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Author Topic: Last Rays on Devil's Tower  (Read 7637 times)
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« on: February 16, 2013, 03:47:56 PM »
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Have not posted my favorite subject, landscapes, in a while:
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Slobodan

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muntanela
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2013, 06:15:31 PM »
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Very "adsurgens".
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2013, 06:18:47 PM »
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Hmmm... not sure I understand that reference?
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Slobodan

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2013, 07:46:11 PM »
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OMG! Devil's Tower!

And I just watched "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" for the first time a few nights ago. Did you crop out the flying saucers and aliens, SB?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2013, 10:49:56 PM »
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... Did you crop out the flying saucers and aliens, SB?

And you thought that halo at the top is from sharpening? Wink
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Slobodan

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amolitor
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2013, 05:39:51 AM »
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I find the very low cloudline with the very clear sky above quite disconcerting. It's not your fault, of course, that's where the clouds were. I can't help but read it as something else, though. It *feels* like an enormous pile of cotton fluff in the distance, not clouds, because of the positioning. It does make for a nice placement of masses in the frame.

The light on the rocks is wonderful. Does it actually look like that, or did you pop the colors a bit?
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stamper
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 06:49:56 AM »
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I find the juxtaposition of the clouds and the rock unusual and very pleasing. Quite original compared with the "normal" landscapes posted for critique. The rendering does look a little in your face but I like it. This proves you can take good images as well as commenting on them. Smiley
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RSL
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 07:26:52 AM »
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It's a fine shot, Slobodan. The cloud bank is a real catch and of course the light is perfect. Very nice.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 08:13:37 AM »
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Have not posted my favorite subject, landscapes, in a while:
This is difficult to write in a few brief words - which seems the preference here. I'll do both a short and a long version, because in fact this can't be done in a few words with any justice to photography. The short version, for those who want to move on quickly, is: a beautiful photograph of "nature plasticized." It's pretty and makes nice prints! It caught my eye for a moment, then I moved on.

The longer version has to explain "plasticized" in relation to photography. This would be the critique part. I've seen a lot of pictures of Devil Mountain. Almost as many as Half Dome. A very good photographer and dear friend once told me this story. They were driving through Yosemite and at the moment where the road turns just so, he said to all those in his car full of fellow photographers, "Ok, we're getting near Half Dome, put your cameras away." I assume that doesn't need explanation.

The difference between the graphic arts and photography might be summarized as this:

Truth<------------------------------------->Ideal

Where photographs tell truth, graphic designs explain the ideal. Look at how postage stamps are done. They have highly skilled engravers make an image of say, Jefferson or Elvis. They don't show a bottle of pills next to Elvis, right? They outline and fill in the ideal Elvis. What would generate more interest: An edition of original engravings of Elvis, or an edition of backstage photographs? That doesn't mean one is better than another, it simply explains the difference.

In this photograph, we see the idealized mountain, even down the exact required ingredients: cloud, tree, mountain, sky, check, check. And each item appears to have been scrubbed down to its bare outline, removed, cleaned, polished, repainted and set back into its proper place and adjusted for perfect alignment. And somewhere along the way, the nature of mountains and the feeling of trees got scrubbed away. There's none of nature's imperfections or weird deviations in here. Errant branches don't even seem to exist any more in this Super World of Super Clean Plastic (like an animator's world).


The question I always ask is what is this telling me about Devil Mountain? Ok, it's tall, it's reddish and so on. Is that what I want to know? Is that very interesting? For me not too much. It is a very pretty image in the way some photographic fashion models are very pretty. But their made-up face doesn't say much about them, does it? Aren't they looking as empty as they possibly can?  I don't even get a sense of the space in which this mountain exists. It is framed so tightly -  maybe to even remove more of the imperfections around it? I don't know.

So, for all of it, this picture is much more like a graphics arts creation. Find the shape, put it here, find the right color to fill in, make it bright and shiny. And on this very superficial level (really I mean "surface level") the picture is beautiful and well done, and I know it takes a lot of skill to do it. I don't think however that it takes any advantage of the powers of photography.

NOTE: This might be too harsh sounding without enough praise for the technical work here (which is superb). However, I happen to know in this case that the photographer is extremely experienced, and not a beginner for whom this would be very inappropriate. In other words, he's a big boy and doesn't want hand holding.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 12:32:15 PM by RedwoodGuy » Logged
stamper
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 08:40:06 AM »
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Redwood....you seem to have an innate ability to over analyse an image and "see" things that others don't see. You obviously see this as an attribute but I am not sure that others agree?
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 08:53:22 AM »
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Redwood....you seem to have an innate ability to over analyse an image and "see" things that others don't see. You obviously see this as an attribute but I am not sure that others agree?
Which others are you speaking for?
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stamper
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 09:02:03 AM »
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The ones that disagree with your analysis.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2013, 09:13:22 AM »
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The ones that disagree with your analysis.
I am not sure I have seen any disagreement with my analysis. I've seen some other opinions before mine - is that what you mean?

Well, which ever you meant, I can answer it here. First, why should all the opinions be the same? I don't know of any universal standards that apply to art. If you can cite them, I will appreciate the reference. So, I consider the purpose of critique to be an analysis of the enterprise, not a mere thumbs up or thumbs down. That would be called a vote. I have no reason to vote unless one is provided. If I am going to analyze something, I have to provide enough reasoning to have it make sense to someone reading it. If it doesn't make sense, there are two possibilities, right? First, I may be unable to communicate the idea, second the reader may be incapable of understanding it.

