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Author Topic: Heavy Metal by Kevin Raber  (Read 5671 times)
Rand47
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« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2014, 12:22:10 PM »
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Communication.  An interesting and complex subject.  

Some components:
 
  • Content
  • Mode of expression
  • Tone

Ray, IMO, has failed to communicate effectively on 2.5 of the three listed above.  If he were one of my leadership students I'd give him a .5 for content.  There's not much doubt that he doesn't like brownfield industrial photography.   It is popular today to think that negative tone and blunt-come-aggressive modes of communication are merely "honest."  Hogwash, I say - more like pedantic and rude.

Rand
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 12:24:36 PM by Rand47 » Logged
viewfinder
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« Reply #41 on: June 29, 2014, 12:25:55 PM »
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Sharon...Thanks for polite post...

Well since ~Kevin is this important sites publisher and has the opportunity to post his work on the front page to be considered by some very skilled people~ Then, yes, he DID effectively 'ask' for it to be considered in it's expression and effectiveness or not......This is NOT a gallery site which offers images for sale, it's a practical photography site which puports to offer guidance and counsel to supposedly less skillful photographers.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 12:29:06 PM by viewfinder » Logged
Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2014, 12:26:52 PM »
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I edited my post above because it implied a criticism of Kevin's work. I enjoyed his image of the pipes.

Sharon
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #43 on: June 29, 2014, 12:36:15 PM »
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Sharon...Thanks for polite post...

Well since ~Kevin is this important sites publisher and has the opportunity to post his work on the front page to be considered by some very skilled people~ Then, yes, he DID effectively 'ask' for it to be considered in it's expression and effectiveness or not......This is NOT a gallery site which offers images for sale, it's a practical photography site which puports to offer guidance and counsel to supposedly less skillful photographers.

I think it is site for people who love photography. I've never met Kevin or Michael, but we share that love. The best critics for us (my husband and I) are our clients. When they hold a print and their eyes light up, that is awesome and it is instructional when another print gets dismissed by several different people. I have two portfolios online about a place here called Squam Swamp. One with that name is in color and is very popular. The other is a black and white series called Deeper than Wide which is one that I don't care if it isn't as popular, it speaks to me - it expresses how I feel about that place and you could criticize it out the whazoo and I wouldn't care. It is mine.

Sharon
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 12:50:13 PM by Sharon Van Lieu » Logged

viewfinder
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« Reply #44 on: June 29, 2014, 01:21:49 PM »
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Sharon,...I don't disagree with anything in your post.

On the top of your blog there is currently a shot of a steep beach scene, which, if I have understood, is threatened with erosional collapse......     Your treatment of subject is entirely appropriate.   However, I'm sure that we both can agree that were you to have got carried away in Photoshop and given the image an enchanting glow the whole meaning and purpose of that image would have been not just lost, but truned into a travesty of the actual subject and situation.....(?)
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #45 on: June 29, 2014, 01:37:39 PM »
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My personal tastes run to images that don't make you think of the processing. Nantucket is saturated enough, it doesn't need any help from me. And for our documentary work, I'm very careful not to overly edit the scene. I usually add a little contrast/clarity and noise reduction and brighten as needed to clearly see. At the same time, we try to use our artistic sensibilities.

But I don't find online criticism to be particularly helpful. As David said, it tends to want to make the photograph into one the critic would have taken. If you read critique forums, the same advice is offered over and over - look like the herd.  I prefer to observe first hand when I am receiving criticism. I can see the person's expression, hear their tone of voice, watch what they really react to and what leaves them cold. To say that to post my work online means I have to receive random criticism from anonymous people, to open my heart to that negativity, I say no thanks. I don't think Kevin or Michael should have to endure it either. I don't think they owe anybody that.

I think the culture of distant criticism the internet has produced is not good for artists.

Sharon
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #46 on: June 29, 2014, 02:10:41 PM »
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Hi,

I was on a workshop in the Dolomites with Hans Krause, we had two friends from a nordic country taking part. The two had very different aspiration one was looking for subtle tones the other for more pronounced tonal interpretation. We have different perception and interpretation, having that liberty is a part of the fun.

