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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 04 Apr 2012 (Wednesday) 08:26
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Composition and all that Arty stuff - discussion thread.

 
twoshadows
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Dec 28, 2017 00:13 |  #3841

OhLook wrote in post #18527702 (external link)
Julian, I'm not doing well at transferring your illustration to the space I was shooting in. You show how to combine readable text in the foreground with a view of something in the background. But the eviction notices were all on more or less the same plane, lined up against a solid concrete wall. The boat is far behind the sign about mussels. What's behind a flyer is just a wall, not the other flyers.

You may have to place a flyer - even if temporarily - at a location that will allow this type of shot (In the dirt accompanied by a low angle shot comes to mind...). If that is not amenable, it becomes a more difficult task and my ability to help is limited by lack of vision regarding the shooting space.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 29, 2017 12:05 |  #3842

OhLook wrote in post #18527586 (external link)
Not sure I'm visualizing your "first thought" as you imagine it. One could shoot close to a single notice to make it legible, at an angle not 90°, and have the others blur out in the background, but that would sacrifice the larger scene. I wanted to include some of the dirt and the concrete surroundings to show how bleak the place was.

I think there is a lot of value in what you are trying to do with photos of these notices. . But there is a great visual challenge in trying to create an image in which a notice is legible to the viewer, and that also encompasses enough of the overall scene to give a "sense of place".

The big problem for me as a viewer is that I would never know that the notices have to do with homelessness unless I was able to read the text on one of them. . Why? . Because in my life I have never seen such notices, and therefore I have no real-life context that would provide a clue as to what the notices are. . If someone has spent time in an urban environment, or where the local law enforcement discourages homelessness, then I am sure they would be able to figure out what the notices were about even if they couldn't read the text.

So I think this may be a case in which you are able to "tell your story" - with a single image - to some viewers, but not to other viewers, because an understanding of the image would require that the viewer have some type of foreknowledge or experiences with the subject matter in order to recognize it for what it is. . And that is okay. . In fact, an important thing in photography (and other art) is to know what audience you are creating a piece for. . You can't always create something that is meaningful to everyone, and trying to do so would be unrealistic.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Dec 29, 2017 12:15 |  #3843

airfrogusmc wrote in post #18527500 (external link)
QUOTED IMAGE

I really love this one, Allen.

When you first posted it, I spent about 15 minutes just examining it, giving my mind and my eyes time to discover all of the dynamics of the composition. . This image is really deep in the way that lights and darks are distributed about the scene.

And of course the thing that makes it all work is the repetition of form that is created by the two foremost gentlemen being "in step" with one another. . And the timing/perspective is perfect because there is a small gap between the left shoe (his left shoe, which is actually to our right as viewers) of the 2nd guy and the right calf of the first guy (his right calf, which is actually to our left as viewers). . If there was any overlap there at all the image wouldn't work nearly as well as it does.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Dec 29, 2017 12:15 as a reply to  @ Tom Reichner's post |  #3844

I think the only sure way to put the story across for someone not already familiar with these notices and their meaning would be to use a diptych type of approach ... one image representing the scene as it is currently presented, the other showing a close-up of one of the notices.

As Tom notes, getting a single image to convey all of this to everybody, irrespective of their background knowledge, seems almost impossible.


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Dec 29, 2017 13:03 |  #3845

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18528753 (external link)
I think there is a lot of value in what you are trying to do with photos of these notices. . But there is a great visual challenge in trying to create an image in which a notice is legible to the viewer, and that also encompasses enough of the overall scene to give a "sense of place".

DaviSto wrote in post #18528767 (external link)
I think the only sure way to put the story across for someone not already familiar with these notices and their meaning would be to use a diptych type of approach ... one image representing the scene as it is currently presented, the other showing a close-up of one of the notices.

I agree with both of you, and the difficulty was discussed when I originally put the scene in this thread. In Urban Fragments, I included a close-up to explain the larger scene.


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Jan 10, 2018 14:23 |  #3846

I'm not even sorry if this has been posted before because it's so good that it deserves to be posted again. John Free talking about his ten year project in the LA train yards. It's fifty minutes but every last second is worth the watch.