If the photographers here want a simple thumbs up or thumbs down on every image, I would advise them to simply skip over my comments with their mice. And they can tally up the thumbs rather quickly, can't they?

Or, maybe the group wants to change the title of the forum and remove the word "critique" - which requires analysis - and replace it with something more benign like, "Photo Voting." Then, only a check box would be needed. That's out of my hands.

Since you are the apparent spokesman for all the others, why not tell me what you'd like to see in my comments, and maybe I can do that?

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 09:16:58 AM »
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Now I understand that the "clouds" are simply exhaust from the exiting flying saucers.

Nice photo, SB.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2013, 09:17:33 AM »
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I want to quickly suggest that this thread NOT become about me, or my personality. Let's stick to the photograph at hand PLEASE. It is a fascinating subject of photography that deserves discussion. If you want to complain about "me as a person" send it to me privately where it can properly be ignored.
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sdwilsonsct
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2013, 09:20:36 AM »
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Four strong elements, some where they're expected, others not. Nice!

The colours are little rich for my taste. Maybe because I just got in from shooting a bunch of pines which look more black than green today.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2013, 09:37:38 AM »
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This is a very popular style of photography. That's why we see a lot of it. I wanted to suggest how this came about and why. Because it bears on the whole art of photography.

The progenitor of this style is fashion photography. In fashion photography as it evolved, the female was stripped of actual sexuality, which would be too provocative, and cleaned up into idealized or imaginary sexuality. The female was first reduced down to a stick figure of a rather standard set of dimensions, and then the face was hidden with a thick mask of painted on color to assure that the model underneath was prevented from accidentally expressing anything but vacuous non-intention. Thus, all personality, which is the real source of sexuality, could be scrubbed clean from the resulting photograph. This began way before the days of image coloring softwares.

The projected image then was always clean. No one could say, hey, that's too sexy for a public magazine. And yet they didn't really want clean, they of course wanted to project sex. So this was a Barbie doll kind of idealized sex, as it was created for example by the toy manufacturers. Now then, does a man find himself in love with a Barbie doll, or in fact is he driven to utter madness by the odd imperfections, weird hip shapes, expressive eyes, peculiar facial expressions, just so calves, this and that kind of breast, thus and so kind of arms, and all the rest that comprises a "real woman?" I think we know the answer.

So, the purpose of fashion photography was to say, "Hey out there - we want you thinking about sex, sex, sex when you see this idealized, cartoonized imitation of a sexy woman." And, on a very "surface level" it kinda works - almost - on some people. It's the best they could do. And let's be blunt - fortunes were made all over the place by everyone involved. It works!

Then along comes image manipulation softwares so cheap everyone with a camera can have it on their computers. It's great stuff. It is an amazing invention, and it is a great addition to the world of photography. But.....just as a chainsaw can be useful in one way, and deadly in another, so can this new invention. If idealized woman are money makers, maybe idealized mountains can be too? And off we go............

To be clear for those ready to pounce, I am not saying fashion photographers of women or mountains are bad people. Far from it. I am only talking about the product presented. PRODUCT not PERSON - ok?  I find the fashion photography of nature to be exactly like the fashion photography of women - - unreal, sanitized, devoid of interest, sugary sweet with no nutrition.



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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2013, 09:45:05 AM »
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The ones that disagree with your analysis.

It's not that I disagree with all RG's analyses...there is some merit to each. It's far more the over-abundance of palaver in the analysis. I'm a pretty much cut to the chase kind of guy: What's good, what don't I like and on some occasions perhaps a visual edit comment. But geeze, he just goes on and on and one with all his philosophical baloney of "how does it make you feel, and what were you trying to convey, and why did you put the camera to your eye," when by the posting of the image itself, most of this is pretty well stated. Duh-uh. As to what the image means to the artist, well, to me that is a personal thing. It's kind of like religion or politics. You know what you believe and what you don't and the rest just goes down the toliet where 90% of RG's stuff goes when I read his philosophical bullsh*t.

Why can't he just post some work, let everyone who wishes to participate have a go at his images and comment thusly to theirs?

Sorry RG, but having spent most of my life it education and listened to far more crap than I thought possible, I find your comments repetitively boring, disinteresting and frankly, when I post, I hope you omit me from your comment list. Please!
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2013, 09:50:32 AM »
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It's not that I disagree with all RG's analyses...there is some merit to each. It's far more the over-abundance of palaver in the analysis. I'm a pretty much cut to the chase kind of guy: What's good, what don't I like and on some occasions perhaps a visual edit comment. But geeze, he just goes on and on and one with all his philosophical baloney of "how does it make you feel, and what were you trying to convey, and why did you put the camera to your eye," when by the posting of the image itself, most of this is pretty well stated. Duh-uh. As to what the image means to the artist, well, to me that is a personal thing. It's kind of like religion or politics. You know what you believe and what you don't and the rest just goes down the toliet where 90% of RG's stuff goes when I read his philosophical bullsh*t.

Why can't he just post some work, let everyone who wishes to participate have a go at his images and comment thusly to theirs?

Sorry RG, but having spent most of my life it education and listened to far more crap than I thought possible, I find your comments repetitively boring, disinteresting and frankly, when I post, I hope you omit me from your comment list. Please!

What is the purpose of a critique in art?
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stamper
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2013, 09:59:32 AM »
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Redwood post # 16 reinforces my opinion about over analysing everything. Like Chris I prefer to cut to the chase and rationalise my thoughts. Most of my ideas about an image boils down to a feeling if I like or dislike something. Too many words from you. This isn't personal BTW only a comment.
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