Best regards
Erik


My personal tastes run to images that don't make you think of the processing. Nantucket is saturated enough, it doesn't need any help from me. And for our documentary work, I'm very careful not to overly edit the scene. I usually add a little contrast/clarity and noise reduction and brighten as needed to clearly see. At the same time, we try to use our artistic sensibilities.

But I don't find online criticism to be particularly helpful. As David said, it tends to want to make the photograph into one the critic would have taken. If you read critique forums, the same advice is offered over and over - look like the herd.  I prefer to observe first hand when I am receiving criticism. I can see the person's expression, hear their tone of voice, watch what they really react to and what leaves them cold. To say that to post my work online means I have to receive random criticism from anonymous people, to open my heart to that negativity, I say no thanks. I don't think Kevin or Michael should have to endure it either. I don't think they owe anybody that.

I think the culture of distant criticism the internet has produced is not good for artists.

Sharon
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Telecaster
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« Reply #47 on: June 29, 2014, 02:14:07 PM »
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I'm with Sharon on this one. Online critique is typically little more than a thinly veiled proclamation of one's own creative or æsthetic superiority. Good and useful critique IMO involves trying to get into the head, or at least in tune with the sensibility, of the person whose work you're critiquing.

-Dave-
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jjj
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« Reply #48 on: June 29, 2014, 03:49:37 PM »
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So far, from the comments in this thread, I'm getting the impression that many of those who like Kevin's image, Heavy Metal, do so because they have some past, pleasant association with heavy, industrialized equipment, and have perhaps once worked, or continue to work, in a comfortable office in a water-works complex, nuclear reactor, or other environment with heavy machinery.

For me, the associations that Heavy Metal invoke are of a Dickensian, child slavery environment, an ear-damaging, constant clatter of machinery, and a drab, mind-numbing  decor.
What you really need to try and appreciate is that just because you view and rationalise the world in a particular way, it may have absolutely no bearing on how others enjoy or dislike things.
I like industrial shots and similar imagery and have done since I was a kid. Without any of the associations you think are needed to appreciate such stuff. Though occasionally I used the toilet and as pipes were needed to carry waste away maybe that's it!  Wink But seeing as we all use plumbing, shouldn't we all like images with pipes in them Ray?

As I said above people usually like what they like, because that is what they like. Sometimes things are that simple.
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« Reply #49 on: June 29, 2014, 03:50:34 PM »
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I'm with Sharon on this one. Online critique is typically little more than a thinly veiled proclamation of one's own creative or æsthetic superiority. Good and useful critique IMO involves trying to get into the head, or at least in tune with the sensibility, of the person whose work you're critiquing.
Indeed.
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barryfitzgerald
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« Reply #50 on: June 30, 2014, 06:56:58 AM »
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Sometimes it's not what is said but how it is said. I would be offended if someone called my work "awful"
As for the photos down to taste, I don't care much for the HDR shots (not a fan of HDR in general unless it's subtle), but quite like the others, even though it's not a subject I would have much interest in, I can still find something of value there.

I've had forum jousts before and you do toughen up a bit over time. Photography is a taste thing, you can't please everyone so you just have to please yourself. I would never use the word awful for anyone though even a rank newbie with really bad photos, it's just not helpful or constructive in any way
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michael
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« Reply #51 on: June 30, 2014, 07:17:15 AM »
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Simply saying that one likes something or dislikes it tells others nothing about the object being critiqued. What it does do is tell us more than a little about the person making the critique.

Michael
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petermfiore
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« Reply #52 on: June 30, 2014, 07:45:49 AM »
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Simply saying that one likes something or dislikes it tells others nothing about the object being critiqued. What it does do is tell us more than a little about the person making the critique.

Michael

Always! A truth all artists need to keep in mind. Another way to think of it as " consider the source".

Peter
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Ray
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« Reply #53 on: June 30, 2014, 07:46:48 AM »
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Simply saying that one likes something or dislikes it tells others nothing about the object being critiqued. What it does do is tell us more than a little about the person making the critique.

Michael


Michael
Could you amplify on that concept. We frequently get comments about photos, such as 'Great shot', 'Nice shot', 'I like that', 'Well done!' etc.

Would you infer from such comments that the people making the comments have good taste? Or would you infer that such people are sometimes trying to please and curry favour, or make friends. In other words, basically being hypocritical.

