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Author Topic: PNW Evening  (Read 1950 times)
amolitor
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« on: June 29, 2012, 05:23:06 AM »
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For your delectation or otherwise.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 07:17:51 AM »
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I'm sorry but this does nothing for me.  I do love skies and this one might have some interest but it is just too dark to show much detail.

Sorry to be so negative - I do like to be constructive if I can.

Jim
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Kerry L
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 07:30:49 AM »
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I'm sorry but this does nothing for me.  I do love skies and this one might have some interest but it is just too dark to show much detail.

Sorry to be so negative - I do like to be constructive if I can.

Jim

Agreed.
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amolitor
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 08:20:25 AM »
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Never fear to be negative in a forum called 'Critiques'. Your honesty is a million times more valuable to me than your praise.

Thanks.
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shutterpup
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 09:00:47 AM »
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I think you got into my own "reject" folder and let this one see the light of day.  Wink  Didn't like mine at all; same with this one.
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amolitor
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 09:06:32 AM »
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shutterpup, this is the second time I have apparently reshot one of your rejects!
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louoates
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 09:08:03 AM »
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It would help to tell us why you chose this image to show.
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amolitor
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 09:47:30 AM »
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It would help to tell us why you chose this image to show.

Perhaps it would, Lou, but I am going to take a page from Russ's book and decline to comment on my image. It is what it is.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 10:20:51 AM »
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If it just had something up in that big open space up in the left of the image - a flock of birds flying to roost, the Moon (I know - it's cloudy), just something.  But then you chose to show it this way and maybe it resonates with you.  Some of my favourite images hardly stir other people but generally I don't care.  Much.

Jim
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RSL
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2012, 10:50:33 AM »
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The first thing a painter has to learn is when to stop. The first thing a photographer has to learn is when to cull.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2012, 12:28:09 PM »
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Like the others, I strongly recommend you stop rummaging through Shutterpup's reject folder.
You have shown us a number of quite interesting shots, but this one doesn't move me.
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amolitor
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2012, 12:56:04 PM »
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Thank you, Eric, but I think you may have me confused with someone else. The response to everything I've posted has been overwhelmingly negative, with perhaps one exception. I'm all grown up and so on, and can accept that this means I'm simply not posting very good work. I find the responses interesting nonetheless.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 02:55:22 PM »
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Never the one to shy from taking a dissenting view, I'll go against the grain here:

I dig it.

Not necessarily like it, but understand it. I usually push the concept "context matters", and after a series of photographs I've seen from you here, I think a context is beginning to emerge.

I might be completely wrong, of course, but it appears to me that you are in a phase where you are struggling to express something through your photography and that "something" is still unknown, even to you. What I can tell so far is that "something" is deeply personal, rather than popular.

So, what is it that I "understand" about this photograph? It has a lot of negative space (which isn't necessarily a negative thing in itself), it has a muted, even muddy monochromatic feel, it has a simple graphical design: two dominant areas, two colors (if we assume black is a color, although a more precise definition of black would be  "absence of color").

So, what this photograph isn't then? It is not crowd-pleasing. It isn't rules-adhering. It doesn't have crowd-pleasing, rule-adhering elements: moon, birds, etc., as Jim rightly noticed. It doesn't have anything spectacular in it. No lighthouse, dramatically lit clouds, nada. Thus the reaction so far.

Most of us here (including myself) strive to achieve that spectacular ingredient. Some make a living by selling to "unwashed masses," thus it is only natural to strive for crowd-pleasing elements. I am saying all this without any attempt to judge, especially not negatively, but rather matter-of-factly.

But life is not always spectacular, nor beautiful. As a matter of fact, it rarely is. At that very rareness is what pushes some of us into photography: we want to capture and preserve those fleeting moments, like hunting trophies. Nothing wrong with that. That is what makes us going through the rest of our lives, the bland and boring part of it: the prospect of capturing a glimpse of spectacular, the comfort of remembering the moment.

However, the need to capture and express the whole spectrum of human emotion is equally, well, human. The bland and boring, the emptiness and nothingness, desolation, solitude, "splendid isolation", quiet desperation, subdued elegance…

And that is, my friend, what I see in your photograph. And that is why I "dig" it. With my apologies for trying to get under your skin, but if I am wrong, then take my reading as my personal reaction to your image. Perhaps as an intersection of a Venn diagram, between my reading and your intention.








« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 08:44:58 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2012, 04:06:34 PM »
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Thank you, Eric, but I think you may have me confused with someone else. The response to everything I've posted has been overwhelmingly negative, with perhaps one exception. I'm all grown up and so on, and can accept that this means I'm simply not posting very good work. I find the responses interesting nonetheless.

Your comment prompted me to look back at a few of your recent posts. What I find is that you have offered several open and perceptive critiques of images posted by others, and you have also posted a smaller number of your own images, which, indeed, seem to have drawn little enthusiasm from LuLa folks.

But looking at some of the images you have posted, I now see that you seem to enjoy ambiguity. On one post you said, "I love it because I literally have no idea of the scale." You seem often to do closeups that are intended to hide clues to scale, or objects that seem somehow odd, like your shot of a log, or part of the rigging of a sailboat, or the present one.  They are definitely "non-conformist" shots, and I find myself oddly drawn to them, now that I've looked at a few of them.

So please keep on tweaking us with uncomfortable shots! They're definitely not boring!

