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Author Topic: Frost, field  (Read 1367 times)
Tony Hubcaps
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« on: February 08, 2014, 07:00:59 PM »
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Perhaps it would be wrong to offer criticism of others without posting something
myself  Smiley

So here's a wintry shot.  Things aren't so dramatic in the UK.  Farmer's tractor
ploughed up corner of field, frost filled in the detail.

Lo-res jpeg, my connection is rubbish.  Hopefully it will manage 600kb.

TH
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RSL
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 05:04:54 AM »
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What's this picture about, Tony?

And you don't want to go much above 600K anyway. Higher byte counts aren't going to improve the picture's appearance on a 72 ppi monitor, and big files can take an annoyingly long time to load.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2014, 07:21:16 AM by RSL » Logged

Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 09:14:18 AM »
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This is what I'd call a good background shot.
It has a nice atmosphere but is missing a subject like a tractor, a cow, a naked virgin, a meteor crater ...
I still like it - I like emptiness at times ...
Cheers
~Chris
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Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 09:35:50 AM »
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This is what I'd call a good background shot.
It has a nice atmosphere but is missing a subject like a tractor, a cow, a naked virgin, a meteor crater ...
I still like it - I like emptiness at times ...
Cheers
~Chris


In that weather? What's wrong with you today, Chris?

;-)

Rob C
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 10:51:35 AM »
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In that weather? What's wrong with you today, Chris?

;-)

Rob C

Cheesy
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Tony Hubcaps
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 12:09:14 PM »
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What's this picture about, Tony?


What a very surprising question - to me at least.

Do pictures, not least landscape pictures, have to be "about" anything?

What are landscape pictures generally about?  Light, atmosphere, a sense of place, the lie
of the land, traces of human activity, shape, colour - perhaps nothing more sometimes than line
within the context of land and our relationship to it.

In this instance I liked the interactions of all the lines, the strong tree line, the marks
on the field... they give the lie a little to what, as you have observed, might otherwise be
considered a rather static scene.

Generally I try and eschew giving any kind of prominence to specific objects because then the
picture becomes a picture "about" those objects rather than the land itself and that holds
little interest for me personally.

In this instance I have nevertheless included a tractor - it's visible in the ruts that the farmer
has made turning in this corner of the field.

I had observed these shapes previously but declined to bother shooting them.  On this occasion
though I thought that the muted colours and the cold light and the frozen stillness might work
in conjunction with the lines to produce an image of sorts.

I would describe it as an "action" shot - and it's "about" a farmer who drove a tractor in his field.
By my usual standards it's very dynamic.
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RSL
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 01:18:57 PM »
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Well, it's obviously not about objects because there isn't an object in the picture upon which it focuses. Is it about the bad light? Is it about the muddy, chopped up field? Maybe it's about the light frost on the trees. If this picture is, as you say, "by [your] usual standards... very dramatic," then your usual standards must call for an unusally extreme lack of drama.

Pictures don't have to be "about" objects. And no, really good landscape pictures aren't about light, atmosphere, a sense of place, the lie of the land. . . or "line."  Really good landscape pictures are about a transcendental experience you get from all of those things as they momentarily come together in a way that "means." Good landscape pictures are always about something.
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Tony Hubcaps
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2014, 05:32:23 AM »
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Pictures don't have to be "about" objects. And no, really good landscape pictures aren't about light, atmosphere, a sense of place, the lie of the land. . . or "line."  Really good landscape pictures are about a transcendental experience you get from all of those things as they momentarily come together in a way that "means." Good landscape pictures are always about something.


I find myself neither really agreeing or disagreeing with this statement.  Behind the 'transcendental' rhetoric you don't seem to have said
anything significantly different to what I said.

I listed off the cuff some fairly uncontroversial aspects of visual images (shape, line, atmosphere, etc), and suggested that in landscape
photography these might 'come together' in the context of land and our relationship to it.  You said firstly that it isn't about those things
but then that it is about the way that they momentarily come together, etc, etc.

I fail to see any interesting distinction here.  You demanded to know what the picture was "about!".  I responded by trying to suggest that it
wasn't really about anything particular that could be expressed verbally (in terms perhaps of something like a subject), and that in this it wasn't
so very different from landscape photographs generally.

Do you always demand of photographers (or if you like, people with cameras) that they explain what their pictures are about?
In any case, I take it I am allowed to hold views different to your own.
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Manoli
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2014, 05:50:04 AM »
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What's this picture about, Tony?

