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Author Topic: Vending Stand  (Read 490 times)
RedwoodGuy
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« on: February 16, 2013, 10:15:37 AM »
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David Eckels
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 11:41:24 AM »
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So this is not really the sort of photograph I am comfortable with. Certanly the machine colors are striking, but the person walking through seems to have just been inadvertantly included. I would have wanted to see either a more interesting position or some sort of interaction. Maybe if there was a way to crop in closer (I find the door distracting) and by manipulation Shocked or timing get the figure to stand out from the background more. Such represents a genre of photography that I can appreciate when it is done well (eg, Cartier-Bresson), but I only very, very rarely am successful myself; it's hard IMO. I will turn this around and ask you what was your intent? And don't say, "it's just a photograph"  Wink
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 12:06:35 PM »
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So this is not really the sort of photograph I am comfortable with. Certanly the machine colors are striking, but the person walking through seems to have just been inadvertantly included. I would have wanted to see either a more interesting position or some sort of interaction. Maybe if there was a way to crop in closer (I find the door distracting) and by manipulation Shocked or timing get the figure to stand out from the background more. Such represents a genre of photography that I can appreciate when it is done well (eg, Cartier-Bresson), but I only very, very rarely am successful myself; it's hard IMO. I will turn this around and ask you what was your intent? And don't say, "it's just a photograph"  Wink
Most people aren't "comfortable" with it, so no worries there. It's one of the reasons I post them. Sometimes I am not even comfortable with them. First I'll answer your easy questions, then the harder one.

- The person walking through was completely intentional. I had to wait in fact quite a while for the right person, and make several attempts. Yes, I would have preferred perhaps the person walking farther out from the machines, but in that location, they simply wouldn't cooperate with me and insisted on walking that path.

-The door is a minor annoyance to me, but the frame had to be that way, so the door could not be helped. It's there, it's quite ok with me.

-This is not "Cartier-Bresson" street photography. Or even street photography at all.  It's more along the lines of vernacular photography if it was to be so categorized, and usually I am not very strict about such matters.

The hard question then is my intent. I take all photographs based on my desire to see what the devil the actual world around me looks like, and to understand what some of it means. And if I can resolve a piece of that place and moment into a photograph, I can then share it with others. When I say actual world, I mean the non-idealized world. The one we travel through constantly, not just the world from the Kodak sign that says, "Stand Here" to take your photo. Yes, I visit those big magnificent places which have been prepped for us, but only a tiny percentage of my  time is there. Most of my life is spent in the immediate non-glamorized world. The one with brightly lit coke machines all lined up ready to serve at the drop of a coin. I don't want to take the world for granted.

So, in this photograph, I gathered up what resources were installed there as an intentional space. The tiles form a nice grid pattern, the wall is nicely painted and the gleaming  robot-like energy dispensers are designed with real verve screaming out for attention. To make it a human place, I waited for it to be occupied.

I appreciate your comments - they're very helpful to me. I know most people are uncomfortable with this sort of photograph, and your honesty is appreciated.

« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 12:13:17 PM by RedwoodGuy » Logged
David Eckels
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 12:42:41 PM »
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the gleaming  robot-like energy dispensers are designed with real verve screaming out for attention.


So this is what I would call a gesture or implication (after Michael Reichmann) that juxtaposes the machines "screaming" for attention and the utter disregard of the passerby. I understand that this may not have been your intent, but it works for me. Perhaps that says more about my needs from a photograph, but if I were to go with that hypothesis, I would emphasize that at least with a closer crop. I recognize that was not your intent, it's mine! Wink But then it wouldn't be your photograph.
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amolitor
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 12:46:56 PM »
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I think it works pretty well. It feels like a direct quote of.. something. I swear I've seen basically this image before. Anyways, like most good ideas, it probably gets used a pretty fair amount. Being a quote does not detract, in other words.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2013, 12:49:26 PM by amolitor » Logged

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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 01:01:03 PM »
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So this is what I would call a gesture or implication (after Michael Reichmann) that juxtaposes the machines "screaming" for attention and the utter disregard of the passerby. I understand that this may not have been your intent, but it works for me. Perhaps that says more about my needs from a photograph, but if I were to go with that hypothesis, I would emphasize that at least with a closer crop. I recognize that was not your intent, it's mine! Wink But then it wouldn't be your photograph.
David,
That's a great way to look at it. You know if I hung this at some exhibition, there is no explanation attached, of course. I often don't even use titles for the reason it is better to let the photograph say what it will to whomever views it.  Whatever you or anyone would get from the photo is always that way with viewers. Different people will get different things, and sometimes they get the intent a little bit, or they just enjoy the genre, or they just enjoy looking at the photograph for the visuals.  Intention is not a clear cut transaction in a great deal of art. That's perfectly ok.
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RSL
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2013, 01:22:02 PM »
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-This is not "Cartier-Bresson" street photography. Or even street photography at all.

You can say that again. One of the most important skills of a good photographer is knowing when to cull. If you check a book like Magnum Contact Sheets or Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, Expanded Edition you'll see that skill in action. That kind of study would be worth your time.

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David Eckels
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2013, 01:32:37 PM »
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One of the most important skills of a good photographer is knowing when to cull.


I am reminded of a conversation with a truly great scientist when I was a youngster, which I have pondered for 35+ years: A great scientist is not one that works on great questions. A great scientist is one that knows when to give up on a series of experiments that aren't going anywhere. Needless to say, I followed many a blind alley Smiley
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 02:15:11 PM »
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All very useful and appreciated comments - - thanks.

I do have to say though, for the sake of clarity about this photograph, this form of photography is as unrelated to Cartier-Bresson as it is to nature photography. The quest is unrelated to any kind of street photography, and is constructed entirely on different principles.
 
(BTW, I regard "The Americans," as a monumental piece of work. Never fails to floor me.)
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David Eckels
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2013, 02:30:30 PM »
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Just to clarify: Didn't mean I thought you were following a blind alley.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2013, 03:39:39 PM »
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Just to clarify: Didn't mean I thought you were following a blind alley.
No worries at all. Even if it was what you meant, that would be fine too. I'm well used to the idea that this stuff doesn't resonate with everyone. I use my wife as a weather vane  -  the more she dislikes a piece, the more confident I am that it is where I want it to be. Her ideas being pretty much the polar opposite of mine. I like the gut reaction stuff, and I've been doing this a long time, so I am not offended by bad reactions.  P.S. this is one of my long time favorites, not a cull for me.
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