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Author Topic: We Make the Path by Walking  (Read 22989 times)
RSL
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2013, 02:21:06 PM »
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Well, it wasn't the first thing that came to my mind either, Slobodan. That was: "What a dull picture of a dull scene." Then I realized that the blahness of the picture probably came from some unnecessary HDR work: maybe using something like HDR Efex Pro in its single frame mode.

On the other hand, once I found that it was possible to click the picture and see another picture and another, etc., I realized the photographer is capable of some really good work. It's unfortunate that the site is so unintuitive and that the first picture is the blahest of the lot.
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kencameron
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« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2013, 02:36:57 PM »
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Maybe demonstrate that he doesn't know what he's doing?
Reading the thread up to the post before this, I have found only one participant who has, for reasons best known to himself, been working hard to give the impression that he doesn't know what he is doing - or at least what he is saying.

On the first image, Elliot is on the money. The flatness in the light is part of what the photographer is trying to depict, and anyone who has done much walking in the woods in Europe would have seen what he sees. Why would he think it worth making a photograph out of it? For me it works quite nicely as a kind of "anti landscape", alluding to and rejecting the conventional aesthetic of landscape photography and reminding the viewer of how the landscape often actually looks.
 
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 06:31:13 PM by kencameron » Logged

Isaac
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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2013, 03:20:39 PM »
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alluding to and rejecting the conventional aesthetic of landscape photography

Without which, the emphasis moves to the path.
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RSL
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« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2013, 06:31:27 PM »
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. . .reminding the viewer of how the landscape often actually looks.

I suspect most viewers older than two don't need to be reminded that the landscape often looks uninteresting.
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amolitor
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« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2013, 08:57:14 PM »
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Well, he's specifically going for non-dramatic. Quiet and contemplative. I don't think we need to draw on the eldritch powers of International Art English to explain the pictures.

I think it's possible that the opening photo on his web site works better in the context of the book. The collection shown strikes me as a mixed bag of "small" scenes. The smallness and lightness is obviously by intent. There's a bright tonality coupled to a flatness of light that goes through most of these photos which strikes me as a deliberate attempt to hit that "quiet contemplative" note. They all look misty, basically. I can imagine a pretty decent portfolio that would hit that note, and would include the pictures on the web site.

The web site itself is, I assume, a subset of the larger portfolio, and may be an effort to illustrate the breadth of the thing, destroying any overall structure that might be present. Without some portfolio structure, I think a lot of the pictures kind of fall apart, they're not strong enough to stand alone. Not that I am saying there IS definitely some structure into which all these fit, only that I can believe there could be. The book could well be a disorganized mess of weakish pictures too, for all I know.

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #25 on: November 21, 2013, 09:06:27 PM »
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I suspect most viewers older than two don't need to be reminded that the landscape often looks uninteresting.
+1.
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Isaac
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« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2013, 12:53:13 PM »
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I suspect most viewers older than two don't need to be reminded that the landscape often looks uninteresting.

There are people who are interested; people who are interested when they are shown and people who are not interested. (With apologies to Da Vinci.)
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kencameron
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« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2013, 03:40:12 PM »
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I don't think we need to draw on the eldritch powers of International Art English to explain the pictures.
What to me needs explaining is how an image that at first glance certainly does look like "a dull picture of a dull scene" can nevertheless be interesting. Of course, if you don't find it interesting, you will move on to something else. "Quiet contemplative note" and "misty" don't do it for me because they don't address content. I think we need to start with the idea that the photographer intended his image to look exactly the way it looks, and then work out why. There. Plain enough English for you?
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 04:47:16 PM by kencameron » Logged

