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Author Topic: Last Rays on Devil's Tower  (Read 7601 times)
amolitor
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« Reply #60 on: February 18, 2013, 03:30:35 PM »
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Slobodan, and you in a rut?

There are some rather strong similarities with this one: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=70451.0
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« Reply #61 on: February 18, 2013, 04:11:16 PM »
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Slobodan, and you in a rut?

There are some rather strong similarities with this one: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=70451.0


Maybe I just found my style? Smiley
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« Reply #62 on: February 18, 2013, 04:28:45 PM »
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Congratulations!
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« Reply #63 on: February 20, 2013, 11:44:35 AM »
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". . . 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. . . .

I would have thought that RG was doing just the same as you do—rationalising his thoughts—but he has the ability to express his thoughts in words for us to read. Not every one can do this and I suggest you read his comments rather than count the words used.

Many of us can only say "Nice picture" or "I like the colours" but that is not a critique IMHO. RG is going deeper than that and I find his comments very insightful and more useful than "Great shot".

Looking at the image, it seems to me that every element has been coloured and polished to perfection, as I think RG and others have said, and, comparing the submitted image with the original that Slobodan has posted, it is clear that this is what Slobodan has done. To me, this makes every element compete with the others so it is a very pretty-looking picture (great for a postage stamp or a tourist poster) but devoid of emotion or personal response.

Viewers who are at the stage of "pretty" pictures will like it and will praise Slobodan. Those who are trying to get beyond the level of "chocolate box" photos and produce pictures which do more than record a scene, will question the image more. RG should be congratulated for trying to do this.

My comments on the image are not criticisms of Slobodan. I come across beautiful vistas all the time in my country (New Zealand) and I have the same problem—how to get beyond a record shot that anyone could take. Do I only capture part of the scene to intrigue viewers as to what has been left out (as I suspect Slobodan has done). Do I wait for a storm to add interest in the sky at the risk of turning the image into one about a stormy sky?

I don't have the answers but I am keen to keep trying and I appreciate people like RG who spend a lot of time writing up their thoughts for us to read to help us see how we can get more thought and emotion in our images.

I am not criticsing those who want to take pretty pictures. That is their choice and those images have a place (on stamps, posters and chocolate boxes, for example). I would have thought that the majority of posters here are keen to get beyond pretty pictures. It's great to feel the emotion of knowing you have captured something special! I get the feeling from time to time—see my image under "House of Horrors" (excuse my bragging)—and I will keep searching for more such images.
Roger
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #64 on: February 20, 2013, 12:08:46 PM »
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... it is a very pretty-looking picture (great for a postage stamp or a tourist poster) but devoid of emotion or personal response...

Thanks for the comments, Roger. However, these ARE my emotions and that IS my personal response. I do acknowledge that my not correlate with your or RedwoodGuy's emotions and how you would personally respond to the scene, however.

I do not mind shooting for postage stamps, posters, magazine covers, etc. I enjoy it.

In that sense, a critique that is delivered from the high horse of lofty intellectual disdain for anything but High Art and the "meaning of life" is condescending and irritating. Just as is the shrink-couch staple: "how do you feel about it?"
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amolitor
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« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2013, 12:12:50 PM »
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Viewers who are at the stage of "pretty" pictures will like it and will praise Slobodan. Those who are trying to get beyond the level of "chocolate box" photos and produce pictures which do more than record a scene, will question the image more. RG should be congratulated for trying to do this.

There is a planted axiom in here, which is that people who admire "pretty pictures" are less advanced, in some fashion, than people admire pictures that do more than "record a scene". Whilst many on here do aspire to do something other than make pretty pictures, asserting that pretty pictures are somehow lesser is cliched, simplistic, and kind of snobbish. There are several regular contributors here who make extremely pretty pictures, and seem to have no aspirations whatsoever to comment on man's inhumanity to man and whatnot. More power to 'em.
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David Eckels
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« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2013, 12:15:17 PM »
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I don't have the answers but I am keen to keep trying and I appreciate people like RG who spend a lot of time writing up their thoughts for us to read to help us see how we can get more thought and emotion in our images.
I must say I agree with Roger. I am learning a lot from the comments and being forced to think about things in new ways, which I need. I am also somewhat learning from the contentious tone of the comments from obviously passionate people. Best regards to all! Peace on earth, goodwill towards men Wink
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« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2013, 12:54:57 PM »
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... I am learning a lot from the comments...

