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Author Topic: Heavy Metal by Kevin Raber  (Read 6034 times)
Ray
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« on: June 27, 2014, 05:54:58 AM »
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I don't usually post negative comments about images, but Kevin has now posted a number of similar images on the home page depicting industrial scenes. No-one has commented on them, as far as I'm aware, yet he continues to post them.

I don't like them, Kevin. They're awful. I can only presume that you've never encountered such scenes in real life before, and perhaps find them fascinating because they appear so unusual to you. Is this correct? Alternatively, perhaps in the past you have worked in such an environment, and have emotional memories that these images inspire. Which is correct?

Sorry to be so negative.  Smiley
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 06:09:41 AM by Ray » Logged
Kevin Raber
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2014, 07:06:23 AM »
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Then why post them....

Based on the number of private emails I have received and requests for prints there must be a number of people out there that don't agree with you.  This series was a chance to photograph in an unusual place and present work that in my opinion shows the feel and industrial like nature of this remarkable old Water Pumping plant in Buffalo.  I have had numerous emails asking how to get access to this location also.  So far I have only published 2 images from the Water Works on the site.  One was HDR and I felt it needed HDR to accomplish the look I wanted to show. Heavy Metal #28 was my way of showing the heavy and old industrial feel of this part of the pump.  The big bolts, rust, cast iron feel.  I have published more elsewhere and like I said they were well received.  I also published 2 images from Silo City and they were also well received based on private emails and print requests at the my gallery. 

Like them or not is a viewers prerogative, but I continually like to challenge myself, no matter what landscape I shoot and to present my work for others to enjoy (or not).  Maybe you should join us next October and show us what you would do at these locations.  Michael and I will co-publish a story about our time at both these locations.  Maybe you'll like his images better.

Kevin Raber
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Kevin Raber
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Ray
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2014, 08:21:02 AM »
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I see! Well that explains your repeating the display of this type of image. If some people find it interesting, fair enough! It would be interested to know why they find it interesting..

I would never hang such a picture on my wall. However, I can imagine if someone had worked in such an environment, he might be interested in hanging such a picture on his wall so he could boast to people, "Do you know I used to work in that place!", thus creating a lot of sympathy and/or amazement that anyone could tolerate such an environment. Grin
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dchew
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2014, 08:42:50 AM »
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Ray,
Although Kevin's latest images are not my thing, I do appreciate them. I was on the workshop, and I find it refreshing to see what he (and Michael) come up with. For example this latest one exhibits way more detail and tone in the steel than my more typical rendering, which according to his post above is what he was feeling and what he wanted to convey. Since I am in the municipal water business, I was accustom to the big steel but not the old equipment.  So what I felt was a respect for the legacy and antique equipment. As a result, my images are subdued.

Diverse success on both sides I think.

Dave
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Ray
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2014, 09:01:55 AM »
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Since I am in the municipal water business, I was accustom to the big steel but not the old equipment.  So what I felt was a respect for the legacy and antique equipment.
Dave

Okay! Thanks. That makes sense, Dave. You have an association with the water business so the antique equipment has a specialized interest for you. From the perspective of someone who doesn't have any association with water works, it's just a picture of ugly machinery.  Wink
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Dale Villeponteaux
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2014, 12:51:29 PM »
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I like them. Of course our memory and experiences color our preferences.  I was reminded of the Old Pump display room in London bridge. These recall Victorian era machinery, overbuilt to my eyes but built to last ages. This is all probably rationalization, since I also find their form and color pleasing.

Regards,
Dale
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david loble
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2014, 02:28:01 PM »
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Ray
Although one's like/dislike may be the final factor in deciding whether or not to put an image on the wall, I don't think it should be the first. Actually, as hard as it may be, I think a viewer should try very hard to not let emotions rule initially. Maybe you do look objectively at Kevin's work and the final decision is "ugly machinery." Fair enough if that's the case but your comments don't indicate that.
I don't know what to make of your "smiley faces". They are a bit of a mixed message. If taken seriously then your message to Kevin can not be taken seriously. If the "smileys" aren't serious then why are they there? Are you trying to mitigate your criticism by including them?