kencameron
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« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2013, 04:21:17 PM »
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I suspect most viewers older than two don't need to be reminded that the landscape often looks uninteresting.
Indeed. So why would a photographer choose, as the opening image to a web presence, such a nothing bit of landscape? Your explanation would seem to be that he doesn't know what he is doing. After looking at his other work, I don't find that persuasive.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 04:43:15 PM by kencameron » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2013, 06:16:45 PM »
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Hi Ken, I'd say the poor fellow has the same problem most of us have,  he doesn't understand marketing. His first picture is blah, and there's nothing on that web page to indicate that if you click on the first picture you'll get a second picture, etc. If somebody's trying to make a buck in photography, marketing skill is far more important than competent photography. If you don't believe that, take a walk through any small town and check out the "portrait and wedding" studios. Yes, the guy is a competent photographer, but why that nothing picture heading his web? He may be a competent photographer but that doesn't mean he "knows what he's doing"
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elliot_n
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« Reply #30 on: November 22, 2013, 06:29:24 PM »
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... there's nothing on that web page to indicate that if you click on the first picture you'll get a second picture...

Well there's a rather large arrow icon. Are you new to the internet?
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RSL
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« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2013, 06:44:15 PM »
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Oh yeah! Now I see those tiny < and > way out at the edges. Yeah, I'm pretty new to the internet. I've only been building webs for about fifteen years.
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2013, 07:27:51 PM »
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He's making a political statement.  The title "We Make a Path By Walking" is displayed with two paths formed by wheeled devices.  Check the ruts made by wheels in the path.  Of course the scene looks "dead".
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Rob C
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« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2013, 03:26:48 AM »
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Dead or not, it's sure had a lot of comment!

The problem isn't the content: the problem is that he's done nothing creative with it.

It reminds me of the flat snaps that come out of my Nikon Capture NX2 compartment and appear anew in 'My Images', from whence I either forget them forever or try to make them look different to the pancake make-up of which they remind me. Of course, this instantly reveals the intrinsic aesthetic superiority of transparencies.

There's one shot within his collection that I really like: the 'underneath the bridge' one.

Rob C
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Isaac
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« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2013, 12:16:55 PM »
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The problem isn't the content: the problem is that he's done nothing creative with it.

Isn't that just your general opinion of landscape photography --

Landscape, at best, is just a copy of nature from the most favourable vantage point that the snapper can find or perhaps access; he has added nothing of his own other than the angle of view, which is hardy creative but certainly a good use of judgement.
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Rob C
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« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2013, 02:55:25 PM »
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Isn't that just your general opinion of landscape photography --




More or less, and I think he's helped prove my point somewhat.

However, 'under the bridge' isn't about landscape, it's about atmosphere and 'hand of homo sapěens' on the natural world.

Now, don't misunderstand my opinion about landscape: I do believe that good landscape work is exactly that: good work. It requires a lot of technical excellence and also a good eye: witness Michael R's recent Icelandic (pre-banking collapse?) images. And there, for me, it ends. So let's not get all steamed up about it again - just a personal opinion and worth no more than that.

Speaking of which, the early shots in the video I mentioned elsewhere, Inside Job, have some wonderful, scene-setting Icelandic landscapes; the visual quality of the video is superb. At least, I noticed it at the start, but the subject rapidly moved the brain from visual pleasure to message mode!

Rob C
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Isaac
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« Reply #36 on: November 26, 2013, 03:05:59 PM »
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However, 'under the bridge' isn't about landscape, it's about atmosphere and 'hand of homo sapěens' on the natural world.

Isn't that also true of the other photographs? The wheel ruts noted by Alan Klein.
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elliot_n
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« Reply #37 on: November 26, 2013, 03:19:20 PM »
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Isn't that also true of the other photographs?

Indeed. We make the path by walking.
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Rob C
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« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2013, 03:10:32 AM »
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Isn't that also true of the other photographs? The wheel ruts noted by Alan Klein.


In the literal sense, I agree, but in the artistic one - in my sense of that meaning - not at all. Might as well depict a farmer's field and because it contains a haystack, that's hand of man. It sure is, but in a totally boring and unremarkable way, which marks the difference between art and simple observation.

Rob C
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elliot_n
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« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2013, 07:12:14 AM »
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It seems to me that the project is quite specifically about the ways in which man makes pathways across the landscape, and how these pathways offer openings (or closings) to the journeying photographer. Haystacks would be off topic.
 
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