Out of curiosity: like what?
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« Reply #68 on: February 20, 2013, 01:06:33 PM »
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Roger that, Slobodan, to coin another non sequitur. I'd be interested to know too. All I've seen so far is fluff.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #69 on: February 20, 2013, 01:26:22 PM »
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There is a planted axiom in here, which is that people who admire "pretty pictures" are less advanced, in some fashion, than people admire pictures that do more than "record a scene". Whilst many on here do aspire to do something other than make pretty pictures, asserting that pretty pictures are somehow lesser is cliched, simplistic, and kind of snobbish. There are several regular contributors here who make extremely pretty pictures, and seem to have no aspirations whatsoever to comment on man's inhumanity to man and whatnot. More power to 'em.


Here here Andrew - if people don't like pretty pictures (a definition of what 'pretty' in this context actually means would really help here - anyone want to have a go?), then I would advise people to stop travelling to pretty places with their camera and using it.

It's the end of photo-tourism as we know it Jim!

 Grin

Dave
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« Reply #70 on: February 20, 2013, 01:28:48 PM »
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Aww, c'mon. He makes you think a bit, anyways, at least when he's not talking down to you. Which, let's be honest, isn't all the time, and hardly at all lately. There was an interval, which I am fully prepared to forget about.

I've said that Susan Sontag's real value isn't that she's right about everything, it's the work you have to do to sort through what's right, what's wrong, and what's gibberish. But that's real value, right there. Sometimes you've thought that particular stuff all through long ago, so, less value. Never hurts to whip over it again real quick, sometimes ideas change over a couple decades.
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William Walker
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« Reply #71 on: February 20, 2013, 02:18:42 PM »
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Out of curiosity: like what?

Slo, the idea of the picture being "plasticized" is something I found interesting, especially when Red spoke about the fashion industry. I understood what he was saying about your picture and found it to be an interesting observation. Now here is the important part: that thought had never occurred to me! I looked at something with new eyes and understood what he was getting at. If you already were aware of that, or don't agree with that, great. It also does not necessarily mean I agree ( or have to agree). It is simply interesting to see how other people might view things.

There is something you guys who have a beef with Redwoodguy are missing, that is this: there have been a few voices here, including mine, who have mentioned that we do find some/much of what he has to say interesting or useful. Most of those voices have been ignored until now with your question to David.

There is no question that you have succeeded in your efforts to silence him or whatever it was you wanted, because he has already altered his style. Stuff those who think differently to you!

I think your constant sniping is selfish and the level of intolerance is not something I expected to find amongst a group of people whose photography and opinions I have come to respect over the time I have been here.

William
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« Reply #72 on: February 20, 2013, 02:40:41 PM »
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I think your constant sniping is selfish and the level of intolerance is not something I expected to find amongst a group of people whose photography and opinions I have come to respect over the time I have been here.

Let me repeat a remark I made earlier in response to a similar post. I do take your point, and it's a good one worth taking. It is, however, a lot easier to say when you haven't been targeted by a multi-paragraph rant. When he's not raging about some perceived insult, he's a little pompous but generally an ok dude. I think his recent commentary has been great. Right, wrong, or gibberish: it's thought provoking.
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« Reply #73 on: February 20, 2013, 02:53:38 PM »
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Walter, I have to agree with what you're saying. It doesn't bother me that he's insulting. I've been insulted by far sharper wits than his. What bothers me is that in order to get to something in one of his extended critiques that makes sense you have to slog through all the other stuff that doesn't make sense. I think of the old saw about monkeys writing the Bible given enough time on the typewriter. But imagine the pile of random stuff in between. That's pretty much what I see. Yes, there's an occasional gem in there but a bit of brevity would be refreshing. With brevity he might be a valuable contributor.
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David Eckels
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« Reply #74 on: February 20, 2013, 03:33:37 PM »
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Out of curiosity: like what?
SB-that's a fair question. I don't want to get ripped for a longish answer, and I will try to be brief Wink but to me, your question goes to what I was looking for when I joined Lu-La. The User Critiques forum looked to me to be promising venue for critiques, critical evaluation of my work, which I had not experienced much of and, frankly, approached with some trepidation. It goes beyond trying to find an audience that thinks my work is worth looking at, or "do they like it?" Certainly, if someone, especially here, liked what I put up, that would be great, but I want to learn more and criticism probably especially negative criticism, I hate to say, is more likely to help me grow as a photographer, or as an enthusiast to give a nod to RSL's taxonomy, I think. Positive criticism is helpful to me only insofar as it tells me why someone would like a particular photo. There is one important caveat: From what I've seen, some of you, even most, are terrific photographers and I frankly admire your work enviously; if you like it, that is enough and a +1 or an "I like it" I find very encouraging. I have no formal art training although I do read a lot. I grew up a biomedical scientist and only recently returned to photography seriously in the last four years or so, almost like rediscovering a long lost love. I am passionate about it, but my craft must be honed. Some of you are long term, even life long photographers and I find the experience and perspective shared in your images inspiring and when you consider amplifying in words, to me that is worth thoughtful consideration even when it is a terse comment about my work or someone else's. Are you getting tired yet? You asked for it Wink So what have I been learning the last few weeks?

