist about Henri Cartier-Brsson. The subject is Shaun's photograph.
And ixania2 put forward his pov on Shaun's photograph by analogy to Cartier-Bresson's photography.
And you tried to dismiss that analogy by saying Cartier-Bresson was a reportage photographer and this is landscape photography, so the analogy doesn't apply.
As-if the moment-by-moment play of light across the landscape isn't a source of inspiration and frustration - ixania2's analogy is not so easily dismissed.

Ansel Adams who was one of the true greats of landscape photography completely manipulated the image in the darkroom to create his interpretation of the scene.
Did he? Did he "completely manipulate" a benign afternoon in the foothills with sturm und drang? Which photo are you thinking of? Even on a summer day, the Sierra Nevada mountains can be very dramatic.

And how can I be defensive about a photo that isn't mine. Plus my "dramatic post processing" is completely different to Shaun's technique.
People can be defensive about all sorts of stuff that isn't theirs, when there's similarity to something they care about. (You've said I'm getting my knickers in a twist, painting everyone with the same brush, and am arrogant - if you aren't being defensive, you are attacking the person rather than the things they say.)

I think your post "Grade inflation. Should we always try to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?" shows a lack of respect for the guy's attempt at creating an interesting image. It's not about agreeing with him or disagreeing with him, it's about dismissing his photo and his technique as if your arrogance is supposed to illustrate greater knowledge.
Did you notice my comment was made to luxborealis not to shaunw.
But as you've said that, why exactly should I respect an attempt to make a photo taken on a quiet day on the hill into sturm und drang? People deserve respect - but that isn't necessarily true of the things people do.
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Les Sparks
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« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2012, 12:48:49 PM »
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Did he? Did he "completely manipulate" a benign afternoon in the foothills with sturm und drang? Which photo are you thinking of? Even on a summer day, the Sierra Nevada mountains can be very dramatic.
When you read any of the accounts of Ansel Adam's photography, it's clear that he used every tool available from the time he saw the scene to the final print he achieve the print he visualized. He exposed and then pushed and pulled and locally enhanced the negative, dodged and burned the print and did whatever else he could to achieve his vision. Often his vision changed and later prints were much different from earlier prints. For example, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico was initially printed with a light sky and later prints were printed with a dramatic nearly black sky.

Les
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2012, 01:37:58 PM »
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In defense of what Isaac and ixania2 are saying, I think there is a subtle, elusive, but still a difference between enhancing what's there (what Adams did) and changing it, between interpreting reality and altering it. Changing it from a lovely, pastoral, serene, optimistic, sunlit scene into a sturm und drang (love that metaphor), brooding, ominous, dramatic, etc. one.

It can be done (obviously), but why? To prove that we can photoshop anything into something?

After all, Adams did not take a mid-day, postcard view and blackened it into drama. He took what was there, moonrise, late sun side-lighted crosses, etc, and accentuated it by enhancing contrast and by dodging and burning. That the original shot was much flatter was a result of his attempt to capture the full dynamic range of the scene in a single negative (just like most RAW files are flat right out of camera), thus not a completely documentary record of that evening.
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Slobodan

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Isaac
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« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2012, 01:55:00 PM »
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When you read any of the accounts of Ansel Adam's photography...
Did he "completely manipulate" a benign afternoon in the foothills with sturm und drang?

For example, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico was initially printed with a light sky and later prints were printed with a dramatic nearly black sky.

Here's a 1941 print.

Here's a 1946 print - somewhat lighter sky.

Here's ca. 1950s-'60s print - much darker sky.

Seems quite a peaceful image to me - not sturm und drang.


"I am sure that the image would command general interest for the subject alone. It is a romantic/emotional moment in time. I think it would have a certain appreciation even if poorly printed. However, the mood of the scene requires subtle value qualities in the print that I feel are supportive of the original visualization. The printed image has varied over the years; I have sought more intensity of light and richness of values as time goes on." p43 Moonrise

Ansel Adams, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 03:36:06 PM by Isaac » Logged
luxborealis
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« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2012, 02:09:16 PM »
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I am getting sick to death of these incessant arguments about whether an image/photograph/reality is enhanced or changed and then invoking one or more of the masters to try to add weight to the argument.

Bottom line - we are artists. It is irrelevant whether the way we choose to interpret a scene is the way it was "in reality". Reality, after all, differs for each and every one of us. And the reality one moment is different from the reality of the next moment. If one "sees" the scene with dark clouds, an artist would paint them in whether they are there or not - why is is any different with photographers who have the tools to do so.

Who ever first commanded that photography is all about reproducing reality and that the artist (photographer) who changes reality has committed a sin, has done all of us a huge disservice. We now have all these automatons who at one end of the spectrum claim that anything changed from what the camera shot is "lying" to those who want to split hairs over "enhancing" versus "changing". It is irrelevant! What counts is the final work.

Another bottom line: if Shaun's original work had been done flawlessly so that none of us could tell that he had manipulated it, we wouldn't be having this discussion. We would have commended Shaun with the usual "well seen, Shaun" and thought nothing of how he arrived at the final photograph.

Stop being handcuffed by what others think photography should and should not be and create a photograph that represents not just what you saw (or your camera saw), but what you felt as well. That's what art is about. Art is not chaining yourself to what some machine has created, but liberating yourself to recreate your vision. Whether that means pushing sliders or burning and dodging with multigrade filters, the final image will speak for itself. It it's lousy with obvious flaws then people won't like it. If it's brilliantly executed and stirs emotion, people will like it. Does the end justify the means? Perhaps so. Must you be true to the original scene? Not all if, that's the path you choose.

