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Thread: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

  1. #241

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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    Use any critique with extreme caution as it can stunt or alter (not in good ways) development of your individual creative image-making style.

    Many decades ago one of my classical guitar teachers would not allow me to listen to any recordings of a piece of music that was being learned and worked on. He said listening to a recording at that point could easily alter my own interpretation of that piece of musical work. He proved to be absolutely correct.

    *Learn the fundamental techniques (aka "rules" of composition, effects of tonality and contrast on any given image and all that) then begin to apply these elements to form the into your personal style and "vision" of what any given finished print might be.

    As for Digital process sharpening and such. There was a print sharing event some years ago with a local group of LF folks, one of the artist shared a print with me, asked him if this print was digitally sharpened. His reply was yes, the image was made at f90, then sharpened in software. My comment as it looked digital and artificial.


    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Ruttenberg View Post

    All this critique is helping to prepare.

  2. #242
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    It also can lead to growth. It _can_ do a lot of things. 'Can' is a very weak word. You can win the lottery. How likely is that?
    J. Haidt's 3 great untruths:
    What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.
    Always trust your feelings.
    Life is a battle between good people and evil people.

  3. #243

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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    Indeed, learning demands change. Difficulty is balancing critique with development of personal image making style. Looking back it took me about a decade of burning LOTS of film in formats from 35mm to 8x10 before any individual style began take hold. This was aided by help from artist friends and spending many hours at various museums studying and observing the work of other artist.

    Plus, all that this must be balanced with technical skill, theoretical knowledge back up by understanding of some of the science behind how this all works.

    Dissonance of any of the above will result in lesser ability to produce expressive and creative works.



    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    It also can lead to growth. It _can_ do a lot of things. 'Can' is a very weak word. You can win the lottery. How likely is that?

  4. #244

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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    If you have a minute, take a listen to (John) Adams' "Short Ride in a Fast Machine." Or, if you want the dissertation, listen to / watch "Nixon in China." I had the pleasure of seeing it live broadcast from the Met. Quite an experience!
    Listened to this a few times since you recommended. Much brighter and melodic that I was expecting--reminds me a little of Copland, which is not a criticism. For some reason, I was expecting more atonal and dissonant.
    David
    Comments and critique always welcome.

  5. #245
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    My thoughts on creativity is that everything can help, it is up to us to pick out what will help us and discard the rest and to try and avoid the temptation to please everyone all of the time.

  6. #246
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    Quote Originally Posted by DDrake View Post
    Listened to this a few times since you recommended. Much brighter and melodic that I was expecting--reminds me a little of Copland, which is not a criticism. For some reason, I was expecting more atonal and dissonant.
    Yeah definitely some Copland influence. I like the rhythmic focus but without the atonality of some other Minimalists, though that has its own charm.

    I recently bought a Philip Glass record and enjoy that a lot, though some of it is quite dissonant. We have a vintage vinyl shop in one of the local antique markets and he always finds really neat electronic music records (as in, early tape and musique concrète stuff). I'm fairly sure I'm the only one who buys them.

    Speaking of dissonant, though not necessarily intentionally - I once performed in a children's concert where we discussed with a coliseum full of schoolchildren Minimalism and Riley's "In C." Then the orchestra went on to perform it, but with the thousands of children who were instructed to bring along their recorders. Imagine, literally thousands of children playing recorders. A unique sound...
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  7. #247

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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    Got through about 50 sheets last month, all ~30 minutes drive from home (or less). Narrowed it to eight I think have the most potential, and then picked one.

    Side note: For purposes of critique, please ignore the softness. Image are much sharper at every step in my workflow, with more subtle tonalities, until I post here from Flickr. Not sure what I'm doing wrong with the export.



    Sun setting on an apartment complex behind the John Deere dealership, Highway 95, Moscow, ID.


    DIY 4X5 / Fujinon 135mm f/5.6 / FP4+ in Xtol
    David
    Comments and critique always welcome.

  8. #248

    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    I'll be very interested in what feedback this elicits as well--I suspect that this is a photo that depends on the scale of its output (e.g. a 16x20 print) to "work," especially since the tractor dealership doesn't automatically "pop" at web sizes. FWIW, this would be great vantage point to explore in color--a 75mm lens, a 1:2.5 aspect ratio and "John Deere green" might be a winner.

  9. #249
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    The empty sign next to the "Private Property" sign has some potential IMO.

    But your main image - you've got some New Topography vibes in that. The slight clouds on the upper left for me take away a bit. Personally I would prefer to either see no clouds, or a nice set of clouds that add the image.

    Overall I think the image by itself perhaps is not as interesting as a series documenting the area in some way (growth, gentrification, natural vs. manmade, something like that). It seems like that's what you've started with the series of images? I guess the question for me is, what are you trying to show the viewer in this image?
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  10. #250

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    Re: Your Best Photograph from the Previous Month - Critique and Discussion Encouraged

    Thanks for the input, CreationBear and Bryan. And thanks, Bryan, for starting this thread—in my opinion, it deserves more traffic than it seems to get.

    CreationBear: your thoughts re: scale and color are interesting, and make a lot of sense. Here's a reference image, taken at the same time with a m4/3 digital camera:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bryan: Yeah, I pay attention to several photographers that were part of the New Topographics show. And you're right: as with the work of those photographers (far more skillful than I am at present), what I'm interested in capturing makes little sense as single images.

    "What are you trying to show the viewer in this image?" opens up a big can of worms, not least because it implies (attempted) communication between photographer and viewer is a requirement for photography (or art in general). I don't believe that's necessarily the case. On the other hand, if photography is not attempting to show the viewer something—not attempting to express or communicate—it makes it harder for the photographer to evaluate whether the images are working or not. Harder—not impossible.

    As I mentioned on another thread, I haven't been working with photography of any sort that long. I'm trained as a sculptor and architect, and regard my practice in those disciplines as analogous to research in the sciences—that is, experiment and exploration—rather than expression and communication. The expressive fallacy in the arts imagines we have an intuitive grasp of everything essential about what it is to be human and in the world, and the only trick is to acquire the skill to appropriately express that knowledge. I'd argue art-making (like science) can be a process of paying attention, with various media functioning as tools to look more deeply. Communication with a viewer (such a passive word, 'viewer') is secondary, or irrelevant.

    Obviously, being a composer, you've thought through similar issues, and I appreciate and take seriously your remarks regarding my efforts. But in general, I'm coming to the conclusion that while these forums are an excellent resource for ascending the learning curve associated with LF photography (I need all the help I can get, in that regard), most members have a specific focus with respect to the kind of image-making they are interested in, and comment on. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but in terms of seeking input beyond the technical, it may make sense for me to look for a better fit, in terms of conceptual critique.
    David
    Comments and critique always welcome.

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