My own view is that any comment is only useful if it's an honest comment, without bias and favour. It's even more useful if it's accompanied with some rational reason supporting the opinion.
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jfirneno
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« Reply #54 on: June 30, 2014, 10:01:44 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

I have a question for the more veteran forum residents.  I guess I can't quantify exactly who that would be but let's say folks with several thousand forum replies.  My question is does it seem likely that someone who has been on this forum for a very long time could be unaware that some people like photography with industrial equipment as a subject?  Going through the OP's statements it appears to be an aggressive assertion that these themes are ugly to all right minded artists and only some kind of psychological quirk can explain an interest in them.  I ask this question because it seems to me that this is either an indirect attack on the photographer who created the images (for whatever reason) or a declaration of what should be displayed on this website (specifically only more naturalistic themes like mountains and trees).  If this is a long-running argument it would be interesting to me to catch up on the scorecard.
Regards,
John
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michael
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« Reply #55 on: June 30, 2014, 10:09:15 AM »
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Michael
Could you amplify on that concept. We frequently get comments about photos, such as 'Great shot', 'Nice shot', 'I like that', 'Well done!' etc.

Would you infer from such comments that the people making the comments have good taste? Or would you infer that such people are sometimes trying to please and curry favour, or make friends. In other words, basically being hypocritical.

My own view is that any comment is only useful if it's an honest comment, without bias and favour. It's even more useful if it's accompanied with some rational reason supporting the opinion.

The point that I'm making is that just stating an opinion does not provide any useful information, other that what you as one individual happen to think. As I wrote, it tells more about you than about the photographer (artist) or the work.

Saying "Nice shot" or similar is no different than saying "I hate it." Frankly, why should I, or anyone for that matter care what you think?

If one wants to provide useful criticism that makes me care then starting a discussion about the nature of the subject, the composition, the presentation and so forth has value. The creator of the image and others are still just left with what you think, but at least they have an indication of your thought process, which may be of interest or value.

When we read a proper book or movie review we learn something about both the subject and the reviewer. Casual commentary doesn't have to rise to the standard of a formal review, but it should do more than just opine. Also, insulting the creator of the work just isn't a good may to win friends and influence people.

Michael


Michael
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Isaac
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« Reply #56 on: June 30, 2014, 10:17:55 AM »
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Would you infer from such comments that…
  • they're being sociable
  • they liked the photo



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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #57 on: June 30, 2014, 10:34:30 AM »
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So far, from the comments in this thread, I'm getting the impression that many of those who like Kevin's image, Heavy Metal, do so because they have some past, pleasant association with heavy, industrialized equipment, and have perhaps once worked, or continue to work, in a comfortable office in a water-works complex, nuclear reactor, or other environment with heavy machinery.

Not me.

I just love the image.  I don't care what processing he did, either.  It's just friggin' gorgeous.  I wish I'd shot it.
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Ray
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« Reply #58 on: June 30, 2014, 11:27:56 AM »
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Saying "Nice shot" or similar is no different than saying "I hate it." Frankly, why should I, or anyone for that matter care what you think?
Michael


Good question. If no-one cares whether his image is liked or disliked, or cares what anyone thinks about it, then why show it? Keep it to yourself.

Quote
If one wants to provide useful criticism that makes me care then starting a discussion about the nature of the subject, the composition, the presentation and so forth has value. The creator of the image and others are still just left with what you think, but at least they have an indication of your thought process, which may be of interest or value.

I did. I initially described a dislike for the image, and I later described why I disliked it, in post #28, as follows:
"the associations that Heavy Metal invoke are of a Dickensian, child slavery environment, an ear-damaging, constant clatter of machinery, and a drab, mind-numbing decor".

Kevin later tried to justify his image by associating it with Burtynsky's industrial landscapes. I replied that I didn't see the patterns and symmetry in Kevin's shot that typify Burtinsky's shots, and make them interesting.

What's the problem?

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Isaac
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« Reply #59 on: June 30, 2014, 12:14:26 PM »
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If no-one cares whether his image is liked or disliked, or cares what anyone thinks about it, then why show it?

For others to appreciate or not, as they please.


What's the problem?

The problem is that your personal dislike of the picture content isn't sufficient to support a discussion.
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