David
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Telecaster
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2014, 03:12:04 PM »
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I like industrial/machinery photography of all sorts. My favorite of John Sexton's books is Places Of Power, which is all about the products of industry. My dad was an automotive designer/engineer...when I got my first macro lens he set me to work documenting his models of various powertrain parts he'd worked on. (I used Plus-X for some of it and Tech Pan for the rest.) Still enjoy doing that sort of thing. I consider it landscape photography...just a different kind of landscape.   Smiley

-Dave-
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2014, 03:51:09 PM »
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I see! Well that explains your repeating the display of this type of image. If some people find it interesting, fair enough! It would be interested to know why they find it interesting..

I would never hang such a picture on my wall. However, I can imagine if someone had worked in such an environment, he might be interested in hanging such a picture on his wall so he could boast to people, "Do you know I used to work in that place!", thus creating a lot of sympathy and/or amazement that anyone could tolerate such an environment. Grin
Or alternatively they simply have different taste from you.
Imagine how boring the world would be if we all had the same taste.
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Ray
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 06:32:04 PM »
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If taken seriously then your message to Kevin can not be taken seriously. If the "smileys" aren't serious then why are they there? Are you trying to mitigate your criticism by including them?
David


I don't know Kevin. He might have a tendency to fly into a rage if someone criticizes his photos. That is not something I would wish to cause. Okay?
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Ray
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2014, 06:35:15 PM »
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Or alternatively they simply have different taste from you.
Imagine how boring the world would be if we all had the same taste.

Of course. It's understood that people have different tastes. I'm under no delusion about that. Even identical twins can have different tastes.

What I find useful is trying to understand why one either likes, dislikes, or is indifferent to, a particular photo.

So often we just get comments like 'Nice shot!' or 'Great shot!'. I think probably the main reason I find beauty in landscape photos in general, is because they depict a naturalness and harmony which is so lacking in modern cities and industrialized situations.

From that perspective, I find Heavy Metal the antithesis of what I would describe as beautiful.
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2014, 06:50:08 PM »
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The beauty of a piece of art very rarely has anything to do with a innate beauty of a subject. Making the simple profound is the artist's task of a lifetime...

Peter


You get it........
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« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2014, 07:16:40 PM »
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Like them or not is a viewers prerogative, but I continually like to challenge myself, no matter what landscape I shoot and to present my work for others to enjoy (or not).

Well, at least Kev has moved on from showing friggin' icebergs!!!

Kev (if you don't know this about him) loves rust...old rusty things seem to be something he searches and works for. So for him to find a whole rusty industrial facility, he must have been in "Kev Heaven" shooting there...I would have loved to shoot it as well.

The other thing you gotta know about Kev is he has a really thick skin...ya gotta have a thick skin if you are going to constantly try to  challenge yourself. Ya also gotta have a think skin to run this website.

Personally, I think the shot is one of his best "rust buckets" I've seen...(maybe a tad over saturated, but he's a bit over saturated himself :~)
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Kevin Raber
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« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2014, 07:22:33 PM »
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Ray ...if you knew me you would know I don't fly into rages.  Actually I am very content happy and hardly ever angry.  I have been taking images all my life and enjoy trying to shoot and illustrate something out of my comfort zone which for the most part over the last 20 years is landscapes.  I hide nothing and my blog and galleries are out there for all to see and share.  To me heavy metal is all about this remarkable building we got to visit in Buffalo and how it made me feel.  The lighting, printing and such accomplishes what I wanted to covey.  Too bad you can't see the prints at my gallery.  Have you ever looked at Edward Burtynsky's work?  http://www.edwardburtynsky.com   Sometimes the industrial landscape is art to and it can be classified as a landscape. I try to see the beauty in everything.