From RG, I have been asked to think about my photographs from the standpoint of what am I trying to accomplish with a given image. I get his opinion as to whether I succeeded, or not. Now that's a very subjective view, but I also learned that even if he didn't care for a photo, he could appreciate that I had a rationale for why I took it and presented it just so. I also have come to appreciate as I observe the dialogue re his posts, that there are varying esthetics regarding not only specific images, but also in how different photographers approach them. Hard to explain, but I was thinking (naively) that there might have been some external esthetic standard that I could somehow come to appreciate; I am now thinking how silly that is. Part of what I do, must be done because I like it, maybe for only that reason. But now I am gobbledygooking!

SB, since you asked the question, I should address it specifically. I wish I could do some of the shots that you do; it's a style (if you will) of photography that I admire. In my limited exposure, you seem to lead or teach by example: You show an image and await comments. That's fine, I can learn that way. Can you teach more explicitly? I can live with the former, but if you had more explicit thoughts to share about a given photograph, I would enjoy that just as much. I am learning, what I can't tell yet, from some of the interchanges you have with different posters; I will continue to follow.

Chrisc, you shared with me some important technical insight (wait for it, you'll laugh) regarding the use of B/W layers in luminosity mode to enhance tonal range and whatnot. Here's the silly: I thought I'd discovered that myself! Cheesy I have been enraptured by the technological power of Photoshop, but this teaches to get back to focussing (sic) on taking good photographs! I also appreciate your honesty when you said you'd been to the same spot I had and "missed" the shot or whatever. It said to me the photo was worth taking to at least one other photographer. My wife likes it, but that doesn't count LOL.

Amolitor and RSL, you have taken a look at the few photos I've posted and obviously thought about them. What's going on with the light? Does it match the EXIF data? What are those details in the background? I appreciate any positive comments, but you are also helping me to try and get out of my own head and see things from the viewer's point of view, which is a new experience for me. Maybe sounds dumb, but it's true. I think RG said it's partly like the proofreader problem in writing; I certainly understand that from my scientific publication struggles, but had never thought of it from the standpoint of photography. I need to put myself in the mind (eye?) of the viewer. Duh, you say. Well, that's why I am hanging around!

For some of you others, maybe newbies, I encourage you to keep posting, be involved, and know that I will be learning as I watch your experiences unfold. The comparison of photography with a journey is such a cliche, but it's a cliche because it really is true. I appreciate being able to walk along with all of you.

Well, blither, blather, blah, blah, blah! SB, I thought your question serious and I have attempted to give you a serious answer. Thanks for giving me opportunity to expound Wink and sorry for the length, guys! I see that I did not succeed in my attempt to be brief LOL. Teach me more! Just as a disclaimer, I do have a website and I do have things for sale, but that's so I can deduct my equipment Wink

Best regards to all.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #75 on: February 20, 2013, 06:04:40 PM »
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... There is something you guys who have a beef with Redwoodguy are missing, that is this: there have been a few voices here, including mine, who have mentioned that we do find some/much of what he has to say interesting or useful. Most of those voices have been ignored until now...

William, I am not sure that is entirely true. For instance, a few posts above, I said (and even thanked him on your behalf): "There might be some who would hear it for the first time and benefit from your explanation though. Thanks on their behalf."

Quote
... There is no question that you have succeeded in your efforts to silence him...

I doubt.

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I think your constant sniping is selfish..

I am sorry you feel that way about my contribution. My "sniping" is a rhetorical style, the substance of which is, in its intention, to help. My intention is not to "stuff those who think differently to you!" -- that would be contrary to my own motto, under my avatar. At the same time, tolerating different opinion clearly does not mean accepting it without a dialog (or, sometimes, a rhetorical fight).

