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Author Topic: Last Rays on Devil's Tower  (Read 7344 times)
Chris Calohan
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« Reply #40 on: February 17, 2013, 05:17:06 PM »
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That's a self-contained contradiction. When you say cut out 99% of what you call the "bullsh*t", that means you want my comments to look like everyone else - a simple thumbs up, or "good capture" or "+1" or "crap shot," and so on. I'll ask you once more, since you keep coming after me, WHAT IS THE MEANING OF A PHOTOGRAPHIC CRITIQUE?

My last words. You can choose to read or ignore. If it was coming from you, I'd ignore.

Your question is not what I responded to; your question demands a counter expression from me as to what parameters constitute a critique. I never have a problem with critique in any form except when it is laced with more personal opinion and less needful things to say. For instance:

I get nice feelings of exploration, expansiveness, adventure and the western vibe all around. No dark effects or dissonant bells for me.

This is not a critique; this is nice talk. It is no different that +1

For consideration: I question whether it is more color than in life. Not that there is any right amount of color saturation - but whether this puts the viewer in a suspicious mind set about reality. I think there is a fine line in photographs, landscapes in particular, between the photographer's truth in the image, and a "for bookstore calendars only" kind of plastic-coated aesthetic. Be sure - I am not calling a right and wrong here, it's a matter of taste. I am questioning aloud my own interpretation. I do know there would be a point (and I have found it in my own photographs first) where an over-amped reality doesn't work at all for me.

So, in reality, you are calling his work over-saturated, though veiling it by calling out your own ineptitude at times.
After all, that's what photography does best is truth telling.


Besides being a poorly constructed sentence, it is strictly your opinion and therefore does not reflect anything else.

I don't bring this up as a criticism so much as just raising the question for the photographer to consider. My best analogy at hand is that women's faces can range from totally natural, to slightly enhanced with make-up, to that point where everyone says, "Oh goodness - did you see her make-up!" And at that point, people begin to lose sight of what's underneath - which may be very valuable. In other words, you don't want a false surface to bury the gold that lies beneath.

Analogy or not, you are beguiling him again for over-saturating his colors.

I fear I may have misled you about the saturation comments. It wasn't intended to say I thought it was "too much." It was intended to say, "think about this aspect of it."

Good backtracking but I think everyone on the forum saw it for what it was, or wasn’t.

For me there is a line where photos are so over-decorated on their surface ("make-up") that the underlying photograph - the bones underneath - is lost. Those photos don't work for me because they give up too much of the truth telling that sets photography apart from all other arts.

And who are you or for that matter, who on this forum is going to quantify or qualify what is art? Come on, really?

You don't have to decorate over the surface, like a painter. If you want to paint, get a brush and canvas. This is one reason that many B&W photographs work so well. They are like x-rays seeing down to the bone of the subject. Of course it is philosophical. Art is visual philosophy.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Maybe art is a personal translation with little or no regard to anything philosophical. I rarely try to make a connection with God, the universe, Mother Nature, love, sin or greed, etc when I put the viewfinder to eye; nay, I am making a connection to a line, a shape, color tone, or other element of compositional design.

Everyone viewing your photograph is bringing their own background and interests and prejudices and internal workings.

Duh!

It would be impossible for a photograph to appeal to everyone.
 
Double duh!

Try to stay true as you can to your own interests and your integrity will show through in the final photograph.

What? This is highly opinionated. Technique, skill and artistry may show through. Integrity – how?

I always like to look for the photographer in the photograph. What is he/she revealing of themselves?

Weird…I don’t give three hoots and a holler what they reveal of themselves. I do give a hoot as to whether there is something in the image which makes me smile.

The more they reveal, the more powerful the photo will be.

Horsepuckey! Baloney, Pshaaw!

(NOTE: photos taken expressly for sale to the general public (like calendars and such) are an entirely different matter all together, and I am not referring to those here. Totally different subject.)

I am going to guess anyone on here who sells their images is going to take offense to this bit of malarkey. If I sell an image to someone and they use it is a calendar…hey, no beef from me as long as I get my due and a check.

I would like to ask the photographer, David: What was your intention in the photograph? What kinds of feelings or thoughts were you wanting to pass along?

You are looking at the image. More important or germane to this is what response did you get? Why are you continually asking everyone what they were thinking. I’d say about half the shots I make I see, have ten to fifteen seconds to respond and take the shot. Sometimes I spend a lot of time planning a shot, sometimes it is as much whim as “gut” feeling. Sometimes, I just like the image. It'spretty; it makes me smile.

For instance - - There are but two main elements in the photo. Each has a powerful, and yet very different influence on the communication. Is it about what the ground is saying, or is it about what the sky is saying? Which is dominant, if any? What's the intended relationship?