Bottom line is I experienced a magnificent afternoon of shooting in an amazing place and then many evenings working on the series of images both from the Water Works and Silo City.  (not to mention a few glasses of very nice wine).  I suggest to those on my workshops to challenge yourself and try to shoot something you normally wouldn't and to break out of your comfort zones.  Last week I spent the week shooting with William Neill and he showed me how to see the landscape in the landscape.  Wonder what kind of feedback I'll get when I start showing images from that week of photography.  In any case Ray, I appreciate anyone who speaks their mind but always hope that the people speaking it are open to what others are trying to do and say.

Kevin Raber
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Kevin Raber
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« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2014, 07:30:58 PM »
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Last week I spent the week shooting with William Neill and he showed me how to see the landscape in the landscape.  Wonder what kind of feedback I'll get when I start showing images from that week of photography.

As long as there aren't any friggin' icebergs!!!
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paulbk
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« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2014, 08:15:10 PM »
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Dear Kevin Raber,
I love 'em! Your industrial, heavy metal photographs are some of my favorites of yours. Further, it gives me deeper insight into your artistic sensibility. And my respect for your wide ranging interests has only increased. I understand how some people don't see the poignancy and pathos in nuts and bolts and pipes. But I do.

Here's why I like them. I spent six years in the U.S. Navy, most of that as a reactor operator on a nuclear submarine. I literally lived in a nest of nuts and bolts and pipes, and industrial sized features much like the ones you photograph. It was my home for many months submerged at sea. I learned to respect the design engineers who knew that people's lives depended on their expertise and good conscience. I learned to respect the manufacturers and shipbuilders who knew that this is no place for "shortcuts." And I learned that a well-designed system is a thing of beauty.
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paul b. kramarchyk
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Ray
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2014, 10:14:58 PM »
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You get it........

Has Peter removed his comment,
Quote
The beauty of a piece of art very rarely has anything to do with a innate beauty of a subject. Making the simple profound is the artist's task of a lifetime.

I find such a statement a bit odd. If that statement is true, I would find it very disturbing. The implication of such a statement is that most art is a lie.

I tend to subscribe to the ideal expressed by Keats that "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know", although I don't always take that completely literally.

Now, I understand that certain quite ordinary things might be perceived by the artist or photographer to have an innate beauty which is not readily apparent to the average person, and that part of the skill of such an artist might be a talent in bringing out and emphasizing such innate beauty. That's fine. I wonder if that's what Peter meant.  Wink
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Ray
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2014, 10:18:26 PM »
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Ray ...if you knew me you would know I don't fly into rages.  

Good! Glad to hear it, Kevin.  Smiley

Quote
Bottom line is I experienced a magnificent afternoon of shooting in an amazing place and then many evenings working on the series of images both from the Water Works and Silo City. (not to mention a few glasses of very nice wine).

This doesn't come out in your photo titled Heavy Metal. If you could have arranged for a beam of light from the sun, entering from some crack or crevice from above, illuminating the gob-smacked expression of one of the members of your workshop as he/she looked up in amazement at the monstrous machinery, then that would have improved your photo considerably, in my view.  Wink

By the way, Burtynsky's images have an interesting pattern and symmetry which I don't find in your image, Heavy Metal.
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stamper
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2014, 03:10:22 AM »
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Kevin in future if you decide to post images then you should ask Ray if he's happy with your subjects and only post what he thinks are "appropriate". This post smacks of censorship and possibly elitism. When I first viewed them I was jealous of the fact that you had the opportunity to access this type of photography. Well done.  Cool
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michael
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« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2014, 05:33:33 AM »
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I received two email overnight. One from someone who railed against our site design, calling it an abomination.

The other, from some who picked up an email discussion that ended 7 years ago. He then added, "What a dumbass. Why the hell do you even open your stupid mouth? People like you make me sick. You're ignorant and full of shit.

Clearly someone gone off their meds. 7 years, and then this!

I mention these for no other reason than to point out that summer holiday weekends seem to leave some people adrift, and the opportunity to rail against someone or something apparently brings some solace to them.

Me, I'm going for a swim before breakfast, and then will do my best to enjoy this lovely summer holiday weekend. Oh yes, and in the Zen manner, I will do my best to think kind thoughts about others.

Michael
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