Reminds me of that old maxim 'If you need to ask how much it costs, you can't afford it'
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Rob C
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2014, 08:24:28 AM »
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There are interesting pictures and there are boring pictures. Interesting pictures all have a hook; boring pictures don't have anything.

Some pictures are deemed interesting because they contain the required elements to fit within a specific genre, and are then judged on that; this, in my opinion, isn't enough: the question/judgement (sought or gratuitous) has to be a deeper one - are the elements doing anything, or are they but a depository, a retirement home for the reality of what is?

This seems to me to be nothing more than a basic understanding of what a photograph is; it's a call that should be obvious in camera.

So Russ has a very good point.

IMO

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2014, 09:51:08 AM »
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Do you always demand of photographers (or if you like, people with cameras) that they explain what their pictures are about?

Only when they post them for critique and it isn't clear what they're about.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2014, 11:46:23 AM »
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I like the image, but also understand the critique.
So I allowed myself to unleash some of the potential I see in it.
Cheers
~Chris
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2014, 01:15:54 PM »
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I like the image, but also understand the critique.
So I allowed myself to unleash some of the potential I see in it.
Cheers
~Chris


And now it's about... the blues? Needs a soundtrack, then.

Rob C
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2014, 01:19:25 PM »
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And now it's about... the blues? Needs a soundtrack, then.

Rob C

Its about trees standing in the corner of a field surrounded by a frozen wood , waiting for comments.
Cheers
~Chris
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kikashi
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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2014, 02:03:04 PM »
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Its about trees standing in the corner of a field surrounded by a frozen wood , waiting for comments.
Cheers
~Chris

Then it has achieved its raison d'être, hasn't it?

Jeremy
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Tony Hubcaps
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2014, 01:41:16 PM »
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Its about trees standing in the corner of a field surrounded by a frozen wood , waiting for comments.
Cheers
~Chris

Ha  Cheesy
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Tony Hubcaps
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2014, 02:21:30 PM »
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I feel like I better say a word about why I posted it.

As I mentioned originally, having commented without really thinking about it on other
people's pictures I thought it would be a bit $* not to post something of my own for possible
flak.

But then it was a question of: well what on earth do I post?  I was browsing through my
folders where I keep all manner of stuff just jumbled up for this kind of random purpose, and
posting something a bit more "dynamic" and a bit more "traditional" (shall we say) felt like it would be
kind of shouting, 'Look at me! look at me!'.  So then thought I'll just pick out something,
anything, a bit more personal, a bit closer to my more private concerns.

I would not expect many or anybody to be particularly impressed by it.  Certainly if somebody
wants to tell me they think it's cr@p I have no problem with that at all.  I might even agree.
(I'd much rather they did that than bend my ear with, say, hypothetically, a load of cod aesthetics).

At no time have I been trying to defend or justify it (only my right to take such a photograph).


Actually I feel like adding a bit more here.

As an experienced landscape photographer I know as well as anybody that certain things just do
tend to work.  And certain things just tend not to - like empty fields in bad light.

This worries me on two counts.

1). It does contribute I feel to much landscape photography having a feeling of 'sameness' about it,
especially now that it is so widely practiced and shared.

2). More importantly it bothers me that many aspects of the landscape will thus go unrepresented.
I tend to work mostly on a local basis, photographing what is close to me on a daily basis.  I want
to capture and reflect the many moods of a few places rather than vice versa.  What prompts me
to take photographs is not the recognition of potential for a stunning image, but something which
I believe is more fundamental than that and common to the arts in general.  Am I going to name
it? - not at the moment.

Therefore, as here, I often try to see what can be got out of recalcitrant resources.  If the answer
is not much then so be it.

« Last Edit: February 12, 2014, 02:25:02 PM by Tony Hubcaps » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2014, 02:41:02 PM »
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So let's see some of your "Look at me! Look at me!" stuff.
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Tony Hubcaps
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« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2014, 08:17:51 PM »
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So let's see some of your "Look at me! Look at me!" stuff.

So let's see some of your 'transcendental' stuff first.
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Tony Hubcaps
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« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2014, 08:42:26 PM »
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So let's see some of your "Look at me! Look at me!" stuff.

In fact, since in my opinion you score very low on the ratio of constructive criticism
to argumentative waffle, you definitely owe your viewers one "transcendental"
experience at least!
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