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=bUAbGV7RA0Q (external link)


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Jan 10, 2018 19:48 |  #3847

Owain Shaw wrote in post #18538001 (external link)
I'm not even sorry if this has been posted before because it's so good that it deserves to be posted again. John Free talking about his ten year project in the LA train yards. It's fifty minutes but every last second is worth the watch.

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=bUAbGV7RA0Q (external link)

That is a really great video!

I think that if someone is a street photographer, or even just a photographer of humans, then this is almost essential viewing. . It speaks of the entire process, of creating a project that comes from one's heart, and takes 10 years to complete. .

I love how he talks about the lens he used and explains WHY he used it - and that the reason has nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of technical proficiency or with "image quality". . Rather, his lens choice is based entirely on his artistic vision, and how a given lens can help him to include various elements in the frame in a certain way. . This is the very core of what photography and creativity are all about.

The one thing I wonder as I watched it is WHY? . Why did he want to photograph these railroad tramps in the first place? Why was he even interested in them?

As a nature and wildlife photographer, it is sometimes hard for me to understand the motivations of those who photograph people. . I am simply not interested in the Human Experience, and have trouble understanding why anyone else WOULD be interested in it.

If anyone here can explain why they are interested in photographing people, instead of the beautiful things in nature, please explain your motivations. . I would love to develop a better understanding of why people re interested in other people, because quite frankly, I am not.


.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Jan 10, 2018 20:54 |  #3848

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18538306 (external link)
...

If anyone here can explain why they are interested in photographing people, instead of the beautiful things in nature, please explain your motivations. . I would love to develop a better understanding of why people re interested in other people, because quite frankly, I am not.

.

2 things - lines and beauty/intelligence.

I LOVE the human form. I don't care the sexual makeup. I love the way human skin/eyes/hair accept and reflect light. Mostly I love the lines...


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In my brief time photographing people, I have come to the (for me) inescapable conclusion that we all - all - possess a form of intelligence and beauty. If I don't to see it, it's my failure. This guy - Tim - was one of my early captures. This is how I met him, actually, taking his photo. Before I snapped his pic, I looked down ever so briefly. He saw and hoisted the peace sign. That was the beginning of a years long friendship. In spite of poverty and his physical & mental challenges, he lived life with a smile - even as lung cancer took him.


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I guess, Tom, it's the process. For me creating a portrait means getting to know the subject intimately and using elements of their life to make a their image. It's in the getting to know them, seeing through their eyes, that I discover their beauty and intelligence. Portrait work has changed my life so much for the better. I am richer. And fwiw, it has even changed the lives of some of my subjects.

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Post edited 3 months ago by airfrogusmc. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 10, 2018 21:54 |  #3849

Good post Julian and excellent question Tom.

For me I just really enjoy interacting with people. All kinds of different people. I always spend time with people when I take portraits. On the street I usually spend time and talk with folks. I really enjoy it.

When I am working in the moment I find visual relationships between elements in the frame that usually happen in fractions of second interesting. I feel one thing photography does that no other art form can do is free moments in time. That is an abstract to humans because we experience life in motion and in 3 dimensions. Photographs not only freeze moments in time to contemplate it is also 2 dimensional. When I am successful and I actual capture one of these moments it is so exhilarating and why I keep at it. Sometimes they can be humorous and other times a reflection of us and our times. I know that photograph is the only one of its kind. Then to make a body of images that relate in some way visually or thematically is even more satisfying.

Thant's my 2 cents...

Allen

Also my choice of equipment always reflects the way I see and work over everything else. I usually shoot with a 35mm of FF because it matches the way I natural see. For pro work I use several different lenses but for 90% of my personal work I shoot with a 35mm. I shoot mostly B&W with my personal work because that is the way I have been seeing. Shapes, tone, textures and other things that lend to B&W.




  
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Owain ­ Shaw
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Jan 11, 2018 04:20 |  #3850

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18538306 (external link)
That is a really great video!