Give me an opinion as to what they are doing for you and then let it go. It’s all the extra palaver that gets people’s ire up.

Be assured that such sincere discussion of photography is never BS.

The sincerity in your case often becomes obfuscated by your opinion spoken as widely held truths.
 
First, as to specific adjustments of knobs and levers, I can't say.

Then how in the heck do you post process? Do you just guess or are we seeing SOOC? Doubtful.

That's not my concern. I am happy enough to know that you will get them adjusted to suit you.

I’m so glad you’re happy. Whoopee!

My main concern was that you are getting your self into the photograph. Your values, your ideals, your feelings or whatever makes you pick up a camera. If you get a lot of YOU into it, it will all be fine in the end. That's what we all want to see - - the photographer's ideal! We have all seen the mountain, now we want to see YOU through the mountain.

Again, there is no critique in this. This is some mamby-pamby stroking at best, crap at best.

Your explanation was excellent. We all have to "reconstruct" like that from time to time, so have no worry about that. And I got it very clearly. So now it's just to get that feeling expressed in the photo. Here's a thought. The rocks don't move, the sky does. We all
 
Pet peeve – we who and all how?

might have seen that rock, but have any of us seen that sky? I don't mean a sky like it, I mean THAT sky. No, we haven't. So, you are going to show us how THAT sky worked against the land to give you THAT feeling. In this sense (being used as an example), maybe the rocks can be "under emphasized" subtly as the sky is over emphasized? This is more a feel than any specific advice to move a lever this way or that. You will know when you have it. I would have no way to know, because the truth of the moment is in you.

Again, there is no critique in this. This is some mamby-pamby stroking at best, crap at best.

I wonder---do you print these (variations) out to look at as photographs, or do you only look at them on screen? This may not apply to you at all, but I HAVE to print the variations out to truly see them. I don't mean the final size if you intended it large. But to have a stack of photographs in hand that you can sit with, ponder, examine, critique AWAY from the computer can be very valuable. I print a lot of stuff at about 5 x 7, which is just right for sitting in my easy chair and thinking about them for a few days.

Thanks again for revealing your intention so clearly. It's a fun process and you have a wonderful photograph to play with.


Variation on “Again, there is no critique in this. This is some mamby-pamby stroking at best, crap at best.”

Slob,
Nobody without a cloaked reason would make that mistake.

One of the things that often happens when people read for the purpose of finding an insult to make, instead of reading for the purpose of trying to get the writer's point, is that they make a fool of themselves for not having read carefully. When you swing for the fences, you kind of have to hit the ball, in other words.

This is where you lost me. I was tolerating you up to this point, though only barely. Teachers don’t use the word bullsh*t unless it is applicable.

You aren't about the photography, you are about the hounding of people to show you are some kind of "heavy weight" I think it was called. So, I have been generally ignoring you and Hef's and Grumpy's persistent attempts at diverting the forum into your locker room. I find it pathetic in general. I can only imagine it is about being starved for attention, in which case my prescription is, post some photographs, or in some way contribute something about photography.

Let’s look at his credentials, and then at yours. I’ve seen his.


So let's be clear now.

Oh, please, let's do.

Do you see your important role here as being the one to pour over texts looking for some word to quibble about in an amazing "gotcha" moment?

Well this new version is very different. How do you feel about it? Does it get to more of what you wanted?

To me, it’s none of your frickin’ business how I feel. I put up an image for a response. I can choose to like the response, or go on my merry way and still be happy. I don’t need to vindicate myself or my feeling to you or anyone else.

Good move. Sometimes you have to step back and relax a bit to regain your idea behind it. FYI, they both work for me, but they tell different stories, have different feelings to them. Go with your gut.

That’s what I do. Try it sometime.

   



   



   


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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #41 on: February 17, 2013, 05:29:11 PM »
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My last words. You can choose to read or ignore. If it was coming from you, I'd ignore.

Your question is not what I responded to; your question demands a counter expression from me as to what parameters constitute a critique. I never have a problem with critique in any form except when it is laced with more personal opinion and less needful things to say. For instance:

       

Well then you simply have no use for critique, because there is no factual standard for composition or meaning or saturation in photography - there are only opinions, and you have ruled that out as an element of critique.

What you might have said, where it would have some meaning is: "I don't enjoy your critiques." That's both sensible for you to say, and it can be logical. But to say you like all forms of critique except the ones with personal opinion, is simply illogical and frankly, meaningless "bullsh*t" if I may borrow from your lexicon.

