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Author Topic: Early Morning in the Burbs  (Read 2224 times)
RSL
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« on: September 06, 2012, 05:04:55 PM »
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I finally have my computer problem well enough under control that I can get out among 'em again.
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WalterEG
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 05:57:03 PM »
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In a genre very dear to my heart:  the built environment.  But there is no clue in the image itself as to it being early morning.  Not that that bothers me particularly, I couldn't care what time of day it is, but it makes the title a tad confusing.

Is this from the new beast?

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 06:03:40 PM »
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... Is this from the new beast?...

Of course... can't you read the mileage on the Jeep dashboard? Grin
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Slobodan

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RSL
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 08:30:56 PM »
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Yep, it's from the D800, but handheld. On the other hand, the new 24-120 f/4 does good work handheld.

You're right, Walter. I should have titled it "The Burbs." I shot it about 07:30, but there's nothing in the picture to indicate that.
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Rob C
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2012, 08:03:17 AM »
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Though quite different, this shot reminds me of Walter's church.

Rob C
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amolitor
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2012, 08:39:52 AM »
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I recognize this genre as a real thing, I've seen it around here and there.

It's a thing that I *profoundly* don't get. I recognize that failing as in me. If someone wanted to take a minute to take a crack at explaining it, insofar as it is explainable, I would listen with gratitude.

(sorry to derail here, Russ)
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2012, 09:26:21 AM »
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I think itís a sort of homage to The Saturday Evening Post and that certain sense of 40s/50s Americana that came to symbolise America for many of us who never imagined that, one day, weíd visit and make our own decisions about its reality.

Roses, white picket fences Ė Blue Velvet comes to mind. Think itís a nostalgic reaching out to something that existed perhaps mainly in the mind though, obviously enough, also in scattered pockets of reality.

I sense its something thatís mostly associated with the States and bits of the old British Empire. As such, I think that those who play within the genre probably do have a sense of the outer world, have travelled and are probably old enough to have absorbed all those slightly esoteric influences that I image hardly exist at all for the younger set.

For what its worth, I think this music goes with the mood.

http://youtu.be/tO7HpibwCbA

Rob C
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2012, 09:43:22 AM »
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I recognize this genre as a real thing, I've seen it around here and there.

It's a thing that I *profoundly* don't get....

I, for one, do not get what you don't get. What genre, what "real thing"?
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Slobodan

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amolitor
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2012, 10:06:35 AM »
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What I mean, Slobodan, is that I see work in this style out there. I see that people are making it, and they're making it on purpose. I see other people commenting on it, and reacting to it in a positive way. That's what I mean when I say "it's a real thing". I mean that it's a genre of photographic art that people seem to like and understand.

To me it's completely banal and meaningless. I look at it and my reaction is, in its entirety, "What?"

That said, I am pretty confident that Russ and the more famous photographers who have shot this sort of thing aren't just teasing me, they expect and hope that my reaction will be something more than "What?"

So, the problem is in me, not the work. Right?
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amolitor
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2012, 10:09:06 AM »
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Interesting Rob. Kind of Norman Rockwell 'slice of America' things, maybe?

Your reference to Blue Velvet intruigues me. Do you see this sort of thing as hinting at a less savory subtext, in general?
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Brett_D
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2012, 10:49:01 AM »
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It's easy to say that it hints at Blue Velvet or Saturday Evening Post, (which are almost exact opposites), but visually I think it lacks either of those things.  It's a snapshot that could be taken on any block of any suburb in America.  In my opinion, it doesn't say anything about that subject though.  It doesn't have a subject matter to draw in the eye or explain the photo.  There are some interesting details to be found (such as the "lab xing" sign), but those details aren't framed to make them stand out or say anything.  I think you're attempting a photo in a genre that -- to work -- requires a narrative, and this photo lacks that.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2012, 11:07:13 AM »
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What I mean, Slobodan, is that I see work in this style out there. I see that people are making it, and they're making it on purpose. I see other people commenting on it, and reacting to it in a positive way....