I think that if someone is a street photographer, or even just a photographer of humans, then this is almost essential viewing. . It speaks of the entire process, of creating a project that comes from one's heart, and takes 10 years to complete. .

I love how he talks about the lens he used and explains WHY he used it - and that the reason has nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of technical proficiency or with "image quality". . Rather, his lens choice is based entirely on his artistic vision, and how a given lens can help him to include various elements in the frame in a certain way. . This is the very core of what photography and creativity are all about.

The one thing I wonder as I watched it is WHY? . Why did he want to photograph these railroad tramps in the first place? Why was he even interested in them?

As a nature and wildlife photographer, it is sometimes hard for me to understand the motivations of those who photograph people. . I am simply not interested in the Human Experience, and have trouble understanding why anyone else WOULD be interested in it.

If anyone here can explain why they are interested in photographing people, instead of the beautiful things in nature, please explain your motivations. . I would love to develop a better understanding of why people re interested in other people, because quite frankly, I am not.

.

Interesting post Tom. It seems clear we all get our inspiration from different things. None is more valid than the other.

I love street photography. I love seeing Allen's work here, among others, and the work of various street photographers in books, exhibitions, online or in videos. However, even with that said, when I go out and take photographs, these type of photographs aren't the ones that come to me naturally. It isn't how I see and it isn't how I photograph. It's difficult for me to accept that sometimes. Perhaps if I did it more. Perhaps if I push myself harder in it. Perhaps not.

Portraiture doesn't do it for me. Apparently people in photographs generally doesn't - which is why street photography as it is generally conceived doesn't seem to work for me. I'm more of an Egglestone or a Stephen Shore. I need to accept that, accept the validity of that way of being, that way of seeing. It's hard to like a type of work, to appreciate it and be really interested in it, but ... it not be there when it comes to ones own work.

The type of subjects I generally choose for my photographs probably seem very strange to someone such as yourself, Tom. And I don't mean any disrespect by that. I don't mean to say that you're wrong, that you don't get the highly blah blah blah of my work. I mean to say none of that, I assure you - you're one of the contributors here whose posts I pay attention to. We have different interests but I respect your passion for photography and that you dedicate your life to doing it and engaging with it. I merely mean that as someone inspired by something very different, it must seem strange that someone choose* instead to photograph ... stuff. (What is it exactly that I do photograph? I'm a genre spanner (external link).) I didn't choose the stuff life, the stuff life chose me. Something inspires you or it doesn't. It's hard to make oneself inspired by something.

*I regret using the subjunctive, even if I think it is correct. The subjunctive is like people in my photographs. I want them to be there, but it just doesn't feel quite right.


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Jan 11, 2018 11:13 |  #3851

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18538306 (external link)
That is a really great video! . . . The one thing I wonder as I watched it is WHY? . Why did he want to photograph these railroad tramps in the first place? Why was he even interested in them?

No one but John Free himself could answer that question fully.

If anyone here can explain why they are interested in photographing people, instead of the beautiful things in nature, please explain your motivations. . I would love to develop a better understanding of why people re interested in other people, because quite frankly, I am not.

You're not? But you've posted about gathering with friends and welcoming other photographers, even inviting them as house guests. At POTN you give tons of Likes. You do seem interested in your own species.

Owain Shaw wrote in post #18538502 (external link)
I'm more of an Egglestone or a Stephen Shore.

Yeah, me too. I'd get more people shots if it weren't for fear of compromising strangers' privacy and of incurring repercussions for myself. But I think the main thing going on is an emphasis on composition and framing.

I merely mean that as someone inspired by something very different, it must seem strange that someone choose* instead to photograph ... stuff.

*I regret using the subjunctive, even if I think it is correct. The subjunctive is like people in my photographs. I want them to be there, but it just doesn't feel quite right.

You rang? :-) The verb you flagged isn't subjunctive, and it isn't correct. "Someone might choose" or "someone would choose" would work there. "Should" is also correct, but these days it sounds stilted.

My friend the linguist says the subjunctive is disappearing from English.