What you haven't done at all here, after all that cutting and pasting, is answer the question I asked: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF A PHOTOGRAPHIC CRITIQUE?
Since you posted your last words, I guess it will have to go unanswered from you. What a shame, seems no one wants to take a stab at that.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 07:36:34 PM by RedwoodGuy » Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #42 on: February 17, 2013, 05:31:55 PM »
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Can we please refrain from QUOTING longs posts in their entirety, as it serves no purpose whatsoever?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 06:59:56 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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amolitor
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« Reply #43 on: February 17, 2013, 06:58:12 PM »
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Well then you simply have no use for critique, because there is no factual standard for composition or meaning or saturation in photography - there are only opinions, and you have ruled that out as an element of critique.

Oh, but he didn't rule it out as an element of critique. Once again, your inability to read correctly has led you down the wrong path.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #44 on: February 17, 2013, 07:44:36 PM »
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Oh, but he didn't rule it out as an element of critique. Once again, your inability to read correctly has led you down the wrong path.

I never said he ruled anything out. I said he "had no use for it." You keep trying this "can't read, won't read" thing, and it bounces back in your face every time. Why you are butting in here again mystifies me. Can you explain it? Here's an idea for you....let's talk about photography? Can you do that?
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James Clark
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« Reply #45 on: February 17, 2013, 07:51:36 PM »
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At risk of getting this thread back to Slobodon's image, I quite like it as a graphical, almost abstract study in color and texture. 
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #46 on: February 17, 2013, 07:54:04 PM »
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At risk of getting this thread back to Slobodon's image, I quite like it as a graphical, almost abstract study in color and texture. 
Amazing. Someone that is interested in talking about the photography.
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2013, 07:56:16 PM »
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Very "adsurgens".

I wondered about this as well and looked up adsurgens which is basically a "wildflower," related to the flox family of wildflowers. Please explain your response using this word. It is interesting but perplexing at the same time.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #48 on: February 17, 2013, 08:46:31 PM »
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From Chris' complaint:

RedwoodGuy:I always like to look for the photographer in the photograph. What is he/she revealing of themselves?

Chris: Weird…I don’t give three hoots and a holler what they reveal of themselves. I do give a hoot as to whether there is something in the image which makes me smile.

You make quite a big deal out of this, as though what I am saying above is some kind of insane drivel. Let me present this quote directly related:

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” - Ansel Adams
 
You don't seem to possess any of the fundamental knowledge about photography. Maybe you should stop complaining about what I say to other people?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #49 on: February 17, 2013, 09:01:42 PM »
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... “You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” - Ansel Adams...

Fair enough.

Soooooo... looking at my OP photograph, what can you tell me, what books have I read, and what music have I listened to (I'll let you off the hook in guessing who my lovers have been)?

It is correct that all the things AA mentioned contribute to our development as photographers. It is much less clear they are ultimately visible or discernible in our photographs. And even if so, people like Chris have every right not to give a damn about it, but to find in a photograph whatever pleases them (or not).
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Isaac
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« Reply #50 on: February 17, 2013, 11:03:41 PM »
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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!

I find no difficulty in reading, skip-reading or ignoring RG's comments -- I don't need to change his behaviour because I can so easily change mine.
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William Walker
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« Reply #51 on: February 18, 2013, 12:22:52 AM »
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I find no difficulty in reading, skip-reading or ignoring RG's comments -- I don't need to change his behaviour because I can so easily change mine.

Come on guys! Surely this makes sense to all of you?
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #52 on: February 18, 2013, 12:44:28 AM »
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Fair enough.

Soooooo... looking at my OP photograph, what can you tell me, what books have I read, and what music have I listened to (I'll let you off the hook in guessing who my lovers have been)?

It is correct that all the things AA mentioned contribute to our development as photographers. It is much less clear they are ultimately visible or discernible in our photographs. And even if so, people like Chris have every right not to give a damn about it, but to find in a photograph whatever pleases them (or not).
Since so many people are insisting I not talk about photography here, I'll let you decide if you really want some answers to this. Just let me know.
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William Walker
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« Reply #53 on: February 18, 2013, 01:26:50 AM »
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Since so many people are insisting I not talk about photography here, I'll let you decide if you really want some answers to this. Just let me know.

Can I make a suggestion? I speak only for myself here.

As you know, I am not at all put off by your posts, and, frankly, I have not enjoyed these "exchanges" at all.

It is clear that you have rubbed some people up the wrong way, as they have you. Why don't you all agree to disagree and avoid each other's posts?

I think you have made your position quite clear regarding where you stand, what you stand for and what you will not stand for. No need to repeat that. Just do what you enjoy doing, and what I enjoy reading. I don't necessarily have to agree with everything you say, but you certainly have caused me to look at things from a different angle. Your comments on this particular post achieved that. Which is more than "+1" accomplishes.