Eric
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amolitor
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2012, 04:33:49 PM »
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Thank you all for your time, as always. The negatives and the positives, know I appreciate both. The positives, I admit, a little more Wink

Slobodan, thank you for your kind words. I am glad that I have connected in a small way. You're quite right that I am hunting around, trying things out. Am I looking for a "style" or a "vision"? Nothing so organized, really. I do other work that is pretty well received, but it's not appropriate for this forum (my 2 year old, and some nudes -- never at the same time!!) and they feel too easy -- how can you take a bad picture of a 2 year old girl, really? I aspire to make photographs that are good internally. I can (sometimes) handle the things where the job is simply to not ruin it, it's the things where I must *make* something good that interest me, and that I put out here for critique.

I'm glad to hear that even if it's not "good" it's interesting, thank you for that Eric.

Andrew
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2012, 05:31:30 AM »
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Andrew, I feel I must add my two-penneth to the other remarks on this particular image and your work in general. I have looked at some of your other work on-line and I quite like the monochrome of the staircase/fire escape, so I don't doubt you have an 'eye' for photography, nor do I doubt your knowledge and photographic abilities. It is just the work you post here is by your own admission, somewhat challenging, which is good for generating discussion and making us analyse what photography really means to each of us individually. But I think the reason you get mostly negative comments on your work (including some from me), is because you photograph in a way that makes us think that anyone could do that and without much effort or skill. This does not mean the images are bad per se or that you are a bad photographer, far from it, it is just that you seem to be looking to get something from that which we all choose to ignore.

So do I like this image? No. Do I understand what you are doing? Well I think I do. Will you be successful? Who knows, but all I can say is that it seems to work for William Eggleston, who is another photographer who leaves me scratching and shaking my head.

Please believe me, I am not trying to be negative here, in fact the complete opposite, I now find myself wanting to encourage you to carry on doing exactly what it is you are doing and in the way you are doing it.

Dave
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 09:45:20 AM by Dave (Isle of Skye) » Logged

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amolitor
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2012, 12:59:32 PM »
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Part of my thinking on photography follows:

This probably describes more of a spectrum than 3 distinct categories, I don't really care too much about the details like that. These are three notions I have about kinds of photographs.

There are photographs of "something", where the subject is inherently photogenic, or otherwise interesting. Flowers, nudes, famous people, interesting buildings, etc etc. For these, you "merely" need to not screw it up to create an appealing image. This is not to trivialize this work, not screwing it up is hard enough, and making something that's better than just an appealing image is real art. Your favorite portrait artist, for instance, is working in this zone.

There are photographs of "nothing" which reveal the nothing as something after all. Abstracted images of water, stones, that kind of thing. Maybe you see it in a new way, and realize that the smooth stone is interesting in its own right (I am on the record as disliking these things, but that doesn't mean they're not real photography and real art). Weston's pepper would be something here.

Then there are the photographs of nothing, which do not reveal the subject as something, but which are nonetheless powerful photographs. Walker Evans, for instance, did things I lump in here: It's a tin building, with a pile of dirt in front of it. Photographically, it's nothing. In his photograph, it's still nothing. The photograph itself, however, is powerful and moving. Some HCB arguably falls into this category too, I think.

Not that I am this organized, but the work I put out here is mostly, partly, sometimes my efforts at this last category. I feel like if I can develop even a little ability to make a good photograph out of material that's basically nothing (not necessarily hostile to the photographic process, but not inherently interesting) then I'll really have done something. This is purely personal, and I don't mean this as a criticism of anyone else's work, nor do I mean to suggest that you all ought to do it too. This is just what I happen to be up to.

And, finally, specifically to address your remarks, Dave. I think it's kind of basic to this kind of thing that it DOES look like anyone could do it, and the failures, anyone probably could. Most of HCB's photographs COULD have been made by taking 1 shot per second for a couple hours, and picking the right one (wasn't it said of HCB was that the "decisive moment" actually occurred with looking at the contact sheets?) A lot of Walker Evans consists of taking pictures of complete crap, absolutely nothing, from a very very very carefully selected spot. Any fool who happened to be standing in that exact spot, could have taken that photograph. At any rate, that is the sense one gets, true or false. At any, it was your remark that led me to start thinking of what I am doing in this way, so I sure hope there's something to it!


« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 01:04:02 PM by amolitor » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2012, 03:50:47 PM »
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Not that I am this organized, but the work I put out here is mostly, partly, sometimes my efforts at this last category. I feel like if I can develop even a little ability to make a good photograph out of material that's basically nothing (not necessarily hostile to the photographic process, but not inherently interesting) then I'll really have done something. This is purely personal, and I don't mean this as a criticism of anyone else's work, nor do I mean to suggest that you all ought to do it too. This is just what I happen to be up to.


What goes around, comes around. Here's what you recently wrote here about someone else's work:

"I quite dislike this sort of thing, and these photos are no exception! These sorts of things always strike me as images of "hey, a cool thing I saw" rather than any attempt to communicate or say anything. As far as I can tell, these are essentially personal images, that serve to remind one of the cool thing they saw that one day, and are pretty much meaningless to anyone else. Making a whole bunch of them a) seems to be the thing to do and b) seems to me to simply multiply the sin."

Allow me to give you bit of advice, amolitor: walk it like you talk it.
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amolitor
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2012, 06:16:20 PM »
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What now? I don't even understand what, if anything, you're complaining about. Sound advice, though.

Andrew

Edit: Obviously, I am being a little facetious. There is clearly some conflict that you see between those two sets of remarks. I only know what I meant by them, and there is no conflict. Clearly I failed to communicate adequately, and your understanding of what I meant is different and in conflict. I don't know what your understanding is, though, so your complaint is opaque to me.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 06:43:36 PM by amolitor » Logged

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My awesome blog about photography: http://photothunk.blogspot.com
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