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Author Topic: We are a tourist attraction  (Read 977 times)
Ed Blagden
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« on: October 23, 2013, 12:14:34 PM »
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A small and unplanned series I took last week.  I normally don't like posting more than one image in a topic but these should be looked at together.  C&C appreciated.

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David Eckels
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 02:14:43 PM »
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I like the "surprise" at the end!
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RSL
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 04:57:12 PM »
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Good shooting, Ed. I'm sure Steve McCurry would approve.

Speaking of Steve, if anybody on LuLa hasn't had a chance to sit down for a while with his book: Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs, you ought to take the time to do so. There's a lot to learn in there.
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brandtb
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 09:03:46 PM »
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The major issues with these and why I don't think these are successful are...1. the biggest...your subjects backs are to the camera (except in one instance) and off center(?)..nominally interesting figures in a nominally interesting landscape. 2. I have no idea what are they doing, what is the context? 3. Unless the idea is to totally abstract the subjects which doesn't work here, then it would better to have us connect with the faces of these people, and perhaps not shoot from such a distance as well.  Salgado is a great one to look at for contextualizing...and he has images of figures from behind...but they are telling us a story. Great photography of this ilk...while each and every frame might not be prize winning...cause us to want to "find out more about the story". I don't get that here.  Taylor Weidman is one you might consider looking at...brilliant.
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 02:41:49 AM »
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I talk about #4 which really tells a story. I don't agree that the subject is hit from the back. The main subject is the guy which body language says :"hey guys, I'm only interested in your landscape and wildlife. You're annoying me, please do me the favor and disappear quietly off my sunset."
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Harlem22
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« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 02:44:07 AM »
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I talk about #4 which really tells a story. I don't agree that the subject is hit from the back. The main subject is the guy which blunt disrespectful body language says :"hey guys, I'm only interested in your landscape and wildlife. You're annoying me, please do me the favor and disappear quietly off my sunset."
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fike
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« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 08:22:35 AM »
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#4 is quite interesting as a cultural commentary, particularly with your subject line, "We are a tourist attraction" as the caption.  Whenever I go to exotic places with costumes and dancing and shows, I feel a bit cheap and dirty because I know that I am just seeing some bowdlerized commercialization of a culture.  Your fourth picture conjures up that dissonance for me, so it resonates with my world view.   
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mezzoduomo
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 08:29:21 AM »
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The light and colors are attractive to me in all four shots. #364 works best for me due to the interaction captured, and the purple among the red.
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RSL
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 03:23:48 PM »
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#1 is the best of the lot. The composition is superb. Reminds me of a Thomas Cole, except that the people in the picture aren't native Americans. #3 comes close to #1 in the way the landscape is handled. I'll say it again: Bravo!, Ed.
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Ed Blagden
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2013, 03:02:48 AM »
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Thanks all for your comments.  Sorry it took me a while to answer, I went away for a bit.

Anyway, I'm glad that a some others like the shots, I know I do.

Interested in Brandt's comments.  Personally I'm not so bothered about people's backs being to the camera but I guess that is a matter of taste.  As for the lack of context I'm not convinced the viewer needs to be told everything.  For what it is worth, these are Masai Morans (young warriors, although they don't do so much warring these days).  The nominally interesting landscape is Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain and the world's tallest in terms of tot to bottom height.  The Morans are doing a Masai dance (basically an exercise to see which one can jump the highest) for the benefit of some American tourists.  What I found funny about the series was the fact that the Morans were totally into the whole thing - I was there and I can assure you that their enthusiasm was not faked - in contrast to the supremely bored tourists.

I'm kind of interested in the Masai.  They are a completely unique ethnic group in East Africa whose language is basically unrelated to all other 50+ local dialects.  They have staunchly refused to "modernise", in contrast to all the other tribes here, and very much march to the beat of their own drum.  They dress in those clothes in real life, not just for the benefit of tourists.  They measure their wealth in terms of livestock, not money.  There is a charming theory that the Masai are descendants of one of Mark Anthony's lost Roman legions in Egypt.  This is due to their Toga like attire, their weaponry, and their use of formations such as The Tortoise in combat.  All of these things are unique in East Africa.  Sadly, although I would dearly love to believe this theory it seems a bit far fetched.
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