A last suggestion, what about changing your name to "Red-rag-guy"? Wink

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Tony Jay
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« Reply #54 on: February 18, 2013, 02:54:02 AM »
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A last suggestion, what about changing your name to "Red-rag-guy"? Wink

Maybe his real name is Rod - short for lightning-rod.  Grin

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« Reply #55 on: February 18, 2013, 07:34:26 AM »
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I never said he ruled anything out. I said he "had no use for it." You keep trying this "can't read, won't read" thing, and it bounces back in your face every time. Why you are butting in here again mystifies me. Can you explain it? Here's an idea for you....let's talk about photography? Can you do that?

But you did. It's right there in the text I quoted " ... and you have ruled that out as an element of critique."

You can't even read your own words. I am happy to talk about photography, but only to people who will make an attempt to listen.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #56 on: February 18, 2013, 01:57:56 PM »
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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...

Thank you for the "executive summary." It told me all I needed to know. There is a compliment ("beautiful" - thank you) and there is criticism ("plasticized" - thank you again). And I agree with both.

Quote
... The longer version has to explain "plasticized" in relation to photography...

Well, not to me... the moment you used the word, I got it. There might be some who would hear it for the first time and benefit from your explanation though. Thanks on their behalf.

Quote
... 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...

No, it does not. It is, however, an old debate, rehashed on this very forum numerous times, ie, cliches, icons, landmarks, done-to-death subjects, etc. Lines have been drawn, people took sides long ago. Then again, there might be newcomers who would benefit from your view, so thanks again on their behalf.

I personally belong to the school that says: "Yes, it's been done to death, but not by me." Had I passed by the Half Dome for the n-th time, maybe I wouldn't bother lifting my camera either (I would probably look for a different perspective though). Coming from Europe, these icons were new, jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring. And I had a chance to see them only once, for a day or two each. They are more than just a natural phenomenon, they are cultural as well. Monument Valley and John Wayne, Devil's Tower and extraterrestrials...

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

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

Where photographs tell truth, graphic designs explain the ideal...

Again, true but nothing new. We had those debates here ad nauseum about "true" vs. photoshopped, over-processed vs. "how it really looked," between photography and digital illustration (or graphic arts). Again, lines have been drawn, people took sides long ago. I didn't wander into the graphic territory by mistake, I chose it.

My view of graphics (as a photography genre) is based, partially, on Socrates:

"I will try to speak of the beauty of shapes... straight lines and curves and the shapes made of them... They are not beautiful for any particular reason or purpose, as other things are, but are eternally, and by their very nature, beautiful, and give a pleasure of their own quite free from the itch of desire: and in this way colors can give a similar pleasure..."

So, while you seem to prefer the pursuit of truth, I choose to pursue beauty. You want truth in nature, I want beauty in shapes, forms and colors in nature.

Quote
... 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)....

I already explained in a separate reply that I did not alter anything, so no need to repeat it here (reply #38).

Sometimes, the nature is simply perfect and that is actually what I am after, those "decisive moments" in nature. I have enough "imperfections or weird deviations" in my own life, enough ugliness and banalities, to replicate them in my photography, thank you very much. If people find the meaning of life in vending machines, cans of Campbell soups or 99c stores, more power to them. Not my cup of tea, though.
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Slobodan

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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #57 on: February 18, 2013, 03:02:39 PM »
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One point needs to be clarified.

"Again, true but nothing new. We had those debates here ad nauseum about "true" vs. photoshopped, over-processed vs. "how it really looked," between photography and digital illustration (or graphic arts). Again, lines have been drawn, people took sides long ago. I didn't wander into the graphic territory by mistake, I chose it."

When I spoke of truth vs. ideal, it doesn't mean "original image vs. photoshoped." That was always a pointless argument.
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RobbieV
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« Reply #58 on: February 18, 2013, 03:04:43 PM »
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Jesus, you guys. If you don't like RedwoodGuy's comments, just bloody ignore them. At the least, he's a better contributor than the usual people who come and go in here. And, like everyone else (including me), if he posts a picture you don't like, don't comment. I think some of you like to argue on here for the sake of it. I know I'm going to regret posting this, as it's me getting involved, but there are worse forum-ites for fodder than RG.

Slo, the tight framing really works with this. The clouds, sky and rocks all form large pieces of the composition that work very well. I always like seeing your work, and it has reminded me to take a poke through your Flickr again. Thanks for posting.
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« Reply #59 on: February 18, 2013, 03:08:28 PM »
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Jesus, you guys. If you don't like RedwoodGuy's comments, just bloody ignore them. At the least, he's a better contributor than the usual people who come and go in here. And, like everyone else (including me), if he posts a picture you don't like, don't comment. I think some of you like to argue on here for the sake of it. I know I'm going to regret posting this, as it's me getting involved, but there are worse forum-ites for fodder than RG.

With all due respect, and I do take your point, this is much easier to say when he hasn't read some imagined insult into something you said, and spent a paragraph or two ranting at you.
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