Ok, so "it" is real, a style even. But what is that "it"? Are you referring to New Topographics?

« Last Edit: September 07, 2012, 11:15:18 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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amolitor
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2012, 11:11:24 AM »
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I have no idea what "it" is called, or even if "it" has a name.

The photographs I mean are these banal-seeming pictures of seemingly ordinary suburban scenes, usually or perhaps always without people. This could certainly be a part of, or the entirety of, a named movement of some sort. I know I've seen this sort of thing from some Californian photographers from the last.. uh.. maybe 30 or 40 years. There are, I assume, others.

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RSL
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2012, 11:18:30 AM »
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(sorry to derail here, Russ)

You're not derailing, Andrew. I understand your reaction.

Quote
To me it's completely banal and meaningless. I look at it and my reaction is, in its entirety, "What?"

I think that's one of the reasons it works. Have you ever looked at Lee Friedlander's photographs? Some of Garry Winogrand's fall into the same category. The banality is the meaning. It's the epitome of blah. Brett needs to check Friedlander and Winogrand. The "lack of narrative" is the point. I usually stay away from it, but this time I just couldn't resist.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2012, 11:19:08 AM »
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I have no idea what "it" is called, or even if "it" has a name.

The photographs I mean are these banal-seeming pictures of seemingly ordinary suburban scenes, usually or perhaps always without people. This could certainly be a part of, or the entirety of, a named movement of some sort. I know I've seen this sort of thing from some Californian photographers from the last.. uh.. maybe 30 or 40 years. There are, I assume, others.

I think we are then talking about the New Topographics movement. From the referenced Wikipedia article:

"The pictures were stripped of any artistic frills and reduced to an essentially topographic state, conveying substantial amounts of visual information but eschewing entirely the aspects of beauty, emotion and opinion,." "[...] rigorous purity, deadpan humor and a casual disregard for the importance of the images."
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Slobodan

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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2012, 01:49:11 PM »
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Interesting Rob. Kind of Norman Rockwell 'slice of America' things, maybe?

Your reference to Blue Velvet intruigues me. Do you see this sort of thing as hinting at a less savory subtext, in general?


I think that Blue Velvet did that with some of the finding-a-finger scenes (I apologised ahead if I'm mixing up the scenes - was a while ago!); I'm not really reading anything more into Russ' specific image than the idea of a sort of building style: clean, white, uncluttered and, presumably, inexpensive but aspirational for certain class mobilities, as it were.

Yes, Rockwell, as in stressing the mythical American way or the eyes-to-the horizon thing, even if your horizon is possibly going to end on the same street where the house stands. I suppose it's all about a lost dream of something that may or may not have ever existed. Pictures of that sort of subject relive it, in some ways, even if the style goes further afield than America. For some reason, I think of shots like it from parts of Ireland and northern Scotland and the Isles... And Puritans. Back to Rockwell.

Rob C
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amolitor
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2012, 07:22:31 PM »
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All of you, thanks so much for taking the time.

I don't think I *get* it emotionally and I probably never well, but I have a lot of great stuff to chew on so I have a chance of understanding intellectually what it is others *get* about these things.
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2012, 07:35:51 AM »
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Amolitor, think of it as a frozen moment in American life. 50 years ago and 50 years in the future the only change will be the vehicles in the drive and the tree growth.
In one image there is a lot of story;  the haves and have-nots in the state of the 2 houses (even the cared for house has a roof shingle missing), the window shutters which arenít large enough to protect the windows so are solely for fashion, the gas-guzzling SUV to keep the lil darlinís safe on the school run, the Jeep to take the dog out and do the shopping  - it quite possibly never goes off road but helps to keep the Wild West self-sufficiency dream alive.
There is even the flag over the door and a rocking-chair on the porch so the only thing that could make it more American would be a white picket fence and a confederate flag on the Jeep!

Thatís my view from the UK anyway.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2012, 08:07:51 AM »
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This forum has jumped the shark!
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2012, 08:27:45 AM »
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I presume the flag on the porch is in case the resident forgets which country he's in?  Wink
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