Just to put what I'm saying into context - I lean much closer to the side of "straight" photography: I am working in the nature and outdoors field with the goal of "revealing the art in nature", so my approach to photography is to let the art inherent in nature speak for itself. But that does't mean my notion of photography must command what others do. Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, John Sexton, Freeman Patterson and many more have had a significant influence on the kind of photographer I am, but I don't live and die by what I think they would do.

Be yourself - if that means other people don't like what you've done, so be it. Our goal as artists is embarrassingly selfish: first and foremost, please yourself, be yourself, be true to yourself.
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Terry McDonald
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2012, 02:22:41 PM »
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... create a photograph that represents not just what you saw (or your camera saw), but what you felt as well. That's what art is about...

In complete agreement.

However, if you what you feel is sturm und drang, but what you see is a serene, pastoral scene, then a different kind of professionals, not photographers, are better suited to deal with that.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2012, 02:29:37 PM »
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... Another bottom line: if Shaun's original work had been done flawlessly so that none of us could tell that he had manipulated it, we wouldn't be having this discussion...

Again, in complete agreement.

But it hadn't been done that way, thus this discussion. Even before Shaun posted the RAW file, people were commenting that something was not right (and not just haloing). People felt it is "artificially looking", or could not put their finger on what exactly is bothering them.

And what is bothering them (us) is exactly what "makes you sick": the thin line between enhancing and altering at the expense of believability.
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luxborealis
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« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2012, 02:37:09 PM »
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Quote from: luxborealis on Today at 03:09:16 PM
... create a photograph that represents not just what you saw (or your camera saw), but what you felt as well. That's what art is about...
In complete agreement.

However, if you what you feel is sturm und drang, but what you see is a serene, pastoral scene, then a different kind of professionals, not photographers, are better suited to deal with that.

This is exactly the narrow thinking my diatribe was against - photography is just as well suited to "altering reality" as any other medium of self-expression. What do you think B&W is - certainly not reality. Significantly altering reality isn't my style of photography, but if others want to do it - who am I or anyone to say they shouldn't!

And what does believability have to do with it. Do we accept/reject every kind of representational art (painting, sculpture, etc.) based on its believability? No! The sooner photographers realize that art is about expression and start putting more of their own expression into their work, the sooner the art world will fully accept photography as more than just paint-by-number snapshots produced by a machine held by someone who thinks they are creating art.

Stop being handcuffed by what we've been told photography should or should not be.
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Terry McDonald
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2012, 02:55:03 PM »
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... photography is just as well suited to "altering reality" as any other medium...

Once again, in complete agreement.

But when it does, it crosses genres into (digital) illustration.

I know that by now you hate my "thin line", but there is a thin line, though profound difference, between artists using photography as a medium and photographers striving to create art.
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Slobodan

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« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2012, 03:04:33 PM »
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I am getting sick to death of these incessant arguments about whether an image/photograph/reality is enhanced or changed and then invoking one or more of the masters to try to add weight to the argument.

Bottom line - we are artists. It is irrelevant whether the way we choose to interpret a scene is the way it was "in reality". Reality, after all, differs for each and every one of us. And the reality one moment is different from the reality of the next moment. If one "sees" the scene with dark clouds, an artist would paint them in whether they are there or not - why is is any different with photographers who have the tools to do so.

Who ever first commanded that photography is all about reproducing reality and that the artist (photographer) who changes reality has committed a sin, has done all of us a huge disservice. We now have all these automatons who at one end of the spectrum claim that anything changed from what the camera shot is "lying" to those who want to split hairs over "enhancing" versus "changing". It is irrelevant! What counts is the final work.

Another bottom line: if Shaun's original work had been done flawlessly so that none of us could tell that he had manipulated it, we wouldn't be having this discussion. We would have commended Shaun with the usual "well seen, Shaun" and thought nothing of how he arrived at the final photograph.

Stop being handcuffed by what others think photography should and should not be and create a photograph that represents not just what you saw (or your camera saw), but what you felt as well. That's what art is about. Art is not chaining yourself to what some machine has created, but liberating yourself to recreate your vision. Whether that means pushing sliders or burning and dodging with multigrade filters, the final image will speak for itself. It it's lousy with obvious flaws then people won't like it. If it's brilliantly executed and stirs emotion, people will like it. Does the end justify the means? Perhaps so. Must you be true to the original scene? Not all if, that's the path you choose.

Be yourself - if that means other people don't like what you've done, so be it. Our goal as artists is embarrassingly selfish: first and foremost, please yourself, be yourself, be true to yourself.

Nicely written, but too kind.

Typically artists strive for mastery of technique applied creatively.

Any real artist would be sickened if they were trapped into endlessly repeating the same kinds of things they studied in the past. It is like a musician who can only perform one piece of music, a sculptor who can only make one kind of sculpture, a potter who can only make one thing out of clay, or a painter who can only paint one work, or even worse, paint the work using just one color! There may be some artistry in that, but mostly itís just a painfully boring mechanical process.

And yet, many here use use a camera to do the exact kind of thing and scoff at anything that doesnít fit their notion of a cookie cutter.
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Isaac
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« Reply #38 on: January 20, 2012, 01:42:23 AM »
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Bottom line - we are artists.
Who do you mean by "we"?

You and Slobodan? You and me and Slobodan? Everyone who commented on this topic? Everyone member of this discussion forum? Everyone who has taken a photograph? Every human being?
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jalcocer
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« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2012, 07:30:34 AM »
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I really like the B&W, very dramatic, the tones in the sky look amazing and there is a sense of light comming directly over the tree.
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