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Jan 11, 2018 14:04 |  #3852

OhLook wrote in post #18538698 (external link)
You rang? :-) The verb you flagged isn't subjunctive, and it isn't correct. "Someone might choose" or "someone would choose" would work there. "Should" is also correct, but these days it sounds stilted.

My friend the linguist says the subjunctive is disappearing from English.

I believe I did, yes.

I thought that 'seem' interpreted as expressing a (supposed in this case) opinion (strange) would introduce a subjunctive. Would you tell me where I've gone wrong in this reasoning? I considered all of those alternatives but decided to risk the subjunctive jackpot ... while it is still a possibility, as it isn't considered incorrect to say 'if I was' anymore, the disappearance appears imminent.


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Jan 11, 2018 15:55 |  #3853

Hey, Gang!

This thread has been real interesting, going way back, and still, stuff comes up here!

Recently, I've found myself "stirred by the discussions about people photography compared to, say, the wildlife work that Tom Reichner has shown so muchquality, bringing out the beauty of nature, our "true artist"!

I'll stand up and say without any heitation that in my years as an "active photographer I have been totally drawn and involved in bot of these areas!

Just a brief comparison: When one is out in nature looking to catch images of critters, ehether birds or mammals, it' important to "Watch and Wait, to Wait an Watch for those "moments when your subject acts to actually reveal parts of its "nature", personality, temperament and the stuff that nature ha built into the critter! We Wait and Watch for thosssssse "special moments", hoping to capture them!

I will say in reference to discusions here, that I have spent some "real" time out amongst peopl, not just snap[Shots and not so much "portraiturebut I have gone out into ettings where people are "being people", living their live s and acting/behaving , showibg those characteristic sthat nature has in fact built inyo them, hey just like the critters out in nature!

And w3ith peop;e it's also a Watch and Wait process, waiting and watching for those "moments"! In my times out there doing street pjotography and at events and such where people are being active, living out their "humanness", ai Watch and Wait with my camera in hand so thatt I can "capture those moments, unique ones that then communicate to me a "taste"/glimpse of the human life and experience!

Well, Gang, those are some thoughts I've had, so I'll stop my rambling!


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Jan 11, 2018 15:56 |  #3854

Owain Shaw wrote in post #18538793 (external link)
I thought that 'seem' interpreted as expressing a (supposed in this case) opinion (strange) would introduce a subjunctive. Would you tell me where I've gone wrong in this reasoning?

Sure. Seeming and opinions aren't the kind of thing that justifies use of the subjunctive mood. I can't diagram sentences just by typing, so I'll try to show you. "It must seem strange that someone choose instead to photograph stuff" is only a clause, not the whole sentence. Now, for simplicity, pretend that it is a whole sentence, as it could be. The subject of that sentence is It. This word, It, is a stand-in for the noun clause that someone choose instead to photograph stuff. The subject, then, is It (that someone choose instead to photograph stuff).

A more direct way to say the same thing omits it, like this: "That someone choose instead to photograph stuff must seem strange." You wouldn't use subjunctive there, would you? The natural (and correct) form is indicative. "That someone chooses instead to . . ."


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Jan 11, 2018 19:09 |  #3855

OhLook wrote in post #18538698 (external link)
No one but John Free himself could answer that question fully.
You're not? But you've posted about gathering with friends and welcoming other photographers, even inviting them as house guests. At POTN you give tons of Likes. You do seem interested in your own species.

OhLook, I should have taken more time to develop my post before submitting it.

You're right - I am interested in people. . But when it comes to artistic expression, well, in that area I have little to no interest in people as subject matter.

So, while I really enjoy hanging out with friends for our local "game nights", and enjoy having a buddy along whilst on a wildlife photo shoot, I have no interest in photographing these folks. . Or rather, I should say that the only interest I have in photographing them is for documentary purposes, and when it comes to getting creative and making art, I have no interest in using humans as subject matter for that type of photography.

Thank you, OhLook, for correcting me by pointing out my apparent inconsistencies. . Doing so caused me to take a deeper look into myself and to better articulate what my real interests are. . As it turns out, I am more interested in people than I had realized. . But that doesn't mean I want to photograph them!

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Composition and all that Arty stuff - discussion thread.
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