Why his posts and pontificating style is irritating for some of us, I think I, as well as several others, elaborated enough in the previous posts.

There is, however, something else that seems to provoke me into "intolerance" you mentioned. I can't quite put my finger on it, and I do not think the subject deserves a dissertation, so it is rather a gut feeling at the moment, but I feel there is something dangerous in his preachings. The vary fact there are some who hear it for the first time, makes them a gullible, this ideal target for manipulation. There is something Kool-Aid-ish about it. The constant peddling of his ideas of photography as high art, truth, "higher" purpose, etc., and contrasting it with the lowly uses for "chocolate boxes," is snobbish, elitist, condescending and patronizing. It is especially damaging for the newcomers to photography, who are immediately put down in their initial enthusiasm for "pretty" photography. I have no disregard for fine art photography, as a matter of fact I quite like some of it (eg, Andreas Gursky works). But I like my sandbox just as well. To each his own. Putting down my chosen style of photography just because he prefers another is like coming to a church mass to sell sex toys. Or, to put the metaphor more in line with my "plasticized" photography, like coming to a sex-toy store to preach Wink

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« Reply #76 on: February 20, 2013, 06:14:24 PM »
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Looking at the image, it seems to me that every element has been coloured and polished to perfection, as I think RG and others have said, and, comparing the submitted image with the original that Slobodan has posted, it is clear that this is what Slobodan has done. To me, this makes every element compete with the others so it is a very pretty-looking picture (great for a postage stamp or a tourist poster) but devoid of emotion or personal response.

Viewers who are at the stage of "pretty" pictures will like it and will praise Slobodan. Those who are trying to get beyond the level of "chocolate box" photos and produce pictures which do more than record a scene, will question the image more. RG should be congratulated for trying to do this.



I have to take exception to this.  There seems to be this idea, in certain circles, that the light and the beauty in the world are somehow of less value or of less import than the flawed or, as some like to phrase it, "the real,"  because apparently the good and the light is merely illusory Wink

I say this from the POV of one who really doesn't have a problem with RG's style of critique.  I don't mind a little reading, and, actually, I find it ironic that some participants here in LuLa would chastise another poster for being too wordy in what is primarily a text-based medium, and particularly in a subforum that is supposedly dedicated to just that - the communication of ideas and opnions on specific photographs.  Hard to do that without words, IMO.  

I think the problem is (was?) not that RG is trying to get beyond platitudes, but a)that the delivery of said critique was sometimes done from an assumed position of superiority, not one of collegiality (is that a word?), and b) was laden with the idea that something like what Slobodon posted in this thread could not be "serious" art.  Heck, I'm not even sure I buy the distinction in many, many cases, (though I do think our reactions to some performance art tells us Serious and Important things about ourselves), but I'll simply end with the thought that Georgia O'Keefe was once dismissed as nothing more than a painter of pretty pictures.   I'd be thrilled to be in that company, personally.



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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #77 on: February 20, 2013, 06:32:16 PM »
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... I wish I could do some of the shots that you do; it's a style (if you will) of photography that I admire. In my limited exposure, you seem to lead or teach by example: You show an image and await comments. That's fine, I can learn that way. Can you teach more explicitly? I can live with the former, but if you had more explicit thoughts to share about a given photograph, I would enjoy that just as much. I am learning, what I can't tell yet, from some of the interchanges you have with different posters; I will continue to follow...

David, I hope I will be able to respond to your whole post soon, but in the meantime, I just want to point out that "showing an image and awaiting comments" is rather an exception than a rule. For how I prefer to "teach," you can see, for example, in this post (reply #6):

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=70974.msg563841#msg563841

I used to do that type of comments much more in the past, but along with thanks came resistance, as some perceived it as an attack on their ego, or patronizing. These days I restrict it mostly for those I know are already accomplished photographers, whose work I admire, more as a friendly hint than critique. And even in those cases I ask for permission in a PM first (as I did in David's case).

« Last Edit: February 20, 2013, 06:45:21 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

Slobodan

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« Reply #78 on: February 20, 2013, 06:42:07 PM »
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I have always appreciated anything you had to say about my work, Slobodan, and I hope I never gave you the impression of resistance or bruised ego!
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« Reply #79 on: February 20, 2013, 07:26:12 PM »
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No, but I wouldn't point fingers either Wink
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